Showing posts with label dac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dac. Show all posts

This Week I Learned - 2017 Week 42

Last week post or something from the archive.

Sweet old week 42. Another ten more weeks and we can conclude the year 2017. Things are getting more exciting. Switching different diet seemed to help somehow, even the complexion of old wounds was getting better.

21 years. That's is probably the longest overdue to-do item I've checked off this week. When I was young, Japanese Drama was a regular slot our local TV channel TV2. There was this drama and song which I partially remembered but can't remember the name or the casts. The tune have been humming inside my head for the past 21 years.

While building a play list of songs to test different amplifier or speakers, I stumbled upon a list old 90's Japanese opening theme songs. The first song on the list was the bloody tune that have been lingering in my mind for so long. The name of the song is "Ima Sugu Kiss Me (今すぐkiss me)" sang by the pop/rock band, Lindberg. You can safely ignore the awkward 90's fashion sense and MTV style. And the name of the drama is "Sekai de Ichiban Kimi ga Suki (世界で一番君が好き!)".




Dreyfus model of skill acquisition. One of the issue when picking up new skill is you may stuck at the advanced beginner level and can't move on to the next level. The joke about having ten years experience but doing the same thing ten times clearly illustrates this sad but truth scenario. How you know you're stuck in the advanced beginner level? Observe your seniors who have work much longer than you. Refactor your wetware is one of the possible way to overcome this.

Philharmonic Audio Affordable Accuracy speakers. Some knowledge on electronic and speaker design does help to improve an existing good enough speakers to excellent level. Again, sadly we can't get the parts here in MY.

The Farmer's Horse by Alan Watts. Not really much about the lesson of the story but the origin of the story. I've read this story several times and there are several versions. Some believed this is an old Chinese parable but I don't remember reading this story in any ancient Taoism literature. There are always stories from second source rather than the primary source. I was wondering what is the primary source of the story?

Vim after 15 years. (via HN). Time to clean up my Vim configuration again.

The ES9038PRO DAC chip (details from manufacturer). Never buy product by the brand, always look into the component used. Compare the specifications and features and purchase according to your budget. However, product based on this DAC chip is still rather expensive. Can't wait to get myself on any cheaper DACs based on this chip from China to test it out like the TFT HifiDuino project. Comparable, you also can get DAC using the AK4497EQ chip.

This Week I Learned - 2017 Week 40

Last week post or the usual archive stuff.

Week 40. Twelve more weeks to go before the end of the year.


The case against open office when people just copy without including the subtle details of the design and layout. While many organization sugarcoat the many benefits of of open office layout, the main advantage is the organization save a significant money using such layout.





200 productive hours per month? (via HN) Research shown that it's possible on daily basis, if a worker can concentrate 4 hours on deep work and remaining 4 hours on shallow work (meetings, random discussions, surfing, and slacking off). However, deep work requires more solitary environment, which is not possible in a open office environment.


Via Reddit. You always have to be suck at something before you can be better at it as shown in the quote below. But, unless you're constantly improving, you will stuck at the expert beginner level.
"Successful writers are people who allow themselves the freedom to suck—unrepentantly, happily, even."

What are the best combination (budget and feature wise) to setup a desktop music system? Below are the list of components:

(1) JBL LSR305 active speaker
(2) Lexicon Alpha audio interface / Behringer UCA222 / HIFIME(DIY) DAC
(3) XLR-to-3.5mm cable / TRS-to-3.5 mm cable / XLR male to RCA male cables

You should look into the issue of balanced audio.


Slashdot is 20 years olds! Ironically, good discussion was found in HN instead! I found the site when it was going through it second year and getting more popular due to discussion of FOSS. And off course, those idiotic memes, Anonymous Cowards, and BOredAtWork comments. Man I feel so old.


Audio gd is an interesting audio equipment manufacturer. The website still looks like those site Geocities era and you have to wait for a while for your order to be processed and built. While relatively unknown in some part of the world, Audio gd is one of those China manufacturers who build good audio equipment or parts.


How to increase gain in FX-Audio DAC X6. Some Redditor found a tiny little hack that increases the overall gain of the amplifier.

This Week I Learned - 2017 Week 39

Last week post or the old archive.


Picking up lots of audio related stuff. Interesting week indeed.

Building a audio system but worry that your spending will lead to a serious discussion with your significant other(s)? Pay an acceptable amount on your credit cards and the remaining amount by cash. The audio sales person suggested this "workaround" for all his client who worry about their spending being known to their significant other(s). Interesting indeed. On self-reflection, if you worry your spending will cause an issue with your significant others(s), then you should not even spend that amount of money.


Buying headphone but low on budget? Doesn't have a trained ears or the time to test through all available headphones? Get Superlux HD668B, definitely worth every cent of your money!

One interesting trend with audio shop in MY is the emerging of community oriented stores. Currently, Starpickers and E1 Personal Audio are the two good example of such type of stores. Chill environment and good place for local audiophile meetup.


Klipsch R-15PM powered speaker (also known as active speaker). Worth it? Not with a retail price of MYR 2600. Unless you have extra cash to burn, have (going to build) a vinyl records collection, and love a minimum setup (no need extra amplifier, receiver, or DAC) with different input sources (TV, PC, Bluetooth, and Phono). Suitable for neat freaks who like clean setup where you have a pairs of speakers which can connect to to any electronic devices that generate sounds. Furthermore, JBL LSR 305 is still a better choice, sound and money wise (you can get it from Massdrop around MYR 1500 inclusive of shipping).


Stoner Acoustics UD125 is a locally made DAC and headphone amplifier. Price is set around USD 85 or MYR330. While I'm tempted to get it and support our locally made product, is it worth the money?

As I learned by reading blog posts and watching videos on different DACs and amplifiers, the product is as good as the components. While there is no information on what brands of capacitor used, the key electronic components are (1) Savitech SA9037 USB Audio Processor. The audio chip. I can't find any information on this except there is another audio chip using model number SA9027. (2) Asashi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) AK4490 High Performance DAC. (3) Texas Instruments (TI) TPA6120A Dual Channel High Power Amplifier.


When comes to reviewing and modding the Nobsound MS-10D Tube Power Amplifier, this guy knowledge sharing and follow ups is simply epic. We need more producer rather than moocher in this world.


Why you shouldn't spend money on cheap amplifiers or DACs. Be careful SMSL stuff as it's notorious known for creating spark when plugged in. Just get Lexicon Alpha and JBL LSR305s.

This Week I Learned - 2017 Week 38

The usual stuff or last week post.

Long weekend holidays. More rest and clean up.


Fluff in Scientific Writing by Celia M. Elliott (PDF). Right, I definitely write in a fluff way. Awareness is the first step to improve your own writing.


So you have a pair of passive speaker. What now? The next step is to get a DAC and an amplifier. Or you can get a Class-T amplifier with build-in USB DAC and headphone amplifier combo like Topping TP30-MARK2. The USB DAC let the amplifier serves as an external sound card so you can channel out the sound from your PC through the USB.

As I learned in the last week post, the quality of any amplifier is the whole sum of its electronic components, especially the amplifier chip and capacitors. Screenshot below illustrates the PCB board and its components. Unfortunately, the amplifier chip is Tripath TA2024, which push about 15 watts per channel, a bit lacking for bookshelf speakers.



SMSL SA-36A PRO, while it's a affordable and quality amplifier, has two different versions. To save cost, the manufacturer have switch the amplifier chip from Texas Instrument TPA3118D2DAP to STMicroelectronics TDA7492PE. The general consensus from the reviews and forum discussions recommended to get the TPA3118 version. Maybe the SMSL get a better pricing from STMicroelectornics or Texas Instrument cannot keep up with the demands. This also reminded me of certain manufacturer which produced quality and affordable first generation of said product to get good rave reviews and slowly replace with cheaper components for next generation.

Unfortunately, SMSL SA-50 is currently out of stock and I can't find it in the SMSL website. Maybe SMSL decided to phase it out from the market? What about SMSL SA-60? It's not shown in the official website as well.


Neurochome's LM3886 done right? The correct amplifier design compare to others like Circuit Basics or Electronics Lab. I believed Tom Christiansen's experiences at Texas Instrument allows him to design the most optimized audio amplifier using TI LM3886 amplifier chip.


YouTuber FFcossag channel is what I consider good review, teardown, and educational on a particular amplifier. Good example was how he evaluated through the specification of Breeze Audio TPA3116 as shown below. Even better, his videos are in public domain! While we need to absorb and digest large unknown information, his does provides a quantitative (objective) rather than qualitative (subjective) analysis of an amplifier. Sometimes, it sounds nice to the reviewer is a personal taste.



While we're on Breeze Audio. Be extra careful when you plug in the power supply. One reviewer, NFM popped and burned one of the capacitor while testing it. Luckily he was protected by the aluminum case. Be extra careful with all these low end amplifier, supply lower power to the amplifier or you switch the capacitors to a higher voltages type. It does raises quite a lot of safely concerns with all these low cost amplifiers (no quality control, cheap or cloned electronic components) from China.




FFcossag also provides another excellent objective review on popular Lepai LP-2020A+. See video below. While the amplifier is way under-power compare to what the manufacturer claimed in the spec sheet, it's still value for performance worthy amplifier. However, the same problem exists. You can't bloody get this amplifier in MY and have to try your luck sourcing it from China.



Similarly, he also trashed the Lvpin LP-838 and make the consumer aware of what are they getting of buying a cheap amplifier. To save cost, certain manufacturer will reuse or recycle certain components. Is it safe? Hard to tell but it certainly does not increases any confident (more on this later) in using the product. Be an informed buyer, buy from reputable dealer and brands.


This Week I Learned - 2017 Week 35

Last week post or revisit some old archived posts.


Long holidays and I finally have extra time to clear off some of those pesky and pending to-do list. Learned quite a lot this week, especially from different electronic devices and computer hardware.


Software development 450 words per minute. (via Reddit / HN). Be grateful. That's probably takeaway from the article itself. I was wondering how it going to affect your hearing if you keep listen to the headphone non-stop for more than 8 hours per day?


Good post on introduction to mechanical key switches, specifically Cherry MX family. For a non-gamer but mostly using your keyboard for typing, Cherry MX Brown and Cherry MX Blue would be the preferred keyboard switch for a mechanical keyboard. The Brown switch was originally developed for Kinesis Keyboard. Yes, that company that created the ergonomic contoured keyboard. Meanwhile, the Blue switch, have same tactile feeling and clicking sound to IBM Model M but less activation force. Does mechanical keyboard worth it? Yes, only if you play lots of games, build a Battlestation, a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, or have extra money to burn.


Buying an air purifier? Fview YouTube channel is probably the best I've watched so far. Honest opinions with lots of satirical remarks in between. Just like taking an advice from a trustworthy friend. So which air purifier to buy? From the result and price point, just get Xiaomi Air Purifier even through you have to tolerate the high fan noise. I was surprised that few European brands are so expensive but the filtering output was mediocre. Most likely you're paying premium to the quality material and long term reliability. One thing I've learned from electronic devices made in China or electronic devices in general these days. There are not built for reliability. a throwaway device that only serve a purpose for a short period.




Yeah, the bokeh, colour, and contrast is phenomenal and surely will make you mouth-watering.  Just make sure you watch the YouTube video in highest resolution. The most important criteria is the colour (in JPEG) format shows the actual colour and contrast representative of what we saw with the reviewer eyes. Be warned, both Sony A9 and Voigtlander 50 Heliar V4 will cost you around MYR 21k. Definitely not worth it unless you have extra cash to burn. Even so, still not worth it.




More lesson regarding ConTeXt. Want to use Times New Roman, make sure you've installed the Tex Gyre package where it includes the Termes aka Times New Roman font.


Installation of more PWM casing fans. The motherboard seemed quite sensitive and there are numerous times I can't get to the POST screen. Reading through the POST troubleshooting steps, manage to boot up the machine again. Suspect loosen power wires, memory slot, or bended CPU pins were likely the contributing causes.

Fan speeds seems to be at an accepted range. There is an increase of volume heard but I like the white noise.
$ sensors | grep fan
fan1:         1704 RPM  (min = 1577 RPM, div = 8)
fan2:         1875 RPM  (min =  784 RPM, div = 8)
fan3:         1577 RPM  (min =  685 RPM, div = 8)
fan4:            0 RPM  (min = 3515 RPM, div = 128)  ALARM
fan5:            0 RPM  (min =  703 RPM, div = 128)  ALARM


Hardware UART in MSP430. I have no idea this is possible. Mainly because I have no idea what and how UART works anyway. And, I also found out that there is a UniFlash, which is the Universal Flash Programmer for all Texas Instruments devices. Seems to support MSP430 and GNU/Linux but I haven't try it out yet.


I was looking for a DAC and my research indicated that using Raspberry Pi with HiFiBerry would be a good choice. Maybe that could put my shelved Pi into good use?


Running Docker on Fedora host but have permission error with mounted volume?
$ docker run -it -v /home/ang/project:/export tts:latest bash

[email protected]:/export# ls -l                
ls: cannot open directory '.': Permission denied

To resolve this properly, since this is a SELinux permission issue (reason why you should always test your stuff in Fedora/Red Hat/CentOS distros), you can append extra `z` or `Z` character to the mounted volume option `(-v)` as shown below.

-v /home/ang/project:/export:z

Meanwhile, setting up Docker in Fedora to support non-root user. (Yes, there are many security concerns).
$ sudo groupadd docker && sudo gpasswd -a ${USER} docker && sudo systemctl restart docker
$ newgrp docker


Readjustment of my night computing usage. Turned on Gnome's Night Light. This is to reduce the effect of blue light affecting the body melatonic production.