As We See It

The current issue of Stereophile magazine includes, among many other interesting articles like a review of a pair of speakers for under $40!, an As We See It titled, "The Road to Analog-Sounding Digital: Are We There Yet?" penned by yours truly. I'm not going to give anything away except to say that regular AudioStream readers should recognize my point of view.

Pick up Stereophile Vol.36 No.1 from your mailbox or newsstand now.

tresaino's picture

A good article Michael, however how many more bucks does one need to spend on both vinyl and digital setups to reach comparable quality? I heard 20,000+ euro digital playback sources being ridiculed by 3,000 euro turntable-phono combos. It happened to me more than once. To answer the editorial's question, in terms of prices we are not there yet.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

The question of "comparable quality" is an interesting one. There are pluses and minuses for vinyl and digital and how (and how much) it takes someone to reach an equivalent balance between them is a question of personal preference more than anything else.

deckeda's picture

What -- is SM on vacation already?

(No word from Zinio yet, so I've not yet perused it; the new-fangled electronic version always takes longer to publish than the paper copy ... for some reason. Next time please scan your copy in at a higher resolution please.*)







* and I'm kidding about that of course.

Stephen Mejias's picture

I stopped doing those monthly announcements months ago. 

The Zinio version is sent to subscribers on the magazine's official on-sale date; it's regular and predictable. The day on which print subscribers receive their issues varies and is dependent upon circumstances outside of our control. The official on-sale date of our January 2013 issue is today, so you should receive your Zinio edition today.

The official on-sale dates for the rest of 2013 are as follows:

February: 1/15

March: 2/12

April: 3/19

May: 4/23

June: 5/21

July: 6/18

August: 7/16

September: 8/20

October: 9/17

November: 10/22

December: 11/19

January '14: 12/17

February '14: 1/14

deckeda's picture

Thanks Stephen, I'd forgotten the electronic version couldn't be made available prior to the print's official day. We may disagree that those dates you've posted follow a pattern however other than being sometime once a month.

Stephen Mejias's picture

We may disagree that those dates you've posted follow a pattern however other than being sometime once a month.

I'll agree with that.

The on-sale date is always either 27 or 34 days after the previous issue's on-sale date, and, as such, it falls on either the second, third, or fourth Tuesday of the month.

rexp's picture

Hi There

I've come to the conclusion that bad cd sound is NOT caused by 16bit/44k recording.

I say this because I have 16bit/44k recordings on vinyl that sound great.

So the problem must lie elsewhere.

It would be very interesting if you could compare a 16bit master, with the cd and vinyl versions of the same recording to identify the problem.



Michael Lavorgna's picture

...I think we eliminate a large part of the playback problem when we remove the spinning disc from the equation.

labjr's picture

Some CDs sound pretty darn good. I think mastering is the problem. Why else would vinyl recordings sound better than CD? No reason CDs shouldn't blow away a recording you can do yourself. The mastering engineer has access to better equipment and most importantly the original source tapes.

I recently heard some vinyl recordings of Beatles records done with good equipment including a Mytek ADC and wasn't that impressed.

Steve Nugent made some interesting observations about 16/44 vs higher sample rates in the Q&A article back a couple of pages. I wonder what's the reason "hi-rez" recordings sound so much better than 16/44 right now on my computer. Since the "hi-rez" has the same jitter as the 16/44. Maybe the filtering?  

deckeda's picture

... of many of the things we've talked about here. And I really valued seeing in Stereophile the distillation of vinyl and hi res files being the worthiest goals.

The music remains "King" but so does low res, commercially. If there's one trend I've noticed it's that if an LP or hi res version exists at say, HDTracks you'll not see it mentioned on the label's site. 

Your highlighting philosophy of keeping digital, digital and analog, analog (in this case, LPs) is legitimately K.I.S.S. and reminds how much needs to be done for conversions to truly achieve sonic seemlessness. 

One area where the reality is the converse however is with original digital recordings on vinyl, which can trump even their hi res releases when the latter was dynamically squashed. As engineer Sean Magee has mentioned, you can't actuallly make an "all loud" LP without consuming more real estate because loud passages eat up space, or cutting it so low in volume as to have high noise.

There will likely always remain enough variables in anyone's system and usage priorities to influence their preference --- their truthiness --- be it absolute or in our case, conditional.