Don't confuse me with facts!

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I have now officially been accused of "defending digital" in the face of overwhelming evidence that analog sounds better. How dare I? Let me suggest that there are three things I will passionately defend in audio - and digital isn't one of them. The truth. We may not like to look at the truth and it's quite understandable why. Consider that truth is only partially correct when it comes to complex issues. We don't know all there is about analog, digital, sound or, for that matter, anything else complex. But we do know certain parts of the bigger truth and when I see people using incorrect facts to explain what they hear, I will reach out and set the record straight. You should not feel threatened by this. The music. If you look back over my posts you'll notice I have consistently defended what sounds best and most like music. I don't care if it's live, recorded, digital, analog. If I am transported into the music and it is resonating with me, I am happy. The technology. I know it's fashionable to say that this or that is categorically better - like vinyl and tubes - but that is just simply wrong. Tubes, vinyl, analog, digital are not categorically better - one over the other - and nothing gets the hair on the back of my neck up more than when people suggest they are. They CAN be better - one over the other - and you may experience those things in your system - but you cannot point to the technology and say "therefore, this one is better than that one". Want a good laugh? Go here and watch this very short video. My son Lon sent this to me and I cracked up. Why? Because haven't we all been in this situation? Haven't we all been faced with the blunt truth but more than anything wanted someone just to listen to our side and understand first? I think that's what's happening here. When you read me saying "I can make a perfect digital copy of an analog record - and therefore digital audio technology itself is technically superior to analog" many of you jump to the conclusion that I just said "digital sounds better than analog" when I actually said no such thing. If you and I are on a walk and we get lost and I pull out a map and say "we're ok! I have a map". You might jump to the conclusion that I haven't yet agreed with you that we're lost and you may fail to hear anything further until that very point is resolved. Modern digital audio IS technically superior to analog with respect to signal to noise, dynamic range, distortion and frequency response. It is also just as continuous a process as is analog. That does not mean that a DAC in your system will sound better than your turntable and vinyl tube setup. It just means we don't have all the facts if that is what you hear in your setup. Together, let's try and honor the music and its reproduction and dig as deeply as we can to figure out what technology works, what doesn't work, and why.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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