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AC to AC supply

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Baflar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baflar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2018 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:

Doesn't the Chord upscaler use bespoke programmed FPGAs for its processing?
Apologies if I'm wrong but I don't think that is Graham's thing.Smile


You're probably right.  Chord certainly use their own programming in their DACs, and since the Blu is intended to feed into their DACs, I'd infer that they would probably continue the same philosophy.

I think I see what you mean about Graham's electronics 'thing' - probably more hardware-based solutions than software-based?  It's my compliment to Graham's past product development that I'd anticipate that anything he puts out would be good!

My thought that there might well be a gap in the market for an affordable CD Upscaler still remains.  This may reflect my years in Market Research, and later, teaching Marketing at Leeds Business School!  Of course, plugging the market gap with a new product only works if the product is as good as it claims to be... Geek !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2018 at 3:51pm
Originally posted by Baflar Baflar wrote:

After all, it seems to work for TV.  People (like me!) who are using a CD transport and a separate DAC might benefit from a CD Upscaler between the two - or am I fundamentally misguided?!  In passing, I note that the new, and ludicrously expensive Chord Blu CD player has gone for a built-in upscaler.  Wonder if Graham thinks there might be an opportunity for new product development here...?..!


Since you asked...

I have a few CDs (shhhh Wink) and they sound splendid to me. They sound extremely coloured on any CD drive I've tried (but that was not an exhaustive test), but if the data is taken from them using Exact Audio Copy (ripped in otherwords) the resulting file is good enough for my ears. Quite enjoyable played back using Foobar2000 as it comes on my 'everyday' PC.

As regards all these highly technical alternative solutions, they will never interest me, but don't let me put you off spending.

Vinyl is so good yet occupies 12 to 13 bits of total dynamic range if compared. And often sounds better (to some) using a MM cartridge. Maths prove MMs peak at roughly 11.2kHz and then start to roll-off - but the highs are assisted by cantilever tuning (can't be anything else? Could be green Kryptonite I suppose) - and vinyl only ever does 25kHz (of audio that is) if you're really lucky.

CD does a total dynamic range of 16 bits, and does frequencies up to 22kHz absolutely perfectly (I used to try and argue differently to sell more phono stages, but as they say "the truth will out").

Now, if the 'new music' contains dog whistles and you want to have fun with the local dog population, then whatever turns you on...

Plus I know somebody has £2.5m of stock to turnover so has to try (I suppose by any means) and convince as many as it takes, to shell-out...

(I suppose I would too if I believed in all that tripe enough to have convinced myself to risk all. Been there, got the tee shirt, it shrank in the wash!)

Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2018 at 2:11pm
In what way do your CDs sound coloured Graham?

I used to think CD sound was horrible when it was introduced & for many years after.
I sold my record player & most of my records & bought into the 'perfect' CD sound..
My mate bought most of my old stuff & I well remember a night listening to my old
records on my old turntable & wondering what the hell I'd done...
I used to get very very frustrated with CD sound & more than once threw a jewel
case at the wall in anger ...
It sounded hard, bright & flat with no emotional communication whatsoever.
Of course part of the blame should have been pointed at the amp & speakers.
I thought at the time that it was the way hifi sound was supposed to be & that my
ears needed educating - one lives & learns.
CD sound has matured now - but perhaps it's too late for the physical format.



Edited by RichW - 22 Apr 2018 at 2:15pm
Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2018 at 4:49pm
Originally posted by RichW RichW wrote:


I used to get very very frustrated with CD sound & more than once threw a jewel
case at the wall in anger ...


Better than the CD player I suppose (better for the wall) Wink

But I'm with you on this, and I developed a theory which is put into play in both the Bitzie and the Majestic.

It goes back to a development - a rough and ready prototype - which was tried out on DVV (ex of TNT Audio).

It shifted the phase at high audible frequencies without altering amplitude. It had some limited success. DVV liked it.

The theory goes, if you alter the phase then the brain expects a difference in amplitude. Like I say, it is only a theory. But early CD analogue anti-aliasing filters gave a large phase difference without a corresponding attenuation of the signal. The theory explains that the brain will be subconsciously puzzled by this, which might result in frustration.

The test development shifted the phase even further, and with a particular popular CD player's analogue filter, rotated the phase back to "flat".

But not all CD players use the same filter idea, so I knew it wasn't saleable. But it helped the theory along.

Oversampling digital filters have moved the Nyquist frequency upwards, and so today's analogue filters don't have to be so steep, or they don't have to act so early.

With the help of SPICE modelling it was easy to see where the phase started shifting with respect to frequency, and also see how much attenuation each filter idea would provide at the oversampled Nyquist frequency.

I decided as my (and most adults) hearing started to cut at 13kHz, I would arrange for the phase shift to reach -45 degrees - which in "natural analogue" is -3dB amplitude, to be a little up from 13kHz.

As I could not hear much above that, I reasoned that the phase shift would appear "normal". With most data sheet filters the phase shift is much lower than 13kHz and far more than 45 degrees.

In fact, there is a phase test on most audio analysers and it has to be for more than testing absolute phase, one would think.

In broadcast audio I recall it was often stated that 12 degrees throughout the audible range, was acceptable for most applications.

In which way do my CDs sound coloured? I would say as in not natural sounding. A kind of added sound thing, similar to how I've explained heterodyning, or beat frequencies putting sounds or colorations in where I simply know they should not be.

I am pretty sure it is the method used to produce the S/PDIF output that has something to do with it. This is why I now take a data copy using EAC (of the CDs I have bought) and play them using Foobar2000 (seeing I use Windows).

The bit depth and sampling frequency is the same, but I can now listen and enjoy.

Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2018 at 6:05pm
I've been convinced for a long time that CDs ripped and played back by a Squeezebox player into the Majestic sound better than the CDs ever did straight from a player.
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2018 at 6:28pm
I did always wonder how the integrity of the analogue o/p of an early CD player (or any other)
could survive the brick wall analogue filtering without compromise to phase - it didn't.

Elevator, Accession, Majestic, Reflex M, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baflar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2018 at 11:33am
I confess that I only have a sketchy idea of what this high-level electronics stuff really means, but hey - I'm a psychologist by background, and I can happily treat the entire electronics as a 'black box', as long as what comes out of the speakers sounds right!  Psychoacoustics is a field full of strange phenomena.  I'm definitely in the 'trust my ears' camp.

Which introduces the interesting question of what kind of sound is right for the individual listener.  I go for 'reality'.  It slightly annoys me when I read a review that rejects some piece of equipment (a phono cartridge, say) for being too 'analytical': you have to be analytical to get close to reality.  I listen to classical music quite a lot, and I'd recommend going to a range of classical concerts in an acoustically 'clean' auditorium (Birmingham's Symphony Hall is excellent).  The experience of hearing music created right in front of you, by scraping, blowing and banging things - with no intervening electronics at all - is very special.  (And so I know when the hi-fi system is getting close...)  Of course, it is much more a question of preference when electronic instruments are involved, since the starting point for the music is already in the electronic domain.

Finally...  I have become increasingly aware that once the hi-fi equipment has got up to a certain level, it's the ability, skill and 'good ears' of the sound recordists that matters most.  Deutsche Grammophon went for a system they called '4D', which basically meant equipping every instrument with a microphone and every microphone with an ADC, so that the entire process could be handled digitally... and it just sounds dead, and 'unreal'.  Compare the excellent sound recordists at Decca in the UK, and Mercury in the USA, way back in the late '50s/ early '60s, using very few microphones, but very strategically placed...
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