The fun begins

May 20, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

I have often been labeled a Pollyanna believing that everything’s more likely to go without a hitch than the opposite. I am often wrong.

On Monday of this week, the demolition crew tearing out all the old infrastructure inside the new Octave Studios building was supposed to have wrapped up their work. Once the place was swept out and the doors locked, we’d be ready to think about construction.

That afternoon I received a phone call from Terry, our contractor. Expecting good news I was surprised at the panic in his voice.

“Trouble,” he said, “big trouble.”

Turns out one of the workers hit a fire sprinkler and all hell broke loose. Water started spraying everywhere while at the same time, of course, the fire department was activated. Turns out the controls and shut-off valves are in our neighbor’s space which they long ago vacated.

I had been meaning to introduce ourselves to our neighbors over a beer down the road at the brewery, but now priorities had changed.

All’s well and we put together a short video of the new studios so you can keep up with our progress.

You can click here to watch it.

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31 comments on “The fun begins”

  1. Paul, you & I both know that it’s just the storm, in a teacup, before the calm…hopefully 🙂

    Calling me ignorant (yestersday May 19, 6:50pm) does not
    absolve you of you’re own ‘audio ignorance’.
    Like Rupert Murdoch, you can print it, but that doesn’t
    mean that it is true.
    In fact you appear like a fly struggling in the spider’s web;
    pathetically believing that you can escape your own
    ignorance when it comes to home audio.
    (That’s why you can only regurgitate what you Google about audio here)
    As the elected Secretary of the ‘CtA Fan Club’ I implore
    you to quit while you’re ahead; you only embarrass yourself
    further with every one of your erroneous comments & replies.

      1. Fat Rat

        Thanks for the link, I have just recently been listening to internet music from various places around the world that broadcast. The other night I was listening to some soft-jazz from St. Lucia of all places. Then all of a sudden the link was gone. I find that even with my 70 year old hearing, I can detect a musical difference with some internet music compared to others. I have been wondering about the MQA version that TIDAL uses, but I require another piece of gear, which I haven’t got. This past Monday here in Canada, both Amazon Music and Apple Music announced some newer version of their music signal that is equal to TIDAL and cheaper per month. I have listened to the current version from Amazon for Prime members, and it is much better than anything else that I’ve listened to so far from the internet. That being said, my CDs and records still sound best compared to internet music. Although, from what I understand MQA is suppose to sound the same as CDs, I’m sure it probably does but I’ve never experienced it. Your link seems to suggest that MQA is a hoax…time will tell who will dominate the world of internet music. I brings back memories of VHS vs BETA, I still have a SONY BETA machine collecting dust, that someone could use as a boat anchor.


    1. Mr. Fat Rat. There is a perfect definition of you in psychology. It is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. You are the poster child of this psychopathology.
      You don’t even understand how incompetent you are, so superior the way you think of your abilities, so far from reality.
      It is actually pretty pathetic.
      Some people keep trying to learn all their lives, never content of what they know. Always aspiring to get something more. You? You just want a beer and play a CD in your couch. Make rude statements to other people. You think you are funny or witty. You are not, just a lifelong underachiever.

      1. CtA,
        If you hadn’t come here in late January of this year & introduced yourself to all of us by making rude statements about, & to, some regular contributors here, I would not have been elected as the secretary of the ‘CtA Fan Club’.
        You are such an arrogant, rude & deflecting misfit
        that you don’t even recognize that you are.
        Pot; kettle; black!

  2. Could have been much worse if there were carpeted or wood floors. Why even have the sprinkler system on right now? Mainly all steel and concrete at the moment. Nothing to burn.

    1. Ahhh, wish it were so easy. First off, the controls are in the building attached to us for which we have no access. Second, our local fire department won’t allow the sprinklers to be turned off until we are actually under construction.

      1. It’s common practice for a construction company doing demolition to make a phone call to the building security company that monitors the sprinkler system and let them know that they need the alarm turned off and they also request that the water be turned off by the same company or the water department as well before they begin any demolition or construction near the sprinkler system. More than likely you will have to reroute many of the sprinkler system pipes because your layout will be different than the former owner. It was almost inevitable that this would happen. It’s over now and I’m sure that both you and Terri will exercise a lot of control over all contractors and subcontractors down the road in this new construction. Knowing you a little bit, I’m sure that the finished product will be outstanding.

  3. This reminds me of a story from my early days in telecoms. It’s a bit embarrassing for me but in my defence I’d say that the guy that never made a mistake never did anything.

    There was a team of us out at the local airport installing new cabling in the comms room. The cable trays were near the ceiling so we were working at height and access was difficult. As we were pulling the cables along the tray the back of my hand caught something on the ceiling, fortunately not a sprinkler. I had no idea what it was although it looked as if it should have had a cover on it. I did wonder but carried on with the work. Not so long afterwards a fire engine pulled up outside. Then another, and another, and another. In fact they kept coming. I couldn’t believe it, there must have been about twelve in total, one from each of all the surrounding fire stations. With the name of the station on the front of each engine it was like a geography lesson. I’d never seen so many fire engines in one place, obviously being the airport they were being cautious. After much searching they couldn’t find a fire and eventually decided the sensor on the ceiling I had knocked was the culprit. Fortunately for me everyone and everything was ‘cool’ about it and the bill for the call out wasn’t deducted from my wages.

    Lessons learned. I was always more careful after that when working near ceilings and the firemen at rural stations probably didn’t get out much and fancied a bit of plane spotting.

  4. Sorry to hear it.

    I thought I would share a related vital reminder to change the hoses on your washer at home, if you haven’t in a while. Mine sprung a leak and flooded our upstairs. A neighbor had the same thing happen to him several months later.

    The hot water hose expands and contracts as you do the laundry. Over time it weakens near the joint and eventually fails. It never happens when you are home, and it can be disastrous. I went to the local hardware store and bought a wet vac and new hoses. The guy working there said they should offer a discount on buying the pair…. He sees it all the time.

    So, I now replace mine about every 5 years. It’s definitely one of those “ounce of prevention” deals.

  5. Keep going, Octave!

    Played Audiophile Masters Volume 1 for the first time last night. Best recording I’ve ever heard – by more than a little. Voices, instruments, sound stage and overall musical balance. Great cuts. All the best ever played on my system for sure.

  6. For quite some time now for me the highlight(s) of these comments are (by far) the feud between CtA and Fat Rat.
    Excellent work. 🙂
    Just keep up the good work and keep it coming “boys” !

  7. The ole Murphy’s Law. Reminds me of an airport project I once worked on. In digging the foundation for a new terminal the excavator hit and cut the underground main cable for the existing terminal security system. Talk about major disruption! There was no redundancy and it took a day to repair the line. Meanwhile, unknown to the public, the terminal was vulnerable to security breeches.

    I was wondering if in your new facility control rooms you will have an inert gas fire suppression system in the control rooms rather than water sprinklers, given how expensive the electronic equipment and set up will be. There are now non-ozone depleting alternatives to halon.

  8. Paul,
    I would NEVER call you a Polyanna. Now, I may call you a Pollywannacracker, but that’s just ’cause I’m ornery.



  9. From the videos, it seems like the studio could accommodate an orchestra but then I realized there needs to be lounges, bathrooms, kitchen, storage plus control room and tracking areas.

    Paul, how large will the tracking space(s) be?

    1. I wish there was a way to post pictures in these comments but alas…. The biggest tracking room is the entire width of the building and maybe a quarter its length. The smaller tracking room is perhaps 80% of that one.

  10. Paul,
    There is always an opportunity to get new “change orders”. This is how contractors work. When we redid our kitchen, all sorts of funny things happened. Never on time or on budget.
    I am sorry this happened, but better now compared to when all the equipment is in place. That would have been a catastrophe.

  11. Paul,

    I love your posts / video’s and to watch the new studio develop is fantastic, for me at least.

    Carry on the good work, change nothing – so many of us love and appreciate what you do.

    You have helped me so much with my progression into digital audio from the analogue, and i have no regrets and still, and always will, love analogue.

    Please carry on your great works – i hope to visit you guys in Boulder one day.

    Very kind regards
    Richard Peace

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