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It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

RE: Yes - I'm sure he's made all the Luddites very happy! ;-)

Hi guys - I think you are misinterpreting (perhaps deliberately?) what Valin is saying here. He does not say that digital is not transparent. Quite the opposite, in fact. The main complaint, which I share, is that to achieve this "transparency" and "clarity", too much has been processed out with digital. As rbolaw mentioned (I think in the analog posting section), it processes out much of the ambient noise which is an integral part of live performance. You can almost never tell what hall something was recorded in with a digital recording, for example - it makes them all sound the same, ironically in the interests of "clarity."

Also, those of us who are wind players or singers for a living, and create our sounds with our breath, find that digital processing invariably removes many of the subtleties we aim for in our sounds. Audiophiles have various terms for this that aren't very satisfactory - many on this board call it "bloom." As much as digital has improved, especially over the last several years, it still does not come close to analog in recreating the very subtle timbre changes our instruments are capable of (as opposed to string and percussion or keyboard instruments), and I'm sorry, I believe that Valin's reason is correct. I am not sure it will ever be possible for digital to do this, no matter how much better it gets. And as a wind player, this is a much more important thing for me to hear reproduced as well as possible (for it can NEVER sound totally life-like, no matter what the technology used), then having every single bit of "noise" or "distortion" removed. I will put up with a little surface noise on an LP to hear this, rather than listening to a cleaner sounding recording, with some of the life also removed. This is why almost every single wind player and vocalist I know still prefers listening to vinyl, even on a modest system such as mine, to something that costs much more but throws out the baby with the bathwater. OK, that's a little much, but I hope you get my point.

A related point - one interesting test I always use of a system is to play a copy of John Gielgud's one man Shakespeare recitations on LP. Especially if you are in another room, with a good analog system many people are unable to tell that the voice is recorded rather than live. This is never the case with a digital recording - you can always tell it is a recording, and I believe that this is because of the digital processing removing too much of the timbre of the human voice, as Valin says. And there are quite a few recording engineers who say that this is true, as has been said many times here. So sorry, Chris, it is nothing to do with being a Luddite. :)

All this said, of course I have a decent digital playback system, too - one has to if one wants to listen to just about every new recording of the last couple of decades. In fact, I probably end up listening to it more than my vinyl system, certainly for work.

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