Introduction to high fidelity
(NOTE: This section and the ones linked to it are excerpts from Gerard Rejskind's best-selling book, The World of High Fidelity, available from UHF Magazine at a special Internet price)
In 1990, along with some colleagues, I wrote a book called The UHF Guide to Ultra High Fidelity. It was intended to be a product subsidiary to our main activity, which is publishing UHF Magazine. I wasn't prepared for the wave of success which met its appearance. It earned back its production costs in a mere six weeks, and became a best seller. And that was before it appeared in book stores, when we were selling it exclusively through ads in the magazines.
Mere numbers don't tell the whole story, as they usually do not. Countless readers write to tell us that this book, which is supposed to be a mere technical book, had changed their lives. Many readers who had bought it ordered extra copies for friends. Some manufacturers ordered cases of it to give to their employees. In short, I had every reason to be happy we had done it.
But it wasn't long before I was being asked whether we would do another book. Yes we would, I said, making no commitment to a publication date. But I didn't want to turn out merely an updated edition. Wasn't there a lot we hadn't said in the first book? Of course there was. Enough to fill a second book? At least.
Make no mistake, this is not merely a rewrite of the older book. Every word in this one is new, having appeared neither in the first book nor in the magazine.
Finding material was easy. Plenty of topics were merely glanced at in the first book...acoustics for instance. Others were dealt with in too little detail. And I know from our huge mail load that there are things we haven't fully explained, that many (most?) of our readers do not understand. This book is intended to help. It will help you read our magazine more easily, and indeed it will help you read other audio magazines more easily.
You'll find, however, that over four years separating the two books, our tone has barely shifted. We were and remain iconoclasts. Over a dozen years of the magazine's existence, we have checked out for ourselves many of the most trusted principles of audio. We have discovered that many of them are simply not so. Believing them is costly.
It remains a fact that most famous-name equipment is deliberately built to perform poorly.
It is also true that some astonishingly expensive esoteric equipment just doesn't cut it.
Fortunately, it also remains true even today that real music can be heard from a system that is, by hi-fi standards, inexpensive.
You won't see many brand names in this book, because that's the province of the magazine. The book deals in ideas. If some of those ideas shock you, I invite you to do what we've done: check them out for yourself.
This book, unlike the first one, contains no previously-published material. Thus it is all from my pen. I have, of course, drawn heavily on the knowledge of a number of people, some of whom write for UHF and some of whom do not. I thank them all, but any errors in this book are my own.
CONTINUE WITH THE COURSE: