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Thread: Miniature Hi-Fi Power Amp

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    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Miniature Hi-Fi Power Amp

    I was in need of a new little hi-fi for my garage/shop. Things had evolved over the last few years to listening mostly to streaming audio on bluetooth speakers. Maybe I was hypnotized by the millions of tunes that were only a click away, and the convenience of a little wireless powered speaker that you could control from countless devices, but regardless, I wanted a better option. I wanted something small that could adequately power some small bookshelf speakers with bluetooth, and a line-in.

    I was really surprised at whats available out there. The one I bought is a 50w X 50w miniature bluetooth amp. It has a 1/8" TRS line-in. I also bought a little personal CD player that has a similar dedicated line out. I mounted some old Bose bookshelf speakers up by the ceiling over my bench. The amplifier was less than $10 (no power supply), and the CD player was $12 delivered

    This little amp is pretty remarkable. I've mounted it to the side of a toolbox next to my bench with velcro. The buttons are really small, but at least easy to see and reach where I put it. It sounds amazing with the CD player. The bluetooth has voice prompts, and links up easily.

    There were many similar amps available. This is a small one.

    When I stored my CD collection a few years ago. I removed the around 800 compact discs from the jewel cases, and put them along with the cover art, and liner notes into large books. They've been stored that way for ages. My effort at the time was worth it. Everything is clean, and in order. I'm really digging listening to all of my old CD's as intended, uncompressed.

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    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    Remember how they used to criticize CD's for sounding 'digital'? Then along came MP3 and you realized just how good they were.

    I almost never have music on as I always seem to be listening for odd, crackles, pops and hums on whatever is on the bench.

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    Experience is something you get, just after you really needed it.

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    I think that may be the very model I bought from Parts Express, earlier this summer. Too many other projects demanding my time, so I haven't hooked it up yet. But your praise for it has reminded me to bump it up the stack of projects, closer to the top.

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    "Then along came MP3 and you realized just how good they were."

    Say What??

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    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickb View Post
    Remember how they used to criticize CD's for sounding 'digital'? Then along came MP3 and you realized just how good they were.

    I almost never have music on as I always seem to be listening for odd, crackles, pops and hums on whatever is on the bench.
    I'm not sure what you mean here, but the digital vs. analog thing is a whole different discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    I think that may be the very model I bought from Parts Express, earlier this summer. Too many other projects demanding my time, so I haven't hooked it up yet. But your praise for it has reminded me to bump it up the stack of projects, closer to the top.
    I found it on ebay. I didn't expect much for ten dollars. It was a nice surprise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    "Then along came MP3 and you realized just how good they were."

    Say What??
    I think Nick got a little twisted around there.

    The more I listen to it, the more I like it. I'm ordering another for the bedroom.

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    Site Janitor tboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_H View Post
    I think Nick got a little twisted around there.
    I thought he meant how good CDs sound in comparison to compressed formats like mp3. Am I upside-down?

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    -tb

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    That is how I read it. We complained about CD sound, then MP3 came along to make CD look good in comparison.

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    To be fair... This is the only example I have...
    When I became a Rush fan I went out and bought everything on CD. Of course, everything from 1974-1987's Hold Your Fire had been reissued under "The Rush Remasters." Then, just a couple years ago, I picked up an original 1987 Hold Your Fire. Man, that original sounded like butt-ass-crap conpared to the remaster, especially the cymbals.

    So even CD got better as technology progressed. That said, I'm sorry I sold my old Zenith bakelite AM/FM tube radio...

    Justin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    "Then along came MP3 and you realized just how good they were."

    Say What??
    Seems like a misunderstanding. I was saying that because MP3 was so awful you realized how good CD's were.

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    Experience is something you get, just after you really needed it.

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    actually a 320kbit/s mp3 is pretty good,but 128 can sound pretty awful.
    I use flac and it sounds like the cd to my ears.
    Problem with cds is that in the last years the producers overcompress and fill every space with any sound they can think of,so the average loudness is the same in every tune and on any device.
    So now people think that vinyl is much better...

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    Dug around and found it. About the same footprint as my Raspberry Pi and Arduino. I have a 12VDC/2.5A wallwart sitting around. I should set it up later today. Maybe my wife will finally accede to better TV sound than what is built into the set.

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickb View Post
    Seems like a misunderstanding. I was saying that because MP3 was so awful you realized how good CD's were.
    Sorry about that, Chief.

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    Lest We Forget g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    When I became a Rush fan I went out and bought everything on CD. Of course, everything from 1974-1987's Hold Your Fire had been reissued under "The Rush Remasters." Then, just a couple years ago, I picked up an original 1987 Hold Your Fire. Man, that original sounded like butt-ass-crap conpared to the remaster, especially the cymbals.

    So even CD got better as technology progressed.
    I'd think this was more about the re-mastering than the technology?
    Sort of how a 'directors cut' can make a movie seem completely different? (edit: that analogy would probably be much more valid for re-mixing rather than re-mastering)

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    But, I did learn something. There are protons, neutrons, electrons, ............ and morons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    ---that analogy would probably be much more valid for re-mixing rather than re-mastering)
    So what is the difference please. I always thought that re-mixing was making a different mix from the original master. Therefore, i wonder what re-mastering is. Is it re_recording a completely new studio session?

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    Last edited by Boss; 10-29-2018 at 06:00 AM. Reason: fixed typos

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    Mastering is what you do with your mix. It involves things like compression or expansion, EQ, pitch adjustment, other psychoacoustic stuff, and on and on.


    I don't know that the CD technology improved so much as the technique of the studio guys did. Early CDs were made by guys used to tape and vinyl, and they applied the same techniques. But CDs demand other considerations. So when they take the old master tapes and rework them with some CD experience under the belt, they sound a whole lot nicer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexradium View Post
    Problem with cds is that in the last years the producers overcompress and fill every space with any sound they can think of,so the average loudness is the same in every tune and on any device.
    Like the top one below you mean? It's Rehab by Amy Winehouse. I think it sounds dreadful but it is LOUD.
    The bottom one is classical (Beethoven) for comparison.

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    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexradium View Post
    actually a 320kbit/s mp3 is pretty good,but 128 can sound pretty awful.
    I use flac and it sounds like the cd to my ears.
    Problem with cds is that in the last years the producers overcompress and fill every space with any sound they can think of,so the average loudness is the same in every tune and on any device.
    So now people think that vinyl is much better...
    I agree, High quality compressed files are pretty good. I have a good sized collection in my itunes. (40g or so) Most of it is decent quality. I had got into the practice of listening to streamed content and mostly ignoring my itunes library, and completely ignoring my CD collection. After listening to nothing but compact discs for a few days, I streamed some music. It sounded like absolute crap in comparison. I'll still use the streaming services for wireless headphones, and my portable speaker, but not much at home.

    It is disappointing that the music industry at times felt that they needed to use every bit of dynamic range available with digital audio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    Dug around and found it. About the same footprint as my Raspberry Pi and Arduino. I have a 12VDC/2.5A wallwart sitting around. I should set it up later today...
    How did that work out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Mastering is what you do with your mix. It involves things like compression or expansion, EQ, pitch adjustment, other psychoacoustic stuff, and on and on.
    When things were completely analog in the studios, engineers didn't have the tools that are available today to easily manipulate individual tracks. Nowadays most mastering is done before a final mix. Many cd's were stamped; AAD - analog recording, analog mastering, digital format. ADD - analog, digital, digital, or DDD - digital, digital, digital.


    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    I don't know that the CD technology improved so much as the technique of the studio guys did. Early CDs were made by guys used to tape and vinyl, and they applied the same techniques. But CDs demand other considerations. So when they take the old master tapes and rework them with some CD experience under the belt, they sound a whole lot nicer.
    Vinyl recordings required RIAA equalization that cd's didn't. Many early releases in digital format were simply the original masters without the equalization.

    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    I'd think this was more about the re-mastering than the technology?
    Sort of how a 'directors cut' can make a movie seem completely different? (edit: that analogy would probably be much more valid for re-mixing rather than re-mastering)
    I think that you're correct with the re-mastering. A simple re-mix wouldn't utilize the full dynamic range of a cd. Whereas a digital re-master could expand it.

    Overall, I'm really pleased. I haven't enjoyed listening this much in a long time.

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