Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

Audio Federation High-Fidelity Audio Blog

Hot Stampers, Music Lovers again, Krell Factory Tour – Audiophiledom March, 5, 2015

Hot Stampers,  Music Lovers again, Krell Factory Tour –  Audiophiledom March, 5, 2015

There is a recent article on Wired  about why audiophiles pay up to $1000  for ‘hot stampers’ vinyl.

Decent article. Essentially, the value proposition is that they weed through a  ton of used vinyl to find those  special pressing in special condition for you.  So  you are really paying to save time and effort and frustration  [if it takes you 100 purchases of $10  LPs to get one really awesome LP, well that is 1000 dollars and a ton of time]. Of course, if you have some time and enjoy flipping through LPs and the thrill of the hunt, well then, this may not be for you.

These guys could really use a much better system to evaluate LPs with… though that is  a really revealing tweeter.

BetterRecords-0254-1024x682

The comments reveal the usual Belief-based versus Fact-based world views, rife on the internet and in the media these days

Besides the value proposition explained above, besides the ‘market’ saying that  hot stampers and audiophile gear in general is worth  a great deal to a great number of people,  these people BELIEVE that CDs must sound better than LPs, the audiophile’s do not understand a lot more of what they are hearing than they do, that cables make  no difference, etc. The thing  about  BELIEVERS is there is no supporting factual base for their positions, and that it makes them feel very uncomfortable to hear factual data in opposition to their beliefs.  Their real thrill comes from vitriolic willfully ignorant compatriots who support their beliefs.

So, Mr. Fremer, I think your efforts are wasted on the people commenting on that article.

If I was to comment, I might go for the sarcastic mocking approach,  like  “Yeah, audiophiles will  spend megabucks  on just about anything!!! It  is  so EZ to sell these guys stuff that we are starting a business to do just that. You guys are just the ones who should invest – you are the ones who have figured all this out and know how big this will be, this is like shooting ducks on a pond, right? $1000 dollar CDs!!! We’ll make billions. We’re starting a Kickstarter campaign tomorrow…”

Yep. Something nice for the Believers –  just winging it here…

 

 

Music Lovers (SF) gets ripped off again, twice in the last 30 days, along with several other high-end audio establishments in the area.

If you think our marketplaces are keeping an eye out for this stuff, you would be wrong:

“We have the serial numbers. If Audiogon ever advertises our stolen goods again, as they did with a Nagra preamp, and then fails to cooperate with us so we can tell the Police Department, I’m going to sue them.”

So it is up to us to keep alert. I haven’t seen a list  of stolen gear which would be helpful…

The Poor Audiophile has a nice article on touring the Krell Factory

Haven’t read it  all –  mostly looked at the pictures :-)

 

That’s hi-fi for now folks. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Audeze robbery, Hyperion Records, Photoshopping eBay LPs, and Recreational Noise – Audiophiledom Mar. 3 2015

Today in Audiophiledom – Audeze robbery, Hyperion Records, Photoshopping eBay LPs, and Recreational Noise

Please Help Audeze – Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open for Clues

“February 28th, there was a break-in and robbery at Audeze. About $250,000 of headphones were stolen. We’re a relatively small company and this is a real blow. Audeze asks everyone to let us know if offered LCD headphones at a deal that’s too good to be true. You should be highly suspicious if anyone other than an Authorized Audeze dealer offers you our headphones for sale at a reduced price. We don’t allow our dealers to sell via Amazon, eBay, Craigslist etc., so deals on these sites should be carefully researched before purchase. You should also be very concerned if their headphones do not have a serial number, or the seller refuses to give you the serial number before purchase. All Audeze headphones have a serial number on the inside of the adjusting block. We’ll soon publish a list of all stolen products’ serial numbers. In addition, Audeze is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

If you have any information or questions, please write to: support@audeze.com. While it does not appear any EL-8s were stolen (they were in a different area of our warehouse), due to the police investigation and general disruption, you should expect a few days’ delay in EL-8 shipments.

Thanks, The Audeze Team”

 

hyperion-new-release-sampler-march-2015

Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first, has a free music download this month of their monthly sampler in ALAC and FLAC  and MP3

Hyperion monthly sampler – March 2015

 

The Reddit user,  REMAIN_IN_LIGHT, has a good idea for people who buy LPs off  eBay. If they put up a photo of the album, you can run it through something like Photoshop to see what it  REALLY looks  like, warts, scratches  and all.

Using PhotoShop to make informed vinyl purchases online (eBay, etc…)

Before:

After:


And finally, The people at the World Heath Organization say:

1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss

WHO highlights serious threat posed by exposure to recreational noise

Recreational noise, huh? Music by any other name…

“Data from studies in middle- and high-income countries analysed by WHO indicate that among teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 years, nearly 50% are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices and around 40% are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues. Unsafe levels of sounds can be, for example, exposure to in excess of 85 decibles[sic] (dB) for eight hours or 100dB for 15 minutes.”

85dB for 8 hours? Sounds like an average day for an exhibitor at every hi-fi show I have ever been to.

And weren’t they saying this in the 60s?  and 70s?  and, you know, haven’t they been saying this forever?

Not that it isn’t true, but the AMOUNT of hearing loss is usually so small that it has minimal deleterious impact on lifestyle.  Especially compared to the alternative, in which case,  like the authors of this WHO  article, music just becomes other people’s recreational noise. ;-)

 

—–

 

That’s hi-fi for now folks. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Naim Mu-so, Bristol HiFi Show: Audiophiledom – March 1, 2015

Naim Mu-so, Bristol HiFi  Show

 

The 2015 Knob Feel Awards. We need more  contestants…  manufacturers, you need to send this guy your gear if you got good knob feel.

The winner? The  Naim Mu-so wireless music system. Yep, that is one heck of a knob. Good choice.

 

 

naim-mu-so-wireless-music-system

Stereophile has an article on the perennial topic about whether exhibitors should or  should not play music brought by attendees.

First, there is a lot of music snobbery at shows.  Maybe snobbery is not always the right word. Some attendees will only listen to classical music and will leave a room and never come back if anything else is played. Some attendees only listen to 3 or 4 piece jazz. Some only to ‘audiophile quality’ music. Most exhibitors will only play audiophile music, in fact 90% or so will not accept requests anymore (CES especially, but also trending at RMAF).

The reference to “… ask to hear a bootleg recording of ear-splitting heavy metal…” is a joke. No one plays heavy metal  during a show [except Audio Note ;-)].  No one plays modern pop music [modern being after 1990 or so]. Established, old fashioned, very well-recorded Radiohead is OMG are you sure you want to play that? No one plays techno. No one plays country or bluegrass [with a few exceptions].

When we exhibit we play all requests. If the music is recorded badly, so be it.  Let the attendee hear how badly it is recorded. There is  a real problem with burned CDs, however, where well-recorded songs sound terrible. They say “We heard Hotel California in this room with $2 speakers, sounded  great THERE”. But they played the real CD, not the burned mockery.

We also have people come to the store with these, and we  just wait, wincing, hoping and wishing for one of their songs to be from a CD we also own  – so we can replay the darn thing and show them how it is supposed to sound. Otherwise we have to have the ‘talk’ about how to not burn a CD –  and that  all of their  auditions to this point, perhaps years worth, have been with material that is harmonically flawed and dynamically flat.

The real story in the Stereophile article is that the guy  got to hear his recording for a few minutes  before the exhibitor wanted to play a different genre of music.  He  should  consider himself lucky  and do not assume that exhibitors can hear the flaws being revealed in their playback systems anymore  that we can assume musicians can hear them. Or reviewers. This ‘being able to hear things’ ability is only found on a case by case, individual basis, and has little to do with the listener’s profession. In fact, I bet one would find it  to be inversely proportional to what you would expect based on their profession [few plumbers listen with their mind’s preconceptions rather than their ears].

Personally, I think they should ban classical, jazz  and audiophile music  from shows. Not that I don;t love these genres, but I AM SO BORED  with hearing the same old every show.  I bet sales would triple for most,  while some manufacturers  would  go right out  of business  ;-)

 

 

 

Hi-Fi Pig has a .
Bristol High-end Audio Show report

It is a PDF file, takes awhile to download, and there are a lot of ads, but still fun to peruse I think.

hifi-pig-bristol-show-report

 

Capital Audiofest and Chester Group – Audiophiledom Feb 27, 2015

Good news for the Capital Audiofest, I think, getting access to more marketing and promotional juice.

Every year we hear good things about this show and how both exhibitors and attendees get a lot out of it.

capital-audiofest-news_2

The Vinyl Factory has a piece on Eno thinking sound engineers have gone too far in their reliance on digital.

It was about 10 years ago that they used a computer to generate  ‘new’ Beethoven  symphonies [by programming a computer  with his basic patterns and rhythms, etc.]. At this point, any popular musician who has a sound [like Eno]  can be imitated by both humans and  computer.

How does a musician  differentiate themselves? Is it  REALLY by going analogue?

Or is it by changing up the sound from album  to album like Radiohead.  Or  by  playing so many, many concerts, and giving them  away like  the Dead thereby making imitations entertaining, but in the end worthless.

Brian-Eno_on-analogue_final2

 

And then we have  Krell  being awarded  a plaque by  Honda.

“In recognition of continuous dedication to The Advanced Technology”

Does anybody else wonder about the English here and, ignoring that, what does this mean? That Krell is continually advancing Krell’s technology?

This is nice for audiophiledom, but there is a battle going on for the dashboard, and Apple, having been rejected, is working on building their own cars.

Ever think about  the massive captive audience when people are stuck in their automatically driving cars for  an hour a day with nothing to do but play with the dash?

Maybe Apple will buy a [real, not  Beats] high-end audio company next for their auto factory.

honda-award-for-krell

 

That’s all for today folks. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Technics Tracks – Audiophiledom February 25, 2015

Technics has launched Technics Tracks, a high-res music download site with reportedly 100s of thousands of downloads.

 

technics-tracks-new-releases

 

 

The site is built and managed by 7digital… 

 

7digital-wikipedia

 

 

But apparently the 44 countries they serve does not include the U.S. as the first screen we are presented with is  below…

 

technics-tracks-feb-25-2015

 

But they go ahead and let me browse anyway… Good. :-) Though, like with Tidal, the user interfaces of these sites takes some getting used to…

Next we have a video made last New Years Eve Eve (2014) by  an EXTREMELY popular blog The Verge:

 

 

Fairly well-balanced presentation. Nice. Audiophiledom is creeping into the minds of the masses. Figure they arrive where we all are – in terms of macro-sized gear – in about… oh… 2025?

Another headphones forum I was not aware of before:  Reddit: Headphones

That’s all for today folks. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.