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32 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  • January 3, 2019 at 8:12 am
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    Mark,

    Thanks for the info. I made my day. I was recently perusing a site (streamthestudio.news) because it came across is some feed I was reading. They purportedly promote equipment and services that are ‘Hi-Rez’. included in their recommended sites is HDTracks even though even though few tracks, if any, could pass Hi-Rez muster. I was going to leave a message about the extreme importance of the provenance of the source and how that is what is critical in determining the Hi-Rez worthiness of the music but I didn’t see a place to leave a comment.

    So, keep up the good fight for as long as you can.

    • January 3, 2019 at 9:00 am
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      Happy New Year Kit and thanks for the link to the StreamTheStudio.news site. Interesting that all of the same characters and organizations are still out there promoting the hoax of high-resolution music. Marc Finer of the DEG is in almost every picture and a lot of people I know are spewing the company line when they know better. I was inside that group but was pushed out because I refused to go along with their falsehoods. It’s true that the companies, engineers, producers, and organizations talk about great sound but very few actually accomplish it.

    • March 12, 2019 at 7:31 pm
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      What, no mpingo discs?

  • January 3, 2019 at 9:44 am
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    You really can’t help yourself, can you? 😉
    Keep on fighting the good fight Mark!

    Best… Carlo.

    • January 3, 2019 at 10:34 am
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      I really can’t Carlo. Happy New Year!

  • January 3, 2019 at 10:17 am
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    Hey Mark, thanks for the info. I too joined and then quit the Subjective Audio FB page that you are referring to. He appears on the MQA FB page on occasion to try and sell his wears. I have forwarded links to your Text on the subject to all of my audiophile friends. It is amazing how many of the HiFi industry, and publications have been hoodwinked, by this notion that you need these crazy cables and power supplies. After reading your Text and info from Paul on PS audio, I have cleaned up my Cables, particularly the large amount of Monster speaker cables that I had coiled in the back of my speakers, I re-terminated and shortened them. All of your advice sure makes common sense to me. I ran a dedicated power supply feed from my fuse box and have had a Electrician/Electronic tech friend check to see if I need any filtration and there was no fluctuations of any type on the test equipment he had. Thanks again for your insights.

    • January 3, 2019 at 10:35 am
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      Thanks Glen, have a great 2019!

  • January 3, 2019 at 10:32 am
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    I have not considered myself an audiophile for 45 years since I came to understand exactly how sound and acoustics works. I was trained and consider myself a scientist and an engineer. This is only a hobby, it’s not my day job by any stretch. I remain amazed at the intensity of emotions, anger, hostility, and argument over something that should not only be so straightforward but is so trivial among all matters in life and in the world. Something’s wrong here. I have no emotional attachment to any equipment or frankly any music. I simply enjoy it. I do like my turntable, an old Empire 698 with a Shure V15 type V MR cartridge although I rarely listen to any of the over 3000 vinyl phonograph records I own.

    That being said, achieving the original goal of convincingly duplicating the sound of live music from a recording has been a purely intellectual pursuit for me, not that I didn’t get a great deal of enjoyment out of the effort or the recordings but I see it all from an entirely different perspective. The only reason for my interest is that I was surrounded by people who performed and appreciated music when it rose to a level of a fine art. In fact their standards were impossibly tough and I was infected with their level of appreciation and critical examination. While other recordings and other types of sound systems can be enjoyable and life enriching for many people this is where I focused my interests. Yet I can enjoy music I like even from the tiny speaker in my smart phone.

    My superb education prepared me for a career in electronics or electrical engineering but I was drilled with many other areas of science and engineering including fluid dynamics and field theory which came in very handy for understanding sound and acoustics as it is an application of fluid dynamics and is not an electrical phenomenon.

    So my attention was focused on understanding, modeling, measuring, and reconstructing sound fields based on the unique mathematical solution I’d discovered to explain it. The equipment itself receded into much less importance and the engineer in me made price value judgments that put me outside the popular definition of audiophile. It’s not that I’m an objectivist. Quite the opposite, when subjective experience defies objective measurements I’ve concluded you are measuring the wrong things or you’ve omitted something critical. The mathematical model explains what that is.

    That understanding has not only allowed me to reconstruct and manipulate sound fields from recordings in ways sound fields based on other models can’t, it allows me to understand the flaws in their concepts, their inherent inadequacies. I have a patent and a working prototype of my invention. Is it the best sound system in the world? I think so. A lot of other people would claim the same for their sound systems. Did my prototype cost a bazillion dollars? I’ve built only two, neither costing over $3000. Does it use “state of the art” equipment. No, not because of the cost but because it was unnecessary and would have added little or nothing to the final result. In fact the newest component in the system is a power amplifier I built from a kit for $200 in 1993 to replace one that had blown up I didn’t care to repair. Because the current prototype system functions exactly the way I want it to, there will be no substitutions, no improvements, no changes. Could I build another system that’s better? On paper yes, but in practical terms I don’t know or care. Any change to this one would be a downgrade and I wouldn’t swap it or any part of it for any equipment and any price. How fortunate I feel not being so wound up in what seems like such silliness and a waste of precious time and mental energy.

    • February 25, 2019 at 11:53 am
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      Could you refer us to the patents you hold on the parts of this device that make it so amazing? I think it would be very interesting to learn more about this. Thank you,

  • January 4, 2019 at 4:36 am
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    Thank you so very much for your honesty Mark. I have always been suspicious of these voodoo claims for expensive accessories. However, there certainly must be a difference, or at least some benefit to using single crystal, oxygen free copper cabling over 28 gauge lamp chord. And, if there is, what would be a reasonable cost for such cables?

    • January 4, 2019 at 7:55 am
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      Honestly, you would never want to use 28 gauge lamp cord but 10-12 gauge would deliver as much fidelity as expensive, “single crystal, oxygen free copper”. It has been clearly demonstrated using the null testing process that identical signals are passed by these cables. Your call but I would never purchase any expensive cables unless I needed to impress someone with the physical design.

      • January 4, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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        Thank you for confirming for me what I was always sceptical of. Like my ID. suggests, I dont have a lot of cash to experiment with expensive doo dads, but darn, they sure make some rather convincing claims. The power of suggestion I suppose works. Thank God I have never been an easy subject to hypnotize. I did at one time buy some moderately priced Oxygen free cables, but that was only because I thought there must surely be some advantage to them since all the rev
        ewers claimed thrills spills and chills and sonic superiority with $$$$$$ cables. I assume you are talking about speakers cables, but does that thinking hold true for interconnects also?

        • January 13, 2019 at 10:05 am
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          The debate about cables will last a long time. There’s way too much money at stake for the companies, magazines, and others to get back to what really counts in audio and digital signals. Everything about cables is true for power, interconnects (digital and analog), and speaker cables. Until one of these companies is willing to do a real comparison instead of the hocus pocus demos, stay away.

  • January 4, 2019 at 8:07 am
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    I have updated this post following the receipt of an email from William Low, the CEO of AudioQuest. I wanted to make it clear that the Youtube video shown promoting various grades of AudioQuest HDMI cables was NOT produced and distributed by the company but by a local distributor. However, the CEO was aware of the video for many months before I discovered it and demonstrated that the fidelity improvements were faked. Who was ultimately responsible for the video was never determined.

  • January 4, 2019 at 9:57 am
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    Love the photo. I’ve got all my hifi gear sitting on bathroom scales. I found it gives the same result and costs a lot less. Happy New Year, and keep up the good fight. Cheers,
    Phil

    • January 10, 2019 at 8:28 am
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      putting your gear on bathroom scales provides that level of isolation to increase fidelity… 😉

  • January 5, 2019 at 6:46 am
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    Discontinued samples of quality thick pile carpeting, which can be had at very minimal cost, make great supports for turntables. Two, three, four layers, then a slab of granite, topped with a turntable will do more than a multi thousand dollar support. Another way is to use double yellow dot squash balls in an appropriately sized cup under the granite slab. Cheap and effective.

  • January 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm
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    There is a certain part of audio which has much more in common with wacko cults than the enjoyment of music. The silly thing is that in some ways all this snake oil stuff and the arguments it creates is reminiscent of the old joke about two bald men arguing over a comb given that the world of high end audio is a niche within a niche and the main market for audio moved to smart devices and either headphones or wireless speakers a long time ago. I find it slightly sad that there is probably a whole generation now where few have listened to music via a decent audio set up (and I don’t mean expensive or high end, just a good, solid stereo) but the audio industry insists on shooting itself in the foot peddling snake oil, conning people with upsampled “high-res” downloads that are basically a scam, peddling outrageously priced cables, power chords etc, trying to convince people that they can transform sound by spending $$$$$$s on expensive USB cables etc. It’s sad really. Thanks for your efforts to bring a bit of sanity to such a dysfunctional field!

  • January 6, 2019 at 12:17 am
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    Thanks for a great post and happy new year.
    The audio industry is going downwards in a spiral. We are getting hammered by more and more foolery to get money from people without technical knowledge.

    Even more frightening when bad attitude gets known to more people. Here is Ted Denney. He actually wishes someone that makes a comment dead.
    Very very bad.
    This person runs a company that makes a living selling snakeoil.

    https://www.hifisentralen.no/forumet/attachments/kabelhja-rnet/524219d1546714901-usb-kabler-screenshot-www.facebook.com-2019.01.04-20-41-43.jpg

  • January 6, 2019 at 11:35 am
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    Love the picture as well. Has it ever struck these silly folks that McIntosh (et cetera) would be making ‘isolation’ (levitation) tables for their gear if there was any science to it? And be peddling ’em for more or greater prices?

    I’m personally waiting for seismic ‘isolation’ devices for my stuff. And tubular Faraday cages for all of my interconnects and power cables…..

    • January 13, 2019 at 10:10 am
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      It’s completely crazy but still manages to sell. There are promotional videos and glossy brochures and magazine special publications pushing this nonsense. Crazy

  • January 10, 2019 at 8:26 am
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    You can only try to explain logic to those without the capacity to understand… It is hard to imagine how fancy power cords make a difference, when the rest of the power line from the outlet to the utilities transformer is not built to the same standard..

  • January 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm
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    Hello everyone, I listened to demos on FTP, I really do hear it, I really do not compare, I have a 6-year audio dvd with Miss Elliot on 5 channels but it does not compare, I hear a lot better those mastered by Mark

  • January 14, 2019 at 1:22 am
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    I have just been kicked out of that group for replying to John Lusk’s post regarding cables.
    I only asked a simple question, “If someone posts something about cables worth more than $10k, should they have to provide evidence of why the cables are worth so much?” I was given a firm “NO” by John, then was bombarded by other members telling me to go to my closest dealer to hear these exotic cables. This thread was live for about 48 hours then i was deleted from the group. I did not make any personal remarks and did not put anyone down. I just asked, why?

    • January 14, 2019 at 7:34 am
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      Anthony, high-end audio is full of misguided, uninformed, individuals that are committed to maintaining the status quo. My exchanges with John were polite but it’s obvious that he buys into the hocus pocus aspects of cables, isolation pads, and other exotic — and expensive — accessories sold by unscrupulous vendors. And why shouldn’t he and other “journalists” praise things that have no basis in science or technological fact? Because they profit from it…it is their business. Without the dollars that high-end cable companies spend on fancy ads and trades shows, magazines and their writers wouldn’t be sustainable. That’s why I started talking about who can you trust to give you the straight facts. It turns out there are very few individuals willing to tell the truth about these things.

      • January 14, 2019 at 10:33 am
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        On Saturday I’m going to an audition for a cable review, basically someone has invited me to listen to the differences between a hi end and a normal cable, how do you teach me to get this information?
        Thank you ,

        • January 14, 2019 at 11:39 am
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          There is no difference between a high-end cable and a normal cable if they meet the required specification.

        • February 25, 2019 at 11:41 am
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          It is very simple – have someone you trust take the expensive cables, and the cheap cables, and switch them out. Listen to the same audio on both cables, but do not let them tell you which cable is which.

          Do this four or five times. (That is important, because it will eliminate luck from the equation.)

          If you can tell him which cables were the expensive cables and which cables were the cheap cables 5 out of 5 times, then they are real.

          I suppose if you could repeatedly (several tests) get 4/5 right, then you could make an argument for the cables making a difference.

          But I’m CONFIDENT that you won’t ever get 5/5 and I’m certain you cannot consistently do it.

          If the argument is that “it depends on the music” or “that wasn’t the right content” or “the difference is subtle” or “it must be your ears/hearing” then why would you pay $$$ for something that does not CONSISTENTLY produce better results?

          It’s really that simple.

          Blind testing will answer your question, and PROMISE you that 99.99% of this garbage won’t pass the test.

          You will NOT be able to tell the difference in an electric cord and some expensive cable when you listen. There is ZERO science behind it. None. In fact, most electric cord is outstanding audio cable because it is usually pure copper and thick as heck. Which is all it needs to be.

    • January 14, 2019 at 11:11 am
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      Anthony, I’m on Saturday to listen to some cables, I’m not their follower, but I want to hear with my ears, and I’ll ask for some measurements if I’m going to come back to you.
      I played with audio since I was 9 years old, I had a Grundig ZK 120 tape recorder at 9th speed and I put a bush and I made a 19 cm / sec turn so I can listen to the molds so they can not fool me today theirs, do you think?

  • January 14, 2019 at 8:48 am
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    Hello Mr. Mark
    I downloaded the hi resolution files from FTP and I mean that I never heard such clarity in this music, just as if I was in the auditorium, especially when I closed my eyes was sensational, amazing, wow. I have a three horizontal amplified system with an active crossover of about 2000 euro composed of the following components and with that please tell me on a scale from 1 to 10 as I approach a minimal system and can listen to hi resolution.
    1. Mac book for
    2. If Fostex HP A8 MK2
    3. Crossover Behringer CX 3400
    4. Marantz PM 80 MK2 S.E. for tweeters
    5. Marantz 6010 S.E. for medium speakers
    6. Yamaha A 1050 for bass
    7. Elac 5000 or Siemens RL 602 enclosures
    8. B & W DM 1800 enclosures

    Thank you in advance for your answer.

  • January 27, 2019 at 5:11 am
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    Hi Mark
    Given the state of the Yarra 3DX campaign, is there any soundbar that you would recommend for the main tv in the lounge ?

    • January 27, 2019 at 7:43 am
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      It really depends on what you intended purpose will be. Virtually all traditional sound bars simply bounce sound around the room or off of the ceiling. I’m not aware of any that use the same beamforming approach with going to crazy expensive units like the BACCH SP, which is over $50K. Yamaha would probably be the best bet since they’ve used crosstalk cancellation in some of their units.

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