Friday, March 12, 2010

Ray Samuels Audio – F-117 The Nighthawk

My acquisition of audio goodies continues. This time it’s the just released F-117 The Nighthawk Phono Preamp from Ray Samuels Audio. Ray specializes in creating high performing minature audio gems. He has gathered quite a following for his line of portable headphone amps.

The F—117 is a full featured phone preamp with up to 75db of gain and a choice of loading options all in the package about the size of a pack of cards. It’s other unique feature is it is designed to run entirely on batteries. Using a rechargeable lithium ion battery it is rated to run 8 hours per day for about 6 days!

Although break-in time is recommended, I have already completely enjoyed this addition to my system. It is extremely quiet and seems to have loads of dynamic range and frequency extension at both ends of the spectrum. I think the freedom from noisy AC power interference must be a reason for the excellent sonics.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Home Theater Update

Emotiva UMC-1

I’ve been immersed in Home Theater configuration these past couple of weeks. After waiting about a year, the Emotiva UMC-1 was released. This is an amazing AV Pre-Processor for the latest in Audio and Video handling. This unit replaces my long in the tooth McCormack MAP-1 all analog multi-channel preamp. Now that almost all of my sources are digital and HDMI compliant a digital preamp makes sense. Luckily, the UMC-1 also has a Direct mode that is an all analog signal path for the one remaining analog source – my phono section.

While some users have had some issues with the UMC-1, my experience has been trouble free. The audio and video are first rate. At $699 this is a real value for money product.

Migration to blogger

Well, I went through a frenzied bit of web editing the other day trying to get my blog re-hosted using a custom domain on Blogger. The impetus of this change was the announcement that Blogger would no longer support ftp publishing going forward. This also corresponded with the fact that my current hosting a was up for renewal at the end of March.

So I waited patiently for Google to release their migration wizard. After many delays, it was released. I jumped in thinking this would be relatively easy. I thought I understood the issues but immediately I selected the wrong option and was stuck with a new blog at Blogspot and a failed migration that would not let me back up and start over again.

After much hair pulling furious reading, I successfully edited my DNS and Cname records and finished the migration manually. I now have my blog re-hosted at Blogger but still located at my custom domain of

One issue that caused problems, is that I use google apps and I found that when I tried to change blogger to point to my re-hosted blog it kept saying a blog already existed and would not make the change. I had already correctly changed all my DNS and Cname records but it refused to budge. Finally, I stumbled upon the fact that if you have the Sites featured turned on with Google Apps then this would block you. By turning off the Sites feature, I was able to return to the Blogger publishing menu and it successfully changed to my custom domain.

One new problem I have encountered is that when I perform a search of my site the results display but when I select a link it come back with a broken link screen. This may be fallout from my failed migration but I am unsure how to fix this?

Also, my blog is still flagged as an FTP blog even though it is now hosted on Blogger and the migration wizard is stuck and will not complete? How to clear up this mess?