DOUG SAX: Audiophile interview.Sheffield Steel?

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Robert Harley (Stereophile magazine) writes:  Doug Sax is undoubtedly one of the most controversial and outspoken figures in audio. As co-founder, with Lincoln Mayorga, of Sheffield Lab, Doug pioneered the first modern direct-to-disc recording. His perfectionist methods may be controversial, but the results certainly are not: Sheffield Lab recordings are nearly universally praised by the audiophile community, while the Billboard Hot 100 always features at least one Sax-cut disc.

Doug was an early champion of tube electronics and a vociferous critic of digital audio. In fact, he once distributed T-shirts with the inscription "Stop Digital Madness." While at Disctronics, I worked on the CD mastering side of many Sheffield projects, and consequently had several interesting digital audio discussions with Doug. To share Doug's fascinating ideas and opinions with Stereophile readers, I met him at The Mastering Lab, his disc-mastering facility in Hollywood, and asked him what, specifically, did he find wrong with the sound of CD?

Doug Sax: I think that the Compact Disc is still in its infancy. I don't think you are getting a 16-bit product. You are getting maybe 14 bits out the door. Professional recorders are marginally 16-bit, but off the tape, in video storage, I doubt it (footnote 1). Have you ever been in a professional, high-quality TV station? It's sort of a shock when you look at a live monitor. What you have there is 525 lines. You've got the real NTSC, and when you get home to your TV, you say "This is chopped liver!"

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