Archive for March, 2012

Ultra-high-end MSB Digital Source Impresses

Don Naples of Wood Artistry called me last Wednesday and said that he had the gear from the Axpona show back and asked whether BAAS would like to use it. Initially I demurred…until I heard that the system included the superb MSB Signature line – optical player, DAC, clock, and volume control unit. A long-time MSB fan, I bit and we put together a quick event in record time.

I must say that the ~$30K MSB units looked great and sounded better. Complementing the MSB stack were six channels of PASS Labs amplification and the excellent Linkwitz-designed “Orion” open-baffle speakers.

The system came more and more alive as the 4-hour gig proceeded, thanks to both the normal warmup dynamics and some judicious room tuning. By day’s end, I dare say that we had reference-quality sound.

Many thanks, Don (and MSB)!


Sunday, March 25th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Events Comments Off

Copyright Math – What’s Wrong with Media’s Loss Claims

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, General, News, Video Comments Off – A Boon to DIY Audio Everywhere

I’ve spent the last few evenings running through some circuit analysis using new web-based modeling software on Circuitlab.

So far, I love it! It’s fairly comprehensive, the GUI builder works well, and has nice graphical output. And it’s free.

Circuitlab is especially good news for Mac users, filling a void in application coverage.

The most “basic” use of the product is for passive crossover design, but active designs of all types are also doable.

So what’s stopping you?


Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Technical Comments Off

Are High-resolution Music Downloads “Senseless”?

Ensconced in my office at Untangle this afternoon, I was doing my daily regimen of high-tech reading when….I see an article on “24/192 downloads”appear on my favorite techie news service – Hacker News (HN). I read the post - provocatively entitled “24/192 Music Downloads …and why they make no sense” - and made a comment or two in critique. My surprise was compounded when the post rose to the top of the HN chart…and stayed there.

Not only stayed there, but elicited hundreds of comments – from programmers! And the comments were permeated with subjectivism vs objectivism, room treatments, and of course pseudo-science. Just like the familiar audio forums! Could all of these geeks be closeted audiophiles? (If so, why aren’t they BAAS members?)

I don’t know the answer, but i will say that the article is well worth reading if you have an interest in how digital audio really works. Setting aside whether you buy its core premise, it is technically well-researched (includes links!), thorough, and lucid. With one or two exceptions, it’s also technically accurate. I think its major flaw is in vastly overstating the “high-resolution is actually bad” argument - unfortunate. The other glitches are quite minor, usually errors of omission rather than commission.

Enjoy it and, if you dare, comment on Hacker news!



1. The Xiph folks are champions of open-source media formats (e.g., Ogg Vorbis and FLAC). They generally know whereof they speak.

2. For the purpose of this article, I have assiduously avoided stating my opinions on the value of high sampling and/or bit-depth in reproduction. Rather, I have tried to focus on the technical merits of the Xiph article.


Monday, March 5th, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Technical 2 Comments

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 Bob, Humor, Music, Video 1 Comment