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Pierre of Mapleshade thinks it may be an inductance issue with the iUSB/Clearlink.

Speaker Room: Lumin U1 + X1 psu | Lampizator Golden Gate 2 | Viva Linea | Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks | FinkTeam Kim | Revel subs  

Office Headphone System: Lumin U2 mini | Lampizator Big 7 updated to GG 2 specs | Viva Egoista | Hifiman HE-1000SE/Audeze LCD-4z

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Pierre of Mapleshade thinks it may be an inductance issue with the iUSB/Clearlink.

 

Any indication whether he would consider modifying the Clearlink in response; whether there might be another fix on Mapleshade's end; or whether it's up to AMR to resolve as far as he's concerned?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I think that it would only make some real sense if the iUSB render using a good USB cable superfluous.

 

Or vice versa - I'm curious about whether a sufficiently good USB cable can render the iUSB superfluous by providing better sound without the iUSB in the chain.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Any indication whether he would consider modifying the Clearlink in response; whether there might be another fix on Mapleshade's end; or whether it's up to AMR to resolve as far as he's concerned?

 

 

Pierre did not suggest any modification to the Clearlink, but I did not ask about mods to the Clearlink. Pierre was frankly not sure about the issue and was openly wondering about the Clearlink's minimalist insulation, that might be causing an inductance issue. He did mention that one other Clearlink USB cable customer using the iUSB called with the same problem I reported.

 

So, perhaps I have a decision ahead- use the Clearlink and sell the iUSB, or keep the iUSB and go with another USB cable. I will figure that out over the next week. My Clearlink is at home going through its burn-in phase (my apologies to burn-in non-believers), getting it ready for the USB Shoot Out at OK Corral.

Speaker Room: Lumin U1 + X1 psu | Lampizator Golden Gate 2 | Viva Linea | Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks | FinkTeam Kim | Revel subs  

Office Headphone System: Lumin U2 mini | Lampizator Big 7 updated to GG 2 specs | Viva Egoista | Hifiman HE-1000SE/Audeze LCD-4z

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Hi Blake,

 

Like Jud mentionned, I have the same issue with my 2 Clearlinks and iUSB. And like you, the best combination I could come with was the Clearlink between my music PC and iUSB, and the iUSB provided cable between the iUSB and my USB to SPDIF Audiophilleo2... One of the 2 Clearlinks allow me to permute this (but not really practical for me), while with the second Clearlink it starts to play then I suddenly get a "white noise". Individually used, there are no issues.

 

I normally prefer to be minimal with the path of a signal, but since the Audiophilleo gets its power from the PC through USB, it seemed a good idea to try the iUSB, this replacing an Aqvox. I prefer the iUSB, but for that specific purpose, I prefer the Aqvox principle since it does not require 2 cables... I am thinking about something that could allow my to connect directly between the iUSB and Audiophilleo (will need some kind of physical support not to put too much tension on the connections)...

 

OT: I mentionned to Jud that I would ask Pierre of Mapleshade if they intend to have a "Y" cable ? The Clearlink SQ is very good. Still under "evolution" (breaking in) :)

 

Alain

Alain

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I'm also breaking my Clearlink in atm. Playing music almost 10h a day. Let's see if my experience matches Jud's.

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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You could burn it in twice as fast by setting your player on shuffle with all your music, amp off and volume on preamp all the way down, stopping the process every so often to listen.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Hi Blake,

 

Like Jud mentionned, I have the same issue with my 2 Clearlinks and iUSB. And like you, the best combination I could come with was the Clearlink between my music PC and iUSB, and the iUSB provided cable between the iUSB and my USB to SPDIF Audiophilleo2... One of the 2 Clearlinks allow me to permute this (but not really practical for me), while with the second Clearlink it starts to play then I suddenly get a "white noise". Individually used, there are no issues.

 

I normally prefer to be minimal with the path of a signal, but since the Audiophilleo gets its power from the PC through USB, it seemed a good idea to try the iUSB, this replacing an Aqvox. I prefer the iUSB, but for that specific purpose, I prefer the Aqvox principle since it does not require 2 cables... I am thinking about something that could allow my to connect directly between the iUSB and Audiophilleo (will need some kind of physical support not to put too much tension on the connections)...

 

OT: I mentionned to Jud that I would ask Pierre of Mapleshade if they intend to have a "Y" cable ? The Clearlink SQ is very good. Still under "evolution" (breaking in) :)

 

Alain

 

Hi, Alain. I understand about the AP using bus power, but I would be curious to see whether the iUSB or fewer boxes and one (Clearlink) USB cable give better sound in reality.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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You could burn it in twice as fast by setting your player on shuffle with all your music, amp off and volume on preamp all the way down, stopping the process every so often to listen.

I thought about this, but would the preamp have to be on in order for it to work? I have a beefy and rather power hungry integrated and it will up my energy bill by quite a bit if I leave it on the whole time, even if the volume is all down. It's great in stand-by mode, though. I still might do it, though :D

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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Hi, Alain. I understand about the AP using bus power, but I would be curious to see whether the iUSB or fewer boxes and one (Clearlink) USB cable give better sound in reality.

 

Hi Jud, I will do and report. Actually my setup if quite limiting depending on the length of the cable. I was using a 6 feet USB cable before and since the Clearlink is half the length... My music PC case has all the connections on top of the case and the case is located on top of my rack (for lack of better placement, something I intend to fix). So actually it requires either a longer cable, or a combination like the iUSB and its provided short USB cable.

 

By the way, Pierre (of Mapleshade) confirmed about the inductance issue. He also added that the Clearlink and the iUSB are not compatible - well, not between the iUSB and the DAC (no problem between the PC and the iUSB with any of the 2 Clearlink).

 

I should mention that the 6 feet cable has the same issue when used between the iUSB and the converter (Audiophilleo2).

 

Another question I asked was the optimal length of a USB cable. 3 persons told me 3 different things...

a) USB cable should be longer since it could have reflections ?

b) 3 feet are optimal

c) USB cable do not require to have a specific length, so the shorter the better...

 

?

 

Finally, Pierre added that they intend to have a USB cable with the hot power lead removed for devices not requiring the USB power. They do not intend to have a "Y" cable.

 

Alain

Alain

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I thought about this, but would the preamp have to be on in order for it to work? I have a beefy and rather power hungry integrated and it will up my energy bill by quite a bit if I leave it on the whole time, even if the volume is all down. It's great in stand-by mode, though. I still might do it, though :D

 

Just the DAC would need to be on. I was thinking about the way I have things running for burn-in, rather than the minimum setup that would work. I have separates and always leave the preamp on. Nothing in particular regarding the sound, I'm just absent-minded enough that if I turned on the amp and no sound came out, I might panic and think something was really wrong for a moment or two. So I spare myself the angina.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Just the DAC would need to be on. I was thinking about the way I have things running for burn-in, rather than the minimum setup that would work. I have separates and always leave the preamp on. Nothing in particular regarding the sound, I'm just absent-minded enough that if I turned on the amp and no sound came out, I might panic and think something was really wrong for a moment or two. So I spare myself the angina.

great! I had assumed that this would be the case so tonight I already left it playing during the whole night. burn-in processo should take around 9 days then.

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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Hi, Alain. I understand about the AP using bus power, but I would be curious to see whether the iUSB or fewer boxes and one (Clearlink) USB cable give better sound in reality.

 

Hi Jud,

 

I did the test. Not as good as with the Aqvox or the iUSB. Was I expecting this result - yes, but there seems to be a small veil over the sound (like being slightly out of focus). This has nothing to do with the Clearlink, since it does the same with any other cable I tried before.

 

Alain

Alain

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Am presently auditioning Elija Audio, Isolator cables, one copper and one silver in my system.

 

These are 10cm braided cables in which the live has been removed (the JKDAC32 is a battery powered DAC).

 

I have had the copper cable on burn-in for the last 10 hours and I'm already very impressed with the smooth but detailed sound quality in the system. It's a distinct improvement on the direct connection - easier to live with and less fatiguing.

Mark.

Main: Roon->Auralic Polaris ->Chord Silver Carnival ->Martin Logan EM-ESL

Office: Roon->iMac 2017->Auralic Aries Mini->Chord Mojo->PS Audio Sprout->Harbeth P3ESR or Stax SR-L500

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Am presently auditioning Elija Audio, Isolator cables, one copper and one silver in my system.

 

These are 10cm braided cables in which the live has been removed (the JKDAC32 is a battery powered DAC).

 

I have had the copper cable on burn-in for the last 10 hours and I'm already very impressed with the smooth but detailed sound quality in the system. It's a distinct improvement on the direct connection - easier to live with and less fatiguing.

Mark.

It's a pity that I can't use it, since I need the live for handshaking between SB Touch and DAC.

What cable were you using before?

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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It's a pity that I can't use it, since I need the live for handshaking between SB Touch and DAC.

What cable were you using before?

 

First cable was a Chord USB silver plus (75cm) - a lot better than generic printer cable but in retrospect lacking in clarity and dynamics.

 

Then used a direct connection using a pair of USB adapters al la: https://sites.google.com/site/hifacemods/home-1/announcements/improvingusb Very clear, improved soundstage and separation of instruments, better bass reproduction. But a bit tiring - too revealing in my system and a bit harsh on certain recordings. Also the setup is tight for space, no real room for adjustment or gap between mac and dac which could lead to rf interference.

 

The Elija is the best sound quality so far - retains clarity, separation, soundstage, better bass and overall sound is more fluid and smooth. The copper cable is still in burn-in (50 hours recommended) and I'll have a more critical listen then. Also, have the silver version which I'll trial next week.

 

BTW, Michael of Elija Audio offered a great service - he sent both cables on trust for audition plus a 60 day no quibble return policy. John Kenny (JKDAC32) also offers a no quibble return policy. I have had great service from small manufacturers in the last year - the offer good value for money, great support from the very person that built the equipment and a personal touch which you cannot get or expect from large companies. Kudos to the little guy.

 

Mark

Main: Roon->Auralic Polaris ->Chord Silver Carnival ->Martin Logan EM-ESL

Office: Roon->iMac 2017->Auralic Aries Mini->Chord Mojo->PS Audio Sprout->Harbeth P3ESR or Stax SR-L500

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BTW, Michael of Elija Audio offered a great service - he sent both cables on trust for audition plus a 60 day no quibble return policy. John Kenny (JKDAC32) also offers a no quibble return policy. I have had great service from small manufacturers in the last year - the offer good value for money, great support from the very person that built the equipment and a personal touch which you cannot get or expect from large companies. Kudos to the little guy.

 

Mark

 

As customers with some fairly particular requirements we can be pretty vulnerable in the age of web commerce, so to know there are people out there like this is reassuring.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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First cable was a Chord USB silver plus (75cm) - a lot better than generic printer cable but in retrospect lacking in clarity and dynamics.

 

Then used a direct connection using a pair of USB adapters al la: https://sites.google.com/site/hifacemods/home-1/announcements/improvingusb Very clear, improved soundstage and separation of instruments, better bass reproduction. But a bit tiring - too revealing in my system and a bit harsh on certain recordings. Also the setup is tight for space, no real room for adjustment or gap between mac and dac which could lead to rf interference.

 

The Elija is the best sound quality so far - retains clarity, separation, soundstage, better bass and overall sound is more fluid and smooth. The copper cable is still in burn-in (50 hours recommended) and I'll have a more critical listen then. Also, have the silver version which I'll trial next week.

 

BTW, Michael of Elija Audio offered a great service - he sent both cables on trust for audition plus a 60 day no quibble return policy. John Kenny (JKDAC32) also offers a no quibble return policy. I have had great service from small manufacturers in the last year - the offer good value for money, great support from the very person that built the equipment and a personal touch which you cannot get or expect from large companies. Kudos to the little guy.

 

Mark

Mark,

I remember reading JKenny's thread quite a few years ago on head-fi when he started modding the hiFace. He had a great following at that time. By the way you describe it he's still at it. Great to know.

I believe that my burn-in period is almost over, but have not had any time to stop to give it a listen. Will try to do it this weekend or the beginning of next week.

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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today I sat down for about an hour in order to get an idea of how the Mapleshade is doing. I only listened to a few tracks and compared them to the Axis.

here the second impressions:

  • mids and highs are still very clear and sound natural and organized, especially in the mids
  • LFs are a little better, but still suffer from a certain lack of definition
  • Axis' upper mids sound a little too forward compared to the Mapleshade giving it a slight brilliance that is a little fatiguing
  • upper highs for the Axis are more extended and refined, resulting in better ambience and decay
  • Mapleshade lacks some 'meat on bones' compared to the Axis

putting this into perspective: the Mapleshade clearly has better mids, but that was the Axis' achilles heel anyway compared to the other cables I tested previously. the fact that both are on fairly the same level regarding HFs makes a good case for the Mapleshade. OTOH I'm not sure that the LFs are going to get significantly better and the Axis wasn't the strongest contender in that regard compared anyway.

The result is a very natural, clear and clean sound, which continues to let me listen to details I hadn't heard before and that let's me look deep into the recording and the music. It still lacks some body and weight, especially texture, timbre and definition in the LFs. I probably have some 150 hours on the Mapleshade, so I'll give it another 50, but I'm not sure that things will change much. Fact is that it is an incredible cable at this price. I wouldn't even bother comparing it to the Coffee. Would be interesting to do a direct comparison to the other cables I auditioned. For now I'll wait for the last hours.

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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........ I have had great service from small manufacturers in the last year - the offer good value for money, great support from the very person that built the equipment and a personal touch which you cannot get or expect from large companies. Kudos to the little guy.

Mark

 

Seconded here too. I recently had superb service from Vinnie Rossi of Red Wine Audio and Ray Samuels of RS Audio when I was selecting my headphone amp and also from David Salz at Wireworld when selecting cables. First Class people and products.

2012 8Gb MacMini ML OS & Lacie FW Ext. Drive->OS Mountain Lion 10.8.4->Audirvana 1.4.9.7 Beta->Wireworld Electra 2 Power Cords / WireWorld Platinum Starlight USB cable->Resonessence Invicta DAC V5 Firmware->VeraStarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR Interconnects-> Ray Samuels Dark Star HPA-> Audeze LCD-2 Rev 2 & LCD-3s with ALO Reference 8 or Ref 16 Cables.

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Ray's a great guy, enjoyed meeting him and spending time talking with him. He make great products. He's working on a new DAC but it won't see the light of day until he's satisfied it's top notch.

 

Seconded here too. I recently had superb service from Vinnie Rossi of Red Wine Audio and Ray Samuels of RS Audio when I was selecting my headphone amp and also from David Salz at Wireworld when selecting cables. First Class people and products.

HD-PLEX LPS > SLK (Chinese) DC Power Cable > Mac Mini 2012 (Uptone MMK / SnakeOil OS) > LPS-1 > UpTone ISO Regen > USPCB > Chord Mojo > WireWorld Nano-Silver Eclipse > AudioEngine A2+

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today I sat down for about an hour in order to get an idea of how the Mapleshade is doing. I only listened to a few tracks and compared them to the Axis.

here the second impressions:

  • mids and highs are still very clear and sound natural and organized, especially in the mids
  • LFs are a little better, but still suffer from a certain lack of definition
  • Axis' upper mids sound a little too forward compared to the Mapleshade giving it a slight brilliance that is a little fatiguing
  • upper highs for the Axis are more extended and refined, resulting in better ambience and decay
  • Mapleshade lacks some 'meat on bones' compared to the Axis

putting this into perspective: the Mapleshade clearly has better mids, but that was the Axis' achilles heel anyway compared to the other cables I tested previously. the fact that both are on fairly the same level regarding HFs makes a good case for the Mapleshade. OTOH I'm not sure that the LFs are going to get significantly better and the Axis wasn't the strongest contender in that regard compared anyway.

The result is a very natural, clear and clean sound, which continues to let me listen to details I hadn't heard before and that let's me look deep into the recording and the music. It still lacks some body and weight, especially texture, timbre and definition in the LFs. I probably have some 150 hours on the Mapleshade, so I'll give it another 50, but I'm not sure that things will change much. Fact is that it is an incredible cable at this price. I wouldn't even bother comparing it to the Coffee. Would be interesting to do a direct comparison to the other cables I auditioned. For now I'll wait for the last hours.

 

reverendo, appreciate the care you've taken in listening and writing your impressions. I haven't heard the Axis, but your thoughts on the Clearlink track mine pretty closely. I know I mentioned this earlier in the thread, but thought I would do so again in a little more detail: The Mapleshade power cord and power strip helped the bass response in my system. When I mentioned Clearlink's reticence in the bass early in my listening to Pierre, he responded that it wasn't all due to lack of break-in; the power cord and strip would help. He was (as he often tends to be) quite right. Particularly regarding the "lack of definition" you mention, I wrote Pierre a tongue-in-cheek email after installing the cord and strip in which I said "Huh, so the bass actually plays notes instead of just rumbling along underneath everything. Who knew?"

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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One other thing, reverendo, after looking at your sig: Before the Mapleshade cord and strip, I was using a Z-Cord and Z-Strip (the latter from the first iteration of the Z-Series, and having some of the functions of your Z Duplex). Pierre said he felt the Z-stuff went too far in filtering, to the point that not only the noise, but some of the life was removed from the music. So I substituted the Mapleshade cord and strip for the MIT in the computer audio part of my system, and the results were very positive.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Thanks for posting the updated feedback Reverendo.

Speaker Room: Lumin U1 + X1 psu | Lampizator Golden Gate 2 | Viva Linea | Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks | FinkTeam Kim | Revel subs  

Office Headphone System: Lumin U2 mini | Lampizator Big 7 updated to GG 2 specs | Viva Egoista | Hifiman HE-1000SE/Audeze LCD-4z

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