Posts By: Simon Winn-Smith

3Highly tuned Arcam Alpha CD playerUpgrading an original Arcam Alpha


This old stalwart dates back in design to about 1989 and I believe mine was made in 1991.  The Arcam Alpha uses one of the first DAC chips around, the famous TDA1541(A).  Here’s a good page dedicated to players featuring this chip: Lampizator guy.  The author of that site is famous in DIY circles but misses a few important tricks when modifying CD players…. Read Full Article

0Yahama DSP-E800 LogoGetting high end sound from your PC

For many people, there’s either sound or no sound, the quality doesn’t really come into it. For others, specification and bragging rights rule: bit-rates, sampling frequencies, bandwidth, power handling.  For many a simple set of pc speakers will do very nicely, especially if there are 6 or more of them (more is better, right?)  But what do you do if you want awesome sound from your computer?  What do you do if you are an audiophile on a budget?  What if you play games and want surround sound but play music through the same system?  There are many choices and this could get very expensive and complex, but it doesn’t have to.

Read Full Article

2Mozilla Firefox LogoFirefox 4 fixes MSN Messenger bug

I was so pleased upon upgrading to Firefox 4 to no longer have Windows Live Messenger crashing the browser every time I opened Hotmail and had an active conversation window.  I don’t know if it was Microsoft or Firefox at fault but the problem seems to have gone away now.

I’m less pleased, however, that two of my plug-ins for the previous version aren’t yet supported.  Then again, one of those is old and seldom used and the other (IE Tab) should follow in time.