HifiZine
The enthusiast's audio webzine

Technical and DIY

Articles that explain or educate readers on one or more technical aspects of the hobby. Technical articles from industry members are welcomed, as are those by any audiophile who has completed an audio project build.

Editor: John Reekie.

The Four Ages of a Music Library

“All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare in the introduction to the monologue on the seven ages of man. Dan Gravell writes about the lifecycle of a computer music library based on his twenty years of experience in managing music libraries. Over the course of the “four ages” of a music library, he covers file formats, tagging, and security.

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The Rational Audio System

Richard Thompson proposes that we take a rational approach to high-fidelity sound reproduction: “My argument is that we should simply ditch every arbitrary distortion of the signal if we can” and not continue to “dress up traditional compromises with exotic materials and pointless over-engineering.” He tests the concept with an active system based on low-cost components and linear-phase crossovers implemented in PC software.

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Mini Convertible: Crossover

In the second installment of the series on the Mini Convertible active loudspeaker project, John Reekie walks through the crossover design. Each step is explained and detailed measurements taken to illustrate the process.

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The miniDSP nanoAVR – a case study

“I’ve always been more of a two-channel audio enthusiast than a home theater enthusiast,” writes John Reekie, “and the idea of spending a lot of money on our home theater system or a lot of time optimizing it has never been particularly appealing.” Nonetheless, he delves into applying miniDSP’s new HDMI audio processor, the nanoAVR, in his home theater system.

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Assembling the Bugle 2 phono stage

John Reekie assembles the Bugle 2 phono stage kit from Hagerman Technology, and writes a short photo-essay to document the process. This follows on from the interview with Jim Hagerman about the Bugle 2 phono preamp that he successfully launched on KickStarter in 2013. “I’m not an accomplished vinyl aficionado, but I’m pleased with the Bugle 2, for a couple of evenings of leisurely assembly,” John writes.

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The Mini Convertible active loudspeaker: design

John Reekie describes the design of the HifiZine Mini Convertible, an active loudspeaker project using drivers from Seas of Norway and a miniDSP plate amp with B&O ICEPower for amplification and DSP crossover. The speaker can be configured as a small sealed monitor, or the base plate can be removed and replaced with a hollow stand, turning the speaker into a ported floor-standing speaker. This is the first artlcle in a series of three.

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Plugins for Audiophile Music Players

Oliver Masciarotte surveys the field of “plugins” for audiophile music players, explaining what they are and how they can benefit your listening experience. From shufflers and measurement tools to the dreaded EQ, there is much benefit available to the open-minded audiophile willing to explore the possibilities. Oliver lists his favorites and recommendations, from free to not-so-free, and explains how to evaluate plugin quality.

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Active speakers with Pure Music and FabFilter Pro-Q: a Primer

Of the music players available for the Mac, Pure Music stands out as the one with the most comprehensive feature set. One of those features is its active crossover, which can be used to implement an active speaker system of up to four ways. John Reekie explains how to use the Pure Music active crossover, together with the FabFilter Pro-Q equalization plugin for correcting driver and room response.

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Subwoofer Origami

“There are so many variants of the open-baffle subwoofer…” writes John Reekie of his quest to find a suitable form with which to replace his dipole subwoofer prototype. He explores the different ways in which an open-baffle subwoofer can be “folded” to make it more compact. Each configuration has its own strengths and weaknesses.

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Bass Integration Guide – Part 3

Paul Spencer completes the Bass Integration Guide series with part 3, which covers speaker placement, bass management and EQ, building on the measurement and acoustic treatment from parts 1 and 2. “All your favourite bass tracks are likely to come out as you rediscover bass that is tight and controlled and maintains a balance that sounds right to you.”

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