I am reminded how complex our quest for perfection can be. Even the simple act of playing a record album can seem like an impossible mountain to climb once we factor in the particulars like VTA, phono stages, capacitive loading, proper weight, cartridge types, cables etc. And digital’s even more frightening.
There’s a post worth reading on the Roon forums that delves deep into this very subject. Anders Vinberg pleads with our crowd to go easy when first advising newcomers into computer based audio. And he’s right. How tempting to add in the kitchen sink of advice and recommendations when someone asks us what they’ll need to play music stored on a hard drive. The list is endless. What they really need to know is pretty simple and is detailed in our How To that can be found here. But even this simple setup guide, I am saddened to say, can be daunting.
Truthfully, there’s not much needed to play music other than a computer, DAC, USB cable, and a program like JRiver, Roon, or iTunes. There’s no reason a newbie shouldn’t be up and running within an hour’s time, and yet somehow we manage to make it hard.
I agree with the author of the post that we should always be vigilant figuring out first the level of skill the newbie possesses before dishing out too big a plate of recommendations.
Sometimes it’s the simplest path that gets us through the door. We can always add desert later.