ALL source material is compressed
vinyl? RIAA curve in/out. digital? hacked and (occasionally) regenerated.
this on top of the compression/expansion, noise gates, preamp distortion, microphone effects, and multistage processing loss of definition all throughout the recording and duplication chain. tape has a 50 dB range with nonlinearities on the low end, and processing like dbx adds additional artifacts. digital recording is itself a series of compromises.
so to start with, there is no "true" fidelity in a commercial source.
I have always had my doubts about the 30s and 40s RCA research that "7% distortion is the point at which the human ear detects." that's as good as they could measure pure tones. and every improvement such as the feedback loop, beam-power tetrode, and differential amplifier stages iimproves on that.
in the beginning and the end, we have analog. careful use of analog technology across the chain provides fewer machine artifacts and a more realistic experience.
I'm smelling more ways to try and push 1-inch transducers and chips and calling that excellent.
when it's just another ploy to get me to dump all my stuff and buy new.
the push side of the market is looking desperately for another gimmick, while the pull side is way tired of "it's all crap, but this is better." we don't want to stuff the landfills and spend all over again out here.