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September 2022

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Great Reviews, Blue Note Awards, Shows And More!
Incredible growth and happenings within premium audio.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Great Reviews, Blue Note Awards, Shows And More!

 

  The first annual Pacific Audio Fest (2022) was a resounding success! There are so many wonderful stories I've been hearing from PAF that Show Director Lou Hinkley and Show Manager Gary Gill have already announced their 2023 event! That's what I call a great success story for 2022. When we add in longtime good friends like Marjorie Baumert of RMAF fame at PAF, it strengthens our industry's mission of delivering the best-sound music to our global fans. Next up is Capital Audiofest from November 11th through 13th at the Twinbrook Hilton in Rockville Maryland.

 

The Inaugural Pacific Audio Fest - Seattle 2022 Part One: Off To An AMAZING Start.... PAF 2022 Show Report By Greg Weaver

 

Blue Note Awards 2022
Enjoy the Music.com's September issue celebrates our special Best Of 2022 Blue Note Awards! We're truly impressed by the many achievements of audiophile manufacturers within the high-end / premium luxury audio industry. Our 2022 Blue Note Awards is a culmination of more than two decades of reviewing and carefully choosing what products have earned special recognition for our annual awards. Recipients have been carefully chosen after much debate and consideration by our staff of reviewers.

 

Best Of 2022 Blue Note Equipment Awards By Enjoy the Music.com

 

Let it be said here and now we make no apologies that during 2022 our staff chose only a few handfuls of products to receive our special Best Of 2022 Blue Note Award. With so many products spanning an array of categories reviewed from late 2021 through September 2022, this does not mean that everyone gets an award. This is not to say that other products do not merit your attention, it is simply that only the very best of the bunch should stand out and be recognized clearly and concisely.

 

Brief Words About MoFi
Recently there has been much talk about Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs (MoFi) and their remastering / cutting / etc process. While many of us are not surprised that many modern vinyl releases, in general, come from digital sources. Let us admit that the heyday of all vinyl LP releases being pure analog from the recording studio to the pressing plant's cutting head... to producing vinyl LPs has long since passed.

 

Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Class Action Lawsuit

 

While various magazines have reported on a Class Action lawsuit against MoFi that was filed by Adam Stiles in North Carolina, imho it doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of reaching the courts and a final legal conclusion. But as my European friends know, in the USA anyone seems to be able to file a lawsuit for pretty much anything. If anything really comes from it, it's usually the lawyers that 'win' and we lose with higher prices to offset legal costs to fight lawsuits.

So, instead, let's focus on the much bigger matter at hand... which has been known for for quite a few years. Actually, industry guys like me knew of this problem before the music business launched their Hi-Res Audio / Music scheme.

 

Setting The Standards
Step back and let's look at the far bigger matter as the music business' refusal to form a universal notation about music recordings when Hi-Res Audio / Music was released is the problem. We had these standards decades ago (1980s) during the Compact Disc (CD) days. Remember the ADD, DDD, etc notation that appears on CDs, the music business can do far better in this modern age with details about both standard and reissue releases. During the days when Hi-Res Audio / Music was being discussed, before the official launch, it was easy for me to see how the music business did not want to properly, in a transparent way, let consumers know what they are buying.

 

 

Yes I spoke with... it was obvious they didn't seem to desire transparency by using a modernized universal standard as they did during the CD days. Modern code within digital audio files makes it easy, too.

At least that's how I saw it considering the pushback by those within the music business. So that spurred me to write an article proposing a standard everyone could use, gratis. No licensing fees, no added expenses other than to be honest and transparent with those buying music. Am sure we can all agree it would be great if the music business had more product transparency.

 

Is digital audio really better than analog?

Senseless Ramblings
"In A Time Of Universal Deceit
Telling The Truth Is A Revolutionary Act." – George Orwell 
Plus... Is digital really better than analog?
Plus there's a cold war happening and you're part of it... sort of.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
So let's being with the upcoming hi-res initiative, shall we? For years Apple has demanded record labels send them digital music that are hi-res (read: at a resolution higher than 16-bit/44.1kHz). Sure we all know the major music labels <cough> might have misrepresented <cough> the resolution of said files, since currently selling 'hi-rez' music files have been proven by various magazines, which have analyzed the frequency spectrum of said files, publishing their test results accordingly. Upsampling a CD or 44.1/16-bit file to 96kHz/24-bit does not really make it a hi-res file in the opinion of many within the high fidelity audio and recording / mastering industry.
---> Is Digital Really Better Than Analog?

 

Since the music business doesn't seem to want transparency, I look forward to the high-end premium luxury audio industry choosing to do better than mainstream music labels. It doesn't have to be my labeling idea or suggestions, so will leave it up to our industry to decide on a universal way to add honest details concerning the recorded audio products being sold to music lovers globally.

Am sure many readers realize that those days of 100% analog recordings are extremely few and far between in 2022, and sadly 100% analog half-speed cut albums may also be within the rearview mirror. If you love true lossless FLAC that's great. If you love album art and playing vinyl LPs regardless of the source, that's great too. Maybe you love reel-to-reel, and 100% analog sourced from as close to the master tape is perhaps better than an LP, especially with the LP's limitations (as the groove gets closer to the label so there is far less vinyl passing under the needle, and thus lower fidelity is the result).

Maybe there are proprietary lossy 'filtering systems' that add effects so they sound more pleasant to your ears. All good, but let's have an honest labeling system detailing lossless from lossy, and what the sources, 'tween, and end process that creates the vinyl LP / digital audio sold to consumers.

I've said my 'peace' within my article written in August 2014(!), and note that it is now eight years later. And so the premium audio industry can, and maybe one day will, do better than the major business recording labels. We are high-end audio, so we're relied upon to have a higher standard than what is typical.

If we forget our task, who will be there when (not if) things truly go 'sideways' with proprietary schemes and whatnot?

 

 

Welcome Back Normality
With so many shows all around the world, it is great to have things back to relative normality. New shows starting up further strengthens our industry, as do longtime favorite events as well. As our industry continues to expand in shows, and yes in new products created by both longtime and new brands. Some old brands have had their name re-birthed and are now offering new products.

There is no better time to be a music lover!

When we add in the strength of used gear, it shows the lifeblood of our days gone past are just as worthy as the many new offering we have today. Plus with each show comes additional world premiere product launches.

With many phone calls and e-mails over the past months, it truly brings a smile to my face that we're back to (relative) normality. Am so very proud of what everyone is contributing to help music lovers achieve the best sound possible within their homes and when mobile.

 

As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

 

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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