Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a....sticker?

Well if you love tweaks, you'll love these new 'chips' cunningly disguised as a stickers which you put on the back of your speakers with the express aim of  gaining some audio magic.  Working (allegedly) at a 'sub-atomic' level,  the sticker, er, chip, to quote the Cable Co folks, "is mounted on an adhesive backing which can be attached to the device. The Chips are "programmed" for their specified applications. The adhesive is not aggressive, and the chips can be used and removed for testing purposes, no problem."  Priced at a level which makes them affordable by all (!), let me know what you hear won't you?

And in fairness to the Cable Co whom I don't tend to think of as marketers of much nonsense, here's a link to their line of videos explaining their products

Cable wars - gone before you knew it

If you read my review of the Wywires loom in the March 2012 issue of HiFi'Zine you'll know that I've been impressed with the addition of Spectron's Thunderbolt cords on my power amps. In fact, I was so impressed, I bought a couple as I'd never heard a power cord do for an amp what these cords did to my Musician Mk III monos. Intending to give these more coverage as time went on, I was surprised to learn tonight that Spectron are no longer going to sell them. Apparently production costs have risen through the roof and they don't think they can sell these profitably any more. What a shame -- these were not cheap, with the Mk2 listing at close to $2500 per cord, but still they can't make sufficient profit to justify continuation. I have no idea what went into these cables, and I do know metal prices have gone through the roof, but the Thunderbolt Mk 2s  remain for me the best power cords I ever heard on my monoblocks, and by no small margin. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Tone Audio issue out

As always, beautifully produced and an engaging mix of gear, beer and music...what more do you need? And it's free! Find it here

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blind or Sighted listening tests

A most informative (but now two year old) posting from the Sean Olive blog, Audio Musings, reports data from a 1994 study of blind v. sighted tests of loudspeakers can be found under the heading "The dishonesty of sighted listening tests"

It's worth a read since Sean is one of the few folks in the world with the education in experimental methods involving human subjects and sufficient interest in applying these to audio reproduction. Apart from confirming what most open-minded people expected, that sighted listening has an effect on how you judge a product, there are two very interesting results that warrant particular attention. First, experienced listeners are no less susceptible to the effects of sighted listening, despite the protestations otherwise that we have learned to factor this out. Second, I was taken by the curious impact of blind or sighted listening on the judgement of speakers when layout/positioning is adjusted. It seems that you are far more sensitive to positioning of speaker in the room and the resulting impact on sound when you listen blind. Not sure how to turn these results into practical guidance for your own tweaking but then, blind testing is always very hard to do on your own :)