Quarter Notes #2 (Volume 1, Issue 2)

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Dear Get Better Sound readers,

Welcome to the second issue of Quarter Notes!

Quarter Notes is a quarterly newsletter for Get Better Sound readers, expanding on the Get Better Sound manual, as well as introducing new and timely subjects. From time-to-time, we may have a guest writer on a special topic.

For this issue, we have Srajan Ebaen, Editor and Publisher of the audio website 6moons.com. Jeff Dorgay, Editor and Publisher of TONEAudio, is scheduled for Issue #3.

For what it’s worth, I must say that these two audio websites seem to have a lock on interesting design, clean layout and good photography. Their articles on audio and music are always among the most informative.

We also feature answers to the many questions I receive. In fact, send me an e-mail and I may include your question or comments in an upcoming newsletter.

Best e-mail address

Since you’re reading this, the e-mail address that I used to notify you must have worked. However, the only e-mail address I have is the one associated with your initial Get Better Sound order.

If you have an e-mail address that you’d prefer to use to receive Quarter Notes notifications, send it to js@getbettersound.com. Be sure to list the month of purchase (if possible), and definitely include the address I used originally along with the one that you want to use to replace it.

A question about CD technology

We’ve all seen the digital progress in other technologies. The growth has been explosive.

Just think of the exponential growth in computer chip speed. A good example might be the personal computer (PC). Did you have one in 1982? Did your business have a desktop computer in 1980?

Today’s PCs are phenomenal, and that’s without comparing them to what we had in the early 80s.

In 1982, with the introduction of the CD. Sony promised us Perfect Sound Forever. The CD standard came to be known as Red Book, a book (with a red cover) that contained the specifications for the new digital audio compact disc, specifications that we still use today, almost 30 years later. These specifications were developed in the late 1970s and released in 1980.

So here’s my question. With all of the tremendous advances in digital technology, why are we still living with the CD, which has a digital audio design that predates the PC era?

Bi-wiring, part two

I’ve received more questions about bi-wiring. Frankly, I didn’t think that many people cared about it.

Very few systems take advantage of bi-wiring, and of those that offer it, the results are mixed. Some people think this may have to do with the internal grounding scheme of the loudspeaker.

The topic has been covered fairly well by others, and when that's the case, if I don't have anything significantly useful to add, I usually don't cover it.

This article (of many available) is pretty good and addresses the needs and potential benefits from bi-wiring: http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/cables/messages/4953.html

However, there are many who think that bi-wiring isn't particularly helpful. I think that this is the group who have loudspeakers that have separate terminals, but are not completely isolated (i.e., ground, etc.). It's one of those things that is interesting to try, but has some variables that make the outcome not entirely predictable.

I also do not agree with the notion of using different brands or types of cables, specialized for certain frequencies. My reasons and observations are similar to my recommendation to bi-amplify with similar amps.

From common sense to sixth sense

Srajan Ebaen is the Editor and Publisher of www.6moons.com, one of the most widely read and influential Internet audio/music webzines.

I recently asked him if he had any thoughts/suggestions that he would like to forward to Quarter Notes subscribers. He sent these four observations:

  1. Ikea's (http://www.ikea.com/) bathroom and kitchen department is a great source for stave-fabricated solid wood stands (Molger Series) and butcher block of various sizes and profiles. Someone looking for very affordable component stands could do a lot worse than an array of Molgers side by side or stacked. Butcher block meanwhile can be turned into effective component platforms with the simple addition of various drawer pulls also sold by Ikea. As one of the largest corporations in the world, Ikea's pricing is unbeatable by any of the specialized firms catering to audiophiles.

  2. Water fountains in the listening room (negative ion generators for the more mechanical-minded) will ha