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Kimo

Audiophile systems of the future

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It occurred to me while taking system inventory that I most likely will never own a number of items, which made up the core of my system not too long ago,

 

1. SACD/CD player: No need for another one of these

2. UDP: Not much need and not much to choose from any more.  If another is needed, it will likely be a digital transport like my Sony 800.

3. Dedicated preamp: Plenty of options in the DAC world with dedicated volume controls and an extra input for my meager vinyl collection

4. Dedicated solid state power amp: If I ever make a change, it will be an integrated and I would look for models that included the DAC

 

That leaves for my potential purchases.

 

1. Upgraded server: Pretty happy with the Innuos Zenith, but you never know

2. New Integrated amp: To include DAC and phono ideally.

3. New speakers: Would have to be horn, open baffle, or active.  Likely there would be some active element any in any of these.

 

Something akin to the Grimm Audio system has great appeal to me.  I doubt I would be giving up much in sound quality, while eliminating almost all boxes.

 

Anyone still looking for a new CD player, big 2 channel power amp, etc., or are these pieces headed toward near extinction?  Will it all be servers feeding one box solutions  or active speakers, in a short time?  

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the boxes are vanishing from your rack...

 

I bought an Oppo-205 recently to play BluRay/DVD and it's also used to play SACDs

 

I still use a tube pre-amp (well, actually 2 - the old Sonic Frontiers is in the bedroom system now) - it euphonicizes the sound and lets my listen to my FM Tuner which I do nearly every year...


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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3 hours ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Yup.  It's happening and it's about time that the configuration of audio systems changes to reflect modern technology.

Seems the integrated DAC is starting to become a routine option, at least, on many newer amps.  

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23 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

the boxes are vanishing from your rack...

 

I bought an Oppo-205 recently to play BluRay/DVD and it's also used to play SACDs

 

I still use a tube pre-amp (well, actually 2 - the old Sonic Frontiers is in the bedroom system now) - it euphonicizes the sound and lets my listen to my FM Tuner which I do nearly every year...

Do you think that you will ever end up downsizing to something like a Devialet or the new Denon?

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what new Denon?

 

likely not to a Devialet...

 

I keep thinking the bedroom system should be a Creek with a Ruby DAC module - OTOH, what is the advantage of getting rid of perfectly fine gear if I don't need the space?


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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It depends on whether your goal is ultimate sound quality, or a desire for minimum component count.  


Home: EtherRegen | UltraRendu + LPS 1.2 | Berkeley Alpha USB | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 | Raidho XT-1 | 2 x Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  

 

Desktop: Iso Regen + LPS 1 | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 monitors | Elac S10 sub

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Interesting topic!!!
Imho, the standard - outside the audiophile spectre of pitched enthusiasts - will be divided between two poles
Active Speaker + Streaming DAC/PreAmp + unnecessary gear like Vinyl, CD, SACD
Passive Speakes + AIO - All In One Amplifiers, eventually with exchangable modules for DAC and Streaming + unnecessary gear like Vinyl, CD, SACD

Both solution served by a NAS or an Innuos server or equivalent and the streaming services via Inet.
If having a DAC included with the Actives, it will also be modular in the future
All of this naturally has its price, you won't get modular solutions for free, more reasonable priced gear will have some tec gadgets like the streaming unit or DACs as integrated parts responsible for early retirement 😉 by advancing technology
If you buy gear with a ten year guarantee or lifetime chances are good it will be modular .,..
my 2cents, Tom
 

 

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17 minutes ago, Blake said:

It depends on whether your goal is ultimate sound quality, or a desire for minimum component count.  

There are real advantages to active speakers and integrated DACs/amplification for a talented designer.  Won't necessarily be cheap though.

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30 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

what new Denon?

 

likely not to a Devialet...

 

I keep thinking the bedroom system should be a Creek with a Ruby DAC module - OTOH, what is the advantage of getting rid of perfectly fine gear if I don't need the space?

https://www.denon.co.uk/uk/news/news/462

 

Pretty competitive price and an award winner, for whatever that is worth.

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Thx Kimo - the Denon looks like a nice all, all, all in one (phono, DAC, integrated amp)

 

 


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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9 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

the boxes are vanishing from your rack...

 

I bought an Oppo-205 recently to play BluRay/DVD and it's also used to play SACDs

 

I still use a tube pre-amp (well, actually 2 - the old Sonic Frontiers is in the bedroom system now) - it euphonicizes the sound and lets my listen to my FM Tuner which I do nearly every year...

I have one of those as well. I use it not only to play BluRays and DVDs (as well as PAL auto racing DVDs from Duke Video on the Isle of Mann!). I also play my ripped music from attached storage via USB through my 205 but I only use the built-in DAC to play SACDs because my Yggdrasil does not do DSD. Everything else gets played through the Yiggy. I love my 205, and I think that Oppo made a big mistake getting out of the business. I’ve seen remaindered NOS of these players going for as much as $4000! I got mine just under the wire. 


George

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6 hours ago, Kal Rubinson said:

I gather that you have not discovered the delights of DSP.

I use Roon's DSP currently and have used Dirac.  It's great for 200 hz and down.

 

However I wouldn't want to give up my opportunity to fine tune my sound through separate dac/preamp/amp combo, and I also wouldn't be fond of digitizing an analog signal by default so that DSP may or may not be applied in the case of an active speaker.

 

Call me old fashioned I guess, at age 38.

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17 hours ago, Kimo said:

...Anyone still looking for a new CD player, big 2 channel power amp, etc., or are these pieces headed toward near extinction?...

 

I hope they don't become extinct before I die. I will replace my Yamaha SACD / HDCD / CD / Blu-ray universal player when it dies. When my amp needs replacing I will likely get an inexpensive tubed integrated amp.


I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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15 hours ago, Blake said:

It depends on whether your goal is ultimate sound quality, or a desire for minimum component count.  

No correlation....

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5 hours ago, Teresa said:

 

I hope they don't become extinct before I die. I will replace my Yamaha SACD / HDCD / CD / Blu-ray universal player when it dies. When my amp needs replacing I will likely get an inexpensive tubed integrated amp.

I think that you are safe on the tube integrated, but the udps with analog outs are getting hard to find.  I know of 1 Pioneer that does it all, and 1 Sony.  There is also a Panasonic, but it doesn't do SACD or DVD-A.  

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1 hour ago, Kimo said:

I think that you are safe on the tube integrated, but the udps with analog outs are getting hard to find.  I know of 1 Pioneer that does it all, and 1 Sony.  There is also a Panasonic, but it doesn't do SACD or DVD-A.  

 

Thanks, I will likely get a Yamaha universal again since all but their cheapest ones have stereo analog outputs, multichannel out is only with HDMI. I have yet to see any tube preamps or tube integrated amps with HDMI inputs. I seem to remember reading that there are a couple of DACs with HDMI inputs.

 

Basically, Yamaha universal players that retail for $300 or more have analog outs. I think eliminating internal DACs is how universal Blu-ray / SACD players got the retail price down as low as $100.

 

The only Universal players that have everything I want (SACD, HDCD and stereo analog outs) are Yamaha, Denon and Oppo. And Oppo quit making universal players.

 

My Yamaha universal is five years old, hopefully it will last at least another five. I play physical discs on it a lot. I mostly use music on my computer to load to my hi-res portable digital player for listening when I'm not home.


I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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10 hours ago, emcdade said:

However I wouldn't want to give up my opportunity to fine tune my sound through separate dac/preamp/amp combo,

This seems, to me, to be becoming a crude way to "tune" the sound.

 

10 hours ago, emcdade said:

Call me old fashioned I guess, at age 38.

"We get too soon old and too late smart."  😊


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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1 hour ago, Kal Rubinson said:

 

"We get too soon old and too late smart."  😊

The other day at my local record store, I offered the hypothetical to the group of twenty somethings working there.  You get 20 billion dollars, but you have to spend the rest of your life in a wheel chair.  They all jumped on the deal without hesitation.  Then I changed it a bit.  You get 20 billion dollars, but you will be blind the rest of your life.  They all jumped at that as well.

 

So there you go.

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On 12/1/2019 at 10:45 AM, Kimo said:

It occurred to me while taking system inventory that I most likely will never own a number of items, which made up the core of my system not too long ago,

 

"snip"

 

Anyone still looking for a new CD player, big 2 channel power amp, etc., or are these pieces headed toward near extinction?  Will it all be servers feeding one box solutions  or active speakers, in a short time?  

The system of the future may already be here! 

 

This past summer I got rid of a PS Audio Direct Stream Jr. DAC, a Korg MR-2000S digital recorder, a Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista Vinyl phono preamp and a Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800 integrated amplifier.

 

All that was replaced with a pair of Devialet monoblock Expert Pro 440 integrated amplifiers.  Essentially, they're a Class A/Class D amplifier combined with a digital sound processor.  All configuration and manipulation is done in the digital domain. 

 

An input, such as from the Phono is digitized and then RIAA equalization and impedance matching is applied.  That digital signal is available for recording and is then sent to the DAC section for playback to the speakers.  

 

The speaker profile can be downloaded so the output to the drivers is "time aligned" for the best possible sound.  

 

Being a hard core analog audiophile for many years I was nervous about those two little chrome boxes, but no longer.  The sound is absolutely terrific and all I need is that and my turntable.  All that other stuff is gone.

 

Changes to the inputs and outputs is done with an online configuration tool and uploaded to the amplifier with an SD card.  

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