Jump to content
IGNORED

Advice For My New System


Recommended Posts

Hi,

I'm waiting for my new HIFi set up to arrive & I would like some advice from you experienced computer audiophiles.

I ordered a NU PRIME IDA-16 integrated amp with 384k & DSD decoding / 200 watts rms per side. (Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine)

Along with a pair of Gallo Reference Strada 2 speakers with a Gallo TRD2 bass speaker.

That's all I have coming so far.

Can I use my IMAC as the "head" unit?

What about wires to hook everything up? (amp to IMAC to speakers)

How much does all of this other stuff matter?

It's all going in my small office. Maybe desktop style.

I live in West Hollywood California.

What else do I need and what will it do?

TTF (To The Future)

Marc Fogel

Link to comment

Welcome to the forum.

 

You need an audio-quality USB cable of sufficient length that's capable of transmitting maximum bandwith to connect your iMac to the DAC/amp.

 

Unless you are storing your music files on the internal HD, you need an external drive and connecting cable that does not share the USB bus, i.e., Thunderbolt or FireWire, depending on your iMac's connectivity.

 

You need speaker cables, obviously. You don't need to spend a lot of money here. Heavier-gauge wire is more important than the brand-name. Here is a good place to look:

 

Speaker Cable at Blue Jeans Cable

 

You should purchase music player software that is capable of upsampling your music files to the maximum resolution that your DAC can process, and more importantly, can bypass most the computer's background processes, and switch resolutions and file formats automatically. I recommend Audirvana Plus ($74). You can download a free trial here:

 

Get Audirvana Plus | Audirvana

 

Good luck!

Link to comment

Hi W, (what's your real name)

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.

If & when you have the time could you please answer a few more questions for me?

I like to do things correctly & you need knowledge in order to accomplish that goal.

A. How do I find out what the maximum bandwidth is so that I get the best cables for the job?

 

B. Up till now I mostly listen to Pandora or Spotify "BUT" I'm ready to start building a moderate sized music library.

 

C. Whats the negative of using my IMAC hard drive?

Mine is mostly empty plus I just installed a solid state drive into it.

Does it not sound as good??

Taking that into consideration what would you do?

 

D. I will follow your advice. Please be specific with brands and models.

 

E. I'll use Blue Jean Cable but is there a brand/model number that you recommend for me?

 

If you could send me your address I want to send you a gift for your help.

 

Over & Out

Marc

marc5656atgmail.com

Link to comment
Hi W, (what's your real name)

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.

If & when you have the time could you please answer a few more questions for me?

I like to do things correctly & you need knowledge in order to accomplish that goal.

A. How do I find out what the maximum bandwidth is so that I get the best cables for the job?

 

B. Up till now I mostly listen to Pandora or Spotify "BUT" I'm ready to start building a moderate sized music library.

 

C. Whats the negative of using my IMAC hard drive?

Mine is mostly empty plus I just installed a solid state drive into it.

Does it not sound as good??

Taking that into consideration what would you do?

 

D. I will follow your advice. Please be specific with brands and models.

 

E. I'll use Blue Jean Cable but is there a brand/model number that you recommend for me?

 

If you could send me your address I want to send you a gift for your help.

 

Over & Out

Marc

marc5656atgmail.com

 

My real name is Mike Krueger. No relation to Freddie.

Thanks for the offer, but a gift is not appropriate--the exchange of information here is free. Please participate in the forum as much as you would like. There are some really smart people here, and a lot to learn.

 

The maximum bandwidth of your DAC is 384kHz + DSD which is state-of-the-art...congrats on that.

 

You could start with something as cheap as a Belden Gold USB 2.0, or spend a bit more for an AudioQuest Forest. The sky's the limit after that, but price/value of digital cables is a controversial subject around here (to say the least!)

 

Internal hard drive is perfectly fine if you have the space, but you will quickly fill it up. A CD album rip at "redbook" (native resolution) is 500mb or more. High resolution files are much larger. One 24/96 album is twice that, nearly a gigabyte.

 

Blue Jeans sells generic Belden speaker cable. 12AWG is appropriate for a typical loudspeaker. Another great source for affordable cables is:

Douglas Connection DIY Cables and connectors for Audio and Home Theater

 

I use the Furez speaker cable. This one is good:

Furez 12 AWG 2 Conductor Speaker Cable Raw

 

 

Link to comment

Sounds like you took the red pill Marc : )

 

I've little doubt you can fantastic sound with that set up.

 

I use the first generation Stradas with sub. There are a few thread on the Stradas you could check out. You may have to play around with the sub a little.

 

I would second Mike's suggestion to try Audirvana.... and download a few free DSD samples ; )

 

Any printer cable should let you play high resolution material. But as many of the threads here attest, different cables can yield different results. If you are able to borrow cables, I encourage you to explore options as much as you can before buying anything... if possible.

 

Hard Drives

Others will have better solutions, but I've been pretty happy with Samsung F2 and F4 drives. When used in fanless cases, they make little noise. If you don't have a back up already, I'd make sure you factor that into your budget.

 

It's a big world of ideas out there. Easy to get bamboozled. But all you really need is a printer cable and some speaker cables to get started. More money and time tweaking may well yield a more satisfying sound... but you can always play around as you go : )

TF cards (LPSon  usb hub) -> GentooPlayer in RAM on mini fanless/supercap NUC -> Audio GD R-27 -> S.A.T. Infinity monoblocks -> Gallo Stradas + TR-3 sub Hifiman HE560

Link to comment

Bingo! Just hook it up. Belden Gold USB and some Canare star quad speaker cable if you are feeling spendy. There is always time experiment if you care to.

I've little doubt you can fantastic sound with that set up.

 

It's a big world of ideas out there. Easy to get bamboozled. But all you really need is a printer cable and some speaker cables to get started. More money and time tweaking may well yield a more satisfying sound... but you can always play around as you go : )

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment

My audionovosa has become much a part of who I am, I'm not sure I can imagine life without it :-|

 

The joys of tinkering can indeed be very addictive. The cheap thrills of making your own cables is perhaps the crack of the audio world.

 

I've posted some of my obsessive-compulsive experimentation on some recent Gallo Strada/sub threads. My page has some more ... Feel free to ask anything specific.

 

You no doubt know, but breaking in the Stradas took me forever (well over 150hrs?)... and it was torture. They're awful straight out of the box. So hang in there - they'll come good.. and if not, play with them :-)

TF cards (LPSon  usb hub) -> GentooPlayer in RAM on mini fanless/supercap NUC -> Audio GD R-27 -> S.A.T. Infinity monoblocks -> Gallo Stradas + TR-3 sub Hifiman HE560

Link to comment
My audionovosa has become much a part of who I am, I'm not sure I can imagine life without it :-|

 

The joys of tinkering can indeed be very addictive. The cheap thrills of making your own cables is perhaps the crack of the audio world.

 

I've posted some of my obsessive-compulsive experimentation on some recent Gallo Strada/sub threads. My page has some more ... Feel free to ask anything specific.

 

You no doubt know, but breaking in the Stradas took me forever (well over 150hrs?)... and it was torture. They're awful straight out of the box. So hang in there - they'll come good.. and if not, play with them :-)[/QU

The first reply told me I took the "red pill" now you're mentioning "audio crack" now I'm positive I've joined "AA".

Audioholics Anonymous

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

The Gallos are here the NU PRIME IDA 16 arrives on Monday so then the fun begins.

Thanks again for reminding about the break in period.

I guess that's akin to REHAB for people in the other AA.

Link to comment

Have fun on Monday :-)

Don't eat all the happy pills at once - save some for later. You'll need them in the next few weeks while your toys find their feet. :-)

TF cards (LPSon  usb hub) -> GentooPlayer in RAM on mini fanless/supercap NUC -> Audio GD R-27 -> S.A.T. Infinity monoblocks -> Gallo Stradas + TR-3 sub Hifiman HE560

Link to comment
My audionovosa has become much a part of who I am, I'm not sure I can imagine life without it :-|

 

The joys of tinkering can indeed be very addictive. The cheap thrills of making your own cables is perhaps the crack of the audio world.

 

I've posted some of my obsessive-compulsive experimentation on some recent Gallo Strada/sub threads. My page has some more ... Feel free to ask anything specific.

 

You no doubt know, but breaking in the Stradas took me forever (well over 150hrs?)... and it was torture. They're awful straight out of the box. So hang in there - they'll come good.. and if not, play with them :-)

What exactly is audionovosa?

Link to comment

Nu Prime as in NuForce? Go the source.

 

https://www.nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&layout=category&task=category&id=53&Itemid=2362

 

I love this site and I learn something every time I'm hear and I must apologize in advance. Don't get all side tracked with delicate audio suggestions from the new school digital community.

 

Even though you're using switching amplification your back end is essentially old school analog. With a clean 20 amp circuit and a good analog source your amp is capable of producing a wide, deep, and congestion free, presentation.

 

I was using NuForce version three 9se's with their cables for years in an analog only system. Cabling switching amplifiers is a whole other challenge which is just one of the reasons so many have an unusual impression of class D amplifiers. Typically silver anything is a horrible combination

 

I've gone back to tubes and Cardas Golden Ref but I still have a pair of Hypex switching mono's in the studio connected with NuForce cables. Those are some bright people over in Milpitas and they have big ears.

 

Let your gear run in for at least 500 hours without futsing around with it and you should be there.

 

 

Enjoy

Link to comment

Thanks Vic,

My dad had all of your albums.

MF

 

 

 

 

 

Nu Prime as in NuForce? Go the source.

 

 

 

 

https://www.nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&layout=category&task=category&id=53&Itemid=2362

 

I love this site and I learn something every time I'm hear and I must apologize in advance. Don't get all side tracked with delicate audio suggestions from the new school digital community.

 

Even though you're using switching amplification your back end is essentially old school analog. With a clean 20 amp circuit and a good analog source your amp is capable of producing a wide, deep, and congestion free, presentation.

 

I was using NuForce version three 9se's with their cables for years in an analog only system. Cabling switching amplifiers is a whole other challenge which is just one of the reasons so many have an unusual impression of class D amplifiers. Typically silver anything is a horrible combination

 

I've gone back to tubes and Cardas Golden Ref but I still have a pair of Hypex switching mono's in the studio connected with NuForce cables. Those are some bright people over in Milpitas and they have big ears.

 

Let your gear run in for at least 500 hours without futsing around with it and you should be there.

 

 

Enjoy

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

The IDA16 will play pretty much everything you are talking about. Your computer is the source and depending on what bit rate and sample rate, the IDA16 will adapt to it. If you have a Mac, for playing download files (AIFF, DSD, ALAC, AAC, MP3, etc.) you can go with any number of player software that will sound better than just using iTunes. You just use iTunes as the Library and then you run a player on top of that.

 

The players on the market are

Amarra (they have several different versions from cheap to expensive), they also have Amarra sQ for use with internet radios.

PureMusic

Audirvana

Fidelia

Decibel

Bit Perfect (integrates with iTunes where it's just more in the background)

 

Some of these will support DSD and some don't. Some support FLAC files, some you just get an app like xACT which you can convert FLAC to AIFF or whatever you want.

 

I personally don't like the sound of Pandora, Spotify and I rarely use them on my system. You can play around with Amarra sQ which is supposed to work with various players.

 

Most of these s/w products you can get free evaluation downloads to play around with. Some are easier to use, less easier to use, but with more functionality. You kind of have to spend some time playing around with them. I personally switch between Amarra, PureMusic and Audirvana. Some simply sound better with different music. Some have features that I like. If you like older recordings played in mono vs stereo, you might want to check out PureMusic.

 

As far as cables? I'm an MIT Cable fan for over 20 years and that's my preference. They cost more than cables mentioned by others, but that's something I can't tell you what to buy because the listener has to be the ultimate decision maker, but I would recommend at least borrowing some demo cables (it doesn't matter if they are the least expensive or most expensive, start with the least expensive first) and see if it makes a difference in your system with the music you listen to.

 

As far as what you think is "crazy expensive". That's kind of elusive. So, if you can actually put a $ amount, that would certainly help.

 

Also, you can spend money on room treatment if you have room issues (most of us have that) to get rid of flutter echo, low frequency issues, reflection issues, etc. I would also recommend looking into that as well. I always think that if one has the money and ability to put room treatment, that can sometimes make the biggest improvement in sound quality.

System consists of Late 2012 iMac, i5, 1TB Fusion drive, 16GB RAM, Drobo Mini w/4-256GB SSD, MIT StyleLink USB Plus, MIT CVT Terminator 1 Bi-Wire, Totem Mani-2 Signature, Bel Canto C5i. I go back and forth between Pure Music, Audirvana, Bit Perfect, Amarra as they all have features I like. I like to mix it up from time to time. :-)

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...