SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL
Caveat: I could be dead wrong about everything written here. Though I doubt it.
What we see is what we believe.
What we hear is what we believe.
No matter what our audiophile buddies tell us, we still only believe our own eyes and ears – as eye witness, personal experience is our most reliable asset.
Next to our mistresses and wives that is.
And these four are next to our hi fi rigs.
Yes, I said four.
Audiophiles have a way with priorities I say.
Just remember this: Anecdotal evidence won’t hold up in court. Not here, not elsewhere. One’s personal testimony is considered the weakest form of evidence – in fact it is NOT, evidence!
So much for subjective reviews.
On the other hand, engineers gave us graphs, charts, measures, and numbers, combined with a sales pitch that theory is perfect too, proving “Perfect Sound Forever.” Which was anything but.
So much for engineers, subjectivists, theoreticians and their BS.
The bad news is, just as five eyewitnesses to any crime may see different ‘facts,’ five ears may hear different characteristics based on their experiences.
Analog fans will tell you that a good analog rig is more musical in spite of unavoidable, persistent and well-known specific-to-analog distortions and noises added in the recording-to-playback process.
You hear 60 cycle hum? I don’t hear no 60 cycle hum.
Analogphiles happen to be right.
They also happen to be wrong.
For they attribute to digital faults they hear and (believe) are implicit in the digital process. As opposed to imagined/arbitrary/unscientifically-arrived-at conclusions based on illogical premises given in favor of analog.
The logical fallacies should be obvious, are all over the place, but they aren’t evident to most diehards of either the analog or digital persuasion. The wrong premise is this: Analog sound is the model.
They have a religious faith in preconceptions “What I hear is what is.”
They’ll say the problems with digital are soooo, obvious. Well…
One may not hear a similar sales pitch from the digital side, even though we all are aware that analog’s defects are soooo, obvious. The digital girls simply don’t care what analogphiles think.
Differences in what we might hear between good digital and even fancier (and more costly) analog rigs are not comparing oranges to oranges, but rather, oranges to orangutans. Is the orange or the orangutan your model of authenticity? And which orangutan is she?
Analog technology makes periodic improvements at great expense per upgrade, and these happen to be less significant in real terms compared with the relatively large leaps made in the digital industry. If this were not the case, analog would have so far surpassed the best digital could offer - years ago – that we would no longer be talking about this issue.
Think software as well as hardware. Think of a common land line phone against the iPhone. One would need a room, perhaps many rooms full of gargantuan-sized hardware to provide the many functions one carries around in his pocket. DAC and camera, calculator, telephone, walkie-talkie, compass, GPS, weather girl and live TV are only a few of many “tools” built into a modern cell phone. They all work. Sometimes better than the old hardware alternatives.
We have not seen the end of it, have we?
The advances in conversion technology are covered comprehensively by Paul McGowan in his posts – coupled to the very informative commentary. Regardless of the future potential these technologies imply, your analog rigs can provide for extremely satisfying evenings with your mistresses. All three of them. And that, is what it’s all about. Ask your wife.
That is…Up to a point.
That point begins and ends when we deceive ourselves and retard the industry’s development by transforming facts into myths with which we are condemned to live. One is that analog is better. The analog tape cannot be beaten. You HAVE TO live with your wives, but you don’t have to live with less than the best sound possible.