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*progear

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Everything posted by *progear

  1. Hi Rafa, I am glad you managed to pick a board suitable to your purposes which indeed also features the I2S option. Sorry for not answering earlier, haven't been around for a while. Changing sample rates can be a bit annoying with Dante devices, they have not been designed for audiophiles. If your digital collection mainly consists of redbook files I recommend upsampling to 88.2 PCM. Go for the lowest latency possible in your system. Also check the chipset of your LAN adaptor for best results. Intel chipsets are my very first choice with Dante.
  2. The Macromedia interfaces are PCM96kHz max, two channels only. There are several varieties, DAC, IO AES3, IO SPDIF and a few more. Most of these have I2S pins available, one could feed a dac from there. I cannot report any noise issues with these boards whatsoever. I think these boards are ideal for tweaking and diy. It is indeed a gem. I had experienced the sonic qualities of Dante earlier, but the Hilo showed me how much of a difference Dante can make.
  3. Native audio formats with dante boards are TDM and I2S. In two-channel mode the dante device speaks native I2S; if built into the dac or linked via slot card there will be no conversions whatsoever. The shorter the signal path for unbalanced I2S, the better the sound. My theory.
  4. To my knowledge Merging is the only company that has implemented RAVENNA with DSD capability. I can clearly imagine that. I just wonder how much damage is done to the signal by converting from AES3 to I2S. To my ears signal quality with AES67 is that good already that additional conversions may blur results. Thus I consider designs such as the HILO oder the Merging dacs the way to go. I quickly tried a Digimedia DIO with AES cable into the HILO. The Mutec MC3+ USB as a reclocker in between worsened sound quality a little. We use Vovox & Apogee AES cable, btw. Unfortunately I have not yet experienced the effects of the Mutec 10m on signal quality. just my 2 ct
  5. Well, I don’t mind. We have a Mutec MC3+ USB and I have compared this unit to the Artistic Fidelity AFI at our studio when a colleague paid me a visit. Somebody also made me listen to a modded Singxer F1(?), but I was not familiar with the rest of the chain. All of these converters did pretty well; the Mutec will remain my fist choice since it is a multifunctional tool in the studio. In fact, we also have the earlier MC3+ without USB and nobody really misses the USB functionality.
  6. That is the module we installed, we also use Hilo's outputs. The Micromedia boards have been used to retrofit other equipment, e. g. we used a Micromedia – Digimedia DAC XLR to equip a quality headphone amp with Dante connectivity. In the process we also found that the Micromedia – Digimedia DIO boards are of excellent sound quality and can be used to feed AES or spdif to a dac - and that is the application a lot of audiophiles may be looking for. As I said above, these things are cheap and they blow the best USB converters I know out of the water.
  7. Looking at the consumer audio market it does not come as much of a surprise to me that USB seems to be predominant in computer audio. Even some dedicated streamers would go that path, so why should anyone doubt that there is anything beyond USB? Quite a number of pro solutions can be ruled out for consumer use for a number of reasons, I guess most of them well discussed on this forum. Then again, a LAN port comes as standard with just about any computer on the market, thus audio over IP may one day gain in popularity among audiophiles, I think. And this is why: a couple of months ago a Dante module for the Lynx Hilo arrived at the studio. The Hilo so far had been fed via USB, not so much because we believed in USB superiority over Thunderbolt, but because we wanted the DAC to work with any computer customers could possibly bring along. With the Dante module installed, the Hilo sounded an awful lot better. This made us even more interested in Dante, so we ordered some inexpensive boards from Swiss Micromedia. See here: https://www.micromedia.ch/?portfolio=dante-aoip-stereo-maker-boards From my experience so far I can recommend Dante as the way to go for ambitious audiophiles. It certainly is not as easy to set up as some usb chain; one does not need to be an IT expert, either, but knowledge of how to set up TC/IP and the choice of PC hardware comes in handy. With Dante switching samplerates is manual and with the Micromedia boards there is a limit at 24/96, but these inexpensive DIO boards blow the best USB converters I know out of the water, including the likes of Mutec and Singxer. The Micromedia boards are certainly a good starting point, there is more advanced gear out there, e. g. from Lynx or Merging. Therefore I think the best digital source for audiophiles at this point is a Mac (preference) or a PC with a quality LAN port running Dante Virtual Soundcard.
  8. Hope that helps: "With that said, let’s be clear that there’s plenty of talk — both marketing and research driven — on whether external clocks can actually improve the sound of converters, or if converters sound better when they’re running on their internal clocks. So far, the best discussions I’ve seen on the topic are in several whitepapers that are downloadable from the publications page of Grimm Audio’s [Tape Op #75] website <grimmaudio.com>. These papers mirror the conversations I’ve had with several leading ADC and DAC designers. Here’s my greatly simplified paraphrase: To synchronize to an external reference signal, a converter typically utilizes a PLL circuit controlling an internal oscillator. Compromises exist in choosing a PLL design that favors the internal oscillator or the external reference. A converter with a “slow” narrowband PLL mated to a low-jitter internal oscillator won’t change much in sound between running off its internal clock or a high-quality external one. A converter with a “fast” wideband PLL, which is often employed to reduce the jitter of the paired internal oscillator, can sound better with a high-quality external clock. On the other hand, a converter with a “fast” PLL mated to a low-jitter oscillator might actually sound worse when running off an external reference that exhibits more jitter than the internal oscillator. And a converter with a “slow” PLL driving a suboptimal internal oscillator will always sound bad, no matter the reference. Conclusion: A “slow” PLL converter, good or bad, won’t sound any better with an external clock. But a high-quality external clock can improve the performance of a “fast” PLL converter. Moreover, an external clock with lower close-in phase noise (narrowband jitter at frequencies close to the carrier frequency) has a better chance of improving the sound of a “fast” PLL converter. All that is a long-winded way of saying that the MC-3+ Smart Clock is a great choice for a master clock because it exhibits exemplary ultra- low-jitter performance — especially in regards to close-in phase noise — due to MUTEC’s 1G-Clock Technology, a variation on the Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS) method of generating clock signals from a fixed-frequency reference clock." source: https://www.mutec-net.com/downloads/pdf/MUTEC_press_03-2015-1_ED.pdf
  9. Clocking your DAC by an external master clock will not help much in many cases. Instead, reclocking an AES/SPDIF signal is very likely to help with a lot of DACs - simply because the input section of the DAC - PLL has less work to do. A 10M clock can be used to further improve the MC3+. With the "old" MC3+ relatively cheap DIY 10Ms had a positive effect, with the USB model the internal clock is already very good so I guess it will take a really good 10M to do any good. I would not doubt that Mutec do have a point in releasing their 10M. There certainly will be an audible improvement of some kind. At the price point of such a system there may also be other options to be considered for hifi nerds.
  10. Just read through the first pages of the Mutec MC3+ thread, your impressions may be similar. One can certainly learn a lot about viral marketing and religion when browsing through audio forums. One can also see that some products do not travel as easily across the pond, especially when it comes to tiny companies i.e. one man shows. Sometimes you may just find that a happy customer wants to share his happiness with others... Btw: I think Raimund is right in just anything he has said about the Afi, it is superb!
  11. From my experience in the studio there are audible differences in gear warm vs cold. Recordings with tube microphones sound a lot different cold vs warm, thus nobody records cold and they were never meant to be used cold. With studio clocks using OCXOs the difference is also quite audible. Having said that, the warmup process does not take ages, about half an hour for the tube gear and 15 mins for OCXOs. Maybe add a few minutes to be on the safe side, everything beyond that is snake oil. Leaving stuff on 24/7 will just add to your carbon footprint and wear down your gear more quickly; the lifespan of caps even today is limited and very much depends on temperature. Add your tiny contribution to save the planet and switch your gear off!
  12. At the very fist pages of this thread this question has already been discussed. At the time we only had the "old" MC3+ which benefitted even from cheapo DIY OCXOs. Thus I would say that we will simply have to wait and see/hear whether the external clock will improve the clocking/quality of the digital signal even further. In the end it always comes down to bang for bucks. Mutec are great developers, I would not be surprised if the new clock was more than just a step up. Btw. I still hold the view that the greatest bang for the buck at the moment is to be found in the little afi by acousence which is based on a different concept but does a wonderful job cleaning the signal. https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/27421-afiusb-module-usb-interface-isolator-and-re-clocker/#comment-521686
  13. The user is talking about the actual sound the buttons make when pressed. The "noise" is purely mechanical, no clicking in the signal path. Hope that helps
  14. The AIRCELL7 is really good. There are also high quality 50 Ohm BNC connectors for that cable. Highly recommended.
  15. Once the internal termination is deactivated one can use any external terminator to do the job. You would also need a BNC Tee connector.
  16. Hi! Basically any 50 Ohm 10M can be just as good as any 75 Ohm 10M. The difference with the Mutec MC3+ USB is that it provides internal termination for 75 Ohm - which can be deactivated. You would have to use an external terminator for a 50 Ohm model. Correct cabling and proper connectors are terribly important! Hope that helps.
  17. To my ears the AFI is just as good as Raimund claims. Compared it to the Mutec MC3+ USB. The optocouplers may become a problem in the future, but it is one of the best tools for USB available, it certainly is the best I have tried so far.
  18. I've tried the Mutec MC3+USB with and without my DIY-10M. The internal clock seemed better to my ears. With the MC3+ it is the other way round. External clocks require reflection-free cabling, matching impedance is a must, including plugs (which as always, is the hardest bit) and don't forget proper termination! 20 inches and quite a bit longer than that should be no problem at all. What really matters in a clock is phase noise, absolute accuracy is overrated, i e. nobody will hear any difference between a 9999.9999 Hz and a 10000.0001 Hz clock. In my view Mutec have done a good job there, probably only the best 10Ms out there will best the internal clock. The idea behind reclocking is to use a very clever PLL (phase-locked loop) design to pass on a "cleansed" signal to the DAC and that leaves your DAC's own PLL less work to do. That also kinda explains why cascading several MC3+ still improves the sound. I guess that the new MC3+USB already has some sort of internal cascade PLL, my speculation. After all the above clock-talk one more belief: The clock that matters most for music reproduction is that of the DAC.
  19. Hi, unfortunately I do not think it is that easy. Running a very similar setup to that of wkhanna I found that a good 10M clock can help improve the sound of the really good Mutec MC3+. With the new Mutec MC3+ USB the internal clock source is already very good, at least my pretty good DiY 10M can't improve anything. Yet it is the Acousence AFI which has so far been the best USB-reclocking device I ever tried. The guy who developed the piece even claims that the precision of the clock before the DAC isn't all that important, he focussed on isolation of the incoming signal.
  20. Should have been more precise; I was indeed talking about computer audiophiles. Sorry, cannot answer your question since we only tried USB. Sorry again, did neither try DSD nor bitrates higher than 192 KHz. In my view there is little need for anything beyond PCM 24/192.
  21. Hi everybody, what hype? Few people talked about reclocking on this forum up until a year ago. Products such as Apogee Big Ben have been around for quite a while, but it really was the Mutec MC3+ which made this product category interesting for audiophiles, offering much more bang for the buck. Within a rather short period of time new products by Mutec and Acousence (and possibly others) appeared providing even better results. Developers have learned their lesson and equipped their latest babies with USB inputs and therefore became more interesting to the world of audiophiles. I cannot see any hype yet, these products now are just getting the attention they deserve. Hi Accwai, as I said, a friend from Germany paid me a visit and took his AFI with him. We did compare the reclockers, but in the end we only had about an hour, because we were bound to see a few laddies at my local pub. In short: 3rd rank: MacPro, USB-> MC1.2->MC3+"classic"+DIY 10M->Lynx Aurora->Neumann KH 420 2nd rank: MacPro, USB-> MC3+ USB->Lynx Aurora->Neumann KH 420 1st rank: MacPro, USB-> Acousense AFI->Lynx Aurora->Neumann KH 420 We used Apogee AES cables. It is a bit hard to tell what made the Acousense even better than the new Mutec other than it sounded even more natural to me.
  22. Hi SwissBear, yes, I did listen to it and found it amazing. It impressed me even more than the new Mutec, in the end I think both devices are absolutely worth the money. Since I do use my Mutec as a proper studio clock every now and then, I should add that the Acousense AFI does not provide this functionality. It is "just" a reclocker for mastering/listening purposes.
  23. Hi Westy, I haven't checked iputs/outputs. AES cables are certainly good, yet there is a problem since even Neutrik do not specify the impedance of their plugs, it should be at 110 Ohm. For BNC it easy to get those plugs, therefore a reflection-free cable should doable. That I think, is what Mutec intended there. In my "old" MC3+ there's a something wrong with the SPDIF, impedance is not 75 Ohm, therefore I use AES which is at 110, as it should.
  24. Hi Guys, just stumbled upon my own predictions made almost a year ago... Well, I was certainly wrong about the 10M business. Since I had the chance to test the MC3+ USB for a week I must say that it is definitely an improvement over the "classic" model, as far as the reclocking is concerned. The internal clocking is of even better quality, thus your cheapo DIY 10M clock is unlikely to improve anything. My MV89a, which I so far considered a good build, could not do a thing (and I liked that one better than the rather expensive Antelope 10M I checked out at a friend's studio). So the new MC3+ USB is really a very, very good new product. But then a friend from Germany came over last weekend and showed off his new Acousense AFI-USB, a piece of gear that also works as a converter and does some sort of reclocking. Wow, if anything is a game changer, that thing is. It is 50% more expensive than the new Mutec, though. Reclocking apparently has become a bit of a German speciality.
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