About it’s only audio

Welcome, stranger! You’ve arrived at my second third web presence.

It’s only audio is a simple blog about various topics in the world of DIY audio, written from the perspective of an engineer (and not an audiophile).

Audio, especially high-end (eugh, even the word makes me cringe) is full of both dogma and snobbery, enough to make beginners rethink their new found hobby entirely. Which is a shame, because audio is not hard! An old and wise engineer (he even had a beard, so he must be very wise indeed) once told me the following

In Sony, newly recruited engineers would start their career in the video department, gradually passing onto other divisions. However, those that did not prove themselves worth their salt in the video department were sent to the audio department.

I honestly don’t know if that story was true. It was the same engineer who sent me to the warehouse to ask for a p-type vacuum tube. However, the morale of the story is true. Audio is not hard. From the viewpoint of RF engineers, we meddle around with almost DC. There are no magic tricks and no magic components. Stick to a few basic principles and use some logical thinking and you will come a very long way indeed.

The other reason for calling this website it’s only audio is that it is really only audio. As indicated above, I’m probably too dumb for any other disciplin. But at the same time I do love audio and that is what makes me good at it, or at least better then at other things.

So here we are. Too dumb for video, but at least we’re in it together. Let’s have some fun!

About the author

I am a recovering audiophile. The bug bit me almost two decades ago, and spiraled quite badly out of control. At the time I was studying electrical engineering and having access to my university’s basements full of vacuum tubes was not helping either. I ended up spending the better part of the first decade building loudspeakers, DACs, amplifiers and turntables, writing  websites and even running a part time audiophile modification and DIY shop.

Funnily enough that actually brought me back from the brink, being able to buy the right measurement equipment and doing lots of learning through listening and measuring yielded the much needed insight that it’s not about the golden plugs and silver wires, but about choosing the right concept and thinking before doing.

The last decade I have spent in the employment of others in the electronic industry, working for audio and automotive companies. Needless to say I sometimes get very biased towards ICs and systems that I helped design or know intimately. That does however not mean that what I write here represents those companies’ views. It just means you can not trust me to be truly impartial 🙂 As always, check not only the opinion, but the writer’s motive as well.

If you want to use my experience or services, I will gladly consider that, so feel free to get in touch.

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7 thoughts on “About it’s only audio

  1. Doekle

    hi Dude! nice that you are again in the air. So still in audio? Old habits dont easily fade dont they :). greetings.

    Reply
  2. Christian de Godzinsky

    Hi,

    Nice to stumble over your page. I see that you have purchased an Audio Precision System 2. That is a device I have been dreaming of and wonder if you could give me a hint about what would be a bargain price for an used unit? Being myself an audiophile and still lacking a good analyzer is as being a carpenter without a chisel…

    Reply
    1. remco Post author

      Difficult to answer succinctly. I’ve switched to APX shortly after going ‘pro’. Reason: software and hardware are currently supported, if my lab burns down I can buy another, use all the test files, interface and utility/automation software I’ve written and get back to work. Time is money here.

      If you want the cheapest way to get into audio testing, get a good System One (yes, One), buy the USB interface from Udo and a set of filters (AWT/B20K minimum) and you’re playing with the big boys. Runs on win10 and service manual is available freely from AP themselves.

      A System Two will cost more but have more modern and non-custom hardware, but no service support and no manuals available. That may change in the future and then I will remcomend a Sys2 over a Sys1. Unless you can, as I did, buy 2 identical units (one of which working), servicing is really a pain.

      Reply
  3. Christian de Godzinsky

    Hi Remco,

    Thank you for your long and insightful reply. Highly appreciated! APX units cost a fortune, you can get a decent car for that price… aarghhh… (***envy***)

    Seriously speaking, I think I opt for the AP System One. I have a HP8903B but I need slightly better performance and automated functions. The System One seems to be a good next step. A good one is a unity that passes all self-tests – or is there a better definition for a good one?

    Thanks again for your vise and kind advice,

    Christian

    Reply
    1. remco Post author

      Well that’s why I don’t have a decent car…
      Automated functions are waaaay underrated. The things you can do with APBasic are essentially limitless.
      You’re right, the first one you buy should be hassle free. Don’t pay lots of $$$ for options – most are useless. Spend the money on the USB interface instead.

      Reply

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