W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This is a useless post

Just to make 30 posts in the month of April. That makes it an average of one per day.

Woot I'm good this month.

Placebo effect owns

After finishing the semi-DIY power conditioner, I notice the bass of my music is much more controlled, there is better attack in both the bass and treble, and the treble is cleaner and hence I can hear more things in it.

The only thing is I haven't even plugged in the power conditioner yet.

Woo, must be those "suddenly the music sounds better" periods. Like when you come back home from a field camp.

Imagine if I did plug in the power conditioner. Then all these "improvements" would be attributed to the power conditioner.

Did I hear a difference? Yes, I think I did. Is this placebo effect? Well, given the current situation of things, duh.

So one can hear a difference with placebo effect.

Placebo effect owns.

"Semi-DIY" power conditioner

EMI filter, bought from Koba for $3 IIRC.

Took apart an old unused power strip. Originally thought best if can fit the filter inside, but missed by just a few mm. If going external I should've gone for the bigger ones.

Reason for wanting to go internal is safety - the chassis of any EMI filter/PSU with EMI filter is connected to the ground which is the mid-voltage point of the EMI filter, and will give you a sting if the gound is not connected. Worse still, if the ground is not connected and there is a short circuit, the entire chassis will go live, and that's quite a huge area of contact for killing you.

IEC input, makes things a little easier. Would've wished for IEC output though. :P

The filter, by Delta Electronics. Sorry for the bad camera quality. Good for 3A @ 250V.

Finished product

I couldn't do a "fire test" because Koba kapo-ed the fuse. Testing with the multimeter shows it to be safe though.

Also, taking this power strip apart showed me how bad some of the workmanship of our power-related products can be. There were a few bad connections which are potential points for failure and tripping the circuit-breaker/starting a fire or electricuting someone if that fails. BTW I've had two power strips and a mains power socket that failed on me and tripping the house since I moved here to Punggol just five years ago.

We make money using knowledge... or others' lack of it

But even so, this is too much:


Trends TA-10.1 Amplifier - $189.95
Trends TA-10.1 Mini-Mod - $215.00

"We clean the board and check all solder joints, repairing if needed. Binding posts and RCAs are checked and tightened. Capacitors and aircore inductors are secured in place (they're heavy and can loosen in shipping causing a dead or noisy channel). Check and set DC bias. Add a 100% copper heat sink to keep things cool. We even give you a metallic-faced LED to match your TA-10.1 case."

All these for $25 USD. No soldering even required. Maybe the LED only. Apart from that and the heatsink it's just QC work. Give u maybe 2 bucks for the heatsink and LED, + 3 bucks to put it on. So $20 is given for extra QC on their side. Riteeeee.

And I <3 this part of their reasoning:

"(they're heavy and can loosen in shipping causing a dead or noisy channel)"

Uh, so, if the product reaches me broken, is it my problem or is it the insurance company you paid for the shipping? Or, if the product reached you (the supplier) already broken, is it my problem or the manufacturor's problem?

There's a saying of "don't make your problem my problem", but this is even better by "making other's problem your problem and you pay me to help settle the problem for you".

That's how business works.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Munto TV: Afterthoughts

There may be people who rate this series highly, and so will there be a huge majority of mainstream series viewers that sink this series,

But as a sucker of this specific type of genre, I'm...

STILL going to sink this series.

This series is good, but bad, very bad. I'll tell you the bad reasons first:

1) I'd have rated this series good, at least for the first half, IF THEY DIDN'T JUST PLUCK OUT THE FOOTAGE OF THE FREAKING OLD DVD OVAS (WHICH ARE IN 4:3, JUST TO SHOW HOW OLD IT IS) AND MAKE IT MORE THAN HALF OF THE SERIES. Sure, they got add a bit of extras here and there, but it's still ALMOST THE F-ING SAME THING.

Kyoto Animation is obviouly not giving a hoot about remaking this series, this is the worst job they've ever done. Why the F remake it then?

And they shouldn't have bothered using the bad broadcast-quality tactic, because nobody will buy the DVD I can bet.

2) If there was a reason why this series originally stayed OVA, this TV remake will show you why. Because the thing which is called ending is a piece of crap. I've seen loads of B-grade endings that are better.

Kyoto Animation did attempt to make things out of the ordinary here and there, but this is very limited and understandably hard, because unlike visual novels which are funny by themselves, the original script would not have all those. And the ending, while indeed slightly out of the ordinary, is even worse than what one can expect if it followed the normal ending. Blame the original author for this one.

Basically towards the end, none of anything makes sense anymore.

The problem with this series is that while it has an excellent setting (which probably boosted marks for viewers always stuck with mainstream B-grades), this excellent setting makes it almost impossible to achieve a good ending out of it. I noticed that problem while watching the OVAs, and so did the producers probably. Any attempt to finish the series without a) Thinking for at least 5 years or b) Resulting in infinitely long development that screws the original setting will result in c) Screwed up ending thought by a fifth-grader.

And also, there are many complaints of how it basically just sucks, in terms of character (development, and IMHO design too), plot, music, some parts of artwork, but these are all due to it being taken from the OVA, which I have covered above. Because the OVA wasn't anything impressive if it even manages to make it to the average category.

So you take something that sucks on average but with a few redeeming points, plug it into an ending that sucks and kills the redeeming points, what you get is something that basically sucks as an all-rounder.

Okay, now onto the good:

1) A good amount of battle when it is called for - very nice. Just boom, boom, and boom, no questions asked, no explanations. There are people who hate this kind of battle, but those are the same people that like long-duration transformations and charge-up, long-winded heartwarming (?) talks during the battle itself, and cry when a Gundam pilot dies. Which side would you rather believe?

Real fights don't give a damn who your mother is.

And good fighting scenes are hard to come by. If you shun those I'd love to see you try to direct (as in movie director) something that last even 5 minutes, not inclusive of charging and talk. 5 full minutes of epic combat, and any screenplay can only be repeated 3 times. Or if you need to include some talking fine with me, but the timer only ticks during fighting.

Else how did Matrix become so popular and nice to watch?

Unfortunately for this series, it was aired in the same season as To aru Majutsu no Index, which has good visuals, good fighting (although not as intensive on average), good talking regarding the fights and good plot, and a setting which revolves around the fighting, so in comparison, Munto is a piece of lard.

Not as if it wasn't already so without comparison.

2) The setting is still undoubtly good even though it wasn't developed (or actually screwed at the end).

If I were the author, my ending would for the people who built castles in the sky to kill themselves off aided by the humans, bringing piece to the human race. If the event did affect the whole world (instead of Japan or just that small town) as said, USA would be launching its 5000 nuclear warheads to completely annihilate the entire heavens at least 200 times. Although total destruction of any area in the sky or space or the entire surface of the earth is only level 4 on the Krepian magic scale, at most a low level 5, the magic king only has abilities up to level 3 at most. Meaning to say, he sucks, and this event will not destroy the whole world or even a significant part of it.

The new future I forsee is for those that shouldn't have been there (the heavens) to not be there. That makes the most sense to me. What is the point of "not undoing past sins and make a new future to make up for it" when the future is still a seed of disaster, goes against the natural flow of things (Flow of Akuto and the Heavenly beings weren't natural to begin with), and is made up of the people who comitted the sins? This is like if USSR launched missles that destroyed most of the world, the US did not launch any missle to counterattack but instead focused on recovery of USSR, then the whole world says "lets make friends". F*** your m** lar.

Just kill those troublemakers and end any problem for good. I know my storylines tend to be very unorthodox and unfriendly, but they tend to make more sense too.

Eh wait, but that wouldn't have anything to do with the girl anymore rite?

That's why I stress that this setting is hard to round up. If you thought my ending was good, you still got ways to go. But I do think it's better than the original at least.

For more info on the Krepian magic scale, wait for my "as hard as I tried to be" unorthodox story to be published... within the next 50 years hopefully.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sometimes... it takes pure luck to understand something...

...even though you've been encountering that something but didn't know what it is.

Today I understood what's oscillation in an audio circuit.

It sounds like fark.

It's the problem my D3's been having.

Great, now I need to know the solution. Fortunately I managed to come across some clues today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Now THIS is PCW:

Christmas songs should be more modern

Instead of the usual centuries-old songs themed around Santa Claus, reindeers and snowmen, shopping malls should be playing Christmas-themed songs like Kami-sama no Birthday (God's birthday, though a bit of misnomer, but obviously referring to Christmas) (from The Idolm@ster) and holy night magic by fripSide (boy this group rulez) (for the eroge Meri*Chri).

Or even snow-themed songs like White Album and Tears in snow (by Sato Hiromi for true tears) would work well.

Don't bother calling this a blasphemy of the holy night, because flying reindeers never existed in Christian mythology, and Jesus is Latin and his name is pronounced "Yee-sus" (ironically the Chinese pronounced his name more correctly than Englishmen).

The holy Christmas carols still have their place in the untainted churches (Note: Chijmes doesn't count) and sung in Latin. (And actually, some of those songs are nice. And hard definitely) I'm separating this from the western capitalistic commercial bastardisation of the Christmas that we're seeing today - not a day of prayers, but a day of feasting and record Xbox360 and GTA4 sales. And of course, the day when girls turn into women.

What's the whole point of 100 versions of "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night"? This is not an iPod advertisement.

Or you're telling me that it's cheaper and easier to remix those songs than to write a new one. Says something about the industry.

Similarly, something should be done about the Chinese New Year songs. But knowing it's Chinese, we don't have much hope. Singaporeans tried a few attempts, and all failed miserably as expected. I think the Japanese are actually better at Oriental music than us even though they speak Chinese as though they got rocks in their mouth.

Or how about rock for a national or organisation anthem?

Or how about -

Determination that is incorruptible
From the other side, a terror to behold
Annihilation will be unavoidable

Every broken enemy will know
That their opponent had to be invincible
Take a last look around while you're alive
I'm an indestructible master of war

Disturbed - Indestructible

How's this for a national anthem?

Or this -

Its just one of those days,
Where you don't want to wake up.
Everything is fucked,
Everybody sucks.
You don't really know why,
But you wanna justify,
Rippin someone's head off.

No human contact,
and if you interact,
your life is on contract.
Your best bet is to stay away motherfucker,
It's just one of those days.

Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff

That would be good for a school song. (AJ?)

And the best part of using real songs for event use, is that they still sound nice after the event is over. Hence extending their life and sale value.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Creative Xmod Wireless @ $79 (U.P. $369)


Very good price for somebody needing a USB sound card + wireless transmitter for his notebook. Because it comes with the receiver also. Remote controls for both included.

And what was the original Xmod priced at? >$100? IIRC

And so many people were buying it for its "Crystalizer". Even comparing it to DACs of the same price range.

Now, so many people were selling it a while back, it is no longer on sale in Singapore (and sold cheaply in the US), and the expensive $369 big brother package is selling for $79, way less than what a single receiver should've costed.

Xmod - Creative's worst marketed audio product ever

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Mothers do more damage to your personal belongings than any other single factor.

No really, I'm serious.

Is this stupid... or what?

Lets say, somebody recables his headphones/earphones, with a thicker cable to reduce resistance for better sound.

Then he adds a 75 ohm resistor to it.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Alien cutting discs

"Dimensions: 1.02 in x 1.02 in x 0.02 in
Weight: 0.53 oz
** Caution: this device transmits radio frequencies. Please check your local regulations before purchasing. DealExtreme is not responsible for customs confiscations due to legal issues and consequences due to illegal pocession or usage."


Probably used by aliens for radio transmissions. No wonder NASA can't catch any signals.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shit happens

Ever had these kind of situations where you have two otherwise perfectly working to-spec items come together and not work?

And I also found out a cause of my router hanging.

It's not the number of open connections.

It's the fucking switch!!!

Basically, my mom flips a switch in her bedroom, my Zhaolu D3 DAC + Yulong T-Amp combo suddenly increases volume by twenty times (how the fuk that works beats me) and my router dies.

This flat is only 5 year old.

Fk the local electrical standards. And I still remember, when I switch on the fluorescent lamp in my old home, the USB modem dies.

So heck with all the audio anti-placebo talk. I'm gonna need a power conditioner - to get my equipment working within spec.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On natural hair color...

In IdolMaster SP: Missing Moon, the producer (you) asked why Miki has gold-colored hair instead of the natural hair color (if I had to translate that phrase literally it would be "local" or "native color").

But he didn't ask the same question to any of the rest of the idols.

So apparently brown and blue are natural hair colors in Japan.

That explains a lot.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Forums are interesting stuff:

It is the only place where a guy whose knowledge is at most equivalent to that you can get from basic internet search, can spawn a load of bullcrap, and be labelled as someone who knows what he's talking about.

Ya and "many audiophiles the world over use his recipes for cable construction".

Knowledge aside (since I have no qualifications to talk), would you believe a person who thinks that OPA2604 is "THE best op-amp for accurate audio use".


"What little sound it has sounds like a really tight accurate tube amp with no boom or screech to the lows or highs."


Oh and forgot to add btw, the concept is correct. It is the way he explained the apparent seriousness of the effect where it all wrecks havoc. I'll just say it out first to cover my ass. Also btw, I posted a reply with at least 3 obvious reasons why his argument doesn't work, but deleted it as it would only make me seem like another arrogant ignorant know-it-all @sshole on the forums. However here is my blog.


Every time a new audio product comes out, so does its group of trolls.

And for DACs, first there was Zero, now there is Compass.

The truth will be out eventually like how it did for Zero. But for Compass it may be harder, because it is indeed a DAC of decent standards, and not many people own something like a Citypulse or better to break the myth.

People do not understand that the placebo effect still applies even when you can hear a difference. In fact it is even greater because you can hear a difference and hence think that there is no placebo effect and hence be showered in the joy of self-satisfaction.

Someone once said, the best way to test a new product *on your system* (note: system "synergy" plays a big part) is to get used to your old product again first and listen to it for one week, switch to the new product and listen to it for one week, then switch back to the old product again. This way, you can decide if you were happier switching from the old product to the new product or the other way round, hence deciding which is the better one.

I adopt a similar strategy when testing my gear, just that my duration is shorter at 1/2 to 2 days. But, it does make a difference. And that's how I found out I prefer Zhaolu D2.5A over Zhaolu D3, and how LM4562 has more "space" and "speed" over OPA-Earth, despite the fact that both were supposed to be more expensive upgrades.

And one way this method can be further improved upon, is to combine the effect of ABX testing. Listen to a 3rd, lousy device for the first duration (week or days), then get someone to hook up one of the device for you, swapping the device every test period. Or even better if you dare to take up the challenge of randomness - the person will not tell you when he swapped the devices, the test period between swapping of devices vary, and you have to detect the difference yourself. If you can't or guess the wrong answer, u fail.

Usually the ABX test won't go wrong however, if your ears are sharp enough to hear the difference to easily say that one is better than the other (unless you are a level high enough troll).

The hard part of carrying out the test (just the basic time-based version without the ABX) would be telling yourself that your old device is good and listen out for its goodness. This is super important, because sometimes, we just switch to a new product, our expectations get us to widen our ears, and we hear that small sparkling sound in the air and conclude that it is better. Little would we realize that the same sound is also found in the old devices that we thought wasn't there, because we never thoroughly listened to it.

Also, there's a need to draw a line between "what sounds better to you" and "what is actually better".

Hence an AB test is usually flawed. And unfortunately when people go other's place to compare a product or borrow it home, we usually end up doing an AB because there is usually little time or condition for a proper ABX test, less to say use the "test of time" to be more objective hence accurate. The way I see ABX tests carried out sometimes is so bad it defeats its purpose - Listen to A, listen to B, guess. There's like a 50% chance of getting it correct. And after you get it wrong, you shrug your shoulders. That's it. Then you continue going on thinking that the one you like is better. Wrong. People who do that do not understand what an ABX test is, and hence full of bullshit when they say they believe in ABX testing. And worse, this boosts their ego and placebo effect, because they'd be thinking "I did an ABX test, so there must be no placebo effect." Do you know that placebo effect can also affect an ABX test also btw? Remember that hearing something different does not always mean that it's better, and just hearing one thing better does not mean you're hearing everything better on the whole. And if you're hell bent on locating that something in order to pass your ABX test or increase your chance of passing from zero to 50% (you know which is which, but you don't know out of the two which is the one you'd like to be better), you're not doing the test properly either.

ABX test - Wikipedia entry

Either do 5 tests and get all correct, or 10 tests and get no more than two mistakes.

Are you scared now? Losing your confidence already?

Well, there ARE people out there who can get 5 out of 5 correct, even some of the people directly picked off the streets. But if you are scared, probably not you.

That's why, instead of listen to a whole CD of test tracks, playing a short part each time and carring out the ABX test for that short part is easier and more accurate. Of course, the final test of whole songs still needs to be carried out, since songs are about the whole thing, not just parts of it. And instead of listening out for one thing, listen for different things each time, jotting down which part you think is better for which DAC you think it is. Of course, do it more than 1 or 2 times, in case randomness screws the result. WIth a source switcher, it's super easy to do ABX test for more than 50 tries in a short amount of time if you're listening to just one small section of the song.

Or just save yourself the trouble and the risk of knowing that you cannot hear that well (aren't we all) and losing your reputation on the forums, go with the time test. It hasn't gone wrong for me. At least 3 times, I expected the preamp of the Zhaolu to make my sound better, at least three times I was surprised by the improvement when I switched from the preamp back to direct line-out after using the preamp for a few days. And I wonder why so many Zero users like to use variable out. (Oh yah, because they are trolls) Do note that each time when I switched to the preamp, I also noted an improvement, of better, tighter yet more lower-hitting and more linear bass response, and a more controlled sound on the whole. But without it gives a much better improvement. Hence I say that not every improvement is a good one.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Continuing from the "Nice-Fi" vs "Hi-Fi" argument:

The only way to know if we got a more accurate sound after modding would be to:

1) Generate a complex waveform using the computer (I never believed in frequency sweep)

2) Connect the output of the DAC directly to the input of the ADC. It does not matter that the ADC is not perfectly accurate, since any recorded sound will have to pass through it. Because we are measuring which is going to give the closest sound to a recorded instrument. And this time our instrument is the DAC. So in both cases of sound reproduction, the sound goes through the DAC once, and goes through the ADC once. The only difference is it goes through which first - ADC then DAC for analogue to analogue, DAC then ADC for digital to digital. So if someway somehow the wrongs of the DAC and the ADC cancel each other out, it's a plus.

3) Compare the waveforms of both the source and the output

But, engineers probably have figured this out already, and all we can do is guess the result. And most of us can probably guess the result.

That maths wins. That always happens in a comparison based on maths.

But does maths always sound better?

"It sounds better when it's worse"

4 posts in a day? I really should stop to preserve readership for tomorrow (like what they do in publications), but this one is so serious it has to be posted immediately.

Okay, it goes like this: Sombody does a comparison of Audio-gd's discrete op-amp here, and here are parts of the result:

This one better leave ungrounded.

OPA-Sun v.2
For more precise imaging, leave it ungrounded, for smoother and more airy presentation, connect the ground wire.

If we're talking about changing of capacitors and resistor values, then yes, sometimes it may be beneficial, sometimes it isn't. And the sound signature changes too much for a direct comparison.

But you're talking about having better sound quality by removing the ground cable!?

Ok, so these op-amps have a ground cable, part of Audio-gd's idea. With the two decoupling caps at both the positive and negative supply rails of the op-amp, it makes good sense to use the ground cable. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the ground cable is used for. Lets take a look at the schematics:

I'm not an engineer (yet), but gut feeling tells me that it's there for a reason. (If it's there for no reason, why the heck have it there in the first place? To soak up EMI?) And if it's there for a reason, it's a reason why it should be used.

In short, this can only make the circuit better. Unless you're telling me that somehow a fk-load of EMI can makes its way through the casing and crawl up the silver wire instead of interfering with the output signal, right.

Ok, better sound quality is arguable, because sound signature and preference are super important when deciding if something sounds good or not.

But if it is obviously better mathematically, how the heck would it sound worse? It's like saying something is better than the Benchmark because that something uses a tube! Man.

Then next time I'll unplug the EMI filter, use shit parts in the power supply, pull out the decoupling caps in the digital stage of the DAC (including that for the clock! lalalah) and inject jitter into the SPDIF signal and says it sounds better! ...wait, fk, something similar has already been done before and is still being done now - manipulating raw CD streams and SPDIF signals, noise-shaping properties of 1-bit DACs, TUBE AMPS...

Shit, this talk has lead to something even worse, and way, way bigger.

No wonder Bose sounds good.

I realize my posts are getting more and more offensive

I like that.

Why courtesy posters don't work

I originally wanted to take a picture on my own but it seems that someone has already done it:

I was thinking of "fat lady/man with ponytail in skirt", "alien brood with offspring spawning from torso", "man with a cup", and "erectile dysfunction" respectively, but this fits the bill as well.

Source - Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia

There might be a reason to by Bose

My work requires me to go to various offices, so I get to check out people's workplaces.

And there was this guy with a pair of Bose Companion 2 sitting on his desk.

So just now I thought, if I were to have a pair of speakers at my workplace, what would it be?




For a while, I couldn't think of anything but the Bose.

I'm definitely not going to have bookshelves sitting on my work table, so something small is necessary.

Creative T40? Too big. T20? Too muffled and not enough bass and slightly too big. I-Trigue 2200? Not enough bass. HD50? Overpriced crap. Anything below T20 and I-Trigue 2200 sounds too horrible for consideration. So T20 would be the only alternative which is pushing the various limits a little, and considering it's just at the starting point of PC audiophile category in both performance and price.

Then remembering the Audioengine A2 brought me a revelation. It's a sure choice for small and compact speakers at $299, because it was the only one with any amount of bass and also great overall sound quality to boot. It will never win my current speakers, but at 2.75-inch vs more than 5-inch, and that the Atoms will be more expensive factoring in shipping and amp, and you won't need too good speakers at your workplace, the A2 might just be my choice. It's not very clear or clean, the bass is pretty uncontrolled, but who cares since it still sounds quite normal.

Subwoofers are a no-no. And even with subwoofers, the requirement of small satellites stay, so MX5021 is out. And the sub must be on the floor, so lifestyle products like the harman/kardon Jellyfish Soundsticks are out too. (They sound suck anyway) I'll never get the Creative T3 because despite the claims of its supporting flock of hyping sheeps, the sound is FUBAR and will never be audiophile sound. So no need to talk about it beating the Bose Companion 3, matching it is already a big problem; that one actually has some redeeming points. And I believe that the frequency gap in the T3 is bigger than in Bose, and the good part for Bose is that the gap is less audible.

So enough of T3 bashing and A2 praising, if I were a normal person who wants to have a bit of quality sound in a small package and didn't know about the A2, Bose would be my best choice.

Yes you didn't read that wrongly, Bose would be my best choice. Because there really isn't any better choice out there. Unless you can name a pair of better speakers for $199, in which case I'd gladly ask you to share with the whole world.

As for Bose Companion 2 vs T40, I'd go for the Bose, even though the T40 is more expensive.

So there you have it, Bose isn't the most overpriced shit in audio.

Small size, big sound. Sounding acceptable with a small footprint, add the famous name, no wonder it's the best speakers to many. Not everybody can put up with big bookshelves beside their monitors.

And this is the market segment I want to attack should I become an engineer in this field. Small, compact, and portable speakers that do not sound like sh!t. Not many choices out there. I'm probably going to need a lot of SRS's technology for this.

Random thought of the day

Sometimes, things that seem like the absolute laws in the universe are formed from stupid reasons.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Inbou da! (It's a conspiracy!)

I just realized why the better series tend to have crappy-quality-video fansubs while the shitty series tend to have sharp fansubs.

Not all of them, but some at least. Most notably Clannad and ef for the more recent ones.

It kinda piss me off to see that the Animes with good artwork get blurry video, yet those with sharp lines tend to have a lack of details and color gradients between those simple lines.

This statement from an undisclosed source (to protect the privacy of the source) pretty much sums it up and gave me a clue as to what is happening:

"Clannad has this (censored) approach where first, an ugly 4:3 release is aired, and then several weeks after that, an ugly 16:9 release.

I'm afraid there won't ever be real 1280x720 releases, simply because the sources are too crappy. Unless a total miracle happens, the 16:9 release coming out in 2-3 weeks will be 1024x576, and that's already pushing it. The source itself - even from digital Transport Stream - is riddled with ugly dotcrawl and rainbowing. So, if you'd go any "crisper" in the video, you'd have colorful grey lines and wobbling checkerboard patterns (check scenes with blue sky in the background)."

Not just Clannad has this 4:3-release-first approach, I know of a few other series with this strategy. Because I watched them of course.

It's not about SD vs HDTV, for as mentioned, the 1024x576 is already pushing it for the source, even from digital Transport Stream. And I agree with that, for I've seen the first season in 1024x576 and know it isn't 1024x576. And I've seen super-sharp SD encodes. DVD is the best for SD video, but a good broadcast comes close to that.

Bottom line is, if a DVD rip can beat the quality of the "HD" broadcast, the broadcast is not of HD quality. Not even good SD quality in fact.

I'm not saying that all HD broadcasts do not beat DVD quality; it should've been the other way round. A few series have a special or OVA chapter on the final DVD that is not aired, and comparing the quality of that with the HD broadcast, the HD broadcast will look sharper thanks to the higher resolution. Some fansub groups did mention this as the reason they don't produce DVD-subs for certain series.

So what the heck is going on?

If this is an isolated case, then maybe we can conclude that the production studio is just unlucky to have its masterpiece broadcasted in horrible quality.

But it happened for both seasons of Clannad and ef.

And on more than one channel. Even on HD ones.

One possible reason is that they did it on intention. But why would they want to do that?

Because this is a conspiracy to get people to buy the DVDs and/or BDs when they come out. Apart from getting the censored and special stuff, and I'm not talking about ecchi things you sick mind.

I did mention the broadcast raws are not even of DVD quality?

So if you want to watch and keep the Anime in its full glory, you need to buy the disc.

And for some hardcore series, some hardcore followers will do that.

Face it, producers - state-owned, affliated with broadcasting stations and private don't get a lot of money from TV, judging from their time slots, and using logic that TV is a non-rivalrous good (i.e. one person watching does not reduce the quantity that others can watch), especially for free-to-air television which is a public good. Even if you don't understanding the meaning, it means they are not going to get any extra money whether you watch it or not, and whether you watched it in Japan or over the internet. They just needed something to fill the slots. And if they cared about viewership of the general population (since hardcores don't care the time slots) they would air them on more humane hours.

If it is possible to get more people to buy the DVD to increase the profit, why not?

And you notice that unlike O***, the people over at Japan don't care too much so as long as it isn't used for illegal profiteering, and some even released English translations, for free. Free English translation, for use in a country that cannot speak English well? (this is despite the compulsary education) Heck it, for use in a country that speaks the language in Anime (and various alternative worlds so it seems)? Yea right.

This is just a conspiracy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is there a point to write a review on something that has been discontinued?

Well, this guy seems to think so:

Trends Audio TA-10.1

(Note: This review is not written by 6moons, nor does this post have anything against 6moons)

We won't and don't see new products using Tripath chips anymore.

Why? Because the company had gone bankrupt

Two years ago

So effectively the 3 T-Amps in the article aren't being produced anymore.

Especially the Sonic Impact T-Amp which got out of production and stock moments after its launch, probably due to its low price.

Strangely, the Trends T-Amp is still being sold.

But I can't find Yulong T-Amp being sold on the net anymore. Not even on ebay or taobao.

Must take good care of my two Yulong T-Amps, since they are the only things with good sound and low power consumption (especially when idle) that I can get my hands on now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

You won't really know how hard a song is until you sing it...

Tonight, I tried to sing Kirakira by eufonius

Boy I sounded like shit

This song is much much harder than I thought to be on pitch and maintain a correct tone at the same time.

On the opposite side, Shinai by Mizuki Nana is way easier than it seems, despite all the high parts. She has numerous other harder songs.


BD rips rock, having your computer not able to play it sucks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's never enough

Last time - 640x360 was about the best you can get on your CRT TV
Just now - 1024x768 or 1280x720, average-quality rip
Near future - High-bitrate 720P or 1080P

Last time - Pentium 2 was all it took
Just now - Athlon 64 for the H.264
Near future - DXVA

Last time - 100+MB
Just now - 200~300+MB
Near future - 300-500MB and higher

Last time I thought I would be satisfied with just that much. Now it's all different.

Same thing applies to audio:

Last time - Creative 2.0
Just now - MX5021/AegoM or equivalent
Near future - A good pair of bookshelves below 1k

(Note: "Just now" did not really exist as I never really bought a $200 PC speaker, but that was what I thought I would be satisfied with at that point of time)

Last time - NeoMini
Just now - Zhaolu D2.5A w/OPA-Earth
Near future - Benchmark DAC1

Last time - 192kbps
Just now - 320kbps
Near future - Lossless
Far future - 24-bit and Vinyl

Whatever it is, one thing is for sure - BD rips rock.

Monday, April 6, 2009

When marketing becomes outright lying

It just occurred to me that most of my targets are from online forums.

Remember the post when somebody said that a pair of OPA627 on BrownDog costs more than $70 new? If you don't, here's the phrase - "Try buying the op-amp and the adaptor separately - it will definitely cost you more than $70."

Well, something just topped that -

"The Zero Dac Plus comes with the opamp 627 which supposedly costs 100 dollars on its own. Brand new bundle at j**** costs 400, hoping to sell this to upgrade my power supply."

Firstly, who the heck gave him the idea that a pair of OPA627 costs 100 dollars on its own?

Secondly, I know J**** sells things ex without bundle (cheap with bundle though), but since when did it sell a Zero+ DAC for $400?

He may think he can pull it off because others are noob, but trying to do that in a forum owned by the shop selling the product @ $270, good luck.

BTW, I am seeing a lot of people selling off their Zero DACs. Wonder why. No seriously, I'm not being sarcastic, I really don't know. Since selling of old DAC means upgrading to a new and better one. While I know (and the current observation shows) that the Zero DAC is prone to being upgraded, what would the users be upgrading to? Coz I don't remember the largest bringer of Zero Dacs having a better entry-level DAC apart from those from Firestone audio (and "better" is subjective, although "more expensive" is tangible). And this happens amist the ho-ha of the Zero DAC in forums, like it is the best you can get out of PC audio, together with the AegoM or T3 which are the best speakers.

It can't be the Compass DAC, since it is currently only available through overseas order. Same goes for the Y1 DAC. And most PCM270x-only-based DACs won't stand a chance against an AD1852 DAC.

Styleaudio suddenly comes into mind as I was typing "PCM270x".

Or, something else might be happening, something big. I sense a disturbance in the force.

This might be a good time to cash in on DIY. ZOMBiE where r u?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

One song, three versions

I know most of you reading won't even care about this, but nothing beats having one of your all-time favourite songs being given a fresh look and re-released for more people to listen to.

Came across the third (or forth, see remarks below) version of the song White Album, this time as White Album Character Song 1 - Morikawa Yuki by Hirano Aya, released on April 1, 2009.

And boy this isn't like those remixes where you just change the singer or a little part here and there, or worse make into a techno or dance remix. All three are entirely different on their own and would've been mistaken for different songs if not for the melody. (And the 2005 version even has alternative lyrics)

One version in 1998, one in 2005, now one in 2009.

And this isn't mainstream, western, chinese, nor oldie music, where I understand such kind of remix happens often. Actually, not very often either. This is game/Anime music, a genre with a small market and little publicity and good songs often go unnoticed (see my post 3 posts back).

And actually, even the original 1998 edition has a variant which is just slightly different.

I still prefer the 2005 -Christmas Eve- version most, though this may change as I listen to the 2009 version more. IMHO the newest White Album Anime Character Song version has more technicality and feels more modern (compared to the first version which my brother commented as "very old school", which I agree), but feels too happy and loses the spirit of the original two versions.

This makes a better version for my Christmas playlist though.

And finally I got the lyrics and a karaoke version I can sing to. ^^

And the reason for this release? No need to guess, it's business. Usually character songs or drama CDs for a particular Anime/game are released to get more sales and profit, which shows how effectve this strategy is. Yet I (and all W.A. fans out there) will kill the company if they decide to release some wierd song for Yuki's character album (and Rina's too). I almost want to kill the company when they decided not to use White Album(the song) for White Album(the TV Anime)'s opening, but since the song "Shinai" by Mizuki Nana is so good, I have to thank them instead. Furthermore, White Album is such a great song, it'd be a waste not to reuse it, since a large number of people would not have heard the previous versions yet.

As I type, I'm starting to like the 2009 version more. It can overtake the 2005 version anytime now.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Random thought of the day - Demotivational quotes

"There cannot be US without U, but there is always an S (ass) in US"


"There is no I in TEAM, but there is ME in TEAM"

Not exactly a thought of the day, as the second quote has been in my mind since I first saw the poster in 2001.

Also - Top 40 Demotivational Posters