If the cleanest, lowest distortion, most extended frequency range, and greatest dynamic range capabilities are the goal, why would any of us consider vinyl? We know digital has these parameters in spades.
Yet, vinyl persists—not because it’s better at any of the aforementioned, but in spite of it.
And that is because it remains one of the most musically satisfying mediums we have.
For those that have spent the time, care, and effort to set up a great vinyl playback system, the rewards are many. Sure, it’s technically limited, but so too is a vintage sports car or a lovely Leica camera—both of which have traits not shared by more modern “technically superior” products.
It’s tempting to conflate metrics proving a specific point with the conclusion we hope to convince others of—I certainly have been guilty of this in the past—but the fact is when we measure sheer musical enjoyment vinyl has to rank right up there.
As an engineer, I like hard facts. As an audiophile, I just like great music.
Vinyl, as well as digital, can provide remarkable listening experiences. The trick, at least for me, is to focus not on technical aspects of either, but just the pure listening experience.
I have some further thoughts on the matter if you care to watch this video.