Diff in recording/reproduction in Analog/CD/SACD

Without going in to too much technical details, is it possible to discuss why analog sounds better? (Although having limited analog auditions, I think digital could come very close). Starting from how the recordings are made-old and modern, and recorded ( signal type and quality) on master tape and how the mastertape signal is transfered/reduced/upsampled? on Records/CD/SACD.

Once we go thru the original signal waveform and its transfer on records/CD/SACD, how it is being reproduced thru cartridge/laser to DA/laser to DA?

I know details are very involving but is there clear consensus that anlog has the least curruption of the original signal? Does not different cartrideges designs reproduce the signal 'differently' than the original, adding its own coloring to the signal?

Is Analog clearly the winner in the battle?

I would really like to know if there is some material out there that discusses these three different mediums.


I guess if we are going to use "Why else has digital become the standard for recording and playback?" as the standard for what sounds best, then the new best must be i-pods and Sirrus radio.
Digital music has many pluses over analog. Especially in regards to copying, portability, ease of use. Everything except the two most important aspects, fun and natural sound reproduction. There is nothing fun about digital music, starting with the jewel cases and ending with boring cd players and MP3 players.
Digital music is great for the car, to listen to while exercising, and for couch potatoes that can't exist without a remote. I have never managed to listen to a full cd at one sitting in my music room. Something about it makes me unable to relax and listen to the music, it keeps me "on edge". My wife, who has much more sensitive hearing, will sit with me for hours when listening to albums. When a cd is in she seldom lasts more than a couple of songs.
The only thing that is "a well known fact" regarding digital v.s. analog is that debates in forums never change anybody's mind. Many people have gone from cds back to vinyl, and many people can't get past the surface noise on some records. Each their own.
Stevecham...Sound waves in air are truly analog. But contrary to what you suggest the sense of hearing is ultimately digital in nature. Neurons "fire", or "not"...a "one" or a "zero". The level of activity of a great number of neurons taken as a group conveys the analog information, just as does a digital data stream. Sorry about that. But who cares?

As the digital sampling rate and/or bit resolution gets better and better the difference between digital and anlog disappears. In over words the analog waveform reconstructed from the digital data stream exactly matches the original analog waveform. Isn't that what you want? Are we there yet? With 16bit/44Khz simple electrical measurement instruments clearly say no. The ears, with some ambiguity, also say no. IMHO, the situation is boaderline. With the present "high Resolutuion digital audio" 24 bit/96 KHz (or the SACD equivalent) we have probably reached to point of diminishing returns (not ideal perfection) with respect to waveform error resulting from the digital nature of the information. There are many other ways that the waveform can get distorted, having nothing to do with digital issues, and these mostly afflict analog information processing. Most of all, the analog loudspeaker that creates the sound waves which we hear is the dominant error source.
Concerning my feelings of Dr. Kite's relevance in this argument, his comments on SACD clearly delineate him as someone whose opinions I will not be interested in. The clearly audible sonic superiority of SACD to CD would be enough to keep him from writing this kind of thing.

Perhaps he'd known this if he listened, rather than measured. Just goes to show that no matter how many letters come before or after a person's name, if they don't see the forest through the trees, no matter how eloquently they can make a point, it still can be fundamentally wrong.

For someone who is devoted to digital, SACD has represented a meaningful improvement over CD. I still don't believe it outdoes vinyl, but for someone not interested in the hassle of vinyl, SACD sure has a fan in me.

And, I'm still waiting for that list of CD players that play music better than vinyl.