Earned energy

May 26, 2016
 by Paul McGowan

Our financial controller, Keenan Haga, likes to run. He likes it a lot. Check out his website. He's one of only a handful that has run 50 marathons before he was 50.

One of the reasons he runs is for the earned energy, called endorphins. Endorphins charge you up after exercising and, if you exercise enough, you start to depend on them, hunger for them, like a junkie. Endorphins are the prize I get after a morning run, though my efforts are paltry compared to Keenan's.

Energy you earn is superior to energy you force into something (like the "energy" of caffeine). Take for example a DAC.

We're in the middle of the final voicing of Torreys, the new operating system for DirectStream and DirectStream Junior. And one of the things that strikes me most is the energy some of the versions present. We voice the DAC by careful listening to different compilations of FPGA code. Each compile sounds different than the other. On some versions, voices both human and instrumental, seem to resonate with an energy that is very close to the spine tingling reactions we get at a live performance. Yet other versions are dull, lifeless, and sound recorded.

I suppose you could duplicate the energy some versions present by artificially pumping up a certain frequency range, adding energy artificially, but I bet it would never sound the same or have the sense of magic I hear in these version changes.

I think energy, naturally acquired through the hard work of exercising or voicing products, will always trump external attempts to add in something that isn't natural.

Better to earn it than to force it.

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12 comments on “Earned energy”

  1. We are getting close! I haven't had much time to experiment with the betas, but I'm hearing great things. AND really looking forward to Roon integration to Bridge II.

  2. I really think it is great that you are keeping us up to date with your progress . I always like it when products are voiced using ears as a final judge and not just relying on measurements which don't really tell how a product will finally sound ... I would most certainly purchase a product that sounds great and measures poorly ( it can happen , you doubters ) than a product that sounds poor but measures great ( can and does happen ) . Now , all we have to wait for is the doomsayers who will get on the bandwagon with their " buts " ( not butts .. or maybe butts may be more accurate) and " what ifs " etc .

  3. I am thinking that my time is coming up to upgrade my PW DAC. Will the Torreys firmware be available already installed in the DSD upgrade kit? Also once I have done the upgrade are the PW components of any use for recycling?

    1. Many people send the parts back to us and we use them for board repairs etc.

      I think the firmware installed depends on where and when you buy the kit. If you buy it from us it'll have the latest. If from a dealer, there's no telling if they've had it on the shelf.

      But it's easy to install the new firmware in either case.

  4. Paul summarized at the end:

    "I suppose you could duplicate the energy some versions present by artificially pumping up a certain frequency range, adding energy artificially, but I bet it would never sound the same or have the sense of magic I hear in these version changes. I think energy, naturally acquired through the hard work of exercising or voicing products, will always trump external attempts to add in something that isn’t natural."

    Presumably this is the argument for leaving tone controls out of amplifiers, too.

  5. Since the basis of an audio system is energy, more the better. No wonder equipment with power supplies which are an overkill sound so forceful and effortless. In the various versions that you speak about is there a difference in the power supplied to them ? Just curious. Regards.

  6. "On some versions, voices both human and instrumental, seem to resonate with an energy that is very close to the spine tingling reactions we get at a live performance. Yet other versions are dull, lifeless, and sound recorded."

    I've seen the same thing repeatedly with Bug Head player versions and assumed it has to do with manipulations of the frequency curve, directly or indirectly. Some builds sound so tonally natural and others sound a bit tonally elevated while wonderfully flowing and more transparent. You won't know about Bug Head, but speaking generaly and with regard to your software is that true?

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