The Hifi Podcast with Darren and Duncan episodes 16-20

The Hifi Podcast with Darren and Duncan episodes 16-20


Episode 16

Horn mouth diffraction, cardioid bass, high Q drivers, acoustic filters, constant directivity and line arrays. This is the world of loudspeakers from the perspective of someone who designs them, and in this week’s episode Darren and Duncan sit down with an expert who does exactly that, to chat about the devices which make the music we love so much.

Speaker design engineer Chris Brunhaver brings a lifetime of experience and diverse influences to the discussion, and the guys flesh out this all-important audiophile topic over local beers as the fire glows and the snow falls outside.

Episode 17

In this week’s episode of The Hifi Podcast, Darren and Duncan focus on a couple of great listener questions. After the usual “what’s up with us, audio-wise” reports, the guys dig into the topic of how to decide when an audio product is ripe for a modification.

Given recent podcast focus on tweaks and mods, and their own re-build projects involving a pair of Audio Research D-115 tube amplifiers, it makes sense that there should be some guidelines to help identify which products can be modded, and which ones should be left alone.

After tackling that question, the guys move on to answer one from an old friend of Duncan’s. This DJ is focused on turning his basement into a Klipsch-powered party zone, featuring several DJ turntables and a huge collection of great vinyl from the “Deep House” genre.

Episode 18

It’s about the system, and everything therein matters. You may have heard this before. When it comes to records, excellent vinyl playback hinges on the interactive choices made when assembling not only the record player system but also the library. Beyond that, the physical constraints of the vinyl itself requires music on the black discs to be mastered differently than for digital, and released with more natural dynamic range.

Further, the type of music that lends itself to vinyl lovers’ libraries can offer more audiophile moments than many other genres and styles found in digital, where an expectation that a listener might be hearing music while mowing the lawn is a complete possibility. The systems surrounding vinyl and digital playback couldn’t be more different, and that’s why, in practice, they sound so different from each other.

Episode 19

In this week’s episode, listener questions abound, and Darren and Duncan settle in to answer all of them. One listener shares his room size and speaker placement needs, and the guys consider some options about a speaker type for his situation. Another listener with wireless KEF LS50s wants to add tubes to the mix, and it turns out there are a few options out there for doing just that.

A listener wonders whether it’s just him or if the windows being near his system tends to collapse the sound stage. A vinyl fan asks about current source phono preamplifiers (as opposed to the standard voltage source ones), also known as transimpedance preamplifiers. Darren goes into detail about the pros and cons for this kind of design, and explains exactly how it works.

Episode 20

Have you ever stumbled upon a YouTube video showing off a piece of hifi gear, or perhaps an entire system? Knowing the limitations of such a lengthy and compromised signal chain as it relates to showcasing a fine-tuned stereo system, such a display can seem relatively useless for any meaningful understanding of what’s going on.

But is that completely true? The growing trend of showing off changes to a system or individual pieces of gear via video on YouTube is in part a response to a lack of hifi shows in our virus-dominated time, and also a nod toward a new way of approaching the audiophile hobby, one where the customer researches and learns about audio gear alone, from the comfort of his or her home.

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