Where It Comes From

Jack Baty writes about the MoFi scandal from an unusual perspective. Instead of gloating about the customers being ripped off because they couldn’t tell the difference in sound coming from an analog or digital source — he argues that origins are still meaningful.

MoFi was undoubtedly deceitful in their marketing, but whether or not a purely-analog process sounds better than one in which there was a digital step isn’t what I find important. What matters to many people is provenance. Where and how something originates is important, whether it changes the sound in a noticeable way or not. It’s true that most people probably can’t tell, in a blind test, that there was a digital step, but who cares, as long as they feel like they can? Knowing a recording is 100% analog makes them feel better. That’s the part of the lie that stings the most. No one likes being lied to.

No one likes being lied to indeed.

Provenance Matters

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