Originally Posted by nedrudrelyt
As long as there is a conversion process from digital back to analog, vinyl will always have the upper hand regardless of format.
I do not mean to be crude or argumentative, but you seem to be saying that digital audio is not now and can never be can never be as good as analog, regardless of what future digital developments may come down the pike. Similar logic to yours could be used, and actually was used at one time in the late teens and early 1920's, to justify the "inherent" superiority of acoustic recordings over the newfangled electrically miked recordings. Acoustic recording (horn directly connected to cutting stylus) was purer, simpler and more direct, and, therefore, must sound more like the real thing. Well, the world quickly perceived that that was not the case.
The logic could also be used to justify the superiority of the older analog broadcast standard for television over the current hi-def digital broadcast standard. Vision is, after all, an analog, not a digital thing. Well, I hope you do not think analog is superior in this case.
Are you also aware that transmission of the human voice over short or long distances by telephone companies all over the world is made demonstrably much, much clearer, more noise free, and better defined via digital transmission lines than was ever possible with analog lines. The digital lines are much, much cheaper and more reliable, too.
The Redbook CD era was an early stage filled with mistakes and growing pains in the ongoing development process of digital audio. Many audiophiles compared CD's to the, by then, mature, fully developed analog LP and concluded that digital was seriuosly lacking. They were not entirely wrong, but, since then, all things digital have been eternally demonized by many audiophiles. Apparently, you are one of them.
The analog era is fully mature approaching a limiting asymptote of what further progress it can make. Yes further progress can be made but the steps have been and are going to be extremely small and expensive. Judging by the prices of improved, better sounding analog gear or even new record pressings, it is getting a whole lot more expensive.
Digital audio is only in its adolescence. We are almost ready to shift gears into the post-SACD era of Blu-Ray music disks using 7.1 lossles codecs with even greater resolution than now. Several of these have actually been released already.
Well, my interest in 2 channel analog or CD has waned considerably. There is simply more recorded information conveyed into my listening room from even 5.1 discrete, hi-rez channels than from 2. To me the resolution, dynamic headroom, freedom from noise(not just ticks and pops) and distortion, etc. of SACD is also considerably greater than vinyl (or Redback CD). I became convinced when I heard some of the Ondine SACD's of live concerts of the Philadelphia Orchestra which I had actually attended. For me, hi-rez multichannel rules in terms of recreating a much more realistic sense of actually being there spatially, dynamically and tonally. No 2-channel system I have ever heard, analog or digital, including some extremely costly and exotic ones comes nearly as close for me. (Note that part of this judgement is also due to the utterly fantastic Audyssey "room equalizer" - another digital breakthrough - built into my Integra DTC 9.8 multichannel controller.)
Back to cables. We agree that Cardas is good stuff. I have not thrown mine away. I was simply not going to spend $4,000 or so for two 10-meter XLR paired runs of Neutral Reference, as good as it might be. I thought about it, but it's roughly 8 times as expensive as what I got from bettercables.com. Is it 8 times as good? No way! Well, we really do not know if, in my system, it is even as good as the stuff I bought. Wecome back to the real world of the cable conumdrum.