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About cynix

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  • Digital Source 1
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    Cambridge Audio
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    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. I was recently contacted by a guy who'd seen my old post on here about the saga of getting the digital input board to work in my Wadia 830 CD player, including having to program my own firmware chip. He had a Wadia 781i and the digital input board had suddenly stopped being recognised, so the player wouldn't allow selection of any of the inputs and would only play from the internal transport. The solution was fairly simple (skip to the end if you just want to see that), but getting to it definitely wasn't so thought I'd give a few details here in case anyone else has a similar problem in the future. There's zero support from Wadia for these old players now so you're basically on your own with unusual problems like this. The 781i uses the exact same setup as my 830, with a 68hc11 microcontroller and firmware + RAM + logic + i/o in a PSD device (with the 1.07 label) : The PSD chip is quite unusual and finding a programmer that supports it isn't easy (my "universal" programmer that supports over 120,000 different chips doesn't work with it), so I'd had to find an official WSI PEP300 development kit programmer that supports only these specific chips when working on my 830 before: Fist step was to dump the 781i firmware to see if the code could be hacked to force recognition of the input board (as I'd tried on my 830) so I sent the guy with the 781i my programmer. On my 830 the PSD chip hadn't been copy protected so reading it was straightforward and we assumed the 781i would be the same but unfortunately this time the chip was protected and couldn't be read by the programmer. Of course the firmware code can't be completely protected as it has to be read by the external 68hc11 microcontroller so in theory it should still be possible to read it using a similar method. Luckily the 781i owner was an electronics guy and was able to make a PSD adapter board for an Arduino microcontroller and it was then possible to read the firmware code despite the copy protection : I'd already done a lot of reverse engineering on the 830 firmware and the 781i code was mostly similar so it didn't take long to make some discoveries. The input switching code checked the player model, with 4 models being recognised : 1 = Wadia 781 2 = Wadia 781i 3 = Wadia 581 se 4 = Wadia 581i se only the "i" models (with input board) #2 and #4 allowed the input switching code to run. Within the player setup menu there's a display showing the player model, using the above table. If a value other than 1,2,3 or 4 is stored then it defaults to the base model, a Wadia 581 SE, which has no input board. Checking that display on the 781i it was showing this : so apparently the player model number (stored separately in a small 8 pin eeprom, U39 in the 1st pic) had become corrupted and was reverting the player to 581 SE mode and thus disabling the digital input board! I found some other code that seemed to allow changing the player model number using the +/- volume buttons on the remote, but trying that in the setup menu display didn't do anything. Some further investigation of the firmware code found that the model changing code would only run if the player was in "service mode", enabled by entering the code "5,2,3,4" on the remote, but trying this in the setup menu still didn't work. Another condition check was found in the code meaning that the "5,2,3,4" code had to be the first 4 remote commands received by the player after power up before it allowed "service mode" to be enabled and finally that was the solution. In service mode the setup menu has an extra display showing the player firmware version : And from within the setup menu the model number could now be changed with the volume +/- buttons to the correct model : With that setting saved and the player power cycled it was now back to normal with the input board switching working perfectly again. So, if your Wadia 781i or 581i suddenly loses the ability to select the digital inputs check the player model type within the setup menu. If it's wrongly showing as "Wadia 581 se" then you can correct it as follows: - boot the player - wait until the player has started up, do not press any button - enter '5' '2' '3' '4' on the remote - navigate to the settings menu and then to model type - change player model to the correct type with volume buttons on the remote - go to the end of settings menu and save the settings - power cycle the player
  2. Was so sure this was gonna be a link to this video:
  3. The review at has an interesting anecdote, maybe in my mind it could never recover from that first listen as I found it didn't improve at all over time.
  4. 2 for me, both DAC's. My first proper hifi, Technics CD player, Denon amp, Mission speakers. Read absolutely rave reviews of the new "Audio Alchemy dac-in-the-box" external DAC, probably cost as much as my CD player at the time. Despite trying very hard to convince myself that it really must sound better, I couldn't tell much (if any) difference at all. Very disappointing after reading the great reviews. Second one... Benchmark DAC1. Had a Wadia CD player and was trying streaming via a Squeezebox touch so wanted a DAC to bring the SBT closer to the Wadia in quality. Benchmark DAC had great reviews but sounded awful to me, very thin, cold and basically lifeless. Gave it a fair go for a few weeks but it never sounded any better than it did in those awful first few minutes. Eventually got the digital input board for my Wadia so was able to use the internal DAC with the Squeezebox touch and all was well.
  5. You could use 2 solid 5mm copper bars with 3 banana plugs soldered on at 90 degrees in just the right positions and a banana socket soldered on facing downwards at the bottom end, to slot directly into the back of the speaker. That would at least be robust enough to support any cable from the amp side.
  6. Can't help with opening them up, but you can get stackable banana plugs, as shown below. You could make 2 short cable sets to connect the lower to mid and mid to top sockets and then plug your speaker cable into the back of any of them to make the connection to the amp. Just an idea.
  7. Didn't make nearly enough difference in the case of the 52SE's, still waaaay too boomy when against the wall. I do use the foam bungs in the Contour 1.1s though. Maybe having them on a big desktop against the wall concentrates the bass response even more than just being against the wall on a bookshelf.
  8. I tried Dynaudio Audience 52SE's for my office system (on deep desk against the wall) and there was way too much bass boom. Switched to the smaller (and more expensive) Dynaudio Contour 1.1's and they're great in the same position. Maybe something like a Contour 1.3 or 1.4 might work for you, but I'd try to demo them first if possible. I specifically got a streaming amp (Cambridge Audio Minx Xi) with bass adjustment just in case and on the occasional CD with heavy bass mixing I can adjust the bass just -1 point and it cleans it right up.
  9. cynix

    Brennan B2

    Martin Brennan was one of the guys who designed the disaster that was the Atari Jaguar games console. That would be reason enough for me to avoid any of his music players.
  10. ^^ Yes it's getting silly with the "off site sale" thing now. If you exchange *any* sort of details such as address, phone number, email address or even an off ebay web link they will automatically charge you fees as if the item had sold. I had someone contact me asking if I had an item similar to the one I was selling, but for a different model of car . I replied that I didn't but directed them to a website where items for that type of car were sold, just trying to be helpful. Ebay mailed me saying I was attempting an "off site sale" and charged me the fees as if I'd sold my own item. I get people asking for the manual or fitting guide for items I sell so they can have a look before purchase. But it's now impossible to answer these requests as it means asking for "outside of ebay" contact details or sending an external weblink, which immediately result in fees being charged. I used to send people my email address as text in a picture file for pre-sale support but they detect that as well now (must be using OCR type scanning on image files) and had my account temporarily suspended. The abuse of their monopoly position is just getting worse and worse, we're paying more and getting less with worse service every year.
  11. No, definitely no dead short. It's reading just over 11K ohm at the speaker end when disconnected from the amp and just under 13K ohm at speaker end when plugged into the amp. Measured again with a different meter and it's giving 10K ohm disconnected (across speaker end) and 10.5K ohm (across speaker end) when connected to amp. Cable looks like this : BTW the "V" marking next to the "OCOS" text at the amp end of the cable was me marking them for left and right.
  12. I use the OCOS cables that came with my Contour 3.3's and they have the coaxial plug at the speaker end but just 2 bare wires (red/black) at the amp end, so they fit the normal binding posts like any other speaker cable. Maybe you could cut off the adapter and use the bare wires in the same manner? I think mine are how the original OCOS cables were designed and later they started using the adapter thing.
  13. I once bought some used kit from a guy who had easily over £100K worth (he told me what some of it cost including the 1" thick mains cables and upgraded "hifi" mains wall sockets etc.) of hi-fi gear in his living room and I was amazed by how small his music collection was. Maybe 100 CD's sitting on a rack in the corner... I asked if that was just his current favourites and he said no that was everything he had. Maybe that made him more of an audiophile than music lover.
  14. Audience 70's finally sold. Found a dealer with a pair of beech Contour 1.8's and they're taking the 70's in part exchange. Happy days.
  15. Try