Munich 2018? Possible Road Trip

I heard from a good friend — a member of the audiophile community and vendor of high-end music servers — who suggested that I bring a couple of cases of the book Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound to Munich for the high end audio show happening in 10 days. I’m seriously considering making the mad dash to Germany between the end of my semester and the start of final exams. Todd Garfinkle or MA Records (who I’ve know since our days in the music department in Northridge, CA) has a booth at the show and told me that he would share a small corner of it. So now I’m scrambling to see if I can pull this off. Traveling with a large quantity of heavy books will be a challenge — shipping, tariff, VAT etc. I’m not making any promises but I’m at least investigating. Everyone seems to think that Munich is the best audio show in the world. I would love to get involved and show off the new book to an international audience. Especially after getting several emails like the following:

Hi Mark, this is Ted. It was a pleasure meeting you at Axpona. Of the dozens and dozens of booths and displays I visited, you alone hit the trifecta; I was hugely impressed with (1) your book, (2) your recordings and (3) the Yarra. Contrary to representations, the book did not list your email address but it is terrific all the same. It covers everything relating to audio in a very interesting and readable manner. It is truly a tour de force and there is much more I would be happy to add in a follow up. I’m enjoying it along with and the Goldberg Variations and Bryan Pezzone Piano Pieces Blu-ray’s. I can finally enjoy beautifully recorded music in 5.1 surround. And finally, I was blown away by the Yarra. As I stated at your booth, this was the easily most impressive piece of equipment at the show and I saw just about everything.

And Carlo Lo Raso wrote a very positive review of the book at Secrets of Home Theater and HiFi – check it out at: Music and Audio – Book Review. His conclusion sums it up pretty well, “I find Music and Audio: A User Guide To Better Sound to be an invaluable reference tool for any audiophile who cares about their system and what they play on it. Buy it! It is an enjoyable and informative read that covers everything under the sun that is meaningful about audio. I know I will refer to my copy often in the years to come. Hopefully many others, both consumer and professionals alike, will feel the same way about it as I do. Maybe even that kid who’s currently in high school…”

The coupon for 25% off the book is still available through Monday. Use “axpona 2018” during check out to get the discount.

Getting positive reviews from audiophiles is the best validation for the contributions I’ve made tried to make to the audiophile world and I thank those of you who have written to me, posted positive comments on social media, liked the Music and Audio Facebook page, or written to an editor on my behalf — please keep it up. With the publication of the book, my mission is to make people aware of the new book and help clarify some of the confusion and obvious misinformation that passes as facts.

At a recent meeting of the local audiophile society, I had an experience that happens all too often. A gentleman took the time to set up an impressive two-channel playback system in the penthouse ballroom of a hotel in Buena Park for the society. He played a variety of very interesting — and exotic — world music tracks from his laptop through a very good system (although I am not a fan of omnidirectional speakers – very poor stereo imaging). He was playing exclusively Red Book tracks and did a couple of of A | B comparisons. He played a very nice world music track and then played the same track again except he removed a set of floor isolators (4 x $200 each) from under the power block. I was sitting near the entrance and didn’t notice any sonic difference but overheard another senior member of the organization say that the improvement in the fidelity was not subtle — the “sound stage opened up and the low level details were more obvious”. The only problem was he said that after the blocks had been removed! If elevating a power strip can influence the fidelity of a stream of digital information, our entire professional production path would have to change. We don’t use isolators in professional studios!

The next comparison he did removed the same high end isolators from under his portable external hard drive and laptop, which were resting on the equipment rack in the middle of the room. Once again, there was no perceptible change in any dimension of the sound (I moved to the central sweet spot this time). The gentleman wasn’t shy about extoling on the “increased space and sound stage” present when the isolators were under the hard drive. I don’t know if others in the room heard something or not. Several came up to me later and rolled their eyes, so I wasn’t the only one amused.

Finally, I wanted readers to know that the YARRA 3DX campaign is closing on May 1. Tomorrow will be the last day to take advantage of the steep discounts offered through the Indiegogo InDemand website. The current discount is about 35% off but I have a secret perk link that will get you 50%. Click here to get a YARRA 3DX for $299! The company plans to start shipping the units in June. I’ve got two of them headed my way. Please don’t share the secret link.

Got to run…

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