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?

Joel in Bellingham's picture

Right now it's all digital. It's funny, most people started analog and then kind of broke into digital. I'm 30, so it's been pretty much digital till now, but there's just too much inexpensive analog music out there to pass up. I've been buying records at shops and garage sales for a year now, and I still have to get a record player.

Roland Levesque's picture

My amps, speakers, and ears are all still analog. My brain, digital or analog? I'm not sure.

Dave Obergoenner's picture

I have some LPs that clearly sound better than the CDs released to replace them. I also have some CDs that sound better than the LPs they replaced. It all depends on the care taken in doing either.

Ed Robbins's picture

In 1988, reading the handwriting (notes) on the wall, I sold all 3000 LPs and went whole hog into digital. Why (I asked myself) buy digitized LPs when the real thing held such promise? As I upgraded my system, I have found that even the early CDs sound much, much better than they did originally. Maybe the promise of "perfect sound forever" becomes more of a reality as the equipment to play it improves.

Yongfei Lin's picture

Analog is a dead end. Digital is a Pandora's box: it WAS 16/44. It IS 24/96. It WILL BE 32/108(?) with 7 channels in 2020. Once high-end becomes part of the computer technology, it will be under the control of BIG BROTHER. I choose to listen to the radio. It's free. After five years, I may be able to download some 24/96 digital audio from the web for free. Analog works like a camara. But digital, well, like something you read on a PC screen---causing fatigue. Also, how many PCs and software have you thrown away since 1980? Your muy espensivo 24/96 disc will become trash after 15 years. Believe me.

N Doble's picture

Ideally, lps sound better. Have given up on & sold all my cds, but don't listen to records as I can't stand record wear and inner groove distortion.

Brian's picture

I ran out of room for both. I miss analog, but I wouldn't go back.

Kevin Heine's picture

When I moved to Jersey, the movers destroyed my Mapenoll Ariadne. I went without analog for over a year. I recently purchased a Rega Planar 3/RB 300 combo with a Benz Glider. It was "deja vu all over again"---I can not believe how much better this modest analog setup is than my megabucks Wadia digital rig, or any other digital system I've heard. Anyone who believes that digital is superior must have amazing powers of repression or cotton in their ears!

Peter Gray's picture

New purchases are all digital because of the convenience of the medium as well as the lack of noise. (No matter how good the sound, I always hated the background noises of vinyl.) At the same time, I've kept my entire record collection and keep upgrading my phono playback equipment.

Carl Eberhart's picture

People should not debate about the superiority of LP and CD formats. LP is superior, period! The CONVENIENCE of CD is the only reason for its proliferation. How many of us carry our LPs to the dealer when auditioning a piece of gear? Less than 3%, I bet. One thing is certain: When I listen to CDs, then LPs in the same evening, I'm always disappointed with CDs. So I usually use one or the other on any given day. Mikey F. is right. "Closed in and pooped out" is exactly how I compare CD to LP. Also, we can't ignore the other reason for the success of CD. It was a new-fangled technology, an easy sell to the public, that giants in industry discovered could be produced for less and sold for more.

Craig Blair's picture

Too young for LPs---I hate the scratches. Cassettes are crap unless you drop 5 grand on a cassette deck. CDs are cheap and sound great.

R.  Wagner's picture

It was an even mix til I ordered a second DVD player for the 24/96 discs coming out.

Art Frenzel's picture

I will have an analog system soon but for the time being I have a drive and a CAL DtoA converter

Steve Sutcliffe's picture

Although my collection is approximately evenly repesented by CDs/LPs, the shiny ones will continue to breed at a greater rate than vinyl does, due to its lack of availability around here (small city in New Zealand) As I am happy with the sound of my reproduction system, regardless of source, this matters not a bit. With digital technology accelerating well beyond the limits imposed by the once only-just-achievable (and acceptable) CD format we have now, I look forward to the day when greater numbers can be thrown at the format, with backward and forward compatibility (multilayered discs?) bringing our reproduced sound a little closer to the performance. Or maybe by now we could have an analog optical system, based maybe on the laserdisc? Naah, the public WANTS digital, doesn't it?

Will Odell's picture

Don't be so poncey - digital is the way forward!

Jay Saxton's picture

One prohibiting factor for any increase in analog in my system is the cost. Hardware and software of minimum requisite quality are pricey.'s picture

Tried the tube thing with the AR-LS7, didn't like it. Now running the CAL-Delta digital into the Lexicon DC-1. I don't even have a tuner!!

Doug Asherman's picture

Though I have more CDs than vinyl, my vinyl collection continues to grow, and I generally put on a record if I have the record I want to hear.

Ron Rohlfing's picture

Even though high-end analog may be better than high-end digital, down here, with the kind of money I can spend, digital is the better medium. It gets more things right, and makes fewer gross mistakes.

T E Hastings,'s picture

After years of trying to obtain a listenable digital system, I "went back" to a turntable. I had forgotten how good recorded music can sound! Digital in its current state has one advantage for me---convenience.

Nathaniel Moffat's picture

My system became "digital by default." There was no epiphany about the inferiority of analog; rather, a needle wore out and never got replaced. Eventually the turntable found its way into the basement.

Mike Ramsdell's picture

I kept some of my LPs nor nostalgia. I have about 600 CDs. Sounds good on my Cary 805s

Bob Trosper's picture

More records than CD's, and I've spent more on the analog. As far as listening goes, I play more CD's in terms of time, but I listen more intensively to records.

Robert Rogacki's picture

I will be upgrading my analog capabilities in the near future

Steve Thomas's picture

Frankly, I like both, each for different reasons. I prefer the sound of analog. I prefer the convenience of digital.



Thad Aerts's picture

Vinyl RULES!!!