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The diary entries of a little girl in her 30s! ~ Part 2 - Page 424  

post #6346 of 21760
@vortex have you been to Mike's store Analog Head or something like that? Also wait themiddlesky is indonesian?
post #6347 of 21760
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post

@vortex have you been to Mike's store Analog Head or something like that? Also wait themiddlesky is indonesian?
I have met Mike in person (he's actually a very nice person, loves photography BTW) but haven't been to his Analoghead store yet. Since I'm on holidays for 2 weeks, there will be a chance to go there.
And yes, TheMiddleSky is Indonesian.
Edited by VortexBlast - 2/19/13 at 4:17am
post #6348 of 21760
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post

Ardgedee, I've haven't really thought about it before, but recently I have started noticing that there are actually quite a few IT pro companies and firms that still creates their own websites as static web pages as opposed to dynamic web applications of sorts. Is this a (new) trend of going back to basic HTML (with some client side scripting as a maximum) when other technologies aren't needed, or is it just me that have missed this altogether or what's the deal here?

There are a few things at play that you have to tease apart here. Semantic/nonsemantic, dynamic/static, interactive/noninteractive are all unrelated attributes. A page can be semantic and static, or interactive and nonsemantic, and so on.

HTML has always been and, as far as anybody can tell, will always be the prime content format on the web. Even if you want to look at a picture or watch a video, that image or motion picture file is going to be embedded in an HTML framework that tells the browser how to display it and what to do with it. Despite Adobe's best attempts to prove otherwise, Flash content also still has to be embedded in an HTML page -- unless you want to go through some really horrible convolutions in implementation. (Horrible in an unsemantic, hacky, unmanageable and breaking-the-web way, not that it's technically difficult.)

The semantic web is, in essence, a means to make information known and parseable to humans and smart agents alike. So if your web page is semantically sound, Google can scrape it and know that, despite whatever way you style the page, the title is [here] and the descriptive content is [there] and the author of the page is [this] and their address is [that], and so on. It makes this information structure nonproprietary -- whether you're creating your own Google-killer search engine, or just writing a script to scrape somebody's web site, you can know what any given chunk of content signifies because the page is well-structured.

The semantic web, ideally, also improves accessibility. Your web reader for the blind can parse well-formed HTML in useful ways and make navigating your page easier. (Everybody should go through the experience of using one for a little while, to appreciate what that entails.) It also provides useful hooks, such as ways to encapsulate the name/address/phone on a page and let the browser provide you the option of automatically adding it to your address book with a couple clicks.

So to that extent, the semantic web is much more about implementing things in a disciplined way rather than doing anything new. The semantic web has been fundamental to HTML from day one, (HTML is a derivative of SGML, which exists only as a way to mark up content for parsing) but it's only been in recent years that the popular web browsers have adequate support for the supplementary technologies around HTML (CSS and Javascript, primarily) to provide a robust segregation of content, style, and interaction. The reasons for that can be interesting, but it is a rabbit hole reverberating with the deafening screams of the aggrieved, so let's not fall down it.

In one sense, all web pages are static. Web pages are, again, constructed in HTML, and HTML just sits there. The server that sent the HTML might have assembled it on the fly out of data and disparate parts, but once the HTML hits your browser, the page is an inert thing unless Javascript manipulates it in some way -- moving things around, removing things, fetching things and inserting them into the page, and so on.

Because of this, for the most part you as the reader of a web page don't have to care what the web server is or what it's doing. The web browser doesn't, as long as it gets its well-formed HTML document. So if nobody but the web server cares about how a page is built, and the page never changes (for example, a company's various web pages describing what they are and what they do; they're not going to be changing address all that often), the page may as well be a static HTML document. In fact. That way the server just has to shoot out a file without having to figure out what that file has to have in it and assemble it out of various document and data elements. Reducing server load on the back end is a good thing, and it's easier than trying to design caching and other efficiency schemes.

Dynamism can be counterproductive, too. If your web site has a whiz-bang technology design that inserts new page content on the fly every time you click a link, well hey that's cool, but Google will never scrape that replacement content because its crawler doesn't execute Javascript. And it's going to be a lot of work to make the content accessibility-compliant (which, in the US, is mostly optional for nongovernmental sites; in other countries it's mandatory for commercial sites as well). Interactive effects, when not well done, also risk antagonizing the primary purpose of your website -- to provide visitors the information they need to research you/contact you/hire you/buy your stuff/etc.

Of course, if your company designs websites or games, or you're a news site of some kind running live updates, the interactivity provides utility and context and can be beneficial (either because of what it provides or because of what it says about you). If your company makes copper tubing, it risks being a nuisance.
post #6349 of 21760
@vortex if anyone can't deduce that Mike likes photography from all of his reviews I'd say they're kind of blind :-P

@mf have you read headfonia's flat-4 sui review.
post #6350 of 21760
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

He'll have some of the boards available too, if you ever feel like DIY-ing one.

Yeah, I'll look into it tonight. I'm leery about taking it on as my first amp build, since I don't really have the experience to know what I'm doing, and I suspect a relatively out-there design like this would benefit from having a test rig handy that can help dot all the Is and cross all the Ts, in lieu of having a lot of conventional wisdom or fellow DIYers with experience building this genre of amp.
post #6351 of 21760
I guess I should add to my previous wall of text -- just because a web page looks like it's static on the server doesn't mean that it is. Spoofing the signature aspects of a static page is trivial for most CMSes these days. Also, many enterprise-scale CMSes effectively run two copies of the site -- the publicly viewable site is statically stored HTML documents, but they're pre-generated by the CMS when the site's editors publish content. Even when the site as a whole changes daily, any given page has only a very low probability of changing, so for server efficiency or server security it's more effective to keep the public-facing site as static as possible.
Edited by ardgedee - 2/19/13 at 6:18am
post #6352 of 21760

@Joe: I don' think any amount of EQing would make my LCD-3's "best" (I have other headphones in its league), but thanks for the suggestions.  I've always been on the fence on EQ and will probably remain there for awhile. 



I got a Mogami AES/EBU cable to go from my Stello U3 to NAD M51, replacing the coaxial cable I was using, yesterday because I read somewhere that NAD focused more on that input than the others and... that might be true?  The HD800's would be a better illustrator of this, but, listening with the TH900's right now, I feel like things are a tinsy bit smoother.  This is after less than an hour of listening, though, so I wouldn't put much stock in what I'm saying.

Edited by driver 8 - 2/19/13 at 7:58am
post #6353 of 21760
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

I think papahood becomes you.  smile.gif

Me too. It's not all kittens and rainbows, but in my limited experience with toddlers, she's fairly manageable. Much more so than my nephew at that age. He'd throw these blood-curdling tantrums that would make you want to have a fit of your own. Her big thing is sticking everything into her mouth, because of the teething thing, so whatever she can grab is usually soggy; remotes, phones, dog/cat toys, shoes, puppy ears, etc.. She has a ton of teething rings, but she'd rather throw those at the dog.


My boy is going through this stage at the moment. I think I might have to start an album of pictures of him chewing on random objects. Some of them would be quite funny. He LOVES anything cord or cable-like.


Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Originally Posted by driver 8 View Post

ipod -> ES5 is more tolerable for some of my music than my more elaborate home systems, I'd have to say.  Also, I often find myself getting more engrossed in a thing with Conductor -> LCD 3 than NAD M51 -> ECBA -> HD800's.  Of course the latter is more rewarding with other stuff, but yeah.  I could never dwindle my collection down to the most accurate or revealing stuff because some of it just sounds better with a warmer presentation.


I'm pretty sure I can get your LCD3 to sound the best with all your collection with my setup:


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


From left to right: ReaFIR spectral compressor acting as de-esser, system wide VST host (Cantabile Lite) control panel, individual parametric EQ for left and right channels


Harshness in recordings are mostly brought out / excerbated by uneven peaks in headphones' frequency response--I find the frequency and magnitude of these peaks using methods outlined here

http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial (written by PiccoloNamek)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/615417/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-advanced-tutorial-in-progress (written by me)


This pretty much tames out all equipment-related harshness and a complete retuning of the frequency response makes every headphone in my collection (none of which are that expensive) sound better than anything I've auditioned without a custom parametric EQ (and that includes heavyweights such as the legendary Sony R10).


Nevertheless there will always be recordings that hit you with ice-picks of sibilance, this is where the spectral compressor on the left comes in.  It acts as a spectrum analyzer and infinite-band compressor at the same time.  See what frequencies are spiking causing unplesantness in real time, squish it with the compressor.  I leave it on a default setting which is bit-transparent unless treble levels hit the predefined discomfort zone, at which point it will kick in automagically.


With these enhancements in place the first post in this thread sums up my thoughts on listening to the most expensive headphones I can get my hands on "dry" vs just about just about any phones in my budget collection with the enhancements in place (ie. they suck).  Now imagine how much more I care about boutique amps, which by all accounts make less difference than headphones to start with.


I did upgrade to the Fiio E17 which in my limited testing has the most gain of portable DAC/amps in my price range to drive hard-to-drive headphone-EQ combos. (headphones that are relatively insensitive AND have big nulls in the frequency response, combined with the all-cut-no-boost EQ rule, can make for some very power hungry combinations) That's a purchase I'm happy with.




Some experiences I've had regarding FR in headphones recently has made me wonder about this stuff quite a bit. However, I'm not convinced that it will make a pair of headphones that are technically and measurably less resolving as capable as ones that are on my own equipment (eg: M80s can't be turned into LCD-3s or 'stats). Would be interesting to experiment though. 


Originally Posted by mechgamer123 View Post

Anyone know if it's possible to put a hyperlink into your "location" in your profile? There's an article I'd love to link to that explains the context of my location...


I'm pretty sure you can't. You'd need a custom title for that, which means selling me your first born or something. wink_face.gif

Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post

Ardgedee, I've haven't really thought about it before, but recently I have started noticing that there are actually quite a few IT pro companies and firms that still creates their own websites as static web pages as opposed to dynamic web applications of sorts. Is this a (new) trend of going back to basic HTML (with some client side scripting as a maximum) when other technologies aren't needed, or is it just me that have missed this altogether or what's the deal here? I was told, some several moons ago, that (completely) static sites are things of the past and that we are headed towards a more dynamic and a semantic web altogether, even though I couldn't quite understand why more complex technologies would be needed if it's a just a static presentation site. But as was the case with Neo, I swallowed that pill with no apparent afterthought and took it for truth. 


Is it a case of using the right tools for the right job, or is there some other outerwordly wizardry going on here that came with the introduction of HTML 5? I'm thinking that since you're in the business, you might actually have an insight on these trends.


I haven't conducted any sort of studies on this, just so you know. It's just that whenever I look at some companies websites, quite a few of them are actually just plain HTML with a script. It seems to me as there's no server side applications more than what's obviously needed to host these files.


It's VERY good for security. Dynamic sites may have exploits that hackers can use. Of course, someone being stupid with passwords or software set-up on the server and every site may end up with crap added to infect computers. I know a guy who sets up dynamic sites using FreeBSD and the built-in "jails" system to separate the web and database servers of sites. He then does all the editing on a back-end server that overwrites the front-end server that hosts the pages for viewing every 15 minutes. This way, even if the site was somehow compromised, anything changed would be reverted within a quarter hour.


Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Went to make some coffee this morning, and sudden I'm thinking about enemas. Thanks, Magick Man!


The best part of waking up.... is Folgers up the butt.


You'll love this then: Florida couple addicted to coffee enemas


Originally Posted by VortexBlast View Post
I also talked with Nico also known as "TheMiddleSky" in Head-fi who works at Jaben. I asked him
a kind of rethorical question when they were installing those extremely large and thick custom AC cables to the Bakoon amp and the Calyx Femto DAC, it was "what would happen if those cables were plugged in to another electronic devices for example a TV" he said "it'll make the colours much better" then I said "yeah, it'll transform a 1080p monitor to 4K".
I also learned that Mike from Headfonia lives just 5 minutes away from Jaben which is quite interesting. And he will also borrow those Bakoon amps for an upcoming review.


A friend of mine who worked in my local hi-fi store back when I lived in Australia reckoned that the Van Den Hul power cables they sold with uber expensive Loewe TVs (pre digital era) did indeed improve the picture. They had tried them with it purely to see what happened, if anything. Take that for what you will. 

Edited by Currawong - 2/19/13 at 6:26am
post #6354 of 21760
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

My boy is going through this stage at the moment. I think I might have to start an album of pictures of him chewing on random objects. Some of them would be quite funny. He LOVES anything cord or cable-like.

I've been able to keep her out of the cabling, but remotes are an issue. The one for my aging HLD-X9 took a licking (literally) and will never be the same. "Oh, this looks interesting and expensive." *slobber* *slobber* Fortunately, I buy vintage LD gear in pairs, so I have a spare. When she learns how to climb furniture, however, I'm not sure what we're going to do. I hate the thought of having to keep her in a pen.
post #6355 of 21760
Thread Starter 

Speaking of DIY amps, Eddie Current debuted a new DIY kit at Changfest. Apparently it's a solid state amp along the same lines as the RSA Darkstar, only it'll cost around $150 for the kit. So far as I know Craig's not planning on offering a pre-built version at any point.


Sadly the new 2A3 with the BA heater wasn't at Changfest, though the Electra was, and it got really positive feedback from listeners. I think this was the first time people heard it with the optional silver cap upgrade, and those who heard the prototype before felt it added refinement to the sound. Projected delivery date on the first run is the end of March at this point.


Driver 8 and I are part of the first run, so expect to see some impressions here at some point. My Blue Hawaii SE should be finished in the next month or two after that as well, hopefully. The Moth 2A3 upgrades will probably take longer.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *


I've also made up my mind more or less to get a Liquid Glass. I'm very fond of Alex Cavalli's amps, and the LG is perhaps his most refined and exceptional work to date, basically the culminating point of his trajectory with the Stacker II. From the time I spent with the prototype I fell in love with the amp; it left a lasting impression on me for sure, providing one of the most involving and holographic presentations of just about any amp I've heard when paired with the HD800.



Comparing two of my favorite HD800 amps .... (Click to show)

From my brief time with them, it's honestly a toss up for me on which amp I prefer with the HD800: the Balancing Act or the Liquid Glass. In the case of the BA I find the presentation is more expansive and open, airy and exquisite. It can lack a bit of solidity and grounding however; it's less adept at instilling a sense of heft. Of weight. The LG on the other hand hits harder and has a more solid presentation, though it's not as open and expansive. It's more focused. Both have stellar imaging, detail extraction, and both immerse me in what I'm hearing. Yet I feel more connected to it through the LG in my experience. I have a greater sense of being there. Perhaps I can best describe the difference for me thusly: the BA places me in the midst of the music by surrounding me with it, whereas the LG achieves this by drawing me into it. Obviously that's a highly subjective take on the two amps, and really in my experience both are exceptional. It's too close to really declare one a clear victor in my book, a toss up as I said.


The only thing keeping me from ordering the LG in the past was the noise level with sensitive headphones: there was hum on the prototype I heard when paired with various models. It was a very unfortunate caveat that ultimately resulted in my deciding to forgo a purchase, as most of my favorite dynamics are sensitive, low impedance. Coupled with the announcement that Cavalli Audio might be closing up shop at that point, I had basically written off the LG.


It was thrilling to hear that a solution had been found, both to Cavalli Audio's uncertain future and to the hum issue with the LG. Like I said, I love this amp. 


I also really dig its form factor:



CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), default quality


Admittedly, I've never been much of a fan of tube rolling. Replacing tubes was always more of a chore than source of intrigue for me. It would seem a little odd then that I'd go for an amp dubbed "a tube roller's dream amp." The LG has sort of changed my perspective on the matter. First off, it's pretty convenient to swap the two tubes at the front of the amp thanks to its design; on the other hand having to open the Leben up by unscrewing the top grate and changing the numerous tubes inside was irritating. Secondly, the LG is designed to sound quite discernibly different depending on which tubes one is using. The design philosophy behind it is basically "hear the exact sound of the tube ." Thirdly, elaborating on the second reason, the LG is designed to accept a wide array of tubes.


Here's a list taken from the product page: 


12AU7, 6SN7, ECC82, 12SN7, 5963, VT231, 6680, CV1986, 5814, CV1988, 12AT7, B65, ECC81, B63, 6DJ8, ECC32, ECC88, CV181, 6922, ECC88, 8416, 6H30, 6189, 6N1PEB, 6H23EB, 7730, ECC802, 6CG7, 12BH7, 6FQ7, 6GU7


So there's quite a lot of possibility with this amp, almost overwhelmingly so.


I'm very excited to see what the coming months bring for Cavalli. In particular, the updated Liquid Fire mkII seems really promising. The original LF was one of those amps I always wanted to own but never ended up pursuing for one reason or another. This new version is apparently like an entirely new amp.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *


As for my office setup, I've become rather interested in ECP Audio's creations. There's something appealing about the simplicity of their exterior aesthetic coupled with their at times unorthodox approach inside the case.





The DSHA-1 is their solid state offering, while the L-2 is a parafeed tube amp. You can read a review of the L-2 at Inner Fidelity. The amps are said to be extremely quiet, which is definitely something I value (see above).


They're also said to pair well with Grados. In and of itself this isn't particularly relevant to me, however I've noticed that some of my favorite dynamic amps over the years are those that are touted for their Grado synergy. I'm also intrigued by the prospect of pairing it with Joe's magnificent HP1000, one of my go-to dynamics these days.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *


Along with the LG I've decided to order the Apex Glacier. I think it'll compliment the UHA-6S well, a Laurel to its Hardy. Sort of mulling over whether to upgrade to the UHA-6SmkII or not tho.


The fascination I had for the RSA Intruder seems to have dwindled a bit. In its place, I find myself eyeing the Centrance HiFi M8. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it thus far based on the things I've been reading. If ever there was a device I actively didn't need, it's the M8 (of course I don't really need any of this stuff, but ahem...). I don't really use any iDevices to merit a purchase at this point, though I suppose I could try an iPod Touch again. Perhaps my disdain for iOS has dwindled as well! Then again, I'd rather try out the Astell & Kern AK47 AK100 with an RWA mod if I were getting a new portable source. Or the Altmann Tera-Player.


The Pico Power also seems like an interesting portable amp as well. Maybe I could get it in seafoam to match my BHSE. I asked Justin about the next GS-Xmk2 run by the way, and he said it should be ready in three months or so. Could go for the triple threat, a full suite of seafoam HeadAmp gear. Super neato methinks.


Getting the GS-Xmk2 or one of those ECPs makes sense in my current [questionable] mindset. It has to do with the appeal of symmetry. My three electrostatic amps---the Electra, BHSE, and LL---are tube, hybrid, and solid state designs respectively. On the dynamic side the Moth 2A3, LG, and one of those options would mirror that.

Edited by MuppetFace - 2/19/13 at 8:03am
post #6356 of 21760
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I'm pretty sure you can't. You'd need a custom title for that, which means selling me your first born or something. wink_face.gif

You'll love this then: Florida couple addicted to coffee enemas
Haha, too bad I don't have any children yet then!

That's the article that actually sparked that conversation.
post #6357 of 21760

I feel like ECBA -> TH900 are a nice mix of those two sorts of immersion you were describing with the HD800's; it's like IEM intimacy wrapped closely around your head instead of in it.

post #6358 of 21760
Hmm I haven't read any of MFs overviews before but I've got to say it was quite the nice read. Usually I tl;dr and skip to there last summary paragraph, but I was pretty engaged reading what you wrote, though I wish o had any experience with amps at all to give any kind of response that could be meaningful.

On the other hand, finally got my vacuuming done!
post #6359 of 21760

Romy, you must be rolling in cash if you can afford to order all these expensive, TOTL gears in a relatively short period of time! Correct me if I'm wrong about some of them, but in the last several months I've seen you purchasing - or mentioning about purchasing - TH900, Eddie Current (2A3, ECBA), HeadAmp (GS-X, BHSE), Liquid Glass, Jecklin Float, Stax, FitEar, FAD, and so on... can't settle on one reference system and be happy with it, can you? biggrin.gif

post #6360 of 21760
muppetface: Have you heard anything about the Decware Zenhead? It seems to be flying under the radar, portable-amp-wise.

Now that I have a box full of iPod Video parts and an agenda, I'm contemplating building an ultimate DIY-mod and being done with that particular path of upgrades. Especially now that tiny 256GB mSATA SSDs can be had in the sub-$200 range, making them cheaper than PATA 128 GB SSDs were last fall.

If I decide to upgrade from that for source hardware, it'll probably be an Android minipad, assuming any have both decent digital-out and can get >500 GB drives hacked into them.
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