RMAF12: High-Fidelity for All Budgets—Engaging Your Friends in Our Hobby

welcome to Denver this is your first time welcome to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest all of us I appreciate you all taking the time to come in here and talk about this topic this morning let me tell you a little bit about myself first off notice our name and notice our location okay we are the sound smith in Johns Creek Georgia we don’t have anything to do with sound Smith in upstate New York I have a high degree of respect for Peter and his associates in what they do but honestly we had our name registered with the state of Georgia and the county in which we do business years before I ever became aware of sound Smith without the V in upstate New York so we’re separate totally separate and we’re not trying to get in any type of conflict secondly if I mention a product here or publication or anything I’m not necessarily endorsing anything it’s merely things that have worked for me I’m not getting paid or endorsed by any of these folks okay I just want to clear that up as well a little bit about me my wife and I have run a successful custom installation AV business in Johns Creek Georgia which is a suburb northern suburb of Atlanta for 14 years it is my avocation it’s my hobby business if you will my career for the last 35 years has been in the automobile industry I’ve worked on the wholesale side as well as the retail side speaking of wholesale for the last 23 years I’ve been on the wholesale side with Toyota Motor Sales USA lexus division in that job I’ve had at least four positions which have required or lenda themselves to adult learning training and presenting which I truly love to do which is one of the reasons I’m doing this okay it also in the training position I was tapped a lot of times for demoing our wonderful Marc Levenson sounds that we offer in some of the cars as actually in all the Lexus vehicles as an option so that’s a little bit about me what I’d like to know is you all out there I want to get a little bit better grasp so how many of you would consider yourselves audiophiles that is you’ve been doing this for say six years or more how many out there now that’s kind of what I thought how many are new to this field say two years or less okay was a few of those as well outstanding any dealers retailers distributors any of that okay Oh whew okay good good good what we’re gonna do here is this is going to be our primary topics how to get the most out of every dollar you spend okay and how to more effectively engage your family and friends in our hobby I’m not going to spend a lot of time on setup tips and stuff like that you have ample opportunity to attend other seminars within this event that will help you do that and I highly highly recommend that you do that I’m going to be there we can never learn too much right so I recommend that you do that this is going to be more of a macro view and overview of it so if this is what you came for great if not you feel free to leave at any time you won’t offend me okay we’re gonna start by busting a few myths okay how often have you heard that right is that true sometimes sometimes not if you think that it’s true take a look it’s some of the vintage gear on eBay and how much money it’s bringing try finding a 70s vintage Marantz receiver see what you pay or Kenwood or Yamaha okay so new is not necessarily better and I’m going to show you an example of that in a little bit the young lady that was just talking to me earlier she here no they must have left but I’m gonna use her comments though how many times have you heard this right okay I love these people they’re the first to fall they think

we’re crazy right there’s no difference what are you talking about compressed file what the heck does that mean right and come on guys if you really really want to figure out what’s out there you have to put non audio files just some people in a room that really don’t know what’s going on and do a/b test and see what they think right right let me ask you this if you think that makes sense let’s just say you were going to go buy a new luxury sports sedan and you decided that you just did a little research and you decided you’ve narrowed it down to a Lexus GS an Audi a6 and a BMW 5-series now if you actually did some studying and read the reviews of the journalist on those cars let’s just say you did and the journalist said wow this outtie with its supercharged engine and it’s all-wheel drive is fantastic the surge from the engine the all-wheel drive sticks like glue the BMW 5-series is overall the best handling car and by golly this lexus has the best ride handling balance in the nicest interior now you walk into the dealership is that being objective is that being biased or subjective of course not it’s being educated so what’s wrong with learning what to listen for and talking to your friends about that I don’t think there’s not anything wrong with it personally okay how about this one a lot of money right there’s gonna cost lots of money to do this just because it costs more is it better that makes sense I don’t think so in fact it’s starting to make less and less sense it was interesting I just recently read an editorial in stearic oh how many we’d stereo file here’s good good okay ready tutorial and they’re from art Dudley who attended to an audio source and not this one and he said every year me walked into regardless of what it was the price was always twenty thousand dollars doesn’t know that’s my thousand eyes the average price for components at that audio show he added it up was twenty thousand nine hundred and eighty-two dollars he said give me a break he said unfortunately he did not hear a whole lot of really nice sound so people are taking mass-market stuff and putting pretty outside cases on it and extracting a lot of money for it according to him and I tend to agree with him I can guarantee you that’s going on in the luxury car business a lot of this stuff crosses over and I can tell you of a luxury car manufacturer I won’t mention them now but with whom I have had experience that’s doing the exactly that and they continue to extract a lot of money because they make really really pretty cars but underneath guess what their mass-market but anyway see me afterwards if you want to know who that is what did your uncle Ernie say you get what you paid for right that true one of the story sometimes you do sometimes you get more sometimes you get a whole lot less anybody here been to a big-box retailer recently yeah probably have you know how that works we tell you what happened one of my clients coming gonna come and said hey I got new TV I’m on it I want to get a new receiver and I want to run everything through and and make it work right I said okay no problem so I I counseled him on what kind of a TV to buy and because I do video as well I’m a video file I think’s calibrated set up right I said buy this you’ll like it and he put him on the elevator a little bit with his TV that’s an auto industry turn on the elevator some of you had that happen to you I’m sure and he did and he really really liked it so I got over there to hook everything up and he said hey really good deal on this blu-ray player doesn’t make 99 bucks for it I said wow that’s fantastic and it was the same model that I had purchased three months earlier for a hundred and thirty-five dollars with a rebate on sale so I said man that’s a great Buy and he said oh oh and they sold me these cables with it I said how much were the cables and he said fifty-two dollars a piece I looked at him they were a our

standard 1 meter HDMI cables you guys know fifty two dollars a piece I looked at my said sandy with all due respect these are four dollar cables he look at me said you’re kidding I said no I am not kidding I said we sell an equivalent cable probably a little better but an equivalent cable for 795 each I said my cost I’m gonna be honest with you there’s about five bucks including shipping I said their cost was probably even less because they buy car loads of them I said they sold you a blu-ray player at cost maybe a little below cost but made it up for it on these cables and I can’t even use them because they’re too short for your system so I said you’re gonna make him mad when you take these back but you’re gonna need to take him back he said I will so I showed him my cable instead of 28 gauge regular old copper it doesn’t work fine for one you know his was a little longer I had a twenty a HDMI cable which was 24 gauge the main two cables 22 gauge copper dipped in silver the kind at the big-box retailers might sell for a hundred bucks 2795 guess what he was elated so you get what you pay for maybe not okay if it’s popular must be good right how many of you are wasting time with Pandora and stuff like that how many admit it take why why why do you mess with that stuff if you’re an audiophile I ask people this all the time okay if if you want we drive this industry to better stuff okay if you want Pandora to get better stop using them vote with your dollars and tell your friends the same thing there are other services out there that offer similar things that a whole lot better resolution one of them is Spotify and I’m not getting any endorsements for any up from any of these folks okay let’s try that even Pandora’s so-called premium service give me a frigging break is a hundred and ninety two kilobits is that ever regardless of how many two preamps you run it through ever gonna be high-end sound answer no not there more is always better this has more watts really whoopee what are watts that’s what does the work or that’s what’s supposed to watts over time is work but how do we get watts I used to teach basic electrical okay so let me give you just a little bit of Ohm’s law here pressure applied which electricity is voltage times current flow which is amperage equals what’s now think of it as your garden hose the pressure coming out pushes the water out the flow is how much comes out and that’s what’s gonna do the work okay so volts times AB equals watts if I have a hundred volts applied it’s believed visa a lot easier to do than current times one amp of current I get out of watts right or I can buy an amp with a better power supply that has 20 volts but five amps of current 400 watts now I know this is a terrible oversimplification for some of you but it makes the point which one do you think is gonna do more work which one do you think’s gonna drive those tough to drive Tyre speakers in your listening room okay guys we’ve got to wake up if you haven’t noticed the director an organizer of this wonderful event is a dedicated accomplished professional and engaged audiophile who happens to be a woman can anybody say duh it’s time to wake up it’s all I’ll say no it’s not I’m gonna get to more of that later all right how do we develop an AV system roadmap I like this term this came from Jim Smith I’ve got his book you need to get that book if you don’t buy anything else it’s called get better sound and it’s a book of tips it’s like two hundred and some-odd tips and I’ve got it on my resource guide here I’ve got a few of these a resource guide here things to which I refer and one of them his his book I got a lot of these and this is one of his terms

I like this term rather than blueprint I don’t know about you but if I look at blueprints I can’t imagine what its gonna look like I like roadmap because I’m on my way there I can I know where I want to go and I can stop along the way okay so that’s what we can do okay always always remember to keep the main thing the main thing now this sounds terribly some that can perhaps a bit trite but you need to remember that don’t get distracted by this other stuff there’s so much stuff and chatter and information going on around us now it tears us away from the main thing why do you have a music system you want to just listen to background sounds are you want to actively listen to music okay I tell I have these clients because I want music all over the house why why do you want to do that well no one quick story one of our neighbors engaged me to finish setting up her AV system someone tried and made a mess and that was one of our our little niches is I like going in and cleaning up after tax okay so I went in there and I she had two systems and she want to work on the basement system okay as she’s had a nice flat panel monitor and some decent speakers in a halfway decent receiver so forth toy but behind where they’re their viewing area and listening area was a pool table and there’s two holes in the ceiling and 16 gauge in wall speaker cable hanging down so what he’s here for oh I need you to install some speakers back here I said why and she said because we want to hear our music back here I said you’ll be able to when I get that when we can’t hear it now I said trust me you’ll be able to when I’m done and she said oh I don’t think we’ll be able to hear it him I said look if you don’t can’t enjoy your music back here well your planned pool when I’m finished you don’t owe me a penny she said you’re gone get to work and she went upstairs guess what after about an hour at Colter desk come on downstairs she said Wow what’d you do I said I calibrated your system she said this is fabulous you’re right what am I gonna do what these holes in the ceiling I said plug him up she said bought those speakers they’re back there they’re really good ones and they were I said use them in another room or put him on eBay you don’t need him she says wow I said we don’t I finish with your monitor I finished with her TV she came down she’s I can’t believe this can you come upstairs and light system up there is it sure I’ve to come back I didn’t have time that day something I ended up getting a whole bunch of work out of that what are you trying to change what’s your system not doing if it’s not doing something okay what when should you consider changing or upgrading your system is it justifiable okay how about doing something first instead of just going to buy something avoid audio philia nervosa anybody have that syndrome here this is this all he admits it this is the syndrome that seems to attack middle-aged primarily married males this is what I’ve noticed in and in it’s this the syndrome where you constantly feel the urge to change something whether or not it’s an upgrade so avoid this okay I forgot to mention you know I have my family here just in case my lovely wife where’s your hand Beverly who I couldn’t do this without her and my cousin Juan who happens to live here he lived with a he lived in Atlanta for a little while when he was in job transition but he and his family live here and his family’s doing other things but he came here today just to kind of support me just in case nobody else came so you have two people here so anyway how else if you don’t get things right in your system now house will you know if your change was truly an upgrade what does that mean let me tell you well I we in my business we have something we used to have this is like 15 years ago 18 17 years ago when we first went on to laptops in our industry in our company we had a little IT guy and he’d come around and say I need your computer I’m going to do an upgrade well after about four of these every one he did made my computer slower and more Oh nursery owner ously complex to operate so it was about the fifth time somebody but fifth time he came back and he said I use a computer for about 15 minutes I said why he said I’m gonna do an upgrade

I said well you haven’t yet he’s a we talked about I said you made changes that made my computer more onerous Li complex to operate and slower they were not upgrades what makes me think this fifth one’s gonna be an upgrade and he looked at me and I said in fact my computer is doing everything it needs to do for my job now leave it alone and go mess with someone else’s computer and he walked out of my office and I didn’t see him again for months that’s what I’m talking about okay have you completely maximized the potential of your gear what about the room he’s done anything with the room get Jim Smith’s book he talks about how to set up your speakers properly in your listening chair and all of that stuff and then I learned some of this just from that and other literature one of the things I do I’m a process consultant now that’s what I do for the Lexus division and we’re working with a number of dealers that want to improve themselves and do and we apply different processes we have ten principles that can apply whether you’re on the factory floor delivering a car in the showroom in the workshop in a hospital or remodeling your kitchen done that it applies to the gear and it’s called 5s sort sweep scrub system I standardized change the forest for this I left off standardized you want to sort sweep and scrub sort out stuff particular your cables sweep clean clean every connection make sure everything is right scrub if necessary scrub might mean getting rid of extraneous stuff that’s sitting on top of it okay and then systemize make it a system make it work like a system pay attention to basic room acoustics speaker alignment cables AC part of it before you spend a hundred and fifty bucks on a power cable or triple digits or more on a so-called our conditioner be careful there it might make sense to hire an electrician to come and wire a dedicated 20 amp circuit directly to your system I recently had this done to my home cinema system and to my listening room for my two channel audio system this will make a better more lasting and more noticeable difference than any $500 or less power cable I can think of really if you don’t already have this because you’re eliminating other stuff on the circuit whatever it happens to be that puts noise in the circuit I was quite frankly surprised at now is it a night and day difference no is it significant and noticeable yes so think about that before you go spending money and speaking about power conditioners and I know I’m gonna get some emails and probably some no whatever on this but power conditioners some of them appear to work because they’re limiting current and if they limit current to your amplifier what that’s going to do is reduce the dynamic range so it might sound sweeter until you start listening you say wait a minute I’m not hearing everything now so some pricey power conditioners do that some rather inexpensive power conditioners work a whole lot better that’s been my experience what are you gonna keep gotta decide that set a budget whether upgrading or starting from something keep the main thing what the main thing watch the priorities should I consider pre-owned yeah what’s a good source for pre-owned gear anybody know in here absolutely thank you and video gan they’re here go see them there what’s that audio gone audio with a gon audio gone calm and video gone uh it’s on my uh my little resource guide here okay audio gone and video gone excellent source for pre-owned gear I purchased some stuff I’ve sold some stuff on there and I purchased some stuff on there you can mess around with eBay but eBay gets there’s so much chatter and so much stuff there you’ll spend hours poking through it you can get closer more quickly on audio gun okay how much is too much what’s a good balance what about diminishing returns okay my wife hits me with this a lot she’s you know we got this little system that’s six hundred and fifty dollars and you got this other system that was sixty five hundred dollars and you know

there’s definitely a difference but is it ten times better no that’s what happens I relate to automobiles as well and and this this Tucket to people about you know a Hyundai Accent will get you to working back right it’s a decent vehicle for fifteen grand doesn’t have a whole lot of bells and whistles that it’s a decent vehicle now a Lexus LS represents value in the luxury car sedan market as well a Lexus LS is available at least with virtually every luxury amenity available known to exist and is an absolutely wonderful car and is a value in the luxury car market and I asked me but I said well you really think an LS is worth four times the price of a Hyundai Accent and most people industry say yeah probably is it probably is when you consider the value what they do and really probably is okay good now a Bentley Arnage T is a wonderful car it’s beautiful a lot of its handmade okay it’s at least a nicer car than a Lexus LS is a Bentley Arnage T worth four times the price of a Lexus LS and most people’s like no way that’s what happens happens in here too one of the things we talk about – on these principles is a term Japanese term it’s Kogan chicken bhutesu and that means go look and see for yourself so I just expanded a little bit go look and see and here you have ample opportunity at this event even if you’re just here for one day go do it don’t waste your opportunities okay all right when auditioning a new piece of equipment take your music if you forgot to bring some I have for the first 10 you come through some demo CDs here I’ve been using these for years this was a direct to disc direct to CD recording that I made off of vinyl ok several years ago because I needed something high-resolution to properly demonstrate the Marc Levenson system in our cars most of our sales people are totally clueless and they’re wanting to demo it with satellite radio and Bluetooth audio of all things that is a sacrilege to run Bluetooth audio through a Marc Levenson system for heaven’s sakes so I made D CDs and then became very popular and people really liked them because it really shows off the system and there’s a lot of audiophile stuff on it you know there’s no Diana Krall and then Norah Jones and and Alison Krauss and Madeline Perot and so if you want one take it and if you don’t like it oh well make your own okay before we get into things here consider dynamic stone rhythm before characters like imaging and soundstage I heard Jim Smith two years ago talked about this you know I started squirming in my seat alone I’m like wait a minute I like imaging in sound stage and nuances in detail and Pratt like the British like to talk about you know pace rhythm attack and timbre and all that stuff whatever it means I like that and he said but isn’t musical dynamics what’s the dynamic range what are the soft parts can you hear him what about the loud parts does it play it without distorting tone or tonality does an oboe sound like an oboe or does it sound like a clarinet what about a piano if any of you’ve been messing with this stuff for any length do you know that piano is very difficult to properly reproduce if it sounds like a piano that’s a good sign you got a good system and ribbon rhythm is the pace of it rhythm keeps things going is the bass disjointed is it out of phase you know I okay where it’s it’s not together that happens with subset systems a lot that’s one of the things I do I when I’m setting up a sub to try and properly get it done I I’ll lay on the floor okay and and do it or audio file effects versus emotional involvement those are out of file effects okay imaging sound says emotion vomit does it sound right or just clinical what Jim Smith said this was really really good in his book he said he’s when he used to run his audio

store when he used to run it and they would go to an audio show much like this one he’d take his people in the store and they wanted to see if a system would pass the around the corner’ test so before they go into a room and listen to a system they’d stand outside and see what it sounded like and was it captivating did it make him want to go in and listen to the system or did it merely sound you know accurate but sterile he said if it didn’t pass the around the corner test they didn’t bother with it they didn’t go in past it I heard one system last night here and I ain’t gonna tell you which one even if you hold me down and beat me I won’t did you do it for yourself but I heard one system last night that did not pass that test and there’s at least 50 grand worth of equipment in that room and it didn’t pass and the reason I believe it didn’t pass was because of the source but I’ll leave it there I didn’t and there’s a lot when we were here in 2010 and my wife and I were walking around in all these rooms I bet one morning I bet we had listened to five six seven systems we were going up to a room and we came up to this one room and I stopped we didn’t even go in I wasn’t even we stopped and I looked at her and I said tubes and vinyl we walked in and guess what beautiful don’t hold me to have a beautiful I think it was an Oracle turntable spin in vinyl through tube amplification how did I know that because we had heard these wonderful sounding systems that reproduced music really really really really well that system sounded like a live band in the room that was the difference emotional connection and I’ll get to you when we get to Q&A okay you’re in the queue yeah well then ask right now what is it but is that because there’s something better or is that because of expectations you you go in the room and see $100,000 Paris you know set up and speakers your expectations suddenly change I would answer yes to that it’s both does the system disappear are you transported is there a sense of you are there or they are here you don’t want okay keep the main thing the main thing you’re developing a roadmap quick story okay quick story I was in I was here actually for our national dealer meeting pardon me last week and then I left and went to a dealership in Oklahoma to talk to them about their delivery process and in the processes and they know me so it got around to some of the new features of the car and what I thought of this and that and somebody in the it was a sales meeting and someone brought up Pandora and while my clients are having difficulty connecting with it and and whatever and you know someone made the mistake of asking me what I thought and I told him and there was this one kid in there and said oh and and they said well what would you use I said well I I knew Spotify and this one kid sitting in there at 20 something just lit up he didn’t know me some of the other older guys did he was new he just lit up he said wow I’ve been telling these guys that for months I can’t believe you know about Spotify so he sat there afterwards I’m trying to do emails and get ready for my next event and everything and he just pumped me for all kinds of information he said I’m having a guy he’s a friendly I’m like I do my whole house that’s real caution flag Ignace of what you doing he said well I’m putting in a home cinnamon that running speakers in our rooms I said where’s your speaker’s he doesn’t in the ceiling I said wait a minute I said you told me you like Spotify and you like your sono system and you like the list of music said right I said how you going to actively listen to music through in-ceiling speakers he said oh I don’t know I’m thought about that I said are they in there already well he’s putting them in today I said you need to rethink this then I said what about the other rooms I don’t know he’s already run the cable so the speakers in there I said no I said cancel that and take that same money and build you a nice to channel listening room he said wow that’s a good idea and he’s practically taking notes on his iPad or whatever it was and then I said what about your video display where is it well I’ve got the component he’s running all the cables through the ceiling another big caution I said how

long is your HDMI cable forty-five said if it’s more than 20 feet it needs to be a minimum of 24 gauge and it needs to have repeaters he’s coming on this down I said what kind of receiver you get he told me I said what’s the video processor in it I don’t know there’s a do upconversion oh I don’t know he’s taking all this stuff then finally he said how do you know all this I said well I study it all the time and I’ve done it once or twice but I was trying to help him build a map he didn’t have a map that’s what you need to do rather than just let somebody I’m sure I hope they didn’t become enemies but I’m sure that guy doesn’t like me very much but that’s too darn bad I’ve seen too many expensive screw-ups that’s all just leave it at that tweaks it makes sense ok cables cleaners conditioners clarifiers ok cables one of my favorites is expensive power cables now come on guys the purpose of a power cable is simply to deliver current from the grid in your house to the component to which it is attached period now if that component is an amp or preamp you might want to shield out things like RMI and emi RFI EMI radio frequency interference I got a magnetic interference beyond that that’s about it if it’s an amp you might want to make sure that it’s finally stranded copper oxygen free bobble and that it’s capable of delivering current hours low-resistance does it make sense to hook $100 power cord to a $300 amp no sorry it doesn’t not when you can build yourself a $20 power cord I’ll tell you how I did that that’ll beat most hundred and $50 power cords it doesn’t make sense if you’ve got a six-figure system go for it then it does that’s different but we’re talking about budget stuff in here is there a reason for triple-digit interconnects I’m sorry I don’t think so a quick story about this kind of stuff too I thought was really funny I read this and a guy wrote this and he had an audiophile buddy he was an eye upon had an audiophile buddy that was really into these kind of tweaks and his audiophile buddy bought a new stylus for his turn to not cartridge stylus okay and invited him over cuz he wasn’t too adept that that counts us one invited him over to install the new stylus so his buddy said I’ll go in and make some martinis while you put the stylus on so this guy decided to have some fun with him you know so he didn’t do anything he acted like he was Tina to me touching the system so he called his friend out with martinis and he said hey we’re ready oh wow good so he put on his favorite album and his friend starts gonna believe the dynamics I’ve never heard that before you know and he’s going on like this for about two three minutes and then finally he said I get a confession to make what makes sense how about cleaners and stuff the best cd/dvd cleaner I’ve been using it for 11 years go to your favorite store buy some plastic lens cleaner dilute it 50 50 with distilled water and that’s as good or better than any expensive cleaner you’re gonna buy period now if you want to tweak your DVDs and CDs with stuff that actually works two things I’ll recommend micro smooth from Maple Shade polish them particularly got scratches it that works and something you finish it up with something called optics it’s both of those are inexpensive and they both work pretty darn well and they will make a difference particularly in the more poorly recorded it is the better it will work has been my experience clarifiers these you know that removes static Maple Shade used to I don’t they they they don’t have them anymore because they ran out of the chip that that works them but they have these little guns that shootin and remove static those work as well or better than anything I’ve ever used it was 38 bucks there on my resource guide smoke murals and mirror and mirrors and miracle cures this comes under the big stones and cable risers and big blocks of wood

again if yours got a six-figure system that kind of stuff might make sense but I have to date never heard that stuff make even a significant difference in anything most of it barely noticeable so where could I spend the money in the system that would get me more that’s what you have to ask this is my home system we recently did our kitchen so I had the planners plan in a place for a system we spend a lot of time it’s just in our kitchen so I said put system in there okay now let’s start with the speaker’s up there they kind of look like BMWs don’t they they’re not they’re kind of they’re a knockoff they’re Chinese knockoff they’ve got a trapezoidal shaped cabinet and yes that is real cherry veneer on them four-way binding posts really really really nice binding posts you notice I got him by wired actually almost quasi by amps because this receiver has a B speaker output so they were 290 five the pair and yes those are real Kevlar woofers I still once I got these burned in after about 50 hours I’m still amazed at how nice they sound l receiver I saw it that’s Chi accident it was she’s surfing one day and I found it I couldn’t resist it had to preamp for me I just couldn’t resist it for the money was 310 bucks off of Amazon with shipping get what you pay for something to get a little more when it got in swoo she was heavy that impressed me too took it out of the wrapping looked inside toroidal power supply Wow for this price some of you don’t know what that is that Torrell power supplies are much more stable and capable of delivering high current okay looked inside a little more I see a cast not cheapy sheet metal screw dia but cast heatsink with four big output devices ICS but four big ones bolted to that Wow so where did they scrimp the power cable it was a piece of cheap e 18-gauge crap that I didn’t even plug into this ya didn’t I had another better a computer cable I plug in it so was that and the binding posts so what I do I took that burned it in past the burn in it sweetened up so I lifted the hood pulled out a few of the circuit boards drilled out the cheapo binding posts put in some real binding posts got some very inexpensive I think they were 5 bucks apiece tube dampers from her B’s audio lab did place for inexpensive tweaks that work put those on the tubes but and when I removed the circuit boards of course I was pulling out connectors all the connectors I treated with dioxin if you’re not using dioxin you should be you can get that from parts Express these guys out here but all that back together then I needed to do something with the power cord I had the Silva’s 18 gauge kind of computer cord on it parts Express had these clothes out 14 gauge audiophile grade so called power cords for five bucks but you had to do some work five bucks guess what I ordered three of them came in nice finally stranded 14-gauge three-way power cords with the male end already on them and a nice one so all I had to do was cut it to length by an IEC connector for 15 bucks from them put it together for 20 bucks I have a power cord that makes sense on a three hundred and ten dollar receiver guess what that thing has the best F AM FM receiver FM receiver in the house got a motorized volume control when’s the last time you saw that it works its musical is it the last word and imaging detail you want to know can it recreate an emotional experience with the music yes and it does every day it’s on every day we listen to that more than any other system LCD player there you see that’s a 1988 vintage Philips CD player that bad boy weighs about 14 pounds if it’s new it’s must be better right not necessarily a guy gave it to me he was leaving town we worked in our office he he took another job was leaving and he’s gave it to me he’d bought it new so I let it sit in the basement for a while last fall I sighed take it apart that thing has more circuit boards in it than a flat panel TV I took it all apart had circuit boards all over the basement in fact my wife came down says you sure you’re gonna be able to put this thing back together I said yeah I said you

know these connectors are Oklahoma proof that’s what saved my group I grew up actually here in Colorado that’s what you say there Oklahoma proof so it’s only gonna go back one way so I coat everything with dioxide cleaned everything out I polished the lands I sawed it on some new ballots interconnects on it right out of the circuit board connected it you can’t believe the serious music that little thing makes it is very amazed I know what to do check a nice opinion this is really impressive the thing he says made in Belgium on the back it’s a real Philips try to find one on eBay for less than 150 bucks you won’t there’s some kind of cult following with them which impressed me as well so for about six hundred and fifty dollars including tables I’ve got a system that I will put up against anything in this building up to it including twenty five hundred bucks that’s my challenge how about that you might think I’m a John Wooden fan I’m not really or a basketball fan but I just like his quotes so he’s vinyl better yeah you tell me I do a little DJing on the side too every time I do people come up particularly 20-somethings and want to go through my collection I do mostly vinyl a little digital mostly vinyl ninety percent of those people that come up say your music is so clear how come will you play records I said you just answered your own question and most of those people ninety percent are females what a tubes do I you can’t really talk like the sound of something the the job of amplifiers and receivers in whatever you’re using is to get out of the way of the music the less coloration the better usually we don’t hear digitally we hear analog okay we hear analog tubes are linear we hear linearly if that’s a word they produce a linear sine wave when the way they reproduce a signal that’s why most people think they sound better now that said can a solid state system deliver that sure but if it’s running the full Class A so if you’re a solid-state guy that’s fine okay I like tubes I like the way they sound most people once they hear them they do as well so it starts with the source what’s compression you all know what that is the best definition of compression I have ever heard I heard in this room two years ago at this event a guy got up and said would you go to a bookstore or a library and now I’ll add would you go online with your Kindle or your e-reader or any of that would you go do that and purchase a book where someone has gone through and randomly removed 90% of the pages of course not my wife was sitting next to me she said that’s the best definition impression I’ve ever heard I said the best one I’ve ever heard so I came up to the guy I can’t remember what his name was but I said you know what I’m gonna use that can I use that I got his permission he said use it I’ve been using it ever since that’s what it does at some point it ceases to be music what about streaming that can happen with streaming so be careful it can work there’s a company called audio engine go see them here they make this really cool little device we have some there they stream in Wi-Fi they don’t use Bluetooth or anything it’s a tow 3.11 and I think gee I think it’s a tow 3.11 gee so it’s you can stream a WAV file across the room or even across your house and most of it will get to the other end and it’s pretty good so just be careful what you’re doing what about the cloud same thing caution is advised I don’t put anything on the cloud I don’t plan to short-term ask me in another year what is Bluetooth Bluetooth was originally a wireless interface device design to hook computers to printers in other rooms it’s for data and then somebody said well we could pair phones in cars with it okay it kind of works okay for that but it is the way most manufacturers and devices use it is at 64 kilobits which if you know anything about compression and how do you know that that’s darn near inaudible that’s why they call it Bluetooth audio at that point it ceases to be music all the musicality is gone it is not music and yes I do say that in front of sales people and they look at me let all that hey come on let’s go for a demo okay that said with a2dp and some of these new formats bluetooth has the capability of delivering 400 kilobits per second how come we don’t use it I don’t know I don’t have an answer to that when we’re listening when was the last time you attended a concert

were emotionally connected with the music okay you remember that how did you feel the next day you’ve got to set aside time to listen to live music you have an opportunity to do that tonight I recommend it my wife and I support a small Symphony Orchestra in John scream where the John speaks Infini Orchestra and and it’s wonderful we’ve got to know the director and everything and it’s wonderful you gotta listen to live music to know what your music at home is supposed to sound like okay and I like all kinds of Z I subscribe to the blue Duke Ellington Theory he said there’s only two kinds of music good and bad and that’s me okay do you remember the last time you sat down and listened to an album all the way through how come I got to tell you this one too but emotional connection we had a little church group dinner party at our house about three weeks ago and this lady came the lady her husband came and there we just started yet to know them and they’re really a nice couple never in our house before so I want to put on some music and and we had 18 people in the house it’s starting to get old noisy and so I went into my to town my listening room I had some music on and I I just went and cranked it up a little bit okay and I had on if you’re familiar with Mannheim Steamroller they did more than just Christmas music I had on the fresh air for album I think it was we’ve had some really nice piano riffs so I just cranked it a little bit and she was sitting in the dining room like I said she never in our house before I didn’t know other rooms in the house but her she’s sitting there and I cranked that up and she turned it she said who’s playing the piano she didn’t say wow that sounds nice or ooh that’s nice music she said who’s playing with the bee who’s playing the piano that’s what she said I said Martha we don’t have a piano that’s a recording she said wow that’s an emotional connection that passed the around the corner test that made me feel really good as an audiophile I got to tell you we won’t go there okay listening active listening takes effort don’t dumb it down with mobile apps games stuff like that don’t let restless listening become careless listening okay there is a therapeutic value we absolutely this was the topic of the panel discussion last night we absolutely have to do this from the carpets as a demo is worth a thousand words I can stand up here and talk to you all day about how wonderfully a new Lexus GS drives what’s the best thing I can do absolutely give you a couple of tips throw you the keys let’s go for a drive never do that with your friends Frank you need a new dad do you need it 24 192 dot because the DAC and you’re on the PC border your pre pro isn’t up sampling in fact it’s probably adding in random dither and jitter to the music stream huh what if you’re doing that you’re probably turning people off do they really need a 24 192 DAC when they don’t even know what a DAC does and most of them don’t care engage this is what the lady was talking to me about me this morning she said I’m tired as a female going into these stores and people either ignoring her or not treating her with respect respect should be the pillar she said I want to buy this stuff I love music I’m not as geeky but instead of helping me there smug and arrogant and I have run into that they typically have and I’ve done research on the better healing ability especially as we age guys they can hear better in the high frequencies you got to recognize that there is a website called classic album Sunday so you need to check this out it’s on my resource list it is a British audiophile Society founded by women and now they’ve include guys once a month one Sunday afternoon month they get together they listen to a classic album not caustic coal necessarily but costing up like Dark Side of the Moon or Beatles Abbey Road or whatever they sit and listen to the entire album and she introduces it and talks of what to listen for and they enjoyed and they enjoy the music and anybody read stereo file you like Steven Mejias how he talks about the adventures of Natalie and Nicole I love that and some of these bozos pardon me but they are right in let her see them stop this I haven’t had time I don’t want to write him a letter saying keep it going he’s engaging people and for not a lot of money if you read he takes his USB turntable with a parody Oh engine speakers and goes to their house and DJs there parties and he’s turned two young females into audio files by

doing that anyway think about that that’s what you want to do think of concentric circles of influence you start by engaging then you inspire then you demonstrate when you start assisting now you’re in their houses now you’re getting serious that’s the core and that’s why that’s a crisis threw that up there just maybe it’ll help maybe it’ll plant that in your brain how about this if that was the topic of the panel discussion last night and those guys were absolutely right and that’s why I stood up and said no if we don’t change this is going to disappear we’re not gonna have the stuff we like that’s why I say I vote with my dollars I encourage you to do that as well support these companies that are turning out great stuff for not a lot of money we met one the other night at the reception living something living living sounds audio guys from Nashville yeah I’m gonna go talk to him today affordable high fidelity gear high-end and high fidelity sometimes they’re synonymous sometimes they aren’t unfortunately tying it all together okay yes do that what’s guy go remember that garbage in garbage out you feed it 128 kilobits I don’t care what you do it’s gonna sound like crap I’ll give you one more example we like I said we just redid our kitchen last we went to a home show in Atlanta this huge convention center and there were home there were three home theater companies there there was this one that had a rather loud music plan I walked up to that and they had these brand-new I think they were monitor audios they were either monitor audios or paradigms I Kremlin but really nice bookshelf speakers and a very decent though not I wouldn’t say hi about a very decent AV receiver and the music sounded awful and I went up to and I said and this is a they’re trying to get business okay I said what are you doing and he said I said what is your source he said Pandora I said why in the Sam Hill would you be doing that he said Oh Pandora’s Hawk I said with who I said it’s hot with the kids running around in here with the earbuds stuck in their ears they’re not even hearing this you’re trying to appeal to peel people like me not them and he just kind of looked at me I said you’ve got a beautiful piece of equipment here and some wonderful loudspeakers capable of reproducing music really well and you’re not doing it and he’s like so I left and then I went to another place that did it right they had three rooms and they were doing it right my challenge to you I know what how many people in here about 25 people 30 something like that okay my challenge to you is mention one positive comment per week about our hobby too for people that’s my challenge in leaving one positive comment to four people per week that’s four positive comments times 52 times 30 roughly that’s about 6,000 positive comments per year think about that what that could do so instead of being arrogant and saying how do you listen therefore how come you got those stupid cheapo earbuds stuck in your ears how about making a positive comment turn it around social networking if you want to spend time on Twitter and Facebook be my guest I don’t waste time with that I got better things to do but LinkedIn if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn be my guest that’s fine they’ve got something called the audiophile group on LinkedIn it’s really good and they’re there get good discussions in there when people put up a post saying hey I’m considering doing this what do you think and people will respond anyway you know how it works it’s good it’s called the article audiophile group and it’s a group on LinkedIn ok have an AV system roadmap help your family and friends ok ok now got what three four minutes left I think yes come down here afterwards and I’ll tell

you I don’t want to get in more trouble that I’m already in okay yeah when we turn the cameras off and the sound off then I’ll tell you okay anything else folks I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this I really have and I hope it’s been beneficial to all of you again I have ten of my CDs yes it really isn’t when you’ve got HD what happens to me I walk into people’s houses in they’re paying for HD and they don’t have it once I cable the stuff correctly and calibrate it they just freak out and say wow that’s what it is so what you’re looking for is a display that can do it properly and if it’s at 42 inches above don’t waste your time buy a plasma I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people that don’t mess with the other stuff I’ve calibrated and set up every technology out there and most brands buy a plasma and then calibrate it properly and you will have a display that also will create involvement when you’re watching your movies okay anything else yes there’s there’s this thing that goes off the back of your head that goes that looks like real life yeah and it’s a into the night and day different it absolute thing goes off the top of your head I could tell you some story about that but I’m out of time so I guess thank you very much folks I appreciate