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Article: Reality Quest: Power and Digital Audio with the Sean Jacobs DC4 and Sound Application PGI TT-7 (Part 2 of 2)


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Another fantastic write up! @ray-dude
 

When I upgraded my mains supply last year I used 6awg! Crazy size of cables!! 
 

Question, when you say back to your electrical panel? Are you coming off that? Or are you taking a supply before It hits your home mains panel? 
 

After my meter I use Henley block that split one way to home CU & one to my Audio CU. 
 

Obviously I don’t know how your electrics are setup & regs over the pond, but thought I would mention anyway. 
 

Looking forward to your next installation “A year with the Extreme” & your own personal learnings & tweaks! 
 

cheers

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This is a fabulous article written from the standpoint of passion and extreme intellectual curiosity. I love it!

Current delivery and noise are areas I too have experimented with on my dedicated audio circuits 60' back to my service panel. My first experience was converting a Krell amplifier from 120V to 240V which delivered an unmistakable sense of ease and accuracy. Then I changed about 45' of the accessible 60' feeds from 10AWG to 6AWG and experienced a similar jump in performance. Now I have two dedicated 3AWG equivalent feeds to the Krell mono blocks which delivered a smaller jump in improvement compared to going from 10AWG to 6AWG originally. I like to use Bybee V2 QSEs sitting at the AC cable entry.

After about 20 minutes you can hear them affecting the phase of the music in a very "right" way before they settle in 24 hours later.

I wish I could assertively explain what they were doing but I'd be just shuffling their marketing platitudes [as explained to me] back at you. 

 

Another tool I like to use are the Bybee Gold purifiers after the bridge rectifiers or after the final regulator on whatever I can put them on. - Antipodes CX/EX, Innuos Phoenix USB Regen, DAC, preamp etc. 

It's amazing to me how much 70s rock plays back with a 180 degree sound field. The expanded soundstage breathes new life into Who's Next and Close To The Edge by Yes. That you are now hearing a 360 degree sound field is really inspiring to me! 

On the opening guitar part[s] on Siberian Khatru [Close To The Edge] - I believe there are four differently positioned guitars from 180 degrees left to 180 degrees right. I'm still working on un smearing them in terms of their transients and image specificity. I'm sure your Taiko server is providing a huge advantage here. Can you comment on whether a jump from 180 degrees to 360 degrees soundfield will be possible on most material if one is already at the 180 degree soundfield?  Thank you again for this fine review and your passion!

 

Rich M

 

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3 hours ago, ASRMichael said:

Question, when you say back to your electrical panel? Are you coming off that? Or are you taking a supply before It hits your home mains panel? 

 

My home has a single electrical panel that is fed from the electric company (public power -> electric meter -> electrical panel -> electrical outlet for audio).  My dedicated lines go to 2 dedicated 30A circuit breakers in that panel.  

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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1 hour ago, AudioBang said:

It's amazing to me how much 70s rock plays back with a 180 degree sound field. The expanded soundstage breathes new life into Who's Next and Close To The Edge by Yes. That you are now hearing a 360 degree sound field is really inspiring to me! 

 

I have been REALLY enjoying rediscovering old favorites in the catalog.  It is a gift to have so many albums back in circulation, and be able to appreciate them at this level with the perspective of time.

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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5 hours ago, bobflood said:

Is this the end of the Odyssey? Hope not!

 

Bob, I do have nascent 4th Law and 5th Law brewing in the lab, but no promises on timing

 

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ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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Share belief that power quality, supplies, filtration, cables...can have a significant impact on performance of both digital and analog components.

 

Am an early adopter of specialty power cables, use filtration on my Mac Mini to filter noise and even "magic dust" Shunyata cable on the Mini and an KECES LPS on the Brooklyn+ DAC, all to great effect in term of musical performance of my audio system.

 

That being said, as a minimalist in the audiophile world: server, DAC, amp and speakers, the diagram above is mind numbing in terms of complexity. And, whilst I believe that clean power is important, $45K in supplies and conditioners seems to be significantly over the top.

 

YMMV.

 

 

 

 

Tone with Soul

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Thank you for the kind words Ted.  I have had the good fortune to learn a great deal from many here and elsewhere, and I'm hopeful that distilling and organizing and sharing some of the learnings may be useful to others.  

 

I have retired my Topaz isolation transformers (all three of them!).  They made a huge impact in my system and I was delighted to have them here, but Sound Application PLC is just next level.  If anyone in San Diego has need or interest in these beast of isolation transformers, drop a note, I know a guy that has several available ;)

 

 

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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For folks using high-gauge wire runs from the panel to audio-feed outlets: how are you terminating into the outlets?

 

Crimp-on terminals? Please don't say you're pig-tailing them. Are you?

 

Any outlets I recall ever seeing, audiophile or other, max-out at 10 gauge, and even that can be a pain to fasten and get neatly into your gang box (outlet box), though manageable with care.

 

I have a 12ga. homerun to the panel for audio gear, and 10ga. homerun for network gear. Not sure what I was thinking there, although I have added gear since I pulled the dedicated line a couple of years back, and the network line is new.

 

I plan to pull another run for the audio gear, so I could do 8ga. instead of 10ga., if I sort out termination at the plug-end. Panel is NP/usual breaker stuff. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, MarkusBarkus said:

For folks using high-gauge wire runs from the panel to audio-feed outlets: how are you terminating into the outlets?

 

Crimp-on terminals? Please don't say you're pig-tailing them. Are you?

 

Any outlets I recall ever seeing, audiophile or other, max-out at 10 gauge, and even that can be a pain to fasten and get neatly into your gang box (outlet box), though manageable with care.

 

I have a 12ga. homerun to the panel for audio gear, and 10ga. homerun for network gear. Not sure what I was thinking there, although I have added gear since I pulled the dedicated line a couple of years back, and the network line is new.

 

I plan to pull another run for the audio gear, so I could do 8ga. instead of 10ga., if I sort out termination at the plug-end. Panel is NP/usual breaker stuff. Thanks!

 

Jim Weil has a custom outlet that can take 6 AWG wire. He used to sell it for around $100 but I am not sure if the price is still the same. I use a couple of them and some Furutech NCFs.

Affiliated with Sean Jacobs

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4 minutes ago, Nenon said:

 

Jim Weil has a custom outlet that can take 6 AWG wire. He used to sell it for around $100 but I am not sure if the price is still the same. I use a couple of them and some Furutech NCFs.

 

This is the outlet I'm going to use when I do my 6AWG upgrade (post vaccine)

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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Yes, Jim's custom outlet works and sounds great. 

 

When I had my dedicated circuit put in with Jim's 6AWG cable and custom outlet just over a year ago, my skeptical electrician (you're crazy to put in 6AWG, but hey, it's your money!) initially grumbled and warned about needing a pigtail, but as he worked with Jim's outlet, he was able to get the 6AWG conductors attached with minimal issues.

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Excellent write-up! I am embarrassed to discuss what I use for power conditioning 😁. Hint - it costs less than $200 and is most likely the weakest link ib my system at this point. Your write-up is encouraging me to upgrade this unit sooner rather than later. Ive considered DIY means (replacing sockets with higher end units, upgrading internal wiring etc) but filtering wise, I would prefer not to go DIY there, as I am not knowledgeable enough.

 

@ray-dude - have you tried any reasonable lower cost units in your journey? 😁

 

What are others using in the $1000 - $1500 range?

 

Cheers!

-Rob

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1 hour ago, Exocer said:

What are others using in the $1000 - $1500 range?

I used a passive device previously that was better than regular power strips, I then bought a used p5 power conditioner from ps audio.  That was a major step up, and was one of the only times my wife commented on the audio quality improvement without promoting. So perhaps a used p5 or p3 stellar. 

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1 hour ago, Exocer said:

have you tried any reasonable lower cost units in your journey? 😁

 

What are others using in the $1000 - $1500 range?

 

I spent ~$600 to have a couple dedicated lines run to my audio system.  I would start there.  Huge lift for me.

 

The Topaz Isolation transformers dropped the background level a huge amount.  These can be had used for several hundred $$.  Dynamics slowed (esp. as I upgraded to the Extreme), but it was a huge win as I was working up the ladder.


What can you do to get switching supplies out of your audio chain?  That will also be a step up (at least for 98% of the switching supplies out there)

 

If the rest of your chain is already optimized for speed (big clean power supplies, fast CPU, etc), then I think a passive PLC starts to make more sense than the isolation transformer (the IT will start holding back your components more than it is helping them).

 

 

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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1 hour ago, Downtheline said:

So perhaps a used p5 or p3 stellar. 

Thank you! I will look into these. Just reading up on the Stellar P3. This looks interesting.

 

47 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

What can you do to get switching supplies out of your audio chain?  That will also be a step up (at least for 98% of the switching supplies out there)

 

Thankfully I have already done this :) I just removed my last SMPS from chain, which was powering my server. This was a MAJOR improvement to SQ. 

47 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

If the rest of your chain is already optimized for speed (big clean power supplies, fast CPU, etc), then I think a passive PLC starts to make more sense than the isolation transformer

This is a terrific data point! I am going to say that I am probably ready to move on to passive PLC. I do have a dual rail SJ DC3 (120va transformer, so small), SR7T Dual rail with massive transformer, my DAC, preamp and LPS 1.2 plugged into the conditioner. The amp goes directly into the wall and is rather beefy for the 100wpc it provides.

Do you have suggestions of where to start with Passive PLC? Thinking this may be the more sensible route long term.

 

Thank you

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