I had a moment tonight of near nirvana.
A thin cardboard package arrived from Elusive Disc. I opened the package, removed the album, and set it aside. This is going to take the right moment, undisturbed, for complete emersion.
I fed the cats. Emptied the garbage and got everything out of the way which could intrude into my thoughts.
Sitting back in my office-- I fired up the phono stage, ignited the tubes in my Woo WA5LE, and carefully separated the top of the bag over the record.
It contained the 45rpm remastered pressing of Fleetwood Mac's eponymous.
Placing the vinyl on the Scout, spinning on the clamp, I dropped the needle on side 3, inched up the volume and listened to the low swish of the needle riding its groove.
Out of the rumble, the first piano chords from Christine McVie's fingers broke the silence across nearly 30 years. Mick kicked his thunderous bass drum into life, while John thumped out his first notes, bending at the end of the measure of "Say You Love Me."
It's the most satisfying moment I've experienced since setting up a modern analog system. I've never heard the HD800 dig so deep. The soundstage and nuance of the harmonies and musical fills dropped into the production with exacting precision was never lost, and even surprised, though I've heard this recording probably a thousand times since it was first released.
"Landslide" was an acoustic gem. The reverb on Stevie Nick's falsetto seemed to echo into infinity. But the biggest treat was yet to come--
The quirky syncopation on "World Turning" raised this three song audition to an even higher plane. The song crafted to build as each repeating musical phrase wrapped back around. It's a musical orgy for the senses.
Then it was over as quickly as it began. Three songs per side, admittedly, is a cumbersome way to enjoy the experience. But the fidelity reached tonight I've only caught glimpses in the highest-end listening rooms I've had the pleasure to visit.
I still have a new phono stage on backorder. It should arrive next week. I will gladly be repeating this journey.
Awesome reeltime! What cartridge are you rockin on the Scout?