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Old 30th December 2005, 12:42 PM   #11
PMA is offline PMA  Europe
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Hi John,

thank you for the reply. I am absolutely excited by DVD-A and especially SACD/DSD sound quality and I am resigning to CD. I hope to see you before you'll leave for China.

Best wishes to the New Year 2006,

Pavel
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Old 30th December 2005, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnW
The new products will be initially distributed from central warehousing based in Europe & Hong Kong - I don't have any plans or intention to support the US market.
I'm very interested John. How will you be announcing the product launch?

Would the new transport sound better than the DiscMagic when paired with an IsoMagic, or just give better tracking?
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Old 30th December 2005, 09:12 PM   #13
ash_dac is offline ash_dac  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnW
The CD transport well also Clock-Lock with your ISOmagic DAC.
John,

Will the clock-lock be at 128fs then?


My dac's:-

- Arcam Black box uses 128fs for the PLL section
- Dpa little bit dac (384fs) would need a divide by 3 circuit


Happy New Year,

Ashley.
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Old 30th December 2005, 09:59 PM   #14
JohnW is offline JohnW  Hong Kong
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Paul,

Pictures I sent to you where of the CD transport & pure Digital Amplifier, which has the Gain control in the center. The Digital amplifier replaces your DAC, Pre Amplifier & Amplifier, reducing the signal length – and thereby signal degradation, which can only be a good thing!

Dan,

First PP units, about 50 to 100 Pcs. (Pre Production) will be made available to those who have Emailed me on a first come – first serve basis, these will be full spec – just first units to be run down the production line. 2 to 3 months later will be MP (Mass Production); these will coincide with reviews in Hi-Fi World and maybe Hi-Fi Choice.

The new CD transport has superior disc playback capability and access speeds (the DiscMagic is not renowned for its tracking abilities nor access times!!!) – However if your IsoMagic is Clock-Locked via dual optical cables, then there will be no audio improvement. Clock-Locking eliminates DAC sensitivity to transport Jitter. However, if you are Clock Locking via Coax for the SPDIF (why?), then the new transport has a much cleaner digital output (in Phase Noise terms), however for best RF isolation you should always use fully Optical interconnects when Clock Locking.

Ashley,

The Transport requires a 128Fs clock (via Optical) as with the DiscMagic. Your correct in saying that the Deltec / DPA DAC’s Deltran outputs 384Fs (I can supply modified CD transport compatible with Deltec / DPA on request) – however I’m not sure about Arcam – I believe Arcam’s Clock Locking system operates at 96Fs?

Best wishes to the New Year,

John
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Old 30th December 2005, 10:43 PM   #15
smithie is offline smithie  United Kingdom
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hi john
many thanks for answering my questions,and as you proberly know by now i cant wait till they become available.
all the best and have a great new year!
paul
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Old 31st December 2005, 11:47 AM   #16
DawgNo1 is offline DawgNo1  United Kingdom
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Hi John, I sent you a few mails but I guess this is the best place for a reply, you prob get hundreds! like many others, I have been looking forward to the launch of these products for a while now but I wasn't sure if you were going to build separate Amp/Transport/Dac. Now we know, I have a small concern with speaker matching, your system sounds excellent value for money but I don't believe there has been an amp yet that is all things to all speakers. Could you please tell me how flexible it is, I mean is it going to require careful matching to get the best out of it? I think mine are pretty hungry, I would be replacing a Tom Evans Vibe Pre-amp and a pair of highly modified Lindsey Hood monoblocks that I built about 8 years ago and have never felt the need to replace no matter how many dems I visited. Your amp will be driving 4 Ted Jordan JX53's and 2 JX125's per channel. My intention was to build another 2 monoblocks and get your Transport and Dac when they were released. I don't suppose the DAX1 has a set of Pre-outs? This would be an Ideal solution for me as I would use it to drive the Array on its own.

Many thanks

Alan

Oh, just wondered if you could post some specs of the T1/DAX1, I don't mean measured performance, I mean things like Mech. for transport and technology used, etc. or will we have to wait for the reviews?
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Old 31st December 2005, 12:58 PM   #17
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Dear John,

It is really exciting to learn about your up coming products! Can't wait to hear more about it!
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Old 1st January 2006, 01:43 AM   #18
JohnW is offline JohnW  Hong Kong
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Dan,

I would like the chance to expand on your question concerning Audio quality of the T1 transport vers your Cambridge Audio DiscMagic.


Currently I’m only aware of 3 parameters that affect the sound quality of CD transports: -

1. Data Accuracy

This is the most basic function of the transport – with a correctly functioning CD player and reasonable condition Disc the audio Data will be 100% Bit accurate, this means that the Data that was originally recorded on the Disc during Mastering is fully recovered Bit for Bit – in the worst case (this assumes reasonable condition Discs) I’ve never seen more then 50 “interpolated samples” of error across the whole disc – now consider that a 60 Minute CD has 158.76 Million samples, there’s no way that anybody could reasonably argue that 50 “interpolated errors” can effect the GENRAL OVERALL audio quality – by this I don’t mean when the disc skips etc.

The T1 employs a unique two prong strategy to recover Bit accurate data from the disc

A. Automatic RF gain Control on the RF signal recovered from the Disc – believe it or not most CD players only have Fixed RF Gain, as the reflectivity of the disc drops, so does the RF level, and so increasing the chance of Bit errors (this is not to be confused with Laser Diode Power Level regulation found on all players (APC) to insure a fixed Laser power, as Laser output changes with heat & aging etc).

B. If the AGC circuit reaches Max. Gain (such as with badly oxidized discs, or CD-RW media), then the Laser power is increased – this is only used under the most serious conditions to prevent premature Laser aging.

To rest assure any concerns a user may have about Data accuracy, the T1 has an error counter displaying “Interpolated” errors and any Non corrected errors, and a “Disk condition” indicator (I will not say any more about this feature until the product is fully released). These features allow the user to confirm the condition of there original CD’s and CD-R / CD-RW recorded media.


2. SPDIF Output Phase Noise (Jitter)

This is where Digital meets the realms of the real world – same Bit for Bit accurate Data but very different sound between Transports and even Interlink cables etc etc????

Lowest Jitter will not always guarantee best audio performance (It very much depends on what happens down steam at the DAC) – it’s the distribution (signal content) of the Phase Noise that is critical, types of Phase Noise that is ALLWAYS detrimental :-

A. DATA correlated artifacts. These are signals or spurie within the Phase Noise plots that are directly correlated to the “Data processing” of the CD transport such as spurie from the CD servo sections, Data recovery and error correction, control MCU etc.

B. Fixed frequency Non Data correlated discrete artifacts, such as mains hum, non synchronies Front panel displays & MCU’s etc.

It’s generally accepted that the SPDIF standard is poorly conceived as the Master Clock is located within the CD transport section (where Phase Noise (AKA Jitter) is unimportant), where as the DAC which is extremely Jitter sensitive is fed from a “Recovered” clock which is buried within the SPDIF Data Stream. To make matters worse, no attempt has been made to de-correlate or “randomized” the SPDIF Data during transmission, so that the clock recovered by SPDIF receiver is guaranteed to be heavily contaminated by Data correlated Phase Noise – Jitter of the very worst kind.

A guaranteed a solution to the deficiencies of SPDIF is to design the DAC as the “Master” clock device – i.e. a low phase noise clock located next the to DAC – and send the clock back to the transport via a second connection – preferably optical for best isolation. Arcam, Cambridge Audio (Clock Lock) Deltec / DPA (Deltran) & Pink Triangle use this method. As mention earlier, the transport is not sensitive to clock jitter, so no particular care need be taken for this second link. If designed and implemented correctly, this method GARANTEES that the DAC operates from the lowest Phase Noise clock – with no PLL’s in the signal path.

The T1 requires a 128Fs +/- 100ppm (5.6448MHz) optical input clock (via standard Plastic Fiber Toslink) to Clock-Lock – this is compatible with the system I used at Cambridge Audio on DiscMagic and IsoMagic.


3. RF & Earth Leakage Current introduced Phase Noise spurie & noise products.

The effects of RF & Earth Leakage Current should not be underestimated, they can effect the DAC (and audio system) via any electrical inputs (SPDIF), audio outputs (via the Feedback path of the output Opamps), and the mains supply input.

The T1 is recommend to be connected to the DAC / Digital Amplifier by optical isolation only (for both Clock & SPDIF – the units are not sensitive to Jitter in Clock-Lock mode), this isolates the Ground Planes between the DAC / Digital amplifier & Transport – removing corridors for RF & Earth Leakage Currents to flow.

The T1 AC Mains input is heavily filtered on its Primary and Secondary side to prevent its own internal RF contaminating other audio equipment connected via the common Mains supply.

I’ve seen products (CD’s & DAC’s) that have interfered with television reception via the Mains supply only (no SPDIF or audio leads connected), so interference via this route should not be underestimated. If the RF interference can effect the TV reception, then it sure well affect the audio quality of a Hi-Fi system.

By Clock-Locking your IsoMagic & DiscMagic with optical interconnect, you have removed audio degradation via sources 1 & 2, leaving only source 3 (RF noise) as an area where you could improve upon the “Audio” performance of your current set-up, and its cheaper to buy a Mains Filter, then it is to buy a T1 transport, you could even try looping the Mains power cored to the DiscMagic around a large ferrite bead –end nearest the player.

(Alan) DawgNo1,

I will post a detailed answer to your question soon – but don’t worry I drive Martin Login CLS IIz with the DAX1, these are the meanest load that I’m aware of (0.5 Ohm Dip in the Mid-Band somewhere) – and on a poor amp you can really tell on female vocals!

Thanks for all the interest, I will Email information on the designs nearer to the release dates,

Best wishes to the New Year,

John
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Old 1st January 2006, 05:56 AM   #19
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Thanks for the detailed explanation John. The thing is, I've tried optical connection, and although it behaves better (re dropouts), coax sounds better to me.

I just sent my DiscMagic in to Plurison because it would no longer read a CD. I don't know what the repair cost will be, and if your new transport isn't too far away, that may be my preferred solution.
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Old 1st January 2006, 09:56 AM   #20
Bgt is offline Bgt  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnW
Dan,

The effects of RF & Earth Leakage Current should not be underestimated, they can effect the DAC (and audio system) via any electrical inputs (SPDIF), audio outputs (via the Feedback path of the output Opamps), and the mains supply input.
This explains maybe why I cannot get a better sound through SPDIFF coax connections, instead of optical, in my audio sytem.
I have lots of SPDIFF stuff connected together.
2PC's, 3MDrecorders, 2 DACS, synthesizer and SPDIFF stuff coming from another level in my house where the satelite receiver/DVD/MD recorder is located. All this ground loops/RF disturbances maybe influence the coax connections.
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