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

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Bernard, I’m trying to follow your reasoning on this one with respect to weight. Can you help me a little bit?Do you move your music server to different locations often? In that case I can see weight being a factor. 

 

My main question wasn't on the weight, it was on the usage of Windows 10 as an OS. 🙂

 

As far as weight goes, I don't move my server regularly, but my thinking is that I need to be able to move my audio equipment by myself. The only exception I still accept is speakers, but they are located on top of boards which makes them easy to move after initial positioning.

 

Besides, frankly speaking, I don't see why it has to be that heavy. To me it feels like an over-specification for the sake of justifying a high price tag. Even the most powerful pro workstation on the planet, the HP Z8, maxed out with 4 high end graphic card and anything you can dream of, weights only 31kg.

 

Note that I don't mind the price if the quality is at the right level, which it seems to be. But I would be far more willing to pay that price if the server had a reasonable weight, which to me means less than 25kg.

 

Cheers,

Bernard


Room: Gik Acoustics room conditioning | Power: Shunyata Omega XC + Shunyata Everest + Shunyata Sigma NR v2 power cables | Source: Mac mini with LPS running Roon core (Raat) | Ethernet: Melco S100 | Dac/Pre/Amplification: Devialet D1000 Pro Core Infinity | Speakers: Chord Company Sarum T speaker cables + Wilson Benesch Act One Evolution P1

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27 minutes ago, bernardl said:

As far as weight goes, I don't move my server regularly, but my thinking is that I need to be able to move my audio equipment by myself. The only exception I still accept is speakers, but they are located on top of boards which makes them easy to move after initial positioning.

That I can understand. I have some heavy stuff here that I can't move upstairs without hiring piano movers. It's a bummer. 


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7 hours ago, bernardl said:

Thanks for this very informative and well written review.

 

I had considered the Extreme at some point, but I must confess that it being based on Windows 10 was enough to remove it from my list (together with it's weight, I see zero reason why it weighting 43kg instead of 20kg would deliver real value).

 

Many have compared in the past Win10 to dedicated Linux builds and the conclusion always was that Linux is superior due to it being more lean.

 

What is your view on this aspect?

 

Cheers,

Bernard

 

 

 

Emile has written about Linux vs Windows before. His opinion is that he is able to strip/tune Windows to better SQ than he able to get on Linux (and certainly Linux wold be easier to lock and support than Windows...this was a SQ decision).  

 

That being said, Euphony has demonstrated that it is possible to get to very good SQ on the Linux side, and their progress over the past year has been most impressive.  I often lament that Zelko and team are diluting their (considerable) efforts between SQ (core Euphony) and user experience.  I would MUCH prefer that the open up the APIs to the core, and count on the community to advance the user experience, and double down on SQ and the core.

 

As far as weight, I was a bit put back by same, but as I highlighted in Part 2, there seems to have been an engineering/design driven objective for all the big casework decisions (for example, using copper for the CPU heat fin, or the thickness of the aluminum with the ventilation holes since they are designed as waveguides)  The extravagance of the casework seems to all be in service of passive cooling, vibration control, and RF control.  Of course, there is a decision to be made in any build whether one needs that level of CPU, etc.

 

As a practical matter, I did not enjoying moving and positioning the Extreme at all.  With a bit planning and furniture sliders and a lot of huffing and puffing (for the last bit, I literally had to use a crow bar!), I was able to do so without injury, but my motivation to ever move it again is zero.

 

(as an aside, I'm not terribly happy to be back in a Windows environment after 13+ years...I would be VERY happy if Emile is able to figure out how to get Linux to the same level, and I suspect from a support perspective, the Taiko folks would be too)

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Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Bernard


Room: Gik Acoustics room conditioning | Power: Shunyata Omega XC + Shunyata Everest + Shunyata Sigma NR v2 power cables | Source: Mac mini with LPS running Roon core (Raat) | Ethernet: Melco S100 | Dac/Pre/Amplification: Devialet D1000 Pro Core Infinity | Speakers: Chord Company Sarum T speaker cables + Wilson Benesch Act One Evolution P1

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On 6/17/2020 at 4:03 AM, bernardl said:

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Bernard

 

Hi Bernard,

Believe me Emile has tried every flavor of Linux under the sun, but none of them compares with a stripped Win LTSC

The Windows kernel became a lot better about 2 years ago, driven by Xbox gaming performance needs I suspect

Linux would have been cheaper, but as to support, Taiko has had no issues with its Win LTSC build, rock solid

 

As to the weight, it has been copper cooling radiators, RF control, and vibration management which have resulted in the weight of around 40 kgs.

 

Now there is a choice of software for the Extreme, Roon or Taiko Audio Server


Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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On 6/9/2020 at 4:07 PM, ray-dude said:

An alternative is to use the stock DAVE SMPS for the 5V and your Keces for the +-15V.  The stock supply is quite good, but a Sean Jacobs or Paul Hynes is a LOT better.

 

I did a little research and the stock DAVE supply is a  switching mode supply you can get for less than $15 in large quantities, $25 for a single. A little surprised they don't go with a little higher quality (read linear) supply in a $10K+ device.. but some will argue it doesn't matter.. Of course it wouldn't fit in the current case, but they could take the Naim approach and offer a mega-buck optional external supply for it

 

https://power.sager.com/lfwlt40-3002-2636704.html

 

 

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Rob Watts has commented in the past about how well matched this supply s to DAVE, and how long he looked to find it. That being said, the MSB's of the world have clearly shown that people are willing to add yet another zero to their DAC purchases.  I would expect that that will open up the design remit for a next gen flagship DAC from Chord. 

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Instantly (well, not “instantly” as it took a long time to read) my most favorite audio gear review I’ve ever read in my 30 years of interest in audio. Comprehensive, detailed, and exceptionally well-conceptualized, executed, and written. Honestly, a stunning achievement.


Thank you, Ray, for the considerable time and unbelievable effort you put into this review. This magnum opus belongs in the pantheon of all-time audio gear reviews greatest hits.


"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Wow, you definitely earned your “made it through all five parts” post pandemic beer with that feedback! ;)

 

thank you very much for the very kinds words. I’m very glad it was interesting for you!

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