AES Show Fall 2020

Today was the deadline to complete and submit my AES Paper. It’s been almost 12 months since I announced the launch of the HD-Audio Challenge II on this site (click here to see the original post). Since then over 13,000 people have visited the launch page, 2000 audiophiles requested the tracks, 1250 downloaded them, and 498 submitted their results. And more music lovers discover the challenge every day. As long as everyone agrees not to post the results and keep thing honest, I see no reason why the survey cannot continue. I’m sure there will be additional visitors now that the presentation has gone live on the AES site.

The paper consists of 29 Power Point Slides with audio annotation (the quality of the audio notes is not great but it’s better than nothing). I’m not permitted to distribute the paper but wanted to let everyone know that it is available through the AES website. My presentation is located here. There is a registration fee associated with the convention. I will make the paper or at least the conclusions available to all participants as a way to thank you for participating. There has never been a research project on the topic of high-resolution audio vs. Red Book audio that involved so many participants. The closest I’ve seen in perhaps 50-75 individuals. We topped 400 and the current number is almost 500!

The author page for the AES Paper

Over the course of 29 slides, I present the reasons why the study was conducted, the unique features of this study, the processes involved from preparing the media to collecting the results and the conclusion. Here’s the bottom line:

Anyone that claims that hi-res audio provides a dramatic improvement in audio quality simply cannot prove it. But with the addition of my research, there is overwhelming evidence that the average listen cannot perceive differences between hi-res and CD spec. While that may be hard to accept — especially for someone that spent 20 years producing and pushing high-resolution audio, it is true.

My last couple of blog posts have focused on honesty in the industry and among those that report on it. I happened upon a transcript that I created some months back from a Youtube video interview that John Darko did with Paul McGowan of PS Audio. I wrote a blog about the misinformation — blatant lies — that were included in the interview (read it here). Paul played a hi-res and standard-res version of a track in his top-of-the-line room and claims that I stated I absolutely heard a difference but wouldn’t admit to it publicly. He questioned my integrity in that interview with John Darko. I can only imagine Paul’s motivations — isn’t it typically about money and commerce. Neither of these people qualify for my list of trusted sources.

FYI I received a couple of notes and comments concerning my inclusion of Chris Connaker and Computer Style on my list of trusted sites. I haven’t spoken to Chris but I suspect he’s trying to monetize his site in any way he can. Without some additional research, I can’t speak further on the issue.

An Update…and Asking Again!

I feel like I”m running for public office having to continually ask members of my community to support my new book campaign. It’s awkward but it’s the only way that the campaign will make it to the goal. The needle ticked up to $8400 and 227 people have signed up as backers. We need another 75-100 to make a pledge. Once we’re past the $10,000 goal, the pressure is off. So if you’ve been hesitating, please consider adding your name to the backer list.

Check it out the Kickstarter campaign at A User Guide to Streaming, Downloads & Personal Audio. There are only two weeks left.

I’m kindly asking all of my readers to select a reward, make a pledge, and become a backer of this campaign right away.

If you haven’t yet read the first book, Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound, now would be the perfect time — COVID-19 isolation and all.

At the conclusion of the campaign on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 8:00 PDT and assuming we’re successful at reaching out goal, I will begin distributing any rewards that include the Music and Audio: A User Guide to Better Sound or the 5 AIX Records downloads from

Thanks again for your support. Please make a pledge, help spread the news about the campaign, and stay safe in these challenging times!


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 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.

2 thoughts on “AES Show Fall 2020

  • Greg Holmberg

    You have to log in to see these slides. So sad that after all your hard work, only a handful of people in the world can read about the results. If your study was available to the general public it could be read and cited (on wikipedia, for example), and maybe a few minds would be changed. As it is, almost no one will know about it.

    In a video posted today Steve Guttenberg said he also couldn’t hear the difference. I wish I could post a link to your study there, but alas, not possible. 🙁

    • The AES people do not allow open access. I’ve tried to give the conclusions in the blog. It is unfortunate.


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