Finite Elemente – The Resonator

I’m a big fan of Finite Elemente creations. I had or still have Spider and Master Reference Pagode racks, Ceraballs, Cerapucs, Cerabases… All of them brought a great deal of enhancements in dynamics and resonance dumping. So I thought that The Resonator will definitely not hurt and hopefully bring me closer to There. The idea was to use it on top of the Transporter, which is known for its thin ringy tincan case. But considering the price (319-400EUR in Europe, $550-745 in the US) I decided to audition it first and borrowed one from my dealer.

From the description and ad campaigns:

  • Diameter: 120mm
  • Height: 30mm
  • Weight: 370g
  • Material: anodized aluminium (silver or black), stainless steel insert
  • The Resonator converts the resonance energy into heat across a broad band, instead of relocating its spectrum or generating new intrinsic like conventional attenuation of component cabinets, using mass blocks, for example.
  • Strategically placing the Resonator in a resonant zone on your component’s chassis, can reduce vibration by more than 20dB

This is what it looks like:

Continue reading “Finite Elemente – The Resonator”

SqueezeCenter again. Testing v7.3

SqueezeCenter 7.2 is officially out and not interesting anymore ;-) Let’s have a look at version 7.3 which has a new streaming service. In this test I downloaded SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975.ZIP from here.

The first attempt to start the server (after unpacking and “chmod“-ding) gave me this error:

# ./slimserver.pl
The following modules failed to load: YAML::Syck

To download and compile them, please run: /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Bin/build-perl-modules.pl YAML::Syck

Exiting..

The “built-in” build-perl-modules.pl failed to install the CPAN module:

# /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Bin/build-perl-modules.pl YAML::Syck
Welcome to the Slim Devices perl module installer.

These packages are needed for SqueezeCenter to function.
You will need a C compiler (gcc), make, and perl installed.

You will need development libraries for MySQL. eg: libmysqlclient

You will need development libraries for expat. eg: libexpat1-dev

*** Ignore any warnings about AppConfig. ***

Please enter a perl binary to use (defaults to /usr/bin/perl)
This must be the same perl binary that you ran this program with –>
Please enter a directory to download files to –>
Downloads will use lwp to fetch tarballs.

Downloading YAML-Syck-0.64.tar.gz to: /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975
Something looks wrong – I couldn’t read /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/YAML-Syck-0.64.tar.gz, which I just downloaded.
Uncompressing..
sh: YAML-Syck-0.64.tar.gz: cannot open
tar: blocksize = 0
Couldn’t change to YAML-Syck-0.64 : No such file or directory at /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Bin/build-perl-modules.pl line 226, line 2.

So, I decided to go the old way and get rid of the supplied with SqueezeCenter CPAN directory.

# mv CPAN CPAN-orig

… update YAML::Syck just in case…

# perl -MCPAN -e shell
. . .
cpan[1]> install YAML::Syck
YAML::Syck is up to date (1.05).
#

… and start the server again …

# ./slimserver.pl
Can’t locate Encode/Detect/Detector.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN/arch/5.8/i86pc-solaris-64int /opt/csw/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN/arch/5.8/i86pc-solaris-64int/auto /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN/arch/5.8.4/i86pc-solaris-64int /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN/arch/5.8.4/i86pc-solaris-64int/auto /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN/arch/5.8/i86pc-solaris-64int /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN/arch/5.8/i86pc-solaris-64int/auto /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN/arch/i86pc-solaris-64int /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/lib /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/CPAN /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975 /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975 /usr/perl5/5.8.4/lib/i86pc-solaris-64int /usr/perl5/5.8.4/lib /usr/perl5/site_perl/5.8.4/i86pc-solaris-64int /usr/perl5/site_perl/5.8.4 /usr/perl5/site_perl /usr/perl5/vendor_perl/5.8.4/i86pc-solaris-64int /usr/perl5/vendor_perl/5.8.4 /usr/perl5/vendor_perl .) at /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Slim/Utils/Unicode.pm line 40.
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Slim/Utils/Unicode.pm line 40.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Slim/Utils/Prefs/Namespace.pm line 30.
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Slim/Utils/Prefs/Namespace.pm line 30.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Slim/Utils/Prefs.pm line 81.
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /usr/local/SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Slim/Utils/Prefs.pm line 81.
Compilation failed in require at /usr/local/slimserver/slimserver.pl line 146.
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /usr/local/slimserver/slimserver.pl line 146.

This error looks familiar. And after commenting line 40 in SqueezeCenter-7.3-22975/Slim/Utils/Unicode.pm (#use Encode::Detect::Detector; ) the server came alive and immediately updated the firmware of the Transporter to version 62.

Gonna buy Shunyata Hydra? Wait a bit…

Read this article first.

Summary:

“After using the two power conditioners with different components  (both tube and solid state) and at different times of day and night, I reached the conclusion that the “DIY Hydra” was a sonic twin to the production Shunyata Hydra 4, taking into account the additional purity provided by eliminating the varistor in my “DIY Hydra”. I found that similar performance to a $700 manufactured product could be obtained for an expense of roughly $100 and some time and effort. The downside is that the “DIY Hydra” has a resale value of effectively zero. The well-reviewed – and deservedly so – Shunyata Hydra 4 will retain its value far better.”

Notes:

  • New Hydra Model-4 costs between $800 and $1300.
  • 2nd hand one can be found for $500-600

Conclusion:

  • Do not buy new
  • The DIY one costs less than the difference between “new” and “old”

Something to think about …

SqueezeCenter and Scalar::Util

After upgrading to snv_93 SqueezeCenter (quite predictably) refused to start again. The error was:

# ./slimrun
Weak references are not implemented in the version of perl at /usr/perl5/site_perl/5.8.4/DBIx/Class/Schema.pm line 8
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /usr/perl5/site_perl/5.8.4/DBIx/Class/Schema.pm line 8.
Compilation failed in require at (eval 113) line 3.
…propagated at /usr/perl5/5.8.4/lib/base.pm line 85.
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /opt/csw/squeezecenter-7.2-21059-noCPAN/Slim/Schema.pm line 29.
Compilation failed in require at /opt/csw/squeezecenter-7.2-21059-noCPAN/Slim/Utils/Progress.pm line 11.
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /opt/csw/squeezecenter-7.2-21059-noCPAN/Slim/Utils/Progress.pm line 11.
Compilation failed in require at /opt/csw/squeezecenter-7.2-21059-noCPAN/Slim/Utils/Scanner.pm line 45.
. . .

The issue is related to the same Scalar::Util module. Just force install it like explained here.

MAC for UNIX

MAC (Monkey’s Audio Converter) for Windows can be downloaded from http://www.monkeysaudio.com. But what about a UNIX version? Two years ago v3.99 Update 4 Build 5 was released but then the development stopped because of some contradictory licensing reasons. That means that MAC for UNIX is not maintained anymore. Fortunately, the old version still works. I compiled it under Solaris 11 x86 and use it for SqueezeCenter.

The source tar file is attached to the post: mac-399-u4-b5.tgz (MD5)

Some notes.

  • To check the MD5 digest:
    % md5sum -c mac-3.99-u4-b5.tgz.md5
    mac-3.99-u4-b5.tgz: OK
  • Always use –prefix=/usr/local (or any other directory in which you keep non-standard files) configuration parameter, because by default the prefix is set to /usr. You might overwrite Solaris file /usr/bin/mac (message authentication code):
    % ./configure –prefix=/usr/local
  • If you are going to use –enable-assembly=yes option (you need yasm to compile assembler code) under Solaris change “sh” to “bash” in src/MACLib/Assembly/Makefile in the following line (line 214 in my case):
    STRIP_FPIC = sh $(top_srcdir)/strip_fPIC.sh

    This is what the line should look like:

    STRIP_FPIC = bash $(top_srcdir)/strip_fPIC.sh
  • There is already a program /bin/mac (see above). If you don’t want to use the full path to the MAC, simply rename the latter:
    # mv /usr/local/bin/mac /usr/local/bin/MAC

2L against the loudness war or DSD64 download

Mozart Violin concerto in D major 2L (Lindberg Lyd Ltd) is about to hammer another nail into the CD’s coffin. You can buy and download albums (not many at that time)  in DSD64, FLAC 24/96 and FLAC 24/96 multichannel formats  from their website. Or test taste the HiRez for free here.

The picture shows sono- and spectrogram of W.A.Mozart: Violin concerto in D major (KV 218) – Allegro
Marianne Thorsen / TrondheimSolistene / Øyvind Gimse (Stereo WAV 24bit/96kHz). And it sounds accordingly ;-)

What a difference from the crap like this recording!

More info:

Porcupine Tree and the loudness war

Porcupine Tree - clippings Porcupine Tree - clippings

Porcupine Tree - clippingsThis is the second track from Porcupine Tree “Deadwing” called “Shallow”.

WYSIWYG… It sounds just like the graph in SND.  Especially if upsampled without decreasing the volume – like badly scratched disk. And yes, loud. Can it be any worse?

/usr/local/bin/sox effects: polyphase clipped 329755 samples; decrease volume?