The Sound of Analog, the Sound of Digital

On his PS Audio blog today Paul McGowan posted a piece titled: "The meaning of analog." Paul writes: "There’s no such thing as the sound of analog and digital. They are antiquated terms . . ."

Paul of course is not disputing the existence of the different technologies of analog recording and digital recording, or of the existence of mechanical and electronic differences between analog playback systems and digital playback systems. I believe he is suggesting that whatever the mechanical or electronic differences between how analog music and digital music are created and played back, it is antiquated to think about or to describe a sound as being inherently analog or inherently digital.

What do you think about this?

Is Paul correct in your view?

Are (the sound of) "analog" and (the sound of) "digital" antiquated terms? studio.jpg
 
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Comments

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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5) Because in sound reproduction we look mostly for enjoyment, not for reality.
You want reality? Go to a concert!
Oh, wait...we can't do that now anyway.

Hey honey, have you seen my darn little bottle of stylus cleaner? Did you throw it out when you were cleaning the music room thinking it was an old bottle of eye drops?...
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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Pleasanton, CA
"Where did you get those eyedrops, dear? My hearing has been so much better since I have been using them."
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
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With apologies. It's a slow day in New Jersey......


View attachment 68794
Here is my version : One hour before playing
Start TT compressor in attic (remote these days)
Start one PS Audio for preamp and active crossover, turn on
preamp on the back switch and front, turn on crossover.
Check TT air bearing pressure.
Start second PS Audio for TT motor.
Turn on 3 power switches on the back of each mono amp
and one master switch on the front.
Half an hour before playing
Turn on each mono power supply for the Io phono preamp.
Pick record and clean as indicated above.
Check level of fluid in silicon trough, swing trough over
record (preferably without spilling) carefully place needle in
lead in groove( no arm lift ) and enjoy music :eek:
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
2,227
1,968
420
Here is my version : One hour before playing
Start TT compressor in attic (remote these days)
Start one PS Audio for preamp and active crossover, turn on
preamp on the back switch and front, turn on crossover.
Check TT air bearing pressure.
Start second PS Audio for TT motor.
Turn on 3 power switches on the back of each mono amp
and one master switch on the front.
Half an hour before playing
Turn on each mono power supply for the Io phono preamp.
Pick record and clean as indicated above.
Check level of fluid in silicon trough, swing trough over
record (preferably without spilling) carefully place needle in
lead in groove( no arm lift ) and enjoy music :eek:
Milan just missing...
Open shiraz and allow to breath...
Pour wine also without spilling, taste and say out aloud “take that you dumarz Covid virus“...
happily look around at the lovely system you have built and the good life you have... carefully place needle in groove... sit back, smile and then just enjoy the music.
 
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Likes: Lagonda

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,029
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770
With apologies. It's a slow day in New Jersey......


View attachment 68794
you forgot a few steps.

1--look longingly at your hifi system as you try to get your wife ready to go.
2--get in the car and drive down your street thinking about where are you going to park.
3--there are protesters blocking the road near the hall. detour.
4--park, try to remember where.
5--get to the hall, buy a little something to eat while you wait.
6--wait in line at the restroom.
7--get to your seats. the guy in front of you is 6'11"

ok---now we get to the sit, stand or dance part. it had better be really, really good.

--now reverse 1 through 7.

add

----parking garage is seriously backed up.
---you almost nodded off twice driving home.
---the next morning you see a door ding in your new Tesla.
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,986
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London
Also, while listening to hifi, rogue poster compels you to reply, luckily in concert mobiles are off so no such distraction
 
almost never liked Rudy's piano's.

besides that he does happen to be a god. which does not make him right.
Rudy recorded my first record to tape in 1986. He was not a piece of cake to work with. But I didn't really have to interact with him all that much. We listened to playbacks in the booth at ear splitting volume. I don't know why he liked that. Growing up on Blue Notes I must say it was an "out of body" experience hearing myself at The Piano through the headphones. I imagined myself inside a BN LP groove.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
2,227
1,968
420
Also, while listening to hifi, rogue poster compels you to reply, luckily in concert mobiles are off so no such distraction
But you finally get to a concert and look across the 1.5m gap in seats at the groovin dude next to you videoing the sound of the concert and his tapping feet and groin and you rest assured... Ked is back out there alive and well and out of lockdown :D
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,851
511
345
NYC , USA
Here is a simple compare from digital to analog
Applause it’s soo Simple but while good digital gets to feel your there to me only tape or vinyl gets it to be real.
And yes I agree no system is real but when you spend as some do you sure want to think it is without alcohol lol.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,539
504
658
Here is a simple compare from digital to analog
Applause it’s soo Simple but while good digital gets to feel your there to me only tape or vinyl gets it to be real.
And yes I agree no system is real but when you spend as some do you sure want to think it is without alcohol lol.
Interesting...track one of Clapton Unplugged has been one of my reference tracks for over 20 years. Audience clapping is the opening, then into acoustic opening with a few words spoken at various locations/distances.
 
Likes: Alrainbow

Alrainbow

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Dec 12, 2013
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NYC , USA
I can imagine many reasons:

1) Because most audiophiles who love to write in provocative style have no proper experience with top multichannel. Although I prefer stereo I consider it more realistic than stereo.

2) Because no system approaches reality and we simply pick our preferred as the most realistic sounding system.

3) Because we trained to consider so along many years.

4) Because we just want to go on listening to the same music of the past recorded in vinyl forever.

5) Because in sound reprodcution we look mostly for enjoyment, not for reality.
So how many do you think are now pissed off at you now lol. Your totally correct but when you spend as many do you sure think it is. our brains sure can puts on show of shows making it realistic right up until ur kid strikes some keys on the piano lol. I do think some here have systems that can close enough to make it worth it.
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,851
511
345
NYC , USA
Interesting...track one of Clapton Unplugged has been one of my reference tracks for over 20 years. Audience clapping is the opening, then into acoustic opening with a few words spoken at various locations/distances.
In the digital domain lousy is a sign of jitter. but even if you get below what we here there is still some kind of non smooth jitter. If you play a track on a dac then the same on a good vinyl rig it’s not there. There seems to be a non continues in digital where analog has none. Even bad analog does not have jitter or what ever you wish to call it.
Some Dacs / servers can smooth it I’ve done it lol. But it then holds back micro dynamics and of done enough macro too. I’m not trying to insult anyone’s digital lord
Knows it’s very good if done well. It’s just tape or vinyl has a continued sound to me. maybe it’s just my messed Brian who thinks I hear it. another sound is rain too. and then there’s piano that’s whole war to start.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
3,999
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Bangkok
Here is my version : One hour before playing
Start TT compressor in attic (remote these days)
Start one PS Audio for preamp and active crossover, turn on
preamp on the back switch and front, turn on crossover.
Check TT air bearing pressure.
Start second PS Audio for TT motor.
Turn on 3 power switches on the back of each mono amp
and one master switch on the front.
Half an hour before playing
Turn on each mono power supply for the Io phono preamp.
Pick record and clean as indicated above.
Check level of fluid in silicon trough, swing trough over
record (preferably without spilling) carefully place needle in
lead in groove( no arm lift ) and enjoy music :eek:
Still no shower in your pre-shot routine Lagonda san?
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,694
2,488
603
E. England
Tang, don't you know that God forgives vinylphiles a whole mult
Still no shower in your pre-shot routine Lagonda san?
Tang, God forgives vinylphiles a whole multitude of sins.
 
Likes: Lagonda

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,513
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Denmark
Still no shower in your pre-shot routine Lagonda san?
No Tango, i let the music wash over me instead, and my hands are always super clean in these corona days ;)
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,795
997
555
United States
Here is my version : One hour before playing
Start TT compressor in attic (remote these days)
Start one PS Audio for preamp and active crossover, turn on
preamp on the back switch and front, turn on crossover.
Check TT air bearing pressure.
Start second PS Audio for TT motor.
Turn on 3 power switches on the back of each mono amp
and one master switch on the front.
Half an hour before playing
Turn on each mono power supply for the Io phono preamp.
Pick record and clean as indicated above.
Check level of fluid in silicon trough, swing trough over
record (preferably without spilling) carefully place needle in
lead in groove( no arm lift ) and enjoy music :eek:
Good one!
Aren't silicon troughs just a pleasure! Really enhances the hobby, don't you think? :(
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,795
997
555
United States
you forgot a few steps.

1--look longingly at your hifi system as you try to get your wife ready to go.
2--get in the car and drive down your street thinking about where are you going to park.
3--there are protesters blocking the road near the hall. detour.
4--park, try to remember where.
5--get to the hall, buy a little something to eat while you wait.
6--wait in line at the restroom.
7--get to your seats. the guy in front of you is 6'11"

ok---now we get to the sit, stand or dance part. it had better be really, really good.

--now reverse 1 through 7.

add

----parking garage is seriously backed up.
---you almost nodded off twice driving home.
---the next morning you see a door ding in your new Tesla.
EXACTLY!
I really related to the 6'11" tall guy. True story. Was at Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden 2 years ago. 15th row, dead center in a sold out Garden.. The show was about to start. The 3 seats in front of me were empty. I figured I got lucky. Lights go down. I'm excited. Billy Joel enters the stage, sits at his piano and then...what must have been the tallest human being in NYC takes his seat smack dab in front of me. I couldn't see sh** the whole night! Was probably an NBA player who likely was backstage with Joel until the show started. So yes, listening at home has its perks!
 
Last edited:

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,694
2,488
603
E. England
EXACTLY!
I really related to the 6'11" tall guy. True story. Was at Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden 2 years ago. 15th row, dead center in a sold out Garden.. The show was about to start. The 3 seats in front of me were empty. I figured I got lucky. Lights go down. I'm excited. Billy Joel enters the stage, sits at his piano and then...what must have been the tallest human being in NYC takes his seat smack dab in front of me. I couldn't see sh** the whole night! Was probably an NBA player who likely was backstage with Joel until the show started. So yes, listening at home has its perks!
Imagine if it had been the night they all went on strike.
 

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