The "Digital" listening experience


Do you find listening to digital without adequate isolation to be similar to listening to a piece of music where the performer is not putting his heart into it? That seems to be the best description I've found.
ptss
As an example of the different level of enjoyment of music played with exceptional intensity/heart I find Schubert's Trout Quintet unlistenable when played poorly and entrancing when played with deep sensitivity.
I believe that it's not necessary performer releasing digital media isn't putting heart and passion. The heart, emotions and life can be heard in digital and analogue recording if musician is 'investing' it into his music so it seems to me that you've found truly the worst description. If you stop looking for description and just start listening to the actual music without criticizing format -- there you will find how far you were wrong.  

Czarivey I think you misunderstood my post. I'm not in any way implying that because a piece is digitally recorded the performance isn't first rate. In fact,most musicians don't care 'how' it's recorded, just that it sounds 'right' to them. My understanding of this is from friends who are musicians (I never discuss recording or playback 'quality' with them). If we listen together I find they like their music 'loud'. I guess because that's what they're used to.
That is true;years ago I discussed music with the conductor of a local ochresta and he liked digital as he could play it louder. This was in the days of bad digital. I can not spell well enough to get my spell check to function. Years ago a player put his drivers around the room as he was use to it coming from every direction.
Sorry ptss I'm confused about your original question.  What do you mean when you say "listening to digital without adequate isolation"?
@hifiman5  +1 what does adequate isolation mean ptss?
Digital done right is every bit as good or better than analog. Moot point.
PTSS has invited discussion, brauser. Any reasons for your opinions?

By adequate isolation, I am guessing you are referring to component isolation from vibration (although I suppose you could be referring to acoustic isolation as well).  With that said, I think your analogy is a reasonable one when applied to less than top quality digital in general, although I can't say I have considered whether this aspect is exacerbated by lack of adequate isolation (I am using a Minus K isolation platform under my transport).
Sorry for lack of clarity. I'm referring specifically to AC power isolation (and conditioning). (Equitech 2Q or Furutech balanced power units being examples of competent devices.
I'm using Alan Maher Designs for AC and DC bidirectional isolation, including their isolation platforms that are the 'bread slices' in my sandwiched stack of components...that means each piece of gear is being treated from both above and below - a double dose, in effect...everything improves greatly, but you're right ptss, I've found this sort of thing allows the meaning and value of the musical performance to come through as well. or better, than I've ever heard anywhere, in my CD only system. Doesn't seem to matter at all what disc, format, musical genre, volume level, time of day or anything else. It's all glorious. It's a huge understatement for me to say, at this point, that I'm well beyond any consideration of ever going back to raw digital. In the audio world there are the relative improvements and the "night and day" differences. No two ways about it - this has been what I'd have to call night and day...a total transformation.. Of course it **should** be, for the price (that I'd gladly pay again). Well over 10 grand for all the various pieces of AMD I've acquired for a system that cost 6 grand, new...(I know some people like to say that anyone who spends more on their tweaks than their system must surely have a screw loose somewhere, but all I can say is that I'm hearing firsthand what they're missing out on). I should point out that this much isolation is not just for the digital, but also equally for the analog....(and all the appliances and about most every other major noise source in my home, as well...which itself overall amounts to further improvement between the speakers).

But, more to your point, ptss, I'm hearing a very real essence of the soul of the musical performance in each and *every* recording...each track speaks volumes to me now about why it was composed/performed just the way in which it was - all the isolation and noise reduction has really flipped that switch here, as far as I'm concerned...but like you suggest: the artist's intent, and all that. I'm coming up on the point here of having fixed every single audible fault there ever was with this system. When I get there I will have nothing left to do but enjoy the music. Anymore, I know firsthand that this system mine of would Never have even approached such a place as this on its own - not without this overall level of isolation, anyway.
OP
 I have no idea what you are talking about.  Poor and great performances are independent of playback media.
  To take your example of Schubert's Trout Quintet, I fell in love with that work 40 years ago with an lp titled 'Music From Marlboro ' led by Rudolph Serkin.  My lps were destroyed in a flood in 1985.  Only a few months ago I obtained this recording on CD and my appreciation for the performance has only grown over time.
  Both digital and analog are capable of great fidelity.  With digital, there are no pops, clicks, dust bunnies, etc.. If you need to hear all that crud to convince yourself that the performers are 'really trying'then your tastes are so different from mine as to render further discussion as pointless

Interesting topic.  I think I now have a clearer understanding of what the OP is talking about.  In some ways this thread leads back to previous discussions of the role of power conditioning/regeneration on individual components and/or on systems as a whole.

There are numerous conditioning designers who have specifically worked to isolate digital components from non-digital believing that digital gear puts an amusical "grunge" into the power that negatively affects the rest of the system.  I have no reason to resist that assertion. All of my components are using regenerated power except the amp which receives conditioned power.  I also go to considerable lengths to eliminate vibration from my components and also to reduce resonances within each component.  

@mahler123  Well said!  "The medium is Not the message"  How many people have expressed that even if it meant listening to an emotionally moving performance on an old 78, the quality of the performance comes through?! Perhaps, yes perhaps, our emotions are more easily moved when we listen to an analog (LP) performance because the "analog air" relaxes us as the listener.  Perhaps.

Funny thing...this type of discussion, the emotional impact of analog versus digital, keeps coming up.  Many of us here can remember this raging audiophile issue battling itself out ad nauseum on T.A.S. and Stereophile as early as the mid to late '80s.

One thing my four decades of audiophiledom has taught me is that vibration and resonance is an enemy of great sound.  As for power conditioning/regeration, you be the judge with your system.  Enjoy the Music!


PTSS is moving in the right direction with the acknowledgement that to get better sound you have to 'do things' to get there. After being in this hobby for 45+ years I've grown to appreciate how valuable 'patient tweaking' can be whether analog or digital. Audio Nirvana is quite possible with multiple paths to the summit of the same mountain. I think the 'golden age' for audiophiles is right now for those who are willing to invest in quality equipment and then get the very most from it by optimizing as many of the variables as possible. 
I agree with the posts that mention the benefits of reducing vibration in all components, not just speakers, as well. No question about that in my experience; however, only when my AC was very refined did I really get to fully appreciate the benefits of physical isolation/ damping for my digital. A very enjoyable - and very economical - enhancement
Correction. Furutech should read Furman in previous post.