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In Reply to: Re: What makes a Rega Planet "Analog-like"? posted by The Rev on February 22, 2007 at 21:46:07:
While I do hear two distinct types of sounds, the differences are more subtle within each category. I find more $ buys 1) better treble, 2) bigger soundstage, and 3) more clarity and resolution.
Treble - Cd’s have a digital edgyness to them that is most noticable in the treble, newer pop recordings being the most troublesome b/c they’re so compressed, bright, and edgy. Do some reading on siblance and listen to how the letter “s” sounds with vocals or the initial crash of a cymbal. There’s a zing or bite to it, to some it’s exagerated and may prefer a softer or rolled off top end, but think some of it is inherited as part of what makes a cd sound like a cd and prefer articulation.
Soundstage – Use any good recording and listen for the difference in physical size of the soundstage. Are the boundaries confined or somehow extend past the room.
Clarity and resolution – Use complex music and focus on the inner details. Is everything mushed together or is each note well separated and distinct.
Here are some of my test recordings…
- Dance Macabre for micro dynamics, transient attack, air, decay, pace, and grain.
- Johnny Frigo - Live from Studio A New York City is a single mike recording (less artificial processing sounds more lifelike).
- Eva Cassidy - Live at Blues Alley for acoustical space (air vs a black hole) ambience, and decay
- Gladiator’ battle scene or O’fortuna for a brute force test.
- stuff of varying tempos like (Basie, Krall, and Norah) for PRAT. If the “Pace Rhythm And Timing” is right, Basie bops, Krall sounds S’wonderful and Norah sounds meloncholy (which is normal). If too fast, Basie seems hurried, Krall sounds less syrupy and Norah sounds happy or too slow, Basie sounds boring, Krall too syrupy and Norah sounds morbid.
If your source is more than a few years old, and haven’t been out shopping in awhile, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot these days, but should max out your source in line with the rest of the system.
Believe what your ears say - not hearsay.
This brings up a topic I have always wondered about. What the hell is PRAT? I mean, I know what it stands for, but isn't it up to the band to get the pacing, rhythm and timing right? I mean, if there was a player that would slop up drum parts and slow down the bass licks so that all my music sounded like mariachi, I think it would be pretty incredible! But what is a CD player working with but two tracks of audio, one for each channel, correct?
Please, help me understand this idea!
I’m not good with technical rationale, at best can only describe what I hear. I’m not sure that PRAT resides exclusively within any one component, but the cdp (like everything) has some effect. I’m all over the place in terms of music genre, so it’s important to me that things can swing as well as seduce.
Using the same variety of cd’s can detect variation in the delivery of attack & decay. When there’s too much attack and not enough decay, it sounds too fast; reminds me of a child playing a piano solo, , for the first time in the school recidal…each note is played as quickly as possible (to get it over with) without allowing the previous note to decay. - Basie seems hurried, Krall sounds less syrupy and Norah sounds happy. Conversely, with too much decay and not enough attack, it sounds too slow; reminds me of same kid learning to play a song, read the notes, and find the keys at the same time or an accomplished musician who’s bored from playing the same night afer night.– Basie sounds boring, Krall too syrupy and Norah sounds morbid. Just right lets - Basie bops, Krall sounds S’wonderful and Norah sounds meloncholy (which is normal).
The existence or not of PRAT is a periodic matter of discussion here. People who use the term say that some systems simply get their toes tapping more than others -- some are just better at conveying the feel of rhythm. I dunno. Your comments are right, but it's not unimaginable that there are other qualities of audio gear that make the experience of rhythm somehow stronger.
Re Rega, it's got a lush, distinctive sound that's very nice. My own experience, FWIW, was that the Rega tended to be slightly less detailed and perhaps because of that it would bring the featured instrument or vocalist a little more forward and push the backing vocals/instruments more to the back. My own favorite for hearing what a source component does is a capella gospel music, both because differences in timbre stand out and because of the interplay between soloist and chorus. If you have a dealer who will let you line up several CD players and compare, the differences should stand out. Chamber music with strings is great; if you're a musician pick a great recording with your instrument.
I am happy to read comments about lushness and etcetera, those are qualities I definitely look for in both the music I listen to as well as the sound I am hearing. I would say that so far it has been a good experience with the player except for the fact that it really has issues playing CD's that aren't totally pristine. That is annoying, especially when the CD is just basically brand new but for one teeeeny scratch.
As far as auditioning, heh, maybe someday, for now I am on dad's flow of gear being nudged out, so the Planet is a pleasant by-product of my dad's upgrade to the Jupiter. No complaints there, I know it is a player I couldn't afford on my, hmmmm, say...college student fixed income :)
You did well in your choice of Dads and you can't go wrong with Rega. The other thing to look at as far as sources is the PC, which has a nice forum here and is definitely the wave of the future. No more worries about CD scratches.
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