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24 minutes ago, bodiebill said:

 

I was rather thinking of an external converter / DDC: I2S to USB. Unlike the opposite direction, this seems rare. There may be some studio devices doing that involving AES. I think I will let it go... 🙂

 

IMO, the most interesting comparisons are:

ECD combo vs U192ETL + Termi vs Termi solo

All with USB as input and different sources for comparison

 

Matt

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 I also hope to be doing those comparisons sometime as well at a friend's house.

 

Concerning this "source indépendance" I can only think of the following explanation (assuming everyone, including ECD, has good ears and no expectation bias) - the UPL is not as good as an optimized PC. That would follow from ECD stating that the U192 (with a MacBook and local files) = UPL. That would come as a surprise to me, as it would not be consistent with comparisons I have done with the previous UPL in a variety of systems against a variety of sources. But who knows?

 

Whichever way you look at it, it's all good ☺️ I am curious to find an answer, but it won't really change my appreciation of their products. 

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38 minutes ago, matthias said:

IMO, the most interesting comparisons are:

ECD combo vs U192ETL + Termi vs Termi solo

All with USB as input and different sources for comparison

 

With PC/USB source I already prefer the ECD combo to U192ETL + Termi.

However 'Termi solo' can work with other sources that are less flawed* than USB (such as SD transports with I2S), so I need to extend the comparison with those.

For instance SD transport + Termi is a winner, perhaps ex aequo with the ECD combo (need more time to let it sink in).

Hence my interest to listen to the ECD combo with I2S -- which may be impossible 😐

Currently it feels like comparing apples and pears, although they both taste delicious.

Also hard this way (having to change sources) to pinpoint the links in the chain that make the difference. 

 

* The ECD combo corrects these flaws -- including network noise -- to a large extent, but it would be interesting to hear that combo with a source that does not have these flaws. Network can easily be omitted, but usb seems a prerequisite for the ECD combo.

 

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1 minute ago, bodiebill said:

 

With PC/USB source I already prefer the ECD combo to U192ETL + Termi.

 

 

That's already quite an accomplishment.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, bodiebill said:

By the way, does anyone know whether it is possible to feed the U96ETL with I2S using some conversion? Then I could find out how the SDTrans sounds with the ECdesigns combo vs the Terminator.

 

While I do have SDTrans384 myself, it's much better to ask @gstew and @pm325 about the I2C / I2S compatibility of ReceiverPi with Raspberry Pi / Allo USBridge Sig

 

https://github.com/iancanada/DocumentDownload/blob/master/ReceiverPi/ReceiverPiUsersManual.pdf

0kTxlGN.png

 

Qy2IU4U.png

 

Here's a picture of SDTrans384, maybe either I2C or I2S could work with ReceiverPi?

 

fpjswqU.jpg

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7 hours ago, bodiebill said:

The ECD combo corrects these flaws -- including network noise -- to a large extent, but it would be interesting to hear that combo with a source that does not have these flaws. Network can easily be omitted, but usb seems a prerequisite for the ECD combo.

 

As you are located in the Netherlands do you or one of your audiophile friends have access to a Taiko Extreme?

Would be very interesting to listen to a TOTL USB source with the ECD combo.

Thanks

 

Matt

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10 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

While I do have SDTrans384 myself, it's much better to ask @gstew and @pm325 about the I2C / I2S compatibility of ReceiverPi with Raspberry Pi / Allo USBridge Sig

@seeteeyou might be able to find a post but I seem to remember someone favourably comparing the modified Tirhahifi SD card player (which I have) to the SDTrans384. For input on comparisons the U192/Fractal DAC combo I now have has retired the modified SD Card player outputting I2S and it was my best source until recently. I spent a lot of time modifying it with new clocks, Ian Canadas Ultra cap/LifePo4 power etc.

 

Which reminds me I must try powering the DAC/U192 with the Ultracaps/LifePo4 supply at 5V to see how that sounds.

ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > EtherRegen switch powered with Ciunas Supercaps 7.5v LPS > Antipodes DXe roon core> EC Designs U192 USB Transport plus Fractal DAC & PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom'> Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > TNT UBYTE-2 Speaker cables > Omega Super Alnico Monitors. PH SR4 power supplies.

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iiuc, UPL is .wav files playback only ?

So if possible, a comparison of flac via U192ETL general quality vs. the UPL/.wav general quality would be extremely enlightening..

 

 

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Will do. 

 

I wanted to add that I had tried wtfplay on this old laptop I have on several occasions before and was never impressed. I will try it again in the coming days using my NUC (but have to add a keyboard and screen temporarily in my living room to do so). 

 

Also, I am not claiming that things can't sound even better with more "audiophile" solutions than the basic streaming setup I have. I don't have other equipment to test that out (aside for an sbooster 5v power supply that I will try on the raspberryPi). 

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1 hour ago, FIndingit said:

Very nice products but they really need to give them proper names. All these codes ETL-UPL-ETF-SVC-96192 could simply be substituted by names. Even in Dutch. 

Agreed:  “DAC”,”DD Converter”, and “Thumbdrive  transport” should suffice and easier to understand  (maybe +“20” to differentiate from previous products)

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For what it's worth, I got a chance to test the "bit-perfect" aspect of various setups this afternoon, using ECDesign's previous DAC (Mosaic UV), which includes a bit perfect test. I no longer had the files, but ECD send them back to me.

 

Bit-perfect playback is especially challenging on Windows.

On Windows 10:
- direct sound is not bit-perfect (no surprise).
- using Foobar, this component is bit-perfect: https://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_out_wasapi 
- Interestingly, when I use LMS on windows (squeezelite-x), wasapi is not bit-perfect, but kernel streaming is.
 
On linux,  picoreplayer (squeezelite/LMS) is bit perfect. Wtfplay is also bit-perfect. Bit-perfect playback on linux is easier to achieve.
 
I also played the files with Chrome, and that is not bit-perfect (no surprise either).
 
 
 
 
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21 hours ago, hopkins said:

Either way, I cannot decide. I am not saying there is no difference, its just really hard to be conclusive about it. Also, the longer you run those tests, the more difficult it gets ! 

 

....I may also be biased towards the UPL sounding better (after all, we are all skeptical about this), and hesitant at saying that there are no real differences -  worried that I may simply give a wrong conclusion.

....

 

Hope that helps! My explanations may not be very clear - I have had a long day ! ..

I appreciate your honest appraisal @hopkins and echoes my findings in that I found it difficult to determine differences between sources through the new U192/Fractal DAC - if any. Bias is a strong emotional pull especially when we are invested in gear that we have loved and spent time and money on!

 

I am convinced that sources are significantly less important with this combo supporting the makers statements. Not without some very minor differences but certainly very reduced in important and impact. I follow (and have followed) some of the other threads on AS where extraordinary cost and lengths are being taken to find the perfect source. Of course it's not possible to try all the options suggested and as much as I've enjoyed the chase for the better SQ, I got off the treadmill last year for one reason or another and am truly refreshed by what EC Designs have brought to the market at very reasonable prices comparative to what I have come to expect for improvements.

 

As mentioned previously I have been experimenting with clean power for both U192 (5v USB injection) and alternatives to the 5V supply that comes with the DAC the past week or so and am finding that this is having an impact, but once again only in a subtle way. More on this later if there is any interest.

ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > EtherRegen switch powered with Ciunas Supercaps 7.5v LPS > Antipodes DXe roon core> EC Designs U192 USB Transport plus Fractal DAC & PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom'> Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > TNT UBYTE-2 Speaker cables > Omega Super Alnico Monitors. PH SR4 power supplies.

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12 hours ago, hopkins said:

FYI, ECD has a better USB cable as a replacement for the one used with the DAC. It has thicker wire and a more robust assembly, but it may not change anything to the DAC's performance.

 

I would try the purple UC250 interlink between the DAC and its power supply. Power supply connections can have a great impact on SQ.

 

@tapatrick 

Did you have time to compare the UC250 interlink with other USB cables?

Thanks

 

Matt

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27 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

This is no problem for me as well quite the contrary.

I think it can be a great advantage when an interface is showing what is going on upstream of it.

When we have "source independence" with an UHQ server and a simple laptop what does this mean?

Does the UHQ server play on the level of the laptop or the laptop on the level of the UHQ server?

Or do both meet at a quality level in the middle?

I fear that when an interface is not able to show differences between sources it may also not be able to do so with music itself.

 

Matt

 

Not sure I follow you. You are applying your experience (or what you have read) in other contexts (using other DACs). 

 

It is fairly obvious, however, to understand that when using sources that have different noise levels in a system that actually blocks most of that noise the differences between the sources will be reduced. 

 

It is even more obvious when you actually listen to it 😉

 

What ECD explains, in addition, is that the bandwidth required for the "music" signal is 20Mhz. What is "blocked" is the signal (noise) above this 20Mhz threshold. So there is no way that blocking the junk above 20Mhz can be interpreted as a sign that the system is less able to handle the actual music data...

 

The noise within that 20Mhz bandwidth is not blocked and that could explain some remaining source dependency, but it will be greatly reduced. 

 

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7 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

Not sure I follow you. You are applying your experience (or what you have read) in other contexts (using other DACs). 

 

It is fairly obvious, however, to understand that when using sources that have different noise levels in a system that actually blocks most of that noise the differences between the sources will be reduced. 

 

It is even more obvious when you actually listen to it 😉

 

 

Let me explain it a little bit further.

When you put a record on a turntable you hear always the combined effect between record and turntable, that means the same record will sound different on different turntables.

In a digital system the server is comparable to the turntable. Using different software and different hardware do impose a different signature which can not be explained with more or less "noise".

 

Matt

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1 minute ago, matthias said:

 

Let me explain it a little bit further.

When you put a record on a turntable you hear always the combined effect between record and turntable, that means the same record will sound different on different turntables.

In a digital system the server is comparable to the turntable. Using different software and different hardware do impose a different signature which can not be explained with more or less "noise".

 

Matt

 

If you take the "extreme" example of the Taiko Extreme, which I understand you are fond of, Taiko themself explain that it is all about noise. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

If you take the "extreme" example of the Taiko Extreme, which I understand you are fond of, Taiko themself explain that it is all about noise. 

 

Can you provide a link?

Thanks

 

Matt

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2 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

Can you provide a link?

Thanks

 

Matt

 

Its written all over their web pages ! If you can find something that states otherwise, please share it with us.

 

I think the explanation provided by ECD is pretty clear: anything above 20Mhz is blocked, and that is not the bandwidth that carries the digital music signal. 

 

If there is some kind of "magic" in a music server, then that "magic" will not be altered. 

What is the issue exactly ?

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7 minutes ago, hopkins said:

If there is some kind of "magic" in a music server, then that "magic" will not be altered. 

 

Since you are considering "noise" only:

 

The "magic" of a server is preventing "noise" which is much superior than reducing "noise".

I would be happy if they achieve really "source independence". 

 

Matt

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