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Reviewers with LP (or digital) -final

Chronicling the reviewers who use LP (as a primary source) was not an exact science. LP held the torch through the dark days of digital, in the 1980s and 90s. That said, it now appears the vast majority of U.S. reviewers prefer digital-CD.

These reviewers, in my opinion, got it right. With a format that always had numerous advantages, except the big one, sound. But this has changed - digital (most of it Red Book) came of age more than a decade ago, and reviewers followed accordingly.

Digital is sweeping the audio world, as predicted when the first numeric-tape recordings were made in the 1970s. I say 'sweeping' not 'swept' because this process has taken much longer than many thought. Most electronics today -inc. car audio, are analog, as are loudspeaker crossovers.

This is not unlike home cinema, which is experiencing a 30-year switch from standard-definition to HD and now, UHD. A whole new recording and playback system was needed. Audiophiles got (both) of these, but they had numerous distractions and potholes along the way.

A wobbling transport, lots of radiated noise, a poorly-designed output stage, then converters dropping from 16 bits to 1. Not all dropped this acutely, some were chopped to 5-6 bits. Now, improved 6-bit converters (like ESS 9018) or 16-20 bit R2Rs are the rage.

Then, D to A. Wait a minute, D to what ? Yup, analog, and early in the chain no less (through DAC, preamp and power amp). A solution arrived, however, with full-digital amplifiers. Here, digital signals drive a switching output stage. This type of product, out since the late 1990s, is finally getting attention - Lyngdorf TDAI, NAD M2, Technics R1 system.

DSP crossovers are catching on as well...

I remember J. Gordon Holt always breaking a story (he thought) would move us closer to live music. Embracing digital recording then later, playback, he held to his mission. Doug Sax said digital-CD "should sound better than LP", in a 1989 Stereophile interview.

Let's embrace the future -and go beyond DACs, as good as they are. If we're converting digital to analog, we're not hearing digital. How would vinyl lovers feel if we digitized LP and kept it that way through the amp ?

UHD For Audio - that's what this should be called...



Edits: 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17 03/16/17

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Topic - Reviewers with LP (or digital) -final - J. Phelan 04:44:06 03/16/17 (57)

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