Diff in recording/reproduction in Analog/CD/SACD

Without going in to too much technical details, is it possible to discuss why analog sounds better? (Although having limited analog auditions, I think digital could come very close). Starting from how the recordings are made-old and modern, and recorded ( signal type and quality) on master tape and how the mastertape signal is transfered/reduced/upsampled? on Records/CD/SACD.

Once we go thru the original signal waveform and its transfer on records/CD/SACD, how it is being reproduced thru cartridge/laser to DA/laser to DA?

I know details are very involving but is there clear consensus that anlog has the least curruption of the original signal? Does not different cartrideges designs reproduce the signal 'differently' than the original, adding its own coloring to the signal?

Is Analog clearly the winner in the battle?

I would really like to know if there is some material out there that discusses these three different mediums.


What your asking is difficult to answer. I am absolutely an analog guy but will try to comment without too much bias on the subject.

A dear friend of mine who worked for JVC for several years was heavily involved with the Xrcd stuff. He worked with mastering and quality control and commented to me at CES last year that the JVC digital masters, when auditioned off the studio hard drive, was the closest thing to perfect he had ever heard.

Then he followed with the comment that unfortunately it was "impossible" to move it to another digital media without severely corrupting the sound. For some reason it's fine at stage one and each transfer, save, mix or conversion to SACD, CD, diminishes the quality severely.

An example that I find strange, Alison Krauss is recorded in digital DSD and my analog pressing is absolutely wonderful, much better than I have ever heard the CD, even on fellow audio members systems that have DCS, Audio Note and such. Perhaps as my friend at JVC says, converting directly from digital to analog at the recording studio gets closer than any other way, save an analog original that's done near perfect.

This discussion can dissolve pretty quickly once we begin to discuss recording quality and what era a particular recording came from. Master tapes from the 1940 are no match for those in the 1960's even though both may be 100% analog.

Your question about cartridges is valid. All cartridges imprint their personality on the music they track, as does the turntable, the cables and even the phono preamp. However, there is little doubt that there is big differences in reproduction quality of various digital playback systems as well, as no format is flawless.

Your question "is analog clearly the winner?." My guess is the vote will be split at least 50/50 as members of the Audiogon community seem to prefer one format over the other about equally.

Perhaps the ultimate question is: What do you prefer to listen to?
I think Albert makes a very important point, that I have thought may have a lot to do with the bland sound we hear from CDs and that is that they are "dumbed" down in the process of getting from the master to the final pressed version we buy.

I have experienced this myself, by making my own recordings of live music with a modest recording setup and transfering them to CD. It seems impossible that they would compete with high dollar recording budgets but they do. There is a life there that is often missing with produced CDs. They aren't perfect in all ways, but I generally prefer the sound of my own live recordings to most CDs that I own. My theory on this is the fact that I'm listening to the master not the copy

I am fairly new to analog playback, but I think it is clearly better when you look at sound quality only. I can connect with music on a higher level with viny. The convenience factor is way down with analog, and we live in a convenience driven world, that is why digital wins hands down for most.
Digital is far superior to Analog. This is a well known fact. Why else has digital become a standard for playback and recording? Perhaps those who prefer analog are either nostalgic or have made such a significant investment in vinyl that they are reticent to switch due to the cost.

In theory CD should be pretty close to perfect for playback. Some people claim an imprvement with SACD....certainly a higher bandwidth may have some advantages ofr studios ...but very unlikely to make a difference in playback.
Shadome, I could prove you wrong in 30 seconds. Listen to a CD or SACD on my $3,000 player. Then to the same performance on vinyl via my replinthed Lenco turntable. Forget theory, let your ears tell you what's real. Dave
Shadorne please stop the nonsense. I have a modest TT setup compared to my digital, and my the TT just destroys it for musical enjoyment. Digital was chosen by the industry for ease of storage and it was a new medium that could be sold to the consumer who was willing to buy the crap about perfect sound. I for one was one of them, and I went back to vinyl because it just sounds better not only to my ears but to everyone that listens with their ears. Believe me it all made so much sense when cds first came out. They were read with a laser, no more pops,clicks,ticks, then finally it filtered in. This sounds horrible like a transitor radio. Oh sure digital improved greatly but it still sounds coarse, hard, and fatiguing to the ear, with vinyl I can listen for a long time.
And so the discussion plummets into the abyss.

Personal opinion is that a top notch analogue set up is more involving and does give me a better illusion that there are musicians in front of me.

To get such a set up is prohibitively expensive for most people though. A high quality vinyl rig can easily cost ten times what a comparable (though not better) digital rig costs. Add to that the convenience of CD's or WAV files and you have a clear winner in the mass market race. Plus a high quality record with a couple of irremovable pops will squash the illusion pretty fast for me.

As far as different playback means imprinting their own signature we could start a similar debate on tubes v. solid state. Albertporter makes some valid observations above.

As far as any empirical "best" we all know that this hobby is about seeking the finer shade of gray. Measurements on paper do not always translate into a better playback tool.

Digital is a standard for playback and recording because of convenience alone. Think of CD sound as a 3.0 megapixel photo, SACD is 8.0 megapixel, analog is infinite megapixel, it's all there, not a stairstepped digital interpretation of the real thing. Recording studios use digital because that is where technology has gone and it's cheaper and easier to use and time is money. I can only imagine how great a world it would be had they pushed analog technology the way they have with digital.
Nothing would make me happier than to give up my vinyl rig. No nostalgia here. The records are fragile and require regular cleaning. They take up a lot of storage room. The turntable requires very careful setup and siting. The whole affair seems kind of stone age (pun intended). On the plus side, the art on LPs can be fully appreciated while the stingy CD cases barely let you see it. In the final analysis, I am ready to donate 4000 albums and three record players to Goodwill as soon as I find a medium that sounds better to me, CD is certainly not it and the software available on the higher density formats is too limited. Still waiting.
Many things come to mind here. I wonder what those lasar read vinyl's sounded like. Anyone know?
My limited experience is that vinyl can't get as clear and airy as CD and CD can lack warmth. Imagine a guitar made of non resonant material as bad CD and one made of no hardwood as vinyl.
"Follow the money" regarding studios, they are *not there for our enjoyment over money, but money through our enjoyment and will often only press or hold standards that we support. So studio standards are not to be held as paramount in that light.
Also, blindfold tests are really the only listening vinyl/CD; because bias runs deep.
How many hours must I sing to you in exchange for those albums, and just one record player? You said you wanted a better sounding medium. What's better than live? Send me a setlist, and I'll get working on it. And don't fuss over cleaning the vinyl. I'll take care of that here. Heck, I'll even drive to Portland to pick up the booty.
My favorite description of the difference between analogue and digital is that
Analogue is as approximate to perfections as it gets
Digital is the perfection of the approximation

Or there is always something lost in translation
Mea Culpa, please bring Rene Fleming with you as well, as long as there is an extra seat in the van. Can you two duet on "Free Bird"?
Rene Fleming? Nah, I'll bring along my sister. Her voice will blow you away!

And this bird will never chay-ee-ay-ee-aynge...
I can believe that Albert's LP playback system, heard through his superb amplification and speaker system, and using well cleaned new audiophile vinyl is probably very close to the master tapes, and what more could you ask? He has stated that cost-no-object digital sources are, in his system, inferior. I cannot dispute this, because I have never experienced a system like his, and probably never will. However, I have auditioned some fairly high end vinyl playback equipment, just barely within the budget that I could consider, and I still hear problems which would annoy me, that are absent in even moderately priced digital sources.

If we consider only audio quality (neglecting convenience, and the potential of multichannel, where digital is a runaway "winner") I think that the answer depends on the price range of the equipment in question. Specifically, IMHO, a digital player costing about a grand, and playing a well engineered SACD or DVDA, will produce a signal suitable for all but the most costly amplification and speakers. I don't think that the LP can achieve this at the same price point (including, don't forget, the record cleaning machine that the experts say is essential).
I think Eldarford is wrong with regards to budget vs quality. I personally own two 10K plus CD players, as well as a table/arm/cart that I picked up on Audiogon for 750 dollars. The budget turntable is so much better than either digital player it's no contest, and I'm not playing perfect brand new records either. You don't have to have a mega thousand dollar system to realize the benefits of analog. I would hope than anyone reading Eldarfords opinion won't take it seriously. I think he's dead wrong.
Ejlif...We differ in opinion. Who is right or wrong is for others to decide, hopefully by listening to the gear rather than reading this thread. Please note that I report my experience over 50 years of spinning LPs...it's not just a theoretical opinion. It sounds like you got a super deal on your TT/arm/cart. A good MC pickup costs a lot more.
Uru975, my favorite description is that vinyl is like a real dog, it pisses on the floor, leaves hair everywhere and has to be walked. CD replay is like a stuffed dog, no fuss, no mess, but not even a facsimile of the real breathing thing. Come to think of it, the same metaphor may be applicable to the tube/transistor debate, but that's for another day. Gotta go now, Boa2 and his sister are on the way over, wonder if they know "Stairway to Heaven"?
Going back to the first response: I am also an Analog man at heart. I have two systems for 2-channel playback, one upstairs (digital - Rega Jupiter 2000) and one downstairs (Analog- Rega P-9/Benz Ref silver/benz phono unit). Now while I'll always have the records and LP system, I don't necessarily think the Digital system sounds that bad... just different, and sometimes I cannot pin down exactly what it is that makes the digital sound different, it just is... Perhaps if you carry the upgrading a couple steps up (from what I have) the differences are easier to describe(?) Also many of us were raised with Analog, have spent decades developing and acquiring the analog equipment and peripherals. If we had to start from nothing right now.. digital would be cheaper and easier. $5K for a really top notch cd player and be done with it... now to start building a LP system.. just think of all the stuff you need!! Table, Arm, Cart, Arm wire, cable, stlyus cleaners, LP wet vac system, LP cleaners, LP inner and outer sleeves, not to mention LP's themselves, stylus gauges, setup tools, phono preamp, and something really hard to find these days, furniture for storage of LP's.

I respect that your $3000 turntable may sound nicer to your ears than a $150 CD player on a particular recording...I see this as a question of taste and not a measure of performance. I respect that some people love vintage cars too...and there is nothing wrong with prefering an unreliable gas guzzling beast with an old carburator, drum brakes and solid rubber tires....but even those who adore these vintage cars would not argue that they outperform modern vehicles. ( I do not mean to compare your $3000 turntable to an old car...certainly high quality turntables do a handsome job at sound reproduction much better than an old vintage car verses a modern car...but you get the idea even if the differences are less extreme)

Certainly the quality of source material as affected by the mix or mastering studio/engineer, which can have a big impact. Indeed some original vinyl recordings are better soundingthan the CD version despite all the distortion that the vinyl analog source introduces....this is because the orginal recording may have been better mastered or mixed on to the vinyl than it was to CD. It is also possible that old recording studio masters were mixed by an engineer intending it to be played back on a turntable...and therefore the sound was mastered for this medium....playback on a turntable will then be closer to what the engineer/artist originally intended when compared to a CD straight from the same master tapes (assuming they have been adequately preserved, which is unlikely).

This does not change the fact that the majority of the recording industry use Digital... and I doubt this majority have hearing deficiencies or that there is a conspiracy against Analog.

Digital is undeniably better in terms of performance but I will admit that high quality Analog can sound extremely good and may actually sound better for some particular older original recordings.
Thanks all for responding and making this an interesting read. I did not intend this to be 'flame away at digital' thead. Intent was thru simple technical rational backed by your actual vast or limited listening experiences.

Just finished reading 'Ringing False' article in January 2005 Stereophile issue. It was hard for me to follow and understand technical jargon in story of the digital sound evolution. In the end the author seems to indicate the early problems like dither, jitter, energy smear w/ digital sound reproduction has significantly reduced.

My limited personal experience with analog does indicate (like the poster Spiro indicated) that analog rig typically lacks ultimate air and resolution and at all the auditions I have made except two, I did yearn for that presence-they are there sound and was unable to find. The auditions that I did find complete satisfaction- beyond the best digital I have heard- was one with Transrotor Orfeo w/ (tone arm I could not recall) Shelter 901 run thru MBL preamp, MBL amp and MBL speakers and the second was Clearaudio master solution w/ Master TQ1,Everest stand and I am not sure which clearaudio cartridge it was but the whole system sounded fast, almost real and with lots of air.

But both systems (TT) costs 10k-20k. SME and VPI set up has not satisfied me yet so far. My own Transrotor Sirius with Lyra Clavis DC does a pretty good job, but not great. At most times I yearn for air and transperancy. May be digital sound habit is hard to break... Gotta audition different TT set ups, but Clearaudio max solution is clear standout. Clearaudio master solution should even be better.
I don't even have a vinyl rig, but am the first to admit that sonically, it is far superior to digital.

As an example, I own what I consider to be a reference level CD player - a Granite 657. Playing the same Sonny Rollins "Way Out West" SACD against the record on a bone stock $550 Music Hall MMF5, the vinyl is at least 2 - 3 steps better. We've done this in two different systems. Of course, you need a clean record, but the vinyl rig can outdo digital that is more than an order of magnitude more expensive. I'd welcome a list of CD players that outperform a turntable here in this thread. And, again, this is coming from someone devoted to digital.
In the last sentence in my post above I meant .."Clearaudio master solution is clear standout. Clearaudio Maximum solution should even be better". I always get mixed up between these two ;-)
Shadorne says >>Digital is undeniably better in terms of performance<<

LOL. For a moment there, I thought you were serious.
Shadome, it's my SACD/DC player that originally cost $3,000, NOT the record player. My most expensive turntable cost less than half that much. No way is digital "undeniably better in terms of performance." As I said, give me 30 seconds and you won't likely repeat that statement again. Dave
Interesting thread.

I respect that some people may prefer how Analog recordings or vinyl sounds, however, I maintain my view that Digital is an undeniable improvement over Analog (for many reasons).

Since the evidence is overwhelming and widely available, there is no point to delve into technical details of linearity, channel separation, signal to noise, dynamic range, and harmonic distortion issues from mechanical analog systems.

In any case, I can see that a technical argument will have little weight with those who categorically prefer vinyl/Analog and would claim that I am speaking nonsense.

As for myself, while I am willing to admit that the transfer of a limited number of older analog master tapes to digital has sometimes resulted in a reduction/less pleasurable sound quality compared to the original, I do not so easily dismiss all the technical evidence and wide professional audio recording industry support for Digital.

A properly recorded, mixed and mastered Digital recording is simply superior to what can be achieved with Analog.
Spoken like a guy who has not had a history with analog (and) digital.

The following from Digital Domain, the recording site

The Virtues of Analog Recording
Listening to a first generation 30 IPS 1/2" tape is like watching a fresh print of Star Trek at the Astor Plaza in New York. I believe that a finely-tuned 30 IPS 1/2" tape recorder is more accurate, better resolved, has better space, depth, purity of tone and transparency than many digital systems available today.

Empirical observations have shown that you need a nominal "24-bit" A/D to capture the low-level resolution of 1/2" 30 IPS. (If truth be told, the best converters only approach about 19-20 bit resolution in practice). It can also be argued that 1/2" tape has a greater bandwidth than 44.1 KHz or 48 KHz digital audio, requiring even higher sample rates to properly convert to digital.

Listening tests corroborate this. 30 IPS analog tape has usable frequency response to beyond 30 KHz and a gentle (gradual) filter rolls off the frequency response. This translates to more open, transparent sound than any 44.1 kHz/16 bit digital recording I've heard. 1/2" 30 IPS analog tape has lots of information, like high resolution 35 mm film.

16-bit 44.1 KHz digital is like low-resolution video. As higher resolution (e.g. 96 Khz/24 bit) digital formats become the standard, maybe then we'll be able to say that digital recording is better than analog. But don't be fooled by the numbers; there's still some "magic" in the coloration of analog tape that we have not yet been able to reproduce in an all-digital recording, especially for popular music forms that often crave the sound of tape saturation.

Analog tape has its own problems, but when operated within its linear range, unlike digital recording, it has never been accused of making sound "colder." However, digital recording has finally gotten good enough so that in acoustic music formats like classical and folk, some engineers are preferring digital recording's transparency over analog's warmth.

With this in mind and considering the writer is discussing 2005 technology against "antique" analog, what about the hundreds of thousands of songs recorded from 1986 to today that DID NOT have the benefit of recent digital technology?

That is, assuming the best digital is just now equal or below a master analog tape.

Analog is a very mature format. I have no doubt digital will surpass analog eventually but I don't want to listen to compromises in the meantime if an better alternative exists.

As I posted in the opening thread, It's more
What do you prefer to listen to?
Vinyl is only a distant cousin to 30 ips 1/2" analog tape. There is an enormous loss of information going from high speed wide format analog tape to vinyl. Redbook digital sucks, but the best that can be said about vinyl is that it sucks a little bit less.

I actually have a few 15 IPS safeties, and yes they beat the crap out of every other piece of software I have.
Albertporter....You know how I feel about vinyl surface noise :-)

Tape "Hiss" also annoys me. On many of my older LPs it is evident that even the master tape has hiss, because you can hear it cut in before the music. This problem was largely eliminated by DBX processing of master tapes, and Dolby in home playback systems. Are your 15"/sec tapes DBX? If not, is there hiss?
Eldartford, there is hiss if you turn the volume up enough between cuts and listen for it.

At maximum playback levels I can tolerate (about 95 DB, there is no noticeable noise or hiss. The tapes I have are not encoded with any type of noise reduction. In fact, several are so old they preclude that technology.

Oddly enough, those very old ones sound the best, especially "Ellington Indigo" and my Faron Young safeties which were done on tube recording gear and (likely) tube microphones at 15 or 30 IPS.

As for surface noise, I have more now that I had with my old Koetsu Rosewood, single VTL 750 amp and Sound-Lab speakers. I think the much higher efficiency of the Dali, combined with ultra response high frequencies via their ribbon, shows flaws more easily.

That being said, I can still go most of the nights listening session with maybe three or four moments where a pop or click shows up on an LP. I am crazy about music and much of my software is very old. It's a non issue on new pressings (DEAD quiet with zero clicks or noise) but old LP's such as the Louis Prima (Mono from 1959) have been in others hands far too long to have survived with zero damage.

Still, they sound wonderful and for our group, a pop or click two or three times on an LP that's nearly 50 years old is acceptable, particularly when the musicality of the LP exceeds the modern CD version.

I could still choose a few hundred LP's and listen for days on end with no noise. Those would have to be "hot rod" pressings such as Classic Records, Speaker Corner, DCC and other heavy pressings with virgin vinyl. These cost more and represent state of the art for LP reproduction. Wish they could all be this way and fortunately a good many are being repressed each month.
Albert!!! We have a truce, or at least a cease fire, about LP surface noise :-)

Evidently your tapes are better than many, because the tape hiss that I hear on some old (pre DBX) LPs is obvious at playback levels well below 95dB (peak). Of course it is masked when the music is loud. Only with classical music in very quiet passages is the tape hiss audible while the music is playing.
16-bit 44.1 KHz digital is like low-resolution video.

Comparing Digital audio with low resolution Digital video is another audio myth. Let me clarify why this statement can be misleading:

Our eyes can clearly detect much greater pixel video resolution than mainstream digital video formats and therefore higher pixel resolution (HDTV) is still a worthwhile pursuit in video reproduction (although a much higher frame rate than 30 fps is not generally worthwhile as our eyes do not perceive this benefit). Since we do not hear much if anything above 20KHz, there is actually very limited benefit to seeking significantly higher sampling resolution in audio reproduction than we already have today with CD reproduction...except perhaps in a recording studio where a higher bandwidth may provide greater flexibility and allow for optimal bandpass filtering when mixing/mastering (same goes for using 20 bit or higher resolution for studio digital applications).

For those interested, there are some experts who are actually willing to state their position about the sample rate myths and other well propagated myths of Analog versus Digital, including other audio tweaks. I will not claim to be an expert or to have 'golden ears' but I think this link presents a useful. "down-to-earth" viewpoint to audiogoners, even if many will disagree, at least it can act as a rudimentary guide of where to spend the majority of our $$$ in audio equipment and maybe act as a warning against high $$$ "to good to be true equipment claims";


Ah, yes, that old chestnut. Shadorne, might I suggest that you start listening to music rather than to "some experts' if you're really and truly interested in dispelling myths.
The number of molecules of vinyl that make up well above 20kHz squiggles in the groove are in vast excess of the 96 thousand sampling frequency. So it can be concluded that for this reason that vinyl is a much higher resolution medium than the current consumer digital state of the art.

Also, sounds travels as analog in air. Also, musical instruments generate analog waveforms. Also, our ears respond biochemically and bioelectrically in analog format.

To say that digital is superior in every physicial way to analog for sound reproduction, is simply an oxymoron.

Shandone, That Digital BS was written by Mr. Kite!

In case you've forgotten, back in '67 The Beatles warned of an attack by digital believers and here are the words. (No need to play your turntable backwards to get the true meaning of this message)

For the benefit of Mr. Kite
there will be a show tonight on trampoline
The Hendersons will all be there
late of Pablo Fanques'fair, what a scene
Over men and horses hoops and garters
and lastly through a hogshead of real fire
In this way Mr. K will challenge the analog world

The professor Mr. K
performs his feats on Saturday at Bishopsgate
The Hendersons will dance and sing
as Mr. Kite takes digital under his wing, don't be late
Messers K. and H. assure the public
their corruption of analog will be second to none
And of course Henry the Horse dances the waltz

The band begins at ten to six
when Mr. K performs his tricks without of no real music
And Mr. H will demonstrate
ten somersets he'll undertake on solid ground
Having been some days in preparation
a splendid time is guaranteed for all
And tonight Mr. Kite is having his fill

Note, 8 lines up:
And of course Henry the Horse dances the waltz

Unknown to many, Henry the Horse will only dance to analog. Digital makes his teeth hurt so much, he kicks the other performers.

Nice story connecting Dr Thomas Kite, PHD of Audio Precision Inc. with the victorian circus poster "Kite" that inspired Lennon! I enjoyed this and had a good laugh.


More seriously, Audio Precision Inc is a company soley dedicated to manufacturing test and measurement equipment necessary to design, build and verify audio products. Audio Precision customers include the world's top manufacturers in the areas of recording and broadcast, A/D and D/A chip design, signal processing, computer audio, home entertainment, personal stereo, telecommunications, loudspeaker, microphone and amplifier research, design and manufacturing.

Back to the discussion of relatve merits of Analog/CD/SACD, assuming that some people may actually be interested in a serious discussion rather than resorting to Vinyl molecules, calling Digital nonsense and suggesting that listening dispells myths:

Dr Kite actually has this to say about SACD;

The new Super Audio CD (SACD) promoted by Sony and Philips is a CD-size optical disc containing a 1-bit digital audio bitstream, a format known as Direct Stream Digital (DSD). DSD is the bitstream produced by a 1-bit 5th-order sigma-delta converter operating at 2.8224 MHz. Although low-bit converters have become standard in the industry, the insoluble problems with 1-bit converters have slowed or eliminated their use in professional applications. These problems include distortion, noise modulation, and high out-of-band noise power. The choice of a 1-bit format for SACD would therefore appear to be a mistake.

This is interesting coming from an expert that works for a company which is soley dedicated to manufacturing test equipment for the audio engineering industry...so I thought it worth sharing.

Does anyone have some technical views on SACD versus CD Digital ?
I guess if we are going to use "Why else has digital become the standard for recording and playback?" as the standard for what sounds best, then the new best must be i-pods and Sirrus radio.
Digital music has many pluses over analog. Especially in regards to copying, portability, ease of use. Everything except the two most important aspects, fun and natural sound reproduction. There is nothing fun about digital music, starting with the jewel cases and ending with boring cd players and MP3 players.
Digital music is great for the car, to listen to while exercising, and for couch potatoes that can't exist without a remote. I have never managed to listen to a full cd at one sitting in my music room. Something about it makes me unable to relax and listen to the music, it keeps me "on edge". My wife, who has much more sensitive hearing, will sit with me for hours when listening to albums. When a cd is in she seldom lasts more than a couple of songs.
The only thing that is "a well known fact" regarding digital v.s. analog is that debates in forums never change anybody's mind. Many people have gone from cds back to vinyl, and many people can't get past the surface noise on some records. Each their own.
Man, the things you learn on Audiogon! Thanks, Albert.
Stevecham...Sound waves in air are truly analog. But contrary to what you suggest the sense of hearing is ultimately digital in nature. Neurons "fire", or "not"...a "one" or a "zero". The level of activity of a great number of neurons taken as a group conveys the analog information, just as does a digital data stream. Sorry about that. But who cares?

As the digital sampling rate and/or bit resolution gets better and better the difference between digital and anlog disappears. In over words the analog waveform reconstructed from the digital data stream exactly matches the original analog waveform. Isn't that what you want? Are we there yet? With 16bit/44Khz simple electrical measurement instruments clearly say no. The ears, with some ambiguity, also say no. IMHO, the situation is boaderline. With the present "high Resolutuion digital audio" 24 bit/96 KHz (or the SACD equivalent) we have probably reached to point of diminishing returns (not ideal perfection) with respect to waveform error resulting from the digital nature of the information. There are many other ways that the waveform can get distorted, having nothing to do with digital issues, and these mostly afflict analog information processing. Most of all, the analog loudspeaker that creates the sound waves which we hear is the dominant error source.
Analog is reality, digital fantacy.
Concerning my feelings of Dr. Kite's relevance in this argument, his comments on SACD clearly delineate him as someone whose opinions I will not be interested in. The clearly audible sonic superiority of SACD to CD would be enough to keep him from writing this kind of thing.

Perhaps he'd known this if he listened, rather than measured. Just goes to show that no matter how many letters come before or after a person's name, if they don't see the forest through the trees, no matter how eloquently they can make a point, it still can be fundamentally wrong.

For someone who is devoted to digital, SACD has represented a meaningful improvement over CD. I still don't believe it outdoes vinyl, but for someone not interested in the hassle of vinyl, SACD sure has a fan in me.

And, I'm still waiting for that list of CD players that play music better than vinyl.