About this site

The mission of this website is to promote scientific values and explore some of the most controversial questions in audio. Audio is not 'rocket science' and many concepts can be understood without a degree in engineering or science. It seems complex because it covers a wide range of skills and knowledge: human hearing, audio electronics (analog and digital), audio fidelity and its measurement, loudspeakers and room acoustics.

If you have trouble with basic terminology or don't know the main audio parameters that define audio quality, I recommend watching these videos. Many audiophiles skip the basics and get lost in the marketing traps of the audio(phile) business forever.

High-end audio is full of crazy products and crazy prices. The lack of responsibility and gullibility of customers has always been a good opportunity for any kind of unfair business. Audiophile magazines are not really helpful, even worse, they bombard readers with misinformation and biased opinions.

There are things that matter a lot in audio reproduction and there are many more things that don't. Usually high-end audio companies give expensive solutions to non-existent problems (high-end cables, high-resolution audio downloads, DACs with ultra high sample rates). What really matters? The quality of loudspeakers, headphones and room reflections have a greater impact on audio quality than any high-end electronics.

About the author

This website is created, written by, and maintained by Csaba Horváth.

My main areas of interest: loudspeaker design, room acoustics, psychoacoustics, headphone equalization, guitar amplifiers & amp modeling, audio compression, software development.

I have a degree in electrical engineering. I don't have a degree that is closely related to 'audio' - nor in those programming languages that I've learned and used in my life (from Assembly to Javascript and Visual Basic).

Learning how to use tools is more important than learning the facts. Tools can be physical tools (e.g. a multimeter), software tools (simulation) or - the most important - intellectual tools such as the Baloney Detection Kit from Carl Sagan or 'how to learn'. The latter is where formal education fails.

High-resolution audio is a hot topic, so here is my view on hi-res audio: using high-resolution audio formats for distributing music is nonsense. Probably this is the biggest scam in the history of audio. It seems that perceptual studies about high-resolution audio formats are made by statisticians without understanding format conversions and accounting for possible errors. Often the researches have no basic knowledge about PCM encoding scheme and the false positive result is guaranteed. Then these false results are picked up by the audiophile media and blared out as if they were proving anything... It is sad that any E.E. student specialized in digital signal processing can find the flaws in ten minutes.

What does 'tonestack' mean and why 'tonestack' is the name of the website? 'Tone stack' is the name of the tone control circuit in guitar amplifiers that separates the pre-amp from the power amp. I found it neutral, it doesn't use the word 'audiophile' or other magic words.

More content will be added soon...

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