The Hifi Podcast with Darren and Duncan episodes 11-15

The Hifi Podcast with Darren and Duncan episodes 11-15

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Episode 11

Excellent listener questions have been flowing in, and Darren and Duncan pick two good ones to discuss at length in this episode of The Hifi Podcast. Will asks what elements of different products the guys have seen when popping the hood of a device or poking around the inside of a speaker. Darren shares his feelings about Audio Research PC boards and layout, and Duncan brings up the inside of Vinnie Rossi equipment and some elements of his favorite speakers.

The discussion wanders toward packaging, where excellent design can make a difference, and then wanders further into SNAFUs and ways that package and product design can go horribly wrong.

Episode 12

Did your favorite hifi audio brand used to be for sale only at respected hifi dealers, but now they make bluetooth speakers you can find at Best Buy? Is the company that made the amp or speakers you love struggling to keep the doors open amid staggering overhead costs?

What makes a brand ready for the “mainstream,” and a viable candidate for purchase by a big conglomeration? Darren and Duncan ponder these questions and more as they tackle the sticky subject of mergers and acquisitions in the high end audio business.

Episode 13

Desktops of the last 30 years have become dominated by the computer monitor. Gone are the days of a big desk full of a mess of papers, or the clean workspace with perhaps a small lamp on one side and a rotary telephone on the other. As the visual element of computing has taken more real estate, its seems that less and less has been offered to the sonic element. Tiny speakers the size of beer cans seem to dominate the landscape, and while computer audio and streaming fidelity have increased, the idea of a decent pair of monitors on small stands flanking the computer screen is still foreign to many.

Episode 14

If you’ve ever felt the itch to crack open the crossovers of a pair of speakers and drop in some V-Caps on the tweeter, or replace the feet of an amplifier with blocks of wood, this podcast episode is for you.

And if you’ve ever been curious what the heck is the matter with people who put beeswax in fuses or bitumin on chassis lids and who talk about quantum materials, maybe this will shed new light on the tinkerer’s world in the audiophile  game.

Episode 15

There’s something to be improved in almost any piece of off-the-shelf audio gear, because the decisions made to put the components on the store shelf in the first place include some compromises or choices based around availability of parts, not highest fidelity.

Sure, a few hifi companies strive to build products purely for the highest sound quality, going out of their way to source the finest ingredients and eschewing PCBs for point to point wiring or spending an arm and a leg on cabinet design. Some amps get impracticably hot, some speakers stand menacingly large, some drivers are the best money can buy.

But more often than not, practicality drives many decisions for consumer products, even in hifi, and some real fun and potentially untouchable sound can be had by diving in an tweaking a thing or two.

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