The new analog
I’ve just finished a really good read. Damon Krukowski’s, The New Analog. This book is centered around the notion that in the transition from analog/tape/vinyl to digital audio, much was lost. In particular, noise.
Krukowski’s both a musician, (Galaxie 500, Damon & Naomi, Magic Hour) and the editor/publisher of Exact Change.
While I don’t agree with everything he writes, I do agree with his basic premise. Too many producers and recording engineers have lost sight of what was good in analog and focused more on emphasizing their new found digital toys: loudness, compression, endless tinkering. The purists among us take advantage of the areas of digital where it clearly outshines analog: dynamic range, full frequency response.
To his point, I do miss noise. There’s a comforting, enveloping aspect to hiss.
Near the end of this series of essays, he attacks something near and dear to my heart. Subwoofers. I understand his hesitation, but not his outright dismissal. Here’s a case where yet another musician hasn’t been exposed to high-end audio, an all too common experience.
Regardless. The book is worth the read. I highly recommend it.
Oh. And you must get the analog version. Hardcover.
Ironic that I had custom plinths made for my custom speakers, that are arriving from Washington State today, to both drive them closer to the floor, yet position them for slightly better imaging potential.
Not sure that I agree with Paul on this. Gettin main speakers to play as cleanly as possible seems good to me. What he is talking about is bass reinforcement, but I’ve got two subwoofers for that.
Different strokes for different folks.
The spike dilemma
Audiophiles spike their speakers for better sound. Debate rages as to spike’s efficacy, but I don’t intend to address that in this post. Instead, I want to examine the decision to use them in the first place.
Spikes are supposed to provide a degree of isolation. The thought goes something like this. Coupling a loudspeaker to the floor with its full base touching, transfers speaker energy into the floor—something we don’t want to do. Some would rather all the energy moves air instead.
I would argue that one of the reasons we even use speakers, as opposed to headphones, is to recreate what happens in a concert where sound pressure moves more than just air. We feel sound as well as hear it.
If spiking a set of loudspeakers lessen the physical movement of music in the room, are we not attempting to ameliorate one of the principal benefits of the speakers themselves?
Food for thought.