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Article: High End Munich 2016 In Words

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Hi Chris,

 

Really enjoyed your overview of the show... it sounds like the holy grail for audiophiles.

 

I wouldn't beat yourself up about your resistance to DSD. I did the same thing when smartphones first came out. I was really comfortable with my little Nokia and couldn't get my head around having to learn all the ins and outs of an iPhone, which at the time I thought would never take off. Computer companies don't make phones?!.

 

Just wasn't ready for it and I think its the human condition .... we all resist change when we are happy with what we've got as it requires time and effort to step outside our comfort zones, and time is a very precious commodity for people like you that have young families and a growing business.

 

A quick story about going outside your comfort zone .... I had just sold my business was I was invited to sail from Sydney to Greece. It was my first time at sea and it took 4 months via Bali, Singapore, Maldives, Gulf of Aden (pirates!) and up the Suez Canal and into the Med. This was 2009 and before I left I purchased an iPhone (2 years after it was released) knowing I would have many days to learn ow to use it. Before we left Sydney I printed off all the information I could find and spent hours learning how to use it. After I had finally mastered it, and had installed all my contacts etc, we had a storm and I left the hatch open above my cabin - as Bryan Ferry would say "... you can guess the rest".

 

Anyway I got my skipper's license and every year I go sailing in different parts of the Med. On Monday I'm heading off with 5 mates to sail around Ibiza and Majorca for 2 weeks. It sounds expensive but it is not when you divide the boat hire of 8,000E by 5. Next year I will ensure to align my trip with the show ... sorry for being off topic but getting excited now.

 

All the best,

 

Ajax


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Hi Ajax - So true. Change!!!

 

Love your story. Please align your trip with the show next year. I'd love to meet and share stories. Yours of sailing, mine of audio. Yours will be much better I'm sure :~)


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...

- 80 bit and 64 bit floating point precision, I don't think any DAC to date is running routines with this level of precision...

 

MSB says they do 80bit processing for a few years now.

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I spent 3 days this year at Munich show and listened to most of the Rooms on offer and most of the rooms in the Halles's, for me by a long margin the best sound on offer was the Lampizator room, I spent a fair amount of time listening to the Golden Gate Dac and then the Der Siebener Dac they were both awesome, maybe I'm a fan of the tube Dac sound who knows but the sound being created was truly awesome


Sources are: Mac Mini 2010 / Nottingham Analogue Hyperspace c/w Jelco 750 D and Denon DL 103 MC cartridge. Phono Stage: EAR 834P. Power Amp: Audio Note Empress Silver into a Hattor passive pre. DAC: Lampizator Atlantic and Humming Board NAA Speakers: Horns.pl Mummys. Cables: Duelund DC 16 GA  - Audionote AN-SPX 27 Strand RCA and Albedo Silver RCA and Western Electric WE 16 GA. All digital music played through a Mac Mini using Roon and HQP. Power Supply: Gigawat PC2-EVO

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MSB says they do 80bit processing for a few years now.

 

MSB is running their digital filter with 80 bit depth

 

HQP is running routines with 80 bit floating point math, and 64 bit floating point math, more complicated than doing 80 bit and 64 bit fixed point and certainly with an order of more magnitude precision than fixed point math.

 

Is there an audible difference ?

 

Here is a very interesting take away data point. Many HQ Player users have tried the computationally less intensive -2s family of filters which have a much lower CPU load. The filtering is done in a 2 stage process in contrast to the single stage Polysinc Filters, but the sound quality is significantly lower. Nearly Al l HQ Player users confirm this SQ difference.

 

I asked Jussi during the Tech session after dinner why there was such a large sound quality difference between the two filter families. Jussi replied that he is surprised by the SQ difference and can not explain why it is so large as the numerical difference in the results of the two filters is quite small

 

So we have the consistent observation that very small differences in processing precision can have a surprisingly large influence on sound quality.

 

We also hear this precision benefit with the Chord Dave where Rob Watts has implemented a digital filter with something like 168,000 taps. Amazing detail retrieval, but the sense of space we hear with the T+A at DSD 512 leaves the DAVE in another sonic playground.

 

I suspect the short bit length of the shift register in the T+A and the clever way Lothar has implemented the initial stages of the high frequency low pass filter has a lot to do with this.


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More "traditional" room correction DSP was also on display in Munich and I was very impressed by the demonstrations I heard (Illusonic being one demo). I think audiophiles, myself included, need to get over our disdain for new things and try this stuff out sooner rather than later. The possibilities are endless, but we'll never know if any of this improves our listening experiences unless we give it a try.

 

Finally ;) What other products/solutions besides Illusonic did you hear Chris?


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I'm glad you can get a T+A. I sent them an email, telling them my background in DSD dac reviews, NativeDSD, the DSD database, SACD ripping guide, etc and never heard back. I guess I'm just not "the man". I, too, would LOVE to evaluate that DAC, and have said so many times here. I have been upsampling to DSD512 for some time now and could provide a decent comparison reference. Oh well.

 

What DAC have you been using for this upsamping?

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Hi YashN - I talked to several people who have been to shows in those locations and they say Munich is the best. That said, I'd love to attend one of the Asian shows if it's really good. I went to the Korean show several years ago, but it was pretty small.

 

Check this out from WBF:

 

This was the top room - with Cessaro Carmen Speakers, Wadax Statement Phono trio and Atlantis Statement DAC, Vertere RG-1/Arm and Ultimate platform + Etsuro cartridge, Engstrom Monica Ref Pre + Super Ref ERIC power amp, Tripoint Emperor AC plus Ground, and Skogrand Beethoven Cables.

 

Amazing sound and knowing that this was set up in two days shames Munich's performance completely.

 

If Munich is High-End, the Audio Exotics Show is on another level completely, and perhaps why it's called 'Super High-End'.


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