On 30/01/08, Clark Johnsen wrote:
> "CD-quality and better downloads." Hmmm...
> Does the irony in this observation escape us?
> CD was touted (granted, originally by its promoters, but then by every
> lapdog newsstand paper and magazine, which is to say, all of them) as
> "perfect". Now, we have "better"?
Every step in the improvement of recording has been sold as the
ultimate, at least by the sales folk at the companies concerned. 

CD _was_ a big step forward from LP in that it removed all the problems
customers complained about - scratches, dust, static, wow, warping,
wrong turntable speeds, acoustic feedback and mechanical resonance.

Any record magazine of the 70s is full of complaints about having to
return faulty copies of LPs. This almost completely stopped when CD

> Shouldn't this revoltin' development give one pause?
Not really. CD is outstandingly good by the standards of the 1970s. I
don't think anyone would have been surprised to be told that similar but
even better discs would be available a quarter of a century later.

> Question: Who serves as arbiter of sound?
> Who here, or anywhere, may say with assurance, "this", not "that"?
> It's a problem that's been lingering for as long as there's been
> "fidelity" (1925), or "high fidelity" (1933), or... or...
> Ladies and Gentlemen --
> Where are the Sound Standards located, by which one may evaluate new
> contenders?
In the musical instruments. A well tuned Steinway would do, if you want
to simplify.

> Where may one go to hear? To listen? To the best of the past and the
> best of the present, reproduced at the pinnacle of current state of
> the art?
> Nowhere!
> That situation has bothered me for over twenty-five years, and from
> time to time I shall sound forth on this topic on this list. But let
> it be noted, that back in 1986 at the ARSC convention in San Francisco
> I did address the topic, along with a panel of experts from my side of
> the river, albeit to little lasting effect.
> Still the judgement calls are made -- but who's on the bench? Or in
> the box?
The informed public.

Don Cox
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