President's Message
March 2000

1. J.Gordon Holt, founder of Stereophile, has left the magazine. He will pursue freelance writing and do some self-publishing. I was an early subscriber in the 60s. He was the first to publish the revelation that British EMI and Decca pressings were superior in sound to their American Angel and London counterparts. (However the British surfaces were nothing to brag about).

2. In an exception to the usually low level of audio reporting in the NY Times, Roy Furchgott writes in a reasonably objective manner about High-End Speaker Wire (Dec 23, 1999, P. E9). [Well, the article does mention "12 WAG zip cord"] He begins by quoting Lewis Lipnick (National Symphony Orchestra musician and audio consultant) as saying "Anyone would have to have cloth ears not to tell the difference between cables" — his personal preference is for $l3,000 a pair cables. "In my professional opinion that's baloney" says Alan P. Kefauver, director of the Recording Arts and Sciences program at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. His choice: good quality 16 gauge zip wire.

It's noted that:

The Journal of the AES has never published a paper on the merits of fancy wires.

Polk Audio no longer makes cables and declined an invitation to set up a listening test in its laboratories--"We would be hearing from every retailer in the country."

Kerry Moyer, staff director for the Consumer Electronics Association said "If someone feels good about buying it, whether it works or it doesn't, it makes them feel good. I don't think we should question."

Russ Hamm of G Prime Ltd says that wires do make a small difference, but "you should put the first $10,000 into your equipment." The article says experts argue whether spade lugs or banana plugs are better. [Obviously spade lugs are better, but bananas are more convenient].

John Storyk, who began his career designing recording studios with Jimi Hendrix's electric Lady studio, offered two suggestions: "Make sure the cable lengths are equal. Take the money you save and buy more CDs." [Audio signals propagate at near light speed in cables. A ten foot difference in cable lengths is equivalent to moving the speaker 1/10,000th of an inch].

Bruce Brisson, who owns Music Interface Technology, an ultra high-end wire manufacturer in Rockland California, wants to see cable charlatans revealed and may use his extensive laboratory to do it. "I am getting ready to expose this in the year 2000. People are paying a lot of money and getting nothing for it."


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updated 11/11/04