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About isquirrel

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  1. If you use USB your DAC receives the data asynchronously, that is to say that your DAC re-clocks the data, which voids any benefits of using a Word Clock sync, I have experimented with different outputs from the W20 and only the AES 110ohm & the SPDIF outputs are affected by the word clock sync option. As I want to be able to take advantage of high res files it means using the USB output anyway. So the word clock sync is of no value. MSB offer a Pro USB module http://www.msbtechnology.com/accessories/prousb/ which effectively reduces any noise out of the USB output by converting the data to fibre. SGM who make the Taiko Extreme previously built the SGM 2015 server, which used Roon Server to output data to HQPlayer and upsample everything to DSD 256 or DSD 512 whichever format your DAC could accept. However honestly, ultimately the PCM bit depth, even if it’s just 16 bits, gives a better dynamic range then DSD. I have been quite a fan of DSD for a long time, the first SGM servers where designed to upsample everything to high DSD rates. This is a very valid approach for “medium range” systems, but people buying the Extreme typically own top flight systems, with upper echelon DACs, and those do just perform better with PCM if the server noise floor is vanishing low. DSD256 or DSD 512 sounds a bit less precise / smoother, which is just what the format sounds like. The new Taiko Extreme does not upsample and does not use any internal clocks as typical high end DAC's re-clock the data anyway. It does play bit perfect as I have verified using MSB test files. The use of internal clocks cause noise which is the antithesis of the way the Taiko Extreme was designed. Rather than disabling services and removing Windows components after installation the OEM version of Windows installed on the Taiko Extreme is massively cut down so that anything unnecessary is not installed in the first place. The playback chain is Roon routed through JPlay. I was initially skeptical of the Taiko Extreme, I was about to upgrade to the W20SE and I have always been very happy with my W20 and raised the same questions you have! I held off for about 3 months whilst I read every page on the WBF site about the Taiko Extreme. https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/ There is no doubt that it is beautifully built however it is considerably more expensive than the W20 or the W20SE. Here in Australia the W20SE retails for $34,000, the Taiko Extreme for $49,000 before options. I started to hear 1st hand reports from friends who had listened and done the comparison for themselves in Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea and it seemed to me that I had to satisfy myself. I started a dialog with the designers - Emile Bok and his partner and asked pretty much every question I could think of. Frankly I didn't want it to sound better than the W20 or W20SE. Eventually a few weeks ago I was loaned one by the new Australian Distributor - Nirvana Sound. The Extreme weighs 42KG and is even better built in the flesh. However it was the sound that drew my undivided attention, this was not just an upgrade over the Aurenders it represented a Sea change in digital sound. Suddenly I was listening to what I thought were very familiar tracks and they sounded very close to 1/2 inch tape masters and certainly what I have experienced from top flight Analog Turntables, in some cases superior to the best of Vinyl, the variances I was hearing were mostly due to the original recording quality. In summary - I have never heard digital sound anything remotely approaching the sound I was hearing from the Taiko Extreme. I take delivery of mine in a few weeks time. It would be a good idea to start a new thread on these forums where we can hopefully invite the designers to respond to our questions.
  2. I am not having any issues with playing High Res files, I have tested all the way up to 24/192 PCM and all is fine. On another issue, I am about to upgrade my Aurender W20 to a Taiko Extreme which is a fair bit more expensive. My W20 is immaculate and available for sale. Colour is Silver. I have all the original packaging, box and manuals etc. PM me if you have any interest.
  3. I notice a nice SQ increase with the latest firmware on my W20. I noticed whilst it was upgrading that it also upgraded the FPGA. Anyone else noticed it?
  4. I use the new HRS footers sitting on a HRS TOTL base MX3R on a Reference stand. The footers really helped SQ.
  5. I have a W20 coupled to a MSB Select II DAC. I use the AES 110 ohm single connection and the word clock is synced via a 75 ohm BNC cable. Both cables are Shunyata's top end Sigma's which sound excellent and are an improvement over the Transparent Gen 5 cables which we used previously. I have noticed that a couple off posts here have stated that the 75 ohm SPDIF connection is superior when using a single cable. I am trying to get some more information on this. I can also use the word clock with the 75 ohm SPDIF connection. I do not have a spare 75 ohm SPDIF cable to try this out. Can anyone who has experience with this comment on their experience and the impact it has on Sound Quality please?
  6. Hopefully and with a modern makeover. I have been exploring the benefits or otherwise of a Network Renderer as my MSB DAC now offers one with Roon Core on it. Having spoken at length to numerous industry friends as to the benefits of using a Network Renderer over a W20 using 110ohm AES and a 75ohm clock link. Not one person thinks it is even worth considering. The only time when you would use such a setup is for practicle reasons having a NAS drive located in a media roon but wanting to gain access to the files. I did work a small setup and the W20 with AES and clock link crushed it for SQ.
  7. I can report that finally for me, streaming from Tidal is working with zero issues, beforehand I could not get my W20 + Tidal to stream.
  8. See here for changes https://www.aurender.com/blog/new-software-release-note-4/post/system-sw-4-5-13-31-app-2-9-7-122-197
  9. New software available for all Aurender users. Upgraded mine just now and the system software to 4.13.31app software is now 2.9.7 (122) will advise of any changes to SQ etc.
  10. Transparent USB cable is priced around $1,000 and is the best I have tried including most of the above. I prefer using AES 110 ohm for my digital with a 75 ohm BNC word clock much smoother and more musical.
  11. Both HD Tracks and QOBUZ allow you to download in a number of formats. I always choose .AIFF as it sound the same as WAV is uncompressed and allows for easier tagging. QOBUZ allows you to download your files again in a different format.
  12. I can attest to that, I prefer to use AES 110ohm and Word Clock 75ohm BNC cables for my W20 to DAC connection, but the USB connection I have been exploring since the latest update for MQA files and I find USB with a cheaper cable to be within 90% of my expensive AES setup. BTW the word clock works for both connections. I also added 4 x HRS Vortex feet and removed the standard feet and that made a very nice improvement.
  13. My findings also, however the feature that sealed the W20 purchase was the Word Clock function which allows you to slave the Aurenders clock to your DAC's clock. Given my MSB Select has the optional Femto 33 clock it is much more accurate than the Aurenders clocks.
  14. Its not on line, the files are on MSB web site under support for the Select DAC. You download them and play them from your source and watch the screen on the DAC. There are no use to anyone who doesn't have a MSB DAC.
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