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15 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. They will ship this new cable from now on, and you can contact  them to get one.

I have the new UC250 into the U192. Haven't tried from Power supply to DAC yet.

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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1 minute ago, matthias said:

 

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

 

Sorry, but I have a hard time understanding your thought process. You start by explaining that "it can be a great advantage when an interface is showing what is going on upstream of it", and now you seem to imply the contrary. This is all getting too complicated for me.

 

No one is arguing that what ECD has done is "perfect" - and perhaps there will be more things discovered about all this that is not well understood today. As long as it improves things, great.

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3 hours ago, matthias said:

 

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

I've not had a chance yet - I'm mostly focussing on trying different ways of powering the U192 and DAC. Hoping to do some tests of cables too over the weekend...

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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18 minutes ago, matthias said:

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

You should be fairly happy then :)

as they have or come very close from my tests so far between a mac and a Antipodes DXe - on my other DACs the laptop is unbearable...

Are you thinking to try the EC products?

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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19 minutes ago, matthias said:

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". 

 

'Source independence' is ambiguous if we do not specify what we mean by source. For instance, we could split up what comes before the DAC as

(1) music file + (2) software + (3) connections + (4) player hardware (just an example).

I think we will all agree that there will never be source independence from (1).

Neither do I think from (2).

Possibly (although I have my doubts) from (3) or (4).

An important role of a good music renderer (4) is to combat the noise introduced by (3).

However -- alas -- (4) can in its turn also introduce noise itself.

I agree that preventing noise (such as by skipping network or usb connections) is easier than reducing/mitigating it.

 

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1 hour ago, hopkins said:

 

Sorry, but I have a hard time understanding your thought process. You start by explaining that "it can be a great advantage when an interface is showing what is going on upstream of it", and now you seem to imply the contrary. This is all getting too complicated for me.

 

No one is arguing that what ECD has done is "perfect" - and perhaps there will be more things discovered about all this that is not well understood today. As long as it improves things, great.

 

Sorry, I was not specific enough. I would certainly be happy to get the SQ of a UHQ server with say a Macbook Pro. Just this meaning of source independence 🙂

 

Matt

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1 hour ago, tapatrick said:

You should be fairly happy then :)

as they have or come very close from my tests so far between a mac and a Antipodes DXe - on my other DACs the laptop is unbearable...

Are you thinking to try the EC products?

 

Thanks for sharing. 

I am waiting for some more impressions but they are on my shortlist.

 

Matt

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1 hour ago, bodiebill said:

 

'Source independence' is ambiguous if we do not specify what we mean by source. For instance, we could split up what comes before the DAC as

(1) music file + (2) software + (3) connections + (4) player hardware (just an example).

I think we will all agree that there will never be source independence from (1).

Neither do I think from (2).

Possibly (although I have my doubts) from (3) or (4).

An important role of a good music renderer (4) is to combat the noise introduced by (3).

However -- alas -- (4) can in its turn also introduce noise itself.

I agree that preventing noise (such as by skipping network or usb connections) is easier than reducing/mitigating it.

 

Agree mostly,

prefer server without endpoint.

 

Matt

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I spend an hour this morning comparing various sources, but this time using my headphones (Beyerdynamic DT990 250 ohm) plugged in directly to the SVC (you need a y-cable for this). I reached the same conclusion: frustratingly difficult to make up my mind about this. I did try wtfplay on my NUC. First listen, I thought: wow, this sounds good! Then I switched back to the Raspberrypi and it pretty much sounded the same.  As for the difference with the UPL, its just as hard for me to make up my mind. 

Flac vs wav was just as inconclusive. 

 

I need another set of ears to help me out with this 😩

 

I used this track throughout: https://storage.googleapis.com/cloudplayer/samples/24 mieko miyazaki & guo gan - les feuilles mortes.wav

Not particularly fond of the music, but it is well recorded, there is a lot of detail to be heard, and it can easily sound very harsh in a bad system.

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21 minutes ago, matthias said:

Agree mostly,

prefer server without endpoint.

 

I would say I prefer and endpoint without server, but we may mean the same, in which case we agree fully 🙂

I guess we do not like the effect of what would be between the two boxes.

 

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@tapatrick You're welcome to drop by when you come to Paris! 

 

Out of curiosity, what music player does the Antipodes use?  I'll be curious as well to learn of the results with a NUC. I am really surprised by the quality I am getting using my NUC - simply stunning in fact...

 

I see you have an isolation transformer. I hava a similar model (Daitron). Do you use it for all your equipment, or just the digital side? 

 

 

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ECD seem to use MacBooks according to their latest posts on diyaudio.

 

BTW, did someone try a MacBook / Audirvana / Streaming from Qobuz as source for the ECD combo?

 

Thanks

 

Matt

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7 hours ago, bodiebill said:

 

'Source independence' is ambiguous if we do not specify what we mean by source. For instance, we could split up what comes before the DAC as

(1) music file + (2) software + (3) connections + (4) player hardware (just an example).

I think we will all agree that there will never be source independence from (1).

Neither do I think from (2).

Possibly (although I have my doubts) from (3) or (4).

An important role of a good music renderer (4) is to combat the noise introduced by (3).

However -- alas -- (4) can in its turn also introduce noise itself.

I agree that preventing noise (such as by skipping network or usb connections) is easier than reducing/mitigating it.

 

If preventing noise in the player were so easy you would not see an audiophile PC sold for 25.000 € (and still require a bunch of audiophile accessories), or a thread entitled "A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming" with 688 pages 😉

 

Both approaches (reducing noise in the source or preventing the source noise from entering the DAC) can be complementary, if you decide that one is not, in itself, sufficient. 

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10 hours ago, tapatrick said:

So I decided the best results are

B - UC250 USB cable into U192 plus 5V USB injection from Paul Hynes SR4 
and 
G - Clean 5V power to DAC from Paul Hynes SR4

 

Thanks @tapatrick, very interesting, also because one would expect the LT3045's to reduce noise and apparently you find the actually worsen the sound.

Alas I cannot fully replicate the results as my SR4's lowest setting is 9V 😐

 

What do you use for DC cable? I am asking as the USB type B is not common for DC.

 

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10 hours ago, matthias said:

ECD seem to use MacBooks according to their latest posts on diyaudio.

 

BTW, did someone try a MacBook / Audirvana / Streaming from Qobuz as source for the ECD combo?

 

Thanks

 

Matt

Not Audirvana but I tried Swinsian (as used by EC designs), Vox and Roon through Macbook pro and I could not detect any difference - all sounded superb.

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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10 hours ago, hopkins said:

@tapatrick You're welcome to drop by when you come to Paris! 

 

Out of curiosity, what music player does the Antipodes use?  I'll be curious as well to learn of the results with a NUC. I am really surprised by the quality I am getting using my NUC - simply stunning in fact...

 

I see you have an isolation transformer. I hava a similar model (Daitron). Do you use it for all your equipment, or just the digital side? 

 

 

The Antipodes uses Roon running on customised Linux. There are different ways to run Roon on the server - I use the Roon/Roon remote combined setting. I will try the NUC as both roon core and roon end point soon.

 

The Topaz isolation transformers were a great addition and I run everything off a 2.5Kv (to have one ground for everything). I have a 2nd 1Kva which I was planning to add in to further isolate my PS Audio Junior DAC but the EC DAC has retired that idea... I might try it on the preamp to see how that works.

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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2 hours ago, bodiebill said:

 

Thanks @tapatrick, very interesting, also because one would expect the LT3045's to reduce noise and apparently you find the actually worsen the sound.

Alas I cannot fully replicate the results as my SR4's lowest setting is 9V 😐

 

What do you use for DC cable? I am asking as the USB type B is not common for DC.

How can I put it? The over sound quality including all the above tests I tried is amazing with the EC components added in my system. I have never happier with the experience of listening to (digital) music at home. So the variations between different cables and power inputs sit within that.

 

To be clear the sound with the LT3045s added is very clean - noticeable in that Bass is articulate and clear, it's just that there is a slight hardening of the sound. The very thing that puts me off and makes the EC combo sooooo refreshing.

 

Maybe I didn't run them long enough but I have read that LT3045s add HF noise and can be tamed with added capacitance, possibly this is what I was hearing. The SQ with them is still amazing, with great detail and impact but honestly I'm not looking for more of that any more. I'm now only interested in sound that is natural and easeful. 

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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2 hours ago, bodiebill said:

What do you use for DC cable? I am asking as the USB type B is not common for DC.

For DC cables I use long trails of dual cat ethernet cables and PoE but that's a whole other kettle of fish... :)

There are lots of threads on this especially promoted and pioneered by the late Tubelover2 on US Audiomart. 

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/42959-iso-regen-performance-improvement-cheap/

 

At some point I will maybe take them all out (the back of my rack is a real spaghetti junction!) and try more generic DC cables to see if they still make the difference they originally did in the past. I'm really not sure these lengths are needed now with the EC combo...

 

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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9 hours ago, hopkins said:

Seems to me the ECD set offers a very high quality, at low cost (and low complexity). The sound quality will probably satisfy a number of audiophiles (you can count me in), perhaps not all, no argument there. 

 

Subsequent improvements (ex: source-wise) may be so small that some may decide it is no longer worth pursuing, and may focus on other aspects (speakers, amplifiers...). 

 

Reading this forum, you can see that many  today are not very satisfied with the type of sound quality they get from digital audio, even with quite expensive setups. I am convinced that  ECD set has something unique to offer in this respect. As has been already noted by others, they offer a fresh approach and high value. 

 

I understand, however, that ECD is more interested in developing their products than developing their business, and I respect that. They may partner with other companies that have a wider reach, more ressources, and the capacity to service more customers. Undoubtedly the technology may also improve over time - witness their next project, also mentioned here. 

Well said

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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15 hours ago, hopkins said:

I need another set of ears to help me out with this 😩

 

 

Hi Stéphane,

 

you can call back Michel and W Roberts and perhaps organise a great listening time next week? It will b a pleasure to come anyway.

 

Thank you for your great feedback, as well as the tapatrick helpful tests!

Ben

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1 hour ago, tapatrick said:

How can I put it? The over sound quality including all the above tests I tried is amazing with the EC components added in my system. I have never happier with the experience of listening to (digital) music at home. So the variations between different cables and power inputs sit within that.

 

To be clear the sound with the LT3045s added is very clean - noticeable in that Bass is articulate and clear, it's just that there is a slight hardening of the sound. The very thing that puts me off and makes the EC combo sooooo refreshing.

 

Maybe I didn't run them long enough but I have read that LT3045s add HF noise and can be tamed with added capacitance, possibly this is what I was hearing. The SQ with them is still amazing, with great detail and impact but honestly I'm not looking for more of that any more. I'm now only interested in sound that is natural and easeful. 

This is an interesting result - what was the amperage rating for the LT3045's... maybe not enough overhead ?

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