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Audio System

About Me

Found 10 results

  1. WHAT IS THE TRUE EXPERIMENTAL TWEAK THREAD ALL ABOUT? I have always wanted a thread where any subject is possible. No experiment is too crazy to add here. No idea is too bold to reveal. Take it away! Enlight your thoughts and share your ideas how to improve SQ and how not to. Anyone can encurage and educate you but no one should let you down, deminage you or simply move you to another thread. Everyone is welcome as long as they accepts a different way of thinking! TOPIC DIGEST With a little help of @austinpop I have realised that this thread is all over the place. Even if this is one of the fundamental ideas behind this thread, it could be a good idea to sum-up the things that have proven to be beneficial to SQ in this thread. I will keep it plain & simple. Remember that these are essentially my own findings in my own setup with Tidal FLAC and Tidal MQA as source. As always YMMV! LAN 1. Cat 6a U/UTP 500Mhz ethernet cables sounds better than Cat5, Cat5E, Cat6 & Cat7+ in my setup. Ghent Audio Cat 6a ET02 with JSSG shielding and Metz plugs rules them all. 2. Network switch improve SQ with input on port 1 and output on the last port. Possible explanation is QoS and also that the ports are in different magnetic boxes inside the switch. 3. Using a AQVOX switch with better clock improves SQ compared to a D-Link DSG-105 network switch. 4. A wireless adapter/wireless bridge/router in client mode into a network switch sounds better than battery powered FMCs and hardwired LAN. 5. Router vastly improves SQ with a floating LPS and even more if the floating PSU is connected to a DC blocker trap filter. IME a router upgrade could be beneficial to SQ. 6. Galvanic isolation/DC blocker in the signal path pre the router improves SQ. 7. Wireless adapter vastly improves connected to a floating IT. 8. RJ45 socket enhancers seems to be more efficient on port 4 & 5. Don't ask me why! GND 1. Grounding a metal chassi network switch to a tourmaline grounding box greatly improves SQ. 2. Different tourmaline grounding boxes improves the sound signature in different ways. 3. Grounding the DC negative terminal of the floating SMPS works great. In my setup it sounds best connected to a grounding box instead of to the power strip safety ground receptacle. Just be aware of possible leakage loops between various network devices. A big thanks @JohnSwenson for this tip. USB 1. Covering the outer USB barrels with electrical tape improves SQ slightly with unshielded USB cables. Capasitive coupling between metal barrel and pins? 2. Uptone Audio´s USPCB improves SQ. 3. ATL Hi-Fi´s 8 conductor USB cable with dual unconnected shields (5v+GND & Data- & Data+) with JSSG loop improved SQ compared to other longer (<50cm) USB cables that I´ve tried. DC 1. Network switch sounds best with dual floating PSUs or battery power (but very important to disconnect the battery charger while listening to music). Dual floating PSU is slightly better than battery power, but battery power is slightly better than single floating PSU. 2. Powering several devices with a single floating SMPS sounds better than powering the very same devices with several battery supplies. Also, powering several devices with a single battery supply sounds better than using multiple identical battery supplies. Self-inflicted noise? 3. Canare 4S6 starquad does improve SQ where ever applied. Canare 4S6 with JSSG seems to be even more effective. Thanks to@JohnSwenson! 4. Grounding the DC negative output of a floating SMPS improves SQ. Grounding the chassi/case decrease SQ. Be aware of shared ground paths since this could potensially decrease SQ. 5. Dual LT3045 ultra-low noise voltage regulators in series with 1v drop-down close to the powered device improves SQ quite dramaticly. 6. Kemet aluminium Polymer caps A750 series (25v 560uF) vastly improves LT3045 when added at the DC output. On single LT3045 the Kemet improves on both in- and output. 7. Panasonic FC series type A aluminium electrolytic caps improves on the PSU output terminals. AC 1. A DC blocker trap filter pre a safety isolation transformer improves SQ even though it is dead silent (no hum). DC blockers trap filter pre a floating PSU into a router vastly improves SQ. DC stress reliever? 2. SQ improves when battery chargers is connected to a separate powerstrip connected directly to the AC wall outlet, bypassing the isolation transformer completely. 3. A safety isolation transformer with floating secondary improves SQ more than a Ultra Isolation transformer. A balanced isolation transformer with floating center-tap rules them all! 4. Daisy chained floating grounds (dual floating grounds) sounds better than a single floating ground. In my setup floating SMPS's improve SQ connected to a floating IT, even surpassing battery supplies. Thanks for the suggestion @lmitche! 5. AC mains starquad power cables greatly improves SQ. 6. AC mains voltage regulators improves SQ on the signal chain. Even cheaper versions are effective. Not as effective on high power devices such as active speakers and amp due to a still unknown reason.
  2. These used to sell for $29.95 when they were being closed out many years ago. Unless you luck into a set at a yard sale, they cost a little more now. Turgo, my friend from Spain, has one of those families that spans half the globe. One of his nephews is a soldering iron aficionado going to UCONN. They showed up today with a small suitcase. Inside, was a set of these speakers, badly scarred and yellowed with age. He opened the case and there was each component in cut-out foam. Built to travel. I laughed when I saw them. ...then I looked closer. "Sam," (short for a Portuguese/Yiddish name I cannot even begin to get right) had done some surgery on this particular set. The 1/8 inch plugs had all been nixed and replaced with some kind of gold plated Chinese RCA connectors. The original volume control had been tossed in favor of a pot from "an old Alpine" according to him. They came originally with a 12 volt power supply but Sam had a 24 inch or so length of car-audio 8 gauge wire with a fuse on the end of it nicely soldered to gold plated eyelets. There were two batteries for an old UPS in the case. Turgo showed me the little charger. A simple power supply with added filtering box, hooked into his home-brew 8 gauge wire with ham radio style DC plugs, similar to a power connection for an old hard drive. For our audition, Turgo had carried in a freshly charged lawnmower battery. (No kidding) I wasn't laughing now. Still not expecting anything, but the enthusiasm from a young guy who wanted travel tunes so bad, he went to tall this trouble...was damned impressive. (The effort and resourcefulness demands the utmost respect at the very least.) Sam said he was flat broke several years ago, but needed something he could play his portable through. Normally, he had a headphone/pre for a source from China but that got left in the case... I extended a line from the Emotiva with a set of barrels and a 16 foot long, home made set of CAT5 IC's. So what does a (?15? or close to it year old) model of Cambridge PCWorks sound like when they have been modded with crazy good wire and connectors, internally foam damped...good pure battery power, that funky plastic grill stuff removed and some other external mods? (I forgot to mention the very well executed subwoofer stand and satellite stands, both made of aluminum. Not sure about the satt stands making a big difference, but the one for the sub with and without made the bass night and day for sure.) For several hours of work and less than $100 all-in, they sound a lot better than what I have heard for three times the price. It is difficult to get my head around this, but the powered speakers I have auditioned do not have the pleasant balance of these. They do not crack windows with AC/DC at concert levels, but there is something about the battery power that changes the bass. He had the stock power supply as retailed and there really was a difference. Control, volume level and presence were all increased with chemical DC power form the battery. (This was a 20 minute situation. They had to run. The difference was that apparent.) For something in a fatter-than-normal briefcase, they are pretty damned nice. Jazz people who normally would bring headphones would LOVE Sam's setup for a motel room. We brought the volume up to the point of amp-clip a few times. If you juuuust come up against it on a peak now and then, it does not do anything nasty. You hear it, but it is not ear-bleeding-nasty by any means. If you see a set of these in your travels, grab them. Sam told me they are "70% of the sound if you use them un-modified," the wiring and battery being the things that make the most difference. If any of you happen to have a solar powered "bug-out" cabin somewhere, you NEED a set of these. With the small UPS gel-cells he runs them off of, he says he can listen without the wal wart based supply for a few hours if used mellow...45 minutes if used hard. For background listening, he says leaving the supply in-loop, which charges the batteries, is good. (I never heard them like that.) With a small DAC connected to whatever, these would be totally worth bringing them with me for motel tunes. Even if there was no Internet, a Sony FM walkman (I had to try it)made pretty good music with them. Before I tapped this out, I made a few mouse clicks and ordered a set for myself. $40 and 18 for shipping. More fun than a new Schiit Yggy...
  3. ramii19780529

    My New Hobby

    Hello, This is my first post to this forum, as I have just revived my interest in higher quality audio. This came about in an odd way. I recently remodeled my office to add more storage for my family. In doing this, my Alesis M1 studio monitors (fed by the sound card build into the gaming motherboard in my PC) could no longer fit in the room, at least not in an ideal listening position, so I had to start the search for something smaller, but I couldn't find anything that could be mounted to the wall that was less than 5 inches wide and had any chance of sounding good, so I decided to go another route. I started to researched headphones, which lead to suggestions for amps, which lead to suggestions for DACs... With a budge of about $800 I decided on the Schiit Jotunheim with the balanced DAC module, powering the Sennheiser HD600 headphones, and a balanced headphone cable from Custom Cans. I also purchased a USB cable from Schitt to connect the DAC to my PC. Once everything came in, I hooked it all up and was blown away by how much clearer things sounded. But there was a problem... my music mostly sounded like crap. Much of it was ripped from CD into my FLAC collection, but then I learned that it has a lot to do with the mastering and mixing process. I started to look for some new music to listen to and tried a variety of genre, finally settling on smooth jazz being my favorite. It's been about a month since my purchase and everything is starting to sound better. I don't have experience with this, and my ears are not trained, but the music just started to sound more open and full bodied if that makes any sense. After reading many posts about this subject, all of which seem to turn into arguments, I just want to say that I don't really care what it is that made it sound better, I'm just very happy that it does. So, that's where I'm at now, and I have a few questions that I've searched for without finding specific answers. I'm pretty handy, and I love DIY projects, so I decided to make my own headphone cables since the connectors to the HD600s on the Custom Cans wires are a bit too long; they hit my shoulders when I turn my head (other than that they are awesome). Many people choose to use the wires found in the Mogami Neglex 2534s so I went with those as a starting point. The question is, why do people only use the wires, and not the entire cable? The cable is designed to minimizes the things that would effect the analog audio signal, such as capacitance and inductance, and it has what looks like well thought out dielectric and shielding. It's also within the optimum wire diameter to reduce the skin effect. If headphones used speaker level signal strength, I would not be as concerned, but I think the relatively low signal strength over my required 7 foot run would benefit from keeping the cable together up to the point where it needs to split to each driver. I'm new to this and learning as I go, so I may have this all very wrong, please let me know. Is there a better wire I can use that would still produce an audible sound difference given the equipment I am currently using? I'm not looking for Teflon coated silver here... And finally, does anyone have any suggestions for high quality smooth jazz recordings and where I can get them? Thanks!
  4. PieterP

    My Audiostreamer DIY Project

    I just finished my DIY audiostreamer. The base is an AsRock motherboard with onboard processor (Q1900-ITX), wide PicoPSU, 3 linear power supplies (PSU) for the mobo, the ssd and the PPA USB V2 Card (Paul Pang). I made linear PSU’s based on the sigma 11 DY project by AMB laboratories (USA). Currently, I have installed Daphile. More info and photo's on: https://audiostreamerdiyproject.wordpress.com/
  5. After watching Hans Beekhuyzen's review of the Audiophonics Sabre DAC for Raspberry Pi, I ended up buying one and building a system (Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, PiCorePlayer fed by Roon, and powered by an iFi iPower power supply). This thing sounds FANTASTIC. I am VERY impressed. Question for the community from this noob - are there boards out there that have SPDIF / Optical inputs on one end that can be soldered to the Audiophonics DAC board, creating a standalone DAC? Will it sound as good as it does as a streamer, connected to the RasPi? My guess is that the I2S connection, short signal path in the raspberry pi, and low noise power supply play an outsized role in making this particular set up sound great, but I'd love to pick everyone's brain's here to see if what I suggested is possible / feasible. Thanks!
  6. After some technical issues with another player, Another user said have a look at RaspBerry Pi, I got one, installed RuneAudio, and external soundcard, not only does it work without writing one single line of code , but it out perform the Pioneer in all possible ways :-) at only 1/10 the price and still is it 10 times as good and cool and stable. It supports Any audio format and resolution I got access to, even also all my HIDEF files. No buggy apps to install, just visit a homepage, all pads and phones and pc's can visit the same webpage even at the same time all can control, and even more cool, there is also volume !! and what have you !! when one user adjust on his pad, all others react live to the knob beeing turned, jaw dropping cool. There is also internet radio, sportyfy, airplay, network and all the usb drives you can imagine to connect, it even find pictures of the CD and display for me, better sound too and not one single crash. PS: there exist several audio media player images / systems for the raspberry series of hardware platforms, you can even use many other hardware cards if you want. Check out : Moode Audio, Volumio, RuneAudio So far I only tried RuneAudio, I hear they are a little bit different in look and feel, but they all just transport the digital file directly to the spund card of your choise without any kind of calculations or modifications. I never owned or used a raspberry before, I also never used or played with linux computers, but I was able to get this up and running in a few days, the internet told and showed me all I could possible need to know.
  7. Hi, I'm a Linux nerd, new to CA and just getting my Audiophile feet wet. I have a project in mind and could use some pointers, I have many questions. I've gone thru the FAQ. What I'd like to know is, do people have strong opinions on the following? I'm looking for an ideal setup. Options for a PC platform in a DIY solution: Raspberry Pi B+ (w/Raspbian OS) and the I2S-based HiFiBerry DAC+ (RCA version) Intel NUC and *some Linux audio OS and **some DAC BeagleBone Black and **some DAC I like the RPi version b/c the RPi is: ubiquitous cheap reliable familiar to me (i have several) *Linux Audio-ish OSs AudioPhile Linux Daphile (x86_32/64 only) VortexBox (Fedora-based) any experience w/these OSs? Here, I would lean towards VortexBox only b/c I'm used to RH products. ** I'm at a loss as to which DAC to use Or do I go for a COTS/turnkey solution? For all-in-one solutions: VortexBox Appliance Totaldac d1-server (yeah, right...cha-ching!) SOtM sMS-100 The DIY is more attractive to me b/c I foresee much customization in the future. E.g., being able to autorip CDs when you insert them would be nice. Uploading media from hand-held devices would also be good. I imagine lots of 3rd party plug-ins would come into play, too. However, if there is a COTS product out there that fits the bill, then I'd be interested in looking at it. Also, for the audio power amplifier...any suggestions? Anything wrong with the Pyle PTA1000 1000W Professional Power Amplifier? Also, should I care a *lot* about S/PDIF vs AES/EBU? Another question: if I'm using a DAC, will I not be taking proper advantage of it if most of my music files are lossy (low bit rate MP3s)? One other thing to mention, this setup would not require cloud/internet radio connectivity. Again, I want decent SQ, nothing insane.
  8. Hi all! Not having a lot of funds I started buying the components for my own dedicated music PC a while ago. I found this site too late to use all of the ideas in this website/forum, but I will be able to use some of them. I would like to hear comments on where I can improve what I have while keeping the cost low (under $200). Not having an outboard DAC, I've been using an ASUS Xonar DS PCI soundcard on my regular PC which allowed me to upgrade the opamps for the sound I want. The rest of my parts are: MSI B75MA-E33 (Military Class III with solid caps) LGA 1155 MicroATX motherboard Intel Celeron G1620 cpu with Integrated HD Graphics (so I don't have to use a video card) Kingston SSDNow 200 64gb 2.5" SATAIII solid-state drive Patriot Viper 3 DDR3 1600mhz 4gb (1 stick - I can add another if I need to) Seasonic S12II SS-330GB 330w ATX 80 PLUS Certified PSU I have two Hitachi hard drives with a lot of music (and room for more of it) one 3tb and one 2tb. After reading through the forums, I am planning on purchasing an Anker Astro E4 13000mAh Portable Battery pack to use with the SSD drive (unless someone has a better idea). My plan is to try Windows Server 2012 and, if that fails resort to Windows 8. I have been using MediaMonkey 4 because I really like the interface and all it can do. If it would sound significantly better I could change to JRiver or JPlay. If I had lots of money, I'd go for a fine outboard DAC, but as it is the ASUS soundcard does a good job with audio files up to 24/192 and I can play DSD files thru foobar2000. Where is the greater danger of noise/jitter in this system? I am depending on your experience to assist me. Peter
  9. I listen to my M3 headphone amp through 32 ohm Grado GS1000 headphones. The sound was unimpressive for the first 40 hours but since then it has been great and getting better. I never realized there was so much nuance and detail in music. There is even silence and space between the details. Sound stage ambiance and musical decay is amazing. Quality of source material is very apparent but not punishing. The realism, impact and ease of the flow of music continues to blow me away. I have never heard sound this good at at any price throughout my 35 years of interest in HiFi. Here are specifics of my DIY build which I believe to have contributed to the sound quality. 1. I used a 24vdc regulated PowerOne Linear power supply (upgraded with HEXFREDs) followed by a Bybee Music Rail filter. 2. Takman metal film resistors used throughout except for Dale RN60s for the 1 ohm MOSFET output resistors. 3. Elna Silmic and Nichicon Muse electrolytics used throughout along with the Wima 1uf film caps. I also bypassed the Wima caps with Vishay 1837 0.01uf PP caps. 4. I bypassed the bass boost circuit and use an upgraded Truth preamp for volume control. A LightSpeed LDR attenuator using a kit from Uriah Dailey should work just as well. 5. The MOSFETs are mounted on 2.5 inch heat sinks with ventilation holes beneath, over, and even through the circuit board and are biased at 135ma. 6. AD8610 Opamps were used. 7. I Added a Silk DIY AC filter by Lukas Fikus (lampizator) in the same chassis, although it could be in a separate box.
  10. I just finished this PSU for my CAT. Some figures measured from the AC receptacle (with +/-5% error I suppose) -when PC is off (in standby mode): 20W -when PC just starts (where the peak comes): 90W -when PC running smooth after boot up: 70W The circuit design refers to this: Linear ATX power supply - diyAudio with some change of regulators (I use LT1083 for every voltages, and dual 12V rails), basically they are the same thing just more capacity.