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Great mysteries 26

Posted 7 years ago

There are many great mysteries in the world: how the pyramids were built, the Easter Island Moai, why whatever hair I lose on my head seems to pop up somewhere else, and I am sure there are plenty more. There are two great mysteries in audio that are currently bugging me and, if I thought […]
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Depth 17

Posted 7 years ago

Depth is an interesting subject when it comes to audio systems. Properly setup your loudspeakers should be able to disappear and provide good front to back depth, meaning the sound should go from the front plane of the speakers to the back of the room behind the speakers. The amount of depth depends on the […]
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When you eliminate the impossible 14

Posted 7 years ago

Saturday afternoon we had about 40 visitors from CAS listening to Music Room One. Chuck Zellig, whom you might remember co-wrote a couple of articles in TAS called Computer Audio Sound Quality, was at the event and pulled me out of the crowd to make a comment about what he heard. “The system sounds incredible […]
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More on preamps 17

Posted 7 years ago

A friend of mine brought over a schematic of an Audio Research tube preamplifier yesterday. This is but one of several I have been studying as of late. One of the characteristics I find as an interesting pattern is that none I have studied are direct coupled; meaning at a minimum the output of the […]
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Get the midbass right 9

Posted 7 years ago

Morning! AGB’s latest column has been uploaded and for those of you interested to see what the Audio Hitman has to say about EQ’ing your system and frequency response in general,go here to read the article. For the faint of heart, I recommend abstaining. As I worked through the setup of the IRS system, the […]
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Engaged 4

Posted 7 years ago

When I travel to visit a dealer or audio club I am often asked to evaluate their system the moment I walk into the room. At that very moment I am still in the travel, rush, rush mode and two things happen: I am disengaged just enough to offer a very pragmatic evaluation of the […]
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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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