Sunday, February 28, 2010
The almost infinite declinations of being a "........phile" - you name it: cinephile, bibliophile, musicophile, discophile, motorbikesphile, dogphile... is part of everyone, myself included, lifes.
Wikipedia better defines it... Suffix -phile
* audiophilia: Love of high-fidelity sound reproduction
* arctophilia: Love of teddy bears; especially, an interest in collecting teddy bears
* bibliophilia: Love of books
* cinephilia: Love of cinema and film
* glossophilia: Love of languages
* icthyophilia: Love of fish
* logophilia: Love of words - Logophiles may be interested in word games, such as crosswords, or Scrabble, and in the extreme, derive enjoyment from reading things commonly given less notice, such as labels
* metrophilia: Love of the metro rail or subway systems
* necrophilia: Love (usually sexual attraction) to corpses
* neophilia: Love of the latest novelties and trends
* oenophilia: Love of wine
* ornithophilia: Love of birds
* taphophilia: Love of graves, cemeteries and funerals
* technophilia: Love of technology
* turophilia/turophile: Love of cheese / connoisseur of cheese...
... now, like Wikipedia gave the Olympus (just kidding: only due to the "A";-))) of possible, hobbistic "philias", the audiophilia... must understand if "audio" is better than "arcto"... yeahhhh, I love being surrounded, graved under tons, hundreds Teddy Bears of any size and material;-)))
... seriously, my friend Tim recently, yet innocently wrote, coined "Gotophiles", which is the most correct declination of = people owning, using and appreciating those f...ing expensive, wonderful drivers and horns, handmade in Japan;-)))
... so what? Nothing, folks... plainly said, an HUGE, amused, proud, yet humble & ironic "nothing"... all is OK... feel quite nicely and "a mio agio" in that "family of individualists"... Gotophiles... GOTOphile;-) I like it: feel MUCH better being a Gotophile, than a... idiotphile (an audiophile believing everything and ALL the magazines write about the last gear or accessory;-)) or a Teddy Bears' addict... yeah, gimme a fix... I want my pelouche straight in my vein;-)
Of the various "... philias" I joyfully suffer - including a bad "turophilia";-))) - Goto's is one of the most rewarding, ever.
BTW - ... hey, Tim... believe me: we can recover from "turophilia";-)! ... but: do we want it?!?!
Thanks for empathy and giving a smile, Tim;-)
Friday, February 26, 2010
... not properly a Schubert's affaire, yet music is involved: my pal Thomas Mayer recently brewed this very amp, using SE 6HS5 tubes, paper-in-oil caps and ALL Tango irons...
He found that briefly exposing his creations to Bodensee's air gives more "liquidness" to his amp(s) sound;-) - while some snow in the background do not harm sound, which remains warm, without any coldness...
Clever and well done, Thomas...
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Speaker Level Autoformers
These tapped units make a perfect replacement for resistive L-pads and can be tapped in a number of various ways to provide the precision in level matching needed for any specific situation. Cores available are nickel, amorphous and 2mil steel C-cores. Full design support and spice simulation available.
Price: From $300 a pair.
A cheaper and (maybe) better custom-tailored approach to different needs vs. the Fostex R100T transformer-attenuator, only available as an 8 ohm designs.
Dave's site and Forum
I'm a proud and satisfied Dave's TVC user (in my Thomas Mayer's preamp), but all Intact's catalogues is well worth considering.
The Slagle's motto "We listen" sure is well-spent, here...
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If pushed on a shove... the above would be the old Shinichi's approach on passive crossovers, 18 db/octave.
More recently, Shinichi Tanaka-san's hints goes for active crossovers, 1st order AND solid-state amplifiers (Goto's) or more conventional 2nd order passive using L-pads... already seen stuffs.
BTW: nice C-core autoformers - they look VERY Takahashi's, don't you?!?!;-)))
Thanks to Tim and Shinichi.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
WJAAS - ... again about the noble art of brewing a passive/massive crossover - Akira Takahashi's way
From Akira Takahashi-san's:
"4 Ways Dividing Network: Crossover frequency are 200Hz, 1000Hz, and 6000Hz and the slope is -18 dB/oct. Level control is called [transformer type] - i.e. "autoformers": I do not adopt the attenuation by resistors in my shop. It is because unit dumping will worsen and will cause poor tone quality, if resistors go into a circuit in series".
If asked "Why 18 db/octave, Akira?" he'll reply: "Because it's the best sounding x-over I ever listened to".
By chance, Takahashi-san is a long-time Goto's user.
Monday, February 22, 2010
... so I had a fond visit to my records shelves and felt a shiver handling the area with John Miller and others on Nick Perls' Blue Goose label: Woody Mann, John Miller, Jo-Ann Kelly, John Fahey... Blue Goose always had a special place in my heart...
It's - like Kicking Mule, Arhoolie, Takoma, Philo in the USA or Leader and Trailer in the UK or Mulligan in Ireland - an almost one-man-label...
Sincere, great music... no frills, no big industry games... ONLY Music!
Had a listen to John Miller's First Degree Blues... the 21 years old guitar player and blues scholar gives a goosebumps rendition of... living blues... his voice reminds the late Skip James... while a gorgeous pre-War Martin OM-28 blinks from the beautiful, simple cover.
Pure blues. Easy...
Read what John Fahey wrote about him and his very record in liner notes:
"A thoroughly enjoyable album - that's quite a change from mr. Perls' usual shit... it must have been recorded by accident... Spanish Breakdown: that's incredible - almost as good as Lonnie Johnson, or maybe a little better... Titanic's beautiful, as it's Shady Lane.... Chester County's so good it's scary.
I'd say seventy-five to eighty per cent of his stuff is really exceptional: very very rarely do I like that many songs on any one record.
He has one of those funny voices where you can't tell whether he's black, white, young, old, gay, hetero, conservative, radical... He even knows how to sing neutral notes consistently: that's unusual.
His voice sounds like livid, vapid pools of iridescent irrigation water..."
... and while listening to the great Jo-Ann Kelly... well, folks: seems Blues be the only possible Music on this Planet.
... for the adventurous, die-hard archivist and sincere music lover... go straight as an arrow and check # 360209662467 on Ebay for a NM original first pressing (golden label) like the VERY one I own...
"The battery is tied between two capacitors and a high value resistor therefore there is no direct current path for the battery to discharge. The capacitors block DC current and the high value resistor raises the AC impedance so attenuation doesn't occur through the battery. The battery will last for years. The only discharge path would be through the capacitors due to leakage current, which will be extremely small.
To install a battery biased network perform the following:
For each series capacitor (high pass) in the network, replace it with two capacitors of twice the value and series wire them together. ( i.e. replace a single 10uF cap with two series wired 20uf caps) Tie the + terminal of the 9V battery between the two capacitors. Next connect a 1 or 2 Meg resistor to the - terminal of the 9V battery. Lastly, connect the other end of the high value resistor to the return leg of the network.
To play it safe take your voltmeter and make sure there is no DC voltage on the feeds to your tweeter. If you do it right there should be no DC voltage. The caps block it from getting there. You should only see voltage at the node where the 2 caps and the resistors meet....
And yes, it will make a difference with high efficiency speakers. The battery biasing lifts the low level single away from the zero crossing point of the capacitor's dielectric, thus increasing detail that would be otherwise lost."
... from AA (thanks all...) and after brainstorming with Tim...
Duracell: the best audiophile friend? Would seem definitely "Yes!"
My friend Seo-san took a chance in listening to my own "Barocco Tedesco" disc from 1992... a quartet "ALL tube-pure analog" recording I made almost 20 years ago;-) - music by J.S. & C.P.E. Bach, Telemann and Quantz... flute, violin, cello and harpsichord... Seo, like myself, appreciated - with the music - the birds singing in the recording background.
Musicians/friends and myself as the recordist and producer, were younger;-)... yet, VERY fond of Music!
... and: yes, definitely we're ALL lunatics;-)))
Here are his thoughts:
Sunday, February 21, 2010
My love for Japan had this very afternoon an highlight while watching at "Tokyo-ga", Wim Wender's hommage to the late Yasujiro Ozu, the Japanese film-director whose use of fixed camera (a Mitchell) and a 50 mm lens always at seated actors height were a statement of pure "nihon-jin-ness" vs. Hollywood and its dogmas and characters, all well afar from the pre-Hiroshima, virgin Japan in the '20s, at least.
This H.C. Bresson of cinema - beside through a different medium, the Leica M for HCB, they both shared this human-like lens - was also very... I'd say, full of "compassion"... a Buddhist/Zen sense of partecipation and brotherhood for humankind, through his Tokyo-only stories, characters and, again almost exclusively, humble, "normal" family scenes and situations: the relationship between father and son, the departure, death...
Through Wim Wenders' "Tokyo-Ga", this old world and care for the detail, down to the humblest - so Japanese - is well represented, remembered and (sort-of) glorified...
A young Wim searched for Ozu's most famous actor, Chishu Ryu and for his life-long assistant and director of photography/camera operator, Yuharu Atsuta...
The interviews (with the support of a translator) are really a masterpiece.
Can't imagine my emotion while listening to a so passionate, humble treatize in Japanese-way-to-cinema, friendship and loyalty!
Wim Wenders has been so... clever: in a dream-like, stream of consciousness, he compares Ozu's aesthetic to Western's through his own feelings and let old Ozu's partners to rememeber and commemorate him...
Ozu on Wikipedia
Much impressive is thinking to the debit many modern film-makers owe to Ozu, a man whose grave in a Japanese cemetery only bears the "MU" syllable (無).
A man who had a "chronometer" custom built for him to measure film length and shooting time, while during co-writing movie scripts he an his partner used emptied sake bottles enjoed to arrive to the end of writing as another kind of chronometer... a sakemeter?;-)
A true Dadaist... better: Mono no Aware sensei-san!
Like at Paris' Pere Lachaise cemetery, on Jim Morrison's grave, people often leave some drinks... "Kampai" to Ozu-Sensei-san.
Thanks to Wim Wenders and to my friend Luci who lent to me "Tokyo-Ga" on DVD.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Japan as seen by Foreigners
Always the MOST enriching browsing ever when considering a trip to Japan, Professor Jim Breen's superb site is THE goldmine to browse, period.
The above is only a cute example of Japanese kindness...
I owe to Jorge, a gentleman from Mexico City, a BIG "Thank you!", as, asked for more details about his "secret";-), he sent to me the following text to be shared with everyone interested...
"Well, the idea about "the secret" is that Current Charged or Active Biased caps sound so good it will send high end cap companies to ruin;-), and they are making such a nice effort... we can use high end cap for coupling stages in amps, but for Xovers the best cap is a cheap electrolytic with batteries...
I am sending you a pic of the caps I have tried, all are the same value 4.7 mfd, first from the top is Vcap OIMP, wonderful cap, the best I heard with horns, next down is Mundorf Mcap silver in oil, very nice also very quiet and it has a spatial quality I really liked, the soundstage it makes is sort of hypnotic, but the Vcap is just plain more natural sounding. Jantzen Silver is a wonderful cap with attributes of both Vcap and Mundorf silver in oil, is like a mix of them but I will put it just under the Mundorf, but for the price, it is a winner. The Jantzen Superior red cap is a little bit more closed in than the Silver one but pretty good also. the Hovland can sound wonderful and open on some tweeters and horrible on other setups.
I tried Current charged capacitors with Jantzen Superior Zcaps, I bought a whole bunch of them since price wise they are the best buy, With the batteries they sounded better than any other cap, the Vcap or Mundorf Silver oil, I tried them first with just the tweeters and the difference was amazing, the highs were open extended transparent out if this world, they made the rest of the system pale in comparison, they also have less resistance so volume was higher with the current charged. I was so exited about this I couldn’t wait for shipping and etc of more Jantzen caps, so I hooked the Solen caps we all have in the drawer some where, It took me a couple of hours to make the whole Xover board for one side but when both were running it was excellent. I had to use all the plastic caps I had and some had different values and brands on some sides, you need 4 times more capas than original, so I decided to try exact values same caps even if they were cheaper electrolytics.
I run to the electronics shop and bought the first cheap electrolytics I could find (SC) with the correct values for the rest of the horns, to my surprise the electrolytics sounded way better than the plastic caps, the difference was almost as much as when I first put the batteries on the caps. This is the way to make them!
I started again with the tweeters since they are the easiest to make and the less problem if they burn ;-) I found Polarized electrolytics and non polar, so I started with the non polarized caps, they were wonderful, I was again amazed that they would sound even better than the plastic caps, the difference was a little like the difference between the Vcaps and the Mundorf, electrolytics sounded just more open and natural.
They didn’t have enough non polar caps at the store for the rest of the system, so I tested polarized: no problem they sounded just as good, now I have diagrams were they connect both positives to the batteries and others were the negatives go to the batteries, so I hooked the older tweeters and made the change from positive with batteries to negative with batteries, both worked the same and both sounded great.
When I finally finished the whole system the difference was jaw dropping...
You need to double the value of the caps and put two of them in series with the battery and resistor in the center. ie: If you have a 4.7 cap you can substitute it for two 10 mfd caps in series with the resistor and battery in the center, were both caps meet.... This is a more technical explanation I found some where on the net, I am sorry I don’t have the author.
"The networks employ DC bias to operate the capacitors effectively in a Class A mode. The batteries provide a voltage bias to each of the capacitor positions in the various networks. The biasing of the capacitors is done through a large value resistor (2.2 mega ohms) and thus draws no appreciable current. The expiration date printed on the battery generally coincides with the need to replace the batteries. Each capacitor position is actually made up of two capacitors connected in series. The battery voltage is applied to the center connection of the two capacitors. This produces a voltage potential between the two plates within the capacitor. When the two parts are taken as a whole, there is no DC voltage that appears across them, but individually they are each biased. The sonic result of the biasing yields an increase in detail, increased smoothness, and considerably more natural decay of sounds within the music."
So it is really simple to make and the cost of cheap caps and 9 volt batteries in nothing compared even to a good cable!
Another tip I can give you are the Jantzen WAX coils you see in the picture, just so much better than plastic covered foils. Duelund resistors are pretty good also.
I am using Series Xover..."
... I'll have to carefully re-read the above and to digest the drawings and instructions and squeeze them in my so un-tech head...
Anyone having similar Jorge's experiences? Must say - as I learned from Tim - JBL Everest is using such a layout in its filter, after the exposure I had months ago - in Akihabara, Tokyo - wasn't something I fell in love with, BUT possibly other details flawed my listening experience...
Worth adding also Y.B.Andrè and Vecteur from France (thanks Mirco...) experimented on this very path in the '80s... but not with high efficiency speakers;-)
Thanks again, Jorge!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
... as the late Frank Zappa once said...
Thanks to Tim for the above;-)
A nice survey.
Only caveat: this sentence... "Duelund has since introduced the CAST PIO (Paper-In-Oil) series. With a retail price of $675.75 each in Copper and $3,920.65 per piece in Silver Foil (10uF values), we can only guess at how good they may be."
... sounds to my virgin;-) ears like the hideous price-tag makes the above super sounding per-se or something... 'c-mon: let's be democratic: nicely reproduced music is for everyone, not a tycoon-only affaire!
Fortunately, the reviewer next comment is wisely reconsidering "real-world" silver market price per ounce, so - ironically sort-of - bringing whole matter a bit down to earth... and let me add the Copper foils I (too) briefly, recently tasted already are a (much more affordable) sonic beauty!
Why Duelund's should feel embarassed after building those HUGE cans.... aehm caps;-), sure involving a lot of care and skilled workmanship to make'em, for a fee and a 10K euros cartridges or arms builder not?!?!
Nothing against - personally - spending wisely in a free-world of adults relationships... but the hypes (and a.m. bold) may kill...
Anyway, same as for love... money can't buy it, BUT it sure helps while looking for it...
... or not?
Like in Dante Alighieri's "La Divina Commedia" I feel me like I'm entering a "selva oscura" - i.e. the darkest forest ever!
After last Nov. 2009 when I put in place the mighty Thomas Mayer's preamp(s), my Gotorama system is still hungry - like myself;-) - of further refinement, as I see them to be almost virtually endless... from subtlety to new subtleties, I feel I reached something... but simply want to go further and further again.
Jorge from Mexico City kindly hinted to me about Current Charged Caps in place in passive crossovers and he's also using horns and high efficiency drivers ... so, I just began browsing the Web for more detailed pros & cons on the matter.
Voltages? PSU? Batteries? What amperage and voltage is involved? Paper in Oil, Current Charged or exotic caps from Northern Europe (Germany and Denmark)? Feel very much like Caronte brought me at the boundaries of Hell... or it's Heaven?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
"No surprise, with around US$ 822/pairs, this should sound special. Compared with Jensen Pure Copper Foil Paper Tube, this Duelund CAST PIO definitely has more resolution and better staging. Compared with VCap, this has better and sweet mid-vocal. Not as revealing as VCap, but the details are there - without have to be over aggressive. Is it too forgiven character? Not really, since every details are maintained perfectly, not more, not less. Cymbal is cymbal, full with its micro harmonics. If almost all capacitor has its own speciality, whether it’s emphasized on sweet vocal or in high notes, then this Duelund simply has none to be proud of. It’s just maintain the music and all the micro details, included staging and layering. The low is soft, layered, natural. The mid-vocal is just right. The high is very detail, but not sharp or over emphasized. If I have to use words to explain, I would say “Natural”, “Resolution”, and “Pricey” to describe the Duelund CAST PIO.
I think, you can (should) use Duelund if you already have a “near perfect” system. I would suggest a VCap for a “dull” system, a MCap S/G/O to get a live sound (average), and a Jensen “classic” or Paper Tube in a too revealing system. But Duelund? Use it if you already have a “near fine” system, and Duelund will help to add its “perfect touch” on it.
About Duelund’s price tag (which sooooo expensive, the 1 uF/630VDC Silver Foil version sold around US$ 1000 each!), I have to agree with Tempo Electric and I quote them as below:
In an age of $17,000 phono cartridges, $27,000 speaker cables, and $120,000 turntables, he could be right. On the other hand, silver bullion has been selling in the range of 10 Euros (US$13.00) per ounce for years now. How much silver is really in these things, anyway?
If you could afford US$ 9000 CD Player, US$ 10,000 Power Amplifier, or even US$ 5000 for a turntable cartridge and another US$ 20,000 for speakers, why dont you spend US$ 800 for capacitor? Don’t ask me Sighhh… But still, few hundreds bucks only for a capacitor is considered “insane”…
Added 18 August 2009:
Frederik at Duelund Coherent Audio emailed me and said that Jensen Pure Copper Foil Paper Tube and Duelund CAST PIO are not the same in terms of construction. I completely agree that we (I) never know whether they are the same or not inside (well, no one knows except the manufacturer). But from a standard customer point of view, they both have similar brown/black color tube, same Copper Foil, and same Paper In Oil type capacitor. I think it’s natural if most people would think, perhaps, they both share similar “technique” or “construction” (both from Danish and both “are” Jensen). But from the ears point of view, definitely, they both sound different.
Added 21 August 2009:
Frederik at Duelund Coherent Audio emailed me to clarify the question whether Duelund is made by Jensen. You can read the detail explanation here:
Cooperation with Jensen Capacitors
From time to time, we get the question if a Duelund capacitor is simply a rebranded Jensen capacitor, as is so often seen in the industry. The short answer is “absolutely not!”, whereas the more detailed response is that we do collaborate with Jensen Capacitors, but the products themselves have nothing in common with a standard Jensen capacitor besides being a “wet” capacitor. "
NoB - I also wrote Duelund's for technical support - about my improved passive 4-ways crossovers for Gotorama system - and received a reply from Frederik... more later...
BTW... Jimmy's "my own in-bold/enlarged" advice is absolutely wise and intelligent... exactly what I recently heard in an horn-system using ALL Duelund's caps x-overs...
Monday, February 15, 2010
Pay attention to the "monitor" smaller horn...
Friday, February 12, 2010
Celebrating the work of the album sleeve rather than of the music itself, the new stamp collection features the photography of Pennie Smith (The Clash’s London Calling), a cake baked by the then unknown Delia Smith (Rolling Stones’ Let it bleed) and a painting of an anonymous faggot-bearing man which is said to have been found by Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant in a Reading junk shop (IV). Despite massive sales of the album worldwide, nobody knows the name of the man in the painting, nor the artist who painted him. The full list is below.
Rolling Stones/Let It Bleed (1969)
Designed by Robert Brownjohn, the sleeve sculpture was based on the initial album title of ‘Automatic Changer’ with the added cake created by the then unknown Delia Smith.
Led Zeppelin/’IV’ (1971)
The band’s fourth album had no mention of their name on the cover. The painting of the faggot-bearing old man was, it is said, found by singer Robert Plant in a Reading junk shop. For the cover it was nailed to a demolished house in Dudley.
David Bowie/The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)
Heddon Street in London’s West End is the scene for the painting. Photographer Brian Ward helped to conceptualise Bowie’s notion of the alien pop star and the sleeve was designed by George Underwood with artwork by Terry Pastor.
Mike Oldfield/Tubular Bells (1973)
Designer and photographer Trevor Key brought Oldfield’s conception to life, of bent chrome metal piping cut out and overplayed on a photo of sea breaking on the south coast.
The Clash/London Calling (1979)
The third album from the band features Pennie Smith’s iconic shot of bassist Paul Simonon, considered one of the greatest rock photos of all time. Ray Lowry designed the artwork, paying homage to Elvis Presley’s debut album.
New Order/Power, Corruption and Lies (1983)
Peter Saville’s design juxtaposed French impressionist Henri Fantin-Latour’s painting with a colour-coded strip.
Primal Scream/Screamadelica (1991)
Paul Cannell became the in-house artist for the Heavenly and Creation record labels. For Creation he created this iconic image for Primal Scream’s album.
Pink Floyd/The Division Bell (1994)
Pink Floyd’ final studio album featured gigantic metal heads in long-time collaborator Storm Thorgerson’s design. The heads were drawn by Keith Breedon, sculpted by John Robertson and stood over nine-feet tall. Positioned in a field in Cambridgeshire, they were photographed over a two week period.
Blur’s third album distilled the essence of London, and the racing greyhounds were captured by photographer Bob Thomas, and the sleeve designed by Chris Thomson and Rob O'Connor of London design firm Stylorouge. Blur is an EMI artist.
Coldplay/A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
Chris Martin of Coldplay saw this arresting image in Dazed and Confused magazine, and wanted it for the album cover. It is the work of Norwegian photographer Solve Sundsbo, and the result of medical imaging technology. Coldplay is an EMI artist.
For more information about Classic Album Covers stamps visit: www.royalmail.com/albumcovers
Thursday, February 11, 2010
No comment... http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/COMMS/ear/ear.htm
Thanks to TPG for hinting it.
The degradation of the stereophonic illusion due to off-center listening is investigated, both for a small and wide loudspeaker basis. The experimental results for video applications are compared with the case of a much wider loudspeaker base, as in audio-only applications. The optimum loudspeaker radiation pattern is discussed, obeying the time/intensity trading concept.
A true goldmine from the past (1962)
...mmmmmmmmmmmhhhh... must find a copy...