“Audiophile Pete Hutchison has gone to extraordinary lengths to reissue golden era classical recordings in their purest form. He talks to Killian Fox about the price of perfection, the ‘digital con’, and the sound of a truly analogue recording”
Anyone with an interest in “vintage vinyl” and its modern recreation may be interested in this interview in this weeks Observer/ Guardian newspaper with recording engineer, obsessive audiophile and Rick Wakeman impersonator Pete Hutchinson. He works with classical music at present but plans to move into rock and jazz, which could find favour here at LJC. The interviewer adds little insight (it is the Guardian after all), but fortunately Hutchinson sets out his own stall with clarity: Sample:
“These, we believe, are the only machines in the world capable of producing an all-valve stereo cut.”
“…with the MP3 we are at probably the lowest point in the history of sound”
(As an aside, if you think rare jazz is expensive, see the prices rare classical music fetches and be thankful)
Over $4,000 dollars at auction, and one LP of the set is missing. (I believe in Ebay parlance, being missing “affects play”.) The above is I suspect the original rare Mozart box set that Hutchinson sells for £2,495. Well at least you know what it looks like.
I recommend you read the whole thing. For the multi-media minded, there is also an interesting video on Hutchinson’s restoration of valve cutting machines in pursuit of the purest possible quality from the original masters Perhaps the sound engineers out there will be hooting – nothing better than to see professional rivalry laid bare – or gasping in admiration.
And after enjoying a starter and a main, for dessert you can jump to comments:
Over 300 comments including many which reveal an astonishing level of arrogance peppered with ad hominem attacks familiar to anyone with a passing acquaintance of hi fi forums. Two examples of reader’s insight:
“There are two main reasons for stating that analogue sounds better:
1. It sounds the same as the music did when you were young, slim and bands were awesome. That’s a nice feeling.
2. You work in Shoreditch, wear vintage clothes, have an ironic haircut and know in your contrarian soul that if something is mainstream then the alternative must be superior.
Both reasons are, of course, bullshit. People are free to believe that analogue is ‘better’, but people are also free to spend £1,000 / metre on speaker cable.”
Not sure which side he falls on (in summary, you are free to be stupid if you want), he’s so taken with his own line of Stand-Up irony he disappears in a puff of logic. Here is another delight:
“.. “more richness, presence, depth, etc. etc. as validated by the human ear”… None of these things actually exist. They are names given to the varying forms of distortion you get on certain types of playback. It’s a total fallacy.”
And there was you thinking something just sounded beautiful.
Recommended only if your medication is up to strength. While comments remain open, you could wade in, if you take pleasure in poking a wasp’s nest with a stick. My views are a matter of record, as you might expect on a site dedicated to vintage vinyl. I’m saying nothing.