Hard wired

September 4, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

At first thought, it would seem obvious that a hard-wired connection between a digital source and a DAC would have to be better than a wireless connection where multiple steps and technologies combine to do the same, simple transfer of data as a simple hard wire.

But because something is obvious doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

For example, the hard wired connection ties noisy grounds together. Further, the hard-wired connection depends entirely on the connecting cable’s ability to perfectly transfer data.

How many cables are perfect transmitters of data?

On the other hand, if we go wireless there’s the immediate advantage of disconnecting the common grounds between the two pieces of equipment. Further, we now have an opportunity to regenerate a new and perfectly clean set of data right at the DAC.

I am not pushing the idea of wireless versus hard-wired.

My goal is to point of that “obvious” might not always be so obvious.

It pays to dig a little deeper when evaluating new technologies.

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64 comments on “Hard wired”

  1. Paul, sorry to learn about the cancellation of RMAF 2021. It’s well understood how much you were looking forward to launching your new speaker to the public and media that you’ve been working on so diligently for many years.

    One could certainly envision a soft launch on a YouTube video filmed in the Boulder facility’s Music Room featuring the top-line PS Audio System and a conversation with either an industry luminary or credible journalist (or both) regarding their listening experience of the musical performance.

    Perhaps the speaker designer will join in the conversation introducing and highlighting the FR-30s design criteria and a feature/benefit analysis.

    One can only imagine the improved timbral accuracy and transparency to the source when comparing the new standard FR-30 to the old reference IRS V.

    1. Same here Paul.
      I for one am also disappointed for you; the timing could not be worse.
      Sometimes ya just can’t catch a break.
      Hopefully you can come up with a ‘Plan B’

      Does anyone else here have any ideas for a Plan B?

      1. A total buzz kill man. It’s tough, a product launch such as this loves a buzz, just look at the media hype that was generated at Axpona 2019 with the first prototype of the speaker presented as the model AN-3.

        In terms of the global market you get the product into the hands of the distributors and dealers. As far as the US market is concerned, you do it the old fashioned way, one client, one day at a time. If you can’t take the mountain to the people then you bring the people to the mountain for an audition.

        Covid protocols would have to be strictly enforced and for those long distance travelers consider reimbursement of travel expense upon completion of a sale. If you’ve never been there, your first journey to Boulder is quite charming.

        PSA aren’t the only ones licking their wounds this evening. Paul’s a clever man, he’ll figure something out.

        What’s that line from Indiana Jones? “I don’t know, i’m making this up as i go.”

        1. I agree with ‘jb4’, in that your idea for a plan
          B is a very good one, under the circumstances.
          As you know, I’m a big fan of Paul, his passion for
          audio & his work ethic.
          This feels like a real kick in the guts.
          He will figure something out; he has a committee 😉

  2. I guess that you are hinting at galvanic isolation Paul.

    John Darko in his most recent YT presentation (video) claims that CD
    quality BLUETOOTH streaming is coming soon (via aptX LOSSLESS):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vlKP-Owyco

    I’m still hard-wired to believe that interconnects & wires (cables) will still give you the best sound & until I get off my arse & go out & listen to the difference(s) & find that Paul is correct, I guess that this dinosaur will keep believing in hard-wiring; at least for the current standard of home audio gear that I am listening through.
    Maybe one day all Hi-Fi home audio components will be galvanically isolated.
    I guess that we will see how fast technology brings that reality.

  3. “Does anyone else here have any ideas for a Plan B?”
    I cannot think of a better “plan B” than the one dr.goodears comes up with. I second that motion.
    A nice YT video like years ago (how time flies !) when Music Room One was built.
    BTW, yesterday I was watching some old video’s (recommendable !) and it’s very remarkable to see how much the final design differs from previous designs. It’s like night and day.
    Today’s topic : will the upcoming DAC have a completely wireless connection to a (future) transport…?

  4. Couple of things.

    (1) RMAF. Yes. Big pity.

    (2) Selling fairly large speakers via t’internet sounds iffy. They cost a lot to ship to and fro.
    RMAF would have been a Good Place to show the world – and the assembled scribes – what they could do. Then, likely enough, the assorted scribes will have written up their observations and some will have asked for review samples. Then the world could have heard about them. While there are those who mock such reviewers as loathsome money-grubbing dishonest scum, I think that the likes of Tony Cordesman John Atkinson and several others can hear and report accurately

    (3) It’s obviously in the interests of PS Audio and vendors like Music Direct, Audio Advisor – even Crutchfield – to find a means of credibly letting would-be customers hear what stuff sounds like – especially biggish speakers. One can imagine a scheme where you the customer can obtain a high-res version of some test music and listen to it to your heart’s content at home on what you’ve got. That way you get to know the music. Plus, one way or another, a means of recording what your current system sounds like in your room, so that you could record it and confirm that listening to that via the approved headphones sounds remarkably like listening to your own speakers. This – to be done perfectly – is hard. But to be done well may well be not too hard. I’m thinking of one of those portable sound recorders with some magic DSP hardware which can do the ‘spatial’ thing via the headphones. Then the vendor plays the speakers they’re trying to sell in several rooms, and uses the same system to capture what they sound like in each; downloads would be made available. Then customers compare. Yes, the combinations of front end equipment and speakers and rooms and music are very very large – you’re not trying to recreate the customer’s environment at the vendor – MUCH too much work. What you’re trying to do is increase the probability that an interested customer will decide they want your speakers, and to reduce a great deal the risk that they’ll disappoint.

    No, of course it won’t be applicable to Magico’s and other such way beyond mortal speakers. But starting down this path might – over a few years – establish reliable, low cost, effective toolkits. Look – more kit to sell the serious audiophile! Plus the possibility of listening to other folks’ systems – and hearing (much of) the effects of tweaks and room treatments etc…

    (4) Hardwired? I differ most strongly. If you put pulse transformers at the output of your digital sources and at the input of your DAC/preamp/etc and use an appropriate cable, you have no common ground to mess things up.

    1. Selling large speakers that way can be difficult but Tekton seems to have figured it out.

      Given the weight of the larger Power Plants, I think the PS Audio shipping department would consider the speakers no big deal. 🙂

    2. Good morning Pete!
      I’m a day late to getting around to posting a comment, but I like the way you think man!
      I use transformers on some of my audio equipment too as well.
      Transformers are in deed ground lifters.
      I use a few Rolls HE18 Hum Eliminator Buzz Off boxes.
      I have two of them that I’m using to convert unbalanced signals to balanced signals.
      They work for me that way too!

  5. Another great example is Toslink. It seems to have everything going for it – galvanic isolation, a pure optical connection, immunity to RF, etc. yet in most cases S/PDIF sounds better via coax.

      1. There are some wonderful optical links that are far superior to hard wired, with WiFi being second best. We’ll be using one in the upcoming Signature DAC from Ted. They are expensive and non-standard in consumer audio.

        1. Paul, I am eagerly awaiting Ted’s Signature DAC, however, what you just said has me a little nervous. I assume the transport of choice to pair with the Signature DAC is the PST. I do not see any optical outputs on the back of the PST.

      2. Actually, for years Wadia included AT&T ST optical connectors on their gear.

        ST optical has been a standard in the telecommunications industry for decades – it predated Wadia’s use of it and of course Wadia is effectively dead now yet ST continues on in telecommunication applications.

        The problem, as always, is that very few companied adopted ST optical, so as long as you were connecting Wadia transports and DACs you were golden, otherwise it was difficult.

        Toslink’s “success” is that is is effectively ubiquitous for digital transport; even many devices that don’t have a coaxial digital out usually have a Toslink port.

      3. Harmonic Technology made a very impressive one about a decade ago. It was pretty expensive, but I and others were very highly impressed. Totally black background.

    1. Yes, because TOSLINK is such a marginal device. The receivers and transmitters are barely capable of delivering what they’re intended to deliver in a way that doesn’t degrade the signal. The whole mission with TOSLINK is to get the signal acceptable for as low a cost as possible.

  6. Sad to hear the show is cancelled. I was close to buying a flight. A great childhood friend of mine lives in Denver. He was going to show me the Rockies. I’ve never been out West. And he was excited to see the audio show with me. Darn!

    As for a Plan B, a wild idea came to me. What if you sent a pair of FR30’s to tour the country with one of your Octave recording artists. Ideally an artist that plays smaller intimate venues with a shiny new pair of PSA technology & artistry tempting a captive audience full of music lovers! Crank them up to play music after the show while people mingle to meet & greet the artist and a PSA personality.

    Of course this too is subject to our covid status, so maybe this is a Plan C.
    But when wild ideas come, I always ask myself – what if and why not?

      1. Was it really with “good results?”

        When they brought the 30.1 to Denver dealer ListenUp, it was HORRIBLE. There were all kinds of phase effects happening when they played a Frank Sinatra track that made it sound like a bad MP3, and they were tinkering with the crossover the entire time with, I kid you not, jumper wires with alligator clips on them before and during the demos.

        Worse, there was never a way to hear a properly functioning pair as I know of no dealers with one; Magnepan built them to order only.

          1. A lot of publicity about having a horrible sounding product?

            Most of those at the demo were new to the brand and none of those I heard discussing it had anything kind to say about the speaker or Maggies in general.

            1. That’s one case. There were many other demos and with a lot of Magnaplanar fans most of the shows were a success. Besides just hearing again and again about the demos was publicity that reminded people again and again of the product and that helps a ton. By the way I’m just discussing the demos. I’m not judging the product itself one way or the other.

      2. You gotta love Wendell’s “never say die” attitude. Magneplanars can be a tough sell. Fortunately the client is immediately qualified; cause just like licorice, you either love em or hate them due their physical presence unless of course it’s a referral from an existing Magnepan owner who’s done the networking for the dealer.

        The problem in my mind is that he and Galina tried to pack way to many visits in too short of a time on their US tour. Wendell not being a student of touring rock bands neglected to realize it’s always best to take a day or two between shows. Some dealers don’t have music rooms, just merchandising areas. You show up the day before, do the load in, system setup, tune the system to the room and then perform a soundcheck.

        For Magnepan speakers (and all speakers for that matter) they must be set-up in the room properly, mated and driven by appropriate electronics and speaker cables. Then comes the fun part, tuning of the resistors. This whole process can take several hours, sometimes all day.

        If one can get past the physical imposition issue, then an extended listening session requires patience. The reward for those who proceed is a extraordinary level of musicality at an affordable price.

        https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/magnepan-mg307

              1. You missed my points and a surprising response from someone who’s all about value.

                The FR-30 doesn’t exist yet except for a prototype pair that only a handful of people in Boulder have heard.

                The FR-30 midrange and high frequency driver technology is more similar to the Magneplanar than different. The Magnepan MG 3.7i has a much larger radiating surface area while the FR-30 will probably have more punch in terms of low frequency extension.

                For the proposed price of the FR-30 compared to the Magnepan MG 3.7i, one can play music because the $20,000 price difference between them will afford a set of world class electronics from either Spectral or VTL depending on their musical taste.

                1. I get what you’re saying dr. g & yes the MG 3.7’s do seem to be of better value just on their pricing.
                  If the low frequency punch, that you mentioned, is important to a prospective buyer & said prospective buyer is financially well off, then the price difference wont matter to him/her; they will still prefer the FR-30’s.
                  Hence, again, “the prospective customer’s hearing will decide what is the best bang for their aural buck.”
                  Now, said prospective customer may decide that a pair of MG3.7’s plus subwoofers is better value than a pair of PSA FR-30’s, however, I started this, my point, quoting MG 30.7’s at US$29k; not the MG 3.7’s at $13k.

                  1. Guys, PS Audio faces stiff competition from some big names in speakers. Magico just introduced the A5 at $24.8K and Wilson Audio has the Yvette at $25.5K. The A5 just got rave reviews from Stereophile and an Outstanding Product review from HFN&RR. Both companies have a lot of trickle down technology in their lower cost offerings, they only sell through dealers and they have been doing nothing but speakers for 20 years or more.

                    IMHO, what PS Audio needs for the FR-30 is some great reviews in the audio magazines.

                  2. “Now, said prospective customer may decide that a pair of MG3.7’s plus subwoofers is better value than a pair of PSA FR-30’s, however, I started this, my point, quoting MG 30.7’s at US$29k; not the MG 3.7’s at $13k.”

                    Yeah, you did start this. First, the MG 3.7is sell for $6,600 a pair. Second, screw the subwoofers, the 3.7i have exceptional low frequency performance. Last point, invest the money where it matters, a separate preamp, power amplifier and competent speaker cables to tie them together and viola, you have music.

                    If value is important, consider an Audible Illusions M3B preamplifier and a Pass Labs amplifier and keep the system cost @ $20,000.

                    Is Art Ferris still alive and kicking down in Florida? Frank Doris listens through an Audible Illusions preamplifier fwiw.

  7. It is even more worrying that RMAF has ceased to exist. I think both audio shows due to be held in the UK this October have been cancelled, but there are new dates for 2022. One of them is organised by Chester Group, who also do shows in NY and Australia.

    I’m not sure how many members fo the public make buying decisions at audio shows, it’s the press coverage that I think is the big loss, and reviews take months to organise and get published.

    On wireless, I have fibre optic cables installed. I have two electricians here as I speak (Bogdan and Bogdan – honestly) doing their stuff. For some years I used an Auralic device wireless ending to Devialet. They were next to each other, but I preferred that to a usb cable.

    Sonos is based on a proprietary wireless protocol and is why it is so brilliant. Devialet developed their own wireless protocol, called Devialet Air, for the same reasons. It was very good, doing 24/192 without any problem. When they went Roon Ready it became a bit redundant and it doesn’t even work on OSX Big Sur.

    The problem has been getting 100% reliable wireless. This is now quite easy with Mesh systems. I have a Netgear Nighthawk system, very cheap on a deal from Costco and works very well.

    1. Steven, This is not a comment about you, so please do not take this personally. The audio shows that the Chester group ran in NYC were mediocre at best.

    2. I’ve mentioned this before, but I currently have no equipment in my system that was not seen or heard at RMAF before I got it.

      Half of it was obtained by pestering local shops to pick up the line because there was no local dealer and then I purchased the gear from them.

      Half was obtained through remote dealers with whom I formed a relationship at RMAF.

      I would have a LOT more money were it not for RMAF, but my system would be RADICALLY different and would consist only of equipment I could source from a local dealer, which would be a pity.

  8. Proprietary connections between components used to be prevalent (but rarely seen these days) for usage between a manufacturer’s components. A current high end manufacturer I know of still does this. The components have a “75 Ohm BNC output for use with XXXXXX’s proprietary impedance-matched interconnect system”. This is not for digital, but for analog connections between the components. I listened to this connection vs balanced in a super high end system with the manufacturer’s components, and it was superior to XLR. Additionally, it pulled this off with a simple broadcast quality 75 ohm cable.

    It seems that the standard analog connectivity options (XLR & RCA) are in themselves limitations.

  9. I go with an SOtM iSO-CAT6 ethernet cable from router to my network audio adapter — also SOtM. I found this to be far superior to wireless as you don’t have to deal with switches found in most routers that will introduce jitter before the signal arrives to the NAD and passed along to the DAC.

  10. It seems to me that the real isolation is coming from having a signal return that doesn’t use an earth ground as part of the signal path. At some point optical has to be turned back to electrical for audio to be enjoyed (at least in its current 😉 form).

    The talk is always about the D/A conversion… have all of these issues been corrected on the A/D side? If so then why is is the playback side just catching up? If not, then why not? Again, If not, then it seems like the playback side is just covering for the recording side.

    Regarding the FR’s and for that matter home 2 channel audio, we just completely lost an event that show cased audio products in the US. What happens when Axpona meets the same fate? The “show” circuit is a business unto itself, and one on which many audio companies relied upon.

    A lot of thinking will need to be done to determine the most profitable and best way to get a product out that typically relies on being compared using ones ears.

    Maybe we all just look at pictures, read a review, and then rely on measurements.

    I started thinking new speakers a while back, I found many on line with the topology that truly interests me. I’ve yet to find a way to listen to any of them without flying around the country.
    Then becomes the issue of a simple A/B comparison… I could do it at home but will need $60-80K up front to compare to equally priced speakers using my electronics and room. Then hope the demo’s I received are broken in, never mind the room placement. Also dealing with the weight, navigating a couple flights of stairs, taking a month off from work, and all of the other things involved.

    A couple of things enter my mind. If online is the preferred way to sell in the US, then dealing in retail pricing is probably not the best way. That retail pricing holds up the rest of the world and provides profits to both distributors and retailers outside the US. There’s value in that, as the consumer now has a place to go to audition and build face to face relationships. Full retail pricing online for those who live in a country where dealers and distributors are no longer supported can be a hard pill to swallow, but then again it also increases the manufacturers bottom line. The words ‘fair play’ can’t be used as the field is no longer level.

    Something very innovative is going to have to happen. Maybe partnering with other ‘on line’ only manufacturers and building / creating / having temporary regional listening centers … (think mini shows or pop up demo’s in unused retail space for a week or 2 at a time)

  11. Certainly agree with Paul…
    … “because something is obvious doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.”
    It also goes with that because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s true – or perhaps still true – complex technology that Paul is stepping into changes very rapidly.

    As a Chartered Professional in Information Technology for decades, seeing the introduction of Ethernet, Optical and WiFi data transmission I’ve seen each repeating to leapfrog the other over time…
    … so Paul, it really matters what ‘state of the art technology’ your comparing?

    To keep it brief:

    1: The best screening cables for LAN are now Cat8, capable of 40Gbs transfer…
    … if you use these for short run interfaces that audio doesn’t use 100Mbs of bandwidth then the noise Paul mentions is probably not an issue.

    2: The quality of LAN NIC (Network Cards/Chips) in the Switches matters a great deal, with dedicated audio buffs paying almost £1,000 for the likes of Russ Andrews 8 Port Switch – https://www.russandrews.com/russ-andrews-network-switch/

    3: Perhaps most importantly, the quality of the LAN NICs and network power integration in the transmitting AND receiving component – I’m sure when PS-AUDIO make both ends and recommend good cables they will be perfect.

    5: Currently, for my best quality sound, I’m using SACD to AVC via HDMI I2S, with a separate COAX cable providing the clock from that used by the AVC DACs to the SACD.

    6: WiFi – While this can now deliver rates up to 10+Gbs it has to work in very electrically noisy environments – yes, even Paul’s Music Rooms will be very noisy. So it’s not like optical, or optical isolated, you can use the most amazing WiFi only to be compromised by home and workplace RF interference.

    7: Optical
    I moved away from this after using HDMI I2S for DSD 64/128 and high frequency streaming. Could it come back in a better form, well Paul has his galvanic isolation – which has been used for years in military and other ‘noise sensitive kit’ – both electrical with ‘transformers’ and optical bridging. Though I must give Paul credit for pushing it as a ‘new thing’ for Audio.

    Unfortunately, high end audio has had to move into the Computer/IT/Networking world. Luckily for me I’ve worked in this at systems and design levels, as well as being an non-professional audio buff – in both areas for more than 40 years…

    1. Nice rolling summary.

      I’m a “retiring IT person”…
      The blend of knowledge with IT and good-FI is helpful.

      I have a tough layout and will need to get a “cable guy” in to install an Ethernet run from audio gear location to a switch below. All hard to get through and all finished.

        1. That’s very true, apply a hobby or enthusiast label to anything and the price immediately increases regardless of whether quality improves or not.

  12. Damn Paul,

    Love today’s topic, incredibly unhappy to hear about the RMAF cancellation.

    Cancellation of RMAF and other shows pose a real problem for the audio industry at least for the immediate future. The only possible solution that I could think of is to form a a somewhat smaller organization of other high-end audio companies that will put on smaller shows around the world under strict Covid regulations to draw in truly interested parties for a true and exciting listening experience. It’s probably a large shared expense but I think that it may be absolutely necessary. Mix in a few great lectures and other new and different “draws” that will sweeten the pot and create the new trade show model for the future. This wild thinking is all off the top of my head and I haven’t looked at all of the possible pitfalls which there are probably many but it’s a starting point which makes some sense to me as a former retail businessman who went to lots of tradeshows in my industry besides all of the giant audio shows I attended in my life.

    You and other audio brands may already be working on some different fresh ideas but I think now is the time to put in a concerted effort to come up with a new audio show model. In any case I wish you the best with all of your new products and ideas.

    1. Indeed, we’re thinking hard about ways to maybe do something like that. The problem for me is not wanting the unenviable position of playing gate guard at the doorway checking vaccination cards and requiring masks (as we do for the few people that visit us like vendors, engineers, and musicians).

      Not only is it no fun it’s disrespectful to those who don’t want to be vaccinated or wear a mask. While I don’t agree with them nor understand for a moment their stance and risk taking that endangers us all, I don’t want to be judgmental to the point of being exclusionary.

      And thus, we exclude everyone.

      Sigh.

      I worry. There’s recently been a push to require the medical community to place unvaccinated CoViD patients to second or third in line behind heart attacks and emergency surgeries. As it is now in some hospitals, like those in Texas and Florida, where heart attack patients are waiting days for help because the intensive care units are filled beyond capacity with unvaccinated people. Their choice, why should others be made to wait in line?

      Those kinds of questions came up before in England, like why give preferential treatment to smokers and obesity? But then our kindness and compassion come into play (as it should) and we realize we’re just imperfect mistake-riddled humans trying to scratch out a living as best we can.

      Sorry for the rant. I too want to play with all of you and show off our new products – get together and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. I just can’t risk my life or the lives of our staff in the process.

      1. That’s all understandable Paul.
        It’s a tough spot for all.
        Regarding the COVID part of the rant.
        Maybe thinking of it as triage will help.
        If simple steps such as mask wearing or vaccinations aren’t followed…
        Compassion is great, but at what expense?

      2. What doesn’t make much sense to me is to choose to be held hostage by a virus or even worse in business allow a hacker to hijack your server with ransomware.

        This game and life in general is supposed to be fun. At which point do you just cash it all in, sell the kit and caboodle to that investor who’s been banging on you, buy a farm/vineyard, take up the game of golf and create a living trust for the grandkids?

      3. I enjoy a good rant, Paul.
        But “disrespect” is the wrong word.
        We didn’t “disrespect” anyone with the polio vaccine.
        We didn’t “disrespect” anyone with the smallpox vaccine…and others.
        In the ’60s we had a saying: If you’re not for us, you’re against us.
        Covid is a global crisis and we’ve lapsed into treating it as if it were a mere inconvenience.
        Not the medical profession by and large, but nearly everyone else.
        A lackadaisical attitude toward it will allow it to drag on for years.
        That’s my rant.

        1. Well, when I read back all of this I have to take back my words. I agree. It’s too generous to simply be ok with people’s refusal to protect others by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.

          Here’s what I struggle with. Those of us that trust the science and understand how this works find it a no brainer to do what it takes to wipe out this disease in the same way we did Polio and Small Pox. No brainer. Right?

          The problem is, back then we were all listening to the same set of facts. We got our facts from one of the three network news sources, the papers, or the government. That is no longer true.

          Today, reasonable and intelligent people getting their facts from questionable sources come up with opinions that make sense to them given the facts they have gotten from their trusted sources.

          Think about it. We’re awash in a sea of conflicting information. Who to trust?

          Some folks are more trusting of getting their news from Facebook or news media heavily biased in a direction that makes them comfortable. Their “truth” feels right.

          How can I condemn someone for doing what feels right to them based on the facts they’ve gotten?

          I was listening to an interview of the head of critical care at one of Texas hospitals. These are crazy times with their hallways being turned into ICU units filled with unvaccinated CoViD patients. When asked what he felt towards these people now that reality has set in and they are soon to die, he responded that he could lay no judgement or blame on them. They heard a set of news they trusted and they followed that news. They’ve been told there’s a conspiracy afoot, one that will destroy our country.

          If for some reason I believed that I too would be on the same bandwagon. Wouldn’t you?

          There is a conspiracy afoot in this country but it’s not the one people think. The conspiracy is a profit motivated warfare for eyeballs by competing sources of people’s attention. Facebook, Google, and most for profit news medias are all vying for attention because attention in today’s world means revenue and sensationalism sells. So, if we get more eyeballs by flaring up people interested in the anti vaxxer movement then that’s where the bots focus on and it grows and grows. And then revenues for them grow.

          Our country is so wrapped up in profit and money that we’re somehow willing to sacrifice the welfare of our people.

          That’s criminal to me.

          End of rant.

          1. I quite agree, Paul. There has to be a new form of capitalism that is responsible to the people they depend on. Call it responsible capitalism, if you wish.

            I’d like to think science can keep ahead of the virus, but those who refuse the vaccine open the window for the virus to mutate into a form that will make even the vaccinated more vulnerable once again. It’s a big, interconnected world and we have to fight this disease without the
            restrictions of political borders or it becomes a yearly disease like the flu, only more deadly.
            On the other hand, maybe this is just nature’s way of reducing our global population, which itself is another major problem. Stay safe, be well.

  13. I am suggesting an idea for a new model as the future of what’s happening in our world now may never reverse. You and your employees don’t need to be the gatekeepers as an announcement for any new show would state specifically the requirements to attend. I’m sure there are independent companies that will do the dirty work at the front door and do it well. Ultraviolet panels could be used at regular intervals in every listening room and the hallways, elevators, etc. and all venues would need to have the latest and best air recirculation possible to reduce the fears of all vendors and visitors. We are living in a new world and true audiophiles should hopefully understand as I am thinking that this will be every industry’s new regulations for showing their products. The thing is that I knew my industry and you know yours. My store products were inexpensive in comparison to yours and when customers want to spend this type of money I believe they are smart enough to understand that they will have to comply in order to be able to indulge themselves but your history may say not so. At the very least, I think a group of really high end audio companies should get together at a central location to flush out what the future holds and try to do this with an agenda upfront and then share additional ideas with your friends and competition at these meetings. You never know what may come out of them when you all put your heads together.

    What’s happening in Florida and Texas is a literal crime. I don’t see the connection with your situation. I was never suggesting a massive amount of people to attend a high-end audio show. I was suggesting a new type of audio show with a fraction of the people attending with real intent for immediate or future purchases. That’s what my industry’s trade shows that I attended as a visitor and occasionally a vendor that were all about. Orders taken on site at the shows with special discounts. Again, my business is far different than yours and I can only speak from my experience and the wisdom that I gained over the years. Is my idea the way to go? I can’t say for sure. It’s a suggestion for consideration.

  14. I agree with this statement, of course:

    “But because something is obvious doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.”

    The answer to this question is obvious too:

    “How many cables are perfect transmitters of data?”

    But if if you do packet analysis, you’ll find that in domestic environments, packet loss on wired Ethernet networks is virtually nonexistent. an example from one of my wired devices:

    RX: bytes packets errors dropped overrun mcast
    18,123,446,715,013 12,523,761,111 0 0 0 4912700
    TX: bytes packets errors dropped carrier collsns
    1,017,750,574,356 454,425,133 0 0 0 0

    That’s a lot of packets with no errors over 28+ days. Looking on one of my Wi-Fi devices:

    RX: bytes packets errors dropped overrun mcast
    526,389,232 2,203,375 2487 2487 0 0
    TX: bytes packets errors dropped carrier collsns
    10,594,637,796 8,493,508 0 0 0 0

    Perhaps cables are not perfect, but they appear to be good enough for domestic applications. It’s difficult to argue that Wi-Fi is closer to a perfect transmitter of data than Ethernet in domestic environments based metrics I’m able to observe.

    “the hard wired connection ties noisy grounds together.”

    This is not accurate. According to the specification, Ethernet ports are magnetically coupled. Especially in commercial settings, where runs can be up to 100 meters, galvanic isolation is essential to protect the network from ground loops.

    “hard-wired connection depends entirely on the connecting cable’s ability to perfectly transfer data.”

    I’m not sure what the point is here, but this is not accurate either. Although packet loss and corruption are rare, if detected the TCP/IP protocol allows for retransmission. In most cases, this happens without applications on either end of the connection being aware. As you’ve pointed out, there’s no such thing as perfect anything. 🙂

    Oh, and yeah. I’m bewildered and bummed about the decision to cancel RMAF21. There’s no such thing as a risk-free event. At some point, we’re just going to let individuals be well-informed adults who can decide for themselves if the rewards associated with participating in event like an audio show are worth the risks. That, or this industry will have to figure out how to get really good at putting on (mostly) virtual events, but I’m not sure how well that will translate to audio.

  15. There are so many issues with wifi: which network will you use: 2.4 or 5ghz? When you use the 5ghz network, performance drops the 1st wall you go thru. If you use the 2.4ghz network, you compete against every other smart device in your house and you will have problems.
    Stick with wired networks. If you have problems, make sure you are using a quality cable to the dac and/or verify your cable connections are correct on your Ethernet cables. I use a fluke meter to test Ethernet cables.

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