Reviews: Who Says It’s Good, And How Do They Know?

Roger Skoff: In the last installment (Part 3) of this continuing series on audio reviews and reviewers I named three requirements for good reviewing ― the ability to judge products’ performance; the ability to apply some (consistent) standard for rating them; and the ability to communicate one’s judgments and ratings to other people in a […]

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Should We Care What People Think of High-End Audio?

Paul Wilson’s recent column defending the health of the audio industry reminded me of what people have often said about one of my other almost-lifelong interests: jazz. I’ve been reading audio magazines and jazz magazines since about 1976, and people were questioning the commercial viability of jazz way back then. I remember as a teen […]

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Breaking in what?

It has been said that break-in, the phenomena of equipment improving its sound quality with use, has more to do with breaking in the user’s ears than the kit. I think that opinion is misleading. There is a difference in equipment performance with break-in. Of this I am certain. I can almost always tell when a unit […]

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Clear fog

In yesterday’s post I recounted a story of Telarc engineers in the recording studio control room comparing the output of an analog and digital tape recorder to the live feed from their mixer. To their ears the digital recorder was more faithful to the original signal. Which makes perfect sense since this is exactly what we […]

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Is the loudness war over?

The loudness wars, or the war against dynamic range, is still alive and well and that is unfortunate. But, there’s hope and Paul helps us understand the beginnings of the loudness campaigns and why they are so prevalent today. Watch Now

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Multiple stab wounds

Paul McGowan: I recently enjoyed the latest version of Murder on the Orient Express. I’m certain everyone’s seen at least one version of this Agatha Christie classic but if you haven’t, it’s alright because I won’t tell you who done it. The antagonist in the film is named Mr. Ratchett but his real identity is […]

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Control vs. convenience

There’s a constant battle going on inside me over two fundamental urges: control or convenience. On the one hand, I want to place myself in a position of control over life’s simple variables like dialing in the exact time and temperature of morning toast or setting the thermostat to suit my immediate needs. On the […]

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Room calculator

Our rooms are as important as our equipment yet only a scarce few of us have the luxury of choosing our room dimensions. Typically we take what we can get within our home and make the best out of it. With our new building in process, we’re heavy into the architectural tasks of designing three […]

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Which would you choose?

Raul Montilla from Puerto Rico sent me a kind note about an interesting experiment from years past. In it, Jack Renner and the engineers from Telarc are said to have recorded the Cleveland Orchestra on both an analog tape recorder and a Soundstream Digital recorder. They then compared the output of the two and all selected the […]

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Is there a high end conspiracy?

This customer’s dealer keeps encouraging him to spend more money to eliminate listener fatigue and he asks Paul if perhaps it’s all a conspiracy to separate him from his money. Paul lets us in on the ways to eliminate listener fatigue. Watch Now

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What’s something worth?

My iPhone X retails for $1,000 at the Apple store. That’s a lot. It’s one of the most expensive mobile phones on the market and it could be argued it’s at the top of the expense heap. And yet, if that were a high-end DAC or power amplifier it would be on the extreme low end. […]

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Fake hi-fi an issue?

Just reading on the Luxman website ….. “It has come to our knowledge that unknown LUXMAN products are being imitated and widely sold in certain areas of the world by unauthorised vendors, bearing the same “LUXMAN’ trademark and all other visual attributes of the authentic LUXMAN product, deceiving the general consumer public into believing thatt […]

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Audiophile Sound on a Budget?

Clay Swartz writes: Many audiophiles, myself included, can’t afford speakers costing $20,000 or more, amplifiers costing $10,000 or more, or CD players and preamplifiers costing $5000 and more, not to mention expensive cables, power cords, and room treatments. In this article, I will discuss how you can get audiophile sound for much less—under $10,000 for […]

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At the height of the vinyl era we were selling perhaps 1,500 turntables a week. Now it’s double that. Why? Nobody really knows.”

From the archives Robert Ryan writes: The glowing valve amps, big boxy speakers, groovy turntables and curvy radiograms of the past produced rich, warm sounds that analogue enthusiasts still crave today – and specialist makers are increasingly feeding their need http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/technology/16348/steam-audio-the-resurgence-of-classic-hi-fi.html

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