AUDIO SHOWS Dr. AIX's POSTS NEWS — 23 September 2014

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The 2014 edition of the New York Audio Show is being held at the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge from September 26-28…that’s this coming weekend. Once again, I’ll be loading up my Samsonite 4-wheelers and boarding another Southwest Airlines flight (I can’t deal with the extra $100 it would cost to check bags on most other carriers) to an audio trade show. Last year, the show’s organizers scheduled the show in the late spring where it ran into the Montreal, Chicago and Newport Beach shows. As a vendor, I can tell it was too many shows in rapid succession…delaying the show until the fall I think will be a very for customers and vendors. I’m looking forward to it.

Audiophile shows belong in big cities. That’s part of the reason that the AXPONA show exploded as it did after stays in Jacksonville and Atlanta. It’s why the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest holds it own in Denver (although they scheduled their 2014 event during the Audio Engineering Society’s convention, which has returned to Los Angeles after a four year absence). I won’t be in Denver for the RMAF this year. The New York Show is one of the most important of the bunch because it happens in New York City…or more properly in Brooklyn this year. It was held at the Palace Hotel last year. The hotel was in the midst of major construction and things could have been better. Getting in and out of the hotel with equipment and suitcases was somewhat challenging. Hopefully, the Marriott will be better.

There will be lots of equipment vendors offering an array of new and exciting products. They’ll have lots of rooms full of high-end components, turntables, preamps, amplifiers, and speakers. One of the news items mentioned a “liquid-cooled” mono block amplifier from Vandersteen, the new M7 HPA. Another room will be full of headphones and headphones amplifiers.

And of course, there will be series of seminars and presentations during the three days of the event. Michael Fremer’s “Famous Turntable Set-up Seminar” is happening on all three days. Vinyl LPs will always be a part of every audiophile show. Wouldn’t it be simpler to put a 96 kHz/24-bit PCM file in your player of choice and get more fidelity than the best vinyl on the planet? I guess not.

I will be giving my seminar “2014: Is This The Year of High-Resolution Audio?” at 6 pm on Friday evening. For readers of this blog, there will nothing much new to share that you don’t already know. I’ll be showing off the HTC M8 Harman Kardon Sprint Smartphone that I have and discussing how high-resolution is doing in this era of Pono, Deezer, and Liztec. It’s always fun to engage with curious attendees during my presentations. If you’re in town and want to meet the author of these daily posts, please come by the show. I’m not sure where my tables will be but I know I’ll be there.

New York is a long way to go for a trade show. But after last year’s New York Audio Show, I knew that I had to be there once again…see you soon.

If you’re one of the first to visit the table, I will be giving away 50 free copies of my high-resolution audio experience sampler just for the asking.

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(5) Readers Comments

  1. I will stop in and see you again on Friday. Mark.

  2. Hi Mark,
    In response to, “Wouldn’t it be simpler to put a 96 kHz/24-bit PCM file in your player of choice and get more fidelity than the best vinyl on the planet?” I agree it might be simpler, but vinyl has been (and will persist) because, despite lower potential fidelity, many vinyl releasesz, sound sonically superior to my ears, compared to their equivalent CD releases. Ok let me explain this outrageous statement…

    This is coming from someone that grew up full force in the CD era. I only recently have listened to vinyl. When I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve purchased vinyl/CD combo packs. In most cases, I have to admit that despite the distraction of higher background on some pressings, I’ve noticed subtle musical features (e.g. cymbals or bass guitar notes) in the vinyl that are mysteriously absent in the equivalent CD release. And overall the vinyl pressing often sounds more sonically pleasing, despite having lower potential fidelity and higher background. I should mention that the vinyl player and the CD transport are in a similar league.

    Whether these “missing components” contribute to my overall preference for many of the vinyl releases, I’m not sure yet. I just know the Redbook format should be able to easily capture these features, and so I am left to conclude that heavy-handed mastering is consistently negating any potential fidelity benefit that digital PCM has to offer. It’s quite sad really how under-utilized the Redbook format is.

    So in the end I am constantly frustrated by the excessively loud and substandard sonic quality of most new commercial records. Though I should give a nod to Tom Petty’s new release, Hypnotic Eye. Despite not being a huge fan of the Pure Audio format, I thought the stereo tracks he released in this format were well done and have reasonable dynamic range for a rock album. I haven’t compared them to the CD or vinyl release though!

    • You’ll get no push back from me. Everyone is entitled to enjoy what ever pleases you. And clearly vinyl LPs feed that need for a large percentage of the population. There is something about the “color” of the sound that works. Is it accurate? No, but that doesn’t matter. My point is that the accuracy of a high-resolution digital recording can be far greater than vinyl at much less cost and trouble. I won’t accept the assertion from advocates for vinyl or analog tape that those formats sound better then high-end PCM digital…they may sound great but not better in the specs department.

    • No question, if 44.1 is used at the full capacity of the medium, a very satisfying listen can be had. CD has been vastly over-maligned. I have personally played on, produced, and birthed both perfectionist vinyl LP and carefully mastered and transferred CD’s. As I have posted before, they are both limited signal capacity mediums that if used fully can be quite pleasing in their own ways, with attendant plusses and minuses. If you used a lower-end phono rig and CD, the vinyl will have distortions that are easier to handle. But played on a truly excellent player, CD has much more music on it in general than most disc collection owners will ever hear. Too bad that most folks replaced their first CD players w/DVD players because some jerk told them that would be the thing to do. CD matured on both ends right around 2000, but I-Pod stole the light and simultaneously. cast us all into darkness. Ironies abound, eh?

      • Craig… you had me until you said that moving to DVD was a bad thing. I would never recommend that someone buy an expensive CD player over a good quality DVD-Audio/Video player with digital out. The ability to play high-resolution audio and surround music places the DVD-Audio/Video format above CDs. I’m not talking about the $70 units you get a the local supermarket but for a few hundreds of dollars and a good digital converter…and with the right content…you top the best CD on the planet. I say this as a person that has a Meridian player at $17,5000 and an Oppo 83 at $500.

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