Originally Posted by mironathetin
Did you also invest the same amount of money, time and sweat into the digital system that you use to compare the vinyl with?
Even if I wanted or could afford - hardly doable. Yes, time and sweat & (censored) went into digital as well - Korg MR 1000 DSD recorder(s). As I write this, just finished adjusting a phono cartridge with two on paper the same styli - and recording their performance on test measurement discs to DSD recorder. It is impossible to record square wave with PCM - not even 192/24 - that does not apreciably alter the shape of the square wave; the differences in good cartridges lie precisely in the portion of the square wave all PCM ring ( as they per theory should ). I intend to post some of the pics of a real oscilloscope display representation of phono carts - not some software PC version that is usually limited to 96/24 PCM resolution.
DSD is not totally perfect, but compared to PCM it can be said it is useable. When directly comparing vinyl played "live" vs output from the DSD recorder, a VERY mild difference at the extreme high end is audible; it is so slight that it is impossible to tell the difference if either the same LP or DSD recording of it is played another day.
I have two MR 1000 recorders. One is still stock, the other is modified. Commercialy available mod by Busman Audio is the step in the right direction, but is not nearly as thorough as mine. And no, I would not waste time ripping vinyl with the stock unit.
DSD DACs are gradually becoming available. It is difficult to say which ones are an improvement over what is in the MR 1000 at the moment - I would insist on audition prior shelling out one single 0.01 Euro. DSD also places high demands on computer and storage - DSD128 or 1 bit at 5,6MHz is 11 minutes audio for 1GB. At multiplication of TBs required, solid state memory will not be a reasonable cost efficient preposition for quite some time to come - meaning those HDDs have to be located phisically outside the listening room and computer must run silently without a fan. A quiet section of say guitar recital "Con Ventilatore Continuo" is perhaps not on anyone's wish list ...
But it is future. Phono cartridges that had performance good enough to play even the highest quality analog recorded vinyls on regular daily basis are long history. Today, health and enviroment concerns preclude the use of materials and procedures that produced the top peak products from the early 80s - even if and when a company would want to repeat or even improve upon those stellar achievements.
So, a GOOD ( digital that is fast enough ) recording of a stellar LP is in the long run better than repeatedely played vinyl record. High frequencies are the first to suffer on vinyl - one has to know really much to select a cartridge that would besides sounding good preserve the vinyl in the long run. One can argue what is the acceptable limit of vinyl record use/degradation ad nuseaum - it is about whose lies you find the most plausible and the least offending. A really good digital recording can at the very least give us a benchmark reference.
I hope this answers the digital part of your question.
Analog and vinyl specifically does have its limitations. In general, in dinamyc range and bass, both of which are interelated with playback time. There are absolute limits that under any circumstances are not to be exceeded - just look at the list of requirements any firm still doing analog mastering to vinyl insists on prior accepting to transfer your master to vinyl - anything more and you will be paying for repair or new recording head + whatever costs for the time mastering facility is out of bussiness. Ultimately, it is not possible to record the full dynamic range to vinyl - but within given constraints, it is possible to produce recordings that can compete and exceed digital. Under any circumstances do I want to start war of analog vs digital or DSD vs PCM and the like - I simply want to squeeze the max out of what is available to serve music in the best possible way, regardless of technicalities.
I find any critic welcome, as it might force me to find a solution to the problem that before that critic was not known or thought of to be insignificant - and that goes both for analog and digital, in both directions. Because usually what is one's forte, is another's Aichille's heel - and vice versa. The ultimate goal is simple - to create a musical recording so realistic that even person who attended the event live can clearly identify recording as not any more different than say the difference a couple of seats/rows in any given concert hall has as a consequence.
To paraphrase; I wish I could dig out the best musicians long gone and record them with equipment of the future so perfect as not to leave any technological limit that has to be taken into account when making any real world recording today. Because there are those who prefer old really musically well made recordings over latest technically superiour recordings they find musically lacking - and vice versa. Can not do that; I can only strive to record best present musicians I can get in touch with using the best equipment at my disposal.