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all300b

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  1. So many "state of the art" approaches to address this Achilles' heel of audio - Icon now making reasonably priced high quality autoformer attention, continual refinement of digital volume control, variable gain technology by Ayre (I believe also used by Metrum), and of course the "classic" preamp strategy using active tube or transistor gain with downstream analog attenuation. Would be interesting to see a head-to-head comparison of these technologies at some point, though suspect that the answer to "which one is best" will likely be, "it depends."
  2. I was loving the approach of upsampling PCM to DSD 256 in Roon before sending to the D90. Then, I went back and re-tested the more conventional approach of power of 2 PCM upsampling to the max sample rate - this also sounds fantastic on the D90 - slightly different - am no longer sure which one is clearly "better." Awesome DAC.
  3. Those analogue gauges are cool enough to almost ignore the use of separate computer boxes. Great article. Will be interesting - if your time allows - to see some experiments testing whether one can get close to the sound of both devices with CAPS 20 alone (e.g., what happens when you put the JCAT USB card into the main system and isolate it extremely well). In your description of people who react to this as either enjoying putting it together or believing it is the farthest thing from having fun, there may be a third group - those who would very much enjoy building this, and are op
  4. Thanks. I think you nailed it with your comment about the expense of good R2R. I suppose it would be nice to have a dac with great pcm and dsd sections to tailor to particular recordings but the always dsd approach seems much simpler.
  5. Hi Barrows - am curious about your comment, "I got the M3, because I only play back DSD." By that do you mean that you convert all PCM music to DSD in the computer and then send only DSD to your DAC, or that you listen to only native DSD music? If the former, do you prefer this PCM-DSD approach over sending native PCM to even a well-equipped R2R DAC such as the Bricasti? Thanks!
  6. This product may be the final motivation for audio hoarding. Made the first foolish error in selling my LP collection at a yard sale when CD was advancing perfect sound forever. Based on my cheap Yamaha turntable with its perpetually damaged tonearm, how good could records really sound anyway? Then watched the turntable resurgence with deep regret. More than 20 years later, followed the trend and ripped 600+ CDs to the computer - finally lifting the music collection from its physical shackles. Then made the second foolish error in considering what do do with that huge cardboard box
  7. | The D-90 does not appear to have any isolation of its USB input from the rest of the DAC. Uh oh... Maybe need to look into USB cleaners again. Am currently going straight USB from my MacBook Pro with Roon. As you say PCM-DSD256 in Roon sounds fantastic on this DAC - I told a friend of mine that listening to REM Life's Rich Pageant this way reminded me for of hearing this LP this first time in his dorm room. To me, the 2X max upsampling does not sound as good, but I have seen others post a preference for it. | Of course if one uses it with a good preamp, perhaps the
  8. Nice write-up. I had to re-read your set up several times over to fully realize that you are going DAC direct into high sensitivity speakers using just the preamp in the DAC and no amp? That's certainly interesting - though quite unusual.
  9. Am confused - thought ASMedia 3142 USB controller was a somewhat older part (and one with some compatibility issues). The new USB 3.2 standard is 20gb/s. Maybe there is something the designer likes about this specific part?
  10. $24,000 Euros for the base unit and they still upcharge an extra $220 for 4 TB storage. Does anyone know what this means: "All data and software storage is non SSD, and utilizes non SATA, non volatile solid state storage modules."
  11. Nice review. I'm curious as to what the clock in the sending device - in this case the Phoenix - is actually doing. In your setup, the clock in the Chord Scaler should be acting in asynchronous mode to control the data stream. Does this clock interact with the one in the sending device?
  12. Thanks for that description. I agree completely - upsampling everything to DSD 256 just sounds great on this DAC. It is less "meaty" than my previous DAC, but am preferring the more spacious, detailed sound going into a tubed integrated amp. Also think it sounds a tad rounder and less "excited" after plugging it into a power conditioner (my amp disagrees and stays plugged directly into the wall). This is all using DSD 256 upsampling in Roon. Do I even want to know what it sounds like using HQ player and those special filters?
  13. I think Barrows has posted here about the specifics of what is being bypassed when sending DSD to the D90. The question IS about potentially paying for what you won't use. For the ladder DACs example - if you end up preferring PCM through those costly resistor networks then money well spent, but if instead you prefer "high end software" DSD upsampling then those $$$ networks lay dormant. The same could be true for more expensive DACs in which part of the selling point and expense is the complex resampling algorithms and chips on the DAC side - one may decide they like software res
  14. I purchased a Topping D90 to compare with my now aged Eximus DP-1. Had to use the discrete attenuator on the Eximus to level match between the two - I tried to obtain identical SPLs at the listening chair with white noise. Not sure if this is a scientifically correct approach, but the Eximus output is 3V single ended and the Topping 2V. A small surprise was that I liked the Topping better than my previously 5X more expensive DAC - it's easier to hear small details, high frequencies are more present, and the presentation has a greater sense of spaciousness. This is going into a
  15. Hello all, Looking for opinions about a new computer audio setup. Currently using a MacBook Pro laptop with Roon. The USB output goes to the DAC in my main system. Roon also "serves" up the music library over wifi to the basement for playing drums and to the kitchen for washing the dishes. I don't mind less than perfect sound quality for drumming and sing alongs, but do want the best possible sound in the main system. Am considering building a new computer for music and in the process trying to understand the general need for a wired music server. For the above n
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