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jazzfan
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T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass

Okay, Stereophile has done it again. In the feature T-Bone Burnett article the following passage appears without even so much as an editor's note:


Quote:

Burnett and team of engineers he employs have recently formed a new company, XO E, and have developed a system they feel may stem the tide of substandard sound.
"We've developed a system where we can make MP3s sound better than CD's do", he says flatly. "It's a whole technological...but also a more aesthetic approach to the production, manufacture, and distribution of music. Our main goal is (to) make the world sound better."

Hasn't Stereophile's "official" take on MP3s, regardless of the bit rate and the software used to encode the file, been that all MP3s are inferior to the original uncompressed audio file and furthermore, that all of the various devices on the market which claim to make MP3s sound "better" than CDs are nothing more than glorified equalization programs, as is the case with the Sound Blaster X-Fi line of sound cards. And if this is the case then why does Burnett get to make a statement that is basically marketing hype without even so much as an aside by JA?

If the world is indeed going to move towards better sound, then over blown marketing hype needs to be called out for what it is, each and every time that it appears in the pages of publications such as Stereophile (unless of course, the hype appears as part of an advertisement, as was the case with the Bobcat nonsense).

I don't doubt that Burnett means well but MP3s are never going to sound better than the original uncompressed audio file from which they are made.

59mga
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass


Quote:

I don't doubt that Burnett means well but MP3s are never going to sound better than the original uncompressed audio file from which they are made.

It seems as though the mindset, of some people, is that any new technical device is an improvement/advancement.

Just as the saying goes, "Crap in, crap out."

Elk
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass


Quote:
...why does Burnett get to make a statement that is basically marketing hype without even so much as an aside by JA?


Because we are a sophisticated readership and can supply the comment ourselves?

jazzfan
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass


Quote:

Quote:
...why does Burnett get to make a statement that is basically marketing hype without even so much as an aside by JA?


Because we are a sophisticated readership and can supply the comment ourselves?

Elk, I beg to differ. There are times when Stereophile and JA go well out their way to prove that something believed by the majority of people is just not true, as is the case with the magazine's continuing commitment to vinyl playback and similarly JA's recent posts regarding lossy versus lossless compression. So why does a statement like Burnett's nonsense about having a system which makes MP3s sound better than CDs get past without so much as a comment?

I understand the concept of caveat emptor but one of the reasons that I subscribe to a magazine like Stereophile is in the hope that they will aid me in making informed buying decisions. When I see statements like the one Burnett made in the June issue go by without any comment it makes me wonder just how useful Stereophile is in helping its readers make those informed buying decisions. Besides all that, JA has the test equipment and know how to put these outrageous claims to the test and show them for the complete nonsense that they really are.

Or perhaps next month we'll be reading about a turntable with a perpetual drive system. A very useful thing to have in these days of rising energy costs.

Elk
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass

I understand your point.

As a regular reader I know that this new proposal is nonsense, but the occasional reader would not know. Perhaps a quick comment for the later category is always a good idea.

I like the idea of a perpetual drive system. It would be odd to have a TT that you can't turn off howver.

Editor
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass


Quote:
When I see statements like the one Burnett made in the June issue go by without any comment it makes me wonder just how useful Stereophile is in helping its readers make those informed buying decisions.

When we publish interviews, we allow those interviewed the privilege of not having their statements questioned editorially with footnotes or interjections. If what is said is controversial, as in this case, I assume that it will be picked up in the magazine's "Letters" section or on this forum. As it has been.

As I have said before on this forum, I assume the magazine's readers are adults and able to think critically about what they are presented with.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

jazzfan
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass


Quote:
When we publish interviews, we allow those interviewed the privilege of not having their statements questioned editorially with footnotes or interjections. If what is said is controversial, as in this case, I assume that it will be picked up in the magazine's "Letters" section or on this forum. As it has been.

As I have said before on this forum, I assume the magazine's readers are adults and able to think critically about what they are presented with.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Fair enough and thank you for the thoughtful reply.

Now will Stereophile being doing a follow up article on Burnett's XO E system when this wonder system becomes available to us mere mortals saddled with cold, hard realities of science?

Ralph aka Jazzfan

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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass


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Now will Stereophile being doing a follow up article on Burnett's XO E system when this wonder system becomes available to us mere mortals saddled with cold, hard realities of science?

I hope so. But right now I am more interested in trying to persuade my wife that we need to splurge $700 on a Lynx AES16 soundcard so I can play the new Reference Recordings HRx hi-rez music files on my PC!

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Elk
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass

My little suspicious self suspects that the XO E system is simply putting high resolution (such as 24/96) on a regular DVD-V. Orange Book spec allows this, although it rarely is used. How it is interpreted by any given DVD player is up to the manufacturer.

The Lynx AES16 = drool.

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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass


Quote:
..............when this wonder system becomes available to us mere mortals saddled with cold, hard realities of science?
Ralph aka Jazzfan

I'm saddened by the reality that science can be and many times is wrong. Just good old sad reality.

As for MP3's I doubt if they can compete..but MIGHT..iffin' the sample rate was high enough. We don't know yet. I'll give it shot when it comes along,and then I'll see. For myself, that is. etc.


Quote:
The Lynx AES16 = drool.

looks like a relatively expensive toy.

edit: Ok. I see JA has stated the price. $700. not so bad. I wonder what can be done to fix it up. Build a nice clock into/onto it? Probably. Can it be slammed into an external box? I always prefer to keep any such devices outboard. do they have an outboard version?

As an outboard version..it might make a great basis for an external digital crossover.

There is more than one decent and well thought out 'digital crossover' software package available these days. My big bugaboo with the digital crossovers is the lack of understanding of how the digital algorithms mess with the signal so much, on such short frequency and time periods that designers of such can and generally do fail to understand that clocking and sample rates become quadruply critical to the idea of 'high fidelity'. I also need to to have decent analog to digital conversion. I haven't heard one do it 'right' yet. Not a single one. Nada. Zip. Zero.

And this, with my hands deep inside the gear.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass

Sounds like a tax write-off if I ever heard of one. Surely Ms. Atkinson can understand the science of your experiments? We all can! Now if we all would get into a huff over $4 a gallon gas like we have for MP3s we might be on to something.

JA has proved his point on CD vs MP3 quality on an archive piece on this file site. Worth reading and reviewing a few times I believe. Most will never be believers. Sad, but true. If you build it...they will not necessarily come!

Let Mr. Burnett try. Its his dime.

mrlowry
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass

In an interview with New York

Elk
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass

Very neat, but no new technology here.

I hope we find out what XO E actually is.

mrlowry
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Re: T-Bone Burnett and XO E - Yet another free pass

I think that it may be the inclusion of all of those formats on one disc and the fact that they are all DIRECTLY from the master. Pure speculation on my part but that's what it sounded like he was alluding to.

Personally, I find myself asking why didn't the writer of the Stereophile article ask a follow up question? They should have know it would be of interest to the readers.

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