Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

Audio Federation High-Fidelity Audio Blog

New device puts music in your head

We’ve been trying to reproduce the original sound field using 2 (or more) speakers for a long time. Here is anther way… (link to AP news story) (link to RollingStone story)

LONDON (AP) — Imagine a world where you move around in your own personal sound bubble. You listen to your favorite tunes, play loud computer games, watch a movie or get navigation directions in your car — all without disturbing those around you.

That’s

the possibility presented by “sound beaming,” a new futuristic audio technology from Noveto Systems, an Israeli company. On Friday it will debut a desktop device that beams sound directly to a listener without the need for headphones.

But this is a little discouraging…

 

The listening sensation is straight out of a sci-fi movie. The 3-D sound is so close it feels like it’s inside your ears while also in front, above and behind them.

The ‘inside the head’ effect has always seemed to me to be quite ‘unreal’ and takes away from the enjoyment of headphones. The above technology, however, seems like it could put the holographic soundfield between the head and wherever we want the sound to be coming from – right?

I guess if there was wall of these transducers, we might conceivably be able to do something quite realistic…

From the Noveto Systems website [why do none of the major sites link to the source of the tech they are talking about? What a bunch of SEO cowards].

SoundBeaming works using ultrasonic waves and beamforming to place sound just outside the ears. The waves are generated using Noveto-developed proprietary DSP algorithms and pushed into the air via a custom-designed transducer array. From the inside it may look like a small speaker, but you won’t hear anything coming out.

 

The Israeli company ‘patented’ the tech, so we’ll see what happens with it, if anything [besides beaming ads directly into our head why we are out and about – scary thought. Hey, a dystopian world gives rise to dystopian thoughts].

Resistor Mag added to the Audiophile’s Guide

Rafe Arnott of Part-Time Audiophile fame, and Managing Editor in charge of AudioStream, and InnerFidelity fame, has started his own magazine: Resistor Mag.

Rafe is one of the powerhouses of energy in our business and hopefully has some of that energy left [ unlike the rest of us, 🙂 ] for his new endeavor.

Not that new, apparently started this April and launched July. It has been added to the, now venerable,  Audiophile’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Magazines section.

On the about page:

“Resistor Mag favors cultural over commercial impact; handbuilt craftsmanship over effective branding. We will remain fairly indifferent about measurements and specifications, while placing a premium on the more enduring aspects of arts, culture and the musicality of playback from hi-fi.

We realize that design and architecture are about more than just aesthetics. We are more inclined to venerate the things we love than to disparage those we do not.

More specifically, think of Resistor Mag as the tape on a reel-to-reel for laying down the tracks of writers, photographers, artists, musicians and entrepreneurs who are resisting the temptation to be basic and will work towards a shared goal of being interesting, inspiring and humorous.”

Neli and I wish Rafe the best of luck.

Check it out if you get the chance…!

Judy Garland… looking for some upbeat music and…

[Oh, yes, black humor is the best humor at times like these…]

Forget your troubles c’mon get happy,
you better chase all your cares away.
Shout hallejulah c’mon get happy
get ready for the judgement day.

 

 

#CommissionsEarned [yep, with all these links to Amazon we thought.. why not? 🙂 So now we’re Amazon Affiliates]

The Girl From Ipanema is a far weirder song than …

The Girl from Ipanema by Joao Gilberto was one of the first songs, [along with Miles’ Kind of Blue], that we heard on a high-fidelity audio system. [Von Schweikert VR4 speakers, Mark Levison 20.6 monoblocks and several other systems at the time – but this is the one I think both Neli and I think of this as our first major audiophile *rush*. We soon bought the 20.6’s (and separately Dunlavy 4 speakers)]

We’ve played Ipanema 1000s of times since [close to 1000 anyway] including many wonderful variations.

Ran across this video [recommended by YouTube (they *used* to have the BEST recommender system) along with fascinating videos from MIT and Ted Talks and, of course, the awful hate and conspiracy B.S. because what would poor old big tech do if it wasn’t spending most of its time pandering to the barbarians at the gates? [yeah, I can think of a lot of things, too. But apparently they can’t]].

The video talks primarily about the music composition –  which is a nice alternative to the ‘backgrounder’ ‘human interest’ perspective that has been popular for several decades now. Kinda over my head but in an enjoyable way that made me come away with a better understanding of the skills that went into creating such a ‘simple’ song as this.

 

DAC Reviews: Audio Note and EMM Labs from Dagogo and SoundStageUltra

Couple o’ great reviews out there on the good parts of the Internet…

Constantine Soo at Dagogo posted a nice review of the Audio Note Fifth Element/Fifth Force DAC. At some point we will post some extra photos from that review as well.

Aron Garrecht at Sound Stage Ultra posed a nice review of the EMM Labs DV2 DAC-Preamplifier. Although our associated gear here is almost the polar opposite of Aron’s we have more or less the same opinion of the sonic signature of the DV2 [how cool is that?!].

[As I post here and elsewhere and read posts from everywhere – I am so often amazed at how people can write such large amounts of content – and similarly how people have the patience to read it. Rarely can I do either].

The DV2 has as it’s forte the ability to render music with subtleties and musicality that no other solid-state DAC approaches [weird, huh? most seem to focus on sonic fireworks and extensive feature-sets] but is a little less dynamic than some [careful vibration control helps].

The Fifth Element + Fifth Force doesn’t sound like a ‘DAC’ at all – can take on mid-price [$30K-50K, say] turntables and is comparable enough [but different! but in a OKAY way] that the only reason to play vinyl anymore is the ‘nostalgic experience’ of it – and makes one take a good hard look at the ‘slacker components’ in the rest of the system and wonder… .

In other words: It is the F*** You DAC.

Stay safe and stay healthy, everyone!

Not ready to open – but readier

It is unclear how much of the regulations are Santa Clara county and how much are Californian. But these signs are what we needed to have displayed – to remind us and our store visitors what every rational [insert any of a thousand L.A. jokes here – except now not so funny] person already knows about keeping safe and healthy.

In the meantime, Audio Federation is doing well. Mike and Neli are doing well. The rest of the world… the rest of the world needs to crank up the tunes and remember what these short years we are alive are all about.

We have been playing lately with using 3 different DACs for streaming audio using Roon: Audio Note’s DAC Five Signature and Audio Note’s 2-block Fifth Element DAC and Fifth Force power supply and EMM Lab’s DV2 DAC/Pre. A write-up will be forthcoming…

Stay safe. Stay healthy!

 

Capital Audiofest 2020 cancelled

Capital Audiofest 2020 cancelled. No show until next year (no surprise here. But here is the announcement)

Capital Audiofest Cancels 2020 and Confirms 2021 Show Dates
 July 5, 2020, Rockville MD
To all friends of The Capital Audiofest:
We apologize for our silence but are happy to announce that the Capital Audiofest (CAF) has finalized an agreement with the Hilton Hotel that allows us to move the show from 2020 to 2021 without any issues. We feel it is better to wait a year in order to provide everyone with the same CAF qualities inclusive of protections and safeguards rather than cobble together a lesser show.
We greatly appreciate everyone being patient in this difficult time and want you and your families to be safe and able to return to CAF in 2021. The official dates are now November 5-7, 2021, and want all vendors to know that their rooms are there for you to return to. Please let us know your intent so we can hold your place. See you all in 2021.
Sincerely,
Gary Gill, Capital Audiofest, LLC Founder and Director
About Capital Audiofest (CAF)
Capital Audiofest is the East Coast’s largest and longest running consumer high-end audio show and the only show in the Mid-Atlantic region. Started in 2010 by Gary Gill, CAF presents a wide range of music reproduction products for the enthusiast, from start-up and cutting edge technologies to cost-no-object aspirational gear, and everything in between. Capital Audiofest offers a fun and congenial weekend for the whole family, including live music, seminars and presentations and tastings from local distilleries.
Capital Audiofest 2021
1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, United States

Extra month of Roon free…

… if signup by clicking on the image below or, if not ready, at some later date by clicking on the Roon promotion in our sidebar on the right… over there ->.

We access Qobuz and Tidal through Roon and it has become addictive. For those of us who, in olden days [like last year and every year since we were old enough to spend money], splurged on media during holidays and birthdays, this is nothing if not exactly like being on permanent holiday.

Hard to get work done but, oh well, you win some you win some… 🙂

Audio Federation (Acapella speakers, Audio Note, HRS) plays Take Five at Capital Audiofest 2019

Continuing our “Any audio show on the COVID 19 desert island is a GREAT audio show” coverage (and Capital Audiofest is our current favorite audio show, anyway) ….even if the report *is* 5 months late… 🙂

Audio Federation (Acapella “Campanile 2” speakers, Audio Note “DAC 5 Signature”, HRS “SXR” equipment rack) plays Take Five. Recorded in 24×96 in metro Washington D.C. on Nov. 3, 2019.

Enjoy!