How would you categorize your audio system?

How would you categorize your audio system?
All analog
2% (6 votes)
All digital
25% (80 votes)
Mostly analog
22% (72 votes)
Mostly digital
27% (88 votes)
Even mix of the two
23% (75 votes)
Total votes: 321

It's been a decade since the analog vs. digital debate began. Where has your system ended up?

John Shepherd's picture

although I use cds only, I am not happy with the direction of Phillips going to 1 bit nor am I pleasesd with the HDCD format. Give me 16 bit 4x oversampling...please. I think that that history is repeating itself again...cheaper, easier to build & a move to mass production. This has forced us to hype alternatives as being better. This is hardly so. Enter the black magic of the audiophiles looking for exclusivity and the slight of hand manufactures all too ready to give it to them. I realize that these are the very people who fund your advertising revenue and thus the reluctance to point these practices out. Out in real-audio land we are all not blind to this. Take Cello...the same Apogee D/A converter that sells in the professional market for about $3,200 sells in the salon for $11,000. This is just one example. I feel sad for the average wonder high end is in the tank.

Thad Aerts's picture

When CDs took over, I wasn't really even buying music. I'm only 23 years old. Despite the overwhelming availability of CDs and the ever-shrinking quantity of records to be had, I still stick to vinyl for all of the obvious reasons. I have four turntables (two are in use), 1964 Dynaco tube amp and matching preamp. As for digital, I have a cheapy Pioneer. I think I paid like $120 for it. My reasoning for this is that, to my ears, the differences in CD players is small and I don't really like how they sound in the first place, so why invest a ton into it? I will say that switching from SS to tube made my CDs sound 10 times better then they ever did before. Also, I have about 450 CDs vs. over 1000 records. My records are far more sacred than the little silver music-destroyers.

Allen Woolley's picture

Both work just fine for me.

Jeffrey Morgan's picture

It just doesn't make sense to convert a ton of lp's to cd's (and it ain't progress!). But it's also nice to have the convenience of CDs for the favorites and, especially, new releases. Maybe because my first love of music came from a t.v./record player console ('I Want to Your Hand'!) and an old transistor radio (choose your favorite color?-'Hot Fun in the Summertime'!), I've been able to enjoy it without concern of the "system." Just think about it - three of the greatest recordings of all time; Fritz Reiner & the CSO's version of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, and the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street are not to the highest recording standards, but the performances are masterpieces. It's time we smother this worn out debate and start talking about the music!

Brian Koch's picture

a cd 3400 is sole cd player.on lp side is a ph-3.AQ w lapus silver to vpi jr. on sand filled base w/ benz-micro low 4. CD is too expensive to get right if it even can get right..hehe i know it gets preety f**kin good,but honestly i dont think its as good as a decent vinyl front end.8)

Rick Torres's picture

While I do own a CD player, I listen to records much more often than I do CDs.

T's picture

Only my CD and Dat is digital. Only kidding // T

George Fotopoulos's picture

I keep collecting LP's and not bying CD 's. I think it's not worth buying CD's because new media(much better) are on the way. Anyway i love the analog sound.

Kostas Papanikolaou, Greece's picture


Joe Hartmann's picture

A life time collection of records continues to be enjoyed. I only hope my 23 year old Linn is up to the daily demand I and my 16 year old son place upon it . I continue to collect records and cd's as well. Cd's are now much more listen able than at first. The music is the first priority then if format is a choice I evaluate the price vs sound decision. A cd maybe purchased for unknown music. My exploration of John Cage's work has been all on CD.

Joe Cornwall.'s picture

I don't understand the concept of a "debate." What is there to debate? Both media are capable of good musical performance, neither is horrible. My system and listening habits favor analog because: a) I have 4000+ LPs from 20 years of collecting, and b) I have more really good sounding LPs than CDs. I attribute the latter to the fact that I also prefer rock and jazz of decades past, and that music was intended for vinyl listening---the medium is part of the message. I really get miffed when I hear some audio geek going on about how CDs are more "accurate," and my preference for analog is a preference for "euphonic distortions." Who cares?! As long as it sounds good to me, it IS good. Let those with a "mine is better than yours" attitude be damned. You can find me at the concert---the music is real there.

David V.  Nelson's picture

Analog is just plain cheaper!

Pierre Roth's picture

Musical emotion cannot be reached by digital equipment as it is with analog equipment.

Ed Hahn's picture

Despite the potential sonic advantages, there's a lot to be said about the convenience and relative durability of CD vs. LP...

Hugh T.'s picture

I should be listening more to vinyl but CD's are just too convenient. I prefer listening to Jazz on vinyl but finding good Jazz LP's on the cheap is getting very difficult. On the other hand, my digital system is getting very good.

Mike B.'s picture

The price/performance ratios are overwhelmingly in favor of digital technology; however, them LPs certainly do sound better!!

jerry steiner's picture

i paid for a suscription 6 weeks ago ......when will i get my first copy?

Barry Krakovsky's picture

I listen to classic jazz so my needs are best served by analog.

Don Levstik's picture

As soon as CD players went below the $350 mark, I changed over. My LP collection was quite small at the time. This was about 14 years ago.

Chris Rud's picture

There is no doubt that the analog lp is still a viable music carrier, it even outperforms cd on some levels. However, the greater availability of cd's and the huge leaps in d/a converters has really made it hard for the lp to compete. . . still, I'll keep my albums thank you, as well as buy some of the new reissue's.

Kent Kellams's picture

I still find analog as the most enjoyable of the two formats. In fact, I'm basically disappointed and dispayed at the whole digital scene. And i've spent a ton (thousands of $) on digital and it still does not convey the emotional satifaction as analog.

Richard Gordin's picture

After years of not listening at all (the kids' taste for cartoons dominatinated the room), I got a new cd player as a present and soon became an audiophile (read: started buying new hardware and software) -- mostly with new cd's. A chance comparison with an lp to the same cut on a cd converted me to analogue. I not only love the sound, I like the process of playing lps.

Dale's picture

I sold all my records and went digital. I got married and wouldn't you know it, my wife has a record collection she can't do with out. I was able to get an old Dual back into shape.

Ralph A.  Perrini's picture

While I still prefer the sound of LPs over that of CDs, the steady improvement in the sound quality of both hardware and software have made the CD more acceptable for critical listening. So when I'm entertaining or just lazy, I'll play CDs; when I'm in a nothing-but-the-best mood, I'll play LPs.

Peter Outarsingh's picture

I played the Beatles "Yellow Submarine" for my 4 year old son and he reached for the album jacket!

Dave MIchaels's picture

I still have a lot of records, and I get a lot of free ones from foolish friends and in-laws! I just bought a 15-year-old turntable for $40 that I never could have afforded back then, and the records sound great. I think vocals even sound more true on the turntable. If you ignore records, you can miss out on a lot of good & cheap music out there. There's no analog vs. digital debate, there's just music.

Aubourg's picture

Analog is better, but not cheap. Digital is more practical and of better quality compared to cheap analog. Both can live together.

Pete Wilson's picture

poorly phrased question. usage? component count? cost? timeline? and now, acquired by the owners of HotRod... are you *sure* this is goodness????

Joe's picture

Don't get me wrong I love analog, I even have a turntable,but not only are records a hand full to mess with, but the hardware is so expensive. hey when your on a budget things have to go. when I went to buy an amp, I bougt one with out a phono preamp. I didn't buy the preamp beacuse it would have cost me twice as much. Now most high-end amps come only with line stage inputs and charge extra for preamps. That extra I can't afford. I figure hey maybe i'll buy an external preamp, but a good one cost alot. LP's just don't have as much bang for the buck as CD's. But I do think LPs sound better than CDs, but thats a diffrent story.

Mr.  Kelly Taylor's picture

LP's are just to hard to get down here. I know about mail order but I like to pick music and Ld and cd out in person. You can't seem to find .99cent classical cd through mail order. Some are name brand and some good work's too. I can't belive you guy's sold the magizine!!! Damn what is next???? So much for the little Guy's!! Just do not change!! You know how we hate change. Well Kept up the good work! I Love both publication! Nowhere can you get this kind of information!!!!! I don't care what size the damn thing is! I CARE ABOUT CONTENT!!!!! If you Carved it in a rock I would Read IT!!!! Well enough ranting. Keep the info. Coming.