Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

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Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby mandym » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:24 am

My wife looks up from the paper and screams "Da" you are on Philippine Star!!

Thank you, Audiostar for the nice article on me. Now, it was worth changing my subscription from the Inquirer to Philippine Star :D :D .

Rest assured that I will continue to try to look for new ideas to feed our Audiomania, at the same time improve on my craftsmanship and techniques.

Thanks also to my WiredState friends without whose full support, I could not have reached my personal "State of the Art".

Sincerely,
Mandy
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby obi » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:00 am

congrats sir mandy! here's wishing you more success :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby ESaudio » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:40 am

Congrats to Sir Mandy, and keep it on Pare'ng Val!
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby Squirrelnutzipper » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:27 am

Mandy,
It is great that your considerable achievments are gaining wider recognition. It is partcularly fitting that this all is coming to a humble but very competent and nice person. I feel truly honored to know you. Congratulations, and may many others come to know of your terrific achievments in audio.
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby audiostar » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:57 pm

It's my pleasure master Mandy. Here's the article in full:

Sunday Life
The Philippine Star

Hail to the chief
AUDIOFILE By Val A. Villanueva
Sunday, June 14, 2009

Image

“The allure of audio is the complete recreation of past sonic events. It is the only medium that comes close to a ‘suspension of disbelief’ of our sensual experience. Advances in equipment have brought our audio experiences to a level of incredible realism. Yet, if I may hazard a guess, we’re only half way over ‘there’. I believe that the reproduced and the real are still worlds apart. Not even the best of recording can come close to what we hear in the real world: the cry of a baby wanting attention; the bursts of pyrotechnics on the 4th of July, or the noise created by firecrackers during New Year’s Eve revelries,” environmentalist and audiophile Armando ‘Mandy’ V. Mariño declares.

Seventy-year-old Mandy knows whereof he speaks. He is after all the acknowledged grandmaster of audio and the most revered person in various audiophile communities. But it took a while before Mandy re-discovered his passion for audio. An electrical engineer from Mapua Institute of Technology, he left the country for the US after passing the board exam. He eked out a successful career in Zenith Radio in Chicago, took an early retirement at 55 and went back to the Philippines, only to be utterly disappointed by the degradation of the once pristine Sampaloc Lake in San Pablo, Laguna.

It was in the same Lake where he frolicked with his friends. Mandy decided that he could not and would not let environmental decay totally destroy the Lake of his youth. Together with his wife Emma, he actively fought for the Lake’s rehabilitation, tirelessly seeking public and government support. Always passionately pursuing the causes he believes in, it is therefore not surprising that Mandy succeeds in whatever projects he undertakes. And it shows in all of his audio masterpieces: a cart body chiseled out of a mammoth tusk (the tusk was acquired by a friend long before the ban on the sale of ivory); a tonearm sculpted to perfection from a kamagong wood, and a brass casing for cartridge, among many other custom-built audio gears.

Mandy grew up during the golden years of audio. He was a witness to the birth of high-fidelity gears in the late 1950s. To him, Hi-Fi was a giant leap toward musical realism. “The sound was so beguiling,” Mandy recalls, “that we took to building high-fidelity amplifiers (especially the one from the old RCA Receiving Tube Manual) and big speakers -- the bigger, the better it seemed.”

He thought it was his busy work schedule in the US that caused him to drift away from audio. He belatedly found out that what really drove him away from audio was the industry’s technological shift from tube to transistor amplifiers. “I had junked my ‘obsolete’ tube gears in favor of the (supposedly) state-of-the-art, highly efficient transistorized amps greatly praised by the tin-eared audio reviewer Julian Hirsch. I kept playing musical chairs with my components, trying to find the combination that will please me. I never succeeded, and my stereo system remained mostly unheard from except during rowdy parties.”

A friend named Al Daniels changed his view. Apparently, Al was into tweaking gears – replacing some components such as capacitors, resistors, tubes, among others. Mandy was dumfounded. He couldn’t believe that changing some parts of an already ‘perfect’ and expensive electronic gear could change anything. And he wasn’t prepared to hear the music coming out of a Dynaco Stereo 70 amp that Al tweaked: “My jaw dropped, or was it a lockjaw? I heard the cleanest, sweetest sound that I was most familiar with, the kind of sound that I grew up with in the 60s. After much begging, he agreed to sell me the amp on the spot. From that moment on, I said goodbye to the world of super hype, and the bells and whistles.”

Thus began his love affair with DIY audio. Back in San Pablo, Mandy began creating his own audio gears with the perfect inspiration -- a magnificent view and an enchanting ambiance. His property is nestled on a slope overlooking Sampaloc Lake and the beautiful garden that surrounds his workplace which the audiophile community fondly called the dungeon, and him the dungeonmeister. Mandy has successfully turned his ‘dungeon’ into a place where dreams for musical bliss are made into reality.

Mandy says it is easy to think that audio has gone as far as it would go given the performance of the most modern high fidelity equipment and the apparent leveling off of ‘improvements’. But using his strictly personal rating system, he explains that “the old RCA Victrola phonograph machine would rate an RQ (Realism Quotient) of 10 percent, the crystal/ceramic sourced phonograph 20 percent; Hi-Fi, 50 percent and stereo, 60 percent. All other advancements for the past 40 years have raised the RQ by a mere two percent!”

He concludes: “To the incredulous, I suggest that they consider the fact that, in spite of the great strides in audio, there are multitudes of audiophiles who prefer the sound of vintage equipment. Their choice is not really a matter of economics since some of the ancient gears carry modern price tags. Audio needs a breakthrough similar to the advent of Hi-Fi. There is a wide window of opportunity, and I believe it will be in the area of electromechanical devices. Electronic devices and circuits have largely been defined, and passive components have been improved to the point of diminishing returns. On the other hand, turntables, cartridges, tonearms and loudspeakers have remained more in the realm of art rather than science. To date, there are neither scientific formulas nor specifications to describe or predict emotions. This scenario fits well with the psyche of the Filipino inventor who has not totally lost the power of human intuition. The mighty Western meter readers have contributed their two percent share; maybe, just maybe, Eastern tea-leaf readers can do better?”

Here’s a toast to the chief!

For comments or questions, please e-mail me at audioglow@yahoo.com or at vphl@hotmail.com. You can also visit http://www.wiredstate.com or http://bikini-bottom.proboards80.com for quick answers to your audio concerns.
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby carlosmiguel » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:10 pm

sabi misis ko photogenic ka daw. music lover kasi kaya favorite nya ikaw at si Val. sorry wala ako talent in listening music kaya d ko kayo favorite. JOKE LANG!

quote="mandym"]My wife looks up from the paper and screams "Da" you are on Philippine Star!!

Thank you, Audiostar for the nice article on me. Now, it was worth changing my subscription from the Inquirer to Philippine Star :D :D .

Rest assured that I will continue to try to look for new ideas to feed our Audiomania, at the same time improve on my craftsmanship and techniques.

Thanks also to my WiredState friends without whose full support, I could not have reached my personal "State of the Art".

Sincerely,
Mandy[/quote]
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby highlander » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:07 pm

Congratulations Mandy! As usual, Val, excellent article about a full blooded DIYer and Environmentalist! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby Superman » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:46 pm

CONGRATS to both MandyM and Audiostar! :D
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby onedown » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:06 pm

congrats mandy. excellent job not only on audio goodies, but with our environment as well.

val, nice article.
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby pigdog » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:46 am

a most fitting article for Mandy! congratulations! and as always, i am proud to be a recipient to Mandy's creations
the wooden arm that mandy built for me is turning heads amongst the audio enthusiasts in hk and they were impressed by both the work and sonic quality
clearly mandy deserved the accolade and the support of the diy and audio enthusiasts community
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby amandarae » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:07 am

A well written article, Val! Semantics aside, one can relate about mandy's journey by just reading the write up. I very much enjoy the read and wish that your coulum can be access locally here. But its online no?

Best regards,

Abe
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby audiostar » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:22 am

amandarae wrote:A well written article, Val! Semantics aside, one can relate about mandy's journey by just reading the write up. I very much enjoy the read and wish that your coulum can be access locally here. But its online no?

Best regards,

Abe


Yup. You can access it online Abe at philstar.com :)
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Re: Dungeonmeister: THANK YOU AUDIOSTAR

Postby amandarae » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:12 pm

audiostar wrote:
amandarae wrote:A well written article, Val! Semantics aside, one can relate about mandy's journey by just reading the write up. I very much enjoy the read and wish that your coulum can be access locally here. But its online no?

Best regards,

Abe


Yup. You can access it online Abe at philstar.com :)


Thank you! Bookmarked already!

regards,

Abe
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