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audioXpress Magazine

May 2024


No Truth. Just Joy.
Music and audio is one of the noblest endeavors.
Editorial By J. Martins


audioXpress May 2024


  My experience of over three decades in the audio sector reinforced a conviction that no matter how hard we try, there is no way to achieve truth in audio, just joy. And that the latter is completely independent of the former.

This is a fundamental principle on my standing about audio technologies. I care about good audio experiences and I believe that our efforts should be focused on eliminating bad sound, not so much about achieving exceptionally great fidelity that illusive quest.

Do I have a low bar when it comes to audio experiences? I just know when I find joy listening to music. That's why I admire product designers that manage to create great sounding products that are also affordable. The joy they bring to so many is incomparably more impactful than any $100,000 high-end piece of gear could ever induce.



Of course, I respect the relentless pursuit toward faithful reproduction, ultimate fidelity, lowest distortion... From both those who believe in the sanctity of subjectivity and the listening experience as their barometer, and from those that pursue only science-based, measurable objectives.

And I'm always interested when we hear about some new formula for "the truth" in audio or at least a significant improvement over anything that ever existed. And see how some enthusiastically embrace it, while others remain obstinately oblivious of another's achievements and just continue their own journey. Both inevitably will continue to focus tirelessly on ways to improve their listening experiences looking for an elusive "close to live" experience or some form of perfection abstraction.


audioXpress May 2024


I'm reminded of this paradox every year when we go back to this publication's Glass Audio roots and we talk about tube sound. A continuous journey in the quest for a type of sound that easily induces joy, regardless of how you judge it.

For some, tube sound is perfection. For others, tube sound is about the joy of imperfection and it's ok. Some aim to improve it at all cost. Others are fine with just completing a working tube amp project. That's all good.

In this issue of audioXpress we pay tribute to tube sound and tube circuits, which continue to be indisputably popular and irresistible to new generations, even to the most knowledgeable in all things solid-state, as Tom Christiansen shares in his highly personal and highly recommended article.

Year after year, audioXpress has been able to share incredibly high-quality audio projects involving tube stages from some of the best global experts in this field. And as the names who have contributed articles to this issue clearly show, Glass Audio is here to stay.

In this issue of audioXpress we also report on the Pure Acourate Sound Project. An attempt by a remarkably talented team of individuals and highly respected companies to achieve "ultra-low distortion in room sound reproduction." And create a great sounding listening system in any room.



That system combining all the best elements of engineering research, craftsmanship, and a bit of passioned DIY will be presented during the Munich High-End show from May 9-12, 2024, and will no doubt generate a lot of interest. Hopefully it will inspire many. But it's clearly a story that didn't start here.

For all the manufacturers and designers who are now setting up presentations for the 2024 AXPONA show in Schaumburg, IL where audioXpress is heading next, before Munich the motivations and the commitment are similar. Most will rightfully claim that they have been on that same quest for much longer. And that there is no single way to do it.

Of all things that inspire people, music and audio is one of the noblest endeavors. There's no destination. It's all about the journey and the joy.



J. Martins




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