It is curious to me that many on this platform have keen opinions regarding trombones, their materials of construction, the best mouthpiece to use [bowl-shaped, funnel-shaped, brass, stainless, Lexan etc.], single bore, double bore, single or dual radius tuning slides, tuning in slide, minimal bracing etc. etc. etc. The subtle differences that are produced by any of the infinite combinations available are taken seriously by every trombonist wanting to improve their game. That observation supports my wonderment that a similar approach is not appreciated when talking about similar issues in the world of audio. Consider that the greatly maligned 78 RPM recordings are most commonly heard on electronic devices that are far different that the devices on which they were engineered to be played upon. 78 RPM records in their early days were "acoustic" recordings and only later were created using electric equipment. To hear an acoustic 78 RPM recording on a matching acoustic player is amazing. Recall that these machines are nearly 100 years old and can suffer frailties just as the moving parts of a trombone would if sitting unused for years. The reproducer of a Victrola has bearings the size of a grain of sand that can bind and give unsatisfactory results just like the valve or slide on a trombone if not cared for properly. When rebuilding a reproducer, the difference, before and after, is remarkable. And yes, you CAN hear the "resin in the string" and the "flesh on the string". Consider that we are talking about a carefully designed "system", an acoustic system. To play an acoustic recording on a modern turntable using a modern cartridge may make noise, but I guarantee that much of the original material is never reproduced. The stylus size and weight of the tonearm of the modern setup is simply not compatible. There are specific modern work-arounds available.
Regarding the modern LP, I contend that they are designed as a "system" as well. They will suffer from neglect just as the aforementioned 78 RPM recordings. Dirty discs, worn styli, inaccurate turntable speed, poorly designed tonearms -- all contribute to a poorly realized result. Hearing a well-tuned system of either format is very similar to hearing a truly great trombonist for the first time. Both are jaw-dropping and life-changing ! We all know when it happened to us for the first time, don't we ?
The debate about analogue and digital will never end because some people simply can't hear what others are capable of hearing. We need only realize that there are "systems" out there, that when optimized can be remarkably satisfying.
As to "Golden Ears" : I worked for over 25 years as a recording engineer. A particular recording that I did of a Big Band with a vocalist always bothered me for some reason that I could not quite understand. I had an opportunity to play it for a friend with "Golden Ears" who also happened to be blind. Within the first few seconds of hearing the recording he shouted out, 'The vocalist is out of phase" ! Sure enough, the vocalist asked if she could sing facing the trumpets in the rear of the ensemble and consequently was singing into the back of the microphone instead of the front ! I was in another room with no visual contact, so the error went unnoticed until those "Golden Ears" noticed it. So---- "Golden Ears" DO exist ! I realized that my friend's blindness was a bonus to his incredible hearing.
Be afraid ! They walk among us !