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July, 2008


Monday, July 21st, 2008 by Mike

OK, this may indeed be the lamest post of all time… but dusting is something we have to do here a lot.

It is a dry climate, we live in the mountains, and we have a ‘mountain house’ which is to say it is not hermetically sealed. And we have a lot of equipment.

This means we end up dusting a lot [especially before auditions, and ESPECIALLY before auditions where a female of the species will be in attendance].

We have used these dusters, made for cars, for several years now.

The ones we get these days are pretty big - about 18 inches long [We have a lot of equipment, and furniture, and we are lazy - and this is kind of like having a double-wide vacuum cleaner - gets the job done twice as fast :-) ].

They do have a special chemical that attracts dust - which is a lot better than just moving it around, like cotton dusters do, and a lot better than the spray EndDust-like products, which leave junk on the components which then seems to attract more dust than ever [BUT do NOT leave these just sitting on something, because the chemical will leach out of the duster and onto whatever it is sitting on - but if you do forget - hope is not lost: it does seem to evaporate over time].

Supposedly the duster works better after it is dirty…

But after awhile, it just seems WRONG to drag the dirty thing over nice equipment - like these speakers.

So we got the new duster ($9.95 at Target) and I thought you all might want to [or not :-) ] see what we use before it gets put into use.

Coltrane Supremes at Dawn

Thursday, July 17th, 2008 by Mike

Don’t ask me why I was up taking photos at this time of day… it just so happened.

A New Camera… Finally

Thursday, July 10th, 2008 by Mike

After over 17,400 photos, the Canon 20D is taking a breather.

The Canon 5D was on sale at some of the more reputable stores … including Amazon… and I finally picked one up. Neli took some convincing - and I eventually just went ahead and did it and - but the process was like this… and I thought some of you might relate…

“So, uh, Neli. Dear. They have a great sale on this camera I am thinking of buying.”

“It is HOW MUCH!!?”

“It is full frame and has more resolution than my old clunker”

“Yeah, but will you REALLY be able to tell the difference? Will *I* be able to tell the difference?”

“All the reviews are favorable [:-)], and, you know, I do use these cameras quite a bit”

“Yeah, and so far, it seems like your old camera has been doing just fine. Shouldn’t that money [a measly $1,800.00 or so!] go towards something we REALLY need, like ODIN Power cords?”

“Well, Sweetie, I want $12K ODIN Power Cords as much as the next guy [and they are currently on the top of our list], but don’t we want the pictures of the ODIN to be that much more spectacular than the photos of the Valhalla power cords with that old dusty Camera?

“I still don’t knowwww…. Didn’t you just get your ‘old’ camera?”

“Oh NOOOO. It has been replaced by the 30D. And then the 40D. This camera is olddddd technology. Even Danny Kaey has a better camera than we do”

“Yeah? So? Next you will tell me you have to have a rig as good as Albert Porter’s!!?”

… and so on. etc. etc. etc. OK, well you get the idea :-)

Hey, I am not PW’d, and I can buy what I want with the money I earn… but I wanted Audio Federation to pay for it, for a change, since, you know, 99.999% of the photos it will take are for Audio Federation… [well, at least I post them on Audio Federation.. same difference, right?].

But I think I just about got her convinced. Of course, this blog post might set progress back a little…. :-)

Here is a photo [and the previous post’s front porch photo too]… not sure if the difference is apparent at this size…

OK. Well, wish me luck! Now I need to get a real Photoshop [I have been using Elements] and a real tripod … ;-)

4th of July

Thursday, July 10th, 2008 by Mike

A lot of people ask if we just stay home and watch fireworks from our deck, or even the livingroom.

[The view from the front porch]

The answer is… no. The fireworks down in Boulder, set off from the C.U. stadium [can’t see it in this photo] are about as big as your thumb held out at arms length. It so happens that they do not send up fireworks very high [and this year about 20% did not make it above the stadium itself], nor are they very large - making sure all the embers die before they go wafting and starting a lot of fires, I guess. Or maybe they are just cheapskates :-)

From the windows behind / to the left of the Supremes we can see about 6 - 10 other fireworks displays in the Denver-Boulder front-range area, but they are about half the size of the ones down in Boulder from up here.

So, no, we usually go down to the University and sit right outside the stadium, [they blast a mix of patriotic pap and throw in a couple of regular songs once in a while - I think I even heard them playing a classical piece this year… Whoa!] to save our ears for another day [but, of course, they get blasted by the BOOM of the fireworks - but that is fun. Those ‘booms’ are quite impressive - about 110 - 120dB? at 200-300 yards.]

And the fireworks fill the sky a little better than they do as viewed from our listening room.

FIM K2 HD Mastering CDs

Monday, July 7th, 2008 by Mike

Our good friends [hi Alex! hi Teck! :-) ] sent us a sampler of the latest reference quality FIM CDs. Thanks guys!

It has taken awhile for us to grok these CDs. We still don’t have a good handle on the music itself - but the sound, the sound is impeccable.

Very quiet background. Lots of separation. Crystal clear tonality.

And no ’sweet mud’ that the old XRCD[2]’s have, with more detail and coherence than some of the other audiophile recordings out there. Still missing those midi-dynamics and upper midi-dynamics that LPs have.

In other words, these are really the ultimate in ‘audiophile-ish’ CDs - safe to play when other audiophiles are in the room :-) , pleasant, impressive when it is called for, revealing of system strengths and some of its weaknesses, and it is REAL music, and not … well… Nora Jones is real music..WAS real music - but the recording, the sound, here is better and more varied.

A goodly selection…

The CDs come in the XRCD-ish folder…

… and a new ‘framed’ folder.

Here you can see the frame…

And inside are usually several pages of notes - along with the slide out CD, which, since it has a sleeve, is a little easier to get out without completely trashing your CD with finger prints and finger nails and cardboard streaks.


More details…

A write-up is over at Dagogo … if you can stand all the exclamation points.

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email: mike&neli@audiofederation.com
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