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Modern recording equipment and techniques allow for crystal clear high definition audio to be captured at the highest standard.
It all sounds great from source to mixdown, and yet it’s all ruined at the last stage of the process.
In reality, when making comparisons based purely on specification, modern analogue-to-digital converters coupled with a larger dynamic range in the digital realm means that CD’s are now capable of sounding just as good, if not better.
Saying this – and before any vinyl nuts bite my head off – there is a distinct character to vinyl, which some prefer (myself included).
It’s simple really, label executives concerns for commercial competition outweigh their concern for quality.
There is a really great dynamic range database at dr.that covers everything from modern CD’s, remastered back-catalogues and vinyl.
Some notable examples, which gained public criticism for this are: The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication & Metalica’s Death Magnetic.
Essentially, it has now become acceptable to release commercial material with substandard quality; not to mention the loss of dynamics, and reduction of punch and clarity that comes from over compression.
Only this time, there really is nowhere else to go.
0d B is the absolute limit, and by pushing peak levels beyond this point you create clipping or digital distortion (not a good thing).