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*

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quote of the day:

"There's no limit to the amount of knowledge in this world. Yet there's a limit to how much money there is in this world. So a man's goal is to get as much money as possible with the least amount of knowledge" - me

It seemed wrong without the quotation marks.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Funny thing I noticed about the Japanese language...

English in Japanese called 英語(えいご)

Yet England is called イギリス("Eglish")

England and English makes sense in, well, English (of course) - England is the country (land) and the people and English and speak English.

England and English makes sense in Chinese too - 英国 - Eng-land people speak 英语 - Eng-talk.

But in jap English is 英語 kanji and England is イギリス katakana which indicates it is a more recent foreign term, compared to 英語 which is imported from China.

Why don't they also use kanji for England - 英国 like the way they do for 中国? Somemore "Eglish" is so different from England.

My theory is that, similar to Singapore, Australia, and Central America, when the British first reached Japan, they saw a strange looking animal and asked the natives what that was, and the natives answered "kangaroo" which was supposed to mean "I don't know" but the visitors took that as an answer. And when the British saw a person hiding under the table the Japanese said "nothing" because they didn't see anything, but the British took it as it was a kind of superhuman called Ninja. And when the Japanese asked where the British were from, and they replied "Shut-the-f***-up speak English!" The Japanese, being used to their long-winded redundant grammar, thought it was a formal way of saying "I am from ______". Aren't we glad the British didn't phrase their sentence this way "Speak English, f*** you!"

P.S. - the Ninja part is fake. Actually the entire last half of the post is fake, if you don't know me very well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quote of the day: "The thing just hung"

My tutor said that during class.

He was using a Macbook.

He had to do a hard reset.

So much for the un-hangability of the UNIX kernal.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Amplifier stages are designed according to their requirements -

Ideally, an ideal amplifier, which only exists in an ideal world in an ideal universe, in an ideal society and used by an ideal person in an ideal fashion, has none of the problems associated with real-world amplifiers.

But we live in the real world, welcome back to reality.

In the real world an amplifier must always try to strike a balance between power and noise, so amplifier stages are designed according to their requirements:

Power amps - high power, high noise

Buffer stages - low power, low noise

Preamps/headphone amps - low power, high noise

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This is creative enough to deserve a photo (plus cheap audio rack problem solved):

Looks like an ordinary paper tray to me

but where are the stands to put inside the holes to raise it and connect multiple racks together?

Look again.

They're on the tray itself waiting for you to bend them off from the main body like plastic model parts.

Hmmmmm creative, save on production, save on packaging

And the good thing is it's flat so I can use is as an audio rack and it fits my Zhaolu perfectly width-wise. And it solves both cable management and heat problems. And it's cheap - $1.95 for two, and expandable - just buy more to stack. It won't fit the Sure-Q.E.B., but my current home table doesn't have enough space for it either. I'd have to look at shoe racks for that one. Alternatively, build another Sure, but put it in a more squarish and smaller casing and it'll fit.

If anyone spotted that small white AC adapter in the left, that will be in another post.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Random shots: A trip to Challenger


Bling gone wrong. Especially the gold ones. This would've been popular in the 60's.

Did somebody say Ultimate Ears? You're damn right it's Ultimate Ears. Even the box is the same.

This metro.fi 150-lookalike still sells for the original price of the metro.fi 150, long after that one's been discontinued. As I probably said before, I have high regards for this model, because it is good for the price from a major maker. Not like those overpriced underpriced (no that's not a wrong use of verb here) earphones from China that always seem to perform double their price yet get thrown away in half the time. At least with big brand names, most of the time you're sure that the $80 you paid for is worth $80 w.r.t. that brand's $160 offering, for example. With China, there's a high percentage chance that it's worth $0, because it doesn't perform up to par, isn't what you wanted, and you have no use for it.

I also had a chance to look at Altec Lansing's new chic/ugly/sexy/hideous offering expressionist ULTRA

For the first time in a while computer speakers sounded normal to me. It has the highs, the mids, the midbass, and a powerful punchy yet controlled and deep bass. While other speakers struggled with boomz this sent the bass in a single shockwave.

But still, it doesn't have the space of large speakers which is what has always plagued computer speakers.

But, after listening to this, I listened to the reference VS4121, and that sounded pretty muffled. Though I already know the VS4121 is muffled compared to Creative's previous-gen offerings (i-Trigue series) but those have their own problems of sounding too thin, this only shows that the expressionist ULTRA is an all-rounded step up from this already good all-rounder, something I know that sounds pretty normal.

Next I listened to the expressionist BASS


Lets just say it lived up to what I remember. Of it sucking.

Bass? What bass?

Those who say it has bass are bluffing themselves. Then again, many people say Gigaworks T20 has bass too.

Midbass? Not much either.

Wonder why AL had to come out with expressionist ULTRA.

On an off-topic note, there are many who think the T20/T40 is like the best audiophile speaker for music and the T3 is the bestest speaker.


This sounded relatively normal. A bit cheap on the highs and shaky in the bass (looks like they're pushing that tiny driver too hard), but it sounds relatively good in comparison to the competition. But for $89 I've heard better, and VS4121 isn't far away.

I also listened to the good ol' MX5021 with its emphasized midrange that some people hate. It sounds pretty cheap and harsh up close indeed, but move a few steps away and give it some space it suddenly sounds very spacious. Much of soundstage and space information is in the midrange, and the MX5021 satellites behave like some bigger speakers in this aspect - that it sounds thin and dry and sh!t up close. That said, the 2 x 3-inch drivers-sporting MX5021 satellites aren't small either.

I didn't bother comparing which is more worth it to buy, cos in the end it's still more worth it to just buy an amp and bookshelves for this money. Though some bookshelves and amps are so overpriced and underperforming that they negate the advantage of this route, which is good price-performance.

Sure-Q.E.B. (qwertyextra's Build) v0.9

Finally the time has come. Here I have it wired up for fire test 2.

(Before I finish any DIY-ed product it needs to undergo 3 fire tests that check if the product literally catches fire -

Fire test 1: check for any instantaneous complete or large-scale destruction of product or attached equipment, usually resulting from short-circuit or fast overheating. Ideally carried out with a light-bulb tester, but without it you can be just as fine with proper-rated fuses, secure grounding, and a keen eye for spotting smoke. Test lasts for a few seconds to a few minutes before powering-down to check for problems.

Fire test 2: check for short-term functionality and any other possible major/minor causes of failure. After checking all voltages are correct product is plugged in and turned on fully and more measurements are taken with the product functioning. Things that are checked include voltages of power supply, signal/power/chassis ground, in/out DC offset, and continuity of major conduits/capacitors.

Fire test 3: check for long-term stability of product in worst-case-scenario conditions, also known as stress-test. I decided not to do this one as it is usually related to cooling and power, and this thing has overkill cooling - a relatively big heatsink with fan for the chips that won't put out even 5W of heat under my normal use, and the power supply which won't put out much more than 5W either I have it bolted to the bottom of the chassis which becomes a large heatsink for it, coupled with a generous helping of Analbond. I can expect this thing to blast for hours while maintaining at room temperature.)

The electrical wirings to the connectors on the chassis are not done yet, so lets call this version 0.9. The version number will indicate the performance or feature/functionality/bling upgrades that it has received, v1.0 being stock. I didn't plan for a v0.9 though.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What's going to happen?

Watch this space......

Random post

Random photo:


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Homing missles existed since Medieval age

Here we have a missile thrown by a catapult. Arrow indicates direction of travel.

Still looks normal


What the...


Blast direction

Picture showing trajectory. Apparently it changes direction in mid-air.

The inventor must be damn proud.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You gonna get raped

See the actual raping in action:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sure 2*8W @ 8ohm/4ohm MPS7720 Class-D Audio Amplifier

I got this amp board with a plan in mind - to replace the Yulong that's overkill for the TV rig. And this would be cool in a computer. I studied the datasheets - the 1.6-inch apart mounting holes is exactly the distance of two PCI slots, so this would mount without any modifications. The screw terminals make connecting easy - I can tap the signal from within the computer via the AC'97 connector, I can get the 12V from the computer's PSU so power supply problem is solved (and I get auto-switch-on/off function, saving power), the only problem lies with speaker-out but I'll convert one PCI bracket for that. It'd be cool. I mean, c'mon it's an amp inside a computer, turning the computer into an all-in-one device that you can just plug bookshelves speakers into, MSI tried to do that but fail in their bullsh!t marketing.

This is how it looks like when mounted in a case. Only the power wires are connected for testing if the wires facing the rear of the case will get blocked. Turns out no problem.

My casing may look small, that is because it is, it's a low-profile case that is 10cm tall and can only use low-profile expansion cards.

And low-profile casings have their big share of problems. For one, the amp extrudes the case by just a few mm. I can choose not to close the case but I did not, for this computer needs to look good and be protected good.

So onto plan B.

Plan B in testing phase

Daiso is always a good source of cheap wood boxes that irritatingly somehow do not have a top.

Banana plugs are free bundled with the Sure 2*100 TK2050 amp - if I wanted to build a $200 amp that fights Virtue Audio's offering I'd use something gold-plated at least.

Bought an 8mm drill bit just for this - for the RCA holes.

Finished product

The Neutrik RCA connectors make up for around one-forth of total cost - why didn't I choose the cheaper one (also gold-plated) at half the price for this sh!t. Now these golden connectors look too bling.

Not shown in the picture is a Panasonic M 1000uF 16V I decided to throw in for some local power reserve.

The wood and connectors are more sturdy than I imagined.

Belden 89207 used for internal signal wiring - I only had this on-hand. It's stiff enough to keep the board in place without mounting screws.

Sound-wise, it's pretty okay for the money. Compared to the Yulong (which I just found out recently that it's very good for the price) it sounds constrained, lacks space, poor decay, swallowed highs, and weak bass, but otherwise it's acceptable, at least it doesn't make you want to turn it off or make your ears hurt, and is enough for casual listening. Which is enough for my TV rig. The difference is like a good onboard sound/entry-level soundcard versus a more-than-entry-level DAC. I've heard sub-$100 amps sound worse.

It currently does not have a power supply, a power switch, and a volume control, all of which together will add significantly to the cost of the amp, hence I left them out. I did not have plans regarding the power supply since it was originally intended for use with computers, so get an extension cable and pull the power from the computer. My Seasonic's long cables helped in this aspect. Volume control might be required for safety though, as this can get quite loud and can blast ears off at Windows' default volume setting - with volume knob at max on both Yulong and this (no volume knob actually) I listen at around 1/6 with Windows' volume control , max.

Because of the lack of power supply, switch, volume control, a sturdy case with a top, other complete products may provide more bang for the money if you just need something that works. The JAM Acoustic Audio Amplifier @ $59 w/o PSU and $79 w/PSU and Scythe Kama Bay Amp @ $80-ish are good competitors, though I'm not sure which would sound better out of the three. But if you just need something quick and dirty for use with a computer and/or can use the computer PSU for power supply, I highly recommend going for this.

Just make sure you have more space at the PCI slots, mounting this in the computer is where the beauty of this thing is, or should've been.