Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About TheAttorney

  • Rank
    Freshman Member

Recent Profile Visitors

728 profile views
  1. Another superbly presented review @austinpop Having tried all of those headphones, I broadly agree with your findings, although I'd mark the Utopia down a bit more because I couldn't get on with it's smaller soundstage and a touch of brightness/hardness somewhere in the upper mid/lower treble - at another time, these aspects were improved by a better cable, so maybe my first reaction was too harsh. I haven't heard the latest Abyss TC, but based on initial reputation, I'd expect it to be the clear winner on SQ, so I'd be interested on your reaction when it arrives. However good the TC may sound, it can never be the headphone for me because I can't get over something which is that ugly, that heavy and that fiddly to adjust for best SQ - but such things don't bother everyone, in which case I'm sure it would be a winner. But if you're looking for a single headphone to replace your HD800, then I suggest you try the hifiman HE-1000 SE. All headphones have their compromises - in hifiman's case it's a history of variable build quality and questionable business practices. But if you can get over that, I think you'll find it has all the qualities of your HD800 (large soundstage, comfort, great with classical music, easy to drive), but without that dreadful (IMO) 6khz peak that utterly spoils an unmodded HD800 for me. IMO the SE is more neutral than the HD800 and also punchier with a stronger bass. It has a lighter tonal presentation than the Empyrean, but I haven't compared them side by side. As you've already discovered in your comparisons, it will also benefit greatly with burn-in and better cables. And it will aslo benefit from your TT's cross-feed function.
  2. My system is a direct line of Roon Server on W10 laptop > Anker USB/Ethernet dongle > ethernet cable > Roon Ready mR > ISORegen > DAVE. The router (with internet access) is in a different room and all connections to it are via wifi. There are no switches involved anywhere. The laptop’s touchscreen & keyboard controls Roon (but I can additionally control it from my smartphone via wifi if I want to). I use Windows to bridge ethernet to wifi within my laptop. I find that setup very convenient for my circumstance, but occasionally the bridging fails on server start-up , which causes Roon server to not find its end point on the mR. So I have to go through a ritual to get things working again. That ritual was tolerable, but has recently become almost farcical after moving house with a new broadband supplier with their dedicated router. I simply cannot get bridging to work with the new router – everything looks properly bridged, but the mR cannot be seen by Roon server (or even seen on the network by the new router). So I use my old router to do the bridging, then I can switch off the old router and bridging continues for a couple of days until, presumably, the dynamic IP lease runs out (or I restart my laptop). But then I wanted to try the free Qobuz trial with Roon intergration, so I needed internet access via the new router. I was somewhat surprised to find I could bridge using the old router, then connect to the new router – and amazingly the bridge still held whilst giving me access to Qobuz. I could even put the old router away for couple of days – until the lease ran out. But this clearly can’t continue like this. There are probably a dozen ways to handle such networking/bridging issues, but the simplest solution to my mind would be if the end point had a static IP address. But I don’t want to unduly divert this thread by discussing network issues – the key NUC-related point here is that audiolinux currently has no option to set a static IP address, so therefore it will be no better than my current mR in handling my particular network/bridging situation.
  3. Thank you Bob and Rajiv. But there's still something I'm missing here regarding IP addresses. You make it sound as if Roon server just automatically finds its endpoint. But I think it can only make that discovery if the end point has an IP address allocated to it - either statically or dynamically by a DHCP server. In my case of W10 laptop server bridging ethernet to wifi, with a wifi-connected router, that bridging process is fiddly and unreliable. It sounds as if the same will apply to a NUC end point. I can live with that, but a static IP address would mean that Roon server could find its endpoint without the wifi router being involved - which removes a level of complication at start up time.
  4. As a DIY-averse kinda guy, I'm getting close to dipping my toes into these NUC-infested waters 😀. In the first instance, to replace my microRendu Roon endpoint. If that's successful, I'll then replace my W10 server, also with a NUC, as I use very minimal Roon DSP. This thread has been extremely useful, but still I have a couple of questions... 1. Why bother with the cost and effort of a fanless case, when the low power settings (along with careful fan settings) shouldn't cause the fan to come on anyway for such a seemingly low CPU load? I'm thinking of starting with a NUC7I7DNHE package, as that doesn't cost that much more than the bare board, but allows me to get going very quickly. I can transfer the board to an Asaka case later on only if it fan noise beomes an issue in practice. 2. How is the NUC endpoint recognised across the network by the Roon server? Does it have a static IP address? The microRendu does not have a static IP address, which means I'm forced to use a router to dynamically allocate an IP address - which for various reasons is a PITA in my particular situation.
  5. I had a poor experience recently when adding JSSG 360 to my SR7 DIY DC cable: Started with 4 x Neotech 18AWG OCC solid core copper in starquad formation. Soldered to a Jaeger connector at SR7 end (2 wires per pin), and an el cheapo screw terminated 2.5mm plug at Hugo M-scaler end. About 0.6m long, no grounding. Sounded great, but I haven't compared to any other cable yet. I then added JSSG 360 and got worse SQ across the board (flatter, more smeared, reduced detail/dynamics etc). I assumed I was imagining it, so let it run for a few days, but SQ remained disappointing. So I removed the JSSG 360 and SQ immediately improved - it was very obvious, no further A/B comparisons needed. I can imagine that there may be some circumstances where JSSG 360 would not give much improvement, but I can't see how it could ever make things worse. Any ideas?
  6. I have used (and still have) HQP on laptop to drive my portable iFi iDSD DAC/amp. Leaving the weird BugHeadEmperor aside for a moment, it was the best sounding s/w app I knew of at the time, and the upsampling and filters etc made worthwhile subtle improvements in that environment. A bit extra detail/dynamics/smoothness etc - but the original sound stayed fundamentally the same. It's a huge apples/oranges shift to try to compare that to HMS/DAVE, but nevertheless I feel confident that the subtle upsampling effects that HQP gave would never compare to the transformational impact the HMS has on DAVE. I say "transformational" because of, for example, the way HMS adds significant image height across the whole width of the soundstage. The HQP upsampling didn't even begin to be able to pull off a trick like that. I should add that I find HMS transformational in some ways and rather subtle in others. When I listened to a HMS/TT2 in noisy meet conditions, I noticed the difference the HMS made, but it seemed rather underwhelming under such conditions. I agree with those who say it takes some time to tune in to the full range of benefits. BTW, I made a typo in my last post that I can't now correct: I described my SR7 as single rail. What I meant to say was that it is single regulated (with 3 rails).
  7. An excellent review @austinpop. So clearly presented, with all the comparison information one could wish for. I've had my own HMS for a few weeks now (added to DAVE) and my own thoughts broadly agree with yours. In particular: 1. The quality of source and all upstream components still matters. 2. My single rail SR7 (set to 15v) gave an incremental improvement, in paricular giving a more natural presentation over stock power supply, which in comparison sounded a bit "etched". 3. Tweaking the stock BNC cables gave incremental improvements: With only one cable connected at a time (i.e. not using the full 1M taps), I tried multiple clip-on ferrites (17) and JSSG 360. They were both better than stock, but I couldn't decide which was best, but it didn't matter because of the next change: 4. After some research and PMs, I tried a pair of Blaxius^2D BNCs as being a relatively low cost upgrade (around 250 Euro each + VAT in EU countries). I'm nowhere near the allegedly 150 hour burnin required for these, but even from the first day I was taken aback by the improvement they gave. My subjective initial reaction was that they doubled the improvement given by the stock HMS. One of those "Whoa, I didn't see that coming!" moments. I'll report back after some more burn-in when I'm out of the honeymoon period. So I'm curious how the Blaxius would compare to the other cables you tested. Any chance you could get a set to review? I've been following the Habst reviews with interest, but they are just soooo expensive. One word of warning is that the Blaxius is thick and very stiff, with a large radius of curvature, so choosing the right length is important.
  8. Hi Dave, I don't think that over-voltage was the cause of my SR7 transformer hum. My new location measures 240v, whereas previously I was getting typically 230-238v. One difference is that new location's voltage is much more constant: Over a few seconds, it changes by only 1 or 2 tenths of a volt, Whereas the old location could randomly change by 4 or 5 volts. The very constant 10 second transformer hum pulsing did not match the very random voltage fluctuation, but the latter suggests that the power supply was less than optimum in some way.
  9. Yes, I've read a number of times that audiophile fuses (not just SR's) seem to be more fragile than stock. So I ordered my replacement to be the next rating up (4A instead of 3.15A). It's a slightly increased risk, but it's getting to he point where the fuse is becoming more expensive than the electronics it is trying to protect! Regarding vibration control, the SR7's side panels sound very solid when tapped, but the unbraced flat top and bottom panels sound a bit tinny, so these seemed the best candidates for vibration control. Using only whatever I could find in my spares box , I tried some reasonably priced audiophile footers below, and an unreasonably priced HRS damper plate above. Neither made much difference to SQ. I then tried 3 dirt cheap KE "shake away" washing machine pads below. I previously had (very) minor success with these under DAVE, but no luck here. I then tried the KE pads at the sides (1 under either side near the transformer and the 3rd under the front panel - and here I found an improvement. It was subtle, but the KE pads are staying for now. YMMV an awful lot with this type of tweak. None of the above made much difference to the transformer's physical hum that I had originally reported. If anything the KE pads under the sides made it slightly worse. It was loud enough to be clearly heard on the opposite side of a quiet room. I then realised that the hum wasn't constant - it followed a 10 second wave: At 0 seconds it was loudest, gradually reducing to near silent at around 5 seconds, then gradually increasing to loudest at around 10 seconds. Anyway, I've recently moved house, and I've been pleasantly surprised to hear that the SR7 is now permanently whisper quiet. I.e. I have to strain to hear any hum at all, even a foot away in a quiet room. So the original problem was caused by the house power supply, rather than the SR7 itself. Can anyone suggest what causes this?
  10. A while back I promised I'd report back on various tweaks to my SR7. Well, in the meantime, lots of things complicated the matter, but I'll just cut to the chase. Treat the following Q&A results (in chronological order) as food for thought rather than scientifically conclusive: Q: Is the SR7 affected by power line conditioners (PLC)? A: Yes probably. I sent my Audience PLC away for several weeks for an upgrade to latest spec. With the PLC away, the SQ didn't initially seem to suffer that much. But gradually the resulting slightly more diffuse, splashier sound made me less and less enchanted with my system - to the point I almost entirely stopping listening to my main rig - I'd rather listen to a well balanced low end (free Spotify) portable rig than an underperforming high end rig. I wrote "probably" because the PLC was powering my DAVE DAC as well as the SR7, so I don't know how these were proportionally affected. Previous experience leads me to assume that both were affected. Q: Is the SR7 affected by power cords? A: Yes. I raided my spares box to compare 2 similarly priced, old power cords from Transparent and Audience - around the £500 mark. With the SR7, I could more easily discern their different characteristics than I had achieved in past comparisons of the same power cords. On this occasion, I preferred the Audience's greater clarity and dynamics over Transparent's slightly smothering smoothness. Q: Is the SR7 affected by vibration control tweaks? A: Yes, but it can be subtle and unpredictable. I also managed to eventually cure the previously mentioned transformer mains hum in an unexpected way . Will elaborate in a separate post. Q: Is the SR7 affected by audiophile fuses? A: Yes. I've previously played around with audiophile fuses to good effect. Despite being suspicious of their high price for apparent material content, I've found the SQ benefit to be greater than, say, an equivalently priced power cord. Nevertheless, the most I've ever spent is about £50 for the SR Red fuse. But now there is only one fuse in my entire main rig (see below) . And with my 3-rail SR7's single fuse benefitting up to 3 devices, I threw caution to the wind and splashed out around £120 on SR's top Blue fuse (same rating as stock). The improvement was obvious from the first minute (in one word "focus"). Then better still after 2-3 days (further refinement added to focus). Sometime during the following couple of weeks I realised that I was getting ever more engaged with the music irrespective of the quality of the recording. Bright recordings became smoother, and duller recordings sprang to life. Maybe because it was chronologically last in the chain, but I attributed much of this newfound bliss to the SR Blue. And then the music suddenly stopped - the fuse had blown for no good reason. The dealer MCRU was very good to offer a refund without quibble, but I didn't want a refund, I wanted another SR Blue because my system sounded broken without it - objectively little different, but the magic was gone. Still waiting for that replacement. PS. I know this is impossible in a AC circuit, but I'm convinced the SR Blue is directional. By 50/50 chance I had it the correct way round the first time. Some of the magic was lost the other way round. My system is: W10 laptop + Roon + Fidelizer -> direct bridge -> mR 1.4 -> IR -> DAVE -> Hifiman HEK V2 headphones. With SR7 driving mR and IR, with 1 rail spare waiting for a supa dupa new source (once the NUC dust settles).
  11. What EMI absorber did you use? I'm thinking of doing the same for my SR7 - there's no reason why it couldn't also benefit. I'd also be interested to hear how you got on with your fuse upgrades. I got an interesting result when adding an SR Blue to my SR7 - more of that later in the SR7 thread.
  12. I agree that the uninstall instructions are inadequate - or even non-existant. In general, the documentation is not a strong point - wheras X's personal support is substantial. But I'm amazed that you went to the trouble and risk of a full system restore without first asking the question - either direct to X or on this forum. I'm not an expert here, but there is no un-install process for Fidelizer itself because it's just a standalone .exe file, that you delete from wherever you saved it, or just not run it again. Then there's what to do with the system changes made by the last run of Fizelizer. In general, those changes also last until the next system reboot. So if you had the basic version, then all those system changes are lost on next system re-boot, so nothing more to be done. The Pro version has an option to automatically re-run those changes on each system rebbot, so just uncheck that option before rebooting. I'm happy to stand corrected by a better explanation.
  13. Thank you Quadman. I eventually found the old email with my personalised link - and that worked.
  14. No, I still find the upgrade process confusing. I currently have 8.1 Pro. When I hit the Upgrade button in the app, I get presented with a web page choice to Download or Upgrade (both pre-filled with key). If I choose Download, this works, but I get a limited functionality version of 8.2. What's the purpose of this option for existing users? I haven't yet tried the Upgrade option because this option states that I have to pay money. I've already payed an upgrade fee to get from 7 to 8 not that long ago. I'm not prepared to pay again just to get from 8.1 to 8.2
  15. It is both a blessing and a curse that us audiophiles can be perfectly happy with a great product (e.g. the SR SR7), then hear something better (DR SR7) and suddenly the original isn't good enough anymore. As you once said, we can't un-hear what we've just heard, even though the original doesn't suddenly stop being a great product that may beat all other rivals. Over a period, I've being trying a few external tweaks to my SR SR7 (don't get excited, nothing wild or innovative here). When I get some more time, I'll report my impressions on the SR7 thread, but for now, what struck me was that your comment "a clear step backward with respect to dynamics and tonal richness and smoothness" is just what I heard in each case when I removed two of those tweaks - to the point I didn't want to listen to my system untl they were reinstated. The differences were probably objectively tiny, and probably nothing as big as your DR change, but it's a curse for me not to be able to un-hear these things. It also begs the question: Would various improvements to the SR7 bring the SR version closer to the DR version? Or would both versions benefit equally? On the basis that the less "bad stuff" there is flying around inside a power supply, the less there is for the 2nd regulator to improve upon.
  • Create New...