Monthly Archives: September 2015

Now in the Bay Area

Hello Bay Area Audio Enthusiasts,

We are finally out of Santa Barbara and located in lovely El Cerrito. I am available for helping tune your system in your home or for repairs at the shop. You can also buy tubes in person. Write me at to arrange a mail order or pick-up. Intern positions are available for both the business and school.

The Berkeley Hi Fi School will be offering classes in the late fall/early winter. We are working on a text book to accompany the classes. Every modern book I pick up has incorrect information about amplifiers and how they work. The internet is of course worse.

I am finding that many listeners do not know how to identify large amounts of simple distortion. They tend to think it’s something else like bloated bass or poor imaging. There isn’t much talk about distortion in the magazines and forums and most of what I read is not correctly stated. I have personally observed cases where a group of listeners were not able to identify distortion that was in excess of 20%.They were good listeners, just not trained in what distortion sounds like.

At the Hi Fi school we will listen to various levels of distortion from various sources. We will hear that second harmonic distortion is not benign and that small amounts of crossover distortion are very obvious. This whole story of high order harmonics is horribly misstated. When amplifiers create distortion they do it in specific ways. Speakers do it in entirely different ways. The way distortion is created is more important than its order or percentage.

Anyone who has time and interest to get involved with the school please contact me at the above email. We need some help in everything from organizing the space, updating the website, enrollments and special events. I am here to share my years of experience in audio but I can’t do everything. I have several new designs that I would like to see go into production. Help with producing and marketing those would be appreciated. Helpers will receive free classes and discounts on equipment.

I am also teaching Kinetics and Electronics at The Crucible in Oakland and an afterschool basic electronics and magnetism at Madera and Harding elementary schools in EL Cerrito. Let your friends in the area know about these classes.