Does Age Matter?


Having read and contributed to several threads on the digital vs analog controversy I developed a nagging itch that suggested it is older people that prefer analog and younger people digital. If this is the case than there is most definitely a nostalgic element to that opinion. Perhaps we can answer that question. I will go first. Please do not ruminate on the differences. Age and preference, digital, analog or both! We'll tally the results at the end. 

I am 67 and like Both analog and digital.
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It’s having a set of ears that matters, for anyone who can hear correctly can hear that analog is far superior to digital.




The relative superiority of vinyl over digital or of digital over vinyl, has nothing to do with "taste" or "hearing incapacity"...

The relative superiority of one or the other is function of the audio system GENERIC design potentials and their SPECIFIC concrete implementations... This 2 factors explain all....

No need for "taste" which is only an ennobled and idealized way to speak about our habits....

No need to accuse others to be half-deaf...No ears are structurally the same and no ears are historically constructed by the same listening habits...

Specific implementation of ANY generic designed piece of electronic occur in the 3 main working concrete dimensions of any audio system( an embedding of the audio system in my vocabulary) :
The mechanical dimension(vibrations and resonances), the noise floor of the electrical grid of the house/room/system, and last the acoustical concrete settings of the room....

Then, the relative superiority alleged to one or the other will manifest itself and occur in these indefinite variable situations....

Then it is IMPOSSIBLE to compare the 2 in so many different environments...





But how, you can ask, if we ourself compare for ourself the vinyl and the analog component in the same embeddings with the same pieces of electronic components except for the turntable and dac ?




Four other factors will stay and play and will relativize the alleged superiority of one or the other  :

1-The difference in the structural organization of the ears, and by that i means 2 healthy ears process differently the sound and interpret it differently, because of their different listening histories and habits....

2- The difference between one choice of turntable among many possible, versus the difference between one dac among many possible choices...This fact will play a MAJOR role....

3- The important complementarity or his absence between the chosen components , by that i means the specific interaction of a chosen turntable with a specific amplifier among many possible, and same thing with the dac interacting with a specific amplifier.... For example someone with another amplifier in the same room could conclude with a contrary opinion about digital and vinyl....Then even ourself could change our experience changing our amplifier....

4-I will not add the nature of the support format, master vinyl or not and the quality of the digital files...I suppose those who would made a strict comparison will take care about that... But...... 😁

Then no one can conclude ABSOLUTELY for all of us that digital win over vinyl or the opposite....One can conclude for himself only and without never knowing if this victory is an absolute fact...






Last but mot least , there is no original live event which is the "source" of a faithful recording....All recording processes are choices between choices, each time with a trade-off...

Then "reproduction" of this "original" live event would be more objectively qualified by the term RECREATION...

One acoustical event very difficult to "record" is timbre....Even in the case of only a solo live instrumental event....

Acoustical recreation of the musical timbre of an instrument ask for the ACOUSTICAL setting dimension of your room to be recreated completely....The delivery of the acoustical information of the live original event is already partial and never perfect and complete... it is your room acoustical informative or obstructive settings that will compensate... Because timbre perception need more than the transmission of an always incomplete information signals accuracy , this perception occur in the real concrete time synchronization of your room...

Your audio system recreate timbre with the help of your specific room, they do not reproduce it like it was because the information is anyway incomplete....

Acoustically timbre is not only pure musical tone... Timbre is tone+ the acoustical property of the material instrument +timing between the room and this envelope of the tone ....Your room cannot be the original room...Recreation can be, perfect reproduction cannot be....

The timbre perception and evaluation of the soloist instrument which has been specifically and with a partial trade-off recorded, reflecting the choices of the recording engineer, will be recreated in YOUR room acoustical setting...

This recreation is not only dependent from the choices and trade-off in each audio system but also with the choices in your embedding acoustical dimension, in your room and for your ears....

All that to say that the acoustic of a room will impact way more the S.Q. than our choosen obsession with turntable or digital.....😁

Sorry....





«Gosh! It is simple like an equation but it is written in chinese»-Groucho Marx
61 yo - digital  - specifically streaming - and more specifically Tidal.
43 yrs, I'm like 85% records, 15% digital (mostly streaming from hard drive or Amazon).  Analog is far more fun, tweaky and musically engaging to me.  It better be with all the money I've spent on my rig!
Both are great in their own way. The key is trying to find the good recordings on both that really make your system sing. I am 48 and have never had a preference it is the great recordings that matter no matter what technology they were on.
1++ @speakermaster and @gakertyd It is where the music is but I will tolerate a bad recording if the music is good. There are painfully few great recordings of Charlie Parker. We just have to live with the mediocre ones. Analog is a lot more fun until you get into digital signal processing.
You can do almost anything and it is like digital photography. No wasted film, you just erase your mistakes :-)