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The New Digital Audio Revolution

When the compact disc was introduced by Sony and Philips in the U.S. in 1982, people went nuts. Never had the average listener experienced such sonic reproduction in terms of what were then acceptable audio specifications. That’s because prior to digital music, analog sources were judged on certain endemic distortion specifications such as total harmonic distortion (THD), and wow and flutter.

The CD changed all of that because unlike analog, its defects were not necessarily symmetrical-so the distortion was not harmonic at all. And since there was also no real time-based distortion, wow and flutter was no longer a factor. Instead, the CD has introduced an entirely different set of issues based around artifacts present within the conversion process from digital to analog that produce a harsh, ringing sound. And CDs possess a lack of information in the low-level musical passages, which can obscure musical subtleties and overtones.

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