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Trivial Personal Milestone – 150k scrobbles

June 20th, 2012 - 7:52 am | No Comments | Audio, Emotions, Research

Scrobbling is a service from Last.FM that keeps track of all the music I’ve played to produce a personal music profile. I started scrobbling on April 21st, 2004 after hearing about it during a conversation between ex-Nullsoft crew huddled in an private IRC room. Later on once Last.FM and Scrobbler merged in 2005 I forgot about my profile and let it go. Since that time I’ve visited the site once every few months to see what music has been recommended to me. There hasn’t been much movement on the site since being acquired by CBS in 2007, as they slowly gutted many of the better features of the site.

Anyway, point being I’ve finally reached 150,000 scrobbles, putting me in the top 1% of all scrobblers that aren’t doing it just to game the system. On the left is an artist cloud from the 3 previous months, based on tracks listened to. The massive Japanese name dead center is Yoko Kanno (9,482 times played), a prolific Japanese music producer that has many amazing and varied albums under her belt. To get a true feel as to what I’ve been listening to I’d recommend visiting Normalisr, which ranks your logged listening habits based on time instead of number of tracks, thus making it much more accurate.

A few lesser known recommended artists:

  • Steve Reich – Music For 18 Musicians. I refuse to classify his scores as minimalist, because they are anything but that. No technology or electronics involved, just amazingly talented musicians producing the most lush and naturally evolving soundscapes I’ve heard in my life till this moment. Watching a live rendition has been on my bucket list for a while.
  • Tommy Emmanuel – In my opinion the best living solo entertainer and fingerpicking guitarist of our time. ‘Initiation’ is one song, if you could even call it that… a soundscape that simply cannot be recorded properly and must be heard live, his shows are always a treat and family friendly. Do yourself a favor and click his name to watch his amazing ‘cover’ of Classical Gas.
  • Bonobo – Natural downtempo published by Ninja Tune, also amazing live.
  • Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelt’s – Cowboy Bebop Box Set. Jazz and more… the albums are so varied it’d be hard to cover em’ all. Samples: Slow Jazz, Fast Jazz, Pure Moodish.
  • More of Yoko Kanno – be sure to check out the “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” album. Samples one, two and three.
  • Bear McCreary’s Season 3 soundtrack for Battle Star Galactica.
  • _ensnare_ – Dancable 8-bit blippy bloppy awesomeness
  • Bassnectar – Dubstep, breakbeat, electronic, glitch, breaks. We also happen to share a first name. If you like his stuff check out Deadmau5 as well, but you probably already know of em’.

I have to stop here, there are many more great singles than complete albums. I’ve actually been rating all 19k+ tracks/compliations in my musical library on a scale of 0 to 5 in 0.5 steps, once I’m closer to completion I will post what I think are the best of the best (there are only 46 5-star tracks out of 13k tracks I’ve already hand rated!). Maybe I should post about music more often, I find it fun :)

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My IGN Pro League experience in Vegas

April 8th, 2012 - 8:24 pm | No Comments | Barcraft, eSports


Saying that the Vegas trip to the IPL4 and GSTL finals hosted at the super-glam Cosmopolitan was a success would be a huge understatement. I finally got to put faces to the hundreds of people I chat with on a daily basis, met new friends and potential business partners.

Some highlights

  • The marble floored group entrance area at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – welcome to luxury!
  • Getting double-takes from a well-known SC2 player I had dinner with in Toronto only a week earlier
  • Having breakfast with a few Barcraft organizers and David Ting, founder of the IPL and eSports GM at IGN
  • Seeing the games with thousands of others around me and feeling the passion that was once only reserved for people watching ‘real’ sports
  • Watching a friend almost peg one of the Korean commentators in the back of the head during a match with the cork from an ill-aimed bottle of booze
  • Chatting it up with IPL, GSL, Blizzard Ent., RIOT, AMD staff, team owners, documentary makers, and members of the press. We’re all in it together!
  • Being the straw that broke the camel’s back between a group of friends to convince one of them to put all the cash in his wallet on a single high-rollers roulette table spin, and subsequently watching him lose it all. I then tried making the group feel better by ponying up my own cash at the normal tables, they chose the simple game of ‘War’. Ended $60 up, whoops :(
  • Watching the photographers from TeamLiquid sort and qualify thousands of potential shots at blistering speeds and then running back out loaded with tons of gear to get more shots.
  • Giving one of my casino credit stubs to a bare-footed editor that was tirelessly working throughout the entire event. Hopefully he gets more personal time next time!
  • Solidifying my opinion that gin & tonic is delicious, Citadel is almost as good as Hendricks. Yum
  • Bumping into Brett Sperry, co-founder of Westwood Studios, while hunting for art galleries. Although he’s retired from the video-gaming industry he runs a lovely art gallery, if you’re going to Vegas and love art – do go check it out!
  • Sending a much longer business oriented 50+ point update to my co-founders after returning, all from memory

Here’s a clip I took during the open bracket showcasing high actions per minute (APM)

And this is why you go exploring off the main strip…

Can’t wait for the NASL season 3 finals in Toronto, and upcoming MLG and IPL events – THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING FOR US.

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North American Starcraft 2 Pro Player Rant

March 2nd, 2012 - 12:13 am | No Comments | eSports, Rant


I chose not to use a North American player for the header of this rant because it would make the post seem like a targeted attack at specific players, it’s not. I think one of the main problems within the North American e-Sports scene is that we artificially boost ‘legendary’ players and then they just seem stay there no matter how terrible their play gets compared to the current baseline. It’s a simple fact is that e-Sports needs new blood to evolve new, more complex play tactics.

We hurt everyone involved by churning out “filler” matches that no one wants to watch (because the players involved aren’t motivated to maintain their peak performance), we waste our viewers time and thus it’s only a matter a time that they get sick of it entirely and start looking for content elsewhere.

It’s time to fess up and tell those that never seem to improve:

“Sorry, just because you had it big back in the day – doesn’t mean you’re worth sh*t today as a player, evolve or die.”

Players that just don’t have that true motivation and dedication should be honest with themselves and their fans by transitioning into other roles or just retire outright.

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The Nokia Phone that Never Was (2010)

March 1st, 2012 - 3:30 am | No Comments | Experience, Graphic, Modifications, Rant, UI


This is a bit of a blast from the past, I originally created many elements of this post back in 2010 and early 2011, so bear with me – I’ve been busy.

Before Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft and their foray into Windows Mobile phones, there was uncertainty in the public that Nokia could follow-up their previous successes in the smartphone business with the onslaught from both the touch-friendly Apple iPhone and even BlackBerry’s constant deluge of hardware with minor tweaks. This was also around the same time that Palm (later acquired by HP) hit the ground running with the Pre2.

Nokia’s answer at the time was the N8, and later the E7 for the business crowd [and then the E63… E72… E73 Mode… E71X… and even later still the E6 (which I’ve yet to post a proper review of), All skeletons of the amazing E71 – WHICH I STILL USE AND LOVE!]. Neither were truly satisfactory answers, although they both had the unmistakable solid-built Nokia look and feel. It was around this time that I thought it would be a good idea to ‘flesh out’ my dream phone – at least via the computer. The result was a hybrid of the Nokia N8 with the physical buttons and a vertical slideout QWERTY backlit keyboard from the Nokia E71, running WebOS. At the time I still had plenty of hope for WebOS as it seemed to be a very easy platform for developers to get pump out quality apps for. Combined with Nokia’s expertise developing the multi-tasking Symbian OS it seemed like a lot of good features from both OSes could be ‘married’ in such a partnership.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I had fun making the mockups in Fireworks – to the right is the high-resolution “Ad” for my make-believe E81, for others who are dreamers, or perhaps for someone out there that is listening and will grant my weird wish for a proper vertical QWERTY slider.

And no – the BlackBerry Torch and non-existent Palm/HP Pre3 aren’t “proper”.

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PHP Code Golfing – ‘FizzBuzz’

May 8th, 2011 - 1:13 pm | 1 Comment | Code, Hacks, Projects

Back in 2007 I read an interesting article about programmers whom can’t actually program, probably shocking to some but not to those that remember Sturgeon’s Law (90% of everything is crap). A quick glance at the program described and I already had the code floating around in my head, trivial for a seasoned programmer.

The description of the program is as follows:

Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print “Fizz” instead of the number and for the multiples of five print “Buzz”. For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print “FizzBuzz”.

Soon thereafter I discovered the concept of ‘code golfing’ and was intrigued. I quickly rationalized that it was the best ways to teach bad coding practices, but at the same time give invaluable insight into the infrequently used operations of the language – some that might one day save a lot of grief. Thus my spiral into madness began as I set out to make the worlds smallest working version of the trivial FizzBuzz in PHP. Drinking might have been involved in this decision.

Let’s start with a clean example of FizzBuzz coded in PHP weighing in at a 329 bytes:

<?php
// Simple FizzBuzzer by Lorin
for ($num=1; $num<=100; $num++) { 
    if ($num%3==0 || $num%5==0) {	// is $num divisible by 3 or 5?
      if ($num%3==0) echo 'Fizz';	// Modulus instead of division
      if ($num%5==0) echo 'Buzz';
    } else echo $num; // otherwise display number
    echo "\r\n"; // new line!
}
?>

Ok, easily readable – works fine. Now let’s golf, but I’ll skip to the conclusion because that’s why you’re reading this article, isn’t it?

But before that, I’d like to note code that looks like the following rarely has any reason to exist other than being a personal challenge. The two major exceptions to this would be coding a demo scene intro where the goals are quite similar to those of code golf, or where code space is at an extreme premium, which is becoming much less relevant these days.

Here’s the svelte 57 byte result, a 5.7x decrease in code base!

<?while($i++ <100)echo$i%3?!$$i=$i:Fizz,$i%5?$$i:Buzz,~õ?>

There are some parts of this code which are (understandably) confusing, let’s break it down:

  • Removing all the comments and shorting variable names – we’re going for computer executability, not human readability, so let’s remove anything that could possibly explain what this code does other than the code itself. Let’s also assume short tags are enabled on the server.
  • Shortening the loop – this was the easiest of all the shorthands tricks. I’d probably use this if I’m banging out code quickly for a proof of concept. It loops from 1 to 100, a neat off-by-one effect.
  • Ternary operators – probably the most confusing, the modulus operator returns 0 when ‘true’, so I flipped the true and false functions in this case. A slightly larger version utilized three stacked ternary operators and it was really annoying to debug
  • Setting a variable within an echo prints it out. Throwing a ! in front of it seemed to do the trick, its used in tandem with a variable variable to solve a core issue when using only using two ternary operations. This could be explored a bit further.
  • Utilizing unset constant variables instead of strings. On a system with reduced warnings you can drop the quotes around ‘Fizz’ and ‘Buzz’ saving 2 bytes at every instance
  • Variable Variables – This is evil. Every time the code loops we are creating a new variable and eating up memory. Even worse is that we are creating a new variable named after the current number(!) with its contents being the same, which is theoretically impossible as PHP doesn’t directly allow setting/reading numeral based variables (ex. $36 would be invalid). This took me the longest to figure out and was only discovered with the help of a peer. Nightmarish stuff…
  • Where is the new line in all this? It got bit flipped! Instead of “\r\n” (6 bytes) or a physical new-line ascii character (3 bytes), I utilize the ~ bitwise operator that inverts the ‘õ’ character into the new-line character, in a total of 2 bytes! This was the largest “AHA!” moment for me, although it might not work in some versions of PHP.

So there you have it, the smallest version of FizzBuzz possible in PHP, although I look forward to one day being beat by someone else. No cheating by loading from external sources! :)

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Convertible Laptop – HP TM2T Review

September 6th, 2010 - 8:12 pm | No Comments | Projects, Review

I recently purchased myself a ‘do everything’ laptop, it gets almost everything right… it has nearly every type of physical input known to man, switchable graphics and is priced very competitively. I’ll be throwing a 3rd party SSD into it shortly to really top it off, and possibly a higher-end compatible Wacom pen.

  • The Good
  • Unique laser etchings give it a look of class.
  • Finally, a convertible tablet with a proper GPU under the chassis! This has been a big issue in the past as many other convertibles offered only included a built-in Intel GMA chips that couldn’t handle most 3D. This machine runs Starcraft II smoothly!
  • Even under extreme usage, underside does not warm up very much due to thermal design.
  • Matching external CD/DVD/BR drive, this is a definite personal opinion but I rather not have a built-in disk drive.
  • Solid display hinge is able to rotate in both directions.
  • A plethora of input options: keyboard, multi-touch trackpad, accurate pressure sensitive Wacom based pen input and multi-touch screen. You can also attach your own external mouse and/or keyboard via USB or Bluetooth. The touch screen and pen inputs did not require any calibration and worked right out of the box.
  • Battery life provides at least 5 hours of use, but it’s not hard to find an outlet these days.
  • Very comfortable and quiet keyboard.
  • The price is right, much cheaper than similarly spec’ed convertible tablets from Lenovo, Toshiba, etc.
  • The Bad
  • The #1 issue with the HP TM2 is the very narrow vertical viewing angle. Even looking at it head-on reveals a slight inversion of color and brightness at the top and bottom of the screen. This causes headaches when trying to show any content on the laptop to others, as well as using the device in tablet form. It also doubles as a mirror when the display is off or set to low brightness.
  • In dark rooms the stand-by LED acts as an aircraft beacon and the dedicated HDD activity LED on the side of device creates a personal rave. Please tone down the brightness or give us a way to disable them. Suffers from Overpowered Blinking LEDs syndrome.
  • Included Digitizer Pen feels like cheap plastic and the secondary button is hard to align to finger by feel alone.
  • How did HP manage to get Dolby approval on this device? this is one tinny sounding laptop, practically on par with the speaker inside a mobile phone. Granted, its easily fixed by plugging into a nice set of headphones or external speakers. I’m curious to find out if HDMI output allows 5.1 surround output.
  • Due to the location of the battery, the laptop is extremely back heavy, thus you might find the laptop falling over or tilting precariously in some situations. This is a non-issue when in tablet mode.
  • There are two buttons to toggle wireless on the laptop. It is easy to accidentally press the on-keyboard button while doing something important, having just one would be ideal.
  • Fingerprint sensor is in an odd location, especially in tablet mode it’s easy to could be a lot better.
  • Attempting to switch between graphics modes manually doesn’t seem to function in some cases.
  • You know those stickers repping the awesome internals of the device (Intel Core i5, Windows 7, ATI, etc)? Every single one was stuck on top of the etchings instead of the opposite side where there are no etchings… on a general note, why can’t all these stickers just go on the underside of the laptop where they don’t ruin the aesthetics of the device? Laptops are not fitted baseball caps, if someone cares enough about the specifications they can just ask.
  • If you happen to work for HP…
  • Give us a wider viewing angle, higher resolution, matte screen, perhaps it’s a Wacom conspiracy to keep 3rd parties from cutting into their own Cintiq market, who knows.
  • Improve physical balance issue when in laptop mode, can’t always have your hands on the device to keep it from tipping back slightly, on that point, make it lighter/thinner :)
  • Add a spot to wrap the pen tether when not in use, I can see it being caught on random stuff in a bag when taking the laptop out. I’ve decided not to use the wire for now.
  • Bring on the Beats Audio, on-board speakers have massive room for improvement.
  • Add a light sensor to automatically adjust the screen brightness, maybe I’ve been pampered by my Nokia E71 cellphone.
  • Add built-in legs to keep tablet mode at a proper writing angle when on a flat surface, I’ll be milling my own.
  • Still too much software cruft for my liking (~25 HP branded pieces of software installed), but it has improved from past offerings.
  • Technical Specs
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-430UM (1.20GHz,3MB) w/Turbo Boost up to 1.73 GHz
  • 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5450 switchable graphics
  • 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
  • 640GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
  • 12.1″ diagonal High Definition HP BrightView LED Touchscreen (1280 x 800)
  • HP TrueVision Webcam
  • Stereo, noise-cancelling microphone
  • Fingerprint Reader (on the display)
  • Intel Wireless-N with Bluetooth
  • 10/100/1000Gigabit Ethernet
  • 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader
  • HDMI, VGA, RJ-45, headphone jack and 3x USB 2.0 ports
  • External Tray Lightscribe Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer
  • Weighs 4.17 lbs
  • Measures 12.83″(L)x 9.06″(W)x 0.96″(min H)/ 1.18″(max H)
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Track of the Week – Radiohead vs. David Brubeck

June 24th, 2010 - 5:20 pm | No Comments | mashup, X of the week

This weeks soothing track (~4:00) was put together by the talented French mashup producer Overdub. It seems almost obvious as both original tracks have a 5/4 time signature, but Overdub did it first and thankfully, did it right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYa7furgQsA

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Death Triumphant – Pt 1

June 11th, 2010 - 9:11 am | No Comments | ... what?, Projects, Research

Currently located in the European Collection wing of the AGO, “Death Triumphant” is a small hand-carved wooden sculpture with intricate detailing made by an unknown artist around the 1670s in the Bavaria region of what is now known as Germany. At first glance it is a dressed skeleton at rest inspecting a bow and arrow in with a simple brown varnish; however only after repeated or extended inspections does the viewer realize how far that is far from the truth.

The sculpture is carved out of multiple pieces of linden wood, better known as “basswood” in North America. The tree that the art pieces original materials came from would have been hundreds if not almost one thousand years old. It seems to be composed out of few individual sculpted and carved components, namely the skeleton, bow and arrow, spade, and base platform or ground. Bindings and gluing are not visible, and all necessary surfaces smoothed suggests a (if not soon to be obvious) master of craftsmanship created this piece. Although the AGO’s own photographic representation of the piece shows the wood varnish to be of a dark brown color, it is actually a much lighter yellow or hazel mid-tone with a well-polished, metallic sheen.  Under correct lighting the sculpture is almost bronze like as the dark shadowed areas have a slight green hue. This effect increases the openness of the figure’s internals, enhancing the ability to see further details.

The small sculpture (24.0 x 13.5 x 7.5cm) portrays an undead human male standing on uneven ground.  The figure’s pose suggests that he’s either looking at a bow and arrow in his left hand or an event unfolding beyond the focal point of the bow in the distance. The subject is tightly gripping the bow and arrow in his left hand, while his right hand lightly rests on a spade that has barely broken the soil beneath his feet. One could hypothesize that the figure is in mid-action glancing at some of the remnants of war before excavating the ground to bury another body. He is acting as an undertaker, and has been burying the dead for so long that he became their familiar. Another but less likely option is that of a “call to arms”, dropping the spade and picking up an instrument of death for further bloodshed.  However, by reading the following descriptions, you should be able to reach your own conclusion.

There is a complete detailing of the times known underlying skeletal physiology, from the rib cage up to the coronal suture that is clearly visible on the skeleton’s cranium, carved lightly between the ears.  Detailing does not stop there, as even the string of the bow and the feathers of the arrow were whittled down from the wood, while the spade has a T-shaped grip above the wood handle. The most surprising and non-obvious elements of the art piece are what seem to be the ragged, tattered clothing and a cowl that the skeleton is wearing.  It is actually the person’s sloughed skin and face torn and distraught from use, just given the impression of garments by the artist at first glance. Skin on the arms drape like stretched sleeves, skin folded over itself between the hand and arm made to look like leather gloves, circular stress holes reveal the pelvic bone and loose skin make up the shorts… and even more skin above the ankles fold over to look like tall boots with turned over tops, typical for fashion in the sixteen hundreds period of Middle Europe. The ear keeps the remaining skin attached to the skull while skin normally attached to the jaw flaps loosely above the chest. The figure adorns a tied sash made of unknown material, either the figure’s pre-mortem clothing or the skin of another unknown individual. There are several snake heads protruding from the torso, the tail of one twisting its way through the neck into the mouth of the skeleton to create a quasi-tongue. Either intestines or snakes hang from a hole in the figures crotch. Only the base is roughly carved with etched lines, presumably to give contrast to the figure above.

The end meaning behind this art piece is somewhat fuzzy, since no further information was provided by the AGO. The artist, exact date, and location are unknown and much of the following research would be theoretical and speculation, thus, the only conclusion I could come up with at the time of writing is that the art piece was meant as a reminder of a large tragedy such as a plague or war. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was memorabilia, but more of an old personally interpretive semi-religious “shock” art to remind the future of what events have passed and its aftereffects on seemingly unrelated individuals. Detailed theories and interpretations for a future post.

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Solving the Music Player Refresh bug (Symbian S60)

May 29th, 2010 - 6:17 pm | No Comments | Audio, Code, Hacks, Modifications, Projects

How many times has this happened to you on your Nokia phone? You take out your MicroSDHC card and toss all your MP3s on to it… put it into the phone, Music Player begins to refresh and… Freezes. Well, the bar is still moving but your refresh counter is either stuck at zero or some other number that is much less than the actual amount of music you added. This was a permanent error and required you to delete your media database to allow it to reload any new media ever again.

This upset me greatly and it seems like no one online had a clue to it’s cause or how to fix it; So, I set out to do what Nokia should have done ages ago and debugged/solved it myself!

WHY IT BREAKS

There is a bug within a hidden system service called MPXHarvesterServer. Its mission is to update the media database if any new or changed media show up on the phone.  My current theory is this: If the harvester hits an MP3 file with either desynchronized ID3v1 and v2 tags, general ID3 corruption or “non-standard” tags hacks on an otherwise playable track it just suicides and corrupts the media database. It could also be that the MPX harvester server just doesn’t like anything but ID3v2.3 and chokes/dies on 1.1/2.2/2.4 tags.

HOW TO FIX IT

  1. Use software such as MediaMonkey (FREE!) to repair/resyncronize ID3 tags on your PC before synchronizing or copying to phone. The ghetto method of doing this is to select your whole music library and then edit one of the normally unused ID3v2 tags, such as ISRC or custom elements so it forces a complete redo of the ID3 tags on the files.
  2. Erase the potentially corrupted  database. Take your MicroSDHC card and connect it directly to the computer so you can delete the following files:
    1. “mpxv1.mpd” and “pcv5.mpd” inside the \private\101FFC31\ directory
    2. “harvesterdb.dat” inside the \private\101ffca9 directory
  3. Put the card back into your phone and enjoy a complete Music Player experience :)

If you happen to work for Nokia/Symbian: Please add at least a bit of error resistance/fallback. While your there make it so the music player only scans for music in the */music/ folders and not my ringtones or recorded messages directories, thanks.

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Audio-Technica A900 modifications

March 8th, 2010 - 2:36 am | 9 Comments | Audio, Design, Industrial, Modifications, Projects

A few months ago after much reviewing and research I purchased an imported set of Audio-Technica A900 cans from Japan for the (depending on your background, high) price of $200 USD.  These are an extremely well valued “mid-fi” solution that can be powered by almost any source. They are physically massive and have a fantastic sound-stage with surprisingly deep and punchy bass. From photos you might assume the blue casing is plastic, but it’s actually anodized aluminum, a pleasant surprise in our era. There are only two catches… Audio-Technica A900

  • The braided wire is on the left side of the cans, while all the input sources are on my right so the cable gets in my way some times.. pretty trivial and personal.
  • The earpads that come with the package are unusually cheap pleather that become a distraction after a few hours use. This is the focal point of the article.

So, whats a person to do? I couldn’t return them (nothing severely flawed), nor felt like posting them on craigslist. Improvement is the only logical option! I scoured the net for various suggestions and modifications available and one that kept popping up was to -obviously- replace the original pads with better pleather, velour, or true leathers pads. Purchasing another set of pleather pads was not even an option, and velour pads apparently ruin the bass response and acoustics, so true leather it is.. specifically pads from the top-of-the-line ATH-W5000. The fit will supposedly be extremely tight because of the slightly smaller radius of the W5000 attachment ring, but it’s as good as it gets.

Audio-Technica W5000 flagship modelThe ATH-W5000 is the current Audio-Technica audiophile flagship model that has an ebony wooden casing, true leather earpads, fantastic frequency response, and a ludicrous MSRP value of $1700 (though reseller average is a -mere- $750). At this time, the replacement earpads can be purchased directly from Audio-Technica’s repair depot for $76.90, shipped to Canada… much less than online resellers. This brings my total purchase price to $276.90, which could have gone to another brand of headphones, but alas, live and learn :)

After the replacement pads arrived I popped off the originals and took my sweet time massaging and rotating the new pads into place. An important thing to at this point is that the original pads are not flat but actually angled to create a better seal around the ear, this makes the endeavour a bit of a challenge.

So here you have it, completed headphones, the moment of truth…

Blah. Well, it was somewhat expected while I was looking at the new pads. The core theory was correct, the material was better and should have allowed longer usage without annoyance, but they were overshadowed by new problems. It comes down to the design difference between the pads:

The problem comes with the shape of the opening in the pads as well as the amount of padding provided. My ears are on the large side but they fit comfortably into the oval shape inside the normal A900 pads, the W5000 pads are too small and irritate my ears by keeping them in an unusual position. The W5000 pads also contain less padding and as such create an imperfect seal that removes the amazing lows the A900 provides, this is proven by pressing the headphones against the ears, the bass returns. So, I’ll be selling/returning the W5000 pads, passively on the look out for something new, but it has become a reminder that sometimes, “good enough” is good enough :)

Unrelated to all this, this will probably be the first posting on the blog, so hi, hello, welcome. I don’t like empty introductions, but enjoy useful and informative content, hopefully you do as well, which is why you’re here. I would also like to say that there is no such thing as trivial information, just some that is too granular depending on the beholder, which is why I can’t stand the taste of some tomatoes or watermelon; how’s that for a segue? :p

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