Paul McGowan Prefers Digital

RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
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BiggestLittleCity
#22
Having listened to digital on my system,both DDD and AAD or ADD? I have to say after analyzing good analog transfers from masters, I do prefer DDD recordings especially on classical. The soundstage is the same on both,very dimensional with excellent focus. The part that I like with digital is it seems less colored to me,especially the bass.
 
Feb 8, 2011
21,136
434
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Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#23
This tired, old subject again? Certainly there are many more interesting things to talk about.
Turntables is fun to talk about. :)

...Pholding fones too ...

It's all good Ron; no drama, no panic, no false judgement, all very innocent pictures of everyday's life in a forum of the internet aspiring to the best in life...analog and digital included.
 
Dec 17, 2015
86
8
8
south of France
#24
In fact the most important thing in records is the recording. In analog there are many good recordings specially from small firm, harmonia mundi ...or the old decca. Today records are made with the idea that the listener is going to hear it on computer or personal audio...and the quality is not always there.
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#25
I believe you are. There are so many advantages to digital that you are not even considering.
First a design team needs consistency. The ability to play some music over and over and each time it be exactly the same. This is IMPOSSIBLE with analog. I have heard state of the art systems with analog and digital. I am not putting down those who like records and want to go through the PROCESS each time they want to play a song but I abandoned that a long time ago as not something that is practical for my life style. I got rid of my 6000 LPS for many reasons but the most important one was I believe that the digital products over the last few years are just incredible. I have limited time to listen and I don't want to spend it looking for material, cleaning it, and playing it every few minutes. That is my choice however if it sounded bad I would not accept it. I have a CH C1 mono , with clock and three X-1 supplies its insane and IMHO worth the price since I now listen to more of my music than EVER and I have found it wasn't the discs or files that I didn't like it was the HARDWARE. MY friend has an MSB select 2 and he was the same opinion. These are great pieces and ones that if you have not listened to and lived with you have NO idea what digital is capable of. Paul's company makes a good digital system and an excellent value which I think is hard to beat for the price. With Qobuz and Tidal music is fun again and really easy to access and enjoy. Analog never is easy and I would speculate that the vast number of owners would agree with that statement.
How does one even find new music with analog?
One man's view
Elliot, I agree with almost every one of these individual points.

I don’t blame Paul, as a manufacturer, for desiring the consistency and repeatability of digital. Analog may not be practical, and it certainly is not convenient. Of course if one’s favorite music is not available on vinyl, then there’s nothing even to discuss. (I would even add that if one’s favorite music is not recorded on analog then that is another reason to stay with digital, but I appreciate that that point is more controversial.)

Then I would ask Paul to say that: that he prefers digital for manufacturer demonstration consistency and practicality inconvenience, and not for ultimate sound quality, as he declares.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#26
Having listened to digital on my system,both DDD and AAD or ADD? I have to say after analyzing good analog transfers from masters, I do prefer DDD recordings especially on classical. The soundstage is the same on both,very dimensional with excellent focus. The part that I like with digital is it seems less colored to me,especially the bass.
I think this analysis is completely valid, and I totally respect your conclusion.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
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San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#27
(I would even add that if one’s favorite music is not recorded on analog then that is another reason to stay with digital, but I appreciate that that point is more controversial.)
I think this is the root of the analog x digital debate. You lose some going from an analog recording to a digital medium, and you lose some by taking a digital recording to an analog medium.
This all gets more complicated when you add potentially damaging "mastering" to the equation. So all of a sudden, that digital recording DO sound better in analog!
 
#29
Elliot, I agree with almost every one of these individual points.

I don’t blame Paul, as a manufacturer, for desiring the consistency and repeatability of digital. Analog may not be practical, and it certainly is not convenient. Of course if one’s favorite music is not available on vinyl, then there’s nothing even to discuss. (I would even add that if one’s favorite music is not recorded on analog then that is another reason to stay with digital, but I appreciate that that point is more controversial.)

Then I would ask Paul to say that: that he prefers digital for manufacturer demonstration consistency and practicality inconvenience, and not for ultimate sound quality, as he declares.
I cant speak for Paul and I don't know what he feels but I can't live with analog its just to much of a pain the ass.
 
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Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
4,467
335
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Greater Boston
#30
In Paul McGowan’s post today, “Album art,” on his PS Audio blog, https://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/album-art/#comment-104603, he writes:

“My readers will know I prefer the dynamics, life, and sound quality of proper digital on a system specific to the medium.“

I commented:

I have great respect for your accomplishments, Paul, but I find your preference inexplicable. I understand this preference for convenience, and for your business strategy, but I do not understand it for “life and sound quality.”

Are you certain that you have paid as much time, money and effort to your analog playback system, whether vinyl or tape, as you have to your digital playback system?

Alternatively, have you felt obligated to adopt this view since PS Audio presently seems to focus more on digital playback than it does on analog playback?

I am baffled that digital truly could be your honest sonic preference.

—————————————

If digital truly is Paul’s preference, then I have absolutely no issue with that whatsoever. I am just wondering if it truly is his preference.

Am I being too hard on Paul?

What do you make of Paul’s declaration?
The "dynamics and life" comment by Paul is weird indeed. Yes, dynamics and life can be fantastic on digital, no doubt, and I enjoy that every day. Yet on the best recordings and best pressings, vinyl also has tremendous dynamics and life (and if VTA is adjusted properly for each record :D). I don't know where Paul is coming from, frankly, other than from an inferior LP set-up. Here I agree with you, Ron.
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#31
In fact the most important thing in records is the recording. In analog there are many good recordings specially from small firm, harmonia mundi ...or the old decca. Today records are made with the idea that the listener is going to hear it on computer or personal audio...and the quality is not always there.
apogees, harmonia mundi, old Decca...i need to visit you once... After your speakers come back from Henk
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#32
Ked, a big reason I don't get as much from yr reports is the 100% classical itinerary, often now superior pressings.

When you tell me eg off LZ3 how Tangerine compares to Immigrant Song, some Blue Note, some Electronica, all sound, and not just yr repeat cycle of fave classical, I'll get more from yr conclusions.

Yr posted clip will do v little for most of us.
Fine, I will try to dumb myself down so you can relate
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#33
i think Paul doesn't sell analog source components. what do we expect him to say? how recently has he pursued the very best analog in the best systems?

at the top of the food chains for the various format performance we have vinyl and tape. below that it's all shades of grey on favorites and what pushes your buttons. but the clouds do part when we approach the best of analog and it's just the way it is.

and i love my digital plenty.....as much as anybody.
 

Hi-FiGuy

Member Sponsor
Feb 24, 2015
1,412
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Greater Phoenix Area
#34
Fine, I will try to dumb myself down so you can relate
That was kind of uncalled for.
So by that statement you are saying those that listen to classical are better/smarter than those that don't. You are better than that Ked.
I am of the same thought process, reviews to me that are all classical are meaningless as you know, in your own words "He is a Rocker".
I like reviews with a mix of material to form a opinion.
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#35
That was kind of uncalled for.
So by that statement you are saying those that listen to classical are better/smarter than those that don't. You are better than that Ked.
I am of the same thought process, reviews to me that are all classical are meaningless as you know, in your own words "He is a Rocker".
I like reviews with a mix of material to form a opinion.
fair enough
 
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Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,738
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Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#36
You also have to take in the fact that he only sells digital. He's a salesman... He drinks the MQA Kool-aid.

If someone is selling something.... take it with a grain of salt.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Beverly Hills, CA
#37
I cant speak for Paul and I don't know what he feels but I can't live with analog its just to much of a pain the ass.

And I totally respect that. My only point is that that the reasons of convenience and practicality should not be confused with, or justified by, sound quality.
 
May 30, 2010
15,195
556
113
Portugal
#38
In fact the most important thing in records is the recording. In analog there are many good recordings specially from small firm, harmonia mundi ...or the old decca. Today records are made with the idea that the listener is going to hear it on computer or personal audio...and the quality is not always there.
IMHO current top digital recordings by brands such as Channel Records, Aliavox or Harmonia Mundi have top quality, sometimes equal or better than their top quality analog - perhaps not because of the the media itself but because of the capabilities of top current digital recording systems. Why insisting on comparing the top analog of the past with the worst of the digital of today?

Recently M. Fremer described his experience with a recent digital (24/192) LP recording:

At around 2am, as the reverberation of the Ninth's last notes faded away, I found myself exhausted, overwhelmed, and somewhat disoriented, all in the most pleasurable way, by the most convincing illusion I've ever experienced—by a considerable margin—of having been transported from my modestly sized listening room to a concert hall (the Berlin Philharmonie).
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/sonus-faber-aida-loudspeaker#bOexcHeztlgu3qld.99


Does anyone feel he has no experience with top analog vinyl?
 
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Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
4,467
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Greater Boston
#39
You also have to take in the fact that he only sells digital. He's a salesman... He drinks the MQA Kool-aid.

If someone is selling something.... take it with a grain of salt.
He drinks the MQA Kool-aid? Oh crap.
 
May 30, 2010
15,195
556
113
Portugal
#40
Elliot, I agree with almost every one of these individual points.

I don’t blame Paul, as a manufacturer, for desiring the consistency and repeatability of digital. Analog may not be practical, and it certainly is not convenient. Of course if one’s favorite music is not available on vinyl, then there’s nothing even to discuss. (I would even add that if one’s favorite music is not recorded on analog then that is another reason to stay with digital, but I appreciate that that point is more controversial.)

Then I would ask Paul to say that: that he prefers digital for manufacturer demonstration consistency and practicality inconvenience, and not for ultimate sound quality, as he declares.
So, if digital was inconvenient to use and as inconsistent as top vinyl you would more easily accept Paul's preference and would not be bothered with it? ;)
 

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