Ohio - Over the Rhine

I lived near the Pennsylvania/ Ohio state line when I was 16. It was a profoundly emotional time of my life… 1968. I grew up in Chicago and only spent a year and a half in a very backwards part of the country. I lived out West since I have was 18 years old.


When I first heard the tune Ohio, I just could not move. The emotional impact just overwhelming. Since then, many years ago… one of the most moving songs… to me… and albums.


So, I have a ripped version, the streamed version, and the CD version. I got wrapped up in listening to the album, at first, my stored file (see my systems), then streamed, then CD… I ordered the vinyl… this is interesting. They are virtually identical. But I did notice a very slight more forward presentation on the CD version… very slight, on my system… which is everything. But the emotional connection… the warmth and musicality is the same.


Systems can be like this now. Such a minuscule difference… but with the same deep emotional connection… a great time for audio.


It really is a golden age in terms of components. The best solid state, tube, analog, and digital continue to converge ever closer to believeability. But this has been the trend for a very long time. What makes this a golden age is a combination of two other trends that are really building steam. One is affordability, performance once nearly unattainable is now readily available and affordable. The other is the way this has combined with a much deeper understanding of audio has led to such a wide range of components that address things such as acoustics, isolation and power. Today it is truly impressive what can be achieved for only a few thousand dollars with a modern comprehensive system approach.

ghdprentice, I have lived in Ohio my whole life. Shipped to many awful places in the Army and traveled to many states but always ended up back here. Funny Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd had some words back and forth in song but I still enjoyed both band because they really sang about America. Probably will never get into modern pop music, but these kinds of bands and song writers were my cup of tea. Also, about the sound system topic I say everyone find what you like and enjoy listening. Don’t get too caught up in the technical or what another person’s opinion is. I try to really relax and enjoy what I have....nowadays.


I agree… this really is becoming a golden age. Convergence. Used to be digital could not come close to vinyl at any cost and solid state was too cold and analytical while tube tended to be warm but poor in detail. Now, hard work can net spectacular results with really strong emotional conveyance.


I lived on the border just inside Pennsylvania in a tiny company town where high school specialties were drinking, not finishing school, getting pregnant, taking a job at the one factory, becoming an alcoholic and abusive. Fortunately, I was an outsider an managed to stay clear of the main stream. Over the Rhine captures the hopelessness of this rural plight. Obviously, not everywhere is like this… but I sure was dropped in the middle of it.

@milpai Yes, the whole album is amazing… also named Ohio. 


Thanks, I’ll have a listen. 

It is most difficult to judge by your test ,for good quality digital with good quality Ethernet, usb, Ethernet switch power cords, interconnects 

unless most are of equal quality , and for sure power cords, interconnects

speaker cables have to be the same , using a turntable totally different ,are they both equal value ? this counts  even when comparing  

similar digital , I have seen even professional reviewers comparing an amplifier 

but used different power cords and or interconnects , that alone tainted the test.


This was not a test, but an observation. All things were the same. This is in my system… you can see under my UserID. I use a cheap wall wart wifi extender plugged into my streamer: Aurender W20SE. No change in amplifiers, speaker cables, or power cords.  

@ghdprentice I'm hard pressed to think of another band that has as many "evocative" songs compared to Over The Rhine; so, you reaction is totally understandable. My favorite from that album is "Lifelong Fling."


Thanks for your comments. They can leave me completely breathless… yes, Lifelong Fling is wonderful.


Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall, Crosby, Nash, and Young’s Four Way Street, and Sarah McLcLachlins’s Fumbling Forward… and a few others do the same.

Plaintive lyrics, well done.....

Traveled a bit around this country, saw a lot of small towns and burgs that fell into those words, slowly withering as the ones with a clue drifted away if they could.


Some decades back, spouse and I took a road break to stretch legs and the map (yeah, those paper things...*L*)....

A couple of cars in the crossroads corner dirt lot....nothing else around for the  miles we'd covered.  Out of the distance a small bus pulls up, dropping off a half-dozen folks who said little as they got into cars and left into the other directions.

We puzzled at the name on the bus, an obvious shuttle, paused one of the riders, a younger woman....

"Hi, what's the name of the bus mean?"  It's a local mine we work at.

"Mining...'k, what for?"  Beryllium....gets used for rockets, nose cones mostly....

Kinda slow these days, we need a war to pick up production.... Have a good day...

She drove off to us standing stunned by her wish...

How many then and now feel that way?  Are they happier now?

How many Ohios' are there, tucked away in the expanse.....

great band with a significant depth of excellent work. Tom is an avid player of them..over on the turntable thread….

Ohio is a great place to be from….. i was…

on format convergence….not new…some of us with a significant investment of energy in LP, high speed tape and digital know this…. the virtues of all three while not identical are very apparent. Bringing joy and emotional connection is the ordinate goal - so glad you are there… 

One of the greatest parts of being on AGon, is learning of new to me Music.

Thanks @ghdprentice for sharing!

But how does the cassette sound?!!

Nice thread. That specific song reminds me of The Delines (2014-present) from Portland, OR, they're excellent.  Check out their song "Calling In." Also, Jason Molina from Lorain Co., OH (mid 90's-2013), he had two bands, Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company. Check out "Two Blue Lights" and "Farewell Transmission"


Glad folks enjoyed it. 


Since I live outside Portland, I have the disappointing vantage to see that fall into the abyss.

Haunting track....I am from NE Ohio, but there is a town in Cincinnati  named Over the Rhine. 

Ok. I ordered the vinyl version of the Ohio. So just compared. But of course, this tie with the FLAC 16/44 streamed version… Qobuz. 

It took me a couple of cuts to detect any difference… it is very subtle. I noticed the vinyl was ever so slightly warmer, but virtually exclusively on Karin’s voice. The streamed digital version had ever so slightly greater detail and transparency. But emphasis on subtle. 

But there is an issue when comparison with my initial post. In the mean time I had swapped out the power cord from my phono stage from the high quality PC provided by Audio Research with a Cardas Clear Beyond… which warmed up the midrange and improved the detail. I would say the PC change was at least twice the difference I heard comparing streamed digital vs vinyl. 

This is a reminder of how complex it is to make comparisons. I compromised the results of my initial observations of two weeks ago by changing power cords. I have the CD version, ripped CD version, streamed red book CD version, streamed high resolution version, and the vinyl version. Then my system is composed of about 30 components… boxes, power cords, interconnects, cables, and misc things. 

Bottom line. In my system, all formats are very, very similar in sound quality.

Great thread.  I’ll have to remember to read it next week when I put on my Maize and Blue underwear and get ready for The Game

@mahler123 , sounds like you have a dog in the fight. Should be a good game. Enjoy the music

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