Digital analog

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Digital analog

We have such a great community. Last week, I posted a video about a magic vinyl switch idea on a DAC. Jeff, one of the commenters, posited the following statement:

"Almost all the new vinyl being produced today is delivering digital music. Vinyl does not magically construct a continuous wave from digitally sampled music. If one truly wanted a DAC to sound like vinyl, the starting points would be: 1) reduce dynamic range, 2) increase distortion, and 3) increase noise. (The vinyl myth has really gotten out of hand!)."

While nearly all of what he wrote is spot on, I want to take a moment and argue his point about constructing a continuous wave from digitally sampled music. He writes: "Vinyl does not magically construct a continuous wave from digitally sampled music".

I would argue that it in fact does.

Let's think about this for a moment. Digitally sampled music, defined as a recording captured by an A/D converter, stored in a computer as discrete bits, must be turned into analog to be heard. Whether it be PCM or DSD, the job of our DAC is to reconstruct those digital bits into an analog stream.

At this point it is as analog as the output of a microphone.

But, let's dig even a little deeper. Any time you scrape a needle through the plastic groove of a vinyl disc the output of the phono cartridge is about as continuous and analog as analog can get (as long as you are continuously dragging that needle across the groove. 

In a practical sense, a moving phono needle produces only analog.

Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled program.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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