Why 3D printing and CNC machines top the maker charts
Building your own guitar? Cutting a face-plate for your new amp? Designing and manufacturing decals?
For those of you just starting out, welcome to the club! The Maker fraternity in South Africa is believed to be very much alive and well in Cape Town and Johannesburg where believe it or not Cape Town is supposedly the capital.
Not even 5 years ago CNC machines were slowly becoming the rage, 3D printing only just starting to make an entry into the maker space. Although using similar parts standardisation was a key issue. Stratosys is just one such manufacturer which dominates the market, with their smaller brother Makerbot being possibly the defacto for small scale prototyping. CNC milling and lathing has always been a favourite topic amongst DIY modelers and professional craftsman. They have become more accurate and cheaper. Continue reading “Maker Space – CNC and 3D Printing”
My first peek at a Nakamichi was in Japan. Sparse in detail, no flashing lights, VU meters or fluorescent displays. Just so damned gorgeous. OK, then you have the PA-7, industrial strength, industrial looks and what a beauty. But if you one needs to really capture beautiful looking amplifiers, then look no further than the McIntosh range. Black in finish, blue lit VU meters.
So what to do if you need that really cool look and have a budget of a few ZAR? Unfortunately VU meters, really good VU meters are not cheap. The question about where to source comes up often on the web and besides eBay where you may not necessarily get exactly what you are looking for, Meter Sales or Instrument Meter Specialties in the USA may be your answer. In South Africa the Model 543 is going to land at about R1 800.00 ex duties and VAT. So make sure your amplifier is worth it.
The bargraph, long being favourite for many enthusiasts is your economical solution in most cases. Why have a VU anyway if a bargraph is a better solution in many ways? It all comes down to vintage. In the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s most equipment was still analogue where the outputs were designed to be fed into an analogue recording device. Analogue recorders are a lot more resilient to input overloads, in some cases even done deliberately. Not so with digital devices where the results are painful to listen to. VU meters are very slow and don’t necessarily slot in well high with speed transients but they are brilliant for monitoring the average output amplitude.
VU meters with peak overload, monitoring the 0VU perimeter and making sure the VU meter is correctly calibrated is all part of your sound engineering experience. Continue reading “VU Meters Vs Bargraph”
One of our readers, 13 year old Craig wants to know why we don’t do reviews, especially on docking stations. Unfortunately as we don’t retail products and neither get support from resellers or manufacturers in this beautiful land of ours this can be pretty difficult unless we go out and buy the stuff ourselves.
What I can tell you is that over the years a common problem picked up is dirty or broken contacts in the dock which although replaceable does make it a weak link in the interface. Line inputs are a better way to go but now that from Bluetooth 2.0 and up, wireless seems to be the cheaper and more practical way to go. Docking stations are still popular but the home user wants more exciting permutations. Continue reading “Micro and Mini sound systems versus Dock”
One design that has been out for eons and still catches us off guard is the rail shifting Class G or class H boost supply amplifier. Most purists agree that this concept is ideal for PA work but not high fidelity audio. To a certain degree I must agree but then this would imply that class D is also in the same boat. There I disagree, they are in the same boat but some very high quality amplifiers are class G, H as well as class D. What is this class stuff anyway? Continue reading “Class G and H Audio Amplification – Gimmick or Wizardry”
What is the difference between Line and Microphone Inputs
This is a question often asked in the forums, not necessarily as simplified as this but there is often ambiguity in the replies. So here we will look at what not to do and hopefully this will prevent mishaps in the interwiring of consumer and professional audio goods.