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*

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

High-end audio stuff are just expensive

When I use the word "just", it is not figuratively. I really mean they are just expensive and nothing else - poor performance, bad design, their high price is just them being expensive for no reason, other than the label of high-end audio perhaps.

Take a look at this:


Would you pay $55 for this -

Or would you pay $55 for this:

The choice is clear.

Both heatsinks only has one flat side to mount onto the surface they need to cool. The Scythe Ninja may be harder to mount, but it has a much smaller base and can be used to cool chips sitting on the PCB directly without being obstructed by other components.

Quote of the day:

"It was 1988. What to do about digital?

Few high-end CD players were available. Few digital-to-analog processors were on the market, and almost all were pricey. Audiophiles desperate for better sound sometimes purchased modified players—kludges, I called them. But this wasn't an attractive choice, either—$200 machines turned into $1000 wonders with maybe $60 worth of parts and an hour's worth of labor."


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Umbrella: Matsuri (sola) vs Yumemi (Munto)

Matsuri uses her umbrella on rainy days because she wants to see the sky

Yumemi uses her umbrella on sunny days because she doesn't want to see the sky


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Random thought of the day - Are CDs lossless?

CD, FLAC, are always considered as lossless. But lossless compared to what? Lossless compared to the original source? The original source is analogue with infinite sampling rate and resolution. Compared to the mastering copy? Those are at least 24-bit, 96kHz.

Oh, so lossless compared to each other.


We like to bluff ourselves huh?

And y am I thinking like an analogue person?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quote of the day:

"Words of the wise and experienced are more accurate and thus valuable than published text and figures."

So now you know who to believe when reading the forums. Those who know what's right, and those who think they know what's right.

I happen to be in the latter category most of the time though. But at least partially educated guesswork is still better than pure dumbness guesswork.


Teammates are people who let you take the bullets for them and they take your kill.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Engineers vs 'Ear'-gineers, who's more correct?

Answer is: neither of them is correct all the time. Especially the case for "engineers" that have limited knowledge.

I'll be mentioning today the topic of directional cables. Because I've seen many engineers not believing in them at all. When there are, in fact, exceptions, that come with engineering logic.

Lets take the most obvious one. Cables have shields, right? To shield them from noise, of course. Now, all you "engineers" don't tell me that twisted pair cables are immune to interference, because the immune part is bullshit. It is resistant, yes, but never immune. For if it is I do not see why FTP (foiled twisted pair) and STP (shielded twisted pair) are invented along with UTP (unshielded twisted pair), and stressing on the unshielded part.

The Belden 89207 is a shielded twisted pair btw. Obviously you know it when you're trying to cut through the copper shield.

So what about shields? Well, the noise that the shield picks up will have to go somewhere, right? And ground would be a good place for it to go (I mean, duh).

So you'll have the shield connected to the ground. So far so good.

But wait, isn't the ground of an unbalanced audio cable shared with the signal return? And since it's unbalanced, isn't the audio signal referenced to ground? (No need to think, because the answer is yes.)

So if that shield is connected to the ground of the receiver, isn't that essentially dumping crap back into the signal?

That's why the shield is usually connected at only one end. And that's the source.

Wouldn't that be a good enough reason to follow the directional markings on that cable, you so-called engineers?

This reasoning holds true for any cable that is not symmetrically designed - perhaps some inductor or choke at one end. While I cannot speak for those that are, this is enough to prove that not ALL directional markings are to be ignored.

Believe with a reason, disbelieve with a reason. That's the engineering way of doing things. Not thinking it is surely wrong before you hear the explanation by the believer. And it's good also, because sometimes the reason can be so amusing, it's a great source of entertainment. Comedy genre.

It sounds better when it's worse - Part II

Part I

Now another quote from here:

"Adding isolation/dampening tweaks when none is required might end up worsening the sound from your setup."

Now now, what's next, scratching your CD makes it sound better?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sonicaps are not by Valgrind Audio

Or rather, Valgrind Audio did not produce the capacitors. They are made by (or at least branded by) Sonic Craft in the USA.

I should've realized this obvious fact the moment the product came out (and yan even posted a link to the pricing on Sonic Craft website). Valgrind Audio doesn't even have its own website, needless to say the ability to manufacture capacitors or even print its own name on them. Most likely it only exists in Singapore.

Not doing anything illegal, but I believe this is a misrepresentation of facts calling it Valgrind Audio Sonicaps when it is not a component by them. Seeing so many people calling it Valgrind Sonicaps, or Valgrind caps, Valgrind 4.7uf so on. Heck, Sonic Craft can sue them over trademark issues.

And to add insult to injury, the capacitors are not exactly expensive, in fact I find the price to be acceptable even for use as normal parts in a DIY product - USD$11.70 for each of the 4.7uf film caps in question. Considering a 1uF MKS4 cap by WIMA with a similar voltage rating is more than $2. And I'm not sure if 5 of them in parallel would be as acoustically pleasing as the Sonicap although it'd sure provide one heck of performance.

If I ordered from the makers themselves, the cost for the caps would be only $11.70 x 2 + $5.55(for the 0.1uf bypass capacitors) x 2 = $34.5 USD excluding shipping. Now how heavy can these capacitors be.

That after today's exchange rate will be SGD$51.08. Lets say, something screws up and you pay $14.11 for shipping and the $14.81 handling fee, that'd be 80 dollars, and the cost can only go lower when buying in bulk to reduce shipping charges and eliminate the handling fee.

And on this, add a few pieces of transparent green plastic and two connectors, slap the brand Vlagrind Audio onto it, and sell it for $240.

And the money is definitely not paying for knowledge used to design the product that will make it perform better. I mean, how the hell did the designer decide on the value of 4.7uf? The physical size? Nothing much can go wrong in design here since it's only one component, but if it's to be used with ear/headphones 4.7uf is puny.

And the best part is there are people buying it and backing the product. Even saying it's worth the money. How it's excellent.

Of course, only a specific group. A sad specific group. But that's good enough for the maker. To milk some quick bucks out of them who waste loads of parents' money on unneeded products.

Now, if I spread the word about its price to its owners, I can imagine the look on their faces. It would be like what the guy had when we took apart his Tomahawk to compare against Mini3.

I won't talk to them about the performance, since they will not believe it anyway. Because they're using their ears to do the thinking. And there'll be this hardcore group that'll say as long as they spend the money happy can liao. But I prefer to go with spend less money, get better performance. How else is my $400 system fighting with those $1k systems out there?

I'll be steering clear of Valgrind products - this brand is now officially totally blacklisted by me. Even more blacklisted than Cros****** and R** S****** and G*-**** and F******* A**** among others, at least I can give them credit for something that does work and have their plus points/their own markets that I can recommend people to, at the minimum have a good price/performance ratio even though they may be gotten cheaper. So blacklisted I'm not afraid to say the name out loud without the asteriks. Because you're paying it money to screw your sound when you can do it at 1/3 the price.

Since I touched on this, I should touch on a related topic.

Why is it that there is that certain group of people that would just blindly follow and believe in anything? I mean, Valgrind Audio isn't even a well-known brand, I'm not sure if it is even a legitimate entity to start with. Who the hell gave them the idea that it is good? Then there are many other brands also. All sharing some things in common.