-What's up everybody, it's Friday, May 31st, 2013.
This is the 404 Show on CNET.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel Nunez.
-Welcome to the program everybody for the 75th time.
-No, I don't know.
It could be who knows.
-It could be 25th.
-Whatever it is, we're freakin excited cause you're back on the program.
-Excited to be here.
-Welcome back Mr.
-It's been that long.
-It's been that long that I forgot your real name is Sphere.
-You always have the best shirtswear seriously.
-By the way, it looks nice.
-Can we just stop and talk about your shirts?
If you're listening to the podcast, stop and play the video podcast because it's always way worth watching the show.
-When Steve is on.
-And it's a burnout of red--
Where do you get these shirts from?
I know that your wife sews you a lot of these shirts, which is awesome.
-Well, she picked this one out specifically for 404 Show.
Yeah in which we saw--
-Where did you get from?
-Where did you get from?
-Actually, she was in Ohio.
It's very-- You know, it's kinda--
-I know it's kinda-- I said, "Don't buy me a pair of shoes." She says this one is for you.
-It was cool.
-By chance, she was right.
-Because it is exactly for you.
-So, let's play catch up.
Where do you rock in there?
-Where do you rock in?
-Are they good?
Do you like him?
I think he's really--
-I can't believe he likes monster headphones.
-I don't listen those with myself.
-Oh, I never like--
All right, whatever.
-These are great.
-Let's play catch up.
-Where you've been?
How you've been?
What have you been up to?
I want everyone to know that Steve is one of the main reasons we got Marc Maron on the show, which was a big deal for us.
-Yes, thank you for that.
-Thank you for that.
-I'm so happy we work.
-So, Steve like turned us-- turned me on to it awhile back and then--
-And then, we were like, "Oh man, you know, it's time.
We have to get him on."
And then Steve like got found an email and sent it over, the next thing you knew 3 weeks later he was on the show.
-Sitting in this chair?
-Sitting in that chair.
-This very chair?
-Yeah, you're never gonna wash your pants ever again.
You wanna smell it?
You wanna smell that?
That's Maron right there.
-But I want him to say, "Guttenberg or Sphere sat in this chair?"
-That's my goal.
-You wanted to work the opposite.
-Or the other Steve Guttenberg.
-Will say, "The audiophiliac was in his chair?"
-Man, if we were to get the real-- like the real, but the other Steve Guttenberg.
-I'm the original.
-You're the-- clearly the original.
-You have seniority over him.
-In this copy.
-It's a mimic.
-Yeah, he says you rocks.
-Yeah, so that would even be a big deal.
-Here a much bigger deal in that guy anyway.
-Anyway, I have so many questions.
-I'm sure you do.
-And you didn't even listen to Tuesday show
'cause Steve actually likes our program when he's not on and he listens--
-And you know Tuesday's episode was pretty epic.
-It had one of the most sorts of feedback episodes that we've ever had.
-If choses episode or as I've begun to refer to it as a series of bad decisions by Justin Yu.
My boss listened to it here.
-And he came up to me and was like, "Wow, as I listened to that show, I just couldn't believe how many bad things happened to you that night.
It was just stuck on top of each other."
-Yeah, it's by far the worst Monday I've ever had.
-Yeah, it was a bad Monday.
-I think I wanna know how bad Monday it was.
-That's why we should call that the show were Justin has a case-
-The worst case on Monday.
So, you really have to take the time this weekend or in the mid if you try to listen to what happened on this dude on Monday.
-Just a series of terrible, terrible--
-This is worse than the bike one where you--
-That he buy car?
-No, we got-- your bike was stolen or you had a bike accident like a year ago?
-Oh my god.
You did not--
-Steve, there was a bike accident a year ago,
-There was, but this is--
-but this way worse than that,
-This is it.
The humans died.
-If I was wearing that shirt, it never would have happened.
-It would have functioned as a [unk] inside the-- basically I was caught in the wood.
-Speaking of which, I got a question for you dude.
Would you gonna get a like a tetanus shot or something, what do you think?
-It cost money.
-That bad ass.
-That's so hard.
-I don't need it.
-All kidding inside though.
-Don't you think it might be like a good idea--
-I was inside the water for a little while and then--
-I soaked with that bug water.
-Well, do you hear coming from Ariel, right?
-Like maybe go to-- like maybe get a checkup or something?
Do you think I should?
-Just do it.
-I didn't really think about that.
-I'll just say like if you're in the wilderness--
-where it's like not clearly a lake for swimming for or anything that--
It's dead water.
-Yeah, and there's like floating bacteria and terrible stuff that could--
-You're such a gem.
-Oh, I'm just saying that I-- It is [unk] anything to say, but you know go-- maybe go like-- go to doctor and have him, you know, bang on her kneecaps of something like that, right?
-I drank a bunch of the water too.
Do you think that was a problem?
-I just want you to get your--
-I just want you to get your oil change man.
-I just want you to get a tune up or something.
-Whole blood transfusion.
-All right, so I wanna talk about one thing for sure--
-and then we'll get into your stuff.
-I got an email this morning.
You guys have gotten an email where it's like one of those ridiculous, those stupid ass chain emails--
-and you can like sniff them out right away because it's from your parents.
-Well, no, not necessarily and that sort of where we're going this.
I got an email from my friend, Amy, this morning and the title is New Jersey State Police Ticketing, right?
And it goes on about how New Jersey State Police Ticketing are upping their ticket, you know, their ticket code.
And starting on July 28th, they're gonna launch a 30-day speeding ticket frenzy.
This is literally verbatim what the email says: The state estimates a $9 million will be generated in speeding tickets.
$1 million will go to pay state troopers over time.
And then I goes like, "Oh, these are the roads they're gonna be patrolling and stuff like that and I'm reading this freakin malarkey and I can tell already.
I'm like this is bullshit.
-There's no-- like what is this.
And then it's saying like, "Oh, I heard this on the radio.
You got to pass it around to all your friends.
With just a few short keystrokes, I was able to determine thanks to Snopes.com.
This is bullshit, you know, email from like 2005 that someone started just to-- I don't know, get people going a little bit.
-You pull it up here on that thing.
I put the link in the--
I don't know that.
-Basically, you go to Snopes and you find out that this is a speeding ticket frenzy, nonsense chain email.
That was started in like 2005 and it just kept reappearing every 16 months and, you know, I find this out and then I email my friend who sent me-- who forwarded me the email and I copied everyone.
She-- you know, I'm just like, "Hey, you know, whoever sent this to you is a douche bag because this is a fake email chain from 2005."
-And they were like, "Oh my god, how did you know that?"
-Well, a lot of these emails kinda look the same.
-They make this unbelievable like
Insider information declared of statements and then we trace the back a little bit further and I'm not sure I'm gonna like make a blanket statement here.
I'm not sure I'm gonna say like these people are what's wrong with the internet.
-He is the--
-But it was somebody's like mother, right?
-And it was-- And then I look back further and was like, "Oh, yeah, her mother, her mom."
-Those sets of mom sent this to you.
It's old people.
You know why it's been old people's--
-Old people still think that you can hide secrets on the internet.
This is like email-- each other.
-There are no more secrets on the internet, right?
If this was real news
-100 percent right.
I mean-- because if you know something doesn't mean that everyone else doesn't know it.
If this was real news, it would be on the news.
And that's a thing like the real news sort of-- All their news comes from the internet, right?
-So, come on just do a little background checks instead of scaring, you know, 25 friends on a Friday.
It just like it pisses me off so much and it's not her fault then I get it like you read, like my sister-in-law a while back sent an email--
-around to 30 people that's-- It was something so absurd like also read the content a lot 'cause it's always like written really poorly as well like, you know, someone who invented this was somewhat who did not achieve in life and you read it and you're like-- and you're like, "Oh my god." It says something like be careful about entering your pin number because if you enter it backwards it will spit up money or something absurd like that.
-And I just real back and I'm like, "You don't believe this shit, do you?" 'cause it's absurd.
It doesn't make Sensation exam is normal to light touch and 2-point discrimination in all 4 extremities.
You can't-- You really cannot believe everything that's on the internet and I really-- It sucks because I know a lot of like dads and I know a lot of like of grandfather and they just click forward and just click forward and they pass along the misinformation.
-This is why the internet gets a bad rap man it's because you guys are--
-This old people.
-Instead of these kids, it's old people--
-You know, these old people are not listening to this show right now.
-I know, but-- and this is not-- and this is not like a PSA for old people.
This is a PSA for our demographic, for our listeners to tell their parents don't click forward.
-It's a free PSA from the 404 Show.
Don't click forward.
-Why don't you just block these people?
-Because they're like family members dude, you know.
-Because they're family, yeah.
-My mom does the same thing except she doesn't send the scary-paranoia story.
She always sends like the heartwarming one,
-which is actually kinda nice like I got one from the other day.
-A joke-- joke is good.
-I got one the other day.
It was like, "What love means to 4-8 year olds?" And then it was just a bunch of quotes about like what kids think about love-- and they're like touching words from the mouths of babies and basically that was-- that was it.
-I like reading that kind of stuff 'cause meanwhile I'm like watching Worldstar hip hop online.
-But this is the stuff that my mom reads online.
I think that's great.
-You know, there are still positive things that exist on the internet, and that's the reminder of that.
-Exactly and the email is preface with the fact that, yeah, this is all fictional joke, this is a story.
Not one of this like, "Warning, don't drive the entire summer because you're gonna get a speeding ticket."
-It's a little-- It's a little nuts, right Steve?
Isn't that crazy?
-Have you been a victim of any crap like this?
-Because you're better than that.
You're one of the good ones.
-I get a pass.
-You're one of the good ones Steve.
You got a pass.
-You know what I think is funny just from like a macro perspective is that when people get junk mail 'cause that's basically what they say.
When people get junk mail, they just had to delete.
-They just had to delete.
-But you get so mad about it.
You have to like-- and you have to like reply to them, you look up Snopes, you spent like 20 minutes--
-Nope, 6 seconds.
-like 20 people that is like research that you had found and you're so angry about it.
-But you know why do you get angry?
It's just-- You know, you did track down
every spam email in Nigerian scammers that--
-That's a much bigger problem that I can help, but these are the little dense that I can fix because I can tell these people and, you know, if this word got out like you basically-- so the chain-- the email chain-- the chain of--
-Chain of fools.
-the chain of fools, the chain of BS, it slowly seeps through all the tubes, right?
-And it gets to me, right?
-So I said, you know what, this is not the--
-This is gonna stop right here.
-This is gonna stop with me--
-Right here right now.
I flipped it around on everyone and I send it back.
-And the mirror--
-And then-- And then--
-You're holding up a mirror.
I mean the truth-- the truth seeps through the tubes back to them and then I find out like, "Oh my god I was helping spread this awful rumor
-and now I know better and that I-- you make a difference.
-In people's lives.
-Then 10 years later, you get a heart attack.
-It's nothing to do with that anymore.
-It's not good.
-This is healthy.
-Just relax man.
-No, I just don't want you to let this stuff get to you.
You already angry as it is already, but these things these are like--
You know, one day you're gonna get an email and just kinda hooked out and like break your computer.
That vein over here.
-You should have seen how freakin' calm I was this entire time.
I was just like, man, you-- I am friend with some stupid people, yeah, and then pap, pap, pap, send, send, send, done.
-It took 30 seconds.
-Hey, you heard a humor that short people have no reason to live.
You have stupid people-- old stupid people have no reason to live.
You said that, not me.
-Anyway, let's get into some of your stories today sir--
-'cause I know you have a lot to talk about with the
chicken scratch Jones over here so let's-- let's--
-So, you know--
-The rumblings of a mad man.
-It's not on this list.
-But may be a year ago, I wrote-- I did piece called "Do you remember when Sony was Apple?"
-The Sony was once Apple.
-Yeah, I remember that.
-Sony has had the first of everything.
It was-- Sony trains-- Actually, can you turn me up a little bit?
-Yeah, absolutely Steve.
Sony-- So, you know, Sony Trinitron TVs were so dominant.
There was no number 2 TV maker in the world.
-They owned, you know, Paramount.
They owned the biggest record company in the world, Columbia Records.
In taper quarters, they were number 1 in so many things.
There was no number 2. They were so overwhelmingly popular.
So in 1989 when they were still Apple, the brought out this headphone called the MDR-R10.
-And they said we're gonna make the best headphone in the world.
Of course, everybody says they're gonna make the best headphone in the world.
-But this headphone was so great.
-But the thing was it was really expensive
and they only said we're gonna make 2000.
-And that's it and they were gonna stop.
-So, I had never heard one of these headphones until a couple of weeks ago and I finally got to hear it and it was an absolutely amazing.
-Look at those, wood grain.
-So, they got like a wooden ear cups, huh.
-The wood is 200 years old.
-Is that good?
Is that-- It was like this wood aged like one.
-Yeah 'cause it's aged and stable.
And the drivers themselves are basically
made from bacteria.
They feed this bacteria the stuff and the bacteria like sped out this other stuff and that's what they do with--
What bacteria in the drivers?
-Explain why that's good phonically.
-Explain like why is that a good thing.
-They could-- These geniuses itself can configure any other way of making something this thin, this light, this strong to use this that came out of this bacteria.
-It's such a weird-- It's such a weird-- Like how do you define--
Like how do you figure out that like bacteria has amazing--
-I told you.
-It's a weird.
-The Sony was Apple.
-So, anyway, I did a blog recently about the MDR-R10.
-One of the biggest numbers I've ever had on any blog.
-Actually, kinda of amazing.
-Good for you man.
-That's why I love about the headphones.
I guess all high gears like that too is you could buy something that's 20, 30 years old and it will sound so much better than the exact same product that you could buy with that money today.-Right.
-So the question is,
so Sony could then with the help of the bacteria make the best headphone in the world in 1989.
-So-- And it cost $2,500 then.
Try to find one now for less than $6,000 or $7,000.
Don't think it's gonna happen.
-But the question is why can't they figure out how to do that.
-And again and make it cheaper.
-Yeah, what's the problem?
-I think they don't--
-they don't give a crap that's why.
-I thought this was like--
-Because they no longer-- they're that company.
They're not Apple anymore.
They're not saying, "We're gonna make the best headphone in the world."
-We're gonna make headphones that sell and are popular.
-I hear what you're saying.
-But we don't care about making the best.
-I hear what you're saying.
-Yeah, he's mocking me.
-No, I don't man.
I mean, it's not 'cause it's not just a-- it's not just a business decision.
-It's a mentality.
-It's the mentality of the company that prevents them from doing cool stuff.
-It's funny because they wanna sell as many units as possible.
-They make something for the lowest common denominator.
-But this, I don't know.
Is that all 1000 would sell immediately?
That was it, right?
-Yeah, it's all of a few years.
-It was by far the most expensive headphone then.
-I like that about Sony, old Sony headphones.
Remember the V6s and the V700s.
-Those became the standard DJ headphone that-- I still see a lot of DJs using today.
-You know what I'm talking about, right?
The black ones.
-Those like the big ones, right?
The pivoting eardrum like those came out in the early 90s, I think.
They're really popular.
I like seeing those stuffs.
-Yeah, so it's interesting.
Man, I have this friend that works at Sony now and he sent me the owner's manual for this headphone.
-PDF of the owner.
-And it is just amazing like we did this and we tried this.
We did always experiments.
We came up this.
It's like amazing and they did it for now actual practical purpose.
-That's the amazing thing above all.
-Just-- why not.
-Like to push the-- you know, to advance the R--
-and then did nothing.
-Sony is so massively huge now, though.
You know, they're--
They're probably 10th of the size they were then.
-No, but I mean they're fragmented like they have some many different divisions.
They're spread pretty thin.
They're actually thinking about getting rid of their entertainment division
and just, I don't know, siphoning that off and turning it into something else.
You know, they're trying to figure out how to stay alive.
-Well, maybe part of that ambition is to re-focus on the electronics side and make better quality, maybe.
I don't know.
You'll not gonna give them the benefit of the doubt.
-I mean, it's so weird that they owned the TV market for so long--
-For a while.
-Yeah, but things changed man.
Look at Apple.
I've-- No one used to give a crap about Apple.
-You know, and now look at them they're about to have it happen to them again.
So wait, where did you get these R10 from?
-I didn't get them, but I was in-- at the Headphone Meet.
-A lot of people had weird headphones there and just I happened to have a set.
-Let me ask you.
Is there your holy grail?
I mean, are you constantly looking for one specific kinda headphone?
Is there something that you have always wanted or other one headphone?
-I'm looking for all kinds of headphones.
-Is this like the guy that you've always wanted to buy for yourself?
I mean, you seemed to be--
-No, I couldn't-- I couldn't afford them.
-But I have other headphones that almost this good.
-I don't have to have the best.
I just-- I never heard it.
And now, I heard it.
-Say, yeah, I got.
-What else you got for a stupid man.
-So the other thing is I went to a turntable company in New Jersey.
-Okay, where in Jersey?
What was the town, do you know?
-But the name of the company is VPI Industries.
-And I know this guy that started this company.
He started at 1978.
-And he was in air conditioning systems designer and he was an audiophile.
-Either in Cliffwood by the way.
So anyway, he's 64 years old and he's about to retire and he's gonna put his 28-year-old son in charge of the company and run the company.
-I smell a sitcom.
-It was wacky VPI Turntable-- Actually, they had-- a couple days before I was there that the Discovery Channel Show-- What is that-- called How Things Work?
Oh, that's Science.
Isn't that Science Channel?
-They were there like how-- how to make a turntable.
-Oh like how it's made.
-How it's made.
-Yeah, that's Science Channel.
So, anyway, it's just so interesting that this guy.
You know, he's been basically the-- you know, just sitting, tinkering, designing, measuring things, blah, blah, and he's been doing this for 30 years.
-These are beautiful machines there.
-And they really are made there.
-It's not-- They're not like-- I mean, all the parts from the turntables come from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
-And his son was actually a junior high school teacher or about
to be an ex-junior high schol teacher.
-He's-- You know, he's really committed to making cheaper turntables.
You know, right now, they're least expensive turntable is $1400.
It's called the Traveler.
-Here it is.
-I like that man.
Sometimes, it's very-- almost like steampunk a little bit.
It's just very-- everything is exposed.
-Here in New Jersey.
-Here in New Jersey.
-So, he's gonna make-- he's determined to make a much, much, much less expensive one.
-And, you know, it's exciting to see, you know, passed from one generation to the next and really, you know, like the old Sony cam thing, I'm trying to just everyday like what I can do to make a better turntable.
-And the thing is--
-So, why are you out there?
Would you do-- Would you--
-I did-- I'm gonna do--
-You wrote a story about him?
-And the thing is like the MDR R10s, his turntables last forever.
-So, yeah, 1400 bucks is a lot of money, but if you bought and owned one of his turntable from 1980
and you have a problem with it, he would fix it for you.
-I saw the thing on CNET somewhere that Sony-- Apple no longer provides updates for the original iPhone from 2007.
We know about that.
-Well, it's a different look.
-I know it.
-I know it's different, but I'm just saying when people say I can't afford $1400 say-- And if you-- if you really love music, if you have a lot of-- if you have 4 records, it's silly.
But if you have a few hundred records--
-laying that on $140 for something that you could conceivably own for 20 or 30 years.
-It's worth it.
-It's not that crazy.
-It's not that crazy and the thing though is that I understand what you're saying with Apple and like it's absurd that they don't support something that you bought 6 years ago, whatever it is.
-But it's like the vinyl record player is this sort of-- it's immune to becoming obsolete really.
They did not comparable.
-It's not-- It's not--
-I'm just saying in terms of what people put their money on.
I understand what's you're saying.
-Yeah, but again so like-- But you say what people spend their money on, but you can't-- the door swing is both ways.
You can say like, oh, it's not okay if they're spending it on an iPad or an iPod.
But it's okay if they're spending it on--
-I'm just looking back how you justify.
That's what people do when they spend money on expensive things.
They rush in line.
-It's always a justification.
-It's all about rush and then giving you ways of rushing it.
Psycho-- Psychoanalyzing today.
-What you got man.
That's how sphere rolls.
-All right, what else you guy did?
-You have a lot of stuff there today.
I wanna be-- I wanna be blown away.
-You wanna be blown away?
Blow our mind.
-I'm sure you blown away 'cause of this huge subwoofer that I've got.
That's my blog for Sunday.
-So that's what you couldn't understand before.
It's Hsu H-S-U.
-Research VTF-3 Mark 4.
So, it's a gigantic subwoofer.
-You're pissing off the neighbors.
-And what's funny is like--
-Oh, it's old people--
-around on their nerves.
-They're-- Oh, they're trying to send out BS email chains and they're gonna disrupt it.
-My date-- Again, I have to talk about my neighbor to be right of me.
-So, I've been next-- I've been living next to this woman for 24 years.
-She was very old then.
-Yes, now she's--
-So, she's kind of being in her-- I'd say she's 86 or 87 years old.
-But she's a happy, happy person.
-She is a little old Irish lady.
-And when I moved in, she was a widow and she just lived by herself.
So about 10 years ago, she got married to a little old Irish man.
-And he really got to hate me.
-Because he always was complaining I was playing music too loud.
-But he won't tell me.
He would us why.
-And she's like, oh you know Julius like--
-Of course, he's--
-He really hates you.
-I said what.
-She says because he thinks it's too loud or something.
-I said if it's too loud just knock on my door.
Here's my telephone number.
Call me and I'll turn it down.
-She said don't worry about him.
He's just crazy you know.
-Except if you're playing it at 2:00 in the morning, right?
I never played it late.
-But we eventually patched things out.
-How did that go?
I got to say something.
-Please prepare another buffet.
I said just let me know.
-And he was like cool.
-He did one time or something.
-The fact that I turned it down one time I think it made him happy.
-And that was it.
It made up for everything.
I feel sorry for you.
-Because I said I can't worry about if it's too loud 'cause I can't tell something that it's too loud.
I know you can't tell.
-I'm not gonna get it.
-Actually, you can tell when it's loud.
That's your-- I mean, it's not your-- your--
-Yes, when you're--
-that's like the best sense.
-That's like your best senses, your ears right?
-That's your instrument, but it's your biggest asset, right, your ears, right?
-Yeah, my asset.
-It's a good asset.
-Do you have sound proofing on the room that you test all your headphones?
-No, there are no such things.
-Soundproof-- This wasn't soundproofing.
No, no, no.
This doesn't do anything, you know that.
-It just stops reverberation.
-But they do soundproofing in a studio like float the room and have isolated walls.
-There's no one perfectly do it, but you can sure this crap get it pretty quiet.
-You can't-- Not low frequently bases.
Base is just gonna travel.
That's just gonna travel.
-You can reduce it-- You can reduce it 5 dB, 8 dB, and that's still negligible.
-All right, cool man.
-So, anyway, this company VTF, I mean HSU--
-Anyway, this guy missed-- I'm actually a dock person.
-Because this guy, I've known him forever and he used design software systems in LA.
-That's so weird.
-He was a civil engineer.
-So, you have to understand how things move, fluids move to your pipes and things like that.
-Oh, this is very cool.
-[unk] an audio file, right?
-So, I met him at a show and he had a room and all he ever did at this point he designed some subwoofers.
He sits design some speakers.
But at this point, he only designs subwoofer.
So, I go into his room and he's got a wall of subwoofers--
-has always different models.
And for speakers, he used these little speakers.
They were literally like may be 5 inches high.
-And he was using those speakers to make sure you knew that there was no base coming out of those speakers.
-That's-- It was part of his plan.
He used cheap like a $200 receiver and a cheap CD player.
-And then he had a CDR that was loaded with stuff like organs and big drums bang it away and stuff.
-And we do a 90-second-- You'd sit down in the chair, he hit the button and you'd hear-- and all this stuff.
And you'd be looking at this little tiny speakers and his wall of subwoofers.
And then if the demo ends and you say, "Wow, that was amazing." Which was one of those subwoofers was playing?
-And he would say, "None of them."
-And you go, "What?
-It could be coming from these little tiny speakers
-This is like your stick.
-He said, yeah, you have this-- It's so perfect.
-That's cool man.
-And he'd say none of them.
-I said, "Was it coming from those little tiny speakers?" And he said no.
It was coming from the subwoofer that is right next to you.
-So, if you had a brain, he had your attention.
-So, this is it right here the MK4.
And that's a big thing.
A couple of months ago, I did as much-- a much smaller one, which is still big which is actually in the CNET room here.
-That's my references this morning.
-But if you have big speakers and you're living a big room and you like lots of base and you play music loud usually get a subwoofer like that.
-What-- Are you-- I feel like are you a big fan like base like you're
like a base guy or not?
-I'm not a base guy, but I know a lot of people who are base guys.
-It seems like everyone is--
-you know and I feel like it-- But it is the most disruptive sort of sound.
You know, I feel like you--
-You mean to neighbors--
-To neighbors and--
-and to wives?
-no, to me like whenever I'm listening to or watching a movie, I'm always like man that base sounds good, but there's this scene whether shouldn't be this much base.
-You know, it's like Justin seen a dialogue or something and it's just like there is
this rumble in the back and I'm like, really how's this going?
-You know-- Hey, remember what I told you I was hanging out with David Lynch--
-many, many, many years ago?
-He told me that he put in very low frequency sounds in his movies-
-just to beat to make the audience on edge--
-Right and it makes sense.
-and nervous and unsettled like they were supplemental and very low frequency.
A lot of theaters would reproduce some of that.
He said he used low frequency sounds for that purpose.
-So, it's a strategy.
-It's a strategic sort of move in filmmaking.
-Yeah, well, depending on the filmmaker, depending on the sound mixers.
-But I believe that too because I feel like when sometimes you go to a movie theater, maybe it's got a really good sound system, there is this sort of rumble that happens in scenes where they're--
-probably not supposed to be some sort-
-And that is like, you know, room sound-- room sound.
-You know that blind people can tell the size of a room via the low frequency voices in the room?
Like when you're in a really big space like a church or something?
-It has a very low frequency sort of rumbled--
-'cause it's-- low frequencies are very long waves.
-A 20-hertz wave is 55 feet long.
-So, it doesn't happen in a room this size.
-So, blind people can sense like the sounds bouncing around the room and how long it takes.
-How do we know that?
-We'll, I've asked them.
-We've asked them.
Then, the say how big is this room?
-How big is this room?
-And they just tell you and they like, oh, it's 30 x 30.
-So anyway, this is a great sub.
-Now, people buy these little tiny subs that can make a certain amount of base and actually decent enough.
-But they don't sound good when you push them and they can be okay for movies where it's just low frequency noises and stuff.
-But for music, it has pitches and impact and transients and stuff.
A little subs can never sound as good as a big stuff.
-The sub-- Before this, I reviewed the VTF-1 is $449.
-And it's great.
And again, it's a--
-It's a lot of money.
-Again, it's a thing you could own for a long, long time.
-It's not like a lot of money.
-'cause they're free in repair every year.
-I'm not saying that.
-That's-- 'cause that's the only reason why I'm spending a lot of money, you know, like I get the vinyl thing.
I'm gonna spend $1500 bucks because I know that these guys are like a man in fab outfit in New Jersey and they're gonna--
-They're gonna answer their phone when I call.
-Yeah, human being answers the phone.
-And they're gonna say no problem, we'll fix it up.
No-- You just pay shipping--
-That's just cost you for jersey.
-Well, of course.
-All right chicken scratch man, what else you got there dude?
-So, the new music seminar is gonna be in New York.
-It's like an-- It's like a music business convention--
-for people that wanna be in businesses, engineers, artists, producers, and stuff.
-And I'm gonna be a moderator on a panel talking about high-resolution audio.
How that-- How did you get hooked up with this gig?
This seems quite prestigious in your field.
-Yes, it's very prestigious.
-How-- How did you land that?
-Because the guy who's picking that panels--
-Tony-- Tommy Boy--
-Is he your brother or not?
-You know Tommy Boy Records, remember that label?
-I do remember Tommy Boy.
-He was like-- Right.
-Tommy Boy-- Mr.
Tommy Boy is like a big shot in this thing.
-Look at this picture of you on the new music seminar web page.
Can we just stop for a second and look at this-- I don't think we've ever seen a young photo.
-Yes, we have.
-Is that you?
-I bet this was taken a week ago.
-How old are you-- you're 40 there?
-No, no, no.
Much older than that.
-You look great man.
-It's probably 11 years ago.
So you're like-- you're like 50 there.
-You look great there dude.
-Never mind [unk]
-So you got more buddies everywhere that hooked in with you with gigs taken photo.
Tommy Boy needs my blog.
He likes my stuff.
-So the President of Atlantic Records, Craig Kallman-
-is on this panel.
-Wow, this isn't--
this is no joke.
This is like a heavy hitters, movers and shakers.
-And the guy that I sometimes worked for David Chass.
He was like a big proponent of high res.
He's on this thing.
-I'm gonna talk about why anyone would give a crap about hearing music sound better than this awful national record that I've got a week ago that's burning my ears.
-Saying a little bit of this.
-So Steve walks in today, he's got a copy of the National's album, the new National's record.
What's it called?
-It's called Punk Daft: People in Trouble.
It's something like that.
-'Cause it so bad.
-And you're saying it sounds like crap.
-It sounds-- It sounds very compressed.
Now, this-- You have that picture of the waveforms and stuff?
-Yeah, one second.
The album is Trouble Will Find Me.
-Yes, I haven't heard either.
-Well, trouble found my ears.
-Why now-- Why now-- Okay, let's listen to this first for a second.
-The question is why.
We listen this and we'll--
-This is of YouTube as well.
It sounds about the same.
-So, what's your problem with this?
Is it the music?
I think the sound is kind of muddy.
-It sounds Muddy.
It sounds like nasty river.
It's just processed and--
-you're like putting stuff in a food processor too long.
It's just tortures of mud.
-I understand what you're saying and I'm not saying this record doesn't sound like crap.
-But don't you think there is this sort of
artistic filter that some groups do.
-Like I know there's groups that deliberately distort, make it sound bad on purpose.
-Do you think that's going on here?
-Just different kinds of bad--
-You don't think there's any like going on here?
-You know when-- when I was a kid and people listened to Jimi Hendrix records and all that guitars are distorted, but that was--
-that was artful.
-And it was real.
It was real, right?
-And it was real, right?
-This could be your first-
-So, is-- there's this different kinds of distortion and it's aesthetic.
Of course, it is.
It's like some people would say it's a great sounding record.
I'm sure the people will make the record thinks-- think it's great.
-I hope so, yeah.
-But there's another-- there's a website called the DR Database.
-Yeah, Dynamic Range Database.
-And they actually measured this record and it was like one of the most dynamically compressed records out right there.
-It rated very, very poorly.
No, I didn't need the Dynamic Range Database to tell me that it sounds like crap, but for people who believe in numbers
as a more objective guide to say, this is good, this is bad.
-There's your proof that it's a really awful sounding record.
Now-- Then, it leads to the question why would they do that?
Would they just have no ears at all and they don't know that it sounds like crap?
The answer is that if most people-- if they think and they're probably right that most people that will listen to that record will listen on $29-Bluetooth speakers and $5-computer speakers and the free earbuds that come with their phone.
-And that's probably--
-You think that's the--
-Some kinda-- I really do.
-So, you're telling me--
-If you-- If you-- If you say my audience is gonna watch this on YouTube and stuff, sure, right ahead.
-I don't believe that.
-I still think there's some integrity with these--
-The music of this--
-I mean, a lot of it's--
-It doesn't make sense.
-A lot of it it's crap, but there's no way they're saying, "You know what, this isn't the greatest sounding record ever, let's just, you know, not get the real true audio sound that
we normally-- right?
Is that-- Because that's kind of what you're implying.
-It's not how they're making--
-What do you think--
-You're stating that they're being lazy here.
They're like what most people listen to on YouTube so it doesn't matter.
-I don't think-- Hey, we know our-- We know our audience.
-We wanna make a sounds that's gonna-
-But that's on a hundred-- But that's not even 70% of the people.
-It's probably more.
-How can you measure, you know, how many people are gonna download--
-I'm making a guess.
-The 192K, right and [unk] of iTunes or something.
-And more people are buying expensive headphones now too.
-You don't think it's possible that the time is changing.
-There's no way that they're just saying--
-Okay, then, tell me why they made an awful sound record.
-in my opinion and objectively.
-I can't answer that for you.
-My first instinct is that they did it on purpose to get like a certain sound like--
-an aged sound similar--
-Yes, similar to the wood in your headphones there, but you know in a way that they--
-Oh, this freakin--
-Yeah, those freakin-- You know what I mean?
Like that to me is what they probably they're doing for, right?
-Highly misguided, but if I'll accept?
That is possible.
-I'm just saying--
-You know the Arcade Fire-- Arcade Fire, remember that their last records, The Suburbs, like 4 years ago.
I know Arcade Fire.
I know Arcade Fire.
-That was my last record that I really hammered on for sounding awful, you know.
-I wonder where the National recorded this album 'cause I mean that might have something to do with it too.
-I remember when that Bon Iver album came out-
-there was an interview with the lead singer.
I think his name is Justin some-- Justin Herman maybe.
Anyway, so, he was talking about how he recorded--
-You mean, it's not a person, huh?
Bon Iver is not a human being?
Is that a band?
Yeah, it's his-- I think that's his surname.
-But right-- his pseudonym.
-But anyway, he said that he recorded that album inside of a-- inside of a cabin.
-And that was intentionally done to sort of get that like woody,
-or this sound.
-Yeah, it might be something to do with it.
People come up with all those stories about recording things in weird place.
It fascinates me.
-This was a time I have no idea what you're talking about.
-But it's good story and might even be true.
I don't know.
That might be the case here.
I'm not sure.
-I don't know dude.
in that image of the waveform that I showed you-
-so that's the original Beat It 1982 waveform.
-And then below it is the 2009 re-master.
-Now, do you think that those things sound the same?
Do you think that the one on the top 'cause real music and people way of hitting drums and playing keyboards and stuff, it's not always at the same level 'cause--
-those spikes mean it's soft, it's loud, it's soft, it's loud.
-So, basically when we just hammer it and turn it up all the way up--
It just turned up the volume base.
-No, it's not turning up.
It's compressing the soft parts to make them as loud.
-Or looks like it's--
-You can play it in any volume.
-It just normalizing it on most, right, or 'cause-
-Normalizing is a very kind way of saying--
-Well, it's-- they're essentially, you know, doing something to the sound to make it equal the loudest they can do with--
-Hammering that crap--
-so that it's always-- So when you listen to its background, it's always the same.
If you have-- If you actually have dynamics in it and sometimes it's too quiet and sometimes it's too loud, turn it up, turn it down.
They don't want people doing that so they just--
beat the crap out of it and make it loud all the time.
-Why do feel like-- Is it because they know people listen to music at a louder volume now so they wanna preserve people's hearing or-
-No, I think because a lot of people is--
-Do you think it sounds better?
-It sounds more consistent.
-And if putting a mix together from different things, then they're always the same level.
If I-- want my music to be constantly loud, then when you get to My Tune on your phone, it will be-- [unk].
Let's skip the next 2.
-That's the-- That's the primal fear
of record producers, record companies like I don't want my song lower than the other song because people will always jump to the next song if it's too loud.
-Instead of just turning down the volume?
-or turning up the volume because it's too loud.
-Because you know what happens if you took the-- if you took the tune that had dynamics--
-and turned it up?
Well then, when it got loud, it will get louder.
-And you go wow.
That sounds more like what real music sounds like than this you know.
-That's one of the prime differences between live music.
I don't mean like live in a club where it's going through a board and a compressor and that stuff.
I mean, if you're in a room with somebody bang on a drum, that's very--
-that's like the definition of dynamic, right?
-This isn't a gas.
This is so--
I just-- I just-- I'm with you always and I agree with you.
-I just don't understand-- I just don't know if I buy what you're seeing like why this is done.
-We know it's done
and it's a real thing.
But I just-- To me, I've been reviewing with many people about this.
-It's all about fear of not being-- It really comes down to that.
-It's as simple as that.
So what-- So what do you think they should do then?
What's your answer?
You're so smart, right, like how do you combat it?
So if you--
-It depends of their fear.
-I think it's just kind of great embarrass-- so I did a blog last year called "The Top 10 Reasons Why Music is Compressed."
-In which I have vast amount of people.
-And it's all about hey this is why they do it.
-Now, I think and I talked about this on the show before that the record companies and bands and stuff should consider the two-mix solution.
They hammered to crap mix that they were already doing.
-And then a separate mix of their entire record of song or whatever.
-The way it should sound.
-For people who wanted this sound.
-For smart people.
-And then everybody wins like if you wanna hammer the--
You take that?
You wanted to hear with more dynamics and some more real?
You get that?
You can't make one that makes both scripts--
-You make one called The Beats by Dre version.
-And then the other one--
-Like the Sphere.
-And then the other one is Sphere version.
I'm buying the Sphere version.
-I don't let you guys.
-That's the one I'm grabbing.
-But it's-- it is really a matter of taste, right, because some people like to listen a music really loud.
-That's one thing.
There's no-- There's no one solution.
-They enjoyed that one.
-And if there's gonna be one, it has-- That's why I did the top 10 reasons music is compressed.
-Because that's why it's not an accident.
-So, there's never been a record that sounded better say in your opinion--
-That sounded better in your opinion when it was re-mastered.
You'd rather listen to the natural version?
-I know one.
-Which record is that?
-I have to think about it.
I don't have-- I don't have one in my mind.
-But you know it's funny.
I bought a craft work like compilation disc, all the mix.
-And on the dynamic range database, they took about the two versions,
the 1991 re-master and the 1999 re-master and they show the difference and it was gigantic.
-How much they made it worth.
So, do you think there's ever been a "re-master" that's been better?
I just ask that.
But I mean like in a sense that like they figure out a way to, you know, that's-- I understand what you mean by that, but I mean like on a technical standpoint.
Like what are they doing?
-Well, mastering is complicated thing.
They are using compression.
They are using vocalization without somebody who's hopefully making some sort of artistic decisions.
-I have a friend who is a mastering engineer, Dave McNair, and he told me that when we had this-- this sort of conversation I said, "Will Wilco records sound pretty good?"
-And he said to me, you know, he had this like, "No.
He thinks like-- I'm the mastering engineering talking to this dopey--
-He said, "Yeah, Wilco just compresses the crap out of the records just as much as anybody else.
But, they do it more artfully so it's not as obvious.
-He said that if you look at the waveforms it's compressed, but it doesn't sound that way.
It's a matter of being little more no ones than and how you pull it off.
-If you're able to make that a bigger sound, right, it really has what it comes down to.
I feel like you know when you're hearing like a big sound that's like engulfing, right?
This sort of no--
-It's more like you're there.
-Right, it's more like you're there.
-So, this guy Dave McNair,
he's doing a record.
There's a site called a PledgeMusic.
-So, it's like kick store.
It's like artist go on there to fund a record before they made the record.
-To raise money to make the record.
-So this band called the Omaha Diner.
-It's 4 jazz players, Charlie Hunter, Bobby Previte, and two other guys.
-So, they're gonna make a record.
These are hardcore jazz guys.
They're gonna make a record of number 1 pop hits that the people who contribute money to pick.
-And then they're only gonna make vinyl of this record.
Anybody who buys the vinyl gets an MP3 download of it.
-And-- So, it's gonna be recorded analog, mixed analog, and mastered analog.
There will never be a digital part of this except--
-That's pretty new.
-That's like really amazing and I think that that type of thing
where you don't have to compromise your recording because you're making it for-- specifically for those kinds of people.
-You know a possible future to the record, but it's not great for record companies.
But I'm doing-- I'm gonna do more stories about-- about artist making records where the fans pay for the record before they make the record.
And then once the records out and people wanna steal it and put it on Spotify and wraps things up.
Be my guest do it, but I got mine upfront.
-That's interesting way to do it.
-That is from the--
That's really-- Has anyone thought it?
-Well, that's-- that was an Amanda Palmer thing?
-I don't know with-- I don't know-- Yeah.
That's going over my head.
-She is an indie artist and she's-- she said I'm gonna do a thing like Kickstarter.
I'm gonna raise $100,000.
I don't know why she needs a $100,000 to make a record and wound up making $1.2 million.
-I don't know.
-Of the Kickstarter.
-Of the Kickstarter.
-So, she was the one that really made this thing like everyone started to notice like, yeah, we can get people to pay for our records
before we make a record.
-That is really-- That's kind of interesting huh.
And you can get feedback from the artist and I talked to another-- another jazz player called Maria Schneider and she said, yeah, you know, I communicate with the people who were like funding my record.
-We talked about, you know, I want more this.
I want less of that.
I want to do this and it's like-- it's literally a dialogue between her backers, which are the people who are paying for the record and the artist making the record.
-So what about the rest of the money though?
-It just goes in her pocket?
-In the case of Amanda Palmer it gets kinds of murky of what happened to the other--
-It's really murky.
-What the hell man!
-Yes, it was kind of-- kind of weird.
-Sure this crap doesn't cost that much money to make a record.
-We were talking about--
-Well, it was with orchestra seats.
-We were talking about that story early this week on the website called DownRight.com.
-That's basically where artists signed up to be on DownRight.
-And then fans of the bands that they're in and come and donate money basically paid them to write a customized song for them you know--
-A specific song.
-and they will post it on the site.
-Yeah, but they can contribute the like creative like the what the song is about, what key they wanted to be in and certain lyrics if they want to be included.
-What-- We were kind of talking about this earlier, but I wanted to get your opinion on it.
What do you think about sharing in the creative process?
It's like-- You know, I'm all for funding music of bands that you enjoy, but when the-- when you get-- when you have the crowd source--
-taste and sort of like work with the artist to form a sound.
-Do you think that kinda takes away from the artist--
-I think that--
-the original intention?
-I think it does.
-I just think it does.
-I think it does, yeah.
-But I think it's basically like--
-Isn't kind of a shame?
-No, but it's kind of like being commissioned you know.
-Yeah 'cause I don't want--
-Exactly what it is.
-I don't want everyone's idea to influence this guy.
I just wanna hear the pure music that's coming out of his-- why I'm a fan in the first place.
-You know what it is.
It's like the second they cross that line they become like a wedding band almost.
-I mean and there's nothing wrong with that.
-They're taking request.
It's like to cover some.
-You can play music--
-every week and make a wedding band thing, that's fine.
-They can do other things.
It's not like that's the only thing they're gonna do.
-I don't think, yeah and I don't think it's like I don't think
I'm putting a negative, you know, connotation with the wedding band thing.
-But that's-- But that's like-- 'cause there's a lot of good wedding bands out there.
-Remember like that's-- you know, that's the one--
-My wedding band.
-Everything is for about my wedding band.
-Was the Rolling Stones?
-It was a Saturday Night live band.
-Long time ago.
-Wait, it was the Saturday live band?
-Well, not the whole band.
-It was apart of the band.
-What year was this?
-Your second marriage?
-That is so bad ass.
-Who was that guy with crazy hair?
-With the hair.
The guitar player, G.E. Smith.
He was there?
-So, I'm J Smith--
-Was it a whole band?
-You're his brother.
-I think it's a big band.
-How did you get them?
-I knew an engineer who knew them.
-God, you know a lot of people.
-And I was like, "I'm looking for a wedding band." He says, "I think they're starting up
That's so cool man.
-I said okay.
Speaking of DownRight, Joel X in the chatroom says
he's-- he's doing the DownRight.
-And he said give him 2 weeks, they're gonna put it together in 2 weeks--
-He's getting met prior from Geto Kids with that song--
-I would love to hear it.
We said-- You know, we-- And we said we're gonna do-- We should do one for the show.
You know, we'll--
-What is it?
-The DownRight thing.
We're gonna hire the guy to make your own song.
-We're gonna put together--
-100, 200 bucks and get it done for 404.
I kinda miss the old 404 music.
-You kinda-- Everyone's--
-You can listen to it on garage band, yeah, for sure 'cause that's where it's from.
-Yeah, some can stuff.
-But everyone's digging Ariel stuff so am I, I like it.
-No, no, no.
I mean, other people said it.
Jo came in here once and he's like, what's this for?
-Well, that was the other--
-That's why she's on the lounge--
-Not everyone likes hip hop iron man.
-It's not even hip hop though.
-I think it is.
-It's more like loungy almost.
It's just-- It's good.
It's not bad.
No, I mean people just don't like that sound.
-I got you.
-All right, before we--
-Nothing more or less.
-I mean that seems sarcastic.
I need it.
-I can't please everyone.
-I roll with it man.
-I never care.
-What do listen into now before we say goodbye.
What bands do you listen it too?
-I do like the National-- because I like the sound the live one.
-You like their live sound, which is--
-a total different experience, right?
-That is so good.
-Which you can see on YouTube and stuff.
-He comes in here and he's like-- he's like--
-This record sound is like crap, but I really like them.
-By the way, I kinda-- the Vamp Verza.
-The V-Modas on my blog for tomorrow.
-I like that.
The Vamp Verza is basically a jock.
-It has a charger.
-It's a jock headphone, charger headphone.
Yes, it has a charger, but it's weird because if you have an iPhone it doesn't necessarily with a case that you snap it into.
You have to buy that separately so it kinda goes back to the old school rubber band--
-It comes with the rubber band.
-that you have to attach to it.
-I don't know--
-Or you can buy the case.
-I don't know what the hell you guys are talking about.
What the hell is the Vamp Verza?
-It's a-- It's a digital converter for any kind of phone
and the headphone amplifiers.
So, it takes the digital output of a phone.
-It runs it through a little squirrelsy thing.
-Squirrelsy things like little squirrels, like running around on a treadmill.
-It's like a tube dance for your desktop, but then--
-It takes all the zero.
It takes all the zeros and ones--
-It could be analog.
-At times, it would be analog.
-Oh, there's the rubber band we're gonna talking about.
If you wanted to use it with an iPad like in this photo.
-Where is it that?
You're gonna here?
-I don't have it on me.
-Where is it that?
-But it could be in my blog tomorrow.
-All right cool.
Bring it in man.
-I want that-- I wanna hear it.
-It's one more better.
It even makes the National sound okay.
-Making sound like that is a lot of money.
You know, it's actually made in Japan.
-Is that bad?
-Like nothing is made in Japan.
Like yeah, it's--
-What is the last audio thing that was made in Japan?
-I don't know.
-It was Sony headphones, 2500 bucks.
-My disc man.
My disc man.
-Did you read this one?
-You're disc man.
-That came out with a new Apple iPod.
I remember a couple of time--
We were talking about whether or not they're gonna kill off the iPad.
-Buy those classics one.
-Yeah, but I guess they're not.
They came out with a new version of the iPod Touch this week.
That's 16 gigabytes.
-That is still running strong.
-Good for them man.
-I have a classic.
I mean the practically analog iPod.
-You're a classic guy.
-He's vintage now.
-All right man.
-He's got-- He wish.
-All right dude, that's it man.
-We're gonna say goodbye.
-Thanks for being here.
-I hope I lived up your expectations.
-Of course you did.
You always did.
-Because you know I feel kind of this pressure.
-Never any pressure with you sir.
-Yeah, I felt it.
-Make sure you follow
Steve on Twitter @audiophiliacman--
Make sure you read his stuff on the CNET blogs rolling to that shownotes.
What else we got going on.
One week from today, Mr. John Hodgman will be on the program.
-We only do this guest for you man.
-Like he's amazing.
-Rock and roll.
-I forgot to like him on that dopey HBO.
-That was a good show.
That was a good show.
-But the mustache-- You guys ask him about the mustache.
-Oh yeah, we will.
-Get him to shave off-- That's it.
Get him to shave off the mustache.
-There's no way he's gonna do that.
-He looks dopey with that.
-I think he's filming a movie now, so I think they probably like won't that mustache to stay.
Like it's just
-Like [unk] show.
He will be--
-That wasn't a real mustache.
-I know that.
Yeah, I did-- My dad told me that.
So, yeah, he'll be here next week, it's a week from today.
I think we might do it live.
It will depend on what time he can pop in the studio, but he'll be in studio which is always awesome.
And yeah, that's gonna-- that's the highlight of next week.
It will be the last week of shows before we head out to E3 to Los Angeles for the big video game show so that will be fun.
Everyone have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel Nunez.
-Thanks again to Steven "Sphere" Guttenberg, always a pleasure sir.
-Always a pleasure to you.
-Thank you so much for being here.
You look great, you sound great and you have a great shirt on.
-All right, rock and roll.
See you guys on Monday there.
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