Monday, April 28, 2003

So, I'm killing time waiting for the UPS man to deliver my new Dell Centrino Laptop. I'm a bit excited to see how I like it. This is the first time I've bought a Dell. Since I just build my desktop PCs from parts, it will be interesting to see how the other half lives. I've got a bit of trepidation about using Win XP but I'll grin and bear it. I will install a good bit of OpenSource software to balance things out.

Listening to Sean Hannity and suffering with my allergies. It's a beautiful warm day but the pollen count must be sky high today. I took a Claritin but still I suffer. I'm sure it doesn't help that I have all the windows open.

I've been doing quite a lot of work transferring out of print LPs to CD-R. I've got a pretty good system setup to expedite the process while preserving the fidelity I require. I spent a lot of time tweaking the Music Hall 2.1 turntable I bought for this purpose. It is low-end compared to my AR-Merrill-Morch-Benz rig but it's quite acceptable. I started out using the supplied Goldring cartridge but decided to upgrade. First, I tried a Grado ZTE+ I had lying around. This was an improvement in overall sound but a real disaster in hum shielding which Grado is notorious for. I found a source of MU-Metal that is used to shield electronics. I used it years ago for other electronic projects. It was only about $20 for a sheet big enough for my purposes. I installed it under the platter using double stick tape. It did dramatically reduce the hum but still it allowed the magnetic field to increase at the outer edge of the platter. I finally abandoned the Grado and installed a nice Benz-Micro MC20E2 Moving Coil cartridge I had lying around. This is a real upgrade and I'll stick with this solution. Not very much hum now and the little left I can EQ out using a notch filter at 120hz in Vegas when I edit the WAV file. I'm now getting some very nice audio transfers to CD-R that I bet could fool some that did not know they were sourced from LP.

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