What a Difference a Wire Makes

Testing the RF transmission of Kimber Kable, up to 3GHz, at Ben Duncan Research Labs, in 2008. The resulting proof of RF rejection was published on-line by Russ Andrews Accessories in England. (Photo: Naomi Swain).

Editor's Preface: In an article in the October 1995 issue of Stereophile, Professor Malcolm Omar Hawksford used Maxwell's Equations to develop a mathematical model describing the behavior of cables at audio frequencies. Among the predictions of this model were that for good conductors there exists an optimum size of wire for audio signal transmission, and that for a wire larger than this size an energy storage mechanism would exist. In his article Malcolm described a simple experiment, the results of which appeared to confirm his hypothesis.

Then serendipity struck. English engineer Ben Duncan, whose writings have occasionally appeared in Stereophile, sent me an article he had written for the pro-audio magazine Studio Sound. The results of a series of cable measurements he had performed seemed to confirm the Hawksford Hypothesis. We offer them here for your delight and delectation.—John Atkinson

What a Difference a Wire Makes
Even if you've only glanced at the contents of hi-fi magazines in the past decade and a half, it's likely you've seen reviews of exotic cables. The permutations of conductor and insulator qualities, constructions, and aesthetics are immense. So are some of the prices—with exotic speaker cables ranging up to $100/m, or even more!

Cable purchase would be less worrying if there were evidence of progressive, price-linked merit. Instead, in any system having sufficient resolution, almost any cable change affects some aspect of sonic quality. There appears to be an almost random relationship between audio cable construction and sound quality, and few—if any—coherent, solid technical justifications exist for the different design approaches. And sometimes, long-term listening tests have ranked a low-priced speaker cable as being almost as good as a very expensive type (footnote 1).

Many manufacturers, particularly in the US, hide their apparent ignorance about what they're making behind impressive-sounding but almost meaningless phrases like "time-compensated" (try delay-compensated), "phase noise," and "phase coherence") (footnote 2). Many makers evidently just copy. No doubt their products can sound better in particular ways and in particular instances, but the real innovators are few; those who really have a handle on what they're doing are even fewer.

Then, while hard-line objectivists continued to cry "fraud" (and still do so), in an open session at the UK's Institute of Acoustics' Reproduced Sound conference in 1990, Dr. Keith Holland and Phillip Newell used a custom-designed difference amplifier to make cable losses and errors audible (footnote 3).

Developing ideas
About 20 years ago, a few perceptive listeners noticed differences in the depth of bass, or resolution of vocal detail, when different cables were substituted for the zipcord and 0.75mm2 PVC- or rubber-insulated mains cables—the norm for speaker wiring in homes and recording studios, respectively. This discovery that "cable does matter" led to the use of much thicker wire as an aid to loudspeaker damping or the use of Litz-wired cable. The combination of reduced inductance and increased capacitance of some of these cables, particularly with the latter, was enough to make marginally stable, badly designed, and generally flaky amplifiers "go RF" and expire. The ensuing panic and apparent total non-communication between cable experimenters and amplifier designers explains the raison d'être of low-capacitance, "spaced-eight" (ie, O–O) speaker cables.

Over the past decade, ideas have changed regarding how loudspeaker cables should be best designed in order to accurately transfer audio signals. In a 1991 AES paper on cable (footnote 4), down-to-earth US audio consultant Fred Davis attacked cable makers' hypotheses that factors of undeniable importance at radio frequencies (notably, the characteristic impedance) were of relevance at audio frequencies given the length of any practical speaker cable runs.

By modeling the speaker's energy storage (alias reactance), Davis demonstrated that even cable resistance wasn't the most critical parameter. Instead—and surprisingly, even for bass frequencies—a cable's series inductance was the keynote. Moreover, he argued that shunt capacitance across the cable had no influence—and that, contrary to popular opinion, very high values would not cause HF loss. The same conclusions were arrived at independently by Tommy Jenving, a cable maker based in Sweden who proceeded to make the idea reality (see sidebar, "The Jenving Approach").

Test procedure
The tests on which I based this article arose from a challenge to validate Jenving's claims. I had already used the MicroCAP IV (PC-based) simulation of loudspeaker/amplifier interfaces to demonstrate the existence of energy "tails" when a stimulus stopped. Taking this into "realspace," the Dual Domain DSP version of the Audio Precision System One test set allows audio signals to be graphed over time. It's analogous to using a storage oscilloscope, or performing transient analysis with a circuit simulator.

The test setup is shown in fig.1. The Audio Precision's sample rate was set to 192kHz, with a free-running trigger. Each of the Cables Under Test (CUT)—see the "Test Group" sidebar—was 5.5m (18') long. Note that the signal was read at both ends of the CUT and both waveforms are shown in each of the graphs. This poses a question: What cable to use for these sensing connections? They each needed to be about 1.9m long, and their own reactance—hence energy storage characteristics—would be expected to affect the results. On the other hand, as sensing cables, they're not passing any appreciable current. This explains why the "obvious" course of using the CUT for sensing, too, wasn't adopted—according to Jenving and others, the optimum cable characteristic for the sensing or line-level condition is the opposite of the CUT's characteristics or condition.

620BD-fig01

Fig.1 The test setup uses standard DSP-aided test equipment from Audio Precision.

Fig.1 shows how the sensing cabling was partly isolated with standoff resistors. Their value was governed by the need to: a) maintain a reasonably low source impedance in the sense of cabling, b) not unduly increase the AP analyzer's noisefloor, and c) not unduly degrade the analyzer's Common-Mode Rejection (CMR). To keep CMR better than –80dB, 10-year-aged (read: stable) Holco metal-film resistors were matched in each pair to better than ±0.006% at the room temperature, with a Datron 6.5-digit digital meter. For all tests, the sense cables were identical (within ±2%) lengths of identically colored Musiflex cabling taken off the same reel (footnote 5).

Optimum cable placement in a crowded lab required some lateral thinking. First, the CUT needed to have both ends relatively near one another so that the sense cables could be the same length without coiling or folding. But the tested cable couldn't be tied back on itself, as this would cancel some inductance, and wouldn't represent a real condition of use. Second, a quick method was needed to make the positioning easy to replicate, without sticking everything down with gaffer tape. Third, the CUT had to be kept away from other parallel cables, EMI sources (any one of three PCs and VDUs), and any substantial areas of ferromagnetic material (such as steel test-equipment casings) to avoid warping the CUTs' immediate electromagnetic environment. Repeat positioning would then be less critical.

The solution was to hang the cable from a wooden roof beam. The cable's N-shaped length (2.2m up, 1.1m across, 2.2m down) was then well separated from bad influences, and was mainly orthogonal to them.

To address variations in contact resistance, reputable European and US makes of XLR connectors were soldered to both ends of most of the tested cables. All visibly tarnished pins were cleaned with alcohol. Connections were made with the test signal muted, to avoid degradation by arcing. Some cables' cores were too thick for solid termination. Others arrived with high-quality 4mm bunch-pin plugs ready-fitted. These were plugged into short (1") 4mm–XLR conversion tails, made with the same heavy PTFE-insulated wire as the Y-splits.

The loudspeaker used for the tests was a full-range, 15" dual-concentric design made in Scotland. The speaker's high-quality two-way passive crossover was said to have been developed by designer Mark Dodd to "high-end" standards: the inductors were all air-cored types; the capacitors were specially chosen and modified polypropylene-dielectric types. The rising impedance with frequency of the modest 150W/8 ohms/channel lab test amplifier—it has a conventional two-pair MOSFET output stage followed by a small, 1µH air-core series output inductor—and the speaker/crossover combination were considered typical of their genre, and invariant.

Fig.2 shows a 1kHz sinewave toneburst—two cycles on, two cycles off—in a 6 millisecond (0.006s) time window with a peak voltage swing of almost ±2V. In the following tests, this toneburst signal, and similar ones at 15kHz and 125Hz, was both the stimulus at the driving end, and the signal received at the destination end, of the CUT. The 900mV RMS test signal, while enough to develop 100dB spl at 1kHz at 0.4m from the test loudspeaker, represents a power level of just 1/8W into the nominal 8 ohms. The higher excitation required by the majority of less sensitive monitor speakers would seem likely to increase any differences.

620BD-FIG02

Fig.2 The test toneburst.

Comprehending the pictures
For anyone who has doubted that loudspeaker cables can affect music reproduction, and equally for those who can readily perceive differences but have given up hope of measuring them, here at last are some easy-to-grasp pictures of what's going on.

Fig.3 shows a typical measurement plotted to the same scale as fig.2. A very slight difference can be seen after the stop of the toneburst, but the scale here is too coarse to be meaningful. Each of the following graphs therefore shows a magnification of the voltage at the point immediately after the sinewave burst stops (by about 25 times). A resumption of a straight, central, horizontal line would be ideal. But cables, passive crossovers, and speakers (in ascending order) are all energy-storage devices. The most immediate analogy is room reverberant decay. In theory, the stored energy should be clamped right down on and done away with quickly, by virtue of the high negative feedback (NFB) still used in most power amplifiers.

620BD-FIG03

Fig.3 Zipcord at 1kHz.


Footnote 1: Dick Olsher, "Cable Bound" (review of speaker cables), Stereophile, Vol.11 No.7, July 1988 (pp.103–118). See also manufacturer and reader responses, July and October 1988, and March 1989.

Footnote 2: Richard Black, "Phase Noise?" ("Letters"), Stereophile, Vol.12 No.3, March 1989, pp.35–37.

Footnote 3: Trevor Butler, "Cable Controversy," Hi-Fi News & Record Review, January 1991.

Footnote 4: Fred E. Davis, "Effects of Cable, Loudspeaker and Amplifier Interactions," Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol.39 No.6, June 1991.

Footnote 5: B. Whitlock, "Balanced Lines in Audio Systems," Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, June 1995.

COMMENTS
Anton's picture

I look forward to the day when my hobby catches up to 1995 and rediscovers the ability to measure such parameters in cabling to enable consumer comparison.

Imagine the conversations we could have! It would be like talking about cartridge compliance and tonearm mass, or speaker/amp impedence matching.

The places we could go!

Thank you one million for posting this, back to the future!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Hi-Fi News measures cables :-) ......

Glotz's picture

I think Mr. Austin is trying to get some fights going... lol.

Anton's picture

For ‘our delectation’ means he wants to foment discord.

;-D

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

doesn't have to work very hard to get some fights going. Just breathing is enough.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

JVS could review the Crystal Cable Ultimate Dream pure silver interconnects ($20k) and speaker cables ($47k) :-) .........

Anton's picture

“The top of the line Nordost ‘loom’ now has a target on its back: the Crystal Cable ‘loom‘ May be the most revealing set of cables I have yet heard in my system. They capture ever finer levels of nuance and detail while still preserving startlingly quick shifts in dynamic tone and both the macro dynamic and micro dynamic ebb and flow of the program material. These cables are what ‘high end’ audio is all about and in the context of what they can achieve they are a worthy addition to a well heeled audiophile’s system. In the discussion of price, they may not be a bargain, but they certainly do offer value.”

There!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Were you able to reach out and touch, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Patricia Barber, Melody Gardot etc. etc.? :-) .........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Did Louis Armstrong, Michael Jackson, Prince, James Brown, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra etc. etc. come alive in your listening room? :-) .........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Did the walls and ceiling of your listening room disappear and you were transported to the symphony hall and the entire orchestra was playing right in front of you? :-) .......

mcduman's picture

none of those expressions aged well, did they?

i was reading a bike review the other day and the young reviewer said the 3000$ rims had an audiophile effect to them without even realizing that he was insulting us. questionable value for stupidly high prices is now the de-facto definition of audiophilism.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

One can buy a nice Giorgio Armani designer suit for $3,000 :-) .......

tonykaz's picture

Cable is undeniable. We've known it for Decades. Enid Lumley brought it to Audiophile attentions but the astute already began understanding the complex relationships of all circuits and connections materials and methodology.

Toyota Auto Company brilliantly triple seal their Automotive wire connections helping their cars have a 30 year useful lifespans ( very much to the embarrassment to Domestic Auto companies. )

Sensitive Instrumentation Manufacturers like Tektronix engineer Wire systems that assure accurate measurement of electronic circuit relationships.

Our Air Manufacturers like Boeing have engineers that specialise in Wire Designs to achieve consistant performance, cabling integrity is super-high Priority for them as evidenced in the 737 crisis that crippled the Company. ( a sensor issue )

Audiophile cabling's ownership problem is the Crazy Prices for useful Wire Designs.

Most every Audiophile would like to own a high performance Cable System, if only it could be within financial reach.

I'm hoping that a Brave Stereophile Reviewer ( like Mr.rschryer ) would step forward to assume the roll as our Wire authority and then provide readership with useful insights into this important element of audiophile bliss.

I'd calculate that most of the Cable Manufactures would be delighted to supply samples, useful knowledge and encouragement.

I certainly would be an anxious fan and reader.

Tony in Venice

ps. The Photo of instrumentation seems to include a 6 oz can of WD-40, I typically use Cramolin but will resort to WD-40 to help achieve a short term 'good electrical connection'.

Ortofan's picture

... HR has already volunteered his services for the role of "Wire Authority".
https://www.stereophile.com/content/gramophone-dreams-33-interconnects-loudspeaker-cables

Perhaps, RS would be willing to serve as 'Wire Authority in training'?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I didn't know RS was training on 'high-wire' :-) .......

tonykaz's picture

Yeeeeeeeeessssss.... HR did sort-of promise some sort-of wire reporting. ( and Tube rolling, I think )

I'm holding out some Hope that Mr.RS could achieve real Status as: our Wire King of the Frozen North, an Authority, perhaps even a leading authority. I wonder if he feels like I'm dragging him into our crazy world of readership chaos and rough commentary resulting in endless pain and suffering? Lets hope not.

Wire is an exciting world of discovery, a tiny bit controversial and confrontational, it's like discovering the World is round in 1500s .

We need journalism explaining wire's many hidden secrets.

Tony in Venice

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Audiophiles are used to 'endless pain and suffering' :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

Red Book is the easy remedy to Audiophile agonies.

RedBook > Schiit > Active Genelec Pro-Audio Loudspeakers is a smooth pathway to Nirvana.

Let the healing begin. Vinyl is the 600 lb. Gorilla sitting in the middle of the Living room that defines Audiophiledom.

Tony in Venice

rschryer's picture

...that in my new position as Technical Editor of Stereophile I won't have the time to review cables. JA1 was canned from his duties yesterday for placing bets on the outcome of his workbench measurements, à la Pete Rose.

Now if I can just figure out what all those stupid lines on the screen mean...

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Those lines represent seismic activity for monitoring earthquakes :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Fig.12 through Fig.19 represent EEG of somebody listening to Rap/Hip-Hop music :-) .......

tonykaz's picture

It won't be necessarily necessary, will it?

All those little numbers are holdovers from the Japanese Reciever Distortion Wars.

As long as Audiophiles have listening rooms with ambient noise levels in the 55 dba range it will be difficult to correlate measured performance/perceived performance and/or reviewed recommended performance.

Besides:

Measured performance triggers neurotic/psychotic episodes in existing owners and hesitant buying decisioning for prospective buyers.

Needs:

No.1) Value for Money measurement calculation should be one of the top indexes of Audio Gear. i.e. Schiit Ascgard2 for $250 should have a Value for Money rating of AAA+ since it's a Class A amplification and can drive most any headphone and is also a very nice Preamplifier.

No.2) Amplifiers and Loudspeakers should be properly rated for the Room Sizes they can fill. Audio Sound is simply pressure, amps and loudspeakers are pressure transducers. Can a room be properly pressurised?, or is the system a listening seat only ( bite bar as in those early Quad57s ). The clumsy reviewer attempt is to suggest Imaging abilities, which suggests the system has some sort of single listener narrowness as an important trait rather than a deficiency. A great music system is room filling like a Grand Piano.

No.3) If a 21st Century attempt at measurements is to be properly made, we need include the dopamine release data because the most important reason for enjoying music is the dopamine release. Little babies get the dancing thrill from casual hearing of music. Lets include the critically important Dopamine Index, please.

Bon Vivant

Tony in Venice

AJ's picture

Whoa Tony. Only if measured with maybe a Rat Shack meter or they live atop a sawmill ;-).
A broadband measurement would yield something quite different, especially in the ears most critical range.

Btw, did you know that the Hawksford nonsense cited above was completely debunked by jneutron (John E at Brookhaven National Labs)?

https://www.audioasylum.com/forums/prophead/messages//4367.html

Myths tend to be persistent...for those who believe.

cheers
AJ
Soundfield

tonykaz's picture

Are we discussing cylindrical waveguides ? I'm not.

I've owned sensitive Sound Pressure measuring instruments for my Automotive Industrial work. I've used those tools to measure listening rooms, acoustically treated rooms, semi-anechoic chambers and anechoic chambers, all of it real world stuff.

I'm trying to point out that everyday folks are living in high-noise environments.

Tony in Venice

AJ's picture

Nope. Strange you would ask.

55 dba 60 Hz ok, no prob, quite reasonable. 55 dba 2 kHz?? Whoa.
Kapish?

tonykaz's picture

I referred to your "Propeller Head Plaza" Article.

55 dba @ 60Hz. well, ok.

The rest of the ambient frequency range also contains levels including harmonics.

We would typically use Bruel & Kjaer sound and vibration measurement gear, full range Sweeps. I'm referring to gear who's cost is far beyond what any Audio Manufacturer or Sales outfit would ever own.

I happen to have had access to these research instruments because I was the Purchasing Agent that ordered them and I have an engineering background in Noise Vibration Harshness ( NVH ) workings. NVH is an important group of data in Automotive design and manufacturing.

From here on, I will not go into measurement practices or methodologies. I recognise that listening rooms all have sonic signatures that effect & affect audio gear performance envelopes.

Tony in Venice

AJ's picture

Ah, yes, that debunked the central theme of this article. Ok, two totally separate things, not room noise related.
The fact of the matter is, if I came to your room in Venice and measured, it would be rather extraordinary to see 55 dbA at 2 kHz.
And no we don't need auto industry gear. The same type of mic setup JA uses for speakers, or even a smart phone with calibrated mic would be sufficient.

cheers,

AJ
Soundfield

tonykaz's picture

I'm attempting to suggest the comparative significant relationship of detailed Measurements of Amplifiers to real world environments.

People's brains erase ambient sounds to the point of no longer noticing them, even when the ambient sounds are significant. Brains seem like powerful tools !

I appreciate the detailed measurements of our John Atkinson and Tyll Herston, they help to understand the usefulness of a device.

Yet, we audiophiles, ourselves, are sensitive measurement instrumentation with brains calibrated to normalize ( for lack of a better word ) our daily environments. We all hear and judge against our widely varying environments.

My realized difficulty is that the typical Citizen lives and enjoys MP3 & Bose Loudspeaker Quality levels, while I endlessly chase better sounding Audio Gear. I feel like an addict chasing a better high.

Tony in Venice

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
As long as Audiophiles have listening rooms with ambient noise levels in the 55 dba range it will be difficult to correlate measured performance/perceived performance and/or reviewed recommended performance.

You can find the spectrum of the background noise in my listening room at www.stereophile.com/content/john-atkinsons-listen-room-noise-level. Yes, my room is quiet.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

tonykaz's picture

Thank you for the reveal.

My own rooms are similarly quiet and non-reflective.

I've always admired your curious analytical approach to understanding and explaining.

Tony in Venice

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Building 87, Washington state, USA ...... Microsoft building, is the quietest place on Earth ....... According to Guinness book of world records :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

These low levels can be useful for instrument measurement but I ( personally ) can't cope as the ambient level drops below 30ish dbA range. My brain reacts to sound, not the absence of sound.

For my purposes, I'm playing music with a realistic dynamic max range of 60db, hoping for a 100dbA peak playback level.

Naturally quiet listening rooms provide a pleasant atmospheric experience.

Tony in Venice

Bogolu Haranath's picture

In that building 87, probably SPL of 'Brownian motion' can be recorded :-) .......

tonykaz's picture

One of my Companys was named Esoteric Audio.

Brownian motion sound is way more esoteric that I can cope with.

Are air molecule collisions all that important to y'all???

Tony in Venice

ps. I need my ambient air molecules colliding properly, despite the sounds they make, they keep me from my long awaited dirt nap.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be 'Da'at' .... nap :-) .......

AJ's picture

...and non-reflective.

Ouch. Dedicated MCH I hope..

tonykaz's picture

what is MCH?

Tony in Venice

AJ's picture

Multi CHannel. The thing Kal Rubinson occasionally reviews.
And rarer JA
https://www.stereophile.com/content/wheres-real-magazine-we-see-it-february-2001

Wow, you are a stereophile ;-)

rschryer's picture

A stereophile is anyone who loves stereo.

Being a stereophile does not mean one can't also love other things, such as MCH or Mono.

I'm guessing you're a stereophile too, AJ. ;-)

AJ's picture

Well, my experience mirrors the reaction to the linked JA article.
Stereophiles abhor MCH, heretical. Movies, maybe, music no way. A quick peruse of any audiophile aka stereophile forum will confirm this.

Quote:

I'm guessing you're a stereophile too, AJ. ;-)

No sir. My pursuit is to make chicken salad of it.

cheers,
AJ
Soundfield

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Stereophiles have 2 ears ..... MCH people have 5.1 ears ....... People who listen to Dolby Atmos for example have 7.2.4 ears ...... That is the difference :-) .......

tonykaz's picture

I'm a 2 Channel owner, mostly because 2-Channel is the prevalent format.

I could easily be a MonoCH except there isn't any Mono any longer.

I love a room full of Sound.

Stereo seems like a fuller room full of sound than Mono.

Of all the things I'm doing, I'm not sitting down listening to a wide and clearly defined soundstage. Soundstage guys are far more obsessed than I could ever be.

I do enjoy a nice mood-altering piece of exciting music.

Tony in Venice

ps. MCH seems like it could be either/both Multi-channel and Mono-channel. Hmm.

ps.2). I wish my BBQ would have only one full burner instead of multiple burners.

AJ's picture
Quote:

I love a room full of Sound.

Stereo seems like a fuller room full of sound than Mono.

Of all the things I'm doing, I'm not sitting down listening to a wide and clearly defined soundstage. Soundstage guys are far more obsessed than I could ever be.

Then I find it even more difficult to reconcile your "non-reflective" room statement.
Ah well. Yes, your point about 2ch material being the most prevalent coincides with JA's article I linked previously.
That makes zero difference regarding channel count required for realism.

cheers,

AJ
Soundfield Audio

tonykaz's picture

you might be right.

I and my family discovered the improved quality of life from non reflective walls and surfaces. Everyday conversations are easier, book reading improves, etc... We've been working on this since 1980ish. Even the rare 'screaming' episodes are manageable without having to call the trigger happy 5 O people.

On realism, I'm not at all chasing it. I like wonderful sounds floating thru my residential Aether, it creates a pleasant anaesthetic environment. I keep adding ***** five Star music to my random playlist, I have thousands of these Songs that float along creating a 'mild' dopamine infused Incubator for fading-out Industrialists. Control for the dopamine level is the Volume knob. I'm like an Anaesthesiologist.

I should say that I began life with a singing mother that kept singing canaries, our little home was a wonderful sounds Odyssey.

Overall, I'm pretty much along the lines of Mr.Kalman Rubinson & Round 5.1 or 7.1 except that I'm happy with Mono or 2ch., I like the immersed feeling. I am particularly addicted to sitting in close to a live String Quartet as they electrify my nervous system like the most powerful & survivable forces in Nature. ( it's like being in the engine room of a working Tug-boat ; throbbing power )

Reading Stereophile is itself an Odyssey, all these interesting people going deep into the various facets of reproduced music gear and philosophies . ( Mr.Austin calls it a Big Tent ) It's like Gourmand Audio Journalism, an endless stream of beautiful offerings to sample.

Tony in Venice

ps. conspicuously missing are the "Reports from the Wilds" from Mr.Tyll. Mr.Herstens is one of the Greats in Audio Journalism, the World needs his insights .

Bogolu Haranath's picture

JA1's listening room has better SNR than some tube amps :-) .......

tonykaz's picture

which tube amps ?

Tony in Venice

Bogolu Haranath's picture

One example ...... Take a look at BorderPatrol tube amp ...... Fig.13, measurements ....... Also, Fig.12 :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

If a pin drops in the symphony hall where the recording is made, JA1 can hear it in his listening room :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

'Curious, analytical approach to understanding and explaining' ........ JA1 is like Sherlock Holmes ..... 'Elementary Dr. Watson' :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

I lived in England in the 1980s and can recall HFN&RR as the finest of all the Audio Journals in Print. So much so that I exported bundles of each issue to Sell on a Subscription basis ( I think for $27.50 ). I was then B &. K Imports and was selling subscriptions ( with the help of Laura Lovechio of Audio Mag. classifieds ) without any knowledge of HFN&RR, it's publisher and without any sort of proper/formal agreement. I just did it. I was a Grey Importer. I didn't realise or care that our JA was part of the publication. I only casually met Mr.JA at a 21st Century Audio Show, he didn't know me and was at that time quite busy with Show Related things. ( he did have the dam cleverest little A&K player that inspired me ).

Mr.JA's integrity gave our Hobby a legitimacy that seemed missing from most other Ad Content Publications. Even so, I miss the beautiful Adverts the Brits create, that HFN&RR had in Fold-Outs. ( i.e. Finding a Great High-Fi is like finding a Needle in a Haystack ).

Funny thing is that JA could've landed at Rolling Stone or any one of many technical Journals. Stereophile must've been a nice place to call home.

Tony in Venice

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Good thing, JA1 did not go into politics ..... Who knows JA1 could be the PM of UK :-) ......

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
Mr.JA's integrity gave our Hobby a legitimacy that seemed missing from most other Ad Content Publications. . .

Thank you, Tony. I learned my craft working with the late John Crabbe. See www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/communities/index.html. Money quote from that rememberance: "If you tell the truth about components you review, there will always be a small percentage of companies at any one time who are not advertising in your pages. But if you publish the truth, you will have a good magazine. And if you have a good magazine, you will have readers. And as long as you have readers, disgruntled advertisers will eventually return. But if you don't tell the truth, you won't have a good magazine. And if you don't have a good magazine, you won't have readers, at least not for long. And if you don't have readers, you won't have advertisers."

tonykaz wrote:
Funny thing is that JA could've landed at Rolling Stone or any one of many technical Journals. Stereophile must've been a nice place to call home.

Yes it was. Here's a link to the very first As We See It I wrote after arriving in New Mexico: www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/352/index.html.

John Atkinson
Editor, Hi-Fi News, 1982-1986
Editor, Stereophile, 1986-2019
Technical Editor, Stereophile, 2019 onward

tonykaz's picture

I wish that we all could have had useful mentoring, it would've changed everything in our world.

I'd like to work on any Elon Musk project, where would be the limits?, not even the sky!

Tony in Venice

ps. we are in for one hell-of-an-"onward".

AJ's picture

Wow. Indeed.
Then again, it's probably not a humid 90+ outside...

John Atkinson's picture
rschryer wrote:
JA1 was canned from his duties yesterday for placing bets on the outcome of his workbench measurements, à la Pete Rose.

Well at least you didn't compare me with Bill Buckner!

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Bogolu Haranath's picture

At least RS did not compare JA1 to John Gochnaur :-) ........

rschryer's picture

Wiki: "Along with holding the distinction of being the last major leaguer to commit ninety errors in a season, Gochnaur holds the record for most at bats without a home run by a player with a career batting average below .200."

Boy, he stunk.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I think JA1 is more like Babe Ruth :-) .......

Jim Austin's picture

... that I've started taking audiophile-editor steroids. Watch out, JA1. Your record isn't safe! :-)

Jim Austin, Editor
Stereophile

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Hope JA1 did not put any 'Curse of the Bambino' on that editor's chair :-) .......

Jim Austin's picture

Go, Red Sox!

(Not actually a huge fan--just lived in New England for 20 years and so rooted for the Red Sox vs the Yankees. Still, that Buckner play gives me nightmares, even though it was long before I moved to New England. I'm more a Yankee-hater, actually, plus Atlanta Braves fan. I'm a southern boy.)

Jim Austin, Editor
Stereophile

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Braves are the oldest baseball team, started in 1871 ....... Braves great Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record ...... Elton John is part owner of Atlanta Braves :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

RS did not compare JA1 to William Lee Bergstrom, either :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

Buckner was a Super-Star that played in 4 Decades of Major League Baseball.

Tony in Venice

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
Buckner was a Super-Star that played in 4 Decades of Major League Baseball.

Yes indeed, though with increasing health issues. I just can't forget the Mets' Mookie Wilson hitting the game-winning ball through Red Sox first baseman Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpyJjecJnuI

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

tonykaz's picture

Phew.

Mookie seemed to be a "Hot" bat, electrically-alert team-catalyst.

Poor Buckner looked "outa-gas", just like I sometimes feel.

Baseball has its unforgettable and relivabe moments for those of us willing to let go of our problems, to be fascinated with spectacle.

The YouTube video is well worth watching, thanks.

Tony in Venice lock down ( again )

maelob's picture

100$ a meter! lol how about now 10k or 20k or even 50k a meter - I wonder how much better they sound

AJ's picture

...unless you have some sciency looking measurements ;-)

X