Shane in Kenwyn sent a mail to us about three weeks ago asking why we tend to promote Behringer as a brand? The quick and nasty reply would be yes we do, no we don’t. Actually we don’t have any bias towards any manufacturer but we do stick up for brands that may be getting an unfair reputation. We need to look at the trend towards Asian manufacture and then our own demographics.
Over the last 20 years or more China has become the hotspot for European, Japanese and American manufacture of electronic products and for the sake of this article we concentrate on professional and consumer audio gear, laptops and computer monitors. Through early years there has been countless reports of manufacturers battling with quality control and R&D, more often than not still in the country of design. This has changed tremendously. We mustn’t kid ourselves, both Taiwan and the ROC have moved up the ladder to a deserved #1 spot in many fields. Recognised as copycatters, this role may well be reversing. Chinese engineers are some of the best and highest paid in the world, so much so that manufacture is looking at Indian manufacture to remain competitive. Continue reading “Why Behringer?”
The common and garden DAC can be picked up cheaply at most electronic stores, ready to run straight from your CD player through optical (Toslink) or coax and used to drive your analogue only system.
Although these little units are cheap by comparison to high end products being portable they can be used in most cases where a device does not have an analogue output so you really don’t have to trash your vintage equipment.
Going higher end there are literally hundreds of different brands to choose from, most having bidirectional data lines through USB which allows one to input binary and output analogue or vice versa through ADAT (Toslink) usually.
For anyone wishing to record vinyl to their computer one would need a RIAA spec preamplifier. For tape or cassette deck the line outputs would suffice but in most cases non-professional decks would need further amplification. Why? Continue reading “More about DACs – the A/D Converter”
To kick off we need to piss of a couple of people, one being the high end user wanting the fastest sampling rate possible and the second, that cheap means nasty. A DIY DAC may mean a purchase and mod with better supply or even a build from loose components up.
When we went into the Philips Hi-Fi arena 50 years back the CD disk was supposedly going to be the end of our woes, high definition audio at a sampling rate of 44.1kHz and in total using 16 bits to reproduce simply put pitch, loudness and quality. 16 bits of binary, looking at the analogue breakdown would equal to over 65 000 variants of a signal at 44.1kHz sampling.
The iconic USA manufacturer of guitars , electronic audio and DJ equipment has filed for bankruptcy protection caused by losses of nearly $500m through Gibson Innovation, their consumer and DJ division. Gibson Brands Inc filed for Chapter 11 according to news reports, allowing noteholders to continue the business and replace stockholders, including Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO for the last thirty years.
Restoring old gear can be a nightmare when it comes to some of the more obscure transistor types, and a pretty expensive exercise as well. Transistor equivalents for substitution is often a necessity when repairing vintage gear. This applies equally well to silicon devices and not just Germanium.
Years back we were confined to telephonic conversations or writing letters to the supplier, the snail mail variety. In South Africa we are fortunate enough to have proactive suppliers in the electronics industry, unlike in the motor or metal industries where staff are still learning how to send emails, except if they see a big sale pending. Continue reading “Transistor Equivalents – old equipment restoration”
There’s been a lot of techno speak on the various forums to readers about the advantages of using loudspeaker impedances of specific values, some even discussing the merits of 4 Ohms as only being used in very high end systems. The question here is based on another question: If a great sounding system works well driving an 8 Ohm why would you then think a 4 Ohm would make it sound better?
Certainly car audio is often found with 4 Ohm speakers, sometimes in parallel to get 2 Ohms. Does it sound better than 4 Ohms?
Is vintage audio better than modern releases? (post 2000)
This reminds me of the first argument I had regarding the merits of mechanical VU meters over LED.
Yeah, we like vintage stuff, especially with those big VU meters. Hell, I was looking at the specs of the Pioneer SX-1980 the other evening and thought what a beast this must have been in the 1980s. At 270W this is certainly by no stretch of the imagination much in modern times thanks to PWM, Class D and mounted on a one inch square heatsink.
The Sony vintage TA-F444ESX – protector and regulator failure
As a follow up to our previous article on speaker protection we thought it pertinent to look at this classic vintage amplifier, the Sony TA-F444ESX. Good in looks, solid in build and of course exceptional audio.
So yesterday evening you switched off your sound system and today it shows the dreaded “protection” warning. You check the cabling for shorts, open circuits and tear the unit apart hoping to find the offending gremlin. Reassembly and it works, bingo – you didn’t find the problem – it must have been a loose wire.
For those born after 2000 and electric motor is seen as just another product of technology, just like the cell phone. Electric motors have been with us for the last 200 years, personal handheld phone (Motorola and Martin Cooper) about 50. There is a link of course, that being switching devices.
Although it is an accepted fact that inverters and variable frequency drives are with us to stay, older technology relied on some pretty innovative ideas to increase and/or lock an electric motor’s speed.