Speaking of eBay

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Wed Dec 29 16:19:41 2004

> On Wed, 29 Dec 2004, Computer Collector Newsletter wrote:
> > It always makes me laugh when I see one group of lunatics say all the OTHER
> > groups are lunatics. :)

On Wed, 29 Dec 2004, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:

> Yeah, but you gotta admit, people who think solder makes a difference in
> how their Barney songs sound are seriously batty.

Well, two things I thought were totally batty -- and in the
audio field, no less -- turn out to be not so simple.

One, carbon composition vs. film resistors. It's not
unreasonable, it turns out, to be able to hear the difference
between them (in early stages). Voltage rating. Carbon Comps
(CC) handle HV (600 VDC) well, films not so well. Likely near
max V all sorts of microvolt-level wierdness begins in the
film jobs, plus micro-arc-overs, leakage paths, etc. CC's are
noisy, and noise injection is complex, but may have dynamic
characteristics that are simply not spec'd.

Hell, human HEARING is complex and not linear. Someone
(John L.?) was discussing audio recordings of teletype gear,
how system X did a poor job vs system Y. At issue was the
fact that the human ear is an *active* device -- when hearing
the repetitive, high-impulse noise of teletype printing, you
brain/ear *anticipates* the sharp >>WHACK<< of the print hammer
and pulls back on the stirrup in your inner ear! Futzing with
dynamic range etc messes with *that*.

Two, power wire quality. The issue is the poor band-stop of
power supply filters for higher frequencies, even with zillions
of uF's. Anyone who's worked with RF knows about this. In a home
stereo there's limits without running bussbar back to the street,
but in a studio you'll end up with 100's of feet of signal path,
and with a quiet system things Do Add Up.

All of this stuff has particular subtle contexts. I seriously
doubt you could hear the diff between film and CC 100 ohm cathode
resistors in a driver amp, and the idea that one gold-plated
power cord improves anything but profitability --

I'll believe anything with sufficient evidence, but solder alloys
in a solder joint sounds like total crap to me -- unless I had
a lot of rolls to offload on fools with more money than I ... :-)
Received on Wed Dec 29 2004 - 16:19:41 GMT

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