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About catman

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  • Birthday 12/14/1962

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  1. What are the best RIAA capacitors?

    G'day mate, thanks for this. A very practical and graphic demonstration! Regards, Felix.
  2. G'day all, looking around the house yesterday and thinking about all the audio stuff I've had since the '80's when I started buying stuff in earnest, I've had favourite brands, before I got the DIY bug! In the early days, mainly due to a certain hi fi store in Townsville where I worked at the time, I bought a lot of NAD stuff, some of which is still operational. Sadly though although the latest NAD gear still looks like 'NAD' gear, I suspect that some aspects of quality have diminished. The current PP2e model phono stage isn't anywhere as good as the NAD phono stages of the late '80's in my opinion, when circuitry was based mainly on discrete circuitry, and they were amazing! In more recent years, owing to my pensioner status I've started worrying about price and mainly because of that I've discovered Cambridge Audio. Quite affordable gear and rather good too. I have the AM10 amplifier which is amongst the nicest sounding amplifiers that I've ever had and their diminutive SX50 bookshelf speakers are wonderful sounding small speakers! What are your 'favourite' brands and why? Regards, Felix.
  3. G'day all, it has been very interesting reading this thread as I only know too well that high power RF signals can find very sneaky ways of 'getting into' sensitive audio equipment, especially phono stages. Sometimes it seems like there is no solution but there always is, with enough thought and issue analysis. I've had a few issues of my own with RF breakthrough with my own transmitting gear. I used a little known technique called 'series resonant bypassing' on an affected microphone preamp transistor, which worked perfectly when nothing else worked. There is always a way! Regards, Felix vk4fuq.
  4. G'day all, last night I made a real mess of the system in here rearranging patch cords and such to plug in my best stereo 'phones and stereo headphone amp, and spent a while listening to various program sources, and although I don't particularly like wearing headphones, I was impressed at the increased detail and general sound quality as revealed over headphones. I know that the headphone amp has a lot to do with this, especially the advantages of low impedance drive. That makes a real difference in the 'tightness' of the bass and general quality and my best DIY headphone amps are all designed and built with this in mind. All up it seems to me that for the ultimate in sound quality, headphones are the way to go. Am I right? Regards, Felix.
  5. G'day all, over the years thanks to the internet I've accumulated quite a few well written articles on aspects of phono preamp design and this afternoon I spent a bit of time reading through a few of them. Lots of maths that I struggle with and one conclusion is that a really good design is complex and involved, yet many designs that we see are relatively simple. Can they really be that simple and perform well? Interestingly enough it seems that a lot of designs claiming accurate RIAA equalisation, are actually not! It's enough to make a person want to give up playing records. Sometimes I do feel a bit like that, in all honesty! Regards, Felix.
  6. G'day all, proper shielding and or the use of ferrite clamp on chokes on interconnect leads are often worthwhile. Regards, Felix.
  7. G'day all, or a high power (kw) AM or FM transmitter within a couple of miles or so. Regards, Felix (vk4fuq). P.S. Apparently that happens quite a bit in the US, from my reading on the net.
  8. G'day all, an interesting experience with my QED DS-1 phono stage this afternoon. I put on a record for my parents and came back here into my Ham Radio Shack to do some tests on my transmitters. Shortly after, my mother came in to say, 'you're coming in over the record'. I quickly realised why, the QED DS-1 is housed in a completely plastic case with absolutely zero RF shielding. Simple shielding with a metal case would solve any RF breakthrough issues. I wonder how common RF breakthrough issues are with modern gear and especially phono stages. One popular present day unit is 'known' to have issues with RF breakthrough from high power broadcast radio stations and the like. Any comments? Regards, Felix (vk4fuq).
  9. Music in the Dark.

    G'day mate, it sounds good to me! Regards, Felix.
  10. G'day all, I often listen to the Drive program on ABC Classic FM of an evening, as I am tonight and as it has been a bright hot day (in North Queensland), I had the curtains covering the windows facing the sun to the West and with the setting sun and this room rapidly becoming dark, the music coming out of my Tivoli radio seemed to take on an enveloping quality....quite wonderful actually! Music can do that. Regards, Felix.
  11. G'day mate, with 'records' it's almost a two step affair with the recording side being separate from the 'cutting' side if that makes any sense. Recording levels can be perfect as far as the recording goes but cutting the album on vinyl is a different situation. I am aware that different techniques have been used over the years to optimise the 'cut'. With that Supernaut album I think Stevoz is on the money as it is an album that seems free of any kind of nasty processing....just a straight well mixed album. I have a feeling that it was one of the late Tony Cohen's first album efforts. Regards, Felix.
  12. G'day all, it was a debut album so maybe that was a factor in some way! Regards, Felix.
  13. G'day mate, no big issue it's just that I've noticed quite a bit of variation from pop record to pop record in terms of subjective 'loudness'. It would've been fun and interesting too to be a cutting engineer in those days! Regards, Felix.
  14. G'day all, I've just been listening to my old copy of 'Supernaut' from '76, and I guess that its technical quality is typical of that time. It's interesting that it isn't that subjectively a particularly 'loud' pressing. I've always wondered about the subjective loudness of these old 70's pop records. This was well before the loudness wars of more recent times, so I wonder how cutting levels were arrived at? I guess that there was always a trade off of sorts between record length and level. Interesting stuff. Any comments? Regards, Felix.
  15. G'day all, I caught up with an old friend from the US online last night and we spent some time chatting. We share a common interest in audio stuff and DIY and he was telling me about his latest completed audio project, a very nice set of three way loudspeakers. They are mostly of his own design and he reports excellent general performance. His wood/metal working skills are much superior to mine and his workmanship is superb. I only wish that mine were a quarter as good (which they are not, sadly)! The conversation got me thinking about the whole subject of DIY and what can be achieved. We have some very talented people here at stereonet.com and I'm quietly proud of my own DIY efforts with audio electronics, and as I commented elsewhere recently, my best DIY efforts are excellent and better than commercial equivalents. I am only too glad that the present electronics state of the art makes superb DIY efforts possible, if not (relatively) easy! Regards, Felix.