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gordec

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About gordec

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  1. I have always been a headphone guy. I think from DAC, AMP, Headphone perspective, I have tried a lot of gear. I'm trying to figure out what the rest (cables, power source, frontend, software) can do for the overall sound. My conclusion is 10%. I have no problem spending a lot to achieve any audible difference even it's just within that 10%. I just want to see if that's what others experience is. A friend locally just bought the Zenith MKIII to feed his mDave setup. He admits Zen as a server maybe give him about 10% improvement over USB. However, he is driving Hifiman HE1000se straight out of the Dave, which may not have enough amp to drive HeKse to its full potential. I feel I got the headphone/speaker, amp, dac figured out, so I know that anything else I change is not because I under invested in the downstream components.
  2. My chain actually changed and haven't updated it. Now I use either DLNA server and stream straight from Pro iDSD or use Ultrarendu as Roon endpoint then feed Pro iDSD. My amp is now Soundaware P1 which is an excellent headphone amp for the price. I tested it against Voilectric V281, MHA100, GSx MK2, Pro iCan, and the P1 beats all of them out. Anyways, I think removing Pro iDSD from the USB chain makes a noticeable difference. Ethernet/network is definitely the way to go, but it's still improvement within 10% of hardcap from my perspective. At one point I bought Wireworld Platinum Starlight ethernet cable, and I can't tell the difference between that and the $20 Amazon Cat6e cable, so I sold it. I also use Wireworld Electra power cables for both my amp and Pro iDSD. Everything is fed into Audioquest Niagara 1000. I think it makes some difference, but I would say the difference is subtle enough, it could be placebo effect also.
  3. I'm saying headphone or speaker. I'm not sure someone would call Susvara a midrange headphone. Are you thinking of Sundara?
  4. I have learned a lot of great information from the CA/AS community since joining. I went completely network based frontend and started to use better cable and power supplies. After playing with a lot of streamers and linear power supplies, I came to the conclusion that, to my ears, software, power supply, connection interface (network, USB, optical) and cables make up about 10% difference in overall sound quality. Headphone/speaker probably make up 30%-40%, amp 20%-30%, DAC 15%-30%. I have absolutely no problem spending a lot to get the most out of that 10%, but perhaps the best value is spend on the down stream components that could make a bigger difference in the overall sound quality. Do others feel that their frontend makes significantly more than 10% difference to their overall listening experience. If so, how much. I'm talking about sound quality alone, not the software/user interface.
  5. I tried all the headphones on that list. Susvara is my favorite in terms of sound and fit. The Abyss wins in dynamics a little. The Susvara can also hit very hard and at the same time provide pinpoint imaging and clarity. The best of all, music never ever sounds digital. It's a very analogue experience.
  6. Usually the problem is not the PC but the USB port. I tried Win 10 PC ethernet bridge to Pro iDSD ultraRendu -> Pro iDSD SMS200 -> Pro iDSD Direct bridge to Pro iDSD actually sounds better, but if I run it off USB port, it's clear behind all 3 options.
  7. I tried 4 network setups. 1. Windows 10 PC -> Bridged using (ASUS XG-C100C PCIe 10G Network Adapter) -> Pro iDSD -> Soundaware P1 -> Susvara 2. Windows 10 PC -> Bridged using cheap USB 2.0 Insignia USB to Ethernet Adapter -> Pro iDSD -> Soundaware P1 -> Susvara 3. Pro iDSD is connected to the network via a network switch. 4. Ultrarendu (USB) -> Pro iDSD Everything is played through Jriver. The first 3 options sound indistinguishable to my ears and they all sound more dynamic than Ultrarendu. The Ultrarendu was fed by Uptone JS2. Here are the things I find interesting: 1. I expected the option 1 to sound the best because ASUS 10G is an excellent, modern NIC so it should have the best clock. 2. I would expect option 2 to be the worse than options 1 and 3 because one it's connected to a USB port which is noisy and it's a $15 adapter. 3. I totally didnt' expect Ultrarendu to be the worst sounding. It sounds less dynamic and slightly anemic compared to options 1-3. BTW I also tried Roon Endpoint, Roon -> HQP and using HQP NAA. The results were the same.
  8. The Jade 2 is a pretty amazing stat headphone at the asking price. It sounds better with Pro iCan and IESL. When I heard it at my friend's place, it's most impressive attribute is soundstage and imaging. The Susvara and Shangrila Jr beat it in all aspects except for soundstage. I think the Shangrila Sr give you the soundstage/out-of-the-head experience and Susvara's refinement. The biggest draw back of the Jade 2 is the build quality. The cable is just very poor quality and you can't replace it.
  9. I'm thinking about setting up a bridge optical connection to my Pro iDSD DAC. Right now my setup is Windows 10 PC -> Ethernet to Network switch -> network switch to Pro iDSD. I'm thinking about getting a Mellanox Connectx2 card in bridge mode -> Optical fiber SFP cable -> Fiber Media Converter -> Ethernet cable to Pro iDSD. This should work right? I haven't seen anyone trying to use a SFP 10G NIC and putting it into bridge mode. 1. Mellanox Connectx2 2. Optical Module for Mellanox 3. Optical cable 4. 10Gtek Fiber Media converter with multimode SX module.
  10. No, in Muzo app you can link your Tidal account. Then you'll stream to Pro iDSD via network. The best option is to get Audirvana which has Tidal integration.
  11. Using Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB and Uptone JS2 @ 7V. I haven't tried 9 V. I know uR can take 9V. Not sure that would change anything. If they is anything else I can change, I would love to try them all. I really like uR as a streamer. It's rock solid. Never skips or stutters with all rendering endpoints and bitrates. Even if I can hear 5-10% improvement from Pro iDSD's own Ethernet port, I'm keeping it.
  12. I have been using uR for 1 week now. My chain is Win10 PC->Network Switch-> uR (Uptone JS2)-> Pro iDSD (Uptone JS2). I have tried Roon only, Roon with HQP NAA, and Jriver DLNA. uR has been rock solid without dropping a beat with any file format I through at it. Never had to reboot. Overall sound quality is very, very good, but interestingly direct network streaming to Pro iDSD sounds just slightly better. However Pro iDSD tend to have intermittent stutters and hangup especially with DSD likely due to buffer issues. Also it only supports Airplay and DLNA. Either way, my take home message is that a great network player where it takes accepts ethernet directly with well implemented DAC section may provide the best SQ by reducing the length of the audio chain.
  13. No need. I may keep the card to get a 10G switch and 10G NAS. Not sure. The ASUS 10g card is pretty nice for $100. Plus I got an ultraRendu, so everything else is a mood point.
  14. Do you know if the network functions were also worked on?
  15. Thanks. Actually removing network bridge seems to have done the trick I can even switch modes without rebooting the rendu.
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