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Stephen Mejias
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American Spirit?

In the "Made In China" thread, EricArjes wrote:

Quote:

If I have a bias, it's mainly because I do not like the thought of my audio gear made by way of exploitation of any kind, and I do like the thought of it made with a lot of "spirit" behind it.


That's interesting. I was reading about the US soccer team yesterday, and US midfielder Landon Donovan was quoted as saying something like, "We may not have the technical skill of some of the other teams, but we've got American spirit, and that goes a long way."

And I wondered: Is there still such a thing as American spirit, and, if so, what is it exactly?

What audio components best embody "American spirit," and how?

michaelavorgna
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Re: American Spirit?

I'd offer the Fi X by Don Garber. Made in Brooklyn by hand by Don to order. Idiosyncratic, straight-forward and loaded with pride.

smejias
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Re: American Spirit?

I don't even know how I continue to live without one of those.

michaelavorgna
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Re: American Spirit?

And while we're in Brooklyn, how about DeVore Fidelity? Hand made in the Brooklyn Navy Yard by music loving musicians who also happen to be nice guys with great taste in beer and music (I may be biased).

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Re: American Spirit?

One more - Rogue Audio (how's that for American spirit), made in PA by a motorcycle racing, ex-sparing partner of Leon Spinks who digs Nick Cave.

smejias
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Re: American Spirit?

You read my mind with the last two, DeVore Fidelity and Rogue Audio.

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Re: American Spirit?

Americans do have a shared belief that they can do and solve anything. The BP oil spill is thus very hard on the US psyche - we don't know how to solve it and currently can't.

I don't know how this translates to audio. There are many excellent, passionate designers and manufacturers in this country. But it is elsewhere as well - including Europe and Asia.

There are uncreative, bored designers/manufacturers here as well. Consider the re-packaging of the Oppo by Levinson. Only passion here is for money.

Buddha
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Re: American Spirit?


Quote:
I don't even know how I continue to live without one of those.

Now THAT is American Spirit!

michaelavorgna
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Re: American Spirit?

Or...I read your blog ;-)

smejias
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Re: American Spirit?


Quote:
Or...I read your blog ;-)


My mind, my blog...Pretty much the same thing.

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Re: American Spirit?

Manley Labs gets a nod for "American Spirit" as well, I think. Great call on Devore Audio and Rogue for feeling American.

America has traditionally had a can-do attitude about life. I think America has done some laurel resting as of late but I think an "American Spirit" is alive and well.

Look at the way we celebrated Sully Sulenberger. It had been a long time since we had seen something as gloriously competent as what he did when he landed that plane in the Hudson (I was blocks away at the time BTW.) Hearing the news reports of his exploits made me proud to be an American and proud to be a person who could stand and salute him.

The real problem is that America no longer celebrates or glorifies the ideals of working hard and creating something of real value the way we used to. We also seem to prize overnight success in lieu of a long-sustained career. If we could get back to promoting and embodying the ideal of pride in hard work without political trappings from the Left and the Right, I think we could do a great deal to get this country back on track.

One of the things I love about High End Audio is that people with real talent and real passion have a place offer their efforts up for others to purchase and enjoy. If we could do a better job articulating to the world that High End audio is about care and competency instead of crazy high priced gear, we might actually have an effect on the greater culture.

End of Sermon. You may open your hymnal to page 344.

smejias
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Re: American Spirit?

Amen, brother.

dbowker
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Re: American Spirit?

I'd put in the Spica TC-50s, though gone but true engineering and US made quality. Well-Tempered Turntables even more so, though they real stopped being a real company a while back and only keep producing them as a side project of another company.

Buddha
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Re: American Spirit?

Right now, it's seems the Chinese really have alot of American spirit!

dbowker
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Re: American Spirit?

If we get our asses beat by everyone who took our ideas and ran with them, well, you can at least take comfort that our system works! For better or worse, we're going to be in the same spot the Brits found themselves earlier in the 20th Century: still a great country, still strong and worth looking to, but no longer the Empire it once was. All the manic wing-nut kicking and screaming we're seeing is just a certain part of the populations collective denial. It ain't pretty, and it sure isn't going to help us man up and cope.

Every time we have the fringe whip up the masses and start waving flags and screaming America the Great, the Chinese and Indians must get a little chuckle: "Hey Yankees, keep yelling louder and fight more about your rights to everything quick and easy- and for God's sake don't pay attention to the joke your public educational system has become. Keep having your kids think Paris Hilton is a role model and being rich and famous at any cost is the way to happiness. Don't look at the income disparity your country has widened in the last 30 years! Please don't actually start to innovate and reform your labor practices. And definitely don't start to work together and solve anything!"

There is no reason AT ALL we should not still be teaching them something new 50 years from now, but right now we are like a rich neighbor in a poor town leaving their doors open and going on vacation for 20 years. You can beat your chest all you want while you're away, but it won't keep your house from being cleaned out in the meantime. Right now, the wingnuts we see are the same people who in the 30s and early 40s who said Europe and the Nazis were none of our concern. A big swath of right-wingers back then (like Henry Ford who admired Hitler and opposed getting into the war even after Pearl Harbor) That Japan was a backward country of country rice growers and that our navy was still a mighty fleet. Imagine if you will what would have happened if those people had wrested control of congress or the presidency and kept us out because of their own warped view of reality.

And yet today we have the same fringe declaring it's time to "take back America", close the Fed, end Social Security, close the dept. of education and energy. Meanwhile they blame everyone in the world for our problems, all the while denying the most serious problems even exist! The cynic in me says- "Go ahead: elect the wack-job candidate of your choice, who has zero experience or understanding of the world outside their backyard. Go ahead- you deserve what you choose." I guess the better part in me wants more for our country, even if evidence suggest we don't always deserve it.

rvance
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Re: American Spirit?

...up in smoke.

Satch
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Re: American Spirit?

To quote you, Doug, ""Go ahead: elect the wack-job candidate of your choice, who has zero experience or understanding of the world outside their backyard. Go ahead- you deserve what you choose." I guess the better part in me wants more for our country, even if evidence suggest we don't always deserve it. "

You've got an error in tense. What you suggest has already been done in spades, and each day provides additional evidence in support of that fact.

Are you unaware of it or do you believe there is some value inherent in denying it ? Either way, you're truly amazing.

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Re: American Spirits?

I can't believe that nobody has put up a shot of JD yet.

More to the OP, it's telling that nobody has mentioned a front-line researcher in DSP, perception, physics, psychophysics, acoustics, transducer design, etc, here.

It's part of the whole teabaggers "we haz no eddicashun and we wanz no brainz" bit, and it's one that's been adopted by both parties in the last 50 years.

Most popular US toy says "Math is hard".

What do we see in "high end audio"? A bunch of stuff and nonsense, citations to papers with egregious, obvious mistakes in them, character assassination, personality cults, and once in a GREAT while, discussion of actual, by damn music.

But mostly it looks like a bunch of kindergardners at the teabag woowoo acadamy having a bad recess.

rvance
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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
But mostly it looks like a bunch of kindergardners at the teabag woowoo acadamy having a bad recess.

If more atheist, science types went to Catholic school they would at least have learned their own language! My math is fine. I count two spelling mistakes in one sentence. Which isn't really a crime, but you brought up "eddicashun."

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Re: American Spirit?


Quote:
What you suggest has already been done in spades...

Oh man, you're not playing the race card now, huh?

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Re: American Spirit?

When American industry stops out sourcing jobs to other countries just to save a buck, when American industry stops hiring illegals then claiming they "didn't know" they were illegals when they get caught, when American industry stops finding loopholes in the tax system so they end up paying ZERO taxes each year, when American industry gives a damn about their employees instead of the money chase, when American industry stops polluting their own country, when American industry takes responsibility for their mistakes instead of asking for tax payers "bail outs", etc.........THEN we might have a chance at being great again.
As far as audio goes, when manufacturers stop being money grubbing jerks and stop making "tweaks" that have no objective proof of doing anything at all other than fleecing gullible rich people out of their money and chasing off the educated who know better,THEN perhaps high end audio can bring back the crowds and younger people and save it's own ass.
I don't see any of the above happening in my lifetime.

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:

What do we see in "high end audio"? A bunch of stuff and nonsense, citations to papers with egregious, obvious mistakes in them, character assassination, personality cults, and once in a GREAT while, discussion of actual, by damn music.

Not to mention those so called Americans who are into compressing the music signal.

Traitors.

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
Not to mention those so called Americans who are into compressing the music signal.

Traitors.

Wow, I'll tell Bob Orban how deeply you feel about that!

Note to "rvance", congratulations, I'm dyslexic and you're not. Congratulations!

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
Note to "rvance", congratulations, I'm dyslexic and you're not. Congratulations!

Oh, you've got dailysex and I'm supposed to feel you for bad??

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
........
More to the OP, it's telling that nobody has mentioned a front-line researcher in DSP, perception, physics, psychophysics, acoustics, transducer design, etc, here.

It's part of the whole teabaggers "we haz no eddicashun and we wanz no brainz" bit, and it's one that's been adopted by both parties in the last 50 years.

Most popular US toy says "Math is hard".

What do we see in "high end audio"? A bunch of stuff and nonsense, citations to papers with egregious, obvious mistakes in them, character assassination, personality cults, and once in a GREAT while, discussion of actual, by damn music.

But mostly it looks like a bunch of kindergardners at the teabag woowoo acadamy having a bad recess.

Good point at the beginning, I think most are concentrating on audio manufacturers not specific people, but you are right that it would be good to name a few so who do you feel currently has the American Spirit?
I can think of a few from Harman group myself as an example.

The second half of the post though is a bit unfair.
I would also consider Nelson Pass to have the American Spirit, but then by your general latter statement it does not offer much in the way of flexibility.

Cheers
Orb

michaelavorgna
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Re: American Spirit?

I would definitely add Nelson Pass (and Manley Labs) to the list and in terms of a specific component, have always liked the original Aleph 3. It has that 'don't tread on me' vibe.

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Re: American Spirit?

I'm pretty sure I DID say all that was happening- but if you want to say problems that have taken 10-30 years to create are all Obama's fault, well, what can I say?

Back on topic:

I'd like to add Henry Kloss as a real American audio innovator. He never claimed to make high-end stuff, but his various lines over the years really gave incredible bang for your buck!

Of course, most of the biggest technical innovations we use today started here as well. Silicon Valley, Redmond; the entire micro processor revolution started on our shores. We still rank high on the list for a business friendly technically open system with minimal corruption and moderate population growth. All things that still give us an edge for a while. It'd be a real shame to waste that edge...

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:

Quote:
Not to mention those so called Americans who are into compressing the music signal.

Traitors.

Wow, I'll tell Bob Orban how deeply you feel about that!

God, maybe he'll talk some sense into you.

Bob actually likes music.

Seems you are confused about the "virutes" of compressed music signals. It is not something to be sought, man! Bob has worked to increase sampling rates, if you care to check his history.

J_J....compression is for grapes, not wine!

Put down the compression algorithm and step away from the Hi Fi...

Elk
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Re: American Spirit?


Quote:
I'd like to add Henry Kloss as a real American audio innovator.


Great example.

Bob carver - incredibly creativity, whether you like his stuff or not.

Same with Amar Bose.

Jim Winey of Magnepan.

Dennis Had of Cary

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
Put down the compression algorithm and step away from the Hi Fi...

Oddly, my "hi fi" (which people here would sneer at because I had the effrontry to design and build rather a lot of parts of it, and which uses zip cord and Home Despot interconnects, and has no bowls, clocks, circles and arrows, or paragraphs on the back of each one, 'splain...) has no "compression" in it other than in the venerable cassette deck, which I ought to turn on and see if it still works (hmm), which has Dolby B/C in it.

Interestingly, people invited to have a listen tend to hog the listening seat and be hard to pry loose. I have to use a good glass of wine to get them to get up so I can get my seat back.

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:

Oddly, my "hi fi"...has no "compression" in it..."

Right.

Unlimited headroom, eh?

No digital source other than hi rez? You know, according to some, you probably couldn't hear the damage those compressionistas do to your signal, anyway!

No radio?

Don't use your own products?

Good for you, no compression.

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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
Oddly, my "hi fi" (which people here wound sneer at because I had the effrontry to design and build rather a lot of parts of it, . . .


The horrors!

j_j
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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:

Right.

Unlimited headroom, eh?


Not quite, but I have to use a 15' ladder to change the lamps in the chandelier, and that still hangs some 10' below the exposed post-and-beam ceiling.

Quote:

No digital source other than hi rez?

No hi-Rez. Just old "low-Rez" CD and even lower-Rez vinyl, along with a rather stagnant old cassette. Don't even have an FM tuner attached, nor does my computer talk to my "hi fi" at all.

It's funny, even with those old "low-rez" CD's, I have to lure people out of the center seat with a glass of wine or a cinnamon roll.

Buddha
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Re: American Spirits?

CD's?

I figured you to be more of an 8 bit guy.

Not MP3's?

Seems you're wasting alot of bandwidth.

j_j
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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
I figured you to be more of an 8 bit guy.


That bytes!

Quote:

Not MP3's?

Seems you're wasting alot of bandwidth.

No, no, but if you play drums (yeah, I knew it, you HAD to be a drummer) we could start a band:

'MuLaw and the 8 bits'

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Re: American Spirits?

I am used to G.711 PCM, is it not technically 14bit companding using 8-bit code words?

So could say getting a bit more than just the 8 bits, not much but all helps I would say

Cheers
Orb

j_j
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Re: American Spirits?


Quote:
I am used to G.711 PCM, is it not technically 14bit companding using 8-bit code words?

So could say getting a bit more than just the 8 bits, not much but all helps I would say

Cheers
Orb

Strictly speaking, there is 5 bit resolution (the mantissa) spread over a 14 bit dynamic range, with a total of 8 bits/sample of information.

uLaw and aLaw are both kinda-sorta floating point.

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