Originally Posted by nick_charles
This is what I fail to understand. if there are imperfections in the groove then surely greater groove contact would dig out more of the imperfections , not the reverse
We need graphs and charts on this !
It is possible for someone to be a "genius" in some specific dimensions but a fool in others, I remember a famous British Academic (John Taylor) -held chairs in Maths and Phyiscs in the USA and UK - a real domehead - was for several years taken in by Uri Geller
- did recant this latter but was fooled bigtime at first.
Two good points! I don't think much scientific acumen is required to be a great recording engineer. That is art/craft much more than science, IMHO. That was my first reaction as this thread began.
I listened to LPs a lot as a kid. The sound is good enough so that you can greatly enjoy the music, but falls short of CD for technical sound quality if things are done reasonably well, IMHO. As far as cartridges and stylus contact, I remember different shapes of stylus as one moved up the price tiers of cartridges. I also remember that different cartridges lent what seemed to be obvious colorations. As I bought CDs of my old LPs, it seemed clear, for example, that my old Signet cartridge had emphasized high frequencies. This I suppose would under-emphasize mid-range defects in the sound. I tried another cartridge, a run of the mill Shure cartridge, and the sound was much closer to what I was getting on CD. I developed a feeling that the Shure cartridges for maybe $100 were starting to hit the point of diminishing returns pretty hard, and that smoke and mirrors were starting to set in as the cartridge prices accelerated upward. But I can't emphasize enough that these are all novice impressions. I can say that I never noticed any great change in signal-to-noise ratio or surface noise as I moved through Signet, Ortofon, and Shure cartridges over the course of many years though. If there was a difference it might have been a couple decibels here or there. The quality of the recording and the pressing of the LP could make a very obvious difference though.
As to the main point of the thread, if you have listened to recordings recorded and mastered by this Steve Hoffman fellow and really like them, he's probably extremely good at his craft. As to his opinions regarding high-end audio and its merits and effects, not so much, IMHO. But you need artistically talented people around to get the most of the technology, right? He appears to be one of those folks.