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>> Breadcrumb ://Oswalds Mill Audio

Crossroads

By | September 10th, 2017|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

We’re at a very interesting point in audio right now. Music reproduction is at a crossroads. From now on people will be consuming music either virtually and digitally (streaming), or  physically and analog (records). There will be no more digital, physical formats in the future, no more CD’s, SACD’s, or other supposedly superior digital formats on disc. CD production has fallen off a cliff. Streaming has essentially killed off the physical sales of music in the digital domain. The irony, of course, is that the one hundred year old technology of vinyl records, which has not really changed much since its inception, has prevailed over “Perfect Sound Forever” ™.… Read the full article

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Too True to be Good

By | January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|

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Every once in a while, I’ll see something published in one of the audio magazines, especially in the newsletter emails I receive, which has me perplexed: Are they really giving it up? This passage is from an entry titled “Too Good to be True”.

“Two letters from readers (see below) started us thinking again about something we’ve mulled at, off and on, for the past year or so: Does today’s high-fidelity equipment, for all its vastly improved performance, actually sound that much better than the best of the early components?Read the full article

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Blog Sound Quality 1950 to Today

By | December 16th, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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Last Sunday I had the pleasure of hosting a dozen young industry professionals and soon to be professionals, mainly graduates of the program at the University of Connecticut at Hartford in acoustics. Some were working as acousticians in New York City, others were music producers or engineers, I think everyone was in their 20’s. There was a theme, suggested by the young man who organized the event (an acoustician) who had visited OMA prior, and heard me play a reissue of Duke Ellington’s Masterpieces on vinyl, a Long Play mono LP recorded on December 19th, 1950.… Read the full article

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What is loud?

By | September 19th, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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There are certain things in our experience as humans today that are unprecedented. We experience things which before you would not be able to live through and tell about. Speed is one such experience- to experience great velocity meant falling off a cliff or into a ravine, not exactly something repeatable or pleasurable. Being on a horse was about as fast as you could go until the 20th century. Now owning a car or motorcycle capable of 200mph is, if not commonplace, possible without even being a professional racer.… Read the full article

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“I hate horns”

By | August 19th, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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Photo ©Cynthia van Elk

People tell me, “I hate horn speakers”. Only audiophiles tell me this, of course, but more often than you might think. Ordinary people don’t even know what a horn loaded loudspeaker is, and many of our customers talk about the “cone things” on top of their speakers. Horn hating is an audiophile thing.

Audiophiles have a good half century of training behind this prejudice. When Edgar Villachur and his company Acoustic Research invented the first small direct radiator speaker in the late 1950’s, the AR1, it changed audio forever.… Read the full article

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I Can’t Get No…

By | July 26th, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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I recently found a small neon sign on Ebay made by RCA  in the early 1930’s. It guaranteed “Sound Satisfaction” for any moviegoer because RCA equipment was in the house. That was a time when sound really mattered. I lost the auction but it did get me thinking on the subject of what sound quality means today and what’s happened since that sign was made.

It’s impossible to understand the impact of recorded sound on human civilization. It’s a little more than a hundred years ago since you had to be there to hear music.… Read the full article

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Audio Heirloom?

By | June 28th, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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The speed of change has become daunting. Our personal lives have changed because of the computer, the smart phone, the creation of social media and the new ways in which people relate to each other. As I walk down the street in New York City, most people no longer look around, they’re busy with their phones. Even at nice restaurants many would rather be with their phones, taking pictures of their food or selfies, than enjoying the company of others. … Read the full article

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Old, New and Irrelevant to Most of You

By | June 3rd, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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I’m not a Luddite. I have a profound respect for past technologies, but sometimes they deserve to be just that- past technologies. And so I felt until recently about one of the most obscure aspects of speaker technology: the power supplies for field coil speakers like the Cogent drivers we use in the OMA Imperia.

Back in the golden age of sound, the cinema speakers of the 1920’s and 1930’s, virtually all of the speakers were “field coil” or electromagnetic. At that time, the kind of permanent magnets we now take for granted in speakers did not exist.… Read the full article

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Don’t Play That!

By | March 20th, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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When people visit the OMA showroom in Dumbo, Brooklyn, they rightfully expect to listen to music. Sometimes they bring their own music, vinyl, CD’s or a hard drive with digital files. We even have a tiny device that allows anyone with a smartphone to use Bluetooth to play anything they have on their phone. I encourage people to play or request whatever music they like- there’s no point in putting on a very impressive classical LP for someone who wants to hear pop, rock, rap or punk (I have not had any punk requests yet, I must say).… Read the full article

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Where wine meets audio

By | March 1st, 2015|Categories: Oswalds Mill Audio|Tags: |

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A glass of Malbec, at a winery in Salta province, Argentina. Altitude 2512 meters.
(photo © Cynthia van Elk)

I’m in Argentina. It’s supposed to be a break from work, but I’ll confess that I met with a person in the industry today. He told me something interesting, that he doesn’t really trust his ears when it comes to “high end” audio components. He wants to audition them side by side. Then you really know which is better, he said.

Of course this is impossible in Argentina as it is almost anyplace else.… Read the full article

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