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Ben-M

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  1. I'm not trying to say I'm the authority on this, but I have used this Streacom FC10 chassis in 4 different builds and it's always delivered effective cooling results. As you can see from the internal picture, there is 0% milling into the side panel to improve conduction or heat transfer from heatsink to heat pipes: The heat pipes have been flattened where they interface with the side panel, riser, and CPU block. I think milling grooves is cool, but from my experience so far, it seems unnecessary in order to deliver cooling up to 95W TDP. And since it seems our target CPU's TDP is beyond that, I don't think milling heat pipe grooves into the side panel is the guaranteed approach to gain more heat dissipation capacity. Different material or thicker material is needed. It's interesting hashing out ideas while we wait for his real world results, but as Peter just mentioned, no point in letting the cart get ahead of the horse just yet.
  2. I see your point, but I wouldn't count them down and out so quickly. We could easily request thicker stock. Besides that, it'd only be a 1-2mm groove, not 3-4mm. The Takachi side panel heatsinks are similar to the Streacom FC10, which handle up to 95W TDP CPUs. If we could use 1 panel/side per CPU, that may be enough. And if not, we could explore thicker panels or copper. I am in China now, so I will see if I can source a copper drop-in heatsink replacement for whichever case we end up with. I don't think it'd be too much here, but I could be totally wrong.
  3. I don't want to crap on the direction of the thread, and it's possible that across one of my multiple readings of the thread I may have missed it, but why not consider a Takachi Enclosures case? They are a professional case Maker from Japan and they make the chassis for the UpTone JS-2, the Taiko servers, and many other audio products. They have top notch quality, they take custom orders, and if you start with one of their existing base options and modify it, you can save a lot of money while still getting basically what you want. Another benefit is that they make the same case in multiple, compatible configurations. Back about 2 years ago I found out about them and requested pricing on their audio component standard size aluminum cases, which I have attached below. This line is called "HY", then the other number is the height. Anyway, as you'll see in the pictures, you can get a full size ATX case laying in the horizontal format (think Taiko's size and style) for $300. Then you can go far beyond with alterations like material thickness, screw holes, or maybe even changing out materials like how Taiko swapped the side panel aluminum heatsinks for copper. Anyway, I thought it worth asking because it full achieves the flexibility in unit height, while sharing things like the top panel, bottom panel, footers, and internal mounting plate (if wanted). It opens the door for different buyers needs, all the way from 177mm high down to like 60mm. What're your guys' thoughts about this angle? Or what are the comparisons to the H5? I think almost any work that's been done so far is almost fully transferable to the Takachi HY177, since it focuses around designs to meet the Mobo and CPU placement, not the case manufacturer.
  4. For that, there is the one and only Titans Audio Helen. The only D/D that does I2s in->I2s out, that anybody knows of. So the whole flow there would be: 1. Terminator Plus Master Clocks->Gaia. 2. USB source->Gaia. 3. Gaia USB->Gaia I2s. 4. Gaia I2s out->Helen I2s in. 5. Helen I2s in->Helen I2s out. 6. Helen I2s out->Terminator Plus I2s in. Music. That chain gives me a bit of a laugh, mostly because I've never heard of a DAC sending Master Clock outputs to an upstream device... Maybe I'm behind the times in the External Mster Clocking field...
  5. Good for you for spotting that one! I had to read to basically the last page of the new Terminator Plus User Manual to find confirmation that that was the usage for the "clock out" function! And it's exactly as you said, the Terminator OCXOs are used as Master Clock inputs for the Gaia, or the new Avatar CDP. It's definitely got an "ecosystem" feel to it, but on the other hand, Denafrips did open up their I1s configuartor to anyone, so they've been pretty open in supporting other standards for the end user/owner. I think the overall approach sounds cool, but not sure if it's better or redundant in this case since the USB input and clocking are both upgraded compared to the regular Terminator, and apparently superior clocking compared to the Gaia.
  6. I'm still wondering what the deal is with the clock inputs. Whether or not Denafrips has their own clock in the works, ( @alvin1118) I wish there was a bit of info about where someone could get an outboard clock at these frequencies that would likely beat the built in ones. The frequencies aren't "strange" as far as internal clocking goes, I've seen them both for the 5-7 odd years I've been eyeing clock mods, but they are not mainstream for input clock frequencies. I think the SoTM txUSB and SCLK-ex are the only normal, audiophile "master" clock sources I know of that output the 45MHz and 49MHz signals... For me, I'm trying to get a single master clock with maybe 4-8 outputs that I can then use as a single reference across all my front end components. With the addition of the Gaia and it's unique master clock input frequencies, it seems difficult to find a place for it in my system now. Anyone else have any thoughts or ideas about a good source for those frequencies that also has the standard, 10MHz one?
  7. Since you're splitting hairs and trying to say that you consider an aftermarket mod to the USB firmware of a DAC that was never designed to accept DSD512 via Linux a non-point, and that I said opposite to that, I will also split hairs. I didn't claim that T+A DAC owners needed to run Windows 10. When reviewing the context of the post, I was summarizing the main points of the new CAPS Twenty.one, and why it has to run Windows 10. "To summarize what I gather are the main concepts of the 20.1 renderer... 1. Needs to run Windows 10, so those poor T+A DAC 8 DSD owners like myself, and many other DACs, can leverage the USB input of their DAC to get that sweet, sweet DSD512 injection. [/...] so Windows it has to be, unless you either don't have the sample rate need or don't have the DAC interface issue..." From that, you can see that the post is referring to CAPS Twenty.One AND it clarifies that if your DAC doesn't have that input limitation, then you don't need to care. The T+A DAC 8 DSD does have that limitation, as it is spec'd and sold. I know you're out here to to help let people know, and I think I helped in doing that as well when I described the process and some of the cons of flashing the T+A DAC 8 DSD's Amanero USB interface with the beta firmware. I never said it took a long time, I outlined what was involved and some of cons of the aftermarket mod. You can't disagree that the DAC as its built and sold by T+A doesn't support recieving DSD512 via Linux. But via aftermarket mods, which do take some research, are not foolproof, and do have known limitations themselves like then not being able to play via Windows without another reflash, are not standard. And as comfortably as you can say many DAC 8 DSD owners have individually flashed their DACs, I can comfortably say that only represents a small percentage of the total ownership of DAC 8 DSDs, then by which my earlier statements apply and the purpose of the CAPS Twenty.One is valid for the owners I made reference to.
  8. I'm not trying to be a shit, but I'm going to rephrase your comment with the full picture: You can play DSD512 via a Linux PC right now, you just need to reflash the DAC's USB interface with a beta firmware released by the DAC's lead designer, on the side, not an official one by the company. And you need to use several hacked cables to do it and a custom software app, unless the designer's full homebrew app has been released now too. And once you've done so, you can't return it to the stock T+A firmware, your only option is a generic Amanero one that no longer reads "T+A DAC 8 DSD" when connected to Windows or when found on Roon. Oh, and the beta firmware doesn't support Windows, so you've got to pick one or the other. You could send it back to T+A in Germany to be fully reflashed with the old Windows USB firmware though. Yes, I followed that topic for 3 years and talked with both Amanero and T+A, and you, all throughout it. But that's a DAC side hack, and you could say "that's up to you, it is available", and you're right, but that's also not doing the whole story justice. I'm happy with Chris's story here. I have a Windows based renderer now from Fidelizer because of the exact issues above, but it doesn't have a fancy USB card nor a fancy NIC. Fidelizer said they could do that, but then we'd be looking at a custom build and the costs go way up.
  9. That's awesome, that's around the same time I found CA too. I was already into digital music then, but I couldn't figure out how to buy or put together a music computer that was better and more stable than my laptop. I loved reading those articles, building the systems, and seeing the community take flight these past 8-10 years. This is right in line with #5 above. Chris's work with the components, recommendations, troubleshooting, and manufacturer collaboration all lead to us getting devices that are stable, get us listening to more music and wasting less time figuring out why not, and have upgradability and repurposing designed in from the get go.
  10. I could be in already sailed waters here, but I'll try to summarize what I gather are the main concepts of the 20.1 renderer. I'm not going to fight back after, I'm just trying to help you out in case you're not trying to be a shit and just don't get the full picture. 1. Needs to run Windows 10, so those poor T+A DAC 8 DSD owners like myself, and many other DACs, can leverage the USB input of their DAC to get that sweet, sweet DSD512 injection. DSD256 and DSD512 input over USB have a low support rating via Linux to the DAC due to the hardware configurations/limitations of many USB input interfaces in the DACs. DSD512 especially so, so Windows it has to be, unless you either don't have the sample rate need or don't have the DAC interface issue, in which case Chris already advised us all, this is probably not the one for you. 2. Has 1 PCIe slot to take an aftermarket USB output card. Could use the motherboard USB slot, but we're trying to push the envelope here and PCIe to USB cards are the norm for that. 3. Has 1 PCIe slot to take an aftermarket NIC I/O. Could use the motherboard network port, but we're trying to push the envelope here and either an FMC or these PCIe NICs are the norm for that. 4. Powered via an LPS, and in the best case, can all be powered via 1 like the HDPlex one that's powering the SBC and both cards. This should be the way to give them all the best quality power, which should result in the best sound. 5. Leverages a standard motherboard, processor, and RAM. A lot of the above could all be done via mITX computer build, as Chris already stated, but that turns into an individual goose chase for that person, there aren't many boards that meet the above capabilities, and troubleshooting is a no-go due to the lack of people using the same configuration and lack of manufacturers dealing with the same use cases. Overall, I read the article and never once thought of shitting on the author and designer, and could immediately understand the problem statement and target application for the solution. Thanks Chris, I'm looking forward to seeing CAPS Twenty and hopefully trying both out.
  11. That's very interesting to see. So this is a very normal hardware situation, like no special Apacer industrial ram or MLC SSD or Optane drive. So I'd guess any of the final sonic magic is coming from potentially the CPU and then the optimized Stylus software. That's pretty cool. Also great for similar HW owners, as it's then just the cost of the SW and we can likely get similar or the same performance.
  12. Any chance you can pop the top or bottom and get some internal shots? The Akasa case opens and closes with just a few screws. It would be good to see what the hardware situation is.
  13. Any updates on the Western Front? I've got my eye on a Gaia for the DSD512 i2s output too, but I'm really wondering where to get a clock that covers these frequencies as well as the more common 10MHz one, and like 8 outputs...
  14. Why not go for an old Berkeley Alpha USB? I haven't compared it to any of the modern DDCs, but as far as I ever heard, it's one of the top USB->AES convertors out there. Since you're not trying to get DSD or crazy high-rate PCM, then the Berkeley Alpha USB might be the ticket for you. I'm not sure about the master clock, I'm starting to explore the same path, but it's very limiting and you're probably looking at a clock that's more than your DAC...
  15. Yeah, when I saw the title is was surprised I hadn't seen this on any audio sites. Including here. Metrum has been a real mainstay for years now, up and down the performance tiers. That's sad news. Good news about Sonnet Audio, though. I've had my eye on some of their developing stuff and I'm excited for them. As far as how to mitigate any of this, I try to buy used and buy stable products that already have a good track record for firmware, part quality, repairability, etc. It's all a gamble, so at least buying used let's you chop some of that premium off the top, and gets you a more proven product, even if there may be no more warranty or upgrade support.
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