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A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

The Computer Audiophile

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Most important: please realize this thread is about bleeding edge experimentation and discovery. No one has The Answer™. If you are not into tweaking, just know that you can have a musically satisfying system without doing any of the nutty things we do here.

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30 minutes ago, mozes said:

The more revealing a system becomes, the more prominent the HF in bad recordings. Yet at the sametime, in good recordings the highs become more extended, smoother and sweeter. I think that is one of the reasons why Dave has a HF filter that can be switched on or off on the fly. I switch it on with old and poor recordings.

Reading the Chord DAVE manual, I see the HF filter is set to 60kHz.  Obviously this is not directly audible, but can you actually hear the influence of this?


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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1 hour ago, Confused said:

I could do more with respect to RF/EMI elimination, in fact I do have some future plans in that area.  So yes, I agree this would help.  The thing is, it does not really explain what I have been experiencing with the sMS-200Ultra.  The first point is that with high quality recordings the HF appears to be pretty much pristine.  OK, maybe with a few other tweaks, maybe including RF/EMI elimination, the HF could be elevated to new highs (accidental pun), with the harsher recordings improving as well.  Then consider that I can change just one thing in my 'front end', that is swap the mR for the sMS-200Ultra, and this issue becomes apparent.  The rest, tX-USBultra, MC3+USB, REF10, my mains power and everything else, all remain the same.  I have even tried switching the sMS-200Ultra to battery power, which appears to make little difference to this issue.  It also occurs to me that the sMS-200Ultra should be better than the mR at eliminating noise issues.

 

My theory is that the sMS-200Ultra has done enough to clean up the presentation of virtually everything versus the mR.  This leads to the situation that remaining HF harshness that is simply inherent in the recording becomes disproportionately noticeable.  If I knew a bit more about psychoacoustics I could probably give my brain a good talking to! 

I've had a similar issue. I already had an sMS -200 Ultra, but when I switched from an analog connection between my pre- and power amplifier to a digital connection (Lyngdorf) I also had a sudden and consequent brightness. Compared to the analog connection, I had more detail, but it did sound a bit harsh. It turned out to be that the 110Ohm digital cable I was using was not up to par. So I got a silver cable instead. Many people say that silver cables sound bright, but in my specific case, it did the opposite. After that, it seemed there was still much to gain by eliminating (still busy doing so) SMPS's in front the audio chain. I also used to blame many recordings because they sounded not right, but it turned out to be something in my system. For me, if you're having a general problem, like in your case too much brightness, there must be a weak link somewhere. I'm sure you will find it. I think that the sMS-200Ultra is so revealing that it forces you to tackle other issues in the system.

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1 hour ago, Confused said:

Reading the Chord DAVE manual, I see the HF filter is set to 60kHz.  Obviously this is not directly audible, but can you actually hear the influence of this?

It is easily detectable. Rob Watt mentioned that it is 1db at 20Khz.

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2 hours ago, mozes said:

It is easily detectable. Rob Watt mentioned that it is 1db at 20Khz.

LOL, OK bat ears, you saying 1db at 20Khz is easily detectable?


nuckleheadaudio.com

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49 minutes ago, lmitche said:

LOL, OK bat ears, you saying 1db at 20Khz is easily detectable?

I only read the 1db at 20 khz after using Dave for around 5 months. It is easy because with the HF filter on, it sounds warmer. The numbers are not important to me, my ears are what I value. When you are in Toronto, you are welcome to be my guest and you will easily detect it in a blind test.

Sometimes, I forget the HF filter on and after a few days I come to listen and I wonder why I lost some air in the highs and then I find out that the HD filter is on.

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On 1/31/2018 at 1:46 PM, seeteeyou said:

 

Thanks @austinpop.

 

I really dunno very much about 50 Ω cables at the moment, maybe here's a little rundown of what I've been learning so far.

 

First of all, it's just easier to break everything down into two categories, obviously there's one for the audiophile market and then another for the pro market.

 

Regarding the audiophile market, most likely we could only find a dozen choices or so. The price range would go anywhere from mere-mortal-level to @romaz-level ($6.5K) as shown below

 

http://rubi2947.blog.jp/archives/7363072.html

http://www.ojispecial.jp/products/8128xbnc.html

https://item.rakuten.co.jp/miyajimusic/ka-r-062017-wa01/

http://briseaudio.jp/store/product/bnc/bnc50_osa01.html

http://briseaudio.jp/store/product/bnc/bnc50_shin01.html

http://briseaudio.jp/store/product/bnc/bnc50_masa01.html

http://briseaudio.jp/store/product/bnc/bnc50_mura01.html

https://www.thecableco.com/venom-s-pdif-5301.html

https://www.thecableco.com/sigma-clock-50.html

http://goods.ruten.com.tw/item/show?21744272134793

https://almaaudio.com/collections/evolution-acoustics/products/evolution-acoustics-bnc-link-cables

 

Unlike 75 Ω coaxial cables. they weren't making 50 Ω ones for 4K UHD resolutions (i.e. 11.88 Gbps or 12 GHz) and therefore we could only pick something that's thick enough to achieve "exceptional" nominal attenuation.

 

Now let's take a quick look at the comparison between 75 Ω ones and 50 Ω ones (pick either link below and it's quicker to load the 1st one)

 

http://www.canare.co.jp/en/24A/Canare24A_Cables.pdf#page=20

http://www.canare.co.jp/cat/cont/canare_eng/canare_eng.pdf#page=69

 

Focus on 10 MHz for now and we'll see the differences. Obviously L-8CHD should be the winner (1.2 dB/100m) due to its "insane" thickness @ 11.1 mm OD while L-5DFB was simply gathering dust @ 2.5 dB/100m just because Canare never made any kinda "nutty" 50 Ω cables.

 

http://www.canare.co.jp/en/24A/Canare24A_Cables.pdf#page=18

http://www.canare.co.jp/cat/cont/canare_eng/canare_eng.pdf#page=67

 

Of course we could still look somewhere else and it's fairly easy to find 50 Ω Fujikura 8D-FB @ 11.1 mm OD

 

http://www.aru-densen.jp/html/page8.html

http://www.fujimusen.com/coaxial/index.html

https://item.rakuten.co.jp/musenkiya/8dfb10m/

https://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detail/110500112930/?HissuCode=8D-FB-10

http://www.caledonian-cables.co.uk/Coaxia_Cable/50Ohm RF/8D-FB.html

http://www.caledonian-cables.com/product/Coaxial Cables/50Ohm RF Coaxial Cables/8D-FB.htm

 

Here are some 50 Ω BNC plugs that will be good for 8D-FB

 

To-Conne BNCP-8

https://item.rakuten.co.jp/tiyotoku/bncp-8/

http://www.to-conne.co.jp/connector/c_products/bnc/plugs/

http://www.to-conne.co.jp/connector/c_products/bnc/plugs/BNCP-8.pdf

 

Almic BNC-P-8D

https://item.rakuten.co.jp/auc-treevillage/bnc-p-8d/

http://www.almic.net/product/download/BNC_catalog.pdf

 

Amphenol RF 6775

https://www.amphenolrf.com/000-6775.html

https://octopart.com/000-6775-75-amphenol+rf-49742146

https://media.digikey.com/pdf/Data Sheets/Amphenol PDFs/BNC_Catalog.pdf#page=5

 

If we weren't big fans of Fujikura, there's also Belden 9913 in addition to 7810A as I mentioned below

 

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/31857-mutec-ref-10-masterclock/?page=24&tab=comments#comment-773291

 

Of course we could also go totally crazy with 12D-FB @ 15.6 mm OD but so far I haven't seen any kinda 50 Ω BNC plugs that could accommodate coaxial cables with that kinda thickness

 

http://www.caledonian-cables.co.uk/Coaxia_Cable/50Ohm RF/12D-FB.html

http://www.caledonian-cables.com/product/Coaxial Cables/50Ohm RF Coaxial Cables/12D-FB.htm

 

Finally we've gotta thank @d_elm for pointing out that Pasternack also made some 50 Ω cables with impressive numbers that looked good (at least?) on paper

 

https://www.pasternack.com/semirigid-0.250-50-ohm-coax-cable-tinned-aluminum-pe-sr401al-p.aspx

https://www.pasternack.com/images/ProductPDF/PE-SR401AL.pdf#page=2

 

It really does cost quite a bit @ $21.16 per foot but fortunately clock cables should be kept as short as we could manage to, and then its 6.35 mm OD should be an advantage as well.

 

BTW, they also have something thicker and even more expensive as follows

 

10.92 mm OD @ $31.94 per foot
https://www.pasternack.com/flexible-0.430-rg225-50-ohm-coax-cable-ptfe-fr-jacket-rg225-u-p.aspx

https://www.pasternack.com/images/ProductPDF/RG225-U.pdf

 

10.16 mm OD @ $39.81 per foot
https://www.pasternack.com/semirigid-0.118-50-ohm-coax-cable-copper-pe-118sr-p.aspx

https://www.pasternack.com/images/ProductPDF/PE-118SR.pdf#page=2

 

Yet another 50 Ω clock cable from Japan

 

https://atlasaudio.jp/products/detail/903

https://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/1113478.html

https://www.phileweb.com/news/audio/201803/26/19588.html

FRIYOSq.jpg 7r1s0nu.jpg

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@seeteeyou (and others) - Please note that we have started a thread dedicated to clock cables.  The idea is to try to capture as much of the good information on clock cables as we can in one place.  It is a bit of a slow start, only nine followers at the moment, but I am sure we will get there!  Contributions like those above are just what we need I think.

 

 


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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11 hours ago, lmitche said:

LOL, OK bat ears, you saying 1db at 20Khz is easily detectable?

I know that I cannot hear anything at 20kHz, but in fairness to @mozes, there would not be much point having a filter if it's effects were 100% inaudible. 


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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33 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

Even if humans can't hear 20kHz in a tone test, which is how that determination was made, what if the brain still registers the presence of that sound at some level.  Then when sounds with that frequency are added or removed from a source our brains are able to perceive a change in the overall sound of the source.  Regardless of whether we can audibly hear the tone we may recognize its presence.  It is the impact of its absence or presence, not the audibility of the frequency itself that creates the change in sound.

I was wondering if the presence of the ultrasonics in the air can somehow mess up the HF that is within the audible range.  I have no idea if this is even a sensible suggestion, just a thought I had.


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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34 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

Even if humans can't hear 20kHz in a tone test, which is how that determination was made, what if the brain still registers the presence of that sound at some level.  Then when sounds with that frequency are added or removed from a source our brains are able to perceive a change in the overall sound of the source.  Regardless of whether we can audibly hear the tone we may recognize its presence.  It is the impact of its absence or presence, not the audibility of the frequency itself that creates the change in sound.

I don't have any experiences with this with high frequencies, but I can tell that when you add a subwoofer to your system the whole sound palette changes and not only the lows. Midrange is fuller, more lifelike and even the tweeter seems to behave somehow different.

Good base (deep and accurate base) seems to be the foundations for a complete musical experience.

So I don’t reject the idea that the ultrasonic frequencies can have an effect on how we perceive music.

It is no coincidence that a good tweeter performs very well far beyond 20kHz.

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6 minutes ago, Confused said:

I was wondering if the presence of the ultrasonics in the air can somehow mess up the HF that is within the audible range.  I have no idea if this is even a sensible suggestion, just a thought I had.

 

When you know that higher frequencies travel along with other (lower) frequencies superimposed than you can understand that the highest frequency we hear is somewhat blurred by these ultrasonic parasites. Some musical instruments produce harmonics far beyond what we can hear. We know that the harmonics of an instrument determine its character. Who says that removing some of the ultrasonic harmonics doesn't change the way we perceive that particular instrument?

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1 hour ago, afrancois said:

A very interesting paper about ultrasonic harmonics. A must read!

 

https://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/spectra/spectra.htm

Boyk's paper is the one that got me intrigued about the subject of ultrasonics and their potential effect on our listening experience.  There are research papers published in Japan that seem to prove our ability to sense ultrasonics and, as expected, there are those who disparage the findings for various reasons.

 

In order to experience the potential effect however, at least a few requisites must be met.  First of all the material must be truly HiRes.  Second, both the recording and reproduction chains need to met the definition of HiRes.

 

This article defines HiRes...  <http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3534>

 

This article defines what HiRes is NOT...

<https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/15197197-what-high-resolution-audio-is-u-not-u>

 

Despite the availability of what are nominally HiRes tracks, I have only just recently found tracks that are specifically identified as having content above 20kHz.  They are tracks 33-41(?) on the Native DSD speaker set-up collection...

<https://2xhd.nativedsd.com/albums/2XHDFT1095-audiophile-speaker-setup>

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Interesting cost efficiënt psu test


🇳🇱
Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

EtherRegen, LPS1- Isoregen, Lush^2

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Has anyone been able to compare the sCLK-OCX10 with the Mutec Ref 10?  They are roughly tne same price in the UK (assuming the sCLK-OCX10 can still be bought with the free sPS-500) but the Mutec looks the neater option with its built-in linear power supply and with both 50 ohm and 75 ohm outputs.

 

I need to decide over the few days whether to return my tX-USBultra, which doesn’t have a masterclock input, for one that does.  I’m impressed enough with the sound quality improvements to own it in one form or another but now think that paying a little extra for the masterclock input might be the wiser thing to do.


Zenith SE > USPCB (5v off) > tX-USBultra 9V (SR4) > Sablon Reserva Elite USB > M Scaler > WAVE Stream bnc > DAVE > Prion4/Lazuli Reference > Utopia/LCD-4/HE1000se

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Roy brought up the Oppo mod the other day and May replied here that they can do something similar.  I am very tempted to do this to improve my home theater experience so I asked May about it.  The cost is a bit more than from Oppomod which Roy recommended, but it is the sCLK.  They'll also swap out caps.

 

She also gave me some info on their new switch I thought I would share below.

 

Replacing sCLK-EX(4 points) with 10MHz Master clock input : USD1050

1.     Main clock

2.     2 Channel output

3.     7.1 Channel output

4.     Bluray driver chipset

 

KakaoTalk_20171025_163342724.thumb.jpg.0b045f86870e4694fc7089bbb5e4e3a0.jpg

 

Replacing capacitors :

For a digital board and analog boards(32points) : USD200

For bulk CAPS on the analog board input : USD100

For OPAmp(OPA1642) on Analog 7.1 channel : USD150

 

Replacing power input board : USD550

image001.thumb.jpg.7962d94b949ca16ab1e6b28f6ca74f47.jpg

The above is the original power board on the digital part and below is the new power board designed by us.

image002.thumb.jpg.7fbedbd5061909b6064327be3fdc1222.jpg

 

The new SOtM switch

sNH-10G_A.thumb.JPG.0a2293616d8da97a297ee74b12189b36.JPG

sNH-10G_B.thumb.JPG.889d65b8709e889fa54b0b2600bde3b9.JPG

 


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Modified Buffalo switch-> SOtM sNH-10G-> Custom Audiolinux server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> EtherRegen-> AL NUC NA (sCLK-EX modified)->  Holo Spring L3 -> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H, JL Fathom sub

Power: Paul Hynes SR7, Uptone LPS-1.2, sPS-500, Topaz 91001-31 Isolation Transformer

Analog chain: VPI Prime with Ortofon Quintet Black cart -> Simaudio Neo 310LP-> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H

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26 minutes ago, str-1 said:

Has anyone been able to compare the sCLK-OCX10 with the Mutec Ref 10?  They are roughly tne same price in the UK (assuming the sCLK-OCX10 can still be bought with the free sPS-500) but the Mutec looks the neater option with its built-in linear power supply and with both 50 ohm and 75 ohm outputs.

 

I need to decide over the few days whether to return my tX-USBultra, which doesn’t have a masterclock input, for one that does.  I’m impressed enough with the sound quality improvements to own it in one form or another but now think that paying a little extra for the masterclock input might be the wiser thing to do.

 

I can't give a comparison but want to point out that SOtM can do both 50 ohm and 75 ohm outputs on the same sCLK-OCX10.  You just have to request whatever combination of outputs you'd like when placing the order.  I have two of each on mine.


 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Johnseye said:

The new SOtM switch

sNH-10G_A.thumb.JPG.0a2293616d8da97a297ee74b12189b36.JPG

sNH-10G_B.thumb.JPG.889d65b8709e889fa54b0b2600bde3b9.JPG

 

 

Wow, this thing looks mighty!

 

@MayfromSOtM, any indication of the price? I hope you will bring it as a finished product to High End Munich in May, it’s high on my shopping list!

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10 hours ago, Johnseye said:

Roy brought up the Oppo mod the other day and May replied here that they can do something similar.  I am very tempted to do this to improve my home theater experience so I asked May about it.  The cost is a bit more than from Oppomod which Roy recommended, but it is the sCLK.  They'll also swap out caps.

 

She also gave me some info on their new switch I thought I would share below.

 

Replacing sCLK-EX(4 points) with 10MHz Master clock input : USD1050

1.     Main clock

2.     2 Channel output

3.     7.1 Channel output

4.     Bluray driver chipset

 

KakaoTalk_20171025_163342724.thumb.jpg.0b045f86870e4694fc7089bbb5e4e3a0.jpg

 

Replacing capacitors :

For a digital board and analog boards(32points) : USD200

For bulk CAPS on the analog board input : USD100

For OPAmp(OPA1642) on Analog 7.1 channel : USD150

 

Replacing power input board : USD550

image001.thumb.jpg.7962d94b949ca16ab1e6b28f6ca74f47.jpg

The above is the original power board on the digital part and below is the new power board designed by us.

image002.thumb.jpg.7fbedbd5061909b6064327be3fdc1222.jpg

 

The new SOtM switch

sNH-10G_A.thumb.JPG.0a2293616d8da97a297ee74b12189b36.JPG

sNH-10G_B.thumb.JPG.889d65b8709e889fa54b0b2600bde3b9.JPG

 

Wonder how PS upgrade and clock parts/ implementation compare to oppmod's? SoTM's is about double the price...

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11 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

I can't give a comparison but want to point out that SOtM can do both 50 ohm and 75 ohm outputs on the same sCLK-OCX10.  You just have to request whatever combination of outputs you'd like when placing the order.  I have two of each on mine.

Thanks, I didn’t know that.  Two of each seems like a good idea.  

 

Also, I now see that the SOtM boxes are much smaller than the Mutec and probably carry little or no penality in terms of space requirements in my vertical equipment rack.  Do you think it would be ok to stack the sCLK-OCX10 and sPS-500 (and which way round), or any 1+2 combination including the tX-USBultra, or would resulting increase in interference negate any benefits to be gained from shortest possible cables?

 

Finally, and the most important question of all, just how big an improvement can I expect from using an sCLK-OCX10/sPS-500 combo with my SR4-powered tX-USBultra inbetween my Zenith SE and Chord Blu 2/DAVE?  Thanks.


Zenith SE > USPCB (5v off) > tX-USBultra 9V (SR4) > Sablon Reserva Elite USB > M Scaler > WAVE Stream bnc > DAVE > Prion4/Lazuli Reference > Utopia/LCD-4/HE1000se

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11 hours ago, AmusedToD said:

 

Wow, this thing looks mighty!

 

@MayfromSOtM, any indication of the price? I hope you will bring it as a finished product to High End Munich in May, it’s high on my shopping list!

 

Two different switch solutions to look at in the future (klick on Superdad replied to a topic to get to the right post).

 

 


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, Qobuz Studio, Roon ROCK,
Uptone etherREGEN, dCS Network bridge
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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18 minutes ago, octaviars said:

 

Two different switch solutions to look at in the future (klick on Superdad replied to a topic to get to the right post).

 

 

 

Good stuff indeed, do we have a release date for the Uptone switch?

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2 minutes ago, AmusedToD said:

 

Good stuff indeed, do we have a release date for the Uptone switch?

 

No and Alex (Uptone) wrote not to ask.....but that was 7 days ago :)


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, Qobuz Studio, Roon ROCK,
Uptone etherREGEN, dCS Network bridge
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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12 hours ago, AmusedToD said:

 

Wow, this thing looks mighty!

 

@MayfromSOtM, any indication of the price? I hope you will bring it as a finished product to High End Munich in May, it’s high on my shopping list!

Hi AmusedToD, 

Not yet ready for the price information, so sorry, but yes, we are planning to show up the switch for the first time to coming AXPONA and Munich show!! :)

 

Thank you!

Best regards, May

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