Reviewing Vinyl & Plastic

Vinyl and Plastic Reviews – My Approach


I am not a musician and cannot play any instrument. My love of music is really based upon its production, how well it was recorded and transferred to the replay medium. My taste in music is eclectic from Classical to Jazz, rock and pop and any comments that I make regarding the musical content, musicianship, performance or style of reviewed material is a personal opinion and is no way an endorsement of the musical performance. My aim is to review the technical aspects of the medium in how closely it resembles what I used to listen to, and viewed, during the years that I worked in the professional recording and broadcast industries. During that time I was fortunate enough to be able to bring home both first generation ¼” and ½” master audio tapes and first generation Digital Betacam video tapes.

Much is being made these days of releasing the old analog master tapes on heavy weight vinyl, and calling them “audiophile”. This in my opinion could be considered to be “audio heresy”, as many of these recordings that I have purchased are not that much better, and in some cases no better, than the original pressings of yesteryear. More on this as I provide reviews.

My system currently supports all plastic disc music formats and most bit rates and I rarely listen to any compressed music or file streaming.

See my reviews here.

Room Response

The rooms current equalized response is shown below; the uptick in levels above 15K is only a sampling rate error and the response is set to continually gently roll off up to 20K.

Reviewing Vinyl & Plastic

Final 7.1 Response Using a Crossover Frequency of 40Hz.

The Audyssey created HF roll of may be removed by selecting a flat response but that is not how I listen to the system.

My system can sound rather forward in the 2K to 3K range and as I sit fairly close to the front speakers, tending to like my music loud, I will occasionally use a modified frequency response created by using three Rane ME30B 1/3rd octave analog equalizers for the front left, center and right hand side speakers. This response, shown below, provides a uniform 10dB drop from approximately 20Hz to 20KHz. This slope is often recommended and preferred by many listeners as has been shown from research by Harmon and B&K.

Reviewing Vinyl & Plastic

Optional ME30B Equalized Response for the Front and Center speakers.


Movie Viewing

I am currently universally running 1080P24 video which the ISF calibrated BenQ W10000 DLP projector then frame rate doubles to 1080P48. Darbee Vision video processing is available and is set to 25%HD.

Blu Ray reviews are currently limited to HD as I have not yet taken the plunge into 4K as the current range of affordable HT projectors and players is too limited and the feature sets are anything but stable and complete.

Technical reviews will be kept fairly simple and only refer to basic image parameters to include:

  • black levels
  • contrast
  • colors and saturation
  • sharpness

Comments on the production and story line will generally be very brief. Extras, well I just don’t care about them or ever watch them, that’s just not my ‘bag’, so I will never comment upon them.

Marks out of five will be awarded, with 5+ representing a movie aspect worthy of demonstration material and will be summarized as:

Entertainment: 1 to 5+

Video: 1 to 5+

Audio: 1 to 5+

I watch movies to relax and be entertained and if possible transport me into another medium and world. I am not looking to be educated, have any interest in ‘real life’ movies, and don’t want to see depictions, no matter how well done of real day events and tragedies, past or present. I want a movie to take me somewhere where I can Escape and lets my imagination run riot. I make no apologies if all that sounds a little ‘shallow’.

I must also let you know that I do not like 3D video. My household is a 3D video free zone. While I have seen some very impressive 3D demonstrations much of it seems to look unnatural to me with 2D figures moving in a 3D world. Besides that, I cannot stand wearing the silly glasses and it makes all the members of my household and I feel sick.

See my Blu Ray reviews here. 4K coming soon.