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Thread: New Chip Provides High-End Sound

  1. #1
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    New Chip Provides High-End Sound

    Is it marketing hype or legitimate breakthrough?

    http://apnews.excite.com/article/200...D8LQG4401.html

    http://www.digitalpowerstation.net/

    New Chip Provides High-End Sound

    Dec 5, 12:21 AM (ET)

    By PETER SVENSSON

    NEW YORK (AP) - Veteran audio engineer Tony Bongiovi, who once worked with Jimi Hendrix, has been disappointed for decades that the equipment most people used to listen to music couldn't replicate the high-quality sound heard in the studio.

    Now, he thinks he's created an answer: a technique for sound processing that's making its debut in a JVC car stereo this week.

    "Speakers are such a primitive device, but with digital technology we can overcome that," Bongiovi said. (If his name sounds familiar to those who know music but nothing of audio engineering, it's because his second cousin is Jon Bon Jovi.)

    The technique, which Bongiovi calls the Digital Power Station for the studio he once built in a converted power station in Manhattan, can be described as a very sophisticated equalizer. It adapts intelligently to the music to give even cheap speakers a full, robust sound and compensate for the deficiencies of the listening space.

    This is accomplished by digital signal processing, a technology found in virtually all consumer audio products. But according to Bongiovi, it has never been employed in this way.

    Bongiovi and his company, Bongiovi Acoustics of Port St. Lucie, Fla., first built a device using analog components to produce the effect, but the unit was the size of a refrigerator. He turned to Glenn Zelniker, a specialist in digital signal processing, to program a chip to do the same thing.

    "The technique really allows the sound source to be heard very well, loud and clear and intelligible in a very, very compromised sonic environment," Zelniker said.

    The chip, an off-the-shelf digital signal processor from Motorola spin-off Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (FSL), is programmed specifically for each car model, taking into account the characteristics of its speakers and interior. It has more than 120 points of adjustment.

    "It's so precise that the hatchback Ford Focus has a different tuning from the regular one," Bongiovi said.

    In a demonstration for a reporter in a Ford Focus with standard speakers, the JVC KD-S100 car stereo produced radically different sound quality with the Digital Power Station chip engaged. The sound swelled to give an impression of space, and all instruments came through clearer.

    The bass was very rich and free of distortion, a phenomenon Bongiovi attributes both to the chip knowing exactly how much the four speakers can take, and to synchronizing them to act as one "virtual subwoofer."

    The stereo will cost $700 to $1,000 installed, depending on the make of the car, and will be available only at dealers, since the chip requires programming (via a CD) to match the make of the car.

    While the technology is particularly suited to a noisy environment like a car, Bongiovi sees it as having much wider applications, though there are no specific plans for taking the chip to consumer gadgets beyond the car stereo.

    In another demonstration, he had a computer play the movie "King Kong" through an inexpensive JVC home-theater-in-a-box speaker setup. Using software on the computer to run the Digital Power Station algorithm, the sound quality improved tremendously. With no real increase in volume, sounds surfaced that previously were unnoticed, like the giant gorilla breathing and shuffling his feet. There was an overall feeling of theater-like space even in a small room.

    While the process may do little for the high-end gear of an audiophile, it appears to be very adept at compensating for the weaknesses of cheap speakers. Even the sound from the built-in speakers of a flat-panel TV set was improved by Digital Power Station.

    "I want people at home to experience what we experience in the studio, and this is the only way to do it," Bongiovi said.
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  2. #2
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    it more or less sounds like it's just a processor with digital correction, but it doesn't have the ability to be tuned, like the other processors....

    anyone else have any thoughts?
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  3. #3
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Reminds when Kenwood put SRS WOW in their headunits. I don't want to knock a product down without experincing it first hand, but I think it is a marketing thing. BBE, SRS WOW, MX (Car audio enhancements) and then there is the "Crystalizer" by Creative Labs for compressed music, and now this. It's pretty much nothing more than equalization and marketing I think. You are still try to reconstruct a signal and alter it to compensate for shortcomings.

    Kudos for JVC for adding some type of vehicle specific equalization techniques just like the JL audio Clean sweep. It also sounds simliar to what Bose/Monsoon/Mark Levison/Mach 460 try to acheive, but at least it is aftermarket.

    Still, if a speaker can't mechanically reproduce sound properly you can process the sound all you want, the trick is to get it to sound natural and not synthetic.

    Just my Opinion.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate Pathos's Avatar
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    The "Crystalizer" comes to mind for me also when reading this "news" brief.
    I would have to hear what exactly this new and improved sound actually sounds like since some audio manufactuers(sp?) rearrange some odd order harmonics and call them the newest best sounding breakthrough since the CD
    or Super CD or THX or whatever the reference is at the time for high quality audio. This coming from a person who still prefers a good LP over some of the horribly mastered CDs that permeate the market now and pose as "High Fidelity".
    "A rose by any other name is still a flower"

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    New Audio Chip Adapts Stereo to Any Car

    http://blog.wired.com/music/2006/12/...dio_chip_.html

    Tuesday, 5 December 2006
    New Audio Chip Adapts Stereo to Any Car
    Topic: Things

    Every make and model of car has different acoustic properties, resulting in varying sound from the same speakers. A new chip called the Bongiovi Digital Power Station solves this problem by altering 120 aspects about sound playback in order to maximize sound quality depending on the car. Tony Bongiovi, a long-time audio engineer who used to work with Jimi Hendrix and who's second cousin is the singer Jon Bon Jovi, designed invented the chip to replace an analog machine he had built to do the same thing (it was the size of a refrigerator).

    The Digital Power Station will be found in JVC's KD-S100 stereo, which will cost $700-$1,000. You can customize it to your car by playing a CD that comes with the stereo to program (there must be a microphone on the device that senses how your car's handling the sound).

    This thing sounds relatively bad-***:

    "'It's so precise that the hatchback Ford Focus has a different tuning from the regular one,' Bongiovi said... The sound swelled to give an impression of space, and all instruments came through clearer. The bass was very rich and free of distortion, a phenomenon Bongiovi attributes both to the chip knowing exactly how much the four speakers can take, and to synchronizing them to act as one 'virtual subwoofer.'"

    I may check these out when JVC demos them tomorrow night. If it works as well as I think it does, this chip could be quite a big deal (not that I'm going to buy another car stereo for the thieves who stole my last one). The chip may find its way into MP3 players (when used with speakers) and other devices.
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    Raw Wave Rob Withey's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate Ruffy's Avatar
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    agree. just as someone said above sounds like a processor with digital correction that you cant tune

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    haha crap i got beat.
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  9. #9
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Threads merged.
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