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Audio Reality Paperback – February 26, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0966961102 ISBN-10: 0966961102
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Audio Reality is the title of a new book encouraging "hands-on" audio by DIY author and tube gear manufacturer Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound. Pitched at a level that is comprehensible to the intelligent novice, Audio Reality seeks to furnish the reader with a solid theoretical understanding of the fundamentals of audio technology. Writing in a refreshingly "curmudgeonly cheapskate" persona, the author attempts to explain the scientific facts that underlie and sometimes contradict the hearsay and mythologies of high-end audio. Although produced by a commercial manufacturer, the advantage of building your own is a subtext that runs throughout the book and Bruce wants to help equip the reader to take on that rewarding challenge. He tops off his presentation with complete schematics for some of his unconventional designs, including his complete product line! By Joe Roberts of Sound Practices magazine. -- Publisher Comments

From the Author

In the course of operating my company, Transcendent Sound, I have had conversations with literally hundreds of audiophiles. The overwhelming majority have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard. Many audiophiles become disenchanted, feel ripped off, and drop out of the hobby causing a shrinking customer base.

Furthermore, young people generally aren't interested in high-performance audio because the prices have been pushed so high that there is no way they can afford the equipment. I wrote this book to try and stem this tide and get people involved with audio. By using alternatives to extremely high priced accessories and even by building your own equipment, the consumer can become involved with high quality sound reproduction at a very reasonable, attainable cost.

I published my designs to show the world exactly how high-performance tube gear can and should be built. Tube equipment has the reputation of being highly unreliable. That's not the fault of tubes, it's the fault of the design. I show the reader that high-performance, high-reliability and low-cost can be achieved through proper design. You can build the projects and find out for yourself.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Transcendant Sound Inc. (February 26, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966961102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966961102
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,706,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bruce's book is the first I have ever seen which told the TRUTH about tube audio electronic design.
Far too much of this field is poisoned by quacks, egomaniacs and delusional schizophrenics. All trying to sell consumers their half-baked designs, as well as their half-baked philosophies.
Making a great-sounding tube amp is both easier than people realize, and not obvious. The technology is forgiving of outright incompetence. So, a few crap artists are able to make something that more-or-less works.
By comparison, Bruce makes high-end equipment that SOUNDS high end--no mushy bass, no haze, none of the stereotypical "tube sound" that (still) gives tubes a bad name.
The projects in the back of the book, if properly built, will sound EXCELLENT. I know because I have heard some of them. Period. End of story.
If you know how to use a soldering iron, BUY THIS BOOK and build the circuits therein--then you will get good sound. Guaranteed. And even if you don't intend to build one of the projects, the first section, with its accurate debunking of audio myths, is REQUIRED READING for anyone in the audiophile world.
--Eric Barbour, Svetlana Electron Devices and VACUUM TUBE VALLEY magazine
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bighairydoofus on September 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is controversial, but from what I can tell Bruce likes it that way. The first half of the book is the section where "myths" are debunked and "truths" are revealed. Now, I'm an audiophile and I disagree with him on many things, but there's merit to some of the things he says. He's paricularly vitriolic against the snake oil salesmen of the high end audio world. I read the section, agreed with some things, disagreed with many, absorbed what was useful and moved on.
My other complaint is that a good part of the book is spent by the author patting himself on the back and mentioning again and again (and again) that he's an ELECTRICAL ENGINEER and that he's been AWARDED A PATENT for his OTL circuit. Now don't get me wrong, these are admirable acheivements. But the way he goes about it gets annoying at times, almost to the point of self congratulatory gloating.
But... BUT! Bruce is to be admired for having the guts (and the generosity) to put the schematics of his very high performance designs out there for anyone that buys the book to use. Heck, he even has his own website and forum where he helps people with their projects! The projects are explained with great detail, complete with parts lists.
What makes this all the more remarkable is that Bruce is also an audio equipment manufacturer and some of the designs in the book are products that he still sells today. The OTL (output transformerless) tube amp has been very positively reviewed by some of the most "snooty" of the high end magazines. This is his bread and butter and he still puts it out for you to build yourself if you wish to.
I may disagree with Bruce, but I respect him. I recommend this book highly.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the best nonmathematical introduction to audio electronics in print today. It provides a clear elucidation of basic concepts and a much needed corrective to the many myths that have been fostered by the subjective press over the years. The book is a bit schizphrenic to the extent that it is roughly half explanatory text and half hands on projects, but the projects do support the conceptual presentation admirably. Rosenblit is a manufacturer and advocate of tube electronics, an area that is rife with just the sort of myths he is at pains to debunk. I wish that he had spent a little time on attempting to develop a rational argument in favor of tube electronics for high fidelity applications. There are many of us who prefer them who are not in the lunatic fringe. A reasoned summary of vacuum tube advantages would be welcome. All in all, an excellent piece.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Amato on November 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book is for anybody who is in search for the "audio-truth" and is willing to make the journey with his/hers own feet, with a nice bag of solid tools to exorcise magicians and witches along the way. The author strives to make you aware of three things: 1) You and you only is the one who has to judge your equipment and be happy with it. 2) You need clear, unambiguos, real-world informations to sharpen your critical mind and be able to choose equipment free of myth and magic. 3) High-end audio does not necessarily mean high-end cost. To me, he made all his points. You may believe that a extraordinary expensive cable is an audio revolution, but if you are honest with yourself, after reading this book you have to ask yourself WHY... Knowledge in the audio arena helps you to have more fun, less fears, and a fuller pocket. The second half of the book is devoted to several tube projects that are interestingly detailed with design choices, but near to impossible to realize if you are not skilled to translate an electric scheme into real parts and wire routings; definately not for the beginners. I would have much liked a wiring and components layout to complement the circuit analisys. These projects are not theorical, Rozenblit actually commercially builds and sells what is detailed in the book, so in more than a way he publicly expose his ideas, engineering style and convinctions to anybody who cares to check... in my opinion much more than can be said of the great majority of competitors. See for yourself.
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