Well, I split my college years between physics and psychology, so I may 
be more open to the oddities of audio than many. It is often easier to 
deny a phenomena than to explain it. Hell, we have presidential 
candidates running on that very platform.

De-gaussing involves a strong magnetic field, cleaning/polishing 
removes production residue and optimizes the optical interface, precise 
trimming at an angle insures centering and minimizes internal 
reflections, which may reduce error correction. Physics, optics, 
mechanics haven't been hokum for a while.

If person A can hear effects person B can't, it's hardly something to 
get one's knickers in a twist over. My dog hears things I can't. Fair 
enough, that's why we let her ancestors into the cave. Actually, so can 
my wife. Part of our courtship involved demonstrating that a good 
stereo allowed her to hear the differences between analog and digital, 
between wires, components, speaker positions, etc. Once she decided I 
was a just discriminating guy and not a lunatic after all, it became 
much easier to justify the occasional upgrade.

It is true that virtually all magazines exist to sell advertising. And 
like the man said 97% of just about everything is junk. Some people 
would rather read Wine magazines than imbibe based on price and the 
picture on the label.


On Jan 22, 2008, at 4:10 PM, Tom Fine wrote:

> More importantly, Bruce, I don't want to throw a big bucket of facts 
> on the audiophillic fire here, but "de-gaussing, polishing, trimming, 
> etc" is HOOEY, JUNK "SCIENCE", P. T. BARNUMESQUE HOKUM!!! This is why 
> I can't take those "high end audio" magazines seriously -- they will 
> sell advertising and write articles about this junk!
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Hamilton" 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 5:58 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators
>> On 1/22/08 1:42 PM, "Bruce Kinch" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> One problem with the "bits iz bits" argument is that all sorts of
>>> tweaks (not just better players/DACS) change (often subjectively
>>> improving) the sound of CDs - de-gaussing, polishing, trimming, etc.
>>> One of the nice things a good DAC can do is demonstrate how a
>>> "bit-perfect" CD-R copy can sound better than the original CD, and 
>>> that
>>> is truly weird.
>> This is truly weird.  I thought that Dr. Dunn's/Prism Sound AES paper 
>> on
>> bit-identical CDs sounding different stated that the differences all
>> disappeared when using an external DAC.  It's the internal (to the CD
>> player) DAC which he surmised gets its quartz timing futz'd by the 
>> servo
>> arm's tracking fluctuations caused by a hard-to-read (less 
>> reflective) disc.
>> So a slow burn on compatible media might make a better reference disc 
>> than a
>> fast burn on compatible media (which might make for fewer errors but 
>> sound
>> worse (on a CD player that is using its built-in DACs) and is, 
>> ironically,
>> the better master disc!).
>> _andrew