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Positive Feedback ISSUE 65
january/february 2013


Our readers respond…we respond right back!

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After such a positive review of Chesky's Sessions from the 17th Ward by Amber Rubarth, I had to double back to confirm your lack of mention that it is a marvelous binaural recording.  Designed for headphones, it says even more that you were enthusiastic hearing it through your loudspeaker system. With the right headphone system, one enjoys a spooky you-are-there soundspace.

Jim Stoneburner

Dear Positive Feedback,
First, thank you for allowing your readers the chance to win the groundbreaking "Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC.” ;-)

Second, I have greatly enjoyed reading your website and your musings for many years, alongside, Stereophile, TONEAudio, The Absolute Sound,, Headfonia,, amongst others.

In 2009, I started and completed a two-year course in Music Technology (BTEC HND L3), and passed with Triple Merit in June 2011. Since then, I have been looking for work so that I could build a work portfolio that, in the future, would allow me to have a higher level of chance to work in the audio industry as an audio engineer.

Unfortunately, I had no luck in finding work, and had no choice but to take Government benefits whilst not working. Earlier last year (about March), I hit depression. It was a bleak moment in my life, and I had become a recluse. Without going into further detail of this period, in early December 2011, I was given the opportunity to work in a large company and earn a fantastic wage. I received my first paycheck in over four years just before Christmas (the highest amount of pay I have ever received).

So, what did I treat myself to? A set of high-end in-ear monitors! In this case, the Heir Audio 4.Ai's with custom engraved names on the wooden face plates! These are currently being created as we speak.

In the next few months, I expect to purchase some custom in-ear monitors, but I first want to buy a high-end portable amplifier for my new Heir Audio 4.Ai's. I already own the excellent JDS Labs c421 headphone amplifier with an AD8620 opamp installed, but I set my signs higher.

After thorough research, I have decided to take the risk and will pre-order a very exciting headphone amplifier with a 24/192 USB DAC, 2x balanced and single ended outputs in one, tone shaping abilities, and an iDevice USB input. That's right, on my next paycheck (next weekend) I am pre-ordering the 'CEntrance HiFi M8 DAC/Amplifier! :-)

Next month, I shall talk to about creating a custom balanced cable for my Heir Audio 4.Ai IEM's to work with the CEntrance HiFi M8 DAC/HA's, and I hope this later serve my first CIEM's as well later this year; the Heir Audio 8.A's (or the JH Audio 16Pro + JH3A).

The amplifier ought to be powerful enough to power my old AKG K 701's headphones too!

So, this should set me up for the start of a budget-mid-level DAW (PC/MAC and software much further down the line), but in reality, I would love to own a superior DAC to my aging ASUS Xonar D2X PCI-E soundcard, playing back my slowly growing DSD downloads (thanks Blue Coast Records!), and for the DAC to be the hallmark of my desktop system.

For now I shall stop this wall of text, but I hope you enjoyed the read and my passion/ambition to further my audio career and listening capabilities.

Thank you for reading, and setting up the competition!

Kind regards,

The One in Yellow

The Higher End

About the "expectation of privacy" and those emails to Positive Feedback Online

Ye Olde Editor

We do like hearing from you, our readers. It adds a great deal fun to what we do, encourages our editors and writers, provides information we may have missed, and correction that we may need. This is all to the good.

Your communication with us these days is almost always via the highly rational path of email. And we do read it, responding to the constructive correspondence—which is most of it, really—as quickly as possible. (The destructive stuff is routed directly to the bit bucket. Didn't yo' mama teach you better than that?!) Dave Clark and I are generally pretty rapid in getting back to you if a response is needed from us, or in re-directing inquiries to the appropriate person at PFO if it needs to go to an editor or writer.

By the way: please understand that the writers and editors at PFO are helpful folks, eager to assist their fellow audio/music lovers, or they wouldn't be doing what they're doing. Nevertheless, PFO is not an audio consulting service. Please do not clog the gears with complex requests for assistance with the sourcing of audio gear in your personal setting. Remember too that PFO is not, and has never been, an audio ombudsman. If you are having problems with a particular vendor, company, or dealer, please avail yourself of the normal channels for such resolution; no audio publication has the time or resources to take on such a responsibility for consumers. Enough said.

With an increasing flow of emails to Positive Feedback Online, and upon evidence of some recent confusion on the part of our email correspondents, it's become necessary to re-state the ground rules by which we operate here. So gather round the campfire, friends…

Any time an email, or an exchange of emails, is both constructive and of potential wider interest, we exercise the reserved right to publish it in "Reverberations," the letters section of PFO. This is, after all, a publication, a "journal for the audio arts." We are seeking to further educate and entertain our readership in our common love for fine audio, and contributions in the form of emails/letters from our readers are one way that we accomplish this goal. When you write to any of us… our essayists and reviewers included… we assume that you are aware of our nature as a publication, and that you write to us in the light of that knowledge.

This means that—unless you request confidentiality explicitly in your email or letter—there is no expectation of privacy here at Positive Feedback Online.

To put it another way: Any email or letter sent to this journal will be considered fair game for publication, unless you state in the document itself that the contents are private/confidential.

So… our default is PUBLISH.

The reverse is also true: the editors do reserve the right not to publish an email or letter. We are not obligated to publish your letter or comments simply because they are submitted. And hostile, negative, sarcastic, destructive emails or letters are never published.

So…sometimes we DON'T PUBLISH.

Finally, our subtitle for "Reverberations"—"Our readers respond—we respond right back!" is not a guarantee that we will always respond to an email or letter that is published. Often we do; sometimes we don't… usually when we don't, it's a case of res ipsa loquitur.

So finally… sometimes we PUBLISH WITHOUT RESPONSE.

I think that makes things clear. Having said all of this in the name of clarity, keep those cards and letters coming in!

All the best,

David W. Robinson