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About isquirrel

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  1. MSB Select II DAC, with dual power supplies and the Femto 33 Clock
  2. I have a SR1-a and the matching amp the HSA ordered and arriving in the next 2 weeks. My current favourite Headphones are the Abyss Phi TC's driven by a custom MSB Dynamic HP amp, with an MSB Select DAC and the Taiko Extreme. After having read your review and being a Wilson guy myself I cannot wait for them to show up!! I will report on the sound of the matching HSA amp when they arrive. Better start a Thread on this ASAP, thanks Chris. PS Also getting a custom set of DHC (Double Helix Cables) made up for the SR1-a's they need to be the same impedance as the standard cables.
  3. I have an Aurender W20 with MQA and used the 50 ohm Shunyata Clock cabers and AES 110 ohm signal cable. The Taiko Extreme unfortunately blows it away and the W20SE. The Taiko Extreme if you have the budget is a game changing product, first time I have heard my Digital system sound like my Rockport Sirius III TT but better! I understand Taiko are working on a lower priced model which retains 90% of the sound of the Extreme. They were going to release it at the Munich show..... ITs worth talking to Emile from Taiko about it. Here is his number ‭+31 6 50 60 12 37‬. They run Roon Core on their Servers and I love Roon and the ability to deep search for music and that's what its all about at the end of the day. PM me if you need help.
  4. Which Nagra DAC the Classic Line DAC or the new HD DAC X? https://www.nagraaudio.com/product/hd-dac-x/ Frankly whichever Nagra DAC you choose you can't go wrong.
  5. I have an MCSE, which is now out dated as it focused on Windows 7. However when I look into the registry I see a lot of familiar Control Key's. I was expecting to go into the registry and apply some of the tweaks I have learned over the years. However I can see and Emile has already done this before installation instead of applying these tweaks after installation. Emile has cleverly customised his installation of Windows 10 so that the settings and modules which would normally be there are simply not installed at all. This is a much better way of doing it and I have to applaud Emile he knew exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned all kinds of settings to him. Emile had either removed that component from installation or had applied the necessary tweaks beforehand. I have no doubt that Emile has gone to exhausting lengths to make sure that his custom installation of Windows is the optimum sounding one. Emile continues to hunt for the ultimate Windows installation and will in time release service packs if he considers them to be of significant importance. So owners of the Extreme can rest easy knowing that Emile continues to work away constantly refining his version of Windows. Having owned a couple of Music Servers that use a custom install of Linux I can attest to the fact that they all have a familiar lean mid range. Windows does not have that and properly configured outperforms any Linux or non Windows based Music Servers.
  6. No there are no such optimisations needed to match your system other than installing your DAC's driver which Taiko Audio do for you. Which DAC are you using now?
  7. My apologies, when I re-read my post I can see how its confusing. So let me start from the beginning: I already had the Aurender W20 when I purchased the MSB Select II DAC (+dual power supplies, 33 Femto clock) I decided to use the AES 110 ohm output from the Aurender as I could then use the additional clock sync option on the W20 & on the DAC. That produced a sound that at the time was probably at or close to Start of the Art digital playback. Not using the USB option mean't that I was missing out on MQA streaming and ultra high res files. Then Jonathan from MSB told me they had engineered a USB solution that should have made music servers all but redundant. This was interesting and I subsequently acquired the ProUSB module and external USB to Fibre module. More info here: http://www.msbtechnology.com/accessories/prousb/ Still using the W20 I moved to the Pro USB solution. It was clearly superior although I still found that different USB cables sounded well, different. Fast forward to the Taiko Extreme, a unit was lent to me and much I as tried not to enjoy it, the facts were obvious it sounded considerably better. So yes I 100% agree that even with the ProUSB module and the fact that the DAC re-clocks all data, the source as it has forever been (I am thinking of the Linn Sondek LP12 days :-)) is all important. It doesn't matter how good your DAC is if it doesn't have the best data fed to it, its simply not going to be there. I have tested the Taiko Extreme with MSB's Bit Perfect test files, unfortunately they only work with MSB's latest DAC's. The files all played Bit Perfect the same as they did on the Aurender W20. So if they were playing bit perfect what was going on to generate such a difference in sound quality? The answer I have come to believe is noise and isolation. Emile has taken such "extreme" length's to lower the noise floor and or shift it to frequencies which do not cause major issues in the digital playback realm. I trust this explains my findings with greater clarity. MSB offers a number of input options: I have found the following to be the case in order of preference when using either the W20 or the taiko Extreme. 1. ProUSB 2. USB 3. Network Renderer V2
  8. I too thought that ultra precise clocks are important inn a music server, the transition from the Aurender W20 to the Taiko Extreme and the use of MSB Pro USB module has debunked that idea in my system. The MSB Select II DAC has an option of a Femto 33 clock which is the most accurate clock you can buy. The MSB Select II re-clocks all data and I have found removing upstream clocks have improved the sound. Until you have heard it, it's difficult to accept however myself and a bunch of MSB Select II owners have all come to the same realisation. If you get the opportunity try and have an extended listen to the latest MSB DAC's. They really are a revelation. I have always loved Analog front ends, that's changed with my current setup.
  9. Congratulations on your purchase. You will not regret it. I use mine on an HRS VXR stand with TOTL M3X2 platforms, I have also found that adding a Setchi D3 to the unused USB port on the Extreme has over time (they take time for the full effect to come into play) I have also re-cabled my Network which is quire simple, Modem/Router/Switch with Shunyata Sigma Ethernet Cables. I have a few sets of the HRS Vortex footers, I am interested to see what if any difference they make under the Extreme. The Extreme is so well. engineered that adding this and that accessory to it may change the sound however the real question is has it changed the sound for the better. I have heard that people have tried the Daiza platforms under the Extreme and DAC with great success. YMMV.
  10. I have had the Taiko Extreme for a month or so now, I have over 600 hours on it. It has sounded better and better and I still don't think it has hit its peak. If you have a MSB Select II DAC, you owe it to yourself to bite the bullet and get this beautifully built server. The major test for any pice of equipment is how much time I spend listening to music through it. I find myself login from listening occasionally once maybe twice a week on rare occasions to listening every day. I can't give the Extreme a better compliment than that. I have a few friends who are Audiophiles, they seem to be coming around more and more often to listen my system. That never happened before. I have even compared it to 1/2 inch tape masters, which when I download the same file from HDTT it sounds at least as good. Do you have the ProUSB Module?
  11. I have a mint W20 for sale, please PM me if you have interest.
  12. Could you explain your "degaussing" technique to us please? I am interested. Thanks.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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