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· Finally - Whisky and Vinyl, together!!!    posted May 24, 2018 (show)
  • Highland Park Full Volume Single Malt
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  • Post 306 Image
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  • Highland Park Full Volume
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  • I have actually had some of this whisky, although not one with the 7" vinyl record included. Not bad at all for this type of Scotch. Here's another review, with better pictures of the box and the story behind it: http://www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk/highlandparkfullvolume.htm
· Project to Buy Musical Fidelity    posted May 15, 2018 (show)
· Shure to Discontinue Phonograph Cartridge Production    posted May 2, 2018 (show)
  • Statement from Shure
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  • First Oppo Digital, now Shure. Hmm. Hat tip to Jack Walton.
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  • Comments:
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  • § The hipster vinyl fad might be coming to an end.
     ⤷ posted May 3, 2018 by JimOfAllTrades
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  • § The "fad" may be fading, but most of the cartridge makers do not cater to the Crosley turntable buyers. In the high end world, cartridge makers have proliferated, and if one of them is not refreshing their line, as well as moving upscale with "reference" and "statement" models, they will die. That was Shure's issue. While some of the old names grew - Audio Technica, Ortofon, et. al., some stagnated and died - Stanton, for example. Shure, rather than doing anything to stay relevant, cut models and stayed away from moving into more high-end models. They allowed their cartridge business to become marginalized and dwarfed by their other product areas, like the exploding headphone business and pro sound gear. At this point, it was natural to exit the space altogether.

    But saying vinyl is over because Shure stopped making pickups is like saying digital is over because Oppo stopped making DACs and BD players. Just sayin'.
     ⤷ posted May 3, 2018
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  • § § Hipster? I can't see anyone here label me a hipster. Maybe a Luddite between my LP's and Tubes. I just checked the market, the ultimate decider, no? Jerry Raskin shows 213 phono cartridges and only 5 of them are made by Shure. I don't think that Shure's departure will make much of a dent in the vinyl fad. :)
     ⤷ posted May 18, 2018
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· US Customer Warranty Rights    posted May 1, 2018 by JimOfAllTrades (show)
  • You Can Open Up Cases!
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  • FTC on Illegal Warranty Restriction Stickers
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  • If you don't believe that article, here's Popular Mechanics

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a19745063/void-if-seal-broken-gadgets-illegal-right-to-repair/

    Essentially, if a company provides a warranty on an electronic device (they are not required to do so), your attempts to have the device repaired by yourself or other services will not void the warranty--as a matter of law--this overrides the company's policy. You can even modify a product, and if that modification does not cause the issue under warranty then it's still under warranty. Again, this is a matter of law--it doesn't matter what the seller claims.

    Now enforcing the law is sometimes a pain, but there are civil and criminal liabilities, so companies need to be careful how cavalier they are about flouting it. I'm sure they will make up any excuse not to service a device that would fall under this law, but there are civil penalties for lying about the law. Whether it's worth the hassle is always debatable, but that's true for any warranty work. Generally, warranties help sell products but don't bring in any additional cash, unless they are "extended" kind you pay for. So companies often lose money on them. The initial warranty period is often very short, and the paid extended warranty is three years. However, this is up to the company--they are just obligated to honor it once the sale is made and they are still in business. Other restrictions on warranty variations are a matter of state law, in general. What we're talking about here is federal law and applies anywhere under US territory.
· State of Theoretical Physics    posted Apr 30, 2018 by JimOfAllTrades (show)
  • Book Questions Use of Theories Not Based on Evidence but Beauty
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  • Link to Ars Technica Book Review
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  • It might seem esoteric, but as a follow-up to my article in the March newsletter, I found a whole book on the topic! Essentially, physics has stalled out for lack of evidence against the Standard Model, a work from the 1970's that's been confirmed over and over again--most recently with the Higgs Boson--despite all the pretty theories arrayed against it. As I've said, and the book reinforces, the scientists are still pursuing their theories, despite being nearly wiped out by lack of evidence, entering the realm of good pseudo-science turning into bad pseudo-science. It's an odd coincidence, but a nice one.
· Axpona - Tekton Double Impact    posted Apr 27, 2018 (show)
  • only 1 of them is a tweeter -- the other 6 are mids!
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  • Post 300 Image
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  • § So, how did they sound?
     ⤷ posted May 24, 2018
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· Axpona - my favorite room    posted Apr 27, 2018 (show)
  • The Avantgarde Trio
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  • Post 299 Image
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· Oppo a Victim of Streaming?    posted Apr 3, 2018 by JimOfAllTrades (show)
  • Oppo Stopping Production of Famous Products
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  • Oppo Announcement
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  • The term "cutting the cord" has met up with "pulling the plug" since Oppo is calling it quits, apparently. I guess they are victims of the tendency of people to stream Netflix through inexpensive devices like the Roku box, various gaming consoles and assorted offerings from others like Amazon. Plus they are dependent on monopoly video chip manufacturers to handle DRM, etc. All the rules and regulations regarding DRM essentially forced them out of the custom chip business when the 105 came out, killing off their advantage in video performance. Videophiles are buying 8K HDR TV's with 100K contrast ratios to watch compressed Netflix streams at barely 720i. This is like using 50K in audio gear to listen to streamed music at 90K via Spotify, etc. I'm sure more of the story will come out in the next few months. The writing was on the wall a few years back when they could no longer do "region free" players. To further limit customer choice, almost all disc players come with captured power cords so that you can't get a region 2 player (UK) and use it in the US. Not without a crazy set up involving step-up transformers, etc.
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  • § As has been pointed out, Oppo has one of the top-five best selling smart phones in China. It is likely that the economic scale of their audio products was more of an annoyance than a mainstay. Can you imagine AT&T offering a line of high-end gear?
     ⤷ posted Apr 9, 2018
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  • § So what does this mean for manufacturers of other digital players?
     ⤷ posted Apr 18, 2018
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· Chinese Hi-End Audio Museum    posted Mar 11, 2018 (show)
· The Who Live at Leeds    posted Feb 27, 2018 (show)
  • The Who live at Leeds (half-speed mastered 3LP 2016 reissue - FULL CONCERT)
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  • I have 2 copies of the Original LP. But that had the abbreviated concert. Now for all you Rock fans that have thrown out your turntables and are just left to your digital devices. Here is the entire concert with 1/2 speed mastering and it is for FREE on YouTube. For those so inclined enjoy!

    John
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  • § John thank you I love this album!!!!

    Mike
     ⤷ posted Mar 4, 2018
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  • § Not available anymore
     ⤷ posted Apr 18, 2018
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· An Industry Insider Digital Rant    posted Feb 1, 2018 by JimOfAllTrades (show)
  • DSD Versus PCM: Myth Versus Truth Article By Benjamin Zwickel Of Mojo Audio
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  • The article does a nice job of summarizing the issues with digital format wars, but can be vague about sound quality issues and makes some factual errors. As usual, the NJAS is not endorsing the author's products, or any products.

    Whether MQA really takes off is an open issue. The largest music streaming service is YouTube and they use MP4, which is just a container for MP3. Higher resolution streaming isn't very popular and Tidal is nearly out of business. MQA is in many ways just an updated form of MP3 that again can be either lossy or lossless, but can go above 48kHz sampling rate.

    The number of things stacked against the audiophile consumer in terms of sound quality is staggering--from compressions wars, to format issues, to close-mic'ing and mixing--the odds of achieving any consistent sound quality from one format or one system is dim.
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  • § Good point, Jim. I like this article by Michael L. which gives us hope that other high-res streaming services will step up. Apparently Qobuz is one of them.

    https://www.audiostream.com/content/q-do-we-own-downloads-we-buy-no
     ⤷ posted Feb 1, 2018
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  • § Jim,

    Extremely intelligent response about this article. I like the article but Michael definitely has skin in the game. Most articles that are written are slanted by way of the manufacturer so that they can promote their products, rather than tell the truth.

    The article also misses a critical point about DSD formats. DELTA modulation requires a feedback loop at the D/A and A/D. What we hear as a result is a lack of ability to track fast- moving leading and trailing edges of musical waveforms. It is that deficiency which robs the music of its vital excitement, even in DSD 512.

    The author approaches his argument from the perspective of the frequency domain when he tries to explain differences we hear in comparing DSD with PCM. That's a major limitation when discussing music as affected by jitter. I think he would arrive at more accurate conclusions if he approached the problem from the time domain.

    For example, he concludes that accurate clocks are the answer to jitter. There are many other sources of jitter that degrade music much more than clock accuracy. Especially jitter correlated with the music. One example is the SPDIF transformer used by too many high end manufacturers to couple the output signal from source to DAC. Transformers degrade the music because they produce jitter in relation to the low frequency content of the music. You can hear a major improvement when you remove the SPDIF transformer(s). A brilliant French engineer Rémy Fourré showed why the transformer must produce correlated jitter using purely mathematical analysis. He wrote an article on this, which was published in October 1993 Stereophile Magazine. One of the very few examples where this type of analysis can actually predict what you will hear.

    Mike
     ⤷ posted Feb 19, 2018
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· Thiel Audio Closes its Doors    posted Jan 22, 2018 (show)
· This will get a like from Andrej    posted Jan 5, 2018 (show)
  • wait, can we do that here?
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· WSJ on Japanese Audiophiles    posted Jan 5, 2018 (show)
· A Tidal alternative, on the cheap?    posted Dec 18, 2017 (show)
  • Murfie HiFi streaming
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  • This is an interesting service. They offer cheap downloads as well as Red Book quality streaming. They have a promotion going on that gets you a year of streaming for $49 along with other discounts. I have not tried this service, but if I had the ability to stream it to my system, I might have.
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  • Comments:
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  • § their website says $99, NOT $49. BIG difference! Is there a code or special link to get the $49 price, or is it just a mistake?
     ⤷ posted Dec 29, 2017
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