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UK forumers - interconnects, dacs, etc.

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Has anyone in the UK so far gone down the Lynx - DAC route with some of the mentioned equipment i.e Weiss Minerva/Dac 2 (Anyone heard a difference ?? ), Bel Canto, Wavelength, Berkeley,Sonic Studio or others of audiophile quality.


What cable are you using in between Lynx - Dac......Did you source it/ have it made up in the UK ??


Do You use P/C's or Macs with tweaked systems for Audio only use, seems like there is more tweaking to be done with P/C's than MAC's ( http://www.moozek.com/2008/08/21/definite-guide-to-windows-xp-tweaking-for-audio/ )


As far as I know no equivalent site to equal Chris's fantastic site is available for UK Computer Audiophiles !!


Very difficult to evaluate " state of the art equipment" that is not available over here !!


Seems very difficult for one person such as Chris to take all this on, many things to evaluate and he has time to answer questions as well !! Your doing a Sterling job !


Maybe UK/ Euro members could comment on above questions when you have time, I am sure we could move the knowledge base on some.


Regards Barry


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Seems to me there's quite a good UK contingent here without there being any need for a UK-specific forum.


Even if some the US stuff was available, it's hard to find computer DACs in traditional hi-fi shops. Some of them are only just catching up with the idea of networked music, for goodness sake. Studio equipment suppliers may be a better bet.


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The M-Audio Transit is surprisingly good for £50 and harder to beat than you might expect and the Edirol UA25 (£135 ish) even better. Both are available in the UK from Dolphin Music and neither cost as much as the hi fi equivalents because they come from much larger companies who achieve economies of scale.


I think it will be a long time before UK hi fi shops accept that relatively inexpensive computers are more useful than Hi end music only servers at stratospheric prices. Margins might be a factor.


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Don't know if my phrasing came across wrong, but the interest was not in a UK forum but what equipment people use in the UK/Europe as opposed to the US lads. If people had gone down the mac/pc -lynx route what cable was being used to connect equipment. Could you hear a difference between Lynx cable and say Van den hul, Chord etc. Have people had the opportunity to hear different Dacs to compare, where in The UK can someone go to hear different equipment associated with computer fronted systems.

Regards Barry


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Now I get you. Can't really help. My audio is Mac based because that's been my working computer of choice for 20 years, though I'd still go that route if starting again. I'm not a great believer in cable differences, not being able to detect much difference between competently designed analogue cables connecting competently designed equipment (I can imagine it might make a difference if any part of the chain was badly designed though). And the only listening I've done apart from my own set up was to ADM9.1s and the Edirol that Ashley mentioned. Both sounded excellent. The Edirol was being used by someone who records live music and transcribes tape and disk to a very high quality level, which is good enough for me.


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At this weekends HiFi Wigwam bash, at Melton Mowbary, 2 or 3 (I forget which!) systems were running the AT-Tunes SB+. ( http://www.at-view.co.uk/sb2.htm ) My impressions were of a smooth but detailed sound. The consistent thing across the various systems was of a little air, or sparkle, missing from the top end. YMMV of course and they did sound very good.


Esoterics were in evidence, (show-off's!!) as were a couple of Benchmarks, and a Beresford - at least that I can remember out of the many systems on show. The Esoteric was wonderful, the Beresfrod absolutely 'orrible and the Benchmark pretty neutral. All IMHO. of course, but if I had to choose I would listen to the Benchmark and the AT-Tunes again. I'd buy the Esoteric in a flash, but robbing banks is still frowned upon, I gather. ;)


Of the computer systems on show, all were laptops/netbooks - at least I didn't see a desktop based machine. PC/MAC split looked to be in favour of the PC. It has to be said, though, that the really high end boys were still using silver disc and black plastic spinners - albeit some pretty expensive ones! But, having said that, the computer guys were certainly up there with 'em, sound-wise.


So no, I didn't see anyone using a PC/Lynx combo and in the dac stakes, most were in the £500 - £1500 price bracket. I didn't see any of the kit reviewed on here, with the exception of the Benchmark. (It is worth noting that the second-hand market for Benchmarks, in the UK, is very healthy - there's a lot of them on the market. Make of that what you will!!)


I didn't see anyone at all with anything less, price -wise, than the Beresford.


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Some of this is not particularly good advice. A lot of this stuff may have been relevant for Win98/Win98SE when we were all struggling for every last ounce of performance but for modern processors, some of these settings will either have no effect at all or will be detrimental.




1. Set Processor scheduling to Background Services. - Do not do this. Windows knows best - let it do what it has been very well designed to do!


2. Set Memory usage to System cache - Do not do this. This setting is primarily for servers. Despite the fact that we may choose to call it a music 'server' - it is not a server in the sense that this setting refers to. It's only other relevant use is to assist programs that use large amounts of system ram but again, on modern computer hardware, Windows is perfectly designed to allocate ram where it is most needed. If you need it, and you've got it, Windows will let you have it!


3. Turn Off Hibernation - Why?


4. Disable System Restore - Why? Your hard-drives can cope - I promise!!


5. Configure the Swap File - Do not, ever, do this. Windows will try and ignore you and will crash the computer if it can't! The given method of calculating the size of the swap file is nonsense. This file is designed to change size dynamically and that size is completely unrelated to the amount of ram you have installed. It grows to accommodate the amount of ram you need for the programs you are running - a completely different thing! Again, on modern hardware, tinkering with this is pointless. If you keep running out of ram then you need more of it!


Disabling System Sounds is a good idea as is defragging your hard-drives/s.


The rest of it will most likely not do much harm but will not make your computer any better, either! The vast majority of services and programs can be safely disabled/uninstalled and this will have benefits in the power consumption department - less running = less heat = a quieter computer - but most of the tweaks mentioned will do little or nothing useful.


In my Not-So-Humble-Opinion.!!


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Edirol UA25 or FA-66 - fantastic reviews. Agree with Ash there.

My personal experience of all Roland products has been great - and their customer support was fantastic. Owned a Fantom X6 a while ago and had regular discussions with them.



HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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I agree the M-Audio Transit is a remarkable deal. I use a PPC mac mini, mounted in a remote (and inaudible) location, driving the Transit. I actually use the Transit's optical output into my QUAD CDP-2 to avoid any possibility of a ground loop, since the Mini is upstairs in the server cupboard & many earth wires away from the listening room. However, I have not detected any noticeable difference when A/B-ing the Transit line outputs.


On related topic, I'm using fixed CAT-5 wiring from the server cupboard to the listening room, with 'home-made' USB-RJ45 converter cables. This is right on the limit of the maximum length for a single USB cable, and sometimes the central heating can cause the link to be lost. In which case, I have to unplug the Transit & reconnect to get it working again, fortunately without rebooting the Mini. I've fitted ferrites over the cables at each end which made a significant improvement, but its still not perfect. I have now found and obtained a 4-port USB 1.1 extender/hub product which will work over long lengths of CAT-5. When I get a spare hour or two (!) I will try it out and report on it, as this could be useful for anyone wanting a seriously remote server and >16/48k output. I will also try moving myKeyspan iTunes remote receiver to the listening room end of the link as well. The RF signal doesn't go well through 130 year old brick walls, and with this remote, low RF signal levels make it very slow.






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BobH wrote:

the Beresfrod absolutely 'orrible


Got to totally disagree with BobH there. The Beresford was so good I had to buy one! :) It does need a fair amount of burn-in time to get the real deal from it but is well worth the time spent.


A lot of people here have mentioned the M-Audio Transit, which I also bought after reading the many recommendations made by Ashley James. Another fine purchase that is as near as dammit to my Beresford which cost twice the price. Both are fabulous DACs, that do all they need to do.


I must admit to butchering my Beresford with tubes, but hey, that's just the way I like it! ;)





Intel iMac + Beresford TC-7510 + Little Dot MK III + beyerdynamics DT 231 = Computer audiophile quality on the cheap! --- Samsung Q1 + M-Audio Transit + Sennheiser PX 100 = Computer audiophile quality on the go!

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It doesn't look like it's competing to me.

HDD Audio Competing with CA ?????????


It has a completely different approach and presentation, more like a repository of info and reviews, and has much more representation from the manufacturers.


Sadly this site has attracted too much of the 'esoteric expert' brigade, who in my opinion are often charlatans operating small businesses to profit from the insecurities and anxieties over sound quality issues, which newcomers to hifi often suffer from.


Chris, if you're not more careful this site will degenerate into a laughable irrelevance, caused by these types.


Don't be offended, but do give a bit of thought.


Regards, JCBrum.





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Is inevitable given the field is so young. But this site is off to a flying lead. It's got an excellent layout, a good mix of contributors and a pleasant, laid back atmosphere. Even the - ahem - enthusiastic discussions are usually well mannered. The high end contributions are entertaining and I don't take them too seriously. The site does have "audiophile" in the title, after all.


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Barry, whether you choose one of the small pro audio devices or something like the Beresford, I think the best advice here is give simple and inexpensive a shot before you dive in too deep. For every audiophile vendor selling a $4k DAC and a $500 USB cable there are dozens of pro recording engineers who don't think it makes much difference. Start with an inexpensive pro DAC and cable, compare it to your cdp, and see what you get. Season to taste.


Advice worth every penny you paid for it.




I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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