Does the human ear prefer analog or digital sound?
The complex mystery of why the human being responds emotionally to music has long been a subject that many scientists have written about and lectured on. The mystery deepens when the distinct difference between listening to a vinyl record as opposed to listening to a digitally reproduced piece is discussed and poses the question – “why will most human beings recognize that analogue sound is a more physical experience than that of ones and zeros?”.
Vinyl is analogue and emits not only the replication of live sound due to sound waves being physically engraved on it but offers a physical movement of the air when you listen to it. Digital recordings take these live music sessions and translate it to a series of ‘bits’. The difference between analogue and digital waves is that analog waves are smooth and continuous and digital waves are stepping, square and. When something intervenes with the original reverberations of a collection of notes as the brain seems to with digital, a part of the music is lost. Digital waves put a separation between the live performer and the listener, as if losing a ‘connection’ to the underlying and true ‘feel’ of the performance. Analog on the other hand represents a physical impression of the original live performance, which offers a direct link between the performer ‘at that very moment’ and the recording.
The human ear is also analog. A feeling, responding organ. Sound waves strike the ear drum and cause it to physically vibrate. These vibrations pass to three small bones in the middle ear known as the ossicles. They are called malleus, incus, and stapes and were given their Latin names for their distinctive shapes. These bones are also referred to as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. Once passing over these small bones, the sound vibrations are transmitted to a series of tiny tubes, within which are tiny hair cells that pick up the vibrations and convert them to nerve impulses which are in-turn interpreted by the brain as sound. The question is however, is whether the brain and its interpretation of what we hear is an analog or digital process.
Edward Singlerland in Trying Not To Try ‒ The Art and Science of Spontaneity argues that the brain is in fact analog in its function – “No one would deny that our sensory organs are analog – sound waves and light waves impress themselves on our embodied mind in much the same way that analog recordings and photographs are made”.
There is one aspect of the mystery which we haven’t discussed and that is of the individual listener, their preference and how they have come to decide whether they prefer analog or digital sound. Those who may not be old enough to remember vinyl may feel that to them, the straight, conformed and square waves of digital is more akin to what they are used to listening to. Whereas the old-school vinyl lover may reel at the thought of listening to anything but the smooth tones of an analog device. Those of us who remember and regularly listen to both technologies may decide that some music fits analog and others, digital. Whatever your upbringing, taste or listening preference, one thing remains true. Music evokes our emotions, lift and tumbles our moods and can imprint reflect our very soul. It’s a wonder and a miracle and is one of the amazing aspects of life that makes and keeps us human.
A new year brings new opportunities with Blue Aura Audio!
We are successfully expanding our distribution of affordable, valve technology Hi-Fi systems to stores which reach out to those who are passionate about all things ‘creative’. We believe there is a natural synergy between what we do and those establishments with the vision to promote and sell creatively inspired goods and beautiful sound quality, high-tech equipment.
The opportunity itself is highly advantageous as we offer a very competitive dealer margins. Independent record stores, musical instrument stores, book stores and traditional hi-fi retailers on the high street are already reaping the benefits and selling Blue Aura products fast!
If you are an independent music store or musical instrument stockist, you’ll most likely, already be acquainted with valve amplification, and offering products like pro-amps, such as those made by Marshall & Fender, meaning you’ll be well equipped to talk to your new and existing customers expertly about the Blue Aura valve amp systems with passion and enthusiasm. If you run a book store or art establishment, you know that your customers will be discerning in all things emotive and will want to satisfy their desires for great visuals as well as high-quality sound in anything they purchase.
Alongside a demonstration product offer, we can provide full customer technical support and in-store training. Our award-winning products are retro-styled with contemporary features, such as Bluetooth connectivity. There is even the potential to drop-ship directly to your customers, offering convenience and a fast delivery service to the end user. We’ll also list you as a stockist on the Blue Aura website and include your store in our social media channels, creating awareness to a huge potential target audience.
Heffers of Cambridge is a vast bookshop that has served Cambridge’s locals, students, tourists and academics since 1876. Although Heffers’ main-focus is to supply an extensive range of books which cover all subjects, from Archaeology to Zoology, they also provide their customers with a wide range of alternative, high-quality items, many supplied by local, independent companies. Taking pride of place in the window display and in-store at Heffers now features the Blue Aura Backline range, with attractive POS and a demonstration model to create an eye-catching display. The store attracts those who are keen on the arts, creatives, academics and music-lovers alike and so it was a no-brainer for the store to accept the Blue Aura range due to its local heritage, superb sound quality and beautiful design. Check out their website http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/bookshop/home
Music Street is a privately-owned guitar and amp store based in Huntingdon, Cambridge shire with customers ranging from weekend warriors and young beginners to professional guitar players such as Rob Harris from Jamiroquai (who also happens to own a Blue Aura V40 Backline Limited Edition!). They have recently started stocking Blue Aura Products in store and on their website. Owner Tony Rawson commented,
“Here at Music Street we are amazed at the high quality of the Blue Aura systems – crystal clear tones, just like music should sound!”
Why not chat directly with Andy at https://musicstreet.co.uk or visit the store for an enormous range of superb guitars and a stellar cup of coffee, as well as the Blue Aura range of products!
In the meantime, if you’d like to have a chat with us about stocking Blue Aura products in your store. Call us on (0)1480 477738, or email [email protected].
v40 Sound Enhancements
V40 Sound Enhancements
When developing our v40 amplifier we specifically wanted to use good quality, well respected but commercially available valves and we chose the JJ Electronics ECC82/12AU7; a good European valve.
We are now receiving feedback from customers testing other brands of ECC82/12AU7 and letting us know how they got on.
Eric in the states tells us he tried a pair of Amperex Bugle Boys and they were just “wow” and made a significant sound improvement.
Valves are feely available from specialist stockists. If you have tried other valves with your v40 please let us know how you got on at [email protected] and we will report it here.
Of course this should only be done if you feel competent enough and could render the warranty invalid if the amplifier is damaged.
After setup complete and first listen: I’m amazed. What a fantastic sound. Pure, clear, natural. Blue Aura did a damn good job.Thomas, Germany
PG1 -Thought I would let you know you have another very satisfied customer. I have rigged up pg1 to a preamp and then through to a Cambridge A1 and out of some tannoy mx4 speakers. To my ear and my wife’s, it has never sounded better. Very very pleased with the quality and value of the turntable and the set-up.PS UK
I really have to say you nailed it with the V40, if perfection exists then this is it. I allowed the system to be broken in gently for a few days and wow the sound is amazing. As I previously stated I have only nothing but praise for Blue Aura and the great customer service and products that you provide consider me part of the Blue Aura familyKM Bedford
“I saw the Black line at Harbour City in HK. It sounded way above excellent given it’s mini size which shocked me! You have a world-class product!”Peter, Singapore
Blackline Home Audio System
“The packing was great and everything in superb condition. I love the fact that the turntable is Bluetooth so can be situated anywhere, this does not, as far as I can hear, degrade the sound at all. The sound is fantastic and very defined and as you mentioned earlier the sound definitely gets better as the valves warm up.PB Scotland