TBH I've never entirely understood the vinyl fanatics either (sorry Ned!), even though I own a lot of it myself. That said, there are exceptions:
1. There's some rare stuff that was never reissued in digital form.
2. Even on material that has been reissued digitally, the mastering is sometimes inferior (excessive dynamic range compression), or the original source tapes have been lost, resulting in a sonically inferior digital product.
3. Sometimes the producer of the digital reissue insists on fixing something that isn't broken (e.g. re-recording parts). I will be eternally pissed off that I did not get the original vinyl versions of ZZ Top's early albums (drum tracks were re-done on the digital reissues to make them sound friendlier to an MTV-era audience).
4. As a long term
archival medium, it is arguably more stable than any of our contemporary digital media.
The CD data format (44.1 kHz 16-bit PCM) was a compromise dictated by the limits of 1980s consumer electronics tech. It isn't truly "lossless" at all, and yet it is somehow considered the gold standard of audio quality by most people today. But... for most use cases it might as well be lossless, and TBH my 5+ decades old (and subjected to far too many rock concerts over the past 3+ decades of that) ears can't really tell the difference any more.
In my case, I was also a bit peeved at the prospect of paying again for content I had already paid for, just to have it in digital form. The solution was, as I listened to my old vinyl I ripped it to WAV (and encoded to OGG for portable use).
Heh-heh, showing your age, JBI! The only place I've seen a Loudness button/switch is on the relatively ancient Kenwood KA-3500 my dad gave me. ┐(￣ヮ￣)┌ Do recievers even come with those anymore? Heh-heh-heh.
Well, the receiver in my basement entertainment center isn't *that* old (actually supports video switching, heh) and has a Loudness button. I suppose it may have been one of the last ones to do so, haven't really shopped around for audio equipment in a long time! But then, to me "ancient" means from the 1980s or before. There I go showing my age again...
Edit: Just saw your last post. Yes, I'm a member of the "old fart" contingent here. You're young enough to be one of my kids. Now get off my lawn!
I believe that if the recording and mixing are done at higher precision, CDs are fine for final output for the end user, just as JPEGs are good enough for final photo output, but rapidly show noticeable digital artifacts if you use them for photo editing.
Yup. A lot of the "harshness" attributed to digital is likely due to this, IMO. And yes, quality digital recodring/mixing are done at higher precision.
The years just pass like trains. I wave, but they don't slow down.
-- Steven Wilson