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About DancingSea

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    Don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing....

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  1. Thanks for the feedback. Was the LTA lean, or lacking in body and weight compared to the Freya? And was it the Freya+, or the original Freya? Thanks!
  2. I use HQPlayer with Roon. But I think tubes bring something computers can't. At least I've convinced myself of that. Has anyone tried Musical Paradise?
  3. I've been corresponding with Linear Tube Audio about the MZ2. Very nice folks. They explained that the ZOTL technology is designed to add more resolution, clarity, air, and textural detail. By doing this, it can appear that warmth, body and weight are reduced. My quest for a tube preamp has been largely in an effort to increase warmth, body and weight and get a way from yet more resolution. In that light, while I'm certain LTA products are exceptional, I've moved the Freya+ back to the top of the list. The Rogue RP-1 remains, along with the Vincent SA32. But I think it's going to be the Freya+, though I realize it's not an old school buttery tube preamp either.
  4. Best I can tell, after 30 years of reading reviews, all audiophile gear is always great, and always punches above its weight class. There have been no exceptions to that universal truth 😂
  5. Do you use your MZ2 as a preamp? The LTA website says the ZOTL technology, as an amp, because there’s no transformer, can make the sound appear to have less warmth, body and weight. I realize the rationale is that the haze from the transformer creates an impure type of warmth, body and weight. But will adding the MZ2 as a preamp to my system make the sound more lean? Is your MZ2 lacking warmth, body and weight compared to your old PrimaLuna and Conrad Johnson? The less “warmth, body and weight” part makes me nervous 😬 Thanks.
  6. FWIW, I have read and watched perhaps every review in existence for the Freya+. It’s universally praised and often phrased that it holds it’s own against any tube preamp under $5000, particularly if the tubes are upgraded. Darko, New Record Day, and Thomas & Stereo have all done detailed YouTube reviews on the Freya+. I do hold the whole audio industry review machine with a degree of skepticism, it’s hardly Consumer Reports. The Linear Tube Audio line also gets universal high praise.
  7. Thanks so much for the well written, clear and insightful reply. It makes sense to me. I’m in discussions now with Nicholas at Linear Tube Audio to purchase the MZ2. The LTA LPS says it’s for devices requiring 12V and up to 3 amps. Do I understand you correctly that such specs are ok for preamp use (my primary usage) but not enough to use as an amp? My current speakers are not efficient enough for the MZ2, but one day I hope to try the Zu Dirty Weekend which LTA says will work. I still can’t wrap my mind around 1 watt doing anything!?
  8. Thanks for feedback. I’m curious, why would the Freya be a waste of money? My goal is to bring tube coloration into the system. Darko, FWIW, in his glowing review of the Freya+, says the tube mode does bring pleasing tube coloration, holographic with what he calls “tube vapor trails”. Also, how is the Linear Tube preamp powered? On the photos of the rear, I don’t see a place for a power cord. Can it be powered by an SBooster? And does being single ended only present any meaningful disadvantage to balanced XLR? It’s a very intriguing option. Thanks.
  9. Aloha, I have a DirectStream Junior DAC and a PS Audio S300 power amp (dual mono, class A input, class D output), connected by balanced XLR. I’d like to add a sub $2000 tube preamp. Balanced is preferred, but not a deal breaker. Lots of reading has led me to 3 candidates: 1) Schiit Freya+ $899, 4 tubes (6SN7), balanced XLR. Excellent value, lots of glowing YouTube reviews, just not sure about Schiit’s tube pedigree, and their main designer seems grumpy (haha). Made in California. https://www.schiit.com/products/freya-1 2) Rogue Audio RP-1, $1800. 2 tubes (12AU7/ ECC82), no XLR. Has a good Stereophile review. Rogue has a great tube pedigree, made in Pennsylvania . Just not sure if it’s the Freya at twice the price? And with only 2 tubes, am I getting short changed on tube-ness? https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RARP1 3) Vincent Audio SA-32, $1200. Audio Advisor product, no pro reviews that I could find. 4 tubes (6N16), balanced XLR. I’m not a purist, and am drawn to the their tone controls, very rare these days, a tear came to my eye when I saw tone controls, took me back 😂. German designed, made in China. https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=VISA32&variation=SIL The $2500 Vincent Audio SA T7 has 12 very positive user reviews on Audio Advisor, but no pro reviews I could find. No XLR. I looked at it just to get some idea of where Vincent fits into our audiophile universe. Upscale Audio sells Vincent as well. Would appreciate advice, or alternatives. Thanks.
  10. DancingSea

    HQ Player

    Thanks for the suggestions. My Mac Mini does all the EC modulators to DSD 128 (the max of my DirectStream Junior Dac) with no struggle. I’ve tried ext2 in the past, but always seem to prefer the long filters. Though last night I listened to Kenny Burrell’s “Midnight Blue” with ext2/ ASDM5(EC) and it was the best I’ve ever heard that favorite recording. Is “MP” inherently more relaxed than “LP”?
  11. DancingSea

    HQ Player

    This is very helpful. In general (or specifically if you're brave) what sorts of filters/ modulators) provide a more smooth, relaxed sound? I'm less interested in resolution. With countless combinations (thousands?), a nudge in the right direction would be helpful. I'm adding short-mp to that list, any others that take the edge off?
  12. DancingSea

    HQ Player

    I’m joking a bit, That I’m disappointed I can’t be with the cool kids 😂
  13. DancingSea

    HQ Player

    I have. It does sound good. For some reason I prefer the long lp filter to ext2, which is a bit disappointing because of how popular ext2 is. I really like Sinc-L as well, but last night I also noticed that incredible recordings sounded incredible, and still really good, but not top shelf, recordings sounded more shabby than ever.
  14. DancingSea

    HQ Player

    Is there an update to list somewhere of which current filters are apodizing, and which are not? I know you are reticent to step out of the world of techno speak, but it would be very helpful to have a list that says “use these for super high quality recordings. Use these for recordings that need help. Use these for accosting music. These for voice centric. Etc. I realize you will say no to this request, but I figure if I keep asking for many years, you may relent out of sheer pity 😂
  15. Thanks! I didn’t know what to search for. Is this one @Miska approved? What sort of power linear power supplies work with this? Will this one work with it? https://allo.com/sparky/shanti.html
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