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Ariel Bitran
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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Accusing MF of "total bloviation" about that Furutech subject IS insulting, and I dont need a lesson on how to communicate professionally. Buddha and Divider DO.

I did not say that you needed a lesson in how to communicate professionally. What I'm trying to say is that the nature of these forums is casual, energetic, and often times controversial. Bhudda is one of the most respected members of this forum, recognized for his consistent insight on all things audio and life and his dry dry dry sarcasm. His posts and the questions he raises, just like this one, have always been an EXCELLENT contribution to our forums. I can say the same for SelfDivider.

If you want the facts, look in the monthly Stereophile book. If you want a bunch of loonies who are funny, intelligent, and most of all, look forward to better understanding the hobby, then you're in the right place. Judging by your enthusiasm for the magazine and its writings, you can be a great member as well. This forum can be whatever you want it to be as long as you have arrive with an open mind and a sense of humor.


Quote:
There was no real questioning

SelfDivider asked MF a question:


Quote:
So I started to read the Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" megabox review with keen interest, because I wanted to know if the included LP was good enough of a justification for me to splurge on the box. But, surprise, no mention of how the vinyl sounded at all!!! (Or did I just read the review too quickly?) Just that it's blue & gimmicky, which is an obvious point! Can we get a considered, non-snarky comment on the LP, too, please, since it's a big part of the box that's under review? Thanks.

Again within the spirit of the norms and attitudes of this forum. No ill-will, simply expressing a question and an honest criticism. MF followed up with a great and informative reply.

As I said before, Bhudda is a well-respected member of these forums, and his existence here definitely pre-dates mine (I started working at Stereophile last summer). As you can tell by his number of posts and his year registered, he is a serious forum member. Its an fortunate that MF has reduced him to:


Quote:
whatever his name is here

Bhudda did not start the conversation off politely, but if you've read almost any other post by him, you know to take it with a grain of salt and appreciate that there's still some humor in this hobby. Likewise, MF could have been more professional his response as well. BillB and MrLowry both explain it better than me:

BillB

Quote:
The hostile over-reaction and the ad hominem attack really puts me off whatever else MF has to say here. Buddha knows some audio stuff too, so he's no "doofus". MF, you should have addressed this without shouting and insulting.

MrLowry

Quote:
MF response was completely out of line. Buddha is a member in good standing and he deserved, at the very least a more respectful reply. MF isn't around the forums enough to know who "the regulars" are (unless he reads them and never posts) or what contributions they have made to the community.

Welcome to the forums. I hope you explore other posts and better get to know our community of members.

Ariel Bitran
Stereophile Editorial Intern

ncdrawl
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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There was no real questioning, but a very ugly attack on MF about HIS findings

I believe one of the reasons this forum exists is to provide a liaison between the readers and the contributors.. I see nothing wrong with how Buddha responded. If MF is going to contribute to a publication with a large subscriber base, he should accept that not everyone is going to take what he says at face value. So what if the words were pointed a bit? The response wasnt an attack on Fremer the man, you see.


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My skin is tough, I can handle anyone in this forum, and still walk away satified I acted like an adult.

the adult thing to do would be to stop volleying, repeating yourself. Fremer can defend himself, im sure. hes had plenty of experience, to be sure.

JIMV
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

That was the first response that directly answered the question in the thread...

Elk
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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C) I took a record at random from my shelf (Tom Waits' "Small Change"--recorded live to two track analog by Bones Howe) and recorded it to my hard drive recorder. I then demagnetized the record and recorded it again. I burned a CD-R and brought it to CES last year. Every person who heard the two versions of the same record heard the PROFOUND difference.


Mr. Fremer,

Is it possible for you to post a snippet of each of these files somewhere so that we could hear them? I would appreciate the opportunity to hear for myself what differences there may be between non-treated and treated.

As an aside, I bought an Alesis Masterlink after you reported great success recording with it. It served as my mix-down recorder for a number of years before I recently replaced. The Alesis remains an excellent product, especially for the money. Thanks for the heads-up on this one.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

I do understand your point here. But imagine if you came into the site after browsing casually for years, and then you arrive while Buddha is ripping MF a new one for stating his findings on something. And then MF responds in a way that would only be construed as defending his position. Buddha and Dividers comments to MF and myself WERE rude, and while I can take it, for the casual guy coming in here, coupled with another guy getting banned forever, I would have to say that its the old guard that seems out of line. Now I understand what they were doing, but I also know where MF was coming from from the countless thousands of letters I've read in audio publications over 25 years, and it appeared from the direct language they used against MF that they were goading a fight, nothing less. I will remain optimistic, but keep in mind that I did not use language or insults the way these 2 have done in response to many people's comments, off subject or on.

JIMV
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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Following that Furutech link as Buddha suggests, I learn that Furutech claims to reduce the magnetic field of LP's by about 0.5 milligauss. (This from their statement that their device reduces it from ~625 nanoTeslas to ~575 nanoTeslas.) For comparison, the Earth's magnetic field is around 0.5 gauss, i.e. 1,000 times greater. That field is exerting a small torque on the magnetic parts of the cartridge away from the horizontal, and a small torque pulling those components into a north-south orientation. Evidently even that field is not an issue for record playing, which immediately suggests that a field one thousandth as strong is going to be irrelevant.

But let's give Furutech the benefit of the doubt. Those geomagnetic forces only vary slowly as the record is played (because of the movement of the tone arm with respect to north-south, assuming a pivoted arm), so even if they are at all significant to the behavior of the cartridge, they might be essentially constant and hence insignificant to the cartridge output. But that points up the fact that any effect of the LP's magnetic field on a cartridge would come from *variations* in that field.

It would be interesting to hear from somebody familiar with the engineering of phono cartridges whether an ambient magnetic field variation on the order of a milligauss over a distance of (presumably) some centimeters could possibly be physically significant.

My gut feeling, as a former physicist, is no, which suggests the following experiment: try using the Furutech device without plugging it in. Perhaps it simply flattens the records slightly.

I know nothing of this issue or the science, but, as you suggest...is it not possible that folk are hearing what they claim to hear and are simply misidentifying the cause?

ethanwiner
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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Perhaps I am feeling thin-skinned today, Ethan, but why _wouldn't_ Michael report honestly what he finds?


I'll split the blame with you then.


Quote:
My remit to my writers is for them alway to report what they hear


Right, but now we're talking about hard data, not subjective opinion based on listening only.


Quote:
A comment on the the "demagnetization" measurements: if is due to the randomization of VLF signals as I conjectured in an earlier posting, this is something that will be very difficult to determine due to the enormous FFT lengths required to get sufficient resolution in the presence of signal at these very low frequencies.


If you're talking about changes taking place below 10 Hz, I don't see how that could have any audible effect through real-world loudspeakers and human ears. So a standard 20-20K test should be fine, no?

--Ethan

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

The following is simply a comment on this entire thread:

So DUP is the guy who got banned for causing friction?

linden518
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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You attacked me, hypocrite. Oh, MF called you that already. Must've forgot.. I dont need this site to justify my knowledge of audio reproduction- I've been a subscriber for 25 years to this and many mags. And yes, YOU acted without respect and LOVE to flame. YOUR behavior, not mine. You just can't stand that no-one was addressing you in the first place. It was a reaction to Buddha's emotion responses. I use capitals where their necessary, apparently you don't hear too well. And I'm glad YOU calmed down enough for one civil conversation with MF.. I'm surprised he tolerated your attitude this long... (Oh that's right, he got sick of it yesterday, and called YOU guys the dolts..not me.) Waaaaaaaa....


Based on this post, I'm pretty convinced that you should get back on your medication. Again, MF, even after he posted here, PM'd me to help me sort through what Monk Riverside pressings are worth the time, being as friendly & helpful as you can imagine. And if you actually take the time to read over the posts here or anywhere in this forum for the matter, it'll be as clear as day I've written nothing even close to being accusatory about any of the writers here, let alone MF. So what exactly are you talking about when you say that he called me a hypocrite & called me a dolt? If he did so in some secret post (other than the deranged space inside your head), I dare you to quote him here. Why are you making stuff up now, are you bored or depressed or just crazy? (That's a rhetorical question, big guy.)

Jim Tavegia
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

I have sadly watched this thread and wonder why? MF has certainly shown his acumen on all things vinyl.

Whether I could her the diff is certainly debatable as none of my systems have probably enough resolution to hear it(demag or not), but more it is probably my hearing with most HF gone after 6K for me to be a judge.

I can most assuredly assume that MF with his "Hubbel Telescope" of a system is certainly able to discern much more than I, and that his hearing is in much better condition. (Too many hours on military firing ranges has finally taken its toll.)

Michael knows what he and his friends and listeners heard, but I used to use a Zerostat to get rid of static electricity from my discs, and that I could hear. I don't see how I could ever question his integrity. I have never seen a reason to start now.

linden518
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Sorry, Jim. I'm sure as you're watching this unfold, it feels as though we're acting more childish than some of the most mischievous kids in your class. Makes you feel "kind of blue," no? Hey, at least we're on the topic of the thread, albeit in a different sense!

Glotz
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Right man. Maybe I could borrow some your double-talk blues and your bloviated reds. You know very well that Buddha was the one that started this diatribe over the past 2 days, and I can read all of the bile that you've spewed, not me. All I asked is that everyone use respect in a forum that I have every right to be in, as a music lover, audiophile, and reader of the magazine. You all ganged up on me much the way your other cronies in here have. Your posts have been nothing but bile and scat from your mouth, as well as Buddha's condescending attitude towards findings, responses and just generally feeling an antogonistic atmosphere. Is it that other people should be banned too? I can be as substantive about audio issues as anyone else in this forum and others, and from Robert Harley to Corey Greenberg, I understand the history, science and the art that this all of our passions. Instead of testing reviewers and pushing around noobs with your denigrating talk, ignore me and I'll ignore you.

eaglecook
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

I know some of you will look at my number of posts and lump me in with Glotz, but please hear me out as I have a point of view that I have only seen hinted at here.

I am new to the world of "Audiophiles". I have only started my search for gear after hearing what a great system can sound like at a friends house. As a lover of music and purist at heart, this hobby seems a great fit.

The ideas and concepts of the audiophile world are not new to me. I have flirted with the idea of persuing this hobby before but two things have kept me at bay.

1. Price (no explination nessisary huh?...)

2. Snobbery.

You folks, as a group, have a way of making the rest of us think that you are arrogant, closed minded and exclusive. Simmilar to the image of a "wine snob". Our apparant lack of knowledge keeps us miles behind the likes of you when it comes to the appreciation of music.

So why do I post this? Because the thread was interesting and informative to a pont, but as I read on, egos took over almost all posts. This I would even accept, knowing that there is no "knucklehead filter" for the general public. However, when JA jumped in to defend MF, I realized that this is not just hobbiests shooting off at the mouth. This is the editor of a publication getting involved (saddly making excuses for an appaling lack of professionalism by MF) and basicly lowering the idealisms of truth in sound above all.
I think I should also point out that the editor of a magazine should proof read his posts...First line, second paragraph of the second part of post#53411 (sorry I don't know how to insert quotes...) is missing the word "be".... Not such a big deal, but in the context of this thread, where the argument of checking facts is in question, it makes me wonder how much fact checking is really happening. Afterall, the magazine is going to be loyal to advertising dollars right?... There certainly are enough ads!

Ultimately, I will have to say that I will have to refrain from buying stereophile magazine. I don't feel that I can trust the info. Not so much because of the issue that Buddha raised, but because of the absolutely childish reply and further ranting by MF, and the questionable excuse making by the editor. If this is their attitude on this issue, how do they decide what gear to review, or what rating to give a piece of equipment? Do they use the same "playground" logic? In short,...why should I trust their oppinions?

One last point...

Isn't this hobby suppose to be fun? Aren't we all suppose to understand that it's all about the music?

Lighten up folks, switch to decaf!

eaglecook
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:
Right man. Maybe I could borrow some your double-talk blues and your bloviated reds. You know very well that Buddha was the one that started this diatribe over the past 2 days, and I can read all of the bile that you've spewed, not me. All I asked is that everyone use respect in a forum that I have every right to be in, as a music lover, audiophile, and reader of the magazine. You all ganged up on me much the way your other cronies in here have. Your posts have been nothing but bile and scat from your mouth, as well as Buddha's condescending attitude towards findings, responses and just generally feeling an antogonistic atmosphere. Is it that other people should be banned too? I can be as substantive about audio issues as anyone else in this forum and others, and from Robert Harley to Corey Greenberg, I understand the history, science and the art that this all of our passions. Instead of testing reviewers and pushing around noobs with your denigrating talk, ignore me and I'll ignore you.

Lighten up dude. Nobody is trying to step on your audiophile manhood. Your posts are so angry they hurt my eyes.

At least I figured out the quote thing!

linden518
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

I think you have an insecurity issue. No one asked about your credentials, yet you keep blabbering to no end. Self-absorption is very attractive, Glotz.

Also, it's good to know that you also like to have a self-pity party, saying some people are "ganging up" on you. Wow. Look carefully from the 1st post on, and see what you wrote. Sure, I give you that your reacted strongly to Buddha's post, which you found offensive. I have no qualms with that, and frankly, I thought Buddha came out vs. Fremer way too bluntly, which is kind of uncharacteristic of him. So I won't even fault you for that. But out of nowhere, in a different thread, you attack Ethan by saying he has a dog in his ear?!? That kind of negativity is what I'm reacting to, and that's what Ariel is talking about, as is Tom in the other thread about some new members coming in here with negative energy. Frankly, if I were Ethan, I would've said if I had a dog in my ear then you must have an angry ferret up your ass, but he sidestepped your ad hominem with tact and grace. Obviously in this case, he's a better man than me or you.

Once again, all the posts & threads are here for everyone to see. If nothing else, just look at yourself with clear eyes and mind. And please stop talking about yourself, it's nauseating.

linden518
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Hey, Coffee & Tunes, good to have you here. Stick around. I'm sure we can discuss everything in due time, with civility... believe it or not, less than a year ago, I came into this forum & hobby with the same kind of skepticism about the audiophile community, that they were proverbial 'wine snobs.' The truth is, some of them are, but some of them aren't. I think it's all about finding your niche at your own pace, in the end. Even amongst audiophiles, some people despise other people's audio-thinking. That's why SET people will deride soild state megawatt mono block people sometimes, and why some digitalists will smear vinylistas, ad nauseum. The funny thing is, there's a small but snug space for each of us, as long as we go our own way, but I'm pretty sure you already know that.

Welcome to the forum, dude. One thing that I have to say, though, is JA is pretty clear-eyed about the magazine & how it's run. Even in this month's issue, if you read the footnote for the Musical Fidelity supercharger review, you'll learn that he took a 5 yr moratorium on reviewing any Musical Fidelity gear for the sake of his and the magazine's integrity (you can get details by reading it... I'm forgetting what the issue was, but it was pretty trivial for him to take that scrupulous a step to maintain objectivity and transparency.) On JA's defense of MF: I don't really see what's wrong with that, even if you don't like how it looks. JA is defending MF b/c I assume, obviously, they're good friends. But more importantly, MF is one of his own. I kind of see it as a baseball coach bum-rushing the mound when his #4 hitter gets beaned in the head by the opposing pitcher.

JIMV
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Don't sweat it. This is a very childish thread but most are far better.

rvance
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:
I know some of you will look at my number of posts and lump me in with Glotz, but please hear me out as I have a point of view that I have only seen hinted at here.

I am new to the world of "Audiophiles". I have only started my search for gear after hearing what a great system can sound like at a friends house. As a lover of music and purist at heart, this hobby seems a great fit.

The ideas and concepts of the audiophile world are not new to me. I have flirted with the idea of persuing this hobby before but two things have kept me at bay.

1. Price (no explination nessisary huh?...)

2. Snobbery.

You folks, as a group, have a way of making the rest of us think that you are arrogant, closed minded and exclusive. Simmilar to the image of a "wine snob". Our apparant lack of knowledge keeps us miles behind the likes of you when it comes to the appreciation of music.

So why do I post this? Because the thread was interesting and informative to a pont, but as I read on, egos took over almost all posts. This I would even accept, knowing that there is no "knucklehead filter" for the general public. However, when JA jumped in to defend MF, I realized that this is not just hobbiests shooting off at the mouth. This is the editor of a publication getting involved (saddly making excuses for an appaling lack of professionalism by MF) and basicly lowering the idealisms of truth in sound above all.
I think I should also point out that the editor of a magazine should proof read his posts...First line, second paragraph of the second part of post#53411 (sorry I don't know how to insert quotes...) is missing the word "be".... Not such a big deal, but in the context of this thread, where the argument of checking facts is in question, it makes me wonder how much fact checking is really happening. Afterall, the magazine is going to be loyal to advertising dollars right?... There certainly are enough ads!

Ultimately, I will have to say that I will have to refrain from buying stereophile magazine. I don't feel that I can trust the info. Not so much because of the issue that Buddha raised, but because of the absolutely childish reply and further ranting by MF, and the questionable excuse making by the editor. If this is their attitude on this issue, how do they decide what gear to review, or what rating to give a piece of equipment? Do they use the same "playground" logic? In short,...why should I trust their oppinions?

One last point...

Isn't this hobby suppose to be fun? Aren't we all suppose to understand that it's all about the music?

Lighten up folks, switch to decaf!

JA was overcomme with irrony when you corected his gramarr. Only 2 posts and you broak your spelchecker!

Buddha
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Well.

At this point, I think I would just like to say that I it just goes to show the greatness of "Kind of Blue" that it can generate this degree of passion 50 years on.

Time to ramble...

About the fighting part. I am sorry MF took global umbrage at my umbrage over "demagnetizing" LP's and then everybody else got involved in the umbrage over the umbrage. I started off much too confrontationally. I should have added smiley faces.

In 100% sincerity:

To me, this place is a pub. It's Stereophile's pub for people who like Stereophile. (I don't just "like" Stereophile, I love it. I want there to be passioned discussions and shared ideas.)

So, when I spit my Black and Tan on the bar when MF tossed off about "demagnetizing LP's," it wasn't that I think anything negative about MF. (MF is better than just all right by me. he is one of the only reviewers I ever come across who is willing to listen blind, for crying out loud!) I would have done the same thing if Art Dudley said that the Furutech worked by casting out the poor sounding vinyl demons of conservative fundamentalist political positions.

None of this was meant to be about MF's profound contribution to the hobby, his place in the pantheon of audio, or Glotz' worship thereof.

It was supposed to be two audiophiles saying, "No way!, "Way!"

If you have ever been sitting around a bar table with fellows who you have already chosen to hang with, and someone says something like "demagnetizing LP's," then, by gum, we should be able to do disagree.

I obviously said it in a way that sounded more like "I screwed your wife you bullshit artist" than it did, "I respectfully request permission to voice dissent, sir." When MF posts here, I think of him as a fellow audiophile, not, as Glotz seems to prefer, a visiting member of royalty around whom we must keep to our place.

Never the less, even if MF had been Ethan, I was too iconoclastic.

So, I am honestly sorry I blew things up like that. There was more baggage involved than I meant to unpack...

My bad.

Totally.

(I do admit that, for some reason, I find it amusing that this is the thread that got Glotz to plotz and quit lurking. I hope, over time, he and I can get along and I can civilly illuminate for him the not so subtle differences between dogs and cats.)

Now, is it just me, or has this thread been alot like a Thanksgiving argument at the in-laws?

Cheers and apologies to all except one of you.

rvance
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

In the midst of a Spanish Inquisition you bring grace and humility. How refreshing...and unnerving!

eaglecook
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

SDiver: Thanks for the heads up about JA and the mag. I am glad to hear that they are playing above boards in your book. Reading some of your posts, I have developed a liking for your style. I will see if I can find the back issue of the article you mentioned and take it from there.

I really do want to get into this hobby for the music, That 3 dimentional sound that wraps itself around you and proves to you that the world of music and musical energy is ALIVE! Can you remember when you started? It's so overwhelming. So many people telling me that they have the one piece of gear I can't live without, and I can't even understand half of what they claim the machine does. I know it's like that any time you start learning something, but I don't normally consider spending $5-$10K on "something". Guess I am just looking for someone to trust and the media is a tough place for me to start being a cynical as I am.

"A man with a briefcase can steal more money than any man with a gun" ~Don Henley~

Anyone know the month/year of that article?

Thanks.

bifcake
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Hey Buddha,

I'm overseas right now and so I haven't been following forum threads in a while. I came across this thread and having read all the replies, arguments and counter arguments, I don't think you have anything to apologize about. In fact, I think it's MF who should have thought better of his first post, much less follow up with subsequent posts, which contributed nothing in terms of furthering his arguments or providing useful content.

MF wants respect, well, respect cannot be demanded, it must be earned. I have yet to see ANYTHING posted from MF on these forums that deserves any kind of respect. He is self absorbed, egotistical, childish and condescending. There is no thought given to his arguments, there is no respect given to other posters. As Tony Soprano once said: "To get respect, you got to give respect." Personally, I find it very difficult to respect someone who comes off as a belligerent prick.

John, I am absolutely amazed and appalled that you would provide excuses for this type of behavior from one of your writers. Is he a little baby that he can't handle a bit of criticism and so the baby's ego had been bruised a bit? Whaaa, my eyes are full of crocodile tears. Let me break out the world's smallest violin!

ncdrawl
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:

John, I am absolutely amazed and appalled that you would provide excuses for this type of behavior from one of your writers.

you are suprised that Atkinson provides excuses for that?? and youve been reading the mag how long?? get with it, man.

is there a term limit at stereophile?

Editor
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:
when JA jumped in to defend MF, I realized that this is not just hobbiests shooting off at the mouth. This is the editor of a publication getting involved (saddly making excuses for an appaling lack of professionalism by MF) and basicly lowering the idealisms of truth in sound above all.

Hmm. I didn't think I was defending or excusing Michael but more explaining his hot-headedness. So be it.

But I am not sure what you mean by our "lowering the idealisms of truth in sound above all." As I said in an earlier posting to this thread, my writers _must_ describe what they hear regardless of political or scientific correctness. I fully accept that a corollary of this attitude is that occasionally someone will go over the top, but I prefer that to the cautious conservatism that characterized such defunct magazines as Audio or Stereo Review.


Quote:
I think I should also point out that the editor of a magazine should proof read his posts...First line, second paragraph of the second part of post#53411 (sorry I don't know how to insert quotes...) is missing the word "be".... Not such a big deal, but in the context of this thread, where the argument of checking facts is in question, it makes me wonder how much fact checking is really happening.

As anyone who has received an email from me will confirm, I am not the world's best typist, which is exacerbated by the fact that I am in Europe right now, taking a brief vacation, and typing some of these responses on an iPod Touch. But to address your point, these forums are more akin to speech than the published word and I don't think too much fuss should be raised about the occasional typo.


Quote:
After all, the magazine is going to be loyal to advertising dollars right?... There certainly are enough ads!

Sigh. And now the inevitable and age-old troll. No, the magazine is going to be loyal to its _readers_, not its advertisers. See my essay on this subject at www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/366 . The title quote from this piece, by Walter Lippman, sums up Stereophile's editorial ethos: "A newspaper can flout an advertiser...but if it alienates the buying public, it loses the one indispensable asset of its existence."


Quote:
Ultimately, I will have to say that I will have to refrain from buying stereophile magazine. I don't feel that I can trust the info.

I am sorry to hear that. I feel that Stereophile and its community of editors, writers, and readers (as typified by this forum) have much to offer.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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is there a term limit at stereophile?

Sorry, no.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

I don't think there can be any defense of a professional writer representing your magazine who responds with such a childish tone, in all capital letters, to someone who simply disagreed with him. Although the tone of the disagreement was itself a little childish.

MF's response makes me think less of him, as a person and a writer, and it reflects poorly on your magazine. Better for any challenged author to say "reasonable people can disagree on _________" [insert here one of the many topics that get people hot under the collar (expensive vs. cheap cables, "burning in" equipment, demagnetizing things, etc.].

But really, who cares? Many of us have responded angrily and inappropriately via email or online at one point or another, often completely out of proportion to whatever ticked us off.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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John, I am absolutely amazed and appalled that you would provide excuses for this type of behavior from one of your writers. Is he a little baby that he can't handle a bit of criticism and so the baby's ego had been bruised a bit? Whaaa, my eyes are full of crocodile tears. Let me break out the world's smallest violin!

AlexO, my friend, I think that you misread JA. Rereading JA's comment leaves me thinking that he's merely explaining MF's short fuse.

I read MF first, but take what he says with a grain of salt. I think it's partly his emotional approach that attracts me. JA was just restating the obvious.

Each Stereophile writer has a different angle and I take that into account as I read. I read AD last because I'm unlikely to like the same things he does, BUT there are kernals that I grab hold of and enjoy, even with AD.

I think JA has cobbled together a wonderful variety of writers. If we wanted them to all be alike, then we should probably just read elsewhere. The variety is part of what attracts me to Stereophile.

Dave

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

What's up, C-n-Tunes. The issue I was talking about is the current issue, December, in the Musical Fidelity Supercharger review. The footnote I mentioned is roughly about how Musical Fidelity's Antony Michaelson wanted to enlist JA's help in producing his performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in London. To avoid conflict of interest, JA refused to accept fees from Musical Fidelity and went to London out of his own pocket to help. Not only that, he imposed a 5-yr moratorium on his own reviewing of Musical Fidelity products. Who the hell else would be so self-restricting in the audio world? In my books, that's not only conscientious journalism that frankly doesn't exist in other audio mags elsewhere, it's also - I believe sincerely - a proof of JA's clinical obsessive compulsive disorder. Borderline paranoia, for sure.

If you're new to the mag, check out Art Dudley's columns, which are my favorite, not in the least because AD has a guilty conscience of holding on to expensive gear, even when the manufacturers literally force it upon him. He's very severe & strict about how long he keeps the equipment in review, I think it's 60 days. I know in other mags, like Absolute Sounds, you got writers holding onto & keeping review gear for years, as if it's theirs to own.

This is all to say, I read other audio mags & enjoy them, like the British Hi-Fi+ (despite the appalling copy-editing there & Roy Gregory's increasingly curmudgeonly prose). But I think Stereophile does set the standard when it comes to objectivity and ethics, and there's no question that I believe JA when he says he gives his writers free rein to report back, faithfully, on what they hear only, no other conditions.

Moreover, I think you'll discover that once you get to know some of the people involved with the mag, if you have the chance, or in this forum, that almost all of these guys are pretty far off from the "wine snob" type. Last year, a few of us got together, Stephen Mejias, the young'un of the Stereophile team, speaker-maker John Devore, audio writer Michael Lavorgna, forum member AlexO, etc etc... went and downed a few beers in Lower East Side. All we talked about, really, was about software. Killer records & music. Not really about gear. Talked mostly about Haruki Murakami novels, art, girls, good beer, music, music, music. Which is really a pretty perfect ratio of what I like to talk about when I'm hangin' out at the bar.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:

Quote:

John, I am absolutely amazed and appalled that you would provide excuses for this type of behavior from one of your writers. Is he a little baby that he can't handle a bit of criticism and so the baby's ego had been bruised a bit? Whaaa, my eyes are full of crocodile tears. Let me break out the world's smallest violin!

AlexO, my friend, I think that you misread JA. Rereading JA's comment leaves me thinking that he's merely explaining MF's short fuse.

Hey Dave,

You know, I think that John should have reigned MF in, rather than "explain" his behavior.


Quote:

I read MF first, but take what he says with a grain of salt. I think it's partly his emotional approach that attracts me. JA was just restating the obvious.

Each Stereophile writer has a different angle and I take that into account as I read. I read AD last because I'm unlikely to like the same things he does, BUT there are kernals that I grab hold of and enjoy, even with AD.

I think JA has cobbled together a wonderful variety of writers. If we wanted them to all be alike, then we should probably just read elsewhere. The variety is part of what attracts me to Stereophile.

Dave

I have no issue with the variety of writers. I take issue with the tone with which MF replied to Buddha. Who does he think he is deriding and belittling Buddha? I think His Royal Heine should step down from the throne once in a while and speak to the little people on their own level, as an equal.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

At this point it would take a giant step up. Buddha extended the olive branch, which befits the character of the person we know on these forums. MF should show some class and do the same.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Alex-

It wouldn't surprise me if John A. has in private told Michael Fremer that his response had stepped over the line while offering a public explanation. Note he wasn't "defending" Michael and saying that he felt MF was in the right he was "explaining" his reaction.

John has always been a class act in the forums and in the a small number of correspondences that I have had with him through email. Having worked for high end audio dealers in the past I know many, many manufacturers and when I've asked them about various audio journalists and magazines their responses are always the same. Stereophile is one of the most honest out there, and JA is completely ethical and a straight shooter. The other magazines don't get nearly that kind of review from the manufacturers. No manufacture has ever accused any of the Stereophile writers of expecting or REQUIRING expensive meals, super-special terms on the purchase of review samples, or of "forgetting" to return samples. At the other publications these practices run from occasional to rampant according to many manufacturers. Some manufacturers see these things as the cost of doing business and some refuse to provide future review samples.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

I most always enjoy Michael Fremer, going all the way back to moonlighting at Listener. However, and remember I am a conservative Republican, so I, being of lower intellect and a simpler mind, have to ask - why not spend $1500 on a better (for most of us) cartridge?

Or buy your wife/girlfriend/metrosexual lover a $1500 necklace, or antique sofa, or a night out and a $1200 savings bond for your children.

Arguments over $1500 gadgets are lame.

I could have sworn this was about the Blue LP? How does it sound? Who cares, you already have 12 copies, anyway. I'd buy 723 Orange Creme smoothies and great bottle of beer.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:
Alex-

It wouldn't surprise me if John A. has in private told Michael Fremer that his response had stepped over the line while offering a public explanation. Note he wasn't "defending" Michael and saying that he felt MF was in the right he was "explaining" his reaction.

While that may be true, I would not necessarily assume this to be the case. If it is, I would like to see some sort of a public manifestation of that conversation.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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I think that John should have reined MF in, rather than "explain" his behavior.

We have had this argument before, AlexO. You believe I should act as an authoritarian figure, controlling what my writers say and do; I prefer the apparent anarchy where all are free to say what they believe, with the inevitable downside that lines sometimes get crossed.

If you agree that Stereophile is a better magazine for my _not_ telling my writers what to say about audio equipment, why would you feel the opposite is the case when it comes to interactions on this forum?

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:

Quote:
I think that John should have reined MF in, rather than "explain" his behavior.

We have had this argument before, AlexO. You believe I should act as an authoritarian figure, controlling what my writers say and do; I prefer the apparent anarchy where all are free to say what they believe, with the inevitable downside that lines sometimes get crossed.

If you agree that Stereophile is a better magazine for my _not_ telling my writers what to say about audio equipment, why would you feel the opposite is the case when it comes to interactions on this forum?

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Hi John,

When it comes to exercising editorial policy, there is room for disagreement and there's really no "right" answer. It's all a matter of perspective.

However, in this case, your staff writer is posting to a Stereophile forum, as a Stereophile representative and he exhibits rude, unprofessional behavior that would be intolerable even for the proverbial sailor or a truck driver. MF represents YOUR magazine. ESPECIALLY in these forums. As such, I would think it would be appropriate to exercise your authority to ensure that your staff interacts civilly with other forum members. I'm not advocating changing your staff members' views on equipment, even if many think that their opinions are invalid, pursue a hidden agenda or are down right stupid. All I'm saying that there has to be civility from the people who represent your magazine regardless of how much they may feel they're being baited.

There are many things we may disagree about, but civil discourse shouldn't be one of them.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

It seems that until the day come when I know MORE than the writers at Phile, civility should reign, but often it does not. I certainly do not know more than the writers and associates at this magazine, yet some seem to think that they do and are eager to throw rocks, brickbats, and arrows at will at who they think is an offending party.

I have learned much just be reading, and by participating in this forum. The free flow of ideas is important in growth, yet often the discourse becomes more "political camgaign like" then seems warranted.

Once the "campaign" is over leadership must take hold and then we can decide if the rehetoric is empty or not. Claims must be proven, or disproven as the case may be. If I believe MF to be wrong I should be willing to put in the time and do the science myself. Could I use my old Reel to Reel tape bulk demag/eraser to do it? I don't know, but I could try it to veryify one way or another. I doubt that I would spend $1K on a unit to do it as I would prefer more software.

I do enjoy the forum(s) as I have noticed a number of complaints on a certain lower end TTs with motor issues that no writer could discern just by testing one sample.

If MF has done his homework and I have not I will not sling arrows his way just because I can exercise my right of free speech. I need more friends, not less.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Re your reply to Glotz.
>>> "So what if the words were pointed a bit? The response wasnt an attack on Fremer the man, you see." <<<

But, surely ncdrawl, Buddha calling it BS - as in "Utter pap! We've hashed through this BS before. We've even had a thread on the BS of this topic."

AND stating directly to Michael Fremer "Does respect require that we buy lines of specific bullshit that you parrot courtesy of a marketing firm? Did you do anything other than memorize what Furutech told you?"

WAS an attack on Fremer the man ??? Particularly when Michael Fremer, in his article on the demagnetisers in October 2006 specifically admitted "I didn't want them to work. I really didn't."

There is a list of quite general reactions by people when confronted with other people's descriptions of improvements to their sound when trying something which could be regarded as unconventional.
The list goes something like :-
"What people are claiming to hear must have been influenced by :-
'Auto-suggestion', the 'placebo effect', 'imagination', 'snake oil', 'audio faith healing' or 'effective marketing'."
Buddha obviously chose the last one on the list i.e. Influenced by 'Effective marketing' when he accused Michael Fremer of "lines of specific bullshit that you parrot courtesy of a marketing firm? Did you do anything other than memorize what Furutech told you?"

So, from that list, what would Buddha chose for the reason why such as Tim DeParavicini and mastering engineer veteran Paul Stubblebine, HEARD THE BIG DIFFERENCE also ? Because you have to explain HOW many more people heard similar improvements in their sound after 'treating' an LP with a demagnetiser !!

JIMV's response
>>> "I know nothing of this issue or the science, but, as you suggest...is it not possible that folk are hearing what they claim to hear and are simply misidentifying the cause? " <<<

fits in far more with Michael Fremer's experience (and the experiences of other people) than the usual dismissive 'Auto-suggestion', the 'placebo effect', 'imagination', 'snake oil', 'audio faith healing', 'effective marketing'."

So, did Michael actually HEAR what he claimed to hear. ?
Did Tim DeParavicini and Paul Stubblebine actually HEAR what they claimed to hear ?

Why can't the observation (as in so many of science's beginnings) be the starting point for the discussion ? Why does someone's experiences, particularly when confirmed by other significant people, have to be rubbished, out of hand.

Could we start at the original question which started this thread again ?
>>> "But, surprise, no mention of how the vinyl sounded at all!!! (Or did I just read the review too quickly?) Just that it's blue & gimmicky, which is an obvious point! Can we get a considered, non-snarky comment on the LP, too, please, since it's a big part of the box that's under review? " <<<

Because colours ARE significant regarding sound. Not only with vinyl discs but with CDs also.

In the early 1990s, Laszlo Darvas, the editor of the Hungarian Hi Fi Magazine did some listening trials with the colours of the label side of CDs.

He got a Hungarian CD manufacturer to do him 10 identical (musicwise) CDs but, on the printed label side, to do exactly the same printing but in a different colour for each CD. He then listened to each of the 10 CDs and graded them (soundwise) according to the colour of the CD label. He then gave the same 10 CDs to a colleague who did similar listening trials with similar results. His resulting article was called ( a rough translation !!) "It is all in the painter's brush"

Someone, somewhere is going to have to explain the results of Laszlo Darvas's listening trials. Someone, somewhere is going to have to explain how applying a demagnetiser to LPs improves the sound. Someone, somewhere is going to have to explain how marking the edge of a CD with the Green Pen gave improvements in the sound. And so on.

Why ? Because it happens !! And because it is associated with the sound i.e AUDIO !!

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


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MF represents YOUR magazine.


No.

Mr. Fremer represents himself when he posts, just as we all do.

Besides, you loved DUP's rants. Why not lean back enjoy Mr. Fremer's as well?

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Oh come on. Don't tell JA how to run his business. He's been doing just fine without much help from us.

Dave

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

as writers of a magazine with a large reader base.. they should show more restraint, and Atkinson should reign them in, in the name of professionalism.
I also think JA would do well to keep the magazine apolitical...but that is off topic.

there is ALWAYS room for improvement. JA doesnt have all the answers. He'd do well to listen to his readers.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Absolutely agree. And you can't compare DUP to MF. DUP is just a guy who buys and uses audio equipment. He's not a staff writer for a premier audio magazine with thousands of readers and followers. He is just a small voice that can be easily drowned out by other big and small voices.

MF absolutely represents Stereophile, not just himself. He is not just a Stereophile contributing writer, he's a staff writer who's been with the magazine for almost 20 years. Next to JA, he is the voice of Stereophile. I think he has to be held to a higher standard.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

As somewhat of a newbie to the whole "high end" audio world who doesn't have a lot of experience or knowledge about the subject I was quite shocked at MF's response. I was also shocked that JA seemed to condone his behavior. I'm 23 and barely make over minimum wage at a Super Market yet I'm still held responsible for my conduct when I'm with customers while I'm wearing my uniform. MF "wears his uniform" so to speak when replying on these forums and IT DOES reflect poorly on the magazine as a whole. If a customer were to approach me and ask where she would find, lets say chili, and I were to tell her to piss off, do you think she would want to shop in my store again? I've picked up the magazines a few times at my local bookstore and found it interesting although I don't see how one could rationally spend the money for a Demagnetizer, hell I can't even swing the 400 bucks for a Rega P1. I bought Michael Fremer's Vinyl For The 21st century and found it pretty informative and funny. He also seemed like someone who wasn't a stuck up audiophile snob. He didn't seem like someone who wouldn't sweat the small stuff and just enjoy the music. Which begs the question: should or shouldn't I be shocked that a failed comedian would have seemingly no sense of humor in this ridiculous post? I'm also curious as to why no one questioned the method of MF's recording. Aren't there a lot of variables that would come from recording off of vinyl to a computer and then burning to a CD? Like I said before I'm no expert but recording it with and without the Demag process just once each certainly isn't very scientific. The scientific process requires that a test should be repeatable and should have sort of empirical evidence to back it up other than opinion. My problem with the claim is that it seems that only one CD was made from the vinyl. I don't however have any qualms that Michael Fremer, Tim DeParavicini, and the others that listened to it could hear a difference. Anyways, I won't be buying demagnetizer any time soon whether it works or not.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Hi Adam,

Welcome to the forums. I completely agree with you about MF's behavior on these forums.

I also completely agree with you about the method for demonstrating the virtues of demagnetization being rather silly. However, to me, that's not even an issue. The actual content of the post can be argued and can be hashed to point out the flaws in the methodology. It's the way that MF addressed the issue that I have a problem with.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Hey, Adam. Thanks for bringing the post back to the question of color/demag issue. I think now that Classic Records is putting out their LPs on Clarity Vinyl, I suspect that we'll read a lot more about the clear vinyl vs. black issue. I'm sure we'll get MF's take on it & we can see how all of what's going to come out shakes out. As for me, I just love records in all colors, but I do have a traditionalist streak in me. When I see that black disc spinning, that hits the sweet spot for me... it's a big part of the experience.

As for the forum behavior of writers, I tend to think this is where you mouth off, writer or not. If you go to Audio Asylum, too, you'll find many audio writers, from this mag, too, either defending their ideas or venting or whatever. In this specific instance, MF found Buddha's post provocative enough to respond. I do agree that MF came out pretty severely, especially given Buddha's standing here in these forums, and Buddha's graciously conceded that he might have stated things not as tactfully as he liked. I guess that's it, then? I don't see why it has to be more than that, a disagreement between 2 guys. Maybe MF will corroborate his claims, maybe Buddha will refute it, who knows. There's no denying that a lot of people here found MF's response to Buddha offensive, but it took place in a forum and not within the pages of the magazine. JA is the editor of the magazine, but he can't - or shouldn't - get in the way of what each grown-up writer says in a free forum. Each man speaks for himself in these forums, and I don't understand why people keep packaging JA and MF together.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

Yeah thanks. I didn't really understand why people were defending him. I certainly respect his knowledge of audio gear but it doesn't mean I have to believe everything he, or anyone says for that matter without question. Not questioning, or being allowed to question is straight up fascism. Not to mention I'm pretty sure that's what a forum is for. What Buddha said was a bit crass but I certainly didn't think Fremer's response was appropriate. It's like do you really need to burn down your neighborhood just to kill a spider you saw in your bathroom? Seriously guys you need to grow up. (and thats coming from a 23 year old "kid")

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

I think why people are as you say "packaging them together" is because as the Editor he is responsible for his staff, and the conduct of his staff. And when his "grown up" employee throws a temper tantrum it reflects badly on him and the magazine, whether or not he's "on the clock." It certainly made me second guess MF and Stereophile, and planted a seed of doubt in my mind as to the competency of the magazine.

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

In response to the color issue: It is an interesting question whether it would make much of a difference in quality. I've got a few colored records which of course aren't of the highest quality, a few flimsy 100 gram ones. They certainly can't stand up to one of my 180 gram RTI pressings which of course are black. But a crappy pressing is a crappy pressing regardless of color. I'm not really that informed as to how they are colored. Like I have no idea what carbon.. errr whatever it was means. I'm wondering maybe there is a way to remove the impurities?

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)

welcome to the forum, bud. I am newer here myself, but very long in audio..

I hope MF and JA will pay attention to what you have written. feedback from the newer guys, the younger crowd is especially valuable, yall being the future and all..

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:

LISTEN, YOU KNOW NOTHING DOOFUS (WHO MAKES UP SHIT):

FIRST OF ALL, IF YOU'RE SO 'SCIENTIFIC,' HOW ABOUT--

1) OBSERVING (hearing) WHAT DEMAGNETIZATION CAN DO OR NOT DO BEFORE DISMISSING IT.

2) LEARN WHAT THE REAL EXPLANATION IS BEFORE MAKING UP YOUR OWN IDIOTIC NON-EXPLANATION AND THEN LAYING IT ON ME?

A) The black dye and/or carbon black used to make records black contains magnetized metallic impurities that can and do affect the cartridge motor.

B) Every skeptical observer (unlike you who dismisses out of hand what he has neither experienced or understood), has heard the not subtle effects of demagnetizing an LP.

C) I took a record at random from my shelf (Tom Waits' "Small Change"--recorded live to two track analog by Bones Howe) and recorded it to my hard drive recorder. I then demagnetized the record and recorded it again. I burned a CD-R and brought it to CES last year. Every person who heard the two versions of the same record heard the PROFOUND difference.

D) I took it to RMAF this past October and played it for Tim DeParavicini and mastering engineer veteran Paul Stubblebine, who both gave me permission to write in my column that they HEARD THE BIG DIFFERENCE.

E) The reason Classic Records went to clear vinyl is that Mike Hobson paid a visit and he was as skeptical as anyone could be about record demagnetization. But unlike YOU, he was willing to listen before calling it B.S. So we took one of his records that he knows well and we played it. Then we demagnetized it and GUESS WHAT???? He heard the BIG difference. He then realized that if he leaves out the coloring agent, he leaves out what gets magnetized.

That's why he began experimenting with clear vinyl.

YOU AND ARROGANT HYPOCRITES LIKE YOU, WHO CLAIM TO BELIEVE IN SCIENTIFIC METHOD BUT WHO DISMISS SOMETHING OUT OF HAND AND PROCEED TO MOCK WITHOUT SO MUCH AS AN OBSERVATION OF A CLAIMED EFFECT REALLY PISS ME OFF.

Well, that's certainly an intelligent and articulate response, especially from an editor of a nationally distributed publication.

On a more serious note, is there any continous variable data available demonstrating the effects of magnetizable particles in black vinyl that could in fact be tested, say, for example, using a central composite DOE? I am assuming that these particles may be carbon black (added to improve the durability of the vinyl, just as it is car tires)? In which case, they may be at most para-magnetic?

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Re: "Kind of Blue" Review (Arggghhh!!!)


Quote:
Following that Furutech link as Buddha suggests, I learn that Furutech claims to reduce the magnetic field of LP's by about 0.5 milligauss. (This from their statement that their device reduces it from ~625 nanoTeslas to ~575 nanoTeslas.) For comparison, the Earth's magnetic field is around 0.5 gauss, i.e. 1,000 times greater. That field is exerting a small torque on the magnetic parts of the cartridge away from the horizontal, and a small torque pulling those components into a north-south orientation. Evidently even that field is not an issue for record playing, which immediately suggests that a field one thousandth as strong is going to be irrelevant.

But let's give Furutech the benefit of the doubt. Those geomagnetic forces only vary slowly as the record is played (because of the movement of the tone arm with respect to north-south, assuming a pivoted arm), so even if they are at all significant to the behavior of the cartridge, they might be essentially constant and hence insignificant to the cartridge output. But that points up the fact that any effect of the LP's magnetic field on a cartridge would come from *variations* in that field.

It would be interesting to hear from somebody familiar with the engineering of phono cartridges whether an ambient magnetic field variation on the order of a milligauss over a distance of (presumably) some centimeters could possibly be physically significant.

My gut feeling, as a former physicist, is no, which suggests the following experiment: try using the Furutech device without plugging it in. Perhaps it simply flattens the records slightly.

Good post. In looking at the linked data from Furutech, as a scientist, I've learned not to put any faith in data that is presented without standard deviations, or some other meaningful assessment of data dispersion around a central tendency. Making the statement of reducing magnetic flux from 625 milligauss to 575 doesn't convince me of anything w/o providing the standard deviations from the set of measurement(s). I'm assuming here that Furutech has, in fact, a data set with an N>1, so that some meaningful tests can be performed. A change from 625 to 575 milligauss, if the standard deviation of each state (treated vs non-treated) is 100 milligauss, for example, would likely not be significant. If the intent of the article was to demonstrate a meaningful difference, they should have provided the data using a meaningful statistical test to determine if there was any real differences in the measurements, e.g. a two-sample T-test with a p-value.

I'm also wondering if Furutech performed a statistically valid Measurement System Analysis before conducting these "tests" (if you can call presenting data w/o standard deviations tests...)

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