The DIY'rs Cookbook

  1. jelt2359 Contributor
    For those who have modded the mutec 3+ USB, can it take a 7V power supply? Or just 6.3v?
  2. jabbr
  3. jelt2359 Contributor
  4. johnjen
    Perspectives and Techniques on ‘tuning’ an audio playback system.

    I tune my system NOT to fix acoustic problems but to improve SQ.
    This is a subtle difference that ultimately makes a significant cumulative difference in the long run.
    IOW the tweaks I make aren’t meant to compensate for deficiencies but to mitigate choke points.
    Put another way…
    By removing technical, electrical and electronic limitations that exist in the entire system, what can be sometimes described as glaring deficiencies are removed, or at least reduced, and not simply patched.
    This is as much a perspective on What is being tweaked, as well as Why.
    Sorta like how you approach improving your system.
    Is the glass half empty/half full?
    Are you fixing a problem or making the system better?

    This leads to a concurrent and consequential thought.
    Who and Why do some experiment with our audio systems?
    This is a rarely asked question with no simple answer and certainly a no consensus end result.
    It is a rare mix of overall technical understanding and abilities, materials sciences, acoustics, electronics and electrical expertise, among many other talents, all in an effort to engage us with a whole other realm (Music and all that is involved with this entire topic).

    To that end I use the process detailed below to ‘evaluate’ and refine the structure of what areas of the system to work on next, based upon all previous experiments and knowledge gained therefrom.

    1. Is there something to want or desire?
    For example a new kid on the block (e.g. AOIP) pops up on the scene is it something that answers a need, or is curiosity alone enough to want to pursue the avenue of experimentation?

    2. What (as in defined or at least adequately described) is wanted or desired
    Are there specific technical or functional enhancements that can be explored and what would be considered as yielding ‘Better’?

    3. How to achieve - plan of action and budget
    Details concerning ‘resource allocation’ (what , when, how much…)
    3b. What h/w and/or s/w solutions exist.
    Research of gear, solutions, factors involving the integration into the existing system, these endeavors are, or at least can be, a big portion of the fun.

    4. Implementation of $ and integration into the rest of system/setup interface
    This entails the procurement and physical tasks required to set it all up and plug it all in, then get it all to work.

    5. Noticed changes - what outcome was achieved?
    This is where the feedback loop of experience kicks in, where implementing further refinements to the basic (proof of performance) implementation, allows for a test for scaleability and adds to the overall evaluation of this avenue of experimentation.

    What was learned usually can lead to additional ideas for further refinement and experimentation.
    And if the results do contribute to an improvement in overall SQ (ie. it’s a keeper) it can also be combined with other ‘related’ tweaks as a ‘standard’ refinement.

    Also note, if any step is missing or fails to complete, the process halts at that point.

    These techniques and evaluatory steps have proven themselves to me over time and the cumulative results tend to reinforce each other.
    And sometimes in unexpected ways with the total being far greater than the mere sum of the new individual tweaks.

    This series of techniques has been applied to several completely different areas of interest and with similar end results.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  5. mourip
    Thanks for posting your personal outlook on tweaking. You are right. It is seldom discussed as a topic on its own.

    I did find myself wondering what prompted "Is the glass half empty/half full? Are you fixing a problem or making the system better?" Where you addressing the previous posts of others?

    The way I look at it all changes that we make to our system are made in the hope of improving sound quality and meant for promoting our personal enjoyment. Otherwise what would be the point? Every system has limitations, "choke points" as you describe them. Some we make ourselves due to a lack of understanding of our equipment and how it works and interacts, some are due to limitations built into our equipment as a product of being built to a certain price point. It seems to me that system building will always be a bit like cooking. It involves science and art. Success will always be determined by our own personal and subjective satisfaction with the outcome. It seems to me that doing DIY comes from either a desire to learn, a form of self-enabling, or else a way of getting personally satisfying sound on a limited budget. I also think that spending a lot of money does not ensure good sound unless you understand system interaction learning always needs to be involved.

    As an aside. In reading other forums it always amazes me how much contention develops between the self proclaimed objectivists and those who are described by them as subjectivists. At the end of the day all that matters is that one is satisfied with the sound one is getting.
  6. johnjen

    Earlier in this thread I wrote a post about this dichotomy of the subjectivists vs the objectivists.
    My point was that it will always come down to what do you like 'Better', which is a purely subjective orientation.
    Now what makes up the criteria that constitutes 'Better' is also purely subjective as well, even though one may use an objective means of quantifying those 'preferences'.
    It will always boil down to what is 'Better', based upon each one's subjective preferences.
    And in all actuality we need both sides of this dichotomy TOGETHER, not at logger heads against each other.

    That is if the goal is to achieve the best we are able.


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