Coming in February –  A chat on power, efficiency, sensitivity and needs…

Still planned for January. Freelance architect 1973-75. Designer & project manager at Basel’s Interfair 1976-78. Senior exhibition designer at Dublin’s MDA 1978-1984. Managing director of Systemworks Ltd 1984-1992…

Delta variant. In our current C-19 climate, that’s no joke. But today is about a different kind: varying deltas of significance when playing specific component categories…

Room gain. Diego Estan just published his Stenheim Alumine 2 review on SoundStage!. He used them in his acoustically treated 12×15′ room and found the expensive Swiss 6.5″ 2-way to be inexplicably bass shy. Being the publication’s lab expert, he wanted objective confirmation so took measurements…

Woo not woe. Today is about something very basic but practical: speaker setup. I’ll share what I’ve found to work well in the homes we’ve rented across my audiophile career thus far. And there have been many…

A sprawling natter on the bass matter – audio only.

For me 2022 must start with a revised website and new email address because what I have became a nightmare. That’s why I inform you of my plans now. In 2021 my most interesting development was the big system of Silver Single Mono amps, Silver Control preamp and Vintage Ribbon speaker. To me it was groundbreaking not just sonically but conceptually. It sums up 25 years of Ancient Audio. So it was shocking…

Gryphon Audio Designs create ultra-luxe high-fidelity systems. Their Commander and Apex pre and stereo mono amplifiers…

Dawid interviews Srajan…

Red herring. The term dates back to 1807 when British polemicist William Cobbett told a tale of having used a strong-smelling smoked fish to divert and distract hounds from chasing a rabbit. It's since come to mean a distraction. Red herrings often show up in crime novels. They play misleading evidence for wrongly placed suspicions to set up the final reveal's surprise. There's also the McGuffin, “an object, device or event necessary for plot and character motivation but insignificant, unimportant or irrelevant in itself”…

The slaughter of sacred cows? And no, this isn’t the sequel to Silence of the Lambs…

Hifi doctor’s stoppage. What’s that?

KIH #97. In folklore, a succubus was a supernatural female entity that in dreams seduced men. According to religious traditions — of course they would say so — repeated sexual activity with a succubus can cause poor physical or mental health, even death. If we die in a dream, do we wake up dead? It might explain the walking dead. But today is about subwoofers. Let’s adjust the spelling to subuccus to be safe. The purist audiophile religion might still advise abstinence. And it’s true, integration of a proper 2.1 system for music requires forethought. Here are my reasons why it’s good to give into subucculous temptation; and how to avoid certain problems which are still less dangerous than poor physical or mental health, never mind total expiry…

It’s not about getting married or having sex. It’s about spikes versus isolators, specifically under heavily heaving kit like subwoofers and full-range speakers. If you’re of the view that our floor shouldn’t amplify mechanical resonances to add those to our transducers’ sound delayed in time, you need disruptive not coupling tech. I’ve practiced that credo for a while now with HifiStay’s multi-level ball-bearing footers which isolate my upstairs rack, speakers and sub…

Ka-klunk. Just like a class AB amp leaving class A, that was the sound of 2021 segueing into 2022. Not. In fact, it happens at different times. If it’s the dominant solar not rarer lunar count, it still depends on where on the planet’s time-zone partitions we live. On the hour every hour, there are 24 different entries into the New Year. Ka-klunk, ka-klunk, ka-klunk. Or rather, imperceptible progressions apart from noisy jollification wherever fireworks explode and people still gather en masse…

Can one have too much? In hifi, resolution means resolving what’s recorded. It means to lay bare or retrieve all there is to be retrieved. Dig deep into the spiral grooves or bitstream. Leave not one least significant bit behind. When people call a component very resolved—the epitome of modern digital sound is high resolution—they invariably mean highly detailed. If however we consider the totality of what the microphones captured, there’s also…

We know of topless beaches. Today is about the bottomless sort. In your own home no less. Perfectly pervy, that. Best get out the shaver. Actually, it’s an excuse to shine up the notion illustrated by the new Audio Physic Spark. For all intents and purposes, it’s a bottomless Codex. Someone took a bandsaw to the belt line and removed everything below it. Alain Pratali had the same idea for his Aurai Audio portfolio. Three unusually deep monitors with dipole mid/woofers loaded into a short horizontal quarter-wave line remove the 4th-order band-pass woofers of the equivalent floorstanders…

It’s not what you know. It’s what you can prove. Hello prosecutor for the Crown or State who must present his case beyond reasonable doubt for a jury to convict the accused. His mom will do the talking on motive, opportunity, means. The investigators are tasked to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. A cop show might include planting evidence to tie up what the investigators (think they) know but can’t prove. Such a show might also show how whenever cops like someone too much for a certain crime, their focus can overlook evidence to the contrary. Their approach of making the evidence fit a foregone conclusion renders the pursuit of multiple lines of inquiry a mockery. Really, these investigators are doggedly going down one path and one path only. What’s any of this got to do with hifi reviewing?

An interview with John Darko. Everyone’s favorite video-based hifi reviewer. It wasn’t always so; and not because John’s earlier videos sucked. He didn’t always do them. He started with the written pixel-rendered word like the rest of us; out of Sydney/Australia no less. Then he moved shop to Berlin/Germany and started at moving pictures not furniture. In these two short sentences there’s lots to unpack. Old Charles Darwin was about a mechanism of evolution later condensed to survival of the fittest. Younger John Darko, it seems, is about evolving how hifi reviews—and now also factory tours—are conducted. Whilst darkonian does bear a faint semblance to draconian named for Drako, ancient Athens’ legislator who laid down their first written law, John lays down no laws which anyone else must follow. He follows only his own darkonian beat. That could well connect to survival of the fittest if the written review goes away to render yours truly an endangered species. Dinosaur meet asteroid? In this Zoom meet we learn how much time I’ve got left; and how John evolved his approach over the last 10 years…

Not up that creek without a paddle. The thumbnail shows Jörg neither freaked out nor adrift. Instead he’s having a grand time and the waters he kayaks are mellow. I first met him surrounded by other mellow waters, those lapping the Cypriot beach of Coral Bay. Jörg and his lady were on vacation, we lived there. He and his friend Ralph Werner had followed 6moons from faraway Berlin. Applying common sense, they had rightly determined that if a German living abroad under a strange name and even stranger URL could do it, by Kaiser Wilhelm, so could they…

Getting to grips with the Grzyb. An interview with Dawid of HifiKnights…

KIH #95. Audio myths or misses? For sheer Schiit and goofy giggles, let’s rumble a few. Slow bass. If a woofer is tasked to move maximally 80 times per second, a tweeter 35’000 times, it’s easy to see why in some quarters, woofers are called slow. Whilst with the nekkid eye we’ll never see a tweeter move, we might watch a woofer shudder or try to jump its hoop. Hello, big excursions to move sufficient air for desired loudness. The fact that a woofer’s action can be visible but never a tweeter’s probably pools into the ‘slow bass’ notion as well. But there’s more.

For readers who didn’t know, Kevin Scott and his wife Lynn operate the Living Voice speaker brand and the Definitive Audio retail boutique out of an old textile mill in the UK’s Midlands. Here he and I chatted on various things hifi for 2½ hours from which I excerpted a few interesting tidbits. “A lot of hifi customer long for big rooms but overlook the long reverberation times. Be careful what you wish for. Achieving good sound in a big room is a marvelous thing but also very elusive…”

VR. Virtual reality. Vinnie Rossi. Same thing? Given that stereo playback is an illusion, turning it into a virtual reality is arguably the ultimate goal. Without yet listening to these new components, we won’t know how close they come. Just looking at them is simply suggestive. Elegant. Sleek. Powerful. Timeless.