Archive for October, 2011

How Should Your Room Measure?

Yes, the title of this post is correct.

We audiophiles read a lot about how our components should measure, i.e., how to quantitatively specify system performance. You know the drill: 20-20Khz, 8 ohm, slew rate > 10, noise < 100dB, etc.

But how do we specify correct room behavior? And what are the consequences of poor behavior? Should any of this change with dipole speakers?

Sure, these answers can be found buried in textbooks and AES research papers. But few, if any, easily-accessible references are available.

Now, thanks to BAAS member Nyal Mellor, we have such a document. In fact, he and co-author Jeff Hedback wrote it! And they graciously donated a copy to BAAS for download.

You will need to use FTP to get it. See the new “Downloads” button above for instructions. It’s easy!

Bob

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, Technical Comments Off

Is the CD Format Good Enough for High Fidelity?

BAAS member Vince S. just sent me this very interesting link from Aussie pub Australian Hi-Fi . Just as interesting was that the article written way back in 1999, an era that I would not equate to superlative digital. (Hint: A DVD-V was used as the hires source.)

The article presents a balanced case for both formats, relying on by objective and subjective measures.

I personally agree with his key conclusions, but the author reached his 12 years ago!

A relevant AES article [1], published in 2007, also seems to support these conclusions. The money line:

The test results show that the CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the subjects, on any of the playback systems. The noise of the CD-quality loop was audible only at very elevated levels.

Enjoy,

Bob

[1] Meyer & Moran,  “Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback,” J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol. 55, No. 9, 2007 September

 

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, News Comments Off

Alan Parsons Laments Abandonment of High Fidelity

Despite his “normal guy” appearance, discerning eyes would have spotted superstar Alan Parsons on the Exhibit Floor of the recent AES Conference in San Francisco. (I would have missed hgim had the Prism rep not pointed him out to me.)

Writing in the current Wired, he says:

“It’s definitely lamentable that the concept of high fidelity seems to be largely a lost relic. The sad thing is that it seems to be irreversible. People are locked in to the idea that music (and other ‘entertainment’) is now delivered on their computer — instantly — and that’s all that matters.”

Of course, BAAS members join Alan in these sentiments. Parsons goes on to share various interesting tidbits about iPads (“ Why would anyone take recording on an iPad seriously?”, rock (“Talking Heads are a one-hit wonder”), and his own musical development (“ I was coerced into piano lessons by my parents from age 6. I hated it…”).

Recommended reading.

Bob

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, News Comments Off

Audiophile Guide to the Universe

The last truly-new-and-truly-useful web site for audiophiles that I discovered was the now-venerable Computer Audiophile.

Well, here’s another: Audiophile’s Guide to the Galaxy. This isn’t a simple “clipping service” like Daily Audiophile (also useful). Rather, it’s an edited compendium of all-things-audiophile. That is, the site creator attempts to add order (and opinion) to the content. And, I must say, he adds content that I have never seen before.

The proprietor of the site, Mike Davis, is a deep thinker. He tends to seek categories, root causes, hierarchies – to bring order to the chaos that is the 21st-century high end. While he also runs a high-end retail establishment (Audio Federation; it might be moving to North Bay), he does a reasonably good job (IMO) of keeping his writing balanced. Other BAAS members disagree, citing concerns of bias. So YMMV.

Anyway, like him or not, I think that you’ll find this site useful. Dig around…and enjoy!

Bob

Sunday, October 9th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, News Comments Off

Burning Amp 2011 – My Highlight

Here’s my “best in show” award for Burning Amp 2011 (the audio track actually captures the speaker’s audio signature pretty well):

Zenwood Audio speakers – check out Zenwood’s other videos! (They are located in San Francisco.)

Bob

 

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Events, General Comments Off

In Audio, Digital is Simply Not Digital

I wrote earlier in this blog about how digital audio signals must ultimately be represented by analog signals – particularly when traversing a cable.

This article in EE Times, while geeky, presents more evidence about the slippery problems of digital audio – this time from the perspective of USB.

Don’t think USB cables matter? Read on – if you dare!

Bob

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, Technical Comments Off
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