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RE: Generation Loss?

I am not sure that there would be any kind of alteration to the signal, that would not be captured and then when fed back as the input signal on the next generation, accumulate.
The ONLY thing that doesn't accumulate is the original unaltered signal. The result is a caricature of what's wrong with the original signal.
In an old days analogue tape system, each generation accumulated noise and whatever distortion present was also made more obvious each pass. Digital is not immune to generation loss if even one bit or timing is altered.
Fwiw, back when CD's were first introduced, at least at the studio level, they were intentionally made a bit brighter to drive home that they were "clearer" and "better" than lp's.

I think one can see this in the tests Floyd Toole did which shows what the listener preffered loudspeaker response shape is and guess what it is, about a -1 dB /oct roll off broad band (which over the entire band would imply a -10dB reduction at 20Khz) compared to "Flat response " which used to be the target in analogue days.

Record's have another thing CD's don't have, the cartridge on the record is also a microphone of sorts, it's picks up some amount of room sound while playing the record and that goes back for another pass through the system. It isn't much but you can hear it if you put one speaker in another room, put on an old record but not rotating and set the needle down on the lead in. Then turn the volume up to a normal level and have friends talk or the tv on so you can hear how much is coming out of the speaker in the other room. After doing this in the old days, I ended up putting the Thorens on a granite slab on springs and using a brass weight to keep the record down as much as possible.

Consider too that by any measure you choose, loudspeakers are by far the weak link so far as reaching realism, even when abundant in a recording. For example you can have two sets of loudspeakers with very similar frequency responses and yet with one pair, a mono phantom floats solidly in the center and you are not even aware of a right and left source. With the other, there is a phantom image if you're in exactly the right position and the right and left sources are obvious. What properties could be behind this kind of difference, one that has a profound effect on imaging and not on timbre or frequency response?


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