A beginner’s guide

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Every year about this time we host the Colorado Audio Society (CAS), as we did this past Saturday. They are a wonderful group of people and it’s an event I always look forward to. We share stories, enjoy music together. CAS is the group that hosts the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF), the one big consumer show we do each year (though we will be at Axpona sharing a room with Scaena loudspeakers).

Several new members approached me for a quick tour around the facilities. One person in particular interested me. As I am showing him the lab, engineering offices, and pointing to a few projects in development, he announces that he’s new to High-End audio. Starts asking basic questions confirming his level of knowledge. “A CD player consists of a player and a DAC, right? And you guys separate them into two boxes. Why? What are the benefits?”

It occurred to me that there must be quite a number of people on the periphery of High-End audio. They have a system—perhaps something acquired at Best Buy—and they’re curious about stepping up.

What we do can be daunting.

Why isn’t there a beginner’s guide to High-End Audio? Of course, there’s Robert Harley’s wonderful work A Complete Guide to High-End Audio, and Jim Smith’s Get Better Sound, but these are targeted not at the beginner, but at those of us wishing to extend previous knowledge of the art.

An actual beginners guide—kept simple, descriptive, history-laden—would be a big help to bringing newbies into the field we love.

I would actually love to tackle this.

Maybe someday I will.