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Qrates, Montreal, Axpona, Munich, Headphones and Horns- Audiophiledom April, 25, 2015


Qrates, Montreal, Axpona, Munich, Headphones and Horns

Qrates – crowdfunded vinyl

“Artists and labels can promote their music online to fund vinyl pressings, deliver exclusive content and items, make their music streamable and offer free downloads and bonus tracks to their fans. We also offer statistics and reports services.”


Another triple-header show month? Almost a quadruple header:  Montreal, Axpona and Munich… with Newport not far after.

A nice Montreal Show Report by Canada HiFi


Mike Fremer describes Patricia Barber’s set at Axpona well. We like Patricia Barber, but only when we do not hear her in an exhibition room at a show [where it was played to death several years ago, from which we never recovered :-)].


HiFi Pig is trying to corner the market on Munich High End 2015 news and doing a good job at it.


Other Stuff

Inner Fidelity has a headphone shootout that looks promising.

Retro hi-fi always entertains me. That turntable above is JUST what we are looking for… [Riiiight, Neli? :-)]


And another article from the same site: Realistic High Fidelity Horn Loudspeakers and Enclosures – 1956





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


Off topic: David Letterman and Leonard Nimoy (Spock is no more)

Off topic: David Letterman and Leonard Nimoy (Spock is no more)

David Letterman

Almost since the Letterman Show (The Late Show) went on the air, I have NOT watched it. WE have not watched it.

He was stiff, rude, east coast-pushy, and not funny at all. IMO.

But in the last year or so, and now his last month, he has become fumble-brained, absent minded, casually inept – JUST LIKE A REAL PERSON.

I like to think he has finally entered that stage when one is so good at their profession, so much better than the competition, while at the same time realizing that one sucks at what they do (just that everyone else sucks more), that this kind of endorphin-based high sets in and you do your thing with humility and appreciation for its finer points, points soon to be lost to the world. But at the same time, being okay with this.

The show has become quite charming, albeit you may have to be over 50 to properly enjoy it.


With Leonard’s passing, one cannot help but reflect on the success that was Spock.

Spock in The Original Series that is.

I’ve watched the Next Generation, The Voyages, The Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, read Star Trek comics and several dozen of the fan-fiction books. And now the new movies.

Only TOS got Spock right.

Apparently only Gene Roddenberry knew what the heck he was doing. Everyone else is just riffing off what he did, and sloppily at that.

Why do I say this?

Because Spock was the ultimate expression of tech geek (nerd) angst. All of us geeks who loved, loved, loved technology: mathmeticians, astronauts, electrical engineers, physicists, astronomers. All of us who looked at society and social relations with confusion and mistrust. All of us who looked at mating and courtship rituals as if they were designed for a different species – perhaps penguins; certainly not thinking human beings.

This was Spock, science officer, with his distrust of stupid emotions and 7 year mating cycles.

Spock? In the new movies? Diddling Uhuru? Geeks may dream (over and over) that their lives would be so blessed. But in reality? New Spock is no geek. New Spock is one of THEM, just a little smarter, and with pointy ears (and the same is true for the Spock in the vast majority of the books and later movies).

Now, with both Leonard Nimoy and Roddenberry gone, Spock is no more.

Now Spock is only us.



Accuracy or Musicality, Consumer Reports on Digital Audio, Putting on the Brakes – Audiophiledom April 14, 2015

Accuracy or Musicality, Consumer Reports on Digital Audio, Putting on the Brakes

Not much going on the last few days. Lots of ‘zines pulling out old posts.

This one caught my attention…

Who’s Right? Accuracy or Musicality (J. Gordon Holt, Stereophile, 1977)

I think they used to write longer articles back then than they do now.

Based on the brands mentioned, it seems like products with more accuracy have greater longevity than musicality. At least over the last 40 years.

Over the last 20?

It seems to me, as several major brands go under and/or get bought out – that it is the brand names that have longevity. Name recognition is very important in today’s crowded marketplace and online marketing chaos.

J. Gordon Holt’s point, to sum it up, is that whether a sound is accurate or musical is in the eye of the beholder [measurements tell us something but not nearly enough to be able to call something ‘accurate’] and that an audiophile should take a closer look at just who this beholder is that they are counting on for an assessment of the quality of a piece of audio gear.

Well, if he thought this “who is that beholder you are trusting” thing was a problem in 1977…. !!!

As Neli and I are called upon to reflect on what we have learned over the last 13 years after turning our high-end audio hobby into a business, and as we think seriously about expanding the business, it is the wide range of quality of equipment reviews, both by the trade and by the audiophile, that is, we feel [well, maybe I should leave Neli out of this :-)], primarily responsible for marginalizing our industry and putting a cap on any growth that might occur.

For example…

Manufacturers can consistently always find several people, trade and/or consumer, to give their product a positive review. And a lot of audiophiles put a lot of faith in these reviews. This means, for example, that from a buyers point of view, all $100K amps must be of equal quality, because they ALL get rave reviews. In fact, they all get several raving, drooling, OMG, OMG reviews.

This has fallout that I will write about when I am in a really, really bad mood [Neli tries to prevent me from reaching the keyboard at those times, so it might be awhile :-)]. The only antidote, at this time, seems to be more and more shows [yay!] and more good dealers who have good sound – places where people can hear things for themselves. [“Trust your ears, Luke”]

Consumer Reports

Michael Lavorgna [what is it with people named Michael being so much smarter than people with other names? :-)] over at AudioStream pointed to an article by Consumer Reports on How to make your digital music sound better which he says is a worthwhile article for non-audiophiles to read.

And it is!

And kind of funny too, in an inside joke kind of way.

Perhaps there is some implicit good ‘tide is turning’ news here when a mainstream publication starts treating music fidelity with respect?

Putting on the Brakes

Another post from the wayback machine.

This from 1923, no less.

This is your standard “anti-tweak, anti-technology, it should only be about the music, things sound good enough already” post.

In the last month, we covered at least two stories that were promulgated by essentially this exact type of personality. One was anti 24/192 (who needs these new digital formats? Digital is already perfect). And… Uhhhmmm… I am forgetting the other one.

Anyway, these people still tend to dominate the news and the discussion. I consider these people to be true, old fashioned high-end audio conservatives – they fight change for the sake of change. They provide a useful function, IMO. Not very exciting though [how about a 128 bit (VLW) / 1 Bhz format – now THAT would be AWESOME…! :-) ]

There is some discussion of this on InnerFidelity

Geez, all three posts were from Stereophile-rated websites. Sorry ’bout that folks. Next news blast is already shaping up to be different…

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

Rock Legends Cruise, DSD Live Streaming, Retro Hi-Fi – Audiophiledom April 5, 2015

Rock Legends Cruise, DSD Live Streaming, Retro Hi-Fi

This sounds like a blast! Rock Legends Cruise IV

This floating rock festival for a cause aboard Royal Caribbean International’s spectacular, Independence of the Seas, departs January 21 – 25, 2016 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Peter FramptonGregg Allman
Grand Funk RailroadAmerica
John Kay & Steppenwolf
The Marshall Tucker Band | Randy Bachman
Ace Frehley | Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band | Uriah Heep
Foghat | The OutlawsRik Emmett
Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown
The Pat Travers BandThe Artimus Pyle Band
The Devon Allman Band | Matthew Curry
Warrior’s Pride | Gary HoeyDana Fuchs





Oh, I hope this is the wave of the future. The heck with studio recordings and Recording Labels…

DSD Live Streaming
“In April, this site will stream two live concerts using the latest DSD 5.6 MHz digital audio format, as a proof-of-concept test for DSD online music distribution. These free presentations will be made possible through the kind cooperation of the Spring Festival in Tokyo, which is now in its 11th year, and the world-acclaimed Berliner Philharmoniker.”

Retro ads…

retro vintage modern hi-fi

Retro hi-fi girls…

retro vintage modern hi-fi

I find some of the posts on retro vintage modern hi-fi endlessly comforting. But YMMV.

Tidal Hate, roon and chosen.fm, CanJam SoCal wrapups – Audiophiledom April 2, 2015

Tidal Hate, roon and chosen.fm, CanJam SoCal wrapups

The Press hates TiDaL Streaming Music. They really do. Or they hate Jay-Z. I don’t get it [and no, it is not the press hating rich people – they LOVE rich people. Who do you think buys ads?]

Long detailed list of Hate Press in Computer Audiophile and a summary at AudioStream.

Some of it is people having problem with a subscription service. Mr Lavorgna comments that freemium is dead, but in fact it is growing rampantly, it is just not working out so well for the musicians and journalists yet. When one game can make $200M to $1B+ off of freemium, it is not dead. It is that the music services still suck, they just don’t know it yet.

Maybe Roon or Chosen.fm will fix this:



It appears that the core Sooloos team now sees the Online Streaming Cloud services light and is doing something about it at RoonLabs




And Chosen.fm is also trying to get it done right, where right means both music lovers and musicians both win.


Inner Fidelity and AudioHead both had blurbs on the CanJam show in South California that was.


Kind of slow news for a few days… must be that Spring! is finally rearing it wonderful head…. :-)

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