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simorag

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About simorag

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  1. Great article as usual, Rajiv. Could you just clarify whether you tried the Abyss CC or the TC? Thanks! S
  2. I was getting frequent skips and occasional stutters and pops with Roon/LMS, so I gave up. Using Roon for casual listening or library discovery sessions, and switching to LMS for critical listening / full album listening mode.
  3. Hi fellow SE owners! I am looking for an upmarket power cable for mine, based on the good results reported by @austinpop , other experienced audiophiles I have corresponded with privately, and on some mail exchanges with Nuno Vitorino himself, who confirmed that the ZENith SE sound quality can be further elevated by a high-end power cord. So far, I have collected good feedback about Cardas Clear (possibly further improved by the Clear Beyond?), Chord Sarum T (very expensive, but often used by Innuos at trade shows and well regarded by Nuno), Shunyata Alpha HC. Also, I noticed that Innuos was using Swisscables cords at the AXPONA with the SE and the Statement, so I tend to believe they could be a good match as well. What are you guys using / have tried? Here is quite difficult to arrange a serious (long term, in-house) audition of the various high-end brands, so I am interested in what are the findings that others can share, to come up with a short list to rely on. Would prefer a neutral-to-warmish signature (if that word applies to power cables). I am using a power conditioner (IsoTek EVO3 Aquarius), so I would be especially interested in opinions from people using conditioners as well.
  4. Yesterday I tried the Disk Ripper function of the ZENith. I had about 30 CDs left to rip from my classical music recordings, including some relatively rare editions (RCA Victor, Analogue Productions, Chesky classical from the 80's). Wow, the process was very quick, easy and almost 100% successful in retrieving all metadata in full automatic mode (with the help of Roon engine as well). Coming from a PC tweaking background, I am really impressed about how stable, robust and hassle free is the operation of the ZENith. Everything works very smoothly and this lets me concentrate more on enjoying my music, rather on taking care of maintenance of my gear or music database!
  5. Today I compared the ZENith SE straight into the DAVE (via Lush USB cable) vs. the SE > USPCB > ISO REGEN > LPS-1 (grounded by iFi Groundhog). After spending the last two weekends in a furious A/B/C comparison between Abyss Phi cables (results here in case someone is interested), which turned to be a lot of fun but also a bit tiring, I was not sure I wanted to repeat another critical listening exercise. Luckily, this one was MUCH easier ?. The ISO REGEN indeed improves, to my ears, in a noticeable way over the direct SE > DAVE connection. That was apparent since the very first notes. For instance, the double-bass opening of the infamous "Spanish Harlem" from Rebecca Pidgeon (one of my reference tracks for sibilance, detail, soundstage) was much cleaner and better resolved with the IR, while being a little bloated without it. Also, the squeaks at the beginning of the song were better located and separated, and so was the entry of the maracas later on. More generally, transparency, decay and resolution improved clearly with the IR. The same was with another few tracks ("Anna" from Big Daddy Wilson, "Chromatische Fantasie und Fuge" from Bach - Kenneth Gilbert, "Arcason" from Candido Camero): more transparency, better resolution and separation, larger soundstage, more natural bass control. As for the ZENith SE vs. optimized Surface Pro 3, that will be for the next weekend. I need to settle some more with the SE before.
  6. Hi @rickca, will do! Cheers, Simone
  7. Hello @TheAttorney! I agree, probably my expectations are too high ? To be honest, the main reason I decided to bought the SE (while waiting for a standalone M-Scaler from Chord, to pair with the DAVE ?) is that I was tired of fidgeting with the laptop tweaks, limited disk space, limited network options (win2016 server in core mode does not support wifi, and the Surface Pro 3 has no ethernet), etc. I must say that, from the usability standpoint, I like very much the current setup where I now use the Surface as a Roon remote. I could have got to this point in a number of ways, including through a much cheaper server, but I found a good deal on a 2nd hand SE and I could not resist ? I installed Roon yesterday night and had not the time of going through any of its DSP options. As you say, I prefer not to alter the input to the DAVE in any way, except perhaps some PEQ to get rid of some sibilance to which I am especially sensitive (I'll try that in the next weekend). By the way, I want to publicly thank Steven from Innuos, who helped me to set-up the system and gave me a prompt and kind support even I am a second owner of the ZENith. Great customer service, Kudos to Innuos. Coming to the ISO REGEN, as you I am also annoyed by a spaghetti-like set-up and that was the deal breaker against the Sotm trifecta or similar solutions. When I got it, I had an Audio-Gd NOS 11 DAC, and the ISO REGEN + LPS-1 provided a clear improvement on soundstage focus and transparency, perhaps with a slightly brighter sound signature. Now, with the ZENith and DAVE I realize that I should try to remove it and see how I like the result. During the next weekend I hope I will have time to enjoy my new toy and get a better idea of how my new rig performs ?
  8. Yesterday I installed Roon, which I never tried before … Now I understand what you wrote. I am not sure I am hearing a loss in sound quality compared to LMS (perhaps a slightly reduced dynamics and transparency (?)), but the user experience is a whole new world compared to a traditional music player! I think I am going to stay with this set-up for the foreseeable future ? … sorry for my wallet as usual! As for the SE sound quality, I still need to stop fiddling with other things (headphone cable upgrades I was evaluating just when the SE arrived), but honestly I was hoping for a dramatic improvement over my previous source, which I am afraid it is not going to be the case ?. By doing some quick A/B between the SE and a Surface Pro 3 running off batteries, with windows Server 2016 (Core mode) + Audiophile Optimizer + Fidelizer Pro + JPLAY + Process Lasso and HQPlayer I am noticing quite subtle differences at this point, and not necessarily / always in favor of the SE. An ISO Regen + LPS-1 (grounded via iFi Groundhog) is in the chain in both cases, and the A/B is done by playing local files (on an SD card for the Surface, and on the SSD of the SE). Perhaps the source immunity that Rob Watts claims about the DAVE is at play here? Several very experienced forum users have reported significantly upgraded SQ with the SE on top on DAVE-driven system, and I am hoping they are right instead of Rob Watts ? I need more time to settle down with the SE playing for a while and then do some actual critical listening comparisons between the SE and the optimized laptop in my system. I will report back here of course what my ears are telling me!
  9. I wish I had an iPad available. It seems that iPeng has a much better user interface compared to Windows control apps. Orange Squeeze is not that bad, but browsing 1000+ albums on a smartphone screen is not the best. Yes, I believe that's what I will do. By default, they provide only 14 days trial … occasionally they go to 2 months. I'll try to get a 2 months evaluation code and check the sound quality loss vs. user-experience trade off. Thank you, guys. P.S.: I'll report back my impressions on the SE vs. my previous system in the next weeks!
  10. Hello everybody! I just got a second hand ZENith MkII SE, which I am going to use with a Chord DAVE (ISO Regen + LPS-1 + Phasure Lush USB cable) to drive my Abyss Phi headphones. I am finalizing the upload and clean-up of my music library, and all is going on quite smoothly so far. I'll be playing local files exclusively for now, so no streaming involved. I will be using an android smartphone or a Surface Pro 3 as a remote, so I have purchased both OrangeSqueeze and Squeeze Remote, but I find both not really providing a great user experience in terms of GUI. Therefore I am considering to try Roon (a good way to splurge another 500USD :-)). Before pulling the trigger on Roon, I wanted to check with you more experienced users a couple of things: 1. anybody checked if Roon 1.5 is closing the gap in terms of sound quality compared to the squeezebox player? 2. is the SE as Roon Core able to take advantage of Roon DSP such as parametric equalization? Thank you in advance, Simone
  11. Yes, it seems that the CX is going to be outclassing the DX. Antipodes just postponed the release by a month, to April 19th ... perhaps I'll go to High-End Munich in May this year, to check if I can hear it. I'll not be surprised if we find that also Innuos is showing something new there... the SE has sold out very fast and this should have been very encouraging for Innuos guys :-)
  12. Hello, has anybody had the chance to compare head-to-head these two high-end music servers? Innuos seems to have much more coverage (and with very good user feedback) here at CA and over the internet, while I was not able to find a single review specifically addressing the DX Gen 3. A few (good) reviews are available for the Gen 2, e.g. here: http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/network-player-reviews/antipodes-dx-music-server/
  13. Hi Alex, thank you for your very quick reply! I am glad to report that the first of your suggestions (powering up the IR last) has worked fine! I am very happy it did work, because I am now addicted to the goodies that the IR brings, I am glad to have them back :-) Again, thank you for your support, Ciao, Simone
  14. Hello everybody, especially @Superdad :-). I have been a happy user of the ISOregen + LPS-1 + USPCB combo since several months now. I have just got a Chord DAVE DAC, and I am not being able to use the IR in combination with it. I can play music flawlessly with a direct USB connection between my laptop and the DAVE, but as soon as I add the IR in the chain, Windows does not “see” the DAC, and the DAVE displays “USB no data” on its screen. Tried with many players (HQ Player, JPlaymini, JRiver MC) and obviously, since Windows cannot see the DAC when the IR is in place, no music comes out of my headphones. Here is what I have tried so far: 1. Switching off the ISO on the IR 2. Changing the location of the IR in the chain, i.e. PC > USPCB > IR > USB Cable > DAC or PC > USB Cable > IR > USPCB > DAC 3. Changing the USB cable (tried three cables, including the stock standard USB cable provided with the DAVE) 4. Replacing the USPCB with an USB cable None of the above has worked. Of course, I tried again connecting my previous DAC instead of the DAVE, with the IR in place, and everything works as usual. Therefore, the problem seems specific to the interaction between the IR and the DAVE. I would greatly appreciate any ideas or suggestions! Thank you in advance, Simone
  15. Following up with further listening, my report is that I am not able to hear differences when placing Ipurifier2 before or after the ISO REGEN. It may be due to lack of sufficient resolution of my ears or of my system, or both Also, by defeating the GI I get no audible benefits / detriments in all the configuration I tested (IR > USPCB > DAC, IR > USPCB > iPurifier2 > DAC , iPurifier2 > IR > USPCB > DAC). In all cases LPS-1 was present. Finally I confirm that I like IR + iPurifier2 more than both IR alone or iPurifier2 alone, and much more than no IR or iPurifier2. Mostly noticeable improvements with the addition of the IR for me are a more extended and satisfying bass response and a more realistic soundstage, with the instruments still well separated but more organically presented. By adding iPurifier2 I am hearing a reduced harshness in the highs at the (small) price of (slightly) less transparency. By the way, after all the uber-analytical (while enjoyable) effort, yesterday I heard the best Miles Davis Kind of Blue playback I can recall on my system
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