Thanks for looking.
My main theme is this:
Stereo audio is a solved problem, but most people have never heard it done properly.
Implemented reasonably well, the combination of the two speakers produces what seems like a clear window onto a three dimensional ‘scene’ and has some of the visceral qualities of live music.
The technology necessary to do this is now ‘mature’, and its application is much more straightforward than the audiophile world likes to believe – and it has very little to do with money.
I cannot claim to be an authority on anything, but I have played with, and built, hi-fi and recording equipment since a young age.
I was very young when the hi-fi industry took off in the 1970s, and I was obsessed with it, reading all the magazines, and understanding the basics pretty well, I think. After that, I always had audio equipment – some of it DIY – but didn’t necessarily follow the trends and gossip within ‘the industry’. I made the move to CD in the eighties, and went through a headphone phase in the nineties and noughties, using a self-designed headphone amplifier for quite a few years.
Then, about five years ago I began taking more of an interest in the technicalities of speakers – something I had previously left to the experts. Very interesting! Is it possible that the vast majority of audio systems are built around a quaint configuration that made sense in the 1950s but can now be surpassed using more complex, but lower cost, technology?
I thought it would be fun to ignore much of the conventional speaker building wisdom, and have a bash at building a system using DSP, active linear phase crossovers, driver correction, unfashionably large sealed woofers and the ‘high end’ configuration of three drivers per speaker. As a result, I seem to have built something that, to my ears, works tremendously well, and which attracted some very positive comments when I showed it in public.
I then had a go at a different pair of speakers which are ‘concordant’ with my admiration for 1970s hi-fi styling. I am confident that these speakers, too, sound excellent despite their smaller size. This time I am indulging in DSP EQ to extend (not “boost”) the bass, which seems to give remarkable results – I know it is not a free lunch but the upsides may outweigh the downsides – and it can be turned off of course.
Apologies if my online persona is dogmatic, dismissive, abrasive or sharp; I’m quite harmless if you meet me and would be only too happy to share your enjoyment of turntables, R-R tape recorders and valve amplifiers – and I love vintage equipment. But my particular theme is that if we are serious about hi-fi, then digital audio and DSP are mandatory, and the lovely turntables and valve amplifiers must be relegated to nostalgia duties. You may disagree!
My qualifications for all this pontificating are simply that I am an ideas-oriented R&D engineer with a B.Sc.. I can wield a soldering iron, use basic woodworking tools such as a router, write software, and I have some slight knowledge of how to process signals in real time using DSP. I am also a bit musical, and can doodle on the piano.
I also think that, at heart, I am reasonably rational about this stuff – a philosophy that doesn’t quite mean what many people think it does.
In addition to the theory and practice of audio, I am also interested in vintage equipment, technology in general, the aesthetics of technology, and music.
Please post a comment. It would be great to make contact with anyone who would like to discuss the ideas behind music, hi-fi and audio.
You can also contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
[Last edited 02/01/18]