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Positive Feedback ISSUE 66
march/april 2013


Our readers respond…we respond right back!

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Hi David,
Just saw your DSD update in PFO.  Here’s a quick and easy update for you. The Oppo BDP-103 has the same DSD capability as the 105 with the new firmware update.  On my BDP-103, multi-channel DSD file playback is pretty spectacular (yeah!), but the menu-driven file navigation is lame (boo!).  But we are making progress.

Take care.

Russ Stratton

In your review of this DAC, you mention that you ran your IPOD through a I-20 dock and into the uDac, but you didn't say whether/how the uDac improved upon the sound of the internal DAC in the Pure dock.  How did it compare, I dock my IPOD on a Pure I-20, and wonder whether an improvement can be made by using the digital output into an external DAC.

I plan on commenting more about the I-20 in a separate article about that device. Just haven't gotten around to it yet. It is a very nice little iPod dock, and though it does sound pretty good using it's own built in DAC, playing out through the SP/DIF output into the Wyred4Sound DAC was quite a bit better still. With the 320 kpbs files that comprise most of my iPod's music, the difference were noticable, but not huge. Playing some Apple Lossless files made a bigger difference, mostly in terms of overall transparency, detail, soundstage size. Tonally, there wasn't much if any difference to write about.

Using the TOSLINK connection was a noticeable downgrade in sound. In fact, I preferred a cable out of the headphone jack to the dock with the TOSLINK connection. Just lost too much in terms of dynamics and detail. I do like the uDAC's TOSLINK input for my ATT Uverse receiver. Makes movies fun, and certainly better than the analog audio output of that receiver.

But, for a dock with digital outputs costing under $100, I really like the I-20. Next year it will be the main source for my son's college system.

Oh, and thanks for reading my article!

Steve Lefkowicz
Senior Assistant Editor

Having just read the article on pc music, I'd like to share a recent thought.  I'm not going to compress new CDs at all now that the price of multi-TB drives has fallen so low. It isn't worth the extra step of compression let alone always wondering what is truly lossless. I also think it can't hurt to remove the decompression processing as a bonus. You can now buy an external 3tb and maybe 4tb drive for around $200. Of course, many will be using internal drives in raid's which lowers the price even more.

This may not be workable for people with huge libraries, but are they going to re-rip everything because it was done using EAC?

Dave Rosenblum


The reminiscence called... Learning To Listen, by Alón Sagee... was quite wonderful. The guy's a natural writer; ask him for more. I was especially amused by his story of disassembling an all-in-one phonograph and putting the speakers in separate boxes, for that's exactly what I did—after earlier having built a TinkerToy turntable. Yep, start 'em young.

Clark Johnsen

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

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