Dr. AIX's POSTS — 23 February 2016


It’s not that there isn’t plenty more to talk about or questions to ask with regards to Cablegate and the fantasy world that reviewers and manufacturers live in regarding expensive “do nothing” cables. But in response to a few requests and my own feelings, it’s time to move on, I’m leaving the cable issue behind for now. Those of you who have read and appreciate my postings will find plenty more to chew on in the “Cables” chapter of my book “Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound”. Recommending that audio enthusiasts spend a bunch of money on expensive “jewelry” cables from any of the usual suppliers is not in there. Stay tuned…

The 2016 AXPONA show is a couple of months away and AIX Records is going to be presenting a full high-resolution, surround sound system demonstration including 4K video! If you managed to make it by our room last year, you already know how incredible it sounded…probably the best setup I’ve every assembled and certainly among the best sound at the show. We will be sharing the room with the same partners from last year. These companies include Oppo, Dolby Labs, Kenwood JVC, Benchmark, DH Labs, and hopefully Harman/Revel (still in the works).

Oppo Digital will be supplying one of their industrial strength players modified to allow 4 x S/P DIF outputs. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the generosity and care that the Oppo team takes in making sure that our signal path is digital all the way. Using S/P DIF digital signals between their player and a set of 3 Benchmark DAC2 HGCs guarantees that everything that is in the music is presented without coloration, amplitude changes, or filtering. The DH Labs digital interconnects that we’ll use to make the connections are relatively inexpensive because they don’t have extravagant marketing budgets like some of the other makers but they do the job. Getting a S/P DIF digital signal from a Blu-ray player to a high-end DAC is not difficult in stereo but digitally sending multichannel audio is a bit trickier.

Benchmark will be supplying three of their state-of-the-art DACs…the DAC2 HGC models AND connecting the balanced outputs to their highly regarded AHB2 power amplifiers. These amazing amplifiers will be operating in mono bridged mode once again and driving the Revel Salon 2 speakers that were so impressive last year (I know my friend at Harmon/Revel is currently working on securing the same 5 speakers as last year…I’m keeping my fingers crossed).

Kenwood JVC will be there as well with their latest upsampling 4K digital projector. I can never keep up with the Model numbers but the videos that they project are bright, vibrant, and crystal clear. And finally thanks to Dolby Labs for partnering with us once again. I use and fully support the Dolby TrueHD encoding scheme. It’s an upgrade to the MLP codec invented by Meridian used in the DVD-Audio format.

I will be hosting two after hours sessions at AXPONA 2016 again this year. We had standing room only on Friday and Saturday evenings last year. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recordings, talking about high-resolution audio, offering the “Music and Audio” book, and of course, talking about Cablegate.

It’s going to be a wonderful few days in Chicago. If you’re planning on attending, please stop by and say hello.

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About Author


Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

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