WAY back when I plugged my very first Tube component(Yaqin Buffer w/Mullard 6922)in between my CDP & SS Integrated amp.All of the sudden digital had everything vinyl did with none of the bad.
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For me, it was this Parasound, I think it was called a cpd1000 or something I bought for a hundred bucks...supremely listenable! Very polite, but I could listen to jazz for hours on end! Was very sad when the laser finally died. But, the sound of that player still guides what I'm looking for from digital to this day.
My ’oh $hit’ moment came with my first pioneer CD changer in ’83...didn’t like it, but kept it and my TT and waited; there had to be some way to get better digital sound...everything sucked, really, but the upper mids and highs in particular...yuk. Fast forward to 2010. Stumbled into electronic noise reduction by way of Alan Maher Designs. Started off buying a $25 gizmo that seemed to help out a bit. One thing led to another and have kept buying more and more stuff from AMD steadily since then and am now in a position (albeit 5 years and about $10k later) in which I can use any digital player I would ever care to and they would all sound supremely analog. No need even for expensive wiring. All the problems there were with CD playback are now gone and it is no longer an issue for me. I have all of the convenience and none of the bad sound. Took a lot for me to get there really, but that’s where I am and that’s where I know I’ll stay from here on out. My "eureka" moment is every time I listen now. Ditched the inexpensive TT I had some time ago and, since about 3 or 4 years ago, have never looked back.
I thought I had always been missing something with digital based on everything I read about vinyl. I finally purchased a very nice $6000 analog front end and had my eurika moment. This was about 8 years ago. I realized my digital front end was better and never had to wonder again. The clicks, pops, surface noise drove me crazy! Underneath those snap, crackle and pops the music sounded no better.
I think my eureka moment came when I discovered Spotify. I already had a system I loved the sound of, which couldn't have been simpler - computer connected to integrated with built in dac running to speakers. So only 3 components including the computer, and only two cables, USB & speaker cables. Realizing that for $10 per month I had instant access to 20 million songs through that simple system was my eureka - so much music and so few components required to bring it to life. Simple + variety is a nice combination.
My "digital moment" came this past week after I replaced the two stock fuses in the ARC CD7se with the SR RED fuses. I thought the player was good before, but now ... WOW! Digital in my house has now gone from "convenience" to running serious competition with my vinyl rig.
On the "snap, crackle and pop" ... I have thousands of LPs, both mono and stereo. Many are 50 years old and older and contain music that's not available on CD. I'll take a little tape hiss and a little noise in order to enjoy the music that's hidden in those grooves. And by the way, many of my records are just about silent ... even the mono recordings.
For me, the closest to such a moment came after I had loaded a significant part of my collection (4400+ CDs) on a music server--I had no idea how important it is to have the ease of browsing and accessing the collection that I now enjoy. I listen primarily to digital media these days. The sound of digital media is very good and enjoyable. But, as someone who has both a nice digital and analogue setup, I know that vinyl, at its best, outshines digital--the music sounds more harmonically saturated (dense), the attack and decay of notes sounds more natural, small changes in dynamics are more readily apparent. Good analogue tape is at yet higher level of performance.