It's obvious from our mail that there's a resurgent interest in vinyl. Kick yourself now if you threw your LPs away back in the mid 1980s, convinced by the overarching view of the time that digital was perfect and all else "gaslight", as a famous conductor put it. Hah!
But I don't blame you. When I politely tried to explain to one BBC engineer that CD actually produced more than 100% distortion he shouted at me that I didn't understand! In truth I'd just bought a brand new Hewlett Packard spectrum analyser that was the doggies, and it clearly flagged up figures I barely believed. All the same, the pressure was on and the sheep in full stampede, shiny CDs in hand, mimicking an episode of Shaun the Sheep, if a little less funny.
Happily, those dark digital days are over and you can now move onto the bright sunlit uplands of high-resolution digital that doesn't shred ears with lacerative distortion. In this issue, commencing p11, we look even more closely at successors to the successor, reviewing three portable digital audio players that potentially move sound quality ahead of that possible from CD.
The three new models effectively illustrate the variation that exists between current brands and models: this is a new and fast moving market technologically. I hope you find it interesting – and the products affordable. Far East manufacture and the lack of CD's monopoly means you can great sound at great prices.
All of which brings me to resurgent interest in gaslight. Yes, right back at the other end of the historical spectrum, in earlier times when we padded through dark streets of technological ignorance (cough) pierced only by gaslight, boxes of cogs and wheels provided entertainment. How ironic that these contraptions should slowly re-emerge to entertain us in our living rooms once again, displacing the inert boxes invented to provide digital. I'll admit the construction that I am bemused by, from Clearaudio of Germany on p95, isn't going to be within the budget of many, especially me, but it sure as hell looks fabulous. As a counterbalance to this we also feature two super-low price moving coil cartridges from Japan, that Paul Rigby peers at on p103.
Please don't kick yourself too hard if all the LPs of your youth got skipped, 'cos new pressings are tumbling onto the market. Abbey Road studios tell us the world's remaining pressing plants are overwhelmed with demand. Hi-fi is forever an interesting place to be, I hope you enjoy reading about it in this issue.