I know, I know…I’ve been lazy over the past month and remiss in not writing. No new posts, no rants, no complaining, and no news. As I look around at the usual audio sites and read the usual posts by the usual commentators, there’s not really much new. I have no interest in mega priced components or speakers. Likewise, I’m tired of seeing — and participating — in discussions about pricey cables, MQA, and the relative merits of vinyl vs. digital. For all of the information that is available to curious audiophiles in books and online, companies selling crazy expensive accessories and “snake oil” cables are still ripping off new customers, reviewers are still lauding the benefits of these products, and consumers are still posting FB comments justifying their own positions.
A couple of seasoned professionals and friends were included on a shared email the other day that typifies the BS that passes for advertising. The following is a real:
“Venice: Not Enough For You (Free Download)
In May 2006, Turtle Records produced the latest Venice album, called ‘Amsterdam’.
The CD version of it was released in September 2006, and did hit the album charts in Holland at nr 8. The album has been received with great enthusiasm, and many positive reviews have been written on it, with also a lot of emphasis on the ‘special’ acoustic recording approach that we took for this wonderful album. Exactly 1 year later, Turtle Records had decided to release the most fitting songs of the album on Vinyl. The original recordings, made in the ultra high resolution DXD format, are of such quality and delicate resolution, that a release other than on cd was inevitable. As many know the merits of vinyl, in combination with the state of the art turntables that are available these days, go far beyond those of CD, and the musical atmosphere of the original masters, is reproduced more effective on this medium.
We don’t claim it to be better on all aspects, but somehow the message of the songs, and their musical substance is transferred more accurately and direct than from CD.
Saludos/Regards (check it for yourself Click Here)”
Such exaggerated claims are not uncommon. I’ve read similar things from vinyl advocates for years but this irks me because the original master was a bona fide high-resolution digital master.
As I look to the desk on my left this morning, there is a Technics SL-1220 MK2 turntable! Incredible as it may seem, Dr. AIX has been playing some vinyl LPs over the past week. I borrowed the turntable from the widow of the late Ron Grant (a talented film composer and award-winning inventor) to do some transfers for a very patient client (I’ve had her platters for almost two years!). After digitizing some Norwegian choir music, I put on a new copy of “George Van Eps’ Seven String Guitar”. I was hoping to hear his amazing arrangements through a Denon receiver and Oppo M1 headphones. Alas, it was not to be. I was sadly disappointed. The amount of surface noise and ticks and pops drew my attention away from the music. How anyone can think that vinyl is more “effective” than even standard-resolution PCM digital is unfathomable. The “so-called” merits of vinyl escaped me during my brief journey back to vinyl LPs. It’s back to the fidelity, convenience, and capabilities of PCM digital for this audiophile.
Almost daily, I get requests for the HD Audio Challenge FTP credentials, which I graciously provide. Sadly, I don’t get very many responses once these individuals take the challenge. Of the roughly 1200 people that have asked for — and received — the files, less than 100 have replied with their answers. As I reported over a month ago, the challenge has shown that virtually no one can perceive a difference between a bona fide HD file and the CD downconverted versions. I’m not surprised. If you’ve taken the test and haven’t let me know how you did, please take time to report back. You can do so at: HD Challenge Results.
Those of you who backed the YARRA 3DX 3D audio sound bar and have been patiently waiting for delivery have only a little while longer to wait. How do I know? There is going to be an AIX Records sampler DVD included with each unit and I was told that I had to have 3000 copies at the Chinese factory by the 20th of this month. The manufacturing has begun and shipment to the US should happen before the end of the month. The local distribution partner will then be shipping the finished goods to anxious backers. Some backers have been patient and others have been posting rants on the KS page. I don’t blame anyone for their concerns. If I was still involved with the company, I would have regularly posted updates, responded to emails, and otherwise maintained the community. That hasn’t happened. I do see all of the emails and the comments but do not respond because it is no longer my responsibility. I apologize for the lack of communication. The company is doing their best…but could obviously do better. I remain confident that everyone will be happy once they get their YARRA 3DX.
Finally, I’m leaving tomorrow to the UK. I’ve been invited to give a series of master classes and workshops at the School of Music at CIT in Cork, Ireland. My wife and I will spend a couple of day in London and then fly to Dublin on Saturday. I’m trying to tour the Abbey Road studios on Friday and have a request in through a friend. What a thrill that would be — to visit the control rooms and studios where the Beatles and so many others created magic. There’s some travel through Ireland involved…if any of my UK readers ping me back, there might be an opportunity to meet briefly or have a drink. Always looking for the local recommendations and outstanding sites to visit. The itinerary has us going through London, Dublin, Galway, Killarney, Cork, and Waterford. We’ve got our rain gear and wind proof umbrellas — so I think we’re ready.
If anyone is interested in purchasing “Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound”, please be aware that it won’t ship until I return. I’ll be online during the trip and can deliver eBooks in the interim. Reviews continue to be very positive for the 900-page reference book and Charlie (the family border collie) never complains about walking to the local post office. Thanks for all of the continued support.