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  1. j-curve


    Here's a different way to drive any of the 4-series transducers by Etymotic. The idea is to reduce the driving impedance without sacrificing the treble/bass balance. This will improve the damping factor at the transducer's resonant frequency, to produce a more natural sound. Unfortunately...
  2. j-curve

    Mono/Stereo/Left/Right Headphone Switch

    Shorting the left and right channels together is not the most elegant way to achieve mono. Here's another approach:- SW1 is a 6P4T shorting (make before break) rotary switch, quite a rare bird. With 30 connecting tabs in two layers, figuring out which is which is also a bit of fun. Once...
  3. j-curve

    Independent Volume Control when Sharing a Source

    Connect two sets of headphones to a single source and gain control becomes an issue. Sticking an inline volume control on one pair of headphones can help, but often has the unwelcome side effect of causing the other person's headphones to get louder when you turn yours down. Plus, those things...
  4. j-curve

    6x6 Matrix Stepped Attenuator

    So proud of my new toy... Big knob for coarse control = 6dB/step. Small knob for fine control = 2dB/step. For those times when I need an in-line volume control, I now have something I can rely on, i.e. no crackling or channel imbalance, plus a nice low output impedance to drive...
  5. j-curve

    dB per milliWHAT? Efficiency vs. Sensitivity vs. "How loud do they really go?"

    Headphone efficiency has been quoted in dB/mW ever since headphones were invented, hasn't it? Probably a good idea too, because it was fairly easy to calculate how much power you were going to need. It also allowed manufacturers to compete on a meaningful basis, improving efficiency with better...
  6. j-curve

    Digital Volume Control Artefacts on the D-NE900 [warning: long and somewhat geeky]

    A couple of weeks ago I was listening to the sample disc from Gramophone magazine (February) when I noticed something odd from my trusty portable CD player - a subtle effect but definitely something there, which if I had to "give it a name" would be noise pumping. The track was the 2nd...
  7. j-curve

    More Open Cans from Audio-Technica

    A-T's Hong Kong website carries some pictures of four open headphones due for release late October:- Judging just from the model numbers these will be in the low to mid price bracket.
  8. j-curve

    The New Analogue

    Where is it? In 100 years of audio recording we've seen only two methods of analogue recording; grooves and tape. Is anyone even working on a successor, or are we forever committed to dividing the world into smaller and smaller separate pieces? Is it pointless to even think about what form it...
  9. j-curve

    Image Attachments Not Showing in [img][/img]...

    Images attached to posts don't seem to be visible any more, using the "img" tags. That was a really nice feature. Has it been disabled?
  10. j-curve

    What makes or breaks a recording?

    My first poll... hope I pressed all the right buttons. Multiple selections are permitted. You could tick every option (I'd like to ) but that wouldn't mean much. Draw a line in the sand somewhere. I think I can get mine down to 6 or 7 essentials. Why the poll? I've noticed that the factors...
  11. j-curve

    Passive EQ for STAX

    It's a wonder that the old ED-1 Stax equalizer disappeared completely and modern Stax amps don't have a "diffuse EQ" button to fill in the upper mids and tame the unbridled highs. Many audiophiles reject equalizers for various reasons, some of which relate not to the EQ circuit itself (or...
  12. j-curve

    Spectra of Musical Instruments

    Something I found which may be of interest:- Source (pdf file): TeacherNet, Page not found This is only the fundamentals, though. Most non-percussive instrument sounds are rich in harmonics at multiples of the fundamental notes.
  13. j-curve

    DIY Headphone Response Plots - Methodology

    Here I'm going to describe in gruesome, nerd-worthy detail how to make graphs like the ones you can see in the DIY Headphone Response Plots thread. Feel free to tear the methodology to shreds. Many relevant points were raised in a discussion between gerG, halcyon et al. in gerG's thread Want to...
  14. j-curve

    DIY Headphone Response Plots

    By way of a quick introduction, I'm going to post some graphs in this thread which look like headphone response plots. With a bit of luck people will be inspired to contribute their interpretations of the graphs and their opinions on whether the graphs have any value, based on what they've heard...
  15. j-curve

    The REDUCER = CD Level -> Line Level Converter

    Did you notice when CD players first came out that they played louder than your tuner, cassette deck etc.? I did, but I soon grew accustomed to the difference and forgot all about it until recently when I got my digital parametric equalizer, full of fancy A/D & D/A converters and stuff. If...
  16. j-curve

    A-T's New Lineup - for the Kitchen

    Are the best headphones hand made? What about the best sushi? OMG, Audio-Technica... how did it come to this? Step back and keep ya fingers outta the gears, kids - it's the Sushi Robot!
  17. j-curve

    Don't Knock Portable MD Amps

    A/B testing my new zero ohm output impedance headphone amp against the amp in my MZ-R909 MD player reveals something astonishing - the Sony MD's headphone amp is no slouch! I have to wonder why portable players get so much stick in this forum. I measure the output impedance of my MD at 2 ohms...
  18. j-curve

    Zero Ohm Output Cures HD580's Bass Hump

    I built my first headphone amp the other day, based on a kit published by Silicon Chip, an Australian electronics magazine. Mine is modified for zero output impedance. Let's call it the MSCA - Modified "Silicon Chip" Amp, although I would never try to modify a silicon chip at home. The...
  19. j-curve

    A Quick Walk through the Tokyo International Audio Show

    The first product I saw was an 8ft speaker cable for 3.5 million yen, which kind of set the tone for the day. It looked like something out of an Alien movie or something someone close to you might mistake for the vacuum cleaner Clearly I had arrived in a Twilight Zone of audiophiles, posers...
  20. j-curve

    Rainy Day Fun (Boss Effects CD)

    I picked up one of those Boss effects booklets in a guitar shop the other day and was politely asking if I could have it when I noticed it had a CD tucked in the back cover. I must just be a big kid 'cos I couldn't wait to get home and check it out. It's a bit of fun. At first they come across...
  21. j-curve

    ATH-W11R Auction

    It seems Audiocubes is auctioning an ATH-W11R (or a few) on AudiogoN. After an impressive listen to a W11JPN I'd still love to hear an 11R but the reviews I've seen all seem a bit cautionary, whilst concluding in a positive light. Some examples attached, with apologies to the authors for any...
  22. j-curve

    Audio Technica ATH-AD10 Compared to the W100 (in Chinese)

    I just saw a comparison review of the AD10 (AT's top open phone) with the W100. This is the link:- but you'll probably want to plug it through babelfish unless you can read chinese. The translation comes out quite well, too. [Someone told me...
  23. j-curve

    Anyone Heard Behringer Tube Sound?

    Behringer has a couple of products with tube stages which could be used in a headphone system. One is a combined mic/line amplifier, (click for larger image) and another is a 4-band parametric equalizer (with eq-bypass switches). (click for larger image) As they stand, they are...
  24. j-curve

    How Many Times is Enough?

    Isn't there a limit to how many times you want to hear a piece of music? For some reason I was thinking of the New World Symphony today - now that's one hell of a good brass blast and almost guaranteed a standing ovation for any orchestra willing to let it rip. If anyone offered me a concert...
  25. j-curve

    CD's Overloaded

    This is bizarre. At first I thought it must have been my headphones! Surely not the amp? Yappari, this mini-system which I thought was so hot must have a ****eworthy CD section... Nope, nope, nope. Eliminating all the worst possible outcomes leaves me with the jaw-dropping conclusion that...