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----- Original Message -----
From: "H. Duane Goldman" <[log in to unmask]>
> 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 curent state of the art digital product.
> Rather than unintentionally insult supporters, it is of some value to
> realize that many educated ears are not satisfied with digital
> reproduction.
However, I wonder if much of this dissatisfaction is due to the fact that
the comparison of digital to analog reproduction is very often, while not
quite an "apple to oranges" situation, is still a "delicious apple to
granny smith apple" comparison. Most of the time, the comparison is
between an original recording and a processed digital reissue of that
some recording...the latter has likely been well worked over by engineers
who take orders from record-company management who want a "saleable
product" as judged by their ears (in other words, one similar to a
current recording). This, of course, sounds incorrect to the ears of
those familiar with the original...as well it probably should!

The only way to establish whether an actual difference exists would be
to take a given signal, pass it through electronic equipment which is
set to minimize any distortion it might create, and then convert it
to a digital signal and NOT process that signal. This way, one could
compare the original analog signal as it was received by the a/d
converter, and then the converted output (both, of course, at an
identical level). It would be interesting, in fact, to make an
a/b comparison without specifying which signal was which. In
theory, there shouldn't be any difference that our ears can hear
and brain can identify...including any that the brain imagined
it should hear.

One wonders...
...stevenc