May 2018
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Headed to Munich High End Show!

By | May 8th, 2018|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It was a tough decision but my wife and I — AND 200 pounds of books and Blu-ray discs are headed to Munich later today. This will be the first time that I have traveled to Germany for the largest audio show in the world. I’ll be sharing a corner booth with Todd Garfinkle in Hall 3 J15 from Thursday through Sunday — unless I manage to sell all 65 books that I hauling with me and get some tourist time.… Read the full article

MQA: Archimago Adds a “Final” Nail to the Coffin!

By | May 8th, 2018|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Every interested audiophile, equipment manufacturer, audio engineer, and content supplier should carefully read “MQA: A Review of controversies, concerns, and cautions” by Archimago, which was posted on the Computer Audiophile site back in March. I hold Archimago in the highest regard (and consider him a friend) but this article is a thorough, thoughtful, and critical analysis of the hoax that is MQA. I don’t know why I didn’t hear about it sooner — I don’t spend very much time reading CA — but kudos to Chris and Archimago for a terrific piece.… Read the full article

Munich 2018? Possible Road Trip

By | April 29th, 2018|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I heard from a good friend — a member of the audiophile community and vendor of high-end music servers — who suggested that I bring a couple of cases of the book Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound to Munich for the high end audio show happening in 10 days. I’m seriously considering making the mad dash to Germany between the end of my semester and the start of final exams. Todd Garfinkle or MA Records (who I’ve know since our days in the music department in Northridge, CA) has a booth at the show and told me that he would share a small corner of it.… Read the full article

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Taming the Terminology: Lossy vs. Lossless

By | April 28th, 2018|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Can a PCM digital audio file at any sampling rate and word length ever level be considered “lossy”? Despite a recent article on a popular audiophile website, the answer is an unambiguous NO…never! By definition Pulse Code Modulation is a lossless digital encoding scheme that preserves 100% of the original signal given the right filtering and parameters. How the simplest terms can get twisted and recast by casual — and uninformed audio writers — is not really surprising but problematic for readers looking for accurate information.… Read the full article

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Do You Hear What I Hear? AXPONA Part II

By | April 21st, 2018|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I was heartened to learn from several other vendors that MQA is not a regular topic of conversation and audiophiles aren’t asking whether this or that DAC will include this completely unnecessary technology. But I do continue to read discussions and comments posted by advocates for MQA. Steven Stone’s recent 2018 Show Report contains a rather curious section that narrows down the conditions under which MQA encoded music sounds best (if it’s supposed to sound different from the master at all!).… Read the full article

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The Halcyon Days of the 50s were NOT!

By | January 27th, 2018|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My wife, Charlie (the family border collie), and I left the mountains of Colorado a week ago and have returned to the warmth and comfort of Southern California. It was great to spend some time with family and friends. And I love to ski. But it was time for the vacation to end — time to come back home.

The new semester at the university has begun, the < emMusic and Audio books are expected to arrive next week, and preparations are being made to get them packed and shipped to purchasers as quickly as possible.… Read the full article

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MQA: Avoiding Confrontation

By | September 14th, 2017|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

MQA continues to spin their thread of sonic improvements through “origami” and removing “time smear” with high-end equipment manufacturers, audiophile reviewers, and streaming services. Among professional audio engineers and equipment designers, the jury is still out on the merits of MQA. I’ve made my position pretty clear over the past couple of years — they have developed solution to a non problem. There is no need to enhance fidelity beyond high-resolution PCM, FLAC encodes are DRM free and open to everyone and deliver better compression, and virtually all tracks consumed on disc or via streams aren’t high-resolution to start with and therefore can’t possibly benefit from MQA.… Read the full article

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Sgt. Peppers in Surround 5.1 – Amazing! Part I

By | May 31st, 2017|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Summer has arrived. I gave my final lecture and final exams, turned in all my grades, and attended graduation to send off another crop of audio/media engineers a couple of weeks ago. The class of 2017 was among my favorites and it was great receive a round of applause following the senior crit. I’m quite sure not everyone appreciates the demands I place on them but those that accept and overcome the challenges will undoubtedly find careers in the field. Many others will not but they are prepared for life in other professions.… Read the full article

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Digital Errors Don’t Affect Fidelity

By | April 30th, 2017|Categories: Real HD-Audio|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m back from Chicago. The 2017 edition of the AXPONA is behind me and will most likely be the last time I assemble a real high-resolution, surround music system. We were unique in offering a room that provided high-resolution, surround music. While there were other rooms with multichannel playback — including Dolby Atmos systems — they played movies not music. I’ve read a couple of online reports that gave “Best of Show” nods to other surround rooms by authors that didn’t experience our room.… Read the full article

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