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I can appreciate the intention of some SNA members who have over recent times minimised and simplified their respective systems. Less can be better. I have gone in the opposite direction. I like to tweak and try things to see what may happen and if there is a beneficial outcome. There are consequences to my direction. Stuff and more stuff.
My system has expanded, developed and evolved over the past 10 years. It is a bit like the kitchen pantry with packets of stuff in the back out of sight that are about to become museum pieces. Things are put in there that get forgotten about. With the help of my system curator (he did most of the work) my entire audio system was dismantled, cleaned, dusted and vacuumed at the weekend. Then just the integral components and cables were put back. Nothing else. Turned all the components on and fortunately there was music. All the accessories, tweaks and whatever where all left out!
The photo below shows all the accessories etc on a table that were left over at this time. There are few more things than I expected. I have a tendency to collect. Not included in the photo are two largish power supplies that are used to power network converters and Synergistic cables and Tranquility bases. Over time most of what is on the table will be reintroduced, one piece or set at a time so that I can evaluate the benefits or otherwise.
Are there other members out there whose systems have developed as mine has? I have never had a specific objective or plan to get to where I have. Things just happened. I tend to follow my intuition. It will be interesting as the accessories are reintroduced to hear whether they are a benefit or not.
Item: Isoacoustics Gaia footers model I or II
Price Range: less than RRP
Item Condition: Anywhere from very good upwards
Looking for a set of Gaia footers to try with my Sopra N2. They weigh 55kg each, right on the spec difference between the I and II models (latter for speakers up to 54kg).
I need two sets (one for each speaker), and to have them posted to NZ.
Greatly appreciate any assistance from the SNA community
I've owned many cameras, and occasionally, I find a new feature, trick, hidden setting, from merely navigating the menus, updating firmware, or installing software onto the SD Card. I just had another one, so I thought I'd start a this little topic.
Canon Powershot Users:
If you happen to own a Canon PowerShot compact, or hybrid camera (basically anything other than a DSLR) then I highly recommend that you look at http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK. Even if your camera is old, (I used it on an old Canon PowerShot S5IS that I bought back in 2007) they support a number of models (see the CHDK site for a list). Basically, you copy some software to your memory card, and this enables a variety of features that your camera may not have. Features include the addition of raw photo capability, extending shutter options (think 1/100 000th of a second), and the software also gives you the ability to make your own cheap USB port shutter release, amongst others.
The great thing about CHDK is that there's practically no risk to your camera. If you don't like what it does, simply remove your memory card and you're back to normal settings. Please note that the raw images (if your camera doesn't already have raw capability) may need to be converted before you can process (or view) your images. See the CHDK site for more details.
Canon 5D Mk III Users:
Firstly, when I bought my 5D, the Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) used in High Dynamic Range (HDR) shots could only do 3 shots per bracket. By updating the firmware for the 5D, I could suddenly choose between 3, 5, and 7 shots per bracket. So it's worth updating your firmware to see what has been improved.
ISO Range Expansion (Specifically, ISO 50 on a 5D Mk III):
Canon cameras have often started at an ISO 100 and gone up to 3200, 6400 and beyond (depending on model). While I rarely have any need whatsoever to go beyond the default upper limits of ISO, I occasionally wish I could lower ISO for long exposures at night to reduce noise. Great news, you can set the minimum ISO to 50 on a 5D mkIII by simply following these instructions:
1. Enter the menu.
2. In the camera section (red), go to the second tab, and select "ISO Speed Settings" (This lets you to configure the max and minimum range).
3. Select the 100, and dial it down to 50. (I found that the option to lower this is not obvious, I thought it'd already be at the bottom).
4. Exit the menu.
5. Dial your iso to 50. On the camera, it will display "L" for low, not 50, so don't stress if you don't see the number as expected.
DSLR Users (In General):
Back Button Focusing:
By default, most DSLRs and many not-quite-DSLR cameras use the shutter button as both the focus and shutter control. However, if you're taking multiple shots of the same thing and just changing composition each time, the default configuration will tell the camera to re-focus for each shot. This can lead to lost moments, and missed photo opportunities especially in dark, low-contrast environments, or for compositions that you just can't put a focus point over your desired subject.
Separating the two focus/shutter features means you can shoot multiple shots with different compositions, while going through the focusing process only once. Of course, this only works if the distance stays constant, but in many circumstances, this is a good thing. However, there are many cases where this will not be helpful...
If you're using macro lenses (or just close to your subject), really long telephoto lenses, narrow depth of fields (wide apertures), or doing anything involving a mix thereof, then recomposing is likely to change the focus distance, and this technique will probably do more harm than good.
Obviously the method to enable back button focusing varies from one camera to another, so look into your camera manual on how to do this or look online, there's a lot of sites to explain all this.
Canon 1.4x Extender, restoring autofocus on F5.6 lenses (or slower):
If you are like me with a F5.6 telephoto lens, adding a 1.4x extender drops the widest effective aperture one "stop" to F8. Most Canon DSLRs (other than the 1D series which will autofocus at F8) will not autofocus with anything higher than 5.6. So you need to manually focus absolutely everything.. which get's very tiresome.
However, if you want to re-enable your auto focus on the 1.4x extender (apparently this doesn't work with the 2x extender) you simply put tape over the 3 left-most pins on the lens side (not the camera side) of the extender. For more details, see http://www.michaelfurtman.com/taping_the_pins.htm
I have used this technique with good effect on bright sunny days. But I imagine that it would be unusable in poor light. Obviously, the focus won't work as quickly, and it'll miss the mark more (afterall, it has less light to work with), but it will work for slow moving subjects in relatively bright conditions.
Anyway, if you have any tips or tricks, please feel free to add them here. All the best!
By Primare Knob
I do not have a clear idea of where to go, starting this thread, since similar threads already exsist. But I like it to become an exchange of things tried and compared. A bit of a technical know how hub and a try before you buy gathering.
I currently have 2 identical PC hardware systems (non hardware optimizations) and 5 operating systems, tweaked and non tweaked.
I have the following comparison in mind:
OS vs OS: Win 8.1 vs Win 8.1 CAD optimized
Win 8.1 vs Server 2012 R2
Win 8.1 CAD optimized vs Server 2012 R2 Core
Win 8.1 CAD optimized vs Server 2012 R2 AO
Server 2012 R2 vs Server 2012 R2 Core
Server 2012 R2 Core vs Server 2012 R2 Core AO
If people are living near Sydney, they are welcome to message me for a meet up. I don't mind to organize a listen session for comparing OS systems or to have a chat about how things work or to try something new.
I am only short on Phills AO script and hope to find a trial/temp or borrowed version to be able to include it in the listen session.
The players I use are JRiver and JPlay (local and remote) Kernel Streaming via USB
After finding the optimal OS and tweaks I like to start tweaking the bios and do another comparision.
The step after that, would be hardware optimizations and comparison.
All in all, a multi session comparison learning path, which I will use this thread for, to keep track and inform you guys. I hope to get more people to join in, so this does not becomes a one guy opinion.
More to come on this.
I am going to place a couple of links and information that has been gathered in this topic here at the top and also some of my findings in tweaking down the PC.
I have updated the Excel sheet about Windows services with my new findings. There a 4 Running services vital for Windows Server, and there are 4 services vital to run and control JRiver.
This list is based on the list made by Black Viper. This minial of services is based on a PC with no Wifi
Here is a link with a free script to optimize Windows 8 and 8.1 and also disable the GUI during playback. You can find the scripts if you scroll down the window inside the page.
Here is another free script with an Audiophile Server option posted by PXK
Version 3 posted by nothing 1
Here is a link for another Audiophile player which also does a lot of tweaks to your PC mentioned by acg.
The interesting aspect of people using this player is that they have under clocked their CPU for the best result. Something I like to try out.
Here is a link for another Audiophile player mentioned by nik.d
Here is a link to another Audiophile player mentioned by 24bit, and one that I can recommend as well.
Here is the link for JPlay.
Here is the link for JRiver
Here is the link for the Audiophile Optimizer
The following links are all computer related
Turn on Auto Logon: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324737
The Difference between Server GUi and Server Core: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831786.aspx
Changing IRQ priorities: http://www.petri.co.il/optimize-windows-8-audio-setup-jriver-media-center.htm#
Turn on Wifi on Windows Server: http://blogs.technet.com/b/blainbar/archive/2012/09/14/getting-your-windows-server-2012-to-use-wireless-not-best-practice-but.aspx
Turn on/off Server Features using Comands: http://blogs.technet.com/b/yungchou/archive/2013/12/19/windows-server-2012-r2-installation-options-and-features-on-demand-part-2-of-5.aspx
List of Packages that come with Windows Server: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn452400.aspx
Using command to tweak Services: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh849849.aspx
Using PowerShell to tweak Services: http://4sysops.com/archives/managing-services-the-powershell-way-part-3/
The following links are worth to read if you are planning to tweak things yourself. Using a dual boot System is highly recommended and if you screw up your registry the ability to fix it from within another OS is a feast.
Installing a dual boot system:http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/install-multiple-operating-system-multiboot#1TC=windows-7
Fix your Registry from a dual boot system: http://superuser.com/questions/145493/how-to-edit-registry-from-another-os-boot-up
You have to change C: for D: because in a Dual Boot you current OS will always be C:, and you try to fix the registry on D: