Author Topic: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog  (Read 1947 times)

Offline Tzs503gp

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Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« on: December 07, 2018, 04:59:54 PM »
So BJís thread over LPs, got seriously derailed, by a half baked argument over the (poorly defined) qualities of analogue vs digital.

In order to have a meaningful debate over the two, whatís being debated should be clearly defined. Letís rule some issues out:
Convenience
Market relevance
Future obsolescence

Letís also only debate the best of the two. Nobodyís arguing a freshly pressed LP played on a R1m system in a hermetically sealed environment is going to sound better than an mp3 played on a bluetooth speaker.

Bump gloves......fight!

First off, we donít listen to digital music on any system. What we hear, is analogue. Digital, simply refers to the method of storage of music or sound. Some clever people have figured a way to store sound information in a digital language represented by 1s and 0s. At its simplest 1 would go beep, and 0 would be quiet. But thatís not music is it? Fortunately, digital language has become fantastically complex. We can use a sequence of 1s and 0s almost like geographic coordinates, to define complex information. Like geographic coordinates, the more precise you want to be, the more information you need to define.
This leads us to bit depth.
If I only define 1 as beep, Iím ignoring the tone, and loudness of that beep. Iím going to have to come up with longer ďcoordinatesĒ for my digital language, much like those long series of numbers that define geographic coordinates. So, I define my digital language as having 16 ďlettersĒ or bits of information for each coordinate. Using 1s and 0s as the ďlettersĒ, I create ďcoordinatesĒ which accurately describe the sound, I want to output. The resolution of my coordinates is thus 16 bits.
This brings us to sample rate.
So, I have millions of coordinates, defining a tone and loudness. In order for the output to sound good, I need to be feeding that information to the output stage very quickly. Mr. Nyquist (is it?) figured out that since the highest frequency that a human can hear is 20khz, you have to sample the digital ďcoordinatesĒ, and produce the sound/tone translation, at twice that frequency, to accurately track the sound information, represented by those digital ďcoordinatesĒ. Fortunately, 44.1khz is childís play for modern semiconductors.
So, we store complex information regarding a sound in a mathematical language, which is then ďreadĒ at great speed, by a mathematical device, to produce an arguably jagged representation of sound (waveforms).

But, thatís just a simplified description of what is actually happening inside that mathematical device. Thatís where the squared step representation of a sine wave illustration comes from. What is actually happening inside a DAC, is the computer is sampling the ďcoordinatesĒ ahead of the output. The DAC mathematically calculates the possible waveforms that correspond to a sequence of those coordinates, by a process of elimination. The result is then further processed to eliminate artifacts. The computer then recreates the sound, in analogue. The resulting sequence of tones, are an accurate representation of the digitally stored sounds. This analogue output is then fed to an output stage, for amplification.

Thatís my laymanís understanding of the process, so please feel free to correct me, or expound, if Iím leaving something important out.

The point is: we are dealing with high precision mathematical devices. Maths doesnít lie. In my opinion, the difference between an expensive DAC, and a cheap DAC, have nothing to do with the mathematical part of the conversion. Rather, the analogue output stage, is where quality is defined. Mathematics doesnít lie.

OK, so now weíre at the heart of the matter. We are dealing with highly accurate mathematical devices, which hand over to analogue output devices. The quality of those analogue output devices, are the defining factor of the quality of sound we hear.

We might as well be arguing over whether Krell is better than Mark Levinson.

Ding!
Fighters to the corners

Ding!
Round two











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Offline HB

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2018, 05:37:39 PM »
IT'S TO DO WITH THE EARS!!!!  :facepalm:






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Offline Jason Willemse

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2018, 05:57:03 PM »
So BJís thread over LPs, got seriously derailed, by a half baked argument over the (poorly defined) qualities of analogue vs digital.

In order to have a meaningful debate over the two, whatís being debated should be clearly defined. Letís rule some issues out:
Convenience
Market relevance
Future obsolescence

Letís also only debate the best of the two. Nobodyís arguing a freshly pressed LP played on a R1m system in a hermetically sealed environment is going to sound better than an mp3 played on a bluetooth speaker.

Bump gloves......fight!

First off, we donít listen to digital music on any system. What we hear, is analogue. Digital, simply refers to the method of storage of music or sound. Some clever people have figured a way to store sound information in a digital language represented by 1s and 0s. At its simplest 1 would go beep, and 0 would be quiet. But thatís not music is it? Fortunately, digital language has become fantastically complex. We can use a sequence of 1s and 0s almost like geographic coordinates, to define complex information. Like geographic coordinates, the more precise you want to be, the more information you need to define.
This leads us to bit depth.
If I only define 1 as beep, Iím ignoring the tone, and loudness of that beep. Iím going to have to come up with longer ďcoordinatesĒ for my digital language, much like those long series of numbers that define geographic coordinates. So, I define my digital language as having 16 ďlettersĒ or bits of information for each coordinate. Using 1s and 0s as the ďlettersĒ, I create ďcoordinatesĒ which accurately describe the sound, I want to output. The resolution of my coordinates is thus 16 bits.
This brings us to sample rate.
So, I have millions of coordinates, defining a tone and loudness. In order for the output to sound good, I need to be feeding that information to the output stage very quickly. Mr. Nyquist (is it?) figured out that since the highest frequency that a human can hear is 20khz, you have to sample the digital ďcoordinatesĒ, and produce the sound/tone translation, at twice that frequency, to accurately track the sound information, represented by those digital ďcoordinatesĒ. Fortunately, 44.1khz is childís play for modern semiconductors.
So, we store complex information regarding a sound in a mathematical language, which is then ďreadĒ at great speed, by a mathematical device, to produce an arguably jagged representation of sound (waveforms).

But, thatís just a simplified description of what is actually happening inside that mathematical device. Thatís where the squared step representation of a sine wave illustration comes from. What is actually happening inside a DAC, is the computer is sampling the ďcoordinatesĒ ahead of the output. The DAC mathematically calculates the possible waveforms that correspond to a sequence of those coordinates, by a process of elimination. The result is then further processed to eliminate artifacts. The computer then recreates the sound, in analogue. The resulting sequence of tones, are an accurate representation of the digitally stored sounds. This analogue output is then fed to an output stage, for amplification.

Thatís my laymanís understanding of the process, so please feel free to correct me, or expound, if Iím leaving something important out.

The point is: we are dealing with high precision mathematical devices. Maths doesnít lie. In my opinion, the difference between an expensive DAC, and a cheap DAC, have nothing to do with the mathematical part of the conversion. Rather, the analogue output stage, is where quality is defined. Mathematics doesnít lie.

OK, so now weíre at the heart of the matter. We are dealing with highly accurate mathematical devices, which hand over to analogue output devices. The quality of those analogue output devices, are the defining factor of the quality of sound we hear.

We might as well be arguing over whether Krell is better than Mark Levinson.

Ding!
Fighters to the corners

Ding!
Round two
You wonít win with this one.

Quite honestly, this is not really too dissimilar to the era when motor vehicles switched from carburetors to fuel injection. Every well-heeled Weber carburetor tuner swore by them and it took many years for them to recognize the benefits. That, and that many are no longer with us today.

People mostly seem to disregard that which they donít understand, and digital music is a rather complex thing to understand.

Most pro-analogue listeners will surely have heard digital reproduction, but itís technology and therefore progresses fast. What you heard last year may well not be a representation of whatís possible today.

Iím with you on this one, and as I said in a previous post, itís a matter of time.

I love my records as much as I do my digital, and even concede that a top end analogue system trumps a digital one today... but itís not a linear comparison from a cost to sound perspective.

Itís not that folk who are so pro records are wrong... itís their willingness to reject technology that so represents history repeating itself.

Long live them all.




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Offline Tzs503gp

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Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2018, 05:57:55 PM »
IT'S TO DO WITH THE EARS!!!!  :facepalm:

I agree.
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Offline King_Julian_S

Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2018, 06:32:22 PM »
Is this the digital camps version of BJís thread ?

It was game over that side and itís game over this side.

What makes this one easier to conclude on is something missed in simple Semantics.. this thread is analogue not LPís or TTís and that is a serious mistake to make.

Debate as you want ,
But for me itís still game over no need to debate any further.

And the winner is 15-30ips


GLWD
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 06:37:29 PM by King_Julian_S »
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Offline Tzs503gp

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Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2018, 06:34:50 PM »
My boxing analogy is merely in jest. Get this: I know there is nothing to win. But why canít people simply admit that they like a certain colouration. Yes, colouration is a swear word to audiophiles, but are we children? Are we naive about sound reproduction? I have ears. I live on this planet. Iíve heard LPs. I havenít spent significant time with a hi-end turntable system, but I have heard one. Was there colouration? I donít know. It takes time to gain an accurate opinion of any system.

I can honestly say I wasnít blown away by that system. It sounded good, maybe even great. But at the price? My current system sounds great to me. Iíve spent many hours with it. It blew me away the first time I heard it, as it is now. Itís my colouration.
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Offline Tzs503gp

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Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2018, 06:43:45 PM »
Is this the digital camps version of BJís thread ?

It was game over that side and itís game over this side.

What makes this one easier to conclude on is something missed in simple Semantics.. this thread is analogue not LPís or TTís and that is a serious mistake to make.

Debate as you want ,
But for me itís still game over no need to debate any further.

And the winner is 15-30ips


GLWD

You continue with your irrelevant arguments. Posting a picture of expensive equipment is supposed to prove what? It does speak loads about your values. Read and understand: Iím no one to judge your apparent values. Iím merely pointing out to you that you are exposing those values.

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Offline King_Julian_S

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2018, 06:47:17 PM »
My boxing analogy is merely in jest. Get this: I know there is nothing to win. But why canít people simply admit that they like a certain colouration. Yes, colouration is a swear word to audiophiles, but are we children? Are we naive about sound reproduction? I have ears. I live on this planet. Iíve heard LPs. I havenít spent significant time with a hi-end turntable system, but I have heard one. Was there colouration? I donít know. It takes time to gain an accurate opinion of any system.

I can honestly say I wasnít blown away by that system. It sounded good, maybe even great. But at the price? My current system sounds great to me. Iíve spent many hours with it. It blew me away the first time I heard it, as it is now. Itís my colouration.
I was hoping not to post any further. But one thing I can tell you .. I prefer coloration as per audiophiles definition thereof.
As much as I understand what typical audiophiles are after in their systems & as much as I can tell you how awesome those systems are at doing those things , I for some (whatever RJ called me earlier in the other thread ) reasons only really ever liked and preferred a few  of ďthe so called great audiophile systemsĒ..or should we be honest and just say expensive ones ...

Ps! Thought u were gonna leave price , convenience etc out of it , but now you refer to price at the first chance u have  🤷🏼‍♂️ ..

Ok and promise not to read or troll your thread any further .. itís a digital camp one anyways .. enjoy

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Offline Tzs503gp

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Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2018, 06:50:39 PM »
I was hoping not to post any further. But one thing I can tell you .. I prefer coloration as per audiophiles definition thereof.
As much as I understand what typical audiophiles are after in their systems & as much as I can tell you how awesome those systems are at doing those things , I for some (whatever RJ called me earlier in the other thread ) reasons only really ever liked and preferred a few  of ďthe so called great audiophile systemsĒ..or should we be honest and just say expensive ones ...

Ps! Thought u were gonna leave price , convenience etc out of it , but now you refer to price at the first chance u have  🤷🏼‍♂️ ..

Ok and promise not to read or troll your thread any further .. itís a digital camp one anyways .. enjoy

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Offline King_Julian_S

Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2018, 06:51:06 PM »
You continue with your irrelevant arguments. Posting a picture of expensive equipment is supposed to prove what? It does speak loads about your values. Read and understand: Iím no one to judge your apparent values. Iím merely pointing out to you that you are exposing those values.

That system has an expensive TT , RTR and digital setup so what ?
The owner says the RTR is the most priced item and blows away anything else ..

You said we will leave price out of it ? And now you cry about price ?

Ps my favourite system is under 20k so U are getting the ďmy valuesĒ absolutely wrong .. how much is yours and letís compare values then.. but no donít bother ..

3rd and last Promise , I will not read nor respond to your thread ..

Again enjoy
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Offline JonnyP

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Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2018, 07:02:09 PM »
Why on Earth would anyone need to choose one over the other? Enjoy your music in whatever format you like.  I love listening to my LPs, I listen to CDs, I listen to cassettes, I listen to digital downloads.  Dude, chillax and enjoy music in any format you like, just remember that not everything is available digitally and the earlier analogue recordings which usually get short shrift from remasters will have tape hiss regardless, and a highly compressed digital file will always sound bad compared to an LP.
The Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways.  The point, however, is to change it.

Offline vleisman

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2018, 07:42:40 PM »
Records rule because of ceremony. The act of unsleeving a record and placing it on a turntable, lowering the arm, aligning the needle, etc etc far outweighs anything that digital can deliver.

Allow me an old school analogy : would you rather have a real - life woman or a picture-perfect image on your phone /tablet /whatever. By the way, the real - life woman comes with bumps and other imperfections.
Apologies for the male - oriented post.

Offline JonnyP

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Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2018, 07:49:09 PM »
^^^Sounds like you enjoy the foreplay that LPs require a little!

Itís like a real person vs. Rise of the Sex Robots is what you really meant.
The Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways.  The point, however, is to change it.

Offline Tzs503gp

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Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2018, 07:51:58 PM »
Records rule because of ceremony. The act of unsleeving a record and placing it on a turntable, lowering the arm, aligning the needle, etc etc far outweighs anything that digital can deliver.

Allow me an old school analogy : would you rather have a real - life woman or a picture-perfect image on your phone /tablet /whatever. By the way, the real - life woman comes with bumps and other imperfections.
Apologies for the male - oriented post.

Thanks Vleisman. I can appreciate that sentiment. I prefer older things in certain other spheres of technology. Iím not afraid to admit that the preference is out of nostalgia or sentimentalism or even sheer familiarity. But, in sound reproduction, I prefer it to be all the things high resolution digital can be.
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Offline King_Julian_S

Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2018, 08:14:42 PM »


People mostly seem to disregard that which they donít understand, and digital music is a rather complex thing to understand.

but itís not a linear comparison from a cost to sound perspective.

Itís not that folk who are so pro records are wrong... itís their willingness to reject technology that so represents history repeating itself.

Ok here comes 4th and last last last one ...

I think Francios post settled the cost factor in BJís thread ..


So is it about excepting technology then ?
Cause I read about technology and complexity understanding ... etc ..
In that case ok it makes sense , but I like the look of mechanics better (yes even in cars albeit I think an irrelevant argument).
And I wonít just choose tech and new for the sake of it.

but are we children? Are we naive about sound reproduction? I have ears. I live on this planet. Iíve heard LPs. I havenít spent significant time with a hi-end turntable system, but I have heard one

You have ears , you can hear what you hear etc etc Grt and respect .. , only thing is ... so does people who prefer analogue or whatever that u donít like.
I also wonít make a call on any piece if audio gear where I just heard ďoneĒ , in fact I have heard plenty high end (again expensive tables and other things) that I just donít like myself & one thing you will learn is that listening to a system or whatever once in some setting is just not good enough too many variables .. you gotta live with something for a while even perhaps mix and match sometimes for years before you sometimes click and understand what the fuss is about ..

I am ready to think the debate is so useless because I have a suspicion that both digital and analogue can perform far beyond our hearing limitations etc , so the science than becomes irrelevant at some point perhaps cause we cannot hear further etc..
However then the argument is more about we can all listen , hear , see and decide what we like & prefer .. so in the end this ďwhat we like & prefer ď is really the only thing that counts ..
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 08:24:12 PM by King_Julian_S »
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