Audio sources connect to your stereo amplifiers inputs they can be analogue or digital. Many analogue source have an inbuilt soundcard called a digital to analogue converter (DAC). Sources with digital outputs bypass the DAC and use that of the amplifier.
Analogue sources pre-date digital and are popular amongst Hi-Fi enthusiasts. The most popular of analogue sources has to be the turntable with infamous models by the likes of linn and technics.
There are two main types of record players, belt drive and direct drive.
Belt driven turntables are more popular amongst Hi-Fi listeners due to the lower noise and distortion however there are a few drawbacks; to begin with they are a little trickier to set up and require the user to change the belt, dependant on the speed of the record (33 or 45rpm).
Direct drive turntables such as technics are popular amongst DJ's this is because they have fast start ups, higher torque and a pitch fader which helps for cueing records. They are easier to use and set up but belt drives outperform them when it comes to audio quality.
Vinyl offers a hands on approach with nuances such as crackles and a lossless resolution up to a 16bit rate and 44.1khz sample rate.
Digital sources include TV's, computers, CD players/transports and network streamers.
Digital files can support much higher bit rates typically up to 24 bit & 192khz although bit rates of up to 32 are becoming increasingly popular along with new file compressions such as MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) which files delivers files at the same quality of the mixing engineer.
If you are interested in streamers or CD players and would like to listen to MQA files you may require specific or additional hardware to acheive the best quality sound. If you have any queries get in touch and we can create a bespoke hi-fi package to your needs.