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Amine Slimani
Site Owner
Posts: 162

I have started working on a "tweak guide" where I will share my experience with accesories and what they brought to my system.

Among the "tweaks" that I am going to talk about, in no specific order:


- Power cords,

- Power Filters,

- Series Power filters,

- Special Footers,

- Supporting Platforms,

- weights and other vibration control devices,

- Interconnects,

- Digital cables (BNC, RCA and USB),

- Media Players & Drivers (Foobar...)


It is going to be a little while before I finish that article but if you guys think of anything I should experiment with or if you want to share your experience with those devices, I am very curious to hear about it.


Added:

- RF attenuators for the Hiface (JKeny's suggestion)

October 13, 2010 at 2:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

jkeny
Member
Posts: 27

Amine,

I know I might sound like a record on repeat but I would suggest trying RF attenuators. These will certainly work for the high SPDIF output of the Hiface but I've them working on other SPDIF outputs also. Worth an investment of £12 each for an experiment!


Regards

John

--

MOT: HiFace USB Transport Modifications & Ancillaries 

Regards

John

October 13, 2010 at 2:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Amine Slimani
Site Owner
Posts: 162

I will definitely try it! Thanks for the tip

October 13, 2010 at 4:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

rosgr63
Moderator
Posts: 141

John can you give us more details please?

Will you include them with your modified hiFace?

--

There are few pleasures as simple, and wonderful as music - Craig Uthus

October 14, 2010 at 8:49 AM Flag Quote & Reply

upstateguy
Member
Posts: 9

Hi Amine


 

Best of luck with your new web site.

 

I'd like to suggest a new listening tool I just started experimenting with.  It's called the Audio DiffMaker. It lets you record the difference a tweak makes, even if it's at an inaudible level.  It was originally presented at an AES convention to measure the differences produced by the tweaks mentioned above.

 

From the site:

 

"The difference recording those results is only what has changed between the two recordings.  If anything - a change of component,a treatment, mechanical damping, etc. - is having any audible effect on the audio signal in a system, the difference recording will have audible content.The end result is primarily intended to be evaluated by ear."

 

The key thing here is that the results are evaluated by ear, which is the same technique you are using.

 

Although I have not been a big believer, I have become more open minded from reading your posts, in which you present some well thought out arguments.

 

In any event, this tool is capable of producing recordings of the differences you are talking about and would go a long way in supporting the differences tweaks make.  At the very least, it would remove these tweaks from any placebo classification.

 

It is my hope that you will be able to use this tool and the information from it, in your future posts.


The DiffMaker can be found here:  http://www.libinst.com/Audio%20DiffMaker.htm

 

 

Regards


USG



October 14, 2010 at 12:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Amine Slimani
Site Owner
Posts: 162

Hi USG,


First of all, welcome at Tweak-Fi!


Audio DiffMaker seems like an excellent tool. I will definitely try it and report back.

My only recording device is the EMU 0404 USB which should be enough according to the makers of this software.


To be totally honest and upfront, I am a little bit skeptical about it. I think that many tweaks affect the time domain performance (or non-linear distortions) of a device, which could be assimilated to jitter.

The EMU 0404 usb has superb linear performance (frequency response, THD, IMD) however, it has a very high jitter measurement (according to Stereophile's measurement against other usb converters).

It is possible that the overall jitter of the EMU 0404 usb masks the results.


But since all I wrote above is only speculation, I will definitely try it and report back my findings.


I will test with the following to get a gross idea at first:

- Teralink X2 (without power supply) vs. Digital Interface (with power supply)


I will first make sure that they both measure similarily in the frequency domain (difference in jitter doesn't affect such gross measurements as made by RMAA), then I will record the difference between the two.

If I can hear a difference (in the recording), I will move into testing power cords and interconnects using the same method.

I can't promise I will do it overnight but I will try to squeeze time for this experiment in the coming days.

Thanks for the recommendation

October 14, 2010 at 3:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

jkeny
Member
Posts: 27

rosgr63 at October 14, 2010 at 8:49 AM

John can you give us more details please?

Will you include them with your modified hiFace?


Digital attenuators are used all the time in your TV cable box on your house. They use various levels of attenuation (dBs) to bring the signal down to within spec going into your house.


If used in digital audio they are usually found built in to the output stage of devices again to bring the signal down to within spec.

 


Apart from whatever benefits might be conferred by bringing the SPDIF signal into spec, the real benefit of these attenuators is that they doubly reduce the signal strength of any reflections generated between digital transport & receiver. They doubly reduce the reflection because the reflection has to pass through the attenuator twice before it gets back to the DAC where it can give rise to jitter. 


 

As mentioned they confer a better advantage (in jitter amelioration) than a high end SPDIF cable because they also kill any reflections generated outside the cable in the transport output stage & the DAC input stage - something a SPDIF can't do.


 

They are in-line adaptors that can be connected at the start or end (or both?) of your digital cable.

 

There are many situations where this should result in better sound. I would think that they will improve any SPDIF connection as I don't believe there is one made that is reflection free? They may also be an effective way of reducing the sonic penalty usually incurred in using a BNC to RCA adaptor. So this could mean that by using these attenuators an RCA input on your DAC should now be about the same sonically as a BNC input.


 

Minicircuits is the cheapest place I have found on the internet for these attenuators at $12 each - there are other places that will charge you >$30 for eactly the same thing - I've even seen them for >€100 in RS which I thought must be a mistake! http://minicircuits.com/cgi-bin/modelsearch?model=HAT-10-75&search_type=model


 

They come in 3, 6, 10, 15, 20dB versions - the 3 & 20dB ones could probably be ruled out as too low & maybe too high an attenuation. What we want to aim for is enough attenuation to suppress signal reflections BUT not too much to reduce the signal voltage to too low. You will know if you have done this as the DAC will not lock to the SPDIF signal.


 

Obviously if you reduce the signal level too much & drop outside of the level at which your receiver will lock, it isn't of much use.


--

MOT: HiFace USB Transport Modifications & Ancillaries 

Regards

John

October 14, 2010 at 4:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

upstateguy
Member
Posts: 9

Amine Slimani at October 14, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Hi USG,


First of all, welcome at Tweak-Fi!


Audio DiffMaker seems like an excellent tool. I will definitely try it and report back.

My only recording device is the EMU 0404 USB which should be enough according to the makers of this software.


To be totally honest and upfront, I am a little bit skeptical about it. I think that many tweaks affect the time domain performance (or non-linear distortions) of a device, which could be assimilated to jitter.

The EMU 0404 usb has superb linear performance (frequency response, THD, IMD) however, it has a very high jitter measurement (according to Stereophile's measurement against other usb converters).

It is possible that the overall jitter of the EMU 0404 usb masks the results.


But since all I wrote above is only speculation, I will definitely try it and report back my findings.


I will test with the following to get a gross idea at first:

- Teralink X2 (without power supply) vs. Digital Interface (with power supply)


I will first make sure that they both measure similarily in the frequency domain (difference in jitter doesn't affect such gross measurements as made by RMAA), then I will record the difference between the two.

If I can hear a difference (in the recording), I will move into testing power cords and interconnects using the same method.

I can't promise I will do it overnight but I will try to squeeze time for this experiment in the coming days.

Thanks for the recommendation

Please post the "dyf" files so we can hear them too.


USG


I didn't want to quote your whole post, but I couldn't <snip> any of it...????

October 14, 2010 at 8:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

deep sounds
Member
Posts: 112

John,

not pertinent to the thread but I could'nt reply to your question because your inbox was full and I don't know if the situation has changed.

October 22, 2010 at 8:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

rosgr63
Moderator
Posts: 141

Thanks a lot John,


Now I understand exactly what's going on.


Regarding the I2S release of your modified HiFace which connection protocol are you going to follow?

Can a customer specify the required cable positions?

--

There are few pleasures as simple, and wonderful as music - Craig Uthus

October 22, 2010 at 9:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Peete
Member
Posts: 11

I have some chassis dampening/mass loading tweaks you might be interested in trying out Amine......I use a combination of window caulk/weather proofing putty (the heavy rope stuff), ceramic tiles (all sizes) and sheets of sorbo gel (AudioQuest sells a nice size for under 30USD) to great effect in conjunction with a mass loaded rack (play sand used to fill the vertical steel tubes of the rack units instead of lead shot which you can't buy anymore). The racks in question are 2 x Lovan Classic I's ( 8 shelves in total...I actually need another 4 shelf rack to setup the TT/Phono amp and tape deck).


Let me know if you want the details and the ways in which I've used these materials to add mass loading dampening/vibration control to tranports/cdps/dvdp's and preamps/amps etc...generally speaking I follow the Bright Star methodology which is a combination of mass loading and dampnening techniques (inside and outside of the chassis/unit being tweaked).


One thing I have noted is this too much mass is as bad as not enough...you have to experiment. I also have some home made roller bearing footers that work like gangbusters for 1/5th the cost of Symposium Roller Blocks.


Peete.



November 6, 2010 at 8:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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