Dianne Best Personal Web Page 2018

Hi Fi Audio

I have a confession to make: I am an Audiophile!

My first employment was in a TV & radio store with a boss who was VERY much into classical music and the absolute BEST in audio equipment. I learned to appreciate classical music and also learned to be discerning about audio quality - having extraordinary hearing helped!

Shortly after leaving home I was working on the service bench for a high-end audio shop owned by a very large electronic wholesaler in London (Ontario). I had the privilege of working on "the best of the best" on a Marantz professional test bench servicing and testing top-of-the-line equipment from all over the world - Marantz, McIntosh, Brown.

 Working at The Audio Shop I had access to the best equipment at wholesale+10% so I went through their entire inventory and picked out the BEST economical receiver/amplifier with the best specifications (as tested on my bench). I had found that the Concord CR-260 receiver/amplifier met or exceeded the specifications of all other "lesser equipment"and was in the same league with
"the best of the best" (aside from being only 10 Watts per channel as opposed to 100 Watts or more in the equipment that was 10X the price).

With the help of a woodworker friend, I built a pair of 8 cubic foot 3-way speakers made of 3/4" plywood and equipped with the best of components including Philips 15" woofers, Philips dome tweeters (AD7080), and Philips (AD7080) 7" midrange speakers.

I also purchased a high-end turntable  - the quirks of buying at wholesale+10% LOL! I also got a cartridge and needle through a manufacturers promotion - a $200 retail value for $50.

I dragged that system with me from London to Ottawa, to Montreal, and finally to Manitoba. I added a CD player when they first came out in the 1980s. They were EXPENSIVE at first and I no longer had the ability to buy at wholesale+10% :( but the sound quality was superb!

 Later I added a reel-to-reel tape deck. Reel-to-reel tape was the absolute BEST quality sound in the early days of Hi Fi but decks were EXPENSIVE and that's why I didn't add a reel-to-reel until I had a chance to pick one up second hand.

Somehow over the next 20-odd years I drifted away from the room-filling high fidelity system - probably since so much music became available in downloadable digital format and it was just so much more convenient to listen to it on the PC monitors.

In the fall of 2018 something inspired me to dust off the old receiver/amplifier and see if it still worked - it DID! So did the CD player.
The first thing that struck me was the quality of the sound (after listening to MP3 files for so many years)! Full range sound form 20 Hz to 20 kHz is SO different!

I sat there listening to Paganini played by Menuhin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and realizing how much I have missed this kind of sound.
If there is a Heaven, it must be continuous music like this!

That got me wondering about the current state of the arts in the light of the advancement in computers and digital technology and sure enough high fidelity HAD advanced!

CD audio is sampled in 16 bits (resolution) format and at a sample rate of 44.1 KHz, which was excellent 25 years ago but there are newer digital-to-analogue converts with up to 50% better resolution and twice the sample rate.  The higher resolution and sample rate allows an even better and more accurate reconstruction of the sound waves.

Another improvement in the music business that is good for the listeners, the producers, and the home audiophile is the fact that a number of vendors are offering music downloads AT A PRICE with the musicians getting a proper share (unlike the  days of MP3 file sharing). Some  vendors offer digital recordings taken from the original studio master recordings.

After downloading a few Hi-Res music files, I tried playing them from my PC to the HiFi and found the improvement in sound quality to be STRIKING! Unaltered by record labels 'downgrading' the quality to fit CD format and not "playing with the recording" to  appeal to the masses, I found some of these offerings to be far superior to anything I heard on a CD!

Without going over $100 I found a good DAC (digital to analogue converter) to work with the new Hi Fi files.

I am looking forward to hearing how all this comes together!!!

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