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The analog v. digital debate continues...


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>>> People can't discern enough of a
difference enough of the time to show a preference for either.

If youre talking about comparing analog masters to digital
masters and youve done this, then Ill defer to your expertise. But as
extremely few of us listen to our music on master tapes, the more relevant
comparison would be LPs and CDs and Im pretty sure that, one way or another,
people can discern a difference.

>>> There are styluses alone that cost that of a
good digital player and vinyl still scratches and warps. From the
standpoint of convenience and over all cost to own it would seem that digital
should prevail. Thus one does not see LPs available at the local outlet.

If your goal is to assemble a decent system on a budget,
theres no question that digital is the way to goparticularly if you dont
already own LPs. However, if you want a truly great system and if you already
own a library of LPs, then one would be a fool to exclude analog. I *regularly*
demonstrate the LP to people who never had a clue it could sound so good.

>>>> Dare I suggest that there's a culture of
vinyl snobbery keeping an archaic albeit good mode barely alive. T'is
fine by me but I for one tire of hearing about the superiority of records.

You may indeed dare to suggest such a thing. But Im here to tell you that I own a $10k
digital system and an $8k analog system and I prefer the sound of analog. Im
also pretty sure that Ive made enough of an investment in digital to avoid
being called an analog snob. I would hope so anyway.

Personally, I dont think its just a matter of digital vs
analog-- the CD vs LP. As I said earlier, Ive got lots
of recordings on both CD and LP and the CDs invariably sound worse. They dont
soundstage the same and theyre not as harmonically saturated, either. Theres
no question that the LPs have a denser meatier midrange presentation. Ive also got some CDs that sound really good
which tells me that something is wrong with the way a lot of CDs are produced.

I do acknowledge that the best analog is expensive, but the
best usually is and if everybody wants to dismiss it for that reason, then thats
kind of a reverse snobbery, isnt it?


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Well largely I am with John Potis on this one. Vinyl - done well - with good quality recordings and records in decent condition outplay digital IME.

I have done the comparison too many times to be convinced otherwise - although all it would really take would be a single instance of digital outplaying vinyl to convince me (with the above caveats).

As others have said CD is hardly state of the art for digital. For reasons I am not able to explain, however, SACD, has singularly failed to impress - even in comparison to CD. It is, possibly, slightly better but the downside (relatively small selection available, higher prices etc. etc.) makes it effectively a non-option.

Vinyl can get expensive - but it doesn't have to. Used records can be had for $1 each in remarkably decent condition and even a brand new player that is more than capable of holding its own sonically can be had for comfortably less than $1,000.

Finally - the use of headphones in the test does serve to mask one of vinyl's great virtues in comparison to digital - the soundstage. The soundstage of vinyl is invariably wider than that of CD - more often than not appearing to extend beyond the bounds of the speaker position. I have never heard a digital setup achieve this.

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