I had the chance to listen to Roksan’s new Radius 5 MkII turntable recently, complete with Roksan’s Nima unipivot tonearm and Corus Silver MM cartridge. It’s since moved on to Gary Pearce’s listening room seeing as he’s doing the full review for Witchdoctor, so I won’t steal his thunder by posting my impressions here except for saying that the Roksan is a thing of beauty – both visually and sonically.
While I had it, I noticed once again that my listening habits change when I’m spinning old school records instead of CDs or computer files. I listen for longer periods of time and seem to be more involved in the music itself. I’ll often play a side and then play the same side again, sometimes over and over if the analogue rig is really floating my boat and the album is really sounding good to me at the time.
I’ll also listen to the entire album almost every time, which I seldom do on CD and I shuffle computer files like a riverboat gambler shuffles cards. It takes a great deal to get me to trundle up to a turntable and “fast-forward” a track and it’s not just laziness an the lack of a remote that keeps me on my butt. There’s something going on with analogue playback that I haven’t quite put my finger on, maybe it’s just more enjoyable to me at some level?
I’ve got what I consider to be a fantastic CD player in the form of a Marantz SA8260, so it’s not the quality of my CD playback that makes vinyl more involving. It’s not my turntable rig either, because as nice as my modified Technics 1210 is, its not light years ahead of the Marantz.
It’s frustrating to contemplate this dilemma and I’m not in a unique position at all. Good thing that it’s so much fun to keep listening though. Better than a boat any day.