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Everything posted by JoshM

  1. Thank you for the kind words, everyone. I have a few more interviews already recorded, including with mastering great Tim Young, known for his long association with The Clash and Van Morrison, among others. We ended up talking on three separate occasions, so I just need to edit it all down. I also just lined up an interview with excellent Andy Zax, archivist behind the recent Woodstock box and many amazing reissues, including personal favorite Judee Sill.
  2. On a sweltering Saturday in June three years ago, I trudged across the University of Michigan’s North Campus for a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. My wife and I were in the middle of packing up our life in Ann Arbor to move to Charlottesville, Virginia, and every bone in my body wanted to collapse on the couch that afternoon. But I wasn’t about to miss engineer and producer Ken Scott’s keynote address. Few engineers and producers have been behind the board for so many pivotal albums or worked with such a diverse ar
  3. Thank you, @Nikhil. Kind feedback like this is what makes me keep writing. I always hope my TBVOs give people joy by bringing them closer to the music.
  4. Thank you for all of the kind words, everyone. Each TBVO is a labor of love. This one felt special because of Withers’s passing, the fact that the great* Mr. Blackmon took the time to exchange dozens and dozens of messages with me, and the fact that there’s very little about Withers out there (no biography, etc.) relative to his stature as an artist (and even less about this album). *Blackmon’s guitar playing throughout Still Bill is beautiful, same with the Carnegie Hall set, the Watts Band’s Express Yourself album, etc. He’s just a wildly underrated guitarist, IMO.
  5. I’d recommend checking this post out: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/12/measurements-intel-i7-pc-and-raspberry.html
  6. Thank you, @The Computer Audiophile! I also wanted to let everyone know I’ve created a thread with a link to a spreadsheet to suggest future TBVOs and a poll to pick which of the current in-progress TBVOs I should finish next:
  7. When Bill Withers passed away this April at the age of 81, I put aside the other TBVOs I’d been plugging away at and turned to Withers’s work. Few artists have produced a three-album run as superb as the one that began Withers’s career: Just As I Am (1971), Still Bill (1972), +’Justments (1974). The list grows to four if you count Live at Carnegie Hall (1973), widely regarded as one of the greatest live albums of all time. Withers recorded five more albums, all for Columbia, before retiring from the music business in 1985. But none topped those first three, recorded for "The Black
  8. I followed the ASR attempt to establish agreed upon thresholds for a while, and it seems like it petered out. My sense of why that happened is that we can mean “audibility threshold” in two different senses: what humans physiologically can detect and what research has established listeners hear in audio reproduction. For example, the audibility threshold of distortion was stricter in the initial ASR threshold attempt than in Archimago’s recent experiment. So, over at ASR there seemed to be a mix of physiology, AES-type research, and random assertions used to support the “lenient” and “strict”
  9. I could be wrong, but I think Chris’s point is that if we take “beyond audibility“ seriously, then it becomes a checked box rather than a “moar please” issue. There’s no “even more inaudible.” I’ve said before that I don’t see the point of someplace like ASR continuing to measure DACs. According to its own standards, a bunch of $99 DACs are “perfect.” But I do think there’s a danger in reducing DACs to one or two numbers, dumping them into a graph, then saying that higher is better. That’s especially the case if it’s really “all DACs with distortion below 80 dBFS are audibly trans
  10. Hello Everyone, I have a new TBVO that should be posted soon on Bill Withers's Still Bill. When Withers died, I'd been working on several TBVOs. (At any given time, I have at least three or four in progress, since I typically have to hit the pause button at some point in each TBVO when I discover that I need another CD, should to get in touch with a mastering engineer, etc.) Since I don't have a strong preference on which one to proceed with next, I thought I'd put it up to a vote. I also wanted to create a spreadsheet where you can nominate an album (or second, third,
  11. I like the WireWorld Chroma USB cables.
  12. In the various correspondence some of you have had with Musician, has the company clarified who does the warranty service (Is there a U.S. service center? If not, is the buyer responsible for shipping to China?) and how long the warranty is? Josh
  13. My own closed pair just arrived today, and I have an open on order. These are going to be a regular headphone for my TBVO columns. I'm actually listening to the closed as I write this, and I just heard a little vocal part on (what else?) Van Morrison's "Flamingos Fly" from Philosopher's Stone. Y'all know how much I've listened to that album! So to hear little parts and inflections I hadn't noticed by this point is something special.
  14. Hi @Tone Deaf, here's the link I was thinking of, in case it's not easily findable in my review. There are a few others' measurements with different pads earlier in the thread, which show slightly larger differences of around 5dB in the sub bass. That strikes me as about the high end of real-world difference between pads, and I suspect even some of that is due to how different materials will or won't provide a good seal on measurement equipment. I saw some pad comparisons on another site that showed 10+ dB differences between Verite pads extending from the sub bass all
  15. Unless I accidentally excised it, one of the links in my piece goes to someone else’s measurements with different pads. My experience is that the difference in measurements with pad swapping is small, even if the subjective feel can be pretty substantial. Given that I only had a few of the many, many ZMF pads available, I didn’t want to get into a large pad-swapping digression. I also generally think that well-engineered headphones (which the Verite certainly are) don’t over-rely on pads for their sound. With a good headphone like the Verite, pads are mainly about slight tweaks to the flavor o
  16. Thanks, @The Computer Audiophile. This was the most fun I've had with a headphone review. As something of an update to my review, I can say that as soon as the loaner review units were on their way back to ZMF I missed them. I've already put in an order for a pair of Verite closed and plan to order an open set, too. Also, while I didn't include a deep comparison, because I no longer own them, having previously had a pair of ZMF Auteurs, I'd highly recommend that people debating between the Auteur and Verite open (or closed) spend the extra for the latter. While I liked
  17. The word “comfort” is not indeed the right word, it conveys too much of the slander of mere sense; the true word is “cosiness,” word not translatable. One, at least, of the essentials of it is smallness, smallness in preference to largeness, smallness for smallness’s sake. The merrymaker wants a pleasant parlour, he would not give twopence for a pleasant continent. G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study (1906) ZMF’s Vérité headphones are cozy. Translation? Well, there’s the fact that, in both its closed and open varieties, the Vérité is an inti
  18. Oddly, EBay just “recommended” this DAC for me, and when I Googled it, AS seems to be the only place it’s even mentioned! Looking forward to the review.
  19. Yes, I think it would be a significant improvement, both based on memory and on Innerfidelity’s measurements of both. The LCD-1 is a much more neutral and much more comfortable headphone. Really the only area the EL-8 surpasses the LCD-1 on paper is in the sub-bass, and I didn’t find that true for me, personally, because I had a difficult time getting a good seal with the EL-8.
  20. I didn’t specify this in my review, but all of my DACs are plugged into a CalDigit TS3+ thunderbolt interface, which is in turn hooked up to my Mac Mini. However, I don’t think it impacts sound so much as stability, and I’m puzzled as to what you think is necessary for a DAC to work properly. I can assure you than many albums today are recorded with modest audio interfaces plugged directly into a Mac, many of the DAC measurements one finds online are done via analyzers attached directly to a Mac or PC, and many of the DAC reviews in places like Stereophile are carried out with the DAC hooked u
  21. Haha. That might be a better choice, but I've been doing it this way for too long to rename all of my files. More seriously, putting the year in the brackets title causes the releases to order by release date when ordering by title. In most cases, I can also see which edition I'm about to play from the main library pane without clicking through to the comments.
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