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About flkin

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    Bangkok, Thailand

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  1. Ah ok, I misread your note. Yes I’m also finding that breaking in the tinned copper wires is taking a long time with constant changes to the sound during the process. Pretty irritating actually. Individual pods might be a good alternative to the Podium as it’s really tough to set up. I needed 3 persons to get my Wilson’s on the Podiums and during setting up the Watt part fell on me and injured me a little. I also experimented and found that the Wilsons sounded better with full feet on spikes sitting on a brass coin. End effect for the speaker is that it is an inch or so higher than before. But to get a spiked Wilson onto the Podiums is no small task.
  2. Ah how interesting! I got there with the Townshend Podiums eventually after switching to tinned copper. It wasn’t an immediate step up for me but took some rearrangement of cables to get there. Right now I’m finding a naturalness and correctness to the sound that I haven’t heard before with the tinned copper loom. But one thing unusual I noticed is the daily variations of sound seems to be more than before. One day, it’s spot on sound and another day bass gets fatter or soundstage is smaller. I suppose it’s to do with breaking in as it’s happening less over time. You say you’ve switched over to $2.5k wires, is this still tinned copper?
  3. I think you both got it 😄 Yes, I think it starts with E. For others that want to play the game, I'll confirm it (that is if I heard it correctly) in a few days time.
  4. I don’t have access to Qobuz and cannot try it in Euphony. I wonder if it works the same way too? Ah no, the picture of the Taiko Extreme isn’t mine. Someone sent it to me to show the PF cable on it. I’m perfectly happy with my 2.16x for the moment.
  5. Here’s something different to network switches and the like. Those who know me, know I don’t post all that much but every now I dump a huge post about my findings and latest gadgets. So be warned for a 20 min read if you want to continue reading. 😄 It has been an HiFi annus horribilis for me until recently. I was on a good run having updated my Pink Faun 2.16x streamer with their new ultra clocks last year and have been enjoying good music since then. But as with most hifi afficianados, the upgrade bug bite me again. What’s next? Following others on AS and reading what they have been working on, I decided to order the EtherRegen in October immediately after it was announced and also try the Monoprice SlimRun optical USB cable a little later. Turns out that both didn’t work out for me. Disappointed that the I didn’t experience the benefits that many here reported with the EtherRegen, I eventually concluded it might be something else in my system that caused the unnatural detail and harder sound the EtherRegen uncovered. I passed the unit to K.Nonn, the owner of Fidelizer and to another HiFi enthusiast after that, both of whom commented positively about the sound. I had high hopes for the Monoprice too after reading Romaz’s strongly positive comments - placing it in between my streamer and the DAC, theoretically it should stop any leakage currents between the 2 devices. Didn’t work, sound became harder. Occured to me later that all data conversions will add distortions and require clocking, both of which has been managed well in my streamer and did not need further messing about with. Hindsight is always better. Returned it for a refund. Pretty depressing, all my efforts to push my hifi to the next level failed. Then I recalled what another ASer said about the Townshend Podiums. Lots of information on the internet describing the theory and from an engineering point of view, it looked like a solid idea except for the high price - especially for my Wilson Watt Puppies which are pretty heavy at 77kgs each. Nevertheless, I purchased he latest version from Max Townshend and in some ways I received good results, but mostly it was again negative. What a downer - the anti-vibration and isolation theory was sound but practically it didn’t play out. Mids too forward and harder. It was supposed to provide immediate improvements - and without any breaking in time! 😄 What else could it be that was causing this streak of bad sound upgrades? Then Jord from Pink Faun reached out and said he wanted me to try his new USB cable. Sometime back I had decided to get better AC cables for my streamer so I asked for both their Ultra AC Powercord and the Ultra USB cable to try. They are both made of his non-inductive, tinned copper wiring which he had already used throughout my 2.16x streamer. The power cord also used the top Furutech NCF heads which I understood to be pretty special. Pretty expensive for both but after some discussion, I placed a large deposit for them and they were on the way! Around a year or two ago, prior to my Pink Faun 2.16x streamer, I had borrowed a friend’s Duelund Audio XLR cables and purchased some of their bare speaker cables to good effect but ultimately they didn’t beat my existing Harmonic Technology Magic Link II interconnects and my Cardas Golden Reference speaker cables. The former is a copper/silver cable and the latter a mix of copper, golden-ratio diameters wires. But now with the streamer already containing tinned copper wiring and the two attached cables to the streamer (AC and USB) being made of the same tinned copper, I though it might be an idea to try a full loom of tinned copper to see what would happen. Would it help manage the harder sound of the Townshend Podiums? So purchased a pair of Duelund wired XLRs with Furutech copper heads and brought out my old Duelund speaker cables again. These are pretty unusual cables - they don’t use shielding at all (apparently this affects its sound negatively) and are wrapped in oil soaked cotton baked until dry as the dielectric. After burning in naturally and also along with my FryBaby2 burn in device over a course of 400 hours, I must say it’s the best thing I’ve done all year to date! The sound now is marvellous - well matched with ‘more correct’ sound coming from the speakers on the Podiums. It’s a huge natural sound field of music. I won’t try and describe it with the usual details of being dark, tighter, faster, leading edge etc (it’s all that) but just say it replicates the sound field of the “real thing”. When listening to a concert or live music in a small venue, one doesn’t think about details or size of the bass but let the music carry one away with the emotion of the moment. It’s like that now. I’m flabbergasted at the reality of the sound, how overwhelming it is. I’ve never heard my Wilson’s sound so good. Jord did hint to me that once I let his tinned copper AC and USB cables burn in, I would be in for a surprise. But I didn’t expect it to be so large. Not all the replacement cables came from him, the XLR and speaker was from the local fellow selling Duelund Audio cables of similar materials. Nevertheless, it turns out that the hardness or lack of accurate completeness I was hearing before was from my old Harmonic Tech copper/silver interconnects and my Cardas GR copper cables. What about my beloved Habst Ultra III USB cable I was using for the past 2 years which I championed earlier here on AS? That was the last cable to be swapped out. Until I hit the 250 burn hour mark on the Pink Faun Ultra USB, it couldn’t match the Habst and even now the PF is pretty much only on par with the Habst different by the thickness of sound. I’m not decided which is considered better but in my system, I feel the thickness adds to the reality. The Habst has same details, treble extensions, soundscape and texture but not quite as meaty as the PF Ultra USB cable. It’s truly amazing that pure 5N silver in the Habst can sound so similar to tinned copper in the PF in a completely different construction! I almost gave up on the PF during the burning process - it was truly horrible at the 100 hour mark and only slightly better at 150. It eventually took days attached to a laser printer in my office to burn it in. At the moment, I still switch between the two cables from time to time to compare the sound as I’m told the full burn in time for the PF is a lengthy 500-600 hours. Tinned copper can be found very affordably (I paid locally in Thailand the equivalent of $23 per meter length) for the Duelund wires strands and quite a bit more for the Pink Faun Ultra versions - I’m told it takes 130m of wiring to make one Pink Faun Ultra power cord and with the Furutech NCF ceramic heads it’s a pretty steep price to pay. But it did make a largest difference between all the cables I added - a sense of naturalness with huge amounts of information was heard after swapping out my older MIT Z-cord III. The burning in took around 400 hours and the sound changed substantially in that time. Best not to listen to it until the burn in process is complete. I tried a cheaper way out - using the Duelund 12GA tinned copper cable with their Thermalplas insulation (same tech as their top of the line capacitors) along with copper Furutech heads (non-NCF) burned for around 120 hours. Not in the same ball park - not at all. Big difference in everything. Back to burning in more before another comparison. So in conclusion of this first part - I’d give a hearty recommendation to a tinned copper loom. It is not dull as some have said in passing - I’m hearing all the venue details that add to a natural experience and accurate portrayal of the venue size and surface materials but without any hardness or harshness at all - just like the real thing. Large scale orchestral works down to small scale jazz ensembles are all represented well. This matches so well with the Townshend Podiums. I suspect my system with all the tinned copper connections is now feeding my speakers with a more correct sounding signal and allowing my Wilsons on the podiums, theoretically more accurate, to perform more naturally as well. Ok, here’s the part of the story where I refer to some music - seems obligatory in review discussions so here it is: 😄 I have a particularly good recording of the ubiquitous Jazz at the Pawnshop by Naxos and at the beginning of the “High Life” track around the 25 seconds mark, I’m able to clearly hear an order and the bartender’s reply for bottled water. This is with the entire tinned copper loom so it shows that details are resolved just fine. For a bit of fun, can anyone say which brand of water it is? 😄 Ok, so far a long rambling story, but wait there’s more : How about adding back the EtherRegen? If the system is playing more naturally surely a cleaner signal from the EtherRegen will help even more? Here’s some of my musing after reading John Swenson’s white paper on the EtherRegen (from memory as it was many months ago). John says basically it does 2 things - 1. Stop leakage currents from moving into the streamer from the LAN Ethernet cable and 2. cleans up accumulated distortions within each signal bit. John further suggests that this signal bit cleaning is essential for streamed data but can be replaced by a buffering and then playback of the music track whereby the data is used without further access to the network. Logically a disconnected LAN cable from the streamer should offer the best isolation and least distortion added from the network. There has recently been much discussion about networks and incredible “condominium-level” construction efforts to clean up the network. I feel it’s important not to forget that the target absolute best sound from a network is a disconnected LAN cable. There’s not an infinite level of improvements to be had. If one finds that a connected LAN cable leads to a better sound than a disconnected one, then the network is adding distortion to compensate for existing distortions in the streamer and downstream. For the 1st EtherRegen advantage - Is it possible to hear distortions and leakage currents that might be passed into the streamer from the LAN cable? A simple test would be to disconnect the cable and compare. For me I cannot hear it. I tried playing a local file from Stylus then, while playing, unplugged the LAN cable from the streamer. The difference, if any, is very subtle in my system, far far less than my experiments with tinned copper above. Tried many times with many different genres of music. I cannot determine any difference in a sighted test, let alone a blind one. One might argue that my system or my hearing isn’t resolving enough to show the difference and that might be true but then that would make me the happiest audiophile where everything sounds good!! haha A reason could be that I brought the data into my music room via an Orbi Wifi system where ethernet data is transferred from the main router to the satellite unit in the HiFi room wirelessly on a dedicated high speed backbone signal. The ethernet signal is then regenerated fresh locally and passed to my streamer via SOtM cables. I found that the power supply to this satellite Orbi unit and the DC cable used is far more audible than trying to clean the signal after. For the 2nd EtherRegen advantage - I use Euphony/Stylus as my OS. It offers buffering of music files prior to playing. Therefore so long as I can buffer the song completely prior to playing, there shouldn’t be any network accumulated noise and bit cleaning to be done for any files played from the network. This is fine for local files within the streamer, or say NAS files on network transferred to streamer prior to playing. What about Tidal or Qobuz files from the internet? Half my music is from Tidal so this is important to me. I have found something quite interesting with the way Euphony/Stylus buffers music in the queue. After only a few seconds of download, Euphony/Stylus buffers NOT ONLY a part of the Tidal track BUT the entire Tidal track played at the moment. AND ALSO the next entire track in the queue. I found this out after disconnecting the LAN cable from the network seconds after starting the first track. I’m aware that Euphony data movements has been discussed in detail previously and can be monitored it real-time within the app. What I didn’t notice or read about was that entire multiple tracks of Tidal could be queued and played without further network access. I didn’t previously know this was possible. The following is possible, a few seconds after starting playback of the 1st track and disconnecting the LAN cable : 1st track, Local file - plays entire track offline 2nd track, Local file - continues to play entire track offline 1st track, Local file - plays entire track offline 2nd track, Tidal file - continues to play entire track offline 1st track, Tidal file - plays entire track offline 2nd track, Local file - continues to play entire track offline 1st track, Tidal file - plays entire track offline 2nd track, Tidal file - continues to play entire track offline As expected, all local files after the above 2nd track continues to play fine until the end of the queue, without network access. If this is the case, then Euphony/Stylus playback for both local and Tidal files are fully buffered 2 tracks in advance and therefore immune to the 2nd type of distortion that John says occurs during network playback. At least after the first few seconds it takes to download the 2 tidal tracks in the queue and perhaps a few seconds at the beginning of each track thereafter as it buffers the next entire track. Given the distortions that the EtherRegen sets out to manage both seems to be handled well in my system under Euphony/Stylus, it’s now clearer to me why I didn’t originally find the device beneficial while others did. Presumably the noise that was being passed into their streamers wasn’t being handled and/or they weren’t using the Euphony/Stylus player and it’s ability to fully buffer both local and Tidal files. So after a disappointing start to the year, I’m back on track and in a good spot sound wise. After a bit more wire settling down I have an acid test for my tinned copper loom coming up. A comparison with the Nordost Valhalla power cord and their Odin1 speaker cables. It’s absolutely a mad test pairing affordable Duelund speaker wires with the super expensive Odin but it will surely be fun to see how big a difference there can be for wires. But as for the Pink Faun Ultra power cord, it’s a better match to the Valhalla price wise and it’s already being used with comparable streamers to my Pink Faun 2.16x streamer by others. 😉 Will report on AS after. Regards and best of health to all, Kin
  6. No, I’m referring to the Symposium Rollerblocks. It’s basically tungsten balls in cups in different configurations. I didn’t know Herbie’s makes Rollerblocks also. I use their tube dampeners only. The EVA dampeners work a treat - especially under the aircon compressors in my home so you can use them there if it doesn’t work in your hifi! 😄
  7. Thanks, yeah I’m pretty happy with the sound at the moment but it’s impossible not to continue to fiddle 😄
  8. I have many Symposium products including a few of their thick Ultra platforms and many of their aluminum couplers. The couplers are machined very flat and allow you to have a very good vibrational conduit between the device placed on the platform and the platform itself. It’s so flat the pucks sticks slightly to the platform surface! The idea is to drain the vibrational energy from external sources but especially from inside the device into the multi layered foam substance inside the platform to dissipate it as heat. So the more you can stop the internal components like transformers, capacitors even resistors from shaking the better the components should work as designed and the better device should perform. Over the years I’ve used the platform with many devices with good results. Currently I have my streamer on the Ultra coupled with 5 aluminum pucks. Each one placed where it has maximum stiff and solid contact with the platform. My other components rest on their Isis platform which is more like the Svelte shelves. What I also do is decouple the platform also. So beneath the Ultra I place compliant products like Rollerblocks or the same. This helps reduce the vibrational energy from the floor (from speakers, traffic, seismic movements and the world at large) from getting into the platform and the device. Although I usually user Rollerblocks, I’m experimenting with these air-conditioning compressor isolation pucks with good results. https://www.supplyhouse.com/DiversiTech-MP-3E-E-V-A-Anti-Vibration-Pad-3-x-3-x-7-8 Learnt this from someone here 😄 The overall effect for my Streamer is a nice improvement in sound - as expected from my years of using Symposium products. For me it’s a critical item I use for everything in my hifi.
  9. I’m back on the latest v20200430 after returning to previous then updating again. Looks like the v20200519 was an accident and shouldn’t have been sent to me. Željko confirmed it’s buggy.
  10. Had the same issue when I started. You can try click the 3 dots on the album top right corner and select the next cover option if you already have covers with your tracks. But I occasionally find that sometimes this correction isn’t remembered. AMD CPUs doesn’t easily publish their core temperature when I discussed this with AudioLinux. Looks like Euphony has the same issues too.
  11. Taiko and Pink Faun (at that time PF was a house brand of the Dutch Triple M Audio) has a history together that involves more than clocks.. 😉 Taiko got their clocks and their boards from TMA in previous models before the Extreme. At that time, they used Conner Winfield OCXO clocks. Later PF spun off into a separate company and came out with their own Ultra range of clocks custom made for them.
  12. Cost no object version is approaching the Pink Faun 2.16x streamer with 4 OCXO ultra clocks. https://www.pinkfaun.com/shop/content/15-streamer216x
  13. I’m on 20200519. It’s pretty buggy in its file editing functions with no obvious change in sound to 20200430.
  14. Stylus with HQPlayer does have a digital volume control. I’ve seen it displayed in the control screen but haven't tried it out. But Stylus alone doesn’t seem to have one.
  15. In my system I’ve tried Duelund’s tin plated copper XLR interconnects (used) and their bare speaker wires (new) in the past. Its been sometime since then but I recall my experience with them was not dull sounding but hard and unsophisticated. Rough. My set had oil baked cotton sleeves and no shielding. Perhaps the final sound depends on the dielectric? The PF versions use Teflon I’m told. Their Ultra power cords are completely different in character despite using the same tin/copper so far in the burning in stage. Right off the bat, they sound focused, detailed and offer a huge soundstage. But also hard (this changes and I’ll discuss it in my review later). Another thing about the PF wires, I feel they need an extended burning in time. My PF streamer had a sudden undeniable jump in sound quality long after I purchase it for no apparent reason. I finally concluded it might have been due to burn in. So as an experiment, I’m returning to a full tin/copper loom (power, USB, interconnects and speaker) mixture of PF and Duelund cables but will do an extended burn in of all cables first using my FryBaby2 device before listening.
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