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Hand wired vs PCB, an interesting video comparison.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #91
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➡️
Not that a Scarlett is very well designed, anyway.
it is though.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #92
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58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
No, it is goal-post shifting. I was making a point about PCBs being mostly good, and you made it personal about my expertise or lack of with regard to amplifiers 101. Let's stick to the claim of PCBs being bad as you said:

Bold emphasis mine.
Let's show a BIT of intelligence here.

It should be obvious to anybody with even half a functioning brain that layout problems/effects do not affect ALL PCBs. That's just dumb.

Such problems are fairly common in cheaply designed (but not necessarily cheaply sold) pieces of gear. The problems can take a pretty wide variety of symptoms and aren't always obvious or easy to find.

Note that very expensive gear can be cheaply designed and well designed gear is not always costly.

It often has to do with the designer-bean counter interaction - in which the bean counters often tend to win.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #93
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enorbet2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➡️
Not that a Scarlett is very well designed, anyway.. Cheap, yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
it is though.
The value of the Focusrite Scarlett is that it is pretty decent FOR THE PRICE, however how it keeps that price down is exactly why it is actually isn't truly Pro and also why it can't possibly have the gain structure of a tuibe guitar preamp.

While not having MIDI is one reason the main reason for cheapness, both in price and quality, is that the Focusrite has no power supply but draws power strictly from USB +12VDC... not even bi-polar +12v/-12v halfway decent for ICs (+15v/-15v being ideal).

In order to power a common, decent IC a single pole 12v supply is about equivalent to (at best) +5v/-5v, 1/3rd of ideal and capable of maximum output signal of roughly ~8VAC. For reference, a single 12AX7 stage can easily provide a gain of 30. Since the following stage also can have a gain of 30, total gain for just 2 stages is 30x30=900.

It's not that any mic preamp actually needs such gain, it doesn't, but the point is 1) you cannot compare it's gain to that of a guitar preamp (as you tried to) as they are apples and oranges, and 2) the Focusrite is, while a decent compromise, IS a compromise favoring selling price over performance, especially considering that some of it's price and power is consumed by DAC.

The Focusrite is a good value for the price, but that is by no means equivalent to "well designed" from a performance standpoint of view. It's just a decent compromise, which compared to many is "good enough".
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #94
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enorbet2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➡️
Not that a Scarlett is very well designed, anyway.. Cheap, yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
it is though.
The value of the Focusrite Scarlett is that it is pretty decent FOR THE PRICE, however how it keeps that price down is exactly why it is actually isn't truly Pro and also why it can't possibly have the gain structure of a tube guitar preamp as you tried to claim.

While not having MIDI is one reason, the main reason for cheapness, both in price and quality, is that the Focusrite has no power supply but draws power strictly from USB +12VDC... not even bi-polar +12v/-12v halfway decent for ICs (+15v/-15v being ideal).

In order to power a common, decent IC a single pole 12v supply is about equivalent to (at best) +5v/-5v, 1/3rd of ideal and capable of maximum output signal of roughly ~8VAC. For reference, a single 12AX7 stage can easily provide a gain of 30. Since the following stage also can have a gain of 30, total gain for just 2 stages is 30x30=900.

It's not that any mic preamp actually needs such gain, it doesn't, but the point is 1) you cannot compare it's gain to that of a guitar preamp (as you tried to) as they are apples and oranges, and 2) the Focusrite is, while a decent compromise, IS a compromise favoring selling price over performance, especially considering that some of it's price and power is consumed by DAC.

The Focusrite is a good value for the price, but that is by no means equivalent to "well designed" from a performance standpoint of view. It's just a decent compromise, which compared to many these days, is "good enough".
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #95
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 ➡️
The value of the Focusrite Scarlett is that it is pretty decent FOR THE PRICE, however how it keeps that price down is exactly why it is actually isn't truly Pro and also why it can't possibly have the gain structure of a tuibe guitar preamp.

While not having MIDI is one reason the main reason for cheapness, both in price and quality, is that the Focusrite has no power supply but draws power strictly from USB +12VDC... not even bi-polar +12v/-12v halfway decent for ICs (+15v/-15v being ideal).

In order to power a common, decent IC a single pole 12v supply is about equivalent to (at best) +5v/-5v, 1/3rd of ideal and capable of maximum output signal of roughly ~8VAC. For reference, a single 12AX7 stage can easily provide a gain of 30. Since the following stage also can have a gain of 30, total gain for just 2 stages is 30x30=900.

It's not that any mic preamp actually needs such gain, it doesn't, but the point is 1) you cannot compare it's gain to that of a guitar preamp (as you tried to) as they are apples and oranges, and 2) the Focusrite is, while a decent compromise, IS a compromise favoring selling price over performance, especially considering that some of it's price and power is consumed by DAC.

The Focusrite is a good value for the price, but that is by no means equivalent to "well designed" from a performance standpoint of view. It's just a decent compromise, which compared to many is "good enough".
Erm, check again. Only 2i2 model is bus powered. The rest have external PSU. And MIDI. Obviously you’re making a bunch of assumptions and have not actually been inside one

You’ll find solid aluminium housing, solid screen connector, beautiful layout, clever filtering and multiple gain stages.

Inside a guitar amp you’re not normally dealing with nasty RFI from USB and DSP, so ya not as much gain, but more noise. Swings abd roundabouts.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #96
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Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 ➡️
The value of the Focusrite Scarlett is that it is pretty decent FOR THE PRICE, however how it keeps that price down is exactly why it is actually isn't truly Pro and also why it can't possibly have the gain structure of a tube guitar preamp as you tried to claim.

While not having MIDI is one reason, the main reason for cheapness, both in price and quality, is that the Focusrite has no power supply but draws power strictly from USB +12VDC... not even bi-polar +12v/-12v halfway decent for ICs (+15v/-15v being ideal).

In order to power a common, decent IC a single pole 12v supply is about equivalent to (at best) +5v/-5v, 1/3rd of ideal and capable of maximum output signal of roughly ~8VAC. For reference, a single 12AX7 stage can easily provide a gain of 30. Since the following stage also can have a gain of 30, total gain for just 2 stages is 30x30=900.

It's not that any mic preamp actually needs such gain, it doesn't, but the point is 1) you cannot compare it's gain to that of a guitar preamp (as you tried to) as they are apples and oranges, and 2) the Focusrite is, while a decent compromise, IS a compromise favoring selling price over performance, especially considering that some of it's price and power is consumed by DAC.

The Focusrite is a good value for the price, but that is by no means equivalent to "well designed" from a performance standpoint of view. It's just a decent compromise, which compared to many these days, is "good enough".
Everything is built to cost - even my BMWs have cost - saving plastic parts where I’d rather not see them.

Focusrite interfaces have a surprisingly high quality build content for the price - their clarret line is very impressive, indeed. Perhaps had you seen one, up close and in person, you’d know.
Old 6 days ago
  #97
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🎧 10 years
LOL guys. Did it really look to you that I was saying Focusrite was trash? Geez... give an inch and some people assume a mile.

That said, I am somewhat humbled by assuming the Scarlett I owned being USB powered was indicative of all their products labelled "Scarlett". My bad. I did not realize just how many varieties there now are. I'd actually like to look inside the full rack model 18i20. Thanks for inspiring me to look deeper.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #98
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Fair play @ enorbet2 would be interested in your take on it when you do get a chance!

Last edited by Tomás Mulcahy; 6 days ago at 12:37 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #99
When I did pcb layouts for tube guitar amps I specified 3 oz copper, you loose an ounce during etching. That way I had 2 oz thickness left with wide traces. Most use 2 oz copper to start = 1 oz left = thin traces.

Typically I don't use solder mask, it adds a dissimilar metal to the sonics, tin doesn't sound like copper. The traces were all coated with non-conformal mask but only the holes get plated. Done right it sounds like point to point wiring.
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #100
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
When I did pcb layouts for tube guitar amps I specified 3 oz copper, you loose an ounce during etching. That way I had 2 oz thickness left with wide traces. Most use 2 oz copper to start = 1 oz left = thin traces.

Typically I don't use solder mask, it adds a dissimilar metal to the sonics, tin doesn't sound like copper. The traces were all coated with non-conformal mask but only the holes get plated. Done right it sounds like point to point wiring.
Thanks for the details. Now I'm sure that you did great work, and I certainly don't want to disparage your work or your expertise, yet, how much do the amps you designed sell for?

Your kind of describing the Mesa Boogie approach. Really well designed and executed macro PCB boards + top components. Not your regular run of the mill (made to a price) commercial PCB boards +cheap components.

And the thing is, Mesa Boogie amps aren't cheap. They cost every bit as much if not more than hand wired Fender reissue amps and this is my point.

I'm not interested in what CAN be done. I'm interested in what IS done and at what price.

So this is where we end up. Regular PCB amps, COULD be done better, but they AREN'T done better because of the cost. The handful of PCB amps that ARE done better, are every bit as expensive as hand wired amps are.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #101
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG ➡️
Thanks for the details. Now I'm sure that you did great work, and I certainly don't want to disparage your work or your expertise, yet, how much do the amps you designed sell for?
$2800 for a full stack. The head was $1200. These were made by Basson Sound about a dozen years ago.

As much as I liked the pcb design, I did follow the Dirty Harry rule:

"A man's got to know his limitations". We did not use pcb mounted tube sockets. Those were wired to the pcb via military silver/Teflon wire. Relays were machine socketed for easy replacement.

The safety testing/certification lab could not destroy it. They also said it was the quietest tube design they had tested. It was rather immune to rf as well. They were built like tanks and weighed like one. The head weighs almost 70 lbs with a 18 gauge zinc plated chassis and large transformers. It's a 125 watter.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #102
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🎧 15 years
As a point of interest, all the studio hardware i own, built by Avalon, Summit, API, SPL, SSL and other high end makes, feature predominantly PCB and surface mount componentry (with some hand wiring).

It all sounds pretty fine to me!
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #103
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
$2800 for a full stack. The head was $1200. These were made by Basson Sound about a dozen years ago.

As much as I liked the pcb design, I did follow the Dirty Harry rule:

"A man's got to know his limitations". We did not use pcb mounted tube sockets. Those were wired to the pcb via military silver/Teflon wire. Relays were machine socketed for easy replacement.

The safety testing/certification lab could not destroy it. They also said it was the quietest tube design they had tested. It was rather immune to rf as well. They were built like tanks and weighed like one. The head weighs almost 70 lbs with a 18 gauge zinc plated chassis and large transformers. It's a 125 watter.
Why silver wire?
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #104
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enorbet2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 ➡️
As a point of interest, all the studio hardware i own, built by Avalon, Summit, API, SPL, SSL and other high end makes, feature predominantly PCB and surface mount componentry (with some hand wiring).

It all sounds pretty fine to me!
I should hope so! All you mentioned are decidedly high end and a few have long histories. I recall Automated Processes from back in the 80s when I was messing about inside of Neve consoles with Large Scale Op Amps. Those boys have been around and certainly didn't start at Square One.

The majority of outfits you mention make gear that barely begins at $1000.00 USD and swell to well over $4K, and much of that is at preamp or line level

Those are great examples of PCBs designed and executed where price is of very little concern but quality, weight and space most certainly are. There are no hand-wired equivalents and for good reason.. the very same reasons single Big Iron mainframes haven't occupied entire buildings for well over a half-century.

Cool and interesting gear for sure but of little relevance in a guitar forum context.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
Why silver wire?
The copper is high purity with a 6% silver coating. The insulation is Teflon, immune to heat issues inside the amp. Yes, it costs more but I like the way it sounds. Caps used were WIMA FKP-1 and Cornel Dublier silver mica. Resistors were all Dale CMF60's. These amps were built better than a lot of high end consumer stereo gear.

I still have two of these amps here, they have a clean sound to die for and the 125 watts will raise the hair up off your neck and burn it off. No need for shavers here. The 4x12 cabs are rated at 480 watts.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #106
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
The copper is high purity with a 6% silver coating. The insulation is Teflon, immune to heat issues inside the amp.
Why the silver coating? Corrosion resistance? I can see the point for mil apps but not music.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
Yes, it costs more but I like the way it sounds.
With the miniscule resistivity for that amount of copper, and fairly high voltage, I'm struggling to think of anything that might make it sound different to normal copper wire. What's the secret?
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #107
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enorbet2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
With the miniscule resistivity for that amount of copper, and fairly high voltage, I'm struggling to think of anything that might make it sound different to normal copper wire. What's the secret?
That might depend on whether the wire is solid or stranded. It is my understanding that electricity commonly and most often travels along the atoms of the surface of wire not through it's center - hence one of the values of stranded wire. However solid wire in hand wired has the advantage of semi-permanent placement.

Having a silver coating on said solid wire surface would improve conductivity and possibly transmission characteristics.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #108
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 ➡️
That might depend on whether the wire is solid or stranded. It is my understanding that electricity commonly and most often travels along the atoms of the surface of wire not through it's center - hence one of the values of stranded wire. However solid wire in hand wired has the advantage of semi-permanent placement.

Having a silver coating on said solid wire surface would improve conductivity and possibly transmission characteristics.
You mean skin effect. AF is not high enough for that to be an issue. Annoying to see this old myth about wire is still around.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #109
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ah here we go. I misremembered slightly. Negligible because of impedance, small at AF. Without seeing the schematic for Jim’s circuit there’s no way to be certain, but it’s reasonable to assume that the skin effect is not a thing because it affects impedance... which is likely to be pretty big. See post #4 :
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...t-matter.7157/
Old 3 days ago
  #110
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🎧 10 years
ping Tomás Mulcahy - You might benefit from reading all of the posts there and considering that the example in #4 is at the output transformer secondary whose source impedance is well under 1 ohm. This is quite different from the source impedance within a tube amplifier's preamp stages even with cathode output but at plate outputs we are talking more than one order of magnitude. I'd tend to give Jim Williams the benefit of doubt that if he hears a difference, it's likely not because he is being delusional
Old 3 days ago
  #111
Gear Maniac
 
Weepit's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
24 March 2006 — Basson Sound, a San Diego based manufacturer, known for their well built & amazing sounding, Guitar & Bass cabs, have released their long awaited, all tube Guitar Amplifier, the BGA1. Designed by Basson’s namesake, Victor Basson, and engineer Jim Williams who’s visionary electronic genius is unparalleled in the music industry. Jim’s resume includes custom engineering for the likes of Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder, Peter Frampton, George Duke, Billy Sherwood & Yes.

This two channel, foot switchable, class A/B powerhouse is rated at 120 watts @ 4 or 8 ohms. The country clean to metal mean tone is generated by four Sovtek 12AX7A pre-amp tubes, and four Sovtek 6CA7 power tubes. Basson went above and beyond in their initial design to include an additive EQ, Active all tube send and receive controllable effects loop, point to point wiring, silver mica capacitors, silver Teflon wire, (which are also military spec) and military grade metal film resistors.

Covering available is black Tolex with black or grey mesh face. A top grab handle and nickel or black corner protectors are included depending on the model chosen.

These amplifiers are selling in the U.S.A for an MSRP of $1,595. A five-year limited manufacturers warranty is included with every Basson product.
Old 3 days ago
  #112
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🎧 15 years
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #113
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
When I did pcb layouts for tube guitar amps I specified 3 oz copper, you loose an ounce during etching. That way I had 2 oz thickness left with wide traces. Most use 2 oz copper to start = 1 oz left = thin traces.

Typically I don't use solder mask, it adds a dissimilar metal to the sonics, tin doesn't sound like copper. The traces were all coated with non-conformal mask but only the holes get plated. Done right it sounds like point to point wiring.
Jim, PCB's haven't been made the way you described since the early 70's. You don't lose any thickness during etching. If you spec 3 oz, the way the boards are made it they use 2 oz to start. They typically plate an additional 1 oz to get enough thickness in the thru holes, so you end up with 3 oz on the traces.

Most boards are made to 2 oz spec, which means they start with 1 oz, then plate an additional 1 oz.

You are also mixing up your vernacular, I think you were referring to the secondary tin plate for the final etch process. There is no benefit with eliminating this, there is no possible way that the tin plate messes with the signal. It is just a flash on top of copper. (if this logic were true, then most of the tin-flashed hookup wire would impart some sonic effect in hand wired amps, which it doesn't)

The tin has some anti-corrosion benefit, and solder mask applied afterwards is a must.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #114
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 ➡️
ping Tomás Mulcahy - You might benefit from reading all of the posts there and considering that the example in #4 is at the output transformer secondary whose source impedance is well under 1 ohm. This is quite different from the source impedance within a tube amplifier's preamp stages even with cathode output but at plate outputs we are talking more than one order of magnitude. I'd tend to give Jim Williams the benefit of doubt that if he hears a difference, it's likely not because he is being delusional
1. If you’re going to criticise reading comprehension look in the mirror- I clearly stated there was no way to be sure without seeing Jim’s circuit, and that I was making an assumption.
2. If skin effect was a thing, why don’t we see this wire in other amps? The effect is know since late 19th century.
3. I think we need to look at the figures again because in the amp the circuit impedance is also likely to swamp anything from skin effect?
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffw5555 ➡️
Jim, PCB's haven't been made the way you described since the early 70's. You don't lose any thickness during etching. If you spec 3 oz, the way the boards are made it they use 2 oz to start. They typically plate an additional 1 oz to get enough thickness in the thru holes, so you end up with 3 oz on the traces.

Most boards are made to 2 oz spec, which means they start with 1 oz, then plate an additional 1 oz.

You are also mixing up your vernacular, I think you were referring to the secondary tin plate for the final etch process. There is no benefit with eliminating this, there is no possible way that the tin plate messes with the signal. It is just a flash on top of copper. (if this logic were true, then most of the tin-flashed hookup wire would impart some sonic effect in hand wired amps, which it doesn't)

The tin has some anti-corrosion benefit, and solder mask applied afterwards is a must.

I have my pcb's made without a solder mask, only the holes are plated. Therefore I don't get a free ounce of tin plating to ad to the copper thickness. Dissimilar metals (copper and tin) on top and below are avoided. RF engineers avoid tin plating as well, for good reason. Even my Soundcraft Delta console has unplated traces, pure copper except the holes. Green mask is always used to prevent corrosion.

I also prefer the sonics of silver over copper. I've used silver or silver plated wire since the late 1980's. I like the way it sounds. I get better presence in the Basson amp as a result. My console is wired with pure silver Kimber. I use it for fader runs and also as a feed to my ADC which also has a Kimber S/PDIF pure silver cable to the PC recorder. Yes, that also makes an audible difference here over common Mogami or Canare copper digital cable.

I don't have a $60,000 network analyzer to measure it but Ray Kimber does.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #116
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Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Why are you using a consumer grade interconnect in an (apparently) high end recorder (and mil spec wire in a guitar amp)? Seems backwards. Can be various issues with jitter if destination device is not using PLL (if it's not it must be very dated). Use AES/EBU with wordclock, then the cable cannot make a difference unless something is broken.

Ya Kimber might have a fancy analyzer, but they've never published any findings lest anyone challenge the claims
Old 2 days ago
  #117
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enorbet2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
1. If you’re going to criticise reading comprehension look in the mirror- I clearly stated there was no way to be sure without seeing Jim’s circuit, and that I was making an assumption.
Nowhere did I question your reading comprehension, merely that only referencing #4 looked like "cherry picking", so maybe now I should since you clearly jumped to conclusions on what I said. Please stop the exaggeration and outright misinformation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
2. If skin effect was a thing, why don’t we see this wire in other amps? The effect is know since late 19th century.
Ummm because any old conductive wire will work. It's just at what level of tradeoffs designers and bean-counters will accept?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
3. I think we need to look at the figures again because in the amp the circuit impedance is also likely to swamp anything from skin effect?
Geez man, first it was "AF frequencies aren't high enough to matter for skin effect". Then it was "at low Z the effect is negligible" and now it's at High Z. So...

1) Jim Williams (and others) hear a difference that justifies the cost for whatever is the root cause.

2) I didn't say it was skin effect. I said maybe it is. It was just an offering for a possibility trying to get a conversation going about the actual cause/reasons. You seem to view this as a Winner/Loser competition - your way or the highway no matter the cost. I don't see any scoreboards here and I try to give respect to the minds I meet here to both teach and learn... a real conversation, not some virtual poker game.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #118
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
RF engineers avoid tin plating as well, for good reason.
You didn't mention the reason that RF engineers avoid tin, has nothing to do with sonics or RF for that matter, and everything to do with a phenomena of what is called tin whiskers.

I was the lead designer on the first known application of buried stripline back in the 80's on a critical secret military project. (that board also had the first use of SMD connectors) I also designed PCB's for space applications.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #119
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
Why are you using a consumer grade interconnect in an (apparently) high end recorder (and mil spec wire in a guitar amp)? Seems backwards. Can be various issues with jitter if destination device is not using PLL (if it's not it must be very dated). Use AES/EBU with wordclock, then the cable cannot make a difference unless something is broken.

Ya Kimber might have a fancy analyzer, but they've never published any findings lest anyone challenge the claims
The beauty of audio is that people can claim to hear a difference with these nonsense things like silver wire. And when challenged, the response is always that if you don't hear it, then you don't have the finely-tuned ears of the claimant. This begs the question, why do these claimed things always lean in the superior direction? I've posted this story before, but here goes. A few years ago, my father was downsizing, and called me over to look over the stuff he was throwing out. In the back of his truck, he was ready to take a load of stuff to the dump. In this mix of stuff was maybe 50 big rolls of Western Electric wire, ya know the cloth-covered stuff. I told my father that those rolls were worth a fortune, he thought I was nuts and asked why. Told him all about these numbskull "audiophiles" and what they believed and he thought I was pulling his leg. I put them all up on eBay, and sold them for thousands of dollars to idiots in Japan. Now they would have been worth even more.
Old 2 days ago
  #120
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enorbet2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Jeffw5555 of course there are is a Bell curve with one end being Audiophiles and the other being Audiophools, but as much as I respect your apparent accomplishments, I take considerable issue with your attitude. You ignore the historical fact that numerous conditions, charachteristics, and events that were once "only heard by some audiophile" finally were measured and proven accurate. One such example is Transient Intermodulation Distortion which many respected and even renowned engineers pooh-poohed claiming that the people that heard such distortion in ICs were delusional, and I should add that was from the more gentlemanly among them.

The final proof utterly changed how ICs are designed especially with regards to slew rate and power bandwidth. For an engineer who knows only or even mainly specs to dismiss trained hearing just because you don't hear it holds as much value as a blind person saying "Color doesn't exist".
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