Because no one has established that the hardware sounds better
than the plugin.
Well, I've stated my opinions on this many times - the software sounds *better*, and the hardware sounds *preferable* in some cases. I've never once said the hardware sounds better - in fact jut the opposite, the hardware sounds *worse* (in objective quality terms) but *nice* (in subjective character terms).
The highest fidelity isn't always the best choice - we love our distortion and our saturation stages in our quest for character. The convertors in the WS *do* affect sound quality noticeably - much like the I/O stages on many items of gear, sometimes desirably, sometimes not so much.
Teksonik wrote:There is this tendency to automatically assume the original sounds better than the emulation. I don't think this is always the case.
There are no assumptions from me - it's carefully evaluated opinion based on years of programming and using the WS, and the software, and my ears. I don't assume, I listen for myself, and decide what works for me.
So "why not" becomes "why bother" if the plugin sounds better......
Because "better quality/fidelity" isn't always a "preferable sound" for a given part. I'm *very* used to the hardware sound (which is probably why I notice it more than most people), but I also like the clarity of the plugin. If I could only have one character, I'd take the clarity of the plugin (which i what I go for most of the time, often out of convenience of using the plugin). But just as someone might want to compress/distort/eq/whatever to get a sound quality they like, they might like the hardware qualities a bit better, subjectively, for a given part or role in a mix.
It's not about accuracy, or some quest for emulation perfection, it's just about getting the sound we want/like. As an option.
(A bit like how Roland implemented DAC emulation in the boutique D05/D50 - you can have it off, for the high fidelity sound, or on, for the worse DAC sound of the original hardware, depending on your preferences. As an option.)