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April 2010
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Time For A Change
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Click here to e-mail reviewer

 

  First i would like the congratulate all the Enjoy the Music.com writers, as together we have all truly delivered a great issue this month in both Superior Audio and the Review Magazine. Behind the scenes i have been a bit persnickery (we audiophile writers make up such stupid words) about a few things plus keeping an eye on the changing environment of high-end audio. There are indeed changes afoot and below are just a few things i feel important to cover in this month's editorial.

 

New Home Media System
Like any industry, as time passes, technology evolves yet in a variety of ways. Like early CD, sometimes technology might not be 'perfect sound forever' yet the concept behind the basic premise of the idea has potential yet is limited by the available technology. From basic CD we now have 24-bit/192kHz recordings and probably soon to be even better 32-bit/384kHz. That 5-inch silver disc is giving way to digital downloads, too, so that is progress as many of my early CDs are now becoming less than stable. Other benefits include we can now get ourselves 8+TB of data storage on a NAS drive and never lose one bit due to RAID configuration. Right now i am trying to 'rebuild' the data on a CDR from photos of Venice a few years back. Yes the disc was burned using my Plextor drive and yes on the slower speed and yes the disc was always stored properly. Long story short, i have given up on the 5-inch disc format here.

Fellow Enjoy the Music.com reviewers Dr. Jeff Rabin was here for a few days and had time to play with my newly acquired and combined setup with quad processor Win7 64-bit computer plus 6GB memory and 1TB drive, external NAS drive (soon to be upgraded... again) as a media server, gigabit switch, M2Tech USB S/PDIF device....

 

Vinyl And Tubes
This is not to say vinyl or tube amplifiers are dead, far from it! There are still two turntables here (VOYD Reference and Acoustic Solid) and three (or is that four... or five) tube amplification devices. It is simply that on the digital and home media side of things my home system needed a bit of a facelift. Well, being high-end means this technology moves so fast that state-of-the-art lives about six months give or take six months. Well, at least the DAC-O-The-Month club is gone and your computer is not totally outdated the moment you get home and unbox it.

Being one of the very early 'modern' adopters to single-ended tube gear before it was politically correct via the Audio Note Ongaku, my love for such things is as strong as ever! Same with high sensitivity horn speakers. My feelings are that there is no reason to that newer in all aspects is necessarily better. It is a mating of all technologies available to achieve the desired goal of my lifestyle in musical pleasures. Let us face the facts; even the very best technology is, frankly, worthless if you do not have something to take full advantage of it to reach the desired goals. Then again right now there are DACs available at higher than 24-bit/192kHz yet no commercial recordings that fully exploit this... yet.

It reminds me of when Sony had an early prototype 1-bit digital front-end system at a show in San Francisco during 1997 when everyone mainstream was touting multi-bit DACs as being the best way to achieve digital to analog conversion. Yes, this was very early SACD. Of course early tube amplifiers are still prized, yet yes there have even been technological advances there as well. The same goes for horn loudspeakers and of course driver technology of various types (compression, panel, electrostatic, etc).

 

And With That I Say Farewell
Time For A Change

It has been a wonderful 15 years. So thank you to the many fellow journalists, close friends, familiar faces and yes years of being able to covering approximately 120 shows. The 5000 or so web pages and 775MB that make up this website almost makes my eyes glaze over. Yes my fingers and eyes truly do hurt due to all that typing, editing and HTML code. There are so many good things to say to so many people. A stunning array of gear has come and gone through my home, with a few staying for longer durations as finances allow. From the bottom of my heart please allow me the honor of thanking everyone for so many years of musical bliss, of moments shared... and of joyous though albeit brief meetings during various shows. As Abba sings and so i say:

Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

 

Of course in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music (Rube Goldberg would be pleased....),

Steven R. Rochlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS: Of course April Fools. See you next month... same batty time, same batty website channel. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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