DAC with "Vinyl Emulator?"

Everybody should have a chair like that…
Just one wittle eeedy biiity ting…did you get measured
for it…and the chair’s thd…rise time, heat dissipation as
well as class of operation? :grin:

These things must be measured you realize :innocent:

Best wishes


I always thought that cymbals don’t sound quite right with digital, but they do with vinyl. No I don’t own a vinyl setup, but everytime I hear a decent vinyl setup the cymbals sound more live.

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For example the degree of ambiance information that seems to be captured by tape and is transferred to vinyl when it’s made AAA gets lost on the SACD and gets lost in case there’s a digital interim step which is finally pressed on vinyl from there. Similar with palpable imaging and top end openness. Why uncompressed vinyl has stronger micro dynamics is another topic I can’t explain and I wouldn’t file it under “more information”.

On the other hand a full digital production would for sure more faithfully reproduce the coarser structures and dynamics, free of analog processes distortion and coloration artifacts.

As we know and heard from Ted’s work on the DAC and its firmware, ambiance information, imaging and openness strongly improved with various kinds of noise avoidance towards a level already known from analog. This happened from a stage where the coarse structures already were superior to analog’s.

The kind of information that was lost in digital in the 1980s compared to now (inspite of its other technological superiority since then) is the kind of information that was always better in analog and still gets lost in digital to a degree today, especially when the end products are compared.

The arguments of today why nothing should be missing in digital are the same as in the 80’s and we know how much digital anyway improved since then and how much more information was gained. To think now would be the time when all information is revealed would be naive. Analog already reveals a bit more of this kind of information where digital still has a further need to improve, but analog still is as less faithful in the aspects it always was. I guess analog’s right to exist is, that the information content where it’s superior has a stronger influence on the emotional and realistic perception of a recording, than the information content where digital is superior. Both get closer and some time in the future digital from a logical standpoint must be better. Then it just also needs all digital recordings to be recreated with that technology.

I would add that as soon as analog is on a too low quality level, it also can’t noticeably reveal that kind of information I wrote of. Then it just delivers its artifacts in an exponential way compared to the best rigs. Unfortunately exactly this is what many see as “analog or vinyl sound” . Not my preference and then I tend to prefer very good digital.

I appreciate you hear it this way, but this is simply not true. The S/N ratio of tape is much lower than digital, limited dynamic range, and it has an inherent high noise floor which obscures quiet detail. Modest Redbook captures vastly more quiet detail and ambiance than is possible for tape.

Tape’s saturation and tape’s inherent compression is pleasing however. Similarly, a good number of people enjoy the sound of vinyl. It is nice. It is different.

Typically what is happening is the quiet sounds are brought up in level and seem more present because of the compression necessary to keep the cutter from jumping off the platter.

A fun test is to record vinyl playback on a decent ADC and play it back for others blind as to whether you are playing an LP or the CD. I have yet to have anyone do better than guessing. That is, Redbook captures the sound of vinyl.

But vinyl cannot begin to capture the dynamic range, accurate frequency response, low distortion, low noise floor of digital.


In my perception both of you draw conclusions out of a limited amount of correct technical facts without suitable consumer media listening comparisons (otherwise your arguments, independent of the result would be different) and (to be right for sure) declare those conclusions as fact, valid for the kinds of audible evaluations you didn’t make, too. You further declare no losses since the invention of the CD against analog, inspite of the huge additional information retrieval from digital by jitter/noise measures along even just the last years. All this is, where arguments related to what we experience playing the different media, suitable for a meaningful all analog vs. digital comparison on our home systems, end.

Just to be clear again, I see and hear the losses of analog against digital you name, but I also hear those other ones vice versa which you deny. As you declared you’re right, I have to live with you thinking that and can do so.


A last link regarding an exemplary interview of what leading engineers think. Start at 23:59 if you want to go straight to the topic we discussed. If you’re ready with this part, jump to 31:10 for the statement regarding theories and measurements vs. listening.

I heard or read similar statements of Doug Sax, Bob Ludwig, Kevin Gray, Steve Hoffman, the Sterling staff and some less famous engineers, all being extensively active in both the digital and analog field. But you’ll certainly also find lots of them argumenting in your direction, especially those only or mainly working in the digital field.

I absolutely agree you are hearing different sound with analog versus digital. I also fully understand why the sound of vinyl is appealing and compelling. I, too, like the sound of vinyl and enjoy the different experience.

However, it simply is not physically possible for tape to capture more low level information than digital. You are correct digital continues to improve, but even early digital had a much lower noise floor, greater dynamic range, and more extended frequency response - both high and low.

Thank you for the link to the review. It is a good listen.

While opines analog “sounds more natural,” and states something is missing, he acknowledges one can take a vinyl record and make a digital copy it sounds like vinyl. If true, this means digital can capture analog sound.

My impression is it again comes down to what sound one likes.

He also explains that one of the reasons people like vinyl is is many cartridges have a rising high end, giving the sound a more open airy sound. He also notes “vinyl is a moving target”; all vinyl cartridges sound different.


Most DAC’s sound different also

Of course. His comment about cartridges varying a good deal was made in the context of mastering for vinyl.

Funny how most of the modern recordings since digital came about are really bad sounding with few exceptions, I have some recordings from the 50’s and 60 that sound better

Is your chair the type that assists the sitter when they’re attempting to stand?


In addition to limited budgets, what is thought of as good sound for rock and other pop recordings has changed over time.

The vast majority of classical recordings released today are very good with many of them excellent. Pop recordings are now all over the place as to sound.

Blues, rock, etc. used to be recorded the same way as classical with the same gear and techniques. This has not been the case for a long time now. The aesthetics of pop recordings has changed a great deal as well.

Wonder what the rise time and slew rate is on his chair :grin:

Best wishes

Actually I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and a lot of that music sounds much better on vinyl than digital, but I seldom listen to that. I mostly listen to jazz, and find most of the recordings from the late 50’s into the 60’s sound better than most of today. I think digital let’s the recording professionals do too much processing.



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Is often the case, unfortunately…

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For those of you who feel that there’s not a lot of decent new Jazz,
I suggest you scroll through this forum topic:

There’s quite a number of posts of amazing musicians from the past few decades. In my opinion we are in the middle of a Jazz renaissance.

Jazz lives!


If you want to try just two “modern” artists look into either Jeremy Pelt or Joel Ross. Within their catalogs, there’s some amazing music. If you look at their collaborations, you’ll find quite a few other fantastic currently active Jazz musicians.

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I never pay attention when some usually older guy says “I don’t like today’s music”. Just nod and hope nothing else gets brought up.


I am nodding.

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