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Blackmorec

Fas42’s Stereo ‘Magic’

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There were another coupla things I forgot to mention in the previous discussion. The first is the reason why Frank’s  “Audio Nirvana’ posts pop up in a variety of different topics.  Typically a lot of the ‘problems’ that are discussed under things like “Poor recording quality” or “16/44.1 is now almost unlistable” can definitely be caused by/the result of the lack of the brain’s 3D interpretation of the signal coming from the loudspeakers. There’s a lot of information needed to create that 3D image and if the brain can’t interpret and use it, the information is still there, but concealed by the other music, so its contribution is essentially noise/distortion.  When your brain is able to fully utilise and interpret the signal into a 3D image it has essentially resolved all that 3D information, so not only does it create a beautiful sonic picture but it beneficially removes that previously unresolved information and its interference from the rest of the signal, so what Frank is talking about is not trivial. If you have not reached Sonic Nirvana you’ve got a real treat in store when it all clicks. 

 

Another thing that Frank is absolutely correct about is the care needed in setting up a system in order to achieve clear 3 dimensional imagery.  Too much noise, vibration, RFI, mains-born disturbances,  poorly thought out and executed signal paths, noisy power supplies, both into the device, back into the mains, or radiated into pieces of audio gear and poor connectors, gear placed on inadequate structures etc.will all contribute to damaging the signal sufficiently for the brain not to be able to construct any real imagery beyond 2 speakers as sound sources and maybe a bit of Left Right stuff. 

In a very well optimised system, plugging a single wall warty SMPS into the mains can be enough to impact SQ dramatically for the worse,  so he’s absolutely correct in asserting that removing set-up and system bottlenecks and limitations is an essential part of the game. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

Stereo is different. In stereo,  each sound has 2 sources, the left and right speaker.   In essence we artificially manipulate the amplitude and phase of the sound reaching each ear . The brain still works in the same way and uses the relative phase and amplitude differential between our 2 ears to assign the exact point from which the sound originates. If the phase, amplitude and frequency are accurate enough, the brain will build a sonic picture of those sounds’ origins.  With insufficient or inaccurate information, the brain is unable to build that picture and you’ll hear all sounds emanating from the 2 speakers, but if sufficient accurate detail is provided to the brain, it will use that information to construct a detailed soundscape, with each instrument having its own unique origin.  Allowing your brain to properly ‘interpret’ the sound and build that sonic 3D picture is what Frank is on about. 

That is not entirely accurate. You are conflating the two channels in traditional stereo with the sound of a recording coming from two directions at once. It doesn't. Each sound comes from a single spot on the "soundstage" in a recording as well as in a concert hall or any other venue. This holds true whether we are talking about minimally miked recordings (in which the sound field is naturally captured by two (or maybe three) microphones just as it would be were your ears there, or a multi-channel/ multi-track recording where each instrument is placed in the sound field in some relation to the other instruments laterally, from right to left, electronically. In both cases, stereo depends upon your two ears to provide the acoustical cues as to where, in space, the sounds originate. In mono, for instance, sound only comes from one place (irrespective of where it occurs on the soundstage of the venue where it was recorded) and that's the single speaker system. Stereo works because humans need a complex waveform constituting an immersive sound field with phase and timing cues before the ear can detect direction with any given sound. In other words, in stereo, each sound still comes from only one place in the sound field, but the entire sound field is necessary for the ear/brain to vector that single sound into a single spot.

 

Back to Frank, for  a moment. Maybe I've missed something, after all, most of his posts are pedantic and as boring as anything could possibly be, but I don't recall Frank ever talk about soundstage or 3D imaging. 

 

6 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

Frank talks about his DIY appoach to making this happen, so what’s he doing? Essentially the cheaper the components, the less well made its building blocks. Cheap nickel plated connectors with poor contacts, relays in the signal path, rubber feet that do little to amelearate vibration,  cheap pressed steel cases that vibrate with the music, power supplies that add lots of HF noise  and a myriad of other issues that impact the signal and result in music from the speakers that the brain is unable to make real sense of given that the relative amplitudes, phase and frequencies reaching each ear are not accurately portrayed and have lost their critical relationship to one another. What you are left with is the sound coming from 2 loud speakers with perhaps a little L&R information but nothing like the sonic soundscape that the brain is truly cable of building when provided accurate, ‘related’ information.

 Here's the thing. None of the stuff you mention really matters. Tin (not nickel) plated connectors that you talk about really aren't used any more. I haven't seen one for years, even on so-called "mid-fi" equipment. Even so, it is possible to get a good connection that is gas-tight enough to keep the surfaces from corroding, but it's up to the system's owner to make sure those connections actually are tight! Rubber feet aren't there to ameliorate vibration, they are to provide some grip between the chassis and the surface upon which it's sitting, without marring said surface (in case it's furniture). I've never heard a steel case or any other kind, vibrating to the music unless it's left unscrewed. Power supplies don't add HF noise, though they might pass it, if the supply is minimally designed - but here's the rub. Assuming that one's mains is dirty, in the first place is probably unwarranted. If indeed, one lives in a very old part of town where the wiring hasn't been updated since bare wire and ceramic standoffs behind the lathe and plaster, and the mains is marginal due to heavy loads, then, absolutely, you NEED some measure of mains filtering. But it's not a panacea. I've seen expensive mains filtering units cost big money and do nothing but provide a very expensive mains strip to multiply one's outlets. If you are in doubt about the quality of your mains supply, have it checked out, or borrow an oscilloscope and check it out yourself; before and after the added filtration.

While all you say can certainly be true, proper setup with quality components can make that task very easy for even the layman to do. One thing is sure. Frank's endless rants do not encourage any enthusiasm for his "method" because (A) the way he describes it is mostly (though not entirely) nonsense. (B) His flights of imagination have little credibility, and (C) he makes assertions that are not only fanciful, but in some cases, downright impossible. But mostly he is just tiresome and I dare say that most of us here are over him and his vague method that can make even the poorest recordings sound like a perfect live performance - right in one's own listening room.   


George

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Frank is genuinely onto something that many thousands of others know about, havedone, and has been stated explicitly and concisely long ago.

 

And NO - you are completely wrong that sound emanates from a single point in nature.  That is so common sense and obvious that I did not continue to read your OP

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2 hours ago, gmgraves said:

Rubber feet aren't there to ameliorate vibration, they are to provide some grip between the chassis and the surface upon which it's sitting, without marring said surface (in case it's furniture). I've never heard a steel case or any other kind, vibrating to the music unless it's left unscrewed. Power supplies don't add HF noise, though they might pass it, if the supply is minimally designed

 

Good anti vibration methods do matter. All you need to do is take a decent media player such as an Oppo out of a wooden cabinet and place it on a carpeted floor. If your system is good enough you WILL hear a difference. In that case take a piece of  anti vibration material a little larger than  the player and sit the player on it back in  it's cabinet.(e.g. https://www.jaycar.com.au/heavy-duty-sound-barrier-damping-material-improved/p/AX3680) There is an even thicker version available elsewhere.

Products such as " Herbies Footers" will also result in an improvement.

 Power supply rectifier diodes can and do generate HF switching noise , although good design and use of Schottky diodes , or very fast-, slow recovery diodes can also help to markedly reduce it.

Quality interconnects with double shielding of a high percentage covering can also result in  improvements, over similar less well designed interconnects but some old E.Es refuse to accept that.:P


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 28-06-2020

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I think it's good that this topic has its own thread - although if @fas42/Frank himself doesn't join in, and if it doesn't result in a reduction in now much his one-note comment shows up in other threads, then this thread will not have been of much use.

 

I have to agree with @Ralf11 here: Frank's point about many systems, including high-end ones, not being properly set up, is a good one, although as Ralf notes, this also is a point that most folks here are well aware of.

 

So too are folks well aware of the existence of various tweaks and improvements for one's components and system - in fact, you could say that such tweaks are a major part of this forums' core culture. 

 

Where Frank might differ from many people here, is about what kinds of tweaks and improvements are worth pursuing (or at least worth prioritizing). Frank's tweaks seem to be about conductivity and vibration control, while the mainstream tweaks here seem to be about DACs, digital interconnects, power supply noise, and electrical isolation/purity.

 

And in this regard I agree with @gmgraves - there's no evidence that removing RCA jacks and directly soldering wires between components has any correlation with improved stereo soundstage, or with creating a more convincing illusion of single-point sources rather than dual speaker boxes. Yes, if you have poor contact at connection points, it will cause audible problems - but those problems won't sound like poor stereo imaging. They'll sound like distortion, drop-outs, perhaps hum (if the ground shield is making poor contact), and so on.

 

Ironically, in this regard Frank's claims sound to me exactly like those of many of the "spend your way to better sound" folks he opposes: Is it really any different to say that you'll get a more immersive stereo soundstage if you direct-solder your analogue interconnects, than to say you'll get it if you buy a different USB cable?

 

Again, I agree that Frank makes some good points: I have cleared up problems in my system by replacing old analogue interconnects (though again, the problems were intermittent sonic issues like distortion or hum, not "I wonder if my soundstage imaging could be slightly better?"). And vibration dampening can be very important - and with cheap (or expensive but poorly designed) equipment in particular there's a good deal of low-hanging fruit in the way of upgrading a power supply, or upgrading caps. Ditto with older/used gear - taking a pencil eraser to RCA jacks, applying DeOxit to controls, etc. can clear up a lot of problems.

 

And of course the big ones - speaker placement, speaker stands, and room treatments - usually can get you much closer to that immersive ideal than spending $$$ on new digital source components.

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First of all, my deep thanks to Blackmorec for kicking off this thread. Everyone will have a different take on how they perceive a situation, and it's refreshing to see my thinking expressed via Blackmorec's perspective.

 

Somewhat amusingly, my primary communication tool, the HP laptop which has a decent internal sound system, has just gone sour on me. To be replaced, for the moment, with a less old Dell premium laptop - built like a battleship - but its sound system is in terrible shape, of no use for listening to YouTube clips, etc. Which means I may be slow in responding as I do some analysis on whether the HP can be brought back to life - and more importantly, whether it's worth it. Right now, fighting Window's notorious inability to handle doing big file copying and such operations - have to spend time coaxing it, and working around its crazy error messages, etc.

 

Generally, fully in accord with Blackmorec, apart from being more optimistic as regards 'poorer' recording - let the conversation continue! ... ^_^


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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4 hours ago, gmgraves said:

 Here's the thing. None of the stuff you mention really matters. Tin (not nickel) plated connectors that you talk about really aren't used any more. I haven't seen one for years, even on so-called "mid-fi" equipment. Even so, it is possible to get a good connection that is gas-tight enough to keep the surfaces from corroding, but it's up to the system's owner to make sure those connections actually are tight! Rubber feet aren't there to ameliorate vibration, they are to provide some grip between the chassis and the surface upon which it's sitting, without marring said surface (in case it's furniture). I've never heard a steel case or any other kind, vibrating to the music unless it's left unscrewed. Power supplies don't add HF noise, though they might pass it, if the supply is minimally designed - but here's the rub. Assuming that one's mains is dirty, in the first place is probably unwarranted. If indeed, one lives in a very old part of town where the wiring hasn't been updated since bare wire and ceramic standoffs behind the lathe and plaster, and the mains is marginal due to heavy loads, then, absolutely, you NEED some measure of mains filtering. But it's not a panacea. I've seen expensive mains filtering units cost big money and do nothing but provide a very expensive mains strip to multiply one's outlets. If you are in doubt about the quality of your mains supply, have it checked out, or borrow an oscilloscope and check it out yourself; before and after the added filtration.

 

Here's the thing. That stuff does matter ... if the extent you take it seriously is to pull out an oscilloscope and look at the waveforms then you're miles from getting a proper handle on what is essential for getting optimum sound.

 

4 hours ago, gmgraves said:

But mostly he is just tiresome and I dare say that most of us here are over him and his vague method that can make even the poorest recordings sound like a perfect live performance - right in one's own listening room.   

 

I may be tiresome, but at least I don't constantly build straw men as you do, George.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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35 minutes ago, tmtomh said:

And in this regard I agree with @gmgraves - there's no evidence that removing RCA jacks and directly soldering wires between components has any correlation with improved stereo soundstage, or with creating a more convincing illusion of single-point sources rather than dual speaker boxes. Yes, if you have poor contact at connection points, it will cause audible problems - but those problems won't sound like poor stereo imaging. They'll sound like distortion, drop-outs, perhaps hum (if the ground shield is making poor contact), and so on.

 

There's plenty of literature if one cares to investigate such things, that factors like contact noise exist - if one wants to put one's head in the sand and pretend it can't matter in audio, because "people don't talk about it!" then ...

 

The degradation caused is the typical hifi sound: irksome treble, a blary quality, the building of a "I don't want to keep listening to this!" sense while listening - those are the 'distortion' issues that can completely vanish when this area is fully sorted.

 

35 minutes ago, tmtomh said:

Ironically, in this regard Frank's claims sound to me exactly like those of many of the "spend your way to better sound" folks he opposes: Is it really any different to say that you'll get a more immersive stereo soundstage if you direct-solder your analogue interconnects, than to say you'll get it if you buy a different USB cable?

 

Both approaches are 'tweaks' to resolve system weaknesses; the underlying problem is that all links are automatically vulnerable areas, with respect to SQ - you do what is necessary to make those parts of the system more robust.

 

35 minutes ago, tmtomh said:

And of course the big ones - speaker placement, speaker stands, and room treatments - usually can get you much closer to that immersive ideal than spending $$$ on new digital source components.

 

Those tweaks work by allowing your brain to focus better on what counts for forming a, yes, 3D illusion - George, when I say a convincing illusion, I sorta mean the 3D soundstage thing, okay? - , the direct sound from the speaker drivers. If the latter is audibly tainted the job is that much harder - I work towards an audibly 100% 'clean' output from those drivers; because if you do that all the rest automatically falls into place.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Why I get results, can be seen in a comment I very recently made in the Lush^2 thread - I noted that Peter required a certain quality in a part of that cable, because "it mattered". I would burrow down deep in experimenting with samples of those materials, to try and understand what might be happening - if I get a handle on what is affecting the electrical behaviour, right there, in that "tiny" thing, then I am that much closer to always being in control of SQ.

 

Most would just bypass, ignore this, as an irritating, pointless anomaly - but, I don't ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, sandyk said:

 

Good anti vibration methods do matter. All you need to do is take a decent media player such as an Oppo out of a wooden cabinet and place it on a carpeted floor. If your system is good enough you WILL hear a difference. In that case take a piece of  anti vibration material a little larger than  the player and sit the player on it back in  it's cabinet.(e.g. https://www.jaycar.com.au/heavy-duty-sound-barrier-damping-material-improved/p/AX3680) There is an even thicker version available elsewhere.

Products such as " Herbies Footers" will also result in an improvement.

 Power supply rectifier diodes can and do generate HF switching noise , although good design and use of Schottky diodes , or very fast-, slow recovery diodes can also help to markedly reduce it.

Quality interconnects with double shielding of a high percentage covering can also result in  improvements, over similar less well designed interconnects but some old E.Es refuse to accept that.:P

I agree. I didn't say that anti-vibration methods didn't yield results, I said that the rubber feet that come affixed to the bottom of most components; cheap or expensive, weren't fitted to provide vibration control, they are fitted to keep the component from sliding off the shelf and marring the furniture. I myself have Sorbothane pucks under my amp, DAC, Media player, and turntable plinth. 

Poorly designed power supplies can indeed create a bit of noise, and switching supplies even more. But audio components seem to do a pretty good job of bypassing that noise as witnessed by their published S/N. (and the fact you shouldn't be able to hear anything with no signal playing and the gain all the way up.) If you hear buzzes and hiss etc., then you probably have either a faulty or a substandard power supply. Of course, your mains could be dirty too and your power supply hasn't been a steep enough of a low pass filter to keep the mains garbage out.


George

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13 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

The room still has an impact on the sound in that everything within that 3D soundstage takes on the room’s sonic character, For example if the room has a large bass node, you’ll still hear that, every time the room’s resonance frequency is activated.

 

 

I don't have room resonance node issues - partially because I don't try and plumb the deepest bass frequencies; and because I stabilise the speaker cabinets as much as necessary, give them much greater effective mass. The bass I get is fully satisfying, and I haven't yet heard another rig that makes me think I'm missing out in this area ...

 

13 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

 

 And there are still a large number of parameters that can be improved. All you’ve optimised to get a 3D soundstage are certain parameters like phase accuracy, frequency accuracy,  cross talk between channels,  a degree of RFI suppression, reflection control,  some vibration control etc.  There is a long list of sonic attributes that can still be improved to make the sound even more enjoyable. The list includes:

Rhythm and timing

Speed, impetus, drive, propulsion, fluency

Dynamics and micro-dynamics

Tonal colours and sonic textural richness

Atmosphere and air

Frequency extension....deep intense richly timbral bass, sparkling, shimmering energetic treble

Natural sweetness

Natural  brightness

Focus within the soundstage

Layering, depth and height information

Continuity of the soundstage

Degree of listener involvement, engagement 

Ability to invite in the listener and keep him/her deeply engaged and enthralled 

 

And all of the above are fully realised when a system is sufficiently optimised - the 3D aspect is just another "dimension", ^_^, to the overall presentation.

 

13 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

Finally. I believe a fairly large number of audiophiles have already reached and gone beyond this milestone and are now working on the many improvements listed above. Frank creates the impression that once you’ve reach ‘sonic nirvana’ you brain does the rest and there’s nothing more to do.  I would put it a little differently. Once your system is good enough to allow your brain to perform its magic and create that 3D soundstage you can move on to address other performance issues that still limit your system’s performance....issues that you’ll clearly hear once addressed. 

 

 

 

 

Any system's performance  can always be improved - I've mentioned the issues that I always have to deal with many times, such as, it takes hours of conditioning to reach the peak levels; and, competence at greater SPLs - there's never an "end" ... :).


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

 

Here's the thing. That stuff does matter ... if the extent you take it seriously is to pull out an oscilloscope and look at the waveforms then you're miles from getting a proper handle on what is essential for getting optimum sound.

Don't you think that I or any other audiophile posting here could dectect these erstwhile "improvements" for themselves Frank? Either individually or together, the stuff you talk about, if it does anything at all, is truly subtle, not monumentous and earthshaking as you assert. Although, I could possibly see where the cheaper and more compromised the gear, the more such super attention to every detail might be needed and I do know that simplifying an audio chain will definitely improve the sound. I once replaced an expensive preamp (for an experiment) with a single homemade silicon transistor buffer stage and a single Alps pot, and I couldn't believe the increase in clarity! Unfortunately at the time, I needed all the other things that the preamp (Audio Research SP-10) did (tape dubbing/monitoring, component switching, etc.), so back it went. My plan was to add some switching and replace my SP-10 with it, but alas, life got in the way. I once reviewed a "passive" preamp that used tapped turns on a transformer to add and remove gain (I don't remember the brand) and It had gave me a similar effect. 

Over the years, I have tried some of the things that you preach, and while certainly dressing cables is just good practice, unless one's system is a mess of interference, there won't be that much of an improvement. Perhaps one could hear it, perhaps not.  I just completely tore my system down yesterday and re-built it, simplifying and dressing cabling, cleaning all interconnect points with Deoxit  and treating them with Stabilant 22, etc. I'd like to think the system sounds better for that gargantuan task, but there's always the chance that good 'ol expectational bias is raising it's ugly head again with an intent to confuse and confound the unwary and the hopeful.

But again, I never get the results that you get because these tweaks that your bore us with endlessly simply do not and cannot provide the level of sonic improvement that you preach. Some improvement, yes, but mostly a lot of your preaching is simply good "audio housekeeping" and as been pointed out here by others, most audiophiles already do it. Well, except for soldering one's interconnects, which is draconian at worst and highly specious at best. Look at it this way. If soldering interconnects between components yielded a significant (or even noticeable) difference, Integrated amps would sound better than separate amps and preamps, and all-in-ones would sound better than individual components (NO interconnects needed at all!). But do they? 

 

1 hour ago, fas42 said:

 

 

I may be tiresome, but at least I don't constantly build straw men as you do, George.

Frank, I don't have to build straw men, you are a straw man! It's called sarcasm, Frank. It's not so much what you say, (actually you say very little) it's the fact that you repeat yourself endlessly (3100+ posts, in all forums here) yet we still don't know specifically what you do, and your stated results are simply on a scale that cannot be believed because NOBODY (except you) gets that magnitude of result!


George

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42 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

Don't you think that I or any other audiophile posting here could dectect these erstwhile "improvements" for themselves Frank? Either individually or together, the stuff you talk about, if it does anything at all, is truly subtle, not monumentous and earthshaking as you assert. Although, I could possibly see where the cheaper and more compromised the gear, the more such super attention to every detail might be needed and I do know that simplifying an audio chain will definitely improve the sound. I once replaced an expensive preamp (for an experiment) with a single homemade silicon transistor buffer stage and a single Alps pot, and I couldn't believe the increase in clarity! Unfortunately at the time, I needed all the other things that the preamp (Audio Research SP-10) did (tape dubbing/monitoring, component switching, etc.), so back it went. My plan was to add some switching and replace my SP-10 with it, but alas, life got in the way. I once reviewed a "passive" preamp that used tapped turns on a transformer to add and remove gain (I don't remember the brand) and It had gave me a similar effect.

 

Yes, the cheaper the gear, the more the building compromises need to be dealt with. But that the underlying circuitry is capable of satisfying results, is the key point here.

 

That experiment certainly showed you how it works. I just take a particular combo down the track as far as worthwhile, in a similar manner - hence, use cheap, throwaway gear - the butchering doesn't matter, I'm looking for answers.

 

Quote

 

 

Over the years, I have tried some of the things that you preach, and while certainly dressing cables is just good practice, unless one's system is a mess of interference, there won't be that much of an improvement. Perhaps one could hear it, perhaps not.  I just completely tore my system down yesterday and re-built it, simplifying and dressing cabling, cleaning all interconnect points with Deoxit  and treating them with Stabilant 22, etc. I'd like to think the system sounds better for that gargantuan task, but there's always the chance that good 'ol expectational bias is raising it's ugly head again with an intent to confuse and confound the unwary and the hopeful.

But again, I never get the results that you get because these tweaks that your bore us with endlessly simply do not and cannot provide the level of sonic improvement that you preach. Some improvement, yes, but mostly a lot of your preaching is simply good "audio housekeeping" and as been pointed out here by others, most audiophiles already do it. Well, except for soldering one's interconnects, which is draconian at worst and highly specious at best. Look at it this way. If soldering interconnects between components yielded a significant (or even noticeable) difference, Integrated amps would sound better than separate amps and preamps, and all-in-ones would sound better than individual components (NO interconnects needed at all!). But do they? 

 

The problem is, that if there is just one thing that hasn't been dealt with adequately, then the results don't come in. What it is in your particular case I can't say - again, every rig will be different. For me, it has been a huge range of "last problem areas" - every setup has to be handled differently, each has natural strengths and weaknesses; usually, I have to go round and round and round, considering each area - have I done enough here, what makes sense as something to try ... the Philips HT unit was an amazing mess of various ideas being tried, many were perhaps not so necessary; but it pushed the unit to what I felt was as far as it could go, without major reworking.

 

Integrateds make sense for simplicity; but they may lack adequate internal shielding and filtering to prevent cross interference between different areas; there's switching to select different functionality; and the power supply may not be engineered well enough to feed the output stages without injecting noise in the more sensitive areas. Case in point: the current NAD integrated has very good design of the overall circuitry, but very poor switching parts, and the PS is intrinsically very well sorted - which is why I went the path I did; I'm impressed with the raw capability of the unit.

 

Quote

 

Frank, I don't have to build straw men, you are a straw man! It's called sarcasm, Frank. It's not so much what you say, (actually you say very little) it's the fact that you repeat yourself endlessly (3100+ posts, in all forums here) yet we still don't know specifically what you do, and your stated results are simply on a scale that cannot be believed because NOBODY (except you) gets that magnitude of result!

 

The result is merely what Blackmorec has described - my huge advantage is that I have an inner knowing that it can be done; which motivates me always to try the next step, because that may be the one that finally gets me over the hurdle.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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41 minutes ago, fas42 said:

Yes, the cheaper the gear, the more the building compromises need to be dealt with. But that the underlying circuitry is capable of satisfying results, is the key point here.

Except that with decent equipment, those "satisfying results" generally are pretty small, and lots of them added together are still pretty small. 

 

41 minutes ago, fas42 said:

The problem is, that if there is just one thing that hasn't been dealt with adequately, then the results don't come in. What it is in your particular case I can't say - again, every rig will be different. For me, it has been a huge range of "last problem areas" - every setup has to be handled differently, each has natural strengths and weaknesses; usually, I have to go round and round and round, considering each area - have I done enough here, what makes sense as something to try ... the Philips HT unit was an amazing mess of various ideas being tried, many were perhaps not so necessary; but it pushed the unit to what I felt was as far as it could go, without major reworking.

Again, to me, first-class equipment carefully set-up yields first class results. It's electronics. Electronics follows the rules of physics. Don't violate them in your pursuit of good sound, apply good practices as in everything else, from MRI equipment to aircraft avionics to an audio system and you will be rewarded with performance that is S.O.T.A. for that level of expenditure.

41 minutes ago, fas42 said:

Integrateds make sense for simplicity; but they may lack adequate internal shielding and filtering to prevent cross interference between different areas; there's switching to select different functionality; and the power supply may not be engineered well enough to feed the output stages without injecting noise in the more sensitive areas. Case in point: the current NAD integrated has very good design of the overall circuitry, but very poor switching parts, and the PS is intrinsically very well sorted - which is why I went the path I did; I'm impressed with the raw capability of the unit.

 Parasound sells an integrated that is a combination of their excellent P5 preamp and their John Curl designed A-23 power amp. I understand that they just upgraded this integrated, but what I'd like to see is someone do a "shoot-out" between the separates just mentioned, and the "Halo" integrated which is comprised of those two separates. That would likely be the best way to actually compare an integrated and separates in a meaningful way. One way where separates usually outperform an integrated is in the power supply department. Separates have separate power supplies, integrated have once supply for both. OTOH, there are exceptions. My beloved Harman-Kardon HK900 has a separate complete power supply for each channel, including power transformer. It then has separate power supplies (off of windings from each channel's power transformers) for the low-level analog circuitry, and then separate windings and power supply components again for the digital circuitry. So except for the digital circuitry, the entire analog audio chain is dual mono and it sounds superb, quite a bit better than the Krell KAV-300i I was using  for a while as it a has single power supply for both channels of everything. One can hear the difference. 

 


George

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2 hours ago, sandyk said:

 It most certainly can do this !

Typical RCA sockets lose their grip on the plugs after repeated insertions.

 You should feel quite a bit of resistance when inserting the plug BEFORE the earth side makes contact, as well as the earth side of the plug also being a fairly tight fit and not easily turned in the socket.

 I have replaced quite a few RCA sockets that " lose their grip" and cause these problems .
 Sockets like in the photo may look good, but they don't like too many reinsertions !

RCA sockets.jpg

It's really too bad that the hi-fi industry latched onto these things early on. They were cheap and that of course was the main criteria. Early Hi-Fi movers and shakers such as Avery Fisher, Saul Marantz, et all, wanted to go with the BNC connector (or some kind of RF connector) that had been recently developed for WWII, but they were cost prohibitive. AS bad as they were, they were much less troublesome than the European DIN plugs used by Quad and others early on. Of course, any audio connector that makes hot before return and breaks the return before breaking the hot is simply wrong-headed, but we're stuck with it it looks like. All we can do is keep the mating parts clean and tight (bend those RCA "skirts" inward and open the unit up and put a slight squeeze on those center pins) and use Stabillant 22A on them.


George

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12 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

All we can do is keep the mating parts clean and tight (bend those RCA "skirts" inward and open the unit up and put a slight squeeze on those center pins)

George

 Unfortunately,. almost all modern versions of the Gold RCA sockets are no longer able to be pulled apart to retension the centre mating pins . They have to be replaced.

 

 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 28-06-2020

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59 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

My beloved Harman-Kardon HK900 has a separate complete power supply for each channel, including power transformer. It then has separate power supplies (off of windings from each channel's power transformers) for the low-level analog circuitry, and then separate windings and power supply components again for the digital circuitry. So except for the digital circuitry, the entire analog audio chain is dual mono and it sounds superb, quite a bit better than the Krell KAV-300i I was using  for a while as it a has single power supply for both channels of everything. One can hear the difference. 

 

 

Sounds good! :) Some years ago I heard a Krell KAV-300i, and it didn't especially tick any boxes ...

 

With regard to RCA, if one is "condemned" to use them, I would use the silver paste treatment on them. This needs to be done extremely carefully, the absolute minimum of goo to do the job - and once the two sides are mated, don't touch it!! If unplugging is necessary, then assume you have dirty connectors; clean thoroughly and redo the treatment, etc.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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56 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

Of course, any audio connector that makes hot before return and breaks the return before breaking the hot is simply wrong-headed, but we're stuck with it it looks like.

 

Funny, I read exactly the same in @sandyk's post. still he is not talking about that at all, when reading back on it. :/

George, did you know that such RCA plugs exist ? They mechanically move (consist of two parts sliding in/out each other). I must have a couple of them somewhere, but I actually don't use RCA any more. Only BNC.


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