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Perfect Sound for the Time Being: Behind the Compact Disc’s Sonic Ascent

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Jazz remastering engineer Joe Tarantino.

Sony and Philips painted themselves into a digital corner when, back in the early ’80s, upon the introduction of the compact disc, they declared that their shiny silver invention was capable of “perfect sound forever.”

Shame on them: the dismal sound produced by the so-called Red Book digital standard might have been avoided. In a rush to get a product to the market, they made several key decisions based on incorrect assumptions, including underestimating the true nature of human hearing.

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