Posts By: Simon Winn-Smith

5Highly 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.

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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.