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Sunday, 04 October 2015


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Man, I hope the metals used in the converter were mined and refined during the proper phase of the moon because that makes all the difference.😂😂

Mike, that music is plain terrible. Sounds like Leonard Cohen for the flat eared. Have you been well lately?

[If I said "opera is plain terrible," would you consider that an informed and compassionate statement? What you mean is that you don't care for that kind of music and have closed your mind to it. As, I must admit, I have closed my mind to opera. --Mike]

I love your various hi-fi writings. Keep them coming. I am saving for the Audio Engines. Looks like I will be saving for a bit more for the DAC. I currently use an old Onkyo, need to replace that.


What happened to those nice tower speakers you had customized?

[They're in the attic of the barn. Along with my other pair of tower speakers, from my vintage system. Alas, no room for them in the new house.

Do you know if storage in sub-zero temperatures harms speakers? I might need to move them to the basement. --Mike]

My iMac is also my TV, I haven't owned a real TV in about 25 years. I read a lot of books during that time.. Now I have Netflix and Amazon Prime—but I still read a lot of books.

I don't use speakers. I prefer headphones. Right now I'm using an inexpensive Sony. I'll upgrade to something more pro level ... Beyer, Sennheiser, ??, sometime soon.

The Mash an the Fury is 1h15m (!!!). I'll check-out more C60Crew tomorrow. OK so far, but they won't replace Dum Dum Girls or The Ravonettes.

Well I listen to all kinds of music...

I didn't take to your recommendation but didn't give up and found A Rush and a Push and No Rush No Push No Cash to my liking.


Thanks for suggesting Mixcloud and c60crew. I have been listening all day, as I get caught up on printing. I love The Mash and the Fury.

Those AE 8's are pretty big to be 'in your face'. My 2's do nicely on the desk top. Warning! Yosemite messed up my USB/DAV. It now has no volume control and defaults to MAX when any video opens so it is a scramble to find the volume control on the video. Normal computer controls for volume have no effect. Yosemite also killed Soundflower which is required for the Audio Essentials app to work so now I will be missing my 'studio sound' on the desk top. Good luck if you upgrade.



Mike, I thought the concept of a "subwoofer" was nonsense until I heard a good one. I later got one and have been very happy except for a few tracks that I thought were just too heavy on the bass. One day, my cleaning lady turned the subwoofer around to vacuum and pointed it at the wall behind and the sound is now sublime. I have no idea why, but I ain't touching it and my wife thinks I spend an inordinate amount of time listening to Leonard Cohen (amongst others)! Audio heaven.

Why do people forget that the word 'enlarging' exists - and doesn't sound so ridiculous? There was no need for the creation of 'embiggening' - someone just had the vocab of a seven year old when they made it up.

I also appreciate your audio input and bought a DAC and the A5+ speakers after reading about them here. Absolutely happy I did.
Thanks for the radio tip. I quite like it.
I have started spending vast amounts of listening time and (And even more money) on www.bandcamp.com
I love the fact that the artists are getting a very large portion of what I pay there and the truth is this site has turned me from being a music pirate into a poor but happy music buyer.

Funny, I haven't heard "embiggen" used since I moved from Springfield. A pity really, it's a very useful word.
Hope your ears don't get too big though, it's already an issue for post-fifty males.

Dear Andy,

People think "embiggen" was invented on The Simpsons (fitting your seven-year-old theory, which personally I would consider a plus), but in fact there are written uses of it going back to at least 1884.

So, it is that rare beast: a faux-neologism.


Dear c.d. (and Dennis and Ken),

When you get better headphones, also get yourself a DAC. You will be amazed at the difference in the quality of the sound, it's astonishing. Mike gave me a less expensive recommendation for one when I bought the Audioengine A5+'s: their D1 converter. It's about a third the price of Mike's Halide. I'm very, very happy with the sound.

The thing about DACs (and ADCs) is that they are attempting to do a physical embodiment of an ideal mathematical concept––the single infinitesimally short point source sample, absolutely perfectly located in time. That's why the internal converters in your computer sound so much worse. It's not about noise or dynamic range; it's timing and sample size.

I'm sure many of the people who spend four and five figures on these devices can't hear the difference; they're being stupid-rich. As I would be if I insisted upon, say, 192K sampling on my digitizing. My ear just isn't good enough. But for people who do have such good ears, and they do exist, the extra accuracy and precision (which is what you're paying for with that additional money) makes a perceptible difference in reduced distortion and hence the cleanness and overall quality of the sound.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

I suspect sub-zero temperatures help storage of most speakers -- by keeping insects down, mostly. (Storing stuff is darned hard!)

In the 1884 use cited, Ward says quite clearly 'to make great or embiggen [embiggen in italics], if we may invent an English parallel as ugly' - ie the word did not exist at the time and he created it for his own purpose to illustrate, as he called them, 'barbarous verb(s) in all languages'. This does not mean an active use of the word then or since. He used it as an invention of his own. Once. And even then he was making it up cynically to illustrate a point. Does that make it a faux-neologism? Or just nouveau kiddy-language with a false heritage?

It's ok, I'm not going to fixate - when there are many abominations in our shared language, too much time on one word is disproportionate in both import and energy.

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