This is not a discussion of whether Digital is better than Analog or vice-versa


Ask almost any recording engineer who worked in a significant professional capacity (serious studio, good equipment), in the years from all analog in the 80's to all digital in the 2000's (and typically earlier), what sounds most like what is coming from the microphone, and they will tell you, without hesitation, digital. It won't be some will say digital, it will be almost all. Don't take my word for it, do the research.  Ask them about tape and they will tell you that every machine had it's "sound".  They were very good, but they still had a "sound".  Vinyl? Not even close.

So why, given the people that most know what the actual recording sounds like say that digital is the most realistic, without question, do so many audiophile "insist" that vinyl is the more "realistic" or "true to the performance".  Those that best know the answer to this question, having listened to that performance live, and then listened to the loops, or recordings, say, without a doubt, digital is the most accurate representation.

This is not a discussion of what is best for listening or what you prefer. I find that I often prefer more popular music on vinyl, but almost always will take classical on digital.

Is this attachment to insisting that vinyl or tape or analog in general is the most "accurate", or "natural" or "true to the performance" holding audiophiles back mentally from enjoying a broader spectrum of recorded music?
audio2design
@millercarbon
Yes, hear hear, speaking like a true Cynic, rest of us rubes are more in the Stoic camp methinks.
We unfortunately just more slowly learned about all THAT marketing BS. 

More compression = more dynamically pumped up 'remastered' CDs. 
SQ improvement?... 😏 
Hard to argue about it in deed. 
M. 🇿🇦 
Digitally Remastered can be good or bad. Unfortunately, a lot of the time it is bad. The audio is dynamically compressed and not a lot of care is taken to get the best transfer from the "master tapes" or the digital master.

Master tapes is in parentheses because there is no precise definition of what a master tape is.

On the other hand, there are digitally remastered albums where great care was taken to get the best transfer off a high quality, high resolution master tape or digital master, dynamic range is maintained, and care is taken through the manufacturing process to not lose or distort the sound that was originally recorded.

Recent examples of good digital remasters are The Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead (2020 remaster) or the Analogue Productions SACD, including the redbook layer, of Jimi Hendrix’s Axis Bold As Love (2018 remaster).

The problem is that there aren’t really very many people who care about sound quality and it takes a lot of work to do it right, So, as you would expect, record labels think, why bother?

If anyone is interested in finding the best digital or vinyl version of a particular album, these matters are discussed at length in the Steve Hoffman Music Forums.
tomcy6:" On the other hand, there are digitally remastered albums where great care was taken to get the best transfer off a high quality, high resolution master tape or digital master, dynamic range is maintained, and care is taken through the manufacturing process to not lose or distort the sound that was originally recorded.

Hello tomcy6,

     I completely agree with you that there are exceptions, perhaps I painted with too broad a brush.  I believe identifying the high quality ones would likely be simplified for consumers if we were somehow aware, prior to purchase, that a digitally remastered album or hi-res file was exceptionally well done and of high quality.  I'm thinking of professional reviews of newly released digitally remastered albums, the company having an excellent track record, actually listening to it at a friend's, a physical store or at least a sampling of some tracks on the company's website.  Otherwise, it's a bit of a crapshoot.
     I think your mention, of capturing and maintaining the intrinsically large dynamic range of music played and heard live, is especially pertinent for several reasons.  If the master tapes being used as a source in the digital remastering process happen to be the typical final mix master tape versions created for CD use, then these master tapes have already had their dynamic ranges significantly attenuated due to the 'loudness wars'.  Digital remastering, meaning just the transfer of recorded music from a lower resolution format to a higher resolution format,  is incapable of restoring the naturally high dynamics to the music on the new recording.  The dynamics have been lost for good due to the original master's provenance.   
      Another reason I think dynamic range is relevant, is that recording music directly to digital is the superior format at accurately capturing the often large dynamic ranges of musical instruments and voices. This is definitely my subjective perception and opinion, but I believe it's also verified by the rated dynamic range specs of the various master recording formats.

Tim