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About Blackmorec

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  1. With respect Marce, that shoe fits the other foot equally well. Personally I have no desire to fight or argue with anybody, and i really appreciate solid technical input in a discussion, but the scathing and personal remarks that typically accompany some posts (always from the same individuals) are a. Unnecessary b. Impolite c. Childlike. I say childlike not as a judgement but in recognition of the ego state that generates those replies, where the goal is to elicit an equally impolite reply which can then be roundly and sanctimoniously condemned. Pretty much what is currently happening to a certain forum member right now.
  2. I follow the logic but I’m still no sure I buy in 100%. If the server manufacturers are using off-the-shelf components than sure, you’re logic is 100%. But as soon as manufacturers start writing their own ‘for audio’ operating systems and creating their own ‘for audio’ mother boards etc. the potential to get something far superior to off-the-shelf PC hw and sw, which is all built for general computing, with all the extra overhead that entails must be rather high.
  3. Well i hope your server does sound as good as a Statement..... As for the rest, I’ll bow to your superior knowledge and experience....I’ve never exchanged a CPU and am highly unlikely to ever do so. However I will also be cautious about accepting that Innuos is no longer the right approach. Since I’ve had the Statement I’ve finished optimizing my network and added better umbilicals to the Statement and it has rewarded handsomely by continuing to sound even better, to the point one needs different adjectives to describe what the improvements sound like; so I’ll hold judgement until I clearly hear something better. If more powerful CPUs do ultimately prove superior than I’m happy to look forward to even better sound in future. Progress.
  4. Ralf, you’ll never go far wrong if you keep it respectful and pleasant. Also ‘cannot possibly be correct’ is a pretty broad definition subject to many different interpretations....hearing something that the physics doesn’t agree with doesn’t constitute something that cannot possibly be correct because it could be correct as long as we can’t directly correlate the physics to the hearing, which we generally can’t. Or like saying that an ethernet cable can’t possibly effect the sound if the bitstream is unchanged because they can and they do. As you can see from those 2 examples, your version of ‘cannot possibly be correct” is quite different to mine. So as I said, keep it friendly, civil and polite and we’ll never have to worry. 😁
  5. As I remember a post from Nuno, Innuos tried a fairly large number of CPUs, including the higher power units and the CPU they selected sounded the best. Bear in mind they are using a custom mother board and they wrote and optimised their ‘for audio’ operating system, so there’s no unnecessary overhead. Essentially a more powerful CPU would require more power, which would produce more heat and noise. The OS Innuos designed shuts down a lot of processes while playing music, such that it’s really only RAM related functions that’re running during playback. Other operating systems are way more resource intensive so I’m not sure an Innuos would benefit from a more powerful CPU in the same way that other OSs like Windows would. One of the reasons Innuos sounds so good in the first place is its PSs, another major reason is its innuOS operating system and low EMI motherboard.
  6. Frankly I doubt there’s many people on here with sufficient skill and knowledge to out-think and out-build the likes of Magico, Innuos or Devialet. And frankly, when the system continues to thrill and amaze at every listen, I think the idea of opening it up for some unqualified modifications is fraught with dangers. The danger of damaging something, changing something that unbalances the sound, voiding warranty, reducing resale value and making it hard to re-sell etc. Magico get their speakers sounding as good as they know how, using SOTA drivers, cross-over design components and cabinet. The only 2 risk free elements that will improve on that are better footers (available from Magico) and better speaker cable. The same applies to Devialet. Better vibration control and better cables to and from the units will enhance sound without making internal mods. By the time you’re extracting all the current design offers, in terms of SQ I guarantee you will have lost your appetite for home mods entirely for fear of damaging what is incredibly good sound quality, with absolutely nothing identifiably wrong. Its hard to fix something that isn’t broken and is already performing at SOTA levels. In my experience not every piece of hi-fi hardware has easily identified weaknesses that an amateur can easily redress. Far from it in fact. PCs, NUCs and Network devices on the other hand, which were never designed with audio I’m mind are wide open to such mods and bring huge rewards, so that’s where my focus would be. Low risk, high reward stuff, whereas modifying purpose designed and built hi-if gear is really high risk and relatively low reward. Cables, power cords, vibration control will all bring improvements and are again low risk, medium reward, so still better to focus there than on than the hi-fi gear itself.
  7. The key for me is buying gear that synergises .....stuff that is known and recognised as working well together. There are thousands, hundreds of thousands of audiophiles and dealers who try an incredible number of combinations and find that a few work “REALLY’ well together. Bring that gear together and you’ve got a great foundation....but you’re way off finished if your goal is to have near perfect sound without anomalies to constantly spoil the picture . Firstly setting up the speakers and setting up the room to get the right balance of reflections and diffusion to ensure that room early and late reflections aren’t obscuring musical detail, that would prevent you hearing a reproduction of the true recording venue in your listening room. Then making sure that your network that feeds your system isn’t picking up and transmitting noise or vibrating and creating jitter to mistime the bit stream. Ensuring that your power supply is adequate, noise free and offers a good and quiet earth. Making sure that your components are cabled together adequately and that your cabling is preserving the maximum amount of information and isn’t losing you a lot of detail When you’re finished, you should be extracting the maximum your system is capable of. Instead of 2 speakers you should be hearing a room full of music a soundscape that renders the sound engineers work in all its immersive glory (if that’s what’s on the recording),
  8. This isn’t axe grinding....its just an observation. Hi-fi is improving all the time. Devices are becoming more sophisticated, more customised, more refined and better sounding. As you improve things like room, speaker positioning, cabling, vibration control, power and networking the sound quality continues to improve.......if we allow people who post about this progress to be attacked and shut down then i think its a real pity. And that is already going on. I’m not saying that people can’t disagree. What I am talking about is the derision, cynicism and respectlessness they receive as part of posting something new, controversial or whatever. Debate and disagreement Fine Derision, aggression and absence of respect Not fine. Not fine at all
  9. Well if there was ever any argument or doubt about the relative power of the sword and the word, this post clinches it, in favour of the word.
  10. Without a doubt. But the key thing here isn’t that someone disagrees....its the way the disagreement is framed in order to manipulate a particular response. You really shouldn’t believe that this manipulation is covert. It isn’t. Many people understand how the manipulation works. Its effect is to ruin an interesting conversation and frankly drag down the whole tone of the forum. Go back over some of my most recent posts and look at the purposely provocative and insulting replies....they are intended to either intimidate or failing that, invoke an answer that can then be condemned. I have absolutely no problem with someone disagreeing with my viewpoint. I rely a lot on logic and experience so I acknowledge there may be holes or flaws in my conclusions and I very much appreciate being corrected. However when that correction takes the form of scathing abuse, I know that there’s another agenda. I realised that some people find my posts threatening, i just couldn't figure out why, until now. You see, that’s the beauty of a forum.
  11. Hi Kenny, Thanks for that....very interesting. Funnily enough I owned a pair of Dahlquist DQ10s and loved the damned things....they made music sound real, especially impressive back then. I also built 8 bass traps using a very interesting recipe that allowed you to tune how much bass was absorbed or reflected, simply by turning the trap and exposing more or less of a reflective panel that covered the absorption layer for half of the circumference. They worked extremely well. When I left Germany I had no further use for them so I gave them away. Some guy came and took 4. The next day he called back practically begging for the other 4. These days I have no bass traps but I may put 2 or 4 into my room corners at some stage. What I do use are Devialet Expert 440 Pro CI monoblocks which includes SAM (Speaker Active Matching) which corrects bass timing down to 0Hz. Turns out this is extremely important also for frequencies above where SAM rolls off (ca. 150) . The results are quite spectacular http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/speaker-active-matching-sam-technology-in-the-devialet-expert-220-pro-integrated-amplifier/
  12. Fascinating stuff Kenny. The part I never understand about how these posts go is the nastiness that soon emerges when the logic becomes unarguable. Do people really feel that passionate about ‘saving others’ from theIr own hi-fis or is there something else afoot? I think your post is very insightful in that regard. I have no problem whatsoever in people disagreeing with whatever I post and I’m always willing to enter a debate. Its how I learn things. What I’m not fond of at all are the attempts to drag one into acrimonious arguments, although I do understand how that works from a psychological standpoint. Now back on topic I would like to add that power cables are one way to get more out of a Zenith SE or Statement. Optimising the upstream network is another and may be the more cost effective in terms of the $$$ spent and the SQ improvements realised. Also quite surprising is the type of and number of improvements that bring rewards.......better ethernet cables, linear power supplies for network components, better DC cables, isolation, vibration control. What all these upstream improvements do is to make the whole soundstage more 3 dimensional, immersing and cohesive. There really is a remarkable amount of detail in these files and so far I haven’t reached a point where the improvements stop, so it seems that the upstream side is wide open for improvement. Just to note that the soundstage, 3 dimensionality and cohesiveness are all created in the brain based on the quality of the 2 loudspeaker signals......the cleaner and more pristine the signals, the better the brain can construct the 3 dimensional picture...so I assume that removing noise and jitter allows the system to create a more pure and pristine version of the signal.
  13. When you set out to buy a hi-fi you’ll be aware that there is a huge variety of hardware that you can chose from that comes in all price categories and offers sound quality from the very mediocre to the incredibly excellent. This is true for loudspeakers, amplifiers, turntables, CD players, servers, streamers, DACs, pre-amplifiers, phono-amplifiers and of course all the interconnecting cables. So when you’ve bought all the goodies for your new system, you should also chose cables and power cables appropriate for your system.....no point in either buying great gear then interconnecting it poorly, conversely there’s not point in being economical with your purchases then over-investing in cables to try and win additional sound quality. When it comes to the Zenith SE there’s no doubt that you can elevate its performance with ‘better’ power cords....although I’m not sure what ‘better’ means in terms of technical features and specs; I only know that it means “sounds substantially better”. I took an aftermarket cable from Synergistic Research, played some specific music and noted specific improvements.....what and when.... then replace said cable with the OEM cable . If the improvements are still present then there’s no improvement and my judgement was influenced by confirmation bias. If the improvements are not present, then I’m hearing genuine SQ benefits from the new cable. Now I may also find in this comparison that I have a strong preference for the sound of the new cable, which may still be confirmation bias, but frankly if I like something a lot better, why would I worry which particular mental process generates the liking as long as I can identify specific easily discerned differences which I prefer? Do I need measurements? Not unless they increase my listening pleasure, which they won’t but I would say that measurements....the right measurements.....would be useful in understanding why I preferred a particular cable over another for which I currently have no technical explanation. However making measurements that show no difference and concluding from that there’s therefore no aural difference would just be silly. All it means if measurements don’t reveal the reason for aural differences is that I’m not measuring the thing that causes the aural change. If one measurement fails to support another all it means is that there’s no correlation or interaction between those 2 measures, given that one is physical and the other sensory. The problem with cables is that there are lots of variables and the impact of those variables differs according to the system the cable is installed in. Therefore in hi-fi we use specs to short list then chose cables by how they sound rather than how they measure.
  14. I’ll get to power cords in a moment but confirmation bias has been coming up a lot lately so i decided to do some reading up on the scientific literature. While the science is mainly around linguistics and social aspects there is some around audio which makes fascinating reading. Essentially everyone experiences confirmation bias because its a part of the way our brain works. We take in new information and process it using in part knowledge we already have. If we believe someone hates us, we will tend to see all their actions as threatening. Or in the Forum case, if we believe someone always posts rubbish, we’ll tend to see all his posts that’s way, even when on occasion he may post something of value or consequence. So confirmation bias is something we meet all the time, every day, because its how our thinking works. So how does this work for audio? Does confirmation bias affect our judgement when it comes to evaluating audio? I’m afraid to say, yes it does. All the time. If you buy a new power cable your value for money is entirely dependent on an uptick in sound quality, so that is obviously what you are hoping to hear when you take a listen. So lets walk through what happens. You plug in the new cable, play some well known music and your brain processes what you hear, using the new signal that reaches your ears and compares it to your stored memories of what things are supposed to sound like and you conclude that indeed the new cable is a distinct improvement from what you used before. Now this conclusion is actually a judgement....based on what you remember, what you hope for and expect and what you now hear. And what you hope for and expect is going to influence the outcome of that judgement. To illustrate in very basic terms The judgement very basically comprises New sound vs stored memory = judgement of better or worse SQ Confirmation bias does not alter the sound you hear, but what you hope for and expect can influence what you focus on in the new sound and influence the recollection of how you remember it sounding previously such that what you now hear is judged to be an improvement. BUT....BUT confirmation bias does not change WHAT you hear. It doesn’t add more of anything....mentally you can’t enhance Beethoven, improve the string tone and complexity of a violin or reproduce the ambience and reverberation of St Martin-in-the-Fields. What it can do is focus on a particular element of the music, compare that focus to a memory and conclude that what you’re hearing is either new (it wasn’t there before) or improved (it wasn’t this good before) In other words, confirmation bias, helped by your positive hopes and expectation can pick out pieces of the music on which you haven’t previously focused and position that focus as an improvement. So, can confirmation bias make you believe that a new cable sounds better than an existing cable? In a word, yes. But, like I said, confirmation bias is not creating music or anything new.....you may be imagining an improvement, but your imagination doesn’t create the improvement by adding something to what you hear. You are simply concentrating your attention on a particular part of the sound and imagining that its an improvement vs. your stored memory. So what can you do about it? Quite simple really. Confirmation bias is a sub-conscious phenomenon that happens automatically. You think you hear something new and improved so the question is; is it new or is it something existing (already there with the old cable) that you have simply never really focused on before? Turns out its easy to tell....you simply make the attention focus conscious and redo the comparison. Listen to the new cable and note specifically the improvements you’re hearing, then replace the old cable and listen for those exact same elements. If they’re present to the same degree then there’s obviously no improvement, but if they are absent or present to a lesser degree then the improvement is coming from the new cable. This comparison does not have to be blind, because blind testing using music is just as much confounded by unconscious attention focus, which can make comparisons very difficult. A conscious, logical, sighted comparison based on the evaluation of specific elements of the music that you initially hear as improvements is the most reliable way to take confirmation bias out of the equation. So, having cleared that up, do power cables enhance the performance of the Innuos Zenith SE and Statement? Both have medical grade filtered mains inputs i.e are designed to keep out mains borne noise that may either disrupt some internal processes like oscillators and clock timing and/or be passed through with the device output. In my system I use a complete Synergistic Research cable loom...all cables are SR, so I do benefit from realising the complete SR ‘vision’ of what their cables are supposed to deliver. When I first took delivery of the Zenith SE I used it extensively with the OEM cable and it sounded wonderful.....groundbreakingly good I would say. Then I added an SR Black UEF Power Cord, which brought a nice uptick in the amount of low level detail, power and depth of the music.....overall the music got more body and substance. I have not tried any other cables. My system is powered from well optimised dedicated mains. I could imagine that a power cable would deliver more if it were used on straight house ring mains. As it stands, i thought the SR UEF Black was well worth the money I paid in terms of the SQ uplift it brought vs the OEM cable in a ‘controlled for conformation bias’ comparison
  15. Sometimes ‘nothing’ is far better than ‘something’ when that ‘something’ is completed flawed. Firstly, the results published were based on no signal and a test tone. Neither of these 2 conditions are likely to actually create any noise in the signal chain. So a relatively clean signal enters both the TPLink and EtherRegen, challenging neither. Both output the stream to the DAC. The DAC processes the stream, adds its own low level noise and outputs its signal. Amir then measures the DACs noise on both streams and concludes that EtherRegen is no better than the TPLink, whereas the real problem lies with the test protocol and the fact that it actually isn’t testing the switches, rather its measuring the DAC. Frankly the chances of a `TPLInk and an EtherRegen measuring exactly the same must be vanishingly small, given the vastly different technologies, whereas if you were measuring the DAC’s noise, the results would be identical. Go figure.
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