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This is a guest post, and the views of the author are not necessarily those of Graham or HiFi System Components Ltd.
Subjectivism in Hi-Fi reviews is a topic covered by Douglas Self under the title Science and Subjectivism. This is an excellent article and well worth the time taken to read and consider.
The main body of the article is well argued, although I find it looses it's bite at the close. Don't be put off by this, it is as good as it gets so far as this subject is concerned...
What I just did to my 1979 vintage turntable may be seen as crazy to some, but to me it's just plain engineering.
I was originally trained as a mechanical engineer and I could (eventually) see there was a mechanical contradiction about this turntable which in my opinion was either a design oversight, or that it was done intentionally to make it sound a certain way...
This piece on phono preamplifiers, which originally appeared on our previous website, is written from my personal experiences with gramophone (phonograph) records which started in July 1969 (at the age of 14), and my subsequent work with AV equipment during the 1970s . . .
Analogue audio signals (mainly from vinyl these days) are not constrained like digital audio signals, so they need headroom to expand into.
Think of a digital signal as a 14 ft 4 1/2 in double-decker bus. Will it pass under a 14 ft 4 1/2 in bridge? Yes it will. In real life however, it would probably take the paint off the roof.
Now think of the road underneath the bridge being bumpy...
You know you can't fit a square peg in a round hole - although it might go in it would not be a fit - and so most people are really-sensible. But when it comes to valve amplifiers I often find common sense goes straight out of the window.
When something doesn't work it cannot be the valve amplifier's fault - it simply can't be that - can it?