How to make sure all elements are analog

If I want to listen to a completely analog chain, how can I make sure it is truly the case.

The recording, mastering … whatever …. vinyl disk production, turntable, amplifier … all analog. Are there any indication of this like the aad things on cd?

Are all classic/xs amplifiers truly analog? I see they have chips on photos. Also the phono stage in the amps seems to have chips. Can this be considered true analog? Is it possible at all?

You need one of these.


Does it really matter?

May I ask why that is important to you?


You’ve asked a lot of questions there!

At least from the XS amplifier perspective, and likely all classic amps apart from the NAC172 and NAC272, the chips on board are not DACs or ADCs involved in the audio chain. Probably just involved in control logic. I suspect to answer your question completely will take a lot of digging.

Why do you ask?

Integrated circuits are not necessarily used to digitize signals, if there is no ADC the signal would remain in the analog domain.

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So impossible :smiley:

I just never experienced a true analog recording, so just curious.

Fairy Nuff.

@randomfan - you don’t list an analogue source in your profile, do you have a TT or tape deck? Or asking your questions hypothetically?

A plug for: Ese and the Voodoo Machine, Up in Smoke. Recorded 2019, and by the personal account of a member here intimately involved in the recording, fully analogue. Obviously not if you buy it on CD :wink:

Plus the whole resource of old pressings that predated digital. I think it is easy enough to ensure your amp is analogue. Much harder, and not always without controversy, for media.


Once you’ve got a TT, analogue amp and conventional speakers, I’d suggest getting hold of an LP from pre-1970 - by definition, this would predate anything digital.

For Classical, maybe a Mercury Living Presence release, or a 60s DG release - maybe a Karajan Beethoven symphony?

For Jazz, how about a classic Miles release from the Kind of Blue era?

For Rock, maybe an original Hendrix release?


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If I recall correctly, digital recordings started around 1980. I remember some DG digital recordings having the tag ‘numeriqe’.

There are analogue integrated circuits as well as digital.

Although there were experimental recordings from way back, this is often cited as the first commercially available digital recording:

From the liner notes:

Still sounds awesome, nearly 45 years later!



Denon were making digital recordings and releasing them on LP back in the early '70s.


I don’t have any. I think, I want to buy one. But not sure if its worth it.

And just for fun, anything you might have recorded off air from bbc fm broadcasts were likely distributed to the transmitters using pcm digital from 1972 onwards…

Ok, in that case there are a few threads about starting fresh with vinyl on here. Generally people fall into two camps, don’t bother/too expensive/too much hassle on the one hand and, go for it it’s fun and can sound great on the other. I’d do some searching/reading.

I think vinyl is fun, I have a collection I started in the late 80s. It isn’t a large collection compared to some, but it incrementally continues to grow. I have to say though, other than academic interest, I don’t really pay much attention to the analogue/digital aspects of what I listen to. As always though, YMMV!!

Good luck deciding your path :slight_smile:

[edited to say: turntables and vinyl are incredibly tactile, I find it way more rewarding to choose a record, put it on the TT, cue it up and start playing than I do selecting a track/album on an app.]

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I was just posting this same info. They experimented with PCM video recorders first. Denon is in the record industry since, I believe, the very early 1900s.

I recall that that Ese And The Vooduu People album was a limited vinyl release of five or six hundred copies, so any potential buyer needs to be quick!


I have a copy.

Yes it’s awesome… and Frederick Fennel agreed, there was a simultaneous analogue recording (I forget whether it was a Revox or Ampex machine), and Fennel was given the choice as to which would be used… he greatly preferred the digital.

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