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Old 30th December 2010, 08:48 PM   #391
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Default Feelin' a little stoopid here

Bud, I hooked up the RCA version to the analog outputs of three "digital" devices in my system: DAC, CDP, and a Behringer Digital EQ (Feedback Destroyer). I didn't do it to any purely digital input or output. I did get some improvement.

Did I get it right or wrong here? What is your advice on this?

Thanks.
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Old 30th December 2010, 08:53 PM   #392
BudP is offline BudP  United States
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You are fine. The digital grounds will be buffered from the analog portion. So long as you avoid using a balanced connector or an RCA connector that has a direct connection to the digital signal, 1's and 0's rather than waves, you are safe.

Bud
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Old 31st December 2010, 01:29 PM   #393
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Hi Bud and all.
Firstly a happy New Year to all

UK site
EMC Information Centre - The EMC Journal (Free in the UK)
US site
EMC Journal portal | EMCJUSA

The latest issue #91 of the EMC journal has an excellent article by Keith Armstrong; "Maxwell's Equations, Quantum Electrodynamics, and good installation practices for SI, PI and EMC". Page 40 has some simulated diagrams of the extent of tracking for various frequencies.
As well as EMC, this is citical to signal integrity for high speed designs and layout, which is where my interest are.
What is interesting for audio signals, is they cover a sort of transition zone, where the low frequency (and generaly the highest power) spread, whereas by 1kHz the signal wants to track to some extent. It would be interesting to have the data for 20Hz to 1kHz in smaller steps.
The "Resistive vs. Inductive Return Current Paths" further complicates things by showing a U shaped trace, where source and load are next to each other! Not done with most practical designs.
This shows the complexity of the audio signals and why inter component (pre-amp to amp etc) grounding is so important. Though on PCB's having a ground plane is better than the star grounds often employed, let the current find its own quite complex path ( a heretical view here), though controlling high and low current sections is critical.
When i started doing PCB layout using good ole red and blue tape ups, we would never do an analogue board without ground planes. in those days there were sometimes seperate ground planes connected at a star point. By comparison digital was often a two layer board with the ladder power and ground routing. As components shrunk we then got both analogue and digital on the same board, with again a seperate analogue ground plane and a digital ground plane, again joined at the star point. By the late 90's with the increase in digital, the reduction in supply voltages, and the increasing demands of EMC, one contigous ground plane became the preffered topography, though careful placement and routing is critical (the best way is to start off with two grounds and route everything so digital is over the digital and analogue is over the analogue, then make one contigous plane when layout is finished. Now boards I do have multiple ground planes, one for each signal layer, also miniturisation of components, and the demand for smaller and smaller electronics is making it ever harder to keep the digital mush out of the analogue sections, ferrite beads everywhere.
Now some have gone full circle and some do designs with 'star' grounds (the skinny spider leg ground, that some here prefer, or a multipole antenna) and it is these that report back more improvement than designs with a decent ground plane when using the pig tails.

Have Fun
marc


A few more links:
Printed Circuit Design & Fab Magazine Online
above but more in depth.
http://www.emcs.org/acstrial/newslet...all08/tips.pdf

Return Current in Plane
Visible Return Current
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Old 31st December 2010, 01:31 PM   #394
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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The picture.
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Old 31st December 2010, 01:33 PM   #395
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Woops, second attempt.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg return current.jpg (72.8 KB, 262 views)
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Old 31st December 2010, 02:12 PM   #396
theob is offline theob  United States
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Budp regarding the battery use in groundside tweaks: doesn't the attachment of the battery just hang a plane (ie the battery plate) onto the end of the dongle?
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Old 31st December 2010, 03:31 PM   #397
theob is offline theob  United States
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Default Clamping the dongles in the mid point with clamps changes the sound

This may be the same phenom as adding heat shrink in 3 sections. Sonics are tighter.
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Old 31st December 2010, 03:56 PM   #398
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Have you tried the battery, Theob?
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Old 31st December 2010, 05:18 PM   #399
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Curious how a battery is gonna do anything, would be interested in a link to where this is done.
Batteries work by a chemical reaction, so without the other end attached there is not a lot going on.
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Old 31st December 2010, 06:46 PM   #400
theob is offline theob  United States
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Bcharlow: yes I did try it. On my electrostatic panels it de-charged them. I thought they were broken but they charged back up in an hour or so after I removed the 9 volt battery. On everything else it magnfied the groundside effect ... a lot. I left batteries on my sub woofer and mid bass drivers. I took them off my dac output (too much of a good thing as BudP would say).

Last edited by theob; 31st December 2010 at 07:06 PM.
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