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

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28 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Way ahead of you, and it works well.

How uncouth of you. 
 

Only kidding. Im sure is cost less than the sales tax of “real” HiFi components. 


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29 minutes ago, bbosler said:

 

let me rephrase that, where does upstream that we have any control over begin? I obviously have no control over Qobuz and most of us are locked into a Modem or a few that our IP provider dictates. This modem often functions as a router with a switch, so you can run a cable direct from the modem box to the Extreme if you wish. So other than the  choice of ethernet cable into the Extreme, the stream I can control starts at the Extreme.

 

and to A'pops caution about SQ-sapping noise. I don't dispute that. I have an EtherRegen that I use on devices that are not optimized to be music servers like a Mac Mini and a Rossini DAC. I'm sure Apple gave little or no consideration to the SQ of their streaming, and the Rossini is a DAC with a streamer tacked on. This Extreme was built from the ground up to be a streamer and only a streamer. It should be able to handle the noise or whatever the Modem/router/switch throws at it. . I don't seem to be making my point so I'll give up on this 

 

Ray, thanks for the cabling info , now to locate a used DAVE at a good price.. Damn you :>)

I hear what your saying.  It would be nice to think that nothing ahead of this great product should make a difference.  The only thing I would add, is that when the regen was added there was a change in sound.  Was/is it better or worse? To our reviewer it made it better.  On another system it may not be as noticeable or dramatic.  I've read in other threads that the regen (in any of it's variations) didn't make any changes to the sound of there system.  Convenience of wiring through my house is why I bought one (regen). 

 

BTW, excellent review/mini series @ray-dude

 

 


PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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1 hour ago, ray-dude said:

 

I have Frank, but only with certain recordings.  Binaural recordings in particular become completely holographic (my setup has point source single drivers as sources...this makes sense).  Sound is evenly spread through a full half sphere, and I'm getting maybe 80-90% of the spatial resolution behind me as I am in front of me, and I hear the entire space the recording was made in.  I am physically there in the recording space.

 

Nice ... !

 

1 hour ago, ray-dude said:

 

This is only for certain recordings though, and how robust this sense of being in a hologram is is very indicative of whether things are getting better or worse (takes maybe 15 seconds of listening...the effect is very ephemeral for me)  When it is dialed in, it is an experience that is something else (and as a live performance junkie, absolutely crack for my brain)

 

Okay, where I've gone with this is to keep pushing the tune of the system to a higher and higher level, so that other than "certain recordings" perform the magic trick - this gets harder and harder, or more accurately it becomes more obsessive 🙃, in what one tries in the 'battle'. It has never ceased to startle me when a recording "comes good" - something that most people would write off as completely hopeless, as a track, stands on its hind legs, and does a merry jig 😁.

 

1 hour ago, ray-dude said:

 

As I say, it seems you're striving for the same summit, but from a different side of the mountain.  Would love to hear what you're hearing and see if there is a 1+1=3 hidden in there somewhere

 

Being fussy, fussy, fussy is a huge part of the equation ... people have approached this from a large number of directions; one chap got there by doing major physical improvements of classic, old time horn speakers.

 

Current listening is of a good standard, very little to complain about in the sound - but not in a state yet where it really nails it ... a work in progress, 😉.

 

 


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

How uncouth of you. 
 

Only kidding. Im sure is cost less than the sales tax of “real” HiFi components. 

 

It is definitely not GUTB approved...


No electron left behind...

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wow, I just got dismissed from a forum about stereo equipment for having a cavalier attitude! That may be a first. 

 

As the owner of first a Debussy and then a Rossini DAC with Clock, I do not think DCS is "slapdash." I was opining that it isn't fair to compare a DCS  $24K DAC with a built in streamer to a $26K streamer. Sorry if that offended you.

 

1 hour ago, Nenon said:

Even the most expensive amplifier with the most sophisticated power supply benefits from a better power cord.

 

Even if true, I would not expect to pay the $250K for the amplifier you mentioned and then have to pay even more for the power cord. The guy who designed the amp should include it in the price.

 

so we have come to the crux of the matter. You guys seem to embrace the idea that you need to keep adding on more and more expensive tweaks to get your already expensive boxes to perform. I reject that idea. We are obviously on different journeys.. enjoy yours

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54 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Sounds like a Class D thing :~)

 

Its the Minnesotan in me, I have to offset the price of other purchases and have something I can show to others that I bought at a significant discount in relation to other stuff in the chain...  

 

😉


No electron left behind...

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6 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Its the Minnesotan in me, I have to offset the price of other purchases and have something I can show to others that I bought at a significant discount in relation to other stuff in the chain...  

 

😉

 

I lived in Minnesota for more than a decade so I need to call this out.  Any true Minnesotan is running Class A amps through the long winters (and their spouses and pets love them for it ;)

 

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22 minutes ago, bbosler said:

a $26K streamer.


The fact that you keep referring to the Extreme as a streamer tells me you have a fundamental misunderstanding of this product. 

 

24 minutes ago, bbosler said:

We are obviously on different journeys.. enjoy yours


Indeed. You too. Peace.

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46 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

 

I lived in Minnesota for more than a decade so I need to call this out.  Any true Minnesotan is running Class A amps through the long winters (and their spouses and pets love them for it ;)

 

 

Perhaps I wasn't clear... I need the IKEA butcher block to offset the outrageous price of my pure class A SET tube amp and my DAC with all its triodes sticking out the top.

 

You're in MN?  Wow... My head is spinning with ideas.


No electron left behind...

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BOOM!  Class A SET tube amp on a IKEA butcher block from Sweden...THAT is the Minnesota audiophile standard we signed up for! (pass the lefse! ;)

 

I used to live in Minnesota, but back in San Diego now. Miss it, especially getting out on the lake Memorial Day weekend, but alas not getting back these days. Hope you and yours are safe and healthy and enjoying (finally) summer!

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17 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

BOOM!  Class A SET tube amp on a IKEA butcher block from Sweden...THAT is the Minnesota audiophile standard we signed up for! (pass the lefse! ;)

 

I used to live in Minnesota, but back in San Diego now. Miss it, especially getting out on the lake Memorial Day weekend, but alas not getting back these days. Hope you and yours are safe and healthy and enjoying (finally) summer!

 

If I had to live in San Diego I'd miss Minnesota too...   😉

 

Kidding. I fly out there from time to time. Maybe you can show me the non navy parts of town someday when I am out there.

 

And these messages here this evening were sent from the deck, as they should be on a Minnesota evening as fine as this one was. Have a good Memorial Weekend and stay safe.


No electron left behind...

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Just now, AudioDoctor said:

Kidding. I fly out there from time to time. Maybe you can show me the non navy parts of town someday when I am out there.

 

Would love to host an audio night with the local audio crazies...please drop a note when the world is right side up again!

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1 hour ago, austinpop said:

The fact that you keep referring to the Extreme as a streamer tells me you have a fundamental misunderstanding of this product.

 

I am curious and eager to learn. please educate me, or as my electronics students used to say "learn me about that," (seriously, I do want to know)

 

I base my terminology on things like this from Taiko

 

Quote

The Taiko Audio SGM Extreme is a State of the Art Music Server designed to deliver the most realistic sounding / live reproduction from stored music files and streaming music from Qobuz and Tidal. The standard software suite is Roon with delivery of the data stream to JPlay which delivers the data stream to the USB controller.

 

seems to me if it delivers a data stream it is a streamer

 

I found this on other sites

 

Quote

A Hi-Fi Streamer (also called a "Digital Streamer", "Media Player", "Network Player" or "Network Client") connects to your home network and internet (via ethernet cable or wirelessly) to play music from online services like Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, Last FM, internet radio, YouTube, etc and to seamlessly access music stored on your NAS drive, PC, Mac, or other Apple/Android device connected to your home network. 

 

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1 hour ago, ray-dude said:

 Any true Minnesotan is running Class A amps through the...

 

...early morning and late evening hours when he isn't hailing a full retreat back into his always cool former office in the basement. 

 

I'm hearing +110 F temps all next week out in parts of CA that are not very far inland.  Maybe closer to 120 F.  In May, not the typical week like that during the Summer and then it cools off.  Stay cool.

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7 minutes ago, rando said:

 

...early morning and late evening hours when he isn't hailing a full retreat back into his always cool former office in the basement. 

 

I'm hearing +110 F temps all next week out in parts of CA that are not very far inland.  Maybe closer to 120 F.  In May, not the typical week like that during the Summer and then it cools off.  Stay cool.

 

My former office at the Hospital was basically a dungeon...  Hospitals are always cold, but that made it even colder. A good Class A Tube Amp would have been a welcome addition!


No electron left behind...

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5 hours ago, ray-dude said:

 

The Chord DAVE has both RCA outputs and XLR outputs.  Of the two the RCA outputs are a bit more transparent (couple fewer components in the path).  I have RCA to female banana adapters, and connect those to normal speaker wire.

 

Just a thought ... your rig is at a level where the integrity of connections, like the RCA variety, could be a botteneck in the potential of the system. Personally, I would do experiments in refreshing the contacts, etc, just to see if it makes a difference ... it may tell something, or nothing, if the quality in this area is good enough ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, bbosler said:

 

I am curious and eager to learn. please educate me, or as my electronics students used to say "learn me about that," (seriously, I do want to know)

 

I base my terminology on things like this from Taiko

The Taiko Audio SGM Extreme is a State of the Art Music Server

 

As you quoted, the Extreme is a Music Server, which is more than a streamer. The term Streamer (or Endpoint) is usually reserved for a device that  does not itself do music serving (i.e. library management, retrieval of music from storage), but receives a music stream from an upstream music server.

 

This is typical in streaming architectures, where these 3 types of functionality are logical distributed:

  • server
  • renderer
  • control

Physically, devices could combine roles into one. The Extreme is a good example - the most common and recommended use is attached directly to the DAC. In this case, the serving and rendering is on the same box. Such devices are interchangeably referred to as either servers, or alternatively, music players.

 

As to the other matter, regarding what you expect an expensive component to do - I'm done with that discussion. The horse you were flogging was already dead, and I shouldn't have engaged. :)

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Thank you @skatbelt for the thoughtful note. I think you're lasering in on the "Sophie's Choice" with digital audio: isolation and quiet to not disturb the DAC, vs signal precision and speed to not disturb the DAC.  

 

With my dual i7 NUC setup, I was pushing as hard as I could for the former (with EtherREGEN and tX-USBultra SE, although I had not yet jumped into the reference clock world).  My next step was to add a Mutec reference clock, then moving to a better power supply so I could jack the CPU clock higher (there was a very distinct point where higher clock led to worse sound, and the better the supply, the higher that clock rate was).

 

That was part of what led me to explore the high powered server route.  If you have a crazy enough power supply, can it keep the more powerful server under sufficient control to get all that benefit without introducing noise that pulls things down?  That was the initial attraction for the Extreme, was the extreme lengths Emile had gone with the power supply, and to keep actual processing on the Xeons as low as possible.

 

As a practical matter, I'm hearing an aspect of music reproduction with the Extreme that I have never heard before (this is my first experience with a high power server).  That sense of speed and dynamics is off the chart.  Even when I used Extreme as the Roon end point (and my NUC as the Roon server), I was giving a lot of that away.  There is something new going on here I think, but the effort/cost/care that is required to get to it is way out there.  The folks in the DIY server thread are doing very impressive work to edge in that direction.  I would lean on their experience with other high power server options to hear what they are hearing (I would certainly hope and assume that one doesn't have to jump to the Extreme to be able to hear these sorts of benefits)

 

All that being said, I don't think the road has run out on the dual server path either.  I think there are two different roads up the same mountain, each with a long way still in front of them.  I'll certainly be watching with interest as folks push both paths forward, and I'm looking forward to when things open up again so we can experience these things at shows and home listening sessions again (as the man once said "There's a new band in town but you can't get the sound from a story in a magazine...")

 

 

 

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On 5/23/2020 at 6:11 PM, ray-dude said:

Once I realized what I was hearing, I made the investment to be able to hear that with Furutech connectors and my preferred speaker cables.

 

Ray,

 

I believe we have winner !! Hooked up the headphone output of my DAC and you are correct. Why in the world do I have interconnect cables and an amp inserted in between the DAC and the speakers?

 

It won't quite get to the volume I want especially on some recordings, but looks like the DAVE will so here we go. I can sell my amp and a pair of Cardas Clear XLR cables. 

 

Question... my only concern is the resolution of the DAVE volume control at lower volume levels. My current DAC has an analog volume control. I'm leery of volume controls in the digital domain at lower levels and don't see much about how the DAVE implements  volume control. Any concerns on your end ?? The manual doesn't warn against trying the volume control down too low so I assume they have it figured out

 

Thanks for the idea !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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