1. I sent the following reply to a Stereophile
letter saying that the lower noise level of digital actually gave more
audio resolution than analog:
In the May 2013 issue letters column, Dr. Shawn Hunt writes about the
resolution of analog versus digital. He makes a valid argument about
signal to noise, but really misses the point.
When people talk about the superior resolution of
analog, they generally are referring to the continuous of nature of
analog compared with the alleged stairstep quality of digital-no
matter how many bits you use you can never match the quality of analog.
In fact if proper dither (low level noise) is used
during the recording process, digital is continuous just like analog,
even to the lowest levels. This is true whether you have 1 bit or 24.
Only the noise level changes, decreasing as the bit depth increases.
This can be proven mathematically and is not subject to argument. For
consumer media, 16 bits is more than ample, giving 100 dB or so of S/N
using shaped noise.
Audiophiles may prefer the sound of analog for a
variety of reasons, but inherent granularity of digital audio is not
one of them.
There are auditory examples of the effect of dither
included on the Audio Engineering Society's Digital Audio Educational
CD. It also includes a paper by Stanley Lipshitz which discusses this
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