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Archive for the ‘Audiophile’ Category

Return to HDCD it only took me 10 years! (Part 2!)

Monday, July 20th, 2020

I’ve recently been reminded after installing my new “balls” or Cambridge Audio “Puds” on my DAC – see here – S700 Isomagic DAC “puds” – rubber balls!,  that these outboard DACs (digital to audio converters) have the HDCD chip manufactured by  , which Microsoft purchased all those years ago. This chip decodes the HDCD information. My Arcam Alpha 5 DAC does not have this technology but roll forward 10 years, and some vintage DACs do have this ability to decode HDCD. But it is unlikely that we will ever see this technology incorporated in modern-day DACs, because rumours are that Microsoft requires a payment of $400,000 for the license!!!

and after Googling about HDCD, I found this – 10 Years ago, I blogged and wrote about HDCD, as a reminder it’s here –Hidden information on some Music Compact Discs – HDCD

I had forgotten!

It has also been removed from Windows media player in Windows 10, so it looks like the only way to play HDCD content, is on a vintage DAC!

Why Microsoft purchased the technology, not to use it, and to price it out of the market, when digital audio content is now on the rise Hi-Res Walkmans, e.g. Sony NW-A50 Hi-Res Walkman® Portable Audio Player, USB DACS, FLAC and lossless audio are on the rise again.

When we ripped to MP3, we were trying to make the rip as small as possible, to conserver storage space on our hard drives, my first MP3 player had only 128MB storage cards, today storage is cheap, and we are now ripping to lossless formats, e.g. FLAC, DSD, DSF.

In this modern-day when recording studios record to digital media and not analogue tapes, not sure why HDCD encoding is not used more, other than the lack of equipment to play it!

You need to have a CD Player that can decode HDCD or an HDCD encoded digital file. The CD I’m playing is “Brothers In Arms [2005 – 20th Anniversary Edition]”

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S700 Isomagic DAC “puds” – rubber balls!

Saturday, July 18th, 2020

These are the “puds” for my S700 Isomagic DAC!

 

Cambridge Audio "Puds"

Cambridge Audio “Puds”

These little rubber balls, sit underneath the isomagic DAC to prevent vibrations!

 

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Have I been deaf all the years ? Two DACs ! I’ve been re-awakened…. and MP3 suck!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Finally, after almost 14 years – I’ve completed my new office layout! (Sorry Lindsey for taking so long.. I told you I would get round to it!).

Which has given me the opportunity again, to re-connect my “HiFi” which has sat in the corner of my office, gathering dust – literally? 

After re-wiring all the interconnects, making sure the cables are connected the correct way because they are “non-reversible, the signal must flow the correct way”, and re-wiring the bi-wire on the speakers.

I played the Compact Disc “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd <—– the amount of detail and the stereo separation was amazing… it’s like I’ve had my head in a bucket all these years listening to streaming music and MP3s!!!!

This is not just a normal “HiFi” – Cyrus Amplifier, Cyrus PSX-R – connected to Cyrus 782 speakers – Sony CD Transport – feed into three DACs, clock synced.

Cambridge Audio S700 DACs

Cambridge Audio S700 DACs

Cyrus 782

Cyrus 782

The DACs are Cambridge Audio S700 – Isomagic – designed by John A. Westlake of Pink Triangle (1991) fame, he later went on to work for Cambridge Audio (founded 1968), when Cambridge Audio was a proper HiFi company, not to be confused with the re-branded Richer Sounds brand, since 1994, when it was purchased by Richer Sounds.

I believe John has now semi-retired, but he left us some great legacy HiFi products, and one day I’ll own a Pink Triangle DaCapo DAC!

 

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A New Cassette Tape to play in my car – Thanks Billie Eilish! @billieeilish

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Today a NEW Cassette Tape landed in the post to play in my car tape deck! I bet most people purchased Billie Eilish new Album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? as a collectors item, and not to play!

Billie Eilish new Album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

Billie Eilish new Album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

My ICE!

My ICE!

and I can play it in the office on this

Panasonic Stereo Cassette Player

Panasonic Stereo Cassette Player

which reminds me of this Inbetweeners scene

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Andy’s AmazonLocker Experience

Friday, May 1st, 2015

I noticed several weeks ago, AmazonLockers were being installed on Campus.

AmazonLocker on Campus

AmazonLocker on Campus

So I’ve been waiting for an excuse to order a gadget from Amazon.co.uk, to try out this new AmazonLocker Experience.

My Dad has been reviewing and raving about these new bluetooth headphones he purchased from Amazon.co.uk, for £15.

They are called Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green). I’ll get him to review them, or I’ll quickly do a blog on them later.

I was discussing with my colleague this morning, about what time would my Amazon Delivery arrive, and I received a SMS Text message from Amazon with a code for the locker.

2015-05-01-103457

I quickly legged it over to the Student Union on Campus, to retrieve my parcel.

Entered the code into the keypad

Entered the code into the keypad

As if by magic, a locker door springs open, revealing my parcel..

Locker door opens

Locker door opens

I quickly grabbed the parcel, closed the door, and returned to my office.

My Amazon Parcel

My Amazon Parcel

and it’s contents…

Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green)

Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green)

You can grab a pair here from Amazon.co.uk – Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green), and they’ve just now been reduced to £14.99, I paid £15.23 (30/04/15)

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Present from Santa Claus! – a Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Okay, I bought it for me!

I already own a few DACS, an Arcam Alpha Black Box DAC5, and two Cambridge Audio S700 ISOMagic, the later designed by John Westlake, of Pink Triangle fame, they do not support above 48KHz, (and they are also not portable!) so it was about time to purchase something new and fresh, which supports 88kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz and 192kHz

Enter the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC, which is an external offboard USB DAC for the computer (Windows PC or Apple MAC), also acts as a headphone amp as well, to drive those headphones correctly!

At present offers, more excellent value for money from Richer Sounds (just do not purchase from the Cardiff store – another blog tomorrow on that!).

I’ve just been listening to the excellent detail in Pink Floyd’s – The Endless River (on Spotify!)

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