28 March 04
Esoteric Audio Research, EAR,
is a company that has been into tube designs for Audio equipment for a
Tim deParavicini is the founder, owner, tube/electronics-designer and motor
behind the company. At the "Gala Premier" of Mårten Designs
visitorcenter HiFiForum.nu had an opportunity to talk to
Tim. Tim is a very friendly person so Pac & Neo had a very
nice 1 hour and 30 minutes conversation with Tim about his design
philosophies, Ear as a
company, the past and the future of EAR and the Audio industry.
We will publish the interview in an "Q & A"-format with some audioclips,
more will be added in due time,
that You can klick on to hear Tim himself talk.
Q: So Tim, lets start off with some philosophy, Why are You in this
business, why do You design Audio?
A: For me it is passion for music and the business. If Money was
why I did things I would have been in the banking or stock business. The
thing is, if You do it right in this business You can support Yourself
but I'm not intrested in beeing a Richard Branson or something. Being in
the High End Audio is similair to running a very good restaurant, those
that have stars in Guide Michelin. You need to know why You do certain
things and not just follow a recipie and You need to focus on Quality.
Q: What about Your
designs what's Your angle?
A: Once again I do the analogy with the restaurant. They to
combine ingredients together so that the combination becomes something
greater than the ingredients. If You follow a recipie and use the same
ingredients at home, it never becomes the same thing. It's the same with
what I design. I put things together and people can try to copy but they
will never be able to understand why I did it the way I did.
Q: You also do
electronics for studios?
A: Yes I do. I have sold tape machines to for instance Mobile
Fidelity, Bob Ludwig, Pink Floyd. The last SACD from Pink Floyd had a
lot of my electronics in there...
Q: Do You go about doing Your electronics differently between the
Professional equipment and HiFi equipment?
A: No personally I don’t. But I find that some studios does not
listen in an home environment, they just use their working environment
to listen. So some of them does not have that good equipment. Their
mixing consoles use cheap IC’s and things like that. Some of the modern
“Backstreet”-studios are even all computerized...?
Q: For an Audio designer
what do You belive is more important, measuring or listening?
A: I do both. I have a lot of real life influences around me. I
have a piano and a drumkit at home, my daughter plays the cello and the
piano so I have a lot of live sources to listen to. When it comes to
measuring I have found that the common usual tools such as for instance
distortion does not give You the whole story. You
need to correlate what You hear with what You measure. I have some
measuring techniques that I haven’t published that helps me to correlate
my measurements with sound. The trick is to
understand which characteristics cause what influences. It’s the same
when I look at a digitalsystem, why am I hearing that thing, where does
it come from and so on. You have to correlate Your measurements.
Q: DVD-A, SACD, MP3, ... There is a
"War of the formats" raging. What's Your reaction to all of that?
A: MPEG3 has really poor quality. But if You are to use it for
storing a speach or to store higly compressed data for for instance a
black box crash recorder in a car, it does its jobb. In the digital
audio formats I have been supporting, via minor conultations, the Sony
SACD. It's the best of all the basic systems out now for what I call
highend digital audio. Now obviously there is a conflict with the home
theatre systems but they are for a different audience, people watching
movies are more interested in special effects, they have 5.1, 6.1 and
7.1 and no standardisation.
I've always been a believer in standardisation. Philips did the right
thing with the audio cassette, they gave every one the possibillity to
use it so that they could post it. On the basic CD Philips did some what
the same thing.
But now we have to many companies trying to keep control. It's a bit
like what happened in the Video arena some 20 years ago with Betamax,
Video2000 and VHS.
The best system didn't win, VHS which was the worst system of them all
won. If it only was about the technical issues we could choose SACD and
call it a day.
The problem is that it is
all about politics now. The format that should have won is the laserdisc
since. You can get a lot of information on disc that size.
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