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Steam power 28

Posted 3 weeks ago

I love the term “running out of steam”. It’s an obvious reference to the beginnings of the industrial age where our world transitioned from animal power to steam power. When something runs close to its limits we say it’s running out of steam, or gas. Recently there’s been quite a flap over on Ask Paul’s […]
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Secret ingredients 19

Posted 3 weeks ago

You cannot light a sheep on fire. If that particular endeavor happened to be on your bucket list, then I apologize for ruining your day and shortening your list. The secret ingredients in sheep’s wool comes from a high content of nitrogen and water that, together, require more oxygen than is available for ignition. Secret […]
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Listening to power supplies 34

Posted 3 weeks ago

A power supply converts the AC wall voltage into something useful for our audio equipment—typically DC. That conversion process of AC to DC sounds simple enough that we might imagine they are all the same, yet that would not be true—which is why many audiophiles have strong opinions on what’s best. Some are happiest when […]
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Respect 26

Posted 3 weeks ago

Respect is what Aretha Franklin sang about, and what much of today’s noisy chatter ignores. When we respect the experiences of others and give them the courtesy of listening with intent, we embolden and strengthen them. That’s a wonderful gift that takes nothing from the giver but patience and understanding. On this first day of […]
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Change of vantage 34

Posted 4 weeks ago

Music Room Two, with its magnificent Infinity IRS V, BHK monoblocks, multiple P20 Power Plants, BHK preamp, DirectStream DAC, and Stellar Phono is one of the most revealing systems I know of. It’s our reference that allows us to hear deep into the music. It’s an invaluable tool for the design and voicing of PS […]
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Breaking the chain 24

Posted 4 weeks ago

Our Hi-Fi systems remind me of a chain where each component is a link and together we get music. Each link in the Hi-Fi chain contributes to the whole. If we break that chain and exchange links we will certainly get a different sound. That is because the end result is the sum of all […]
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Rising tides 42

Posted 1 month ago

When the 6th largest economy in the world, California, raises automobile emissions standards the rest of the world is forced to go along and we all benefit from cleaner air. When the European Union sets new standards for electrical efficiency that forces every manufacturer to change its power supplies worldwide, we all benefit from using […]
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Squandering skills 18

Posted 1 month ago

What few maths skills I once possessed rusted away at the hands of a calculator. And similarily, I used to be a whiz at turntable setup, but now it all looks like a mystery. And it’s been 10 years since I sat at my design bench and plugged transistors and resistors into my protoboard. Today, high-level […]
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Feels wrong 19

Posted 1 month ago

I remember how proud I was upon learning the trick of screwing a stubborn lid onto a jar. Though it feels wrong, my father counseled, you first unscrew the lid until the threads are aligned, then turn the opposite direction and tighten ‘er down. There’s plenty we do that’s seemingly incorrect to get things right: […]
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Pediophobia 22

Posted 1 month ago

Remember Chucky the scary clown? In the 1988 movie Child’s Play, film producers took advantage of a particular phobia that more than a few people have. It’s known as Pediophobia and it is the fear of dolls, or more generally, a fear of things most people find normal. What the film producers did was to […]
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Ho, Ho, Ho 40

Posted 1 month ago

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from your Hi-Fi Family. I thought that perhaps given this day of family and good cheer, I would simply write a short note of thanks to each and every one of you. It is our community and our connection with you that makes what we do with music and its […]
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Intimidating comments 35

Posted 1 month ago

Last month we had 56,080 unique visitors to our forums and of those, 45,463 were newcomers. Those same viewers collectively read parts of (or all of) 371,443 pages. That’s a good amount of viewers reading and spending time on a forum about high-end audio. But, here’s the thing. Despite all those viewers, only a mere […]
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Active battles passive 23

Posted 1 month ago

There’s always strong debate when it comes to AC power. One camp believes a passive collection of coils, caps (and sometimes) exotic materials does a better job with delivering AC power than an active regenerator. I think this battle may be misplaced. A passive solution is not trying to accomplish the same things as an […]
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4-channel audio 52

Posted 1 month ago

There’s a lot of information in a stereo recording that some systems don’t reproduce well. In fact, most systems keep the room cues and ambiance locked away in our recordings. One way to unlock them is by careful 2-channel setup and the very best electronics. Like what we’ve done in Music Room Two with our […]
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The sound of class A 28

Posted 1 month ago

I am often asked what’s the difference in sound between bias schemes like Class A and Class AB? I understand the motivation of placing labels on circuits when making a product choice. Like tubes vs. solid state, or analog vs. digital. We like to characterize the qualities of technologies so we might put them in […]
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Wrong side up 30

Posted 1 month ago

If you look at a globe of the Earth you’ll note that New Zealand is upside down from where we live. So, it was with great relief that we didn’t fall off the planet upon landing down under. (There are those that would argue the reason we didn’t fall off is that the Earth is […]
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What’s required? 26

Posted 1 month ago

One doesn’t necessarily have to know the difference between a 4 cylinder and an 8 cylinder engine to appreciate the virtues of a car. But in the broader sense we, as music lovers and Audiophiles, need a certain level of something to guide us in the right direction. So, what’s required when it comes to […]
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Receivers 29

Posted 1 month ago

In the dawn of HiFi, the most popular audio product was the receiver—essentially a radio tuner and power amplifier with a level control. The receiver was how we all listened to music. Over time, the receiver’s minimal feature set was added on to with various upgrades like tape and phono inputs, then later equalizers and […]
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Velvet blackness 33

Posted 1 month ago

We’ve likely all experienced the sensation of a blacker background. Perhaps it’s a new cable or a software update that did the trick. Or maybe a power conditioner or regenerator that removed a layer of noise. Whatever the cause, when there’s a deeper blackness we hear it. Or do we? In a digital audio system, […]
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Marketing shorthand 16

Posted 1 month ago

In 1888, Robert Gregg invented a new way to write. He called it shorthand, a new means of communication that records the sounds of the speaker, not the English spelling. This new system of phonography was quick to use and allowed real-time recording of people’s speaking before the advent of audio recording. Here’s an example […]
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Standards 22

Posted 1 month ago

A slice of bread is 4.5″ wide and typically square in shape. But, why? Our story goes back to the beginnings of the 18th-century when bread loaves were hand formed and varied in size from bakery to bakery. Hand-formed loaves have a thick crust, something that customers weren’t interested in. Instead, they preferred the “white […]
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Short and sweet 20

Posted 1 month ago

Why is short sweet, and simple better? Are we averse to complexity or do we simply object to clutter? When I want to grasp a concept or understand a new idea, it’s always helpful to drill past the particulars until I can reach the core of meaning. In this way, I can wrap my head […]
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Short vs. long 28

Posted 1 month ago

If we have a choice (and we almost always do), we’d prefer short speaker cables to long interconnects. This because passing unimpeded music down a speaker cable into the complex load of a speaker is far more of a challenge than sending music between two low-level sources or controllers. Sources and controllers are almost always […]
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Meta and machines 34

Posted 1 month ago

Three years and thousands of hours into the development of our music server, Octave, and we’re still not finished. (But we’re getting close). It’s not the hardware that’s hard it’s the software, though perhaps not the software you might be imagining. Octave’s software has been able to pull and play music from any source for […]
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Originality 18

Posted 1 month ago

There’s not much original in this world. In fact, one might go so far as to suggest nothing is original except the Big Bang. We all build upon what has come before us. Sure, there was nothing like the iPhone before its launch in 2007, or the CD player when it debuted in 1982. Yet, […]
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