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On paper, they couldn’t be more different: music is either unashamedly analogue or defiantly digital. But the two different technologies have much more in common than you might think. Think of them like two of your favourite musical genres, or two of your favourite artists: they may both give you goosebumps, but they do so in different ways. On a Linn system, whether analogue or digital, they do it beautifully – and this has inspired our winter promotion.
No matter how amazing the amplifier or sublime the speakers, they can’t deliver music that isn’t there. That’s why it’s so important to have the best possible source to deliver as much of that original musical information as possible. If any of that information is lost before it reaches your ears then your music loses some of its power to chill and thrill, delight and excite.
And you only get one shot at it. Get it wrong and the magic is gone.
In simple terms, the turntable has one job – to extract the maximum information from the groove of the record. Likewise, a network music player has one job – to extract the maximum information from the digital stream.
But none of that is easy. It means no-compromise design; incredibly precise engineering; and an attention to detail that borders on the obsessive - which is why hardly anybody does it.
With an LP12 it’s about making the platter spin as accurately and consistently as possible, from the development of a low-noise, single point bearing through to the advanced digital technology applied to power and control the motor. It’s about providing the right balance of stability and suspension to minimise vibration and acoustic feedback.
With a Linn DSM player, it’s about eliminating errors at the critical inputs during the digital to analogue conversion. It means creating a high precision master clock for greater timing accuracy. It means eliminating any variations at the most critical stage – the creation of the analogue signal. And it means developing ultra-low distortion outputs to preserve the delicate analogue signal.
Whether it’s an LP12 turntable or a Linn DSM network music player, it’s all about eliminating noise and distortion at every opportunity to ensure that all you hear is the music.
In designing these revolutionary analogue and digital products, we’ve come to realise that vinyl versus digital isn’t a binary choice.
Vinyl and digital both deliver musical magic, but they do it differently.
Vinyl is a physical medium, something to enjoy with all your senses: the feeling of your fingers riffling through album sleeves, that incredibly evocative old-record smell, the artwork and the inlays. The sound is warm and inviting thanks to the natural sound of the format itself.
Digital brings amazing benefits too. There’s the detail of studio quality master recordings, which deliver a clarity and a precision unlike anything you’ve heard before. There’s the convenience of having your entire collection at your fingertips. And there’s the global jukebox that enables you to stream high-quality digital audio when the songs you want to hear aren’t already in your collection.
For us, choosing between vinyl and digital is like asking to choose between our children.