Link to Bob Dylan says modern music is worthless, and I agree. CD’s were bleeding edge when they came out over 25 years ago. But it’s only 16 bits of resolution (only 8 bits per channel!) and 44 khz sampling! (http://www.cs.cf.ac.uk/Dave/Multimedia/node150.htm…). 8 bits per channel means a signal to noise ratio of 50 dB. 44 khz is the minimum sampling rate to cover the human ear’s range (20 khz), Nyquist’s Sampling Theorem.
Vinyl, on the other hand, is all analog. And it avoids many digital artifacts from digital sampling. So it sounds smooth. There is still noise, but no sampling artifacts.
DAT tried to improve this a little. They used 48 khz. And I thought there was a version that used 12-bits per channel, though I can’t find reference to it.
Now DVD-Audio has a chance to improve this, but instead of a single standard they have multiple combinations of more channels and higher bit rates/sample rates. Sadly I’ve heard many recordings are using more channels rather than higher bit rates or sample rates. Great, now I can hear the guitar coming from the back right instead of the just the right, but still at 50 dB. I’d love to see just simple stereo at 24-bit’s per channel, 96 khz sampling… I think that would compare nicely against vinyl.