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  1. Thanks for the detailed explanation.
  2. SandyK, you must have 2 personalities. A day ago when I said a separate LPSU for an SSD gains sonically you said, "Not necessarily. It's best to share a COMMON Earth reference point. Doing this may result in a minor earth loop problem. Now you are for an external LPSU?
  3. Sandy, I think the point is - we all have different experiences and base our purchases on that limited information and progress from there. So while some people hear a difference across storage, some don't. There is no right and wrong and that's just fine.
  4. There are many that believe each SSD and HDD "sound" different. I've never experienced a difference in any SSD or HDD. The only difference I've heard is via the quality and quantity (current capability) of the power supply.
  5. IME a dedicated SSD LPSU had sonic improvements over a sharing power / rail LPSU. In fact I'm running 4 separate LPSUs for my music PC with no ground loop issues whatsoever yet each dedicated LPSU yielded better sonics.
  6. Or even better - power your 2.5" SSD or HDD with a dedicated 5V LPSU separate from the motherboard and any other power rails.
  7. Curious if anyone considered any inherent noise/jitter associated with the 2x optical conversion and whether this might reduce or adversely affect sonics versus the benefit of optical isolation?
  8. I think it's an oversimplification. There are many factors that go into each design that can affect sound quality. Also, it depends on your system components quality since SPDIF relies on the DAC to clock the signal while USB relies on the source.
  9. Great topic I've often thought it was not succinctly (if that's even possible) fleshed out. I employ your option 3. I found the SOTM SMS200 ultra neo was noticeably more fleshed - out with better dynamics and more emphasis and detail in the bass compared to the ultra rendu both using the same SOTM Signature PSU and exact same setup. Now I'm wondering what would sound better - my current setup (JCAT ethernet card -> direct connect ethernet to SOTM ultra Neo -> USB DAC input or the JCAT USB card -> SOTM TX USB - > USB to DAC avoiding ethernet in the signal path and staying all USB. Also, IMO and IME while sample rates, filters, dither, etc. change the sound somewhat, sometimes components are simply better than other irrespective of other component particulars. Sometimes the $500 LPSU is simply better than the wall wart, the $10K DAC bests the $1K DAC irrespective of the other components. If this weren't true, many companies would be out of business.
  10. While mics, front end recording gear, mixing effects / front end mixing and the final mix + your system and all its components + your room all affect the end result ultimately we all know generically what instruments sound like, or better stated what it shouldn't sound like. IME I've been to and recorded in studios years past and can attest to the virgin playback which more often than not holistically sounds little like the end result, but that doesn't mean a piano doesn't sound like a piano, or a cello, etc. When it comes to electronic gear like an electric guitar or synth, sure you don't know exactly how it sounded originally but let me pose it this way - there is no definitive accurate final sonic product unless you listened to the track with the exact same system and headphones / monitors and gear that the mixing engineer did. So while all our systems' playback won't 100% match the final mix system it doesn't mean we can't get accurate enough reproduction (to our ears) with our systems and in some cases even better than the studios' playback system (trust me). 🙂
  11. I believe you are correct, the Formula is not native DSD, it converts from PCM to DSD. IM more recent experience the Formula sounds best fed PCM via HQPlayer up-sampled / converted to PCM. How much is the fact that I switched off of an ultrarendu to a SOTM SMS200 Ultra Neo, I'm not sure.
  12. TopQuark, nice job with the installation. The Audio Note Kaisei caps ranks among the best of electrolytics. Can you please report back if your unit is still stable with the cap with 2x the capacitance of the stock cap?
  13. What I try to do to when providing a software and / or hardware assessment is to include as much relevant detail as possible so a baseline can be established making the assessment more meaningful. I also try to A/B with the help of a kid or the wife when at all possible. Posting, "I tried gadget X and it sounds great!" is useless in and of itself. Devil's in the details as they say...
  14. I'm more of an observer on this forum and very much appreciate all the information including the technical info (I was a EE/BME Tech and MIS admin some years back, still into computers as I work for a lead OEM) and all the opinions (long time audiophile with 30+ years in the hobby on and off + an amateur musician). Overall I appreciate the ability to click a link and have copious computer gear reviews and discussions readily available since I / we can't demo every piece of gear and I thank Chris and all contributors for that. However, every site has its own culture of dialogue, this site embraces a culture of threads akin to, "A novel way to massively improve your ..." based on individual's tweaking with little to no engineering data. The engineering part of me finds the pervasive personal inconsistencies as garbage data yet the audiophile in me says, hey, if x# of people agree that this cable or this PSU sounds warm/thin/<add descriptor here> there must be some truth in hearing, a human commonality we all have (in our youth humans hear ~20 - 20KHz). And yes, I know about psycho acoustics, system synergy, individual preferences and plain old human emotional subjectivity. However, as already discussed above, it's difficult to have it both ways. We're not talking about reviewing pancakes, we're talking about two extremes - our attempt to achieve the best recreation of an art form - music which is only possible via high quality engineering, science. What to do? I've learned to mostly keep quiet as to not be perceived as a troll, a non - contributor or worse be banned. I learned that lesson at Amir's site when I questioned his plethora of data coupled with his healthy dose of sarcasm along with tons of members' insults hurled at anyone questioning anything data - based. Ultimately and surprising to me, I was banned. I would encourage those that post extreme positions like the "massive" improvements from switches, cables etc., for example to do so with a disclaimer of sorts since one person's massive improvement is another's nothing burger. On the other side of the coin, while measurements and specs are important I don't believe they relay everything humans can hear, not yet at least, so be open to new information and not closed - minded in your audiophile journey to sonic perfection. FWIW - in all my years of tweaking I'd say about 70% of the time my purchases yielded sonic improvements close to or exactly as reviewed / discussed. With that success rate, I'll be glad to continue to listen and contribute every now and again. Happy Listening!
  15. Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Midnight Sugar is a well - known audiophile LP and CD which commanded big $ until a few years back when it was reissued. It contains some of the biggest dynamic swings on piano and great quality. His other discs are quite good too like Misty. Enjoy!
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