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I'm downloading some Podcasts right now, BBC's Desert Island Discs…
Recalling, in 2007, TdP said: Digital radio came along with a promise of perfect sound forever on the radio, and the BBC made all sorts of spurious claims using what I'd call not-true comparisons; for example, showing that they could drive a car around and digital would sound better under certain circumstances.
FM, when it was designed in the late 1940s, had a dynamic range of 80dB potentially, and FM has the linearity of an analog system, because the equivalent sampling frequency is around 108MHz, which is huge, and gives an extraordinary resolution. And then they come along with a digital system that is only 13 or 14 bits, and 32kHz sampling.
And now, with digital radio, even Radio 3 [the BBC's classical-music and arts radio station] has been cut down to 160 kilobits per second. They've now abused us, putting on more and more channels of poorer quality on digital radio. What is the purpose? It's not high quality! They don't care any more about quality, that's the saddest part. Whereas, with stereo and FM, the original aspiration was towards quality. With the BBC, back in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a relaxed quality in listening to Radio 3, for example, or Radio 4. But as time has gone on it's been mutilated. And now Radio 3 is processed until it's not very palatable.
People will eventually believe McDonald's tastes good, if you force them. But there are people who like good food, and go out of their way to look for good food. The same with good music. And music is human emotion, it is every bit as important to us as food, because music conveys everything from laughter to crying to smiling to tears of joy.
Do you lose awareness that Hi-Fi, selling it—the products is about profitability? Admittedly, sometimes I forget. But I try to remember each time before I'm about buy…
Regarding Antony Michaelson's tribute: When I started [Musical Fidelity] I remained friends with him. One day I was at his house and we inevitably began talking circuits. He started getting excited, very excited, and took me into his workshop (piles of car parts, half-finished breadboard circuits, masses of wires and components, a bit of cat poop, un-emptied ashtrays… Yup! Genius at work!) and showed me a small breadboard with a couple of output transistors strapped to it; it looked like nothing. Then he really got into gear: Class A, low cost, amazing sonics, waving hands, blazing eyes. His passion convinced me, and the result was the A1; the bestselling MF product of all time. Thank you, Tim!
Tim was never interested in the money when it came to his designs. Everything we did together happened on trust, with no mention of money. Typically Tim. He never even considered a price for the A1 design, but I knew it was something special and so through my own insistence I put him on a handsome retainer/salary. Tim was an un-worldly gift to the world of audio, and his influence and status needed to be recognized.