What does it mean when people describe Digital as Sounding like "Analog"? Best term?

What do people really mean by that?

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spiritofmusic

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#41
I think its basically installing some tubes in the design of the digital player , hence the popularity of zanden audio research players etc
That can be a real mistake. I've heard digital w tubes that really sucks.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#43
I think its basically installing some tubes in the design of the digital player , hence the popularity of zanden audio research players , lampizator etc
This is incorrect. There is no similarity between Zanden and Lampi, and if you haven't properly heard Lampi why comment?
 

Al M.

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#44
Ok Al, in answer to Caesar's Q, what makes digital sound like analog.
If digital possesses:

Continuousness ie seamless lows to highs without highlighting any frequency band, allied to a smoothness that doesn't blunt resolution.

Midband texture and palbabilty, a real reach out and touch feel to the sound.

Jump factor and total immersion simultaneously.

Tonal discrimination, so every album sounds different to the last, resolving the full character of the acoustic and instrumental flavours.

Timbral accuracy, so instruments and voices absolutely sound accurate and familiar, no syntheticness.

Zero fatigue so one can get totally caught up in the moment w no archetypes in the sound to break the spell or trigger lack of concentration.

...I'm sure there are more things.
There you go. Great answer, thanks.
 

bonzo75

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#46
The other ones i have heard multiple times plus i have heard so many players with tubed outputstages that i dont think " lampizator * will sound that much different .
Besides that i am free to comment on a free hifi forum .
Great logic.
 
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Al M.

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#47
Surely there are a lot more things. Analog seems to be so much better than real, provided we have a great imagination ... ;)
;)

Well, some people take analog, rather than actual unamplified live music, as their reference against which to compare digital.

Of course then analog wins, because digital will never sound exactly like it across the board.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#48
What do people really mean by that?
I think it is a cheap description in the same way that saying something is "musical." Both terms are subjectively (and objectively) amorphous.
 

spiritofmusic

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#49
;)

Well, some people take analog, rather than actual unamplified live music, as their reference against which to compare digital.

Of course then analog wins, because digital will never sound exactly like it across the board.
Al, pre Covid, was going to live classical at least once a fortnt. Maybe not the best London venues, but great experiences nevertheless. And as concerts would start, a little part of my brain would relax into gauging whether the sound felt more digital or analog.
To start, lack of surface noise and smooth crispness of sound always signified digital as the closest comparator. But as I then become aware more of natural warmth, heft in mids, wall of sound tangibility and immersiveness, and timbre to die for...well, it just feels so analog. And so my conclusion is that despite all it's flaws, the gestalt of analog is still closest to live. With the caveat that my cdp gets close Lol.
 
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#50
Is the treble of your digital in general more prominent than the treble of your vinyl setup?
This is a comparison that is useful only to some extent. Even though it's the same album, mastering may in fact be different between the two media. And it often is; above I posted links to the specificities of vinyl mastering.
Both very good points, the latter I had already considered and realized I can't discount the impacts of different mastering.

Regarding the first point, the treble is no more prominent in my digital and is in fact even more detailed, textured, smooth, and saturated (in a good way) in my vinyl. I do think it's the Auralic DAC and I'm ok with that as I don't feel motivated (at least at this point) to ramp up the performance there. My Luxman EQ-500 tube phono stage likely has a large impact on the treble goodness in my vinyl that the Auralic just can't compete with. While my room is fairly well treated, including quite a bit of diffusion, my ceiling is untreated except for applying one of my HFTs there as part of a 15-HFT application. I have traditional corner bass traps, diffusion/absorption panels throughout the room - including at first reflections. I have been pondering better ceiling diffusion - it would be interesting to see if that removed some of the digital treble edge.
 

Al M.

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#51
Al, pre Covid, was going to live classical at least once a fortnt. Maybe not the best London venues, but great experiences nevertheless. And as concerts would start, a little part of my brain would relax into gauging whether the sound felt more digital or analog.
To start, lack of surface noise and smooth crispness of sound always signified digital as the closest comparator. But as I then become aware more of natural warmth, heft in mids, wall of sound tangibility and immersiveness, and timbre to die for...well, it just feels so analog. And so my conclusion is that despite all it's flaws, the gestalt of analog is still closest to live. With the caveat that my cdp gets close Lol.
Marc, as I said I used to feel like that, not anymore.

***

One advantage that I have is that I only have one source, digital, so I can optimize the listening experience, including tonal balance (e.g., by acoustics and speaker toe in), to just this source.

Others who have only analog as source can optimize for that.

Yet if you have both analog and digital, and there are slight differences in tonal balance as is often the case *), you will be inclined to optimize for the source that you already favor to start with, leaving the other at a slight disadvantage. Then your initial preference becomes reinforcing.

______________________

*) for example, just a slight reduction in treble prominence can result in a significant increase in perceived midrange warmth and mid bass prominence
 

kernelbob

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Oct 23, 2011
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#52
Hi all. I'm running the Lampizator Pacific DAC. Before that, I owned the Lampi zator Golden Gate. The Golden Gate 2 was released at about the same time as the Pacific. I traded my GG to move to the Pacific based on feedback from other Lampizator owners that had owned or heard both.

I've been completely happy with the Pacific. It has tremendous soundstaging, both laterally and in depth. The best description of the sound is "coherent". Instruments occupy their own acoustic space and are very focused. It's easy to follow individual instruments as well as presenting the venue's hall ambience even in complex symphonic works. Another strength of the Pacific is its ability to display each instrument's and vocal's unique timbre. You can hear indivicual brass and string instrument's signatures even in a dense passage. These qualities of coherence, focus, and the display of nuances of timbre are the best I've heard by far.

It isn't a question of an analog versus digital sound, nor is it a matter of added euphonics. The degree of realism is a common criterion no matter what the platform.

Best,
Robert
 
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Mike Lavigne

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#53
Yet if you have both analog and digital, and there are slight differences in tonal balance as is often the case *), you will be inclined to optimize for the source that you already favor to start with, leaving the other at a slight disadvantage. Then your initial preference becomes reinforcing.
i don't hear differences in tonal balance in my system from digital to analog. only from recording to recording.....regardless of format.

70+% of my listening by time is digital. yet i have 3 tt's, 4 arms, 2 phono stages and 3 tape decks......and only one dac.

90 of my 100 reference cuts i use for system/gear evaluation are digital. i use the digital for my quick takes, the vinyl for confirmation. on my speakers my high frequency attenuator is pegged all the way on.

i suppose one could make the case that my system is much more tuned for digital than analog, since when i did my room tuning and speaker adjustments i used almost exclusively digital for it's repeatability. but i would counter that if you are a neutral tone and truth seeker that it should not matter. my room is likely overall as 'live' as any you might find with all the solid wood cabinet walls and ceiling and front third wood floor. little absorption other than the rear 2/3rd's floor carpet.
 
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Al M.

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#54
i don't hear differences in tonal balance in my system from digital to analog. only from recording to recording.....regardless of format.
It's great, Mike, that this is the case in your system with all those different sources.

However, I have heard quite pronounced differences in perceived tonal balance by just changing the cartridge, on the same arm and turntable.
 
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spiritofmusic

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#55
Marc, as I said I used to feel like that, not anymore.

***

One advantage that I have is that I only have one source, digital, so I can optimize the listening experience, including tonal balance (e.g., by acoustics and speaker toe in), to just this source.

Others who have only analog as source can optimize for that.

Yet if you have both analog and digital, and there are slight differences in tonal balance as is often the case *), you will be inclined to optimize for the source that you already favor to start with, leaving the other at a slight disadvantage. Then your initial preference becomes reinforcing.

______________________

*) for example, just a slight reduction in treble prominence can result in a significant increase in perceived midrange warmth and mid bass prominence
Not true Al. I may be the only person here who has used a digital benchmark to optimise my analog, find as a result of my analog supercharging what the shortcomings in digital are, improve the digital further, and find digital and analog converge, w only one aspect in each diverging. My room acoustics and clean power being the great "levellers", and live classical the ultimate litmus test for both.

For me optimal digital or analog isn't dependent on spkrs toe in (although I can see why in a challenging room it might be). It's more dependent on finding a cart that really approximates live music, and fastidious setup, and extreme attention to clean power to digital (my Westwick balanced transformer/Oyaide dedicated line/Furutech socket/Sablon Elite pwr cord/SR Black fuse, making more overall advantage to my digital than my analog).
 
May 30, 2010
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#56
(...) i suppose one could make the case that my system is much more tuned for digital than analog, since when i did my room tuning and speaker adjustments i used almost exclusively digital for it's repeatability. but i would counter that if you are a neutral tone and truth seeker that it should not matter. my room is likely overall as 'live' as any you might find with all the solid wood cabinet walls and ceiling and front third wood floor. little absorption other than the rear 2/3rd's floor carpet.[/QUOTE]

Mike,

Your room, speakers, amplifiers, cables and preferences were chosen along tens of years for analog. Just because you use digital for some specific tuning and ajustements does not imply that your room is "more tuned for digital than analog" . The fact that you own and love three different top turntables and several tape reel machines clearly shows you have an analog soul ... :)
 

kach22i

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Apr 21, 2010
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#57
What does it mean when people describe Digital as Sounding like "Analog"? Best term?
Good question and I liked so many of the answers better than what I was going to write that I'm electing to flip the question 180 degrees.

My analog now sounds more like digital than ever before, in that it is now nearer to " pitch perfect" and sounds better than ever.

The change from a saggy old belt on one table, and a slightly running fast Direct Drive to a DD linear tonearm 3rd table means there is more of a difference between the three tables than the top table and my pretty good CD player.

I think my head bobs more and my toes tap more with the analog rigs despite their imperfections, but Im striving for digital perfection in a manner.
 
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Kal Rubinson

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#58
However, I have heard quite pronounced differences in perceived tonal balance by just changing the cartridge, on the same arm and turntable.
Of course and that is why analog, per se, cannot be a reference even if it is your preference.
 
Jan 23, 2011
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#59
The best description i could give regarding ¨ when digital sounds like analogue¨ is;

If the digital recording is done with an analogue recorder in the mix somewhere and if its
a kiss recording ( keep it simple stupid ) meaning the more complicated / produced the recordings are done the more of a negative digital character it gets .
Very good digital recordings are rare but possible .

If the digital recording is what it is , we can make it off course listenable with a tubed output stage :)

Actually i think a lot of sound quality is screwed up by wrong mike placement / recording engineers in a analogue recording chain as well , more mikes, more channels , more mixing , more problems
 
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May 30, 2010
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#60
(...) And as concerts would start, a little part of my brain would relax into gauging whether the sound felt more digital or analog. (...)
Did you try taking an anti-anxiety pill before going to a concert? :)
 

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