On 25/09/03, H. Duane Goldman wrote:

> As an eternal devil's advocate I still ponder the concept of
> translating a continuous 3-D analog signal into a digital
> representation when so many of us find fault with the current state of
> the art digital product.

I find the best CDs quite satisfactory if played on good equipment. I
haven't yet heard SACD.

Some of the criticism of CDs comes from people who have not heard a good
CD player. There is an enormous difference in quality between average
and good equipment. A good CD player costs around 1000 UKP.

The best models (such as the Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista) are very

What was concealed by the hype when CDs first appeared is that D->A
conversion is extremely hard to do well, and cannot be done well and
cheaply. But it can be done nowadays with good results.

> Rather than unintentionally insult supporters, it is of some value to
> realize that many educated ears are not satisfied with digital
> reproduction. Easy to say, difficult to quantify. Perhaps in concert
> with such efforts should be an equal expenditure to improve analog
> recording & reproduction if for no other reason as to establish a
> proper base point. Personally such efforts should include better
> preparation, ie cleaning, of lacquers prior to pressing, the use of
> red vinyl formulations & pressing cycles that bias quality over
> quantity. Of course the ultimate criteria in all cases should be the
> original master tape but doing so will set the bar far above current
> digital technology.
> For those who think this a mindless rant, you should note the extent
> of analog gear at last years CES & by all accounts this year as well.
> To date properly cleaned analog recordings are still heads above the
> best digital presentations ... CES 2004 awaits ....
> as Pathe' stated oh so long ago..... " only your ears can explain it
> to you."

Analogue reel to reel tapes, yes. Discs -no. Too much distortion from
the stylus geometry, dirt on the stylus, warps, etc., and far too much

Don Cox
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