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Everything posted by bhobba

  1. I would not worry about it being 3k - even going from 4k to 8k is nearly, but not quite, impossible to detect: https://www.techhive.com/article/3529913/8k-vs-4k-tvs-most-consumers-cannot-tell-the-difference.html The real benefit is shooting in 8k and using good downscaling to 4k. Then you can notice a difference over being shot in 4k. Why - it is thought to be due to reduction in noise during the down scaling. It even works for HD - 4k downscaled to HD looks better as well. Strange - see a previous post I did: Thanks Bill
  2. Of course I will be there - the magnesium's they will be compared with are mine after all. I trust Mike who firmly believes they will be a significant step above those again. We will see. I will make sure my Chord and M-Scaler is there as well and will see how well they go driving the new speaker directly - my current magnesiums are too insensitive for the 18w they produce. It works with the ML5's and these new speakers are nearly as sensitive. Thanks Bill
  3. Hi All Just chatting to Mike again about the state of the new speakers. It's all progressing well. But he found something interesting. He is optimising the shape of the foam baffle. But found with changing the shape, the crossover needed to be tweaked. So it's now a process of iterating the foam shape and crossover design, hence it will take a bit longer than first thought. Thanks Bill
  4. Yes Clay's DAC's work with Windows - you just have to download the appropriate driver. But I dislike it personally because sometimes during a big widows update it seems to disappear. That's why I use a Mac. It doesn't often happen though - but when it does it is a bit annoying. Thanks Bill
  5. Hi Again all. Just chatting to Mike to see how close they are to hearing. Not quite yet. But he explained the difficulty with the crossover was ensuring the breakup was tamed and it remained phase coherent through the crossover. Traps muck about with the phase. You often hear how phase coherent speakers sound better - Mike has checked that many years ago and the critical thing is phase coherence throughout the crossover - outside the crossover its not so important. Thanks Bill
  6. People may be wondering, since this is a well known high quality driver, why Mike didn't try it before. The issue is taming the breakup in the crossover and it not having audible effects. Seas recommends a devilishly clever fairly simple crossover in their DIY designs eg: https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/mtm-speaker-kits/new-thor-kit-pair/ It's a crossover and trap to tame the resonance all in one. But other high quality speaker designers like George Short claimed he could always, doesn't matter how hard he tried, hear the trap - and traps tend to 'drift' after a while, making the situation worse. It took George years to design a crossover he was happy with, and the same with Mike when building my speakers. Massive amount of R&D. But Mike has done it now so its time to make use of his research. Thanks Bill
  7. I have been at a number of comparisons of Clay's DAC's. They often beat DAC's costing a lot more. Value for money nothing touches them. Thanks Bill
  8. Yes. Sorry about that. Damn this Covid - I would normally hear it as soon as Mike has finished, but it's fingers crossed at the moment. Thanks Bill
  9. I have a TT2. IMHO that's what to get because the output is 18W so you do not need an amp. I also have M-Scaler, but bang for buck the TT2 is the go. Because of Covid I haven't had a chance to really put it through its paces, but had a good listen just before Covid really hit and it was the best DAC I ever heard driving speakers directly. Thanks Bill
  10. Still at Mike's Covid playing havoc with getting stuff installed, listening etc. Rawl has a lot of work backed up and hasn't time to install them at my place. Besides both Mike and me would like them down there to compare to the new speaker he is building. Thanks Bill
  11. Hi All Just rang Mike and he said he will be posting soon. He is working flatout on these and will have them finished in not that long - but no firm date yet. He has done some accelerometer measurements and this speaker is even less inert than my 'prototypes', which were the most inert speakers Mike had made. But he found there are slight differences between each driver and the individual tuning he always does will be important. The crossover is a little different to my Magnesium Limiteds - but not a lot. Anyway as I said Mike will do a post when he can - I just promised to do one to get the latest out there. Thanks Bill
  12. I have written a lot about MQA and Clays DAC's in the past. Just to recap here is the skinny. When they convert a recording to MQA they determine the frequency above which its all noise. Bits are chucked away if that frequency is above 48k to ensure its 48k. If it's all noise then only noise is chucked away. Then later when played back they guess at the bits chucked way. Of course if it was all noise above 48k then no guessing is required. This chucking away and guessing is actually a downsampling and upsampling filter pair, called 'folding' by MQA, and MQA has tons to choose from. They analyse the audio to determine the best one to use and transmit the one used with the audio. You can do an internet search and get the gory detail if you like - but it's not really important. The important thing is when they convert it to MQA very few recordings, I seem to recall less than 1 in 1000, have any significant frequencies above 48k, so the filter used simply chops it off at 48k. Players like Audirvana that I use output the 48k from MQA, so except in very rare cases it's the same as being played by a MQA DAC anyway. Bottom line - IMHO its not worth worrying about. Thanks Bill
  13. I think a GTG is needed for that one. I have heard differences but thats just me - I am as easily fooled as anyone else. Thanks Bill
  14. I don't care about looks. Will see how it goes against the Magnesium's (which have looks any other half would be happy with) you made for me, and if better you have another customer, other than you of course. You may suck me in again to get another of your speakers you so and so. Thanks Bill
  15. I got a then state of the art subwoofer from Martin Logan to go with them. It's not quite SOTA anymore, but was shocked at the bass coming out of these things. You have to hear it to believe it. No subwoofer need for me anyway. IMHO the bass is better than ML2's. Mike's working feverishly during the Coronavirus outbreak on the new speakers and we may end up with GTG having the ML5, ML2, these Magnesuim's and the one Mike is working on. Thanks Bill
  16. Hi All I think Mike is a bit busy right now. He said he wanted to a post about the new speaker he wants to design, but as can be seen he hasn't yet so I will ring him Monday. Thanks Bill
  17. Radiant ebony. Mike made a special stand containing the external crossover on a special spring platform he uses in all his speakers these days. When he rang me to tell me he had completed tuning and burning in, he said he was very impressed with the final result, so impressed he wants to design a speaker using the new SEAS magnesium driver coated with Graphene that helps with the breakup that is very difficult to control in the crossover. It took Mike many tries over a number of years to get it just right. I think Mike can comment on anything else. My speaker will be down at Mike's so anyone can hear it. Anyone got any ideas on when to hold the GTG? Thanks Bill
  18. There are some pictures here: Thanks Bill
  19. Hi All Well, after a long wait, my Magnesium Limited's are now finished. I had a listen to them a while ago now but have not got around to writing it up. Well there is nothing to be said except they are the finest speaker Mike has yet build, and I have ever heard. Its strengths are speed and crystal clear transparency, like a window to the performance. I heard things in familiar recordings I never heard before. A number of people have now heard it and were equally impressed. Needless to say Mike is very happy and has been giving thought to a new speaker based on mine. But he is best to speak about that. Please do go down to Mike's if you can and have a listen. It's a bit different to Mike's usual speakers, being of a more crystalline clarity than organic kind of sound. There will be a GTG to hear it, but no date has been set. Feel free to suggest a date. Thanks Bill
  20. Samsung is actually bringing out two 8k series in 2020. Everyone is talking about the 950TS which many think was the TV of CES. That's their premium model. But they are also bringing out a lower tier model without the gee wiz no boarder, bezel etc that will be a lot cheaper - but as far as picture quality goes not much different. I think they are looking at that replacing their premium 4k models and will be priced competitively to other companies premium 4k models. You will not see much of a difference, except as I mentioned in the larger sizes, but the better up-scaling would likely be visible. To me, and this is of course just a guess, it's just a marketing ploy to differentiate Samsung from the competition. It will look at least as good as 4k models so I would not worry on that count. Thanks Bill
  21. Hi All Samsung has recently released their new 2020 line up unveiled at the CES. They are going into 8k in a big way despite the fact you need screen sizes 75-80 (preferably 80) inches to see a difference at normal viewing distances - the 65 inch 8k model I have - forget it - providing the 4k model has their new AI up-scaling, which Samsung has now put in their 4k. models. I have the Samsung 8k 65 inch and it beats hands down the previous top of the line Samsung 4k it replaced and I simply love it. But that was before they put the new AI upscaling in the 4k models. BTW a note about the now heavily discounted end of year prices before the new 2020 models hit the stores - the difference in price is not that much and may make you say - what the heck - its an expensive TV anyway - so get the 8k anyway - that's the way I now look at it. I need to also add some prefer the upscaling in the Sony or other brands so its important to carefully check them out before forking out the cash. Anyway here is the side by side review with the new up-scaling in the 65 inch 4k: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2scswNMgMY Ok - you need 80 inches - but these large screen sizes are now the fastest growing market for Samsung, so they really need some way of taking advantage of 8k, but, are very concerned about the bandwidth required to transmit 8k content, so have come up with a sneaky, nearly magical way to do it - called AI Scalenet - which had me very intrigued. It can even transmit 4k as standard definition.- which is simply - well amazing. Here are a couple of reviews of the new models: https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/samsung-q950ts The exceptional texture and detail work isn’t just notable with native 8K sources, either. Samsung’s 8K AI Upscaling system now features a new Deep Learning element that appears to greatly increase the sense of detail and texture in the most detailed parts of the picture. If you thought 8K TVs were pointless because there’s no native 8K content, Samsung’s latest 8K Upscaling system is good enough – with native 4K sources, anyway – to force you to think again. https://theappliancesreviews.com/samsung-q950ts-8k-review/ AI ScaleNet technology reduces data loss during video streaming. AI ScaleNet compresses the content during transmission from the provider, and then restores it to the TV. Thereby, the new technology halves the bandwidth requirements. According to Samsung, it will continue to actively improve this technology, considering it very promising. In particular, the company has agreed with Amazon Prime Video to jointly test the AI ScaleNet. OK how does it work: https://news.samsung.com/global/developing-ai-scalenet-enabling-seamless-high-resolution-8k-streaming Here is some more detail (see from 27 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6SWYFEeA64&list=PL7PfK8Mp1rLE89RvwBh2IdCD3h6uAvgGm&index=29&t=1625s I think exactly how they do it is their secret but as they allude to it is based on something like the following: https://cv.snu.ac.kr/research/taid/ Interesting times ahead I think. Thanks Bill
  22. I have an 65 inch 8k television and love it. But that may be because of other factors that SAMSUNG puts in their flagship TV rather than the resolution eg their new AI up-scaling. You will see all sorts of arguments one way or the other if 8k is worth it, but really you need to hear from those organisations that have done the experiments: Also read the following: 8K Live Encoding at IBC 2019 Please read the link and watch the video, but I will summarize the findings, and they are very surprising. First despite what others will tell you, you can see a difference in 8k TV’s compared to 4k. The question is why - and that’s where its surprising. What Harmonic found from 8k and 4k sources into 8k TV’s is 8K looked substantially better. But then they applied (hopefully high quality) down-scaling on the the 8k to make it 4k and compared that to the 4k direct. Surprisingly the down-scaled 8K looked substantially better on the 4k or 8k TV. Now it was very close to the 8K direct into both TV’s. In fact people then found it very difficult to tell the difference between the two on normal size screens of say 65 inchs (the one I have). Conclusion - Harmonic believes we will switch to production in 8K but watch it in 4k - at least initially until screen sizes increase substantially. Just goes to show fact is stranger than fiction. Another interesting finding by another company, ISIZE, is the down-scaling used, by the use of AI, can achieve better quality pictures at substantially lower bit rates: https://www.isize.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/IBC2019_iSIZE_v81.pdf They found by transmitting, using AI to lower the resolution to 2/5 or 1/2 the resolution of 4K, depending on the content of each group of frames, then using a simple bi-cubic up-scaler, you can increase the 4K quality for about 60% the bit rate. Of course the source they apply the AI down-scaling to can be 8K instead of 4K. In this way you can greatly reduce the transmission bit-rate of 8K material to values of about 2.5 to 10 mps. But using whats called Adaptive Bit-rate Streaming - also called Dynamic Optimization by Netflix, this would equate to something like 5–6 mbs: Optimized shot-based encodes: Now Streaming! At the moment you need about 20 mbs (sometimes a bit less - say 15 mbs). Because of this I think 8k will be with us quite quickly and not at very high bit-rates so that only those with ultra-fast connections can watch it. Thanks Bill
  23. Having heard the difference the isolation platform makes I agree with Mike. I also have owned the BHK Amp and pre. Very good. But the best I have heard is actually no amp - that's right - no amp. The Chord TT2 is a DAC with an output stage that produces 18W. I heard it through my ML5's which are 89 db sensitive - the ML2's are a bit less sensitive at 86 db so 18w may not work too well with them - but, due to the ears logarithmic response (you need 10 times the power to sound twice as loud - that's the same as 10db - so it will only sound a bit less than the ML5's) its worthwhile checking it out - can save money as well since the amp is gone. Mike has my Chord down at his shop right now - if you can make it down there check it out. I have my Magnesium Limited's being completed soon - but its only 84 db sensitive. Likely will not work well with the Chord - but hey what the heck - will try it anyway. Just on this interesting power thing I have two Arion 500w monoblocks in my system right now when driven by 2v. I have 89db ML3's and use a Direct Stream DAC that produces about 2v at max volume. Each digit on the volume control - it goes to 100 - is .5 db. I find I listen to music at about 40 - 80 would be 10db down - or 50w on peaks - 60 would be another 10db down or 5w on peaks and 40 would be 10db down again - a puny .5w on peaks. It's amazing how little you need. Thanks Bill
  24. I heard them directly driving Mikes ML5's at his store. Mike was skeptical but was shocked how good it was. A direct comparison to the Grandiote was not done but I think it was better. He was impressed enough to really get his finger out with his Seas Exotic speakers that will be 92 db sensitive and an easy drive for the DAC, BTW I think its way cool as well. Amongst other albums I heard was Christmas with Dino. I still cant get it out of my mind. Thanks Bill
  25. Hi All Mike has a Chord TT2 which has the best sound I have yet heard from a DAC (yes I prefer it to the Grandinote). I have heard it on the ML5 - Mike can certainly check it out on the ML2, Its about $7K but it's DAC and amp combined. It may be what you are after - possible issue is HT Thanks Bill
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