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CA Readers Choice Awards 2017

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Lampizator DACs 

Uptone Audio LPS-1

Uptome iso REGEN 

SteVe's V's


Speakers- Legacy Audio Vs & 2 Legacy LF Extreme Subwoofers, Amplifiers- 2 Coda 15.5 Amplifiers Biamped, Preamp- TRL Dude, DAC- Lampizator Golden Gate Legacy Audio WaveletPC Software-ROON, HQplayer, jPlay, Fidelizer, AudiophileOptimizer 2.10, jRiver, WSY2K12V2 Roon Server PC- , HqPlayer PC- Turntable- SOTA Sapphire, Sumiko FT3 Arm, Audioquest Cartridge, CODA Phono stage, Accessories- HAL Footers, PS Audio Powerbases, Aurios, HiFi Tuning Supreme Fuses, Power- PurePower+ 2000 & 3000, PS Audio: Powerbases, LAN Rover, Noise Harvester, Quintet, Ultimate Outlets HC, Welborne Labs & HdPlex LPSUs,

Cables- Clarus Crimson USB, Lampizator Silver Ghost USB, Clarus Crimson PC, Western Electric 10 gauge DIY Speaker Cables and Best-Tronics Belden 8402 Balanced Interconnects Equipment Racks- SolidSteel

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I'm sure we are all influenced by what we may have implemented into our systems this year. Personally:


1. Roon annual membership.

2. Allo USBridge

3. Schiit Gen 5 USB


Damn, that looks so simple in retrospect. However, the path sure took a lot of turns to get here.

Main 2 channel - Synology NAS,  Roon,  Allo USBridge + Uptone LPS-1,  Schiit Gungnir Gen 5 USB, Schiit Freya, Carver TFM-15 4 channels, Vandersteen 3A Signatures

Headphone - Schiit Mjolnir 2, Reflektor HG 6922 tubes, Audeze LCD2, HiFiman HE-500, Sennheiser HD650, etc.


on the test bench - Ropieee, Pi touchscreen, Teradak DC30 power supply...

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1) MrSpeakers Aeon Flow (Closed)

2) Roon

3) Sonore microRendu

4) UpTone Audio UltraCap LPS-1

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi wireless > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > iFi Audio xDSD + iFi Audio xCAN > Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Pioneer Elite SC-81 > MartinLogan Motion series home theater speakers + M&K subwoofer

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10 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Your caught them. It was SOtM creating fake accounts to vote for its own products. 

Really?  Is anyone dumb enough to actually do that?  How many fake accounts did they create?  If it was only a few, maybe they need some help from Wells Fargo.

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs


i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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1.  Alex's LT3045

2.  LPS 1

3.  JSSG Wrap

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  


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Here is the things that made the biggest impact on SQ in my setup during 2017:


1. ATL Hi-Fi balanced IT with floating center-tap

2. Aqvox switch-8

3. Alexey's LT3045 in series

4. Luckit BluWave USB to Spdif together with ISO Regen and USPCB

5. ATL Hi-Fi starquad ac mains cables

6. ATL Hi-Fi star-earthed and starquad wired power distributor

7. Ghent ET02 Ethernet cable with JSSG 

8. Ghent DC cables with JSSG

9. JSGT (John Swenson Ground Tweak)

10. ATL DC Blocker trap filter

11. Mytek Brooklyn DAC 

12. ALT Hi-Fi 8 conductor starquad USB cable with JSSG

13. Forza Audioworks Noir Hybrid HPC MK2 (for my Fostex TH900)


A very special thanks to @JohnSwenson! ?

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to do them all yourself. Graucho Marx

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I submitted my nominations.

May I just add, I am a fan of Spotify Premium. Then, after a trial, I subscribed to Tidal because the SQ was better. Well, I cancelled Tidal last month. The WORST software application user interface (UI) I have ever encountered. Spotify UI is the best and makes up for slightly diminished SQ. WAKE UP, Tidal..!  

Spotify has a bullet-proof UI and I know they are working to improve SQ. Right, Spotify?  Hello.......???

Thanks for listening, CA. I feel better now.

PS: the best sounding music I have is DSD (any rate) files played on VOX on my iMac, with a mid-range DAC. What a great app for local files. Great SQ and UI. Go, VOX.

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I already voted for Sonore's ultraRendu but I just got done with a TeamViewer session with Jesus R of Sonore. He fixed an issue in my ultraRendu firmware that was keeping native DSD playback from working with my Playback Designs Merlot DAC. Jesus, Andrew G of Small Green Computer and Andreas Koch of Playback Designs all took the time to collaborate and fix what had to be a glitch that must have only affected a very, very small number of users. Maybe just me. I can't say enough what kind of superb customer service this is from everyone involved, and special thanks to Jesus for taking the time to install the patch when he could have just as easily waited until the next firmware update to be issued.


Steve Z

VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon3 cartridge, Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers, 2X3 SVS SB16 Ultra subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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1. Further maturity of NAA's. From SOtM, Sonore, Allo,..

2. Break true of clock importance. This is of course related to the NAA, but it really stood out this year

3. My personal favourite: the new Metrum Acoustics DAC line up (Onyx, Jade), astonishing quality for a fraction of costs (of the respected Pavane/Adagio). This will probably get more attention later on, Product of the year 2018?

4. Personal wish for 2018: Roon to introduce an 'Artist timeline', where  the development/phases of an artist are put in context with milestones (i.e, dead of a band member, political influences, relationships (David Bowie), religios period (Bob Dylan), etc..) Some kind of timelines artist biography with background information which has influenced the style of the artist.

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I am rebuilding my music systems this year and the things that have brought the most amazement to me are as follows:



1. Hubbell hospital grade outlet.  Best $18 I have spent on hardware.

2. Mytek Brooklyn DAC: new to me in 2017 but what a great sounding “Swiss army knife”



1. Roon 1.3 software upgrade.  The Best free software update I have ever gotten.

2. Sonic orbiter 2.5 software; really a software update improved sonic quality....  Great $20

3. Audirvana 3.1 software update: MQA for my desktop system and much more.


Something I have spent many hours listening to but did not buy yet. (I used to work at a high end audio store that closed in September so I got the listen to a LOT of gear)


Neat Acoustics Iota Alpha speakers !!  Get them placed right and wow. 


I have a bunch of hardware on order that I hope will take things further but since it is not here and setup I can only “Hope for now” and will report back in 2018!


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