How music finally recovered from CDs

Ken Ishiwata – a crucial figure in the development of compact discs – tells Matt Warman the music industry sacrificed quality for cost but is now finally primed to recovery.

Ken_2249810bFrom vinyl to cassettes, through to CDs and now to iPods and MP3 players, music has never been more convenient. But does it sound better? In the view of one of hifi’s most respected personalities: no. “Sound quality has gone down for the average user over the last ten to 15 years,” says Ken Ishiwata.

A 30-year veteran of the hifi industry, Ishiwata was the godfather of the first CD players to offer sound close in quality to their analogue predecessors. A key audio engineer at Marantz, he worked at the firm before it was bought by Phillips to bring out the first CD players.

Only now, he says, is digital music turning the corner and beginning to sound as good as vinyl did. He says that at the beginning of each cycle of innovation, the audio industry has consistently sacrificed quality for convenience, and then left others to pick up the pieces.

Read the full article by Matt Warman here at The Telegraph.

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