Talking of hi-fi…

December 16, 2008

….which of course we weren’t.

Here’s the system I’ve got:

CD transport: CEC TL2
Digital-to-analogue converter: Audio Note DAC 3 Signature
Turntable: Rega P3, with a Goldring 1042 moving magnet cartridge
Pre-amp: Naim Audio NAC 72, with HICAP power supply
Power amp: Naim Audio NAP 140
Speakers: Sonus Faber Minima Amator
Cables: Van den Hul Digicoupler (transport to DAC), VDH The First The Ultimate (DAC to pre-amp), Naim SNAIC interconnects for the amps, Naim NACA-5 speaker cables

Sounds great to me.

You might think this is an open invitation to burglars, assuming (a) they knew who I was – thanks for keeping it quiet, WP – and (b) they knew where I lived, but you’d be wrong. All this kit is long superseded in the market place, lights up (not) like a dead Christmas tree on spent batteries, and wouldn’t fetch a red cent down the pub or Cash Converters. Anyway, it’s guarded night and day by an attack cat. She even scares me, sometimes.

But boy, does it sing an awesome song.

What it doesn’t sound like is this:

Listen to how tinny it sounds. I really feel for people who grew up with the idea that MP3 files (the worst audio format ever invented) played on a PC actually constitutes a genuine musical experience. Apparently a lot of the recent surge in turntable sales is down to people belatedly realising how wrong they were.

Great singer, though, Fritz Wunderlich. You can hear it – just – even through the sludge. Go out and buy the CD – or better yet, the LP (remember them?)

Go vinyl!


  1. Listening on the tinniest audio transmitter to Mario Lanza (to name my favourite tenor) would always be a genuine music experience for me.

  2. But how much better he would sound through the rich taste of vinyl! Yes, yes, I know, I’m a hi-fi bore.

  3. Wunderlich is wonderful, though my first love, because first heard, is the Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore recording of Die Schöne Müllerin.

    My secret weapon for approximate sound perfection – anywhere – is my $500 Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Even on my mini laptop, courtesy of their technological magic, this feels close to as good as it gets for me. Which is very good indeed.


  4. Yes, I know headphones – good ones – give you a closer-to-real experience than most speakers do.

    I completely agree on the Fischer-Dieskau/Moore reading of Die Schone Mullerin. A deathless (and probably matchless) performance.

  5. Just shutting out extraneous noise is my biggest and most constant battle. Even now, in a transient camp by the banks of the Snowy River, human-created noise is an damnable intrusion.

    Yeah, the lyrics don’t even need translating. It’s perfectly clear in any language what Schubert (and Müller) are saying.

  6. […] Vote Talking of hi-fi… […]

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