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The Waldrep summer 2018 vacation is over. Mona, Charlie, and I returned to Southern California early last week after driving 5200 miles around the western U.S. — we visited Carmel, sped around Lake Tahoe in a 23 foot skiboat, climbed to the top of Hahn’s Peak in Colorado (10,456 ft), stopped in Coos Bay, Oregon, and spent the final weekend in cold and foggy San Francisco with our daughter. I attended the California Audio Show in Oakland over the weekend and enjoyed speaking with familiar faces and new customers. There was lots of time for family and memories, some terrific communal meals at the family reunion, and lots of time to relax. I’ve decided I like vacations!

To those that patiently waited for your book order to be fulfilled, thanks very much. I did send a few off copies when I was in Boulder. In preparation for the CAS, I loaded up the trunk of my 2004 Acura TL with 250 pounds of books, discs, and a playback system. I was able to lighten the load substantially and returned without any copies of Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound. There have been a few very positive reviews of the book of late. Gary Reber, the editor and founder of Widescreen Review, wrote,

“This is a must-own reference book for serious enthusiasts whowant to optimize the audio performance of their system, whether it be two-channel music listening or multi-channel music and motion picture soundtrack reproduction. While containing technical descriptions and analyses of practical audio knowledge, the reading is understandable for even the novice. This should be the first source to turn to when you have a question or doubt. Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound is now my “go to” reference; it should be yours too.”

And Wojciech Pacula, High Fidelity/editor-in-chief and Positive-Feedback/cooperating editor, wrote an extensive review and discussion — in Polish — at High Fidelity.pl. He’s promised an English version but I haven’t found it yet. I’m pretty sure he also had some nice things to say but also disagrees with me on a list of things including DSD, cables, and analog tape.

In honor of the summer season, I’ve just posted a 25% discount on the book in all formats. Just enter “Summer 2018” during check out and you’ll receive the discount. Thanks again for the continuing support. Sales of the book have exceeded my wildest expectations. At this rate, I’ll have to go back to the printer and order another couple thousand copies!

The biggest news of the week is the arrival of YARRA 3DX units in San Diego. As many of you are campaign backers — like me — I thought I would provide a brief update on production status. I’m no longer consulting for Comhear, the company behind this remarkable sound bar, but am obligated to complete the accompanying Set Up and Demo DVD. To that end, I visited the company headquarters last Thursday and was very pleased to see boxes full of final production units sitting in the tech area! My YARRA 3DX friends urged me to videotape an “unpackaging” video, which will be made available shortly. I spent over an hour with the software guru tuning one of the YARRA 3DX units in their demo room. There were a few filter settings and tweaks needed to get the unit sounding right but ultimately the acoustics of the space proved difficult (a square room with hard walls). So I’m pushing hard for the company to allocate the time and resources to book the AIX Records studio to do a final “voicing” of the sound bar and firmware. How great would it be to have the final tweaks done in the same room where I mixed and mastered the tunes included on the demo disc? I believe this is going to happen.

I also got a chance to play with the application. While it’s not required to operate the unit, there are some features that make using your YARRA 3DX much easier. Positioning the multiple sweet spots, graphic EQ, presets, mutes, and HRTF selection. It’s doesn’t look as slick as the mock up I designed two years ago but it does do work. There are Mac iOS and Android versions. All YARRA 3DXs come with a remote control as well.

And I convinced the team to let me take one of the final production models home with me. It’s still in the box but will have a grand unveiling tomorrow. I’ll take some additional pictures and go through things in detail. It’s been a long process but the YARRA 3DX promises to shake up the sound bar marketplace in terms of features and value. Stay patient. I believe we’re only a couple of months at the most from getting units in our hands. I’m so glad that company management has come through! Non of us wanted a repeat of the OSSIC X debacle.

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(9) Readers Comments

  1. Mark,
    I’m from the “old school” i.e. 7 speakers, cables in the wall, processor + 7 amps, etc., etc. If this sound bar is everything you make it out to be, I want to try it! If it’s good for me [I hate to disconnect all the old “stuff”], then it will be great for my clients. Home décor no longer allows 7 speakers, some in the walls. If I can get the audio part of an HT to allow the client “a suspension of belief” both audio & video, I DID my job….for A LOT less grief & aggravation. Thank you for guiding the new product. Bob Walters A/V Insights

  2. Carmel? Doesn’t Clint Eastwood live there?

    • He used to…not sure anymore.

  3. This is the English version of Wojciech’s interview with you: http://highfidelity.pl/@main-848&lang=en
    I don’t know why, but you can’t find it in the archive.

  4. Ordered the Yarra 3dx after reading your review of product, have many of your AIX recordings for Demo,
    But, When will the Yarra 3dx product actually be shipped? Not easy to get communicate to & fro @ Comhear, If at all?
    So, can you communicate with them to keep those who’ve ordered, up to date in a timely manner?
    And, will look forward to your Yarra review of the final product you took home recently,
    Ray Avalos/Owner/ Wooden Ship Stereo.
    P.S. Know that I’ve been disappointed with sound bars from $199-$1,500.

    • The latest word I got from the people at Comhear was that they are sorting out the final issues with the manufacturer and expect to begin shipping in 6-8 weeks. It’s true that they are not great at keep backers informed but company management wants to keep things pretty tight to the chest. I will be reviewing the unit sitting on my table very soon. You won’t be disappointed with this one.

  5. Mark,
    Ted Timmis at Head-fi’s Smyth Research Realiser thread said that:

    “When I spoke with Mark Waldrep at Axpona, he seemed stunned by Smyth’s fraud in selling phony pre-orders, his lack of communication and complete lack of accountability. He told me he would confront Smith in this regard. I’m sure that any conversation they had thereafter was a bit awkward.”

    “As a post-script, Mr. Waldrep clearly understood the difference (as most seem not to in this thread) between Kickstarter support and pre-orders which assume a finished product with an imminent shipping date,”

    Would you please confirm what is your view about it?

    Cheers!

    • Jose, thanks for the heads up. I never said that the Smyth guy’s campaign was a fraud. I know them and have spoken to Michael about the challenges of bringing products to market. I wrote a couple of posts at Head-Fi.

  6. Thank you very much for your weighted view, Mark! You are a gentleman in the old-fashioned way!

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