I was wondering if anyone from a technical or production background can resolve a discussion I had with a colleague regarding stereo imaging and the extent that it can be influenced by a recording format. The claim is that LP playback imparts a better stereo image and a wider soundstage than CDs or digital playback generally. I understood that imaging is more of a product of mixing and mastering engineers, though of course speakers and their positioning has a large effect. However all things equal I would have thought digital playback would have superior imaging because of the virtual lack of cross-talk across L and R channels. If anything, vinyl playback would be worse than tape due the bleed between channels. My colleague claims that there must be something more to it as he believes his vinyl playback provides better imaging. He is not the only one that claims this, I remember a thread on the Steve Hoffman site where many of their members claimed the same thing, though some of the claims are way over the top, eg 3D, holographic etc. The thing is I also notice this effect with some vinyl records but I don’t think it is real in the sense of comparing it to the pin point imaging accuracy of digital playback. My theory (I really don’t know) of what is going on is that the wide soundstage of vinyl playback is just the effect phase shifts, which is an unavoidable artefact of vinyl playback. I don’t believe it is anything which the producer intended or what exists on the source masters. Any thoughts or explanations?