Analogue v. Digital...again (Washington Post)

This is an interesting article and it features a couple of A vs. D recordings so you can try to tell the difference. Michael Fremer had a brief remark in the "comments" section. Hopefully, this Washington Post link for non-subscribers works:



This man's opinion is totally arbitrary, meaningless but, if he can make money at it. great. That is the American way. Consumer beware. 

+1 on the American way and capitalism

All these opinions are merely data points and incumbent upon each of us to trust but verify before reacting

I can only say my personal experience is different than his

I've got near 500 albums from the 70s and 80s

My parents have passed down their collection from the 60s and 70s, some great artists and original pressings of Elvis, Sonny and Cher, The Supremes, Roy Orbison, etc

My analog kit is moderate by today's standards but better than Mr Port's circa 2000 kit

During analog playback, I've got dozens of those pressings that sound spectacular, despite the pops and warps

But I've got a much higher percentage that sound average to nails on a chalkboard, the lack of quality consistency is the biggest analog let down for me

My digital playback is at least 95% as good as my best analog and the quality consistency is off the charts - nothing sounds like nails on a chalkboard and less than 10% sound average

I would submit that 90% of my digital playback is the best playback versions of these old war horses that I've been playing over and over for 40 years

For reference I stream everything and play fewer CDs than even records 

Again simply my personal experience on my kit in my space

The mileage varies for all of us, no wrong are right answers - just different experiences and preferences

Happy listening to all

I wouldn't trash gear just because it's old. We are enjoying very modest incremental improvements on analog equipment these days. They are real advances, but small and expensive. Some old troglodyte in the 1960s with a Decca cartridge, Garrard turntable, Quad tube amps and electrostatics* was having a pretty good time and one that would stand up today as being very respectable.


*I chose these as all are still made today, an indication of their solid design and performance.

@tswisla I agree. I don’t think @mulveling read the whole article, and it was a long one, but worthy; the author is a good writer. To me, it was all about his journey back into vinyl and who he met on the way, to include not only the opinionated Tom Port but also Michael Fremer and the lady with the pop-up record store in Cleveland, Ohio and others ‘making the (vinyl) scene’ during the COVID crisis. He ends the article in Fremer’s basement listening to Bob Dylan and Joan Baez live recording from the Newport Jazz Festival: he was transported back in time, an experience  to which any fan of vinyl playback can relate, I think.