Quarter Notes #22


Dear Get Better Sound & Through the Sound Barrier owners,

Welcome to the twenty-second issue of Quarter Notes, published on February 10, 2018. Quarter Notes is a free newsletter for Get Better Sound and Through the Sound Barrier owners, expanding on both, as well as introducing new and timely subjects.

Here is a link to the previous Quarter Notes newsletter, #21 -


It includes links to the previous 20 QNs as well.

Quarter Notes #22:

Delay since last issue

It's been about 9 months(!) since the last Quarter Notes newsletter. I had planned to do another in August or so, but then some new developments with Through the Sound Barrier arose, and I had to push the QNs newsletter - as well as other commitments such as the Copper e-mag articles and a number of RoomPlay system/room voicing sessions - back a bit. This is discussed in the latest (brief) Breaking Though Podcast (link below).

Also, you will notice that this IS the Quarter Notes newsletter - no link to a page on the GBS website. I will get that done later - not able to take the time just now.

Re: mass loading from last issue

The mass loading topic from the last QNs newsletter received a lot of comments and questions. It didn't end there for me, either. As time passed, I tried even less mass loading, even back to none at all. What I found was interesting & informative.

While there is a noticeable improvement with some type of loading, it seems that there is definitely an optimum weight, and the only way to arrive at it is to listen. In other words, what works for another system may not work as well for yours. I ended up reducing the weight by another third or so to ultimately arrive at the optimum performance. The sound is even more dynamic, effortless & pure. More importantly, the musical engagement factor has gone up noticeably.

I also found that the speaker-to-mass-loading weight ratio of my Tannoy Canterburys was different than my REL 212 SE subs. In my specific case, the RELs seemed to prefer a higher percentage of damping as compared to the Tannoys.

Uptone Audio ISO REGEN

Some time back, I wrote about the positive benefits of the affordable-but-high-performance Uptone Audio REGEN when employing a USB cable in between my computer and my DAC. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on various audio forums about the new ISO REGEN. It interested me, so I contacted Alex Crespi (great guy that I have known for sometime - a true man of integrity) at Uptone about trying it out, as well as their LPS-1 power supply.

Since there has been so much written about these products, all I will say is that I bought them and cannot imagine being without them. A nice increase in performance for a relatively small price. What's not to like?

PS Audio Direct Stream DAC & Memory Player

PS audio's Bill Leebens (another top class audio guy), recently sent me the PS Audio Direct Stream DAC & Memory Player to audition. Hey Bill, finders keepers!!! :)

Having heard and worked with some of the top digital gear out there - including rigs that sell in the six figure price range - over 10 times the PS Audio's price(!) - the PS Audio combo easily holds its own. Honestly speaking, the performance difference between the PSA and many other much higher priced set-ups is not that great, and in some cases, the PSA is better, IMO.

Then, add in the FREE updates - that you can easily do yourself - and it's a relative no-brainer.

And did I say that it is imminently involving musically?

No Copper articles for a while – until TTSB is completed.

As mentioned above - and in the accompanying Breaking Through Podcast - I have abstained from further contributions to Copper e-mag until the TTSB project is completed. This is a great—and free—bi-weekly magazine about audio, music, and much more. The 50th issue is available now.


Breaking Through Podcasts

In addition to the free Quarter Notes newsletters, you also receive the free Breaking Through Podcasts. The twelfth installment of the Breaking Through Podcast is brief (about 16 minutes), but well worth the listen, if we do say so ourselves. This time Randall and I focus exclusively on Through the Sound Barrier updates, and I have a couple of important announcements to make. I also need and request your feedback concerning a video format question.



Previous Quarter Notes

  • Quarter Notes #1 (Volume 1, Issue #1)
    Topics: Tesa tape • Master the mister • Why single-ended amplifiers can sound so good • Why single-ended amplifiers can sound so bad • Bi-wiring • Room temp/humidity/Rives • The Concert Experience • Twenty Minutes vs. Two Hours to Nirvana? • Small, medium and large listening rooms • CES 2009 quick note • Laser distance measurers and levels • RTAs • House calls
  • Quarter Notes #2 (Volume 1, Issue #2)
    Topics: A question about CD technology • Bi-wiring, part two • From common sense to sixth sense – Srajan Ebaen • Three common-sense tweaks • Tweaks to watch • Tweaks to try • Sensitivity to sensitivity? • Top 10 standards of quality for high-end audio retail specialists • Message boards • Sad, but true • Hourly rate for consulting
  • Quarter Notes #3 (Volume 1, Issue #3)
    Topics: The top 3 tips I keep hearing about from readers • Vinyl 101 - A few tips on the return to vinyl – Jeff Dorgay • How to Eat an Elephant • Computers and Audio – Charles Hanson
  • Quarter Notes #4 (Volume 1, Issue #4)
    Topics: From recent experience • On-the-job observations • The sound of rooms • Hard drive housekeeping • Ear protectors, new basement, fluorescent lights • AC polarity tip • Questions from Italy • Music review – Geoff Poor • Absolute polarity -- controversial, but worth checking out
  • Quarter Notes #5 (Volume 2, Issue #1)
    Topics: The ACK Attack and un-common Knowledge • Basics re-visited - a little more info: subwoofer set-up, speaker separation and staging, long wall or short wall?, affordable RTA, absolute phase/polarity, sliding base for spiked speakers, rack in the middle – AGAIN!, spikes – AGAIN! • Stacking the decks with DEQX • Demystifying room acoustic treatment
  • Quarter Notes #6 (Volume 2, Issue #2)
    Topics:A reader teaches me a lesson – Computer Audio • New room designs • Set-up diagrams • Stereo subs • Audio forums • Back in the saddle again
  • Quarter Notes #7 (Volume 2, Issue #3)
    Topics: The new Get Better Sound DVD! • Computer audio, part two - the sound, better recordings, more involving sound, Redbook CD, Pure Music, five easy pieces, computer hardware upgrades, interview with Rob Robinson – CEO of Pure Music
  • Quarter Notes #8 (Volume 2, Issue #4)
    Topics: Get Better Sound DVD • Introducing RoomPlay™ • A surprising story about voicing • Room eq systems, and a brief story • How far is too far? • Uneven speaker wire lengths • Fuses as tweaks • Sliders • Degrees of separation • Subs for every system? • Computer audio and absolute polarity • Rack ‘em up one more time!
  • Quarter Notes #9 (Interim Volume 3, Issue #1)
    Topics: Nothing much to see here – just a report about some health issues that were interfering with my work.
  • Quarter Notes #10 (Volume 3, Issue #2)
    Topics: Health issues and your correspondence • It’s not just babies that take nine months – the 1st comprehensive GBS DVD review is born! • Best coupling to the floor • Speaker sliders – a better solution • When sound is foremost • Mini-breakthrough in my Computer Audio system – and a tip even if you don’t use computer audio but you have a TV connected to your system • Apology re RTAs • Balanced outputs – better or worse? • When do the best measurements NOT yield the best musical involvement? • Another instance of technically correct set-up at the expense of the music • RoomPlay Reference
  • Quarter Notes #11 (Volume 3, Issue #3)
    Topics: Half Notes, anyone? • RoomPlay & RoomPlay Reference update • New – StraightTalk • The 83% rule – NOT! • Clever and entertaining blog • SPL meter • Full-range speakers need subs too… • Auto EQ & bass levels • How to voice subs (2, not 1, of course) with full range speakers • Listening seat not always against or near the back wall • Effects and proper usage of Tube Traps • My computer audio settings – NOT • Three good questions • Effects of ear wax • Near-field listening
  • Quarter Notes #12 (Volume 3, Issue #4)
    Topics: Through the Sound Barrier • A different kind of Sound Barrier • Kickstarter
  • Quarter Notes #13 (Volume 4, Issue #1)
    Topics: Our FIFTH Anniversary! • Internet message boards and a continuing invitation • System priorities • Organic EQ vs electronic EQ • Ultimate tweak for Macs when used as computer music servers? • Tweaksville • Latest developments with Through the Sound Barrier • Inside info about the delay
  • Quarter Notes #14 (Volume 4, Issue #2)
    Topics: Finding old newsletters • Inexpensive RTA that works • Soulless • The High Fidelity Report • New sound room & office • Just a little loving and moving • Large items between your speakers • Quiet and efficient HVAC • Duelund outboard crossover • Laser info • TTSB updates • StraightTalk • More…
  • Quarter Notes #15 (Volume 4, Issue #3)
    Topics: Mail servers • Light Harmonic Light Speed USB cable • Listening room dimensions • Can't get no satisfaction? • Second that emotion • Can Jim voice your system when he is in the area? • In the crosshairs • Links to Breaking Through podcasts if you cannot use iTunes • How do you know if your TTSB pledge is on file?
  • Quarter Notes #16 (Volume 4, Issue #4)
    Topics: Audiophile angst • Greater isolation for RoomPlay Reference sessions • Invitation • Breaking Through podcast #7
  • Quarter Notes #17 (Volume 5, Issue #1)
    Topics: Better sounding computer audio • Better hearing = Better Sound • Better health • TTSB update • Quasi-leave-of-absence • Breaking Through podcasts
  • Quarter Notes #18 (Volume 5, Issue #2)
    Topics: Cheap ‘n Cheerful • The Missing Reference • Dynamics, Presence, & Tone • TTSB update • RE: my recent Quasi-leave-of-absence • The Breaking Through podcast
  • Quarter Notes #19 (Volume 5, Issue #3)
    Topics: The silence between the notes • Two not-so-politically-correct techniques to gain even more musically engaging results from your listening sessions • 4 on the floor • Relative importance of components – a subjective ranking • Strip down • Digital EQ & DSP • Facebook & Friends • Mono & Stereo rant • TTSB update • TTSB Podcast
  • Quarter Notes #20 (Volume 5, Issue #4)
    Topics: EarPlanes importance • IBE • Copper articles – and time required • AudioShark forum & link – Polite & Helpful • Acoustic Wave Launch & Sliders • Linear Power Supply for Mac computer & PS Audio LanRover • Duelund • Cable Isolation • Facebook Updates • TTSB backers – fulfilling parts of pledges where possible • Importance of Book Two for TTSBTTSB update • TTSB Podcast
  • Quarter Notes #21 (Volume 6, Issue #1)
    Topics: Mass loading loudspeakers • Evolution of RoomPlay Reference • Latest Copper e-mag issues #26, #28 & #29 • Effects of equipment cabinet between your speakers explained • New TTSB Podcast! • FaceBook Updates • TTSB Update
  • Quarter Notes #22
    Topics: Delay since last issue • Re: mass loading from last issue • Uptone Audio ISO REGEN • PS Audio Direct Stream DAC & Memory Player • No Copper articles for a while – until TTSB is completed • Breaking Through Podcasts


That's all, folks.

Keep on listening!

Questions or comments?

E-mail me: jim@getbettersound.com


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