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Home > Preface  2014/01/29 created
2015/04/12 updated

Preface

Thank you for visiting Tonochi's Audio Room.

The theme of this homepage is designing and building audio equipment and audio systems as a hobby. I express my opinions, ideas and know-how through describing my audio system called Gaudi and its components I designed and built.
Gaudi is my life work; I designed the system in 1974, when I was only 17 years old, based on what I had learned from my four-year experience as an audiophile till then. I believed it was an ideal audio system at that time. Since then, I have been developing the system without changing the system design. It is a tri-amplified audio system using amplifiers and loudspeakers I designed and built. The loudspeaker is composed of a large-size woofer, horn-loaded midrange and horn-loaded super tweeter. (System design of Gaudi)

It may be strange for me to say that, but Gaudi has almost no characteristics I can boast of towards audiophiles; no first-class components are used (though only the midrange LS unit is relatively expensive); no state-of-the-art technologies are employed; no exquisite craftsmanship; and no breakthrough circuits nor mechanisms. Many old components are used such as the woofer amplifier built in 1974, the record player built in 1982 and many others. And, many cheap no-brand parts are used. Thin electrical wires of which core is slightly thicker than man's hair are used as speaker cables.

Basically, the designer of Gaudi (myself) doesn't have superior technology. Although I worked as a computer engineer for about 30 years, I am originally a Bachelor of Art, not a Bachelor of Engineering (see 'About Me'). I haven't taken any patent concerning audio (though I have taken more than a dozen patents in the field of IT). I don't have a workshop nor machine tools. No high-precision measurement instruments, either (see 'Misc Info'). I am all thumbs, so I can't do difficult handicrafts. It takes me a lot of time to construct a piece of audio equipment. Since my childhood, I haven't been good at anything mechanical nor fond of handicraft.

It is natural in a way that Gaudi is a system composed of components that look almost like junks, because an amateur constructor like me is building it. However, there is one thing I am proud of: Gaudi's superior sound quality. The characteristics of the sound of Gaudi (hereinafter, I call it 'Gaudi sound') is lifelike to such an extent that the listener is shocked somehow, open, dynamic and vivid; sounds of musical instruments sing and dance; the more listen, the more deeply the listener is involved in the world of music.
I describe the sound like that as 'living sound' or 'the sound is alive.' On the other hand, I describe the sound that is dull and sluggish somehow as 'dead sound', or 'the sound is dead,' even if it does not include any audible noise nor distortion at all. Those expressions are often used in this homepage.

Until the year 2008, I wasn't confident in Gaudi sound so much. In fact, I was considering to replace Gaudi with a system composed of high-end, ready-made audio equipment. However, I took many opportunities to hear high-end audio systems, and reached a conclusion that Gaudi's sound quality was already close to that of the high-end systems I auditioned. And I felt Gaudi was rather better than about 20% of them.
I continued to improve Gaudi. I found causes degrading the sound quality, contrived ways to eliminate them and put them into practice. Gaudi sound was evolving into 'living sound'. My friends came to rate it highly too.

In 2010, I became confident with Gaudi sound and decided to document technical information about Gaudi and what I had learned through my experience in the form of homepage. I expected my homepage could be a good information to other audiophiles, and it would be a comprehensive documentation to myself too.

I'd be delighted if such people would read this homepage who are audiophiles and music lovers without experience of building their own original audio equipment yet. Especially, I hope young audiophiles read this homepage. Women and non-Japanese people are also welcome (this is why I am writing English version too). I'd like them to know that they can build their original audio equipment if they learn basics of electroacoustics and basic techniques about metalwork, wiring and woodwork, and low-cost, self-made audio equipment often offers as good sound quality as high-end, ready-made ones.
By the way, this homepage is not a guidebook for beginners, but it's aimed to summarize my experience and express my opinions. Many ABC books have already been published and many websites offer how-to information for beginners. I recommend the beginners learn basics from those books and websites.
Although many technical terms are used in this website, no terminology is offered here, because they can easily be searched on Internet.

Consequently, I opened this homepage 'Tonochi's Audio Room' in December 2010.
The contents are as follows:

Gaudi
This and its related pages describe details of my audio system Gaudi; not only the current information but also its development process from the planning stage to the present. I would like to show its long history where I have been managing to build my ideal audio system step by step under restriction of budget and labor. In addition, many lessons I have learned through the development of Gaudi and tips about Gaudi sound are written. Please read these pages first.
NOBODY
I hit upon an idea to give model numbers to my works, when I started building Gaudi. Numbering works make it easy to take care of them and their drawings and parts. And I also gave them a brand name; it is 'NOBODY'. This page contains a table listing all the NOBODY-branded works I have made. The table has links to the pages of each work. For detailed information about each work, please use these links.
About Me
I introduce myself in this page.
Misc Info
This page contains miscellaneous topics and tips I would like to introduce but not suitable for the pages of Gaudi nor NOBODY.
Contact (2015/04/12 updated)
This page shows my e-mail address. Please feel free to send your message to me. And links to some interesting websites Tonochi recommend are shown.

To access those pages, click the buttons at the top of this page.

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To tell the truth, I don't have an audio room, contrary to the title of this homepage. I am not a rich man. I can't afford an audio room nor a listening room. Gaudi is installed in the living room. It is not an ideal environment for an audio system, though, whining won't help. I have been improving the acoustics and the quality of mains of the living room little by little.

I think audio is a kind of hobby you can enjoy with low budget. Especially in building your own audio system, you can create such a marvelous system that its high quality of sound pleasantly surprises you yourself, depending on your own good ideas and high knowledge you learn, even though your budget is so limited. I think it is the best part of this hobby to improve sound quality with your original ideas rather than own high-end, ready-made audio equipment.
That's Tonochi's way of enjoying audio. I can't quit designing and building audio equipment in spite of the fact that I am not good at anything mechanical, because I always expect my ideas may improve the sound quality of Gaudi.

I hope you enjoy Tonochi's Audio Room and find something interesting in this website.




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