Publisher Profile

Laurence A. Borden

Executive Editor

It Begins with the Music Music has always figured prominently in my life. My earliest recollections of music are my parents’ collection of show tunes, and my mother’s radio playing WNEW’s Make-Believe Ballroom. My own path was charted when I received the just-released Meet the Beatles as a present for my eleventh birthday. That this was my first album was most apt, as my musical tastes were centered for many years on the Fab Four and the other icons of the 60’s - - The Stones, The Who, The Doors, Credence, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi and Janis, to name just a few. I am indeed a child of the sixties. While no longer the music I commonly turn to, “classic rock” hasn’t lost its power to energize me, and hearing it invariably floods my brain with memories of adolescence, first love, sit-ins, Vietnam protests, and altered states of consciousness of myriad shapes and colors. Aaah, the good old days. My next destination on the musical journey was da’ Blues. My exposure took an odd route, beginning with England (John Mayall, amongst others), moving next to Chicago (Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield), the south (Roy Buchanan) and the west (Johnny Winter), before finally wending its way to its roots in the Mississippi Delta. While I am in awe of the founding fathers of this most-American of genres, it is the electric blues that I enjoy the most. There is something about hot licks superimposed on that slow and basic beat, that just speaks to my soul and makes me want to play air guitar. The next stop for me was jazz, a logical progression from the blues from which it is derived. I enjoy jazz from different time periods, and if you come to my home you are most likely to hear Coltrane, Rollins, Ella, Count Basie, Satchmo, Dizzy, Miles, Ray Brown, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Gene Ammons, and Kenny G. Okay, just kidding about Kenny G. My Road to High-End While I have not been without a stereo since my teens, for most of this time the quality of playback was not something I concerned myself with. Oh yes, I was vaguely aware that some stereos sounded better than others but in my limited experience, nothing had sounded sufficiently better to arouse my interest. My world was turned topsy-turvy sometime in the ‘90s when I wandered into my first high-end audio shop. I quickly learned a number of important lessons. First of course was that there exist stereos capable of amazing realism; second, that these systems are not inexpensive; and third, that stereos come in a remarkable assortment of flavors. To say that I was caught hook line and sinker would be a gross understatement. I plunged into the deep end without a life jacket, and began a journey of exploration and discovery that continues to this day. By listening to as much different gear as possible, by reading everything I could get my hands on, and by asking countless questions, I have slowly come to understand my own tastes and preferences. A costly and painful lesson was the realization that generally speaking, I do not care for much of the most popular high-end gear, including that favored by the print audio magazines. To my ear, modern trends in audio have yielded gear that while perhaps yielding better measurements, do not as effectively communicate the essence and emotional content of the music. Or to put it another way, I am less able to connect to the music. I prefer tubes to solid state, low powered amps (in particular, those of the single-ended variety) to high powered ones, analogue to digital, and high-efficiency speakers to lower efficiency designs. These are of course a generalization, as I have and continue to enjoy many diverse types of systems. I hope to have the opportunity to review gear that conforms to my known ideals, but I also welcome the opportunity for that which does not, as it is the latter that may well bring to my awareness some unexpected delights. Live Music Living near to and working in the Big Apple affords me considerable opportunity to hear live performances, and I take advantage of this as often as possible. As my tolerance for screaming crowds, on a one-to-ten scale, is a negative 15, I rarely go to rock concerts. Instead I most commonly attend jazz and chamber music performances, almost always in small venues with audiences from as few as ten to at most a few hundred. My main motivation for attending live shows is my shear love of them, though there are also “audiophile” benefits . Live music - especially that which is non (or minimally) amplified - does provide a useful reference for recorded music and the playback systems through which we hear them. Moreover, live music has helped me understand what sonic attributes are most important to me in a playback system. Science: My Life Beyond Music While I am unable to get independent verification, I suspect that my first word was “why.” For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the physical world around us. In college I majored in biology, and developed a keen interest in the nervous system; as Woody Allen so eloquently stated it, the brain is my second favorite organ. I entered graduate school to pursue studies in neuroscience, ultimately earning a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, which was followed by five years of post-doctoral training (can anyone say “glutton for punishment”?) at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. In 1991 I got a “real job” in a biotechnology company in - of all places - Paramus New Jersey, so I moved to the Garden State, which continues to be my home. I enjoyed six productive years in biotech until 1997 when I made an unanticipated career change into the world of patent law. I now earn my keep in the patent litigation group of a large New York City law firm, where we represent primarily pharmaceutical and biotech companies in their patent disputes. I love what I do though having lawyers sign my paycheck has necessitated some adjustments to my joke repertoire. A side benefit of my job is that I have become quite interested in copyright law, an area that of course has considerable relevance to issues of downloading music and copy-protected media. From time to time I may pen some short pieces on current legal decisions in this field. My scientific background presents something of a conundrum for me as regards audio. Not surprisingly, I am a firm believer in the scientific method, including the use of appropriate controls. The results from sloppy science need to be taken with (as my old physics professor used to say) “a grain of malt.” And yet I recognize - somewhat to my chagrin - that much of what I favor in audio may not be discernable in double blind tests, nor have any obvious measurable correlates. I reconcile these issues by keeping an open mind and by accepting that there are many things we don’t understand, especially when it comes to human perception. Ultimately, what matters most is that our systems increase our enjoyment of music. Room I have a dedicated music room measuring 30’ x 22’ x 11’. It is well treated with a combination of absorption and diffusion.

System
						Analog Front End
Oswalds Mill Audio Anatase Turntable (Lenco-based)
						Digital Front End
Modded Sony CD player (used solely as transport) Harmonix Reimyo DAP-777 DAC
						Amplification
Oswalds Mill Audio Preamplifier Oswalds Mill AudioParallax Amplifier
						Cabling
AudioPath interconnects, speaker wire and power cables
						Speakers
Oswalds Mill Audio New Yorker
						Headphones

						Home Theater

						Accessories
Oswalds Mill Audio rack (made of slate)
						Room Treatment

Articles & Reviews
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Laurence Borden interviews Paul Kaplan of Waveform Fidelity Cables

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »
Commentary

How Important Is Soundstaging?

Commentaries | The Columns | 7 Comments »
Commentary

The Economics of High-End Audio Equipment: Separating Fact from Fiction

Commentaries | The Columns | 11 Comments »
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Sadurni Acoustics Staccato speakers Review, Part II: The Sound

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | No Comments »
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Sadurni Acoustics Staccato speakers Review, Part I: Setup

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | No Comments »
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Empirical Audio Overdrive SE USB DAC/PreDAC Review

DACs | Digital Sources | 5 Comments »
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Lawrence Audio Double Bass Speakers Review

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | 2 Comments »
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An Interview with Daniel Khesin of Polymer Audio Research

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »
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2014 Capital Audio Fest Report

Capital Audio Fest | Event Reports | 1 Comment »
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Bache Audio 001 Loudspeaker Review

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | No Comments »
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An Interview with Alan Langford of DEQX

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »
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Channel D Pure Vinyl Music Server Software and Seta Phono Stage and Lynx Hilo DAC

DACs | Digital Sources | Music Servers | Phono | 1 Comment »
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An Interview with Thom Mackris of Galibier Design

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »
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Sanders Sound Model 10 Electrostat Speaker Review

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | 13 Comments »
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Laurence Borden Interviews Bassist Gregg August

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »
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An Interview with Mark Kovach of Miracle Audio

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »
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Interview of Luigi Basagni and David Huang of Audio Reference Technology (A.R.T.)

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »
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VB Speaker Olaf and Troika Review

Bookshelf Speakers | Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | No Comments »
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An Interview with Ben Zwickel of Mojo Audio

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »
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Surreal Sound Fifth Row Speakers Review

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | No Comments »
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An Interview with Mark O’Brien of Rogue Audio

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 5 Comments »
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Hollis Audio Labs MS-1 Music Server Review

Digital Sources | Music Servers | No Comments »

A Visit to the Audio Doctor in Jersey City, NJ

Commentaries | The Columns | 1 Comment »

2012 Capital Audio Fest

Capital Audio Fest | Event Reports | No Comments »

3rd (2012) Capital Audio Fest

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

An Interview with Greg Roberts of Volti Audio

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 2 Comments »

An Interview with Dr. Earl Geddes of GedLee LLC

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »

2012 New York Audio & AV Show, Part II (final)

Event Reports | New York Audio & AV Show | No Comments »

2012 New York Audio & AV Show, Part I

Event Reports | New York Audio & AV Show | No Comments »

2012 New York Audio & AV Show: Part II

Commentaries | The Columns | No Comments »

An Interview with Frank Van Alstine of AVA

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 2 Comments »

An Interview with Jeff Hedback of HdAcoustics

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

Laurence Borden Interviews Rob Robinson of Channel D

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

An Interview with Roger Sanders of Sanders Sound Systems

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

An Interview with Doug Hurlburt of Dynamic Sounds Associates, LLC

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »

Dodd Audio Battery Powered Tube Buffer Preamplifier Review

Preamplifier | No Comments »

An Interview with Yoav Geva of YG Acoustics

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

An Interview with Vinnie Rossi of Red Wine Audio

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

An Interview with Joel Francois Durand of Durand Tonearms

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

TTWeights GEM Turntable Review

Analog Sources | Turn Tables | No Comments »

An Interview with Jacob George of Rethm loudspeakers

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 1 Comment »

An Interview with Chris Connaker of computeraudiophile.com

Dagogo Classics | Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | 3 Comments »

An Interview with Steven Huang of Audio Sensibility

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

2011 AXPONA Coverage IV

AXPONA | Event Reports | No Comments »

An Interview With Pianist/Composer Elio Villafranca

Laurence A. Borden Interviews | The Columns | No Comments »

2011 AXPONA Coverage II

AXPONA | Event Reports | No Comments »

2011 AXPONA Coverage I

AXPONA | Event Reports | No Comments »

A Visit to Audio Arts, New York City’s Newest Audio Salon

Spotlight | System Profiles | No Comments »

The Return Of Thor Audio: An Interview With Ted Lindblad Of High End Audio

Of Grey Matter | Spotlight | 1 Comment »

Audio Note AN-E SE Signature Speaker Review

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | No Comments »

Red Wine Audio Modified Olive Musica Music Server Review

Digital Sources | Music Servers | No Comments »

Teresonic Ingenium Floorstanding Speaker Review

Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | 2 Comments »

2006 VTV Expo: Part 2

Event Reports | VTV Expo | No Comments »

2006 VTV Expo: Part 1

VTV Expo | No Comments »

2006 VTV Expo Part 6

Event Reports | VTV Expo | No Comments »

2006 VTV Expo Part 5

Event Reports | VTV Expo | No Comments »

2006 VTV Expo Part 4

Event Reports | VTV Expo | No Comments »

2006 VTV Expo Part 3

Event Reports | VTV Expo | No Comments »

RealTraps & Rives Audio Room Acoustic Treatments Review

Audio Accessories | Room Accoustics | No Comments »

A Shindo Shindig

Commentaries | The Columns | No Comments »

Combak’s Harmonix Reimyo DAP-777 DAC Review

DACs | Digital Sources | No Comments »

2005 T.H.E. Show: Part 3

Event Reports | T.H.E. Show | No Comments »

2005 T.H.E. Show: Part 2

Event Reports | T.H.E. Show | No Comments »

2005 T.H.E. Show: Part 1

Event Reports | T.H.E. Show | No Comments »

The Role of Psychological Factors in the Evaluation of Audio Products

Commentaries | The Columns | No Comments »
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