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4 minutes ago, fas42 said:

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.

They cry at AS ;)

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Okay, what's going on at the moment is that I'm still focusing on getting mains filtering to work as well as needed to ensure that these speakers are not affected in any audible way by any noise, or waveform distortion coming down the line. This means revising what I looked at, in quite some detail, many years ago - on second sight, new ideas and possibilities are now occurring to me, and I need to research, using Spice simulation to model behaviours, and seeing what electronic parts are out there, at sensible prices, for making things happen. I have zero interest in 'boutique' parts; what I'm after is the cheapest, standard quality items from the usual suppliers, that will get the job done - before I touch the soldering iron, I want to be confident that what I'm assembling is a pretty good first shot at getting at least a magnitude better performance than what I'm using now - if it isn't, I'm just wasting my time and money. 

 

So, it won't happen overnight - but it will, happen 🤪.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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For a variety of reasons, hadn't turned these speakers for quite a number of days ... and the impact of such certainly showed today, 🙂. Played this, first thing ...

 

R-7028894-1432034909-6922.jpeg.jpg

 

Whoa!! ...this is heavy duty stuff, as in, "Can Bad Recordings sound Good?" - and definitely failed. A few days of particularly cold weather, and a significant number of days not working undid the previous conditioning, and it was, pretty bad 😁. So ... saying it sounds good from a cold start probably needs to be tempered by the proviso that it was run reasonably solidly a day or so earlier - something to bear in mind ...

 

Warming up on this album as I type, and the quality is steadily building, track by track - should be fine by the end of it, I'm guessing 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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So, what had been lost, because the speakers' conditioning had faded? Most obviously, the treble was rather dire - harsh, no sweetness, edgy, just make up a list of 20 adjectives to say it was unpleasant 😉 - and the size of the presentation was quite small, sense of depth pretty minimal.

 

Now well through a second album - treble is nicely sparkling; depth and soundstage working well ... okay, call it an album and a half to get up a full working head of steam; after a major break, shutdown.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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OK, as mentioned elsewhere, repeated the exercise the next day - considerably better with the above album from a cold start; by the middle of the album it had largely settled down - good soundstage; holding together pretty well.

 

As a sign of how insidious this is, I had another static problem ... by end of the second album, the sound was going off - tired, flat, definitely something wrong. Did the full circuit, checking all tweaks, I thought - all fine ... what now?! Finally, at the other end of the house, found another piece of scrap plastic had landed where it shouldn't have, affecting the system power circuit - simple slight adjustment; SQ restored.

 

Aiming in the next day or so, to assemble a kit of electronic parts to do a blockbuster filter on the mains - will this be enough to give enough isolation? ... We shall see ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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On 7/18/2020 at 1:20 PM, fas42 said:

OK, as mentioned elsewhere, repeated the exercise the next day - considerably better with the above album from a cold start; by the middle of the album it had largely settled down - good soundstage; holding together pretty well.

 

As a sign of how insidious this is, I had another static problem ... by end of the second album, the sound was going off - tired, flat, definitely something wrong. Did the full circuit, checking all tweaks, I thought - all fine ... what now?! Finally, at the other end of the house, found another piece of scrap plastic had landed where it shouldn't have, affecting the system power circuit - simple slight adjustment; SQ restored.

 

Aiming in the next day or so, to assemble a kit of electronic parts to do a blockbuster filter on the mains - will this be enough to give enough isolation? ... We shall see ...

I find the performance pretty consistent using a battery powered source. Next step is to explore linear power supplies. 

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Re the warm up issues you mention.  One thing I have found is that my system sounds terrible if the reference clock is powered down, then powered up for listening.  A case of things not sounding quite right whilst the audio clocks stabilise.  Similarly, I have a digital tuner that feeds my dac/amp via S/PDIF.  This sounds shockingly bad from cold, even if the rest of the system has been up and running for a while.  After about half an hour or so of running, the tuner sounds good.

 

So as a suggestion.  You could leave the Edifiers powered up, but running on almost zero volume.  This would leave the clocks warm and stabilised, but much of the rest of the system in "cold state".  You could then try listening from this "clocks stable, everything else cold position" in comparison to the normal "everything cold start" you mentioned earlier.  This might help identify where the issue is.

 

Just an idea, and easy enough to try I think.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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9 hours ago, Confused said:

Re the warm up issues you mention.  One thing I have found is that my system sounds terrible if the reference clock is powered down, then powered up for listening.  A case of things not sounding quite right whilst the audio clocks stabilise.  Similarly, I have a digital tuner that feeds my dac/amp via S/PDIF.  This sounds shockingly bad from cold, even if the rest of the system has been up and running for a while.  After about half an hour or so of running, the tuner sounds good.

 

So as a suggestion.  You could leave the Edifiers powered up, but running on almost zero volume.  This would leave the clocks warm and stabilised, but much of the rest of the system in "cold state".  You could then try listening from this "clocks stable, everything else cold position" in comparison to the normal "everything cold start" you mentioned earlier.  This might help identify where the issue is.

 

Just an idea, and easy enough to try I think.

 

Thanks for your input! 🙂 Don't worry, this will be fully evaluated down the track; I have always done these sort of experiments with my setups ... the situation is that how I've set up my mains filtering is so hairy, that I wouldn't be comfortable leaving it running overnight - it's a classic prototype arrangement of the bits, so innately not mechanically stable ... when I'm assured that this area is good enough in how it functions electrically, then I'll box it up well enough so I can try 24/7 type things.

 

Yes, the better the potential of a rig, the more stabilisation issues play a part - my first CDP took 3 days to reach a peak, after every time it was turned off for a significant time ... you learn the tricks! 😁

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Right, got me a recording which is right on the edge of working, and not working, https://www.discogs.com/The-Australian-String-Quartet-Beethoven-Haydn-Mozart/release/10209670,

 

R-10209670-1493448606-2388.jpeg.jpg

 

A 1989 DDD recording under the PolyGram label, done locally in Brisbane ... the violin tone turns edgy so fast, when there's the slightest issue with playback ... I shall be using this a lot, to monitor whether tweaks are moving in the right direction or not.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Changed direction a bit with how I'm going to work on a "better" mains filter - recovered the key bits of the Felicia power conditioner I used some years ago, and will use this as a test bed. Why? Because it steps down the voltage, and allows capacitors which are not mains rated to be used, giving me more scope for determining where the range of noise frequencies are, that are causing SQ degradation.

 

Trouble is, parts which will do a sledgehammer filtering get mighty expensive if mains voltages are involved - if you just want to experiment. So, to reduce the difficulty of finding an optimum arrangement, this may be a better way - once a filter strategy is derived, then just translate it into the precise parts that get it right, working directly on the mains. And the cost of the transformers goes away.

 

It might turn out that the step down, step up method ends up being the most cost effective, simply because of the sum total cost of what's needed ... we shall see ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Mentioned this elsewhere, how does this go on dead cold startup, after some days powered down?

 

71VaFZLISTL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Hmmm, good! None of the problems I used to have, on the original rig ...

 

Okay, how about,

 

81BnUTC9Y8L._SL1500_.jpg

 

Not so good, getting shouty - Bev stated it best, "It's not clear ..." - was it part of the warm up cycle? Looking, looking, looking - yep! A cable was not sitting right, from a previous search for something - I thought I had reorganised it correctly, but it had managed to slip from how I had dressed it. Much better ... and was the warm up finally stable? Depth was back, and the mammoth qualities of some of the tracks were there.

 

Final round,

 

R-2360611-1279471171.jpeg.jpg

 

All good! Tonality in place, all tracks coming across well.

 

So, do I have a 2nd album dip in SQ, as the setup conditions - or is it because I've allowed some tweaks to slip, in the interim? Still not certain what the pattern is, after a longer break - To Be Determined, 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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22 hours ago, fas42 said:

Mentioned this elsewhere, how does this go on dead cold startup, after some days powered down?

 

71VaFZLISTL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Hmmm, good! None of the problems I used to have, on the original rig ...

 

Okay, how about,

 

81BnUTC9Y8L._SL1500_.jpg

 

Not so good, getting shouty - Bev stated it best, "It's not clear ..." - was it part of the warm up cycle? Looking, looking, looking - yep! A cable was not sitting right, from a previous search for something - I thought I had reorganised it correctly, but it had managed to slip from how I had dressed it. Much better ... and was the warm up finally stable? Depth was back, and the mammoth qualities of some of the tracks were there.

 

Final round,

 

R-2360611-1279471171.jpeg.jpg

 

All good! Tonality in place, all tracks coming across well.

 

So, do I have a 2nd album dip in SQ, as the setup conditions - or is it because I've allowed some tweaks to slip, in the interim? Still not certain what the pattern is, after a longer break - To Be Determined, 🙂.

 

To explore this further, the next day, reverse the order,from a cold start, but now only a day between firing up, try

 

81BnUTC9Y8L._SL1500_.jpg

 

Starts off nicely, nothing offensive, but 'small' sound - perfectly acceptable listening ... by about the 3rd track the big choruses are sounding a bit forced - trying to be 'bigger', but doing it roughly. Couple of tracks more, it all settles down - massive spaces, tremendous depth, voices lovely and clear - the full richness of the mix is working beautifully... no complaints!

 

So, do I have a 2nd album issue? Try the first one from before,

 

71VaFZLISTL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Excellent!! Smooth as silk, as good as I have heard this album. The kick drum is superb, real punch in the chest impact - nothing in the mix puts a foot wrong ...

 

So, still uncertain why the previous day's excursion went through a bad spell - was it because of the break, some tweaking gone awry - or something else? Will try this combination again, after the next longer shutdown ,,,

 

Bev put it best ... "it's bullshit, that such a difference can occur because of some tiny variation in what's done!" ... tell me about it, 🙄.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Another startup after a break - do I detect a repeatable pattern in the from cold behaviour ... try the Dave Edmunds compilation, that I posted earlier ... reasonable first couple of tracks; smallish but presentable - by about 2/3rds into the album the soundstage size was expanding nicely,

 

 

Lovely concert auditorium space opening up, depth, size, air, in spades; completely out of the speakers - tonality not "perfect", but tonnes of bopping energy happening ... 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Moved on to

 

R-10499010-1498840669-2938.jpeg.jpg

 

Tonality building; tonnes of space - the 1942 recording of Ireland's work again worked well - but showed that the mains filtering was going to be crucial; just turning on a couple of lights dragged the string tone down very significantly. So, this indicates that I don't have a 2nd album issue, which I was wondering about above.

 

Bev was again intrigued that changing the fine balance of the mains power was enough to make such a change, and expressed concern about whether there was a proper solution ... I assured her that there would be, 😀.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been committing an audiophile sin by ditching the wires and using bluetooth, until I find a good digital source, this sounds best. HP laptop (on battery) >bluetooth dongle>speakers. 

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3 hours ago, fas42 said:

Interesting ... I was under the impression that Bluetooth was inherently 'slugged', at a technical level - but the lack of wiring perhaps compensates enough to make up for this?

I'm only comparing it to cheapo dacs and google chromecast so hardly hi-end. Give it a go, you may like it. 

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Will get around to doing the Bluetooth thing, shortly 🙂.

 

Some bizarre pricing things going on, at the moment - I got mine for just over $AU400 a few months ago; from Edifier in Australia. Now it's jacked up to $550 in their store, and Amazon has it listed for $1500!! ... I'll have the diamond encrusted one, please 😉.

 

Best local price, right now, is just under $500 ... and, it's all sold out - for everyone! ... Might be a rumour going around, that it's decent value ... 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Bluetooth still has a high overhead use and many phones share bandwidth of Bluetooth with wireless. So, if your Bluetooth uses more of the bandwidth, then your wireless will have less.

 

So far, I have not been impressed with the sound quality I have heard from Bluetooth.

Current:  JRiver 26 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an AMD A10-5700 with 8 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Amplification - Bow Technologies Wazoo Integrated

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - ELAC unifi UB5's - Linn Tukans - others......

Cables: Homebrew with Naim NACA 5 cable and DiMarzio Interconnects

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6 hours ago, botrytis said:

So far, I have not been impressed with the sound quality I have heard from Bluetooth.

If you haven't heard the latest aptX codecs on the newest Qualcomm chips, you're in for a surprise.  I'm not talking about BT from phones.  I'm talking about using dedicated BT transmitters and receivers to connect quality digital audio sources to the digital inputs of DACs and digital amplifiers across the room.  Most of the good new BT transceivers have optical inputs and outputs.  I was amazed at how good it sounds driving the optical inputs on my DACs (SMSL SU8, Emotiva Stealth into Prima Luna power amp and Focal 726 towers) and digital amplifier (Wadia 151 into Rogers LS3/5As or Focals), as well as my Edifier powered speakers.

 

It's not the best reproduction I ever heard, but it's so much better than any prior effort that it'll open your eyes to the possibilities.  I did this as research for an article, but it turned out to be pretty fine.  It doesn't replace my good systems, but it's much more than just listenable.  It's a hair down on crispness, transparency, and coherence among the instruments compared to hard connections. Bas may be a little less alive.  But with decent electronics and speakers, it's far better than most of the second and third systems I've had or heard in friends' homes.  It's also acceptably quiet in the background.

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I have heard them. People at work use them. Still not impressed.

 

Maybe it is all the issued I have had with Bluetooth....

Current:  JRiver 26 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an AMD A10-5700 with 8 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Amplification - Bow Technologies Wazoo Integrated

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - ELAC unifi UB5's - Linn Tukans - others......

Cables: Homebrew with Naim NACA 5 cable and DiMarzio Interconnects

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1 hour ago, botrytis said:

I have heard them. People at work use them. Still not impressed.

People where you work have audio systems at their desks that include low latency, high def BT transceivers with good components? Wow - I wanna work there.
 

I’m talking about serious home systems with good sources, DACs, amps & speakers using optical in and out AptX LL / HD BT to connect the source to the DAC instead of wires.  I’m not talking about BT phones and active speakers, very few of which have the latest Qualcomm BT yet.

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