Another Analog v. Digital Thread? Not Really

I’ll try to keep this as short as possible. The premise is this: If the highest compliment that can be given to digital is that it sounds analog, why bother with digital? I would never have posted this question, but the other week something happened. After owning my Oppo 205 for about a year and a half, I decided to sell it given the fact I wasn’t that crazy about it and the selling prices were quite good, although I posted mine for significantly less than many others are asking. BTW - In the last month I owned the Oppo, I found it tremendously improved by placing a Vibrapod 3 under each foot.

So a nice young man comes by for an audition and he likes the Oppo very much and purchases it. He is into 4k and all that stuff, but also wants some better audio quality. So that’s that.

Before he leaves, he asks to hear a vinyl record played on my Basis turntable. It’s a nice table - 2001 with Vector arm and Transfiguration Orpheus. I would rate it as the low end of the high end. Well the guy’s jaw just dropped. After sitting for an hour listening to the Oppo, he says that everything is so much more "alive" was the word he used and he couldn’t get his mind around the fact that he was listening to the exact same system with everything the same except the source.

I was considering replacing the Oppo with something like a Cambridge transport and Orchid dac because I have to play my CDs, right? But then I starting thinking why I had to play CDs anymore at all. It’s not so crazy when you think about it. Many of us gave up vinyl when CDs started getting decent, so what’s so strange about going back in the other direction?

So I asked myself - if analog is so much better, why would I even bother listening to CDs anymore?
Convenience? Well, sure, but I don’t really consider putting on a record very inconvenient, so that’s not really it.
Many titles on CD that are not on vinyl? I think that argument may be largely dissipated nowdays. It seems that virtually anything I would remotely want to listen to is available on vinyl, either new or used. You have thousands of CDs? OK, but if they don’t sound as good as a record, why would you want to listen to them just because you have them. I know it seems like a waste, but it happens sometimes.

Let me just finish with this, so there’s no confusion. If you have some insane high-end digital rig that you believe outdoes analog, this is not directed to you. But, for anyone who believes the best compliment you can give to digital is that it sounds analog, why bother? Also, to you streamers out there, the freedom from having a large quantity of physical media in your home is definitely a good argument. We all collect too much stuff and it’s nice to get rid of some.

Hopefully, this will be taken in the spirit it’s given, but I doubt it.
Merry Christmas, really.
Regarding your statement that most music is now available on vinyl, either new or used.  Here is what I have encountered when buying reissues.  The mastering source of many reissues is from a digital copy of the master analog tapes, which is like listening to a CD on Vinyl, right?
@cleeds , in a hobby filled only with absolutes be glad you didn't get a POOMA value of 100%.
I believe this is related.  Sugar Cube...does it take away that "vinyl" sound.  Reviews say it is very minimal to inaudible.  Thoughts?

Here is what my high end audio dealer advised me back in May of 2019:

The idea behind the Suga Cube is enticing - making great sounding vinyl to digital transfers simple. To me, the most important aspect of that is the ability of the unit to accurately populate metadata, and they still in Beta for that part. I will say that the sound quality of the transfers is outstanding. The de-click function seems to be very good as well. As this point I'd say that some computer-fluency is important, so the idea of realizing the process truly simple isn't quite there.

Ignorance of a technology throws away 100% of the right answers.

Digital, sampling at fixed intervals, throws away 90% of the timing information. It always sounds completely unlike anything in nature!.

Same master recording, does not mean the same thing was cut to vinyl and CD. They have barely produced CD's since the 90's, only SACD and Vinyl.

For over twenty years, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has continually searched for the ultimate audio experience. During this search MFSL engineers and associates created The GAIN™ System, a proprietary mastering technology which brought warmth and ambience to the compact disc format.

millercarbon2,233 posts12-17-2019 11:13amYes, that perfectly explains why I play the Mobile Fidelity CD and LP both made from the exact same master by the exact same Mobile Fidelity and everyone hears and no one can believe how much better the record sounds. Because the digital source material is poor. Even though its not digital. Nor poor. Nor even different. Right. Got it.