The future and the past too.
22 responses Add your response
Although I'll take HD downloads over Redbook digital, I'll take analog over either. Around 1999 Sony/Philips introduced the SACD, but over the last 15 years the market has overwhelmingly voted with their wallets for vinyl. I still recall the audiophile mags' gushing reviews of SACDs when they first came out ("the clarity of digital combined with the musicality of LPs!"). Riiiiiiight. An incremental improvement over CD, but still not as musically satisfying as LP. Still a relief when the silvery disc finishes, where I like to spin LP after LP.
Never before has an obsoleted video or audio medium come back. When you consider that the LP came out in 1949 and the stereo LP in 1958, they really got it right. In fact, some of my best-sounding LPs are from that era or are quality re-presses from that era.
Austin couldn't figure out how to get good sound from a CD either, much less anything else digital. I think the scene was in his first movie.
Is This you?
I just love how you can find just about anything with digital. Records can't do that!!!
Next step is to weed out the bogus vinyl re-issuers that are using cd's and low-res digital files (ideally no digital, ever) as source material for lps. Unfortunately some of these bozo's have bought out really great catalogs. I'm trying to stick with companies that have some integrity and care about quality.
This article doesn't substantiate anything.
Article only mentions 96K and 192k sampling rates in passing concerning ultrasonic bandwidth, and doesn't really address analog vs. digital resolution despite the subheading. Plus his numbers on analog s/n ratio are bogus. The recording industry had analog tape recorders that could do 90-100 dB 30-40 years ago. I have a 1975 LP with 90 dB dynamic range, several direct-to-disk recordings and some Analogue Productions' 45 rpm remasters that easily hit a dynamic range well above 70 dB.
Noise floor isn't a brick wall shutoff with analog recordings. You can hear details through the noise floor. He also speaks in theoretical digital limits, which are never achieved. For example, Stereophile's original rave review of the the AudioQuest Dragonfly 24/96 DAC (Oct. 2012) revealed that it actually achieved about 17-bit resolution, and that that was pretty good for a 24-bit DAC. 16-bit DACs typically achieve 13-14 bit resolution.
09-09-14: PsagNo, it's not. There are many other parameters that are more important to audio resolution, including data density, bandwidth, rise time, and the ability to differentiate tiny changes in amplitude. This latter is probably the most important factor in high resolution. It's the one that enables us to identify Horowitz vs. a jr. college piano student, a real Frank Sinatra recording from a Branson MO impressionist. Yet, there doesn't seem to be a standard of measure for it and I've never seen it in a test report. Yet, it is this ability to finely delineate amplitude that endears so many audiophiles to tubes, beryllium or diamond tweeters, electrostatics, and planar magnetic speakers.
...with numbers well above 100 for high res digital.Analog tape was hitting these numbers over 30 years ago.
The numbers speak for themselves.No, they don't. Dynamic range extremes don't speak to anything but dynamic extremes. That measurement doesn't indicate bandwidth, rise time, data density, or delineation of minute changes in amplitude.
Although I have tons of vinyl, my ears tell me the same. Neither vinyl nor tape are high resolution by today's standards.A non sequitur. Just because you don't identify the difference doesn't qualify you to dismiss analog recording and playback media as low-res.
If you want to see a more measured and objective measurement and evaluation of LP and digital recordings and playback including bandwidth and dynamic range, see this. There are 4 pages; read them all.