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About Taz777

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  1. Taz777

    Stream some music, and kill the planet

    Perhaps MQA is a good thing after all - reducing the storage requirements and network bandwidth consumption of downloads for streamed Hi-Res music. Furthermore, the offline playback capability in streaming services like Tidal mitigates this perceived risk to an extent anyway. On a more serious note, carbon-neutral data centres (UK spelling) are a thing and new ones strive to be as carbon neutral as possible. Fully carbon-neutral data centres already exist.
  2. Question for someone who owns the Pre Box S2D: will it do MQA through the coax input? I know it will do MQA hardware decoding via the USB (computer) input.
  3. The TeraDak one should be fine - it uses a different transformer depending on your country's mains voltage. I just don't like the way it's put together internally, but that's probably just a cosmetic thing. The Talema one looks good (your 'wisest choice'). It's also usefully has two 5V outputs so makes connectivity a little easier. The Nobsound one is essentially a bench power supply with variable voltage. Might be useful if you want to power DACs with a different inout voltage in the future, but I'd be petrified of accidentally turning the voltage knob and blowing the DAC!
  4. I have a third Chinese-made Talema (blue) 25VA based LPS on the way. Very happy with the two that I already have. The amperage will be fine as long as it equals or exceeds 1A. I would go for the 25VA (25W) one as that will have decent reserves of current. The current capability is what the LPS could provide to the equipment that it powers. It is not necessarily what will be supplied. getting the 25VA one may mean that the LPS runs a bit cooler and you may have options to use it in the future for equipment that needs a bit more power. However, you'll be fine with the 15W one too. Be aware that on eBay, you sometimes have to send a message to the seller immediately after the purchase stating the input voltage you require (e.g. 110V or 230V reflecting the mains voltage in your country) and the output voltage (e.g. 5V, 9V, 15V etc), so read the advert carefully! You may also want to check that you already have the correct cable to connect your DAC to the LPS. Some of the Chinese LPS's that I've seen come with a 5.5m (2.1mm centre) lead that suits DACs like a Topping D50, DX3 Pro, etc. The Pre Box S2D needs a micro-USB at the external 5V power input jack. Check that the LPS has a 5V USB output jack - some don't. If it does then you can use a standard USB A to micro-USB cable. If it doesn't then you'll need to get a cable with the correct connectors on each end (i.e. the correct connector for the LPS 5V output jack and a micro-USB connector for the S2D). One final thing to bear in mind is that the LPS's from the Chinese sellers on eBay rarely come with a mains cable (i.e. am IEC 'kettle' cable power lead). You may have one lying around at home. I bought several of item number 273289214752 and this cable is superb for my Chinese-made LPS's. It's fairly short at 1.5m, soft and flexible, and a good balance in terms of price between a cheap IEC cable expensive 'audiophile' ones.
  5. Taz777

    Anyone not switching from Tidal to Qobuz?

    I did the Qobuz trial in January and stuck with Tidal. Qobuz cost 25% more and I could live with that. However, missing 40% of the songs in my Tidal playlists was a deal breaker for me.
  6. @Paul R I have the iFi Nano iDSD BL. It's really a transportable DAC (portable at a pinch). Sound is okay and it does have a 3.5mm line out. Not really a desktop device, although it does do MQA decoding in hardware. My opinion of it is that it's really a DAC to get the most out of mobile phones when you're on the move. It works well in that respect and there's some clever tech in it to cope with headphones that use balanced or unbalanced cables. @left channel Okay, so it looks like the device will auto-switch power inputs. Perhaps the manual is out of synch? I noticed that the manual is dated 2017.
  7. I can only recommend the one I use: an LKS Audio linear power supply. It powers my Topping D50. It's a Chinese-made LPS and is rated at 25VA with a decent Talema transformer in it. I have another 5V LPS on order which I cannot rate yet until it's been wired into my desktop HiFi system. Now, something you need to research is this: if you use a USB source in to the Proj-Ject S2D, then it will take power from the USB source via the USB cable that is delivering the USB Audio signal. the S2D appears to have an external power capability via a micro-USB jack. Hence, in theory, you could use a linear power with a cable that terminates in a micro-USB connector to feed into the external power supply jack of the S2D. However, and this confuses me somewhat, the user manual for the S2D doesn't recommend using an external power supply if you are using the USB port as your music source. Source: https://www.project-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Manual_Pre-Box-S2-Digital.pdf Note point (2) in that quote. What I read from that is that you shouldn't use an external power supply if you're using the USB audio input, as the S2D will take power from the USB line. Perhaps someone on here who actually owns an S2D can comment? Of course, this also suggests that if the other non-USB audio inputs are used then an external power supply is required and you could use an LPS or Pro-Jects own external power supplies connected to the micro-USB external power input on the S2D as @left channel suggested earlier.
  8. The Pro-Ject S2 Digital DAC looks pretty good! If you want hardware MQA decoding built in then I'd consider that over the Topping D50.
  9. The Topping D50 does not come with a remote control. it has a manual volume control operated via the multifunction joystick. I've only ever had to set it a couple of times and then it's never set again as I'm using a headphone amp which has its own volume control. The Topping DX3 Pro does come with a small remote control with which you can control the volume. It also has a rotary knob on the fascia of the unit for this.
  10. I ditched the powerbank as the hassle of charging it every day was annoying. One big reason was that my Bluesound Node 2i streamer keeps a live signal on the digital coax out, which goes into my Topping D50. This means that my Topping D50 ia always on and never goes into sleep mode, even when the Node 2i was idle and not playing any music for a long time, so it drained the powerbank very quickly. I reported this issue to Bluesound who didn't seem to care. The powerbank did sound a little better than an iPad charger and an iFi iPower. Anyway, I replaced the powerbank with an LPS (LKS Audio LPS from China, which arrived within two weeks to the UK) and I am very pleasantly surprised. The sound is exquisite from the D50 now - a distinct improvement compared to the powerbank. It's so good that I've ordered another LPS for my second D50 that I'll be putting back into my desktop HiFi system. Sadly the LPS that I ordered for my first D50 (the one I use in my headphones system) is no longer stocked by the seller, so I have a different Chinese-made LPS on order, but it still has a Talema 25VA transformer in it. I highly recommend an LPS with the Topping D50 (and Topping DX3 Pro). As always, YMMV. The cost of an LPS is two-thirds of the DAC, so it's a bit of an investment but can be re-used for future DACs. If you're interested in a 5V LPS for your DAC (assuming it's 5V USB powered DAC) then you may be interested to know that I've ordered item number 132912100672 from eBay UK. That was the closest spec that I could find to my original LKS Audio LPS. I'm happy to report back on whether not it improves the SQ once I receive it. The blurb on the advert says this: I also have a different 15V LPS (LHY Audio) on my Topping DX3 Pro and it improved the sound compared to the cheap and nasty 'phone charger' style of adapter that came with that DAC.
  11. Do you just need a volume control on the DAC side so that you can vary the line out volume on the DAC's RCA jacks before it goes into your amplifier? If so, the D50 operates as a pre-amp too - in fact I'm using it as a DAC/preamp in my headphones system currently, and it's set to -3dB as that seems to be the sweet spot for my headphone amp (Arcam rHead) to take in. There's a volume control stick on the D50 and the way it alters the volume level on its RCA jacks is supposed to be quite clever to minimise distortion to almost nothing (apparently it uses the onboard volume control functionality of the ESS DAC chips). If you set the volume at -0.00dB then that would be the same as having no volume control on the RCA output jacks (i.e a full line out signal).
  12. I would hesitate with the Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus - if that's one of the DACs that you're referring to. It's a design from (around) 2011 or 2012 so quite old tech. Today's DACs are miles ahead! The sound was okay though. I returned the DacMagic Plus for two reasons: old tech and permanent upsampling, and bought a cheaper DAC (Topping D50) that produces better sound than the DacMagic Plus (to my ears). I didn't want a DAC that upsampled everything and provided no way to switch off that upsampling. My advice would be to get a recent, modern DAC that sounds good to you and then get Amarra Luxe as your software music player for Tidal (assuming you're interested in Tidal Masters tracks). Amarra Luxe produces sound that is an improvement over the Tidal desktop app. MQA is neither here no there for me personally, and is a bonus if a song that I like is also available in MQA format. A very well recorded 44.1kHz/16-bit song sounds as good as I could ever imagine it to be and over 90% of my Tidal collection is Tidal HiFi CD-quality. I also wouldn't worry about the DAC chips too much. As an experiment, I ordered a Topping DX3 Pro as it has AKM chips in it. It sounded worse in my headphones system versus the ESS-chipped D50. I put it into my desktop (speaker-based) system and it appeared to sound nicer - probably expectation bias on my part. But after a few weeks of listening of up to 5 hours per day, I'm not overly happy with the sound now and my second Topping D50 will be going back in once my linear power supply arrives. The DX3 Pro is just a little too polite and soft to me. You can definitely improve the sound of a DAC with a decent software music player (like Amarra Luxe that supports both Qobuz and Tidal - there are many software music players on the market) and a linear power supply for the DAC. Both would provide incremental improvements in sound quality. The desktop apps for Qobuz and Tidal aren't the best in terms of sound quality. In fact, the Qobuz app doesn't even have direct control of the DAC (exclusive mode) if you're using a Mac when I was evaluating Qobuz a few weeks ago. The sound goes through macOS' CoreAudio layer. The Tidal app at least provides exclusive access to the DAC. However, both Tidal and Qobuz sound better through Amarra Luxe.
  13. I really wouldn't ignore a DAC because of a chart or graph that someone has produced on the Internet. In most cases, nobody with normal hearing would ever hear anything that's shown as abnormal on a graph. There are simply too many variables involved. If it sounds good to you, then it's good enough. I'm at end game with both of my HiFi systems and enjoying beautiful music through Tidal for several hours a day. This whole modern digital HiFi thing reminds me of people on car forums asking which colour car or which trim/engine option they should buy and allowing others to spend their money for them. A test drive of several and buying the one that puts the widest grin on my face has always been my approach! I used that same approach with my latest HiFi systems, returning several DACs, speakers and cables in the process as I wasn't happy with the sound.
  14. Taz777

    What's the consensus on ethernet cables?

    From what I understand about USB Audio (which may be wrong), USB Audio (as opposed to USB) doesn't implement error correction natively via a transport layer, but relies on chunks of the data stream to be transferred within a specific time frame (clock). This can cause errors. Ethernet usually has a network and transport layer as part of a protocol stack that can guarantee the correct transmission, error correction, and retransmission of packets. (My rusty networking background: development of ISO protocol stacks, X.21, X.25, X.400, X.500, SDLC/HDLC).
  15. Taz777

    Qobuz streaming MQA CD's?

    There are only MQA Masters on Tidal for 2L.