Jason Victor Serinus • http://www.jasonserinus.com
Music and audiophile critic, and Whistler Extraordinaire.
**The Voice of Woodstock • The Pavarotti of Pucker**
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.
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.
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.
One 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.
A BAAS MEMBER EVENT – Saturday, March 8, 2014 ))))) EVENT IS SOLD OUT (((((
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:
- Synergistic T3 SE with the Galileo mpc
- Speltz Audio Lab Level 3 Power Cord
- Verastarr Grand Illusion PC
- PS Audio AC3
- Triode Shunyata Cobra Zitron
- Hoveland PC
- Synergistic Research Element Copper
- Audio Note PC
- Virtual Dynamics Genesis PC
- Pangea AC-14 SE
- DH Labs Encore power cable
- Lessloss DFPC Ref power cord
EVENT IS SOLD OUT.
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.
Can one of the nation’s great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let’s find out.
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.
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.
Alex Peychev, digital / electronics guru and founder of APL Hi-fi, had this to say about DSD vs PCM (and vinyl):
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.
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?
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.
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).
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>
This particular exemplar came to me via a somewhat circuitous chain:
- Jim Smith podcast email
- Positive Feedback article
- Realization that “hey, he’s a BAAS member” (Alón Sagee)
- Download scanned wisdom (link at end of article)
Read it & enjoy.
The ever-entertaining Priconomics web site has followed up their report on subjectivism in wine tasting with a piece on classical music performances.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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