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14 hours ago, al2813 said:


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. 

I suggest you also try Euphony Stylus vs. Roon - free to try for a month and very easy to setup...

I never used Roon, but recent comments iiuc are it is going downhill for audio quality..

I personally would try software (and any possible room/speaker/chair adjustments) before a new DAC or preamp test...

 

 

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18 hours 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.

Maybe we think of our music more like a David Copperfield performance.. 😉

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2 hours ago, motberg said:

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.

 

 

 

I am going to try another DAC - mainly because I could use an extra one anyway. I miss a DAC in my living room right now. 

I am currently hesitating between the topping D90 and the Gustard A22 which costs more, but seems to have a much better output stage implementation. 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Blake said:

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.

Another topic altogether really, but +1milllion IMHO and two is really a minimum.  Without question, you can wreck any system by throwing a sub(s) haphazardly. It's certainly not a requirement, but certainly shouldn't be dismissed because their "subs".

 

Like anything in a great system, it takes some (a lot) work to dial everything in.  Until one has heard well implemented subs in a system (which aren't meant to dominate), can you then determine its not for me / not needed so to speak.  Again IMHO.

 

Back on topic and to the OP, some great info has been provided here and I would stress again that you use the gear you have now, get it dialed in in the best acoustical space / location you can in your environment - and experiment to the hilt to understand the interaction of the room and listening position.  Is this a requirement?  No not at all, but it comes down to how much do you want to invest (not gear) in learning + and understanding.  This isn't something that takes a few hrs, weeks etc..BTW. 

 

I've spent a better part of a yr+ dialing things in to understand my new space and its limitations, what it does good at etc..  making drawings, measuring, taping locations on floor, notes - a database if you will.  The acoustic treatments were the fine tuning and makes an immense (even massive) difference, but that's not for everyone / or applicable to a shared living space, wife etc.. Ya do the best with what you have!

 

Replacing gear (at this point based on the original post) to try and improve certain things that are lacking isn't the answer IMHO.  It can change things, but you must have some sort of baseline and understand that baseline the best you can IMHO.

 

 

 

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20 hours 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 - but it's rock.  I actually drove (or as she erroneously recalls it, "dragged") my wife from Philly to DC (a 3 hour drive) 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 even more, 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.

 

This is why I recommend learning about the recordings you're hearing, so you can understand your own likes and dislikes in equipment well enough to find what you want and avoid what you don't.

 

I consider Love over Gold to sound better than DSOTM.

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On 7/1/2020 at 4:31 PM, 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.

 

 

It’s a question about at which crossover frequency the sub should operate. The lower the crossover the less importance IMO if there is one or two subs.  It’s also a question about cost and if one great sub is better than two lesser subs. Finally but not least it’s a matter if you can properly place two subs in your listening room. In an ideal room and if the cost is no issue two is better, no doubt.   

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17 minutes ago, bluesman said:

I can’t make that kind of judgment between them.  Both are very well crafted, multi-tracked recordings of outstanding musicianship - they’re just very different in everything from concept to final presentation.  As a musician, I much prefer listening to Dire Straits.  Between the fine playing and the variety of guitars on LoG, I find fresh inspiration each time I hear even one track.

 

When facing the OP’s dilemma, each album has a role to play. The problem with using DS as an evaluation tool is that there’s no reference standard against which to compare it when played through alternative systems.  We can’t know how it’s supposed to sound because it’s not a recorded performance - recording it was the performance.  The album is its own and only reference standard.  Their live performances of tunes from it were meant to sound as much as possible like the record (which they could only approximate), rather than the usual effort to make the record sound like the band.  Sure, many touring bands want their concerts to be perfect covers of their recordings - but DSOTM used studio tricks that go far beyond most recordings and set a new bar.


Dire Straits could and did play all 5 tunes from LoG pretty much exactly as recorded.  Knopfler’s National resonator guitar has a known sound, so it’s easy to say how accurately it’s being reproduced.  There are several different guitars on it, and each sounds different from the rest - if they don’t, you need a better system.  Knopfler’s hand is in every aspect of that album, and he clearly made sure its sound was captured well and properly. He’s playing a single cone National on one track, and its sound is easily distinguished from a National tricone (like the one sitting next to me right now).  His 12 string sounds like a 12 string, not a processed 6.  Nylon strings are clearly different from metal strings.  The entire album is a great snapshot of the live sound of the band despite its multitracked methodology. This makes it an excellent reference to help inform the OP’s decision.

 

I listen to Dire Straits a lot more than I do to PF because I prefer the music.  But “better” doesn’t really apply, the way I see it.

 

I have a more emotional link to Dire Straits growing up when the albums came out, so buying them fresh from the store (unfortuantely I lost my entire LP collection but this is another story) and the brothers in Arms live concert at 18 us still a memorable experience. BUT, I consider DSOTM to be a masterpiece (I already posted in the youtube video of John Heaton ranking the PF albums disagreeing about DSOTM). It is masterpiece that goes well and beyond the music alone.  

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On 7/2/2020 at 6:30 PM, bluesman said:

I can’t make that kind of judgment between them.  Both are very well crafted, multi-tracked recordings of outstanding musicianship - they’re just very different in everything from concept to final presentation.  As a musician, I much prefer listening to Dire Straits.  Between the fine playing and the variety of guitars on LoG, I find fresh inspiration each time I hear even one track.

 

When facing the OP’s dilemma, each album has a role to play. The problem with using DS as an evaluation tool is that there’s no reference standard against which to compare it when played through alternative systems.  We can’t know how it’s supposed to sound because it’s not a recorded performance - recording it was the performance.  The album is its own and only reference standard.  Their live performances of tunes from it were meant to sound as much as possible like the record (which they could only approximate), rather than the usual effort to make the record sound like the band.  Sure, many touring bands want their concerts to be perfect covers of their recordings - but DSOTM used studio tricks that go far beyond most recordings and set a new bar.


Dire Straits could and did play all 5 tunes from LoG pretty much exactly as recorded.  Knopfler’s National resonator guitar has a known sound, so it’s easy to say how accurately it’s being reproduced.  There are several different guitars on it, and each sounds different from the rest - if they don’t, you need a better system.  Knopfler’s hand is in every aspect of that album, and he clearly made sure its sound was captured well and properly. He’s playing a single cone National on one track, and its sound is easily distinguished from a National tricone (like the one sitting next to me right now).  His 12 string sounds like a 12 string, not a processed 6.  Nylon strings are clearly different from metal strings.  The entire album is a great snapshot of the live sound of the band despite its multitracked methodology. This makes it an excellent reference to help inform the OP’s decision.

 

I listen to Dire Straits a lot more than I do to PF because I prefer the music.  But “better” doesn’t really apply, the way I see it.

 

Both are great records. To me DSOTM sound more like a studio record. I grow up with DSOTM and my father used to play it sometimes. I loved it so much that he gave it to me. To me Love over Gold does sound more lifelike and dynamic, at least in a good High End system. The lack of compression and a treble that can sound a bit too sharp on many audio system makes IMO Love over Gold an excellent evaluation tool.

 

In the right system: Telegraph Road, Private Investigations and Love over Gold can sound really good with its vibrant and expressive sound. DSOTM OTOH can’t really match the dynamics, harmonics and vibrancy of Love over Gold.

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On 7/2/2020 at 6:56 PM, al2813 said:

 

I am going to try another DAC - mainly because I could use an extra one anyway. I miss a DAC in my living room right now. 

I am currently hesitating between the topping D90 and the Gustard A22 which costs more, but seems to have a much better output stage implementation. 

 

 

 

If you like studio prog rock, rock, jazz, pop, I think an r2r DAC should be considered as an option, to me r2r offers a more natural, lifelike, dynamic presentation for these genres vs. my limited experience with AK and ESS. I also get the impression a competent r2r offers better "drive" for a tube preamp. I think it was someone at Schiit who refers to "plankton" - pretty good description in what I noticed missing in my 2 AK4497 DAC's and a few ESS models. Lots of options, but I am looking at this or the flagship Audio-GD stuff... or maybe something used.... maybe next month will be able to pull the trigger...

 

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On 7/2/2020 at 6:50 PM, motberg said:

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

 

There would  appear to be little, IF ANY, advantage of the SACD over the RBCD version of Love Over Gold compared with the original Vertigo 800 088-2 release from W.Germany. In fact, it may sound worse as there is only low level noise content from well before 22kHZ (20kHz) with the SACD which appears to have been sourced directly from the 16/44.1 version. and remastered for an SHM release 

Dire Straits-Love Over Gold.jpg

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 28-06-2020

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If you decide to try other DAC's, what is your budget?

Does your class D amp have balanced inputs? The switching noise from the power supplies is a real problem I discovered but was able to resolve.  Took me a while to figure out what it was.

 

I experience the same thoughts in regards to acoustic music sounding really good on my setup but I thought that was just because of the nature of the recordings, being live and real.  Glad it was not my imagination.  Rock and pop sound good too but just a little messy in comparison and again I just think that is the nature of rock.  But nice well behaved rock like DSOTM do sound really good.

RIG:  MB Pro - Benchmark DAC3 L | Benchmark AHB2 | Paradigm Sig S6 Cables:   Van Damme XLR Canare 4S11 Lifatec optical Wireworld and IsoTek power

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11 minutes ago, franz159 said:

@al2813 you might want to give a try using Gentooplayer on your raspberry pi4.

You will still have the opportunity to run Roonbridge on it, but also to experiment with other player options such as LMS+Squeezelite or MPD+upmpdcli....

 

Thanks for this. I might try this. I got to Roon after trying Volumio and I found Roon to sound better in my setup. I have to admit that, I signed up to Roon also becuase of the wide HW support, the enriched content (lyrics, bios, versions etc.). I do not see an imediate alternative right now. 

 

As to Euphony proposed by someone else earlier, I went to their website and honestly their pricing is no less than scandalous. Charging PER DEVICE is a bit over the top for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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