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Parts is Parts.

No one will believe me, but I have to call it like I see it: I am convinced that how a driver is used, and how it fits the system requirements, has at least as much to do with sonics as the make and model of the parts.  Sure, there are tweeters that I have come to like a lot over the years, but this has mostly to do with consistency, reliability, ease of use, cost-performance and well-thought out specs. Just as with cars and drivers, and chefs and food, average components in the hands of a pro will almost always sound better than expensive, fancy parts in the hands of a someone without training and experience.

I used to judge various amateur speaker building contests, and got to listen to the best efforts of both first-time and well-known amateur designers, year after year. Submissions invariably used very well-regarded drivers, yet it was very rare for any of the judges to find a submission that was of sufficient sonic quality to make it commercially at any price.

I’m not meaning to be snobby. Anyone can learn to be a great speaker designer. But, you have to learn, and you have to try dozens and dozens of different designs, over and over.  Most importantly, you have to hone the skills to listen very quickly, analytically and brutally, and then understand exactly how to correlate the listening to engineering, without philosophical biases.

If you think that the finest drivers make the finest systems, you aren’t paying attention!! Ingredients are only a start.

Hitting Rock Bottom In Times Square.

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Sweet Home El Cerrito.

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Lust For Power II.



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Like Factoids, but not….



Audio technology is different than any other type of engineering I know of. In normal engineering, we start with a certain problem, and then try to invent a solution to this problem. But, in audio, most of the time, we start with an invention. Then we try to discover what it might be good for. However, just because one has a cool invention does not mean that the invention is useful or any improvement to the art.