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Everything posted by motberg

  1. Thanks! I did not notice a mention of the remote at the SZAudio site.....
  2. Montrose - Space Station #5 Near the end, just before getting to the strong standard swirl-around-your-head phase effect, there is a wave that travels back and forth behind the listeners neck.. Pretty much that entire album is a true rock classic... For more natural stuff, +1 on the Chesky CD's A high priority for my preferences is a large deep sound-stage, so I built some columns to help inter-aural crosstalk cancellation by delaying some of the opposite side speaker arrival. I think this helps stabilize my system's performance for this attribute - and when I make some changes, Space Station #5 provides a good reference.
  3. If you could be so kind as to share photo of the front panel and navigation, that would be appreciated 😊
  4. Thanks for the review! Is this your first experience using i2s?
  5. If you like studio prog rock, rock, jazz, pop, I think an r2r DAC should be considered as an option, to me r2r offers a more natural, lifelike, dynamic presentation for these genres vs. my limited experience with AK and ESS. I also get the impression a competent r2r offers better "drive" for a tube preamp. I think it was someone at Schiit who refers to "plankton" - pretty good description in what I noticed missing in my 2 AK4497 DAC's and a few ESS models. Lots of options, but I am looking at this or the flagship Audio-GD stuff... or maybe something used.... maybe next month will be able to pull the trigger...
  6. One other thing is that, (from my direct experience not directly related to audio), maybe the factory engineers offer a considerable contribution to the design and production engineering. So I would not be surprised if many of the noticed shared characteristics actually originated from the factories' capabilities.
  7. Maybe we think of our music more like a David Copperfield performance.. 😉
  8. I suggest you also try Euphony Stylus vs. Roon - free to try for a month and very easy to setup... I never used Roon, but recent comments iiuc are it is going downhill for audio quality.. I personally would try software (and any possible room/speaker/chair adjustments) before a new DAC or preamp test...
  9. My Love Over Gold is a SACD rip a friend did for me a long time ago. Sounds fantastic, one of my favorites... I hate to mention this, but somewhere in one of these groups a few months ago I posted my impressions of the D50, and 2 comments I included were something like; acoustic guitars had a slight plastic sheen (first noticed on "The Clap" by Yes) and most bass guitar elements sounded like they were recorded by a cheap DI direct to the mixing board. So it could be your separation issue is partially DAC based, but should not be a severe as what you are mentioning. Standing by itself the D50 I thought was fine, much better than most other DAC's I have heard in that price range, and these attributes were only noticeable in comparison to my reference DAC at the time which was over 2000 USD and used 8 x PCM1704UK chips in NOS mode. More likely room treatments, chair/speaker location, or the file quality will fix this. Love Over Gold is recorded and mixed so well, I would not think a professionally done master would do so much damage, but may be some other type of file problem. Looking forward to your impressions when you try another source for Love Over Gold.
  10. The way I understand things, -25 db should be audibly acceptable given a competent software volume control implementation (whether inside the DAC or written into the control software) ....but I think this could actually be a bit more complex.. To me, that means that for most DAC's you should be able to run direct as you have been and attenuate in software without audible degradation. Maybe someone with a more technical background could comment additionally. Some cool info in this thread (pros and cons of preamps) if you have not yet seen it...
  11. Opposing viewpoint on the idea to learning recording methodology. I would think the artist usually wants the listener to experience their work as a finished piece, not dissect it into its parts. The absolute worst thing I did in my life's audiophile endeavors was to start a DAW based project studio after I left my last band and work up some original songs. After a few years of that, every time I listen now I am considering the process as much as - or more than - experiencing the artists' solicited emotional response. I guess a little understanding of the recording environment (year, players, culture, etc.) is OK, but personally I would not recommend to learn the process to the point where you are wondering what the mixing engineer screwed-up that resulted in the piece not being well layered.
  12. Gustard A20H - if you can get an audition with return capability. This is smooth, detailed, modern and sufficiently dynamic. To my ears, more analog in presentation and more natural in tone than the D50. But I think your speakers deserve something exceptional in a DAC, If you are using USB, from what I have read the Schiit Bifrost 2 may be a good match to the KEF's. Also imho this DAC represents some really impressive technology, being multi-bit and user up-gradeable. Possible end-game for many audiophiles, but there are some limitations such as no DSD input. I guess you are using digital volume control currently. Are you using Roon volume control (I hear that is pretty good), or the D50s volume control? How much attenuation are you applying? ( the DAC or software may say something like -18 db..) . This info may help the more qualified folks here make some suggestions. Tubes preamps are nice, but truly can be an expensive rabbit hole, and it still is nice to have a solid state option available also, such as the Schiit Freya + offers. That way, you do not really need to have the perfect set of tubes, as you always have a good SS section to fall back on. I have been looking at tube preamps for the past few years also, and it seems most pure tube pre's neutral enough to be a "daily driver" are around/over 2000 USD. I have a D50 also (with LT3045 regulated LPS). In my system, the D50 was really nice (almost tubey) in the vocals, but low-mids kind of artificial, and highs not as refined as the A20H. If you haven't yet, you can try a battery power supply with the D50, I think in your system you may hear a change. I have a nice tube buffer (Black Ice by Jolida - Foz SS-X), but do not think it would be a good match with a D50. It does not have a bypass or volume control, but is amazingly clear and open with a vintage RCA clear top (very good with the stock new Tung-Sol tube also). The Foz with a clean passive preamp offers a tube sound much more to my preferences than a few other economy tube preamps I have had in my system recently.
  13. Are you using the USB input ? (I had the Gustard A20H and that was much more alive and enjoyable than a Topping D70 in the same system.. so not surprised by your preliminary A18 comments.. congratulations! )
  14. motberg


    Hi Folks! I am considering setting up a WTF player and have 2 computer options: Asus B150M-PLUS w. i7 45w (advantages, more memory available [up to 64GB], extra pcie slots) or; Supermicro X10SBA (4GB, SoC, 1 x pcie slot for USB card). For either of these I have adequate LPS capacity, good USB card [Matrix H, JCat, PPA], fanless, etc. Any suggestions on which would offer the better sound quality? I am thinking about using an external 4TB 3.5 HDD (with USB isolator inline and LT3045 LPS) for storage, so was thinking the Asus may handle that better using a separate PCIE lane and USB card. I have not seen a lot of comments on best sounding storage suggestions except for the @bodiebill post (still waiting on the fiber/battery/external drive test results..jejejeje..). SSD in the Supermicro would be no problem also.
  15. Does the Windows NAA always use the DAC's ASIO driver? No possibility to use Windows KS ? I am using a single pcie SoC SuperMicro MB, JCat or PPA USB card, WinServer 2019 GUI and AO - this has been rock solid, actually amazingly the most stable audio software I have used. I am pretty sure the AO filters are allowing me to adjust the NAA output's presentation, but will check again. This NAA is linked to the i7 server with a PPA switch with Ghent cables dedicated to these 2 computers only. Has anyone tried the double-switch idea from server to NAA?
  16. +1 I have an i5 and an i7 running these and one of the 95W NOFAN's running an i5 for a few years. All low wattage CPU's. No problems, but need a large case and sometimes the first Pcie slot is blocked.
  17. I am using the same (I am pretty sure I copied your HDD and case purchases a couple years back), 3.5 inch 4TB with 12V external case, 12V LT3045 SR x 2A, Original model Intona Industrial between the server and HDD case and Matrix Element H USB pcie card (standard LPS). This sounds much better than SATA SSD (in the control PC - Jplay 2 box system). I get the feeling the Matrix card is key in my system.
  18. Interesting comment on the D90. Thanks. (Similar to post 858 at HF Bifrost 2 thread.) I have a D50, had a D70, would not recommended either of those. Maybe the D90 will break in though, or could try a warmish i2s DDC such as Gustard U16, though need be real careful on compatibility. Having had a D70 and regular user of HQPlayer, I think it would be worthwhile to try some HQPlayer filters on the D90 in your big system.
  19. I think this is a great question.... how to get xTB of cheap storage that sounds good without doing the Ethernet/switch/NAS thing ... I am using an original Intona Industrial isolator between a HDD docking bay and a control PC. This works fine, but I think the isolator needs to be bi-directional, maybe Alex can comment. I am not sure if the Intona helps much for SQ, but after the Intona, I am using a Matrix element H Hi-Fi USB 3.0 Interface Pcie card and I am pretty sure that helps (I compared with/without the Matrix, but not with/without the Intona). The docking bay is powered by LT3045 x 4 regulator after LPS and the Matrix by LPS. This docking bay/isolator/Matrix card sounds better to me than an internal SSD, powered by LT3045 LPS.
  20. I had a situation with HQPlayer vol. control, where I tried upsampling at a rate that was incompatible with my DDC, resulting in full vol. static. So I think even if the software vol. control is stable (HQPlayer works great) ..... with digital signals, and various hardware and software being involved, maybe potential incompatibilities should be also considered.
  21. I am also using the MiniDSP for subs... subs only, monitors running full range... the miniDSP 2x4 HD version was an audible upgrade from the prior model in my system.
  22. What do you guys think about adding sub-woofers in a DAC direct to amp system? Is it OK to split a 2V RCA output and run a set of cables 1 meter to the amp, and another set to the subs maybe 4 meters each? I get the feeling that most DAC makers generally are expecting the user to use a single set of outputs to a single receiving device.
  23. I am pretty sure Ghent can make that for you.... just send him an email... http://www.ghentaudio.com/pc/hg01.html
  24. I know this is a stretch... but has anyone compared a Schiit Freya S to software volume control ?
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