In a landmark special feature, Chris Dunn & Malcolm Omar Hawksford thoroughly dissect the vicissitudes of the digital interface and jitter in Bits is Bits? The authors note, "The theoretical performance obtainable from the 16-bit linear PCM format sampled at 44.1kHz is superior to any analog sources available to the consumer."
Kalman Rubinson says he "anticipated the installation of the TacT Audio RCS 2.0 digital equalizer/preamplifier with mixed emotions." Would his hard work at setting up the perfect listening environment be rendered irrelevant in the face of digital signal processing? Or would the future of audio unfold at his feet?
We begin with a January 1993 article from Robert Harley called The Jitter Game. RH explains, "Clock jitter is a serious and underestimated source of sonic degradation in digital audio. Only recently has jitter begun to get the attention it deserves, both by high-end designers and audio academics."
In his review of the Conrad-Johnson Premier Eleven power amplifier, Wes Phillips comes clean and admits that he loves to be seduced by sound. Phillips writes, "Now, I'm not proposing that we embrace coloration . . . but the removal of all pleasure-producing tonalities doesn't necessarily make for increased realism."
DVD-Audio has been brewing for a couple of years now, finally going public with the Technics DVD-A10 DVD-Audio player. Jonathan Scull got his eager hands on this groundbreaking machine last September, only to find that evaluating a new format is a complicated affair. Will this player, and DVD-Audio in general, soothe the audiophile heart? Scull takes a listen and spills the bits.
In his third installment of "Fine Tunes," Jonathan Scull encourages readers to stick their heads in a corner. "Notice how strongly the bass loads up there, how exaggerated and out of control it sounds," he writes. With the help of Jeff Joseph, Scull also reveals a trick for dealing with square rooms.
John Atkinson wrestles with the fabled YBA 2 HC power amplifier to uncover its very essence. Can this meticulous design, engineered (some might say over-engineered) by Yves-Bernard André deliver the audio goods?