Monday, May 24, 2010

If I ever join another audio forum...........

Remind me to pick a different name.

Like "Sam the Sham". And the Pharaohs.

Might be more appropriate, for what I think of the membership. Other than something that went with "What's round on the ends, and high in the middle?..................o-HI-o." No one ever seemed to get any of those jokes.

They never got anything, of what I said. Can't cure ignorance, and I have given up trying.

Wooly Bully.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How much am I worth?

Depends who you ask. These guys think this:

Wow, almost $3k for a blog that no one reads. More than some commercial sites that I have seen.

About as useful as your daily horrorscope.

"What? Your site or the bogus metrics?"

Uh, probably both.

While I am at owe me $1.28.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting old is the pits.

Why is it that I can remember the Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch, but not where I put my keys?

Ditto for the Ren and Stimpy "Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen" song, but not where I put my wallet?

Likewise for "Billy the Mountain", in its entirety, but not what I had for lunch?

Or "Cheepnis" and "Cheepnis Preamble", but not it I even had lunch?

Or...........ah...........ah.............what was that thing I used to quote verbatim all the time at work and drove everyone crazy............ah............lemmee think............uh, uh.........the one that ran off every woman that I ever met............oh, crap...........what was it? I forget now.

Well, I'll think of what it was. Eventually. And repeat it here. Just to prove my point.

I don't get it. Getting old sucks.

Now, what was it that I was trying to prove?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And you think that it is just DIYers who pull stuff like this?

This was sent to me the other day, by someone who made his New Year's Resolution to be he would not post anything on the 'Net. Disappointed, but understanding his feelings, I could not get him to break his resolution. However, he suggested that I put this on my "blog".

Ok, this is too good not to share. But make no mistake:

This is not an original writing by the author of this site. It is being published here with the knowledge and encouragement of the person who did write it. Respect his desire to remain anonymous.

(I know that is hard for a lot of you. Tough.)

So, without further blather from me:


I have a friend who I talk to about once every two years now who used to live in one of the more modest sections of NYC. In an old walk-up apartment. Must have been in the early 70's.

Some Japanese guy rented one of the two apartments on the floor below his.

Every day, a couple other Japanese guys would come over first thing in the morning then leave around early evening. This went on for probably three or four months.

Then one day, he noticed that the Japanese guys weren't showing up every morning or leaving at night.

I guess the lease was month to month. At the end of the next month, the landlord came around and opened the door to the apartment rented by the Japanese guy. He'd paid up, and had moved out. The landlord was there to get the place ready for renting.

But he couldn't. He went to grab my friend for help.

It seems that there was a brand new Harley Davidson taken totally part in the living room. Totally. Everything was well organized, too, with tags and everything on each part. In Japanese, of course.

These Japanese guys from some motorcycle company in Japan had taken the motorcycle entirely apart, measured everything, photographed it, made drawings and reversed the entire design. About a year and a half later my friend recognized some new Japanese motorcycle as clearly being derived from that Harley.

But at least guys made the effort and Harley made a sale.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Where are all the schematics?"

I can't believe that one of you had the chutzpah to ask me that. It is probably one of the gang, pulling my chain, just to see if I get wound up and go off. For their own amusement. (And now, yours!)

I'm fixin' to..........are you happy now?

Look, do I really have to 'splain this:

There are no friggin' schematics. There never will be any friggin' schematics. Mainly because I have no friggin' schematics. Of anything. Ever. Period.

There are no schematics, anywhere, of anything, that I ever designed. Ever. And I am not about to start now.

"But if there are no schematics, then how do you ever build anything?"

That is actually a fair question. I either have to remember what I did, and how I did it, or............

Design it from scratch every time out.

Those of you who are more perceptive than the average schmuck can easily conclude that this is a large reason of why it takes me so damn long to do anything.

Yep, if I would only get off my butt, and/or high horse, and get with the program and make some drawings of something for the first time in my life, then maybe something would get done a helluva lot sooner.

No, because there is that other matter of money. And that is something that I will never have. So, deal with it.

Do I have to put up the picture of Cartman going "Forget you guys..............." again?

Don't make me, because I will!

Copyright © 2009

The Three Rules of Audio

The Three Rules of Audio

Rule number 1:

"If it sounds different, it HAS to be better.
Especially if you paid money for it."

Rule number 2:

"The stupider* it looks, the crappier it sounds."

Applies mainly to speakers, but have you ever
seen/heard the NRG preamp?

(* Yeah, I should be "more stupid", but that ruins the joke. Just pretend you are listening to Dick Shahinian speak.)

Rule number 3:

"All audiophiles are geeks without a sex life."

"Does that include you dorks?"

Shut up,
pink boy.

And thanks to that "fizzed-bombed" maniac, Russell,
we now have a fourth rule of audio.

Rule number 4:

"The more it's hyped, the more it sucks."

Just like Budweiser.

Apologies to...........

Ken Baran: "It's good enough for me, I can't tell the difference."
Jim Lofe: "I don't care what all the beer snobs say, I just like the way it tastes."
Ken Macha: "It's the nectar of the gods, Bruiser. That stuff you drink gives me a headache."

Must be a Pitt Engineer thing.

We now have fifth rule of audio.
Thanks to Thorsten from the UK.

Rule Number 5:

"If it is well designed, it can't sound good;
because someone actually applied thought to the product."

Does that explain why everything Fred designs sounds like, well, something that Fred designed?

(Translation: Stop thinking about it and sell the damn thing! The idea is to make money, not impress the rest of the gang with your resourcefulness.)

While these aren't rules that apply specifically to audio, we present them here for your edification.

Zappa's Law:

"There are two things on earth that are universal:
hydrogen and stupidity."

Toolsie's Transit Theorem:

"The olfactory properties of a substance cannot improve in transit."

(Translation: If you think the stuff you feed your cat smells like shit when (s)he
eats it, imagine how bad it is going to stink when (s)he poots it out the far end.)

Myers' Law:

"It is hard to make a system idiot-proof,
because idiots are so ingenious."

It may not qualify as an official rule either,but here's what a well known audio designer had to say (via private conversation) about selling audio stuff in the USA:

"Yep, if you want to sell equipment in the US, it's got to be built in a cheap box and cost under $1000. That's why the computer is the ideal product for America: it's cheap, comes in a shoddy cabinet, you can take it apart and screw with it to your heart's content. You won't have to worry about voiding the warranty because it will be obsolete in 3 months anyway and will break shortly afterward even if you don't mess with it. No matter what you do to it, it won't work worth a crap anyway and requires constant attention. Ideal product for audiophiles.
Yep, audiophiles love to take their system apart. They always think they know more than we do. We only designed it, what do we know? Yep, let them all buy computers. Then they can put $2500 power cords on them and see how much better they work. And magic bricks on top of their monitors. Yep, audiophiles are pretty silly."

Any further rules of your
Send 'em if ya got 'em. We'll post 'em.

Copyright © 1996, 1997

What is all this "Blowtorch" stuff, anyhow?

Well, well, well, well, well....................lookee what we got goin' on here.

At my fave forum: the "Let's kick the crap out of John Curl" thread. Typical, eh?

"So, what is this all about, and why does it have you so stirred up?"

I'm not really stirred up over it. I just find it hard to believe that a thread (that was set up by forum hierarchy), ostensibly so that JC could pass on his knowledge has turned into nothing more than the usual gang (or so) taking the chance to kick him in the teeth at every turn. Mind you, it wasn't his idea to start this thread: it was the forum's. But, the good-natured old fart that he is, he went along with it.

Boy, what a mistake.

Have any of you tried to follow that thread? How much, or how often, does he get to say something useful before someone tries to knock him down a few pegs?

And for what? What the hell did he ever do to you guys to merit this sort of crap?

Ok, he is brusk, and maybe not the most gregarious person around. So what? (I'm not either, so there!) Big deal? You either want to learn what he is willing to teach, or you should just shut the 'eff up.

But, seems that all a certain crowd wants to do is attack him, and in my biased esteem, for no good reason other than to attack him.

Maybe it is like that concept from Joe's Garage, where we find a way to make everyone a criminal. That way, we have everyone, from the President on down to the drunken bum in the street, on the same level. At least in terms of the law. Universal criminality.

Except that we have "universal ignorance" substituted, instead.

Mind you, I use the term "ignorance", as opposed to stupidity. Ignorance implies "Well, you just don't know what the 'eff you are talking about, but if you just shut the 'eff up and listen (and are willing to listen), that you just might learn something."

Actually, "stupidity" works in some cases. Some folks don't care to listen, others think that they don't need to listen, and still others are smart enough to know better while acting like they are not.

So, for those of you who don't have the time or desire to wade through all of the merda, here is a summation, presented for your reading enjoyment. Paraphrased, of course.

And my snide take on things. Which, let's face it.............that is the real reason that you are here!


"Well, since you say that we can't get the parts to build this, then what is the point of this thread? Why are you wasting our time?"

Ever hear the saying "If you give a man a fish, he will eat for one day. Teach him to fish, and he will eat forever." Or something like that. He is trying to teach you how to fish.

Except that some of you want the Seafood Catch of the Day caught for you.

"Well, how are we supposed to learn anything if you won't provide schematics? If we can't build it, then why won't you give it to us?

Just because you can't, doesn't mean that he can't. C'mon, how do you expect him to eat?

Some of you want the Seafood Catch of the Day turned into the Seafood Platter of the Day.

"Well, all we have to go on is your word. We have no proof. We demand proof! Specs, distortion figures, simulations...........etc., blah, blah."

Maybe if you shut up, get off of your butt, and try some of his ideas, you might learn something. Mainly that all the measurements in the world mean nothing about how it will sound. (Measurements are merely a design tool, something that guys like him use to evaluate the design process. The end result is always how it sounds. Measurements can not, and will not, ever do that.)

Some of you not only want the Seafood Platter of the Day, but you want someone to shovel the food into your mouth. What are you going to ask for next: have us chew it for you before we shovel it into your mouth?????

"All this thread has become is just you pounding your chest."

What is that old Buddy Rich saying? "It ain't bragging if you got it.!" He got it, and you don't. So there.

"All this thread has become is name-dropping."

Sorry that some of you have no sense of how the high-end audio industry came about. And don't care. Go read one of the "how does this cap sound?" threads, instead.

Unless, of course, you think that all caps sound alike. In which case.............why are you wasting time with DIY audio? Go buy an iPod.

There are more examples of ignorance from the Peanut Gallery, but why go on? You get the idea.............

Then we have the usual suspects, who see fit to poop on every thread possible, in every forum possible, and talk about the one and only thing that they know anything about. Too bad that they don't know as much about that one thing as they like to think that they do.

Too bad the moderators don't do their job, and save us all from having to read that swill.

Add to that some pompous ass from industry, who has never (to my knowledge) built a commercial amp. He does not believe in a damn thing that The Devil does, and takes every opportunity to remind us of that. This guy has made a career out of reminding us of that. Over, and over, and over again.

Hey, pal, give it a friggin' rest, will ya'. You have plenty of threads already dedicated to your brilliance, so stay over there and shut the 'eff up. I'm sorry that someone outside of Bell Labs came up with the concepts of TIM, SID, PIM, and all the other stuff that you claim that you don't believe in (but will measure for a price!), but that's tough.

And just because that you say that you have test sets that will measure it, we only have your word that it really measures what you say that it will. You don't believe in any of this, so why should we take you at your word that your gear actually does work the way that you say that it will? And that the results are valid? We don't. And in light of your almost 30-year long campaign to prove otherwise (founded it seems in petty personal attacks), I'm sure that the reasonable guy that you are that you can understand why some of us just might be a tad skeptical. In any case, just shut up.

Now we come to the part that I really don't get.............

Some guy, don't know who he is, don't know what he is, and I barely know where he is.............comes up with a series of simulations that are.............I dunno.............designed to make The Devil's concepts more accessible to the average schmuck.............and guess what...............they give him the same treatment!!!!

HUH???????? WHAT????????????

C'mon, the guy takes up his time, and goes to the effort of trying to put some of The Devil's concepts in a form that you learn from, and you savage him??? You nitpick everything from the models that he uses to actual circuits that he is trying to explain.

Yeah, I think that a lot of you people actually want us to chew that Seafood Platter of the Day for you. Except that I think that we should barf it up at you, and let you lick it up yourself. Because reading that thread really does make me want to barf.

"Dogs..........Pigs.........and Sheep. 'Animals', by Pink Floyd. The evidence is all around you."

Update: Aug. 29, 2008

Well, there seems to be an ongoing food fight about some guy who made some preamp that supposedly looks a lot like what people think the Blowtorch really is. Well, I dunno. It is possible that he gleaned enough info from that thread to come up with something that many of us think the BT really is. Maybe. What irks many of us is that he did not give credit where credit is due.

Well, different cultures have different ideas on that. In any case, I am going to let all of you decide what to think. I do know John Curl, and while I think that I may have exchanged e-mail with the "other guy" a few times, I can honestly say that I do not know him. And that I know very little about him.

Having said all of that, I have decided to provide a link to his site. Not because I want to flame the fires of discontent (I wouldn't do that, would I?), but to highlight some really funny stuff there.

Get this:

He used to be Mod at The Pub. But it seems that he did not get along with the rest of the Mods, so they booted him! Plus, he claims that his profile was never changed to "Banned". Instead, they just made an announcement, claiming how dangerous he is and why he had to go.

Does this sound familiar to any of you??????????? Gee, I dunno.............why would it (he asks between clenched teeth) sound familiar?

Well, think what you may about him. But I can relate to some of his experiences.

So, here is the link:

Blowtorch Clone?

Actually, the best part of his diatribe is in the "P.S." section. Yeah, ironic, isn't it? Seems that no matter which way you turn, folks who don't like John Curl can find ways to belittle his stance. So, while I may take exception to some things that he has said or done, he has managed to strike a nerve with that one.

As John would say (and in fact, did): Level 3!

Yeah, go ahead and call me a bitter old fart unemployed engineer (I am, so it is not slander!), but all of you operate a lot closer to Level 3 than you care to admit.

Copyright © 2008

What is all this "group buy" stuff, anyhow?

Well, well, well, well, well....................lookee what we got goin' on here.

At my fave forum: the $12k Group Buy fiasco of 2008. Brilliant, eh?

"So, what is this all about, and why does it have you so stirred up?"

I'm not really stirred up over it. I just find it hard to believe the incredible chain of events. How anyone who portrays himself as being in the electronics parts business could receive, repackage hundreds, maybe thousands of transistors, and not notice that the leads in the back row are cut off (at an angle, and different lengths), the ones in the front rows have solder blobs on them, send them out (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) to guys all over the world, and act befuddled when reports start coming in that not only are they not new (as promised), but are not even the part(s) promised!!!!!!

Can you believe that? I can't. Even as blind as I am, I would have noticed the first ones that I picked up. Yet, that is what they want us to believe. Somehow, a lot of us can't and won't.

So, as a "service to the community" (that is what the Mods over there like to call these Group Buy ventures) here is my suggestion to all the parties involved, so that it doesn't happen again.

To the Mods:

I know, you want to maintain your innocence in this. Nope, can't happen. You guys encourage this kind of activity, as a "service to the community". Well, you encouraged it, you have to assume a small amount of the blame. And that would imply not telling your irate members to lay off the purveyor of bogus parts. (Yes, I will say that if they don't, that he will pull up stakes and ride off into the sunset. Just what the hell is there to stop him now?????????) Neither should you encourage his delaying tactics. No, you need to tell him that he gave his word on these parts, and he has to stand by that. Now.

Besides.......he has never sold fake or used parts! Ever. (Guess there is always a first time.)

To the guys who fell victim to this:

Ever hear of the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true"? Guess what: it wasn't true. Oh, don't say that you weren't warned, because you were. Yes, I know that you will counter that the warning wasn't strong enough. Well, then blame the folks who run that place. We all know that if The Devil had made his feelings known any more strongly, that they would have silenced him. (Don't pretend that you wouldn't: we know you will. You do it to him all the time. Schmucks.)

But went ahead and forked out good money. I don't suppose that you never stopped to think that a guy who promised to get as many as you wanted, and specific bias group, just say how many.........of a part that has been out of production for several years.........that didn't send off any alarm bells? Well, you share some of the blame for being greedy and gullible. Shelling out that kind of money on something as risky as this.

Now don't get me wrong: I am on your side. What happened is a crime, and someone has to pay. I just think as a punishment that you should not be refunded your PayPal or shipping fees. Maybe next time you won't be so damn stupid.

To the jerk who was responsible for this mess:

I have a real hard time believing that you are an innocent victim in all of this. How you could receive that quantity of parts and not notice something was, I am not buying it.

But, let's say that you were duped.

How could you be so damn stupid to not notice that the parts weren't new. You didn't look at one? You didn't measure one to see if it was good? You did not get samples or written assurance that the parts were as promised??? Give me a break.

If you are that stupid, then you deserve to get burned.

If you are that crooked, you deserve to get burned and thrown in jail.

And what is with this crap that you need to send them all back, so that you can show your supplier, so that they can evaluate if all of the parts are bad??? You have to be kidding. You have more than enough to demonstrate that the parts are neither new or the part that was ordered. If you let them screw you around like that, then you deserve to be burned for being a wimp.

If it is just a delaying tactic, then you should get burned. In any case, you want guys to throw more money away on this fiasco? What, so that someone can sell them again? Nope. You have enough to establish you were sold crap. No, they should all be trashed. If you don't get your money back, well, tough. You gave your word.

Ok, so what the hell do all of you do to prevent this in the future?

Well, I have been thinking about that.

My suggestions:

No surprise that I am not a fan of "group buys" in the first place. Most of what goes under the guise of Group Buy is more of a 3-ring circus. Mainly, the PCB "Group Buy". You know.......a bunch of hobbyists get together, design a PCB (with too many chiefs and not enough Indians), and what happens is this:

"Mine doesn't work."

"Mine either. I want my money back."

"Well, mine does. You had to do something wrong."

"No, I didn't. It sucks."

"Screw you, hippies!"


I know.........suggesting that you eliminate these is never going to happen. Yes, I can do the math: 1 PCB, $$$$$; a whole bunch more $$$$$$. So, makes sense to get as many done as you can. Saves everyone money, but somehow, there are always a few goobers who kvetch about theirs.

Since these are never going to go away, I suggest that you appoint an official PCB Group Buy ombudsman. Someone who will oversee these affairs, and has the ability to resolve disputes. It is best that a senior member of the forum do this, and one who is not a Mod. (No, I am not volunteering. Besides, you banned me, remember? I am soooooo dangerous!)

Next, we have the legit Group Buys. You know........"I am going to order a bunch of parts from XYZ Connectors. Here are the prices, at various break points." I would allow them to proceed, but only when there is a clear notification of exact prices, and assurance of the legitimacy of the parts.

Then we have the worst kind: "I have only a few GHI Chip Co. ICs. Tell me how many that you want."

What is wrong with this picture?

Two things.

1.) No specific mention of exact quantity. Only a vague "just a few".

2.) No mention at all of price.

Group Buys should only be permitted when exact prices and quantities are spelled out. In the first post. Because we all know what happens here:

"Do you have any more left? I need 2."

"Yes, I also need 1. Am I too late."

I have noticed that these guys never get an answer in public. Who knows what answer they get, if any. Does the price go up, the more desperate that they sound?

All Group Buy transactions should be done in public, where everyone knows everything. That is why it is called Group Buy, and not a Private Sale.

In fact, I would not even allow members to do Private Sales, where there is no public disclosure of quantities available and prices.

And guess who I have noticed does private sales in just the manner that I would not permit. Anyone care to guess????? Hmmmmmmm...............?

It couldn't be the guy.....who checking................would it?

NO! Of course not!

Yet some of you are surprised when you receive fake parts in the mail, having paid $$$$$$ for them, in advance. The evidence was right there in front of you.

FS: PMD100 (HDCD) just a few!

"Dogs..........Pigs.........and Sheep. 'Animals', by Pink Floyd. The evidence is all around you."

Update: 10/31/2008

Well, it seems that the powers that be over there are "disappointed" that the guy "seems to have lost interest" in making any more refunds.

Gee, and why are they surprised by all of this? They could have asked me how this would have played out before the first shekel changed hand, but................

Remember, they don't want me around there. (I'm "dangerous".) And I am glad to oblige them. Clueless gits. They all are getting what they deserve. And they deserve each other.

Copyright © 2008

Why I hate audiophiles, Part Deaux

A follow up to my previous rant. The person(s) depicted in this little tale are real. Please forgive the innocent for associating with a nut like me.

But at least they aren't as hopeless as this guy...................

I talked to a buddy's wife earlier today. (Yeah, I know........that surprises a lot of you that not only do I have "normal" friends, but that their wife would be brave enough to talk to me. Well, stranger things have be known to happen. But he is my only "normal" friend, if that is any consolation.)

Anyway.....they have a daughter in college. They went to visit her a while ago. When they got to her apartment, her roommates and some of their friends (guys and gals) were sitting around, doing whatever. A few more were in other places.

But not their daughter's boyfriend. Nope, not the world's biggest nerd. need some background. Since they are "normal" people, they are not used to dealing with nerds. In fact, I may be the only one that they ever have to deal with. So, they are at a loss as to how to deal with us nerds. They aren't real keen on this guy, because............well........he is a total nerd. I reassured them that mating accidents aren't likely to happen, so they aren't as nervous as they were. But they still don't know what to make of him.

OK........back to the story........

My buddy's wife goes to her daughter's bedroom, and there is "The Nerd".

All by himself.

At a computer.

Playing a stupid video game.

"Hi, what are you doing?"

"Playing a video game."

Ask a nerd an obvious get the obvious answer.

I guess that I have to give them another lesson in "How to Talk to a Nerd. Lesson #8: The Complete Loser."

Copyright © 2006, 2008

Why I hate audiphiles

This could be sub-titled "Why I quit the audio business". Written a few years back, when I was sorta still in the audio business. Some of you will point out that I never really was in the audio business, just some of you others thought that I was.

Or better yet, "What the 'eff was I thinking when I caved in and started selling PCBs to you damn DIYers."

Or "Yet one more reason not to quit your day job and start an audio company."

I get tons of mail most every day. It seems to be split, almost equally into 3 categories.

1.) Inquiries about my products. Usually from guys that I have nothing in common with.

2.) DIYers asking which op-amp, cap, o/s filter, etc., to this circuit works........."if you had to make one of these, how would you do it?".......that sort of stuff.

3.) Discussing "bidnis". Anything from "Do you have any.....blah, blah.....Digi-key is out of stock and I need some now" to "Have you seen this new .....blah, blah.......from....blah, blah, looks like it might be good for......more blah and blah....." to "I'm thinking of starting my own audio company, and I know you will say not to but........blah, blah and yet more blah".

OK, this is the last one I want to talk about. And how it relates to topic #1.

This is for all you technical types. Not necessarily for the DIYers who want to start a "bidnis", but you may want to read it anyway.

Do you know what the hardest obstacle guys like us have to deal with?

No, not the magazines that only review $60K turntables, and the same ol' gold-plated turd products from the same ol' con artists that spend tons of money on advertising.........

Not PITA companies like Toshiba who decide, "Hey, why the hell are we still making these damn parts? Stop now." Yep, they make life tough.

Not all the other obvious in decline, aging demographics, CE stickers, RoHS crap, etc........

Nope. The biggest problem is the guys who are buying our stuff are NOTHING like us.

Most of the enquiries always have some nonsense like "My music is very important to me. I have to connect with it emotionally. If I can not connect with it, I am not fulfilled. I feel hollow and naked, and my present system just does not have the magic that I thought it once had" in the first few sentences.'...........break, will ya'?

You know why guys like us build our own stereo system?

Because we can.

Yeah, it has to sound good. That is why we love to futz with it. But first and foremost, we build. Then we futz. If there is time left, we listen. We listen because we can take pride in what we have done. Knowing that we can do just as good (if not better!) than the Big Boys and all their stinking marketing weenies and cost accountants that strip the performance out so much commercial gear.

Not because "we connect with it". Hell, if we want to "connect", we play paintball, join some asinine drum circle, fly RC model planes powered by rubber bands, or any number of other equally pointless waste of time activities that shut our brains down.

(Me? I watch South Park, and root for Cartman when he yells "Screw you, hippies!" or "I hate hippies. They smell bad and have no money. Gawd, I hate 'em." I know.....some of you are going "Hey, you live in Texas. Jimbo has to be your favorite." Nope, haven't had to shoot anything since I was booted out of the Army. Some of you should be thankful for that............)

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah.....audiophiles.............bunch of aging hippie.......uh, getting sidetracked again........

I don't know about you guys, but when I build something, I want something that I can listen to for hours on end. Something that I can listen to without wanting to get a rifle and shoot all the hippies afterwards. That is first. Next is performance. Yeah, we are nerds, we listen to see how good we can recreate bad recordings. But any of us ever talk about how it effects our emotions? How it has "magic"?

HELL NO! We are nerds, not dorks. But that is where the problem is.

We think that because we can design and build some kick-ass gear that we can sell it.

Yeah, we can.......if our customers thought the way we did.

Oh, but wait..........the guys who think like us are building their own, and have the same idea to sell it as we do.

So that leaves us with guys who can't build their own, and think, after 25+ years of dealing with them, I still don't know what the hell they think. Not sure they do either.

The bottom line is that we think one way, and the target consumer thinks something totally different. If you think that just because your gear sounds good to you and all your buddies, that it will sell, well, guess what.

Surprise! What sounds good to them isn't always the same thing. Trying to sell stuff based just on what you think is going to be tough. You are going to need someone working with you that can relate to your customers.

This is the big reason that solo engineer, or small group of engineers, companies don't make it in the high-end world.

I know......some of you are going: "Jocko, the reason that companies like yours or Phred's struggle is because you are........uh.........uh.......are challenged, in a personality sense."

Well, duh................duh! That has nothing to do with it. Some of the most successful companies around have people that are as despicable as can be imagined. Yet, they succeed because, as despicable as they are, they are not technical. And as such, can play into what audiophiles want.

Well, getting close to bean time, but one more thing to add:

Audiophiles are very insecure. They don't buy stuff that necessarily sounds good, but sounds like it should sound good. They need reviews, not to tell them if something is really good or not. They read them so that they know when they listen to it, what it is supposed to sound like. If the reviewer says it says it sounds this way or that, then, dammit! that is what they will hear. Even if it doesn't.

Yeah, Emperor's Clothes Syndrome.

Don't believe me??? Just go read the forums these guys hang out in. Tripping over each other to pat each other on the back with all of their cronies that are in their camp, and flaming the guys who think something else. Coming up with silly concepts like "PRAT" to describe something. (All of you back in the UK, gloss over that last part. At least for now.)

Yeah, I know......we do similar stuff. Arguing '5534 vs OPA627 vs AD whatever the hell it is makes the best I/V..............24-bit o/s vs the non-o/s crowd. The DIYers proclaiming their latest step backwards is an improvement and us engineer types telling then to get their heads out of their..................

Now it really is bean time!

Copyright © 2006, 2008

Engineers vs DIYers.

Here is the one that started it all. Sorta. My take on audio forums, and some of the morons that frequent them.

Ok, mind you, this does not apply to all of you. Obviously. Actually, it only applies to a rather small minority of schmucks on these forums. Most of you guys are decent chaps, trying to learn stuff, expand your understanding of stuff, and make some decent sounding gear in the process.

All it takes is for a few pinheads to get me wound up. And, they ever do it.

So, for all of you DIY pinheads out there, and you know precisely who you are, so don't feign ignorance, this one is for you.

Engineers vs. "DIYers"

Some......not all.....but some of you guys seem to have a grudge against engineers.

What's your problem? One would think that it would be helpful to have people who do this audio stuff for a living, but no............

The was no place like this when we started out; 25, 30, 40 years ago. I know that I wish that there was. Most of the people here that I have met are grateful, but there is an annoying core of people who seem that their day isn't made unless they find a way to put us down. For some of the most idiotic reasons.

Here's a synopsis of some of the crap that I have gleaned here in recent times.

(Don't ask me to dredge up the threads where this gibberish came from. It is there......look for it yourself.)

You guys never build anything.

You never build anything unless a buck is attached to it.

You never listen to what you build.

Everything that you build all sounds alike.

You can't explain why stuff sounds different.

You don't think about what you build, presumably because we are not professors.

Your posts are too much theory and simulation.

You need to simulate stuff before you rant about it.

You need to be more specific in your explanations.

You explanations are too hard to understand.

Your explanations are wrong.

You don't understand simple circuits.

You can't be capable of working in the electronics field.

You spend too much time reading data sheets.

You don't read them in enough depth.

You worry too much about worst case scenarios.

You have no grasp of what goes on in the real world, just the theoretical one.

You won't listen to theoretical ideas put forth by people who don't have your background.

You have no imagination and creativity, because it was beaten out of you by industry.

Your PCB layouts are too strange.

You have never designed a PCB.

You are spoiled because you work at big companies and get all sorts of free samples.

You work for small outfits, and can do weird stuff because there is no one there to keep you under control.

You don't do any DIY stuff, just commercial.

You are only here to flaunt your experience.

You only seem interested in money.

You complain that others sell stuff.

You don't share anything.

You don't share "your good stuff".

When we do, we are accused of being "know-it-alls", and stifling your learning. Or discussion. Or both.

Or you take our work, and disregard our wishes as to its use.

Maybe this belongs in the "more engineering humor" thread. Except some of us don't find this stuff humorous any longer.

Copyright © 2003, 2008


I guess.

I am going to have to slowly close down my crappy little site. The company that was graciously letting me have space to do pretty much whatever I please is no longer pleased. So, things will have to migrate over here at this blog.

Some of you guys have been equating me with some commercial concern that I may or may not have, or may or may not, do some work for. They don't have the sense of humor that I do. They sent me an e-mail that went something like this:

"It seems that some folks that you know have brought some unfavourable attention to us, through your perceived association to us. Spreading half-truths and other misinformation is not in our best interests. We assume that they are doing this out of ignorance and confusion on their part, as opposed to malice.

In light of this chain of events, we would like you to remove your content from our server. We will give you a reasonable amount of time to accomplish this, and any and all help that we can.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in these matters."

(I had to massage a few words, so that I can say that I only paraphrased what they sent to me. As opposed to posting an entire e-mail.)

"But aren't they there in Texas with you, and............."

There you go. Assuming facts not in evidence. Knock it off. So, as the old song goes: "Don't ask me no questions, and I won't tell you no lies."

And for those of you who got my butt in a crack:

Don't e-mail. Ever. Your mail will be kill-filed.
Don't ask me to help you on the forum. I will ignore you.
And if you have to ask if you were responsible, then you really are an idiot.

To the rest of you: mind you own damn business. You can stop Googling where I used to work and all that stuff.

"So what does this mean for the future of you making PCBs for us?"

What do you think? Yeah, not likely. Possible, but not probable. If I can come up with a better hosting option, I may re-open my site. At this point, I am inclined to tell everyone to stick it.

Since I still have my sense of humor, I will put all of my crazy rants here. Not that anyone will probably find or read them. They are just too good to lose. And maybe a few more. So, enjoy and leave me the hell alone!

I wonder what the folks who Google my site looking for "homo" whatever are going to do now?

Screw them too.