Hi-Fi+: Which elements in the analogue audio signal path—turntables, tonearms, phono cartridges, or phono stages—have the most overall impact on sound quality?
The signal from the record cannot be improved on (“you can’t polish a turd”) and missing information cannot be replaced so one assumes that the turntable/arm/cartridge, are important. However, the signal or music can be corrupted or destroyed at any stage so every part of the replay chain including amplifier and loudspeaker become equally important.
Hi-Fi+: Which three of your favourite analogue demo discs might you recommend to our readers? (It’s hard to choose just three, we know, but please do your best.)
I don’t agree with the concept of “demo discs” or using discs to demonstrate the replay. I much prefer the concept that the function of the replay system is to demonstrate the disc.
Hi-Fi+: What set-up or installation tips would you give the newcomer… and what guidance would you give to the expert?
Listen to the music. Don’t read reviews or magazines. Be confident in your own beliefs and what you hear. Find a good retailer who will let you listen and borrow equipment. Don’t spend large sums on equipment furniture or cables; most of it is a “con”. There is more available pleasure from listening to music than playing with Hi-Fi.
For the “expert”; I know many competent loudspeaker and electronics experts. I have never met a turntable expert. Almost all turntable accepted beliefs are anecdotal, mythological, or completely wrong.
Hi-Fi+: In five years’ time, how do you anticipate that the world of analogue audio will have changed?