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An Edifying Journey ...


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On 8/27/2020 at 8:19 PM, bluesman said:

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.

 

These gents use stuff like that. but then they listen to MP3's :D I know.

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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Finally ... !!! Been wanting to set up a "test bench" for better exploring of mains filtering, conditioning options - this is extremely simple; back to back, ordinary power supply transformers - toroids. 240V in, 240V out - a DIY isolation tranny ... too many life things getting in the way up to now, including fixing up a kitchen drain blockage; this is finally fixed enough to not be fussed on the "last bits", of filling in holes, etc 🙂

 

So, filter unit now assembled, added into the mains cords and filtering chain, right at the beginning - means now 3 stages of filtering going on! Kicked it off to make sure it worked; that no funnies turn up because I missed something; first impressions, seems to have improved the sound - running an Ace Records sampler CD of 60's, etc, pop; solid, immersive presentation, very good detail.

 

Let it bed down for a day or so, then start varying things - and see what that tells me ... 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Right, first very simple test to confirm that the extra filtering was doing what it appeared to be - by removing, and then re-inserting that 'box' ...  played from this local release,

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

this first song, recorded 1928,

 

 

Having the isolation transformer as part of the power supply filtering made a substantial difference; removing it as the first step of the chain turned the string section of the orchestra into a "silly symphonies", cartoon sound - much better integrity when again inserted.

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Okay, some interesting findings ... even though the sound improved at an early point of the warmup, by having the transformer box (iso xfr) in the power chain, the SQ started to develop an edge over longer playing time. Another round of trying this confirmed what was going on - I was getting "more detail", but this built up an unpleasantness, getting worse the longer playback continued ... time to try variations 🙂.

 

The first config was the iso xfr at the dedicated power point, then very long, individual runs to the dedicated filtering for first the DVD then, and then the active speakers. Okay, try iso xfr just before the second level filters, via long run to the wall socket - and split into the two filter chains at that point ... worse!! Major downgrade of quality - this implied that the DVD player and active speakers power supplies were interfering with each other, and this was more a problem than noise from elsewhere, at this stage of experimenting. The Edifiers had already signaled that they needed more filtering than the source unit; so next move was to dedicate the iso xfr to the speaker run; the DVD player now went back to its former dedicated long cable to the socket - this meant that two long runs of cable, and iso xfr now distanced the filtered power feeds.

 

And this immediately confirmed that it was the best setup so far - sensitivity to noise on the dedicated mains spur was still present; but with workarounds in place, SQ was better than ever - very marginal Errol Garner piano tracks were a delight.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still haven't got further with improving the mains filtering - too much else to do around the place at the moment. But I'm very pleased with the current set of noise reduction workarounds; a very fine standard of replay, from dead cold start - incredibly sensitive now to any of the myriad rough n' ready tweaking of things in place - and very, very easy to disturb one of them; meaning a very definite drop in SQ if not 100% in order.

 

Have to bite the bullet on getting that filtering sorted, as soon as possible. Then, tidy up the crazy mess of workarounds without losing quality - this may be just as difficult as anything else I could work on, 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Long off time for the speakers ... but first up,

 

R-9256966-1477661360-1318.jpeg.jpg

 

From that,

 

 

Nailed the voice, and the big, big brash brass of the backing band - can too many b's be enough, 😁.

 

Point is that an oldie but goodie set of recordings get the pulse racing - from a dead stop start. Which is what I believe should be a given with a system - it's there to entertain, and if it can't do that without a whole heap of compromises, and waiting, then it hasn't really done its job ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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On 4/15/2020 at 10:25 AM, fas42 said:

First CD to make it obvious where work was needed was that which was tried first thing, from cold start, the next morning,

 

 

Very live, driving sound; modern recording -  this was a "bit much" ... no problems with the energy and punch, but subjectively too much of the "in the face" quality; a good test, from now on, to see how I progress in 'refining' the setup.

 

 

To see how we're faring, tried this again ... much better.

 

Great test CD ... the drums are recorded with all the transient intensity intact, plus plenty of echo! Start the first track with the volume higher than you thought was good for the moment - and the first punch of the drums coming in just about knocks you over!! ... If you're not in the mood for this level of sound intensity, it will be "too much" - but this album rewards you with tremendous musical 'bite' if that's what you feeling like experiencing.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Finally! ... First step in improving the mains filtering, for the Edifiers, in a long time ...  🙂. Very simple addition, the insertion of some ferrite sleeves onto the leads going into the DIY isolation transformer - actually did this some days ago, but didn't concern myself with static matters - meaning that if the ferrites are loose around the cable then that merely creates another problem: after some time an edge builds in the sound. This was determined some years ago - I use some filler semiconducting material as a simple means of tweaking, while experimenting - which I hadn't done yet; and it was clear that I need to do something, this time around as well.

 

Tried TailGators again - turned out I had the volume set for pub pounding volume, and it worked! Very clean, drums nicely presented - no obvious issues.

 

Now trying a disc I have never played before, a gift from N.,

 

R-2652505-1295061859.jpeg.jpg

 

Still lookin' good ... crossing fingers that this remains a good move, 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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As mentioned elsewhere, I had to contend with a static problem, with adding those sleeves - took a bit of fiddling to that part of the electrics to make it physically stable enough to not cause audible issues. But these were only added to the mains feed to the active speakers - what about the DVD player? First play this morning,

 

R-9256966-1477661360-1318.jpeg.jpg

 

showed that indeed such an addition, or variation that achieved the same thing, was needed - the 'atmospherics' of the tracks were disturbed by having the mains lead to the player's filter "touching the wrong things".

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Added the ferrites to the DVD side of things - and this definitely helped. Good signs so far, that the setup is more resistant to the nasties coming through the mains cables - a track like the following could be played at full bore sound levels, and the rippling piano notes came through with full transient bite, and no edginess whatsoever ...

 

 

This was without taking special care that the mains was benign, by doing all the tweaking that normally is needed for best sound to happen ... will see if this holds up, 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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13 hours ago, Rexp said:

If I record something at 24/44.1 on my laptop using Audacity and play it back via the headphone out, it sounds like the original. So the speakers are not causing bad sound. 

 

Do you mean, recording via a microphone what the Edifiers are producing in the room?

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, fas42 said:

 

Do you mean, recording via a microphone what the Edifiers are producing in the room?

If I record something (a voice for example) at 24/44.1 on my laptop using Audacity and play (the file) back via the headphone out (of the laptop, connected to the analogue in of the speakers) , it sounds like the original (voice). So the speakers are not causing bad sound

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2 hours ago, Rexp said:

If I record something (a voice for example) at 24/44.1 on my laptop using Audacity and play (the file) back via the headphone out (of the laptop, connected to the analogue in of the speakers) , it sounds like the original (voice). So the speakers are not causing bad sound

 

Right, so the record to laptop/playback from laptop via headphone out to analogue in/speakers chain is getting the SQ good enough to do the job ... 👍

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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On my Edifiers, I'm quite pleased with what the latest, extra, very high frequency filtering is doing ... the SQ was now only very slightly impacted by tweaking/not tweaking the mains noise elsewhere. So, I bit the bullet, and took the mains feed directly from the ordinary consumer quality 4 outlet power board which the TV, etc uses - a good test, because of the very basic SMPS supplies in all those devices; plus, the fridge is on the same circuit ... hmmm, quality is still good, if not a touch better in some ways. Still not perfect, the effect of disconnecting the media gear, etc, and altering the power draw elsewhere in the house, was still discernible - but not dramatic ... quite acceptable, for the moment. Then a touch of reorganising how things were plugged in, adding a surge buster all helped.

 

I was using a CD of 1930's swing orchestra tracks to fine tune this ... the slightest noise issue kills the listenability of this sort of recording quality; when 'aligned', all the depth and space cues come through with ease.

 

This is good news, because I can now get rid of the silly extension cord snakes going everywhere; which were needed up to now to attenuate the noise to some degree.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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