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, December 31, 2009

Cost of repair (+ Sirius LCD TV repair)

Something just struck me

I'm going to spend $20 on a case and that's considered stingy.

Previously I spent $30 on a spoilt NAD 3225PE

Case, transformer, knobs, pots 'n' all, plus precut holes.

Then I spent $40, and lots of time, to repair it.

I could've just spent a bit more money, buy a new working amp board, and put it inside.

Unless one can convince me that that thing repaired is worth $300, there is no point. Since, the Sure, after a bit of modding, does call $300 for a finished product.

That's why some things are just not worth repairing.

So that's part one of today's entry.

Onto part two

My house's LCD TV was acting up right after its warranty period of one year. The symptom of unable to power up right after the wall socket is switched on indicates a failed cap - what I deduced from experience with many cheap computer PSUs with this problem.

Taking the thing apart finds me a bunch of TEAPO (read as CHEAPO) caps, with one slightly bloated.

Another angle.

As I was ordering some things from Farnell I "tong pang" the caps with them - Panasonic M 1000uF 16V (to replace the original 10V; I bought over to increase reliability) and 1000uF 35V.

Turns out the original TEAPOs are rated 105 degrees while the Panasonic M series is rated for 85 only, with this in mind I decided against replacing all the caps until necessary. But knowing how TEAPOS fail when exposed to 60+ degrees inside computer PSUs anyway, I decided the Panasonics are still more reliable.

Then I also learnt that I should've gotten EPCOS MKP over WIMA MKS4.

Nvm, I can use all these caps for future small things.

Replacement part: $0.78
Knowledge to take things apart and analyse: Unmeasurable, but not a lot
LCD TV when I paid for it: $700
Revenue of entire industry operating in the conspiracy of ensuring things break down right after the warranty period thus forcing you to buy a new one: Priceless

There are some things money can't buy
For everything else, there's


Which requires MasterCard.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Real products stand the test of time

This is related to the hype cycle here:

Hyped products survive for only a few months, maybe a year or two if lucky.

Real products survive forever.

Like Wharfedale Diamond - now at version 10
Or Paradigm Atom - the v.1 that I own, now at v.6
Or Bose series I, II, III, IV, V...
The 60-year-old Klipschorn that is still in production today
The famous LS3/5a that packs value, sound, monitor, and size into one and kept alive by fanatics who overrate this otherwise still good value speaker

ATP3 and MX5021 that people just prefer over newer offerings
Benchmark DAC1 - while too many DACs come and go in this era, this guy stays there from lack of challengers alongside Lavry, the only things demanding more money are mostly from bullsh!t brands also selling other bullsh!t products.

Now lets look at hyped products.

I'm sure you can make your own list by now. Just think of things that are not popular now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A delivery from Sure Electronics:

Nakamichi banana plugs - USD$4.59 for a pack of 5 pairs

Probably not original but at this price who cares, plus the name gives bragging rights. Like Monster. And considering it's Nakamichi, this should be at least the same quality if not better. Like Monster.

Sure Electronics 2*100 watt @ 4ohm TK2050 Class-D Amplifier - the board that can be either heaven or hell - either unbeatable value at USD$39.99, or pair it up with a good power supply, some boutique component upgrades, and you have an amplifier that can rival or even beat those boutique-brand-name amplifiers priced over $500-$1k.

It does say MSI on the sticker on the fan on the heatsink. The power of China OEM.

A side view showing the height of the heatsink, and the spare heatsink they provided in the left still in its bubble-wrap.

Your laptop power brick is not a 145W PSU. THIS is a 145W PSU.

Pair it with a good power supply I mentioned, pair it with a good power supply I did. This Meanwell 145W power supply provides 6A @ 24V, which is more than enough for driving 8 ohm loads.
This amplifier is said to sound good at diyaudio, and anything good enuff for diyaudio is good enuff to own commercial brands with.

Their Christmas present to me - 2*8W @ 8ohm/4ohm, MPS7720 Class-D Audio Amplifier - good for use with the TV computer, lets see how I'll fit it into the computer casing.

Computer power supply and audio aren't supposed to match, but this is a cheap setup in the first place - onboard sound and JBL CS100, I feel sorry for the Yulong T-Amp that doesn't match.

The Sure running on computer PSU +12V. A Seasonic S12-430. For testing. It gets pretty loud with just 12V, as do my Yulong, but I'm going to give it 24V anyway - amplifiers always sound nicer with more spare capacity.

With its ground currently floating the amp gets some noisy buzz with nothing connected but becomes dead silent when connected to the source. A dead-silent T-Amp, now that's some rare proper design there. For I seldom see cheap T-Amps that don't buzz. The floating ground is good, but the voltage-offset at turn-on can scare the shyt out of people.

And a lesson learnt today - not all power bricks are good quality. Using the 12V 2A brick that came with my USB to IDE HDD adapter the highs just go into a crackling of noises, for a while I thought my tweeters are fried.

It fits just nice in a Ferrero Rocher box. Hmm ideas...

And I'm thinking that the Nakamichi plugs aren't that good quality after all, sound quality suffers after using them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quote of the day: Psycho-Acoustics

"I think it all works on Psycho-Acoustics.

In other words, you have to be a bit Psycho to believe it will affect your acoustics."


Noisy lamp dimmer


I've always known that dimmers are noisy but didn't understand why a simple device like this can dump more noise than a switch-mode power supply.


Tagged under audio because, buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, need I say more?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

[Rant] Oxygen-free copper cables

It's acceptable when you find this term being mentioned in general forums, it's not when you see it on pro-audio forums (or "act-pro"-audio forums).

Oxygen-free copper, or OFC cables, cables made of high conductivity copper alloys that have been electrolytically refined to reduce the level of oxygen to .001% or less,

Is NOT a new thing in electronics or audio. In fact, I'd be surprised if I find a cable that is NOT made of OFC nowadays.

The big letters "OFC" on the reel, that is for the $1/m cable from my neighbourhood's DIY store (cost price: 10cents) to distinguish them from the 1cent ones, not for the $10/m "rated for audio" cables, and certainly not for the $100 speaker cables and interconnects.

So if you see a $100 cable with "OFC" as its feature, you know it's got nothing else worthy of marketing and nothing worth your money. It's like those overpriced and underpowered nettops that tout HD-playback capability, something that anything with a current-gen gfx processor or decent GPU can do, and give away the fact that without the built-in H.264 acceleration these things can't do shiat, they can't use FFDShow, and they suck at gaming.

So, if you ever see anyone talking about OFC cable as though it is something significant, do me a favour and shoot him.

You'd do the same without me telling if people talk about gold-plated connectors, rite?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thank you, Captain Obvious

Yes, I know what's the meaning of disable. And that's precisely what I want to do. Stop rephrasing as though I'm somebody from management. They won't manage to reach this place anyway.

So... you're saying in other places if I want to disable something I should choose "Enabled"?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Full-range speakers - how purist are they actually?

This topic might need some background introduction -

Full-range speakers, or fullrangers, or (according to some) more accurately wide-range speakers, are basically speakers that only have one driver per cabinet that handle the entire range of frequencies.

The beauty of this lies in the lack of crossovers that dirty the sound.

But, in order to make up for the lack of frequency extension, the low-end is usually covered by an elongate bass reflex port while the high is sometimes handled with a coaxial tweeter. Bass reflex cabinets have an extra resonance from the reflex port that is used to boost the low-end volume, but this extra resonance also means harder tuning for the entire system, and almost every guide on bass reflex speakers will mention the group delay and poor transient response, which combined with the resonant frequency of the port gives what's well-known as boomy bass.

What is a whizzer cone?

As for the coaxial tweeter, the main woofer diaphragm can be compliantly coupled (think suspension) such that only the lower frequencies are handled by the main diaphragm while the high frequencies that can't get to the main diaphragm are handled by the whizzer. It's a mechanical crossover.

So in the end, in order to make the speaker full-range, one has to introduce other resonant frequencies that will give the speaker the required greater frequency extension. These frequencies can be tuned of course, but this goes against the purist mindset of fullrangers already. Even if only one driver and a sealed cabinet is used, there will still be one resonant frequency that will show up as a peak, but this should be obvious as the peak is formed due to the trough appearing at where the bass and highs should have been - frequency response is relative.

To top it off, some of the best designs include the addition of a supertweeter which obviously does not include having a crossover design for the application.

One should wonder why we had two-way (or 3 and 4-way) systems in the first place, when the first speakers were single-way. As with many things are simple when they were first invented and got complicated later on due to progress and development, but there are always those who are willing to fall back to the Stone Age. I blame those who can't get a real engineering job and turn to making simple products out of textbook designs, then marketing them as new designs to suckers. Think, if any Tom's Dick's Hairy can come up with a simple design within a few months thousands others must have thought of it before already, and didn't go with it because they obviously knew it sucks. They know they'll make more money designing something else that will sell more rather than this niche market.

I'm not bashing the concept of full-range speakers, but everything, including audio equipment plus others. This topic warrants its own post, but I'm posting it here on momentum. Good full-range speakers do exist, but they're certainly not designed by Tom's Harry Dick. And usually at those competency levels nobody believes in purism anymore, so it's okay with me; I'm just against self-delusioning.

How NOT to do a commercial for a game:

It seems they used a comedian. It does achieve the intended effect.

If somebody told me this is a spoof I'd readily believe it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sign of aging population

In the past only one seat was "reserved for them". Then two.

Now we have four. Almost all the way to the front. All the way if you don't count the opposite-facing seats which are next to useless, unless you enjoy staring at people and freaking them out.

And this is spotted on bus 199, the route almost dedicated to NIE.

Backlight bleeding

Who says only LCDs suffer from uneven backlight?


"As you can see, they support "buy-wiring", as the market demanded at the time."


What a great way to put it.