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Where are we going? Incidental commentary on the future of audio, hi-fi, and diy.
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RJM Audio in 2017 [modular simplicity]

Posted 19th December 2016 at 01:11 AM by rjm (RJM Audio Blog)
Updated 28th December 2016 at 12:50 AM by rjm

The time of year where I like to draw up some plans for the next 12 months.

This yearís output looked something as follows,

At the end of all this I find myself sitting on four different voltage regulator circuits, several variants of the transistor output diamond buffer, five phono stages variants, and a couple of nebulous ideas about developing a discrete voltage gain amplifier.

I'm considering how to package this all up in such a way as to best appeal to diyaudio builders of widely varying application needs and skill levels while keeping a simple...
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What are "Ground Boxes"?

Posted 24th January 2016 at 12:48 AM by rjm (RJM Audio Blog)

Ladies and gentlemen, please try to keep a straight face while browsing the following link.

https://www.entreq.com/products/ground-boxes-17667704

I'm not sure whether its possible to build a passive, permanent device that dissipates/neutralizes electrical charge. But the scientist part of me finds the claims that you can interesting.

Static electricity will eventually dissipate by attracting counter ions from the air. This happens more quickly if the humidity is high.

So seriously, if you just stuck a wire into a bucket of dirt, how much "earthing" would that actually provide? Is there any way to amplify that effect by using special materials or even passive electrical components?
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Commentary on the TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker

Posted 10th May 2015 at 03:23 AM by rjm (RJM Audio Blog)
Updated 11th May 2015 at 04:58 AM by rjm

There is something freakish about a brick-sized block that sits there and plays room-filling music ... with no wires attached whatsoever and no obvious moving parts. It gave me the same "I'm living in the future!" sense of wonder I got buying my first 1 TB hard drive.

It doesn't take too much searching the internet to discover that among wireless portable (bluetooth) speakers, the TDK A33 is highly recommended for its exceptionally good sound quality. That comes with a massive caveat, however: Most of the people writing these reviews only have Bose, Beats, and the internal speaker of their iPhone as references for comparison.

So does the A33 sound good in a hifi context?

Read on to find out...

No, okay don't bother. The answer is "no".

But it doesn't sound bad. I'm listening to it now as I type this, hooked up via the AUX input to my Onkyo PCI-200SE sound card, with the A33 tucked under the...
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How Beats Conquered The World (via The Verge)

Posted 13th June 2014 at 12:04 AM by rjm (RJM Audio Blog)
Updated 13th June 2014 at 12:44 PM by rjm

Original article, by Ben Popper

~ my spin ~

There was the iPod. It was cool, and the distinctive while earbuds that came with it showed people you had an iPod, so they were cool, too. A few audiophiles invested in better IEMs, but they tended to be expensive and discreet and anyway were only ever a niche thing.

Meanwhile the Japanese headphone makers - JVC-Kenwood, Sony, Audio Technica - tried competing with the iPod, and they came up with a spectrum of earbuds and headphones of every shape, price, and color. They sold as commodities, but none developed any real kind of identity or reputation. Certainly there was little effort at building a brand.

On the other side, Grado, AKG, and Sennheiser continued doing pretty much what they always did, making nice, expensive headphones for home/studio/DJ use.

Neither group addressed the obvious hole in the market: non-audiophiles wanting "good" sounding over-ear...
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Hi-end audio, as seen from outside the bubble.

Posted 3rd June 2013 at 11:28 PM by rjm (RJM Audio Blog)
Updated 3rd June 2013 at 11:32 PM by rjm

In early May Trent Wolbe traveled to the High End trade show in Munich, Germany. This is part one of a two part series exploring the cutting edge of audiophile technology.

By Trent Wolbe, writing for The Verge. A feature on high end audio part 1 and part 2.

Quote:
It was halfway through the next selection, a quietly seductive 24 / 192 recording of “Cielito Lindo,” that I realized I was enjoying the music quite a lot, not because I particularly enjoy bossanova versions of Mexican classics, but because the Evolution One speakers were recreating one of my favorite things about eating psychedelic mushrooms.
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The Front End

Posted 19th November 2012 at 05:26 AM by rjm (RJM Audio Blog)
Updated 22nd November 2012 at 06:18 AM by rjm

The most disruptive audio technology since the CD, since the advent of stereo actually, is ... the iPod. You can lump in mp3, iTunes, and digital distribution in there if you want, but itís the iPod, the physical device, which has more than anything re-defined what we think of as an audio system in the twenty first century. Shelves of physical media and a playback unit, or, if you preferred, broadcast content, has been displaced by a handheld, personal, portable jukebox. The audio component system of the 1970ís (media, sources, preamp, amp, speakers) has faded into obsolescence, replaced by powered speakers, headphone amplifiers, desktop audio, compact ďspeakers+amplifierĒ systems the ubiquitous "dock" fronting a traditional amplifier-speaker system.

Audio is missing the front end.

Because it isnít an iPod, Iím sure of that. Its day is done. No, it's pretty clear to me that the front-front end of the future is settled: Its the internet. The cloud....
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