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New Absolute Sound guest editorial by Jonathan Valin


This isn't my analogy but Valin's and I'm pretty sure it's not him at his most elegant. His article in the new TAS entitled THE EMPEROR'S NEW SERVER is essentially his perspective on the digital vs. analog debate, after "taking the computer audio plunge ....the last 24 months...auditioning hi-res files over a variety of pretty good DACS." To be fair, he does list all the real or perceived advantages of digital audio (convenience, pitch stability, consistency, lack of surface noise, price, no warpage, availability of contemporary music) but still concludes "I positively dare you to listen to any well recorded piece of music turned into a digital file and played back from a computer via USB DAC and then listen to the exact same recording played back via a really good turntable, tonearm, cartridge and phonostage and tell me, with a straight face, that the digital recording sounds more like the real thing than the analog one."

It's a fair and well written piece but honestly, after naming all the advantages of digital playback, he seems to have run out of steam. His main argument in favor of analog is an old one: " What is wrong with digital audio, be it computerized or not, has been wrong from the go. No matter what the bit rate, no matter what the digital delivery system, you simply cannot "sample" the continuous-time sound of instruments or vocalists, turn it into discrete -time numbers, and then turn those back into instruments or vocalists without losing some of the very continuousness of presentation--the dense, constantly renewing, uninterrupted flow of articulation, dynamics and timbres--that is the very breath of musical life."

He repeats his dare about listening to a really good analog setup vs. a digital one but concludes with "All in all, it's probably best to look at this editorial diatribe as a minority report from an Old Fogey."

Edits: 03/10/17 03/10/17

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  Kimber Kable  

Topic - New Absolute Sound guest editorial by Jonathan Valin - ecl876 19:12:05 03/10/17 (24)


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