Audio News for December 30, 2011

by | Dec 30, 2011 | Audio News

Scientists Resurrect Damaged Analog Audio Discs Via Photography – At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, researchers are restoring old analog discs—some with whole sections missing—by taking hi-def pictures of them, reconstructing missing parts, and then playing the digitized discs with an emulated stylus. The system is called IRENE/3D, allowing the researchers to repair the discs digitally. They started by recovering some 125-year-old recordings made by a team in Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta laboratory. The all-digital system offers a hands-off way to recover audio from relic recordings without risk of damaging the originals in the process.
Inexpensive Adapter Brings DTS Surround to Computer Headphones – The new USB Theater Sound Xperience adapter simulates surround sound on stereo headphones or speakers. Made by Iogear, it connects directly to a computer’s USB port and uses vacuum tube-style design to process both stereo and 5.1 sources with DTS Surround Sensation/Headphone technology, to give an effect of sounds coming from outside the boundaries of two channels. It also mixes in the LFE channel from 5.1 material to give superior bass performance. Three technologies are present in the DTS technology: voice clarification, bass enhancement, and soundstage expansion. The unit’s intent is to offer consumers an immersive soundfield such as experienced with their home theater systems. The adapter retails for $39.95.
Optimism at Annual CEDIA Meeting – The outgoing chairman of the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association reported that although the housing market in the U.S. remains unstable, the residential electronic systems contractor industry is “adpting and optimistic about the future.”  The organization has had a 5% increase in membership and their annual Expo this year had 25% new attendess, suggesting a renewed interest in the industry. CEDIA is transitioning to a global leadership structure, and has educational initiatives shifting from practice-based to theory-based content. The chairman also said that behind-the-scenes legislative work in which they were engaged “…is frankly saving our industry.”
High Ultrasonic Noise on SACDs a Myth – Some detractors of DSD and SACD have published research claiming the technology is faulty due to a serious high level of ultrasonic noise in the signal. Recent charting of the noise levels shows that the noise is not nearly as objectionable as the anti-SACD experts say. With 96/24 DVD-Audio noise is -120dB down at 20kHz, while with SACD noise doesn’t begin at -120dB down until 23kHz. This is much less than on analog tape or LPs in the audible range, and with LPs ultrasonic noise can be as much as 50% of the signal, not 120dB below the signal. Some SACD players have 50kHz filters to remedy the ultrasonic noise.

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