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About chrille

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  1. The Gryphon Pendragon was one of the most impressive speakers I have ever auditioned with classical music a few years ago in Singapore. I wonder how the Martin Logan Neolitic compares to the best Gryphon speakers?
  2. Thanks for another great and very informative review! The AKG 1000 is the headphone Jared Sacks used as monitoring headphones at recording sessions for the Mahler series. Unless he has changed recently ,those are what he used at the Mahler 3 sessions too. I heard his pair during the Mahler 5 sessions in Budapest. Very open and very different to most other headphones except the newer Myspheres and the old and NEW Jecklin Float electrostatic headphones. Earspeakers would maybe be a better term for that type of headphones. And very probably also the now much talked about RAAL SRH1A ribbons which I hope to audition next week in Singapore for the first time. I have also yet to hear the NEW supposedly much improved over the old ones,Jecklin Floats but I have an old pair still back home. And like the AKG1000 they deliver some the most open "out of the head" headphone listening available. But are not very good for deep bass. The BIS team in Minnesota monitor with Stax electrostatics I think. I haven't been to any of those sessions. But at sessions in Gothenburg Sweden they used Stax electostatics when I was there. And I believe the recording engineer who introduced me personally to HD800, now also has a pair of Stax headphones as well. So I am a bit surprised no electrostatics were included in your review at all? The very resolving but a bit too bright,Utopias sound too upfront and to "small" soundstage-wise with classical symphonic material, in comparison to the AKG1000 imho. Very impressive in some respects, but tiring in the long run for me. For classical music and large scale symphonic music in particular, which I listen to almost exclusively, I agree that the HD800 still are a VERY GOOD choice. And this winter I have been travelling with my old HD800 with the velour Dekoni pads. To my ears they do tame the treble peak a bit compared to the orginal pads and are much more comfortable. And with Qutest/ HMS I get a lot of musical enjoyment from that combo. Cheers Christer
  3. Hello Matt, I am personally not stating the above as facts, I am merely and hopefully this time, correctly, quoting Rob Watts. I have quite a few DSD recordings especially from Channel Classics that I play often and like a lot. I also sometimes wonder why Rob finds DSD so bad? I am also aware of the fact that some companies still record in DSD64 in spite of the inevitable noise problems involved in post processing DSD64 recordings. I personally think that DSD64 raw and unedited can sound very transparent and in some ways more listenable than some pcm which still even in hi res, sometimes suffers from hardening and digital ringing that can be painful to hear. I sometimes prefer the slightly softer than live sound of DSD64 over hard ringing pcm. And I would absolutely love to hear the complete DSD256 recorded version of for example Mahler's 3rd which Tailspn recorded with a very simple five mic rig in parallel with Jared Sacks DSD64 Grimm multimic take already released. In that particular case and long before I had an M Scaler it was quite clear to me that at least via my systems both headphone based and via electrostatic speakers, that both the DSD128 ,the DSD256 and DXD samples from the sessions sounded closer to how I have myself heard that orchestra sound in that hall during the sessions for M5, than the slightly less resolved and softer but still very good DSD 64 version. My personal guess is that neither DSD 256 nor DXD are quite enough to capture a symphony orchestra in all its glory. I suspect that maybe 32 or even 64 bits and a sampling rate of 768khz may be necessary to do it full justice. But I also have reasons to suspect that Mr Watts actually knows what he is talking about very well and at least since first hearing his Dave/BLU2 and now Dave/HMS and Qutest /HMS, what I keep hearing from my best masterfiles both DSD and PCM tend to confirm his claims. It may unfortunately be a fact that the issue you hope can be solved in the next version of this dac is in fact an inherent nonsolvable issue of DSD as a format? One thing Rob Watts keeps mentioning as a really major problem with DSD apart from the well known and undeniable noise issue with DSD 64 in particular, is the softening and blurring of transients. And to me it is an undeniable fact that music in fact is simply a series of transients. Cheers Chris
  4. That is basically the same question I was asking and with a suggestion of a combo that might be more resolving and ultimately "better", than the "Ferrari dac". According to the designer behind that combo ie Dave/HMS, DSD is a fundamenally flawed format with limitations that can not ever be solved. According to him he used a format identical to today's DSD 256 already in the 1990s but later abandoned it because of its too many limitations. Personally I am only interested in maximum transparency to the source. I am not interested in dac solutions that possibly only sound as good the best of vinyl. I already have a good LP player. I want dacs that sound clearly better and closer to real live acoustic music than even the very best of vinyl!
  5. Hello Chris, I don't at all doubt that it is possibly in many ways one of the best dacs that money can buy. It'd better be, at that price! But to me the absolutely MOST interesting paragraph in your review was where you mentioned how it handled the extremely densely scored passages in Britten's Passacaglia from the Reference Recordings album. To me it indicates two things. You obviously have a very resolving system and you know where a link fails to deliver the whole truth. As someone who listens almost exclusively not only to acoustic music, but also LARGE SCALE symphonic like Britten, Stravinsky and Bartok to mention a couple of composers whose music is good material to "sort the wheat from the chaff", I have to conclude that this dac was possibly designed to sound euphonic? much like vinyl and analogue tape do? But not necessarily as live music ACTUALLY sounds? But for me the ONLY REFERENCE POINT there can be in REAL HI FI terms, is HOW CLOSE any link in a reproduction chain dac or whatever else can reproduce acoustic music to how it sounds LIVE in a real hall. And with the example you mention to you there are already other dacs that sort out very complex symphonic music better than this dac does with this particular recording. If I am not wrong that Reference Recording is a PCM recording recorded at 176.4 with the Pacific Microsonics chip used by Mr Jonsson for many of his recordings which would have had to be converted to DSD by this Dac. Some more recent recordings from the same label have been made at DSD 256. Do you have any of those as well to compare with other dacs? You also say that it's been like driving a Ferrari. Have you also driven a Chord DAVE with a Chord Hugo M Scaler yet? I suspect that with this particular recording and possibly others of the same complexity and dynamic range it might be an even smoother and possibly more REALISTIC drive than the dac you have just reviewed. Nota bene,I am not saying this as a fact. I am only guessing from actually hearing the DAVE/HMS and using the HMS with a Qutest dac since three months on a daily basis. I have yet to audition the dac you reviewed. And the DAVE/HMS would play the native 176.4 pcm file not a conversion of it. On the other hand the DAVE/HMS and TT2/HMS would do the opposite with a native DSD file. I would not rule out the possiblity that the "Ferrari dac" is one of the best DSD dacs around. But I guess DAVE/HMS would sound more realistic and closer to the real thing with NATIVE PCM material. If you haven't yet heard either the TT2/HMS or DAVE /HMS yet do try to do so while you still have the dac under discussion in your home. I would be very interested to hear your take on such a comparison with the MOST demanding material you have. Cheers Christer
  6. Hello Romaz , very nice to get an update from you after a very long time. But for someone like me with very limited tech knowledge and who has not followed every step on this thread, not exactly an easy read! Could you possibly sum things up in a "Reader's Digest" version!!!! A summing up of essentials only, where you only mention the exact parts needed for a solution that would not break the bank but still provide a clear improvement in SQ for a person like me who so far, has not done anything more than exchange the PSU of his Qutest for a battery powered linear one but who is still running his M Scaler via the supplied PSU. I am still out travelling in Asia over the winter as usual, and while "on the road" I am still using my old 2011 i7 17" mbp with my music on portable harddrives connected via firewire and Audirvana+ as music player playing my music from ram connecting my M Scaler to my mbp via usb. A battery powered linear supply for Qutest cleaned things up enough for me to avoid using the supplied one more than in emergency situations when I run out of battery in the middle of say Mahler's 1st and want to listen through the whole work without having to wait for the 3 hour re-charge time. And it has whetted my appetite for a better solution back home than my mbps. By the way which recording of Mahler's 1st where you playing during your comparisons with Rob and the others? PS will you be at Canjam Singapore this weekend? I haven't decided yet if I am going or not. If Friday's concert in KL is really good I may choose to stay there for both the Saturday repeat and a Sunday matine´ concert. LIVE music is the addiction I find the most irresistable. Cheers Christer
  7. Hello austinpop, and thanks for your rapid response. I think I 'll stick with the ones I have . Vänskä's Mahler recordings from Minnesota have received quite mixed responses from some reviewers and I am not really in desperate need of another M2. From a performance perspective I prefer Fischer's M2 from Budapest on Channel Classics and it is also a good native DSD 64 recording. Jared Sacks balances very naturally and realistically compared to DGG's normal style of a bit too much of multimiking. Kaplan's VPO M2 though available as SACD in DSD is actually a native 24/96 PCM recording. Quite good by DGG standards ,but at least via my SACD players not as good as Channel Classics M2 on SACD. Or for that matter when played as DSD 64 download via Q/HMS. Via my home system I can play the channel M2 louder without congestion than the DGG/ Kaplan which has a tendency to congest and harden a bit at climaxes via my electrostatic speakers. But the Channel Classics M2 sounds really impressive at very loud levels too. But I may change my mind on the Kaplan one if I get to hear it in its native 24/96 version via M Scaler. I'll start by playing the rbcd layer of my SACD via M Scaler when I get home again to hear how that fares. And if it sounds good enough I may go for the 24/96 download. Good as 16/44.1 can sound via M Scaler it is still not hi res imho. M Scaler has changed my opinion of the SQ levels on quite a few recordings. Mainly for the better. But not always. Revealing as it is,it can also make the bad aspects of a recording more noticable. PS a bit OT maybe but how did you like the Maggie 3.7s? IMHO Maggies can sometimes be a very good alternative to large electrostatics for large scale symphonic music. Enjoy your TT2 /M Scaler Cheers Chrille
  8. Great review!! A model of its kind! Looking forward to your upcoming take on some of these upmarket headphones Since almost 4 months now, I am using my M Scaler with a Qutest ,not TT2. Via my old battered but still very good HD800 and a battery powered headphone amp I found the Qutest /M Scaler better than TT2 on its own with similar, actually only acoustic/classical 90 % hi res material like you used in your excellent review. No pop on my playlists really ,Austin TT2 / M Scaler even better than my choice. But I also know that DAVE/M Scaler beats even TT2/M Scaler so I am waitning for the next upgrade from Dave or a VERY heavily discounted DAVE before upgrading any further. Interesting also to read about your take on power supplies and BNC cabling. I have taken one such step with my Qutest driving it on a battery powered LPS instead of the supplied one And yes it is definitely better than the supplied one . Having read your take on these things, I am now quite keen to try something similar with M Scaler which is the only link in my chain connected to the grid while travelling. MBP on batttery via usb to Qutest on battery and battery powered headphone amp is the best travelling kit I have had so far. Bulky yes with the big heavy M Scaler. On the other hand I don't carrry it around other than on flights. But I get very good sound quality with well recorded material. PS How does Vänskä's 24/96 Mahler 2 compare to Fischer's on Channel or MTT's on SFS, musically and SQ wise in your opinion? With BIS's Sibelius series from the same venue/orchestra M Scaler makes a BIG difference,basically turning them from already very good to basically SOTA 24/96 PCM imho. Cheers Chrille
  9. Hi again and thanks for your feeedback and help. Regarding Qutest and a separate headphone amp I chose that combo over HUGO 2 for my travels after careful comparisons with my main headphones HEKV2 and HD800, not to mention Susvara . But anyway I chose Qutest because with the often complex classical full dynamic range material I mainly listen to, there just isn't enough power /current or whatever there is missing with HUGO2 to drive those will full authority and weight and effortlessly. With good powerful headphone amps I may in theory get sligthly less transparency and resolution. But will rather live with those than strain and congestion at climaxes with headphones direct to HUGO 2 and even DAVE/BLU2 which also is lacking in the same aspects. The DAVE/BLU2 combo will not drive difficult headphones very well unfortunately. I am hoping to audition TT2 in a couple of weeks if it is available in Singapore when I get there. But I think my first priority will be an M-scaler. Cheers Chrille
  10. Thanks again for your advice, I am also trying to have backup options ready if my aging main system breaks down. And frankly, the same thing that had me worried indeed happened once more last night. I am still trying to figure out exactly why my laptop sometimes seems to disconnect from my Quetest DAC. And this time around the little slider volume was at full level but the ticking on /off for Sound box was empty and completetely unresponsive ? I closed down everything and made sure the system was seeing the correct dac via both of my music player programs on start up ,and lo it worked again. The only thing I have been doing a bit disrespectfully is plugging in and out different headphones and sometimes changing rca cables between dac and headphone amp without turning things off only stopping play in Audirvana. With very limited knowledge of how things digital, really work, I was thinking this is analogue and should not affect the digital connection. But maybe I was wrong in my assumption? This morning things worked again. Talking about saving up for, having heard what M-scaling can do I am a bit tempted to add an M-scaler to my Qutest based digital system But maybe I will have to spend money on a DAP to insure I am never without music on my travels. While still at home I can always resort to analogue via LPs or digital via SACD/cd. Or just pug in my 15" mbp from 2009. Cheers Christer
  11. Thanks and to those concerned trying to help, I have an embarrassing confession to make. There wasn't really anything wrong with my mbp after all . But stupid and unattentive as I can be sometimes, I failed to check all little boxes in audio settings carefully enough the first couple of times around until I finally did so and found out that the DAC chosen was correct but the volume slider had changed down to ZERO. No wonder I got no sound. In my defence I have to say that I DID NOT change that volume setting to zero voluntarily. But I sure raised it back to full level again Anyway Cheers and thanks again Christer
  12. Thanks for your advice. I will look into how to play via an iPad or similar. But ideally I would like to keep my music-player programs Audirvana and Pure Music plus all the 4tb of music on my portable firewire harddrives, not to mention eveything else I have in my laptop.So I might just get another laptop and clone things from this one, if I can't get this one to work with my dacs via usb any more. Cheers Christer
  13. Hello Qutest owners . Could someone please advice me of a way to use mine with my headphones and headphone amp withpout connecting either to my since today nonfunctional laptop? What is the easiest most portable highest SQ hi res files including dff player solution instead of my big heavy laptop with Audirvana and Pure music? All advice appreciated. Cheers Christer
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