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Article: Reality Quest: Going to Extremes with the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme (Part 5 of 5)

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Fantastic, the best review I've ever read.

The Poweradd Pro battery banks you use are with their original switchmode psues? Asking because if it was me I would probably prefer that your internet Alcatel box is always connected to power (without having to take off the power bank's smps, when listening), so here I would probably try using a linear psu to power the powerbank, if possible?

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1 hour ago, basillus said:

Fantastic, the best review I've ever read.

The Poweradd Pro battery banks you use are with their original switchmode psues? Asking because if it was me I would probably prefer that your internet Alcatel box is always connected to power (without having to take off the power bank's smps, when listening), so here I would probably try using a linear psu to power the powerbank, if possible?

 

It turns out that the PP2 batteries run just fine when plugged in and charging.  Basically, the one in my bedroom closet is a 16V energizing supply for the dual regulated DXP supply outputting 12V.  For really critical listening, I can unplug the SMPS that is charging the PP2 and get maybe 7-8 hours on a charge (way more than a typical critical listening session)

 

When I was leveraging the PP2's for USB and dual BNC optimization, having them disconnected from mains/charging supply was very audible (presumably from mains isolation).  I'm in the process of moving to a dual EdgeRouter X SFP setup (audio network isolated on one ERX, rest of my home network on the other), so I have not yet done that experiment with the PP2 at my networking gear.

 

Still very much in flux (I'm experimenting with VLANs), but my eventual goal is to use a fiber link to galvanically isolate my home network/WiFi from the audio network...just not quite there yet.  When this settles out, I'll come back to tweak up the power to the ONT/audio ERXSFP.  Below is the current "live" snap shot of where I am.

 

image.thumb.png.e3a128c5836c021722ac3714e37bd8ae.png

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Dear Ray,

 

thanks so much for this excellent review. I moved from SGMS to EVO and the to extreme and the improvement that I hear is not small. 
 

can I ask you what version of hqplayer are you using? Is it worth upgrading to 4 as I only have 3 in the context of extreme server? 

 

thanks

 

Arthur

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Arthur, I have not heard HQP 3.x (I run 4.x)  I'm an unabashed snob for the sinc-M filter from my Chord indoctrination, so I'm limited to 4.x.  I know Emile has a fondness for 3.x, but I don't think he has spent too much time with 4.x.  

 

Perhaps you could test 3.x vs 4.x using the 30 minute trial mode that Jussi provides?  (my ear is trained for the sinc-M filter, so that A/B would be harder for me to do)

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Awesome review Ray, thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. I assume that all of your impressions were with your 2 channel rig and not headphones? Just curious how well the Abyss TC's scaled up with the Extreme vs your 2 channel experience. Any thoughts on that?

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99% 2 channel through DAVE.  Adding TT2 to my headphone setup is a very recent thing, so I can't give a definitive comparative answer vs the NUC side.  Part of this iteration of my system cycle was to leverage the Monoprice slim run to run a long USB length from the Extreme to the TT2 on the end table next to my sofa (vs playing from laptop to TT2 to headphones).

 

Taking a step back, I do wonder how much of the incredible dynamics I'm hearing is because I have ultra-minimal paths between DAC and transducer (whether speakers or headphones), and how much could I be hearing this stuff if I had a more traditional setup with amp and regular speakers, or headphone amp and headphones?  At some point, I'm sure the siren song of big speakers and even bigger amps will draw me back in.  For now, I'm intentionally in denial (at least until my younger one gets through college ;)

 

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I suspect you will lose a lot of the magic, unless you have gone through a great deal of optimising of the area between DAC and speakers, via amplifiers, already ... 😉.

 

Would be interesting to find out, of course. 🙂


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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I have truly enjoyed reading your review this week. This is a masterclass in what a review should be! I loved it!

 

Before reading this through the week, I was considering a fiber run from my switch to a sonic transporter i9 > Optical Rendu > USB in my DAC, Now I want an Extreme...  ha.


No electron left behind...

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Once again, as I've stated earlier in Extreme Week, this review (and week long multi-part review style) is a new benchmark.  I actually find it clever that you (and Chris) devised a very reasonable way for us attention-deficit audiophiles to read a 10+ page review easily.  :)

 

I am very much in agreement with those remarks above that highlight the unique aspects of your existing DAVE-to-Voxativ simplicity.  I have to assume that this highly efficient transfer of signal gave you hints of great dynamic range long before the Extreme showed up.  It does not surprise me that this dynamism is a major strength in the features of the Extreme.  You've uncluttered a very important room in the signal path journey and I wouldn't mess with it.  :)

 

 

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