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 Post subject: Re: Border Patrol DAC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Tubelover2 wrote:
I see well I would explore SPDIF cables - What speakers are you using?


Excellent call! Thx


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 Post subject: Re: Border Patrol DAC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:28 pm 
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Mr Underhill wrote:
Tubelover2 wrote:
I see well I would explore SPDIF cables - What speakers are you using?


Excellent call! Thx
I guess that helped?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:14 am 
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Yes.

I have been mainly using a Oyaide SPDIF made by Mark Grant. It gave what I considered to be some subtle improvements with my Naim NS01.

Since I have been working on the USB chain I had swapped it out a couple of times, but half-heartedly and for a short period.

Your prompt led me to replace it with a good quality spdif I bought a fair few years ago ....result? The slight brightness to some of the music just left. So all good? Not sure, need to do more listening. However, it does mean that any attribution of that sound quality by me to the Border Patrol DAC, and I suspect the Yggdrasil, is wrong.

Interestingly, the same cable with the Lampizator did not give the same result.

M


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:39 am 
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Mr Underhill wrote:
Yes.

I have been mainly using a Oyaide SPDIF made by Mark Grant. It gave what I considered to be some subtle improvements with my Naim NS01.

Since I have been working on the USB chain I had swapped it out a couple of times, but half-heartedly and for a short period.

Your prompt led me to replace it with a good quality spdif I bought a fair few years ago ....result? The slight brightness to some of the music just left. So all good? Not sure, need to do more listening. However, it does mean that any attribution of that sound quality by me to the Border Patrol DAC, and I suspect the Yggdrasil, is wrong.

Interestingly, the same cable with the Lampizator did not give the same result.

M
It is interesting how these SPDIF cables can effect the sound. And it's a DAC/Cable interaction - hopefully a synergy. One theory is that each DAC's SPDIF input has a slightly off spec 75ohm connection and that 'matching' a cable with an equally offset impedance reduces backwave reflections hindering the DAC's receiver.

I believe there is more going on then just an impedance matching effect.

Your BP DAC of course will need at least 200 hrs for those caps to burnin. On my DAC60 the Mundorfs it took 500hrs to finally open up and settle in. But once it did - really amazing detail and tonal richness. And as the cap review said deep and wide sound stage

Cheers


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 Post subject: BP DAC
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:20 am 
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Had a chat with Gary.

The DAC throws any bits above 16 away. He stated that it processed everything up to and including 96KHz. However, my experiments show:

No: 192
Yes: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 -- in fact 176.4 = NO, LMS had changed settings under my feet.

I am not using anything to downsample the music.

It may be chucking away most of the data from HiRes files but they have never sounded better in my system.

Funny old world!

M


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:09 pm 
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A few new developments here (reference amp is back from the shop and working well):

- The iFi iPurifier 2 that has been in my USB chain the last 2 or 3 months suddenly stopped working when in the chain, as of a couple days ago. The power light stays on but the data light either comes on for only a few seconds before going dark or doesn't come on at all. This is when it is between between the iFi Defender 2.0 (followed by a USB A to B adaptor) and the Singxer F-1, with the Recovery and Icron/Startech REX/LEX before the Recovery.

Interestingly, the iPurifier 2 by itself still works fine if it's the only thing between my DAC and a USB cable plugged into the PC. So it's still working, but it really doesn't like to be in the spot in the USB chain that Rob has suggested, where it had worked fine for several months. Has anyone else had any issues with the iPur2?

- My Blue Circle PLC Puck power conditioner arrived a few days ago, and I plugged it into the wall and plugged my Art Audio Pro 4X4s into it. The Puck hums a little, although it's not loud enough to be heard when listening to music. It's probably still burning in, and my system is sounding really, really good now although I'm not sure exactly how much of the contribution is coming from the Puck since I have made a number of improvements around the same time.

- I made a second star quad silver / teflon cable, so that I now have two of these as DC power cables going from my LPSs to the devices they're powering (my 12V LPS is powering the REX in my Startech / Icron devices, and my 9V LPS is powering the Recovery that then feeds power to my iDefender and F-1). I think these are making a huge contribution to SQ. I added the second of these star quad cables to the system a few mins ago and really could hear the difference after turning it back on with the new cable in place. The SQ just sounds very effortless, smooth, detailed and musical.

- I have a new 4GB microSD SLC card that came maybe 4 days ago, and with my new reference amp back in my system I did an A/B comparison between the same song played on my high capacity, high speed USB drive and the mSD SLC card, with both plugged into the REX. To be honest, I couldn't hear much of a difference and in some ways my USB drive actually sounded more musical I thought. The mSD drive is probably still not entirely burned in, and the USB drive is, so I'll give the mSD drive some more time to burn in and try again.

The system is sounding really good now, definite SQ improvements over before.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:52 am 
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OK, I think it is interesting.

In a post above I noted that my system was sounding bright for some music using my Oyaide (silver) SPDIF.

Bob suggested I try other cables. I replaced the Oyaide with a Stereovox I own - brightness disappeared.

With the cable the top end was not so evident, and bass bloomed somewhat, so that it was harder to follow bass lines for instance.

Job done.

The following morning the copper cable now sounded bright. So I refitted the Oyaide - brightness gone.

I have now taken to turning on my amps, disconnecting the spdif (F1 > Border Patrol DAC) and the reconnecting it.

M


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:10 am 
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Mr Underhill wrote:
I have now taken to turning on my amps, disconnecting the spdif (F1 > Border Patrol DAC) and the reconnecting it.


Come on, now......your nervosa is getting the better of you.

_________________
2016 MacBook Pro > Audirvana Plus USB Out > Singxer F-1 SPDIF Out > Yggdrasil XLR Out > Mjolnir 2 XLR Out > HD 650 or SE Out > Swan M200MKIII


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:33 am 
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winders wrote:
Mr Underhill wrote:
I have now taken to turning on my amps, disconnecting the spdif (F1 > Border Patrol DAC) and the reconnecting it.


Come on, now......your nervosa is getting the better of you.


Really?


I am not sure what the purpose of a post like this is ...except to close down discussion, and keep things along the lines of an imposed regime of thought.

In fact over the last week I have:

1. Tested this observation using a variety of cables;
2. Tested what I have heard using my eldest daughter as a control.

But, bottom line is that I trust my ears - and act on what I hear.

I have been trying to 'solve' brightness in my system over the past seven months, since I bought the Sonore microRendu. In fact i now think it is layers of brightness with more than one source.

Following Bob's USB chain has partially solved it, and it has added transparency.

The things that have done the most to combat it are:

1. Updated mR operating system;
2. Removal of SMPS; and
3. This cheap and easy unplugging and replugging of the spdif.

WRT the last, I am going to place a line isolator in the path and listen to the effect.

Winders - do feel free not to comment.

M


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:41 pm 
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What, exactly, do you think disconnecting and reconnecting the Singxer F-1 does and how would it change the sound?

_________________
2016 MacBook Pro > Audirvana Plus USB Out > Singxer F-1 SPDIF Out > Yggdrasil XLR Out > Mjolnir 2 XLR Out > HD 650 or SE Out > Swan M200MKIII


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Mr Underhill wrote:
winders wrote:
Mr Underhill wrote:
I have now taken to turning on my amps, disconnecting the spdif (F1 > Border Patrol DAC) and the reconnecting it.


Come on, now......your nervosa is getting the better of you.


Really?


I am not sure what the purpose of a post like this is ...except to close down discussion, and keep things along the lines of an imposed regime of thought.

In fact over the last week I have:

1. Tested this observation using a variety of cables;
2. Tested what I have heard using my eldest daughter as a control.

But, bottom line is that I trust my ears - and act on what I hear.

I have been trying to 'solve' brightness in my system over the past seven months, since I bought the Sonore microRendu. In fact i now think it is layers of brightness with more than one source.

Following Bob's USB chain has partially solved it, and it has added transparency.

The things that have done the most to combat it are:

1. Updated mR operating system;
2. Removal of SMPS; and
3. This cheap and easy unplugging and replugging of the spdif.

WRT the last, I am going to place a line isolator in the path and listen to the effect.

Winders - do feel free not to comment.

M
Hey guys, back from a long backpacking trip in Calf. Hooboy was it hot!

Anyway great reports here. And your experience confirms what I 've been saying, esp regards to SMPS's and SPDIF cables. Better power supplies can work wonders, not much doubt there.

You described it perfectly, better transparency and detail but with better bass and a smoother overall presentation. This is really what almost all audiophiles are seeking. Really amazing at how much can be gained with improving just this part of the audio chain.

Which kind of line isolator are you looking at? AC? DC? Looking forward to your reports.

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Quote="Empire_City_Denizen"
Quote:
A few new developments here (reference amp is back from the shop and working well):

- The iFi iPurifier 2 that has been in my USB chain the last 2 or 3 months suddenly stopped working when in the chain, as of a couple days ago. The power light stays on but the data light either comes on for only a few seconds before going dark or doesn't come on at all. This is when it is between between the iFi Defender 2.0 (followed by a USB A to B adaptor) and the Singxer F-1, with the Recovery and Icron/Startech REX/LEX before the Recovery.

Great post, interesting results. I don't think the iPur2 is the issue. The data green light can be thought of as a USB link to PC indicator. With a long USB path there (and even short ones), in fact any USB path can 'disconnect' for a variety of reasons. Most the time it's a 'sleep' mode function built into most MB chips. Alex had posted about this relating to some posts regarding 'unlocks' some have been experiencing with the ISO Regen. I have had some, not while playing music, but occasionally overnight. And many times when switching gizmos around. It's hard to exactly explain why, even power dips or brownouts can cause it. I run my system 24/7 and left unchanged it goes weeks without an unlock. The green light is the best diagnosis tool! Here are a few things to try: reboot the REX, that will many times 'fix' it. A PC reboot next if it greenie still doesn't light up. Then try a power on/ off of the RuR. This will reboot the F-1. That'll fix 99% of any issues. Bottom line no greenie no music.


Quote:
Interestingly, the iPurifier 2 by itself still works fine if it's the only thing between my DAC and a USB cable plugged into the PC. So it's still working, but it really doesn't like to be in the spot in the USB chain that Rob has suggested, where it had worked fine for several months. Has anyone else had any issues with the iPur2?
Yes see above.

Quote:
My Blue Circle PLC Puck power conditioner arrived a few days ago, and I plugged it into the wall and plugged my Art Audio Pro 4X4s into it. The Puck hums a little, although it's not loud enough to be heard when listening to music. It's probably still burning in, and my system is sounding really, really good now although I'm not sure exactly how much of the contribution is coming from the Puck since I have made a number of improvements around the same time.
Good to hear you are hearing improvements.

Quote:
I made a second star quad silver / teflon cable, so that I now have two of these as DC power cables going from my LPSs to the devices they're powering (my 12V LPS is powering the REX in my Startech / Icron devices, and my 9V LPS is powering the Recovery that then feeds power to my iDefender and F-1). I think these are making a huge contribution to SQ. I added the second of these star quad cables to the system a few mins ago and really could hear the difference after turning it back on with the new cable in place. The SQ just sounds very effortless, smooth, detailed and musical.
I had similar results, and they where not insignificant. I heard the same smoothness effects.

Quote:
I have a new 4GB microSD SLC card that came maybe 4 days ago, and with my new reference amp back in my system I did an A/B comparison between the same song played on my high capacity, high speed USB drive and the mSD SLC card, with both plugged into the REX. To be honest, I couldn't hear much of a difference and in some ways my USB drive actually sounded more musical I thought. The mSD drive is probably still not entirely burned in, and the USB drive is, so I'll give the mSD drive some more time to burn in and try again.
For me the positive effect was immediate. But depending on the resolving power of ones system, may not be as easily heard. I often play from my HDD or the large USB stick in the REX. I can hear the changes from each. But for causal listening, the HDD still sounds amazing. I pretty much only use the SLC for serious night time listening. There the improvements are better appreciated.


Quote:
The system is sounding really good now, definite SQ improvements over before.
Good to have it back and running - I sure missed mine while in the back country!

Cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:17 am 
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Tubelover2 wrote:
Hey guys, back from a long backpacking trip in Calf. Hooboy was it hot!

Anyway great reports here. And your experience confirms what I 've been saying, esp regards to SMPS's and SPDIF cables. Better power supplies can work wonders, not much doubt there.

You described it perfectly, better transparency and detail but with better bass and a smoother overall presentation. This is really what almost all audiophiles are seeking. Really amazing at how much can be gained with improving just this part of the audio chain.

Which kind of line isolator are you looking at? AC? DC? Looking forward to your reports.

Cheers!


The isolator:

http://www.jensen-transformers.com/product/pb-2xx/

Will go between the F1 and DAC.

WRT mains, I have a watch on eBay for the Swenson recommended AC isolator .........BUT, I think I have pretty much reached the end of this for me. Things are sounding great. Over the last week I have not been surfing whilst listening to music - just listening.

I did do a comparison of my sources, that I found interesting (Posted on SBAF):

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Border Patrol DAC

In a post above it was posited that my enthusiasm for this DAC may be that of an ingénue. Whilst my thoughts may have been due to a first flush enthusiasm I thought I would post a brief follow up. I did think that my positive comments about the Yggdrasil were not met in a similar way, but hay hoe.

I did enjoy the comment above that the 1543 chip is only good for 13/14 bits of resolution. I have heard similar things said about vinyl. A few weeks ago I was listening to a Naim/Focal system using the Statement amps. The source for most of the evening was the Naim NDS and, while I prefer my own system, it was doing things I found interesting. However, it was when the source was changed to vinyl that the whole thing really came to life, that turntable was a tangerined Stiletto LP12 (http://tangerineaudio.com/). Am I claiming that the BP DAC is up to this, I suspect not - but I will be finding out in the coming months.

A friend popped over yesterday. He agreed that my digital had never sounded better. I played him the Roger Waters live version of The Wall. After a track he asked me if it was an LP or CD rip .....it was Qobuz!

I thought I would do some comparative listening, my sources being played through my Raspberry Pi 3, powered by an R-Core LPSU running piCorePlayer: just LMS.

Sources:
U: StartTech USB extender + USB sticks.
Q: Qobuz.

Quality:

9624 LP rip
16/44.1 CD Rip
16/44.1 Q

Note: Although Qobuz states their files are CD quality they are never reported by LMS as 1411kbps, normally 800 - 1200 range.

My bias would be that U > Q and 9624 > 1644.

In the event, things were less straightforward:

10cc
Best Of - The Early Years vs 10 cc (former album not on Q)
Rubber Bullets
4416 vs 4416
U vs Q
Winner: Q

Alison Moyet - Alf
Love Resurrection
U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 (2011 Remastered)
U - by a mile
LP can be slightly sharp - cymbals
CD very sharp consistently

Duran Duran - Rio
Rio
U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 (2009 Remastered)
Q - More detailed and dynamic.

Jeff Beck - Wired
Led Boots
U vs Q
9624 vs 4416
Q - More detailed and dynamic.

Jethro Tull - North Sea Oil
Not on Q

Jethro Tull - Bursting Out
No Lullaby
U vs U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 vs 4416
U 9624 - Tonally better.
U 4416 > Q 4416

Tears for Fears - The Seeds of Love
Woman In Chains
U vs U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 vs 4416
U 9624 = U 4416 (detail different but equally excellent)

Conclusion
I am very happy with the Border Patrol DAC. It really has allowed my system to sing. I fully accept that it is not technically superb, it IS musically excellent.

In terms of the which file source is best I THINK what i am hearing is telling me that the quality of the source files is king. For instance, my copy of 10cc Rubber Bullets is from a very early Best Of CD, the Qobuz version is from a 'proper' album; I suspect it is simply better, that is what I hear. Equally, my pressing of Duran Duran - Rio is not one of the best.

Most of my albums have been with me for MANY years. I have ripped approx 10% of my 3k LPs, but this is a time consuming process. I left Jethro Tull's North Sea Oil in the list above to highlight an issue, this is one of my favourite Tull albums, but it is NOT on Qobuz.

Tears for Fears - The Seeds of Love is a superb album. I have an excellent vinyl and CD copy. Comparing these with Qobuz left the latter in the shade, but only slightly.

I will state that the StarTech/USB solution is easily & demonstrably better than using my Synology NAS, also running LMS.

I am VERY impressed with the quality of music i am now streaming. Although I do enjoy my LP12/Aro/Geddon would I go down this route today? I will be getting together with some friends to do some listening with my system, before heading over to repeat the exercise, but with a friend's Stilletoed LP12.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:36 pm 
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Tubelover2 wrote:
I don't think the iPur2 is the issue. The data green light can be thought of as a USB link to PC indicator. With a long USB path there (and even short ones), in fact any USB path can 'disconnect' for a variety of reasons. Most the time it's a 'sleep' mode function built into most MB chips. Alex had posted about this relating to some posts regarding 'unlocks' some have been experiencing with the ISO Regen. I have had some, not while playing music, but occasionally overnight. And many times when switching gizmos around. It's hard to exactly explain why, even power dips or brownouts can cause it. I run my system 24/7 and left unchanged it goes weeks without an unlock. The green light is the best diagnosis tool! Here are a few things to try: reboot the REX, that will many times 'fix' it. A PC reboot next if it greenie still doesn't light up. Then try a power on/ off of the RuR. This will reboot the F-1. That'll fix 99% of any issues. Bottom line no greenie no music.



I think I'm beginning to agree with you that the iPur2 may not be the issue. Oddly, the F-1 has become very finicky about connecting with any USB B plug that is plugged into it. It takes a lot of jiggling of the plug before the F-1's power light turns blue to show the F-1 has power and also the data light. All the other devices in the chain before the F-1 (including the iDefender and the DC Pur that I have between the LPS and the RuR and even the iPur2 if I put it in the chain) light up to show that they have power, so power is flowing at least to them.

Still though. when I do get the F-1 lit up and working, if the iPur2 is in the chain then the iPur2 can only get the blue power light on and then the green data light may come on for just a second or so but that's it. It seems to me too much of a coincidence that the F-1 started having connection issues and the iPur2 stopped being able to conduct data at the same time.

Maybe there's a loose connection in the F-1. I have an F-1 that came with a shell and that I bought as a complete box from Kitsune, maybe I should contact them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:03 pm 
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quote="Mr Underhill"
Quote:
The isolator:

http://www.jensen-transformers.com/product/pb-2xx/

Will go between the F1 and DAC.
Well that should be interesting. Note that unlike for USB the F-1 has excellent SPDIF galvanic isolation

Quote:
WRT mains, I have a watch on eBay for the Swenson recommended AC isolator .........BUT, I think I have pretty much reached the end of this for me. Things are sounding great. Over the last week I have not been surfing whilst listening to music - just listening.

I did do a comparison of my sources, that I found interesting (Posted on SBAF):

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Border Patrol DAC

In a post above it was posited that my enthusiasm for this DAC may be that of an ingénue. Whilst my thoughts may have been due to a first flush enthusiasm I thought I would post a brief follow up. I did think that my positive comments about the Yggdrasil were not met in a similar way, but hay hoe.

I did enjoy the comment above that the 1543 chip is only good for 13/14 bits of resolution. I have heard similar things said about vinyl. A few weeks ago I was listening to a Naim/Focal system using the Statement amps. The source for most of the evening was the Naim NDS and, while I prefer my own system, it was doing things I found interesting. However, it was when the source was changed to vinyl that the whole thing really came to life, that turntable was a tangerined Stiletto LP12 (http://tangerineaudio.com/). Am I claiming that the BP DAC is up to this, I suspect not - but I will be finding out in the coming months.

A friend popped over yesterday. He agreed that my digital had never sounded better. I played him the Roger Waters live version of The Wall. After a track he asked me if it was an LP or CD rip .....it was Qobuz!

I thought I would do some comparative listening, my sources being played through my Raspberry Pi 3, powered by an R-Core LPSU running piCorePlayer: just LMS.

Sources:
U: StartTech USB extender + USB sticks.
Q: Qobuz.

Quality:

9624 LP rip
16/44.1 CD Rip
16/44.1 Q

Note: Although Qobuz states their files are CD quality they are never reported by LMS as 1411kbps, normally 800 - 1200 range.

My bias would be that U > Q and 9624 > 1644.

In the event, things were less straightforward:

10cc
Best Of - The Early Years vs 10 cc (former album not on Q)
Rubber Bullets
4416 vs 4416
U vs Q
Winner: Q

Alison Moyet - Alf
Love Resurrection
U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 (2011 Remastered)
U - by a mile
LP can be slightly sharp - cymbals
CD very sharp consistently

Duran Duran - Rio
Rio
U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 (2009 Remastered)
Q - More detailed and dynamic.

Jeff Beck - Wired
Led Boots
U vs Q
9624 vs 4416
Q - More detailed and dynamic.

Jethro Tull - North Sea Oil
Not on Q

Jethro Tull - Bursting Out
No Lullaby
U vs U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 vs 4416
U 9624 - Tonally better.
U 4416 > Q 4416

Tears for Fears - The Seeds of Love
Woman In Chains
U vs U vs Q
9624 vs 4416 vs 4416
U 9624 = U 4416 (detail different but equally excellent)

Conclusion
I am very happy with the Border Patrol DAC. It really has allowed my system to sing. I fully accept that it is not technically superb, it IS musically excellent.

In terms of the which file source is best I THINK what i am hearing is telling me that the quality of the source files is king. For instance, my copy of 10cc Rubber Bullets is from a very early Best Of CD, the Qobuz version is from a 'proper' album; I suspect it is simply better, that is what I hear. Equally, my pressing of Duran Duran - Rio is not one of the best.

Most of my albums have been with me for MANY years. I have ripped approx 10% of my 3k LPs, but this is a time consuming process. I left Jethro Tull's North Sea Oil in the list above to highlight an issue, this is one of my favourite Tull albums, but it is NOT on Qobuz.

Tears for Fears - The Seeds of Love is a superb album. I have an excellent vinyl and CD copy. Comparing these with Qobuz left the latter in the shade, but only slightly.

I will state that the StarTech/USB solution is easily & demonstrably better than using my Synology NAS, also running LMS.

I am VERY impressed with the quality of music i am now streaming. Although I do enjoy my LP12/Aro/Geddon would I go down this route today? I will be getting together with some friends to do some listening with my system, before heading over to repeat the exercise, but with a friend's Stilletoed LP12.
Great post! Thanks for sharing here.

The LP12 is a very sweet table once moded. What cart is your friend running.

As I have posted my computer digital source today far eclipses my previous analog rig VPI SSMaster Sig/Dynavector XV1S/Benz Ebony LP/CJ NOS tubed Phono Pre.

I did digitalize the entire LP collection at 176k 32bit float. And these have always surpassed my EAC Redbook burns. Not anymore - the Redbook (upsampled in Foobar to 96k with SoX) now surpass these archive WAV files by a good measure. Something I thought impossible before. Just as liquid and richly tonal, but now another octave of bass - better defined at that. And the detail retrieval and transparency emerging from an ink black background is now readily far superior.

So nothing lost and so much gained.

Cheers


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