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Computer Audiophile


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About fas42

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    Blue Mountains, Australia

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  1. fas42

    How much does it cost to be an audiophile?

    I'm not a naturally 'physical' person - I tend to take a long time to learn a new motor skill ... but I attended a class where they did welding one day - and I took to it like the proverbial duck to ... . Something clicked, and I was madly joining up bits of the metal to each other, in a frenzy - the instructor stopped me, because I was going through too much consumables ... Is there a "physical IQ"?
  2. fas42

    The New CA Issues and Feedback Thread

    Okay, now the Emoji popup has gone bad - all the the original icons are replaced with text characters
  3. fas42

    How much does it cost to be an audiophile?

    Cryptic? From where I stand I find it quite loony how many audiophiles address improving their system - akin to the owner of a Ferrari buying very expensive, multi-coloured wheel nuts, or changing the fabric of the seat covers, and how they're stitched - so that "it goes better" ... ummm ... In every other field of endeavour troubleshooting is seen as part and parcel of how to get things right - but audio is a bizzaro land where such activity is considered somewhat deviant ... I'm happy to keep being "cryptic" - mainly, because it gets results ...
  4. fas42

    ISO Regen performance Improvement Cheap!

    Okay, here is a marker for progress in optimising - a wider "sweet spot" says that the setup is working with less disturbing distortion; the mind doesn't have to work as hard in rejecting the 'crap' that the playback chain is adding to the mix. The final stage of this progression is that the "sweet spot" is everywhere; the SQ is uniform throughout the room.
  5. fas42

    Are You Using Rolleballs, RollerBlocks ??

    If I want big lumps of heaviness, I go with large concrete pavers, the type you get at a gardening shop. Zero aesthetics, but they're cheap, and usable elsewhere if of no value in the rig! Good enough to try ideas with - the stands under the speakers of my first competent rig used these to make the column ...
  6. fas42

    Are You Using Rolleballs, RollerBlocks ??

    There are levels of sensitivity - it can be exceedingly obvious; there when you concentrate a bit more - or there all the time as a general degrading of the sound, a constant dirtying of what you're hearing. The obvious stuff is easy to measure in terms of isloation devices "doing something", using some instrument - for the subtle issues, listening when the system is at a higher level of 'transparency', if you know what to listen for, makes it trivially easy to pick the variation in SQ.
  7. fas42

    Everything Matters

    Unfortunately, static behaviour of the materials in the the construction of cables matters. And that's why cable lifters are useful for SQ - with the first good rig I had a huge struggle with maintaining the the SQ, and in hindsight these behaviours were at the heart of my problems; at the time, I had no awareness of this area of importance. These days, it's one of the first things I look at, because it's so simple to effect a solution.
  8. fas42

    Are You Using Rolleballs, RollerBlocks ??

    As GUTB stated, they may be inadequate. A tweak I forgot to mention with my first decent setup was that I removed the isolation feet, which were quite impressive, on my Yamaha CDP and used a trio of those aluminium cones, mild spikes, that were the rage at the time - by Mod Works??? This definitely seemed to help - part of the reason I used those was that a triangle of supports is aways inherently more stable than four - and they were placed right at the edge of the metal enclosure, rather than under the base panel. Another time I used viscoelastic material - memory foam - under that Yamaha to do some isolation. I have not really explored this side of things as much as others - I prefer to get inside the box and look for parts that might be sensitive to vibration, and 'fix' it there.
  9. fas42


    Of course the detail will be much clearer if in the direct presence of the sound making elements - but the sense of what you're hearing doesn't change when no longer exposed at those intimate levels. If an audio rig were to play a solo piano recording at the same levels as the real thing, and you went on the same journey I mentioned just before - and it was competent; then your experience should be the same. This in fact is another marker for getting the SQ to the right place - the sense of what you're hearing matches experiencing live acoustic sounds, no matter where you are.
  10. fas42

    Are You Using Rolleballs, RollerBlocks ??

    Nearly all components are too sensitive to vibration, for a variety of reasons. Main one being, the designers don't think it's necessary to worry about such; and also because it's very hard to measure the behaviour in a meaningful way to audio. How you deal with that is up to the individual - I work on stabilising the boxes by 'gluing' them to high mass, or damping vibrations.
  11. fas42


    Well, it turns out that it is faithful reproduction that makes it happen - the imagination 'adjusting' what is heard happens every second while we listen to the normal sounds of the world, all the time. But we are completely unaware of it, because it's so part of our being - if a real piano is being played in a room of out home, and we walk out of that room, to the other end of the house, and then outside to the sound coming through a window pane - throughout that, we always hear "that piano". If we were to look at a microphone capture of what our ears were picking up at each point of that walk, you would say, how on earth did I hear the piano so clearly at the times corresponding to the later parts of the recording?! This is what happens when the rig works well, for recordings. We're deliberately exploiting our mind's ability to see past what is irrelevant to the message - and what is especially irrelevant is distortion added by the playback chain. Sort the latter, and the magic of our minds switches on, unraveling the musical content . You see, I didn't understand this back when I first got competent sound - all I knew was if I made the setup work as cleanly as possible that the SQ dramatically transited to a far higher level - became "convincing".
  12. fas42

    Under $400 Desktop Integrated

    Yes, presenting a far more benign load to the amp can make a major difference - the current requirements are sizably reduced. Of course, you want to be sure that the output transformer, being outside the amp's feedback loop, doesn't add any untoward changes in SQ ... .
  13. fas42

    Under $400 Desktop Integrated

    8 watts of completely competent power does do a remarkably good job, even with average sensitivity speakers. As an example, assuming the gain range is suited, you can deafen yourself, ears ringing, with a modern compressed pop recording, within 5 minutes ... been there, done that with an old, similar power all-in-one. Usually, the only way to get a decent power supply in an amplifier is to buy one of the latter with a power spec way beyond what's theoretically necessary - what you are really buying is a PS with reasonable grunt, the amplifying circuit is just a freebie thrown in, as part of the deal ...
  14. fas42

    Under $400 Desktop Integrated

    If one doesn't have a DIY inclination then it almost certainly is going to need $$$. Either to buy a setup which is fully sorted, or close enough to it; or pay someone to do the fiddly work of sorting out the issues in what you have.
  15. fas42


    There are recordings which have been done with the lowest fidelity possible - but unless they have been deliberately 'hacked' to be irritating the underlying music should come through. I'm thinking here of a compilation of acts that participated in in a local "battle of the bands" in the 70's; many were only captured by a member of the audience casually using a cheap cassette recorder, way back in the hall. This is truly bottom of the barrel stuff - and sounds completely turgid, most of the time. What is remarkable is that a setup in excellent tune allows one to hear past all the crap - and the performance of the group starts to sit up, it no longer is a boring curiosity. Information can be reassembled by the brain, if it "knows what's coming" - this is apparently what is going on. If the clues are enough, are not too damaged, then our minds "fill the gaps" - at times I marvel at how adept my brain is at riding over the rough stuff, and presenting to me a far more pleasant version of what is actually on the recording - I'm getting the good stuff, and the badness is being discarded, unconsciously. Bad treble is not a frequency response issue, it's distortion. Unfortunately, nearly everything in a rig conspires to make this area falter - just look at the measured behaviour of even the best amps; it's always the treble that leads the charge to starting to lose "perfect" behaviour. One of the first things I would do is refresh every connection and control in the rig, in one go - to see what audible impact that had. That is, after carefully listening to a testing piece, with the system fully warmed up and stable, I would methodically disconnect and replug everything, and exercise every switch and pot that was in the path - and immediately listen again to that piece. If decently transparent, there is normally an obvious change, for the better, in the refreshed state.