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al2813

Will tube preamp add?

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48 minutes ago, bluesman said:

Your D50S (which, as you describe it, is the model you have despite andrewinukm's reference to the earlier - and different - D50) is a wonderful DAC and your amplifiers are equally fine.  This is a great pair to drive LS50s and Roon Bridge on a Pi 4 is an excellent endpoint.  You can now play files of any practical resolution and format with wonderful sound quality.  Swapping for the suggested alternatives in this thread may alter your SQ a little bit, but this is purely a matter of personal preference - none of these is "better" than the rest, although some may be more pleasing to one of us than to another.

 

I currently have and listen regularly to multiple systems that include variants of most of the equipment discussed above, including a Prima Luna amplifier, an iFi DSD, an SMSL SU-8 balanced DAC, JBL and Edifier powered speaker systems, Rogers LS3/5a, 7 Raspberry Pi 3B+s and 4s, a NUC running ROCK, a Parasound preamp, a Nuforce preamp, a Wadia digital amp, etc.  Everything we're talking about in this thread is as good as or better than most alternatives anywhere near the price range, as good as most of the rest, and almost as good as "the best".  How big a gap is defined by "almost" is also purely personal preference, and the width of that gap lends itself well and often to semantic manipulation.

 

I strongly suggest that you enjoy what you have for an extended period of time while trying potential improvements in room treatment, DSP, DAC filters, etc.  Give each change enough listening time to really get to know if and how it affects SQ.  Switch back and forth.  Try many different source programs.  It can be very revealing to compare different versions and formats of the same program material to see what differences you can and can't hear and to compare what you hear to reputable published reviews, e.g. original vs remastered, stereo pair vs multimiked recordings of the same ensembles, and so forth.  Your system is a great platform for learning - why not take advantage of it?  You'll become a better educated, more experienced audiophile while enjoying a lot of music.


 

Many thanks for this great feedback. I also think the amp is fine. It’s my 4th class D. I was ready to pull the trigger on a class AB ( I had a short list which I was going to listen to and choose). Than came this opportunity to buy this amp from a musician that decided to sell his amp made with care and a custom power supply he made himself. I bought it without listening (the seller lives in France so he had to ship it). It was risky but the price was good and I figured it was worth the risk. I think it is much more musical then the previous class D’s I had. On the DAC on the other hand I feel I can experiment. I like the sound of my setup a lot but as I said it sounds much deeper and layered with more acoustic music. When the music is more electric the separation is not as good. It’s like the music is not as layered. 
 

a few posts higher someone asked me for the attenuation level on the DAC. I am ranging from -24-25db to -15db. 

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Two thoughts:

 

First, I concur with the earlier recommendation on a subwoofer.  The KEF's are fine speakers, but like all monitors, they will not rock without a sub--as you've experienced.  A REL T5 would fit your punch above weight philosophy for about $600.  You'll be stunned by the improvement, not just at the low end, but at the heft provided to all instruments.  With a good well integrated sub, you will not hear the difference as much as feel it.

 

Second, before you lock yourself into my advice or any other plan, get a local dealer to loan you the sub (or DAC if you go that route) for a few days.  If you do not have a local dealer, second best would be an online seller that allows free returns.  But I mean it when I say local dealer is the best way to go, even spending more on each purchase--you'll get huge value from the advice you get during the process, and also help trading up over time.

 

Rock on!

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8 minutes ago, PeterG said:

 

First, I concur with the earlier recommendation on a subwoofer.  The KEF's are fine speakers, but like all monitors, they will not rock without a sub--as you've experienced.  A REL T5 would fit your punch above weight philosophy for about $600.  You'll be stunned by the improvement, not just at the low end, but at the heft provided to all instruments.  With a good well integrated sub, you will not hear the difference as much as feel it.

 

Small speakers, monitors, typically are not stabilised enough in their location for decent heft to be conveyed - what I mean by this is that one adds effective mass to the cabinet of them, so that their character then becomes that of a speaker of an order or two greater in weight. If done well, the transformation can quite astounding, and can easily make huge speakers sound quite weedy in comparison  ... something to consider ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Opposing viewpoint on the idea to learning recording methodology.

I would think the artist usually wants the listener to experience their work as a finished piece, not dissect it into its parts.

 

The absolute worst thing I did in my life's audiophile endeavors was to start a DAW based project studio after I left my last band and work up some original songs. After a few years of that, every time I listen now I am considering the process as much as - or more than - experiencing the artists' solicited emotional response.  I guess a little understanding of the recording environment (year, players, culture, etc.) is OK, but personally I would not recommend to learn the process to the point where you are wondering what the mixing engineer screwed-up that resulted in the piece not being well layered.

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13 hours ago, al2813 said:

 

a few posts higher someone asked me for the attenuation level on the DAC. I am ranging from -24-25db to -15db. 

 

The way I understand things, -25 db should be audibly acceptable given a competent software volume control implementation (whether inside the DAC or written into the control software) ....but I think this could actually be a bit more complex..

 

To me, that means that for most DAC's you should be able to run direct as you have been and attenuate in software without audible degradation. Maybe someone with a more technical background could comment additionally. Some cool info in this thread (pros and cons of preamps) if you have not yet seen it...

 

 

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100% purchase 2 subs, not just one.  Ideally, the subs will have their own built in DSP.  Subwoofers add more than just low frequency.  They also help to recreate the sense of the recording venue and improve sound staging.  It takes a little bit of work to get the placement of the subs correct, and then blended in, but once you get it right- wow!  One of the most perplexing things for me is, how so many in our hobby dismiss subs and low frequencies in general, like they don't matter.  They are totally fine with just lopping off an important part of the music, which is the polar opposite of the goal of high fidelity.

 

@motberg you make an interesting point about "dissecting" the musical information when listening and how that focus can ruin the overall emotional experience of listening to a particular song.  I am one who does not want to watch a "behind the scenes" piece about how a particular movie was made, or how a certain special effect was done as it ruins the magic of the movie.  Similarly, I absolutely will not look at DR reports on songs/albums, otherwise, all I will think about is listening for dynamic range deficiencies. 

 

Now, having said that, I know others really enjoy learning about how things were made, and that enhances their enjoyment.  So I am probably in the minority in not wanting to know how the cake was made.

 


Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | Sablon cabling, PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

 

Desktop: IsoRegen | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 | Elac S10 sub

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15 minutes ago, Blake said:

So I am probably in the minority in not wanting to know how the cake was made.

I want to know if there’s a difference between 30 minutes in a 325 degree oven and 45 minutes in a 275 degree oven........and if there is, am I able to taste it?  
 

I’m more than a little surprised to find audiophiles who don’t want to know if what they think they hear is there, how it got there if it is, and if it is but they don’t hear it - why not?  I can’t imagine that such knowledge and interest could interfere with the enjoyment of music.
 

Chacun à son goût.

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6 minutes ago, bluesman said:

I want to know if there’s a difference between 30 minutes in a 325 degree oven and 45 minutes in a 275 degree oven........and if there is, am I able to taste it?  
 

I’m more than a little surprised to find audiophiles who don’t want to know if what they think they hear is there, how it got there if it is, and if it is but they don’t hear it - why not?  I can’t imagine that such knowledge and interest could interfere with the enjoyment of music.
 

Chacun à son goût.

 

 

All good, and like I said, I think I am in the minority.  To shed a little more light on my comments and my personal take on "the cake", I think background info like- it was recorded in this venue or this recording studio is interesting for me.  However, it is a question of how far into the details we get because at some point, it will become a distraction for me.  Others will certainly view things differently.  

 

 


Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | Sablon cabling, PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

 

Desktop: IsoRegen | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 | Elac S10 sub

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first thanks for the great feedback and advice. At 51, I am a starter in this, and although the love of music has been the centre of my life since childhood, I was not in a position to build up setups for many years. 

 

About the subs, i have a lot of doubts. First because I am not sure I have the space to fit them and secondly, bass is not at the top of my priority list, separation, depth, transparency are higher on my list. I sold my previous setup (NAD C388 and Focal Chorus 836V - big floor stands) for two reasons: 

 

- I don't get enough of the living room to listen to the music 

- I got to the conclusion that this is a bad space to listen to music. The acoustics there are just awful

- I did not like the combo - too much bass for my taste, plus i was not happy of how the amp sounded. I made a good deal selling them both and decided to start from zero. 

 

About the comments of lack of separation is some types of music, I agree. Still I need to understand why DSOTM sounds so great in my setup and Love over gold does not. Probably it's also my own lack or training, placement (which I can't do a lot about at the moment since I cannot move the speakers too much). not sure what. 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, motberg said:

 

The way I understand things, -25 db should be audibly acceptable given a competent software volume control implementation (whether inside the DAC or written into the control software) ....but I think this could actually be a bit more complex..

 

To me, that means that for most DAC's you should be able to run direct as you have been and attenuate in software without audible degradation. Maybe someone with a more technical background could comment additionally. Some cool info in this thread (pros and cons of preamps) if you have not yet seen it...

 

 


wow this other thread is yet another wealth of info (and some heated discussions). I believe I did visit it at some moment but not sure. 
 

one of the issues I have in my corner of Belgium is that the number of good HiFi stores is limited indeed. I don’t think any of them allows loaners (if anyone is from Belgium and knows a store that does that please PM me). Than online sites do allow returns but you get a relatively short time frame to do it (14 days). So am trying to get some recommendations and make more informed choices. My appetite for trying another DAC is also because this is my first proper one. I had a Bluesound Node 2 which I used as DAC for quite some time but the D50s blew it out of the water. Then came Roon and I ditched BluOS all together. 

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4 minutes ago, bluesman said:

 

 

From your earlier post, I would have expected you to say that Love over Gold sounds much better than DSOTM on your system.  So now I'm more than a little confused. 

 

DSOTM is certainly one of my favorite albums ever.  I actually drove (or as she erroneously recalls it, "dragged") my wife from Philly to DC to buy the original British vinyl when it was first released (and extremely hard to find in the US) because a record store on Dupont Circle had and held for me their one copy when I called them.  But it's about as electric and engineered as they come.  It was recorded in pieces on a 16 track machine with multiple synthesizers and some serious electronic manipulation.  Then it was manipulated, mixed and mastered to maximize its dramatic sonics and spatial presentation in both stereo and quadriphonic versions. 

 

Love over Gold, on the other hand, is a much lower key production that features Mark Knopfler's playing of several wonderful acoustic guitars.  He plays multiple 6 string acoustic guitars on it, both nylon and steel strung, plus a 12 string and his old National resonator guitar.  You don't need to know which is which to recognize that you're hearing different guitars, as the distinctly different sounds of each should be apparent on any decent system (of which yours is absolutely one).   The acoustic beauty of his instruments and playing is a large part of the sonic appeal of this album and can be heard delicately but clearly among the other instruments and vocals.  In fact, the entire album is much more delicate and much less "electric" than DSOTM.


 

you are right. It is different than most cases. love over gold was one of the first LPs I bought as a 14 year old from my pocket money when it came out.  I do think however that  DSOTM is electric but multi layered and with a lot of acoustic passages. 

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4 hours ago, Blake said:

100% purchase 2 subs, not just one.  Ideally, the subs will have their own built in DSP.  Subwoofers add more than just low frequency.  They also help to recreate the sense of the recording venue and improve sound staging.  It takes a little bit of work to get the placement of the subs correct, and then blended in, but once you get it right- wow!  One of the most perplexing things for me is, how so many in our hobby dismiss subs and low frequencies in general, like they don't matter.  They are totally fine with just lopping off an important part of the music, which is the polar opposite of the goal of high fidelity.

 

I am not at all a bass head and I completely agree with this. In my case I cut the lows from my Quads increasing their dynamic and SPL capability as well.


Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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3 hours ago, al2813 said:

first thanks for the great feedback and advice. At 51, I am a starter in this, and although the love of music has been the centre of my life since childhood, I was not in a position to build up setups for many years. 

 

About the subs, i have a lot of doubts. First because I am not sure I have the space to fit them and secondly, bass is not at the top of my priority list, separation, depth, transparency are higher on my list. I sold my previous setup (NAD C388 and Focal Chorus 836V - big floor stands) for two reasons: 

 

- I don't get enough of the living room to listen to the music 

- I got to the conclusion that this is a bad space to listen to music. The acoustics there are just awful

- I did not like the combo - too much bass for my taste, plus i was not happy of how the amp sounded. I made a good deal selling them both and decided to start from zero. 

 

About the comments of lack of separation is some types of music, I agree. Still I need to understand why DSOTM sounds so great in my setup and Love over gold does not. Probably it's also my own lack or training, placement (which I can't do a lot about at the moment since I cannot move the speakers too much). not sure what. 

 

 

 

 

I think you missed one of the key points in my post, and another--we are not advocating a sub for overpowering bass, but rather for the weight and feel they will give all of the instruments, this is an absolute must for rock.  You might read the REL website--their propaganda is correct.  Also, if you check my AS profile, you'll see that I share your affinity for both monitors and tubes.  I agree that 2 subs might be too much for a small room, and it definitely adds to the complexity.  But like Sam-I-Am, I only suggest you try it

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3 hours ago, PeterG said:

 

I think you missed one of the key points in my post, and another--we are not advocating a sub for overpowering bass, but rather for the weight and feel they will give all of the instruments, this is an absolute must for rock.  You might read the REL website--their propaganda is correct.  Also, if you check my AS profile, you'll see that I share your affinity for both monitors and tubes.  I agree that 2 subs might be too much for a small room, and it definitely adds to the complexity.  But like Sam-I-Am, I only suggest you try it

 

Subs can do the job, but this is not guaranteed - a setup I visited that had everything done right as regards producing low distortion deep bass notes, using two massive sealed subwoofer setups, still failed to give good "weight and feel" to the bass lines in the music. I'm using some decent, bookshelf sized active speakers right now, and the sense of the bass in some tracks was quite overpowering - too much in fact; resolved by increasing the effective mass of the units. The same factor is at work in the comment about Quads sounding better with the bass removed - stabilsing their frames would have been another option for improving the sound.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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41 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Subs can do the job, but this is not guaranteed - a setup I visited that had everything done right as regards producing low distortion deep bass notes, using two massive sealed subwoofer setups, still failed to give good "weight and feel" to the bass lines in the music. I'm using some decent, bookshelf sized active speakers right now, and the sense of the bass in some tracks was quite overpowering - too much in fact; resolved by increasing the effective mass of the units. The same factor is at work in the comment about Quads sounding better with the bass removed - stabilsing their frames would have been another option for improving the sound.

I’m not sure what the first part of your response is supposed to mean, but no amount of frame stabilization is going to do what I am- not even close


Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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20 minutes ago, 4est said:

I’m not sure what the first part of your response is supposed to mean, but no amount of frame stabilization is going to do what I am- not even close

 

Stabilising the cabinet of the speakers is a procedure I've been using ever since I took audio more seriously - in the early days I would visit showrooms of audio shops, where they had monster speakers, towering over me ... which produced lousy bass. The sound of poorly stabilised speakers I find very irritating - it's essential to get the frame or cabinet holding the drivers in position under control, I have always found.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

 

Subs can do the job, but this is not guaranteed - a setup I visited that had everything done right as regards producing low distortion deep bass notes, using two massive sealed subwoofer setups, still failed to give good "weight and feel" to the bass lines in the music. I'm using some decent, bookshelf sized active speakers right now, and the sense of the bass in some tracks was quite overpowering - too much in fact; resolved by increasing the effective mass of the units. The same factor is at work in the comment about Quads sounding better with the bass removed - stabilsing their frames would have been another option for improving the sound.

 

I can only conclude that the subs in question were not set up properly.  I agree with your implication that proper set up is essential.  I've used two subs over the years.  The REL T5 I recommended to the OP was my first, it took me 20 minutes upfront, then a bit of volume tweaking over 3-4 days to get it just right.  My second was a B&W DB3D matched with 805s.  The iPhone app and DSP made this a snap--maybe 5-10 minutes, plus a couple of volume tweaks after that.

 

 

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10 hours ago, al2813 said:

first thanks for the great feedback and advice. At 51, I am a starter in this, and although the love of music has been the centre of my life since childhood, I was not in a position to build up setups for many years. 

 

About the subs, i have a lot of doubts. First because I am not sure I have the space to fit them and secondly, bass is not at the top of my priority list, separation, depth, transparency are higher on my list. I sold my previous setup (NAD C388 and Focal Chorus 836V - big floor stands) for two reasons: 

 

- I don't get enough of the living room to listen to the music 

- I got to the conclusion that this is a bad space to listen to music. The acoustics there are just awful

- I did not like the combo - too much bass for my taste, plus i was not happy of how the amp sounded. I made a good deal selling them both and decided to start from zero. 

 

About the comments of lack of separation is some types of music, I agree. Still I need to understand why DSOTM sounds so great in my setup and Love over gold does not. Probably it's also my own lack or training, placement (which I can't do a lot about at the moment since I cannot move the speakers too much). not sure what. 

 

 

 

Your DOSTM master is better, simples... Are you using a streaming service, rips or downloads? 

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2 hours ago, Rexp said:

Your DOSTM master is better, simples... Are you using a streaming service, rips or downloads? 


you are right. I got to the same conclusion last night. My DOSTM is a DSD ripped from the 2003 EMI SACD and indeed sounds amazing. Love Over Gold is streamed from Qobuz. I am getting the feeling they are using a master which is not that great. I will try to see if I can purchase a better master. 
 

 

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3 hours ago, al2813 said:


you are right. I got to the same conclusion last night. My DOSTM is a DSD ripped from the 2003 EMI SACD and indeed sounds amazing. Love Over Gold is streamed from Qobuz. I am getting the feeling they are using a master which is not that great. I will try to see if I can purchase a better master. 
 

 

My Love Over Gold is a SACD rip a friend did for me a long time ago. Sounds fantastic, one of my favorites...

 

I hate to mention this, but somewhere in one of these groups a few months ago I posted my impressions of the D50, and 2 comments I included were something like; acoustic guitars had a slight plastic sheen (first noticed on "The Clap" by Yes) and most bass guitar elements sounded like they were recorded by a cheap DI direct to the mixing board. So it could be your separation issue is partially DAC based, but should not be a severe as what you are mentioning. Standing by itself the D50 I thought was fine, much better than most other DAC's I have heard in that price range, and these attributes were only noticeable in comparison to my reference DAC at the time which was over 2000 USD and used 8 x PCM1704UK chips in NOS mode.

 

More likely room treatments, chair/speaker location, or the file quality will fix this. Love Over Gold is recorded and mixed so well, I would not think a professionally done master would do so much damage, but may be some other type of file problem. Looking forward to your impressions when you try another source for Love Over Gold.

 

 

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