Today I picked up a new turntable: a Dual CS-508.
I wanted to try out a belt drive vs. my direct drive Sansui FR-D3. After a quick refurb and some adjusting, a few listening tests led me to believe the Dual is better on some albums, and definitely sounds “different” than the Sansui. It’s maybe a little more balanced, with the drums and bass not being quite as pronounced.
When I looked at the songs on this album, I thought it had to be a greatest hits album, and indeed it is. Also cool is that the songs are printed on the sleeve, with cut-outs in the cover. It sounds fantastic on the new Dual turntable. Head Games sounded better than ever, and the intro to Waiting for a Girl like You was just amazingly open and airy.
Side 2 starts with Urgent,and the sound on that song just seemed to come from everywhere. The saxophone solo was simply amazing. Jukebox Hero was just as enjoyable. The dynamics in the song and the way the guitar cuts through the mix at the right times is just so satisfying.
Surprisingly, Hot Blooded sounded like a live recording. It was a nice surprise, but I was looking forward to hearing the familiar studio version of rocking out to the rest of the album! The two guitar solos was a nice treat, though.
A nice first album for the new setup.
Janis Joplin: Pearl
The most disappointing aspect of this album is almost every song seems like it’s clipping, and the imaging is just horrible. It’s low fidelity. Now I don’t know if this album is that worn out or it’s just poorly mastered, but even Sgt. Pepper’s, which looked beat, sounded better than this. Hopefully I’ll come across another copy some day, because I enjoyed the songs, just didn’t enjoy the quality of the audio.
And I tried it on both turntables. Only difference was the Sansui skipped in a couple spots, and the Dual didn’t. Hmm….that got me thinking.
I went a pulled out the Escape Club album from last week. I didn’t skip either! Yes! Time to pull out the group of albums that skipped!
Roy Orbison: Mystery Girl
This album skipped on the first song – You Got It – when I first listened to it last week so I pulled it. It looked like it was basically mint, but yet it skipped. But tonight, no problems. Nearly silent in between tracks, extremely clean audio.
After the first track, side 1 was good reading music. Side 2 starts off with She’s a Mystery to Me, and I found the drum rhythm to really make the song. It’s a nice syncopated beat in the verses, but it almost travels around the room.
The Only One is a pretty good song too. Great guitar riff, sax, and vocals. Overall, this sounded like what I expected Roy Orbison to sound like. No surprises, but great audio quality.
George Harrison: 33 1/3
Finally! I got to listen to this album. It was an early acquisition, but it skipped so bad on the first song that I never played it through. Well, on the new Dual, no skipping! I’m starting to think the stylus on the Sansui was a bit worn.
I really enjoyed the guitar riffs in Woman Don’t You Cry for Me, and then Dear One sounded very Beatle-ish, which is a good thing. See Yourself is a short 4-verse song with no chorus, and Billy Preston on keyboard. Here’s the last verse:
It’s easier to say you won’t than to feel you can
It easier to drag your feet than to be a man
It’s easier to look at someone else’s wealth
Than to see yourself.
It’s What you Value, the first song on side 2, could have been written by Dave Ramsey. I hear it as a satire on spending too much on your car and not valuing the more important things in life. I thought that was a more contemporary problem!
Crackerbox Palace has a catchy beat to it, and seems like the most mainstream sounding song of the album, but it still has a life-lessons theme. The entire album seems to be about the ups and downs of life. Pretty cool, and this one stays in the collection for a while.
End of the night, reading some business book, but this one just sort of played in the background. The blues medley on side 2 was cool, but not anything that made me put down the book and listen. This one was just one of the newer acquisitions that came with Roy Orbison and The Escape Club. It’s in great condition (my red shirt even reflects in the cover), just not to my tastes.