Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Jan 2017 11:19 UTC
Multimedia, AV

Back before all-digital music, back before the Digital Compact Cassette, back before even the Digital Audio Tape existed, there was a strange audio device that briefly captured the imagination of Hi-Fi freaks across the world. The Elcaset, as it was called, was an enlarged cassette that started in Japan, wove its hidden, spinning spools around the world, and then finished, appropriately enough, in Finland.

As someone who swore by MiniDisc up until quite recently, I love obscure audio formats. This article is from the summer of last year, but I only came across it just now thanks to Atlas Obscura.

Permalink for comment 639626
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Comment by dionicio
by fmaxwell on Fri 13th Jan 2017 10:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by dionicio"
Member since:

analog is still more real unless you have the absolute top of the line digital setup ---

24bit discreet converters, smart filtering on the ADC, no dithering, no downsampling, no lossy compression anywhere in the chain. then on playback you need a good DA chip, discreet power, and quality output stage.

Of course - most people don't have a high-end digital rig, they have their phone or a laptop or even worse, something wireless, and therefore they don't hear better sound than the analog days.

it's sad but true. average consumer in 2017 gets worse daily sound quality in most things than in 1997, which itself was worse than 1977.

we are going backwards in regards to audio quality and have been for decades now.

most people don't have this chain. a high-end digital chain can be as good as analog quality. and WAY more convenient, that's for sure. but most people listening to digital music these days are listening to craptastic versions played on craptastic systems.

lots of distraction built into the music now to compensate for this sad state of affairs.

I've been an audiophile since the mid 1970s and everything you wrote is absurdly wrong. I've seen way to many audiophiles doing their versions of The Emperor's New Clothes, in which they suggest that their superior hearing, listening skills, and systems allow them to hear and appreciate things that others do not.

Modern digital, including high bitrate lossy digital is, far superior to analog from 1977. I sold consumer stereo gear in the late 1970s and I know what crap it was. LPs, open reel, cassette, etc. were all utter garbage. LPs did, and still do, suck no matter how good your playback system. And every consumer tape format, including 1/4" open reel, sucked even worse.

Consumer audio tape employed Dolby B, Dolby C, Dolby HX/HX Pro, and DBX companders to try to fight against the horrible levels of noise, only to end up with 60-some dB S/N ratio even after that. They had audible wow, flutter, and they had THD numbers that were listed to the left of the decimal point.

If you prefer the sound of analog, it's because you like noise, distortion, non-linear frequency response, crosstalk, and other forms of distortion that plague analog formats. It's called "euphonic distortion" when you like its effects.

Reply Parent Score: 2