Scratching the knowledge itch

January 18, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

Over the last 4 decades, I have been lucky enough to be in a position to repeatedly offer the same advice and information on setup, equipment choices, and how things work.

As an example, I just finished explaining to a customer the differences between amplifier classes: A, A/B, B, H, D, and so on.

I have probably explained those differences at least once each month and perhaps more. And you know what? I am rewarded each time as the lightbulb of understanding suddenly shines brightly.

As new people come on board they want to learn when the question strikes. That's when learning is at its best.

And it's not just me that answers questions, it's our wonderful community.

When we itch for answers it's great to have a community that is ready to offer the knowledge to scratch it.

Here's another example of the need to be a part of a community ready to answer questions when the need arises.

After all these years of this scam being online I still get emails like this:

International Transfer
Processing Department
(Head Office Annex)
One Thorpe Road,
P.O.Box GP 2674

Dear Fund Beneficiary,

I am Dr.Ernest Kwamina Addison, Governor Bank Of Ghana.I am writing to inform you about your long over-due funds that was brought here in my office to arrange and facilitate the immediate release of the said amount of US$1,500,000.00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) being your Part-Payment into your bank account,which you know that this payment has been taken longer than you expected."

I still get these because somewhere there's a person alone and without the support of community to explain in that very moment why this is a scam.

Thank you to our community for being here now and in the moment.

We all have questions and what a gift to get answers you can trust.

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33 comments on “Scratching the knowledge itch”

  1. Could it be that the esteemed Dr. Ernest K. Addison is so desperate
    to put enough money together to buy a full 'PS Audio' home-audio
    rig, that he has to resort to 'this'?
    I suspect that he has in-fact just recently seen the price of a pair of
    'aspen FR-30' floorstanders in Ghana.

  2. Strangely, years ago I had some business involving a Ghanaian record producer that ended up in the High Court in London. We have some people fly over for the trial and after it was done one of them, who was the son of a government minister, told me everyone says whatever they want, without any moral compunction to tell the truth. Lovely people, but completely dishonest as it suited them, which in the case involved quite a bit of forgery. It was just their way of doing things. Call it a culture clash.

    My quest for knowledge often stops at how to operate the remote control. For example, I have no idea at all what goes on inside my TV.

    So far as audio is concerned, when I see a picture of the insides, I'm put off if there is one little board the size of a fag packet and a $5,000 price tag. I want lots of boards and stuff for my money. Look inside Cambridge Audio and most Japanese stuff.

    I sort of understand hybrid amplifiers, as I've used them for some years (Quad and Devialet), and the route to good digital is to eliminate as much low level electrical noise as possible. I also have a pretty good idea that 16 bits of resolution at 44,000 cycles per second stretches to or beyond the limit of human hearing.

    So my electronics is strictly on a need-to-know basis, and to me good audio design involves me having to know as little as possible.

    1. I remember going on a guided tour of Cuiheng, a little village in China, in 1984. It was a pig sty, famous for being the birthplace of Sun Yet Sen, the father of the Chinese nation. We were taken to a house where a little old lady was watching TV. The guide says: "Look, everyone has TV!". Of course, on closer inspection, it was the only house (if you could call it that) that had an aerial, and I suspect she was a fully paid up member of the CCP. More deception than outright deceit.

    2. Nordost cables are superb, not least due to their incredibly low impedance, which is particularly effective with electrostatic speakers, especially Quad (who use Nordost). I used a pair for about 10 years. Does that make me gullible and insecure? My cables are stuck to the floor with adhesive vinyl. Am I now magically cured of my gullibility and insecurity?

        1. Nice to have a conspiracy theorist back here doing generalised personality assessments based on nothing at all. Keep it up, if only for Fat Rat's amusement.

  3. Paul. I had no idea that you were that wealthy. The Bank of Ghana of all places. 😉

    You know this reminds me of the brilliant comedic sketch by Dave Chappell. “If the Internet was a place.” Some may find it raunchy humor, but I believe he made his point. I’m glad Chappell got the Mark Twain award.

    I also wonder what speakers the guy owns. 🙂

  4. These scam attempts seem to be getting worse daily, particularly on my phone via text. Suddenly, everyone is wanting to give me a “reward” for paying my bills on time.

    I was flying next to a cyber-security guy several years ago. He was contracted to work for some electric power company. He said they were getting “pinged” over a thousand times a minute with hacking attempts. There is a forever present cyber-war in place, and it’s pretty disturbing.

    1. I had three separate phone-calls from 3 separate numbers to my mobile (cell) phone yesterday; all pretending to be from the Australian Taxation Office...I just hang up within 2 seconds.

  5. Just tell him to send you the check. You're a public figure, enough so that he knows how to find you. 😉 Your office address will do handsomely. Or, if you're like me, you can send the email to that special mailbox I reserve for such communications named Cess Pool.

  6. As a police car upfitter, I have a (slightly muted) siren connected to an equipment testing station. When I get the obligatory weekly scam phone call, I let them start their pitch, then I interrupt with something like “Hold on a sec, (pull the phone away a bit) “10-4, alpha bravo nine enroute to your location”
    and activate the siren - they don’t seem to want to talk to me anymore.
    Sometimes ya gotta make your own fun…

    But you are correct, I learn so much here, but without talking about it regularly or frequently using it - I DO benefit from regular refresher reviews… old leaky cranium y’know.

    1. You've got me beat! I answer but don't say anything, with the intention of making them think I sent them directly to "hold" as music is almost always playing in my house. Usually they hang up after a few seconds but I had one that stayed on the line for 10 minutes! I guess they liked the music. At least I kept them from bothering someone else for a bit. lol.

  7. Paul, good reminder. And this community has been an excellent place to learn and think about the pastime we enjoy. For example about 3 years ago, jeffstar replied that the book Get Better Sound, by Jim Smith, would help me out. And that was a super suggestion at a time when Paul's book was still germinating. I am very happy to have found this space.

  8. There are lots of good youtubers scambaiting where they mess with the Indian scammers and waste their time in often amusing ways, Kitboga and Rinao Poison are a few of my favorites, others are starting to use call flooders hitting them with thousands of calls a minute and depending upon the scammers calling plans we can rack up tens of thousands of $ charges to at least cause some damage to them. Others will put viruses on the scammers computers and destroy them. Still way too many seniors are losing millions of dollars because of these scumbags. Cheers

  9. It won't be long until we in America start getting our in-boxes get cluttered with solicitations from our special personal friends for political donations as the mid-term elections near. They will begin by asking our opinions on different issues, and then close by begging for money in order for our voice to count.

    1. I just can't get my head around the money in American politics. Apparently the 2020 election cost $14billion. The last figures I have are for our 2015 general election, which cost about $0.15billion. So 2020 cost almost 100 times as much for 5 times the population. In the last election, the total spending by all candidates combined in my constituency (equivalent to a congressional seat) was under $50,000.

      What is staggering is that a campaign starts in earnest about 2 years before Election Day. Here Election Day is announced 4 or 5 weeks in advance and after about 2 weeks most people are bored senseless and can't wait for it to end. The winner is known by about 2am the morning after Election Day and if there is a change in Prime Minister, the old one moves out before lunchtime that day, rather than almost 3 months in the USA.

      Just one of the many cultural differences between the USA and many other countries around the world.

      1. Yep. Pay-for-play is rampant in U.S. politics. And the top 1% who have 90% of the wealth want to keep it. Many corporations donate heavily to both political parties to guarantee access to whichever candidate wins.

  10. Hi Paul - glad you brought those amplifier classes up. Can I pick your brains over that rather intriguing class of "Super A" amplifiers that JVC & Technics made with their "Active Bias circuit" - do/did these offer a real improvement over properly done A/B/D designs of that era? Despite the adverts they of efficiency I note the JVC A X1 has 30w per channel but nearly 500 watt consumption but were these a useful truly hybrid?

    There's a few for very little Euro's on Ebay so I'll probably be researching it the direct way in the near future...

    Regards - I'm enjoying the Octave records development enormously - such a worthwhile & fascinating project.

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