Save The Stereo!

— Save The Stereo Project: News Report #1 —
MUST READ LINK: Save The Stereo Project Feedback200+ feedback comments have now been posted on SaveTheStereo.com.If you submitted feedback for Save The Stereo Project, it has been published in one of six pages in the Feedback section.  You will not believe the quality and quantity of feedback we have received.

400 Participants, 700 Facebook Fans, 6,300 Visits, and Counting!

We are very excited to announce some stunning participation numbers for Save The Stereo Project – especially considering the project is only eight weeks old.  Thank you!

Stereophile.com Article Brought 1,925 Visits to SaveTheStereo.com

Jason Victor Serinus’ February 16th Stereophile.com article, “You Really Can Help Save The Stereo” has sent 1,925 visits to SaveTheStereo.com.  Thank you Jason and the Stereophile team for supporting the project.

THE FIRST VOTE WILL BE HELD MID-MARCH

Save The Stereo Project will hold its first vote on starting Monday, March 17th.  You will be notified via email.

To keep up the momentum, please forward this email to your industry colleagues, music lovers, and audiophiles.  Ask them to check out SaveTheStereo.com, and complete the survey – today!

Thank You!

Thank you for your time and feedback for Save The Stereo Project.

Sincerely,

Gordon White, Founder
Save The Stereo Project

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 Jason Comments Off

Genesis and Linn at Elite Audio Systems San Francisco

http://www.stereophile.com/content/genesis-and-linn-elite-audio-systems-san-francisco 

How often have you encountered someone reciting your obituary? That’s what happened when he of the living dead visited Michael Woods’ aesthetically sensational Elite Audio Systems showroom in San Francisco on February 22, only to discover Gary Leonard Koh, CEO of and chief designer for Genesis Advanced Technologies, declaring, “The days when people sat in one sole sweet spot listening to music are over.
Dismayed to learn that my purportedly dying breed has already died off, I perked up when Gary posited his imposing Genesis 2jr line-source loudspeakers ($85,000/pair) as being far more listener-friendly than Wilson Audio loudspeakers. And that was but one of two audacious statements uttered at Elite Audio Systems from the CEOs of Genesis and, six days later, Linn. <snip>

Jason Victor Serinus • http://www.jasonserinus.com
Music and audiophile critic, and Whistler Extraordinaire.
**The Voice of Woodstock • The Pavarotti of Pucker**
Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 Jason Comments Off

The Power of the Human Voice

Screenshot 2014-02-27 08.06.19Brace Yourselves…

The power of the human voice to stir emotion is wildly apparent in this video of a 10-month old. This is priceless.

Click on the photo to see this kid in action! Enjoy.

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 Alón's Posts Comments Off

In Memorium

 

Screenshot 2014-02-24 15.55.54

Michael Raynor Merlino 1941-2014

BAAS Member Michael Merlino passed away on January 26, 2014 due to complications from a long illness.  A pyrotechnics expert and businessman, Michael was born in NYC and moved to California in 1979. His sensitivity, warmth and humor will be sorely missed by family and friends. If you knew Michael, his wife Debbie and son Michael E. will announce funeral arraignments in the spring.

Monday, February 24th, 2014 Alón's Posts Comments Off

Jared Sacks: DSD Present and Future

sacks.promo__0

http://www.stereophile.com/content/jared-sacks-dsd-present-and-future

Some months back, SACD and DSD champion Jared Sacks, founder of Channel Classics, stopped by Casa Bellecci-Serinus in Oakland for an extended chat about the history of his label, recording in DSD, and his new NativeDSD.com download site. I started our conversation by asking Jared to share his history with music and the industry with Stereophile:
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 Jason Comments Off

Local Audio Happenings

Elite Audio

This Saturday, Feb 22, Gary Koh, designer and CEO for Genesis Advanced Technologies will be presenting the new Genesis 2.2 & G2jr line source speaker.  Discussion to include product design, setup techniques and lots of listening to music.

Scheduled for March 22 at Elite, Neil Gader, Associate Editor for the Absolute Sound will share his evaluation process and conduct a question and answer session with attendees.  This event is limited to 50 people.  Beer, wine and food will be provided.  RSVP tickets will soon be available on Eventbrite.

Elite Audio Systems, Inc.
893-A Folsom Street
San Francisco, California 94107
Phone: (415) 795-1149
URL:   www.eliteaudiosf.com

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 Alón's Posts 1 Comment

Alón’s Video Vault

Screenshot 2014-02-19 11.26.16One of my all-time favorite music videos. It boggles my mind that someone (anonymous so far) actually envisioned this! I’m not saying anything else. Just turn up your volume and click on the image to watch.

Enjoy.

Alón

 

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 Alón's Posts Comments Off

Audio Gear Smack-Down #1: Power Cables

 A BAAS MEMBER EVENT – Saturday, March 8, 2014         ))))) EVENT IS SOLD OUT (((((

power tangle

Yes, this is the longest invitation sent by anyone, to anything, ever.

This being the first event I’m coordinating for BAAS, I thought that making it easy, participatory, educational and fun would be a good start. So, I kept on thinking… hmmmm, how can we tap into the enormous experience and massive number of man-hours our collective membership has invested in researching, auditioning and breaking in a piece of gear?  And what do most of our audiophiles already have that is very personal, may have taken them forever to decide upon, are easily transportable, easy to get in and out of their systems, and make a HUGE impact on the sound coming out of their speakers? Of course, Power Cables!

Because A/B-ing Power cables is so simple and relatively immediate, what could be better than having a whole bunch to audition from many different companies, different philosophies, different architecture, and yes – from price points that range from reasonable to astronomical? Without any manufacturers taking the stage to present their products (which is important and we will do that at another time), I invite all participants to bring their own power cords to the event to see how they fare against everyone else’s!

This Power Cable Smack-Down should be fairly fast-paced and lively. To make it also sane, we’ll keep the variables low – swapping only the cable that powers the source component, which in this case is a DAC. Please bring paper and pen to take notes on what you hear. Cables will by graded by you, first and foremost for overall sound pleasure factor (SPF), and optionally, for specific nuances such as imaging, dynamics, tonality, transparency, speed, etc.  And… we’ll do all auditions blind!  As a group, we’ll rate each one, find out which sound best, reveal their identities, and publish the results in this blog. We’ll give special recognition to anyone who can identify their own cable when it’s being auditioned! Cool, huh?

Yes, I know that cables are very system-dependent, and nothing ever sounds exactly the same on your rig at home, but this event should definitely give you some idea of which cables you just might want to audition in your own system. Maybe the cable you are most impressed by will be attached to a new friend who would even bring it over to your place for a listen?

I remember the moment I heard a high-end power cord in my system for the first time… the difference was unbelievable. Whether you’ve had many such epiphanies, or you’re still skeptical, this event should be very enlightening and a lot of fun.

Some details: We’ll be meeting on Saturday, March 8th at 10:00am-12:00pm at the beautiful home of BAAS member Leslie Lundin, in Orinda, only 10 minutes from Jason’s soon-to-be-sold Casa Bellecci-Serinus. Leslie is an avid audiophile with a great CJ tube-amplified digital rig feeding a pair of Vandersteen full-rangers, flanked by two matching subs. The sound should be wonderful and very revealing for our purposes.

Here is a list of Power Cables we have for audition:

  1. Synergistic T3 SE with the Galileo mpc
  2. Speltz Audio Lab Level 3 Power Cord
  3. Verastarr Grand Illusion PC
  4. PS Audio AC3
  5. Triode Shunyata Cobra Zitron
  6. Hoveland PC
  7. Synergistic Research Element Copper 
  8. Audio Note PC
  9. Virtual Dynamics Genesis PC
  10. Pangea AC-14 SE
  11. DH Labs Encore power cable
  12. Lessloss DFPC Ref power cord

EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

Alón

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 Alón's Posts, Announcements 9 Comments

Favorite Articles About Music

Screenshot 2014-02-15 14.27.10 This article was published on my 47th birthday in 2007 – which has absolutely no significance – nonetheless, it remains one of my favorites. If  this “social experiment” got under your radar,  you’re in for a fascinating treat.

When you click on the link to read more, please remember to come back here to post your impressions. Also, if you have a great article about music that inspires you, send it in.

Enjoy!

Can one of the nation’s great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let’s find out.

By Gene Weingarten

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 8, 2007

HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L’ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.

Click here for the full article. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 15th, 2014 Alón's Posts, Audiophile 1 Comment

One Track Mind

Since taking the responsibility of leading BAAS into its future – a mere 24 hours ago – I think I’ve pulled out most of my hair and, I believe, if you look carefully, you can still see some smoke emanating from my ears. Ah, the joys of a crash course in support and communications systems for an online community… and I thought the presidency was going to be all “cush” with limos to trade shows, free drinks and such… Guess not. However, I think I’ve got my arms wrapped around this three-headed technology beast and I’m moving forward. Welcome to my first blog post.
The idea for One Track Mind came to me late last night. I imagine this would be an enjoyable exercise and could have some very rewarding results if enough people participate. I realize that it may be more suited for the forum rather than the blog, but I’m still working on streamlining that little bit of modern wonder, so we’re going to try it out here first.

If you absolutely had to choose only one track, in any format or style, to demonstrate what your audio rig can do, what would it be? And why? Post your answer  by leaving a comment to this post.

Over the years, I’ve seen posts listing someone’s top 10 best recorded albums or something like that – which is fine – but here we’re looking for the very best single tune in your collection, on your system. Give this some thought, post your choice, and soon we could have a killer thread with all kinds of new ultra-reference tracks to try on our own systems. By now, most of us are a wee bit tired of Diana, and Holly, and pretty soon, Shelby too.
-
I’ll start:  Since we’re talking only one track, mine would be Good Morning School Girl on the 1987 MCA vinyl re-issue of Folk Singer by Muddy Waters (I’ve yet to find the original Chess Records LP). I bought this regular weight, non-audiophile, not kissed-by-virgin-cherubs album when it was re-released 27 years ago and still I believe it to be the best recording I’ve  heard of a single voice and acoustic guitar. When I play this track with lights off (no dimmers allowed in the man-cave), Muddy doesn’t come into my room… it is I who sneaks into his 1963 Chicago recording session unnoticed, and plunk myself down on the floor about 10 feet in front of him. With eyes closed, I can see him shifting his weight in his seat, I can see the movement of his guitar and I actually feel the changes in the room’s air pressure as he slaps its wooden body, creating his own percussion section in between strums. The performance is stellar… even if I didn’t love the blues, I’d still be very impressed.
Your turn.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 Alón's Posts 10 Comments

When You Just Can’t Get Enough Music…

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 Audiophile, Bob, Video Comments Off

Alex Peychev on Vinyl-like Qualities of DSD

Alex Peychev, digital / electronics guru and founder of APL Hi-fi, had this to say about DSD vs PCM (and vinyl):cd lp

After dealing with PCM and PCM converted DSD for so many years, I am now also convinced in the DSD superiority. We are not talking about amazing measurements and specifications, but sound quality that is comparable to analog. Vinyl, for example, has horrible specs, but how it sounds? Yes, DSD has more noise and somewhat compromised dynamic range, but it is the closest to vinyl I’ve heard. :-)

Private correspondence, reprinted by permission with thanks.

My purpose in the last two posts has not been to sell you on DSD. Just to point out that the DSD debate, like the high-resolution PCM debate that preceeded it, is most easily resolved by audition not cognition.

Bob

 

Sunday, January 19th, 2014 Audiophile, Bob 1 Comment

Why I embraced DSD

chas

Mr. Hansen

Charles Hansen at Ayre has published a lengthy article about the evolution of high resolution digital playback. As is often the case, DSD is criticized heavily based on scientific analysis and lack of mixing/mastering toolsets.

Several members have asked me why I, a self-proclaimed mad scientist and inveterate tinkerer with an engineering degree, have embraced DSD playback.

I’ll share my answer with you:

For me it’s simple. There are amazing recordings on DSD that I want in my collection. They are not available at the same quality in PCM. With one or two exceptions, the best DACs in the world play DSD “for free.” I own such a DAC. Done.

The fact that I can (and do) rip SACDs to DSD is gravy.

Most of us read a lot about our hobby. Analyze and over-analyze. Sweat minutiae. That’s cool – it’s what men (and some women) do. But ultimately I just let it rest and listen. Then decide.

Shouldn’t you too?

Bob

Friday, January 17th, 2014 Audiophile, Bob, News 4 Comments

Can We, Should We – Save the Stereo?

It’s early days for this fledgeling project, so plans are understandably vague.

But the future of the high end is an important topic, and I urge you to visit the site and determine whether it aligns with your beliefs.

Bob

SaveStereo

Sunday, January 5th, 2014 Audiophile, Bob, News Comments Off

The Biggest News in High-End Audio?

I believe that this is a really big deal. Nouveau business model meets “old World” market. LH is also canny to be riding the headphones wave. The title of the CES presentation is bold – How Indiegogo Will Help Save an Old Dying Industry – is a stretch for me (but not insanely so).

BobDAC

———————-

LH Labs’ 2014 CES Panel Discussion Takes Place on Heels of $1.1 Million Dollar Indiegogo Campaign

Indiegogo Director of Design and Technology along with High-Performance Audio Experts will Discuss How Crowdfunding Can Help The Dying Audio Industry

December 30, 2014-Sacramento, CA – LH Labs will be holding a press conference at the 2014 International CES discussing how non-traditional marketing, using crowdfunding and crowd- designing, has helped the high-performance audio manufacturer raise nearly 1.5 million dollars in five months.

LH Labs’ second crowd-funding campaign, running since October 28 on Indiegogo, raised $1,174,075 from 6,340 backers of Geek Pulse, a desktop digital-to-analog converter (DAC)/ headphone amplifier. The campaign was the 6th most-funded campaign in Indiegogo’s history.

Light Harmonic, known for industry-leading audio products such as the $31,000 Da Vinci Dual DAC, established LH Labs to offer mainstream-market audio products of exceptional performance and value. LH Labs’ first offering was Geek Out, a $299 portable USB

DAC/headphone amp introduced on crowd-funding site Kickstarter, where it raised over $303,000 from 2146 backers. LH Labs will debut Geek Out at the 2014 International CES in the iLounge Pavilion.             <snip>

http://www.lhlabs.com/

 

Monday, December 30th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, News 1 Comment

Beat-up Loudspeakers

smashed spkrs

Speaks for itself. Funny ad here.

[Thanks, Vince!]

Bob

Friday, December 20th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, Humor Comments Off

How to Listen to Music

sagee artAt this point in my audiophile career, it’s rare to come across a document of this type that moves me – causes me to reevaluate “how I listen.”

This particular exemplar came to me via a somewhat circuitous chain:

  1. Jim Smith podcast email
  2. Positive Feedback article
  3. Realization that “hey, he’s a BAAS member” (Alón Sagee)
  4. Download scanned wisdom (link at end of article)

Read it & enjoy.

Bob

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob 2 Comments

String vibration at high frame rate

Thanks, Vince!
Bob

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, Video Comments Off

Do we judge classical music performances by sight or by sound?

The ever-entertaining Priconomics web site has followed up their report on subjectivism in wine tasting with a piece on classical music performances.closedeyes

The conclusions are surprising, and the author ties them in to the Gladwell book Blink.

Yet another reason to close your eyes for any critical audio analysis. I do, and I have come to believe that it’s an essential practice.

Bob

 

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, News Comments Off

Impressions of the California Audio Show (CAS4)

After a week of travel, I arrived at the show early Sunday morning. Last day – maybe everything is tuned and locked in. For the most part, it was.

Given lack of time and energy, I decided to dispense with my normal “play these 3 tracks so I can evaluate” rigor, and just listen and enjoy.

Here’s what I encountered:

  • The new venue is much improved. Bigger rooms, more luxury, and I heard no complaints about power or noise. Well done.stwit2
  • The star of the show for me was the Enigma “Sopranino” supertweeter (link). Wow. I didn’t need test tracks to hear the remarkable sonic improvement that it afforded the Magico host. And not just air on top. Richer harmonic structure, more dynamic contrast, and greater integration of the soundstage. I could have sworn that a better DAC was inserted! $3600. I must try these with my Quad’s.
  • Piraeus Audio’s (link) Athena active loudspeakers rocked, both literally (his music collection was 98% rock) and figuratively. I could find little to fault in the sound and I love the concept – digital-in to the speaker. Of course, this architecture renders the system niche (except maybe in a studio), and the 24/96 limitation doesn’t help either. $18K I think.
  • At the low(er) end, the LRE Audio (link) Fourier speakers demonstrated quite credible sound for less than $2K/pair. Unique enclosure design can be wall-loaded. Oddly, they are meant to be driven by an AV receiver. Probably also niche, esp given the industrial (at best) standard finish. Still, I admire the innovation and low price point.
  • I really enjoyed the time that I spent with Steven Lester, a local AV consultant (link) who specializes in 2-channel plus video. Steven’s absolute passion for this listening mode was only exceeded by the tremendous wealth of audio-related video content that he has on his 30 TB of hard drives. I literally had tingles while watching the vid that he had chronicling the recording of a Bernstein show tune from West Side Story. (Leonard B ended up in tears too describing it.) Magical.

So this was for me a show whose stars were at the fringes of our hobby. This made it exciting instead of merely enjoyable. The improved environment didn’t hurt either.

I also saw a fair number of younger listeners, perhaps drawn by the headphone exhibits.

A very enjoyable Sunday.

Bob

Edit: The reason for the Yamaha receiver was that the LRE speakers require EQ (“room correction”). No wonder Jason and I thought that their frequency response was so well-balanced.

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 Audiophile, Events 4 Comments
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