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I think you guys should avoid using Lynx AES for transport


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I know some people may prefer Lynx AES16e+Alpha DAC over Weiss Minerva but let's see what they do. Lynx AES16e converts data from computer to digital output acted like transport machine. Alpha DAC is just genuine DAC. What surprised me is I actually see people raving for normal DAC as computer-based stuff while Minerva owns computer to digital sound conversion part with its own audio interface. Maybe AES16e is convenient and not too pricy but well, that's not how audiophile shall seek IMHO if you want something that can replace hiend CD transport.

 

Here's my take. I tested digital output from Minerva and found it works as great as how CD transport should be. I own Linn Genki with Superclock, separeated Phython power supply and full modifications including blackgate and oscon caps for best sonic level. It wouldn't be wise to call mid-end equipment with modification to be hiend one but I don't feel like this one falls far behind hiend transport like Esoteric P-05. I feel Minerva's transport is as good as that, not with the DAC part for testing though.

 

Back to Lynx, I tested with my friend's Mac Pro and oh well, feeding digital signal to my DAC using Nordost Valhalla cable.....I don't feel like listening to hiend system at all. It sounds better than traditional usb input but comparing to my CD transport or Minerva's transport, it falls behind and I don't think I can recommend Lynx AES16 to hiend audiophiles who seek hiend sound using PC as source.

 

I know this sounds a bit too bashy for Lynx but let's just admit this is studio product using smd components and small pins to wrap up AES/BTU connectors. Since it's impossible to make very clean power supply like most hiend gears can in PC, we should avoid the conversion part as much as possible. Using internal conversion to digital with supply in PC will just destory fidelity you can gain from most hiend source.

 

The very least I can come up for solution is to use external supply during the conversion to digital signal and that comes to audio interface. Weiss Vesta/Minerva is just one of this category. It uses DICE II chipset with JetPLL and clean terloid power supply for acceptable hiend digital sound. Well, up to this moment, I think Weiss Vesta/Minerva/DAC2/AFi1 is the least acceptable hiend source to feed to hiend DAC. If you have more budget, you may try Prismsound Orpheus which I heard it has even better conversion than Fireface and very nice DAC part that can rebels tons of hiend DACs in the market.

 

As for me who's not rich enoughy to afford Prismsound product, I ended up saling Minerva and buying Fireface 400 instead. Why? Because Fireface has superior firewire chipset. It has shortest routing to make hirez digital output with just 256 buffer size while DICE II based chipset like Minerva and Konnekt runs up to 3000. But normal Fireface 400 comes with switching power supply and steadyclock which is OK for studio grade but I don't think I can use this for hiend source. So, I bought Superclock 4 and its supply for clock modification, rebuild power supply for high audio grade ones, replace caps and opamp in equipment to better grade (though opamp isn't essential part for digital output but wouldn't hurt to do so). I think that's enough for my PC being transport.

 

P.S. If you owns Minerva, you'd better buying Siig firewire card and CrystalCable firewire cable. I tested all of them in cluding Sonnet but Siig wins badly and CrystalFire is the best up to sale firewire cable (Dunno about Siltech since it's gone by now).

 

Happy Emm Labs/Viola/Karan/Rockport audiophile

 

Fidelizer - Feel the real sound http://www.fidelizer-audio.com

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Hello - Thanks for the honest opinion even though I disagree with almost everything. I have a question for you.

 

You said:

"Back to Lynx, I tested with my friend's Mac Pro and oh well, feeding digital signal to my DAC using Nordost Valhalla cable"

 

Did you create a custom Lynx breakout cable using Nordost Valhalla? What cable was used between the Lynx and the DAC? What about external clocking? Was that done?

 

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I use adaptor to put this in. However, I didn't plug any external clock in since I didn't have one. You may try one and compare with Weiss Vesta if you'd like to. I know clock can improve a lot since I modified all of my equipments with Superclock too. But the problem about power supply won't be resolved and I could hardly believe that Lynx AES16e can perform better than Weiss Vesta eventhough both have clock.

 

Happy Emm Labs/Viola/Karan/Rockport audiophile

 

Fidelizer - Feel the real sound http://www.fidelizer-audio.com

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You should sell all of your gear and go with...

 

dCS Scarlatti Dac

Krell Master Reference Amps

Magico Ultimate II speakers.

 

Nothing less than this combo should be considered Audiophile worthy.

 

Mac Mini -> Pure Music 1.85c -> Halide Bridge -> Bel Canto e.One Dac 1.5 -> Classe CAP 151 -> ProAc Response D1

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well that is one point of view I suppose....

 

I certainly agree with you that dcs make exceptional concerters. Not sure about the rest though...but each to their own...

 

Personally I think people get too wrapped up in the "best" connection between pc and amp and forget about the rest - ie how it sounds.

 

With respect to the OP I suggest all you are able to say is that in your experience in your system the AES16/Weiss combo did not work for you. I don't feel you can extrapolate that out to all dacs on the end of a AES16. Indeed I contend the reverse is true. Weiss are reknown for sounding great with firewire on Macs but not so great with anything else. A little like Byston's and USB. Not a match made in heaven. But partner it with AES and it is very very good indeed.

 

Incidentally I am having some reports coming into me re the Ayre QB9 - ie that is it's good but not knock me down drag me out the door better than eg a Benchmark. At half the money.

 

Chris - please do not turn into 6 Moons and tell us everything is great to keep the manufacturers/your friends happy. Journalistic integrity is everything.

 

Cheerio

A

 

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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I think I should ignore off-topic discussion like dcs and krell although I have heard of them and they're great. Regarding Weiss' strength (Vesta or Minerva/DAC2 considering only firewire to aes/btu out), it's still only one of very few top audio interface that can actually convert data from computer/mac to digital audio at level that is acceptable for audiophile listening. Lynx AES16 is not due to limited power supply source from computer/mac and smd components that doesn't meet audio grade part level.

 

Happy Emm Labs/Viola/Karan/Rockport audiophile

 

Fidelizer - Feel the real sound http://www.fidelizer-audio.com

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