The recent addition of the article at http://www.stereophile.com/thinkpieces/599digital/ about digital versus analog effectively makes the quite valid point that we should not argue one technology is superior to another (e.g., CD versus vinyl) simply on aesthetic, philosophical, or other theoretical grounds. The argument is made that "digital idealism" should not prejudice us against "analog realism". I agree completely. I do not prefer (contrary to the suggestion in the linked article) digital to vinyl on the basis of an allergy to things mechanical, rather I prefer digital to analog on the basis of what I hear. This is why, when high-end vinyl afficianados play their demostrations for me of what they believe is clearly superior sound from their expensive truntables, I am frankly amazed that this collection of wear-induced distortion (not to mention pops, clicks, and dust artifacts) can be perceived as superior. It makes them happy, so I am happy for them. It doesn't work for me, simply based on what I hear.
I expect that many analog enthusiasts will say I can't hear based upon this opinion, and certainly the sound of analog is different. The first play of a new and clean record on a fine turntable is enjoyable. But next month it is likely to be dissapointing. I think that transfer of a new recording played by analog equipment to digital form should be considered by fans of that sound. Here is where I challenge the analog fans to consider: are you against digital based upon "analog idealism"? Do you avoid preserving the pristine sound of a new record because digital will somehow contaminate your analog philosophy? If you believe that you hear degradation due to the digital process, then I recognize that you made the choice based upon listening and not upon philosophical expectations (prejudice against digital). Even if I prefered the sound of new vinyl, I think that I would be forced to preserve it in digital form, simply because I cannot tolerate the distortions in much-played vinyl.
What are your opinions, based upon the sound you hear?