I sense that the definition of a digital gear sounding "analog" is going to be different for everyone and for some may be life long pursuit. For what its worth, last weekend at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival, I experienced the Innuous USB re-clocker that they will be selling for $3k. Putting the cost aside, I did experience the A/B testing with it in and out of the system multiple times, I did notice and felt a clear and greater sense of "ease" in the music with the reclocker...Interesting that after the event I looked on their site and the feeling of ease is what they talk about in their marketing. Did it sound more "analog".. I can't say, only can share what it made me feel. I share this because even with all the great DACs that have been mentioned, I for one am wondering if some form of a USB reclocker (this flavor or other) would bring additional benefit to them, including tube based DACs or even ones that do reclocking internally and do isolation and noise reduction.
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If you can weed through the hyperbole, on a quality system, with a quality source, they should sound the same.I agree completely. The very best analog, and the very best digital, sound very, very close.
Some listeners prefer the distortion that some analog equipment offers - so they'll record CD to reel-to-reel and think the sound has "improved." Those listeners seek something other than accuracy so for them, of course, they'll always prefer an analog source with some added analog distortion.
“on a quality system, with a quality source, they should sound the same“.
I respectfully disagree, they cannot sound the same (close maybe) even if the playback is from the same master file. Everytime I heard and compared, Vinyl and Digital (CD or Streaming) setup, they sounded different not better or worse but different.
The key here is to tweak both setups to your liking and enjoy the music. They both can be very engaging and satisfying.
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