Trevor Horn’s Video as we all know now, did not kill the radio star. If anything radio has grown much stronger since. In the same vein digitised music has yet to do away with all analogue forms and Vinyl has been spinning its virtues louder than most. So much so that the last decade has seen an actual solid and consistent growth in the sales of vinyl records [1. http://www.statista.com/chart/2967/worldwide-vinyl-sales/]. This has prompted more recording artists and companies to release more of their recordings on the format which in turn can only allow this trend continue.
On the Bandwagon.
Of course we may simply be enjoying the dizzy heights sitting atop an ever growing and rising bubble. Though I don’t think record companies are under any illusion that LP is going to make a comeback and dominate all music sales. Some may call it a passing fad even. We however can see it sitting nicely in its niche for years to come. Digital formats are all over the place. More and more are being introduced without others falling by the wayside. This adds confusion to something that is already very confused. The ritual of walking up to and raising and placing a stylus on a record has virtues beyond the technology racetrack. Dynamic range? pfft!
Still in the groove.
Here at Sonneteer we have not shied away from supporting both digital and analogue formats. The Sedley phono stage has served the Vinyl loving community since the late 90s and in that time we have also had two CD player models, the Byron and Bronte spinning silver disks for the music loving public. Though while CDs and CD players seem to be on the Hearse to the format crematorium needles are still merrily jigging in the vinyl grooves. Tellingly we have recently retired our two CD player models and have introduced an internal phono stage to our most popular amplifier, the Alabaster. This is the same bit of Sonneteer, much praised, electronics’ trickery that used to grace the now also retired Campion amplifier. This particular phono stage has been in the shadow of the Sedley for many years yet has quietly built up a bit of a following. Little did we expect the noises that regretted the passing of that particular feature almost more than the Campion itself. For that reason, as much as any, it is back
Between the amp and the turntable
The phono stage is the box of electronics’ tricks that sits between the record player’ stylus and the audio amplifier stage in a music playing system like your hifi. It probably does the most important job in getting the music correctly off the record and playing as it should into your ears. Because of the way records are made (remember these techniques were invented a very long time ago) they require an equalisation filter which has become known as a head amp or phono stage to correct the anomalies of production. Please see So What is Exactly is a phono stage? [2. http://www.nowyouhearit.com/home/2012/05/24/exactly-phono-stage/] for more on the subject.