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ray-dude

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Everything posted by ray-dude

  1. Wow, you definitely earned your “made it through all five parts” post pandemic beer with that feedback! thank you very much for the very kinds words. I’m very glad it was interesting for you!
  2. Holy crap, $300/pound!! This is the UPOCC of darjeelings!! I'm very tempted....
  3. Shouldn't you be enjoying vacation Chris? This week my project is rigorous AB testing with First Blush Darjeeling vs Second Blush Darjeling, with some lovely Assam as a control...
  4. ray-dude

    HQ Player

    The modulator section only applies if you're upsampling DSD content. Tidal content is PCM, so it goes down the PCM Defaults path. If you happen to play any DSD content, it will go down the SDM defaults path, and use that modulator. Choice of modulator is dependent on the power of your computer (some are VERY compute heavy) and what sounds good to you. In your case, 99% of the time it won't matter. If you set Vol Min and Vol Max both to -3dB, it will fix the output volume, and you will control volume on your DAC. As background HQP can also control volume, and these settings set the min and max volume settings for HQP. If you're controlling volume with your DAC (which is what I do), setting both to -3dB basically sets HQP at max volume output.
  5. ray-dude

    HQ Player

    Here are my current settings. sinc-M and LNS15 gets you mScaler-like, and adjusting buffer time and DAC bits gets you that final tuning to your ear. I find the sinc-L quite nice as well (more for some albums than others), but I keep coming back to sinc-M
  6. ray-dude

    HQ Player

    I can only speak to Chord DACs, but in addition to the above, DAC bits and buffer both serve as final "tone" controls for me (I use USB from Taiko Extreme to my DAVE). Sound is most incisive sounding at 32, as I step down I can even out the mid range presentation (I'm usually around 29 or 30). Buffer time is less impactful for me, but does impact dynamics for me (this may be more system specific than DAC specific). Higher buffer is slower (but fuller), with lower buffer more dynamic (but perhaps thinner). I'm usually 20 or 50ms. These really are final tweaks for me. Get your preferred filters and noise shapers, then use these settings for the very final tweaks. In general, I've found that the more I improve my digital chain (power, etc), the more I'm able to push incisiveness and dynamics and still have things sound natural and relaxed. YMMV of course...this is subtle stuff, and very system specific.
  7. This is very true. I experience a very abrupt phase transition where some recordings suddenly seem very real. Some recordings never get there, others get on the "good side" of reality mountain after some significant effort or enhancement. I've attributed this to my brain getting better at fabricating the illusion for me, once appropriate auditory cues are there. Conversely, for recordings on edge of that transition, it is a very sensitive "tell" when I've done something to disrupt some aspect of music reproduction. In a way, much of my audio optimization journey has been about getting more and more of my music library to feel like it is "real" and in the room.
  8. The head vice would be fabricated out of panzeholz For the spirit of this anecdote, I was trying to share what is detectable, (thankfully) not how I listen. FWIW, it is angular distance from the driver. That is a LOT of lateral head position to have 1mm impact on distance to driver (at 9' listening distance, ~3" if I did my math right?). My head twist variance is absolutely more than 1mm, agreed. Interestingly, I find that my head position naturally gravitates to where the soundstage is most expansive and natural (or in the case of the pink noise scenario, where the null is more pronounced) To the ITD, you are certainly better read on this than I am, but isn't that related to localization of sound source by the time difference it takes for sound to get to each ear? With stereo music reproduction, we actually don't want to hear the speaker driver, we want a sound stage projected before us. My phase analogies were related to that sound stage projection, not localizing where a speaker may be. That being said, I am google-level ignorant on the ITD measures. I have no idea if the psycho acoustics are the same mechanism between ITD for sound source localization, and reconstructing a sound scape from the aggregate phases of the sounds we are hearing. I suspect our brains are doing a lot of interpolation/projection for the later functions, just because our brains are really good at casting things in a way where it is easier to digest/interpret (Coltrane obviously isn't standing in front of me, but damn does my brain gets a lot of juice when it sounds like he is...sign me up for more of that kind of self-delusion!).
  9. I'm with you on filters. I'm still trying to get my arms around what the various filters in HQP are doing on various recordings. I'm talking more about our brain's ability to detect and process phase/timing differences, esp. for spatial placement. For better or worse, our brains have evolved to give us the sense of spatial placement and space, based in part on these sort of phase cues (at least for naturally occurring signal scenarios) To Chris' original ask about "threshold of human" hearing, there are certainly multiple thresholds for different types of information that we hear. As a practical example of phase vs frequency thresholds, I typically phase align my speakers with mono pink noise. I drive both speakers with the same signal. My speakers are single driver high efficiency speakers (no cross overs, no multiple driver phase alignment issues, basically point sources). As the speakers become phase aligned to my listening position, the image converges to a dot. The tighter the dot, the better the phase alignment and the fewer spurious paths/reflections. If I invert the signal to one speaker, it becomes even easier to fine tune, since I'm now sitting in an effective null. Even very small phase differences between the speakers becomes audible as a buddy is tweaking a speaker position. As a practical matter, in my room, ~1mm changes in speaker position is audible for me in this (very) artificial scenario (and since this is an objective forum, distance from my listening position to the same position on speaker drivers confirmed to be identical to within the ~2mm resolution of my laser measure If we were to naively translate that to frequency, at the speed of sound that implies ~340kHz hearing resolution. My 53 year old ears tap out around 15kHz and clearly can not hear >300kHz tones. However, I can hear phase timing differences with that level of signal timing resolution, in this (very) artificial scenario. With a better treated room, I'm sure things would be much better still. This is akin to interferometry. In optics, resolution is limited to wavelength of light you're using to "see" divided by two. If you want to see smaller things, you need to use smaller and smaller wavelengths. However, you can us phase information to get arbitrary resolution, if you have a coherent enough light source and you're able to integrate the signal long enough to overcome any noise in the measurement. Way back in the day, this allowed me to monitor etch depth in semiconductor structures to essentially the atomic level, clearly WAY beyond the resolution of the light I was using to do the etch depth measurement. For me, higher resolution sources (whether natively recorded or reconstructed with a sinc reconstruction function) has been about phase timing accuracy, not audibility of the ultra high frequencies. Depending on the recording chain and performance of the components, that phase resolution may or may not matter obviously. (Chris, sorry for the long detour into phase land...I suspect your original question was more related to limited of audibility in distortion and noise measurements than timing accuracy)
  10. I suspect it is differing levels of phase/timing sensitivity. I'm definitely a phase/point source guy (on steroids) and have optimized my system around same. I've noted that when folks come over, some people are definitely more WOW for phase-related optimizations, and others barely hear them at all. The later group seems to be more power/amplitude focused. Some folks fall somewhere in between.
  11. Fantastic, thank you! My (currently) preferred FTLF1324P2BTL is a Fabry-Perot laser, which seems to be operated like a laser diode? (direct modulation, limited to lower bandwidth channels) Alas, I'm not finding more modern reference designs (yet), but the older ones I've found all have Vcc direct to the laser diode or driver in the block diagrams. If the 10G modules have a constant power load to go with their tighter operating tolerances, that certainly makes them even more interesting.
  12. The presumption I've been working with is that signal integrity is effectively a given with these devices, which is why I've been paying more attention to possible impact on power/ground planes (other candidate is radiated RF, but that seems a stretch as well) I most certainly was not expecting to hear differences between SFPs (pretty stunning actually, for all the reasons you cite, as is anything on the network having an impact on SQ) I should give the caveat that my only experience has been wth 1 gigabit SFPs. Do you (or others) happen to know the type of laser typically used in these devices? At a $20-30 price target, I was presuming these low cost modules wouldn't be using more advanced photonics (I'm a geezer...it's been almost 30 years since I've done work on DFB lasers, and back then, we were delighted just to get them to work). I spent a little bit of time looking for a published reference design for a 1G SFP module, but didn't (yet) find anything current. What I did find had a simple driver on the LED laser module, with the differential signal switching the laser on and off: https://www.analog.com/media/en/reference-design-documentation/reference-designs/5693022520349015544867851905SFP_RDK_pra.pdf If someone has a pointer to a more modern published reference design for a 1G SFP module (with presumably more advanced photonics than an LED laser), it would be very helpful to understanding what is going on inside of these beasts. If 10G modules have more advanced photonics switching, that could be an argument for making the investment in 10G network gear (I have not had access to this sort of kit to test, although it is definitely on the list).
  13. Such an amazing album, and an amazing performance (and format) in a dire time. "Dreamsicle" is an instant American classic (when Jason Isbell writes a song, it stays wrote)
  14. Rob Watts has commented in the past about how well matched this supply s to DAVE, and how long he looked to find it. That being said, the MSB's of the world have clearly shown that people are willing to add yet another zero to their DAC purchases. I would expect that that will open up the design remit for a next gen flagship DAC from Chord.
  15. I remember looking at this page when I first heard differences. On pins 15 and 16, the laser is actually turning on and off (even if fed with a differential signal). Unless the power is getting dumped into an offsetting load when laser is off, that will create a correlated pulsing load on the power lines, no? My (very) naive assumption was that the power driver circuit biases the laser to the critical voltage, and the differential signal switches it on and off. All that being said, I'm obviously not familiar with how the driver circuits in these modules are typically implemented nor the compliance requirements for noise on ground plane or power plane, so above is an honest question, not a belligerent one (I'm honestly delighted to toss wrong hypotheses on the "Oh Well" pile...life's too short to chase dead ends)
  16. If it is any reassurance, my system is a bit unforgiving of glare and aggressiveness in the treble range (one interpretation of "vivid") What I am hearing is more of the glorious sense of speed and precision which I love with the Extreme, which for me translates to a more tangible presence for the performers in the room. Vivid is less about tonal response, and more about tangibility of the experience of the music. Looking forward to hearing your impressions after you hear it!
  17. I had my Extreme update applied this morning. Indeed, it seems at first blush that we're back to pre Great Disruption levels of SQ (what I described in my Extreme review...all that was before said Great Disruption). Absolutely glorious! I've backed out a lot of the system tweaks I had in place to try to bridge the gap after GD. Time to slowly add them back in and assess against this new baseline, but today is all about listening to way too much music and reacquainting with some long absent friends. Congratulations to Emile and team!
  18. Ha! Teach me to catch up on AS posts before WBF posts! Thanks for the tickler. Signed up for Sunday morning US pacific time (and eager to learn what network tweaks helped Roon get back to pre Great Disruption levels...it is difficult to describe how profound the change was coincident with that Roon upgrade)
  19. As proof that reviewers do not get special treatment, I have not yet gotten the beta of Taiko Audio Server on my machine (I'm eagerly waiting though). Above are my impressions post Great Disruption (aka, the Roon upgrade we no longer talk about) I have not tried the KVM trick yet. I want to hear how much I'm giving up with TAS on the network, then see if the hassle is worthwhile. Having the machine on its own network certainly cut traffic way down already. I'll definitely report back once I have some time with the new player.
  20. I can't speak to the SonicTransporter, but on the Extreme, running HQPlayer with local content (no network) is better than running Roon + HQP, even with local content. Previously, my reference implementation was Roon on an i7 NUC running AudioLinux to HQPE running in Euphony on an i7 NUC, which worked great for me. Different servers will have a different response to different types of load, so (alas) there is no substitute for trying different configurations yourself and seeing which you prefer.
  21. I have to concur on the gap between Roon and other players. I am still waiting for the beta of Taiko Audio Server, but based on what I'm hearing as possible with players like Euphony Stylus or HQPlayer direct (no Roon), there is a pretty massive benefit to be had over Roon. With Roon's focus on every more features and orchestration across multiple rooms and devices, this will only get worse (I suspect it is the network chattiness of Roon that has been at the core of the SQ degradation). I know it is difficult to say so with a straight face, but I think the Extreme is extremely fairly priced for what it is (there is no price gouging or inflated dealer margins here). Taiko isn't making a huge amount of margin on these boxes. The bigger question is whether what it is is necessary or needed for most folks, or if 90% of what is there can be had for 10% of the cost. (FWIW, a big motivation for the deep dive I did was the hope that some of the design choices in the Extreme could have a nice impact for folks in their own systems). For folks that want every bit of that last 10%, the Extreme is an incredibly expensive, but high value option. I am looking forward to hearing the Extreme Mini, and seeing what Emile and team can do with a more constrained BOM and price point.
  22. Chord DACs do require Vbus, but only for the USB handshake. A cool trick with the USPCB (which I adore) is to switch off Vbus to the Chord DAC after the handshake is established (I played with this a bit when I was experimenting with isolation approaches between server and DAC) Just remember to switch it back on if things seem not to be working later!
  23. I'll let Alex answer the direct question, but as someone that has generated the magic "Oh Shit!" white smoke one too many times, I've developed the discipline of checking the voltage of variable supplies with a multi-meter before plugging them into a new device. There is definite risk to moving quickly when switching supply voltages and devices quickly!
  24. Oh yeah! New Khruangbin drop today! It's definitely dub o'clock somewhere!
  25. This is the fun stuff!! If PhD's are allowed in, count me in! (FYI, I put my hypothesis out there in part 1 of my Extreme review...reference voltage, ground plane, and reference timing are the father/son/holy ghost of digital audio, I think, and everything always seems to come back to those fundamentals)
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