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Audio Frameshift Paradigm

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  • Audio Frameshift Paradigm

    (With apologies to my genetics professors)

    Frame shift mutations in genetics occur when an altered nucleotide results in misreading of the DNA’s three nucleotide codon sequence and the synthesis of a normal or altered protein.

    What’s that have to do with audio? Well this started with reading online comments that all we [reviewers] need are five minutes to tell whether or not a product is good or not. Certainly there is an ounce of truth to the fact that some colorations just don’t go away with time. They may diminish in magnitude but never completely disappear. We have all experienced equipment (or even parts like capacitors) that initially sounded great but with time wore out their welcome.

    But that’s hardly the whole picture. And that brings us our system’s spectral balance. We own many recordings that should hopefully sound very different. They might run the gamut from being on dark side to correct to being bright. This balance will frameshift one way or the other (or hopefully stay the same) any time we switch equipment, cables or accessories. A darker recording might now have the proper openness but then the brighter recording might be unlistenable. And vice Versa where the brighter recording has a better spectral balance but now the darker sounding recording is like a moonless midnight. Which is correct?

    In the end, it’s extremely important to audition equipment with recordings with different balances just to ensure that whatever spectral changes have occurred won’t affect the enjoyability of your music collection. That alone takes more than five minutes.

    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
    In the end, it’s extremely important to audition equipment with recordings with different balances just to ensure that whatever spectral changes have occurred won’t affect the enjoyability of your music collection.

    For anyone looking for long-term satisfaction from their audio setups, this is extremely helpful to do.

    Every day is a good day to play analog.
    - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
    - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
    Every day is a good day for live music.


    • #3
      Agree fully and why I generally have the same go to recordings whenever I am making a change in a part of my system. They're all naturally recorded via microphone and run the range from orchestral with lots of delicate detail to small & large jazz groups and human voice. It's never failed me yet.
      "I'm...a rather simple person with a limited talent and perhaps a limited perspective"...Bill Evans

      LP playback: Ariston RD 11 Superieur, Audiomods Series 6 Tonearm, Dynavector DV DRT XV-1s, Valab LCR MkIII, Target wall-mounted turntable shelf

      Amplification: Exposure 2010 S2

      Speakers: B&W Nautilus 805 on sand-filled Atacama stands, dual B&W ASW600 subs

      Cabling: Handmade interconnects, Audio Sensibility Testaments (spkr)


      • #4
        When you say "audition equipment" are you referring to being at a dealer or in the comfort of your own home?
        Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.


        • #5
          Many years ago, back in the 1960s, I think it was Purple Double Domes that put me in touch with musical spectral balance. It was floating colors that changed with different parts of the spectrum. Wait a minute...

          OK, kidding aside I do not know of anyone who seriously evaluates audio equipment without a set of high quality reliable LPs with different strengths to exercise the audio system reproducing those LPs. Its as important as any set of quality tools.

          Life is is just samples thereof

          Analog: Walnut VPI Prime TT, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS, Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift, HW-40 Feet
          Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices VPI Sky 30 Stepup + Liberty Audio B2B-1, Stereo Squares Dust Cover, Wayne's Audio Peripheral Ring
          Analog Care: VPI MW-1, Kirmuss KA-RC-1, Record Doctor V, Hunt EDA VI Brush, AQ Brush, Discwasher Record Care Kit
          Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 USB Interface, Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C448 Internet Radio/Streamer
          Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

          Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
          Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, REL T9/i Subwoofer
          Headphones: Stax SR L700 MkII + Woo Audio GES, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2, Stax Lambda Pro + SRM1 Mk II
          Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono IC, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs
          Power: Furman Elite 15 PFi