Overnight Thread ("Orford String Quartet, Beethoven String Quartet Op.130)

For the Sunday (weekend) overnight video, I wanted to pick something a little different, and so I chose one of my "needle drop" audio recordings available on my YouTube channel. A "needle drop" is a recording of a vinyl recording; years ago, one would record to cassette tape or create a mix, while today, most everything is recorded to digital, for transfer to smartphone or burning to CD.

This album is one of my favorite records, a 1976 LP by Canada's Orford String Quartet of Beethoven's String Quartet Op.130. This is one of Beethoven's very last pieces of written music, and shows the emotionally-turbulent master at his peak, full of sound and fury, but also a delicate beauty and clarity.  I found this LP for 50 cents, which is common for classical albums. It's very easy to build a record library of classical music for less than the price of a sandwich. Thankfully, the price inflation that has accompanied the Vinyl Revival has yet to extend to classical.

I recorded this LP in 2010 with a Sony PS-X5 direct drive turntable (1977-79), an Ortofon 2M Blue phono cartridge, Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono stage, and Harmon Kardon 330c stereo receiver. This was never my favorite audio line-up, but it was very effective and it got the job done.

My current setup: Sony PS-X600 Biotracer turntable, Shure M91ED cartridge, Pro-Ject Tube Box SE II phono stage, and Marantz 2235b stereo. I really love my stereo system, especially the Biotracer deck and the Tube Box. The humble Shure cartridge - one can easily be found for $20 these days - is the weak link in the chain, yet it has a musical, full-bodied sound that is quite effective. A Jico Super-Analog Stylus is available for $130, and dramatically improves the performance of the cartridge. Jico makes a similar stylus for Shure's M97XE cartridge, and is widely regarded as a killer combination for the budget minded music lover.  It is nice to know that one need not spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on their stereo systems.

Anyway, enjoy the LP recordings. I've often toyed with the idea of writing hi-fi audio reviews on Saturdays or Sundays here on the blog, but weekends tend to be my "down time." I'm also quite busy running around all the time. We'll see if I get around to that.  Back to work on Monday!


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