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About SergeAuckland

  • Rank
    Certified Measurist

Personal Info

  • Location
    Bury St Edmunds, UK
  • Real Name

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    EMT948, TRS9000, BD1
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    In turntables
  • Digital Source 1
  • Digital Source 2
    Meridian 206
  • DAC
    DEQ & DCX
  • Pre-Amp
    Meridian 501
  • Power Amp/s
    3 x Behringer A500
  • My Speakers
    Active B&W 801F
  • Headphones
    AKG K270 KOSS Pro4AA
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade
  1. FM Tuner Advice

    FM distribution was, and I think still is, 13bit Nicam, which is appropriate for the bandwidth, distortion and noise performance of the FM system. It took over from equalised BT Musiclines and resulted in a major improvement in sound quality, especially at transmitters more distant from London. Optimods have been used for a very long time, with each generation getting louder, although the BBC does know how to set them up properly based on what they perceive to be right for the format. Radio 2 is a great example of an Optimod well set up, loud but clean, unlike a fair few commercial stations that are just loud. Radio 3 still goes through an Optimod, but set up purely as a protection limiter, which should never be actioned, and my own monitoring of Radio 3 modulation levels indicate that's so. I've never seen anything near 75kHz deviation on Radio 3 whereas Radio 1 is pretty much at 75kHz all the time. S
  2. Testing Amps

    I'll give you that one, the reason isn't obvious. S
  3. FM Tuner Advice

    One difference between some British and Japanese tuners was that the UK designed tuners weren't made to be especially sensitive or selective, given that UK FM radio consisted of few large main-stations, with some lower power relays, and in any one location, it was possible to have a single large receiving antenna pointing at the main local transmitter. Japanese designers were manufacturing for a world-wide market, especially the USA, which had a radically different set of transmission characteristics, with few co-sited transmitters, and far more crowded airwaves. In these conditions, putting up a high gain antenna with a narrow acceptance angle is pointless, as where do you point it, so the tuner had to be a lot more sensitive and selective. That's why Meridian, Quad and Leak tuners amongst others needed far more signal than Japanese tuners of the same or slightly later vintage, and why, when the UK became much more crowded with radio stations, not always co-sited, more sensitive and selective tuners became favoured. By then, FM stations heavily processed the audio, so FM quality largely went away, with the notable exception of Radio 3 and to a slightly lesser extent Radio 4. S
  4. Testing Amps

    That may well be the result, but anyone who appreciates the Scientific Method will want to verify that with some properly conducted blind listening tests. Then, if there is a verifiable and repeatable difference, that can be further analysed to discover the reason. There is a reason for everything, and an enquiring mind will want to find it. Assessing potential differences just by sighted, unmatched listening proves nothing except that one box looks or feels nicer than another. S
  5. Testing Amps

    Fools! S
  6. Music on iphone vs music converted to CD

    I would agree with that last statement. I don't know the specifics of an iphone, as I've not measured one, but other items of similar technology I have measured, and find the results comparable with Rockwell's numbers. For all normal intents and purposes, the measured audio quality from portable devices are now just as good as from 'dedicated' HiFi units, so if there's a gross and obvious difference, the cause should be elsewhere. S.
  7. FM Radio to stay

    I heard that yesterday as I was coming back from Kegworth. Really good news, especially for Community Radio that would either have to have large increases in transmission costs to get on DAB, or end up in a small-scale only FM ghetto once main stations moved out of FM. My understanding was that it was never the intention close down Band II FM entirely, just make it for small scale local broadcasting only. S
  8. Testing Amps

    Hi Roger, I and a few others use the A500 for our HiFi perfectly successfully. It's a pretty good amplifier, even if not state of the art, but quite good enough to be transparent. For home use, you really need an amplifier without fan cooling, or if it has, then a temperature controlled fan that would only come on when the amp overheats, so wouldn't be on during normal use. I bought my A500s because of the price, intending to sell them if they weren't very good, but I've had mine now over 5 years and see no reason whatsoever to change. The A500 puts out about 130 watts clean into 8 ohms, as a stereo amp, and over 400 watts as a mono amp into 8 ohms. In stereo it will drive 4 ohms fine, even 2 ohms, although the manufacturer doesn't rate it at 2 ohms, and it'll probably get a bit warm into 2 ohms. Hope this helps. S
  9. Testing Amps

    All of those amps will be fine just switched, but you will need to wire up some pots so the output levels of the amps that don't have input level adjustment can be matched. A simple 10K pot wired to some connectors will do fine. Ideally you would have an oscilloscope to monitor the output and make sure there's no clipping, but with those powers, it's unlikely you'll be listening at sufficient level to clip any of the amps. S.
  10. Meridian M80 Tossed in to Landfill

    This has been a bugbear of mine for along time. I know my expectations are now wholly out of fashion, but I would expect any consumer product to be in support for ten years from end of production. In my professional life, our customers demanded guarantees of 20 years spare parts support for any parts not standard commercial components such as can be bought from CPC or RS. I accept consumer products are less demanding, but nevertheless, I still consider 10 years to be a suitable period. A product, whether £150 or £1500 shouldn't be landfill (or recycling) after just 6 years, but it seems it's the way of the world now. Many products such as mobile 'phones and tablets (Devialet Phantom?) can't be repaired at all, and all the manufacturer will do is replace the product if under warranty, no support after that. S.
  11. Testing Amps

    With most SS power amps, it's quite safe to switch the 'speakers from one amp to the other, leaving the unused amp unconnected. A few SS power amps that aren't unconditionally stable may not like being open-circuit, so would need dummy loads to be switched in, and makes it a lot more complicated. Very few valve amplifiers can be left unloaded, so the same applies. However, for the majority of modern SS amps, there's no problem just switching the loudspeakers. What you must do is to match the levels quite accurately, to +-0.1dB to be sure, so that when you switch amps, any changes are due entirely to the amps, not just that one is louder than the other. You can safely feed the same signal into the two amps being compared using a Y cable or connector, so that both amps get exactly the same input. Good luck, it's good to se some blind testing being done. S.
  12. FREE HiFi News Magazines

    2017 is yours. See you there. S
  13. That's not a hair dryer, it's a paint stripper, and he's tough! S
  14. Slip slidin' away Slip slidin' away You know the nearer your destination The more you're slip slidin' away… S
  15. Very solid and perfectly adequate! As to digital room correction, I don't hold with it. The reason is to do with familiarity. We all know what our rooms sounds like normally, with everyday noises and speech, Loudspeakers with a flat frequency response working into that space will sound as they do, natural for loudspeakers in that space. Now, put on 'room correction', and the loudspeakers no longer sound like they are in that room, but in some 'idealised' space that we're not familiar with. Consequently, it'll sound 'wrong'. If the room is very poor, lots of flutter echo, lots of undamped reverberation, then perhaps some form of room correction may be useful, but for normal everyday rooms which are good for conversation, watching TV, everyday activities will be good for HiFi without needing correction. There is a value in room correction professionally, where an organisation like the BBC may have lots of different rooms used for production, and somebody may have to work in one room in the morning, a different room in the afternoon, and a different room again the next day. Under those circumstances, there's a value in using room correction to make the rooms as similar as possible, so there's no need to waste time in familiarisation with the different acoustics and that was what the Trinnov system was used for. Our home systems, where we use the same equipment in the same room day after day doesn't have the same requirements, and it's why I don't use it or like it S..