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About Blackmorec

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  1. I just went came back to this thread looking for a particular post and just thought it worth mentioning that with 200 hours, a Statement is nowhere near run-in. With its array of Mundorf capacitors the unit will produce its very best after ca. 4 months. It’ll sound great from the get go but the level of perfection the Statement is capable of will only fully reveal itself after a substantial period under power.
  2. Hi Doak, sorry about the typo wasting your time. It was last thing after a long day in the sun. And thanks seeteeyou for the correction and further details The other detail I didn’t mention is that the RE650 receives signal from the router via wi-fi but the output to the Innuos server is through a highly screened ethernet cable (SR Atmosphere X Ref). Cheers! Blackmorec
  3. Hello HIFI, you don’t provide any details about what you’re exactly looking for, so this suggestion may or may not meet your needs. About a year ago I decided to implement a new digital system based on local and remote streaming, with Qobuz as a remote source to an Innuos Zenith SE and more recently a Statement. Fortunately I have 2 branches of Curries PC World in close proximity so I was able to try lots of different combinations of routers, internet-over-power line, extenders, mesh systems and direct ethernet connectors, using their 30 day policy to buy, try and return. My hi-fi is one floor above my router, with a staircase in between, so a 15m ethernet cable was temporarily installed bungee style (flung over the stairs) and would have been a lot longer if I routed the cable properly. The original router was a Virgin Superhub3 which combines cable modem and router and is a weak-kneed piece of crap with flawed firmware. My first trial was ethernet cable vs wi-fi. Fortunately the wi-fi connection sounded considerably better than the hardwired ethernet solution. Analysing my network needs, they break down into the following categories: General fixed location wi-fi devices (PC, Naim MuSo QB, etc Mobile wi-fi devices (iPads, iPhones etc) Hi-res video Hi-res audio Essentially I tried several different combinations listed above until I found the ideal..... No disconnects or instability on fixed location devices No disconnects on mobile devices when changing locations No buffering or drop-outs on video Ultra high speed connection for hi-res audio with no drop-outs Best sound quality Virgin mandates the use of Superhub as a cable modem to connect to their network, so I switched it to modem mode and used a seperate router for all connections within my house. After trialing lots of alternatives the best I found was the following: TPLInk Archer AC5400 tri-band router with MU-MIMO, which includes: communication with 4 devices simultaneously; ultrafast 1,4GHz dual core CPU with 3 co-processors, maximised range through 8 beam forming antennae and an easy to use interface, giving access to all the router’s advanced features. For the hi-fi, I added a TPLink RE640 extender, which offers 2.4Ghz and 5GHz dual bands and the same high speed capabilities as the router. Both router and extender are controlled via TPLink’s Tether app, which allows you to set up your network and define what connects to what, who has access etc. In order to optimise my entire network I set up the following: 2.4MHz Band to connect distant and mobile devices #1 5GHz band for Video streaming and local devices #2 GHz band dedicated to the hi-fi In this manner, the slower but more robust 2.4 GHz band is used to connect low demand and distant devices, while the 5GHz band is used to connect video, where robust, high bandwidth avoids the dreaded buffering. For hi-fi, the 2.4GHz band on the extender is switched off, and the 5GHz band is dedicated to the router’s 2nd 5GHz band, with no other clients. At over 200 Mbps, the hi-fi server’s iPad based user inter is so fast is feels like a local, hard wired interface and the music streaming is totally robust and absolutely free of drop outs. Sound quality was exceptional but did improve markedly with the addition of Sean Jacob’s DC3 LPSs for all network devices.
  4. In my experience soundstage and presentation characteristics are defined entirely by the recording. If a system presents all music in a certain way, as described in the article, I would not describe that system as being transparent, accurate or realistic.
  5. I downsized from a large basement area to a fairly small, reflective, lossy-in-the-bass room. The size of your room should allow you to create really good, vibrant sound, but you have 3 challenges to overcome. You need your speakers well away from walls, which mandates setting them up firing across the width with the speakers well into the room, spaced far apart, with lots of toe in. This will give you a wide, deep soundstage with good image specificity. Second, you need your back wall (behind your head) to be highly diffusive to stop standing waves and reflections from ruining the soundscape, sounding airy and sparkling rather than overdamped. Your sitting position will be quite close to the wall....so you’ll need to experiment to get the best bass balance. Finally I’m guessing you’re going to have a fairly major problem making those speakers sound really good in your room (Its a lot of speaker for a fairly moderate room volume) Bass quantity will be a problem if the speaker overloads the room when playing at realistic listening levels and integration of the drivers could be problematic given the shorter distances involved. But until you’ve tried you’ll never know. They could end up sounding great! I’ve had success with small rooms but I’ve always bought room matching speakers with closely mounted drivers and sealed enclosures. I did have a pair of Guarneri Homage which are reflex ported that worked well, but deep bass in this speaker is pretty much absent. I now use a pair of Magico S1MkII and the bass is robust and extended but not in the slightest boomy or overblown. The S1 more than makes up for the lack of trouser flapping bass power with incredible bass refinement, which is what you want in a small room. The one thing worse than too little bass, is too much.
  6. I would think a better fit may be Laurel & Hardy, Morecambe and Wise, Lucy and Ethel. Classical performances and the right era
  7. Surely that depends on the quality of the connectors you’re using? I’ve never had this problem, although it has to be said that I’m nothing “constantly connecting/reconnecting” I can imagine that for such applications, where the plugs are perpetually in motion, gold is probably not the best element to use.
  8. You’re very welcome. I will be the first to admit that we probably can’t explain in physical terms precisely all that is going on that allows vibration control, better cable isolation and transmission and improved power supplies on the network to improve sound quality. Just know that at this point in remote digital streaming, they still make a very big, positive difference to how streamed music sounds. Maybe sometime in the future they won’t matter, but we’re not there yet.
  9. Please stop wasting my time. Putting words into my mouth then criticising them is a game but not one I want to join in with.
  10. If you ever set up a manufacturing company, one of the things you’ll almost certainly end up doing, if you want to make a profit at all, it to prepare a spreadsheet for all the costs that go into your product. What you’ll immediately discover is that the unit cost of materials is only one of many lines on the spreadsheet. While it will be an important factor in the overall cost of your product, you’ll soon figure out that as a percentage of the total selling price its not that high. What you’ll also figure out is that the number of cost contributors to your price is a lot higher than you initially suspected. Let me give you some of the contributors: Premises Heating and air conditioning Building maintenance and cleaning Cleaning materials Insurance Business rates and local property taxes Security Packing materials Industrial design, outsourced services and consulting Prototyping Testing Production facilities and machinery Warranty costs, repair bench and test rigs Marketing costs....marketing collateral, trade shows, advertising, displays, Postage and shipping Travel and hotel costs Certification costs Accounting costs Employee salaries, insurance and benefits Own salary Taxes (Value added tax, corporate tax, income tax) New product R&D Software development costs Phones and communications Licenses and permits Transport IT and networking infrastructure Production stock Finished goods inventory Credit costs Listening room and test rig Water Documentation Dealer and user support General supplies (tea, coffee, toilet paper, cleaning materials, The above would be for a small company. Add lots of employees and costs skyrocket. Quite frankly, adding up the component costs of a unit and using only those costs to make inferences about margins really only demonstrates a lack of understanding about manufacturing and business accounting. As for purchasing everything in China, you’ve probably got a bit to learn there too. Firstly, if you simply go after price, its almost 100% sure you’ll have quality issues. In low cost Chinese manufacturing there’s no such thing as vendor loyalty or quality control. Cheapest ‘to-spec’ supplier wins....so expect to see the components in your Chinese products change on a regular basis. If you want to manage quality, then China is no different to any other region. Quality costs. Then to get the quantity breaks, you’ll need to order any custom, made-to-measure components in rather large quantities, pushing up you inventory costs substantially. Quality is also an issue if you want to avoid pissing customers off with DOA products, so you’ve got to find ways to at least control and maybe improve the product quality of what comes out of China....not a trivial task. Lots of travel and time involved there. In summary, when you know what goes into making a product, when you value performance and you value quality products and excellent customer support you’ll realise that prices for something like the Innuos Zenith are entirely fair and reasonable and that no one is getting ripped off. Quite the opposite. Making and distributing hi-fi equipment is an expensive business with lots of cost elements
  11. That’s exactly the kind of information I hope to find, that makes trawling through some of these threads worthwhile. I appreciate that a lot of what you say is speculation, but its logic seems really solid, so while it may not yet be proven by measurements and experimentation, it sure sounds reasonable and does a great job of scratching the itch caused when subjective results don’t vibe with commonly held and stated views. Nice post!
  12. Barrows, I’ve been around hi-fi for more than 40 years chasing the dream of reproducing music that my brain is able to process without identifying any hi-fi related anomalies like frequency shifts, coloration, room nodes, smearing, loss of detail, hardness, harshness etc. I want to get completely involved in the music, without my brain identifying shortcomings. Its taken me the best part of 40 years to reach this goal. Over that time I’ve learned a couple of major lessons 1. Space and time are critical elements in music reproduction. If music isn’t differentiated spatially, as it would be in nature, it often sounds muddy and confused as frequencies overlap and either mask or colour and distort one another. As soon as similar frequencies are differentiated spatially and in time, it becomes far easier to hear individual strands and the music sounds a lot more pure, realistic and undistorted. 2. The better and more refined my system has become over time, the better resolved the detail but the more coherent the music has become, 2 seemingly polar opposites that are in reality highly complementary. Essentially the big picture becomes more meaningful when it contains more well resolved detail. OK, so where I’m trying to get with my hi-fi and music should be clear. I’m looking for a highly resolved signal that does a perfect job in presenting and conveying the big musical picture, with huge listener involvement and no sonic contradictions. Instruments and voices with accurate tonality and natural timbre, accurately portrayed in space, with super precise timing that underpins the rhythmic interplay between musicians. When it all works well, the music grabs my soul and doesn’t let go. Changes to my system are easy to hear in this context because the music is either more involving and enjoyable or less. I can analyse the detail of what has changed but that’s of purely academic interest, far more important is how I’m reacting to the music my system is producing. Obviously no 2 recordings are the same. Some offer listening-room-expanding accurate portrayals of the recording venue or what the recording engineer has created as a recording acoustic, with acoustically active, related space in between that places all musicians in the same acoustic venue. Old recordings often portray very beautifully recorded instruments in a left, centre, right configuration, with ‘dead’ space in between...ie no. acoustic ‘whole’ that places all the musicians in the same venue. Beautiful but old, less sophisticated recordings. Yet others from the bygone era used simple miking techniques to get the whole thing more or less right, recording the artists and the venue acoustics ‘as one’ So, how does this all relate to the topic of vibration control etc. Simply this. When you isolate network components from structural borne vibration and/or provide a way to ‘drain’ internally component generated vibration, the music reproduced by the system moves in the desired direction; sometime a little and sometimes more. Adding vibration control of network components was never stunning in terms of improved SQ, but it did deliver useful increments of sonic improvement. The Sean Jacobs power supplies would better fit the stunning description, especially when used together with SR cables throughout the network. I’ve no doubt that my system still includes compromises, especially in the network, which uses cheap, consumer grade electronics. Good, I’m glad that’s the case. It means that despite the stellar results I’m getting by optimising power, signal transmission and vibration control, there are still further Improvements to come. Brilliant. In the meantime, for anyone who uses remote streaming, they need to know that refining the front end of their network is just as important in terms of sound quality as refining their DAC, server or loudspeakers. They also need to know that a well set up and optimised Wi-fi that provides excellent isolation can deliver stellar results. When I started out with digital streaming, I believed that wi-fi was a massive compromise and avoided it like the plague, but refinement after refinement, Wi-fi has proven to be a great tool in the search for sonic excellence. Can optical be better? I hope so. But optical in its current state will require just as much optimisation as wi-fi and I’m not seeing speciality stores crammed with optical networking for me to try. So until someone bring out a fully optimised optical networking, I’ll stick with what’s freely available and capable of delivering stellar sonics. When you finally release whatever it is you’re working on, I’d be more than happy to try it and if it beats what I currently have, more power to you. Anything that advances the SOTA is most welcome In the meantime though, its worth remembering that optimised Wi-fi is a pretty damned good solution and is not chopped liver, as some would make out.
  13. ‘Fraid I can’t help you with the physics; in fact i hardly believed it myself. The only reason i installed a mini-rack is because the router looked strange sitting on the floor. I was as surprised as anyone when i heard clear improvements that i wasn’t expecting. Indeed i wasn’t expecting any changes. In addition, I don’t know why ethernet cables help improve SQ, but they do, even those installed before any isolation.
  14. This is simply not correct. With wi-fi in place and functioning flawlessly, you could still clearly hear the improvements brought by better routers, placing the router on an anti-vibration platform, implementing superior ethernet cables and improving the power supply to modem and router. My conclusion would be that electrical noise transmitted along ethernet cables is not the only issue/parameter affecting sound quality. Believing this will bog you down with an inferior front end that will impact your final sound regardless of the isolation employed.
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