Kamis, 15 Agustus 2013

music, music..

Still have free time here..sigh..writing about music? that's what finally count isn't it with those DIY audio projects?.

I enjoyed music made by female artist in the last 4 years. Why? age factor maybe, but mostly that female voice is soo critical for tweaking our beloved DIY gear. This lead to many discoveries to these fine female artist, mostly referred by friends , well known and not so (at least thought so..). Okay, you know Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Patricia Barber, Eva Cassidy..you name it.

Prior all of this, I listen mainly to instrumental music, jazz, jazz rock, fusion, rock, progressive -art rock, classical, think Miles Davis, King Crimson, (old) Genesis, Thomas Dolby, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Pink Floyd..you get the drift..

So, after Krall's and Jones I look for more music content, a more 'musician thing', not so a commercial music thing as what Krall and Jones i.m.h.o. now became. Patricia Barber is an exception here, her musicians are quite free to express themselves.

And there are a not so recent female artists that I like for a long time and still producing nowadays, they are from the 80'-90's. Three of my favorite 80's 'new comer': Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Rachelle Ferrell all of whom I have had the luxury hearing them performing, quite unforgettable. They were and still are my new jazz Diva. Here's why :

Dianne Reeves, Loving You

Dee Dee Bridgewater, Water melon man. She is now the U.N. Ambassador for FAO

Rachelle Ferrel, Live in Montreux,
please see her uncle George Duke (rest in peace Duke !) on keyboard, Dianne Reeves is also somehow related to George Duke. From all three, Dianne and Dee Dee makes quite a lot of album. Not so with Rachelle, she performs all the time, not so many album of her.

For first timer, Rachelle always make that 'face' when she sing, what an expression, maybe she's the only singer that able to hit 5 octaves high!, ups..correction,  it's 6 octaves, see wiki. Here is one of my tube favorite on Rachelle, it was made when she was debuting in the '89, also the same year I watched her at North Sea Jazz Festival, enjoy and take a deep breath : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en6kmiX0SDc

What a debut, big names there performing, Michell Petruciani on piano, Wayne Shorter, Tenor Sax (Weather Report, Miles Davis..), Stanley Clarke, bass. Rachelle is one of the 'commercial' under rated artist, in the 'live' world...oh boy... she's hot...!

So there are some 'musician music' favorite of mine, hopes you 'll like them as well, youtube is your best friend here :). Next time I will share my other 'discoveries' on new 'hot' female artist..

Selasa, 13 Agustus 2013

Discrete MM Phono Pre, Salas Simplistic nJfet RIAA

Having a bit of free time lately it's time for tinkering on one of my DIY to do list, a discrete MM phono pre.
I have built a MC gain stage here and combining this to the new MM pre is gives you flexibility of using (..ahem..) two tonearms and cartridge, MM and MC, another dream and to do in the list :).

The circuit is not far from what I always like, single ended Simplistic njfet RIAA from Salas, ditto for supply.
Utilizing a pair of nice small trough hole pcb (thank you mr. Liarto), the MM pre is made point to point soldering, as usual using components at hand. Toshiba 2SK170nJfet are 2 sets of dual match pair, a pair of not so matched for buffer. IDSS are about 8 to 8.5 mA as the 'doctor Salas' suggested.

First iteration below, matching of RIAA filter component for both channel was a pain, nonetheless I 'enjoyed' the process of selecting a pair of 15.33nF capacitors....that's why buying at least 4 pcs of each cap is important. Salas shunt regulator in the background there.

A close-up, Cout and interstage coupling is done to be easily changeable, so does the cartridge Rload and source resistors soldered on risers for easy tweaking.

Before putting in the 'box' some noise & hum was measured, quite a fight but finally the hum was beaten. Key is using shielded, preferably coaxial hookup leads and metallic box, in my case a quick and dirty biscuit tin can :)

Here the mighty hum..

Hum tamed..red trace is base noise of my laptop

in the box and first listening...bye bye Azur A540 :), those compressed sound of opamp finally gone.

satisfied? not yet...must set cartridge loading to match the whole system.

2 pots for adjusting Rload, Cload is blue siemens 33pF C0G

using headphone to set channel balance ..turns out needing to re setting cartridge VTF, azymuth, anti skate and VTA...sweating here..

Finally Rload is R22k by hearing for Sumiko Black Pearl (standard was R47k) and setting the B+ around 33-35V and adjust some Rsource to get that kick..

Now, it's time to hit those miles long groove..:), thanks for reading.