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About ray-dude

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    Person To Blame

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    Southern California

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  1. First full album I've been able to listen to in weeks...such a delight https://bluecoastmusic.com/fiona-rebecca/heavenly-voices
  2. I leave mine plugged in. When I'm doing critical listening, I unplug them, then plug back in when I'm done. The batteries in my setup easily last 6+ hours, which is more critical listening time than my brain can handle. I often listen to music with them still plugged in as well. I still hear most of the SQ benefit even when the batteries are plugged in, but unplugging them is better still.
  3. Very interesting. Mine doesn’t get hot at all. I wonder if your DAC is drawing a lot of power from Vbus? With my DAVE it only uses usb Vbus for the initial usb handshake. I love the Monoprice slim, esp in combo with the Sablon 2020 USB cable. It is completely effortless compared with other cables I’ve had (disappear). On my list is to see how practical it is to tap into the 5V line at the end connector, so Vbus doesn’t have to run the entire length of the cable (I’m hearing improvement with external power to the Slim, but the 5V has a LONG way to travel to get to the other side) to the earlier question, you do not need external power for the Slim, but there is an optional micro USB connector for external power on the streamer side of the cable. This does result in improved SQ for me, but the USB 5V has to run the entire length of the Slim cable through some embedded wires (the usb signal is traversing an optical path). In the spirit of a shorter DC cable is always better, I’m hoping for improved SQ by drilling a hole in the case and connecting 5V directly to the connector on the DAC side of the Slim.
  4. I used to use CrashPlan, but they dropped consumer accounts. Now I use Resilio (private bit torrent), and have a hard drive hanging off a friends system (I have their hard drives hanging off mine as well). Resilio basically keeps directories in sync via bit torrent (yes, back to the Napster future we have fiber to the home with no data caps, so a lot cheaper than any cloud service (aside from music, DVD and BluRay rips take a LOT of space)
  5. Rest easy Mr. Tyner...thank you for all the magic that you shared with us
  6. I did hear from Paul recently. He mentioned that due to holidays and health issues he had not done work on custom builds for several months or so, but that he was starting up again. The lack of reported progress here had had me very concerned for his health, so I was glad to hear that things were better for him and his family. Hopefully he is able to get into a production rhythm and work through this list (#31 so mine is still a ways away)
  7. Ive played with a bunch of different topologies but can’t point to a definitive preference yet. Initially I went NUC to Slim to USPCB to Tx-ultra SE to Lush^2 to DAVE. Then flipped so Slim was on the downstream side of the TX-ultra. Currently I’m experimenting with the Tc-ultra out of the chain, and the Slim directly connecting my NUC to my DAVE, bouncing between a USPCB and Sablon cable as the final leg. i definitely still prefer the Tc-ultra in the chain, but I’m trying to isolate the various pieces (at least at first). Ihave a bunch of other things in house to test as well, so too many moving pieces to recommend an optimal configuration. However I really like what I’m (not) hearing with the Slim. Definitely worth a listen. When things settle out, I’ll definitely share findings.
  8. On Roy's recommendation, I've been running this cable for about a month. It is quite the gem! I've run it with a Lush^2, USPCB, and 2020 Sablon USB cable to my Chord DAVE. Sounds fantastic in all scenarios (effortless). There is an added benefit of moving the digital stack far away from your DAC (I think I have the 20m version, but honestly, anything over 5m doesn't matter for me). Also, I will be setting up my Chord TT2 on an end table next to my listening sofa, and switch USB over to it when I want to listen to headphones. Being able to have a single digital stack is a big win for me. Well worth a try, and also available on Amazon (for easier returns)
  9. https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/miles-davis-birth-of-the-cool-rfotn2/13497/ Not quite an album, but an absolute delight
  10. I have the bass units for the Zeth's (single bass driver and class D amp, vs the dual bass drivers and class A/B amps in the Pi bass units). The Zeth's + Z bass units are VERY nice, even with the entry level drivers. In fact, I consider the Omega SAMs + Z bass units driven direct by a Chord DAC to be the best bang for the buck in audio (~$6k for a world class listening experience). For me, the Vox's have enough speed that they have that "snap!" that conveys real physicality. The pi bass units are absolutely killer. I don't miss my B&W 802d3's in the slightest (well maybe just a little). Even the 2W from DAVE drives these to uncomfortable listening levels for me. Would love to host you Ken. Stay safe and healthy, and I hope things stay contained up there (for all our sakes)
  11. I've learned over time that each of us reacts a bit differently to sound. I overly simplify it as folks that connect more with power information, and folks that connect more with phase information (people are obviously on a spectrum). My brain is hyper sensitive to phase information. The more coherent a sound stage, the more it clicks as "real" in my brain. That sense of "real" (being part of the performance and performance space vs listening to music) is the musical high I go after. Others seem to react more to the physicality of the music. I appreciate that as well, but my brain switches into another more when all the phase stuff is aligned. For that, the 9.87's are the best I've heard. Single driver means no misalignment between sound coming from various drivers and no loss of transparency from cross overs. The ultra high efficiency means I can drive them directly from my Chord DAVE (which has the best timing precision I've ever heard from a DAC), with no loss in transparency through a pre amp or amp. Ultra high precision DAC connected directly to a transducer, with nothing but speaker wire in between. With great recordings (even better with binaural recordings), the sounds stage is absolutely (and literally) holographic. My room becomes the church or studio or club the session was recorded in. It is a full surround/atmos like experience. Absolutely wonderful That being said, with a single driver it is almost impossible to get perfect tonal balance across the range of frequencies the driver has to reproduce. If you are sensitive to tonal imbalances, these are not for you. In my case, I've found that my brain very easily adjusts to tonal imbalances after a bit of listening, but switch still goes on when the phase alignment and coherence is there and I'm transported to the space with the musicians. The analogy I like to use is when I am walking by a coffee shop, I can tell if there is live music is being played inside, even with all the distortions of the music coming through the walls and glass, etc. Another example, is when I was walking into the airport a year or so ago, my ears perked up because I was hearing live piano. When I went in, I saw that another traveler was sitting at a piano and playing. Even with all the traffic and airport noise, I could tell it was live music from outside the terminal, and I was attracted to it and wanted to listen. By any normal measure of tonal balance and distortion and noise floor, both being outside the coffee shop and airport terminal are absolutely atrocious. However, they are still unambiguously real. Hearing the Omega SAMs then the Vox's completely turned my audiophile world upside down. The 9.87's give me that sense of real WAY more than any other speaker I've ever heard. For others, any tonal issues may be a deal breaker. My advice is to hear them first hand. If your brain is wired like mine, it will be a life changing experience (audiophile wise). If not, you'll know right away. Alas, these are hard to find outside of shows (and even harder with shows getting canceled for Corona virus). I have a standing invitation to anyone that wants to hear these to visit in San Diego (I have Voxativ Zeth's with the entry level drivers as well, and some Omega Super Alnico Monitors, so we can compare different levels of single high efficiency drivers). If of serious interest, drop a PM and we an arrange a listening session with our local audiophile group, with an appropriate beverage (or three). (here is a write up I did in another forum - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/hugo-m-scaler-by-chord-electronics-the-official-thread.885042/page-535#post-15146757 )
  12. love my 9.87’s (my previous speakers were B&W 802d3’s). I have the 4D drivers which are 104dB efficient. Basically a full range speaker experience with <2W. The dynamics, transparency, and holographic imaging are way beyond anything I’ve heard before. Single driver speaker experience isn’t for everyone, but worth seeking out an audition
  13. We saw Yola in concert last night (INCREDIBLE!) and her opening act Amythyst Kiah completely blew us away...amazing talent. Kiah closed her set with an incredibly powerful performance of "Black Myself". That was the gateway to this gem of an album, which I completely missed last year.
  14. Whether the original Les McCann or John Legend, can never get enough of "Compared to What" I'm just going to keep this album on repeat until the fall...
  15. I've had tremendous results using custom made polished hardened Aluminum bowls with high precision ball bearings. By far the biggest impact on my DAC, but very audible benefits on the server as well. Interesting to see a commercial option. After some experimentation, I ended up settling on a shallow bowl (5" diameter). The Magic Spacers look like they have a much deeper bowl. Looking forward to hearing your findings and following along this project!
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