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LaCie FastKey SSD


Herb

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After listening for some two years with MacBook Pro/Amarra/iTunes/Weiss Minerva I was looking for new opportunities regarding sound quality improvements. This just out of technical interest, the music sounds already very fine indeed.

Sonic Studio mentiones the use of Solid State Drives for running the OS and Amarra. My MacBook Pro is still having a conventional 7200 rpm harddrive and I do not yet like the idea of messing around with my laptop.

However I tried to do something the other way around, i.e. put the music on an SSD. I discovered the LaCie 60 Gb FastKey SSD together with the LaCie USB 3.0 Expresscard 34. LaCie has a nice driver for this combination on its website for the Mac. All is working flawless. I put some familiar uncompressed WAV/AIFF files on it, in a second iTunes library, and was in for a nice surprise. It sounds better. Clearly better. The soundstage is more open and three dimensional, it sounds even less grainy and more confident. To me these SSD's are clearly the way forward, be it for the player software or the music files.

 

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If you're running lots of programs that require heavy paging file activity and other activities that generate random disk access, an SSD will provide a performance benefit. If you're doing sequential access, such as playing audio files, a SSD is actually slower than a decent hard drive. Sounds like the placebo effect is in full force.

 

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gkoones,

 

Your are perfectly right. I don't need it.

On the other hand I hear the differences; for the better.

Interesting of course is: why do I hear these differences ?.

 

I used to store my music on a LaCie Rugged portable external HD (7200) connected with Firewire 800 to the laptop.

 

Is the difference I hear related to the sequential read speed of the drive?

I do not know. In general the SSD's are very good in random access, lesser in sequential read speed compared to the best HD's.

 

However looking at the figures from the white papers of Lacie, the FastKey SSD is not too bad either in sequential read speed.

My LaCie Rugged is good for 57 MB/s with Firewire 800. The LaCie FastKey with the proper USB 3.0 driver is good for 238 MB/s.

But I still do not know if read spead is a dominating factor for music with our currently available drives.

 

There are several other aspects that come into play, i.e. consistent read performance, low power consumption, influence of vibration from environment. There may be more that are of any importance for us music lovers. Nice territory also for a not too dogmatic technician.

 

But I do not need it. Good amplifiers sound all the same, CD is perfect sound forever, and as long as the audioplayer is bitperfect they sound the same.

This is back to the future for an old audiophile. And I like it.

 

Sounds like the Viagra effect is in full force:-)

 

Cheers, Herb.

 

 

 

 

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You should hear(read) gkoones on my mac mini powercord thread...

That thread was quickly going down the toilet.

 

 

Lyngdorf MP40..Aurender N200..Panasonic UB9000..SimAudio Titan MCH Amp..Emotiva BasX A4..Dali Euphonia MS4s/CS4/Phantom IW..SVS Prime Elevation(4)..JL Audio F112..Shunyata Research Ztron Alpha HC/Wireworld Silver Electra PCs..Symposium Svelte Shelf Plus..Billy Bags rack.

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gkoones,

Just one more follow up on your comment.

I appreciate very much a down to earth approach to anything audiophile.

Any form of technical common sense is many times missing in audiophile fora. And any critic not in line with the prevailing opinion on the specific forum is often banned. So please keep commenting but be aware that among audiophiles there are also a lot of knowledgable people and many audiophile observations from the past already proved to have a valid technical reason. A reason discovered after the listening. So please keep posting in a cirtical but possitive way.

Herb

 

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