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IEEE 'golden ears'

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Zak, Jul 2, 2005.

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  1. Zak

    Zak Guest

    I found a link to an article:

    about improving audio from a DVD player. First step: swap out bridge
    rectifier diodes and buffer cap on the line side. Second step: exchange
    the X-rated caps across the line voltage for non-certified audiophile
    caps costing $13 each!

    What oh what has become of the IEEE?

  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Thomas,
    That is indeed weird. I would never advise anyone to compromise safety
    or violate UL regulations.

    Often the best approach in audio gear is to get rid of switchers
    altogether and replace them with properly designed low noise linear
    power supplies. Your electricity bill might go up a few cents per month ;-)

    Regards, Joerg

    Robert McNeice is a business and information-technology consultant for
    the financial services industry. He is an audiophile and occasional

    wonder if he is an ieee member?

  4. artie

    artie Guest

    This article was featured on Slashdot --

    The comments on it are pretty good:
  5. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    There, I knew it was a good idea to drop out of the IEEE about 30
    years ago.

  6. Fred Abse

    Fred Abse Guest

    And doesn't it show?
  7. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I dropped out 40+ years ago when they started charging an outrageous
    price for the Proceedings.

    Re-joined about 5 years ago so I could get member prices for copies of

    ...Jim Thompson
  8. To access that information, you MUST first:

    1) Have a current membership of the IEEE,
    2) Have a Credit Card
    3) Part with USD 25,-- to to download a paper, that either MIGHT have the
    answer your question (but, equally likely, instead might be an answer to the
    researchers problem: "How do I get Job to pay for my trip to
    <nice-conference-location>" ....

    I am getting sooo cynical over all those "URGENT - ABSOLUTELY THE VERY LAST
    CHANGE" BUMF envelopes.
  9. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Which is entirely *ILLEGAL* to do !

    Apparently turned into a talking shop for buffoons.

    The idead of improving a producvt with 'boutique' parts is plain assinine.
    Manufacturers already use the best part for the job at the relelevant price

    Rather than buy a $150 CD player and 'upgrade it' with $150 of 'boutique
    parts - just go and buy a $300 player. The manufacturers can buy parts far,
    far cheaper than the individual can and aren't to dumb as to do some of
    idiotic things suggested in the article.

    What bothers me almost more than anything is that author apparently thinks
    that 'boutique' caps for EMI suppresion on the ac line side will have the
    remotest influence an audio quality.

    Also the concept of 'better bass' by tweaking the PSU is idiotic when
    applied to a CD player. The load on the PSU is essentially constant. It's
    not like a power amplifier at all. Essentially the author apparently knows
    nothing about good practice for audio power supply decoupling too.

  10. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    The author probably thinks DVD players have tooobz in them ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  11. Fred Bartoli

    Fred Bartoli Guest

    Digital Vacuum Device?
  12. Fred Bartoli

    Fred Bartoli Guest

  13. keith

    keith Guest

  14. Fred Bartoli

    Fred Bartoli Guest

    Excerpt from some customers comments:

    'Excellent job on this fantastic new product.
    Your thorough attention to detail and understanding of audiophiles is a
    great achievement...'

    Certainly yes, from the marketing POV :)
  15. Ben Bradley

    Ben Bradley Guest

    By the .de in your headers, I presume you're outside the USA and
    the IEEE site discriminated against your IP address. I'm in the USA,
    I'm not an IEEE member, and it shows me that page. Perhaps you can
    read it through a proxy site in the USA, such as or
    even babelfish.
  16. The .de is merely where it is p.t. cheapest to $corp to unload the data.

    I can read the IEEE spectrum just fine - I was mocking the IEEE for always
    going for your wallet, the way they charge for access to the most trivial
    information - in this case the IEEE Transactions Database, where one quite
    often will end up shelling money for papers with fine abstracts and crap
    content (if it was not for Google, that is - many charged-for papers are on
    the open internet as well).
  17. Zak

    Zak Guest

    Well, if the digital parts are okay, the analog side of a very cheap DVD
    player may not be that hard to improve.

    And the price points above 'minimum' are probably filled with features,
    not with quality. OTOH providing decent audio is so inexpensive one
    wonders why some devices do not output any bass at all...

  18. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    You assume it needs improving ? A $2 DAC today for example is a very competent
    performer. Decent op-amps are 'two a penny'. Where is the realistic improvement
    to be made ? You can put in 'high-end' op-amps for sure but I challenge anyone to
    measure any difference compared to relatively run-of-the-mill devices.

    However many low end players have DACs integrated into the chipset and I wouldn't
    expect the best of these. You'll get a separate DAC by buying the more expensive
    model as well as the 'features' that actually cost next to nil to implement.
    I would also wonder that.

    I know for sure that replacing the X caps isn't going to help it one tiny bit,
    nor will exotic PSU reservoir caps.

    If you were to present me with a CD player with 'poor bass' and a schematic. I
    doubt that it would take more than a couple of hours to find a scientific
    explanation for it.

    Incidentally, good pcb layout is a factor in getting good sound and boutique
    parts will not help that one jot.

  19. Zak

    Zak Guest

    Well, too small SMD output capacitors are one, muting switches might be
    another (though I doubt the latter - are they even still in use?)
    Well, the price is set by marketing, not by manufacturing cost. I bought
    a very decent satellite receiver package (DVB tuner, LNB, dish, 25
    meters of coax, two scart cables, plugs, huge colorful retail box) for
    69 euro. In Iraq, something similar is sold at less than 50. The usual
    price here is more like 110 euro, even if one shops around. Similarly
    price in the US seems to be from around 120 us$. Quite some differences
    for what is quite the same down to the CPU/SOC used.
    I definitely agree on that.
    Like my keychain MP3 player. Works fine connected to speakers, but
    connected to headphones bass is lacking.
    Indeed the keychain player is also hissing... which could be impossible
    to solve.

    I guess it depends on the value of your time, and whether one enjoys
    doing this.

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