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Ayre Acoustics QX-5 Twenty – The Digital Hub


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2 hours ago, jabbr said:

 

As @Charles Hansen alludes to, the Analog Designs chips do not implement strict R2R, rather employing say 14 bits IIRC R2R along with aspects which resemble DEM and some forms of multibit SDM to get the lower order bits (i.e. corrections)

 

Actually George is right, the AD5791 is a true ladder DAC and I forgot about that one. However it is a voltage output design, and I strongly prefer to use current-output chips (which is why I forgot about the AD5791). When people make their own "ladder DACs", they are not chips, but instead a large assembly of discrete parts. The Vishay resistors used in most designs are around $7 each and to make a fully balanced stereo DAC would cost roughly $1000 in parts alone (not to mention installation labor costs). In either case, there is a huge amount of money involved just in one part of the circuit. The question is, "Where to spend money to get the best overall sound?". For a given price point, spending hundreds of dollars just on the DAC section means spending less somewhere else. There is no magic "best" formula or else every DAC on the market would be exactly the same.

 

Ayre products are distributed in the UK by Symmetry. Just look on the Ayre website and click on "Dealers" for full contact information.

Charles Hansen

Dumb Analog Hardware Engineer
Former Transducer Designer

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10 minutes ago, Charles Hansen said:

 

Actually George is right, the AD5791 is a true ladder DAC and I forgot about that one.

From the data sheet:

Quote

The architecture of the AD5791 consists of two matched DAC sections. A simplified circuit diagram is shown in Figure 49. The six MSBs of the 20-bit data-word are decoded to drive 63 switches, E0 to E62. Each of these switches connects one of 63 matched resistors to either the VREFP or VREFN voltage. The remaining 14 bits of the data-word drive the S0 to S13 switched of a 14-bit voltage mode R-2R ladder network. To ensure performance to specification, the reference inputs must be force sensed with external amplifiers.

 

To me that sounds like a form of error correction but that's the way I see it. A true 20 bit ladder DAC would have a 20 bit R2R ladder.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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10 minutes ago, jabbr said:

From the data sheet:

 

To me that sounds like a form of error correction but that's the way I see it. A true 20 bit ladder DAC would have a 20 bit R2R ladder.

 

Hi Jabbr,

 

Yes, that is a weird architecture all right. I never got to that page.The part about "The reference inputs must be force-sensed with external amplifiers" sounds as if it may require some sort of feedback to get the reference voltage accurate to 1 ppm (20 bits).

 

The first page shows a 20-bit ladder DAC, but I stopped at figure 48, where it shows the glitch energy (when changing from one level to another) as adding a 300mV pulse that lasts ~0.5 microseconds. Not a very pretty sight to see. Also I strongly prefer current output DACs and this is a voltage output device. Plus it has a maximum operating speed of only 1MHz, so not nearly fast enough for the way I like to use DACs. Limited to 4x interpolation of 192kHz signals, plus no easy way to handle DSD.

 

Engineering is all about trade-offs, and making the best ones. A lot of people like the Yggdrasil, so they must be doing more than a few things right. Is it the best available? I doubt it, but it may be the best available for $2400. Hard to say without listening to it, plus comparing it to a lot of competitors.

Charles Hansen

Dumb Analog Hardware Engineer
Former Transducer Designer

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8 minutes ago, Charles Hansen said:

 Plus it has a maximum operating speed of only 1MHz, so not nearly fast enough for the way I like to use DACs. Limited to 4x interpolation of 192kHz signals, plus no easy way to handle DSD.

 

 

Given that the settling time is spec'd at 1uS, but not to the full DC precision of the chip (1ppm) but only 0.02% it looks like running flat out it would have around 12-13 ENOBs.

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On 9/23/2017 at 9:07 PM, Charles Hansen said:

 

The QX-5 has a patent pending asynchronous S/PDIF input that completely eliminates all jitter from that interface. In fact it is the best sounding input, simply because there is no computer in the system to introduce EMI and RFI. But of course then you lose all the convenience advantages of computer playback. But it's a great check to let you know how good your computer setup is. The closer your computer sounds to an S/PDIF input, the better your computer setup is.

 

Best regards,

Charles Hansen

Hi Charles,

 

My iMac has an S/PDIF optical digital audio output (at the headphone output).    Before I buy a 3.5mm mini toslink optic to full size cable to try it, would you expect the S/PDIF optical output from my computer to sound better than using the USB or ethernet input to the QX5?  Is most of the EMI and RFI from the computer usually transmitted through a USB cable or is other EMI and RFI emitted from the computer just as significant?    Since the QX-5 completely eliminates all jitter from the S/PDIF input, would you expect one toslink to cable sound just as good as another?

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On 10/2/2017 at 7:30 PM, infonut said:

Hi Charles,

 

My iMac has an S/PDIF optical digital audio output (at the headphone output).    Before I buy a 3.5mm mini toslink optic to full size cable to try it, would you expect the S/PDIF optical output from my computer to sound better than using the USB or ethernet input to the QX5?  Is most of the EMI and RFI from the computer usually transmitted through a USB cable or is other EMI and RFI emitted from the computer just as significant?    Since the QX-5 completely eliminates all jitter from the S/PDIF input, would you expect one toslink to cable sound just as good as another?

 

Hello,

 

I can't answer all of your excellent questions, as I've not done extensive critical testing. In a fairly serious comparison I could hear no difference at all between a stock Oppo BDP-93 connected with medium grade AudioQuest Toslink and an Ayre DX-5 connected via AES/EBU with a piece of generic balanced cable. Not the best test in the world, but was very happy to hear no obvious degradation due to the Toslink.

 

My opinion is that it would definitely be worth a try. Also in a comment on The Audio Asylum, John Atkinson felt that an AES/EBU sounded slightly, but noticeably better than what he was getting from his Ethernet - which in turn was much more noticeably better than what he was getting from his USB - but that was with a relatively unoptimized  USB source. In the Ayre sound room we have a Melco server on the USB, which sound far better than any computer we've tried, and also noticeably better than our far-from-optimal Ethernet.

 

My conclusion is that most of the differences on the two computer inputs is due RFI/EMI getting into the system. Using Toslink allows one to totally isolate the audio system from the noise from your computer. However if you are using a computer source, you will still be getting a lot of noise on your AC mains - unless you are running a laptop on batteries. A CD player/transport will generate much less noise than a computer (as long as it doesn't use a switching power supply), but then also loses the convenience of computer playback.

 

Hope this helps,

Charles Hansen

 

EDIT: PS - The Toslink on the iMac is limited to 96kHz, so no DoP or quad-rate.

Charles Hansen

Dumb Analog Hardware Engineer
Former Transducer Designer

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Hi Charles,

 

Re RFI/EMI noise from computer. Many words have been told and each time we come back to that same point and root cause of sound degradation. 

I kept Ayre L-5xe in my system. 

One outlet is deficared to Mac Mini only

How it helps?

I don’t have Melco in the chain. 

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4 hours ago, Charles Hansen said:

 

Hello,

 

I can't answer all of your excellent questions, as I've not done extensive critical testing. In a fairly serious comparison I could hear no difference at all between a stock Oppo BDP-93 connected with medium grade AudioQuest Toslink and an Ayre DX-5 connected via AES/EBU with a piece of generic balanced cable. Not the best test in the world, but was very happy to hear no obvious degradation due to the Toslink.

 

My opinion is that it would definitely be worth a try. Also in a comment on The Audio Asylum, John Atkinson felt that an AES/EBU sounded slightly, but noticeably better than what he was getting from his Ethernet - which in turn was much more noticeably better than what he was getting from his USB - but that was with a relatively unoptimized  USB source. In the Ayre sound room we have a Melco server on the USB, which sound far better than any computer we've tried, and also noticeably better than our far-from-optimal Ethernet.

 

My conclusion is that most of the differences on the two computer inputs is due RFI/EMI getting into the system. Using Toslink allows one to totally isolate the audio system from the noise from your computer. However if you are using a computer source, you will still be getting a lot of noise on your AC mains - unless you are running a laptop on batteries. A CD player/transport will generate much less noise than a computer (as long as it doesn't use a switching power supply), but then also loses the convenience of computer playback.

 

Hope this helps,

Charles Hansen

 

EDIT: PS - The Toslink on the iMac is limited to 96kHz, so no DoP or quad-rate.

Thanks for your response Charles.

 

I have 3 dedicated circuits in my listening room for audio.  If I keep the computer off those circuits, would that eliminate most or almost all the noise on the AC connected to my hi-fi?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Vule said:

Re RFI/EMI noise from computer. Many words have been told and each time we come back to that same point and root cause of sound degradation. 

I kept Ayre L-5xe in my system. 

One outlet is deficared to Mac Mini only

How it helps?

I don’t have Melco in the chain. 

 

Hi Vule,

 

Many (including both Gordon Rankin and myself) believed that his work turning the USB asynchronous-isochronous data transfer mode would make it so that there would be no audible differences between computers. This is because all jitter is controlled by the master clock in the DAC itself - Gordon's previous efforts had been at reducing the jitter created by the less-than-perfect data stream sent by the computer (in adaptive USB mode - very similar to all the schemes to reduce jitter created by the S/PDIF sources).

 

We (and likely many others) were surprised to find that audible differences still existed between not only various computers, but even between theoretically identical file formats used on computers (eg, WAV vs. FLAC). That has been nearly a decade now, and it has become more and more clear that the audible differences are caused by various factors that are not well understood, yet seem to be dominated by EMI and RFI noise coming from various sources.

 

One of the problems is that if one looks at a DAC chip from a purely technical perspective, it simply does not behave in a linear manner. Instead, every single input (both signal and power) to some degree acts as a multiplier circuit, creating non-linear output signals. Each day there are more and more sources of RFI/EMI being added, and it becomes difficult to combat them all, including things like:

 

- Switching power supplies

- Multiple oscillators inside a unit in addition to the audio master clock (related to either 44.1kHz or 48kHz)

- Wireless devices, including mobile phones, W-Fi, Bluetooth, satellite radio, terrestrial radio and TV... the list is nearly endless

- The proliferation of microprocessors in almost every device connected to AC power, from kitchen appliances to "smart meters"

 

There are generally two methods for the EMI/RFI to enter your audio system - conducted (via wired connections) and radiated. Toslink and other optical isolation schemes reduce conducted emissions drastically. Still the power lines in your house and leading all the way back to the electrical generation system are essentially giant antennae that pick up any sort of radiated RFI/EMI and conduct it directly into your audio system.

 

The Ayre L-5xe is a passive power line filter that removes some (but not all) of the EMI/RFI that is already on your power line to reduce the amount entering your system via the AC power cord. There are many, many such devices on the market, and they all will make distinctly audible changes to the sound of your audio system. I've not listened to various competing models for several years, but the impetus that drove the development of the L-5xe is that with all of the other products auditioned, it seemed that while many aspects of the sound improved, other aspects were degraded.

 

It can be easy to be "fooled" by these type of mixed changes to the sound, as at first one is almost always drawn to the improvements in the sound quality. In my experience the best way to tell if it really is an overall improvement (rather than just a change with both benefits and drawbacks) is to listen to it in your system for a couple of weeks and then remove it. Then any degradation caused by the power conditioner will be immediately obvious and it becomes much easier to tell if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

 

The Ayre is the only product I have heard that only provides improvements without any drawbacks. Obviously one should listen for oneself. But please keep in mind that it is far, far better to eliminate the source of the EMI/RFI than it is to reduce its level using filters. Obviously none of us have the ability to shut off the transmitters in satellite-based transmitters, but we can do other things.

 

For example, if one wants to hear the highest-possible performance from one of the S/PDIF inputs on the DX-5 Twenty, I would recommend using a CD player/transport as the source and completely disconnecting all of the computer equipment in your house from the AC power. That will provide a benchmark reference in performance that you are trying to achieve with one of the computer inputs.

 

Over the last several years there have been a plethora of techniques used to lower, isolate, or eliminate RFI/EMI for the computer inputs, including things like USB filters, USB regenerators, optical USB cables, and for Ethernet setting up a separate audio-only network that is all hard-wired (no Wi-Fi or other wireless) in one network and then using an optical Ethernet link to connect to the main (wired) network in the house that is also connected to the outside world via the internet.

 

It seems odd, but I could swear that achieving the highest possible sound quality from computer audio is more delicate and "tweaky" than all of the various adjustments found on a vinyl playback rig - not to mention the various ultra-sonic record cleaners and so forth.

 

Hope this helps,

Charles Hansen

Charles Hansen

Dumb Analog Hardware Engineer
Former Transducer Designer

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4 hours ago, infonut said:

I have 3 dedicated circuits in my listening room for audio.  If I keep the computer off those circuits, would that eliminate most or almost all the noise on the AC connected to my hi-fi?

 

Hello,

 

Although I've never installed dedicated circuits and cannot comment directly, I would imagine that this too would also fall into the camp of "all gain without any downsides". Maximizing the amount of gain likely depends on all kinds of other things besides just the additional circuits (which will help provide isolation from other devices that inject RFI/EMI onto your power line), including but not limited to:

 

Replacing the breakers in the household entry

The quality and gauge of the wiring used (some have done this with expensive "audiophile" wires)

The quality of the AC receptacles used (and even crazy stuff that really shouldn't make a difference, such as the faceplates)

 

Then there are decisions about if it is better to have everything all on one circuit so that the ground connections are all at the same potential, or is it better to have separate lines for analog and digital equipment? One thing that should be very advantageous (at least in 100 - 120 VAC countries) is to wire up the outlets for 200 - 240 VAC (and obviously purchasing or rewiring your equipment for compatibility!!!). This is because in these countries roughly half of the lower voltage circuits are run from one side of a center-tapped power transformer and the other half from the other half winding. Large electrical appliances such as furnaces, stoves, hot-water heaters and so forth are powered by the full 240 VAC balanced power. (The large grey cylinders seen on telephone poles about the size of trash cans - they step down the power lines in residential areas from 7500 VAC to 240 VAC in most areas of the US, with 120 VAC on each side of the center-tap, which is at 0 volt ground potential and bonded to the earth grounding rod at the power entry point of each building, if built according to the legally mandated electrical safety code.)

 

In this way not only will the equipment tend to reject RFI/EMI picked up on the power lines (just as long balanced microphone cables reject hum in a recording studio or other professional application), but also the higher voltage means that less current is required to power large power amps. (Some of the big "super" amps will not produce full output with only a 120 VAC connection.)

 

It just depends on how far you want to take things, and how much time and resources are you prepared to invest for ultimately will be an unknown level of performance improvement. Unlike components or power conditioners that can be auditioned at your local audio dealer, you won't know how it sounds until the job is complete and all the money spent. Still I have faith that even going hog-wild on everything when running dedicated AC power lines will yield nothing but improvements - and likely cost less than other changes to your system that might yield similar levels of sonic benefits. The biggest problem is the same as building horn subwoofers out of concrete as part of a new house - you can't take it with you if you decide to move...  :)

 

Hope this helps,

Charles Hansen

 

PS - I realized that I only indirectly answered your question. Yes, there will be some isolation provided by using separate dedicated outlets, but likely fairly minimal. Remember that all of the circuits in your entire house will be tied together at the building's power entry point. I would think that most of the benefits come from elsewhere, but have no evidence or measurements to back up this view.

Charles Hansen

Dumb Analog Hardware Engineer
Former Transducer Designer

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I had the chance to audition the QX-5 in my system for a few days. It was a true treat to have this beautiful looking and sounding piece of kit on my rack.

 

I posted my listening impressions in these 2 posts:

  1. Part 1 - a) QX-5: Ethernet vs. USB, and b) QX-5 vs. a dedicated headphone amp
  2. Part 2 - a) QX-5 vs. Codex via USB, and b) QX-5 vs. Yggdrasil over AES

I will only add this. In a perfect world, the world's finest digital audio designers like @Charles Hansen would note the empirical SQ improvements the hobbyists and audiophiles are realizing by applying ultra-low phase noise clocks to the system clocks like USB, Ethernet, and processors. They would validate these findings in their labs, analyze and understand the causes, and then apply their digital alchemy to deliver superlative products that do it better.

 

One day, I want to see a digital hub that completely obviates the need for digital spaghetti. Just an Ethernet cable.

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Hi Charles,

 

Been having drops out lately with the QX 5 even after updating to G software, by drop outs I mean the QX 5 and Melco server drop from the network altogether and I have to refresh to see them again. I have tried all sots of settings in the Melco to no avail. These drop outs occur on both Ethernet and USB.

 

I understand Arye pretty much runs the same set up and was hoping you could share some thoughts on this or the settings on your Melco.

 

Been trying to call Michael but he always away from his desk or on another call message.

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On 10/5/2017 at 1:04 AM, austinpop said:

I had the chance to audition the QX-5 in my system for a few days. It was a true treat to have this beautiful looking and sounding piece of kit on my rack.

 

I posted my listening impressions in these 2 posts:

  1. Part 1 - a) QX-5: Ethernet vs. USB, and b) QX-5 vs. a dedicated headphone amp
  2. Part 2 - a) QX-5 vs. Codex via USB, and b) QX-5 vs. Yggdrasil over AES

I will only add this. In a perfect world, the world's finest digital audio designers like @Charles Hansen would note the empirical SQ improvements the hobbyists and audiophiles are realizing by applying ultra-low phase noise clocks to the system clocks like USB, Ethernet, and processors. They would validate these findings in their labs, analyze and understand the causes, and then apply their digital alchemy to deliver superlative products that do it better.

 

One day, I want to see a digital hub that completely obviates the need for digital spaghetti. Just an Ethernet cable.

 

Hello AustinPop,

 

Thanks for posting your detailed findings. When Ayre designed the QX-5 Twenty, we knew that there would likely be significant improvements available in both the USB and Ethernet interfaces going forward. Therefore both of those inputs are designed as separate modules so as to make them easily upgradable. At this point it is unclear as to the variety of factors that may be improving the sound quality on those interfaces. While clock quality is clearly one of them, it is less clear that is the source of the improved sound quality, as there are so many other factors at play also. Specifically, it is unclear to me how a 10MHz master clock could be used to generate 24 MHz (USB) or 25MHz (Ethernet) clocks in a way that doesn't degrade the performance of the clock below what is used inside the QX-5 Twenty. We will continue to research all of the variables, and when we have a significantly better solution it will be easy to retro-fit it to an existing unit.

 

It doesn't surprise me that an external $6500 headphone amplifier sounds better than the one built into the QX-5 Twenty. I'm sure you can imagine how much larger, hotter, heavier, and more expensive the QX-5 Twenty would be if we installed all of the circuitry of the Cavalli Liquid Gold into the same box! One of the main advantages of an external headphone amp would be the ability to run the output stage with a higher bias current. (This would generate too much heat inside the same box.) I looked at the impedance curves on both of your headphones as measured by Tyll Hertsen on the InnerFidelity site, and it looks like the Elear is around 80 ohms, while the HD-800 is around 300 ohms.

 

I would expect that the sound of the two headphone amps (internal and external) would be closer on the HD-800, where not as much current is required to drive them and the amp can remain in class-A operating mode. The Elears require ~4x the current as the HD-800s and would definitely benefit more from a dedicated amp. There are always design decisions to be made with any product, and while I'm sure that Ayre could make a great headphone amp to drive just about anything with pure class-A power, it's not realistic to put it in the same box with the DAC.

 

It's impossible to be all things to all people. There is an old saying - "price, performance, features - pick two". And that is true for everything. Of course Ayre could make something that could be everything on the market in every way, but it would end up being very expensive - then only a handful of people would purchase it. We are finding that many people did not need all of the various input options, so by offering the QX-5 Twenty without the computer-based input modules, we can more closely tailor the product to fit each customer's needs. That was the original idea of having separate components - some people needed higher power amplifiers, some people need more flexible preamplifers, and so forth. Having different configurations available in the same box is less common, but can also make sense sometimes.

 

I am somewhat surprised with all of the equipment you have that you didn't choose the Focal Utopia over the Elear. I've not listened to either one, so  can't say for sure, but given my background with transducer design would expect the Utopia to be a significant step up from the Elears. Have you had a chance to listen to the Utopias?

Charles Hansen

Dumb Analog Hardware Engineer
Former Transducer Designer

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18 hours ago, Tecnik1 said:

Been having drops out lately with the QX 5 even after updating to G software, by drop outs I mean the QX 5 and Melco server drop from the network altogether and I have to refresh to see them again. I have tried all sots of settings in the Melco to no avail. These drop outs occur on both Ethernet and USB.

 

Hi Tecnik,

 

I have the same set up at my home, with the Melco feeding the QX-5. When I have had issues like that in the past, it seems that it has always been from my controller software or hardware. What set up are you using to control your system? Also, can you check to see if the firmware G was successfully installed (see the "FW REV" in the setup menu). And I just updated my Melco firmware from 3.0 to 3.5. You may want to check that. Please let me know how it goes.

 

Best,

Charles Hansen

Charles Hansen

Dumb Analog Hardware Engineer
Former Transducer Designer

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 Hi Charles,

 

Thanks for responding. BTW - I just returned from RMAF, and stopped by the Ayre room a couple of times in the hope of finding you.  I would have loved to chat about this in person!

 

1 hour ago, Charles Hansen said:

Specifically, it is unclear to me how a 10MHz master clock could be used to generate 24 MHz (USB) or 25MHz (Ethernet) clocks in a way that doesn't degrade the performance of the clock below what is used inside the QX-5 Twenty. We will continue to research all of the variables, and when we have a significantly better solution it will be easy to retro-fit it to an existing unit.

 

That is good to hear. It is really all I'm asking - to research this effect. We are clearly hearing the benefit of these superior clocks for the USB and Ethernet streams, but it would be good to:

  1. understand the root cause, and
  2. incorporate it within the box so customers don't have to futz with all the spaghetti.

I'll be happy to supply the list of components that comprise the external chain.

 

1 hour ago, Charles Hansen said:

It doesn't surprise me that an external $6500 headphone amplifier sounds better than the one built into the QX-5 Twenty. I'm sure you can imagine how much larger, hotter, heavier, and more expensive the QX-5 Twenty would be if we installed all of the circuitry of the Cavalli Liquid Gold into the same box! One of the main advantages of an external headphone amp would be the ability to run the output stage with a higher bias current. (This would generate too much heat inside the same box.)

 

The Liquid Gold was $3999 retail (and I paid less due to a CanJam special), but your point is well taken.

 

1 hour ago, Charles Hansen said:

I looked at the impedance curves on both of your headphones as measured by Tyll Hertsen on the InnerFidelity site, and it looks like the Elear is around 80 ohms, while the HD-800 is around 300 ohms.

 

I would expect that the sound of the two headphone amps (internal and external) would be closer on the HD-800, where not as much current is required to drive them and the amp can remain in class-A operating mode. The Elears require ~4x the current as the HD-800s and would definitely benefit more from a dedicated amp. There are always design decisions to be made with any product, and while I'm sure that Ayre could make a great headphone amp to drive just about anything with pure class-A power, it's not realistic to put it in the same box with the DAC.

 

Actually, in practice, it takes about the same gain setting on my amp to achieve the same perceived level of loudness with both headphones. This is really the relevant metric that tells me both are roughly the same sensitivity.

 

Tyll's measurements show both need 0.16mW to achieve 90dB SPL. I'm glad Tyll measures these, because the published specs are apples and oranges:

  • Focal Elear: 104 dB/1 mW
  • HD800:         102 dB/1V RMS

 

1 hour ago, Charles Hansen said:

I am somewhat surprised with all of the equipment you have that you didn't choose the Focal Utopia over the Elear. I've not listened to either one, so  can't say for sure, but given my background with transducer design would expect the Utopia to be a significant step up from the Elears. Have you had a chance to listen to the Utopias?

 

I have indeed. The Utopia is an outstanding headphone, and I auditioned one for a week on my system. It excels in just about every genre, except classical music, which is what I listen to most. I have found the (now lowly) Sennheiser HD800 to still be unmatched for the imaging that is so critical for orchestral music. The Utopias could not give me that, and thus could not justify the hefty price tag. In contrast, I found the Elear to be a perfect complement to the HD800 for genres like rock and pop where the HD800 could sound punishingly harsh.

 

But here is an interesting insight. With all the clock improvements in my system, one of the key improvements has been a glorious reduction of digital "glare" and harshness. With this, I can listen to anything on my HD800 without wanting to tear them off my head! I am now at a point where I rarely feel like listening to the Elears any more, and might sell them.

 

In fact, at RMAF I found most rooms playing digital, even those with obscene price tags, to exhibit this glare, and sound quite unlistenable.

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1 hour ago, Charles Hansen said:

 

Hi Tecnik,

 

I have the same set up at my home, with the Melco feeding the QX-5. When I have had issues like that in the past, it seems that it has always been from my controller software or hardware. What set up are you using to control your system? Also, can you check to see if the firmware G was successfully installed (see the "FW REV" in the setup menu). And I just updated my Melco firmware from 3.0 to 3.5. You may want to check that. Please let me know how it goes.

 

Best,

Charles Hansen

Hi Charles,

 

I checked to make sure its indeed G software even tried a refresh. I use the full paid version of Mconnect and the Melco is running on the 3.50 FW. 

 

I get dropouts after about 6 songs.

 

The Melco settings are as follows:


Network,                      LAN using DHCP
Control mode,            0
Control app,               Mconnect full paid version.
Configure,                  DSD over PCM priority mode.
Latency.                      0.75

 

Best Regards,

 

Steven

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On 10/10/2017 at 1:58 AM, austinpop said:

 

Actually, in practice, it takes about the same gain setting on my amp to achieve the same perceived level of loudness with both headphones. This is really the relevant metric that tells me both are roughly the same sensitivity.

 

Tyll's measurements show both need 0.16mW to achieve 90dB SPL. I'm glad Tyll measures these, because the published specs are apples and oranges:

  • Focal Elear: 104 dB/1 mW
  • HD800:         102 dB/1V RMS

 

 Charlie’s point was that for a given power output a lower impedance load will draw more current (and less voltage) than a higher impedance load. Subject to battery types, high voltage capability in an amp is a cheap characteristic but high current output requires upgrades in the power supply, output devices and heat dissipation facilities.

 

For portable use there can be an advantage to using a headphone with low impedance. The batteries impose a low limit on the output voltage and for any given voltage a low impedance will draw more power subject to any current limitations.

 

1 mW to the 90 ohm load of the Elear equates to .9V which places the two ratings within 1 dB of each other and close to Tyl's measurement.So the specs do tell you to expect the same volume control settings for both sets, but this does not imply the same strain on the circuitry.

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On 10/10/2017 at 2:16 AM, Tecnik1 said:

Hi Charles,

 

I checked to make sure its indeed G software even tried a refresh. I use the full paid version of Mconnect and the Melco is running on the 3.50 FW. 

 

I get dropouts after about 6 songs.

 

The Melco settings are as follows:


Network,                      LAN using DHCP
Control mode,            0
Control app,               Mconnect full paid version.
Configure,                  DSD over PCM priority mode.
Latency.                      0.75

 

Best Regards,

 

Steven

Since you have the problem when using either a network or USB connection to the Ayre is is very unlikely that the Ayre is involved. This sounds like a network issue.

 

The first thing I would try is resetting your router. If you have a computer you can hook that up to your network with an Ethernet cable and bypass the WiFi to see if that is the issue.

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Since you have the problem when using either a network or USB connection to the Ayre is is very unlikely that the Ayre is involved. This sounds like a network issue.

 

The first thing I would try is resetting your router. If you have a computer you can hook that up to your network with an Ethernet cable and bypass the WiFi to see if that is the issue.

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On 10/10/2017 at 2:16 AM, Tecnik1 said:

Hi Charles,

 

I checked to make sure its indeed G software even tried a refresh. I use the full paid version of Mconnect and the Melco is running on the 3.50 FW. 

 

I get dropouts after about 6 songs.

 

The Melco settings are as follows:


Network,                      LAN using DHCP
Control mode,            0
Control app,               Mconnect full paid version.
Configure,                  DSD over PCM priority mode.
Latency.                      0.75

 

Best Regards,

 

Steven

Another thing to try is using a type 1 app. This stores the que/playlist information in the Melco rather than in the app so that no communication is needed between the control device and the Melco once playback has begun.

 

Linn Kazoo and the Lumin app are good choices.I find Kazoo easier to use.

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I rebutted the router and its a temporary fix and the same issues surface, One thing I did wrong that was causing the drop outs of both the Arye and Melco on the network was having the Optical line and a power line in the same conduit' this I discovered after reading not to do this. I replaced the optical line and now the Arye and Melco show up on the network and hasn't dropped since.

 

The problem therefore is certainly not the Arye but I believe is the Melco and here is why, when the music plays for several hours and stops now both the Arye and Melco our still showing on the network and the Mconnect app but a pop up saying file not found or still no sound but I can choose a new song which shows in Player but won't start playing.This happens on both Ethernet and USB so I connected up the old MacBook Pro, plugged in the USB to the Arye and Music all day no problems , plug the Melco back in and the same problems.

 

Had the Melco dealer come over last night to check out the issues with me and of course everything worked perfectly, both ethernet and USB thru the Melco. We listened for 45 minutes with no issues at all. He left shortly after and the music stopped and wouldn't start again after 3 1/2 hours. Still its Progress.

 

Thanks for the advice and help.

 

 

 

 

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