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Maha Bodhi School, Victoria School, Anderson JC, LASALLE College of the Arts

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008
An army rant
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 9:13 PM --- Post#6808413101978347216

Here is a story in my store in a certain unit.

The Store IC, an aunty filled with agony in her mid 40's. Super bias for ppl who listen to her and suck up to her. Extreme double standard, she will use her rank to force u to do stuff and make u say "No" when she ask "Did i ever use my rank on you?". What is say is exact opposite of what she does. More egoistic than most guys i ever seen, she is always correct, no place for failure for her, even if she fails, she will never admit. Her mood swing is utmost unpredictable, as if everyday having period. Due to her low education level, she has rather poor management skills, yet wants to cover her ass. End up lots of extra work.

The Store 2IC. First impression: Fat. A lady of lipids, with added laze and stubbornness. A hated figure all the way up till CO level. Loves to take MC, and pushes away all responsibility to everyone else. Dun seem too smart, retardation in her movement and thinking. Like the IC, she also loves to pick on ppl she hates, she seems to be everyone. She was brought to investigation several times for negligence as well as for her bad attitude. Her favorite past time to suck up to officers, but never realised that they all find her an unpleasant sight and irritating.

As the store is messed up, HQ sent this warrant officer down to help out. Though he has a high rank, but he has no appointment in the Store, thus unable to make decisions, only can advise. He is a fatherly figure that everyone love to approach. Understands NSFs well and explain things in great details. Seldom hear any shouting or vulgarism from him.

Here is how it goes. MSG XXX and YYY always wage "war" with other senior specs in the unit, often over very small issues. As they two cannot work with each other, things often complicates and blow up. Most of the NSFs do not like to work under either of them, reason being they are too naggy, too bias, and often they act unreasonably. She can tell you to do one thing, and later one scold you cos she claims that she told you to do another. Their instructions are never clear, I have difficult understanding what they want. Upon more questioning, they told me not to question because "I AM (SHE IS) MORE SENIOR, DUN QUESTION ME (HER)". If i dun ask, they will say i dun have the heart to do things. WO ZZZ will always sit by the side and shake his head in disapproval, but cannot do anything as he has got no appointment.

And thus everyone look for WO ZZZ for help. No one wanna go through MSG XXX and YYY. The two woman feels very unhappy that all her men are not respecting her, but never realized the cause of it.

Every time when tasked to do something from MSG XXX, we will gladly do it. As we are doing our job, WO ZZZ will come and advise us on the correct and more efficient procedure to work. When we told him this is how specifically MSG XXX wants it, he will shake his head. Then he will approach MSG XXX and tell her nicely she should change her working method. MSG XXX will blow up, and call us in, accusing us of using WO ZZZ's rank on her and accuse us of telling WO ZZZ of what she tell us. We tried explaining what it was WO ZZZ who came and ask, not tt we purposely ask him to interfere, but she retorted that "Where got so coincidental?" But the truth is WO ZZZ is always walking around and monitoring what we doing, and thus knows what we all are working on.

This happens day in day out. Getting accused for nothing.

To add on, this MSG YYY keep taking MC, and no one has any idea what she is working on. Ppl from the unit get angry when they cannot find her to settle stuff and blame us, her assistant, for being incompetent. When there is high workload, she will take MC and siam everything, leaving her shit to us.

I cannot tahan working in such environment. This is why im so damn depress nowadays. I dare not even sleep, i scared when i sleep the next day will come faster..and i will have to face them all again. I dare not even step into the officer, the war zone. Arrows flying here and there...i find myself hiding on a corner at the back. Everyday i will have to worry about how to face and answer to them. Im getting berserk soon... Im getting depressed and over anxious day by the day..lesser and lesser sleep..that i think one day i will just die in front of them.


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Monday, July 21, 2008
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 11:26 PM --- Post#6265640417452190701

Haiz..one time they say i got manning..another time say dun have. Applied overseas leave liao tell me dun have. WTF...

Haiz..is gg 12 a goot choice? Compared to 41, i lost all my fun-ness as well as all those lame jokes...No more SQUIRT! No more gossips and sarcastic humor. No more gg to canteen together. No more friendship. 12 is COLD. No friends, only colleges..

All the ppl know there is work work work and more work. Either that or nag nag nag and more nag. Arrow and Arrow, like some range. Cant adapt to there as usual..

No fun no nothing. Everyday is waiting for ORD. Haiz. But of course, no guard, no stay in, no outfield...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 2:12 AM --- Post#309283579274210022

My bd just crept away liddat. This yr's bd is one of the coldest.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008
AMB Labs Mini3 Review
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 12:08 AM --- Post#3460544275259206524


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Among the sea of portable amp, lies this low profile gem - the AMB Mini3. AMB Labs design audio productions, ranging from amps to buffers to power supply. Unlike conventional brand, they dun manufacture and sell the product. They sell only loose components, meaning u got to assemble the parts yourself.

A usual DIY kit cost maybe $110 to $130, from hohodiy or amb audio shop or local supplier. I got mine at a much lowered cost for special reasons.

A little search in head fi yields this link. Numerous ppl claim that the mini3 is better than the state-of-art Hornet that cost nearly $600! WOW! Too bad i dun have a Hornet to test it out.

Specification and Technical Highlights

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Opamps: AD8397ARDZ (left and right) and OPA690ID (ground)

- In addition to the left and right channels, the "ground" wire of the headphone is actively driven by a third channel. The ground channel amplifier sources or sinks the return current from the transducers. This results in lower output impedance, greater linearity and reduced stereo crosstalk.

- Precised Virtual Ground. The TLE2426 ensures that as the battery drains down, the power supply rails to the opamps remain evenly-split.

- Fully direct-coupled. There are no signal-degrading coupling capacitors at the input, output or negative feedback loop.
This is a true DC amplifier. Care should be taken to ensure that the input source does not have DC offset at its output.

- Built in battery charging circuit, NO auto cut off though.

- Mine is the high performance, gain 5 set.

The DIY Work

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Definitely not easy for a noob like me, it took me 2.5 hours to assemble the set. Luckily the resistors are already labeled, so it saves me time looking for the correct value. The PCB itself is quite self explanatory, with reference to the AMB webby, you should get all the info that you will need.

The hardest part is obviously the surface mounted opamps. Another harder part is to sand away part of the casing to allow the ground strip of the PCB to make contact. Aligning the LED to fit the hole requires a few tries as well. The voltage regulator's bolt and nut is not included in my kit.

I found that the default jacks aint very good, they have problems with the neutrik's. When i insert the plug i can feel the contacts awkwardly placed in the way, and feels a bit flimsy. I went to Bell's to get another pair of jacks to replace them, they come with exposed screw on heads. A little precisely cut heat shrink tube solve the problem with ease. Much firmer and tighter now.

Sound Signature

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D2 > SilverMAX Quad Braid > Mini3 > Triple Fi/ ESW9

One word: CLEAN. A rather analytical cold sounding. Well balanced sound, with lots of accuracy and transparency. May be a bit too neutral for some.

The highs do not have harsh, crispy and a bit bright.

The vocals is interesting, sounds like a typical AD8397, its sunken into the music and does not stands out brightly or warmly (neutral). Dun get me wrong, its still in its tip top form of clarity and accuracy.

Bass, LOTS, esp with the quad braid SilverMAX IC. Nice controlled bass that wun make u fatigue.

It really put my ESW9 to life, never knew it can sound so nice!

Overall the mini3 sounds rather unbiased and very analytical, to a point of what i call "coldness". Untainted sound and transparency is its ultimate weapon. No wonder it can put up to a good fight with the Hornet.

Let's Compare!

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Poor, me, I only have my Petite to compare. The most recently heard amp is the Magnum. Both the Go Vibes portray one similarity - muddy bass with lots of dynamics. Magnum wins in clarity and accuracy in the highs and mids over the Petite. This is opposite of what mini3 offers.

For me i like coloured dynamic sound, it will take some time to adjust to the analytical Mini3. But the clarity and cleanliness made me abandon my Petite. It would be harder to choose between Magnum and Mini3, though the mid bass of Magnum is a bit too much, it does put lots of punch into the music. Another down side is the price.

Side Track: Go Vibe Petite Sexposed!
After soldering the mini3, it got me interested to strip the Petite. Here are the pics of the PCB.

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The opamps are spray painted. I see lots of unoccupied spaces on the PCB, why are they missing? I even see a space allocated for another opamp.

It may be that the circuit was simplified from the original design to cut cost or cut power usage or cut space or just to create a lower end product to target another user group.

This original design may be one of the previous Go Vibe products or a newer one (Magnum?). A common PCB was made to save cost and trouble.

Another possible answer is that those missing components are meant for the DAC version.

For such a price, mini3 is DEFINITELY worth it. Looking for a high end portable amp and cannot afford the RSA's? Try your luck with Mini3. But first u got to learn soldering :)

Actually there are some ready made mini3 in the market for u to purchase. Also i can sense the urge to start modding the components already...hehehee..

All photographic materials in this review are by the authour, me, ZOMBiE CYGiG himself. No unauthorized usage or linking.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008
Gary Chaw, Welcome To My Word!
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 9:54 AM --- Post#86728703753114904

What a tiring day. Morning woke up..then my parents took me to some restaurant in PSA building to have buffet lunch. The food not bad lah, but i dint have any appetite then, cos my mini3 phone jack has got some problem - its keeps popping my IC out. I ordered Chicken Feet quite a lot of times..the rest of the food is okok. The Crab was Crap, cold cold de. The Peking duck skin like some granny's skin liddat, so rubbery.

I eat the crab until my whole hands and chop sticks and spoon and table filled with chilli, plus i spilled my chinese tea on the table. Multi Kill!

Now im blogging im starting to get hungry remembering yesterday's food. Now i dare not gorge myself in buffet liao, thanks to my previous Sakura experience, lao sai for days and days...

My parents drove me to SLT and they went off to get my dad's car servicing done. I got my two new 3.5mm jacks, an allen key set and some O rings.

I rushed to Jaben to get my Super Comply's for my 555. The new Complys has got great isolation! Got 1/2 m of VDH's 501 Hybrid.

Back home, i quickly solder up my two audio jacks and my new IC. Sounds great, went to bath and went out again to Kallang MRT.

Met Tomato there for the Gary Chaw concert. We do have lots of problem finding our way there, but luckily i still remember a bit on how to goto Kallang Leisure Center cos wenze took me there b4.

We ate Pastamania there, i took the usual Spicy Cray fish. Then off we goto the Indoor Stadium. Took us some times to navigate around, and found that our seat has been relocated from B32 to T32, an improvement i would say, cos B32 is on the Balcony..and on the extreme right hand side.. T32 is much nearer to the stage.

To be honest, i was disappointed with the concert:
- The seat is sooo small i wack my butt sitting down.
- Air con lagi stuffy.
- The so call 'extended stage' is merely a 5m narrow walkway out from the main stage.
- The stage looks like last minute work, BUDGET is the word.
- The audio system sucks big time, my speakers can do a better job!
> Frequent high harsh in vocals
> Roll offs EVERYWHERE! High mid low all!
> The bass was tooo overwhelming
> Almost ZERO clarity, I cant hear properly between the instruments
> Extreme blaring loud! I have to use my 555 as ear plugs
- Poor seating plan, such that if u sit near to the stage, u got to raise your head and see Gary's feet. If u sit far, u cant see a shit. From my seat, i got to turn my head all the while causing neck strain, and the speakers are on my right ear making one side too loud, very inba.
- The projector projecting the stage performance was off colour and certainly not high definition.

But other than that, Gary was great. I try to make out what he singing thru the fucked up speakers, though not decent, but i still tell what he got an awesome voice. Nice lows and nice highs. My fav part is of course, My Way, cos that song was used for audio testing all the while.

When the concert ends, we got problem getting home...all the buses are cramped like fuck. Its getting late and i though by the time it reach our time no more bus services liao. So we decided to take taxi..NO TAXI! first time in my life so hard to get a taxi one! All going into the stadium is On Call, all going out is hired. Anyhow walk walk walk trying to walk back to the MRT...but failed. Ended up dunno where..and STILL NO TAXI. At like 12am...one taxi dropped off a passenger near us and we chiong to grab before someone else get it.. I bear the $6 taxi cost..haha cant let tomato pay cos the concert she treat me de :)

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Thursday, July 10, 2008
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 12:19 AM --- Post#7726969725273664992

Things to worry:
1. Mob manning
2. Stock Take
3. Orderly Duty
4. Range
5. My BD :)

and a lot more...DEPRESSED!

A sneak peak of the new version of CopperMAX and SilverMAX. And a new HybridMAX.
Engineered by me and wenze, we present to your our new quad braid CopperMAX and SilverMAX. Much better bass and filling vocals over the tri braid brother.

The HybridMAX mixes pure copper with matching crystals and then coated with a thick layer of silver, to produce a soothing smooth and sweet sound. Very open, airy and interesting.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 10:15 PM --- Post#5782163496978740180

Live as a storeman is nothing but boredom. But i have to say boredom is better than xiong. Nothing much had been happening around me. New cables coming up soon.

Im now just waiting for ORD :)

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008
GIGA Headphone Amp Review
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 11:19 PM --- Post#2772337084067989981

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The GIGA amp is RA1 Clone with AD823AN, nicely boxed up. The RA1 Clone isnt really a clone, I would rather call it a Clone Mod. The circuit is similar to the USD400+ Grado RA1, but its using Wima instead of Solen caps. The original OPAMP is the 4556AD, but i changed it to AD823AN.

The DIY Works
The RA1 Clone comes as a DIY set selling for $30. That excludes the jacks, battery pads, batteries, the casing, volume knob, switch...which churns up to a lot more cash involved, esp the casing..its hard to find one that fits locally in Singapore. I rampaged SLT just to find this nice looking one.

Soldering up the PCB is easy. The points are near to each other. The difficult part is the irritating external jacks and battery pads.

For flexibility and quality, Home Grown Audio's pure copper wires are used.

I changed about 3 to 4 casings in total, just to find one suitable for this. Its hardly portable, but not that bulky as well. given the 2x9V battery, candy boxes are out of the list. I broke a couple in the process of drilling. What i can say is that packaging it is more much tedious that the soldering work.

The Sound
So how does it sound like? Looking at the circuit, its nothing more than a simple cmoy, seriously the original is selling at USD400+? A comparable circuit will be the Crossroad portable amp.

With the original 4556, it sounds kinda muddy, though elements of dynamics is there. Its quite well balanced.

With the AD823AN, things become much clearer, the bass tighter. U can hear an increase in the frequency range as well. A much better improvement. But i feel it sounded rather raw, some harshes here and there, not much of imaging and sound stage. And to me, its still not clear enough. Some white noise can be heard in the background.

I notice the battery drains very fast, even w/o switching it on.

This amp's performance do not exceed that of Go Vibe Petite for sure, depending on your choice of opamp, it may outdo the Crossroad portable amp.

This is more of a project to learn about electronics, soldering, craft skills, than to build a killer amp. For starters, the size is a bit too big liao.

But think again, this kit cost only $30! For $30 u are getting Wima caps and ALPS potentiometer, i think thats quite a bargain! U can go online and order opamps from Farnell and experiment on your own.

I had yet to try the orginal RA1..would love to..

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