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  1. davewantsmore, oh dear, your making a very arrogant and irrational argument re. reasoned argument and replication ie. your right and I'm wrong. I used, after much experimentation on cable construction the unchallenged findings of Oliver Heaviside/late 19th century. You are contradicting yourself when you make pronouncements on air cored conductors - (1) I did get specific about construction, what materials to try and why FEP is better than TEFLON and I did say that others should try to make them - theory from practice. As you are a DIYer - why don't you make a set - then you will be dealing with reality and not concept. On digital cables I said - I have no experience, so no opinion - you need to look at your response and take note. Your last paragraph is hilarious but I don't think this was your intention. There isn't a mountain of evidence, if there was you would have quoted some of this mountain, you have made a statement with nothing factual to back it up - why not? There are idiots who pronounce that - mosfets sound best when run hot BUT they never show evidence that cool running mosfets sound worse - because they have never conducted experiments to prove/disprove their theories - this is just pure arrogance - I can't be wrong - sad, very sad characters. Years ago I used computer fans underneath hybrid gear (mosfet output) that sounded different/better to my ears and the bonus was that surrounding caps/resistors ran far cooler. In the 1950s many papers were written on the greatly increased longevity of caps and resistors that operated under reduced temps. So you design systems that use no signal wire, no caps and no resistors - unbelieveable - now produce at least (1) photo of an amp/preamp/phono stage to back up this revolutionary statement - we are waiting.
  2. First find out what gauge of mains wire your plugged into, power cable capacity is defined by (1) it's gauge and (2) by how much Kw the consumer panel is rated for. Total up the aggregated wattage of all your gear. Go to your consumer panel and find out if it feels warm to the touch. I used to live in Spain and no way could I use all 4 rings on the electric hob without triggering the circuit breakers on the consumer panel, when my Spanish neighbour took me to the consumer panel and said feel how hot it was I was shocked. You are of course using a distribution block to plug all your gear into - what is it's max. rating?
  3. It's all about Quarks, Strangeness and Charm, no but seriously - particle physics is all about the building blocks of life as we know it on this planet/starship. The audio world is often seen by those in the computer world as a bit of a joke. This is far more true in the analogue than digital domain. It wasn't always so eg. in the 50s lots of papers were written about the effect of heat on the performance/life of capacitors, resistors etc. Metallurgy has moved on hugely especially with the introduction of computing power and then we have the obsession with rhodium plated plugs, carbon fibre shells for RCA/XLR plugs - what the hell does this material have to do with electron/signal conduction - nothing but it is good for profiting from mugs who buy into this b/s. Someone made a comment (i think in jest) about bare wire - do away with connectors. On another forum which has been at death's door for years, I mentioned air cored conductors, which should be solid core, about using FEP and not TEFLON as dialectric. Instead of using reasoned argument to oppose these tried materials the only responses were sarcasm, denial syndrome or ridicule. One sad character said that the design and implementation of circuits were far more important but wait a minute - no matter how good an amp or preamp or whatever is - the signal has to be conveyed via signal wiring and 99% of the time this has to passed through, connnectors. These electronically generated musical signals are weak - how well do they pass through and around the conductor/s used? (read Oliver Heaviside) - how are these signals effected by the dialectrics they pass through, how much are they corrupted by the dialectric and by the powerful atomic fields they encounter when entering connectors, RCA,XLR, h/phone plugs. Can anyone point me to actual research conducted by experienced, open minded professional people? I have heard it said that point-to-point wiring is the best way to build analogue equipment? I've lost count of the times that it has been said that as long as digital i/connect is actually 75ohm all is golden, some now challenge this. I spent 4 years starting with received wisdom aka b/s about designing analogue i/connects - the whole thing nearly put me off music. I did reach and end game, or nearly so, I still have to make i/cs using 4 x 6N sold bare copper wire, micro coated with Pro-Gold to inhibit/stop oxidisation. Speaker wire - the larger the gauge the better, maybe it will be the same as for i/cs - 4 x 26AWG = 1mm. so, 4 x 1mm = 4mm in air(FEP)cored dialectric. I will risk buggering up the brilliantly designed gimbal arm developed long ago by Kenwood for the KD990 (I have 2 x KD990 decks) Taking the original solid core high purity silver from cartridge tags to phono stage input - I never use shielding,electro-magnetic interference. I never twist multi-conductors together, I use them straight inside a soft sheathing material, secured with heatshrink - never use the supplied grub screw, use. Once you've made your own analogue i/cs you will never buy commercial ones again - whatever design you use. I will make and use my own digital cable using true 75ohm connectors. If your connecting well designed and built gear doesn't it make sense to use signal wiring that will convey the signal/music as faithfully (non religious use of that expression) as possible to the next piece of gear?
  4. Someone mentioned Pro-Gold - brilliant stuff. Lot's of 'received wisdom' in hi-fi is actually unscientific b/s. I always use Pro-Gold - 5 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part Pro-Gold - it is very expensive but this way you will only need to buy the one small bottle ever. When the wife/girlfriend has used up the little bottle that nail varnish comes in, clean it with alcohol and you have the perfect vehicle to store your wire protection juice in because the nail varnish always comes with a small applicator brush. The best connector is no connector - bare wire is fine, before fitting just brush the wire with the brush, the alcohol will evaporate leaving a micron fine coating. When I make i/connects I always use this method before fitting the connector shell of the RCA/XLR plug. As someone said with bare wire just make sure after a few weeks to make sure that the whole thing is tight, it's a good idea to tighten all your power plugs at least once a year as well.
  5. Aircrete is not a trademark - it's a type of block. It isn't expensive to use as there need be only (2) operations - (1) aircrete block, (2) crepi finish outside and if you live in Queeensland (lots of rain) you can use a waterproof crepi finish. It simply isn't true that this material makes building a house expensive - labour is the biggest expense just like in Europe. I pointed out that the ongoing expense of building insurance is a huge factor that should always be taken into account. No one is going to teach you in your final year at school about money, insurance or pensions - it would put a lot of parasites out of work. I do understand very well that there are a lot of places in Oz that have a continuous risk of fire, I'm aware at the moment of the high temps. in parts of Oz. All the more reason to construct a house of fireproof materials. I would imagine that the fire risk premium in many places will be bloody high, just like in the Netherlands no insurance is available for ground floor areas of homes and in some places zero insurance is possible for flooding. In fact the Dutch are well aware that in the future the Netherlands like most of 'flat' northern Germany, Denmark will simply disappear. That's why lots of Germans/Dutch and Danes buy property in other countries - common sense really. So cost out insurance for a fire risk premium, lower cooling/heating costs over 10 years - you may be surprised. Mortgages are the biggest 'gotcha' . Something not possible today with insane property prices but I met the parents of a mate at uni - they got married at the end of WW11, he was a carpenter/joiner, she was a shop assistant. They decided to just 'exist' for 3 years and pay off the mortgage. Then they made some investments which made life much easier later on.
  6. Addicted to music - thermosiphonic systems are only for frost free regions. As I said you don't have to have a system mounted on the roof. Solar hot water systems used in southern Spain don't seem to have the problems you have had - vitreous enamel tanks are a no-no. mpfyf - you are making excuses for building materials that should have been dropped decades ago. Do you have any actual experience of aircrete blocks. 30cm blocks are all that are needed to acheive excellent thermal insulation - (1) single operation and no need to use plaster inside, skim coat any minor imperfections, 1200 grade lining paper and use organic paint 9no caqncer risk) fireproof/insect proof and an excellent acoustic value. Since labour is the key factor nowadays, it makes using these blocks a cheaper, far better alternative to traditional materials - it's not a case of what people can afford, nor forgetting that fireproof and insect proof has to mean cheaper insurance. It comes down to the same thing here in Europe - vested interest and governments bowing to the interests of big business. So there are similar products to aircrete - give me online refs. so I can check out how they compare and if these products are comparable in their benefits - why aren't they being used?
  7. In audio there is so much 'received wisdom'/hype and 'because it's expensive it must be good' which added up amount to total b/s, which has turned so many off 'hi-fi'. At the beginning of the 70s in the UK the first thing that by a margin young couples wanted as a first priority was a good sound system - they hadn't yet been brainwashed into - must have a millstone aka a mortgage, must have one, no two cars etc. etc. That was a good first priority for the time - just look at how much fantastic music there was to get into. Then the cons began to arrive by the bucketful - the Linn Sondek upgrades, the fall in quality of a lot of LPs, the Japanese amps that had so many bells and whistles and lots of buttons that actually were connected to - nothing. Then came the snake oil of cables which has gone unabated ever since. If you are happy to stay with the old 'accepted wisdom' then Blue Jeans cables are a no brainer. However if you want be adventurous take a look at TNT-Audio for starters and think about trying some of the diy cables - i/connects/speaker cables. A long time ago I decided to make the UBYTE 11 speaker cable which kicked the crap out of commercial offerings at any price. I don't think it is possible now to make the UBYTE 11 as the sat. cable CT 100/125 - 1mm & 1.25mm solid core copper conductor with copper foil and copper braid sheild over air cored construction is no longer available. Using i/cs that had no sheild/no drain wire/solid core/air (FEP) dialectric/no twisting/not expensive RCAs and finding that CD didn't have to sound bright or harsh and that with analogue gear - phono stage and preamp connection revealed so much more. I'm now going to use this methodology to make speaker cables, my only problem being that I may have to buy more oversized FEP tubing than I need to make two sets of cables - 6N solid core copper, one for myself and another set for others to try in their own different systems to give me objective opinions as my own will be too subjective- vamos a ver/let's see.
  8. Check out thermosiphonic water heating - this is as simple as it gets. Normally using a storage tank mounted on the roof, no need to use nasty anti-freeze. Also systems using polymer material that can freeze and unfreeze without damage. For those who quite rightly are worried about roof damage solar water heating systems can also set up on the ground, with a thermosiphonic system you would need then to use a pump. Of course the real place to start with energy saving is to have a house built with an intelligent design and with the right materials. Whenever I see a new build house with one or more a/c units installed I know it's a piece of crap. The prime directive is that a house should be built that has exterior walls that provide an effective barrier between an external and internal environment. Internally there should be privacy between rooms. I can say with certainty that none of this is possible with the latest building Regs. 2012 here in France. Once again I urge people to check out aircrete blocks, if they are not available in Oz here's an excellent business opportunity for those with energy to get involved in. Something that hasn't been mentioned by anyone and something I wasn't aware of until a couple of years ago - PV panels lose efficiency with increased heat and let's not forget that maximum efficiency achieved at best is 22% (normally 17%). If you live in an urban setting as most Aussies/Europeans do then your options are limited. Something that most people don't even think about - the modern life is only possible with a constant supply of electricity, take that away and you have no choice but to step back centuries, a sobering thought which influences me totally in materials and house design - the less electricity I need, the easier for me to realistically provide my own supply.
  9. They must have made fortunes. I remember last year checking out prices achieved on discogs and ebay, many were going for a couple of thousand. Makes me wonder about all those mint LPs on discogs, all those Beatles/Stones/king Crimson et al and all coming from the Russian Federation - caveat emptor - as always.
  10. rmpfyf - privatisation is always tghe most expensive option - boards of directors who award themselves huge paypackets/share optioons and wonderful pensions only enjoyed by board members - please don't try to b/s on this. You are continuously tub thumping from personal interest, it's pointless to deny this. To all those members who have corroborated what I posted - nice to know that a lot of Aussies are wise to the neo-liberal b/s. People buy shares to get dividends, the meatier the better. - who pays those dividends the mug consumer. private companies will always try to cut their expenses (upgrading/maintenance) and maximise their profits. We don't need to debate this further do we? Of course most places that people live don't have win d 24/7 that's not what I said. I looked into these all singing and dancing storage tanks and their control systems cost - they don't come cheap. There is a mantra attributed to salesmen/women - KISS - keep it simple stupid - I say it's a mantra for everyone, all the time. The more complicated systems are, the more likely for something to go wrong and then you need a 'specialist' who will screw you. The 'professional' quoted tubed water heating systems which can be destroyed by extreme weather conditions and which tend to use anti-freeze (not nice chemicals there). the simplest systems only applicable in frost free environments are so simple that you could make one yourself. Like all other solar water systems, temps can get very high and that's where modern thinking and simple shading make a huge difference. I have researched wood burning stoves here in Europe and I'm not impressed. Most don't have a means to use external air supplies, OK in drafty old French houses, if your mug enough to buy one. However in a properly built insulated property, if you don't want to die from carbon monoxide poisoning they are a must. I'm amazed at how much of the heat generated by these stoves is allowed to escape up the chimney - how about feeding a cold water supply by flexible copper tubing around the flue stack before being fed into an electric hot water tank. Not difficult at all. By using an external air supply that feeds the firebox intelligently it's possibel to have an open fire door, the difference in heat output is enormous and totally safe. Here's another idea that can and should be used with any heat source - properly engineered ceiling fans. I shall be buying 2 of these for my L shaped lounge - noise 5-6dB, 5 settings using from 7 - 35W, remotely controlled, choices for fan blade lengths and stems. Taker a temperature reading at seating level and one at ceiling height - you may be surprised. Solar energy from windows in winter is wonderful and free - just shade those windows in summer and keep out the unwanted heat. Using lightweight internal insulated shutters in winter make a huge difference. Here in Europe nearly all houses use German made electronic plastic external shutters - guess what you live in darkness and if you get a power shut down - they stay down. I agree with the member (crisis?) who talked about roof damage, scaffolders are notorious and with modern crap built roofs in France, you wouldn't believe the flimsy timbers they use. I also agree about guarantees, if an installer has gone bust what are they worth and the best one is the 10 year one, normally the material fails in the 11th year. My advice is simple do not trust anything any company says about anything - the only reviews that have value are user reviews. research, research and then more research before you shell out for anything - caveat emptor - buyer beware.
  11. Exactly - the 60s' kicked everything off but most of the best music was laid down in the 70s'.The only problem with vinyl then was that the record companies treated young people as dummies and I well remember the long queues at HMV (now gone into liquidation) on a Saturday, taking back badly warped/bits of vinyl pressed into LPs etc. The irony is that the first to ditch vinyl were the classical crowd and record companies always used virgin vinyl for that genre and crap for everything else. I never bought anything by Creed Taylor - CTI that wasn't good. Like I said, you can still buy stuff from the 70s' at reasonable prices.
  12. You work for a big power company - vested interest. You live and work in Australia which is entirely different from the conditions that apply in the EU where privatisation has been a complete rip-off. Power companies in Europe using coal/oil do lose money as they cannot just shut down. An pure sine wave inverter with AVR is better than variable mains power which can and does include a lot of noise, especially when industrial companies share the load. France has 82% of it's electricity supplied from a nuclear source, very few French know how much it costs to decommission just one nuclear power plant - €50 billion is a conservative estimate and that doesn't take account of the nuclear waste which has a 200,000 year half life. Solar heated water is a no brainer, especially if frost is not a problem which applies to much of Australia, such systems are easy to install and run. Using a small PV panel to activate shading when temps rise, it is the cheapest by far. Diesel generators present no danger unlike ones that use gas or petrol. True they are not environmentally friendly but it is easy to store diesel and it has a shelf life of over 2 years. The French weren't stupid liike the rest of Europe and never cut down all their forests so wood is relatively cheap and many own land with woods, so have a free resource. Wood burning stoves only require the stove pipes are cleaned once a year and can be done by the owner unlike gas or fioul units. This accreditation is in may cases a scam to grossly overcharge the consumer - see another posters comments. PV has come down in price thanks to the Chinese but fitting to roofs mean that any problem requires an expensive call-out. Far better to fit them to frames on the ground where they can be fitted to track the sun which means a 25% uplift in power generation. However for those not living in an urban environment, once reliable wind turbines are produced they will destroy the PV market - PVs maximum 8 hours production - wind turbine 24/7 is possible.
  13. My first venture into valve gear were the World Audio Design KAT88 and the trio of pre-amp/phono stage and PSU. I bought Svetlana KT88 and 6550 tubes initially from Watford Valves and then from Igor Popov who decamped from Russia to live in Bilbao/ Pais Vasco. He designed a few amps that used to be on the Svetlana site, long disappeared. he reckoned that if you din't run the Svet 88s hard they could last up to 10 years, may disagreed with him - in Russia he was an aerospace engineer. As I never used the Svets for anything like 10 years I cannot offer an informed opinion. Nothing to do with the thread but maybe not threadcrapping - he left the USSR in 1990 with two copies of everything the Beatles ever did - I know that's true because i used to visit his home. They were all NM - I hate to think what they would cost to buy today. I agree with one poster's comments about the two valves - the Svet KT88 has more slam but the mids on the 6550 are beautiful - take your pick.
  14. The economics - I've costed this - diesel gen. pure sine wave inverter with AVR / batteries, long life sealed @ €5-6K. As a percentage of the house price this is a no-brainer. As I said I can't go off grid, EDF simply won't allow this. So, next best thing for me is to approach EDF and ask for a tariff, only drawing juice between midnight and 6AM. This is when all power companies lose money. Power companies aren't like consumers, they can't simply turn on and off power generation. Sadly with privatisation ( a huge rip-off) in the UK there are many companies, one operating in Wales has an idea to pump water up into a reservoir at night and use water turbines (very efficient) to release it during the day. You may be surprised at a power companies response to only supplying energy during the night hours, at any rate I'm sure that the tariff during the night is lower than during the day. If your batteries cannot fulfil your needs that is when the generator kicks in to supply energy. It's important to look at what you use - LED lighting makes a huge difference - I'm writing this with the only light source an LED lamp that can swivel and use as an uplighter - 10W. Aircrete blocks - 15cms x 15cms with foam infill in a 10cm space will give me an interior temperature of 19C regardless of the exterior temp. Full length windows H 2.2M x 1.5M W with proper shading in summer and free solar energy in winter and using internal insulating shutters in winter mean little heat nec. via a small woodburning stove and 2 x near silent Italian ceiling fans 12-15W remote controlled to move the heat around and down. Solar heated hot water has been reliable and cheap for at least 2 decades now. All the information nec. to fit PV panels is right there on the web - beware of so called trained operatives - do the job yourself. The big advantage to AVR is that all your electrical devices will last longer, since they are designed to operate at specific voltages. The other kicker is that your hi-fi will sound better. All those pricey power cleaning devices become useless/excess to requirement. Phono stages that use batteries sound better, ergo all your gear will. The ability to give the finger to Big Brother for whatever reason is not to be sniffed at.
  15. I live in France and incredibly if EDF, the State electricity company can't or won't connect to a new build house they you can't get planning permission - how's that for fascism. I don't know what the 'law' is in Oz but why do you want to be connected to the grid. Surely the answer is battery storage and a back-up generator, diesel, not from choice but from a safety aspect, with gas and petrol you only have one accident, also diesel has a shelf life of over 2 years. Inverters - surely you all use pure sine wave ones with AVR - automatic voltage regulation +/- 1% ?. Batteries are improving all the time, in a few years graphene batteries will be available. These will be real game changers - 50-100 times conventional storage capability. Domestic wind turbines - I checked these out a long time ago. 99% have far too much downtime. There were only 2 reliable ones, one American and one Scottish. Problem is that to use bigger,much bigger transformers requires far stronger towers, so much so that the tower can cost nearly as much as the turbine itself. The other problem are the turbine blades. However a Japanese professor at a university in Tokyo was so impressed by the ability of dragonfly power output that he conducted experiments and was amazed to find that their wings instead of being smooth were very specifically ridged. So using these ridge patterns he produced turbine blades that turned and produced electricity when the Japanese met office said there was 'no wind'. I intend to write to him to see if with these new turbine blades he has combined them with a properly designed turbine and tower. Why bother - wind can exist 24/7, the sun 8-9 hours maximum. There are many locations known to be windy, very windy, maybe some of you live in such a location. With properly designed wind turbines they will easily beat PV panels. Worth thinking about. Also do you need to use air conditioning? A house built of the right materials should be an effective barrier between external and internal temperatures. Most housing around the world uses crap materials. If you live somewhere that has frequent fires is your house built using fireproof material, if not, why not. Aircrete blocks were first made in Sweden in 1924 - they are fireproof, insect proof and are thermally and acoustically very efficient and are 1/3rd the weight of outdated dense concrete blocks. I don't know if they are available in Oz but they should be. Roofs using slate or clay tiles - why, outdated and far inferior to aluminium or steel roofing panels, in the Uk they are available in heat reflecting white or light grey. With such a house you may lose your garden to fire but your house would be undamaged. I wouldn't consider using any other material than aircrete blocks. I first worked with these a long time ago in the Netherlands. Protect your windows from solar energy in the summer months but accept this free clean heat in winter - absolutely no need for power hungry air conditioning. Never forget that well insulated housing needs an air change system for healthy living but that's another story. Check out these materials online, all the info is there. House builders aren't going to change unless they are made to. A house built of the right materials will require far less energy. The craic is to be free from big business/big brother, that's real freedom.
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