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ECDesigns PowerDAC-R preview

It’s been a long time coming…   ECDesigns is a two-person operation run by brothers John and Gordon Brown; John handles circuit design and Gordon oversees the programming aspects. They are based near Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and products are sold directly through their website (www.ecdesigns.nl). John Brown introduced himself on DIYAudio in 2006 with these words: "I have spent my entire life designing, repairing and building electronic equipment – electronics is my passion...

Objective subjectivism

Objective: expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations (Merriam-Webster)   Arthur Salvatore is an old-timer with an outdated website that contains many fascinating insights into audio. My favorite section describes his "audio philosophy". One aspect which can be put in practice by all of us, concerns his description of "levels of audible improvements":   http://www.high-endaudio.com/philos

A speaker cable to rule them all ?

Ever tried copper foil speaker cables ? I have experimented with a couple recently:   - DIY model - Silversmith Audio's Fidelium cables   1) DIY copper foil cables   They are easy to make yourself - here is a recipe someone gave me. All you need is: - Kapton tape (https://www.amazon.com/Temperature-Resistant-Polyimide-Sublimation-Soldering/dp/B08T74TCFS/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=KAPTON+Tape&qid=1618095371&sr=8-14) - Copper foil, 16AWG

A custom music application

I am always curious to understand how people manage their music collection, and often surprised by the creativity deployed by some.   Perhaps reading about what I have designed will be of interest to others, though it is build "from scratch" and hardly replicable "as is". I'll admit that I am quite proud of my work: the results meet my specific needs.   I gave Roon a try for a couple years, then gave up, explaining why here (good background on why I embarked on this project):

RIP Marvelous

Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of boxing's all time greats, just died, aged 66.   His boxing record: 67 pro fights, with only 3 losses (all controversial). He elevated boxing to an art form as few have ever done. From his interviews after his retirement, he seemed like a kind man. He remained bitter about the world of boxing, having been robbed in his last fight of a well-deserved victory against the more popular Sugar Ray Leonard.    Anyone interested in the "Sweet Science" sh

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hopkins in Sports

More Ellington Gems

The Pittsburgh Jazz Festival organized on June 20, 1965 a "Jazz Piano Workshop" which was luckily recorded and issued on CD by Mosaic Records: https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Jazz-Piano/release/5260834. Here is a picture of the "cast" on that day: https://collection.cmoa.org/objects/cfcdaea2-de64-4f61-92cf-8f4e6d9db60f   Ellington plays two numbers (in addition to a duo with Earl Hines): a spirited version of "Take the A Train", with bass and drum accompaniment, and another piece "

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hopkins in Ellington

Lady Day

In 1946 Hollywood made a film about Jazz  - "New Orleans" - and cast Billie Holiday, arguably the most influential singer in Jazz, in a secondary role as a servant.   Yesterday, Hollywood celebrated Andra Day's depiction of Billie in the biopic "The United States vs Billie Holiday". Times have changed (though it could be argued there is still much progress to be made), but Billie Holiday is still remembered today as a "tragic" figure, somewhat obscuring her lasting contributions to Ame

hopkins

hopkins

ADNACO-S3B USB 3.0/2.0 OVER FIBER OPTIC EXTENSION SYSTEM

https://www.adnaco.com/products     Adnaco Remote host USB system is a PCIe to USB extender.  There is a  PCIe card that provides two USB 3.0 ports extended remotely by Fiber Optic Cables.   In an audio PC, this removes the USB interface from the noisy PC motherboard.  For better audio, use a high-quality power supply on the endpoint. I have found that this interface provides significantly improved sound quality vs. the USB ports on a typical PC Motherboard. Adnaco

bobfa

bobfa in Servers

THE AIRPULSE A80 - short review with measurements

THE AIRPULSE A80 active desktop speakers - short review with measurements The Airpulse A80 horn-loaded Ribbon Tweeter design active desktop speaker is the youngest and smallest sibling of the Airpulse family designed by Phil Jones, produced and marketed by Edifier International. It may be available in the US starting 599 $. European prices are around 699 €. While her inner values are broadly identical with the recently reviewed Airpulse A100, the Bluetooth stack of the A80 has evolved

DuckToller

DuckToller in Speaker

The new Airpulse A80 & Airpulse A300 pro

There had been members suggesting more reviews on active bookshelf speakers after the Airpulse vs Kanto reviews and when Airpulse asked me about reviewing the new A80s I felt it would make sense to report about them here in the forums.     Last  week I have received the fancy blue coated A80 active desktop speakers from Airpulse, they are the smaller sibling of the already reviewed A100 and sell for 699 USD. These two may have some smaller technical differences only, wh

DuckToller

DuckToller in Speaker

Like a late November afternoon sky: About DACs and smartphones - an opinion:

Could we relate to DACs performance somehow like to a fall afternoon’s beautiful cloudy sky? I assume It may lie in the eye of the beholder which picture carries more beauty for him or her while obviously there are objective criterias to define a picture's qualities. For example, I’ve selected 2 fall sky images I took with my then smartphone in  2016 and 2018 The technical quality is limited, the impression may suit you or not. But is as much in line how I saw the sky as I could c

DuckToller

DuckToller in Opinion

AMR/iFi announces the iFi micro iDSD signature

Update: Last week I received the iDSD signature and I was noticed the iDSD neo is on its way. That pair may get a double feature review. I did a couple of shots over the weekenbd which will be posted here today or tomorrow.   on 10 / 09 / 2020 By chance (searching for some iFi iDSD pro information) I noted today on the iFi website that the company announces a new version of the iDSD micro. https://ifi-audio.com/products/micro-idsd-signature/ They say it is "Out of this wo

DuckToller

DuckToller in DAC - Announcements

Khadas announced Tone2 pro mini desktop & portable DAC

Wesion - Khadas, well known for the 99$ Khadas Tone Board DAC, has announced a sublimal successor for the beloved unit, here are the first renderings: The Tone2 pro - details:   DAC + OPA1612 Op-Amps - Tone2 Pro combines the ESS ES9038Q2M with x4 OPA1612 operational amplifiers that deliver superior audio quality. High Performance - Up to 32bit 384KHz sample rate, bit-perfect DSD512, and -118dB THD+N (

DuckToller

DuckToller in DAC - Announcements

Meet Jan Evensmo - Jazz Archeologist

You may have come across Jan Evensmo's work referenced in jazz publications or liner notes or by reading his fascinating website  -http://www.jazzarcheology.com/ . I contacted him and he kindly agreed to answer a few questions:   Q: Your website is entitled "the treasures of vintage jazz". You have written "solographies" of numerous famous or lesser known artists.  When did your passion for jazz start and how did you come to writing these solographies?   It started when I was

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hopkins in Vintage Jazz

USB and Other Digital Cables Roundup as of July 2020 Revision 1

Introduction Sources for the digital cable roundup include the Internet and audiophile publications and are mainly "Recommended Components" lists, "Editors' Choices" lists, and audio component reviews that mention the digital cable included in the reviewer’s own stereo system.  These are lists and reviews I have happened upon over the years.  I have no doubt overlooked many lists and reviews, so let me know and I can include them next update.    If a cable is mentioned frequently

Phil C

Phil C

USB and Other Digital Cables Roundup as of July 2020

Introduction Sources for this cable roundup are mainly "Recommended Components" lists, "Editors' Choices" lists, and audio component reviews that mention the digital cable included in the reviewer’s stereo system.  If a cable appears frequently and over several years in these sources, my theory is that it may very well be a superior cable and worthy of consideration.  I hope that my fellow audiophiles and music aficionados will find this roundup helpful, for instance, when researching and s

Phil C

Phil C

Loren Schoenberg on Ben Webster

Loren Schoenberg (of the the National Jazz Museum in Harlem) has published a four part lecture on Ben Webster on YouTube.    The production is not of the highest quality (but the content easily makes up for it), and some of the tracks are better heard on youtube directly or from your collection, if you can find them. There are quite a few rarities.     Part 1:     Part 2:     Part 3:     Part 4: 

hopkins

hopkins

In Praise of Ellington - The Pianist

Duke Ellington recorded music for 50 years.   Ask any Ellington fan to pick their favorite album, they will not be able to decide. Ever changing, throughout these 50 years, but always distinctive, what is it that makes Ellington so special ?  His arrangements, his compositions, his ability to gather in his band the best talents and use them at their best ?   One aspect which I find fascinating is his piano playing. His style and sound is instantly recognizable, and forms the

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hopkins

Ellington gems

Ellington never ceases to amaze and suprise me. Witness this short piece, released by Storyville earlier this year: "The Lake", part of his suite "The River", and performed at the end of a 1969 concert. Here are the Storyville notes:    "On November 7th, 1969, Duke Ellington and his orchestra played two concerts in Rotterdam, in the famous De Doelen concert hall. The second concert of the evening was prolonged, as the public wouldn’t let Ellington go. So while the rest of the bandmembe

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hopkins

Japanese greetings

At this time it is relevant to reflect on the merits of japanese-style greetings. Respect can be shown to others while avoiding the traditional western handshake.    Bowing can start when you first see the person at a distance, and continue as you approach them, but has to stop at a one meter distance !   Avoid the mistakes of Trump and Obama.            

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hopkins

A simple solution to all problems ?

Reading AustinPop's excellent review of the EtherRegen I could not help but thinking - does it need to be so complicated ? Cascading switches, linear power supplies, audiophile network and DC cables, clocks - there has to be be a better way ! Call me naive, but I believe there is always an elegant and simple solution to all problems, and don't see why digital audio should not conform to that rule. If we have not found it, then we need to look harder  

hopkins

hopkins

Remastering quality (for vintage jazz fans)

Here's an example to illustrate the importance of remastering quality.   The track is "Stepping into Swing Society" by Duke Ellington, recorded on January 13, 1938. I love the title !   Here's what Eddie Lambert has to say about this track (in "Duke Ellington: A Listener's Guide" - a little publicity for this great book:https://www.amazon.com/Duke-Ellington-Listeners-Guide-Studies/dp/0810831619 ) :   "By early 1938, the swing era was well under way. and Ellington in

hopkins

hopkins

Vintage Jazz

A beautiful interpretation of "I Cover the Waterfront", by Henry "Red" Allen, dating from 1957:     Red Allen - trumpet J.C. Higginbotham - trombone Buster Bailey - clarinet Coleman Hawkins - tenor saxophone Marty Napoleon - piano Evertt Barksdale - guitar Lloyd Trotman - bass Cozy Cole - drums   In the words of Gunther Schuller ("The Swing Era"):   "Recorded evidence of Allen's work from 1946 to his death in 1967 is

hopkins

hopkins



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