The trouble with convention

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The trouble with convention
I remember my excitement when Mark Levinson's company broke with the pack and started building products with Lemo Connectors. Wow. Those were wicked cool looking and they had an even cooler story behind them too. Alas, this trend never caught on because nothing else matched and who wants to use adapters? Then, Arnie and I chose to use Neutrik Speakons for our Genesis I system's subwoofer connecting cables. These cool multiwire connectors were vetted in the pro-industry and accepted as not only easy to use but made certain our woofers, with their built-in accelerometers, could never be connected in error. Brilliant, yet, today there's nary a product I am aware of in high-end land using them. (Turns out that after using them over the years they're pretty cheaply made and not all that robust). And, I remember when Wisconsin based Wadia, then the hot ticket in digital audio, built their products around ATT glass fiber that could easily handle gigahertz and was the be all to end all (it was then and still is now). That connector was eclipsed with the very much worse plastic POS released from Toshiba called TOS/LINK (Toshiba Link). It's a rare day when that can get close to high-resolution audio. And so today none of these attempts at bettering performance through advanced tech remain because convention has sucked the life out of them—mashed by the steamroller of mediocrity, leaving those of us wishing better to come up with hacks, like our use of HDMI for I2S. Indeed, our penchant for conformity leaves those of us desirous of great performance heights out in the cold. The good news of convention is it plays nice with everything. The bad news is it plays nice with everything.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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