Its not vinyl

I have read 100’s of discussions on the subject of building a streaming digital option for audiophile systems. Everything from the internet connection to the streaming source and then the dac. In my reading through the posts the argument will quickly turn to its not analog, vinyl is better, on the anti streaming side and then on the pro streaming side posters will fed the argument with its almost as good as my phono stage, sounds better than analog. This will even hold true within the dac manufactures and dac owners who will refer to their dac sound as analog sounding or just like phono. I think this is most referenced in the R2R dac category. I started a discussion on the new Gustard R26 which is a discrete R2R ladder dac. Right away I was confronted with “why do you want to spend the money to replace your phono analog end that you already have and sounds great”?  I  Replied with the usual “phono does sound better, even a $30,000 dac will never beat analog and all the other analog vs digital talking points”. Then it hit me that we have been arguing this wrong all this time. The argument should be that the quest in putting together a top notch streaming digital setup is not a quest to beat analog or beat phono. The quest and objective is to achieve a “ less digital sound”. We all know that sharp, bright  razor blades in my bleeding ears sterile digital sound, that will bring in-listener fatigue and quickly want you turning off the music. What I am reiterating here is that the quest the cost and the journey in digital is not to beat analog it is to beat “digital”.


As they say in the proverb, which wolf will win the fight?

The one you feed.

Feed the one you prefer and find it closer to your heart.

I have both CDs and vinyl. Most of them do not overlap. In general, I like CD (or streaming) for a light casual listening. I use LPs to time travel.

Sure, modern recordings have gone a long way. The "sound" very good, and say this sounds "perfect". No errors that I can identify.

Then I listen to a transfer from the 1930s, and I feel my heart and soul bleed. So vastly beyond sound. But that sort of experience is not for audio club meetings, you never get into that state when you have buddies along.... that's time to explore your SOUL. And those recordings done in the 30s, 40s, 50s hit just so deep...

It's not just the media. It's the people recorded. 30s-50s: those artists have gone through everything in life. Most of them were victims of war, fleeing from Europe and getting recorded in America. They've seen their lives turned upside down, and that comes through their art. Today our issues are about various levels of comfort, political correctness and desire for more money or power or sex. There's an odd poet here and there who go deeper, but not nearly as deep as those who have went through one or both world cataclysms.

Want to hear Rachmaninoff, Bartok, Schnabel, Martzy play? 

Or want to hear a contemporary technical virtuoso rock out...

A question of taste and what you crave. Each for a different occasion, a different mood. I'm glad we have media specialized for each.

I have had tons of experiences with digital sounding "THIS IS AWESOME!!!"

But I only had experiences with vinyl when I dread to play it again.. I even gave an LP away because it had such a deep effect that it traumatized me, and I don't think I could ever bear hearing it again.


Own 2 TTs and 3000+ records. Adore my digital server w/ Qobuz. 

Analog - for the lovely sound & fun at garage sales, Goodwills & record stores.

Digital - for "new to me" music exploration

Update: own 2 systems in same room, one SS based & one Tubes based


Analog only needs to better analog and digital only needs to better digital. Both are excellent form of music enjoyment that need not be competing with each other at every turn.


I dislike the new norm of super sharp TV. In some of my photos I add a touch of blur or subtle noise. This is an apt metaphor for what early digital sounded like and how its evolved closer and closer to holy grail of fine vinyl. Ironically the cleaner/clearer digital gets it’s actually more digital (sometimes even with some DSP, gasp).

I agree mostly with @dancub. I am a music lover first my journey start at age 14 when I bought my first LP that was in 1967 (Disraeli Gears). Over the many years since I have accumulated over 3000 and still own the first. I got into hi-end audio in the 70s digital in the late 70s. So yes yes I have the sickness of always looking for better sound. In todays world I am not willing to make a judgment on which sounds better. I do believe that vinyl is a much more involving medium. For example different pressings sound different I love Holtz Planets and have several different performances on vinyl my favorite is Zubin Mehta with LA. I at one time had 5 different pressing of the same LP trying to find the best one. My point here is I am emotionally attached to my vinyl sources in a way that is impossible with digital you may own a FLAC and a MQA of the same performance but not two different FLACS. So do vinyl and digital sound different yes but part (not all) of the reasons some of us prefer Vinyl is it is more tactile and we are more emotionally involved with the selection of the medium. This is what I believe anyone else?