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Old 12th January 2012, 04:00 AM   #1521
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlearner View Post
Wow, you engineering knuckleheads sure know how to put a damper on an exciting thread
Hrrmph. That pocket-protector stuff is what got you the NCore in the first place.

Maybe I'll start in on something with lotsa equations. Yer eyes'll cross real good then. That'll learn ya.
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Old 12th January 2012, 06:43 AM   #1522
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@mrpp: That is one of my favourite XKCD strips. I think I'll print it out and pin it up in the kitchen, see how she reacts

@iand: I understand the silicon real estate argument. So far I found it very difficult to conceive a system where this potential economy is actually realised in practice. This is actually why we've held off starting serious digital feedback projects so far. I still have no idea what digitally controlled amp could beat the price and performance of a cheap DSP a la TAS3108, a 6-channel DAC and 6 Ncores.

@chocoholic: That was precisely the nub of the paper. It shows 2 spectra taken from the same signal. Once interpreted as a digital code (result: perfect), once interpreted as an analogue signal (result: rubbish). Speakers don't understand code, so designing the amplifier must indeed be treated as an analogue problem. Since treating it as "digital" yields an unexpected and clearly suboptimal result, why insist on calling it digital and get all confused?

@Juhleren. Your exposť is entirely correct. The problem I have with it is the context in which it appears. Research scientists should be extremely well aware of the frailty of their knowledge because much of what they do is cutting edge and therefore still very much open to falsification. No scientist should ever think their job is done. Good scientists understand this intuitively or they wouldn't be good scientists. However, the longer a hypothesis (and later theory) is tested without ever failing, the safer it becomes. This is not obvious to the layman who reads the same exposť. In isolation it gives the impression that all of science is tentative and anything is equally likely to be disproven at any moment. I have heard this argument put forward all too often by people who doubt science but who, curiously, are prepared to believe just about anything else: "well you openly admit that you're looking for the Higgs Boson because you're not sure about it, doesn't that equally mean you can't be sure that gravity can't be suspended by a meditating buddhist monk?"

A scientist will use this understanding as an impetus to keep refining his insights. For the audio objectivist that means: keep on edge and be prepared to test and measure stuff that you haven't before. The audio subjectivist however, should not deduce from this that all measurements are bunk. Never underestimate just how much stuff (including some that people think of as esoteric) that we can already measure and predict perfectly using existing methods and equipment.

@slowlearner Well that's a polite way of calling offtopic Point taken.

@bbggg: Actually we haven't sent M a sample yet. Good reminder. The company who's showing an NC1200 based amp on the CES is American. The second (I don't think they're showing it yet) as well.
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Last edited by Bruno Putzeys; 12th January 2012 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 12th January 2012, 08:18 AM   #1523
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I have asked this before, but never got an answer on this: is there possible an advantage (soundwise) to use a "conventional" power supply for the NCore? Perhaps Bruno knows more about this, from own experience. (?)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12th January 2012, 08:31 AM   #1524
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The SMPS definitely sounds better. I haven't done the test with the Ncore modules but I did test the UcD400HG with the SMPS400 vs the HG supply. The SMPS is definitely better. It measures better too (THD at low frequencies). This is not illogical considering that the SMPS keeps the rail voltages symmetrical. This is discussed at length somewhere in this thread but one can be forgiven for having overlooked it among 1523 other posts
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Old 12th January 2012, 08:37 AM   #1525
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Thanks Bruno, I know what I want now!
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Old 12th January 2012, 09:00 AM   #1526
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Guys, regarding commercial offerings I suggest you forget about "M" - at least for now...
Go all the way back. To the genesis of our world. There is actually an... anniversary of that right about now!

Bruno, interesting stuff one whole linear vs SMPS thing.
Any chance you examined Ncore's performance using a regulated SMPS? Was there any measurable benefit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlearner View Post
Wow, you engineering knuckleheads sure know how to put a damper on an exciting thread
Really?
And here I am thinking people asking for listening impressions were getting in the way of the useful and interesting discussion going on about the technical matters.

Even casework is more interesting (and certainly more useful) than listening impressions from someone I know nothing about, in a system I know nothing about, in a room I know nothing about.
But that's just me.

Seriously people, I like reading listening impressions with my morning coffee and everything and I like to hear stories regarding how Ncore killed the dragon (= $$$$ power amps) that I can tell my friends, but let's not lose perspective.

It's not like buyers are pouring in to post their listening impressions and we're holding them back, either...
They will post if they want to post and when they have something to post, I guess.

Last edited by TheShaman; 12th January 2012 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 12th January 2012, 09:13 AM   #1527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShaman View Post
Any chance you examined Ncore's performance using a regulated SMPS? Was there any measurable benefit?
Yes (my lab supply) and no respectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShaman View Post
And here I am thinking people asking for listening impressions were getting in the way of the useful and interesting discussion going on about the technical matters.
And here I was wondering why the two most recent posts with listening impressions were getting exactly no responses from those asking for them... Ahh forum dynamics
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Old 12th January 2012, 09:32 AM   #1528
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Putzeys View Post
Yes (my lab supply) and no respectively.
So I guess there is no reason for the added complexity/cost of a regulated SMPS, at least in this application.

Oh, by the way, I'm still going with the bulkiest linear PS I can afford and will bypass the discrete input stage for a tube one (using the oldest toobz I can find).
I'm just making conversation until more people post their listening impressions!

Last edited by TheShaman; 12th January 2012 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12th January 2012, 09:53 AM   #1529
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"Probably the only reason why people think not relying on measurements is somehow acceptable is because it's easy to confuse audio with music. I hate to break it but music is art, and audio is engineering. I don't like engineering to get in the way of art, which is why I think it should be undetectable."

Audio is sound and all sound is detectable, because human hearing can pick up very tiny differences - this has been known since 1860 and Wundt's psychophysics experiments with the threshold of perception in Leipzig. The "measurements are everything" argument runs the risk of becoming the old "operation successful, patient died" argument.

The ultimate arbiter for audiophiles who seriously want to re-create music in their home is how "musical" that sound is. For audio "consumers" there are many other arguments like price, convenience, brand, size, etc, and as a "consumer" I'd prefer a digital amp because it consumes less electricity than class A amps and tubes. But as a pro musician who heard live musical instruments at a few feet distance for a good 50 years I want to hear sound that is as close as possible to the timbre and tone colour of live instruments. Engineering is only a means to that end.

The problem as Bruno and everyone knows is that you just can't quantify taste and perception of musicality - it has defied any attempts to unify listener's preferences. Some go for soundstage, others for warmth, others for dynamics, my own preference is timbre etc etc. So frankly we're back to measurement - by default. It doesn't tell us how "musical" a product sounds, but it IS something that comes very close and thank God it is quantifiable.

I still believe that audio is sound - not engineering. Spookily enough, that's what the word means. But I have enormous respect for Bruno and all the other audio pioneers because by engineering they are getting us closer and closer to the goal of reproducing sound.

andy
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Old 12th January 2012, 10:15 AM   #1530
jmbulg is offline jmbulg  Belgium
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In my view a system should be as transparent as possible so as to reproduce the sound the sound-engineer has designed in his studio, if played in a similar room as a studio. I know this will never be the case, but I think it is a very inefficient empirical way to correct for room deficiencies by playing with "colored" audio components. If ready to correct/modify the spectrum etc, it would, IMHO be better to use DSP based on the measured room acoustics.
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