Sometimes it’s a mystery

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You’d think that after forty-something years of designing high-end audio equipment I/we would have most mysteries figured out. In fact, the opposite is true. The more we learn the more we understand how little we know.

Humbling.

At last weekend’s Colorado Audio Society meeting I knew there would be a lot of interest in the DirectStream Memory Player (DMP). And the obvious question would be, “how’s it compare to your reference Mac Mini or Bridge II?”

Using the exact same track from our One SACD (nice to have the original DSD source files), I compared the two at identical volume levels. I was shocked. The difference in sound quality wasn’t subtle. DMP sounded open, extended, airy and the Mac server, as well as the Bridge, sounded as if a wet gauze had been draped over the system tweeters.

I had performed this experiment when we were designing DMP and do not remember the differences being this great.

I remember the days when a ripped CD to a hard drive sounded better than the playing of the original disc. Now the tables have turned.

Often, the magnitude of change grows in our imagination over time. Like the fish that got away. But other times, it shrinks.

Sometimes it’s a mystery.