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Peeling the onion 17

Posted 7 years ago

In the process of answering the many comments I receive (which are much appreciated) one was made that really struck home. Here is the comment from frequent contributor Mark Fisher that was made after I wrote “it’s amazing what it has done for the system.” “This seems to happen every time there’s a change. When […]
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The Audio Hitman 3

Posted 7 years ago

In the early days of the magazine TAS (The Absolute Sound) there were, as there are today, many great writers. One of the most outspoken and, coincidently, one of my favorites was AGB. Go back and look through your copies of the 80’s and 90’s editions and you’ll see many a great article by AGB. […]
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Separation 4

Posted 7 years ago

After yesterday’s post I was thinking about the term Separation as it applies to the instruments and singers on a soundstage. I spoke of how the elements in the recording were rounded and separate such that they seemed as if I could reach out and touch them. They were palpable. It occurs to me that […]
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Lunch is served 30

Posted 7 years ago

As a vegetarian for most of my adult life I don’t eat meat, fish or crow. Because I promised all of you I would eat crow if I was wrong about putting a preamp in the system, let me back off and simply use another metaphor I can live with: swallowing my pride. That’s friendly […]
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Palpability 9

Posted 7 years ago

I thought today I’d touch on the term Palpability for a couple of reasons: I use it to describe certain aspects of what we hear in our stereo systems and more pertinent – I have just been exposed to a greater degree of it than ever before. I was going to title this post Eating […]
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LFE 11

Posted 7 years ago

I was thinking about these Audiophile terms we use this morning and it occurred to me that perhaps one of the more frustrating and misused terms is Low Frequency Extension. Frustrating because the group of people who believe if it doesn’t show up on their meters it doesn’t exist must be driven mad by this […]
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Transparency 4

Posted 7 years ago

Continuing with Audiophile terms I find Transparency a much used term that perhaps is a bit nebulous and easy to overuse. One of the first things you notice about many of these terms is they are somewhat self descriptive; as any really good and valuable word should be. Transparent means you can see through it […]
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Openness 6

Posted 7 years ago

To start this series on Audiophile terminology, I wrote a list and at the top of that list was openness. I suppose it’s on the top of my list because that’s exactly what I am working on achieving as we redesign the power amplifier stage to have more of it. Openness is obviously the opposite […]
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Audiophile terms 7

Posted 7 years ago

I use plenty of Audiophile terminology in my writings. Lots. From time to time readers have asked me to define those terms as they apply to what we hear and what they mean to me when I write them. Perhaps it’s time to start a bit of that and see where it leads us. The […]
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The Lab Cable 8

Posted 7 years ago

Taking my homemade prototype power cable to the next level and manufacturing the wire itself seemed like a relatively easy exercise. I would simply call one of the big suppliers of wire cables, like Belden and order a couple thousand feet. We’d then cut the cable into lengths appropriate for the product, terminate the ends […]
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The prototype 1

Posted 7 years ago

Once the homemade power cable was finished I immediately connected it to the preamp. Interesting. The most immediate thing I noticed was an increased openness without brightness that was never in the design before. Separation of instruments was greater, soundstage deeper, all the good things you’d hope for. However, there was a tightness to the […]
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Accessory Products

Homemade cables 20

Posted 7 years ago

Fatter wire sounds fuller, skinnier wire sounds thin, shielded wire sounds cleaner but veiled, stranded wire sounds one way and solid core thicker wire sounds yet another. These findings were very suspicious to me because they matched too closely to what I might expect – fat wire sounds fatter – really? That sounds like a […]
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Witches brew 8

Posted 7 years ago

In my new found quest to figure out why power cables made a difference in my preamplifier circuit I began to suspect that I wasn’t adding fullness or, for that matter, anything to the preamp’s sound but rather guessed that what must be happening is one of degrading in the first place. By that I […]
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Makes my head hurt 12

Posted 7 years ago

I had accidentally stumbled on something interesting in my development of a new preamplifier: a 14 gauge small diameter power cable didn’t sound as good as a larger diameter 12 gauge power cable. In an easily repeatable experiment I could change the amount of body and fullness in the music by simply changing power cables. […]
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Stock cables 13

Posted 7 years ago

During the latter half of the 1990’s I was busy with a new preamp design that was more of a personal project than anything for the company. That project would become, after a number of years, the PCA-2 preamplifier we released after the turn of the millennium, but during the 90’s it was just something […]
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Shootouts 5

Posted 7 years ago

During the first power amplifier shootout it became evident quickly that the new power amplifier we are proposing to go to market with was great in many respects, but lacking in a few key places, specifically in the upper treble regions of frequency response, a lack of openness and a propensity to fall apart when […]
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The strike of a wooden block 9

Posted 7 years ago

I was going to step off into the deep end this morning with the start of our cable series but many of you asked about the results of the latest amp shootout so I thought I’d give you a brief update on that progress. The quick overview is that we made significant progress, but we […]
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Stepping in it 9

Posted 7 years ago

This morning I am heading over for the second of the amplifier shootouts to see what kind of progress we’ve made. On my system it certainly sounds significantly better, but we shall see. There’s been some conversations going on over on our Community Forums about power cables – why do they sound different than stock […]
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The thing about perfection 15

Posted 7 years ago

It’s not something attainable in a product – I have no desire to work on achieving it – it is a fool’s errand. I bring this to your attention because of all the kind notes people have been sending me about the new power amplifier and my quest to “perfect it”. I am not trying […]
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Mix and match 19

Posted 7 years ago

I have always wanted to offer complete systems: speakers, cables, amps, preamps, room tuning etc. One set systems designed to work together perfectly, available at multiple price points to fit every budget. But we’ve never even seriously considered it. I was chatting this idea up to a friend of mine recently who pointed out that […]
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Putting the cart first 14

Posted 7 years ago

My note yesterday about being open to trying out a preamp between the DAC and power amp brought a lot of attention and many great suggestions. One of the repeated suggestions is to simply stick a buffer stage at the output of the DAC and play the system with and without the buffer. While this […]
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Preamps 17

Posted 7 years ago

I have gotten a lot of mail, as of late, regarding our stance on the DAC feeding the power amplifier directly. There are clearly two camps on this issue: those that believe less is more and those that believe more is better. I have always found myself in the camp of less is more, advocating […]
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The Schiit 3

Posted 7 years ago

“You won’t believe this Schiit” and so reads the front page of Schiit Audio’s website. Schiit Audio has my admiration for several reasons: the brilliance and audacity of the name, their products and the founders. I haven’t yet had the pleasure to try their Schiit, but people I respect highly have and they are raving […]
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Recipe for high-end 8

Posted 7 years ago

Words, tastes, sights, sounds are specific recipes that activate neuro transmitters in our brains that bring meaning to each. I know it’s the engineer in me that brings this to your attention, but how things work fascinates me. When you taste something it is a specific formulation of the 5 primary tastes and smells: sweet, […]
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Borrowed slogans 14

Posted 7 years ago

I smiled when one of the posters on our Community Forums quoted another company’s slogan “no cable is better than any cable” explaining how their wireless approach is superior to a hard wired ethernet connection. I smiled because they lifted one of our long term slogans “there’s no preamp like no preamp”. When we came […]
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