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How dense are you? 5

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday I surprised a few of you when we learned that the output of just about every modern DAC with 24 bit resolution is actually DSD, or Pulse Density Modulation, also commonly known as 1-bit. We understand that classic ladder type DACS reach a brick wall at about 16 bits because the accuracy of parts […]
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Can't get there from here 2

Posted 7 years ago

The day of the 16 bit ladder DAC is pretty much over. If you were particularly fond of the beast, despair not because we have something better called DSD. The classic ladder DAC relies on a very accurate division of current (eventually voltage) between steps. If you think about it, this fact should now be […]
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Smoothing ruffled feathers 5

Posted 7 years ago

I announced in yesterday’s post we’d find out today why traditional ladder DACS are no longer used in high-end audio but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow as many of you wrote back and said whoa, whoa, whoa. How did we get from the stepped sine wave I showed to a smooth and nice looking […]
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Telling the truth 0

Posted 7 years ago

In our ongoing series on the differences between CD’s and SACD’s we’ve covered the first part of the CD process, encoding audio into a digital format known as PCM, and next we’re going to explain how we get the encoded data back into audio again so we can listen to it. The encoding process is […]
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Dynamics 4

Posted 7 years ago

In our continuing series on PCM vs. DSD I mentioned a day or so ago that bit depth controlled two things: granularity as well as dynamic range. Granularity being the fineness of each step in voltage when we think of rebuilding the signal back into a continuous waveform and dynamics being the difference between the […]
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Jittered bread 0

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday we summed up how PCM encoding works in the broadest of senses. I used the moving train analogy hopefully to good effect but my friend Len Schneider sent me yet another one that I think can only help our understanding of this subject. It’s worth getting another summation. “If you slice a loaf of […]
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Bits and bits 5

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday we explained how we take snapshots or pictures of the changing voltage stream known as analog. Each picture is actually a single voltage measurement at a fixed point in time. Once we’ve measured the voltage we convert that measurement to a numeric value and store the value. Each stored value is called a word. […]
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Breakdown 3

Posted 7 years ago

Oops. Yesterday I proclaimed that the 26 letters of the English language were a type of code restricted to a finite number of possibilities based on 226and this is simply wrong as many of you pointed out to me. Thanks for all the feedback, I wrote the post late at night and my attention was […]
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67,108,864 4

Posted 7 years ago

We’re working on a new series that will help us get a better understanding of SACD’s vs. good old CD’s. At the heart of everything is really two competing digital audio schemes: DSD (PDM) vs. PCM. In yesterday’s post we learned that these two competing formats both use single bits known as 1’s and 0’s, […]
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Telegraphing music 1

Posted 7 years ago

I hope you’ll indulge me on this series as I want to take it in smaller, slower bites one day at a time. I do get mail from time to time from those that want longer more detailed posts and are antsy to not be required to wait each day for more info and to […]
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CD vs DSD 2

Posted 7 years ago

Today’s post marks the start of yet another one of our “discovery” series where we try and get a little learning under our belts. These series seem to be ok with most people and they are fun for me to write, so what they heck. Let’s go for it. I think there’s a lot of […]
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Beer and Hi Fi 0

Posted 7 years ago

Colorado is one of but a few States at the heart of the craft beer revival in the US and, coincidently, one of but a few States that has been at the forefront of hand crafted high end audio for years. It strikes me that applying the skill and intent to produce something extraordinary is […]
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Sense of pride 5

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday Terri and I returned from new York City. We travel to New York once a year to volunteer with the NYC Marathon’s medical team: I run the communications and Terri drives one of the Central Park ambulances. This year was different as the event was cancelled at the last moment because of the hurricane. […]
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Differences 8

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday’s post covered common mode noise and today’s will cover differential mode noise. To refresh your morning brain, common mode noise is radiated noise from cell phones, WIFI, etc. that get received by both wires in our home’s AC wiring at the same time. When you look at an AC outlet you see two holes […]
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Common and not so common 13

Posted 7 years ago

If you’ve been following along you’re now up to speed of how the upcoming PowerBase product came to be. Born out of the idea that isolating equipment from both mechanical as well as electrical problems really helped the system out, the PowerBase turned out to be a floating heavy platform to set equipment on that […]
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One way gates 6

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday I wrote about the need for a one way gate for the power – meaning we want to see if we can’t reduce the generated power line noise each piece of equipment produces from going back on the line. As well, it would be nice to trap out any other noises going into the […]
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We found the problem and it is us! 5

Posted 7 years ago

Our story of the development process of the PowerBase continues in today’s post. I might mention that the final product will not be ready for anyone to see or try until the end of this year – as I know quite a few of you have asked to see what it looks like. This series […]
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The Oasis 6

Posted 7 years ago

Through a lot of painstaking trial and error, coupled with a lot of failures and a few successes, I landed on a pretty unique combo of a heavy steel plate sitting on large diameter Sorbothane feet of a specific hardness (durometer) that worked as well as the wooden isolation base I started with at the […]
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Head scratching 6

Posted 7 years ago

In our continuing story about trying to figure out why isolation bases mattered, how they worked and what we could do to perhaps make our products less needy of their services, I endeavored to build my own. It’s been my experience that the best way for me to learn is to jump in, roll my […]
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Turning hobbies into products 2

Posted 7 years ago

Picking up on our story of the isolation base shootout at the Munich High-End show of a few years ago,we move back to Boulder Colorado and jump ahead a few years. In our main listening room everything was powered by a Power Plant Premier sitting on the aforementioned wooden isolation base. I had tried to […]
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The beginning 3

Posted 7 years ago

Reader David Zigas sent me this quote after reading yesterday’s post titled 1+1=3. “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality”Albert Einstein. Thanks David, you gotta love Einstein quotes. What I was referring to was our […]
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1+1=3 3

Posted 7 years ago

We’ve covered some good ground in the last few days: power and why it matters, vibrations and microphonics and why they matter. I have also ruffled a few feathers on these topics and that’s ok – I am sure it won’t be the first or the last. Where we’re headed in the series is as […]
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Counterintuitive 0

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday we discussed that cones and spikes under electronics is probably not the best idea if you want to really address the problem of smearing caused by microphonics. Yes they work and yes your equipment will sound much better with them in place, but they do not really solve the issue they were intended to […]
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Diffused vibrations 13

Posted 7 years ago

We’re in the middle of our mini series on power and vibration control for our hi fi systems. Yesterday I explained that vibrations, caused by the loudspeakers in our listening rooms, were inevitable and instead of focusing on minimizing or eliminating them we would be better served to treat them like we would room reflections. […]
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Ghostbusters 3

Posted 7 years ago

We’ve been focusing on microphonics and how they affect the performance of our AV equipment. Vibrations from the output of the loudspeakers in our room generate airborne as well as floor-borne movement that is coupled into the audio signal we listen to forming a type of insidious loop that smears the music we listen to […]
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