Klassik

Wammer
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Everything posted by Klassik

  1. I've been playing around with disc error scanning on the Plextor using PlexUtilities since I got it. One interesting thing is that sometimes I actually get a slightly lower C1 error average when scanning at full speed (48x) than at a slower speed like 24x. The differences are very minute and will not lead to any audible differences, but perhaps that is some indication that the drive might actually read better at a higher speed than a lower speed. Perhaps the way the drive is calibrated leads to such a result, I don't know. Of course, results will probably vary by drive and by the condition of the disc. It's entirely possible that a disc in excellent condition might rip/scan better or equally at a higher speed, but that a damaged disc might rip/scan better at a slower speed. I know that some optical drives, Pioneer ones come to mind, have adjustable options using utilities to adjust the way the drive reads discs. For example, speeds can be limited to reduce noise and also adjustments can be made to give speed priority over accuracy. It might be worth looking into those options if one has such a drive.
  2. The ideal burning speed is really the result of the combination of the burner and the media. In the olden days of 4x, 8x, and 16x burners and mostly cyanine-based CD-Rs, it was often best to burn at around 2x or maybe 4x with the slightly faster drives and discs. However, as the drives and media became rated for higher and higher speeds, things started to change somewhat. Most of the modern (and really most stuff made since about 2003 or so) CD-Rs made by the likes of CMC Magnetics and Ritek use phthalocyanine dyes and short write strategies as opposed to long write strategies. The end result of all of this is that a modern 48x/52x phthalocyanine CD-R will probably not burn correctly at all below 4x and will probably write best at 16x or 24x on a high-speed CD burner (though that's not a guarantee, more on that later). There are some modern CD-Rs which might work better at slower speeds in older CD-Rs. The two that come to mind are the cyanine discs formerly made by Taiyo Yuden, which are now made by CMC Magnetics under the CMC Pro brand, and the Verbatim DataLife Plus CD-Rs using Mitsubishi Chemical's Azo dye. Those Verbatims are now also made by CMC Magnetics. Here in the US at least, we have what are called 'CD-R Music' discs. These are discs meant for those component-style CD recorders that were somewhat popular in around 1999-2001 or so. Home CD recorders in the US were required to use special CD-Rs which had a small royalty paid to the recording industry. These discs are still being sold in the US and can also be used with PC burners, but I notice that some of them are now rated up to 32x speed. I'm not sure if these are special discs made for the needs of real-time/2x burning as would be the need with a component style CD recorder. If they aren't, then it's possible those discs made for CD recorders actually won't work well in a CD recorder. Granted, the use of those CD recorders is probably rare these days and the people who do use them probably use professional decks like Tascam ones which work with regular CD-Rs without the royalty. The firmware in most modern PC burners will not allow them to burn below 8x, 10x, or 16x. Thus, if one wants to burn at a slow speed like 4x or 2x, one would have to seek out a vintage CD burner. Since modern PC burners are sometimes designed as an afterthought, even some of the supported speeds on drives might not really be programmed to work with precision at all those speeds. In the case of the Plextor drive I mentioned above that I purchased, the regular version of that drive has, I believe, 16x as the slowest speed. Since I opted for the 'Plus' model, it also supports 8x. Since the Plextor is designed for professional duplication purposes, I believe Plextor/Vinpower probably did put in the time to make good firmware that works well at all the rated speeds. Another thing which is not well-known about CD burning is that the firmware of CD burners contain write strategies for specific brands of discs. CD-R media have media codes on them indicating whether they are made by CMC, Ritek, Mitsubishi, or whatever company. If the CD burner recognizes the media code, it'll know how to write specifically to that type of disc. If the media code is not recognized, then the burner has to guess the write strategy. I reckon that this guess is made during the power calibration session at the very beginning of a burn. In the glory years of CD/DVD burners, the best makers of burners would program many different media into their firmware. These days, that's less common so it's probably best to stick with well-known media that's from around the time that the burner was made. On that last point, some makers of CD-Rs have used the same media ID for decades now and that means that different formulations have been used using the same MID code. The end result of that is that, for example, a CMC disc from 2003 might not burn as well in a modern CD burner as a modern CMC disc even if the quality of that 2003 disc is just as good, or better, than a modern disc. So, okay, that's probably more than what anyone wants to know about CD burning especially given that probably few people still burn CDs. Ole' Klassik likes the CD format and so Klassik still burn CDs. The speed I burn at depends on which drive I'm using and also which media I'm using. On the new Plextor drive using modern run of the mill CMC Magnetics discs (regular non-Azo Verbatims, Philips, or HP discs), it seems that 16x or 24x seems to be the best speed. With those same discs on my somewhat older Pioneer drives, it seems that 10x and 16x seem to be the best speeds (Pioneers seemed to use 10x instead of 8x). So, yeah, it just depends. Klassik advises not to use anything above 24x unless you have some proof that your burner and media like those higher speeds. While some drives and media will probably burn just fine at 48x, the reality is that only the outer edge of the disc will actually burn at those high speeds and the actual time saved burning at 48x vs 24x is minimal. Maybe you'll save a minute or so. Big deal. Also, on laptop style drives which only burn up to 24x, it might be best to avoid 24x as well. Klassik knows there are some reports that some older CD players/game consoles are not able to read CD-Rs burned at higher speeds. As mentioned earlier, if one must burn at 4-8x or something like that for compatibility with older devices, it's probably best to use something like a vintage burner (though perhaps the modern Plextor Plus drive with the 8x mode might work) and something like those TY/CMC Pro CD-Rs.
  3. That interconnect looks pretty rough. Perhaps it's time to visit the dollar store for an upgrade.
  4. Some CD players have an option where the digital output(s) can be turned off if one is using the analog outputs. I assume this is to reduce noise on the analog output, but I'm not sure. Anyway, here is a Technics SL-P990 with a big button with a big red LED on it above the disc drawer that turns on/off the digital output.
  5. Klassik has a Mitsubishi DVD player made by Toshiba. This is an early, higher-end DVD player from the late 1990s. In addition to having digital outputs, it also has two sets of analog RCA outputs. You know what that means, it's the perfect device for testing interconnects and hearing how different similar they all sound by just switching inputs.
  6. This particular box would probably only work with NTSC TVs like we have here in the US, but presumably something similar could be purchased in the UK. https://www.radioshack.com/products/hdmi-to-rf-coaxial-converter-adapter From there, you might need a Coax to twin-lead matching transformer if the antenna connects via screw terminals. Klassik has no idea how antennae worked on British TVs.
  7. It looks like the drive in that Iomega unit is a Lite-On/Philips drive from the mid-2000s. In many ways, that was the prime era for CD/DVD burners. They were still selling for enough money that manufacturers could make money on them, but the technology was already quite mature at that point for CD burning/reading. That drive might be capable of at least basic error scanning as well. You do bring up a good point that used USB 2.0+ drives can probably be found or borrowed for very little money these days. That'll probably work in most cases. With tricky discs, usually damaged ones or ones with some sort of copy protection scheme on it, sometimes it does help to have multiple drives on hand to see which can best read the disc.
  8. I know that this is not at all what you're referring to, , but I quite like the mid-18th century version of avant-garde music, Mannheim School music. Klassik reckons that Mannheim rockets, Mannheim rollers, Mannheim crescendos, and such seem less remarkable now that Mozart and others integrated them into their music. Care for some Cannabich?
  9. Here is the first, and possibly only , installment of Klassik's Optical Disc Korner. As I'm sure most of you have noticed, most laptop computers these days do not have optical drives. Most desktop PCs these days either don't have an optical drive (especially those all-in-one type desktops) or they only have a 'laptop' style optical drive which offers limited performance and possibly limited quality. Many desktop computer cases no longer even have 5.25"/half-height bays in them. So what is one to do if they have such a computer and want to rip or burn audio CDs? Klassik will present here what Klassik believes to be a good, inexpensive solution. The first most obvious option for someone who wants an optical drive is to buy one of those slimline USB CD/DVD drives which are available from many different retailers. They aren't too expensive. In most cases probably, these drives will get the job done. However, these particular USB drives use the laptop style optical drives mentioned above and thus have limited performance. In addition to reading discs quite a bit slower than regular 5.25" drives, they may or may not have the same reading ability as a good quality 5.25" drive. The next obvious option is to buy a USB CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive which is not a slimline drive. These cost quite a bit more and are often Blu-Ray burners these days. This might be exactly what you're looking for, but what if these USB drives contain a drive which is perhaps not ideal for your situation? What to do then? One option is to buy a 5.25" SATA-to-USB enclosure. These are a bit expensive, and the options on the market are not as numerous as they used to be, but they do allow one to put any SATA optical drive in the enclosure and use it with any PC with a USB 2.0 or higher port at normal speed (at least with CD operations). If one thinks that an LG Blu-ray burner is the best way to read problematic CDs (just to name an example, I'm not sure if LG drives are the best for that use), then they can use that LG drive. If one thinks a Lite-On DVD drive is the best, they can use that. Just about anything is possible. Now here is the last option that Klassik will present and I think this might be the best one. It offers the advantages of the enclosure, but at a lower price, has more options on the market, and it allows for easier swapping of drives. This is to use a SATA/PATA-to-USB adapter which is just an adapter and not an enclosure. I recently purchased one of these, a Vantec branded one, from a local computer store for $25 USD. These are sold by a handful of different companies. I believe the same computer store also had a similar adapter from the PPA (sold as a hard drive adapter kit, but it can be used with optical drives just as easily) for the same price. https://vantecusa.com/products_detail.php?p_id=90&p_name=IDE/SATA https://ppa-usa.com/computer-products/sata/hard-drive-adapter-3-in-1-connector-1.html The image above of the Vantec unit makes it look like a simple adapter, but it's a bit more complicated than just a one-piece unit. In order to use it, a SATA data cable has to go between the adapter and the drive. Then, another cable with a switch on it plugs into the SATA power port of the optical and goes into another cable. That cable has a connector that goes to a wall wart. So, yeah, you're going to have a spaghetti bowl of cables just using this thing with SATA. All the cables are included with the kit, but the cables are short so you might want to invest in a power extension cord and perhaps even a USB extension cord. Audiophile cables are, of course, not at all necessary. This device also will allow one to use a PATA/IDE optical drive. Some of the best CD/DVD burners on the market were PATA drives. I suspect that this will work with those, but some of the user reviews for the Vantec at least claim that the PATA part is a bit more iffy than the SATA part. This might not be a fault of the unit though. It's possible people aren't setting the master/slave jumper correctly since that was a thing with IDE drives. I don't know. Also, some people claim that since the whole adapter has to plug into the PATA data connector, drives which put the data and power connectors close together might not fit due to the size of the adapter. So, yeah, if you plan on using such a device with a PATA drive, you may want to check for clearance issues. I've used the Vantec with a SATA drive and it works perfectly well. The performance of it is just where it needs to be for ripping/burning CDs even when plugged into a USB 2.0 port. it should be noted that internal drives are not really meant to be used externally, but it can be done without problems. Just keep in mind that it's probably best to put the drive in an anti-static bag and then put the bag on some anti-static foam or something to reduce vibration. The key is to avoid any problems with electrostatic discharge killing the drive. -- Alright, so now you know how you can connect a 5.25" SATA (or PATA) optical drive to a PC without a 5.25" drive bay, but how does one pick a 5.25" drive? Well, picking the most ideal CD drive is beyond the scope of this thread. I'm not even sure if it's possible to answer that question. If someone is ripping a lot of drives and some of the discs being ripped are somewhat damaged, it might be best to have a few drives on hand just in case one drive is picky about a particular disc. New 5.25" CD/DVD drives are pretty cheap ($20-$40 USD) and I'm sure used ones can be had for much less than that so having a few drives on hand should not be a big problem. I recently decided to take a chance on a new, modern DVD drive to see how well that would work for ripping, burning, and disc quality scanning. The drive I ended up getting is the Plextor PX-891SAF Plus for ~$35-40 USD. https://www.goplextor.com/Product/Detail/PX-891SAF-PLUS#/Features The vendor's information even implies it is an 'audiophile' drive. Plextor is a great name in optical drives, but it should be noted that the modern Plextor optical drives are not from the same Plextor company of the past. It seems that the current drives are from a company called Vinpower Digital. Vinpower's main business seems to be to make professional CD-R/DVD+-R duplicators for publishers and such. Of course, those duplicator machines need optical drives and so Vinpower is involved in that. Vinpower sells optical drives under the Plextor, Optiarc (Sony-NEC), and PioData (Pioneer) badges. I'm not entirely sure what the difference is between all these drives. They all look pretty similar to me. It's possible that the only major differences are that the Plextor drives support the Plextools/PlexUtilities applications and the Optiarc drives support the DVD overburning feature that the original Sony Optiarc drives from about 10 years ago had. I'm not sure about that. The Vinpower Plextor, Optiarc, and PioData drives are available in regular models and in 'Plus' models. The Plus models seem to be built more robustly for professional use. With the Plextor Plus model at least, it also supports 8x CD-R burning and 4x DVD burning. From what I can gather, the various Vinpower drives are based on the Lite-On Premium DH-16AFSH-Premm CD/DVD burner, but Vinpower makes their own firmware for their drives. It should be noted that Vinpower does release pretty frequent firmware updates for their drives in order to increase reliability and writing strategies for various media. Lite-On Premium: http://www.liteonodd.com/en/half-high-type/item/half-high-type/dh-16afsh-premm.html Vinpower Digital: https://www.vinpowerdigital.com/t/categories/Optical-Drives I've only had the Plextor drive for a short time now, but I have ripped a couple of discs with it, scanned a few discs for errors on it, and burned a few discs on it. From my very limited personal experience and from reviews I've read about the Vinpower Optiarc Plus drive, it seems these drives are very good at reading CDs even at 48x. These drives may also be the only modern drives which have any kind of error scanning, but certainly the BenQ DVD burners and such from the 2000s that had jitter scanning and such are better for scanning than these modern drives. The few audio CDs I've burned on the Plextor with run of the mill CMC Magnetics CD-R media have resulted in excellent burns. Vinpower seems to have done a good job making firmware write strategies for the CMC media at the very least, but I suspect it also creates good burns on other popular modern CD-R media. Aside from the Vinpower and Lite-On drives, Hitachi-LG also makes modern DVD and Blu-Ray burners. The LG drives might have more limited features, but I hear they work pretty well for scanning and burning. Vinpower also makes an LG Blu-Ray burner with their custom firmware so that might be an interesting option. Pioneer still sells Blu-Ray burners under their own name, but I'm not sure if they actually make those or if someone makes them for Pioneer. I have a Pioneer USB slimline Blu-Ray burner from 2012 and it's very good at burning discs, but it is quite slow at reading discs due to the compact nature of it. Asus and a few others make 5.25" optical drives, but I believe these are just rebadged drives from some of the aforementioned names. So, yes, hopefully this edition of the Klassik Optical Disc Korner helps people burn/rip CDs quickly, accurately, and inexpensively using traditional internal 5.25" drives.
  10. Klassik

    Vioolmuziek

    Here's a violin concerto which is not popular, but I'm not totally sure why it's not popular. This is Ferruccio Busoni's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35A. The liner notes for the recording I'm embedding below more or less indicates that the lack of popularity is due to it being too Romantic-sounding for the avant-garde crowd and too avant-garde for the Romantic crowd. Well, personally, Klassik finds this to be quite Romantic sounding. I know there are many fans of Romantic violin concertos and this is a fine example of one. This violin concerto is in the typical three movement fast-slow-fast form, but the movements are performed attacca (together without break). Recordings of this work are pretty rare. The first recording I'll embed is from 1968 and performed by violinist Paul Zukofsky and the New England Conservatory Orchestra. I'll then post a more modern recording below. Klassik prefers the liveliness of the older Zukofsky recording, but there are some minor flaws in the recording (not that it bothers me much at all). Here are the brief liner notes for the above recording: http://www.musicalobservations.com/recordings/cp2_124.html Busoni also had some pretty nice sonatas and bagatelles for violin and piano. These are more popular if the higher number of recordings of them are any indication. Here's a recent Brilliant Classics album of these chamber works which is fully available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_k2F8DZ4VUGPW2rSKLSTt0tpTYYsmdI26E
  11. Here are some long-winded Klassik thoughts about inkjet printers. About 5 or 6 years ago, I received an HP Officejet Pro 6830 as a gift. I used that to replace my ancient HP Deskjet 5550C from around 2002 or so. The series of printers which included that 6830 were the first of HP inkjet printers, that I know of at least, which have the printheads integrated into the printer itself rather than on the cartridges. The advantage of having the printheads on the printer is that it allows for cheaper ink cartridges and it allowed HP to move away from the tri-colored cartridges and towards individual cartridges for each color. The disadvantage of the integrated printhead system is that if the printheads get clogged, which is not an uncommon occurrence even after a few weeks of disuse, the whole printer is likely to be toast. The traditional HP system with the printheads on the cartridge meant that if the printheads got wrecked, all you needed to do was to buy a new cartridge and then you'd be fine. Back around 2000 or so, Xerox was playing around with inkjet printers and made a printer which had removable printheads separate from the printer and ink cartridges which could be replaced relatively cheaply. I suppose this solution made too much sense because I don't think it was used by any other companies and, of course, Xerox did not make ink jet printers for too long. I did have one of their printers with such a printhead arrangement though, but that's long gone now. One way printer companies make printers with integrated printheads last longer is to constantly have them run cleaning cycles just about each time the printer is turned on or a print job is requested. Well, what this does is shoot ink through the printheads to try to keep them clear. This results in massive amounts of wasted ink which just ends up sitting in a sponge in the printer. Anyway, back to the HP 6830. After using it for about a year, and liking it for the most part, the printer just stopped working about a month after the warranty expired. It gave a printhead warning and it seemed the only way to fix the warning was to replace the printer. Yeah, I wasn't going to buy another London HP like that. At least at that time, HP still made some inkjets which still had the printheads on the cartridge, but they were lower-end printers with higher per page ink costs. While I might have been okay with one of those printers, I knew someone who had one and it had the same problem that my 6830 had in that the power supply always made a buzzing noise. I don't know if HP ever fixed that problem. So, yeah, Klassik ended up buying a Canon Pixma MX922 printer in 2016 for about $100 from Office Depot and I'm still using it. I believe that was the top-of-the-line printer from the Pixma range at the time. I don't think it's still being made, but I still saw them in stores about a year ago so maybe they are still available. Here are my thoughts about it Pros It's still working perfectly fine after 4+ years. That's pretty impressive for an inexpensive modern inkjet printer. The actual print quality is quite good as far as I can tell for both text and photos. There probably are better printers for photos, but this printer is more than good enough for my standards. Supposedly it can print directly to optical discs, but I've never tried that. The auto document feeder for the scanner/copier/hardware fax is actually an automatically duplexing scanner. That's very helpful when scanning multi-page, double-sided documents. The duplex printing function works well. It doesn't use a touch screen, but rather has several buttons on the front panel. The printer can print directly from a flash drive The printer will continue to print on an ink cartridge deemed to be out of ink if you override it. Not all printers will allow you to do this and I've gotten hundreds of more pages out of a cartridge in some cases after it was deemed to be out. The wireless seems to work well for both printing and scanning Although Canon doesn't say much about Linux support like HP does, I can report that the printer and scanner all work well in Linux, even over wireless, without much fiddling Cons The printer is slow! After you turn it on, it takes a good 4-5 minutes at least before it's in a printable state due it running the aforementioned cleaning cycles and all that. Then, even after it gets going, the printer is very slow at printing even in fast/draft mode with pure B&W documents. This printer, even though it's a top of the range model, might be slower than some printers I had around 2000 or so. At least it's not much slower printing photos in high quality mode than it is printing regular documents. The HP 6830 was, in comparison, much faster. The scanning quality is not great. I suppose it's sufficient for regular home office use, but sometimes scanned letters have fonts which are light and ill-formed. The scanning quality on the HP 6830 was better. The calculated ink costs for this printer are quite high compared to other printers that were about the same price, but the fact that it lets one override the out of ink warning might close that gap somewhat. Also, for some reason, this printer has two black ink cartridges. One is a dye black for regular text and the other is a pigment black for photo printing. The need for the extra cartridge only adds to the costs. But, yeah, the ink cartridges are expensive for this printer even though it doesn't have printheads on the cartridges. As mentioned earlier, even if you don't print that much, even extended life cartridges don't last all that long in this printer because of all the cleaning cycles that the printer runs by itself. I think some printers may use pigment inks for all their ink cartridges. This Canon only uses pigment ink, or at least fade resistant dyes, for the color inks. Thus, prints from this printer might fade quicker than from some other printers if the prints are exposed to UV. For normal printing, I don't think this really matters. Although my MX922 has not had any issues, the user reviews for this printer online has all kinds of complaints about printhead failure. So, yeah, maybe the reliability of my machine is just dumb luck. It probably does help that I do use it at least one a week, or maybe two weeks at the most, and that I use genuine Canon ink cartridges.
  12. I've heard systems which leave the impression of sounding good after hearing one track on a CD, but a system truly gets Klassik's seal of approval when it sounds good after listening to a 2 hr. double CD album or something like that. There's something about a system which does not leave one fatigued. Now, granted, ole' Klassik's feet and hips might be a bit fatigued after a couple of hours of dancing and pelvic thrusts.
  13. Even ole' Klassik is not following you on Twitter! Klassik has standards! Of course, Klassik's standards have nothing to do with you. Instead, Klassik's standards are too high to have anything to do with Twitter.
  14. Here's another thought about Cambridge Audio as it relates to the US market. I think some American Hi-Fi shoppers confuse Cambridge Audio for Cambridge SoundWorks, a former Hi-Fi speaker company run by legendary Acoustic Research, Advent, and KLH speaker designer Henry Kloss. Cambridge Audio and Cambridge SoundWorks are very pretty similar names so you can see how they could be confused for one another. The Cambridge in Cambridge SoundWorks refers to Cambridge, Massachusetts. I have no idea if Cambridge SoundWorks products were available outside the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_SoundWorks
  15. RadioShack's still around after two bankruptcies in the 2010s, but they mostly only exist now as an online store these days and they don't sell Hi-Fi equipment. That said, it was announced just yesterday that someone has bought the company and they are claiming they are changing up their inventory. Who knows what that means. Not that Klassik would buy them, but that would be great if they brought back the Realistic Mach Ones. Realistic Minimus 7s might be something that I would be interested in.
  16. Crutchfield, which is a large online/catalog dealer of audio equipment, sells Cambridge Audio equipment. Their meat and potatoes equipment is usually priced very competitively with entry and mid-level stuff from the likes of Pioneer, Onkyo, Yamaha, and Denon. Unfortunately, Cambridge Audio does not have a very good reputation on US Hi-fi forums in my experience. In some ways, their reputation is quite similar to that of NAD's reputation. I know that they were/are a bit of a laughingstock when it came out that their Topaz CD player couldn't even support gapless playback through the built-in DAC which meant it was most certainly an off-standard player. I know that's an entry-level CD player, but even $20 drugstore boomboxes have CD players which support gapless playback. It's a bit of a shame that their reputation is what it is because, AFAIK, Cambridge Audio makes the only receiver(s) in the US market which supports RDS on FM radio. For whatever reason, the other companies making receivers and tuners seem to refuse to support RDS here in the US. Also, it's funny to see people use the acronym 'RS' to mean an audio retailer which isn't Radio Shack. 'RS' in the US means Radio Shack/Tandy.
  17. Ole' Klassik has had more than a few pieces of equipment where the front power switch, a hard power switch, is connected to a long rod (no, not that long rod ) which actuates a switch at the back of the unit. I've seen a few cassette decks like that and also I think my Hitachi receiver works in such a fashion. It's been a few years since I've been in it so I can't remember for sure.
  18. I have a Kill-A-Watt device which measures the power consumed by anything which is plugged in via it. I'm not sure if such devices are available in the UK. Anyway, it's quite odd how different devices use quite different amounts of energy in standby. I think my Pioneer DVD player uses about 1 watt in standby, but my Mitsubishi/Toshiba DVD player uses something like 2 watts. The Mitsubishi/Toshiba DVD player does have a red LED standby light, which is quite useless, but I don't think that accounts for all the extra energy used in standby mode versus the Pioneer. The aforementioned Insignia HD radio tuner (digital radio in the US) uses something like 12-15 watts (I forget the exact figure) in standby since turning it off via the soft power switch really does nothing except to turn the display off and cut the audio output. My vintage Pioneer and Hitachi receivers use virtually nothing when turned off since they don't have remotes. Their power switches are more or less hard power switches. I consider that an advantage of vintage equipment.
  19. I remember when early PCs, like the IBM XT and such, had their power switches on the back/back side of the computer. In fact, on those computers, the power switches were directly on the power supply itself. Eventually, the hard power switches moved up front somewhere around the 386/486 era. Eventually, computers with power management took over and the front power switch was merely a 'soft' power switch. Some power supplies have hard power switches on them still. I have a London Chinese HD radio component tuner which has a hard power switch on the back and a soft power/standby switch on the front. That's not an unusual thing, of course, but the odd thing is that the London tuner uses just as much power in standby as it does when it's fully turned on! So, yeah, I have to use the back power switch or else all I'm doing is turning off the front panel LCD display. HD radio (our version of DAB, but component HD radio tuners are hard to find) is such London anyway that I rarely use that tuner. Thus, it's not even in my main stack right now. It's sitting in the closet unplugged.
  20. The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen is certainly an interesting name...especially since one of their CDs contains the music of Gottfried Finger! https://outhere-music.com/en/artists/the-harmonious-society-of-tickle-fiddle-gentlemen/about
  21. Nothing immediately comes to mind. Do string quartets count? If so, what about the Quatuor Sine Nomine? The name Houston Symphony is a bit lacking, IMO. Fortunately, probably the biggest chamber orchestra in town, Mercury Chamber Orchestra, has a better name in my opinion.
  22. Some of this Panasonic London seems more like a rotten egg.
  23. I'm still slightly in shock that the Giants beat the Eagles this weekend. This has not happened very often since 2001. With the win, the Giants also have a rare, at least for recent times, winning streak going and they've now gone two games without a turnover. Even better is that both games were against divisional foes. The Giants have a bye week this week and then play against the Bengals after that. The Giants are very much back in contention for the NFC Least title even though they only have 3 wins so far this year. It also seems that the Giants have given Scottish born kicker Graham Gano a contract extension through 2023. That's good news because he's a good kicker and he's having a great season.
  24. Sometimes I have music playing on the computer as background music while I'm doing whatever it is I'm doing at the computer when I'm at home. In the car, well, I'm obviously driving while I have music on. When I use the stereo system, I'm usually just listening with as clear of a mind as possible. Of course, sometimes that leads to toe tapping, some feet shuffling, or complete pelvic thrusts if I'm really having a good time. This evening, for example, I had a Bob James CD on and I was doing some pelvic thrusts to Brooklyn Heights Boogie.