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John Hughes

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  1. I had the Topping D90 and the May's DSD performance is clearly superior in every way.
  2. TLDR USB 3.1 USB C external drives with 2.5" SSDs can work quite well as a music store without lag using Roon. I recently moved my Roon Core install from my main PC (which is a beast) to an older Dell Workstation I had around (about 7 years old, but a Core i7 with 16GB). My music drive is a 4TB 2.5" Samsung 860 SSD. I tried Ubuntu first, and that worked with the drive inside the machine on the SATA bus. But I couldn't get my Windows machines to connect to drives I've shared from Ubuntu. So instead I installed Roon server to make it a Rock, or Mock. I was surprised that this
  3. So, for me, changes to the streamer etc. feeding the May via USB does make a sonic difference. I've tried several, a Rasberry Pi4, a USBridge Signature with Shanti LPS, and the Stack Audio II with and without their LPS. They performed to my ears from mediocre to best as listed. I heard clear but not huge differences between them. With the best sounding smoother, with darker backgrounds (quieter), tighter fuller bass, more clear and refined treble. Probably its less of a change than I've heard with other gear, but it was still there. I use a NVidia Shield Pro for video which
  4. So, I have spent a lot of time comparing my current VTV Purifi Amp and the Orchard Audio Starkrimson. There is at least 300 hours on it by now. This was a difficult process. I ended up listening to one for 24 hours and them switching and listening to the other. That seemed to give each amp the time to impress. There is a lot of similarity. I have a balanced system, and used the XLR connections. I matched the amps levels with pink and white noise. The Orchard was only about 1db less than the VTV. Both are extremely quiet. On my 100db efficient speakers, I can barely hear a
  5. This! I use a speaker eq in Roon and have to cut the gain about 6db in order to not overload the digital signal. So that is why I don't have a problem using Roon to do my volume control as well. And I personally love this choice over the other solution of a passive crossover in my speakers :)
  6. Have you seen this analysis of Room volume control? BTW, I started the original thread on Roon's website :) Looks to be better than we though. I would like to try the Serene though. https://www.audio “science” review/forum/index.php?threads/the-final-truth-about-dsp-volume-control-in-roon.23552/
  7. I think it does. I have both a VTV Purifi amp and an Orchard Audio Starkrimson. Both seem to be driven very well by the May. I do want to try a good preamplifier though. I use Roon for volume control.
  8. I have an extensive burn in process :)
  9. I got my Starkrimson today. I did some volume matching in my room with my VTV Purifi amp using white noise and Roon EQ levels so that everything should be matched within 1 db. I used White noise and a SPL meter. The level between the two amps was only about a DB anyways. Using balanced connections. Upon firing it up with music, cold, it sounds very similar to the the VTV. If I wasn't listening closely I wouldn't hear a difference. After an hour, I do hear a difference, more powerful bass, possibly a darker background. This will be fun. I won't be abl
  10. What is your price range? That matters most. Here is a remote control preamp with a resistor network for volume control. Could get you started for little cash. The manufacturer has a pretty good reputation for making volume control products that work well and perform way above price. https://www.doukaudio.com/products/nobsound-hifi-bluetooth-50-stereo-preamp-home-audio-preamplifier-128-level-relay-aptx-ll-195 You can find these on AliExpress.com too. There are so many other directions, technologies to go that it can be hard to determine wh
  11. Yes, I upgraded from the Musician to the May KTE Level 3. The Musician is a great DAC. Did some nice things in my system. In particular it did high frequencies wonderfully, lots of energy, air and extension. Bass was good too. It was my first R2R dac, and I was definitely a convert to R2R with my experience of the Musician. It sounded more like music and less like digital than any previous dac I had owned. The May however, is as many people have said, in a league of its own. I was gobsmacked at how much MORE it was. Bass is stunning and now goes deeper than I have ever hea
  12. https://gph.is/2TBxlSz This doesn't actually surprise me. My advice is don't discount this as perception bias. I assume you are going direct from PC to May? Are the offline files in the same folders as your music files (so the same pathway in your PC)? I'm a bit fuzzy on the details of HQP, creating offline files is part of HQP itself? The file processing may be using different pathways inside HQP. My experience with audio mastering when I was converting analog masters to digital was that every mastering and editing suite changed
  13. I got my shipping notification for the Starkrimson amp today! Will take a while, its coming first class mail across the country.
  14. I don't think you will get a clear consensus on digital to digital chains. I've never seen consensus on that, ever lol. And I've been involved with it for 20 years (as both an audiofool and as a digital audio manufacturer). I do know what is plain as day for ME on comparisons. And I don't doubt GoldenOnes ability to hear and report either. I did keep everything the same with my comparisons between the USBridge and the Link II. I do almost all of my listening with the May in NOS mode with my Critical Listening playlist which has 16bit to 32 bit DXD and DSD up to 256. I don't use HQP in my
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