General Stereo articles
Category: "Computer Audio"
In late March 2018 AVTech Media Ltd (UK) purchases Home Tech Network from TEN Publishing Media. The latter is the owner of Stereophile and AudioStream. As it always seem to be, a takeover usually brings about changes, and unfortunately some people were let go in early Apr (e.g. the editor for AudioStream).
And here’s a comment from Michael Fremer in one of the discussions talking about the layoffs (Source):
Fremer is echoing the sentiments of the majority I’m afraid. Computer Audio is dying.
Nobody seems interested in Computer Audio any more. Why? Then it dawned on me - Fremer’s notion of computer audio is not the same as mine.
The trend looks clear to me - more and more people are moving away from computers and drifting more towards consumer products, e.g. SoTM. The reason? The latter just works.
Sure I may well be quoting Fremer out of context here, but for me I really do find Fremer do not get computers, and he is not the only one .
And here’s the topic of the day MQA - Master Quality Audio.
MQA is a topic that generates a lot of negativity these days. One commentator even labeled the discussion as ‘nasty’ (Link). As with every audiophile topic on the Internet, audiophiles have taken sides without really looking at the one thing that’s important - the music itself.
So my Accuphase DC-37’s USB input was damaged a while back. It was broken, but it’s fixed now.
Cannot remember what the exact message was, but neither Windows nor Linux can detect the Accuphase DC-37’s USB input. The Snakeoil OS logs returns an error message with the error code of -110.
So what have I done to damage the USB port?
On the day, I had a problem with my PS Audio P5 - it refused to turn ON. To try and get the P5 working again I had to power on/off several equipment multiple times. By the time the P5 is working, the Accuphase DC-37’s USB port is dead.
In the Linux world the code -110 means an I/O READ error; but what is the problem, and the cause?
A colleague of mine (Steve) has kindly helped me out on this matter. He has diagnosed the problem, fixed the USB and modified the board to prevent this from happening again. Here’s a review of his findings, note that as I’m not a tech, everything is likely lost in translation!
Some audiophiles prefer to defer to machines and equipment to override humans cognitive senses. This never made sense to me. 121 months and a small redundancy paycheck later. I hope I am a bit qualified to say something about measuring equipment.
The more sensitive the measuring gear, the more noise it is susceptible to. Trying to identify what is noise, and what is data is part of the quality analysis, and that itself is part of something bigger called quality control. Reason for this is noise is subjective - there can be background noise, and also things like you are measuring some effect from something else (i.e. you are measuring something else you’re not expecting). These quality checks are part and parcel of splitting up what is data and what is noise!
The more important thing, as mentioned previously, measurements are doing physical measurements. Humans when we listen are doing this via cognition. The two systems are not even close to being the same. Saying measuring gear is more sensitive than humans is akin to asking a measuring machine how good tasting a dinner from the best restaurant is. There are some things in the world where you simply have to experience yourself - and remember nobody will ever share the same experiences from the same event. At best, machines can only tell us what is common, at worse data from measurements are completely useless.