High Definition Sound – would Jethro Tull approve?
Having just invested in new hifi, including a turntable, I’m once again enjoying listening to vinyl. When CDs first came in, there was a lot of marketing (propaganda) about the virtues of CDs, they didnt get scratched like vinyl, they were almost indestructible, the sound quality was better, and so on. In truth, most of this was a lie. The first CDs were more robust, as manufacturers cut costs, the quality dropped, and CDs are now more easily scratched than vinyl.
As far as sound quality is concerned, when you convert the almost infinite amount of details in analogue sound into digital, you are changing it into a finite number of 0s and 1s. There is a point at which the human ear can’t tell the difference. The point at which the detail of digital is too great for the human ear to distinguish is debatable. A study carried out in 1993 found only 4 out of 160 people in a “blind” controlled experiment could tell the difference between vinyl and CD. Perhaps one reason why people think vinyl is superior is that there are more cheap and nasty CD systems than cheap and nasty vinyl systems.
Regardless of whether the argument for vinyl holds water, today’s massive capacity for data storage and fibre optic broadband makes even CDs look like “Living in the Past.” The latest trend taking over is the use of high definition audio. This is digital audio superior to CD quality that should finally settle the argument about the superiority of digital or vinyl. If the level of detail in CD is barely enough, HD audio definitely has the detail.
Here is an excellent article that explains it well. https://www.whathifi.com/advice/high-resolution-audio-everything-you-need-to-know.
I’m still enjoying my vinyl, if for no other reason than they are beautiful objects to behold, often with amazing sleeves and artwork.