Sunday, 30 November 2014

Natural vs. Analogue vs. Digital vs. Fraunhofer Algorithm processed Music II

Hello to everybody,

who is interested into a discussion about audio qualities which are obtainable from different storage principles. First the analog vinyl disk, the digital disk or its equivalent of streamed data (on red book standard), the various compression algorithms versus pure naturally performed music, shows clearly the individual limitations and merits of each technology.
As I did describe at the end of my last article, I came once to a point with my own set up where I clearly could evaluate the analogue recordings as main factor of limitation. I began to understand that my record collection of vintage jazz first released vinyl was not able to give me a minimal stage of uniformed performance standard, even when some sort of cutback will be accepted as restriction. Comparing vintage vinyl with modern (past 2000) digitally produced recordings leads to a clear conclusion, – vinyl is clearly characterized with loads of "tasty extras". I would like to find out what makes the analog response so difficult to be on par with current digital produced and stored music.
With vinyl the soundstage widely differs in terms of general dynamics, tonality, space and phasing accuracy, even when the record formally recollects the international production standards of RIAA reglementation. To my personal believe every little part and component in the recording chain, as well within the mastering process and finally in the individual play back system, – each components adds a little individual fingerprint into the analog signal. At the end the finally archived sound differs widely in several parameters like phasing, dynamics, resolution, resonances and as well with its generally captured tonality.

I did try to describe in the last article that I wanted to correct the audible results with variable equalizing parameters in playback, similar to the well known curves from different manufacturers in the age of non standardized mono recordings. I did try as well to optimize the incorporated equalizing filter by different technical filter principles, closer tolerances and as well with different made parts to match different audible effects. Beside conventional RC-fiters as active or passive designs, I did try inductive variants with coils in order to get rid of the hardly beloved limiting capacitors. I did try almost any type of capacitor, like silver mica, polypro, pio, styrene, etc. As like always the oil paper caps did sound best with the poorest measured performances and by far wides tolerances, which need sensitive matching accordingly. To make a short cut to the end of my evaluations, all these different components and designs just add another finger print to the almost rich collection of sound textures within analog recordings.
I would go as far to state, that this "sort of richness" is the matter of fact for the believe that analog reproduced audio is sounding better (richer) than digital reproduced recordings.

In our audio systems the effects of individual components caries to add on each some informations to the final signal. Let us just look to the very front end, the cartridge. Everybody of us has made the experience that every cartridge will sound different in the same record player-arm combination. Even if the cartridge and the arm are perfectly suited to each other with a highly adjusted compliance and weight combination, every "arm itself will sound different" and as well every internal wirement will do so. Use three different step up transformers, you will have three different sound images and it will cary on with every following component in the chain with tremendous effects. Analog sound is a summery of some "pure signal" and loads of different fingerprints left from every component involved to the signal till speakers transduce it into individual aural waves.
Yes, analog sound is rich, may be overloaded rich, sometimes perfectly shaped, but mostly with a individual clear audible sound shape, but never neutral or uncolored. To bring it to a point, from my collection of 1000 first releases not even two records do sound perfectly identical (or some sort of neutral) when compared closely.
Yes, analog reproduced audio material is rich, richer than digital recorded, mixed and mastered program material. But does this mean that richer is automatically any better?

To my opinion it is always a good help to listen to naturally performed music. Performed without any electrical amplification and sound transducing units, just plain acoustical instrumentation. If you do so, you will realize how modest and unaffected such a performance happens and how easy natural performed music is at the ear. The most audio and hifi systems add a lot more attention gathering effects to the signal, mostly as a sign of its inherent limitations. So electrically generated loudness keeps up to compensate these limiting issues and typically show up at the same time with overexposed hardening effects and correlative phase shiftings.

In 2007 I did still believe into the superiority of analogue processed music. I did start to make recordings from my vintage vinyl. My attempts were carried from the believe that the original first released vinyl recordings do carry so much more information (richness!) in their analogue groove and in addition that a digital recording made with the support of a almost perfect record player like the Platine Verdier with 12'' tonearm and SPU cartridge, will outperform any commercial transcripted cd release of the same original recording. And indeed it came out to proceed recordings from vinyl which have captured "the richer and more attentive sound" known from the LP, now for me available as lossless format or burnt down to CD-R. "What a step" to form a own reality into the trueness of believing! Audio as religion...

Read on soon, Volker

Reference to the shown miniature speakers was a japanese web page, I was unable to decipher a name of its author, I am sorry for that. I hope the shared attention will be welcome.

Jan Vermeer, The girl with the pearl ear ring, 1665
Van Gogh, Twelve sunflowers in a vase, 1888
Van Gogh, Autoportrait with fur hat and bandaged ear, 1889

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Natural vs. Analogue vs. Digital vs. Fraunhofer Algorithm processed Music I

Hello again,

after the waves of reaction in the aftermath of the Analoge Forum 2014 in Krefeld have weighed within the discussion about my last article, I took the chance to think a lot about the big differences in  individual perceptions of sound structures again. How can it be, that a certain sound evokes such different reaction by different individual people. Since many years I try to understand if a listening ability is natural born or in difference is a highly trained property, or can it be even either or?

I really do not understand that some people, even if they got used for 20 or 30 years to typical high quality audio equipment, do show such heavy differences with the evaluation of the audible profile? Even some long term compaignons with extremely similar audio components in use astonish me regulary with a completely different interpretation of the together auditioned experiences. Everybody of us might know that professional musicians with some deep and long term listening experience to real music and practice with natural instrumentations, do not share the same evaluation grading, which may be typical for the "audio aficionado". So what makes the difference?
I am not sure, but I think it is quite obvious that the musician "knows" what he hears and therefore is able to make some sort of abstraction as a short cut in his brain. The authentic real sensual impression is overridden by his educated knowledge, the most musicians I do know, can live with a tiny pocket radio as source for their favored music. They don't need any high quality audio equipment imitating wider responses of music to generate this process of abstraction of "understanding".

It might be a bit different with more or less technical orientated and experienced audio aficionados, but finally it comes to similar results. Everybody of us has clear expectations about what we do listen when we know what we are looking at? With other words, do we listen with our eyes and our brain/knowledge instead our ears? The all-time favorite blind listening test always bring out similar results, the most people are unable to resolve just by the pure listening experience, if they do not see what they know… do not know what they see…etc., it is getting difficult to evaluate.
Some other people need to close their eyes to interrupt this typical process of forming in order to improve their sensual audible receptivity.

Since I started to use tube audio equipment in the middle 1980ties the most statements of international audio "experts" seem unanimously to confirm that analog processed audio signals from vinyl record players, tape machines or tuners have a exceptional more natural audio response than the high tech sampled digital formats. Their arguments were chosen to match some of our logical understanding as being a creature of natural conditions and is to be seen in direct opposition to the implementation of digital music as a typical instrumentation of technical ideas as market mechanisms and commercial practices. It is very easy to follow such argumentation for some sort of theorem as our own understanding.
The 'experts' always did state a general unsurpassed quality of analogue formats as to deliver better separated tonalities, improved resolution, refined timing issues, better integration of harmonies, a improved coherence and by far better dynamics than digital stored music formats.  In these days of the advent of a new commercialmedia standard with the PhilipsSony-Audio CD, highly pushed into the market by heroic figures like Herbert von Karajan to create a second flush of income as a result of already existing music as vinyl format, made the whole process of digitization a quite dubious action happening in the "black box" of the new digital world.

I started in late 1980ties with my first Garrard 401/SME 3012/II and Denon DL103 with lead body together with my first tube preamp and Leak tube power amps my own audio experiences in order to explore these enrolled theoretical statements. As well I did spend a fortune in parallel for my first real CD-player, a highly praised Meridian 206 for 3500 German Marks, as to be a important investment for the coming future. To be honest, I never did like the sound of the digital player, it was always drawing a lot to much attention with its extremely detailed sound structure, but in return my analogue set didn't do any better but different… So I found myself trapped in the typical situation of the common audio aficionado, try and error was set up for the coming decades…

I took me 20 years from these early days to work hard at my deep believing into analogue processed music as a better principle with much more natural, deeper, wider, coherent and in every respect improved inner structure of music enabling it to sound in every respect superior to digital. This phrase should have been kept enough controversity to distrust such an idea as being a "egg-laying jack of all trades".
In 1998 I got finally a Platine Verdier turntable which brought me as close it can get into front of vinyl music representation (unfortunately I never had a chance to evaluate master tapes within Telefunken M10 studio tape machines). The magnet bearing player gave me a chance to support my deep conviction about the advantage of millions of more and better stored informations in the groove of the analogue vinyl disc comparing it to the industry standards of digital processed music. I never did question again the hardware again, the improvement to former decks showed me a perfect combination of the best attitudes of both worlds of record players design as a perfect synergetic example. The finesse, calm, resolution and micro dynamic harmonies only known from perfectly isolated sub chassis players on the one hand. On the other hand it merges these attitudes into the powerful, dynamic and expressive performance only known from heavy weight mass players. To my knowledge with this combination of positive effects (maybe not the right word here), it is still in its own class.

So did I send my Meridian CD player into retirement in the late 1990ties and concentrated completely into vinyl based music reproduction. I did collect when I was living in the US a good 2000 vintage first release jazz records from Riverside, Pacific, Contemporary, Verve, Pablo, Impulse, Blue Note, Atlantic, Columbia and a lot more companies released between 1955 to 1969, always believing that the first release is made from the master tape since late releases are made sometimes from transferred copies. Before I had bought lots of rereleased CDs (analogue recorded and mixed and mastered CDs) of the same genres jazz and blues, sometimes even the same records, together with a lot of classical music performed at almost the same time.

Over the 2000nd years I did spend a tremendous amount of time to improve the performance of the vinyl deemphasis within my system of tube preamplification. I did realize a whole bunch of different conceptions of preamps with completely different tube implementations (like triodes in diífferent modes, like cathode follower designs, SRPP, SE, choke and transformer coupled, as well with DHT, within active and passive standard RC or IC equalization), alway driven from the idea to find the perfect analogue music signal containing pure music.

During these trials I came across that RIAA deemphasis might not be the universal solution, since in history different record companies did implement their own deemphasis filters. I did try to improve the final reproduction stage with variable filters, in oder to compensate the always existing differences between different records and in particular between different brands. But I had to learn that the classic filter with its turning point at 1000Hz and its peaks at 500 Hz and 2120 Hz gives not enough freedom to compensate the wide spread differences pressed into records. The shaping of that filter is a very humble option to compensate these differences, there are a lot of other influences, which have a great effect to final pressed record.
Every analog component in the recording and mixing chain will leave a clear finger print in the final record. Phase shiftings in the whole bandwidth, every microphone, transformer, tube, capacitor, together with different technical principles will shape the sound of a record tremendously. Its mastering with all its components and processes, its stencil cutting and finally the pressing stamp will shape the final product of a vinyl record tremendously. And we are just talking about technology and components, which excludes the most important factor as any sort of processing, the individual influence of human individuals at any stage of the chain.

Read on soon for the next article following these issues, Volker

Reference to the shown miniature speakers was a japanese web page, I was unable to decipher a name of its author, I am sorry for that. I hope the shared attention will be welcome.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Analog Forum Krefeld 2014

english version at the end


nun war es wieder soweit, nachdem im Sommer in München mit der "High End" bereits mit Beharrlichkeit und lauten Beschwörungsgesten der unaufhaltsamen Sättigung des Absatzmarktes HiFi durch das audiospezialisierte Nischengewerbe entgegnet werden sollte, öffneten sich nun auch wieder die Tore des Analog Forum Krefeld 2014 für den ambitionierten Besucher. Das Analog Forum ist eine Veranstaltung der Analog Audio Association, einem Verein der schon vor langen Jahren mit dem Ziel gegründet wurde, den Artenerhalt der aussterbenden Spezies "Vinylschallplatte" mit der Nachhaltigkeit und sektiererischen Frische von Spielzeugeisenbahnherstellen und deren typischem weltoffenen und innovationsfreudigem Habitus Profit zu schlagen mit einem Forum entgegen zu wirken. Vor einigen Jahren hatte ich mich über einen längeren Zeitraum bemüht, in einem ihrer Zentralorgane, nämlich ihrem Webforum,  über den Stand der Dinge dieses Themengebiets regelmässig zu informieren und auch auszutauschen. Das habe ich dann doch ganz schnell wieder eingestellt, zu offensichtlich war es dann doch, das ein offener Austausch im Bemühen um qualitative Entwicklung zumeist von kleinkariertem "Besitzhabitusdenken"gelenkt und bestimmt wird. Nach wiederholter Erfahrungen dieses Umstands, habe ich mich dann spottend aus der Diskussion um die Qualitäten der Vinylschallplatte aus dem von mir vortan nun "Dualforum" geschimpften Plattform zurückgezogen.

Nun also sah ich es als meine Pflicht, wenigsten einmal den "Freunden der Spielzeugeisenbahn" Liebhabern aufwendig verchromter, komplex gravierter, mit umfänglich vorgegebenen Einstelloptionen für mindesten drei Tonarme versehenen (davon mindest ein 16-Zöller, am besten einpunktgelagert) und folgerichtigem dreistelligem Nettoversandgewicht ausgetatteten Analoglaufwerken (früher Plattenspieler genannt), einen Besuch abzustatten. Ich mache keinen Hehl daraus, das mir ehemalige Veranstaltungen schon solcherart suspekt allein als medial vermitteltes Ereignis erschienen, das ein Besuch für mich überhaupt nicht zur Frage stand. Das mag man für arrogant halten, aber schließlich kannte ich genug hinlänglich "Interessierte", die mich auch immer wieder darin bestätigten, einen Besuch dort nicht als "zwingend" einzustufen. Zum anderen weiss ich nur zur gut, das kommerzielle gewerblich orientierte Interessen mit meinen Erwartungen an ein hörbares Ergebnis, sagen wir es bescheiden, sich nicht wirklich zweckdienlich zueinander verhalten. Schließlich habe ich ja auch seit etwa 25 Jahren keinen HiFi-Laden mehr betreten, immer wohl wissend, das mir da "schon geholfen wird".

Nun gut, 2014 TrueFi goes Audiofair. Ich war überrascht, wieviele Menschen sich an einem Feiertag in engsten Hotelzimmern drängen, um sagen wir es salopp, eine Stereoanlage zu hören. Schnell war man in der ersten Runde durch die meisten angerichteten Räume, jeden Zweiten musste man wegen Überfüllung auf die Folgerunde vertagen. Aber auch deshalb schnell, da es unabhängig von Aufwand, Marken und Equipment eigentümlich ähnlich tönte. Man brauchte dafür kein sonderlich geübtes Ohr, das allgemeine Niveau der Aufführungen war sehr, sehr ähnlich und ich sage es vorsichtig mit Rücksichtnahme auf die HinterbliebenenAmbitionierten sehr, sehr bescheiden. In schon krass zu nennendem Kontrast zum Aufwand der dort getrieben wurde, klangen die Ergebnisse seltsam befreit von aller musikalischen Substanz. Schnell konnte man zumeist schon beim ersten Basston oder in der Grundtondarstellung vernehmen, das das Gebotene andere Ansprüche bedienen wollte, als dies meine sind. Nach selten mehr als einer Minute gesellte sich beim überwiegenden Teil der Aufführungen auch die Erfahrung eines meist sehr vordergründigen, oft auch harsch bis spitz vorgetragenes oberen Frequenzbandes dazu. Und Summa Summarum in Verbindung mit den meist auch blass und farblos vorgetragenen wichtigen Mitten, wurde das "HiFi-Soundbild" schlüssig abgerundet. Ich weiss nicht ob dies ein bewusst eingesetzter flacher, vordergründiger Sound ist, der sich besser verkaufen lässt? Jedenfalls mit Musik, derer analoger Eigenschaften und emotionaler Darbietung, hat das in den wenigsten Fällen noch nicht einmal vordergründig zu tun.
Es mag daran liegen, dass die räumlichen Bedingungen natürlich nicht optimal sind, jedoch war bei einigen Anbietern auch diesbezüglich höchster Aufwand betrieben worden, Raumakustikpanele im sechsstelligen Bereich waren aufgebaut, dazu die übermässige Fülle menschlicher Absorber. Ich vermute jedoch als eigentlichen Grund für das einhellig kraftvoll unattraktive Auftreten, starke Affinitäten zu unseren Lebensmitteln. Der überwiegende Teil der Produkte der sich so nennt, hat ja auch nichts mit Leben zu tun, – ganz im Gegenteil.

Es war schon mehr als erstaunlich, das einzig ein kleiner unauffällig vorgetragener Beitrag eines Schweizer Anbieters (wer hat's erfunden?) als einer der ganz wenigen Lichtblicke die gängige Trübe Aussicht aufzuhellen im Stande war. Mit einer Stereoanlage, die mich massgeblich an einige meiner eigenen frühen Anlagen erinnerte, mit einem modernen Thorens Subchassis-Plattenspieler, fast technisch identisch zum Klassiker TD160, hübsch und sinnvoll ergänzend kombinierten Röhren-Modul-Komponenten und einem kleinformatigem Breitbandlautsprecher, zeigte die Vorführung von Swissonor Eigenschaften, die auf keinem anderen Stand so nachvollzogen werden konnten. Feine, durchnuancierte, atmende Musikdarstellung mit einer geradezu im Vergleich bescheiden anmutenden Kette. Alle anderen scheinen gerade den umgekehrten Weg eingeschlagen zu haben, nicht kleckern, auch nicht klotzen, – rüpeln scheint die Devise. (jetzt muss eigentlich wieder meinen Klassiker zitieren, der die Parallelen im Kaufverhalten von SUV's und den jeweilig anderen Produkten als gleich benennt)

Auch Wolf von Langa's winziger dipoliger Kugellautsprecher "Sphere" ist einer der wenigen positiven Versuche das dort Gängige in Frage zu stellen und mit einem einfachen Produkt zu überantworten. Vermutlich auch das ein Versuch, seinen zurückliegenden vermutlich negativen Erfahrungen geschuldet, auf solchen Veranstaltungen mit aufwendigstem Equipment zu punkten, nun marktkonform ökonomisch anzugehen. Schade, hatte ich doch gehofft dort einen der aufwendigen DHT Verstärker von Thomas Mayer in der Vorführung zu erleben zu dürfen, leider wurden die "sphere's" mit japanischen PP-Amps angetrieben.

Bleibt zu erwähnen, das die überall allgegenwärtigen Lakritzschnecken auch nicht die emotionalen Fehlerwartungen befrieden konnten. Natürlich könnte ich nun schreiben, ich habe es immer gewusst, dass sich mein Anspruch an Musikreproduktion und deren akustischer Umsetzung mit gängigen HiFi-Komponenten nicht befriedigen lässt. Natürlich könnte ich jetzt schreiben, das der organisierte Unfug auf einem Laufwerk 18 verschieden bestückte Tonarmrohre "on the fly"im Wechsel unterschiedliche Abtaster hörbar machen soll, schon mit einem einzigen Einpunkttonarm, schon als grob fahrlässige Täuschung bewertet werden muss, oder kennt jemand ein einpunktgelagerten Tonarm in einer wirklich funktionieren Kette, – wohl kaum? Nein, diese Liste der Schmähungen kommerzieller Exzesse in Krefeld will ich nicht führen, mir geht es um Wichtigeres.
Aber die Problematik geht ja doch noch etwas tiefer, – muss man seine eigenen Ansprüche im Angesicht dieser präsenten Durchschnittlichkeit, aber auch ihre unverfroren selbstherrlichen Vermarktungspraktiken wirklich in Frage stellen? Ich weiss es nicht, schlussendlich ist dieser Konflikt auch der Grund warum ich diesen Blog gegründet habe und dazu benutze ein Forum für ähnlich denkendende und handelnde Menschen mit komplett anders gearteter Erwartungshaltung zu erreichen.

So verliessen wir einigermassen irritiert die sehr gut besuchte Veranstaltung, verzichteten auf den Kaffee im Mercure-Hotel und tranken diesen dann lieber als kurzen Zwischenstopp auf dem Heimweg bei Mike. Dort wurde der kleinen Gruppe mehr als augenfällig in Erinnerung gebracht, worum es uns allen eigentlich geht. Gute Musik und deren Wesen zu transportieren, ihre inneren Emotionen, ihre Ausdrucksfähigkeiten und Spannungsbögen ohne vordergründige Technikwahrnehmung vermittelt zu bekommen. In einem Kontrast, der grösser nicht sein konnte, gelang dies mit Mikes Anlage im Nachvollzug dieses kurzweiligen November Nachmittags. Das Wetter war eigentlich sogut, dass es die Jahreszeit hat vergessen lassen. Einzig die spätere Erfahrung und Vorführung von Mikes Setup, diesmal mit Tungar PSU für die LM-Treiber, war einerseits mit ihrer saisontypischen Vorweihnachtbeleuchtung der Tungarröhren auch Anlass sich der Jahreszeit zu vergegenwärtigen. Die Performance dieser Anlage muss ich an dieser Stellen nicht mehr hinlänglich beschreiben, mit dem gängigen Vergleich der "Welten, die sich da auftun", ist der Unterschied zum kommerziellen Gestöpsel in Krefeld so unzutreffend beschrieben, das mein Bemühen dafür noch die richtigen Begriffe zu finden, auch die Unmöglichkeit beschreibt, auditive Musikdarstellung in Worten zu fassen.

Bis bald, Volker

english version:

Now it happened again, after the summer with the Munich-High End-Fair, already the inexorable decline of the audio specialized niche industry should have been countered with perseverance and loud summoning gestures, now Analog Forum Krefeld  2014 opened again the gates for the ambitious visitors. The Analog Forum is an event of Analog Audio Association, a club that was many years ago founded with the goal of typical preservation of the endangered species "vinyl record" with the sustainability and sectarian freshness of toy train manufacturers and their typical cosmopolitan and innovation-habit to profit to counteract with a forum. Some years ago I did try to inform regularly and exchange about the state of things of this subject area, in one of its central organs, namely their web forum  I did stop quite quickly, it was too obvious that a an open exchange mostly was directed and determined by a "possession habit of thinking". After repeating experiences of this fact, I decided to withdraw me from the debate about the qualities of vinyl records from what I henceforth did call "Dual Forum".

So now I saw it as my duty, at least once the "Friends of toy train" lovers consuming chrome, complex engraved provided with circumferentially set options for at least three different tonearms (including minimum one 16-inch model, at best with point bearing) and consequent three-digit net shipping weights, equipped analog decks (earlier called phonograph) to pay a visit. I make no bones about it, before the times of such events already appeared suspicious, such a visit did never stand for me to question. That may grow arrogant, but eventually I knew enough "interested", which also repeatedly confirmed that a visit is not "mandatory" for life. Secondly, I know very well the relations between commercial business-oriented interests to my expectations of an audible result, we say it modestly, are not really useful relate to each other. Finally, I have also missed to enter for about 25 years any hi-fi shop anymore, always knowing that they were no helps for me since.

Well, in 2014 TrueFi goes Audio Fair. I was surprised how many people are crowded on a holiday in closest hotel rooms, to say it bluntly, to hear a stereo set. Quickly the first round was done by leaving out every second room because of overcrowding for the following second round. But also rapidly because it sounded strangely similar regardless of expense, brands and equipment. It requires not a very trained ear, the general level of the performances was very, very similar and I will say it with careful consideration of the survivor's very ambitious with modesty. In pretty wicked to call contrast to the effort driven there, the results sounded strangely exempt from all musical substance. Quick one could usually hear with the very first bass note or in the lower frequency representation, what is offered would serve other claims than mine. After rarely more than a minute, the experience of a usually very superficial, often harshly pointed to rendered upper frequency band joined them in the majority of the performances. And summarized in combination with the usually pale and colorless middle frequencies, the typical "high fidelity sound"was presented conclusively. I do not know, if this is the typical deliberately shallow, superficial hi-fi sound is, that it needs to sell? In any event, with music which features analog and emotional content in a foremost performance, the shown attitudes do not even represent superficially this values in most of the cases.
It may be fact that the spatial conditions of course are not optimal in hotel rooms, however, for some providers the highest rate of respect has been operated into room acoustic, panels in the six figures rate were constructed. However, I suspect as the real reason for the unanimous powerfully unattractive appearance shows strong affinities to our food. The majority of the products of the so called, has also nothing to do with life - quite the contrary.

It was more than amazing, that a small inconspicuous adduced post from a Swiss manufacturer was one of the very few bright spots, able to lighten the common turbidity view. With a stereo set, which reminded me to some of my own early systems, with a modern Thorens subchassis turntable, almost technically identical to the classic TD160, pretty nice and useful supplemented with a modular tube  amp component system and performed with a small-sized duplex speaker, the demonstration of Swissonor showed properties, that could not be tracked in any other state such. Refined, nuanced and breathing music notation with a downright modest compared sounding chain. Everyone else seems to have just taken the opposite path, sheer mass and glossy surfaces seems the motto. (now it would be time for my classic quote, that names the parallels in the purchasing behavior of SUV-cars and the respective products other than actually equal again)

Even Wolf of Langa's tiny dipole ball speaker "sphere" is one of the few positive tests to bring the major offers there into question and to respond with a simple product. Probably also an attempt, presumably his past negative experiences due to score at such events with lashivly equipment, now with the market to address economically. Too bad, I had hoped to be able to experience one of the most elaborate DHT amplifiers from designer Thomas Mayer in the demonstration there, unfortunately the "sphere's" were presented with japanese  PP amps.

It remains to mention the ubiquitous licorice snails  everywhere also could not pacify the emotional fault maintenance. Of course I could write, I've always did know, that my claim to music reproduction and its implementation with standard commercial hi-fi components can not satisfy my requirements. Of course, I could now write that the organized mischief of 18 different stacked tonearm wands to be changed "on the fly" to make different pickups audible, even with a single one point bearing tonearm might be a project of predicted failure, or does somebody know a one point bearing tonearm in a chain really work, - hardly? No, this list of insulting commercial excesses in Krefeld I do not want to lead forward, I am concerned with more important things.

But the problem is indeed still something deeper - you have to make own claims in the face of this mediocrity, but also to question their unabashedly brazen commercial marketing practices really? I do not know, ultimately this conflict was also the reason for me to start this blog and to found a forum for similar thinking people with completely different type of expectation about audio to achieve.

So we left somewhat irritated the very well-attended event, gave up the coffee in the Mercure Hotel and then made a stop over at Mikes house on the way back home to have it there. There, the small group was brought over evident in memory, what it all comes to us actually. To transport good music and its essence to convey, without superficial perception of technology to take care to their inner emotions, their expression skills and suspense. In contrast, the greater could not be, this was achieved with Mike's investment in the enactment of this entertaining November afternoon. The weather was actually so nice that it has the season to forget. Only the subsequent experience and demonstration of Mike's setup, this time with Tungar PSU for the LM-driver, one hand, with their typical seasonal before Christmas light the tungar tubes gave an opportunity to recall the season. The performance of the system I need no longer sufficiently to describe here, with the usual comparison of the "worlds that open up there," the difference from the commercial clatter in Krefeld is described as inaccurate, that my endeavors to ensure even the right words see, also describes the impossibility to describe auditory representation of music with written words.

Read on soon, Volker