Why CDs sound bad

Andrew Turnbull has done a nicely illustrated post on why today’s CDs often sound worse than those from 15 years ago. The problem is that most pop/rock CDs are engineered to sound loud at the expense of the natural dynamics of the music.

The hi-fi industry has wasted an enormous amount of effort on DVDA and SACD instead of fixing this more fundamental problem which spoils our enjoyment of music.

There is some discussion of the problem here as well as in other posts on Steve Hoffman’s forum, including this thread which I started.