Impressions of the California Audio Show (CAS4)

Aug 13, 2013

After a week of travel, I arrived at the show early Sunday morning. Last day - maybe everything is tuned and locked in. For the most part, it was. Given lack of time and energy, I decided to dispense with my normal "play these 3 tracks so I can evaluate" rigor, and just listen and enjoy. Here's what I encountered: The new venue is much improved. Bigger rooms, more luxury, and I heard no complaints about power or noise. Well done. The star of the show for me was the Enigma "Sopranino" supertweeter (link). Wow. I didn't need test tracks…

The Young Shops Vinyl

Aug 13, 2013

[caption id="attachment_2355" align="alignnone" width="300"] On the Jersey Shore last week[/caption]  

Two-speaker Surround Sound – The future?

Jul 27, 2013

As some of you  may know, I went to grad school at Princeton. Professor Edgar Choueiri, one of the prof's in my old department is an audiophile and doing very-cool research (funded mostly by Sony). He's also partnered with David Chesky. Anyway, he came over to my lab (AKA house) last week and set up his gear as a source to my system. Oh my, the sound was truly incredible - a 200-or-so degree soundfield with only two speakers - and no change in tone, transients, or level. Then he did the same thing with my AKG 701 headphones. That…

Free Byrne / St. Vincent EP Download

Jun 11, 2013

Brass Tactics. Get the 5-track EP here. Cool tunes. Well engineered (if a bit compressed). In 320K MP3 (I didn't notice). Live concerts in Saratoga and Oakland - July 20-21. Bob

Video: Modern mastering made easy

Jun 04, 2013

In addition to being humorous, teaches a bit about overload distortion...    - Bob

The Absolute Sound (TAS) Issue #1 Download

May 30, 2013

Celebrating their 40th anniversary, TAS is offering their first issue as a free download (PDF). Printed in 1973, this was the all-analog age. LPs and tapes ruled, as did the Phase Linear 700 amp. And no advertising (Stereophile had just started accepting dealer ads). Enjoy, Bob  

Memorial – Frank Zappa

May 27, 2013

I came late to the genius of Frank Zappa. this video provides another look at his art and his modus operandi. As a small bonus, there's some cool footage of Dweezel at a mixing board, analyzing and enjoying his father's master tapes. (Frank owned all of his masters.) Enjoy Bob

Sound from Sight

Apr 05, 2013

The recordings are analog, but the medium is ink on paper. This article describes the process used by Indiana University, and contains recordings from the nineteenth century. Bob

Audiophile Porn – 27,000 Pictures of Gear

Mar 28, 2013

The HiFi Shock website fills a unique niche, specializing in showing what's inside audiophile gear. Some very interesting images. New startup idea: do video. Bob    

Subjectivism isn’t just an audiophile thing

Mar 20, 2013

We all lament how difficult our hobby is. How can we capture, remember, and describe an ephemeral audio event? How can we reconcile the results of objective vs subjective testing? Of sighted vs blind testing? When I'm asked what it's like to be an audiophile, I usually point to wine-tasting as the closest analog. Both involve fleeting, personal experiences. Both have myths and sciences. And, when in doubt, both favor the subjective view over the objective. And both suffer from the bugaboo of expectation bias. Take, for example, the following passage from this article in The Atlantic: An expert's own…