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Old 15th May 2013, 11:27 PM   #9021
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The thing I don't understand is that it takes almost as much effort to mess about with Aldi TV sets as to, say, build your own version of a Meridian DSP speaker from low cost off-the-shelf parts, or experiment with the design concepts of the Grimm LS1, or build a phased array column speaker. Basically something radical you've never heard in your own home before, and you wonder just what it could sound like. This stuff needn't be expensive.

If I'd heard all the possible variations of speaker configuration and the capabilities of DSP and found that they were all the same and boring, then perhaps I couldn't argue with people's desire to tinker in tiny little audio cul-de-sacs, but I don't believe that many people have that much experience of what's possible. It seems premature to declare that vinyl, valves and two-way ported passive speakers are the ultimate, and that new cables (or turning off all RF devices in the house and using a supermarket TV as our amp/speakers) are our only passport to the audio future.
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Old 15th May 2013, 11:27 PM   #9022
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Originally Posted by qusp View Post
or are you trying to maximize the psychological effect by making subjectively chosen and tested parts changes and involving youself more in this process Frank? you cant really make claims of both.
We're really pretty close to being on the same page in terms of how we approach getting a system to work properly, those last couple of posts demonstrated that; where we differ strongly is in how to then test the results of that effort.

I don't have access to the test equipment to take the measurements, hence have to use the next best thing, my ears. And reading what the outcomes are for people who avidly use such, without then also closely subjectively evaluating, I don't feel anything significantly important has been missed.

What I listen for, the only thing that matters, is low level distortion. This is extremely easy to pick up using ears only, so every change is based on whether that area improves or not. An AP set up in exactly the right way would also most likely pick it up, I'm just using a freebie to do it instead!

The psychoacoustics come into it because, obviously, some recordings have more intrinsic distortion than others, the key is to absolutely minimise the disturbing distortion generated by your own system during playback, meaning the ear/brain then only has to deal with the abberations of the recording - personally, I've found that's good enough to make the playback work convincingly on "poor" recordings ...
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Last edited by fas42; 15th May 2013 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 15th May 2013, 11:45 PM   #9023
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...and that new cables (or turning off all RF devices in the house and using a supermarket TV as our amp/speakers) are our only passport to the audio future.
The TV experiment demonstrates even more obviously that one of the killer problems these days is interference effects - this kills the quality stone dead, it goes from "I want to keep listening all day" to "5 minutes of this, I've had it, turn it off now!". The easy bit is demonstrating the effect; the hard bit is then eliminating the problem occurring!

The HT fiddling was a lot to do with attenuating this intrusion, not 100% perfect, but mighty good considering the intrinsic quality of the base unit.

So the future to me is working out everything that's necessary to do to kill these interference issues stone dead; the ideal is have the system such that then a really nasty RF and mains noise generator can be placed electrically adjacent to the audio components without having any audible effect. Once you've got that under control, then aim to be able to wind up the volume to any level you wish without audible deterioration of sound.
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Last edited by fas42; 15th May 2013 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 15th May 2013, 11:58 PM   #9024
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The TV experiment demonstrates even more obviously that one of the killer problems these days is interference effects - this kills the quality stone dead, it goes from "I want to keep listening all day" to "5 minutes of this, I've had it, turn it off now!". The easy bit is demonstrating the effect; the hard bit is then eliminating the problem occurring!
First, are you sure that it's not in your mind? If I had a notion that RF was affecting my hi fi or brain directly, I might find it difficult to suppress my 'expectation bias'. Your neighbours' mobile phones, wi fi and microwave ovens may account for a high level of RF you can't control. You may literally end up wearing a tinfoil hat.

Second, do you know that it is an absence of RF devices that cures the problem and not simply turning off the SMPS wall-wart that powers your wi-fi router?
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Old 16th May 2013, 12:17 AM   #9025
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Well, I'm not quite sure what you're commenting on, qusp. The setup you're doing sounds good to me, should perform very nicely ...
sorry meant to reply to this, maybe I personalized the compensation comment, given it was in a post that was part of a back and forth.

also, I dont have an AP2 (I wish), the IV stage is not my design, its OPCs like a number of the PCBs (but in all cases built from PCB), its beyond my capability to measure except with long FFT, so cable routing may well have lost some of that -~115db performance that he measured. but the same combination of DAC->IV without the zfoil power resistors gets there. measuring anything at that level is hard and I simply dont have the coin to justify it. i'm building an ADC and linestage + mic-pre that should get me pretty darn close combined with software, without the convenience of dedicated hardware.

as ive said elsewhere, only a few of the bits are fully my design and PCB design is a relatively new addition that came pretty naturally given my pre-press and 2D and 3D vector design experience. the system integration design is mine and everything i'm building now is my design, but I dont want to give the illusion that its all my design. I need to thank Ian for his Fifo and Acko for his DAC PCBs

Last edited by qusp; 16th May 2013 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 16th May 2013, 12:21 AM   #9026
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Yes, because I've done variations on testing for this for years now, my wife can pick it easily - "the violins are sounding scratchy again!!" - I have friends who have tuned into it, and who use a strict procedure for shutting down problem items.

If you have neighbours who are literally adjacent to you, on the other side of an adjoining wall, then, yes, you most likely will have difficulties testing in a "clean" environment. Fortunately, I have many 10's of yards between me and others for all the periods while I've been serious about this, making it easy to test for. Depending on how strong, and the nature of the interference level, just moving the culprit down to the other end of the house may be sufficient.

There is a very easy, more "technical" test - put on a recording that has a tone or instruments that is prone to sounding unpleasantly scratchy at times, listen to the sound as close to one of the tweeters as you feel comfortable doing, compare clean and 'dirty' situations ...

The interference effects are cumulative, every device adds just a bit more 'dirt' to the sound; as you remove each offender the sound gets cleaner, smoother, easier to listen to.
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Old 16th May 2013, 12:27 AM   #9027
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
There is a very easy, more "technical" test - put on a recording that has a tone or instruments that is prone to sounding unpleasantly scratchy at times, listen to the sound as close to one of the tweeters as you feel comfortable doing, compare clean and 'dirty' situations ...

The interference effects are cumulative, every device adds just a bit more 'dirt' to the sound; as you remove each offender the sound gets cleaner, smoother, easier to listen to.
So can you demonstrate the RF is affecting the electronics, and not affecting your ears/brain directly? Have you had a string quartet play a few numbers in the house just to make sure they didn't sound scratchy when your wi fi router was switched on?
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Old 16th May 2013, 12:33 AM   #9028
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Oh dear, watch out for exploding heads on the street from mobile phone overload!!

Well, when I add circuitry and measures that only affect the ability of the audio system to resist interference the sound improves. Without turning off the offender. Seems pretty straightforward to me ...

Edit: live music is doomed! Everyone has mobile phones, which are one of the worst of the worst -- the sound for people in the best seats in the concert hall is now kaput!!
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Last edited by fas42; 16th May 2013 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 16th May 2013, 01:09 AM   #9029
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So can you demonstrate the RF is affecting the electronics, and not affecting your ears/brain directly? Have you had a string quartet play a few numbers in the house just to make sure they didn't sound scratchy when your wi fi router was switched on?
The only time RF affects my brain is when I have been working inside a TV transmitter building. These give us headaches. The field strength from these is above safety limits and you do not hang around. The public never goes near these field levels
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Old 16th May 2013, 01:10 AM   #9030
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Of interest, on the long running hypex ncore thread, just now talking about 'improving' the sound of the 'best' class D amplifiers, designed by a pretty straight up and down objectivist, by adding conditioners and power cord fiddles. These are classic ways of trying to attenuate interference, with very audible results from the sound of it ...
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