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  1. I would not sweat too much about the CPU/MB (unless you want to go really OCD on this). I, for one, have this old i7-3770K (heatsink+FAN) still in use as in my general use PC using Corsair AX760 PSU. I'm sure it could be a lot better with unregulated LPS + Taiko ATX but even with JCAT USB XE (+Farad3 LPS) and Singxer SU-1 USB Bridge /w SOtM clock board (+ Farad3), I find the sound quite fantastic already. I have not yet tried the much recommended new stuff though so no reference there how good is "my good" in an absolute scale. I would say powering the USB card with external psu is an essential upgrade, would it be USB Femto, USB XE or even something else. I upgraded from USB Femto to USB XE and can highly recommend both cards lps powered. Obviously the XE is better. I have tried only LPS-1.2 and Farad3 and can recommend any of those. I can't recall if there was comparison of Taiko ATX powered vs external lps on USB cards so I don't know on that matter.
  2. As a new customer I was surprised to see some sound quality problematic content in Tidal catalog (and some even as universal streaming platform issue) being a non-issue on Qobuz. Customer service requests never did seem to change anything regarding those SQ issues. Only issue for me at the moment only seems to be Qobuz is not widely known by smaller digital distributors or is not relevant service to distribute content with. Hopefully this improves in future and Qobuz is there on the list with Spotify/Tidal/Deezer etc. Keep up the good work and making Qobuz more known for relevant people. It seems I am going to unsubscribe from Tidal.
  3. There is a lot of information here on forums about the cards and power supplies (linear ones especially). They do make a difference. For example, the JCAT USB Femto (which I later upgraded to JCAT XE USB) is reviewed here Some talk on JCAT forum: http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/2189-jcat-usb-card-femto/ Someone more tech-savvy can go in depth of technical whys, but cleaner power and less computer sourced interference seem to matter in many types PC audio applications. In my humble humble opinion it's very important part of PC hifi and it just keeps getting better with good linear power supplies. Of course you need to draw the line somewhere budget wise but I would encourage to try those type of products. Some dealers / brands even might accept money back deal if asked nicely and you are very hesitant 🙂 You might find interesting stuff to read here too:
  4. I listen mostly with headphones sourced from PC USB connection and my subjective thoughts on this matter is that source quality matters a lot if/when you would like to improve from "entry level". In a Linn world there is/was this thought - source first. Necessarily I don't say it has to be but I like the general philosophy behind it. Garbage in - garbage out, you know. Computers are said to be a noisy environment for audio use. There are some scientific reasons making it worse and there are some user experienced stuff to improve that some might think of crazy and unscientific placebo. Yet, the general consensus seems in subjective/experimental community to be lots of them mattering when raising the bar regarding sound quality. I think you would find interesting reading from a threads like: While I have no experience regarding mentioned units I would say you should think of trying out a so called audiophile USB card and power it with best LPS you can afford. Don't hesitate to spend more on LPS than USB card, If you have the budget. Of course there are other options to omit the USB connection too. Though I can recommend only things I have tried myself. During my journey in this hobby, one of the most meaningful components on PC based audio is separate USB-card and LPS. Actually I would say that you 'need' such USB card and LPS for the card. You necessarily don't 'need' LPS for the whole PC unless you aim for the real high end. You can even start with plain card without external LPS to hear the difference in your setup your self. Like with any audio/digital craziness there is constant evolution so you could find good used components for sale on this forum for example. I have personally tried Matrix Audio Element H, JCAT USB Femto and JCAT USB Xe (in use right now) and even from those you could choose one suitable to your budget, price in respective order from cheapest to priciest.
  5. Regarding the chassis: Sorry if this FAQ-stuff but I was just wondering if the Taiko chassis here would be "perfect" as is or could there be any relevant use adding some CLD damping mat, like Dynamat for automotive hifi? Has anyone tried such products with typical PC-casing?
  6. Sorry for getting such impression what I said. I managed (again) to express quite vaguely and I see now why you might have take it that way. I sometimes get out of focus when writing, even with my native language and manage to leave out something that I feel obvious in my head - of course not for the reader! I guess my point with that quote was more of reflecting to kind of ASR-type "objective" point of view. Bits-n-bits, you know. They did not appreciate EtherRegen and I was under impression the bit theory is frequently referenced. "It's just a switch.." For such types of people ER seems to be some scam, but like we many enthusiasts here know, it's the real deal. But lets not go there deeper. I got feeling your way in the hobby is emphasized towards scientific facts. Nothing wrong with that. And obviously I am not in position to shout ultimatums for forum peers. I also read Mr. Swensons recommendations before buying any DC power cables. Hence, my first DC cable was Canare 4S8! I am not challenging his experience and knowledge here. I just wanted to express some user experience. I am aware the Neotech OCC and Audio Sensibility cables are not star quad. Nonetheless I find both cables yielding to better transparency in my setup than star quad Canare 4S8. So that leads in my head there might be some other factors too with DC cables that matter substantially, soundwise. I think this is one of those crazy things that just needs to be heard Obviously we know this is just another anecdotal case and you seem to prefer more scientific proof, and that is of course OK! Maybe more of subjectivist enthusiast might appreciate given experience more. I appreciate science but in terms of audio, especially digital domain, I, as a layman, think not everything is measured or scientifically proven yet relative to sound quality. What is better anyway? I think everyone has their own opinion on that matter. The main motivation for me was curiosity to try out when several reputable users report improvement using specific cables and found peer experience holding truth in my setup. If talking about absolutes, of course there is some chance I am just sheep herding mass psychosis and I'm just bullshitting here 😉 If you are hesitating towards DC cable upgrading I was thinking of possibility to send some cables as a loaner to try out yourself and maybe report here your experience. We probably have some distance between us, but usually issues can be solved. Customs might be a crap thing though... It's just I would rather listen myself than compare specs online and theorize. Of course it's OK to choose based on scientific data too! Hopefully this post shows up in better light.
  7. Quoted for "truth". In the beginning of my PC-audio craziness when I "only" had JCAT USB Card on a basic PC, later on powered with UpTone LPS-1.2. As astoundingly substantial effect LPS-1.2 had on sound quality powering the JCAT USB card I was almost as astoundingly surprised what Canare 4S8 did when replacing it with stock LPS-1.2 cable. Recently I introduced Audio Sensibility Signature Silver DC cables replacing Farad Level 2 cable (from Farad3 to Singxer SU-1 sCLK-EX modified) and the one powering EtherRegen also, which was Ghent Neotech UPOCC cable. As layman, I have no idea why DC cable would make difference but on every DC cable "upgrade" I have done as another anecdotal evidence it just stuns me of the impact when the cable has been properly "burnt-in". Yes, that would be another "ridiculous anecdotal statement", but if trying some new cable on a system, please give it time few days before critical listening. Usually one could add YMMV on such posts but then again, if one were to add, say JCAT USB Card on his/her PC and power with LPS-1.2, and not hearing any difference on DC cables I would wonder why one is here on the forum in the first place, respectfully. I find the difference so obvious on them. And this is coming from a guy that had enjoyed LPS-1.2 with its stock DC cable intially and found it amazing, but it just keeps getting better... 😈
  8. Do you have chance to power the Taiko card with your preferred external LPS also?
  9. Which lenght I2S cables did you guys use? In my case I think the biggest culprit on "whole I2S" would be distance between my PC and DAC. (which would be close to 1,5 meter)
  10. I am not the guy to answer on that and this is post is not to take anything from Taiko server or the card, but just thinking out loud as great as the stock extreme server is, it's usb out is "just" PC motherboard usb out. So I think it's no wonder to yield even better results applying dedicated USB card supplying the power directly. Actually I don't know if anyone has tested, would be interested to know if someone tried externally powered USB XE or Pink Faun USB Bridge on the Taiko Server and found Taikos motherboard USB output better? (edit: if that is even possible to do on the server...?)
  11. The prices (or approximates at this point) would be interesting to know and maybe a general designing and end product goals regarding the known top cards JCAT USB XE and Pink Faun USB Bridge Ultra OCXO. With this miniXLR clock connection the cards seem to have designed use just with your devices transmitting clock on such plug though?
  12. I have no experience on Mytek Brooklyn DAC so can't say to go one way sound wise. Although I think a DAC might not require that much of current capability but then again I am not familiar with the unit. Both PSU's probably are good choices to go with if current demands are met even with Farad3. One thing to consider though is that if you were on a tight budget and might want to maximize your investment, JS-2's dual AND adjustable output voltage is a no-brainer here I think. Economic area is another. You probably know better how this goes in the US but if I were to order something from the US to Finland(such as JS-2) it is practically impossible avoid additional customs and value added taxes. Even ordered from the UK dealer (now after Brexit) I think there would be double VAT included on it's price as the product is entering the UK economic area. Farad3 is fixed to one certain voltage you choose and is a single rail unit only. Sean Jacobs power supplies are highly regarded ones and would be also one option to consider especially now that there is a US dealer. I believe the price range goes a bit higher though with their DC3 power supply but you might want to check on that. @Nenon on the forum is affiliated with.
  13. I believe they ship worldwide everywhere where FedEx ships. At least it was with FedEx both times I had ordered from them. Regarding the cable I ordered my second unit with Level 2 DC cable. Later on compared it to Audio Sensibility Signature Silver DC which was recommended by some users here on AS. I found the Audio Sensibility Signature Silver DC allowing slightly more micro-dynamic sound on snare hits and clearly less grainy sound overall vs the Level 2. I did the comparison JCAT USB XE as source component, powered with Farad 3.
  14. So you would recommend to get one (I actually was thinking already, just saving funds ;) ) even after you have SJ DC3 powered EtherREGEN?
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