President's Message
June 2001

0. In celebration of the opening (in a new location) of the AudioNut in Arizona, they are offering a 15% discount for BAS members on most products, in addition to the 10% off opening special. The owner is former presidentof the Arizona AudioPhile Society. Good until June 30.

1. Scott Kent, recording enineer and owner of AFKA records, sent me some test reports on 80 minute CD Recordable discs. The error rate was up to 20 times that of 74 minute CDRs. It is worrisome that retail stores are now almost exclusively carrying 80 minute CDRs. I've even seen 90 minute ones, which must have horrendous error rates.

2. Matthew Gilbert writes in the Boston Globe about the joys of earplugs: "I do love them so, with the passion and loyalty that Elvis had for his own small capsules. Foam earplugs: They are the Davids that fight the Goliaths of the aural universe." ..."the world recedes into the distance and insulation settles over you like some kind of Novocaine for the soul...much has been written about the oversaturation of our sightlines...We forget that our ears are also overstimulated every day." He uses the yellow foam plugs you roll and insert; they expand to make a seal. (15Mr01)

3. I was going through and repairing my collection of RCA interconnect cables, some over 30 years old. I find it satisfying to repair them by installing new gold plated plugs and making them like new. After spotting gold plated interconnects in the MCM catalog for 2-3 dollars, I wondered...why bother?. After ordering some samples and testing them I know why. Their capacitance is 100 pF per foot. (As Joel Cohen commented "you have to work to get it that high.") Typical cable is 30 pF/foot and DB Systems cable is 12 pF/foot. Rationally I know that for short runs it doesn't make any difference, but with a 25 foot run with a medium output impedance (2500 ohms) there will be audible treble loss. I can't see replacing my low capacitance cables with new high capacitance ones even if they are cheap. Also I tried turning the center pin with a pair of pliers and it turned fairly easily. This can lead to premature failure due to the center connection being broken. I will continue repairing cables myself. MCM sells a premium cable for 10-15 dollars which should be OK.

4. The Boston Audio Society Test CD-1 (now available) contains 71 minutes of contributions by members. It begins with a setting of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" for chorus, then selections by Saint- Saëns (Organ Symphony), Bach, Bruckner, Soler, Schumann, Mahler and Verdi (Requiem); an excerpt from Shoptalk (the radio show which led to the BAS); 21 tracks of test signals which test the limits of CD players and playback systems and your hearing; and a selection from the Opus "Frogs". The complete booklet is posted on our website. It is available by donation of $40 to the Society (independent of dues). If you wish to order a copy, send a check for $40, made out to the Boston Audio Society, to David Hadaway, POB 460, Rindge NH 03461.


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

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updated 11/11/04