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  1. Old Comment
    LucasAdamson's Avatar

    Stock Status

    But Oliver, there is a possibility that it may never return to the level it was a year ago!! What to do!?
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    Posted Today at 12:05 PM by LucasAdamson LucasAdamson is offline
  2. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    I must say I'm somewhat surprised, intrigued that the sound is doing so well, so far. From a cold start something like Kocsis Plays Bartok, a Denon digital recording from 1975(!) of small piano pieces comes across very well. Nice and spacious, all the elements of "correct" piano sound are there, in particular the bass notes are fully convincing - way superior to what I would typically hear from a pretentious, high end audio setup! The only thing missing is volume, I keep wanting to grab some magical volume control, and wind it riiight up!!

    It's in the good position now that it's so pleasurable to listen to, that I need to be motivated to want to improve it - I could quite happily just keep playing music! So, I need to pull out some my killer CDs, the nasty ones, to expose deeper weaknesses.

    I hadn't expected that this level of quality to be realised so easily ... a nice surprise ...

    Edit: IOW, this sound is "good enough", all a system would have to do is replicate this, say up to 20 or 30 dB louder, to be satisfactory.
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    Posted Today at 02:41 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
    Updated Today at 02:48 AM by fas42
  3. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Very pleasing, it seems that a certain setting for MediaMonkey is making a substantial difference - and the latest round of listening has been positive! This was a trial and error thing, the why is unknown, at the moment. Also, it now makes a strong difference whether the display is on or off, possibly meaning that the balance of power draw in that mode suits the battery/charger setup better.

    So what is the key criterion that I'm focusing on at the moment? The clarity of low level detail - when not in the "groove" the sound has a fog, somewhat unpleasant, "blurring" the tiny stuff that's happening - very quickly one's brain says, I don't want to keep listening to this! But get the settings, the environment right and that cloud lifts - you can hear "into the sound", there's a pleasure in picking up little details of what's going on in the sound space.

    Also, as mentioned before, the experience with one's head merely inches away from the keyboard is like wearing a pair of high quality, open style of headphones - the sound surrounds your head, you're "inside" that music space.
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    Posted 26th April 2015 at 10:55 PM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  4. Old Comment

    Superregs for your line-level projects

    Hi Jan,

    The links, both in the web store and the blog, for the BOM and schematic are not working.

    Regards,
    ym
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    Posted 26th April 2015 at 04:01 PM by ymwong ymwong is offline
  5. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Today turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag, at times getting somewhere and then seeming to fall behind again. This is also fairly typical of a certain stage of the tweaking process - one is still learning what the key factors are, and how they may interrelate; it's like juggling, say, 10 balls and working out the precise sequence of hand movements to keep the show running: get the sequence right and it's remarkable to watch; get it wrong and you just have an embarrassing mess up !!
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    Posted 25th April 2015 at 11:01 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  6. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Back on track ... yesterday I just consolidated my sense of confidence of what was needed as regards a charger and battery strategy for the moment, I was consistently getting a certain, acceptable SQ. There is still a resonance issue in the speakers at times, very dynamic solo piano brings this out, but I still don't know whether long term conditioning will resolve this, or whether a bit of physical fiddling with the driver is needed.

    Tried a CD that is truly close to being a 'bad' recording, and still not quite sure how this will turn out - I only acquired it fairly recently, and haven't the confidence to say how "good it can get". It's a John Buller Trio live recording, in 2005(!!) at a Swiss music do ... and why is it bad? Because, at first glimpse it sounds technically very competent, but where the signal was tapped from the PA system used is too far down the chain it seems, and it's quite dirty, and grungy - there's an irky, low level unpleasantness which comes and goes. It's very much like listening to good quality PA speakers, which means the denser the sound the more it clogs up - perhaps they wanted the listener to feel like they were in the crowd. But I have heard plenty of other recordings of this type do this far better, the sound doesn't need a patina of crappiness to convey the right atmosphere ...
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    Posted 25th April 2015 at 12:10 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  7. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    What's the PSRR of an emitter follower?

    Hoo boy ... is that ever relevant when listening to "pro" sound! Mucky sound, amplified to a level to make sure everybody in the place has an unpleasant time of it - the few times they get it right doesn't make the risk of suffering it worthwhile.

    The real downside is that I'm sure that most people now expect sound reinforcement to be bad - they would feel cheated if it wasn't like that - they weren't getting the "live" experience, !!
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    Posted 24th April 2015 at 11:40 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  8. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar

    What's the PSRR of an emitter follower?

    Speaking of Audacity, here's a beautiful thread with the OP's wife making the following comment which tickled me senseless :

    "I didn't know that the music didn't have to hurt while listening to it"

    https://community.klipsch.com/index....-tracks/page-2
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    Posted 24th April 2015 at 04:50 AM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
  9. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Yesterday was not the best day, I had lost ground, it seemed! The sound was not coming on song as it had the day previously, and there didn't seem any obvious reason for that. It was only towards the end of the day, and when I had lost a lot of enthusiasm for the business that the light dawned - I had determined that the charger in operation was helping the sound, aided by simple filtering. So that's how it was running all day, but I was getting sludge quality, no matter what. Ah-ha! The battery was fully charged all the time, and the charger was just idling, in another "mode" of just ticking over with only enough juice to keep everything in balance. When the charger first was a positive factor the battery was way down, so the charger was going flat out refilling the battery, its plastic case got to a very cosy temperature from the output regulators doing their work - so, I now discharged the battery somewhat, and a good measure of the SQ was restored.

    Meaning, the whole power supply side of the laptop, and sound is in fine balance, in its raw form - the interference factor jumps a great deal if the battery and charger currents are not at a relatively high level. Now, the "proper" solution would be to sort that out, but I'm not going to do such - my aim is to find a balance of the environment that means good sound comes out; to see how far the sound components of the laptop can be pushed. It's not worth "fixing" the m/c, this is just an exercise in investigating what factors contribute to the quality of the sound.
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    Posted 23rd April 2015 at 11:43 PM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  10. Old Comment

    Building a vacuum tube amp vs a solid state amp

    Well my post was more about what I need in order to execute a build. Not so much the sort of amp I am looking for. I am very interested in building a transconductance amp though.
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    Posted 22nd April 2015 at 07:12 PM by cspirou cspirou is offline
  11. Old Comment

    Building a vacuum tube amp vs a solid state amp

    Another difference is that transistor amplifiers typically operate in voltage, and tube amps operating in current.

    Maybe a design like this can resolve the dilemma, and has the advantages of transistors and valves:

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/chip-...ml#post3564061
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    Posted 22nd April 2015 at 05:57 PM by raul_77 raul_77 is offline
  12. Old Comment

    The best sounding I/V resistor

    How much do they cost?
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    Posted 22nd April 2015 at 01:49 PM by taccodude taccodude is offline
  13. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    A couple of things of note ...

    The speakers seem to take quite some time to bed in, the resonance problem went away completely, at least from a subjective standpoint - piano became very authorative, and the bass register conveyed the usual sense of that part of the instrument's sound - how much of that will be lost with a cold start tomorrow?

    Working on the laptop at the same time as music is playing, in any way, is a no-no - especially with piano, an unpleasant edge very quickly intrudes, and soon one has no choice but to drop volume dramatically, or switch off. This would be fairly obvious, since cross-interference goes up dramatically, internally when the CPU is revved up more - but is mentioned here for the record.
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    Posted 22nd April 2015 at 10:42 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  14. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Things are moving very nicely at the moment, this is most pleasing! The problem with the previous disk, the Jools Holland was overcome by plugging the power adapter back in - by itself, just the raw power pack, the sound was still poor, so I used a simple approach that I often do, a basic surge buster, the MOV thing, which improved things hugely. Full spaciousness and cleanness of sound was recovered; the mains was introducing too much garbage, and a bit of filtering did the trick.

    All in all, a very good few hours fiddling, with remarkably competent sound now being extracted ...
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    Posted 22nd April 2015 at 02:41 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
    Updated 22nd April 2015 at 03:00 AM by fas42
  15. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Where it is still struggling is with Small World Big Band - Jools Holland | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic. This is one of my "killer" CDs, I would use this but rarely on other, audiophile systems, - very dense sound, mastered using modern studio, heavy, and clever compression methods ... forces the amplifier to be absolutely on its best behaviour, and most will fail miserably - sound will clog, and turn shouty; people will demand that the playback be stopped, .

    And this is what the laptop is doing, the power demands are too much for the circuitry to cope with, at the moment, and distortion intrudes, badly ...
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    Posted 22nd April 2015 at 01:20 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  16. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Very positive, just tried a classical CD, from cold the speakers have some mechanical scratchiness, and piano beautifully hightlights this - but this physical problem does steadily settle down. The good news is that full scale orchestral is doing very nicely, rings very true, has good space and depth - there seems to an issue with the CD-ROM drive and/or player output software module though, it's glitching on the end of tracks, on this CD ...

    Edit: The kicker is, that even at this relatively preliminary point in the exercise, the intrinsic quality of the sound is quite superior to the majority of ambitious hifi setups, ! Yes, it doesn't go loud, and it doesn't have walloping bass! - but everything else is in good shape ... unlike many of the clown(!), expensive audio setups one comes across ...

    "Correct" sound is just this, with the low bass filled in, and able to go to any sensible volume one wants - it's all quite simple, really ...
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    Posted 22nd April 2015 at 12:11 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
    Updated 22nd April 2015 at 12:43 AM by fas42
  17. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Talking of battery usage, I was getting a weird battery charging condition - both the charger and battery are no-name replacements, and I was doing a lot of experimentation with charging and not charging, and ended up with a flashing LED on the charging indicators - which didn't go away unless the m/c was on the charger, and continued even when the laptop was fully powered down, whoa ... !! Plus, the charge level number got stuck, didn't move from a setting that was almost full, no matter what! OK, pull the battery from the case, reseat it a couple of times ... that fixed the problem, a glitch somewhere must have got the logic states confused, and a full reset was necessary ...

    To backtrack a bit, what I'm looking for is that the laptop deliver the best sound that it's capable of, which hopefully will mean minimal faults, and the lowest audible level of flaws in the sound. So far, the internal speakers are doing nicely, but are indicating the worst fault, a resonance with high level, complex low frequency material - as one would expect! Solo piano is always a good test, and this material is catching it out - I might have to lift the lid and do some damping and similar stabilising to "mend" this, or it is still possible that extensive conditioning might be the only "cure".

    So far, I'm pleased with how the exploration is going - the sound reproduction is substantially correct, the main hurdle, as usual, is "unclogging" the low level detail, having all the ambient information come across cleanly - this is essential for the sense of "big" sound to happen. As an explanation for what this sounds like on a system with minimal SPL capability, this means that with the volume on maximum that putting one's head over the keyboard, almost resting on it, as close to between the speakers as possible, that it sounds like a pair of very high quality headphones - after all, that's what the speakers inside the case are in fact: headphone drivers ...
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    Posted 21st April 2015 at 11:09 PM by fas42 fas42 is offline
    Updated 21st April 2015 at 11:13 PM by fas42
  18. Old Comment
    rjm's Avatar

    47 Labs 0347 "Treasure" stereo amplifier

    The 47 Treasure series has moved from the 47 Laboratory web site to Sparkler Audio, but the product line has been discontinued. Just a few items remain.

    (I've updated the main post to remove the dead links.)
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    Posted 19th April 2015 at 11:24 PM by rjm rjm is offline
    Updated 19th April 2015 at 11:28 PM by rjm
  19. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    Exploring laptop sound

    Next installment ... .

    Every time I do these exercises, I can only shake my head at those who say the differences are only imagination, or expectations - I think cloth eared is too kind a term to use for these people, . Even on these "miserable", standard, pea sized internal speakers the variations scream at one; as always the treble and low level detail, the "space" of the recording are the giveaways, make SQ adjustments obvious, .

    One thing I've noted, is that the quality does vary over time, say of a CD playing, by quite a large degree, so room for plenty of variables to be involved - I'm aiming for consistency, the worst thing is have best sound at the beginning, which slowly falls off over many minutes; far better to have a lower standard, which maintains over an extended period.

    The main movement currently is exploring alternatives to Windows Media Player, and MediaMonky has got a good rap - downloaded it, and a substantial improvement over the Windows default ... though still variable quality over a time frame. Why should another player work better? Well, looked in Task Manager at CPU usage, pretty obvious factor: Media Player running at around 9% all the time while playing, MediaMonkey, 0.2% !! Having the processor grinding continually will do quality no favours - so, Media Player gets the boot!

    Battery usage, and charge level seem to be important - a bit of detective work on that to come ...
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    Posted 19th April 2015 at 02:04 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  20. Old Comment
    fas42's Avatar

    What's the PSRR of an emitter follower?

    Straight off the top of my head, use Audacity to create a 20Hz square wave, the level of which is near full scale; then add a HF signal of appropriate frequency on top which causes the summed output to reach maximum amplitude, or a touch below - see what the distortion behaviour of that is ...
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    Posted 17th April 2015 at 01:37 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
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