Saturday, July 27, 2013

Alexa at 4y3m

104cm @ 14.5kg

Thursday, July 25, 2013

CoolerMaster CM Storm Sentinel Z3RO-G Gaming Mouse

Our Logitech Gaming Mouse G700 just went nuts so we 'retired' it. In comes CoolerMaster CM Storm Sentinel Z3RO-G Gaming Mouse; will unpack and start using tonight.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Audioengine A5+

Had to upgrade PC speaker from Audioengine A2 to A5+. With D1, I can definitely hear the difference. Happy.

In this photo: A5+, Dell U2711, Logitech G510, and D1.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Child-proofing the port of SVS PB12-NSD

PB12-NSD is a ported subwoofer. This port is located front top-right and, even with the supplied grille, is quite accessible by any normal 'adventurous' toddler.

One day, I found some small toys hiding about 4 inches inside. To prevent more serious 'breach' in the future, I bought a grille just for this port opening. Fortunately, I found a metal grille that is perfect for the job - a 6.5-in black metal grille from Altronics. And to make it easy to remove someday, I just used a double-sided tape for its mounting. Here it is -

This metal grille has larger holes than the supplied grille by SVS so there should be no impact to subwoofer performance.

Here's another photo of the subwoofer's front (driver + port) -

Friday, July 12, 2013

Installation adventures with Audioengine D1 USB DAC

Unlike the previous Fiio E10 USB DAC where installation was literally plug-and-play, my experience with Audioengine D1 is quite challenging.

Issue 1 - only USB 2.0 ports can be used in my Asrock z68 Extreme4 motherboard. USB 3.0 ports are no good.

Issue 2 - USB cable length should be 1m or below. If a longer cable is connected to a USB 3.0 port, Windows 8 reports an unknown device. In a USB 2.0 port, Windows 8 reports good Audioengine D1 installation but audio performance is NONE (only quick beeps or buzz).

Issue 3 - my Audioengine A2 speakers sit on my desk but my PC is on a shelf around 1m above. My oxygen-free RCA cables are only 0.75m long.

Fortunately, I have an unused 2m Toslink cable lying around. So using a 3m USB cable (for D1 power) and this Toslink cable (for D1 audio source), I found a setup that satisfies my needs.

In Windows 8, S/PDIF is set as Default Playback Device while Audioengine D1 USB is automatically set as Default Communications Device. I set S/PDIF to 2-channel, 24 bit, 192000 Hz. Note that if I opt to use USB only, maximum setting would 'only' be 2-channel, 24 bit, 96000 Hz.

To be honest, I couldn't tell the audio quality difference between USB and S/PDIF as digital carriers. If I could use a 3m USB cable, I would have chosen USB for simple cabling.

In summary, if you want to use a longer USB cable (say, 3m), then also use a Toslink cable to carry digital audio data.

Update: one thing I don't like with D1 is that the analog RCA output is variable. I prefer it to be fixed as I primarily use volume control in my powered speakers. FiiO E10 analog output is fixed; only the output for headphone is variable. However, with E10, even with a headphone plugged in, analog output remains active. With D1, analog output switches off when a headphone is plugged in.

Audioengine D1 Premium 24-Bit USB DAC

Due to annoying 'popping sound' at every audio stop & pause, just had to replace Fiio E10 USB DAC today with Audioengine D1 Premium 24-Bit USB DAC.
"He's called Dr. J because, on the court, he operated on people." - Nate "Tiny" Archibald on Julius "Dr. J" Erving