Analog and Sailing

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,946
37
48
North Shore of Boston
#1
I was recently asked what I think is a pretty interesting question. I had been corresponding with RonR last Summer about all things analog, particularly set up, and mentioned to him, in the context of comparing two cartridges, that I was too busy to do much listening. I had recently bought a sailboat and was spending all of my free time on the water. Then, perhaps seeing some analogy, Ron asked me which I thought was more complicated, analog or sailing.

That got me thinking and I soon realized that there are indeed some interesting similarities between the two. What immediately came to mind, because of the idea of complication, was the need to make fine adjustments. The cartridge/arm/record relationship is paramount to good sound, just as the sail trim, heel and direction effect the boat's movement through the water. Adjustments, and knowing how to make them, add greatly to the enjoyment of each activity. But there are other similarities which are perhaps more significant.

Consider the effort it takes to play a record, or take a sailboat off of its mooring. The process of playing an LP has often been described as a ritual by some and a hassle by others. Cleaning the record, cleaning the stylus, taking the LP out of the sleeve, placing it on the platter, moving the arm over, slowly lowering the stylus onto the lead in groove, walking over the to listening seat and finally sitting and listening, are all part of the experience. Sailing involves checking the weather, getting to the mooring by launch, removing covers, clearing lines, hoisting sails, casting off, steering clear of obstructions and setting out to the open water, and then doing it all in reverse when returning.

These are activities which require some effort, but to those who enjoy them, this effort is part of, and inseparable from, the activity itself. We are not simply tapping a glass screen to select a track or turning a key to start the engine on a motorboat. We recognize the effort required to pursue these hobbies and perhaps benefit from a different kind of connection to the activity. There is something physical and palpable to adjusting the VTA and placing an LP on the platter, as there is to feeling the pressure on the jib sheet and touching the tiller while making tiny adjustments for changes in the wind. For us, it is all a necessary - and integral - part to getting the most out of the experience.

One goal of a properly set up analog front end is to better experience the beauty of the musical performance. I think this is very analogous to tuning a sailboat to better enjoy moving through the water on a beautiful, sunny and windy day. Ron, I do not know which is more complicated, but I will say that they are both well worth the effort.

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jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,539
1
38
Austin
#2
Whew, Peter I thought this thread was about your SME on the Sailboat ;-) !!

Seriously, good parallels you're bringing up.

Great pics !
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,946
37
48
North Shore of Boston
#4
beautiful boat Peter. All the best to you. Is that your home in the background?
Thank you Steve. No, that is not a private residence. It is the main clubhouse of the Eastern Yacht Club, one of the oldest in the country. The boat is an Alerion Express 28.
 
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PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,946
37
48
North Shore of Boston
#5
Whew, Peter I thought this thread was about your SME on the Sailboat ;-) !!

Seriously, good parallels you're bringing up.

Great pics !
That is a good one, John. I'll just say that the SME suspension was inadequate. But once I placed it all on a preloaded, ballasted Vibraplane....

Seriously, I used to listen to Enya ("Sail Away...") and such while sailing, but now I prefer the sound of the wind, waves, and relative silence. I guess you could call it the sound of nature.
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,209
86
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#6
That is a beautiful boat and a beautiful turntable set-up!

The similarities you describe make sense. There is pleasure in the process of analog, of laboring in the service of the music, just as there must be pleasure in the process of handling a boat, laboring in the challenge of the sea.
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#7
Beautiful boat Peter. I have always said that sailboaters are real boaters unlike us power boaters. Incredible to see them out in terrible weather standing on the wheel as we sat in our heated cabin. We would raft next to them through the Locks and chat. Wonderful, hardy people with amazing interest and knowledge of boating.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,946
37
48
North Shore of Boston
#8
Beautiful boat Peter. I have always said that sailboaters are real boaters unlike us power boaters. Incredible to see them out in terrible weather standing on the wheel as we sat in our heated cabin. We would raft next to them through the Locks and chat. Wonderful, hardy people with amazing interest and knowledge of boating.
Thank you Amir. I am acquaintanced with a gentleman who is indeed a hardy soul. He is the oldest person to have completed the Vendee Global Challenge, a solo race around the world in highly customized 60 foot sailboats. http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ 28,000 miles, 100 days, 30 sailors, 11 finishers. An endurance challenge like no other.

I just go out for fair weather sails in local waters. There is a peace and connection to nature that is sublime.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,418
67
48
E. England
#9
There is a way to combine analog and sailing - check out the Living Voice Olympian/Elysian uber horns. Apparently the market for these quite literally $1m SOTA horns is the beyond-rich, installed in their luxury boats.
We have a Russian £/$/Billionaire who bankrolls one of the richest soccer clubs in England, and I believe he may have a pair on one of his floating palaces.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,020
107
63
London
#10
There is a way to combine analog and sailing - check out the Living Voice Olympian/Elysian uber horns. Apparently the market for these quite literally $1m SOTA horns is the beyond-rich, installed in their luxury boats.
We have a Russian £/$/Billionaire who bankrolls one of the richest soccer clubs in England, and I believe he may have a pair on one of his floating palaces.
Kevin provides a whole battery run power supply for his horns and kondo electronics, which make it possible to run this on a boat without a power supply from the wall. He used the batteries at Munich as well so that he did not have to rely on t he hotel's power
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,418
67
48
E. England
#11
And w/computer audio, no lp's or cd's to jump/skip on the ocean wave.
 
Oct 12, 2011
263
1
18
55
Brooklyn
#12
Thank you Steve. No, that is not a private residence. It is the main clubhouse of the Eastern Yacht Club, one of the oldest in the country. The boat is an Alerion Express 28.
Peter,

That brings back memories as I used to sail in there quite a bit in the 80's.

I agree wholeheartedly about the comparisons between sailing and analog. What's really interesting is the mostly unmentioned part about both that new people overlook and don't plan for; upkeep! I have actually been offered several boats for free because the owners underestimated the cost and or time to maintain them!
 
Oct 12, 2011
263
1
18
55
Brooklyn
#13
Kevin provides a whole battery run power supply for his horns and kondo electronics, which make it possible to run this on a boat without a power supply from the wall. He used the batteries at Munich as well so that he did not have to rely on t he hotel's power
Well the power's got to come from somewhere. If you put this system on a boat without an electrical system it will soon be silent, unless you have some of the new Tesla batteries which some people seem to think run on magic!!. My guess is that the batteries are meant to isolate the system from notoriously bad electrical on boats.
 
Feb 8, 2011
18,943
19
38
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#14
Thank you Peter for sharing this new thread...it is an excellent idea. :cool:

Your boat looks magnificent. Who is the young lady with long hair sitting on the sailing boat deck?
And this; do you sometimes listen to music while sailing...or from the CD player playing through the speakers or wearing a pair of headphones?

_______

* I never owned a sailing boat myself, but turntables yes. And I sailed with friends a long time ago, so I'm a bit familiar with the ins and outs from the adventure...lots of things to take care of, from the time you hook up the sailing boat to your truck, to the time you put it in the water, to the time you raise the mast, to all the cords and cables, to the boom, to the sails, to the quille, to so many things..., depending of its size too, to the sailing itself with the important maneuvres, to the critical winds, to their directions, to the waves, to turning, to watching your head from the boom shifting, to the pulling, to the attaches, and to the end of the adventure (sometimes perilous with all type of consequences - I could tell stories here) when hooking it back to the truck with the memories of that adventurous day with a sore body and few bruises (you, and your friends, and the boat),... sometimes.
...To the maintenance before and after, to the rain, to the salt water, to reading maps for safe channels/passages, to the tides, to forecasting the weather with everything that it encompasses on the water...salted or non-salted. ...To the measuring electronic devices, ...

Yes, turntables and sailing require both important setups. ...No doubt, for optimal performance. But what do I know really...I'm just a modest man...of modest experience.

An analogy, if I may: Analog music is like the wind flapping the sails...digital music is like the waves/current fighting againts the motorboat. :b
 
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PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,946
37
48
North Shore of Boston
#15
Peter,

That brings back memories as I used to sail in there quite a bit in the 80's.

I agree wholeheartedly about the comparisons between sailing and analog. What's really interesting is the mostly unmentioned part about both that new people overlook and don't plan for; upkeep! I have actually been offered several boats for free because the owners underestimated the cost and or time to maintain them!
Yes, beaur. Maintenance is indeed often overlooked. Just keeping the brightwork looking good on this boat is a lot of work. Same with analog. Cartridge rebuilds, cleaning records, replacing belts, cleaning styli, all the adjustments previously mentioned, etc.

Digital sound and motor boats get one to the music and out on the water. Analog and sailing do the same, but in different ways. The activity is a bit more about the process before enjoying the goal. They can both be fun, but they are indeed different. The latter two are more complicated. They involve more effort and involvement, and perhaps a different kind of commitment. But that commitment and involvement are their own rewards.

And yes, owning a wooden sailboat is a completely different level of commitment and expense. But boy can they be gorgeous. Sometimes what we are talking about is more than just enjoying the music or getting out on the water. It may also be about slowing down a bit, being absorbed by an activity, and appreciating things that take just a little more effort and time to do well.

Analog and sailing, for me, are about contemplation, reflection, and relaxation.

(Wow, that is starting to sound like one of NorthStar's philosophical posts)
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,946
37
48
North Shore of Boston
#16
Thank you Peter for sharing this new thread...it is an excellent idea. :cool:

Your boat looks magnificent. Who is the young lady with long hair sitting on the sailing boat deck?
And this; do you sometimes listen to music while sailing...or from the CD player playing through the speakers or wearing a pair of headphones?


An analogy, if I may: Analog music is like the wind flapping the sails...digital music is like the waves/current fighting againts the motorboat. :b
Thanks NorthStar. The girl in the photo is one of my daughters. She loves to sail and races small boats in the Summer. That photo is near the end of a lovely sunset sail as we are coming back to the harbor.

I never listen to music while sailing. The boat does not have a stereo and I actually prefer the sound of the waves and wind.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,946
37
48
North Shore of Boston
#17
Here is another photo taken from the mooring at the end of the day:


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Feb 8, 2011
18,943
19
38
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#18
Very nice Peter...no stereo on board...I would do the same...the waves and the winds and the birds and the fishes jumping are all the perfect natural music.

...And analog music listening. :cool: ...Goes hand-in-hand...harmony, peace, numbness of the best comfort zone...inside oneself with all the nature elements.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,505
4
38
Metro DC
#19







I am going to guess your turntable runs on 12 volts and using a step down transformer. Sorry if I'm wong. Id so the now defunct Radio Shack sold a car transformer that accepts a three prong plug. You probably could find it on Ebay.
 
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