I wracked my brain this morning while on a hike. I was trying to think of any other technology where a copy is better than the original and I could not come up with anything. A copy of a photograph is always worse than the original, as is a copy of just about anything I could think of. Yet, when we copy the digital data from a simple plastic disc and transfer it to a hard drive, SD card or USB stick, it nearly always sounds better. How can that be true?
And how is it that when bits are recorded they aren't identical? Or are they? I ask this question because it is logical that if the copy is better than the original it cannot be identical. Right? Wrong. In fact, the bits we copy from one media to another, if done with care are bit for bit identical. So, what's the rub? How can identical bits sound different, better or worse, when captured on different mediums?
The answer, I suspect (but have no way to prove), reveals itself in the same way a good detective story unfolds; by looking in the places not so obvious. We can look all day long at the bits themselves, only to discover they are indeed identical. This would have to suggest we are simply looking in the wrong place, led astray by thinking about the wrong facts. What if, instead, we look elsewhere and ignore the mediums confusing the issue?
Tomorrow we'll look deeper into this, a mystery of wonderful depth.