AC RECEPTICALS

Paul McGowan: For those of us with long memories here’s a flashback. Remember when preamps sported rear-mounted AC receptacles to power the rest of the system? The first memory I have of the rear-mounted AC receptacle was on my father’s McIntosh C28 preamplifier. Note the use of switched and unswitched outlets. The idea was that […]

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SAMPLE RATES:

Paul McGowan writes … There sure is a lot of confusion over sample rates. We hear about CD-quality sample rates at 44.1kHz (and its multiples), or another common sample rate, 48kHz (and its multiples), and then there are multiple higher sample rates (176kHz, 192kHz as examples) and of course DSD. Lots of numbers. All very […]

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HERTZ

Paul McGowan … I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve written the abbreviation, Hz—1 kHz, 1,000 kHz. It is, of course, short for Hertz. The car company? Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who first proved the existence of electromagnetic waves. Invisible forces that had a specific periodicity (frequency) that later […]

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SPOTIFY: How does it calculate loudness?

” We currently use ReplayGain, which was the most recognized standard for calculating loudness when Spotify first started. In the future, we plan to use a new standard for calculating loudness, called ITU 1770 (from the International Telecommunication Union). This defines the integrated LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale) measure, and it’s what we recommend you […]

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SPOTIFY: Normalization vs dynamic range compression

Have you ever wondered what the ‘Set the same volume level for all tracks’ option in Spotify is really doing?  No probably not, but I have. Googling didn’t help to find an answer to this question because some people say that it works by normalization and others say that it works by reducing the dynamic […]

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WE, THE JURY. Civilised audio and hi-fi equipment opinions & debates #003 (GROUNDING BOXES)

This is where WE ask the questions and you folks give your answers. Jury members are by invitation only. QUESTION: GROUNDING BOXES – do they work? —//— —//— David Rance Proper amp power supplies should isolate the amp circuit very well. Grounding boxes are a foo thing which can actually add rf noise into a […]

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What are diffusors; how to use and how to place them.

Funny thing is, there’s really no good answer any more.  I used to advocate RPG diffusors and personally I use a combination of RPG and DAAD Diffusors but it seems RPG has gone away from high-end accessibility and DAAD is not something you can afford. Where does one go now and what the heck happend […]

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FM: Aerials, the misunderstood and/or marginalised component?

Surely the radio aerial, with possibly a signal amplifier present for weaker signals, could be regarded as being the equivalent of vinyl’s cartridge and phono amp stages? If achieved then consequently, we may have more choice and availability of aerials and magazine reviews. Imagine going into a hi-fi shop to discuss an aerial/amp combination that […]

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BALANCED IS … BETTER

Paul McGowan writes … In my mind, there’s no question that between components the best connection is balanced. Balanced cables offer lower noise and better sound. I understand there are single-ended holdouts (wait, we disagree on something in audio?). Perhaps their equipment doesn’t support balanced. Perhaps their cable collection doesn’t include balanced. Or maybe they […]

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COLIN WONFOR: M50 power amplifier test review

Alan Brown writes: Since when will an amplifier sound better the louder it plays? Sure, louder can be more exciting, more visceral, but usually there’s a point where things get ‘ragged’. This can manifest as harshness, sibilance, collapse of soundstage or loudness. Yes, I said loudness, which seems to me to be an artifact of […]

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COLIN WONFOR: LS-XXV speaker cables test review

Colin wonfor has just sent us this review. Mike Tierny (Proclaim Audio) writes: Colin and Alan, thank you for the opportunity to audition Elsdon Wonfor Audio’s LS-XXV speaker cables for review. I must tell you, as a “certified cable nut”, I am mightily impressed. I have run the gamut of speaker cables over the past […]

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