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  1. MRC01

    ESI [email protected] XTe Sound Card

    This was a popular card 10-15 years ago. I've had mine about that long. It's unique in that it has a daughter board that you can unplug & flip around to switch between single ended (RCA) & balanced (1/4" TRS) outputs and inputs. It uses the AK4358 for DA and AK5385A for AD. It supports PCM up to...
  2. MRC01

    Rules of Thumb about Resampling

    Resampling methods are not all created equal. Some are better than others. By "better" I mean correct mathematically, precise numerically, and transparent perceptually. Without getting into the details, can we establish some pragmatic rules of thumb? Here's a first draft strawman to throw darts...
  3. MRC01

    Restoring old Tape Player

    I've decided to restore my brother's old tape player from the early 1980s. When I put in batteries, the motor spins. So it looks like all it needs is a new set of belts. While I'm at it I'll clean up stuff in side. I still have my old tape head demagnetizer wand. Anything else I should do...
  4. MRC01

    Another Power Switch for the Adcom 5800

    I bought this amp new in 1992 and it's been running like new ever since. I've used nearly every day for over 25 yeras. But every 10 years or so, it fries the power switch and get stuck in the "ON" position. Just happened again tonight. So I'll be getting the 3rd replacement. The part costs about...
  5. MRC01

    Tascam 40X Measurements

    For the past 15 years I've had an old Zoom H4 recorder and it's served me well as a portable preamp for my Rode NT1A mics. Back when I first got it, I did a simple mod to improve its sound quality. Lately it's been getting glitchy & buggy. It will suddenly shut itself off when attempting to give...
  6. MRC01

    Play Classics Reviews, Sound Quality, Feedback

    In this thread, @Mario Martinez of Play Classics invites us to listen to some of his company's recordings and asks for our impressions and feedback. Since that thread is full of requests for albums & such, I figured I would start a thread dedicated to our listening impressions. That way we don't...
  7. MRC01

    Flaws in Recording: DC?

    I've got a recording that has a quiet section that looks like this: Looks like a DC offset for a couple of seconds. It's not audible, but I figured it could act like a DC offset which could be bad since my preamp & amp are direct coupled. I figured a high pass filter should fix it, so I...
  8. MRC01

    MPEG4-SLS Streaming

    When it comes to high quality audio streaming, I've read a lot about MQA but not much about MPEG4-SLS. References, measurements, comparisons seem hard to find. The Wikipedia article doesn't say much. Primephonic's highest quality streaming uses the SLS format with Orastream, where Idagio's...
  9. MRC01

    Trevor Pinnock Interview Series

    I just found this series of brief interviews of one of my favorite musicians. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I found this while researching his latest recording of The Well Tempered Clavier, which is a joy to listen to.
  10. MRC01

    Simple Dynamic Compression & Expansion

    To compress or expand dynamics, I was wondering why a simple algorithm isn't used: convert each sample to a floating point in the range -1 to 1, then take it to some power P. If P = 1.0, the signal is unmodified. If 0 < P < 1.0 it compresses dynamics. If P > 1.0 it expands dynamics. Of course...
  11. MRC01

    LSO Live Recordings

    I find LSO Live recordings sound anywhere from excellent to fantastic. I have a lot of large ensemble classical music recordings from 1940s Toscanini to modern, and the LSO Live are consistently among the best sonically. They have big unstrained dynamics, natural voicing with no boxiness...
  12. MRC01

    Human Ear Polar Patterns

    As we measure rooms to improve response, we should ensure the microphone hears what our ears do. For example, when I measure my room, the UMIK-1 mic shows a bass null that doesn't appear with Rode NT1As. I think this is because that null is caused by sound reflecting off the back wall, which the...
  13. MRC01

    Mic Calibration for Rode NT1A

    I have a pair of Rode NT1A mics that I use for recording local acoustic music events. These mics have lower noise and distortion than the UMIK-1, but they have non-flat frequency response and they don't have individual calibration files. I created detailed calibration files for these mics, so I...
  14. MRC01

    HDCD in Practice

    In summary, as I understand the HDCD spec, it uses the LSBs of each sample as a bitstream to encode flags telling the DAC to trigger various functions that the HDCD spec requires to be programmed into the DAC, like different AA filters or amplitude shaping curves. I'll ignore the AA filter...
  15. MRC01

    Ideal DAC+Headphone Amp?

    I typically use my phone or tablet for music listening only in noisy environments like cars or airplanes, where sound quality is less important. That's also why I never invested in expensive IEMs because what would be the point a noisy environment? But recently due to working from home I was...
  16. MRC01

    Loudness Wars and Classical Music

    Note: it turns out that my PC had a background app that was boosting the level by +10 dB. This didn’t show up in the audio panel, which had everything set to flat / zero. There was nothing wrong with this recording. However, I’ll leave this here since it talks about how to identify overly hot...
  17. MRC01

    Best Piano Recordings

    Piano is difficult to record well and can be revealing of flaws in recording technique or playback systems. And there's so much great piano music nobody could listen to all of it in a lifetime. Here are some of the best piano recordings that I have heard. By "best" I mean they sound the most...
  18. MRC01

    Classical Music Guides & Reviews

    I listen to all kinds of classical and more generally acoustic music: from medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic. My interest fades around 1900 when this music stopped sounding like music to me (with a few exceptions like Rachmaninoff and to a lesser extent others like...
  19. MRC01

    Room EQ Wizard Import Sweep

    I've used REW for a while now, taking measurements, importing sweeps, no problems. I just ran into one that I can't figure out. Using version 5.20 Beta 4, I generated frequency sweep files. Played them back while recording. Then I go back to REW (same 5.20 Beta 4) and import the sweep recording...
  20. MRC01

    TV Screens and IR Remote Interference

    This is tangentially audio related, since it's the IR remote volume control on my DAC/preamp. It sometimes works perfectly, other times intermittent and simply doesn't respond. With some troubleshooting I realized one correlating factor was it always worked perfectly when the TV was off...
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