Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Do You Prefer Digital or Analog Recordings?

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   Digital recordings are far more prevalent than analog, but the older format continues to hang on with audiophile fans. Are you among them?
   These days, analog music recordings are available mostly on vinyl LPs, but believe it or not, cassettes are still around, with over 200,000 commercial titles available on Amazon! And a few audiophiles have reel-to-reel tape decks. On the other hand, digital music abounds on CD, DVD-Audio, SACD, and multitudinous online sources. (Okay, “abounds” is an overstatement for DVD-A and SACD.) And music lovers have strong opinions about which format they prefer.
   Steve Guttenberg, who created the graphic above, cleverly explored this debate in his Audiophiliac blog with two separate entries—”Why does analog sound better than digital?” and “Why does digital sound better than analog?“—though in both cases, he clearly states that he prefers the sound of vinyl, at least when played on a good system. Of course, as Steve points out, digital beats analog hands down in terms of measureable distortion and noise. But he maintains that analog has a certain je ne sais quoi that reaches the human psyche more deeply, which is why vinyl survives and encourages people to actually sit and listen to music rather than playing it in the background as they do other things.
Which do you prefer, the technical “perfection” of digital or the ineffable character of analog? Keep in mind that I’m talking about uncompressed digital audio here—CD specs or better—not MP3 or other compressed formats. And of course, this is a very simplified question—a lot depends on how the original recording was captured and manipulated before it reached your hands. But in general, which do you tend to prefer?

source: avsforum.com