The poor selection of demo music in the majority of the rooms at audio shows has always been a sore point with me and my circle of associates. There are many pleasant exceptions, but for the most part, the music in play is something I’d never sit through at a friend’s house. Apart from heavy metal and demo music, I can sit through most anything. There are both innocent and nefarious reasons for playing such simple music, and the show attendee needs to be especially aware of the nefarious reasons.
During the final review of the NiWatt drawings for the first production chassis run, we revisited all of our assumptions.
This prompted a retrospective and we’re going to document our approach from initial design concept on through production in a multi-part series. This first installment will read very much like a design manifesto.
In retrospect, the difficult choices weren’t so hard after all, and they eliminated conflicting requirements which can be a recipe for a compromised product. A design can’t be all things to all people.
I visited my ski boot fitter yesterday and he reminded me how silly we can all be as consumers – even when we think we’re being well-informed and rational.
As you read this, substitute “turntable”, “interconnect”, “amplifier”, or “speakers” and the same principle applies.
I couldn’t let this sit. Two days ago I reported the following:
Frankly, I love the Eiger exactly as it sits, but I know that there are those who might miss out on its charms due to focusing on its noise floor performance. I get it – that there are idler drive fans and belt drive fans and you pick the combination of strengths and weaknesses that are most meaningful to you. My intent is to make this choice a difficult one – to close the gap between the two architectures.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to revisit your earlier experiments.
Tonight, I measured the success of last week’s motor subchassis prototype – to see whether I had completely eliminated idler wheel scrubbing noise. The best way to do this was to retrofit a belt to see if there were any differences.
One of the best system upgrades you can make has nothing to do with buying new audio gear. Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing your perspective. One of my compatriots once wrote that if you’re hi-fi doesn’t sound very good, then take your wife/spouse/partner out to dinner.
I have another suggestion along the same line …
Here’s the scenario: you and your audio buddy are at an audio show or a hi-fi shop (the latter growing increasingly rare).
Both of you are musicians and respect each other’s “listening skills” and both of you have radically different tastes in playback equipment. The first system you listen to (low power triode amplifiers and horns) inspires you while leaving your buddy thoroughly nonplussed. Another system (let’s say, solid state amplification and box speakers) has the opposite effect on the two of you.
What are we to think of either system?
I receive frequent queries about the best record cleaner to use. My short answer is: “the one that you actually end up using”. This may seem like an off-handed quip, so let me provide some background …