Jump to content
IGNORED

Beyond Bit-perfect: EMC - EMI/RFI and the hidden gray areas of analogue in our digital audio.


Recommended Posts

There is much more to our passionate hobby (Computer Audiophilia) than meets the eye. While some feel safe thinking 'bits are bits' or 'so long as the bitstream is untouched', or 'so long as the computer to DAC connection is isolated', some of us detect SQ changes and worry about hidden things, alternate things, unconventional things, counter-intuitive things but things which also matter a lot, matter more and more with time and also have underlying scientific and engineering explanations.

 

These things all contribute to perceived digititis, the perceived sonic signature of 'digital' components inherent to their operations.

 

EMI/RFI

 

They often cause us (and count me as one!) to worry about EMI and RFI. This can be seen in various threads.

 

And when tamed, they sometimes bring forth great things, like the USB Regen, and Miska's HQ Player in client-server mode, i.e. with the network audio daemon and the NAA, the Network-Attached Audio device, PeterSt's XXhighEnd and Phasure NOS1a DAC, etc...

 

EMC

 

Any digital system will have a noise profile based on how it deals with EMI/RFI. This subject is covered within the larger realm of EMC - Electromagnetic Compatibility, which posits three requirements for EMC:

 

1. A component shouldn't interfere with others
2. A component shouldn't be susceptible to interference from others
3. A component shouldn't interfere within or with itself

 

Hidden Analogue Gray Areas in Digital

 

'Digital' is but an abstraction we like to use at a high-level. Internally, many of our digital sub-systems indeed deal with signals in the analogue realm:

 

- The 'digital' signal in USB cable: all analogue voltages with values and ramp times

- The 'digital' DRAM memory: all analogue values stored in capacitors within each cell, and needing Sense Amplifiers before even becoming a definite 1 (less so for 0)

- The 'digital' file in our HDD: often all analogue and tiny signals stored as direction in a mini-magnet, needing electronics to greatly amplify that before even becoming 'digital' as we know it, etc...

 

In these analogue realms are gray areas, which commission further electronic sub-systems into action to define the bits. Since any hardware and software commissioning has its own noise profile affecting SQ, all these operations spanning digital and analogue have their own effects on final SQ.

 

There is much more...

 

Noise Profiles

 

We (the few of us) have found that even the way you write software and which type of buffering scheme, which type of algorithm, which type of hardware you commission through software has significant effects on SQ. Yokota, just by avoiding using the cache in his software BugHead, provides a great difference in SQ. PeterSt, Sbgk and myself have found the same thing in our own programs. John Swenson mentioned the difference that buffer architecture and algorithms can make too.

 

In the DDR3 Flipping Bits thread, we also discussed, primarily with PeterSt, the noise profile of sub-systems and how there are big issues when power consumption spikes, and how the audible effects can last even after the hardware/software sub-system causing the spike has ceased operation as the issue ripples along.

 

The interplay between EMI/RFI and Grounding schemes.

 

And so we try to isolate, or also try to make sub-systems consume in a more even manner, but yet, sometimes we miss important things for want of taking a system-view or for having a limited mental model or what the system does and what it is susceptible to. A few examples of this are in the 'Regardless of who has the superior algorithm' thread, where despite pointing out what a noise profile can be (and it's more complex than just noise traveling with the signal cable), and despite pointing out that there still needs to be deal with all the noise or has in the AC power lines, some people still miss these two facts completely.

 

There is a lot of great info (many linked to by Speedskater) about EMC and AC Power and Grounding in the thread "AC Filtering, Grounding Boxes, Linear PSU and Balanced Power". Ott, Giddings, Morrison, Brown, Armstrong and Whitlock.

 

There are great results for many systems when equipment chassis are grounded properly. More intriguing that that, some people who already have done their chassis grounding further benefit from devices which supposedly clean up the signal by providing a low-impedance path to a common signal ground plane. The Tripoint and Entreq devices are interesting respectively.

 

What is a 'superior algorithm' for Audio?

 

In fact, I have mentioned that what constitutes the 'superior algorithm' in the traditional sense of the words may not be the best speed/efficiency algorithm as is usually thought. Instead it is something entirely different for our audiophile purposes. There is ample evidence in the DDR3 Flipping Bits thread and in our own experiments about these and yet, most people, and I dare say most manufacturers still ignore this completely.

Our changing ambient world.

 

In the past we had no widespread cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Today is a very different story, and one which is changing fast, year by year. Many of our assumptions and measurements and model for Before do not apply exactly the same as Today and certainly won't for After.

 

That changing world certainly has great implications for the 3 requirements of EMC.

 

How Electromagnetically Compatible are our systems when we just plug them in without any thought about their overall power consumptions, power cleanliness, EMI/RFI emissions and susceptibility, and a close inspection of their 'grounding' schemes especially in our fast changing ambient world?

 

It seems there is still a lot to be done for proper EMC for Computer Audiophiles.

 

Background threads and articles:

 

1. DDR3 Flipping Bits thread

2. AC Filtering, Grounding Boxes, Linear PSU and Balanced Power

3. John Swenson Q & A 'What is Digital?'- AudioStream

4. There's no such thing as digital: A conversation with Charles Hansen, Gordon Rankin, and Steve Silberman

5. Regardless of who has the superior algorithm thread

6. Boot Mavericks from an SD card, load a RAMdisk, dismount your internal SATA drives, and pour a drink for the musicians walking out of your speakers! thread

7. HQ Player's Network Audio Adapter

8. Network Isolation

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment

I'd like to add that a fair mount of what I see people attribute to EMI frequently isn't. Take for example USB and Ethernet, many people think that the difference of cables etc is due to shielding, ie the cable is picking up EMI and that is causing the difference. My experimenting on this seems to be pointing to the basic signal integrity to be the real issue in many cases. For high speed signals, the lower the SI the more signal processing has to be done to properly extract the bits, and this generates noise in the ground and power planes.

 

Many people hear this and assume it is related to EMI and try different shielding options, and in many cases actually make it worse, what they thought would be increasing the shielding effectiveness winds up picking up more EMI. How shielding works for high frequency digital signals can be quite different than what is appropriate for audio frequencies. For example what works well for shielding a phono cartridge interconnect, may not work at all for high speed digital signals.

 

On AC power lines, things have gotten MUCH worse in recent years. 5 years ago I did a fairly detailed analysis of what was on my AC line in my house. A few weeks ago I re-did the analysis and was horrified at what I found. There is so much more stuff on our AC line today. I have a feeling that approaches like "line filters" etc are just going to be swamped by this much "noise". I'm really thinking that brute force approaches like motor generator sets are getting to be appropriate. Or how about two tanks of water, one down low and one up high, the water flows from the upper one through a turbine which drives a generator. The external power runs a pump which pumps water from the lower tank to the upper tank. That should block pretty much anything. Or you can do it with air pressure in tanks.

 

Military aircraft have done this to protect against EMP, all signal connections between electronics boxes are optical, power to each box is with air in hoses that run a small turbine and generator in each box. If that can protect against EMP it just might be effective enough for audio in our modern environment.

 

John S.

Link to comment
For high speed signals, the lower the SI the more signal processing has to be done to properly extract the bits, and this generates noise in the ground and power planes.

 

And this starts right at the ACTUAL CD ripping stage, which is where the quality of the Optical reader and the power supplies make a real difference, both at the extraction of the data from the CD, AND the SI of the file saved to the internal (preferably) target device.

 

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
I'd like to add that a fair mount of what I see people attribute to EMI frequently isn't. Take for example USB and Ethernet, many people think that the difference of cables etc is due to shielding, ie the cable is picking up EMI and that is causing the difference. My experimenting on this seems to be pointing to the basic signal integrity to be the real issue in many cases. For high speed signals, the lower the SI the more signal processing has to be done to properly extract the bits, and this generates noise in the ground and power planes.

 

Many people hear this and assume it is related to EMI and try different shielding options, and in many cases actually make it worse, what they thought would be increasing the shielding effectiveness winds up picking up more EMI. How shielding works for high frequency digital signals can be quite different than what is appropriate for audio frequencies. For example what works well for shielding a phono cartridge interconnect, may not work at all for high speed digital signals.

 

On AC power lines, things have gotten MUCH worse in recent years. 5 years ago I did a fairly detailed analysis of what was on my AC line in my house. A few weeks ago I re-did the analysis and was horrified at what I found. There is so much more stuff on our AC line today. I have a feeling that approaches like "line filters" etc are just going to be swamped by this much "noise". I'm really thinking that brute force approaches like motor generator sets are getting to be appropriate. Or how about two tanks of water, one down low and one up high, the water flows from the upper one through a turbine which drives a generator. The external power runs a pump which pumps water from the lower tank to the upper tank. That should block pretty much anything. Or you can do it with air pressure in tanks.

 

Military aircraft have done this to protect against EMP, all signal connections between electronics boxes are optical, power to each box is with air in hoses that run a small turbine and generator in each box. If that can protect against EMP it just might be effective enough for audio in our modern environment.

 

John S.

 

John - with all due respect, I find this analysis to be another "horror story" of what might happen under certain circumstances. This leads, of course to paranoid computer audiophiles taking major countermeasures to prevent something speculative and unmeasured from happening in their precious systems. We have tons of those anecdotes here at CA, unfortunately many the result of your own speculations. Personally, I have no need to protect my system from the EMP caused by a thermonuclear explosion. I do not think that my system or I would survive.

 

Look, I have bought and I am satisfied with my Regen Amber based on my own listening. It was stated by Alex awhile ago that you would be providing measurements to support the improved performance enabled by this device. So?

 

You have repeatedly alluded to "things you have seen" on your scope or other analyses. Unfortunately, you have seldom given those results to us mere mortals. I respect your insights into many difficult technical matters. But, I am looking for something more tangible.

Link to comment
And this starts right at the ACTUAL CD ripping stage, which is where the quality of the Optical reader and the power supplies make a real difference, both at the extraction of the data from the CD, AND the SI of the file saved to the internal (preferably) target device.
That's not how data works. You can't "store" RF/EMI noise in a file if you're using secure ripping correctly. (multi-pass rips at different speeds)

If the noise affected the data, the secure ripping process would fail, and so would verification against the AccurateRip database.

 

And I know that you claim to hear it, but if there is a difference, that's not the cause.

Maybe, just maybe, if you're using a non-secure ripping program like iTunes this could somehow influence the ripping process - but you would just end up with pops/clicks from a read error - nothing more.

Link to comment
That's not how data works. You can't "store" RF/EMI noise in a file if you're using secure ripping correctly. (multi-pass rips at different speeds)

If the noise affected the data, the secure ripping process would fail, and so would verification against the AccurateRip database.

 

And I know that you claim to hear it, but if there is a difference, that's not the cause.

Maybe, just maybe, if you're using a non-secure ripping program like iTunes this could somehow influence the ripping process - but you would just end up with pops/clicks from a read error - nothing more.

 

Here we go again from possibly the most closed minded member of the forum. Why are you even a member of a forum with Audiophile in it's name ?

C.A. member Alfe, who is the actual designer of the internal LG BR writer,(LG GGW H20L) that I use has previously explained some of the reasons. They include :" Hall sensor offset=phase shift, that's why power regulation is important."

No, I am not using iTunes, I am using E.A.C. in secure Mode.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment

Skeptic-

 

You REALLY feel compelled to argue with Sandyk about this?

 

He has a clear position which in his mind (and I mean that with respect) is backed up by testing.

It's been argued in countless threads here. No need to challenge him every time he repeats his position.

 

That's not how data works. You can't "store" RF/EMI noise in a file if you're using secure ripping correctly. (multi-pass rips at different speeds)

If the noise affected the data, the secure ripping process would fail, and so would verification against the AccurateRip database.

 

And I know that you claim to hear it, but if there is a difference, that's not the cause.

Maybe, just maybe, if you're using a non-secure ripping program like iTunes this could somehow influence the ripping process - but you would just end up with pops/clicks from a read error - nothing more.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment

And Sandyk, same for you. Really doesn't help anyone that you repeat your position endlessly in almost every thread, and then feel compelled to answer a poster like Skeptic with an ad hominem attack.

 

Note, I'm not trying to censor either of you. It's just that sometimes these repeated side arguments don't really help the discussion in these threads. They are only tangentially on topic, and sidetrack the discussion into something like a personal argument between two members.

Not really helpful, IMO.

 

Here we go again from possibly the most closed minded member of the forum. Why are you even a member of a forum with Audiophile in it's name ?

C.A. member Alfe, who is the actual designer of the internal LG BR writer,(LG GGW H20L) that I use has previously explained some of the reasons. They include :" Hall sensor offset=phase shift, that's why power regulation is important."

No, I am not using iTunes, I am using E.A.C. in secure Mode.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment

firedog

BTW, Alfe also said " Small phase shift= same checksum= different sound".

 

It's about time that people realised that Signal Integrity, which John Swenson has been discussing recently in the USB Regen threads, starts with the cleanest possible, correctly shaped waveforms that require minimal further processing, right through the whole chain.

(Ever seen what the data on a HDD looks like before being intensively processed? - try Google)

Why should the quality of the power supplied to the Optical Reader and storage mediums be any less critical than the power supplied to USB devices, INCLUDING even John's Amber Regen design ? Very few members now dispute that USB area power improvements usually translate to vastly improved USB audio.

Everything matters.

 

Alex

 

P.S.

My earlier reply ties in perfectly with the title of this thread, so why should I refrain from replying just because a few members don't like the message being repeated ? .

Beyond Bit-perfect: EMC - EMI/RFI and the hidden gray areas of analogue in our digital audio.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Skeptic-

You REALLY feel compelled to argue with Sandyk about this?

 

He has a clear position which in his mind (and I mean that with respect) is backed up by testing.

It's been argued in countless threads here. No need to challenge him every time he repeats his position.

Yes, I do.

This is a lack of education, not some advanced technique that only sandyk has managed to figure out.

What he suggests can't happen.

 

Tolerating posts such as that, is the reason that people point and laugh at "audiophiles".

This is the equivalent of comparing homeopathy to medicine and saying that everyone's opinion on the matter is equally valid, whether they are a layman or a doctor/researcher with decades of experience.

 

Why are you even a member of a forum with Audiophile in it's name ?
Because I care about audio quality, not mysticism.

 

Why should the quality of the power supplied to the Optical Reader and storage mediums be any less critical than the power supplied to USB devices, INCLUDING even John's Amber Regen design ? Very few members now dispute that USB area power improvements usually translate to vastly improved USB audio.

Everything matters.

Because you are not playing back audio from the drive in real-time.

You do multi-pass secure rips to verify that the data is extracted correctly, and can verify that against an external database.

If the rip is good, it doesn't matter what created it. The resulting audio does not contain anything related to the drive which created it.

 

The burden of proof lies with those people making extraordinary claims.

Repeating something often enough and loud enough is not creating proof.

 

If you want to claim that noise from an idle optical drive in the system is somehow being transmitted over the USB ground during playback and that is somehow affecting how things sound I'd think it's a bit far-fetched, but not entirely implausible.

But you're claiming that this is somehow stored in the file itself in a manner which cannot be detected or verified by computers.

Link to comment
The burden of proof lies with those people making extraordinary claims.

Repeating something often enough and loud enough is not creating proof.

You keep ignoring the fact that well respected E.E. and Technical Journalist Martin Colloms from HiFi Critic magazine performed a series of 6 POSITIVE Blind A/B/A 3 minute tests with .wav files that I supplied having identical check sums. There is also a C.A. thread started by Audiophile Neuroscience after a Sydney listening session.

See HiFi Critic Vol.6 No.1

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f8-general-forum/linear-powered-rips-and-flash-drives-sound-better-alex-was-right-22116/

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Look, I have bought and I am satisfied with my Regen Amber based on my own listening. It was stated by Alex awhile ago that you would be providing measurements to support the improved performance enabled by this device.

You have repeatedly alluded to "things you have seen" on your scope or other analyses. Unfortunately, you have seldom given those results to us mere mortals. I respect your insights into many difficult technical matters. But, I am looking for something more tangible.

 

Fitzcaraldo215, this isn't the thread for that kind of thing.

 

Thanks.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment
That's not how data works. You can't "store" RF/EMI noise in a file if you're using secure ripping correctly. (multi-pass rips at different speeds)

If the noise affected the data, the secure ripping process would fail, and so would verification against the AccurateRip database.

 

Skeptic, you're a skeptic, we get it.

 

The thread title starts with 'Beyond Bit-Perfect'. If you can't get away from your existing paradigms and empty your cup so to speak, this thread isn't for you either.

 

On the other hand, if you are prepared to learn there is more, then keep an open mind.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment
I'd like to add that a fair mount of what I see people attribute to EMI frequently isn't. Take for example USB and Ethernet, many people think that the difference of cables etc is due to shielding, ie the cable is picking up EMI and that is causing the difference. My experimenting on this seems to be pointing to the basic signal integrity to be the real issue in many cases. For high speed signals, the lower the SI the more signal processing has to be done to properly extract the bits, and this generates noise in the ground and power planes.

 

Hi John, yes I remember you mentioning that the Regen would deal with SI nearer the DAC as opposed to other solutions many are trying i.e. to keep noise down a few steps before.

 

Now, maybe I've come across EMI/RFI all too often and from there everything starts to look like a nail when you have a hammer!

 

This said, if we look at what's causing the degradation in signal integrity, can we say it's reduced to ground plane noise from pure computer operation, or is it more accurate to say that the pure computer operation and accompanying noise on the ground plane also has an EMI/RFI noise profile which can take alternate routes.

 

By an alternate route here, let me give just an example I sometimes think about: if from that computer operation, pollution has also gone on to the mains and this goes to the DAC and affects its operation, and if the USB cable is susceptible to EMI/RFI, couldn't this affect SQ too (let's assume no AC conditioning but with a Regen if necessary)?

 

Many people hear this and assume it is related to EMI and try different shielding options, and in many cases actually make it worse, what they thought would be increasing the shielding effectiveness winds up picking up more EMI. How shielding works for high frequency digital signals can be quite different than what is appropriate for audio frequencies. For example what works well for shielding a phono cartridge interconnect, may not work at all for high speed digital signals.

 

I agree, and it's interesting to learn about the different shielding techniques and what is needed to shield effectively while frequency of operations change a lot.

 

On the other hand, I have had good success with my first DIY USB cable, the donor being a double shielded one. Varying the geometry, separation and separate shielding of twisted pairs have had good effects although the cable is too long.

 

Now, I have compared this to a USB 3.0 cable my gf had in her storage box when she moved in (it was for one of her external HDDs). The USB 3 cable sounds great, but my cable beats it in SQ!

 

Yesterday, I partly disassembled another Hi-Speed USB 2 cable, and made it much shorter, around 5 inches, removed the shielding. I thought that this wasn't going to work at all. Surprisingly, it works. We noted down our listening impressions yesterday to gather correlations as I will experiment some more. Perhaps the most striking thing is the faster attack transients. Extended range too, but a part of the bass is lower than before.

 

That's all fine and dandy, but with transmissions of DSD256 for instance and the 3 requirements for EMC, isn't the shielding necessary to prevent radiation from the USB cable itself? In the final iteration I will end up double-shielding it like my first cable anyway though.

 

Just tested it this morning with the XP Win machine as I woke up with the desire to test this prototype cable with the Yarlung DSD256 material, but the iFi iDSD Nano isn't even detected on the PC.

 

Re-tested on the iMac, and it's playing right now. Fishy.

 

On AC power lines, things have gotten MUCH worse in recent years. 5 years ago I did a fairly detailed analysis of what was on my AC line in my house. A few weeks ago I re-did the analysis and was horrified at what I found. There is so much more stuff on our AC line today. I have a feeling that approaches like "line filters" etc are just going to be swamped by this much "noise".

 

I started building my own line filter box, but little did I know that this would have opened up a whole bigger can of worms with dedicated lines, balanced power, passive vs active filtering, series vs parallel filtering, common mode chokes, DC-blocking, outlets, chassis-grounding, signal cleanup and what not. Thoroughly interesting still. I still have plenty of extant questions in that other thread.

 

I'm really thinking that brute force approaches like motor generator sets are getting to be appropriate. Or how about two tanks of water, one down low and one up high, the water flows from the upper one through a turbine which drives a generator. The external power runs a pump which pumps water from the lower tank to the upper tank. That should block pretty much anything. Or you can do it with air pressure in tanks.

 

I know nothing at all about those, but they sure make either Tesla's PowerWall battery or other smaller batteries implementation for audio be a relative walk in the park :P

 

Military aircraft have done this to protect against EMP, all signal connections between electronics boxes are optical, power to each box is with air in hoses that run a small turbine and generator in each box. If that can protect against EMP it just might be effective enough for audio in our modern environment.

 

I sure know I can thank the Russians for thinking about EMP fallouts and thus continuing to hone their expertise and manufacturing of Tubes. All of my SET Tube Amp tubes are Russian (Electro-Harmonix KT-88 + more and a Sovtek). :)

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment

On AC power lines, things have gotten MUCH worse in recent years. 5 years ago I did a fairly detailed analysis of what was on my AC line in my house. A few weeks ago I re-did the analysis and was horrified at what I found. There is so much more stuff on our AC line today. I have a feeling that approaches like "line filters" etc are just going to be swamped by this much "noise".

 

John S.

 

After doing a little research into battery and solar power and thereby learning just enough to be dangerous, I wonder whether the junk on the power line isn't due at least as much, if not more, to what's inside the home as what's outside. Did you try turning off fridge/CFL-LED lighting/anything at all to do with Internet, wifi or computers/unplugging all SMPSs throughout the house and seeing whether any of those made any difference?

 

Edit: Oh yeah, and toasters/coffeemakers/any other small appliances too, as they're very likely these days to have microprocessors built in. (These were mentioned as possible sources of harmonic distortion and phase problems in a paper done for the power industry I read during my solar/battery power research.)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Link to comment
Yes, I do.

This is a lack of education, not some advanced technique that only sandyk has managed to figure out.

What he suggests can't happen.

 

Tolerating posts such as that, is the reason that people point and laugh at "audiophiles".

This is the equivalent of comparing homeopathy to medicine and saying that everyone's opinion on the matter is equally valid, whether they are a layman or a doctor/researcher with decades of experience.

 

 

1. I don't care if people laugh at audiophiles; they would still laugh even if there were no nonsensical claims, cause most of them thing spending more than a few hundred dollars on audio equipment is laughable.

2. I never said everyone's ideas are equally valid; my problem is not the ideas. I have a problem with certain members that think every thread needs to have their pet topic injected into it, whether it advances the thread or not. Besides Sandyk, there are the many posters with pet topics who think every thread needs to have a sub discussion related to their pet topic, because their pet topic is ALWAYS relevant.

 

Examples: every time JRiver is mentioned they MUST bring up the JPlay "episode", and the posters who think every time someone contributes their OPINION about how something sounds in their system, they MUST tell them how their experience is invalid b/c they didn't do a DBT. There are some more examples, but I think you get the idea.

I have no problem with those topics being discussed per se, but it makes it difficult to discuss any topic when each thread has to have sub threads on these "pet topics", with the same set of members pushing their agenda at every opportunity. It's a type of trolling, even if the poster doesn't intend it that way.

 

My comment to you was meant not to say that you are wrong in your ideas, but to encourage you not to engage in the debate at every opportunity. Leave that specific debate for a thread where it is somehow centrally relevant.

 

Homeopathy: really not a good analogy. People can and do die from using homeopathy instead of proven therapies. No one dies b/c of their audio beliefs.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment
I wonder whether the junk on the power line isn't due at least as much, if not more, to what's inside the home as what's outside. Did you try turning off fridge/CFL-LED lighting/anything at all to do with Internet, wifi or computers/unplugging all SMPSs throughout the house and seeing whether any of those made any difference?

 

Edit: Oh yeah, and toasters/coffeemakers/any other small appliances too, as they're very likely these days to have microprocessors built in.

 

The fun stuff starts with finding out that your very audio components in the digital audiophile chain are themselves capable of interfering with SQ.

 

As for devices, I've read a few times that some light dimmers are big culprits in affecting SQ.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment

<SNIP>

I'm really thinking that brute force approaches like motor generator sets are getting to be appropriate. Or how about two tanks of water, one down low and one up high, the water flows from the upper one through a turbine which drives a generator. The external power runs a pump which pumps water from the lower tank to the upper tank. That should block pretty much anything. Or you can do it with air pressure in tanks.

 

Military aircraft have done this to protect against EMP, all signal connections between electronics boxes are optical, power to each box is with air in hoses that run a small turbine and generator in each box. If that can protect against EMP it just might be effective enough for audio in our modern environment.

<SNIP>John S.

 

John, thanks for all of your contributions in this realm... if you had done nothing else, your AC & PSU investigations would have enriched Audio knowledge immensely... of course, you've done a lot more!

 

And I like where you're going with this!

 

<SNIP>

I know nothing at all about those, but they sure make either Tesla's PowerWall battery or other smaller batteries implementation for audio be a relative walk in the park :P

<SNIP>

 

And YashN, thanks for all of your contributions too!

 

I've been blue-skying an off-the-grid audio-system power solution using solar panels (we have lots of sunny days here in MS!) and a Tesla PowerWall setup. I power most of the gear in both of my systems through PS Audio regenerators. While I'd start this off with the best inverter(s) I could afford, my ultimate goal is to look at configuring the battery(s) to directly feed DC into the regenerator PSUs, bypassing the DC->AC->DC conversions. Not a trivial undertaking, the regenerator units have multiple rails, but not impossible!

 

Still, likely crazy!

 

In the meantime, I have a BUNCH of parallel plug-in filters and clamp-on ferrite filters around the house, focusing on circuits hosting equipment which are known noisemakers (TVs / DVD players / microwaves / washer-dryer / device chargers with SMPS's, GFI circuits, etc). And the one audio system spur I don't power through one of the regenerators (computer player 'dirty' side including CPU P4, monitor, keyboard, remote power-on/off relays, and SSD) is fed through a serious in-line filter.

 

Not very scientific, but it is audibly effective.

 

Greg in Mississippi

Everything Matters!

2 systems... Well-Tempered Refs->ET-2.5->DIY or Lounge LCR MkII phono stages

Standalone digital Sony HAP Z1-ES or SDTrans384/Soekris DAM DAC

Networked digital Zotac PI320-W2 LMS Server -> EtherRegen -> USBBridge Sig -> Katana / Ian GB / Soerkis / Buffalo-IIIPro DACs

Passive S&B TX102 TVC or ladder attenuators -> BHK-250 -> Eminent Tech LFT-VIII / IV / VI

ALL gear modified / DIY'd; cables MIT;  all supplies DIY’d or LPS-1.2s w/HUGE Ultracaps; Audio gear on DIY AC filters + PS Aud P15s; misc gear on separate AC w/filters

Link to comment

And YashN, thanks for all of your contributions too!

 

I've been blue-skying an off-the-grid audio-system power solution using solar panels (we have lots of sunny days here in MS!) and a Tesla PowerWall setup. I power most of the gear in both of my systems through PS Audio regenerators. While I'd start this off with the best inverter(s) I could afford, my ultimate goal is to look at configuring the battery(s) to directly feed DC into the regenerator PSUs, bypassing the DC->AC->DC conversions. Not a trivial undertaking, the regenerator units have multiple rails, but not impossible!

 

Thanks and back at you for participating. Interesting project about the Battery to regenerator connection. I think for me a simple move to smaller batteries in the near future instead of SMPS can be envisioned.

 

In the meantime, I have a BUNCH of parallel plug-in filters and clamp-on ferrite filters around the house, focusing on circuits hosting equipment which are known noisemakers (TVs / DVD players / microwaves / washer-dryer / device chargers with SMPS's, GFI circuits, etc). And the one audio system spur I don't power through one of the regenerators (computer player 'dirty' side including CPU P4, monitor, keyboard, remote power-on/off relays, and SSD) is fed through a serious in-line filter.

 

It's a good thing I started really small myself: just one AC filter line, and then lots of research and study and tests because the full system is quite complex! The next things I would like to isolate are the recording equipment, i.e. soundcard and mixer, and also try using a filter line for the synths while recording Audio, that could be a good test.

 

Then there's the question about what to do with the audio-video side: the Blu-ray player, Apple TV, centre channel and sub-woofer and TV. That's a lot of stuff to deal with!

 

When I tried the filter line on the computer, we distinctly saw the HDMI output on the TV from the Mac to be clearer - fun result!

 

How do you find the ferrite clamps though? The investigation of the common mode chokes for AC initially made me like them quite a bit better than the clamps, especially in multi-wind sectional setups. The thing with clamps is that they can also affect the main signal quite a lot too.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment
Just tested it this morning with the XP Win machine as I woke up with the desire to test this prototype cable with the Yarlung DSD256 material, but the iFi iDSD Nano isn't even detected on the PC.

 

Re-tested on the iMac, and it's playing right now. Fishy.

 

Had to do some troubleshooting this afternoon: tried the DAC on the PC with a generic USB cable but still nothing, the iFi wouldn't detect the device.

 

A quick re-install of the iFi drivers solved this.

 

Then tried my new short DIY USB cable and it works. The XP machine is accessing my Quad DSD256 files from the network through Ethernet and the hacked router, then to the iMac itself serving it from the external USB HDD.

 

Zero dropout on DSD256 streaming in this heterogeneous environment with the not so powerful PC running Foobar2000 and plugins for ASIO + native DSD.

 

And perhaps more importantly, zero dropouts or glitches from the new prototype USB cable :P

 

I have just listened to my whole collection of Quad DSD in one sitting with the new cable. For now, both Quad DSD and that short cable are giving fantastic dynamics, the transients are sweet and fast, the soundstage is well-defined. Native DSD streaming is also part of the equation here as is the Ethernet streaming + isolation.

 

I really like the sound, it's quite a bit more airy with Foobar2000 than when using up to DSD128 straight from the Mac with DoP and Audirvana+, but there's some sense of solidity on the Mac that I don't perceive on the PC.

 

I am thinking I really need to update that Foobar2000 version as the last time I installed it was end of last year or January this year.

 

Those Yarlung Records and other NativeDSD JustListen free files sound fantastic, really.

 

Straight from the first percussion sound, you already know you're listening to something special and rare.

 

Now, now... I really need to plug that PC (and monitor?) into a filter line too.

 

Really need to sort out that right channel on the SET Tube amp to mate it with the native DSD256 as well.

 

Finishing the new cabling, especially the new short USB cable and the new directional interconnects, should pay handsome rewards too.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment
2. I never said everyone's ideas are equally valid; my problem is not the ideas. I have a problem with certain members that think every thread needs to have their pet topic injected into it, whether it advances the thread or not. Besides Sandyk, there are the many posters with pet topics who think every thread needs to have a sub discussion related to their pet topic, because their pet topic is ALWAYS relevant.

Firedog

Instead of you acting as policeman, let's see if the person who started the thread feels that my contributions here have any relevance or not, in the thread that he started ? I suspect that the OP and myself may be far more in agreement on these kind of issues than you may realise.

 

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Firedog

Instead of you acting as policeman, let's see if the person who started the thread feels that my contributions here have any relevance or not, in the thread that he started ? I suspect that the OP and myself may be far more in agreement on these kind of issues than you may realise.

 

Alex

 

I'm not acting as policeman, and I'm not trying to censor anyone. Requesting some consideration from you isn't being a policeman or a censor. I think it's just a shame that you and several other members who do have something to contribute in some areas, are too self centered to restrain yourselves a bit from involving the rest of us in your obsessions.

 

If you can't see why it isn't necessary to make the same comment on almost every thread you join and start a sub discussion about it, then that's your problem. I don't intend on hijacking the thread any more with this OT discussion.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment
I don't intend on hijacking the thread any more with this OT discussion.

You have already done the damage by acting as a policeman and censor when it's up to the OP and Admin to decide, NOT you.

I make no apologies for discussing my "Obsessions" which are about taking Computer Audio to an even higher level. Unlike most here who post subjective reports that aren't supported by current theoretical knowledge, I have gone to the trouble of having them verified by suitably qualified people, and not just Martin Colloms.(Alfe, who is extremely well qualified in this area, has also supported me in these threads with links to technical reports that the rest of us don't have access to) If you can't see a connection between the original simple remark I made before Skeptic attacked me, and the title of this thread then you really have a problem, and perhaps should stay well out of threads with titles that dispute the notion that "bit perfect" is the be all, end all , to high quality audio ?

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment
Firedog

Instead of you acting as policeman, let's see if the person who started the thread feels that my contributions here have any relevance or not, in the thread that he started ? I suspect that the OP and myself may be far more in agreement on these kind of issues than you may realise.

 

Your contributions are totally relevant.

 

I do understand firedog's remark about how your posts could be perceived by some others, and in fact initially I had the same kind of perceptions too but after a while found some plausible explanations as to what could be the cause (these very same gray areas!), but he has a lot of great things to contribute too, so please, both of you, do stick around and continue to discuss as friends sharing the same hobby.

 

Have a great week-end!

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

Link to comment

Has anybody tried a Linear PSU with a Broadband Cable Modem to see if it helps with RF/EMI?

I have been tempted to try one with a changeover to a small battery for when there is a blackout, as the supplied Modem doesn't have battery backup and the Telephone is then off as well.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...