Thinking, about my HiFi journy, the past couple years, started with a simple plug and play set up, Rega P5, Croft intigrated hybrid amp. A long drawn out perod of TT upgrade, then a move to a full valve amp. All sounded realy good but one had niggles, can it be better?
Well, as you will have seen in 'Rolling . . . etc', I turned my attention to upgrading the valves, this was to very good effect, and in very a short time.
In the early days, the changest to the TT were equaled by the rest of the system, ie, it simply stepped up to the plate and deliverd the goods for evaluation, I could hear the changes I had made. Then one got to a point where one felt the TT was being held back by the amplifier. Change amp, upgrade amp and the TT has continued to sing, moving on in SQ terms as each set of valves were installed. Extended bass, more air, more infomation, the sound has become more natural and easy . . . the turntable is simply digging out the infomation, the amplifier is presenting it . . . quite an exciting thought, just how much infomation is there that the amp is holding back?
Begs a question over turntables, just how good, is good . . . I mean, does money spent, ie, the recomended retail cost indicate how good a TT or for that fact, an amplifier is? . . . or does it come down to satisfaction level of the individual? . . . is it more important where, or on what you spend your 'hard earned'?
My turntable is not expensive by any means, the mechanical upgrades were very modestly priced, the upgraded arm can be added to any TT as can be the Sumiko cartridge, so I consider these items are options for any one. The mechanical changes on the other hand are bespoke to the Rega range, costing me £250, this plus the cost of the TT still make the whole about £1000 at the time. Not a lot compared to what is on offer in the market. The sound quality IMHO is fare in excess of the systems price point.
So is it the TT, the amp, the carfull matching of all components, even the sticking with items that in my opinion sound good and go to making the system sound the way it does. Speakers for instace, they are circa 1990, I like them, the cable, interconects and speaker, they sound good to me why change? Thinking about it a little more, my system still sounds the same as it did a couple of years ago . . . just 'more of it'!!!
Therefore, the source has to be the key to the sound, the LPs and CDs are the same as they were as far back as when I bought some of them are from the 60's and 70's . . . spend money wisley, audition carfully and dont chang what aint broke without very carfull consideration.
But I still have this question . . . how much does one actualy need to spend on the turntable, is it more about getting it to work right, at what point do we move into the relms of smoke and mirrors???