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Archive through March 08, 2010

 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2613
Registered: Feb-04
­
Excuse me for digressing a bit here:

quote:

Fair go Nuck, that'd be out back a bit. Yesterday was 36 inside with humidity in the 80's. Today is shaping up to be the same. It's a drag.



A pic of my front porch this morning for you M.R.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t171/JohnS45/IMG_1652.jpg

Won't be doing much grilling on my back deck today.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t171/JohnS45/IMG_1653.jpg

Maybe not a lot of snow for Nuck, but a lot for us.

I am quite amused by the old dawg's magic mat solution. I have an old dawg audiophile friend that swears by black CD-Rs.
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Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2091
Registered: Oct-04
John S - et al: Amused, eh, John? (grin) Well - here I thought that I had heard the end of the Black Mat saga - but it would seem that is not to be. So when Michael W shot me a challenge to Google the Black CD Mat, I probably went overboard and did a FULL search. Amazing what I found!
It appears that the newest entry into the crowded field is the Millennium CD Mat - from a German company, now distributed here in Ameruka. But at a steep $119 USD - well, a lot of us'ns ain't gonna go there!
But I wondered - what IS this mat? And so I dug deeper and found that it's just a circle of carbon fiber - smooth on one side, textured on the other. Set it on the CD and close the drawer. Yeah. . .
But it is only .3mm thick - thinner than most cardboard - and thus I wondered if it would skip around inside a player. Turns out, from my various Forum readings - that it sometimes does just that. Uh-oh.
So - glutton for real punishment that I am - I decided to make a "better Mat." Started researching carbon fiber sheets.
Found that they are NOT all alike! Ummm. . . .but I finally found just what I was looking for - and ordered up a sheet.
What I intend to do is to cut it out, using a blank CD as template, lightly sand the outer rim for smoothness, and then spray a thin coating of the Plasti-Dip liquid rubber on the smooth/shiny side.
With the shiny side down in contact with the music CD the Mat should NOT slide around.
Notice I say "should." GRIN
So what happened to my original plans? Well, spraying only the Plasti-Dip is tedious, and at least four coats are called for. By the time I got into coat three and it was dry enough to remove from the blank CD on which it was sprayed I noted that the ring - like my original Insanity Mats - had a hard time keeping its "round." BIG SIGH.
Spraying on my 1/32 inch carbon-impregnated gasket material left me with a blank that is simply too thick. Scrapped that idea. . .
As the new carbon fiber sheet won't be here until next week, I'll go ahead and put four coats of liquid rubber on a blank, then, when it's dry, double-spray some new Krylon shiny black paint on one side. That should help stabilize the disc - if it is flexible enough and doesn't come off the rubber!
See? Amusement IS called for here, John!!! TRIPLE GRIN
I'm also a big fan of black CD-R discs - I've burned enough to know that they really do sound warmer and richer than the originals from which the music came. Why? Oh, I have NO idea!
But I'm enjoying the music!!!
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14518
Registered: May-04
.

Larry - If you simply use three very small tabs of non-permanent double sided tape - the type used for scrapbooking and about the size of this "O" - on the underside of your damping disc, there will be no slippage and no need for liquid rubber.

.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2935
Registered: Nov-05
John S - that snow looks like something out of a post card. Beautiful, but please dig that poor person out of that chair. Lol!

Nice place too!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2092
Registered: Oct-04
Jan - excellent suggestion, sir! I'll look into it for sure - but am surprised that Mer has not tweaked me on this. She surely must have some around the place? Hmm. . . .
What I'm concerned about is making a "Mat" that is pretty well permanent, with no need for tweaking it once it's made and ready for use. The tape to which you refer must be a "permanent" attachment? Anyway - I'll check into it - with my thanks.
Yeah - this spraying cr@p isn't all it is cracked up to be. I called my so-called "stereo expert" this afternoon and told him that his spray solution was so tedious and unprecise that I was about to diss it. Well, he didn't take to kindly to that. . . .SIGH
More research by me indicates that the carbon fiber mat, as used by the Millennium CD Mat folk, may be "the" answer. Some carbon fiber mats have a "sandwich" makeup, with a bit of fiberglass or other stuff in the middle. The sheet I ordered is all carbon fiber, with epoxy fill to smooth out the surface. They use it in aerospace designs, so it must be pretty good.
Anyway - I look to all you old dawgs for guidance, support(?) help and suggestions. IF - I F - these mats of mine work as well as the Millennium Mats are "reported" to work - a big difference in sound quality should come about. If not - well, shoot me! (grin???)
Jan - you've surely read extensively about this - is all this merely another "green pen" anomaly - or is there something to it?
We've gone round after round - and I've learned a LOT from y'all. . .and now maybe it can be give-back time, IF these "Total Insanity Mats" prove their worth.
Then again - some people swear by brass points under their CD players, etc. What can I say?????
Respectfully. . . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2616
Registered: Feb-04
Thanks M.R....stay cool.

Larry, what about a post-it note glue stick?

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Scotch-Restickable-Ounce-Stick/dp/B001AS994E
 

New member
Username: Don_rx1

ON Canada

Post Number: 8
Registered: May-09
John S, even here we don't get that much snow! Look at the bright side, though, it's a good enough excuse to stay home and listen to music.

Otherwise, I hope all's well with you. Watch that back of yours when you shovel that white stuff.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2620
Registered: Feb-04
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Thanks Don. This weather didn't bother me much before. I'm envying all those snowbirds that head south.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2093
Registered: Oct-04
Glue sticks - double-sided tape - both good suggestions, and good products. However, what I'm trying for is to create an under-surface that will be flat against the playing CD and that will be "non-skid" without actually being "sticky" in quality. And it must last through play after play without becoming slick or stuck on the playing CD.
When the carbon fiber sheet gets here I'll start experimenting - but at this moment me thinks that three small spots of spray-on rubber will do the trick best. I can make a paper template so the spray only hits in the three areas -and will be thin enough so as to allow the carbon fiber mat to lie flat against the playing CD.
I'm still trying to figger out just how the carbon fiber works - and why this Millennium CD Mat "seems" to be "better" than any of the other mats or tweaks on the market.
Respectfully. . . LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14521
Registered: May-04
.

The Millennium mat is better because they say it is. Actually, almost everyone who has tried it says it is better, better even than a few more expensive mats. Carbon fiber seems to be a miracle material in audio.


I don't think it matters much how it works, Larry. Objectively there's not much that it does as far as measurable improvements. One user claimed the mat cut the time required for ripping a disc to his harddrive but that is hardly a scientific measurement. No one has claimed a reduction in jitter that has also been verified by measurements. No one claims data has changed in anyway with the use of the mat. Therefore, it doesn't work.

Except that most users report significant improvements in all areas "hifi". Music sounds better too but, who could notice when the soundstage is wider? Maybe there's less stray laser light bouncing around inside the transport. That's been a popular theme for mats and so forth over the years. No one has ever proven the assumption but it has remained a popular theme for almost thirty years. The Millennium mat is too thin to add any amount of flywheel effect to the disc's rotation so we needn't concern ourself with that assumption. The carbon fiber would be effective at damping resonances that might occur in the disc. That would be a good selling point. No one has proven that to be measurable either but it makes for good ad copy.

The problem is data is data and there are only 1's and 0's on the disc. If you don't physically change the data, how can the result be any different just because you placed a mat on the disc?

I don't know, maybe it's because the mat is made of carbon fiber and we are a carbon based life form. Possibly, it doesn't change the data at all but what it changes is the listener.

Now that line of reasoning I could buy into.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2094
Registered: Oct-04
Well, Jan, you've obviously poked around online - as I have - until the same "drill" resonates in your brain. Better Sound. Oh, what a good phrase! Maybe not quite up to "perfect sound forever," but always good in the ads. But I would love to read just one scientific test of the Mat.
Anyway, I shall let y'all know what - if any - "great improvements" in sonics I perceive once I get a coupl-ah deez Mats made up - I hope sometime next week.
And if I - the listener - begin to morph into a silver lizard, I'll know that your suggestion may be correct: the Mat changes the listener, not the CD!
Wowzer!
And as to the disc-data. Yep, it amounts to 1's and 0's - pits and lands - but the accurate reading of that data is crucial, and apparently often flawed, from my readings. Whether the carbon fiber has anything to do with accurate data-reading is one of the niggling unknowns that keep ole scribes up way past their bedtimes! GRIN
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2941
Registered: Nov-05
I had a clear plastic disc that came with a pack of DVD-r's. It is the same shape and size as a cd only a little thinner. I placed a disc shape of black adhesive vinyl on one side and sat it atop a few cds. It fits over the Saturns clamp so it does not go flying off. It slips a little on reading and stopping but is otherwise okay and it fits perfectly over the cd without warps.

The sound test: I was certain there would be something I would hear either for better or worse since using the vinyl straight on the label side of a few cd's brought a few different results which I mentioned earlier. But this time - nothing. I used both sides, the vinyl side is a matt finish, while the flip side is plastic and shiny. No differences. Maybe some people perceive improvements because they expect to, maybe others can actually hear them. But that's it for me for mat experimenting I think. My damping/vibration method brought the Saturn back to where it belongs and I think it is as good as it gets without room treatments or higher end gear up the stream.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2306
Registered: May-06
"And if I - the listener - begin to morph into a silver lizard,"

Larry the lounge lizard emerges...a bit older and wiser, but none worse for the wear. GRINNING (at the girls in the lounge of course)

to be continued...
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2095
Registered: Oct-04
Michael W - L t L L! My new title? Hmm. . . .I've been called worse names in my soggy career, sir! GRIN
M.R. - You had the right idea, my good friend, but not quite the right material, from what I read. Think "Carbon Fiber" (or fibre if you will)
This ayem I pulled what I thought might be my "final" Mat off the template, but to my dismay it's just not "right."
Oh, the rubber is cured, and the Krylon top-spray stayed on, and is flexible enough not to flake off (yet) but I'm not a happy camper with it.
Plus - it's not the latest, s@xiest product! We need carbon fiber here!
SIGH
Jan is just too correct in his assessment of the "ethereal" success of the Millennium CD Mat. Does it work? NO. Does it work? YES! ! ! !
And that, M.R., is why your disc failed. A lack of fiber in your stereo diet! (don't shoot me)
Between-the-lines: the CF disc must work - and all users seem to agree that it Does Work - on two levels: vibration damping and light absorbing. Or not.
Next week I'll have my very own fiber/fibre - and IF MER CAN HEAR A MAJOR DIFFERENCE - I'll cut some out to send around for your evaluation. Yeah - maybe even to Australia, Rantz!
Respectfully. . .Larry the L L
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14524
Registered: May-04
.

"When the carbon fiber sheet gets here I'll start experimenting - but at this moment me thinks that three small spots of spray-on rubber will do the trick best. I can make a paper template so the spray only hits in the three areas -and will be thin enough so as to allow the carbon fiber mat to lie flat against the playing CD."


Non-permanent double sided tape is very likely much thinner still than what you can spray from a can and far more controllable and consistent. There's no reason to make this any more difficult than need be, Larry. The non-permanent tape is essentially what you find on Post-it-Notes and can be reused over and over while it lifts with ease. If it wears out and looses its adhesion, simply peel it off and start over with new pieces. The more important issue might be whether anything actually adheres to the carbon fiber sheets as many of them have a "slickness" that resists any sort of adhesive.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2096
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: Very good points! I can't speak to the "stickability" of the carbon fiber sheets - but it will be one of my first tests when the sheet comes.
The tape? Makes sense to me - IF - I don't have to remove and re-apply the tape after every few CD plays. How long would it last? I have no idea, but Mer says that it loses its stickiness after about a half-dozen applications. Hmm. . .will test it, though - WITH THANKS, JAN.
More silver discs coming by Amazon this week - my first Blu-ray operas, and a couple of CDs by pianist Howard Shelley, whose playing I find most satisfying on all levels. Having heard him "live" I can appreciate his talent even more.
Twelve days 'til "Oppo Order" day. SIGH
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14528
Registered: May-04
.

I would have to disagree with Mer regarding the lifespan of the double stick tape. My experience is it will last for months not days.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2097
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: Mer's tape probably doesn't stick all that long 'cause she's got so much dust and cr@p all over her studio! GRIN
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2307
Registered: May-06
Ok, now we are really getting down deep into the process levels here but when using non-permanent double sided tape be sure to pull the 1" or so that extends from the roll to the cutting lip of the dispenser and rip it off and dispose of it. Then use the next piece you pull of. Mine has lasted over 30 discs so far with it being affixed to the bottom of the black Memorex blank CDR I have been laying atop of my CDs.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2943
Registered: Nov-05
These black Memorex discs - how are they packaged? Do they show that they are black? The only ones I've seen are just about every colour but black.

What differences do you notice using these Mike?
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2308
Registered: May-06
More of everything, bigger soundstage allowing better separation of instruments, tighter notes on the attack, lower extension of the bass notes. I have made several tweaks in the past couple of weeks, most not even touching the gear, more addressing room and the listener. My point being that there is a lot going on here in my room and some of these improvements start to blur.

When I first tried the blank black CDR I was also experimenting with a Schumann Resonator and while the resonator was working its magic the blank black CDR was still a show stopper! If I recall that was a very good VSOP Brandy night too. LOL
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2309
Registered: May-06
Sorry M.R., yes Memorex clearly packaged as being black discs unlike most Sony packaging I see here locally where the top layer is black plastic but underneath lies silver blank CDRs.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2944
Registered: Nov-05
Thanx Mike and for the emails.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2098
Registered: Oct-04
Michael: Does this tape (Mer is out of it so I can't check here) have a "permanent" side and a "temporary" side? In other words - might the tape occasionally pull off the black CD and stay on the playing CD?
Mer can't remember such - but will be getting some more later this week, so I'll take a peek.
M.R. - I can't use the "Michael Wodek" super-tweak on the Oppo - the top disc comes loose and mayem erupts!
But I DO use the black Memorex discs to burn some music from standard CDs - and Mer and I both say that the dubbed-down music sounds richer, fuller, slightly warmer - and the top notes lose their harshness. On some discs it is much more dramatic than others.
The carbon fiber is "in the mail," so by the weekend I hope to have at least one finished "Total Insanity Mat" - and we'll go from there.
I have a friend back in Chicago who has burned more than 100 CDs onto black discs - keeps the originals "just in case." He swears that the black discs come very close in sound quality to a good, old-fashioned LP. (remember those?)
After all the years of working with green ink and Stoplight Green pens and the likes - I note with some degree of confusion that the Memorex black discs aren't really "black" at all - but rather very, very dark RED polycarbonate. Red? Won't that mess up the red laser? DOUBLE SIGH.
And when we get the Blue lasers - what color will best block any stray light - yellow/orange? Maybe. .
Respectfully. . .LarryR.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2310
Registered: May-06
"M.R. - I can't use the "Michael Wodek" super-tweak on the Oppo - the top disc comes loose and mayem erupts! "

With all due respect this tweak, and the bottle of VSOP Brandy were both courtesy of Jan Vigne.

I understand the limitations of the drawer feed or slot insert with the doubled up CD. Fortunately I am able to drop it into a top loader.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2311
Registered: May-06
Darn, I wish I would answer the whole thing at once. Short term memory at its finest at work here I guess.

Michael: Does this tape (Mer is out of it so I can't check here) have a "permanent" side and a "temporary" side? In other words - might the tape occasionally pull off the black CD and stay on the playing CD?

No Larry, while there is permanent double sided tape, this is non-permanent double sided tape meaning both sides are non-permanent. I know this because, yes Larry, entirely possible that the tape will stay on the recorded CD when you remove the blank black CD.

Now there's something for you to invent and sell to 3M, permanent non-permanent tape for those semi-portable applications. I want 10%.


You are welcome M.R.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2945
Registered: Nov-05
Who knows Larry?

Maybe if I see some of these 'black' Memorex discs I'll give them a try. But it's not a biggie - more for the fun of it than anything as the music is sounding just wonderful, especially on a day like today - cooler weather and with those minor placement tweaks I guess.

Mike and JV may well be correct that my room doesn't bring out the best in the Saturn, but right now it's sounding very fine. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with the room and while I have a supportive wife, she does have her limits. The room stays as is until I get a decent center rack to suit my gear - the monoblocks in particular - might have to be built.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2099
Registered: Oct-04
Sorry if I misunderstood. No offense to anyone, I can assure y'all.

Michael - from what I read about the black discs - and the carbon fiber discs - they are reported to make much LESS difference in hi-end players such as yours. You say otherwise, however - so the confusion continues. If I could only reproduce the dual-disc experiments. . .
M.R. - to my knowledge, Memorex is the only company now producing the black discs. At least the only ones I've found online so far.
I got mine in 50-disc "spindles" on Amazon.com.
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2312
Registered: May-06
I have also experimented with placing different colored cut-outs in my CD tray, another JV tweak.

I am currently employing the Codename Turquoise and find that it works quite well. This is adding traction to Larry's postulation about different color discs. There has been work done not only on different color discs and lables, but tray liners, colored pens on the inside and outside rims of CDs, tape, etc. Geoff Kait would be an excellent source to pursue more information on this phenomenon.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2313
Registered: May-06
I found a 50 pack of the Memorex black CDR discs at Best Buy on sale for $8.97 a couple of weeks ago.

Supposedly there have been consumer issues with folks getting their players to read these discs.

Of course in the context of this thread that would be a non-issue unless you adopt Larry's friend's philosophy and burn all of your redbook CDs to the Memorex Black CDRs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2314
Registered: May-06
After Larry the lounge lizard hits the dance floor gyrating to the best of his abilities to a re-mix of Saturday Night Fever;

the top disc comes loose and mayem erupts! ,

the ladies, completely unaware of the pain and agony Larry the reemerging lounge lizard is experiencing, think he has taken this whole Travolta thing to a new level, and jump to the dance floor in marvel of the silver lizard.


to be continued...
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2946
Registered: Nov-05
Seems many think Mr Kait should be in a straightjacket. Lol!

Well according to the first page Google showed me, though Positive Feedback seems to think he's the real deal.
 

New member
Username: Don_rx1

ON Canada

Post Number: 9
Registered: May-09
Out of curiosity, I searched for articles on using black CD-R's and found this http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/whitepaper/Saga_of_the_Black_CDs_v3.1.pdf
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2947
Registered: Nov-05
Don - very interesting indeed, but the trials and tribulations in equipment, copying, the right disc etc.

I hope Larry doesn't go to play his Memorex copies to find the music has disappeared :-(
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14531
Registered: May-04
.

"After all the years of working with green ink and Stoplight Green pens and the likes - I note with some degree of confusion that the Memorex black discs aren't really "black" at all - but rather very, very dark RED polycarbonate. Red? Won't that mess up the red laser? DOUBLE SIGH."




Larry, don't you discuss important things like this with your wife?!!!


Mer should be well versed in color mixing and in the case of lasers and CD's we're talking both additive and subtractive mixing. I suspect if you ask Mer she'll tell you there is no such thing as true "black" color or paint or material. Black is the absence of all color and doesn't appear in nature. We have over time learned to accept certain mixtures of colors as representing black but that's as close to no color as we can get.

Color is by definition the various wavelengths of broad spectrum (daylight) light which are either reflected or absorbed by a surface and therefore "color" is limited only to those wavelengths not absorbed but rather reflected off the material to your eye where it is detected by the cones in your retina as a "color". True black is then the absence of all reflections or in other words the absorption of all wavelengths.

Creating "black" paint or material is a mixture of colors normally weighted (as is the human eye) toward the red end of the color spectrum. However, "color" can only occur in your eye, it does not exist in the material - absorption and reflection exist in the material but not color. Sort of a "if a tree falls ... " kind of affair. Depending on the light in which you viewed the "black" disc your perception of its color would vary as light waves which are tilted toward or limited to one end of the wavelength spectrum would also minimize those colors not included in the incoming light. Your dark red disc could become a musty shade of green/grey when viewed under a "warm" florescent lamp and a bluish violet when seen under the new LED lamps.

You can easily see this effect displayed in real life by observing the color of a shadow cast by light which has been filtered to minimize any particular wavelengths. Observe the shadow cast by a yellow filtered light (normal incandescent lamps) and the shadow will often appear to be towards the cyan end of the spectrum as the wavelengths we see as "yellow" have already been filtered by the object casting the shadow. (Of course the surface upon which the shadow falls will have its own color which would also determine what you would perceive as the color of the shadow.) A red filter on the light source will give a greenish tint to the cast shadow. And so it goes.

While the dark red reflectors are very probably a predominant tint in the mixing of black polycarbonate, if you were to observe the disc indoors in artificial light (try different temperatures of light coming from incadescent, halogen and florescent lamps) and then outside in daylight with its wider range of frequencies available, you would probably detect a slightly different result as a wider bandwidth to the incoming frequencies will allow for more wavelenghts to be either reflected or absorbed. As there is no such thing as true black (no color) being detected by your eye you will normally see black as some mixture of colors with the darker reds being predominant.

Lasers don't care what "color" surface they strike since they are not aware of color. The laser light is only concerned with reflection and absorption.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14532
Registered: May-04
.

"Seems many think Mr Kait should be in a straightjacket. Lol!"


It can be stated with a high degree of certainty that anyone who thinks Geoff to be insane has never come close enough to any of his products to actually develop an informed opinion of their worth. Having been on forums with Geoff I've seen those who are the perpetual naysayers shouting "snake oil" without the vaguest hint of how or whether his devices perform as advertised. They only know they have no ability to measure such results and therefore they are virulently against them.


Take a look at Geoff's resume, http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina64.htm and decide whether someone who is insane could have held such positions.


I'm not here to defend Geoff, he's a success no matter the opinion of a few rockthrowers. I'm only suggesting such comments are out of place when someone has no experience with the products Geoff has created. Shooting the messenger first and hoping no questions are asked is all too common in this hobby and needs to be addressed whenever it occurs.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14533
Registered: May-04
.

Back when I made the "Emma Demo" CD I managed to get a few copies done on the black Memorex CD's. However, two out of two of my CD burners have had a strong dislike for anything Memorex and more often than not I cannot complete a successful copy. The legend of the black CD has, however, been around for years. Sam Tellig wrote about it in Stereophile several years ago. Unfortunately, most of ST's columns are not available on line.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2100
Registered: Oct-04
Jan, et al: A coupl-ah responses, if you please. First, I have no knowledge of Mr. Kait - so am not among the rock-throwers.
Second, Mer is concerned with pigment colors, not so much "light colors," if you will. They are, as you know, two diff-runt animules.
Your comments are all well-taken, sir - but I must say that your last sentence . . ."laser light is only concerned with reflection and absorption" is central to my concerns about disc color.
It would seem to me that a disc which has an overall Red composition might well Reflect more red laser light than it absorbs, thus perhaps skewing or splattering the laser? Whereas a disc with predominately green hue or composition might well absorb more of the red laser?
Those are my questions about the so-called "black" Memorex discs.
As to burning? I've tried several burning programs, and have found, to my satisfaction, that the "ImgBurn" (free) program seems to do the most accurate job. It has never rejected any medium in my computers, and thus I use it exclusively - both DVD and CD.
And yes, I do like to make copies of many of my discs - which I've already purchased, BTW - just to see/hear any differences. Fun, if you can call it that, for an old, retired scribe who searches for things to occupy time and mind.
Many years ago I read, "what is it that one needs to be truly happy? Someone to love; something to do; and something to look forward to." Pretty good definition for me, anyway. I've got Mer, a lot of small but interesting projects - and A NEW OPPO to look forward to! GRIN
Life can be happy. . .
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14535
Registered: May-04
.

"It would seem to me that a disc which has an overall Red composition might well Reflect more red laser light than it absorbs, thus perhaps skewing or splattering the laser? Whereas a disc with predominately green hue or composition might well absorb more of the red laser?"


Now you are making an assumption which has never been verified by any "scientific" method. You assume the color of the disc affects the laser. What if that is not what is being affected? Then red, green, black, violet or multi-hued discs are not the concern of the machine.

Be careful which "theories" you latch onto, Larry. Most of the tweaks for audio are nothing more than someone or a group of someones trying to come up with a conventional response to an unconventional stimulus. They are no more than unverified guesses and can just as easily be proven incorrect as they can be said to be true. Numerous listeners are of the opinion demagnetizing a CD or LP improves the playback and yet most people's first response would be there are no magnetic properties to a plastic material.



"Mer is concerned with pigment colors, not so much "light colors," if you will. They are, as you know, two diff-runt animules."


Not at all, as far as color goes, pigment is still only registered within your brain as being a particular color after wavelengths (light) are absorbed and reflected and then perceived. Without perception there is nothing and perception is extremely fragile. I would think Mer would be very concerned about what color temperature is chosen for lighting her works. No artist wants their work displayed under florescent lighting, certainly not a sculptor, and the new LED's seem to be just as bad for color rendition only in a different direction.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2948
Registered: Nov-05
http://www.avguide.com/review/oppo-bdp-83se-special-edition-universal-blu-ray-pl ayer-the-perfect-vision-86

Read this review Larry and you'll be looking forward to the BD_83 SE's arrival even more.


As far as Mr Kait goes, I wasn't critising him personally, only pointing out that the first page that came up on a Google search showed many critics.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14597
Registered: Dec-04
JV, send me the memorex and I will make a copy that might just please you. And a dozen more. In any format. Available in file format...
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2101
Registered: Oct-04
Metheny in black and silver. Hmm. . .as I await the carbon fiber, I've been burning some more Black discs - and asking golden-ears, AKA Mer, to help me assess any sonic differences.
Today it was one classical and one jazz. . . .
First, Pat Metheny Group "Third Wind" from their CD The Road to You.
Mer on sofa - eyes closed - first the silver, then the black.
"Umm. . .the second one (black) was warmer, and fuller, and there seemed to be less distortion on the high notes - especially the cymbals."
My take exactly.
Then the classical - pianist Howard Shelley in Schumann piano concerto in A minor.
Same scenario - first silver, then black.
"On the piano, I really couldn't tell much difference - maybe a slight less tin sound, but when the orchestra comes in, it sounds much fuller and, well, cleaner. I can seem to hear people moving around, or hands on instruments, or something."
My take exactly.
And this is just with my mid-fi Oppo 980 - no special DAC or anything else. When the 83SE comes, I'll be verrrry interested to hear what, if any, difference there is between silver/black discs. AND by that time I'll have had carbon fiber "Mats" to try out, as well.
So - does the black media make a difference? Jan has told me that there is no difference - bits is bits, with which I disagree. Not that the bits themselves have changed, but that the playback accuracy changes. Like reading a book with glasses that are one point off, and result in "soft focus." The print on the page is true - it's in the reading that a problem arises. That's why y'all use 'spensive DACs, hi-end players, etc.
To be continued. . .
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14608
Registered: Dec-04
Have fun Lar!
The SE will be fun, no doubt.
 

New member
Username: Don_rx1

ON Canada

Post Number: 10
Registered: May-09
The Vatican newspaper, L' Osservatore Romano, has released its top 10 pop and rock albums of all time:

1. Revolver - the Beatles * I wish John Lennon were still alive today!

Quote: "...still today manage to produce "goosebumps."


2. If I Could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby

3. The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd * wonder if the Pope prefers the SACD version

4. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

5. The Nightfly by Donald Fagen

6. Thriller by Michael Jackson

7. Graceland by Paul Simon

8. Achtung Baby by U2

9. (What's the Story) Morning Glory by Oasis

10. Supernatural by Carlos Santana
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14610
Registered: Dec-04
But they only gave 3 stars for the Metallica/Megadeth concert.
Go figgur.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14544
Registered: May-04
.

"Jan has told me that there is no difference - bits is bits, with which I disagree. Not that the bits themselves have changed, but that the playback accuracy changes."



That's not what I said, Larry. I know you have this "theory" that the discs can be read more accurately but there is nothing that indicates this is true. This is in no way like reading a book with glasses or without or with or without any sort of visual assistance what so ever. And it has nothing to do with using high end DAC's and players. A $20k player reads the disc in exactly the same fashion as will a $39 special at K-Mart since neither the player nor a DAC have the ability to alter the data literally embedded in the disc.



The 0's and 1's of digital represent either an "on" or "off" status. They are the electrical equivalent of a switch and therefore they perform exactly as if you were flipping a detented light switch. Either the switch is in the positively "on" position or it is in the absolutely "not on" position. Either electrical voltage and current flow or they are impeded in their movement. There is no in between condition in digital playback, in that way it's like being pregnant. There is no such thing as an "I can flip the switch with more accuracy" condition in digital playback. Now that's a fact you must live with as you develop these concepts for why and how something changes. You do not get to create your own rules of how something functions just to suit your own concepts of what you want to have happen.


I don't at all mind you coming up with "theories" for why certain tweaks are successful but when you begin to make up ideas that are not relevant to how the system actually functions then you need to step back a few yards and reassess whether you are punting, passing or sitting on the sidelines.





My point has been there are no meaurable proofs that any of these CD tweaks cause significant alterations in the data stream as the raw data is not corruptable. It continues on in its "1" and "0" state which translates into an either "on" or "not on" electrical status despite your preferred belief system. Most of the measurements which might change with any CD tweak are thought to be beneath the threshold of audibilty or not relevant to digital playback if they exist at all. Nothing in digital theory predicts a demagnetized CD will have any difference in its datastream when compared to a non-demagnetized CD but listeners often times suggest there is a difference in sound quality.


Nothing "measurable" certainly includes the "on" and "not on" condition of the laser assembly. Digital playback is not the equivalent to a leaky toilet where you can jiggle the handle and have the valve operate more accurately. It is particularly - excuse the word - lazy to apply a catch all theory to all the CD tweaks available and expecially misleading to your own understanding of what might be occurring to believe anything you do to a CD disc or a digital playback system can change its basic and inherent operation.


That is not to say the sound quality does not change in some way. But, please, keep in mind exactly how digital works before you begin deciding just what your tweak will do long before you've even heard it in use. Keep in mind those who have heard the tweak and describe their reactions might also have it all wrong as they are bucking conventional thinking to assume they have an answer when none appears to be available. They are, in effect, whistling in the dark just to be whistling because no one would even begin to take their observations seriously if they had no "explanation" for why they can perceive a difference or why their device works. Expectation bias is quite the phenom in audio just as is the "no-cebo" effect. Reality must exist somewhere between the two extremes.


I would caution you to please keep in mind just how digital playback functions before you decide you have something altogether extraordinary and literally impossible about to happen.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2110
Registered: Oct-04
Sorry, Jan - but there are numerous experiments showing, on a scope, vast differences in what comes off a disc. If the laser doesn't hit the edges of the pit/planes just right, the laser light is skewed, and a scope will show this. If I have the time and patience I'll search through the sites (should have bookmarked them) that show this without a doubt.
Then there is the well-document "birefringence" issue, where the polycarbonate stratum itself can and often does scatter the laser lens. This the result of crystal malformations in the heating/cooling during the disc production. Engineers have written reams about this ever since the early 80s.
So even though all CD players theoretically can "read" the same - what is being read isn't always accurate.
If it were accurate there would be no need for re-clocking and DACs and the likes.
So the "theory" that "bits is bits" is correct - it is the transferring of that bit "accurately" that is in question.
I'm sure that you, as a widely-read person, have come across the scope experiments showing pit-edge skewing results - and the results of birefringence - so I can't very well instruct you in this matter.
You've obviously spent light years more time on the electronics end of the Great HiFi Game - but I think that you need to put the gears in reverse just a bit here.
If you say I'm all wet in this - well, I'll go deep online and call up some of these scientific experiments - and results by engineers, not common listeners like myself - and we'll argue it out and then, hopefully, go away chuckling instead of fuming.
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14545
Registered: May-04
.


Fuming?!


Larry, what's to fume about? It's a discusion forum, Lar, why does everyone here fume when they get questioned about anything?




You said I claimed something. "Bits is bits" I believe.


I had not said what you suggested. Bits is bits is the theory behind all of digital and I did remind you of that. In theory a bit cannot be "not quite a bit" or " kind of a little more than a bit". The simplicity of digital's "on" or "not on" system is its key. If it fails, everything about digital comes into question.



I've read about how plastics do this and that. It's certainly no secret light travels through the substrate of the digital disc. How do we know this? We shine a flashlight on the edge of the disc and it shines through. However, a flashlight - even a laser pointer - and a digital transport's laser reading assembly are vastly different things.


"If the laser doesn't hit the edges of the pit/planes just right, the laser light is skewed, and a scope will show this."


Then, according to digital theory, the player is not operating normally and is in need of adjustment.



I can't remember seeing anything that ever proved beyond a doubt that this scattering of laser light can actually affect the pickup mechanism and the resulting sound quality. To my recollection the idea of blocking scattered laser light first came about when StopLight was introduced and the developers were looking for a reason to explain why treating the edge of the CD altered the sound. After that the idea was passed from tweaker to tweaker and it has become a part of the urban myth regarding CD's. The same thing happened when CD treatments such as Finyl came along. You can illustrate the process of how the substrate is changed but I don't remember seeing anything that proved the bit was read as anything other than a bit or the pit as anything other than a pit. "On" and "not on". That's all that digital amounts to.


I admit though, I don't truly care so I haven't looked all that hard for evidence one way or the other. Maybe you can educate me, Larry.



For now what you've posted above reads more like the explanations provided by manufacturers who are selling a product. "The 'XYZ' device operates on the scattered laser light ... "


As I said most people hear a change in sound quality and they then begin to think up the most "reasonable" cause for the effect they have perceived. If I apply a Belt foil no more than 1/64 of an inch wide to the label side of a CD and the sound quality subsequently improves I can bet most listeners will jump to the conclusion that that itsy bitsy tiniest strip of foil is affecting the laser light in some fashion. It's what our brains do - we seek out an explanation when we perceive a difference. All I'm saying is that acording to digital theory none of the explanations should have any effect on digital's "on" and "not on".



I'm not saying you are right or wrong just that digital theory suggests there is nothing between the "on" and "not on" status of the electrical flow. Even if the pit edge is not read "accurately" the pit itself is still read as an "on" position. There is no "kind of on" or "sort of not on" position in digital. Most of the theories that have been presented regarding CD tweaks are still just guesses about why there is a change and those guesses tend not to follow digital theory.



Do some research, Lar. Convince me you have it right.



Start with two questions. You do believe digital playback is a series of "on" and "not on" switches, right?

If so, then how is the switch only "part way on"?





.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2955
Registered: Nov-05
Then why do players have a memory buffer to store information to reduce reading errors? Would this be in case of the zeros and ones not being read correctly for one reason or another?
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2956
Registered: Nov-05
To add to the above:

I agree that the zeros and ones are read from the lans and pits and they must be on or off. But skipping occurs thus the buffer memory, so is it not possible that some of these tweaks reduce the tiny or larger skips therefore reducing reliance on the buffer memory resulting in a smoother operation - perhaps smoother sound quality?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14546
Registered: May-04
.

"Then why do players have a memory buffer to store information to reduce reading errors? Would this be in case of the zeros and ones not being read correctly for one reason or another?"


Digital players utilize buffers for many reasons . One of the most important is to make up for missing data that is not easily reconstructed by a 44.1kHz sampling frequency. At 20kHz the data has only two samples, if one is misread the buffer holds the information until data can be interpolated from surrounding samples. At that point the misread data is then altered to either an "on" or "not on" status.

Off center discs are apparently as common in digital pressings as they are in analog, meaning virtually every disc you play is off center to some extent. At 500RPM this makes for large chunks of missing data. Again the buffer and error correction interpolate from data which has come before and will come after the misread bits adjusting the data to "on" or "not on" status.


Unfortunately, none of this discussion of buffers and error correction has anything to do with improving the accuracy of the "on" and "not on" switches which control the voltage flow at the laser assembly. Buffers and error correction circuits exist well down stream of the laser and only react to voltage fed by the data switches or lack of data not found.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 879
Registered: Oct-07
Part of the answer is error correction .....

Better players do it better. If you minimize read errors the player will have less work to do....
2-17] Why don't audio CDs use error correction?



FROM AN ARTICLE ABOUT ERROR CORRECTION::
(2001/08/01)

Actually, they do. It is true that audio CDs use all 2352 bytes per block
for sound samples, while CD-ROMs use only 2048 bytes per block, with most
of the rest going to ECC (Error Correcting Code) data. The error
correction that keeps your CDs sounding the way they're supposed to, even
when scratched or dirty, is applied at a lower level. So while there
isn't as much protection on an audio CD as there is on a CD-ROM, there's
still enough to provide perfect or near-perfect sound quality under
adverse conditions.

All of the data written to a CD uses CIRC (Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon
Code) encoding. Every CD has two layers of error correction, called C1 and
C2. C1 corrects bit errors at the lowest level, C2 applies to bytes in a
frame (24 bytes per frame, 98 frames per sector). In addition, the data is
interleaved and spread over a large arc. (This is why you should always
clean CDs from the center out, not in a circular motion. A circular
scratch causes multiple errors within a frame, while a radial scratch
distributes the errors across multiple frames.)

If there are too many errors, the CD player will interpolate samples to get
a reasonable value. This way you don't get nasty clicks and pops in your
music, even if the CD is dirty and the errors are uncorrectable.
Interpolating adjacent data bytes on a CD-ROM wouldn't work very well, so
the data is returned without the interpolation. The second level of
ECC and EDC (Error Detection Codes) works to make sure your CD-ROM
stays readable with even more errors.

It should be noted that not all CD players are created equal. There are
different strategies for decoding CIRC, some better than others.

Some CD-ROM drives can report the number of uncorrected C2 errors back
to the application. This allows an audio extraction application to
guarantee that the extracted audio matches the original. The Plextor
UltraPlex 40 is one such drive.

See http://www.cdpage.com/dstuff/BobDana296.html for an overview of error
correction from the perspective of media testing. If you really want to
get into the gory technical details, try
http://www.ee.washington.edu/conselec/CE/kuhn/cdmulti/95x7/iec908.htm.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14547
Registered: May-04
.

"I agree that the zeros and ones are read from the lans and pits and they must be on or off."


Then the discussion is over.


"But skipping occurs thus the buffer memory, so is it not possible that some of these tweaks reduce the tiny or larger skips therefore reducing reliance on the buffer memory resulting in a smoother operation - perhaps smoother sound quality?"



Skipping or other forms of mistracking are constant and grow ever worse with each subsequent play of the disc. Off center, poorly pressed and poorly handled discs all suffer from skipping and misreading. Error correction circuits only affect what has been deemed either "on", "not on" or missing data. The point is still when the pits and lans are read at all, they are read as "on" and "not on". Error correction doesn't deal with errors of the voltage flow variety, it is meant to correct for misread data not data that is "only partially on". It can correct a misread data stream of 01001 to the correct 00101 data stream which is done by altering the switch configuration after the laser. There is no such thing in digital playback that would represent 00(1/18)01


Digital recording and playback remains a series of switches. Damaged discs can alter the amount of readings of these "on" and "not on" switches but that doesn't change the fact that digital is nothing more than voltage flowing or voltage interrupted.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14548
Registered: May-04
.

That's all well and good, Leo, but not to the point of the discussion IMO. You are once again providing an assumption predicted by a device manufacturer to comfortably explain how their product operates. The issue of the disagreement here is, as I see it, whether a device such as a carbon fiber upper disc can alter the accuracy of the laser reading mechanism at the pit and lan level. In otherwords, can a device alter the "on" switch to become a "slightly on" switch.

Telling me about error correction isn't the answer as error correction doesn't deal with the reading of the data only with the interpolation of the data that has been read. Suggesting the error correction network operates less frequently (minimizing read errrors) because the disc has been read "more accurately" only turns the argument on its head by assuming the data can be something more than a "1" or a "0", something other than "on" or "not on". It cannot, at least not according to the prevailing digital theory developed by Nyquist.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2957
Registered: Nov-05
Then we need to work out why some of these tweaks work.
Like polishing discs for example - it doesn't alter the "turning on and turning off", as you put it, as a definite occurance. But I have heard a degree of improvement by doing this. Also, on some (not all) cd's I have heard a degree of improvement by using adhesive black vinyl over the cd label. The degree of improvement I mention in both cases is clarity.

For the life of me I cannot understand why this has nothing to do with the laser detecting the data more accurately - I understand the definitive off/on statement, but would we not be talking about improving upon the missing or skipping of data in such instances - like a bit just doesn't get turned off or on?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2111
Registered: Oct-04
Well I have tried, without success so far, to find a web site where it explained with very good graphics why and how a CD sound can be changed if the pits were not accurately burned, so that the sides, if you will, are "fuzzy," and thus un-doing the clock settings of the laser read. All this is way beyond my humble understanding - but the way it was explained, "ghost" images can and do come from sloppy burning or, more often, pressing.
As to the carbon fiber - mine just came in the mail today, so on the morrow I'll be cutting, fitting and playing around with discs cut from the 11 by 22-inch sheet.
The more I read about the latest/greatest carbon fiber disc, the more I get the impression that vibration damping is more of the resolution than accurate laser-reading is - but, of course, the two go hand in hand. Less vibration, more accurate laser-focus. SIGH.
Anyway, I'll post my results as I go along - and IF I - and more importantly, Mer - see/hear anything of note, it will be on this forum.
At this point, Jan, I can't produce any scientific experiment showing conclusively that cleaning a disc or black-rimming it, etc., will reduce laser scatter and thus result in more accurate laser reading. But I'm not giving up on this, as it just plain makes sense.
And I'm sorry - a laser reading a CD is exactly like eyes reading a book. The type on the page - or the pits/planes on a disc - SHOULD be in sharp focus. It's the extrapolation that's the problem. Anything getting in the way of a clean shot from disc to laser is exactly like the problems involved in dirty reading lenses or eye-focus problems involving a book reader. If the sharpness doesn't get from CD or Book to its intended "interpreter," whether human eye or DAC in a player, then there will be some distortion.
Bits ARE bits - in their purest form. And as you know, in data discs, the smallest read-problem is disastrous. With a music disc, you get fuzzy sound or drop-outs - with data discs you get unacceptable loss of data.
So - here we go again. SIGH.
This optical-reading thang has been a problem from day one - which is why there's a BIG movement out in California to transfer everything from CD to SD digital chips for playback. I've got a half-dozen of them now with lossless, not MP3, encoding, and they sound clean and clear, without the harshness I hear when playing the same music on CD.
On with the carbon fiber testing. . .
Respectfully to all. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2112
Registered: Oct-04
Please - let me add another thought-line here. I've not used it, but have read a lot about a disc-copying software called Exact Audio Copy - which reads a disc many times before it lays down a "copy" on the hard drive. It keeps going back over a problem area until it gets a much more accurate reading than single-pass playing can ever produce, and thus I read that the final disc is as accurate as possible.
I may have to download it just to see if it's as good as advertised. But then, it would take a lot of my time, and I'm getting so old I no longer buy green bananas. . . . . . .SIGH
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14549
Registered: May-04
.

"I understand the definitive off/on statement, but would we not be talking about improving upon the missing or skipping of data in such instances - like a bit just doesn't get turned off or on?"



That would be a reason for the error correction circuitry to get involved. However, you have yet to determine why the data was not read correctly. Despite the overall theory of perfection digital playback can be considered somewhat fragile in the sense that playing the same disc twice on the same player in immediate succession can result in dissimilar errors during both sessions. In other words the laser might read one area of the disc correctly in one pass and incorrectly in the next. This doesn't occur on a gross level where playback quality is hindered but that is largely due to the error correction circuitry taking efffect and making extrapolations about what data should be present.


For the most part reading a hard disc is still a consistent method of operation that results in consistent sound quality or, in the more mundane world of digital audio, consistent data retrieval.


Why tweaks or devices or what have you work is the question and it is not easily answered due to the large divide between the conventional theory of digital playback which says the functions are all but perfect and the tweakers who perceive difference with sometimes unimaginable devices and with sometimes surprising degrees of change.


Maybe Larry will provide some answers with his research but as I said I have not seen much evidence indicating digital playback is in any way affected by such tweaks other than by the acceptance of the urban myths which surround digital playback. If a retailer of devices and treatments suggests a result is occurring due to such and such changes it needs to be taken with a grain of salt even if the results can be perceived with reasonable ease.


I am a firm believer in such devices and treatments. My point to Larry is not to jump to a simple conclusion which has become part of the mythology of CD. Most devices and treatments do not follow the set rules of digital and therefore proposed methods of operation do not always need to be the only answer for why changes are happening. As an example, for some listeners a single 1" wide band of violet color along the outer edge of the disc results in significant improvements in sound quality. Why would this be? Nothing in digital theory offers an answer to that question. Does that mean all of this is just in our heads?


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2113
Registered: Oct-04
One of the tested reasons for errors in laser-read in consecutive playings is heat - from the laser itself, causing expansion in the polycarbonate layer, and causing tiny changes in the pit parameters. This has been referred to by recording engineers in many "white papers," to which I can't seem to find access - yet.
And that's where Exact Audio Copy comes in -
http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/16954.cfm
it's like the Energizer Bunny - keeps on reading until it gets the data error-free - even if it takes 80 passes or more.
My friend Mark (the late Verne's son) is gradually working his way into his dad's profession (recording engineer) and is a strong supporter of the SD Chip movement in LA. His claim is that optical reading devices won't be long for this world. . .witness such things as the iPod, etc.
And Mark and his cronies sing the praises of the new Blu-ray discs, for their Audio quality, not just their video clarity. As the BDs have the reflective layer just under the so-called "diamond coating" on TOP of the disc, the old buggaboo of birefringence is gone. The top coat is sprayed on After the disc is pressed - and thus the heat/cool cycle that creates the birefringence is bypassed - less distortion, claim the engineers who work in such areas.
In a couple of weeks I'll have my new 83SE - and will be able to hear whether or not the claims by Mark, et al, are worthwhile.
REspectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14550
Registered: May-04
.

"But I'm not giving up on this, as it just plain makes sense."


Well, Larry, I think that's why the theories are accepted by most willing buyers. It is easy to understand - which most of digital is not so much - and it just "makes sense". So does 80% alchohol in a cough remedy such as NyQuil but it still won't cure your cold.


And that's not to say the idea for improved CD sound is wrong. It is merely to say to the prospective tweaker not to just automatically accept that what is being sold is always the way things work. Many of the tweakers who come up with devices and treatments have no more working knowledge of digital than you or I. They hear a difference and they come up with a concept of "why" that makes sense to them and they're off to the races. If their theory makes sense to enough people, pretty soon they have a small business venture.



Most of us would agree that damping resonance in the disc would result in all the things we've been told can happen to CD playback because it makes sense. The thing is most of what we've been led to believe is not provable and we need to keep our ears open and our minds alert to the possibility that all of this is not as we believe nor is it as we've been told.


I certainly do not have the skills and knowledge to go head to head with the digital experts on this subject but I've seen several of the debates and they get very esoteric. In essence it comes down to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin as you understand the meaning of "dance". My take away on all of this is to keep a more open sense of what is possible and not to so easily conclude that what I've been told is how things actually work.




"And I'm sorry - a laser reading a CD is exactly like eyes reading a book."


Well, if it makes you feel any better, Larry, I'm sorry too but it still is not like reading a book - at least not in theory.







.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2114
Registered: Oct-04
Hmmm - let me try to get this straight. You have two "carriers" - a CD and a book. On the CD there are imprints of digital information - 1's and 0's in pits and planes. On the book there are imprints of "analog" information in type form. Both "should" be in a condition whereby they can be "read," either by a laser or by the human eye.
If we give the argument that both are clean and clear to start, then any problems involved in final resolution of either one can be traced to some sort of distortion along the way - either electronic with a disc or physical focus with a human book-reader.
Thus it would seem that this is a valid parallel, Jan. You start out with something crisp, and you wind up with either a crisp sound from a disc or a crisp bit of type as seen by a "normal" human eye.
Add in electronic or physical "fuzz" and you have a problem - in both cases.
So why aren't they parallel?
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2115
Registered: Oct-04
A small PS here - your points about tweaks are on the mark, Jan - and I do not and never have bought into most of them. Mer even less so.
What I have heard is - to my hearing - great improvement in sound clarity and warmth when "most" CDs are thoroughly cleaned. We all went round after round with Pledge, Vivid, etc. - and I think most all of us claimed to hear sonic improvement. Heard, but not proved.
Now I've settled in on good quality lens cleaner and a microfiber towel - clears off the "scuzz" on the disc, and does NOT scratch! Hate to harp, but - clean disc/clean reading glasses - better interpretation of the source, either pits/planes or type.
Will the carbon fiber discs make any difference? I'll buy into it if Mer and I hear significant sonic improvements - and not until then.
SIGH
REspectfully. . . LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2116
Registered: Oct-04
FIRST CARBON FIBER DISC TEST!
Yeah, I sweated and strained - finally got the first disc cut out of the sheet. Used Jan's suggested double-sided removable tape at three points on a blank disc - stuck it to the sheet so it wouldn't move.
Used a new, sharp utility knife to cut around the outside. Took three passes, and came out pretty round. Sanded the edges and they looked very good.
Then used a 1/2-inch drill to cut out the center hole and used a "beaver bit" in the drill to cut out the hole to size. Then inserted a roll of 80-grit sandpaper to finish off the hole.
OK - to the test.
Mer and I sat down with a piano concerto disc which we like a lot, but which always sounded a bit "blurred."
First played the blank disc - we knew what it sounded like. . .
Then put three TINY bits of double-sided tape on the shiny side of the CF disc and put it atop the CD.
We went back and forth several times, and each time Mer said that, with the CF disc in place, the music had a cleaner top end, and that she could hear individual instruments.
OK - but at the same time we both realized that the SECOND tweeter in the B&W 705s is "bad" as well. Got very ragged with any amount of volume - as the B&W guy had hinted when we did our e-mail chats. SIGH. A replacement tweeter diaphram is on order from England.
NOW - as the CF disc is designed to be played with shiny side against the CD - we wondered what would happen if we put the other side - a textured, matte-finish side - against the CD?
We back-n-forthed with this, as well - and Mer and I agreed that the instruments still sounded well-separated, but that the top end was a bit rolled off - not really muffled, but not in as sharp focus as with the shiny side of the CF disc against the CD.
Overall - Mer said that the disc DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE in a positive way - but she hasn't a clue as to how to describe it other than clarity and focus.
I'm wondering what exactly the $119 disc is made of, other than the reported .3mm thickness? My disc is .5mm - which should make no difference - BUT - when looking at my disc you see the carbon fibers, and it is not a solid black, like our black CDs.
SO - I took the first CF disc outside and used some of my black plastic spray on the ROUGH side of the disc. That should give a true solid black layer - and we'll see what, if any, difference that makes.
STAY TUNED - the paint will be dry in an hour.
Respectfully. . .LarryR SIGH
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14552
Registered: May-04
.

"A small PS here - your points about tweaks are on the mark, Jan - and I do not and never have bought into most of them. Mer even less so."



I have to say, Larry, you have once again (quoting GWB) "misconscrewed" my statements.


Allow me to repeat, "I am a firm believer in such devices and treatments. My point to Larry is not to jump to a simple conclusion which has become part of the mythology of CD. Most devices and treatments do not follow the set rules of digital and therefore proposed methods of operation do not always need to be the only answer for why changes are happening."


The point I've been trying to make is not to mistrust "tweaks" (which has become as much a word loaded with immediate Pavolian negatives as has "liberal" or "Palin") but to be more aware of alternative concepts of how and why a device or treatment might operate. Being a sheep by rejecting "tweaks" or by buying into tweaks still makes you a sheep either way. Unthinkingly accepting or rejecting theories of operation which are not consistent with larger mechanisms still makes you a sheep.


Cleaning CD's and painting or sanding edges while overlooking issues just as obvious elsewhere makes no more sense than does cleaning your windshield while not changing your oil. My advocacy is for a more hollistic approach to the whole thought process of audio. To that end I've been told by others on this forum that I "over think" things. Possibly, IMO it is better to overthink than to not think at all.





Suppose something beyond your comprehension occurred. Say, setting a small container of sea salt on the right rear corner of your speaker made for such a drastic improvement in sound quality it could not be denied. Of course everyone would, I suspect, suggest the container has some damping capacity which is minimizing a resonance in that area of the cabinet. That makes sense as we've come to rely on our "common sense" to sort out the physical world. What would happen then if the salt were moved to a location away from any equipment or speaker and yet the improvement persisted if not morphed in pleasant ways as the salt was moved to various locations within and without the room? If you experienced that, you would have your head knocked a bit sideways as to the damping effect of the salt container, would you not?


Likewise, what if drinking a glass of "polarized" water - a glass of water that has been set atop the north face of a magnet - improved the sound quality in your room? Polarizing to the south face decreases sound quality. What if your drinking the water also improved the sound quality for anyone else in the room?


What if it were proven that one individual telling a lie while listening to music worsens the experience for everyone in the room? Even when the other listeners are not aware of the lie being told.


What is the mechanism at work in these instances?





You can choose not to "buy into" either suggestion simply because they are not easily explained or you can trust your perception and experience. Lacking an easy answer for a result is not a good enough reason to reject a concept anymore than having a ready answer handed to you by someone else is a good reason to accept a result.

That does not mean we need only trust our ears and not reason why or how about any result. That too is being a sheep and a lazy one at that.

At least that's how I feel about this matter.




"You start out with something crisp, and you wind up with either a crisp sound from a disc or a crisp bit of type as seen by a "normal" human eye.
Add in electronic or physical "fuzz" and you have a problem - in both cases.
So why aren't they parallel?"




Because they are not. There's no other answer, Larry.


I am somewhat perplexed as to how to go about answering your questions. You have it set in your mind this is the mechanism to trust and it explains all you need to understand. And yet your understanding of the mechanism is IMO fatally flawed. When I suggest you are employing flawed reasoning you report a "fuming" under your collar. Yet you persist in wanting an explanation that is different from the explanation I've already provided. You're putting me in a no win situation, Larry.




Let's consider first just what it is you are "reading". You're an old reporter, Larry, so I assume you understand how type is pressed into paper and I'm sure you've seen the example I'm about to give. Using a page of newsprint as our base, if we hold the page at arm's length we preceive the printed words with reasonably sharp edges and crisp definition between letters. Move the same section of print under a not so powerful microscope and we would see the typeface actually lacks any crisp, clean definition as the inks have saturated the porous pulp and the once crisp edges now have flares and blanks where ink has run or not taken at all. What was at one distance a nice clean sheet of newsprint is now a series of splotches and drabs of inks unlike the arms length view.


Consider the photo that would be on that page. How is it constructed, Larry? Not of solid images which have those nice sharp edges we see at arms length but of pixels - tiny dots of ink which when viewed at a proper distance we perceive as a whole. Moving the image under the microscope reveals those pixels and their saturations and runs. Move the image under higher magnification and we begin to loose the perception of an image all together and we quickly reach the point where we see disconnected dots with open fields of no color in between splotches of many colors which we preceive as nothing in particular.


What has changed in all of that? Not the printed images but only our perception of those images. As humans we have the facility for preception and it is what guides us through the day, day after day. Going back to your earlier concept of pigments and light being two very different things, you are ingoring perception once again. There is no color in a material, color only exists in our perception - in our mind - of a process we have come to call "color" perception. Try describing "blue" to some who has been blind since birth.

I understand the basic primary color wheel you were taught in school says the primaries of pigment and light are not identical. Go ask Mer whether they still teach that same color theory today, I would hope she would answer in the negative.


Take an unknown object into a completely darkened room and what color is it? There is no color because there is no light in a completely darkened room. Color only exists in our mind when light is reflected and absorbed by the material and then the color only exists in our mind as the retinal nerve transmits its electrical pulses to our brain. "Color" exists in light - so to speak - because we perceive lightwaves as different wavelengths. Without light hitting our retina all objects are without color. It is our perception which matters.


Where does the digital playback system exercise "perception"? It doesn't. Take a look at the barcodes on any grocery item, what do you see? Nothing in particular, only lines of varying width and a series of numbers. If our analog vision is identical to digital read mechanisms, why doesn't the barcode make sense to the naked eye? Because the digital system is a series of switches not a mechanism of perception.



Take your book back into that completely darkened closet and tell me what you see? Nothing I assume, yet the print is still on the paper and your eyes still function normally. Allow me to switch on the light for just a moment and now, what do you see? Light off, what do you see? On and not on, on and not on. What can you read? There is nothing about the clarity of the print (which as we've seen is not all that clear in the first place) but it is only when the switch has been thrown to the "on" position that your perception is allowed to inform your brain. It doesn't matter how sharp the image is by reducing the pixel size, if there is no light, then there is no human perception. Take this to the digital reading side of the analogy and the switch is the key to reading the barcode or the pits and planes of the CD surface. Either voltage flows or voltage is impeded. That is the theory.



Go back to my earlier questions which you failed to answer, Larry.

"You do believe digital playback is a series of 'on' and 'not on' switches, right?

If so, then how is the switch only 'part way on'?"




Keep in mind digital theory does not provide for dimmers to be employed, only switches. "On" and "not on" are the only options. If the data is read at all, it is read as one of those two options, either a "1" or a "0". Errors ocur as we all agree and they are dealt with downstream of the laser but that is not the same thing as reading in the first place. Without resorting to the common myths of CD playback which we have been discussing here - you cannot answer the question by saying the premise of the question does not exist, how do you answer those two querries?



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2117
Registered: Oct-04
First of all, Jan, I did not accuse you of "fuming" - merely stated that I hoped this discussion did not boil down to that level -which it has not. Sorry if you took that as criticism.
Well - I have to stand by my parallel - sorry, Jan. I'd love to hear what others on this Forum have to say about that.
ANYWAY - CF DISC TEST #2 IS IN.
This time I took another fav album - a SACD of Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue." Different recording techniques, different production, different type of music, obviously.
This time Mer and I did the same A-B-A-B comparisons - Mer not knowing which disc/discs were in the drawer. Each time, however, she picked the CF disc as having more clarity of sound, and she kept on saying that she was better able to pick out individual instruments. This time she also said that the bass in the Davis album had "more accuracy." I agreed - it sounds like it is being plucked, not bowed - more accuracy, indeed - TO OUR EARS ONLY!
SIGH
After spray-painting the rough side of the CF disc I used both it and a "plain" CF disc in testing the Davis SACD. Mer and I were at first "at sea" when trying to hear any differences, but in the end we did agree that the sprayed disc was not quite as "muddled" in the mid-frequencies. How do I describe this? Uh - not really "muffled," but somehow there was a slight clarity difference. We agreed that the sprayed disc won - by a few silly millimeters! BIG GRIN

NOW - my question to y'all. Have you ever seen pics of BOTH sides of the hi-priced Millennium Mat? When I first looked at it I thought the printing was on the ROUGH side of the disc - but it appears that I was wrong. After getting my own CF disc the Millennium Mat pic clearly shows in-focus mat weaving - in other words, the printing is on the shiny side, and you're supposed to put the MATTE, or "rough" side down against a CD.
Hmmm. . .no wonder we were having a tad of trouble with our initial mat-testing. If we follow the MM ad, it's rough side against the CD. Which we will do from now on. . . .I guess.

I'm working this afternoon - whilst Mer is away at class - on making up some more CF discs. And here's the gig - if any of you reading this want one for your very own testing - I'll be happy to make up one for you, and send it along. Private message me with your address, full name, etc. Yes, even to Canada and - GULP - to Rantz in Aussieland if you truly NEED one! These are not for sale - but for gifts out of the goodness of my heart - and absence of good sense.
I'll only have six to send along - unless I smash part of the CF sheet.GRIN I figger it costs me about $10 bucks to make/ship each one, so it won't break my bank.
So it will be first in, first out, I'm afraid. And oh, yes, very important - TELL ME WHETHER YOU WANT A PLAIN OR SPRAYED DISC.
The discs, BTW, won't be finished until sometime next week.
REspectfully. . . LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2118
Registered: Oct-04
BIG PS - as I dig deeper into the why's and wherefore's of the Mat Madness, I read more and more "rave reviews." Like this:
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?raccs&1230844565
I e-mailed the posting chap, and asked him - for sure - which side of the M Mat goes against the playing CD. Waiting to hear. . .
Back to auditioning. . .
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Stryvn

Wisconsin

Post Number: 1210
Registered: Dec-06
GREAT stuff, Jan. I think this is where the other thread was going before it was derailed.

The perception part of the hobby and teaching your ears and mind to work together in it. I would like to know more about the "tweaks" (read sea salt) but I think that may be something approached at a proper speed and time? You need to learn to crawl before you can walk sorta thing?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2119
Registered: Oct-04
Got five Total Insanity Mats finished today - tedious work, and one came out less than perfect. SIGH.
One mat has already been spoken for - so I have four - maybe five - more available if I can deal with a small problem.
I've been listening all day - mats with and without paint - and there is little difference among them, really.
But there IS a difference between the Mats and plain CDs - even SACDs! Although most reviewers say the Mat won't change SACD sound much, I disagree. Got scared whilst listening to "Kind of Blue," and when the sax took the lead I swore the guy was right in the middle of the living room!
For the life of me I can't understand it - but when Mer gets home from another hard day teaching we'll do more testing.
It's the "tweak" that's better than anything I've done so far. . .
Now if I could only understand wha's happenun. . . .
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2963
Registered: Nov-05
Larry, I'd be happy to pay for one of your mats and cover the postage as well. I'll send a pm. Good work!

M.R.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2120
Registered: Oct-04
Three Total Insanity Mats gone, and a very few to go.

Mer came home, auditioned a jazz CD, and announced that, no matter what anybody else said, she's a huge fan of the TIMs. Hmm. . . .after a full afternoon of listening, me thinks me are 2.
Respectful-like. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2121
Registered: Oct-04
Total Insanity Mats - should reach all who ordered them later this week. I look forward to reviews!
Oppo 83SE - ordered and on its way to me from the Audio Advisors company in Michigan. I've ordered from them before - good people where customer service is concerned - and free shipping.
I sure hope the new Oppo's sound is MUCH better than my 980. . .SIGH. A lot of money for this old dawg. . .
OH, YES - Simply McIntosh says "Hi, I do miss the dawgs, but my Tai Chi classes and my kayaking fill my week - not to forget my job. I will get back to the Forum, however."
She's a class act, that gal!
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2992
Registered: Nov-05
Excellent Larry. Don't worry, the Oppo will not disappoint I'm sure. I'll keep an eye out for the TIM. Then I'll keep an ear out - or two. Thank you.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2122
Registered: Oct-04
M.R. - well, you know that I'll hold you personally responsible if the Oppo doesn't live up to its billing! (grin)
It shipped out today, and they say it should be here on Friday. Maybe.
Meanwhile - hopping up and down sure can wear down a person!
GRIN
Oh, I do hope the TIM is a positive force for you! I no longer play anything without one in the drawer. When the Oppo comes, it might be a different story. . .
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2993
Registered: Nov-05
Uh oh! Then I hope you can still get the 30 day money back satisfaction offer Larry.

It may be a little while before I try the TIM. I have a new pre-amp coming this week and I'll want to get used to its sound before I try the mat - better to tell the difference. I hope I hear the benefits that you hear. Look forward to trying it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2123
Registered: Oct-04
M.R. - Audio Advisor, like Oppo itself, offers the 30-day "grace period," so I'm not worried about that. But if Mer sits down and tells me that she doesn't anything "better" after spending a lot of money. . . . .well, look out body appendages! GRIN???
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2996
Registered: Nov-05
Hey Larry, I'm sure you'll be able to hang on to all your body appendages. Well, you know what I mean.

DOUBLE GRIN!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2124
Registered: Oct-04
Well, it has been pretty cold down here in Swampville - and that, of course, makes the appendages smaller and harder to find. . . .
grin
R-r-r-r-spekfulee. . . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2997
Registered: Nov-05
Heh, heh, heh!
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3000
Registered: Nov-05
Still tweaking after all these years :

I saw a pack of interlocking foam rubber floor tiles in the hardware store on sale. I accidently poked my finger through the plastic packaging to feel the density: a firm, but not too hard cushioning.

These tiles are about 650 x 650 x 12 mm and I cut them into slabs the width of and a little deeper than the CDP and BD player. The units sit directly on these mats on the shelfs ( in place of the timber boards) with the steel ball bearings I use under the recess of the unit's feet.
I have tested the Saturn and another veil has been lifted. The highs are even cleaner, the timbre of instruments - eg. piano, horns, acoustic guitar and bass - are even more true to life than I thought possible with this player and vocals seem to hang beautifully lifelike in the air. I wouldn't say all this is jaw-droppingly better than before, I think there is only so much that will improve upon the Saturn in this regard, but definitely noticeable.

I will test the Oppo this evening with Bluray and later on with just music. A pack of 4 tiles cost me a little over twenty dollars. I will also try the tiles with the Rogue once I have become accustomed to it in the system. May be worth a try for those interested.

Hmm, with this, the addition of the Rogue preamp and Larry's Total Insanity Mat, I may well find myself in audio heaven.

P.S. My shelving is tempered glass - effects will likely or not vary with different material.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14672
Registered: Dec-04
Oh boy, power cords!


http://virtualdynamics.ca/the-oddiophile-ep-10
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2125
Registered: Oct-04
Will this insanity ever stop? (grin) OK, M.R. - our good and true Postal Service says that you should get your Total Insanity Mat (TIM) the first of next week. So be patient. . .
Nuck - yours should be there Friday or Saturday. Be Patient. . .
Yeah, I've tried so many "floors" under the Oppo that our living room occasionally takes on the look of a Home Improvement Store. SIGH.
And really - for Mer and me - nothing seems to make any appreciable difference. Until the TIMs. . .
WHEN you get yours - you might want to try something that Mer says does make a strange difference: try the mat first "rough" side down - the way it is supposed to go. Then flip it over so that the shiny side is against the playing CD. You might find the sonics brighter and sharper there - the way Mer did. But she did say the regular way sounds more "vinyl" to her ears (which are light years better than mine)
I also determined that - on a drawer player - I MUST have the tiny bits of double-stick tape in place. With a top-clamp unit, they might well be just extra baggage.
Jan was right on the money with her suggestion re the poster tape. I give credit where due, Jan. . .my rubber spray also works, but not nearly as well. And so far - about a week - the tape is still working. Though its "stickiness" is getting a bit weaker. I'll see how long it lasts, but it sure easy to replace, at any rate! GRIN
The OPPO is somewhere in the Great State of Ohio - so it will get a good cryogenic treatment along the way - it is COLD up there!
Delivery is projected for Thursday - but the FedEx site shows that it may be Friday. SIGH.
How can a grown (groan?) man feel so kid-like with anticipation?
OK, Rantz - back to your testing!
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14674
Registered: Dec-04
I ain't a-scared Lar, try both ways.
Nick will back me up to open this one, LOL!
It's under warranty, LOL!

oops, until now...dagnabbit
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2126
Registered: Oct-04
OPPO TIME! Yep, the player is here, and after scrounging around behind the cabinet for hours - all hooked up and playing.
OH, MY! Never heard CDs like this. THE SACDs absolutely sing! And the BDs - WOWZER!
Mer is absolutely stunned - I'm in audio/video heaven, if such exists.
I'll be letting the li'l machine run in for some time now - BUT - I am worried about one thing:
SHOULD IT BE RUNNING VERY HOT? Not so hot I can't put my hand on the top, but very hot - and there's the smell of hot insulation, or stuff inside the cabinet. Think I'll call Oppo to be sure it's OK. A bit concerned about this. . .
But overall - this is simply a great machine!
Have NOT used the Total Insanity Mats in it yet - probably tomorrow, if it doesn't melt down in themeantime!
Respectfully, and enjoying the music. . . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3005
Registered: Nov-05
Larry, it can get quite warm, but there is a thermostat of sorts that turns on the fan at a certain temperature. Still, it doesn't hurt to check with Oppo if you're not sure.

I knew you guys would be impressed. Congrats!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2127
Registered: Oct-04
MR - I contacted Oppo by e-mail - and got responses within just a few minutes. What service!
Anyway - they said that yes, the SE will get quite hot, but not to worry, the fan will come on in the back if the unit's heat exceeds its safety margins. So I'm feeling better - and may I just say, it's good to finally be up with the "Big Guys" in audio! Rarified air up here - but feels purty good!!!
GRIN'
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3006
Registered: Nov-05
I found Oppo's service top notch. I haven't had any problems just enquiries and they have always responded quite quickly.

I am experiencing a similar blissful feeling with the new pre amp in our system Larry. It's just such an elevated upgrade and we've got our entire library to rediscover.

Be sure to pull yourself away now and then to do your chores. Okay Mer, I told him. :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2128
Registered: Oct-04
M.R. - new preamp, eh? So what sort of "changes" are you hearing with this newest bit of kit? I thought you had a top-notch preamp, but perhaps with your new(er)(est) amps it wasn't good enough, or didn't match up properly?
We've now run the Oppo for several hours - and Mer is upset over the "burning" smell - but the Oppo tech guys swear that this is normal, and will ease off by tomorrow. I hope. . .
Hot - yep, it's a hot one, alright - something I'm not used to in CD players. But the sound. . . .as you say, "bliss."
I caved in early this eve and used a TIM on one of my favorite CDs - it's called "Concierto," featuring guitarist Jim Hall - and Mer and I both swore (gently) that the TIM allowed the instruments to come forward more and be separated. We tried with/without and there IS a difference, even with the greatly-improved sonics of the SE. Hmm. . .
I'll never figger it out, for sure!
Respectfully. . .LarryR
PS - your TIM "should" be there in two or three days. I hope. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3008
Registered: Nov-05
Larry, the Parasound isn't anywhere near the level of the Rogue. It is a well built low-mid fi unit and fits well in that area. However, the Rogue is much more suited to the Saturn and the Xindak monoblocks and/or vice versa. The music being experience with this new pre amp is absolutely sensational. I am hearing deeper into the musical conversation - each instrument owns its space and comes through with amazing clarity. Even background piano is exceptionally lucid and real - the attack and decay of notes, the timbre - this applies to accoustic bass, guitars etc. And bass is extremely solid and quick or thick and gentle when required. There is so much musical information and detail, yet it has this certain lush ambience that totally draws me in. I could go on and on, but I'll take pity on you with my rambling.

Re: the Oppo. Even though mine isn't the SE model, I do recall it getting rather warm in the beginning. I can't recall whether or not I noticed the burning odour, but I'd say the Oppo guys are right and it's just new components burning in and such. All the same - does it have breathing space around it - and at the rear where the fan is?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2129
Registered: Oct-04
M.R. - how very interesting! The very attributes you describe in writing about your new pre amp are exactly the ones that I experience with the TIM! I'll be very interested in your take on the TIM - as I find the thing to be "puzzlingly" noteworthy in its ability to add "lucidity" to the music.
As to the air around the Oppo - yes, there is open space around it, and the fan area in back is not obstructed. Although it is in a cabinet, the front door is always open and there is plenty of open access in the back. If I find heat to be a real problem I'll open up more of the back side of the cabinet.
The one thing that remains a problem is tweeter #2 on the 705s - it has a strident quality and 'fuzzes up' when it is pushed at all. The new tweeter is much sweeter and accurate. SIGH. But B&W has the new one on order - maybe another month from Merry Olde England. SIGH.
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14686
Registered: Dec-04
I ran in a new SE last month, I do not recall the heat issue, but I did not feel the unit (in open air), plus I smoke, so thats that.

Lar, have you setup the unit fully?

Have you tried the pure stereo? Setup the sacd to playback 2.0 and use pure, this is a good thing!


N.B. I only ever used the thing in the stereo mode, so perhaps multi-channel is different, it certainly is a differen operating condition.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2130
Registered: Oct-04
Nuck - yeah, I've "sorta" got it all set up - but have not yet tried the switch that turns off the video section and leaves only the audio "on."
With only one day of trial so far, I have to say that the li'l machine is just about perfect with everything I've tried.
I use SACD in surround now - used to use only 2-channel but liked what I heard with the SE, so have it on multi-channel. Mer likes that. . .need more be said? (grin)
I used a TIM for the first time late this afternoon - and to my surprise I felt that it opened up the performance even more than the SE by itself. I did not expect any change, frankly.
I'm told that I need to burn in the SE for several days before it "settles down," so I'll just go along for the ride until the weekend, when the sonics may - or may not - get any better than they are now.
Impressed, for sure, Nuck! Even my "toss-out" pile of old CDs are suddenly sounding "almost good."
Did your SE have a different sound after several burn-in days?
REspectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3011
Registered: Nov-05
Larry, just as a matter of interest: our Oppo (remember it has a smaller power supply than the SE) only got luke warm this evening playning a BD DTS MA disc for about 2 hrs. The night is about 25C and the player is on an open rack. I did not notice the fan come on (can only hear it close to the player) though on hot nights the fan does come on.

Cheers
M.R.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2131
Registered: Oct-04
M.R. -thanks for the info. The SE fan has not come on at all, even though the unit, as I said, did get rather hot yesterday after playing for a couple of hours. The Oppo tech, however, said the fan will only come on if the unit's heat is higher than "standard," whatever that means.
I got up early this ayem to get the SE playing again - as most of you tell me that a player needs to "burn in" for many hours. How many? Well, I've read on various forums that the Oppos "open up" after about 40 hours of play. We'll see. . .
Today is TIM test day - to see/hear any and all differences.
Will report. . .
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3013
Registered: Nov-05
Got your email Larry - just taking a short hiatus from sleep at present and will respond later on. Hopefully the TIM will arrive early this coming week so I can give it a spin (so to speak) , but a few CD's were posted from your country on the 18th of last month and have not appeared as yet. Yawn!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2132
Registered: Oct-04
IMPORTANT QUESTION: On the Oppo I've got the choice between PCM and DSD outputs from the 7.1 surround channels to the internal DAC. Which should I choose? Some input please.
I use the 7.1 analog channels for all playback except Redbook CDs, which use the stereo analog output.
I'm not sure which setting will give me more accurate sound - another of my failings. SIGH.
Meanwhile, the Total Insanity Mats are showing their value - even in the Oppo. Tighter bass and more clean and dimensional sonics.
Art - I finally understand your comments about GLARE. Yep - I'd been listening to it forever, and the Oppo seems to make it go away.
GRIN
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3015
Registered: Nov-05
The PCM and DSD options are for SACD playback, Larry. SACD is DSD as you know, however, if you are using analogue outputs into your receiver then use PCM unless your reciever decodes DSD. If it does, then the choice is yours.

Cheers MR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2133
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks, M.R. - I'll stick with PCM.
Have the rest of y'all heard/read about the latest audio format in town? Yep, good(?) old Sony has brought out BLU-SPEC CDs - you can Google them, but won't get a ton of information except that they are "apparently" to replace the SACDs?????
SIGH From the online reactions I've read Sony should-ah stayed in bed on this one. . . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The TIM continues to win the music contest at our house - and yes, there is still a lot of improvement in sonics even on the much-better-performing Oppo SE. Now if I could only understand WHY?????
REspectfully. . . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 3026
Registered: Nov-05
Larry, the TIM has arrived safe and sound. Quickly compared one track without and with. Not a huge difference, but definitely a difference and for the better. I hope to test it with a broad selection of tracks later on, but Mrs Rantz has come home to the sick bed. She has got the bug and it has worsened. So I'll report after time for testing thoroughly permits. Thank you very much my friend.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2134
Registered: Oct-04
Oh, my! Now we both have ailing wives, MR! Mer is in bed with a really awful "bug," as well. S I G H
Glad the TIM got there without undue hardship, and I hope to hear positive results.
What a day! Mike W lost one of his balls (on his CD machine) your dear Mr. Rantz is ill, Mer is very sick, and I did not win Lotto.
Well - tomorrow has GOT to be bettah!
NUCK: - you got your TIM yet?
Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 2135
Registered: Oct-04
That was supposed to be MS, NOT MR Rantz. (blush)
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