Dr. AIX's POSTS HD DOWNLOADS NEWS — 29 January 2016

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It’s hard to enjoy a weekend ski trip in beautiful Big Sky, Montana when my post about the YouTube video has caused so much consternation. The article has been viewed over 11K times at this point, there’s an email thread among audio journalists and cable makers, and William Low (AQ CEO) posted an open letter on Stereophile’s website addressing the issue. I wrote a personal email to him this morning and have traded a couple additional emails.

A quick review of the comments at the Stereophile site shows that some readers understand the issues at hand and others want to engage in the endless debate about the virtues of expensive cables. And they missed point. This “incident” involves the falsifying of information in a YT video produced by Home Entertainment by D-Tronics (the store in Texas which created and posted the video), presented by an employee of AudioQuest (David Ellington), with post production handled by Pollux Castor in Texas.

The relevant questions are who doctored the video, who directed them to modify the audio streams, and who was ultimately responsible for it. These are the important questions. And it seems that despite a series of questions and phone calls from the AQ CEO, the needed information is proving difficult to obtain. My insistence that the YT video is fraudulent still stands. But the door has opened on whether AQ knew about the video falsehoods, when they knew it, and what they did about it when they learned there might be problems with the information presented.

So more information is needed. Bill seems intent on getting to the bottom of the issue. He told me that he cannot confirm my finding because the offending video has been taken down from YT…twice. Of course, I still have it. I pulled the video down from the YouTube site and then exported the audio. I made no modifications whatsoever to the source video and its audio stream. I have offered to make it available to AQ for independent verification. Of course, this means that the audio community will have to trust that I wouldn’t change the audio soundtrack to align with my findings. Despite some rather unkind assertions in a string of emails, I stand by everything that I have written on this site. I don’t lie and I don’t play fast and loose with the facts.

I do admit to having strong positions. I have biases and I have no problem peeling back the curtain on some of the silliness associated with our audiophile hobby.

It would be preferable for AQ to get the source video and audio from the post production house. Home Entertainment was the client in the development of the video and as such they own the finished video. And they should demand copies of the original files from the post production house. If they fail, I’m willing to post the original YT source.

This seems a reasonable next step. I’ll be back in Los Angeles on Monday and provide an update. I have absolutely no doubt that my findings will be be confirmed. For those of you who managed to hear the audio examples prior to their removal, the differences in audio fidelity were immediately obvious. Digital cables don’t cause those kinds of changes.

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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.

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