Dr. AIX's POSTS — 27 April 2015


The final day of the 2015 edition of the AXPONA audio was busy and VERY long. I didn’t get back to Los Angeles until about 9:30 pm and then spent another 90 minutes creeping my way back to long term parking on the LAX shuttle. After another 30 minutes, I arrived home to a very happy border collie…Charlie was so glad to see me! Unfortunately, I was wiped out and he was ready for an extended game of tug-o-war. I went to bed.

Traffic in the room was less than Saturday but I noticed that I lot of people were making repeat visits and bringing their friends with them. One visitor came up to me and called the whole experience “magnificent”. And I got the following email from Dave, the guy I mentioned in yesterday’s post. He wrote:

“Hi Mark,

First of all, I want to thank you for the most memorable musical experience that I have ever heard at the recent Axpona show. To enjoy and appreciate your superb recordings, in the proper room, with extraordinary speakers and components, (which can do them justice) was beyond my expectations. If you aren’t mentioned as the best or one of the best sound rooms at the show then there is something wrong with the major audio publications.

I know you met so many people at the show that it would be impossible to remember everyone but I was the two channel tube diehard who could never envision myself with a multichannel system before going to your demonstration. Well…..hearing is believing!!! Nothing in my 50+ years in audio reproduction has impacted me the way your recordings did. For the first time ever, I felt like I was in the CENTER of the performance. Perhaps this is what a performer experiences!

In summary, I just wanted to express my appreciation for all the time, talent and energy that you put into your recordings. You have the rare ability to truly bring us into the recording venue and let us feel the music.

With grateful thanks,


What can I say? I told you the room sounded amazing.

I was also a member of a three-person panel called, “Everything You Need to Know about High Resolution Audio” with Chad Kassem and Jared Sacks moderated by Besflores Nievera, Jr. of Music Direct. The session went about as you might figure. Jared extolled the virtues of DSD, Chad talked about making good recordings, and I did my usual thing about provenance and the fact that most high-resolution recordings aren’t. It was also interesting that each of the panelists had a different definition for high-res. I like to think I’m right but it just goes to show you that the issue hasn’t been settled…even among professionals.

We pulled the plug on the Lakeshore B Ballroom at around 3:30 pm. Gary from JVC, Rory from Benchmark, my wife Mona, and I torn down all of the equipment and carefully put it back in the appropriate boxes. It was hard to tear down what was the best demo room I’ve ever assembled. In spite of the few hiccups along the way, the signal path in this room really did meet or exceed the capabilities of human hearing. We did it.

I want to express my special thanks to John Siau from Benchmark, Jason Liao from Oppo Digital, Craig Eggers from Dolby Labs, Greg Hovsepian of DH Labs, Gary Klasmeier from JVC, and Kevin Voecks from Harman for partnering with AIX Records at this year’s AXPONA Show. I couldn’t have done it without their involvement, trust, support, and equipment contributions. Everything was perfect!

Photo credit Chris Connaker…thanks Chris!

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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.

(8) Readers Comments

  1. Mark;
    As much as I like John Gorka, your room this year was outstanding! Keep fighting the good fight, your conviction to your principles is very refreshing.

  2. I had never been to a high end audio show in over 10 years with the last time being CES before the move to the Venetian. I really enjoyed this year’s show and the first stop was your room, which I came back to a couple of times. I certainly hope that the room does get noticed by the press, as I found it far more enjoyable than the overly loud offerings in the smaller rooms upstairs. Great job, will consider coming back again next year!

    • Thanks Larry. I didn’t get a lot of time to check out the other rooms upstairs but know the normal pattern…play it loud.

  3. Isn’t that great? Welcome David, to the world of surround music, a real world experience. Be warned, however, every stereo recording you hear from now on will sound (and feel) like a two dimensional wall hanging.
    Good on you Mark, keep the faith.

  4. I’m glad a lot of success obtained in AXPONA, you deserve for your work and perseverance in the pursuit of true HD sound. From here we are a few who know what they can give and well recorded music heard from the beginning, in 5.1 channels. There are still many people who “runs” when they speak of 5.1, beyond the cinema. Well, their loss. They will walk entangled in 8-track tapes, the Revox or vinyl … Greetings and a hug.
    Me alegro muchisimo del exito obtenido en AXPONA, te lo mereces por tu trabajo y tesón en la busqueda del verdadero sonido en HD. Desde aquí somos unos pocos los que conocemos lo que puede dar la música escuchada y bien grabada, desde el principio, en 5.1 canales. Todavía hay mucha gente que “sale corriendo” cuando se les habla del sonido 5.1, mas allá del cine. En fin, éllos se lo pierden. Andarán enredados en cintas de 8 pistas, los Revox o los vinilos…Saludos y un abrazo.

  5. Well done Mark, congratulations!

  6. Your music system at AXPONA is very interesting as a no-holds-barred effort. Thanks for describing the components to us.

    Forgive me if you already mentioned this in a post and I missed it, but I’m curious about what cables and interconnects were used in the system.

    Phil C

    • One of our partners in the room is DH Labs. The provided all of the cables for the room except the power cords. We used the standard power cords that came with the components. There were digital S/P DIF cables, XLR cables and speaker cables. They worked great.

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