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The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio & Video (AAHPAV) gave out their annual Golden Note awards.  For analog source design the winner is the Grado Reference Series cartridges.  For Audio Digital Source Design the winner is the Krell KPS 25s.  Video Source Design winner is the Meridian 586.2 DVD player while their 566.24 DAC won the Digital Converter Design.  Audio processor Design winner is the Z-Systems rdp-1.   For Tube Electronics Design the c-j Art preamplifier won.   There were other awards for video and whatnot though these are the "majors" for us music lovers.


Russ Herschelmann
Russ Herschelmann

First thing today were the great seminars sponsored by the AAHPAV.   Specifically, Audio System Design for Music & Theater Rooms (Acoustic) given by Russ Herschelmann.  he covered many of the aspects in creating and placing a music/movie/sound reproduction system sounds its best in the home environment.  Many subjects were covered like minimizing combing effects when using multiple speakers through proper speaker placement, calibrating a system for proper reproduction (surround sound), different type of encoded/decoded signals (DTS, SDDS, THX, Dolby Surround...), and much more.  It was great to hear him stress how important the actual room and acoustic makeup of the room are.  Every dimension of a room will have specific resonances which can be calculated and effect the output of a sound production system accordingly.  As a side note, on the Tweaks Page there's a link to have your room's acoustics analyzed.  Wish there were more guys like Russ helping to educate the advantages of properly integrating a system within a room.  Some of my friends have been amazed how a system can be transformed simply by moving the speakers or adding some acoustic treatment.  The great thing about trying to better your music reproduction system simply by moving the speakers is the price.  It's free!

The next seminar was Video System Design for Theater Rooms, again by Russ Herschelmann.  He stressed how vitally important it is to have a properly calibrated video display.  Must admit that a properly adjusted display makes a huge difference!   As tubes age (video tubes), the brightness also decreases as well.  As you boost the contrast of a TV, you also shorten the life of the tube.  In fact a large tube high definition (1080i) picture tube is virtually impossible to make due to the high scanning rate needed.  As for rear projection, there are the usual box-type and the other is basically a front projector configured as a rear projection system.  The problem usually is that the screen is designed for maximum brightness.  What happens here is color shift anomalies.  If you use a diffusion-type screen on a box-type projection set you can get a more linear on and off axis viewing but at the cost of overall brightness.  Of course one of the best, and possibly cheapest, front projection video tweaks is in painting the room flat black.  By controlling the light and it's reflections you can gain a better picture.  As the light is reflected off the walls, it is also reflected back onto the screen!  There's more, though this is a music/audio website so...  Then again aint nothing more beautiful then a Formula 1 race on television.

One of the most informative and entertaining seminar was the one given by Michael Heiss which discussed preparing for all the new audio and video formats.  We haveta face it here folks, technology moves fast!  As much as i love vinyl, one day, the day will come, possibly someday soon, digital technology will reproduce sound/music better (and then there's video).  Well, at least almost anything is better then the current NTSC or PAL video cassette standard when it comes to video reproduction fidelity.   Bottom line is, we all better be prepared for the future.  If you're in the process of building  home, hope you have run enough wire for all the new digital technologies.  The computer industry moves fast and i foresee the day when we all will have a master computer systems for full home integration.  Now as for how well that kinda system will reproduce music... only time will tell.



































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