AUDIO SHOWS Dr. AIX's POSTS — 20 April 2016

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AXPONA 2016 is history. It was a great show for AIX Records and partners Dolby Labs, Oppo Digital, DH Labs, Benchmark, JVC, and Harman. We had the best sounding system playing the finest recordings of the whole show. If you don’t believe me, you can read the following from an unaffiliated visitor:

“Hi Mark,
I just wanted to drop you a short note to express my appreciation for all the time, work and dedication that goes into a show like AXPONA. I know you meet hundreds of people at the show but I chatted with you briefly on Saturday morning and mentioned that I attended the show exclusively to hear your room once again (I was AMAZED with the sound last year and had to hear it again). My wife and I just returned from holiday in Vienna (the city of music) on Friday night, but I knew I had to get up early to hear your room on Saturday or I would miss it (and regret it for a year!).

As always, the demo did not disappoint and your ‘straightforward, no BS’ style is so welcome in a world of mediocrity.

I also hope that you receive the recognition you deserve by having the best inclusive sound experience at AXPONA 2016. If the writers of any of the major magazines took the time to visit your room and NOT mention the wonderful music emanating from it, then they just don’t get it or they have something against you.

David”

The same writer send the following “letter to the editor” of The Absolute Sound.

“Dear Editor,
Just two thoughts that I would like to share:

This is my first letter to you and I have been a subscriber to ‘The Absolute Sound’ since the beginning and still have all the issues (which I have often referred back to) in my library. Your magazine has been one of the things that I still look forward to each month and you have never disappointed in your fun and insightful coverage. A very belated thanks!

Secondly, I had the privilege to attend AXPONA 2016 this year and loved it. The wide range of equipment and rooms were wonderful and made me feel like the proverbial ‘kid in a candy store’. One of the things that I hope does not get overlooked in your coverage of the show (and the millions of dollars of equipment) is the music itself. While I’m sure there will be a lively debate in your magazine about which room had ‘the best sound’, I hope the actual ‘recording’ itself will not get lost in the shuffle. I found one room, sponsored by AIX Records (Dr. Mark Waldrep) to be exquisite, not just because of the equipment (which was terrific) but due to the extraordinary recordings that were played one after the other. As I listened to music in other rooms, the sound really varied based on the quality of the recording, some were excellent and others you could clearly hear the limiting factors of compression or something else.

I truly hope despite the wonderful equipment reviewed that we never lose sight of the importance of great recordings and those who are committed to providing us with them.

With appreciation,
David Hinshelwood

P.S. I am not affiliated with AIX records in any way, it just reinforced to me how important great recordings are to our ‘hobby’.

We also got a wonderful write up at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity: Click here to see images and a great review.

Sadly…Stereophile, Enjoy The Music, and The Absolute Sound didn’t visit the room.

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About Author

Dr. AIX

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.

(4) Readers Comments

  1. Don’t hold your breath. Magazines like Stereophile or TAS that are primarily funded by snake-oil ads will not hurry to praise a snake-oil-debunker. Do expect lavish praise for the indubitable sonic enhancements Nordost power cables make.

  2. I’m not surprised that Absolute Sound did not visit your room. I seriously question the “golden ears” of their editor. The absolutely over the top praise for MQA does not seem to be completely warranted. The reviews of it have been pretty good, but mostly in reference to its capacity to reduce file size and the improvements rendered with less than stellar recordings. Several reviewers find that improvements with first rate recordings are noticeable but not cause for ecstasy. In addition, I once had a conversation with RH about whether his reviews of cables were ever done blind. He minimized the relevance of comparing cables via blind testing. To me, this disqualified him as a legitimate and unbiased reviewer.

  3. the non visit from the “big three”,i use the term loosely,just confirms they know were their money comes from.

    • I was disappointed. Apparently, if you’re not a regular purchaser of advertising, the chances for inclusion in their show write ups diminishes. It was very nice to have the Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity folks come by…they did an excellent job.

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