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Thread: Digital Audio for Dummies, like Me.

  1. #16
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Since this is not an analog vs digital thread - thank you - I will again take the opportunity to recommend, highly, the book by Greg Milner, Perfecting Sound Forever. (Faber and Faber, 2009) It uses carefully researched history to put acoustic, analogue and digital recording into perspective in a completely entertaining way. Not a how to, but a history of recording and later processing sound. In my opinion, digital is the first real fundamental breakthrough since the electric microphone was first used in commercial recording, about 1925. I would recommend not approaching it as a reference to look up stuff. Rather, enjoy the trip.

    I got a used hardcover library copy for peanuts, look online.

    PS If the parallel technology of radio similarly floats your boat, the old PBS Ken Burns film Empire Of The Air is this sort of treatment. It ends up, after Tesla everything was developed by one man, Edwin Armstrong.
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  2. #17
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Hello Clark;

    Armstrong is a hero of mine, truly a giant. I have never seen the film but I will find it. Thank you for the reference.

    I assume you may have read the book, Man of High Fidelity?

    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I had not heard of Man Of High Fidelity. It may be a while before I can see it. At this point, used paperbacks start at $65. I will try.

    The Ken Burns DVD is not a happy experience to view, but I still enjoyed it. It is out there for $5-6 plus shipping. As you know, the near idiot Lee de Forest and the complete bastard Sarnoff made Armstrong's life miserable. The film is about how the three moved through their age. More simply, how the other two screwed Armstrong at every turn.

    The book the film is adapted from, by Tom Lewis, I have not seen but it is out there cheap as well. I just saw on copy for $1.50.
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  4. #19
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    The book also portrays the tragedy of his circumstance. It is autobiographical and the early years of discovery and triumph through genious and absolute determination is inspiring to say the least.

    The book also underscores the utter failure of US patent law to protect the inventor against big money. Tragic. The author works diligently to factually lay to waste Lee deForest's reputation as anything but a patent troll.

    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by boputnam View Post
    a Radial J33 phono pre-amp
    What is the sensitivity gain load capabilities of this box? Trying to find any sort of meaningful specs is difficult - even at their own site
    Other than "Designed specifically for dynamic cartridges" and not for those "esoteric types" I can't find a whole lot
    Thanks

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    As you know, the near idiot Lee de Forest and the complete bastard Sarnoff

    No, I don't know - I assume you knew both men personally?
    I have read some interesting stuff here some I agree with some I do not and a lot I just don't understand - over my head
    This is in a class of it's own
    I don't even know how to process something like this

  7. #22
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Hi Tony;

    If it is true that history is written by the winners, this would explain why Edwin Howard Armstrong is not a household name.

    While Edison was trying to figure out where the tungsten in his lightbulbs was going with a second filament, deForrest saw something to attempt to patent although not knowing why and later while trying to eliminate the squealing in his "receiving tubes", Armstrong had discovered that a tube could be used as an amplifier and created the worlds first.

    Armstrong also invented FM radio. Tesla and Marconi can fight over who discovered radio but FM belongs to Armstrong. Where this really got messy is that TV has been FM since the beginning and RCA and others completely ignored the patent, profited immensely and worked very very hard to insure they shared none with Armstrong.

    This history is well recorded as it wound it's way through the courts for decades.

    At 53? years of age Armstrong deliberately stepped off of his 13th story balcony. Having spent fully half of his adult life and most of his should be fortune in litigation for what completely belonged to him, he ended his life.

    The sworn statements over the years in the courts by Brigadier General Sarnoff, retired, (then working for RCA) when compared to recorded history and the damage he did to Armstrong would anger anyone with a conscience.

    It is sadly a mistake to assume that justice comes into being automatically. Armstrong fought against great power and money for what was his, and lost. Tragic.

    Maybe this helps?

    All the best,
    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  8. #23
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    None of them are household names - but I am well aware of Armstrong's contributions which were without doubt magnificent
    I collect and restore a competitor to his work - the Philco FM1000 single stage detector
    Philco's answer to not paying Armstrong his 2% or whatever it was
    It was an exciting time to be sure
    But I find nothing noble, admirable or to feel sympathetic for - a suicide, based on IF we are to believe the story, a romanticized tale of matters of principle in a world and times of more than a few David and Goliaths
    RCA never tried to steal anything from the man - they did try to dictate terms I'm sure, where's the surprise there - but most accounts agree they offered him at least a million for a license and Armstrong refused the terms
    That's approximately 17 million in today's money and quite the sum for 1940
    Sad, and I am sad he did it, but not enough so as to indict or speak ill of other men involved in the technological world at the time, or to dismiss their respective and extremely substantial contributions based on some romantic notion or writers' recollection of events
    Armstrong lived a good life, and could have continued to do so but chose to end it - essentially over money - a great deal of which he squandered by acts of his own doing
    What a waste
    God Bless him
    What is really sad is that today's radios use a circuit more resembling Philco's - basically a phase-locked-loop FM demodulator
    The most widely used design in the last 35 years or so - you won't likely find discriminators or ratio detectors in modern FM radios of today
    Did RCA play hardball and possibly "screw" Armstrong around? Maybe - stories told by lawyers almost never end well - and at best they will seldom agree, depending on which table you sit, and I wasn't there and did not know any of the participants personally
    Reason enough so that your suicide makes you a hero?
    Sorry, no, not from my perspective - it does make me very sad though - it is a very sad story - anyone taking their own life
    I also find it intriguing that when discussing technology this almost same story exists for every major invention or breakthrough of the 20th Century
    There is ALWAYS the guy done wrong - in this case though the ownership and creation of the proprietary intellectual property was without dispute
    And that makes it sadder still
    It was all about money - lump sum one time payment versus royalties in perpetuity
    Armstrong did himself wrong - brilliant as he was

  9. #24
    Senior Señor boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Sullivan View Post
    What is the sensitivity gain load capabilities of this box? Trying to find any sort of meaningful specs is difficult - even at their own site
    Other than "Designed specifically for dynamic cartridges" and not for those "esoteric types" I can't find a whole lot
    Thanks
    There's a teeny tab "Specifications" off to the left side of the J33 webpage:

    Specifications
    Specifications are subject to change without notice.
    Audio circuit type: Active circuit
    Frequency response: RIAA response curve for phonographic playback
    Signal to noise ratio: -82dB below 0dBu Output
    Dynamic range: 91 dB
    Equivalent input noise: -82 dBu @ 0 dBu output
    Maximum input: -30 dBu @ 1kHz
    Nominal Input: -50 ~ -40 dBu @ 1kHz
    Total harmonic distortion: 0.002% @ 1kHz (-33 dBu input level)
    Inter-modulation distortion: 0.025% @ -45 dBu input
    Input impedance: 47k Ohms, unbalanced
    Voltage gain: +37.8dB
    Output impedance: XLR out: 600 Ohms; ¼", 3.5mm, RCA outs: 470 Ohms
    Features
    LED power LED:: Two indicators illuminate when power is applied
    Low-Cut filter: -3dB @ 100Hz (rumble filter)
    XLR configuration: AES standard (pin-2 hot)
    General
    Construction: 14 gauge steel chassis and outer shell
    Finish: Durable powder coat
    Size: Size: 5" x 6.25" x 2" (127 x 159 x 51mm)
    Weight: 2.80lbs (1.28 kg)
    Power: +48V phantom or +15VDC/400mA external supply (included)
    Conditions: For use in dry locations only between 5°C and 40°C
    Warranty: Radial 3-year, transferable
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by boputnam View Post
    There's a teeny tab "Specifications" off to the left side of the J33 webpage:
    So it appears low output devices are out with this one
    Guess that's what they consider "esoteric"
    Thank you

  11. #26
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Sullivan View Post

    No, I don't know - I assume you knew both men personally?
    I have read some interesting stuff here some I agree with some I do not and a lot I just don't understand - over my head
    This is in a class of it's own
    I don't even know how to process something like this
    Sorry you took offense, but not isolated incidents. deForrest, as Barry said, was indeed a serial patent troll, and writers better informed than myself found it technically obvious he rarely understood how the equipment he worked with actually functioned. Sarnoff's handling of Armstrong was not an isolated incident. Philo Farnsworth comes to mind. The "I have money and lawyers and he won't live forever" school of thought I do personally find repulsive. If that is name calling, forgive me.

    As to the rejection of early offers for a property that would probably later increase in value exponentially, I am reminded that Sam Phillips always said he made a sound decision selling Elvis' contract for a paltry amount, because it made sense for his situation at the time. I can only assume that without walking in Armstrong's shoes it would be difficult to pass judgement on his decision to take or reject Sarnoff's offer. I'm not going to.

    Noting the fact that I did not know them personally is argument by logical fallacy.
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    Sorry you took offense
    You must have me confused with another poster
    I never said I "took offense"
    Why would I be offended?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    I can only assume that without walking in Armstrong's shoes it would be difficult to pass judgement on his decision to take or reject Sarnoff's offer. I'm not going to.
    Yet you no difficulty engaging in libelous speech with regard to the folks you don't find appealing for reasons personal to you - all while not having known any of the parties involved, relying absolutely on the hearsay of others and also having not been there in any capacity
    Your quote just above should work and be applied both ways friend
    My point all along

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