The Vinyl Revival: Bring Back Music the Way Your Remember It
Enjoy High-End Audio in Your Boston Home
In our last newsletter/blog we explored the convenience and wide variety of choice that streaming music brings to the table. Now for something completely different—playing LP records! This form of music playback has had somewhat of a renaissance the last several years. Many folks love the warm, full sound of records and the whole experience—from reading the liner notes to owning the physical medium, to even the occasional tick or pop!
We at Natural Sound all have life-long personal and professional involvement in quality vinyl playback. We grew up in the Golden Era of the LP, and even before getting into the business of HiFi sales, each of us traveled the path to quality record reproduction in our own way...by listening to products, experimenting with them, reading the literature and testing the claims of turntable and cartridge manufacturers for ourselves. We bring this history plus our many years of hands-on experience to the service of our Boston, MA customers at the store. There is an art and science to high-end audio and turntable setup that all of us are proud to have mastered!
Our selection of analog products reflects our collective judgment of what we have come to prefer, which we will attempt to summarize:
We favor belt drive systems for the most part, because they better isolate the record-stylus interface from motor noise. As a practical matter, we have found that loosely sprung suspensions present users more obstacles to listening pleasure than low-compliance mass-and-elastomer suspensions do. (The Oracle turntable is one notable exception!) All our turntables are "manual"...because today we all have other options for hands-off convenience, and end-of-record lift mechanisms invariably add to the complexity and reduce the reliability of a turntable. Plus, a stylus playing a silent lead-out groove for a few minutes isn't doing itself any harm!
We like tonearms that are rigid, resonance-free, and have chatter-free bearings with full adjustability and negligible bearing friction. We recognize the importance of optimal cartridge alignment and adjustment for low distortion and maximum groove tracking ability.
We prefer cartridge makers with high standards of tip quality, polish and alignment, whether moving magnet or moving coil is used for transduction. We practice what we preach regarding the matching of cartridge to tonearm...keeping the characteristics of each in optimum balance with the other. When you buy a turntable and cartridge from us, we unpack and set up the system with precision alignment tools to assure you are going to get the best sound when you play your records at home.
Finally, we recognize the great range of quality among phono preamps, and offer models appropriate for all levels of system performance. When budget permits, we prefer to recommend low-output MC cartridges paired with suitably equipped phono stages.
With that said, we are proud to represent Pro-Ject, Rega Research, Bryston, Clearaudio, McIntosh, and Tech Das Air Force turntables and Graham Engineering tonearms.
Our cartridges come from Ortofon, Sumiko, Hana, Grado Labs, Clearaudio, Dynavector, and Audio Technica.
Some of our favorite combinations are:
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC...$399
Basic modern phono playback w/ MDF plinth and steel platter. Comes with 8.6" carbon fiber arm-tube, Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, plays 33 1/3 and 45 RPM discs.
Comes in gloss red, white and black.
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit DC...$599
This belt-drive has electronic speed control, an acrylic platter, a stiff carbon-fiber tonearm, and also comes with the fine Ortofon 2M Red cartridge with elliptical stylus.
Can even play 78 RPM records! (special stylus needed).
The Pro-Ject X-2...$1299.00
Features heavy MDF plinth and acrylic platter, hi-tech motor-board isolation combined with adjustable Alu/elastomer feet, upgraded CF arm, Sumiko Moonstone MM cartridge.
Comes in gloss white, gloss black or walnut veneer.
The Rega Planar 3...$945 to $1340 (plus cartridge)
Features Rega's excellent RB-330 tonearm and 12mm float-glass platter. Can be upgraded with their TT-PSU regulated power supply.
Recommended optional cartridges range from the Sumiko Olympia to the Hana EL or EH.
The new Rega Planar 6...$1595
Comes with tuned TT-PSU, RB-330, double-layer flywheel glass platter, reference white belt.
Can be purchased with Rega's Ania LOMC cartridge...$2195.
The Pro-Ject XTension 9 Super Pack...$2799
High design clear Plexiglass plinth, with magnetic suspension, upgraded carbon-fiber arm, comes with Sumiko EVO III MC cartridge in low or high output.
The Clearaudio Performance DC Wood w/Satisfy CF arm...$4750
German precision belt drive turntable with gimbal bearing tonearm delivers outstanding, solid performance across the board.
Recommended optional cartridges range from Dynavector 20X (low or high output) to the Clearaudio Talisman v2 Gold
Natural Sound also stocks a comprehensive selection of record care accessories from AudioQuest, LAST, Okki Nokki, and Audio Desk.
Want to find out more about high-end audio for your Boston home? Give our team a call at (508) 879-3556 or fill out our online contact form here. We’d love to hear from you!