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Everything posted by bluesman

  1. My son has a 2018 STi and a good ear. Fortunately, he also has a good job, because he had a top local shop do a complete build of a serious custom system for it. After looking at all of the options discussed in this thread and listening to many, he concluded that none of them was good enough to justify the work and cost. I have to admit that the sound is stellar, but he spent far more than I think is reasonable. Interestingly, since he discovered remote streaming from my servers, he only listens to "our" FLACs using JRMC's panel - so I built a separate Raspberry Pi server for his use. We've both upgraded the OE speakers in several of our cars over the years to good effect, and he always adds a sub (which is nice but not necessary for me to be happy). I've been driving an FR-S since 2013 and find the stock system to be more than tolerable when streaming my FLACs from my phone via BT. I've never used an aftermarket auto system because my car's not my living room. I listen through the system rather than to it, and music's music even if the band isn't in the car with me. I use my money for stuff that has a higher marginal return of pleasure for me
  2. As I recall, MyBooks are encrypted with no user control. So you can't turn it off and you can't read or otherwise access the data on the HDs with any other device. I wouldn't use such a unit in my music system. But I've been running a pair of 4TB MyCloud drives in NAS for about 5 years without a problem, and they do not mandate encryption. When I need to upgrade to a larger NAS system, I'll almost certainly just go upscale with WD unless there's a great bargain in an industrial strength unit at the time.
  3. If you're controlling your system from a PC or other such device (phone, tablet, SBC etc as opposed to dedicated proprietary hardware), your software is your working window into your music library - it's how you view, organize, select, control and play your music files. So which player you choose may not make much (if any) difference in sound quality, but it's critical to enjoying your music and system. Basic players offer little display of information beyond a list of albums and tracks, and some require a fair amount of work to structure album and track lists the way you want to see them. Some have modest library management and display functions that will show album art and a bit of relevant info. But how they list your files for selection varies greatly, and you'll almost certainly find some software you love and some you hate. Do a web search on music players for your operating system and you'll find an amazing array of them. Look at the screenshots, play with the demos, and really check them out. Even doing all that, you'l probably not stick with the first one you try. Many will show album cover art, but only a few will gather and present comprehensive information like credits, liner notes or equivalent, artist bios, etc. Consider fee-based software too. A relatively small outlay will buy you a level of ease and sophistication well above any open source package I've tried. I love JRiver Media Center and Roon, and I use both daily (JRiver for streaming over the internet so I can listen to my music anywhere on my mobile devices and Roon for listening at home).
  4. JRMC is accessible over the internet and Roon is not. I run a Raspberry Pi instance of JRMC just for playing to my mobiles & portables, so I can have my music anywhere I am around the world. Foobar can be set up to do this, but JRMC makes it so easy that I won't give it up unless and until Roon adds WAN capability or something better comes along.
  5. I posted my guesses as I did them, so it's in black and white - and I posted them 100% backwards! I'm still trying to figure out if I truly got them all wrong or if I mistakenly wrote down what I thought were the originals as the copies. I have a list, but all it has on it is the letters for 1 to 5. I even did them blinded by putting the As and Bs in different order randomly in multiple folders and using the arrow keys with my eyes closed to select among them. I'm going to have to go back and do it all again. 😖
  6. It depends on the actual merchant. Even though Amazon “fulfills” the sale, they are just the sales agent for many of their sources, and each source determines its own return policy. Defective products and products shipped in error are accepted back without charge by every seller from whom I’ve bought. But returns for no reason other than a change of mind are often subject to transit and restocking fees. And a few sellers who fulfill their own Amazon orders are terrible on returns. I bought a USB card reader so I could transfer pictures from my camera to a computer while traveling. The USB connector was cheap, imprecisely stamped & folded metal that eventually got stuck in the computer jack & had to be extracted with my surgical tools after about 2 weeks of use. I used the Amazon orders page link to ask the seller for a return auth and refund but never got a response. Amazon also failed to respond to me when I made their CS aware and asked for help. Fortunately, it was under $10 and has a microUSB end that I can use. This limits the devices in which I can use it, but it’s not a total loss. Amazon is as imperfect a vendor as any. They used to be like Costco used to be, but times change. I suspect that so many “planned returns” helped the transformation.
  7. Glad you're enjoying them - if you didn't, you'd have to be deaf, daft, or both!! The lack of a ground on a component in the system was probably the cause of your hum. There's no physical reason I couldn't use them in the condo - I brought my Focal towers with us from the house. But I can no longer crank the volume like I could in the house, so I can't really make the most of great speakers like I could in my own listening room in my own house. My open field listening is now confined to a few mid-day hours a few times a week. The rest of the time, it's headphones or a practical 75-78 db limit on peak SPL. I used to practice with recordings at close to stage levels. I also can't have band practice at any time of the day or night. I can't play my grand piano except between 9 and 5 - I used to practice many mornings (between 5:30 & 6) when my wife was out walking with her friends before we both went to work. I sold all but 2 of my serious guitar amps for the same reason. Retirement's great - I'm happy to be free of the hassles of home ownership, and I'm OK with the compromises. But in retirement, you also think much longer and harder about expenditures that didn't raise an eyebrow when you had earned income.
  8. Assuming your hum was from a ground loop, there are a few easy things to do to find and fix this. First, you might want to buy a simple outlet tester like this one ($6) to be sure both lines are properly grounded. It's a useful little tool that I've used a few times to find odd electrical problems like reversed wiring to the disposal outlet when we moved to our apartment a few years ago. Then check all your interconnects for integrity from connector to connector, and make sure your HT receiver and all associated line-powered devices are properly grounded and not on 2 prong line plugs. If you can't find the problem easily, you might consider an isolation transformer for the signal input on your sub(s). A good one's $100 or less - you can check them out at Cables to Go, BlueJeans, Jensen etc. Enjoy those babies - they're stellar! Apart from giving up my garage and shop, I have no regrets at all about downsizing to an apartment on retirement except the limitations on playing my own instruments and listening to recorded music at home.
  9. So what you're actually doing is supplying line power to a pair of active speakers (and wonderful ones at that!), each of which has two 700W RMS class D amps inside for its 4 low end drivers, plus the external amplifier that's supplying signal to the midrange & HF drivers. With no disrespect intended, trying to save a few hundred $ on powering that rig seems a bit inconsistent to me. When we built our house, I had dedicated 20 amp lines run to multiple outlets behind my sound system. We had 400 amp service to accommodate my audio and workshop needs, so there was no shortage of available power. Assuming you have the load center and supply rating to support it, I'd run each of two dedicated 20A lines to its own double duplex box and be done with it, for now and the future. As I recall, the applicable UL spec for power consumption of audio amplification is the RMS power consumption at the greater of 1/8 of rated RMS output power or the manufacturer's stated duty cycle of the device. I couldn't find a spec for power consumption on the Paradigm website. But you can estimate it from the value of the protective device in the power line to the speakers (which may be a fuse or a breaker - I don't know much about your speakers other than that they sound great). Multiply the value of that device by 120 to get an approximation of the absolute maximum power the unit will draw in normal use, recognizing that you'll never be pulling even close to that unless something goes wrong.
  10. Other variables are being ignored in this thread - there’s no good reason to play it that close to the limit. The electrician is coming anyway. Have him or her run a dedicated 20 amp circuit to a double duplex with high quality outlets, and be free of concern. When you have to figure to the last watt, you’re too close to the limit for comfort.......and for no good reason. US line voltage can vary through the day by +/-5% (114-126V). Perfectly functioning breakers are designed to pass 80% of their rated value on a continuing basis. Amplifier power consumption is rated for perfect normal function at normal operating temperature with all connections (internal & external) making full contact. You’ll have the original 15A circuit for the low energy amp, plus 4 outlets from which to safely share up to 1920 watts (+/- 96) of steady power flow on a nominal 120V circuit. You won’t come near that with the two amplifiers you describe unless something is wrong.
  11. That one's too fancy for me. Mine will be dead simple.
  12. When I was a resident and we encountered a problem for which we could come up with no solution, my chairman would tell us to go back to the beginning and start again. That seems like a good approach to your current "problem", which I hope you realize is not a situation all of us would consider to be a problem....... Unless you started out with even more stuff, you may have strayed a bit from KonMari at the start of your CA odyssey. You've ended up with 6 sources/players of various kinds, plus some clean power and a nest of USB cabling and fixes. I may be missing speakers or headphones on your list, but I don't see any. I strongly suspect that you also have electromechanical transducers of some kind. So you're not "in compliance" with the basic KonMari rules, even if you followed them at the start. So go back to the beginning. Recommit to tidying up, e.g. surely you can live with only 1 or 2 player/sources. Finish disgarding before you acquire anything else. Tidy by category (sources, processors, amplification, speakers, interconnects, etc) following the "right order". To be honest, I don't see an obviously right order for computer audio. You'll just have to figure out what makes the most sense to you. Technical advances and "revelations" can change this too, as you point out. Ask yourself if it sparks joy - and listen to your honest answer. If having more stuff is truly part of what sparks joy in you, you can choose to resolve or ignore the dichotomy as you wish. Adopting and believing in the basic premise of KM should make it easy to do this: "Belongings are acknowledged for their service – and thanked before being let go, should they no longer spark joy". BTW, this isn't a unique or proprietary process - there are many such approaches like Lean Six Sigma's 5S. It starts with sorting through the contents of the workplace, asking if each item is needed. If it is needed, is it needed in this quantity? Then remove items that don't do enough for you to justify keeping them around. Decisions, decisions, decisions........oy!! May this be the your biggest problem
  13. I'm trying to help by taking a scientific approach, but I'm clearly failing miserably - so I think my participation in this thread is coming to an end. . You're misquoting and misinterpreting almost all of what I did say, and your tone strongly suggests to me that it's because you disagree with me. If you can't disagree more politely than that, I'm done responding after I "start one by one" with your objections. In post #5, I said only that "[t]he spatial effect sounds almost exactly like the "enhanced surround" stereo mode on my Pioneer Elite receiver and our Samsung TVs. I suspect these are all variations on the theme first described in Nakabayashi's 1978 patent". I never said or suggested that I "know the technology used in Soundpimp" - I only suggested that the effect it produces has a similar sound quality to some old approaches taken by many others in the last 20+ years. Similarly, I never said that it IS the same as the Pioneer approach, only that it sounds a lot like it. And it does. You seem to acknowledge the papers by Bock and Keele that were kindly provided by fas42 as being important references. If you read that work carefully, you'll find this very important disclaimer: "Due to time constraints, however, we were not able to do testing with a large number of subjects. Data was gathered using only two subjects, namely the authors of this paper". Several of their diagrams (e.g. 19, 20, and 21) and descriptions are termed "ideas" by them and carry the caveat that they "...have not yet been tested by the authors of this paper". So this work is based solely on the subjective opinions and responses of only 2 people, who just happen to be trying to validate their own ideas. I see no evidence of music as program material - they used traffic sounds and similar non-musical signals. All of their diagrams show speakers that are purely directional, with absolutely no sound distribution at all except directly toward the ears. Without reflected sound, there's no crosstalk beyond that from direct radiation within a cone of a few degrees (i.e. only wide enough to reach both ears). If you're listening to traffic sounds, I guess it may be important - but it's not how we listen to music and it's not a real world condition. Section 3.3 says it all: "[P]sychoacoustical testing is essentially a mental judgement or comparison of acoustical events as influenced by the following: 1. The immediate past physical history of the listener. 2. The listener's prior training and acclimation. 3. Certain biases unique to the listener. The magnitude of this statement was brought home to us a number of times during the testing--especially at those times when results revealed that one of us perceived a sound to be at 90° while the other's perception of the same event would be at 35° . Of course, a quick glance back at data recorded by others for similar testing brings reassurance as they, too, encountered similar discrepancies. Nevertheless, it tends to be disconcerting." So their testing was not done with music, and the two of them (100% of their strongly biased study population) disagreed "a number of times" as to what they heard. So did others doing similar testing. You're certainly free to accept this kind of presentation as sound scientific evidence supporting something. But I expect at least a few besides me to disagree. Thanks for listening.
  14. You posted that "...there are AES papers with detailed experiment and statistics for consideration". So, as I said in the last post, please provide those references so we can all learn from you and them. If you don't know how to do that, here's an example of the proper form for citation of scientific publications - it's for a paper that's relevant to this discussion, so I assume you'e familiar with it: Bauck J, Cooper D H. Generalized Transaural Stereo and Applications. JAES 44 (9): 683-705, 1996. Here's a key quote from the abstract: "Generalized crosstalk cancelers, which in principle can accommodate any number of loudspeakers and any number of listeners, are introduced and several novel examples are worked out." I don't see anything in my posts suggesting a belief that I "... know all about psychoacoustic". Neither I nor anyone else knows all about anything, and I never made such a claim. I do suspect that I know a bit more about it than most, but I (like everyone else) have much more to learn than remaining lifetime in which to learn it. You would help me (and all other interested AS members) by providing the references, so we can read the papers to which you refer. I'm sure we'd all be grateful to you for doing so.
  15. Once again - huh??? Please provide the AES references so we can all learn from you and them. Please explain how you can test the hypothesis that a physical barrier of unspecified material and construction, extending an unspecified distance from your facial plane, will have a predictable (let alone measurable) effect on anything. Telling us to push a random pillow against our faces and listen to anything we want on any system we have seems less than completely objective. It also ignores the effect of occluding your nose and increasing nasopharyngeal pressure on your hearing. Hold your nose closed and swallow a few times while listening - you may be surprised at the difference a pressure gradient across your tympanic membranes can make. Yes, otolaryngologists do study human audition in its broadest sense, including not only the mechanics of sound reception but also the processing and interpretation of audible sensory stimulation. This includes the critical area of auditory processing, which is defined by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Task Force on Central Auditory Processing Consensus Development as "a deficiency in one or more of the following phenomena: sound localization and lateralization, auditory discrimination, auditory pattern recognition, recognition of temporal aspects of audition, auditory performance decrease with competing acoustic signals, and auditory performance decrease with degraded signals". Do you think any of these might have an effect on our perception of music? Auditory processing is one of the basic elements of psychoacoustics - read this ASA paper called "Psychoacoustics: A Brief Historical Overview" for more, if you're interested. And the American Board of Otolaryngology exam includes these areas as part of their certification process. Those of us who are otologic subspecialists (which I am not) and those of us who are audiophiles and/or musicians (both of which I am) dive much deeper into it.
  16. Huh? Interaural attenuation is a physiologic phenomenon. It's not subject to opinion and it's not subject to control - it is what it is, which is a function of the structure of the human head and the auditory system within. You can't opt for anything other than what nature gave you. The physiologic head shadow is about 6 db at speech frequencies and rises to a maximum of about 20 db at 5k. This is a function of the wavelength relative to the size of your head. At presentation levels above 40db HL (SPL above threshold, which varies with the listener's pure tone thresholds and SRTs), the opposite ear is stimulated by bone conduction - so the actual curve of interaural attenuation vs frequency varies with the presentation sound level and the pure tone thresholds of the listener. Before you start throwing AES papers at me, I'm a board certified otolaryngologist with a thorough knowledge of human audition and the scientific support for what I just described. I was also a contributing AES member for about 20 years. Using a physical barrier to separate aural input has a real but small effect. Rockwool is highly sound absorbent - a 2'x4'x4" slab will alter the frequency balance of your program material. The "mechanical barrier" used by SoundPimp in their "test" has unspecified characteristics, so it may be highly reflective, as absorbent as your rockwool, or a good transmitter of sound energy. Even the pillow they suggest could be a slab of foam rubber, a bag of down or polyester, or even the proprietary form of packing peanuts in "My Pillow". Each of these will have a totally different sound absorption spectrum and will produce a different auditory effect. Their stated observation is that "...a mechanical barrier between the speakers, [put] tightly into your face in such a way that the diagonal between the left ear and the right speaker are disconnected, and vice versa [will hinder] most of the crosstalk. As the barrier, it suggested to use a sofa pillow or whatever is at hand, it is not that critical. Such a mechanical barrier acts perfectly as crosstalk cancellation tool." Without controlling that barrier for size and sonic properties, they can't even test their hypothesis let alone prove its accuracy.
  17. What's missing from the SoundPimp experiment and explanation is the fact that there's a finite, frequency dependent "head shadow" of about 6 to 20 db (6 at speech frequencies and 20 at 5K+). And there's a bone conduction factor at and above 40db HL that stimulates the contralateral ear even if one ear is totally deaf. It's simply not possible to eliminate all acoustic crossover because it's not possible to eliminate contralateral aural stimulation.
  18. If you mean multichannel when you say “surround sound”, you’ll need a multichannel DAC that has a USB input. Some laptops have a combined optical / analog 1/8” audio jack. If yours does, you can also drive a DAC with an optical input. But you can’t get multichannel output from an analog jack.
  19. Wow - the Emotiva is $1199 in the US! Now I understand why you considered the two to be in the same price category. Enjoy your new preamp!
  20. It doesn't seem like news to me. The spatial effect sounds almost exactly like the "enhanced surround" stereo mode on my Pioneer Elite receiver and our Samsung TVs. I suspect these are all variations on the theme first described in Nakabayashi's 1978 patent for a system that is "...supplied to loudspeakers, so as to reproduce a natural and clear sound field expanded at most into an angle of 180° around a listener". There were 10+ similar patents for systems with similar intent filed over the next decade. This description from Choi's 1989 submission for a similar system could be used verbatim in the SoundPimp description: " a signal for enhancing spatial effect and directivity of sound is produced".
  21. I’m a little fuzzy on what the goal is here. Ropieee is a Roon-compatible endpoint for a Pi. DietPi is an operating system that has a nice installation method with which you can easily install RoonBridge on a Pi. And you can easily install RoonBridge from the command line on a stock Pi running Raspian. You need to buy and install a Roon core on another device to play to any of the above. A Raspberry Pi is not powerful enough to run a Roon core instance. But it’s a great endpoint with Bridge, and Bridge is free. JRiver does well on a Pi - I have one running now. It has limited functionality compared to a PC or Mac instance, but it’s fine for audio and will play from the host Pi and on all DLNA endpoints on your network. Moode and Rune are fine freeware players that also work well on Pi, but I don’t think they’ll play to any device except the one on which they’re installed. Any of these will play files from a USB drive or a NAS. So you have several choices. If you want to use your Pi as a NAS for your music files, you should get a second one for your player. But apart from Roon and JRMC, all the other software is free.
  22. It is. It takes hundreds of clicks and responses to average out the considerable noise of competing signals and let the auditory brain stem response rise from the signal floor into a distinct, usable, analyzable wave. For those unfamiliar with this process, it’s known as time averaging computation and is behind many systems on which we rely.
  23. In otology, a click is an audiometric signal used in brain stem evoked response testing (BAER) and auditory research. It is defined as half a square wave and is generated by applying DC voltage with as close to zero rise time as possible across the terminals of a transducer for exactly 0.1 millisecond. For BAER (which is how newborns are screened for deafness and is useful in diagnosing hearing disorders), the voltage drop is set to deliver the click at 70 dBpe SPL, which means that its amplitude (measured on a ‘scope) equals that of a 1 kHz sine wave at 70 dB from the same transducer. The sound of a “real” click is termed a spectral splash, because it contains an infinite band of odd order harmonics but no fundamental. Other brief sounds may sound like a true click, e.g. from a sudden, brief DC voltage change across an audio signal path. But when talking about scientific auditory testing, a click is a specific event (defined above) that does not have a determinable frequency.
  24. That was my point - it’s half of a square wave cycle. The ear can’t tell clicks apart by frequency.
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