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Raimund Heubel

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  1. Matthias, no, in my main (living room) system I am not using any copper USB cable anymore. My artistic fidelity arfi-stream xto streamer is connected via RJ45 ethernet copper cable to my Mac mini server one floor down from my living room. The streamer puts out the digital audio signal via fibre optical cables to the artistic fidelity afis isolator switch. The afis connects via RJ45 ethernet copper cable to the artistic fidelity dac 2 DAC. BR, Raimund
  2. I think this is a great idea. I am sure the Extreme is a custom build device why not let each individual customer decide which output modules/formats he/she wants to have implemented in the server? If one can ask for a certain Music Server software the Extreme shall run on why not give the individual customer the choice for certain hardware options as well? BR, Raimund
  3. I am not necessarily looking for a new standard here but of course like the idea if OEMs could agree on such an output format vs. the inferior copper USB. Manufacturers of DACs want their products to be compatible to a variety of formats, artistic fidelity is for sure no exception here, still the implementation of the copper USB input in their DACs respective output in their streamers/servers is for good reasons much different vs. most other OEMs targetting at perfect isolation and re-clocking. BR, Raimund
  4. You can call it ‘dead horse‘, I call it ‘challenge the status quo‘, especially applicable to the end-game server the Extreme wants to be seen as. BR, Raimund
  5. Matt, I see no contradiction, quite the opposit, to my post #84. Can I not expect from an ultra high expensive server to provide the best USB-signal independant from my own DAC? Why does the Extreme offer an optical input but no optical output, not even as an option? I do not have a copper USB input in my DAC, believe it or not it is an optional feature only, and would of course needed to use my existing ‘afis + USB‘ isolator switch plus an influencing USB-cable in the chain to feed the signal coming from the Extreme into my DAC. If I did not own such device and adequate USB-cable I would need to invest another €3k to just be able to connect the Extreme to my existing hardware, I find this not acceptable. Plus there are other High-End Manufacturers of DACs out there who also do not allow for copper USB inputs for the same very good reasons of isolation and re-clocking needs. You could argue then I should buy a High-End USB-DAC but there is no turning back for me after I listened to the artistic fidelity products with the integrated optical isolation since more than 5 years now. Never mind, I really appreciate the work, energy and thoughts that went into the Extreme but it does - despite its ultra high price - not tick all the boxes for me for the reasons I explained above. BR, Raimund
  6. That‘s correct, Matthias. The former external USB-module from the ‘afi + USB‘ DDC or the ‘afis + USB’ isolator switch has been built into the ‘artifex-dac’ housing if you wish to connect your source via copper USB to the DAC from artistic fidelity. Same btw applies to the streamer called ‘arfi-stream xto‘ which you can upgrade with the same USB-module built right into the streamer‘s housing if you for example already own such module and had previously purchased an ‘afi + usb‘ or an ‘afis + usb‘ device. BR, Raimund
  7. The efficiency of the conversion from electrical to optical USB is dependant on how it is implemented. If you for example simply take the USB stream including audio, clock and sample rate information and do not separate the three paths in the conversion process you will after the 2nd conversion end-up with an electrical signal incl. the embedded clock and associated jitter information from the source as before the conversion. Yes there is a degree of isolation of the total data stream but no new re-clocked audio stream independant from the source clock and the HF/RF noise that goes with the computer source. Does this better explain what I mean with perfect isolation of the digital signal? BR, Raimund
  8. I cannot tell but will try to find out and come back later to your question. But why would speed matter in terms of improving sound quality? I mean what are the physicals explaining the improvement in sound quality Emile from Taiko is perceiving? BR, Raimund
  9. I agree these are unique solutions with MSB and artistic fidelity nevertheless the USB optical connection for me is a very important feature I will not want to miss in any new streamer/server or DAC. In the future it would ideally become one of the standard I/Os I‘d like to see in any of the high-end digital devices we are talking about here. It is for me the next logic and consistent step to perfect the digital audio signal on its way from source to analog conversion. BR, Raimund
  10. I agree the MSB device comes close to what artistic fidelity perfected over the years in terms of computer noise isolation by the use of fibre optical cable connections between digital source and DAC. @bboslerThe device from ‘Audiowise‘ is obviously targetting compatibility to any conventional USB-DAC but cannot provide the perfect isolation by converting the electrical USB-datastream to an optical and back to an eletrical signal again by adding noise and likely the embedded clock signal within the datastream. The only purpose of this device as I see it is to enable the digital source to be placed far away from the DAC but even in this case this will not help with HF/RF noise isolation. BR, Raimund
  11. Matthias, you will find some info in this post from 2016(!), the ‘afi + usb‘ meanwhile is a legacy product artistic fidelity will only build on demand. The optical connection between the artistic fidelity streamer/server and their DACs has been further enhanced and does not require three fibre optical cables anymore but just one. Let me please re-iterate that I do very much like what the Taiko Extreme server does in the field of computer audio and many thanks to @ray-dude for this excellent review! Still I think there is room for improvement in the connection to the downstream DAC as the leaving digital signal requires optimization before it hits the DAC‘s input. BR, Raimund
  12. I am not talking about the indeed limiting Toslink optical but USB optical input. I am sorry if that was not clear from my previous post. BR, Raimund
  13. Thanks, Matthias, this is a really interesting discussion which only came to light because of the radical approach ‘Taiko Audio’ took with the development and build of the SGM Extreme server. Still I strongly believe there is even more potential for the combination of the stand-alone Extreme without endpoint and the downstream DAC if the Extreme had an optical USB-out and the DAC an optical USB-in as for example realized by the German company ‘artistic fidelity‘ in their line-up of server (streamers) and DAC combinations or in their ‘afi + USB‘ DDC. Neither does the previously mentioned Monoprice SlimRun USB extension cable provide complete isolation - it converts an electric USB signal to an optical back to an electric signal - nor does the Dave or other high-end DACs usually have optical inputs. There is so much effort in the upstream digital signal path, yet in the Extreme itself but inconsequently not so much at the very end of the signal path when the digital data hit the input of the DAC to finally undergo its conversion into an analog signal. In my opinion this is a missed opportunity BR, Raimund
  14. I fully agree, it is a server‘s or streamer‘s task in my opinion to prepare a perfect digital signal stream from its output to the DAC‘s input. Re-clocking and isolation are the key attributes to achieve this ideal goal. It appears the Extreme‘s efficiency to achieve this is still dependant on both, the quality of the upstream source to its input as well as a further tuning of its output signal. I go as far as to say that even if the input data stream is noisy but still bit perfect what in the end will count is the server’s/streamer‘s ability to put out a clean perfectly clocked and isolated digital data stream free of RF and other noises to the downstream DAC. It must not even matter which (USB-) or other digital signal cable runs from the server/streamer to the DAC. One way to achieve the independancy of digital cables transfering the perfect digital signal to the DAC is the use of fibre optical cables as they guarantee a perfectly isolated signal. This obviously requires an optical input on the DAC side such as this system I had shown in this forum a couple of times. One should take especially a look at the last of the four pictures displayed on the website when following above link. BR, Raimund
  15. The German company 'artistic fidelity' applies USB-to-optical conversion since 2015 when they introduced their first DDC device - the 'afi-usb' - which uses 3 fibre optical cables to convert the USB data stream into a digital non-Toslink optical signal. Since then they perfected the optical interface to what they now call 'arfi-link' which in my eyes is the best way to connect their renderers 'arfi-stream' to their DACs.
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