How to Evaluate Audio Equipment

The best source of information is your EARS. Form your own opinions, don’t just accept what other people say. Believe what your ears tell you when listen to music! Remember that many people who write about audio are biased in one way or another.  Beyond that, … “How to Evaluate Audio Equipment”

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Speakers

You should always chose your speakers first, and then select components which work well with the speakers you have selected. All speakers have flaws which you must choose between so speaker preference will be extremely personal. This is often demonstrated by people who agree about … “Speakers”

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Audiophile Websites

Audio Communities Audio Asylum Audio Circle Audioholics avforums diyaudio Hydrogen Audio Steve Hoffman music forums Headphone Community Sites head-fi.org super best audio friends head-case.org headphone.guru “Magazines” Stereophile The Absolute Sound (TAS) What HI*FI? Enjoy the Music Positive Feedback tnt-audio – old school website Audiophile Style … “Audiophile Websites”

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DAC, Players, Streamers

Today, most music content is digital. This content might be stored locally in a computer file system, on CD/DVD media, or is streamed from some service such as Spotify, TIDAL, Apple Music, etc over the Internet. To play this digital content you need a device … “DAC, Players, Streamers”

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Headphone Amplifiers

Headphone amplifiers were almost un-heard of until the 1990s, though many receivers and integrated amplifiers had fairly good quality headphone jacks. As headphones have grown in popularity, and fewer people are purchasing classic stereos, headphone amplifiers have emerged as a product category. The “headphone jack” … “Headphone Amplifiers”

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Headphones

Headphones are becoming the dominant way people listen to music as people shift from using records and CDs played through a stereo to streaming services played through a smart phone. Unfortunately, many people are using the earbuds provided with their smart phone, tablet, or laptop … “Headphones”

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Hospitality Delivered: Hints When Providing Meals

I have written early a bit about the important Christian practice of offering hospitality. Often this hospitality is in the form of opening our homes to others. We we can also extend hospitality beyond our homes by providing meals to others. In the last 30 … “Hospitality Delivered: Hints When Providing Meals”

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ZPacks Hexamid

Review Item: ZPacks HexamidOptions: Cuben with NettingManufacture Year: 2010Listed weight: Cuben shelter, guylines, and bag 8.9ozWeight as delivered: tarp+attached guylines 8.3ozMSRP: US$259 (current version is $425) I have a first generation which uses three zippers that meet at the top peak. Joe has now switched to a … “ZPacks Hexamid”

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Recommended Books

This was original called “Books that Changed Me” but should have been called “Books that I Highly Recommend”, “Mark’s Canon”, or maybe “Books that I Think Should Change Me”. I now have a separate list which is Books that Really Changed Me.  I am now … “Recommended Books”

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Bicycling

Bicycling can be a life long activity that promotes health and providing a practical form of transportation. Bicycling is extremely energy efficient: 5x walking, and nearly 200x riding in a car by yourself. Check out Robert Förstemann vs toaster for a sense of how much … “Bicycling”

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Shelters

Shelter selection should be based on how much room you need and the conditions you expect to encounter (rain, snow, wind, bugs, blistering heat, etc). For example, if you only camp in mild weather it would be silly to buy a mountaineering tent designed for … “Shelters”

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Boots or Trail Runners

When I started hiking as a child everyone knew you should wear hiking boots, ideally made in Italy with Vibram soles and leather.uppers. Only stupid people wore tennis shoes while hiking, though often they were brought for river crossings and for relaxing around camp. This … “Boots or Trail Runners”

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Sandals

There are a number of people who have found using sandals or water shoes to be highly effective.  They provide excellent ventilation for your feet, and are ideal when you are in wet conditions because they don’t hold water against your feet.  The downsides of … “Sandals”

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Trail Runners

For most conditions provided you are carrying less than approximately 40 lb, I would strongly recommend trying trail running shoes because they can be quite comfortable and will be lighter than the more traditional hiking shoes or boots. I have heard people express concerns about … “Trail Runners”

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Socks

Appropriate socks help keep your feet at a comfortable temperature and play a large part in preventing blisters.  Blisters come from the combination of friction and moisture. You want socks which wick moisture away from you feet and minimize the amount of friction between the … “Socks”

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Hiking Boots (and Shoes)

Historically people wore heavy weight boots for backpacking, trekking, etc.  Your feet need to be protected, and what could do a better job that a  heavy boot which will help prevent sprained ankles and give excellent support?  Actually, most boots don’t give good “ankle support”.  … “Hiking Boots (and Shoes)”

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Feet in Snow and Cold

In colder weather, people often struggle with their feet getting cold.  There are a number of reasons for this Feet are the furthest point from your core which is generating heat. Feet are subjected to conductive cooling through the soles of your shoes/boots. Feet sweat … “Feet in Snow and Cold”

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Goto Backpacking Gear

Thought it would be interesting to see how my primary items have changed over time:  I am ignoring items that were used briefly or for testing purpose. For a while I was regularly purchasing new gear and trying it our. When I found something that … “Goto Backpacking Gear”

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Backpacking on the Cheap

Every year I help organize several backpacking trips for the communities I participate in. Typically we will have several first time backpackers. I often get the question “What should I buy?” Everyone expects the first thing I will suggest is a good pair of boots … “Backpacking on the Cheap”

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