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Old 22nd October, 2002, 10:15 PM
Aedan Aedan is offline
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

Sound Quality...

Well, I was unhappy with the quality of the sound coming out of my PC. I mean most of the sound was ok, but the bass wasn't exactly the best. It was a little on the weak side, and didn't go as low as I thought it should. In addition it was a little muddy as well.

"Pah", I thought to myself, "I can do better than this."

So, I figured I could mod the soundcard. I looked at the soundcard closely, and thought "Ahh, those bits are rather small, and I'm rather not good with small bits". That and I didn't have another PCI soundcard to put in it's place. (The Terratec EWS64XL is an ISA soundcard, but is darn good.)

Here's the Acoustic Edge in most of it's glory - You can't see the breakout cables, but that's ok!
http://www.thetechzone.com/reviews/s...e/Image049.jpg
Thanks to The Tech Zone for the image

Oh, and I must not forget the venerable Terratec EWS64XL. This is a decent card, even if it's ISA.
http://www.vis.ethz.ch/~mnaef/window...s/ews_card.gif
Thanks to Martin Naef for the image

Together with it's Digital-R front panel. Note there's no cheap plastic here. This is all solid steel. Well made, and the headphone amp will power speakers quite happily!http://thetechnozone.com/audiobuyers...pics/ews64.gif
Thnx to The Techno Zone

Oh, just in case you were wondering, Terratec provided the signal path in case users got confused. Yes, I've had to learn to read these things! OK, so that was so I could get my audio engineering diploma, but it comes in handy sometimes.
http://www.vis.ethz.ch/~mnaef/window...signalpath.gif
Thnx to Martin Naef again!


Anyhow, I gave up on the modding idea. It was all too messy for someone feeling ill at the time. Free tip: There's nothing like a good bit of bass to drive those colds out. (Blatantly untrue BTW, but it feels good anyhow)

*CLICK*, "My soundcard has an SPDIF output", I think, "Sure it'll only do two channels, but who cares when you're rumbling down into the subsonics?". Next step - SPDIF DAC.

Now, I have a walkman. Not just any walkman you understand. It looks like this. I like it. My GF wants to permanently borrow it too.

http://www.sony.jp/products/Models/L...img/TCD-D8.jpg
Thanks to Sony Japan for the image

Klay has the details on it here at Klay.com. Incidental, Klay shipped me an SPDIF cable for this thing when Sony UK wanted to charge me 120quid. I'm sure you can understand that Klay came out much cheaper even with the shipping! Perhaps we should say a fraction of the price?

So, now we have this little picture that I whipped up in notepad.

Code:
SPDIF  ---TCD8---Sub Amp---Sub
       |
AE-----|
       |
Analog ---Amp--Front speakers
The result? The D8 absolutely <insert expletive here> over the Acoustic Edge's dedicated sub output. There's just no comparison. The bass is tight, clean and crisp. Not only that, cuz that's just a minor distraction, but the bass now gets down into subsonics... You know, where you can move the 20Hz slider on your 31 band GEQand notice that the windows are trying to exit their frames. One definite improvement.

Fortunately it doesn't seem to have hurt too the phasing too much, despite the fact that the SPDIF link has a higher latency.

AidanII

Edits: Fix pictures, clean up ascii art, sort spelling mistooks and prettify this line
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Last edited by Áedán; 22nd October, 2002 at 10:43 PM.
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