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11-04-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 1644
Reply to: 1644
How to record FM broadcasts.

My tastes in audio slowly but irreversibly migrate out of the “common audiophile sense”. 

Years ago I met some people form NY and Chicago, the former classical radio-station employees, the people with encyclopedic knowledge and understanding of music and the people with a mind-boggling collection of recorded FM broadcasts form the entier world that never ever were released or become available. Over the years I have purchased from them CD copiers of some of their tapes and they become my favorite CDs that I play when I want to listen the real music.

Couple years ago I paid attention that my local Clark Johnson, despite owing a 3-floor home filed with LPs and 78s, do not even have a playback to listen all his staff but prefer to spend most of his listening time with FM radio. Clark, among my audio people is kind of “strange person” as I hardly find any common grounds to talk with him about audio and some of his audio thoughts I do not take seriously. However, I do not think that I even had in my listening room more interesting, evolved and sophisticated music listener then Clark and it is always superbly educational to listen music with him. 

So, my FM broadcast that I was buying, the Clark's examples and few other thing moved me to pay very close attention to the phenomenal FM classical radio stations that we are lucky to have in Boston and to become thier avis follower. One after another, 5  "good" tuners went through my room and gave me some wonderful experiences.... but the recent sucker really was the straw that really broke the camel’s back.

I did not buy CDs or LPs since then. Today, I clearly see myself in future as the person who has no analog or digital installation but only my Macondo Acoustic System, pair of the Super Melquiadeses and a proper  tuner. The thousands dollars that spent in past buying music I would rather, with a great pleasure donate to my local classical FM radio station, and it would be all that I ever need. Do not make any mistake thinking that it would be consider "downgrading" of my audio demands in any way. I still have very serious and very demanding and very evolve audio objectives, the objectives that so far only FM broadcast could fulfill. Stop by in my listening room during an interesting FM broadcast and I will demonstrate you sound that you hardly hear from any audio-minded installation….

Anyhow,

Here are the things that I'm contemplating now. The broadcast quality is superb and many performances that I'm hearing I would like to record. For instance, the last night’s broadcast of the San Francisco Symphony under Herbert Blomstedt playing the Bruckner’s No. 4 was something that I would like to listen again. However, what kind of recording media would be able to preserve that magic of the FM broadcast?

I my past I had the Nakamichi CR-7A and recorded on a good metal tape it did a fantastic job; I still have many of this tapes. So, probably the CR-7A or Dragon would be the obvious choose, but are any alternatives available? Some people propose that the audio recording on Sony SuperBetta professional machine might deliver way more superiors result then Nak’s cassettes. I might also go for a good reel-to-reel machine. The new blank reel-to-reel tapes are being manufactured and the new heads are available, so why not? Perhaps some kind of DAT of hard drive-based digital format might be used? I really do not know and frankly speaking I would like do not try all of them.

Can some of you share your experience with recording media and suggest what from your prospective might be able to handle the “size” and the “weigh” of the FM broadcasts?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Bud
upper left crust united snakes
Posts 87
Joined on 07-07-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 1662
Reply to: 1644
Fabulous ways to spend money and frustrate your self

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My first choice would be a Sony SACD recorder with storage in SACD format. Quite expensive, but I would not use an expensive Sony playback device. Their early models (still available new on ebay) were designed to show how much better than regular CD the SACD format was. Means they really spent some time perfecting the circuits for SACD and then did a terrible job for CD's. My favorite is the DVP-NS755v for about $200.

All of the tape formats have drawbacks. Even a Nak has trouble with full orchestral performances. Not the signal recording but the print through problems. I have NAK tapes that are 15 years old and are almost unlistenable, even though they were recorded on 3M metafine tape. Reel to Reel is still the best format but the bulkiness and hassle of dealing with such a large format and the physical alignment wandering issues are always a concern. Having said that, I am currently rebuilding an Akai Model 8, using a motor platten from the last of that series that incorporates outer reel motors for tension, also am installing Sony 1/4 and 1/2 track heads, no recording ability, and refurbishing the tube preamp / amps into preamp only devices. All to play Barclay Crocker tapes of some of the finest musical evants ever recorded. But, I will be unable to record at all.

I have limited experiance with DAT but found the two I tried to be full of noise and jitter issues. These were made by Adat and Teac so perhaps there are others, but their PCM format is still early days red book and so of suspect ability.

A full size computer box using PCI buss Creative audio cards, NERO software, SCSI based Yamaha CD burner, etc. might just be the best way. I know people who can build incredible front ends for input control of signal, although, a very good transformer volume control from friend Thorstens highly regarded S&B people might be best.

Then you could open a not for profit subscription service, for equitment maintenance and media / time costs only, and provide copies to some of the goodsound club "inner sanctum" members and then we who have no access to live, FM broadcasts could join in your joy.......... yikes ..duck and run!!!!

Bud
11-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 272
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 1663
Reply to: 1644
Why not direct to disc?
Certainly not the most practical and inexpensive, but probably the system that could keep better the "size and weight" of a performance, just the same way this system did 70 years ago. I don't think a computer based system would keep it, nor a cassette. Perhaps reel to reel is what has the most chances to do it, but I read somewhere that the only manufacturer that kept making magnetic tape stopped its production. A good pro machine would work just fine. In any case vinyl records don't deteriorate with time the same way magnetic tapes do.
11-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 1664
Reply to: 1662
Holly cow! The Pussy might go digital?

 Bud wrote:
My first choice would be a Sony SACD recorder with storage in SACD format. Quite expensive, but I would not use an expensive Sony playback device. Their early models (still available new on ebay) were designed to show how much better than regular CD the SACD format was. Means they really spent some time perfecting the circuits for SACD and then did a terrible job for CD's. My favorite is the DVP-NS755v for about $200.

All of the tape formats have drawbacks. Even a Nak has trouble with full orchestral performances. Not the signal recording but the print through problems. I have NAK tapes that are 15 years old and are almost unlistenable, even though they were recorded on 3M metafine tape. Reel to Reel is still the best format but the bulkiness and hassle of dealing with such a large format and the physical alignment wandering issues are always a concern. Having said that, I am currently rebuilding an Akai Model 8, using a motor platten from the last of that series that incorporates outer reel motors for tension, also am installing Sony 1/4 and 1/2 track heads, no recording ability, and refurbishing the tube preamp / amps into preamp only devices. All to play Barclay Crocker tapes of some of the finest musical evants ever recorded. But, I will be unable to record at all.

I have limited experiance with DAT but found the two I tried to be full of noise and jitter issues. These were made by Adat and Teac so perhaps there are others, but their PCM format is still early days red book and so of suspect ability.

A full size computer box using PCI buss Creative audio cards, NERO software, SCSI based Yamaha CD burner, etc. might just be the best way. I know people who can build incredible front ends for input control of signal, although, a very good transformer volume control from friend Thorstens highly regarded S&B people might be best.

Then you could open a not for profit subscription service, for equitment maintenance and media / time costs only, and provide copies to some of the goodsound club "inner sanctum" members and then we who have no access to live, FM broadcasts could join in your joy.......... yikes ..duck and run!!!!

Bud

Bud,

Actually what you are saing is very much relates with you I feel. My NaK CR7 was wonderful but I would in a way agree that it chocked with large orchestral peaces. I could not say more precisely as it was many years back when my taste and demand were way off but since you mention it I think I could relate to it, as I have the same subjective reminiscences.  Also, I remember that in 1998 or something like this when the first Sony SACD machines were only about to heat the market I was given a demo of SACD played directly form the original hard-drive and recorded via the original “conceptual” DSD AD-DA processors. It was phenomenal and it was the only time when I heard a good performing DSD. Of course since then no one make good DSD converters…. And the SACD as it und up turn out to be a crap. Still, I’m sure that even if I dig the original pro DSD processor then, although it might do good sound, but I do not know if it will be able to be transparent to something that distinct my FM form my LP ….

It is interesting: I spoke today with some people and I do VERY seriously consider now the idea of a high quality digital storage now. If to play it form a hard drive without and CDs and quality a good quality AD/DA then it might be very different then what we usually expect from CD format. In the good side it will have unlimited storage and will not force me to change 12 reels during recording of one opera broadcast. It dose sounds very interesting… Any advise for any AD converted that I might try?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Bud
upper left crust united snakes
Posts 87
Joined on 07-07-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 1665
Reply to: 1664
Holly cow! The Pussy might like it!
Romy,

The only card that seems serious is the Creative Live Drive series. They have the capability of encoding at HDCD sample rates and also have a front panal input / output fascia with many conntrols and buttons to explore and screw up with. I have not ever heard their electronics, other than as a sound card where they are very good, but Turtle Beach stuff may be better.

For a D/A converter I have long used Soundstreams only model. Has SE class A electronics from early Krell and with a change in one capacitor and two resistors per circuit is extremely natural and clear, plus it does not loose small signal information to noise due to phase problems. Definatly capable of reporting orchestral weight and pressure.

I was suggesting Yamaha's SCSI burner as it is the one that I used on the Walton disc and the forthcoming Mahler.

The Nero software reading at 488 times oversample, with jitter correction on, and 1 to 1 speed read and write, reading and writing to HD in MP4 and reading and writing from the hard drive in Red Book (AAC?), does seem to do the needed quality.

I am sure that if you burned a CD and sent it to us in a daisy chain, most of us would copy and send it on to the next person and all would then have a reference point to argue with you from.
Bud
11-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 1666
Reply to: 1665
Re: you juts 8 fly-hours away

Well, I do not think that I would be able to recode it to CD witch appropriate level of quality but it would be interesting to be able to load it to hard drive and to see if FM level sound still might survive on HD. Also I would be able to writhe a few line of code and be able to send email to my computer asking him to record a program that I might like. Still, it all will contingent upon how acceptable quality I will be able to get out of hard drive.

For the same of conceptual excrement, to learn if it is theoretically possible to A/D FM and do not kill music I will need to try some better DA converter playing it back via my Bidat (I do not think any better converters exist out there). I am looking to borrow and to try something like Euphonix’s Pacific Microsonics, or Prism Sound Dream, or Lavry Engineering (former DB Technology), Weiss or in the worst case the newest top of the line Apogees. They kind of on expansive side but they do the job. If they will be able to handle the job then will well mitigate the efforts to quality further on. If they fail then…I will go back to the misery of the analog masochism….

Yes, it would be wonderful to share with you all guys what a good "live" broadcast dose with Milqed Makondo… but they… you juts 8 hours away… I do not think that any slinky CD will be able to do justice….

Rgs,
The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-05-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jtavan
Posts 8
Joined on 11-25-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 1672
Reply to: 1666
Re: You're probably looking in the right direction

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It looks like you're looking at the right brands for ADC. It seems likely to me that getting proper A/D conversion is as hard as or harder than getting proper D/A conversion. I'm currently shopping for a good A/D converter for a number of purposes, and those are supposedly the cream of the crop. I'd add to your list (at least to audition) the new Lynx Studio Aurora line, probably down near the Apogee units. As the Prism and Pacific Microsonics are out of my budget, that's what I'm looking at. I'm trying to find someone willing to let me demo it before shelling out the money.

In any case, please do keep us posted as to your progress in this matter.
11-06-2005 Post mapped to 2 branches of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 1674
Reply to: 1672
Re: some thoughts on the avalable good DACs...

 jtavan wrote:
It looks like you're looking at the right brands for ADC. It seems likely to me that getting proper A/D conversion is as hard as or harder than getting proper D/A conversion. I'm currently shopping for a good A/D converter for a number of purposes, and those are supposedly the cream of the crop. I'd add to your list (at least to audition) the new Lynx Studio Aurora line, probably down near the Apogee units. As the Prism and Pacific Microsonics are out of my budget, that's what I'm looking at. I'm trying to find someone willing to let me demo it before shelling out the money.

In any case, please do keep us posted as to your progress in this matter.

Well, jtavan, thanks for the encouragement. To share some of thoughts that I have….

Although I am a software engineer, on software writer site, but believe me or not I ma completely ignorant in that digital audio things. None of my machines that I ever used had any sound card in them; at least I never used thus cards…

The first thing that I need to find out if a digital stream from my DAC might be stored on computer’s hard drive in none-compressed format and if it might be then playable back to my DAC. I need for this case an interface with digital I/O and probably I will go for an optical I/O, despite that I do not like the optical interface but I do not what to bring the computer dirty ground to my system. If the computer base mass storage will be able perform OK then I will be thinking about a good external converter. No mater ho simple the first parts but still there are very many questions and variables that should be result and assessed. Will the optical drive be sufficient enough, how good the I/O interface might be, will be a different in sound if the file will be pulled from a network mass storage vs the local drive. What kind optimization should be done to the PS in order to “optimize” it, how to power the Pc… and many-many others

Let presume that the first part will be successful then here is what I think about the A/D. If to presume that the quality of the company A/D has any relation to the company D/A (I presume that it is the case) then what do I have practically available? Pacific Microsonics would be out of my budget as well but there is an interesting glitch with it. After the Pacific Microsonics it looks like Keith Johnson designed his Spectral SDR-2000 Professional D/A processor. I had this unit 5 years ago for a few days in my home and I was not impressed. This init did an absolutely feminine everything and deliver the bass that was unmatchable but it was very much not musical unit. It cost a little under 10K and I decided do not keep it. It was like all Spectrals too anal-retentive and very much alike to anything else the professor Johnson even did. I know that many top notch studios do use the Pacific DACs but….. I need more musical results. It is very possible that the Pacific DAC will be nothing like the SDR-2000 DAC but to spent a lot of efforts to find this ADC, to pay a huge sum of money and to have a result the I can’t assess it might be too painful. I do have a local guy with the Pacific recording studio and I might have a demonstration but his it quite pricey and I do not think that I will be wiling to pay his price range for this DAC.

I have a little knowledge about the Prism Sound Dream. Some top of the world studios use them a, love them and I have a sores to borrow them. I do not know, perhaps I will try it… Also, I have local guy who has the tope of the line Apogees and he will be happy to lend me those units to try. I will looks also at your Lynx Studio Aurora line, although I never heard bout them.

The Switzerland Weiss is tricky. A lot of very top flying studios use them, including most England, DG and EMI. I heard the DG did with Weiss thier “Originals” ….  It might be OK but my problem that that I am well familiar with Weiss DAC. It is very good DAC, I mean relay good, way more interesting then all out audiophile-proved garbage but … I never bought it….  To me Weiss has a seatrain syntactism at HF, very pleasant, very articulate and very attractive but this syntactism (or artificiality) do not exist of real music. To me the Weiss’s HF is a smell of autumn burned leaves during a cold November morning… It has an attractive “yellowness” but should will you do with it if you play “spring” or “summer”. Still, I do not know if this ADC has the same problems….

What is left? The Lavry Engineering. There is a “problem” with them: is LOVE thier DAC. Approximately 5-4 years ago I had for a day or two their DB Technology DA-924 and it was the only DAC that I ever liked. A beautiful machine with a fanatic quality of sound and very musical at the same time. If their ADC will be the same then it will be defiantly it. Thier ADC cost somewhere around $9-8K and if I would be able to get it for a half price perhaps used then it will be quite nice. I have a very good feeling about this company…

There is another ways… There are recently a quite few PC recording devises that might turn out to be OK. Even the Lavry Engineering makes $300 recording ADC for PC that they state if very good. (Optimized for microphones). In addition there are very many similar products within a price range $1-$2K that “might” deliver an acceptable result. Most of them do 24 bit and many other ran form DC batteries, that is not necessary sucks.

So, I feel I will be doing some listening very soon… if no one would give me a Lavry Engineering AD processor for Hanukah…

To be continue....
Romy the Cat




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-06-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
jtavan
Posts 8
Joined on 11-25-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 1675
Reply to: 1674
Re: Computer digital storage
Romy,

I've been storing all my digital music on a computer located fairly far from the audio system for quite some time now. You've brought up a few issues that are worth discussing.

1) Storing the digital stream - I assume you mean either (both?) from audio extracted from CDs and audio captured by an ADC from FM or LP source. For the former, you simply use proper software and hardware to extract the audio from your CDs. I use a Plextor Plexwriter Premium CD-RW drive plus their "Plextools" software package. This combination has proven to give me reliable, repeatable digital audio extraction without errors. The interface is bad, but it is fast and reliable. The alternative is Exact Audio Copy, which is slow and reliable, with a marginally better interface. For the latter, recording from ADC, you will need a digital interface card for your PC, the ADC, and some software to do the capture. Alternatively, if the ADC has a Firewire port, you can use that instead of a digital interface card. If using a digital interface card (probably something on the order of a Lynx AES16 or RME DSP9652), you will most likely end up using AES/EBU digital over (perhaps long) runs of cable, because that seems to be the format most frequently supported by AD converter boxes. Additionally, you may wish to run a BNC cable with wordclock synchronization between the ADC, the interface card, and (possibly) your DAC. In fact, you might even want to experiment with a standalone clock generator, like the Apogee Big Ben, to provide this wordclock. For software, there are any number of solutions for the Windows platform, and any should work. At the high end, there's stuff like Steinberg's Wavelab. Lower end, tools like Goldwave will also be just fine for simply capturing the bits and storing on disk.

2) Storage format - lossless compression works fine. FLAC is generally what I'd recommend. It is bit-perfect, allows tagging of files with metadata, and it's fast and easy to compress and decompress.

3) Optimization of music PC - There are a lot of options here. I definitely agree about keeping a noisy switching PC power supply off the power rails of your audio system. Also, keeping an acoustically noisy PC away from the audio system is to be desired. I've tried a couple things so far. First, I had a silent (or very nearly silent) PC with no fans whatsoever sitting in the audio rack. It ran off a noisy external supply AND had a noisy DC-DC converter internally AND held the PCI sound card RIGHT above the noisy motherboard, though. It wouldn't have been difficult to replace the external supply and DC-DC converter with a multi-voltage linear supply, but silencing the (admittedly small) noise made by the hard disk would have been difficult. Network booting to windows requires third party software in which I didn't want to invest. Right now, I am using a small clock radio-like device called a Squeezebox to stream music off a server in another room. This device has a good quality transport for streaming music to a DAC, but won't help in the other direction. Thus, my next approach is going to be an AD/DA box in the audio rack, connected to the server in another room by long cables. Lynx Studio claim that they can drive 500 feet of cable at 192kHz - should be sufficient. At this point, the server hardware doesn't matter, it can be as noisy as it needs to be, as it's in a different room and on a different power circuit.

4) Quality of AD vs DA - It seems reasonable to assume that a designer of an ADC and DAC product will have consistent design priorities. Whether this will translate to similar sound is uncertain. I would certainly not expect similar subtle tonal nuances to be shared between models - the circuits are different enough.

I can't claim to be an expert in this subject, but this basically sums up what I've been playing with recently. Hope it helps.
11-06-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 1676
Reply to: 1675
Re: Digital - the first dive

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Thanks, jtavan.

It was educational. I made some first steps already. I made a slow 233MHz (and presumable it would have lower noise with lower speed) machine with no fans, and a large passive radiator on SPU. Formatted it and loaded Win2K Pro St4. Shut down all unnecessary services. I was looking for a card with SPDIF (RCA and optical) in and out and was not able to find any without the dummy multimedia options, Dolby, DTS and 65433 channel/54 subwoofers. :-) Considering that I need only the optical I/O bypassing everything else then why do I need anything else?

Eventually, in my local pro audio shop I found a very reasonably priced card. It was by Creative Professional, 24/96. It called E-MU 0404, has optical and RCA in and out and it looks like it was not made to please the “gaming” community.

http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=237&subcategory=239&product=10498&nav=2

It is juts $100 and it comes with a bundle of Steinberg's software, including the Wavelab. Since it is juts a first sound card the I even bought in my live I have no idea how good it is bad it is and I figured then the less it will have bult on itself the better it will be, it is had no DSP engine and no onboard DAC/ADC it would be even better…

Anyhow, I tried to load the stream from my transport directly into the Wavelab via my favorite coaxial digital cable. The wile I made was PCM, uncompressed 16/44. When I played it back form my PS’s hard drive, I was kind of surprised as I expected much-much more unpleasant result. To my astonishment the sound was very similar with what I was getting form my transport. I did anticipate an immediate revolting reaction but it was very opposite – I had no reaction at all. I would not finalize my observations as this point as I still have to learn how to use all this digital gismos and optimize them. Also, the electrical was very bad today in Boston and the general sound was not at the point what I would be able to say anything more defiantly.

What I did learned is the I need a smalls flat monitor with touch-screen as I can locate a silent computer hear my audio in my room but I will not be able to tolerate any keywords or mice…

To be continue
The caT

PS: Interesting that the software that the card comes with has any ability to bypass the DSP engine by mapping the inputs/outputs. The fan part the when I go into the DSP engine and explicitly shot shut down ALL activities and then rout the digital streams in the DSP engine, without doing anything in the engine then the sound instantaneously go to hell and begin to sound like the playbacks of those cretins who use digital crossovers with this horns. Very-very recognizable!


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-07-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jtavan
Posts 8
Joined on 11-25-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 1677
Reply to: 1676
Re: More digital manipulation
I would be interested to hear your reaction to the same CD ripped properly on a CD-ROM drive rather than recorded from SPDIF stream. If your transport is VERY good, they should be equivalent... but on damaged discs, or with bad transports, the error-corrected, ripped CD should be much better. It's nice to be able to re-read potentially-damaged sectors.

As for a small flat monitor/touchscreen, I have a Viewsonic Airpanel, which is a Microsoft RDP client with wireless 802.11b in a 10" touchscreen tablet. It's pretty interesting, but I don't use it as I'm currently using the squeezebox with its IR remote control. It's not a perfect product, but it might be what you're looking for. If you're interested in a trade/purchase, please contact me off-thread.

That sound card sounds like a pretty basic audio device, simple cheap coax transmitter on a card with a useless DSP. I have a MAudio Audiophil 2496 here that is similar. As long as you can use the mixer to bypass the processing, it's fine. But I think what you're really looking for is more along the lines of the Lynx Studio AES16 (16 channels of AES/EBU digital I/O, wordclock I/O, nothing else).

I'm not ready to discard digital crossovers with horns quite yet - I think that the cretins do it Wrong, and that it may well be possible to do it Right. Still looking into that world - it's a complicated one.

All the best,
/Jeremy
11-07-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 1680
Reply to: 1677
Re: Endless more digital ....

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 jtavan wrote:
I would be interested to hear your reaction to the same CD ripped properly on a CD-ROM drive rather than recorded from SPDIF stream. If your transport is VERY good, they should be equivalent... but on damaged discs, or with bad transports, the error-corrected, ripped CD should be much better. It's nice to be able to re-read potentially-damaged sectors.

I did not make those experiments. Defiantly I will, though to load the digital already music to PC is not what I shoot for. The only interest that I do have is to preserve my FM broadcasts. Even the back up the LPs to digital does not really interest me as I laws can play those LPs on my analog gear if I wish to. Still, form my former excrements I remembers that computer CD-ROMs were horrible transports compare to my TL0.  I tried in past a number stand-alone CD burners: Alesis Masterlink ML-9600, Sony W66, Denon 1050, Tascam RW750, Fostex CR300, HHB CDR830 looking for away to be able to burn CD with acceptable quality. None of them recorded good as far as I concern but there was also a side affect. All these units had direct digital audio stream out and I did try all of them to use as a transport feeding my DAC. It turned out that none of them could even remotely compete with my dedicated audio transport. All of them had no bass compare to TL0 and were loosing all articulation from music, converting it juts in a gray string of sounds. For instance the Masterlink paling a CD sounded like: 1234567890 vs. the TL0 playing the same CD sounded like: 1234567890. Actually the real misery of them would be hard to describe but I completely revolted regarding what the CD burners did as the transports. Would the CD-ROM drives of PS read the disc in the same way as the “professional” CD burners I do not know…

 jtavan wrote:
As for a small flat monitor/touchscreen, I have a Viewsonic Airpanel, which is a Microsoft RDP client with wireless 802.11b in a 10" touchscreen tablet. It's pretty interesting, but I don't use it as I'm currently using the squeezebox with its IR remote control. It's not a perfect product, but it might be what you're looking for. If you're interested in a trade/purchase, please contact me off-thread.

Yes, I have looked at this screed before and considered it and a few similar to it. I still do not know if I need it, as I do not know with what configuration I might end up to. The Squeezebox do sounds interesting but it is one one-way (direction) solution. The biggest problem as that I do not have the dedicated ADC that would be sitting right next to the analog outputs of my tuner. I less care about the length of the D-cables… It might me near-located PS or I might stick a dedicated box in my server room (~40 feet of cable away, that would not be a big deal, if I go optical, will it?) As an alternative I consider to use a small laptop with pro PCMCIA sound card. Thos cards are ~$500-$600 and have an external connection box that might sit right along with the rest of my audio equipment. When the music is paling then it will be useful to use a wirelessly connected full-futured laptop to control it. When the D-playback is not used then the laptop sent in suspended mode and all D-system along with its “presumed” D-noise and the Laptop’s acoustic noise go to sleep.  Still I do not have any final sense of direction as I would like also to be able to with some like of web service that would allow me to tunnel my network and to activate or schedule the recoding ceremony remotely. I have to think about it more…

 jtavan wrote:
That sound card sounds like a pretty basic audio device, simple cheap coax transmitter on a card with a useless DSP. I have a MAudio Audiophil 2496 here that is similar. As long as you can use the mixer to bypass the processing, it's fine. But I think what you're really looking for is more along the lines of the Lynx Studio AES16 (16 channels of AES/EBU digital I/O, wordclock I/O, nothing else).

I did not know about this card before and it was exactly way I was looking for and the Lynx card does look much more interesting. Still, as a test drive my current card would do…  Also, Jeremy, and I ma not kidding here: would it be possible that an expansive (let it sot a few thousand dollars) very good quality sound card might have on board a pair of very good performing A/D converters. Really, the Weiss and the Pacific Microsonics are essentially the computers… so why the very same processing that those good AD converts do might not be implement on the audio card? If some of them would do good sounding card then I do not mind to put this computer to a dedicated high quality PS.  I wonder if the digital companies do the coupled thousands dollars worth Sounds Cards, with good clock on board and high quality/implementation of the A/D processing algorithms, but without staffing them with 7.1 decoders, DVD-audio, TNX, DSO and the rest garbage then we might have a very “cool” solution that would not require any external cables and so on… Doe exist anything out there like this worth to try?

 jtavan wrote:
I'm not ready to discard digital crossovers with horns quite yet - I think that the cretins do it Wrong, and that it may well be possible to do it Right. Still looking into that world - it's a complicated one.

Whatever the cretins do is DSP. I have a lot of reasons do not believe that it may be done Right in anyway, some of the reasons are technical and some “political” but all that one need it to listen ANY horn installation with D-crossovers. They are ALL fundamental laughable and I for year have rules that if a person juts mentions that he/she uses the D-crossovers or D-EQ then whatever else the person say becomes not important….

Rgs,
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-07-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
TonyB
Toronto
Posts 22
Joined on 04-14-2005

Post #: 13
Post ID: 1686
Reply to: 1664
Re: Holly cow! The Pussy might go digital?

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Hi Romy,

You wrote:
 Also, I remember that in 1998 or something like this when the first Sony SACD machines were only about to heat the market I was given a demo of SACD played directly form the original hard-drive and recorded via the original “conceptual” DSD AD-DA processors. It was phenomenal and it was the only time when I heard a good performing DSD. Of course since then no one make good DSD converters…. And the SACD as it und up turn out to be a crap. Still, I’m sure that even if I dig the original pro DSD processor then, although it might do good sound, but I do not know if it will be able to be transparent to something that distinct my FM form my LP ….

If it was an original DSD converter, was it a Sony or more likely Ed Meitner's? I wanted to use unprocessed DSD as a digital delay and was looking for converters some time ago. Being in Canada, I spoke with Ed about DSD. His A/D has the ability to be adjusted to be nicely linear. Other units may not be able to do it. But there is a "bit" of processing in programmable logic to get the DSD stream. Something I am not that thrilled about. Also, Ed strongly recommended against just low-pass filtering the output DSD to get audio out. This is exactly what some equipment modders do. If Ed's DSD equipment were not that expensive, I would love to try it and modify it.

On paper, the best computer PRO audio card is Lynx. Based on measurements, Lynx does something better than others. I have seen some tests of Creative cards and was not impressed. But computer is such a horrible environment, with horrible power supplies. So it is the last place I would want to put my converters into. But because it is the simplest and cheapest solution, that is what most people do. Lynx has an external rack converter unit for about $2k. It could be interesting. But I would look on any external unit only if it can accept an external reference clock and if it uses asynchronous data transfer for DAC (i.e. the external DAC is the master, uses its own or master clock and requests data from the PC when its input buffer is low). Right now the most external units have only 24/96 A/D while the internal cards go 24/192. I would definitely prefer 192k samples/s. Mind you, the converter performance goes down with higher sampling rates.

Cheaper PRO cards are M-Audio Audiophile 24/196 and ESI Juli@. I just bought Audiophile USB external unit for a PC based audio test measurement unit. It has only 24/96 A/D but we will see how it sounds.

There is something about FM radio. I even wondered what is the net processing done to the signal by the process of FM modulation, transmission, reception and demodulation. I have an intercom with FM radio built into a wall in the kitchen. I listen to it during dinner. One can get a very good feeling about the actual performance of the piece. Likely better than in a high end system. Maybe it is the single driver speaker in a nice enclosure in the wall between wooden studs and drywall. Who knows. No wonder that the FM was discontinued from this intercom - it was competing too much with high end systems. But listening to my Mac MR-67 is not bad either. I could visit Magnum Dynalab again considering that I used to work almost next door to them.

Regards,

TonyB

11-07-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jtavan
Posts 8
Joined on 11-25-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 1687
Reply to: 1686
Re: Digital cards
As Tony points out, there are some digital cards with supposedly good converters in them.  The Lynx Studio LynxTwo or Lynx L22 cards are said to work well. But the computer IS a very noisy environment, and the idea of converters in it scares me. That being said, I'm told that the Lynx cards are very good and have enough shielding to keep noise out. I remain skeptical, having heard the amazing amount of noise in recordings made with my MAudio card in my fanless audiorackpc.

As for cable lengths, 40' is fine with optical, and apparently even with AES/EBU balanced digital as the Lynx cards use. I don't think I would worry about it - much more elegant solution than having the computer sitting in the living room.

I also found it interesting to read Lavry's white papers on sampling rates, and why he prefers 96kHz to 192kHz. I don't know if he's correct or not regarding bits of information available at the two rates, but it's worth looking in to, probably using low-level signals and inspecting resulting captures at the two sample rates.

/Jeremy
11-08-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 1692
Reply to: 1686
Digital: small steps and further update…

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Jeremy, another few lead that I think might conceder.

Manly Labs has their 20-bit digital to analogue converter that uses the Pacific Microsonics processor inside. I was told that is available as the “street price” for ~$6K-$7K and it might be a “frugal version” of Pacific possessor. There are however tree things that makes me suspicious in this. First: I am not a big fan of HDCD. Second: I very skeptical with all this hi-fi paranoia tube output stage that Manly built in that unit. I did not see any “interesting” tube buffer and I feel defiantly that it would not be made as a commercial product from an Audio Asylum minded company. The third is probably my individual issues: I do not like Manly as a company and I do not like her personally. Their/her cheap “twist oriented”,  “friendly tough love” approach that is “optimized” to impress an average Stereophile subscriber is really turns me off. She personally and her entire company/products impress me as much as that girl from a small Western Pennsylvania village who suddenly designed to demonstrate me want from her point of view a Manhattan lesbian chic might look like. Also, Manly told me that he hate cats and as far as I concern the people who hate cats should be put to death… Anyhow, they all perhaps my semi-personal predicaments and you might find is worth to explore…

Another A/D option that is very promising is the Crane Song HEDD192. I heard that it is VERY different sonically and with the price tag of $3.5K it might be interesting to try…

 TonyB wrote:
If it was an original DSD converter, was it a Sony or more likely Ed Meitner's? I wanted to use unprocessed DSD as a digital delay and was looking for converters some time ago. Being in Canada, I spoke with Ed about DSD. His A/D has the ability to be adjusted to be nicely linear. Other units may not be able to do it. But there is a "bit" of processing in programmable logic to get the DSD stream. Something I am not that thrilled about. Also, Ed strongly recommended against just low-pass filtering the output DSD to get audio out. This is exactly what some equipment modders do. If Ed's DSD equipment were not that expensive, I would love to try it and modify it.

Actually I spoke with some very much “deeply plugged” people who very closely monitored what Meitner did in the end of 90s and they informed me yeastoday that the Meitner's original DSD were be 4-bit processors and that it was very-very good. Since then as Meitner's begin to commercialize his DSD idea he converted it in single bit system called SACD and this new system, is in fact very primitive. I’m not quite sure what I juts said, but since I never ever heard any properly sounding SACD from a disk, nor I even head any properly recorded PCM layer on the SACD so I never consider the SACD worth any attention.

 TonyB wrote:
There is something about FM radio. I even wondered what is the net processing done  to the signal by the process of FM modulation, transmission, reception and demodulation. I have an intercom with FM radio built into a wall in the kitchen. I listen to it during dinner. One can get a very good feeling about the actual performance of the piece. Likely better than in a high-end system. Maybe it is the single driver speaker in a nice enclosure in the wall between wooden studs and drywall. Who knows? No wonder that the FM was discontinued from this intercom - it was competing too much with high end systems. But listening to my Mac MR-67 is not bad either. I could visit Magnum Dynalab again considering that I used to work almost next door to them.

Yes, there is something about FM radio. Even it broadcasted only very compressed it still sound amassing…. However, do not visit Magnum Dynalab…. it will not help. I have thier units and they are not the real FM but the "Hi-Fi FM" with no real bass and no real "space"….

Further update….

Then, last nigh the electricity was quite all right and I run the native window uncompressed files via the digital output to my DAC. As I initially sent it was quite nice that pretty my prove to me the fact that it might be nice or even presumably “remarkably good” ….if is done properly. At this point I do not know what properly would be or might be but today I am wiling to try. First I did learn that I would need a very good external A/D processor.  Looking at the situation about the ADCs, knowing that it really takes time and patience to learn how to get the best out a given processor and knowing the I really would like to go on the road of endless ADC evaluation I decided to listen my native feline instincts and go with them. So, decided to buy a Lavry’s Gold AD122. This is the very first peace in audio that I decided to buy without actually listening it. First of all, I am not equipped at this point to audition it objectively and second there is no way for me to try it as the local dealer is semi-armature. Still, I have very-very good feeling about the DB technology products and it this ADC will be as good as this DAC then it will be a direct hit with the A/D processor.

Now, the biggest problem remains what digital I/O PC interface to use after the Lavry’s digital stream. Lavry has the digital balanced outputs, so what along the good sound cards have AES inputs.  As I learned two cards re in running for being better and have the AES/EBU? There is Lynx L22 and there is RME Digi96, and believe or not but there is an army of people who perform some sustom updated on this cards, I do not practically believe in it at this point….. Both of them around $700 and both or them have positive feedback.  There are some other contestants, the Prodif 88 for instance. Also according to the chart the  no analog aboard LYNX AES 16 is what I might need….

http://www.lynxstudio.de/enpages/compare.html

I relay do not know if I need those expansive cards and anyone who love them presumably comment about their AD/DA options that with my new Lavry ADC will be absolutely irrelevant. Will my cheap $100 card with XLR/RCA adaptor do the same if I load a digital stream directly to PC’s HD drive? Will the quality of the clock and thousands of other thing in those expansive cards still be matter? I do not know… Can I buy another not $700  care juts to have a AES/EBU I/O for my PC? If some one do then please advise me….

Still, I do not stop to consider to go for PCMCIA card with antennal box and run this entire thing from a laptop… Unfortunately no one who do the pro cards and whoever do impress me very little, not to mention that none of them do the AES/EBU. What I actual need would be the old RME Digi96 card, now discontinued, the card that had AES/EBU, no DSP on board, no mixing capacity, do analog section at all. It was $150 and had the rest within itself identical to what the today RME’s $700 card have.

Well, it will be fun to see what else is available there…. BTW, one more thing… if I go do 40”-50” of balanced d-cable than dose it quietly mater. Will the pro-shop level cable sufficient enough?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-08-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Hantra
Posts 2
Joined on 11-08-2005

Post #: 16
Post ID: 1693
Reply to: 1692
Re: Digital: Sound cards
All:

Having used a Lynx L22 card for my primary playback system, I can tell you that it is one fantastic sounding card.  I used it for a little over a year, and eventually I deferred once again to my favorite non-oversampled DAC from Scott Nixon.  The DAC is not quite as hyper detailed as the Lynx card, but it sounds more like music to me, and that's one of the things I like about non-oversampling.

Nevertheless, I am straying. . .  I tried a heavily modified RME HDSP card as well.  Back to back with the Lynx card, the RME card was seriously owned.  I felt really bad for the guy who would spend around $1,500 to buy that card and have the mods performed on it when my Lynx card was just so far beyond it. 

I never tried any A/D with the Lynx.  The detractors, and the people who constantly spout about the noisy, harsh environment of a PC have never heard or tried it.  The inside of your CD transport is a pretty chaotic place also, full of all kinds of nasty vibrations, motor noise, etc.  Lynx uses a multi layer PCB material that helps with any noise, and I wasn't able to hear any noise.  In fact, the S/N on the Lynx is much, much higher than your average DAC or CDP. 

In short, I highly recommend the Lynx card, and it would be my first choice for the money if I was going to do any A/D.  The Aurora, as mentioned above, is supposed to be even better, and it is more versatile.  It's also a lot more expensive.

Hope this helps,

B

11-08-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,544
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 1695
Reply to: 1687
I'll be doing no D/A-A/D processing on board....

 jtavan wrote:
As Tony points out, there are some digital cards with supposedly good converters in them.  The Lynx Studio LynxTwo or Lynx L22 cards are said to work well. But the computer IS a very noisy environment, and the idea of converters in it scares me. That being said, I'm told that the Lynx cards are very good and have enough shielding to keep noise out. I remain skeptical, having heard the amazing amount of noise in recordings made with my MAudio card in my fanless audiorackpc.

As for cable lengths, 40' is fine with optical, and apparently even with AES/EBU balanced digital as the Lynx cards use. I don't think I would worry about it - much more elegant solution than having the computer sitting in the living room.

I also found it interesting to read Lavry's white papers on sampling rates, and why he prefers 96kHz to 192kHz. I don't know if he's correct or not regarding bits of information available at the two rates, but it's worth looking in to, probably using low-level signals and inspecting resulting captures at the two sample rates.

Thanks, Hantra

I have a little difficulty to figure out if what you say would be applicable in my case. You see, as I understand that when you tell about your positive results with Lynx L22 you report that fact that it’s D/A processor delivers presumably better result then other cards. In may case I will NOT be using the Lynx’s D/A or A/D processing, so will I have any advantages doing for the Lynx’s cards?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-08-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
TonyB
Toronto
Posts 22
Joined on 04-14-2005

Post #: 18
Post ID: 1696
Reply to: 1692
Re: Digital: small steps and further update…
Hi Romy

 Romy the Cat wrote:

... I decided to listen my native feline instincts and go with them. So, decided to buy a Lavry’s Gold AD122. ....Now, the biggest problem remains what digital I/O PC interface to use after the Lavry’s digital stream. Lavry has the digital balanced outputs, so what along the good sound cards have AES inputs.  As I learned two cards re in running for being better and have the AES/EBU?

Will my cheap $100 card with XLR/RCA adaptor do the same if I load a digital stream directly to PC’s HD drive? Will the quality of the clock and thousands of other thing in those expansive cards still be matter? I do not know… Can I buy another not $700  care juts to have a AES/EBU I/O for my PC? If some one do then please advise me….

Still, I do not stop to consider to go for PCMCIA card with antennal box and run this entire thing from a laptop… Unfortunately no one who do the pro cards and whoever do impress me very little, not to mention that none of them do the AES/EBU. What I actual need would be the old RME Digi96 card, now discontinued, the card that had AES/EBU, no DSP on board, no mixing capacity, do analog section at all. It was $150 and had the rest within itself identical to what the today RME’s $700 card have.

Well, it will be fun to see what else is available there…. BTW, one more thing… if I go do 40”-50” of balanced d-cable than dose it quietly mater. Will the pro-shop level cable sufficient enough?



The advantage of using the balanced AES/EBU is the ability to have long cables. I would not worry much about input into PC AS LONG AS the data is stored onto a hard disk. Here, bits are bits and as long as they are all received correctly, all is OK. I think that it is the playback from PC to an external DAC which is more critical. If the PC is a master sending the data (and generating the clock), I would not use it. That is why I would go for one of the PRO (expensive, e.g. Lynx AES 16) cards which can accept master clock when sending data. Can your Bidat generate or accept master clock?

I have looked at USB interface for this application. I wanted to have asynchronous data transfer from PC to the DAC. Some people modify M Audio Transit but the Transit uses synchronous data from PC. I bought a Creative Audigy USB external interface. It is cheap, asynchronous, ... but it re-samples the data received from PC in its internal DSPs. So back it went. And getting ANY info from Creative took months and months.

Regards,

TonyB
11-08-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Hantra
Posts 2
Joined on 11-08-2005

Post #: 19
Post ID: 1698
Reply to: 1696
Re: Digital: small steps and further update…

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Regarding the Lynx post above, I thought you'd be doing the A/D to rip your FM broadcasts.  My bad.  I should have read more carefully.

Nevertheless, if you have the Lavry DAC, what I'd do (and what I've done) is get yourself a motherboard with a SPDIF out.  I am using an ASUS Deluxe motherboard with a SPDIF output right on the board, and I find it works wonderfully.  I use a Stereovox digital cable, which is also primo.

What's that Lavry DAC cost?  I couldn't find pricing anywhere.


11-08-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jtavan
Posts 8
Joined on 11-25-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 1699
Reply to: 1695
Re: It slices, it dices, it converts multichannel analog to digital...
If you're sure you're not going to do the DA or AD conversion in the card, then the AES16 is all you need. However, if you might want to try just using the AD conversion on the cards (which might be just fine, hard to say without trying), then you'll want the L22 or Two model which have converters on board. They won't get in the way of digital use, and will let you experiment with using the card itself as ADC. Though I'd be surprised if it were as good as an external box, I would say it's worth a try. The AES16 basically just gives you more channels of digital for your dollar - but you only need two channels.

/Jeremy
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