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An Edifying Journey ...


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Now, this is interesting - this album,

 

R-3051333-1330157378.jpeg.jpg

 

was the last played yesterday, and this morning, it was fine ... not "perfect", but the irritations were at a far lower level ... what's going on? Most likely, I played at the worst possible time yesterday - everyone turning on stoves, etc, for evening tea, telly's going galore - the mains would have been at their worst, most likely. Will try again tonight at the same time, roughly, and see if the behaviour repeats - if that's the pattern, yet another indicator that mains conditioning needs to be stepped up a notch or two.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Lest people think that this setup is doing most things right, 🤪, here's what it's lacking so far:

 

Still has warming up characteristics; haven't nailed them precisely, but it starts off pleasant, then goes through an edgy phase, and then finally "smooths out".

 

Ability to show good depth, the last level of detail is where it's variable - sometimes it's in a good place, sometimes well short - this is where I'm looking for tweaking to really give me something extra.

 

Haven't really run it at full bore yet - on one session where it was pretty high, there were a couple of clear distortion artifacts in the sound - will this be resolved externally, or will I need to go inside? Or will they just go away, as the newness sorts itself? To be checked more, further on ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Over and over again, I keep coming back to the fact that the "wrong" devices plugged in somewhere in the house, are doing too much damage to the SQ ... I can play with how this might be offset by changing how those devices are plugged in, using some extra capacitance across that socket, say - but that's not the goal; I want an acceptable SQ, irrespective of what electrical activity is happening in the vicinity - and I want to do it for an amount of money that's reasonable; balanced when the cost of the playback setup itself is considered.

 

So, I'm going to have to "bite the bullet" - do some more extensive research, and analysis, on this can be achieved ... this will be a follow on of what I was heavily into, some years ago.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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A relevant review just put up,

 

 

On the other end of the price spectrum of the same concept that I'm playing with - what is gained with using "better stuff"?

 

Hmmm ... "They can be brutal to tracks that are badly mastered or recorded" - same ol', same ol' ...

 

Do they have "all the problems solved", straight out of the box?

 

Quote

 

  • Upgraded power cords and AC filtering including separate power cords for each speaker and each BXT.
  • IsoAcoustics GAIA-1 stands.

 

 

No ... still susceptible to mains noise interference; and require attention to how they are stabilised in position - so, the money paid has not given the consumer a "set and forget" solution.

 

Back in my world, still steadily learning the characteristics of the Edifiers, and evolving a strategy for creating the best mains noise isolation setup. So far, still marvel at how well they perform, for the money - the quality of sound from a dead cold start is spot on; and they have shown that when they are in a good place that they can produce an intensely powerful presentation.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Gave the units some throttle today, with https://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Rock-Daddy-Cool/dp/B00006ILO8

- night club sound levels, 😉. Fairly reasonable; probably will have to get inside to do some tweaking, to improve the ability to pump out constant high SPLs - no obvious distortion, just lacked the clarity that should be possible.

 

A taste of the group,

 

 

 

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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More confirming that the mains power in will need to be conditioned - quite easy to hear to hear that an edge develops in the sound when the volume is really up, and that this is attenuated when a number of household items are disconnected from their socket ... working on extending the filter I developed many years ago to be more capable; will see what this gives me ...

 

Decided to start doing some experiments to mass load the cabinets, on top. Terribly unsightly, 😁, but easily demonstrated the gains from this: bass is more controlled, clarity on 'messier' tracks picks up considerably, sense of depth improves. Too much bass power in a cabinet which hasn't the inherent mass to 'tame it' can't be solved unless its effective mass is increased, or the bass is moved to another cabinet - this is where well thought out subwoofers win.

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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And did quite nicely ... made it abundantly clear, yet again, that squeezing the last bit of waveform quality from the mains is well worthwhile. How was this determined? By the fact that the intrinsic roughness of parts of the tracks, particularly cymbals, lost an unpleasant edge that made continued listening more of a chore, when the current draw from key devices in the house was switched off.

 

The trick is to add the right filtering, conditioning in the right place(s) to not need to do the switch off exercise - and that, gentlemen, is the harder bit, 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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I tried the optical input via a couple of sources, couldn't get it to sound unfatiguing, ended up with PC>HDMI DAC>rca in. 

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That's a bummer!

 

Could be the sensitivity to the mains quality, that I've spent a fair bit of time on, that's part of the problem ... the DVD player I'm using as the transport is double insulated; as are the speakers - no noise coming from any earth connection, therefore.

 

I would try some experiments with altering what the Edifiers are plugged into, and what other electrical devices in your home are operating at the same time - just to see if there is some pattern to things.

 

Note, I'm using zero treble or bass adjustment, and the DSP shaping is set to Monitor - if that's relevant.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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7 hours ago, fas42 said:

That's a bummer!

 

Could be the sensitivity to the mains quality, that I've spent a fair bit of time on, that's part of the problem ... the DVD player I'm using as the transport is double insulated; as are the speakers - no noise coming from any earth connection, therefore.

 

I would try some experiments with altering what the Edifiers are plugged into, and what other electrical devices in your home are operating at the same time - just to see if there is some pattern to things.

 

Note, I'm using zero treble or bass adjustment, and the DSP shaping is set to Monitor - if that's relevant.

The problem I have now is my streaming services sound poor compared to CD, the complete opposite of my previous experience. 

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2 hours ago, fas42 said:

Do you mean that if you feed the streaming services signal to those speakers via the optical input, that it sounds worse than the CD player also feeding that optical input?

No sorry to confuse two issues. Firstly I prefer the rca in, secondly, my new source PC>HDMI dac, reveals CD to be better than streaming. 

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2 hours ago, fas42 said:

Still need to get a handle on how the CD is getting to the speakers, is this via an AVR? The HDMI DAC, where is the actual converter here - in an AVR? Is the AVR the component that links to the speaker RCA in?

Im using a stand alone dac that has hdmi input, rca output

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I've got 3 hdmi dacs (inc the one in my tv) all cheapo chinese jobs, so no brands. The laptop is HP, i am running Fidelizer (purist mode, highly recommended), CD player software is Foobar (no dsp). I use Tidal HiFi and Spotify. This is just a cheap system to keep me going while I'm marooned abroad (long story) but I am enjoying CD, which I usually don't. 

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I was ispired to try CD again by Schiit who are about to release a new CD transport with USB out. Figured a tweaked laptop could do the same thing. I'm listening to the analog out now, why this sounds better than any high end CD Player I've heard I have no idea. 

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Because high end CD players are often used in rigs which are over-complicated, 😉. Simplicity in the setup can make for huge gains - all the links, and bits and pieces in many ambitious systems just allow for audible artifacts to worm their way in - and digital replay is always going to sound more unpleasant than analogue when this sort of stuff happens.

 

If one got a high end player, and created a super simple rig using it - then the chances are good that this would perform well, also.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Finally tracked down my copy of https://www.allmusic.com/album/release/ridin-in-rhythm-mr0001443365,

 

71Ct4XZEHRL._SL1222_.jpg

 

I've used this collection of big band recordings from the 30's quite a bit over the years ... instant giveaway of where the rig is at, with the full bore blasts of the full collection of brass, at regular intervals - this can be truly awful, if there are significant issues, 🙂 .

 

Came across pretty well ... still not as clean, transparent, and 'sweet', as is possible - I give it, a pass mark 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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I've improved the optical input sound by running both the HDMI to optical converter and the laptop off batteries, now sounds good. In this set up, Fidelizer actually makes it sound worse. 

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Yep, I can believe that ... when things get to a certain point, "everything matters" - then it often becomes a juggling game, working out what combination of setting things up gives best SQ. Electrical disturbances can get in anywhere, and disrupt the quality - one just has to experiment, to work out the best arrangement of hardware, and software.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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OK, just to signal, again, that things don't always flow downhill - tried this disc, https://www.discogs.com/Various-Sunday-Sounds/release/788860

 

Didn't work ... that is, the ease, sparkle and smoothness that is possible with these types of tracks just wasn't there; the NAD and Sharp combo did a better job with this material ... why the bare pass mark?

 

Could be anything ... I will now focus on this disc, for a while, to try and get a handle on what the cause of the shortfall is ... this is how the learning takes place; when some album doesn't cut it, it's telling you something - I don't ignore the message, the SQ of the music becomes the guide to tracking down where work needs to be done ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Solved! ... largely ...

 

Folks on ASR would laugh hysterically if they saw what I believe was causing the problem - a little scrap piece of plastic that had landed in the wrong place ... this is a static issue, which seems bizarre until one has a system in a good enough place, to then hear the obvious impact. Very, very repeatable ...

 

I had this headache 35 years ago, and didn't realise at the time that it mattered - file under, the "Must keep cables off carpet!" rule.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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