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Articles for Audiophiles by Steve Deckert




by Gabe Valez
May. 1998


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Hello Mr. Deckert,

I happen to have read your paper on The Magic Hour, where one experiences a better sound from their equipment at night. All of your points are good solid ones with regards the power line. But even you admit that your line conditioner (a UPS?) gives a consistent 60 Hz at 110 volts. I would imagine that it also cleans out the harmonics and the spits and spats of power line dirt which occurs during the day. (I am going to get one for my tube amp!)

I have perhaps another addition to the conditions which you mention that might also contribute to that magic hour listening zen thing, the level 5.

There is a condition of Earth's magnetic field called the Schumann Resonance's which is excited by lightning, earthquake activity, tornado's, acoustic events et al. The frequency at which the base, or fundamental occurs is 7.83 Hz. Oddly enough, our brain's alpha state is 7-12 Hz. The conclusion can be drawn that since the 7.83 Hz is within the window of the alpha state, that it causes us to be in that state when we are not consciously maintaining the beta state (13-60 Hz, or full consciousness).

The alpha state is one where we are relaxed and "dreamy", euphoric. At night, the amplitude of the Schumann Resonance's is at its *highest*.

Here is another interesting fact: As you know, from Russell Hamm's paper, the harmonic pattern of the triode is similar to a musical instruments pattern. That is, the fundamental is the highest, followed in successive directly proportional levels of decreasing amplitude the second, third, fourth etc. harmonics. Did you know that the Schumann resonance's *also* have the same pattern?

Also, there are seven resonance's (approximately 8,14,21,27,33,38,42 Hz.). There are seven tones in an octave (as you know as a musician. do,re,mi,fa,so,la,ti. The last do is the first of the next octave). Or ears can only discern from 5 to *seven* harmonics. The FFT printout of the Resonance's resembles the EEG pattern of the human brain. I think you know where I am getting at. I am not a numerologist, though.

My opinion, after many years of research in this, is that the Resonance's are responsible for the tube sound, our brain's function at night (and anytime for that matter) and other things.

I say that because, as you know, the tubes input impedance makes it susceptible to EM radiation. The resonance's are EM radiation. I built a solid state amp which takes advantage of this. It sounds like tubes. It has the same harmonic pattern as the triode. No, I am not trying to sell you anything. I am just saying that the design is a "proof of concept".

I also read your reply to another emailer about the tubes versus transistors thing. Bravo! His statement that tubes always have distortion is indicative of his lack of knowledge in that particular area. I have seen tube amp ratings which are exactly comparable to transistors (0.005%THD) in power amps. Pre-amps are much easier to attain this rating (no hysteresis problems from transformers).

As you say, both technologies are subject to possible clipping. However, I also agree that listening should be at such a level as to minimize it as much as one can. On the other hand, I have listened to real expensive SS equipment at low and loud levels, and would still return to my modified EICO tube amp (proud to say I did it myself!) and say AAAAAAH, THAT is music!

Oh well. The war goes on.

Gabe Velez


Articles are (C) by Steve Deckert / DECWARE High Fidelity Engineering Co.

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