Stop Digital Madness! Larry Archibald comments

Larry Archibald comments:

This editorial frankly worries me. On the one hand, I fear that the mere mention of rampant (potential) problems in the turntable world will impel thousands more to hasty purchase of a CD player—a technology which I consider immature. On the other hand, aspersions seem to be cast here at work which is sincerely done, and for which we have no hard evidence to the contrary.

The publication of Prof. Reilly's work as an AES preprint, however, invites critical examination. In my discussions with Prof. Reilly and her colleague Neil Levenson, much reference was made by them to metallurgical papers, quantum theory, confirmations from reputable outside companies, and ongoing research with still more reputable companies. I nevertheless get the idea that both investigators possess a very hazy grasp of many technical aspects of digital sound reproduction in particular, and science in general.

I think Prof. Reilly and colleague should button up, in print, until they have work that can stand the light of day. This work should specify the differences in technique they employ (tachometers are not used by any turntable companies in measuring speed), specify the names of all the companies who have participated in their research, include a complete listing of turntables measured with dates and witnesses, and present a complete bibliography for those wishing to verify their assertions.

If the Professor Reilly hypothesis is correct, an emergency is at hand in analog record playback. If, as I suspect, her hypothesis is incorrect, complete publication of the data and techniques should reveal it as such.—Larry Archibald