Jump to content

hols

  • Content Count

    79
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About hols

  • Rank
    Freshman Member

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Thank you Rajiv for a really excellent review of the HMS+TT2. Your vivid description coincides with my own impression of Chord Blu2 + Dave. There is one small issue that I hope I can ask for your opinion. To me DSD playback in Chord Blu2+ Dave cannot achieve the same level as PCM playback. This is because the mscaler in Blu2 will convert the DSD to PCM before upscaling to 705.6 or 768 and pass to Dave(or TT2) . I saw that you mentioned playing DSD from HMS to TT2 using improved DSD filters. Does that mean that there is new programming that DSD is sent as DSD intact or it still requires conversion to PCM and then upscale to 768 and then convert back to DSD ? Thanks
  2. Agree that Supra cat 8 is good for its price. To me the sound is proper and accurate. Expensive ethernet cables give you something more than accurate. Vertere is said to be using hair thin wire and giving you some real good high frequencies. Both material and design can give you some different sound. I am not sure but I think Supra does not give floating shield because part of the plug is metal and so cannot isolate the ground.
  3. I use 2 Vertere pulse HB ethernet cables. These help to give a more lively sound and especially good high frequencies. Dalby ethernet cable is the other one I have tried on my system. It is very musical and rich in timbre but it is two times the price of the Vertere pulse HB cables. After using the sNH-10G the difference among different ethernet cables is less pronounced as before but I would say still easily distinguishable. I use Supra cat 8 ethernet cables in other less strategic areas and I changed some of them to Telegartner plugs.
  4. new 200W HDPLEX with 2 fixed outputs 12V and 19V and 2 variable outputs using total eight lt30451
  5. Hi Greenleo, I have been using a linux dual machine system developed by my buddy all these years. It is not a commercial product and I am sorry I do not have his permission to disclose any detail. So I propose not to talk about it at this moment. On the other hand I can talk about some of my observations as I tried to tweak the AL OS. First to answer your questions 1. Yes the dual system(both AL lqxt) is having better sound than a single machine but not significantly so(from what I can observe at this early stage of tweaking). 2. I am using the SOtM switch sNH-10G with reference clock from Cybershaft OP20. And now my observations. I am using the Chord Blu 2 and Dave in this big room system and several things that one need to pay attention to with this combo. One of which is that the galvanic isolation of USB input of Blu 2 is not perfect. I noticed that because I have a LP system also hooked up to the same system . Any noise from the digital stream will be noticed even if I play solely from the LPs. So I need to to put the isoRegen in the line of the USB chain just after the NAA computer to 'filter' this digital noise. There is a side effect resulting from this arrangement is that the NAA will lose contact with the DAC on any slight change of cables and it sometimes takes repeated attempts to reset every gear before it can be connected again so it becomes a headache to tweak the OS in this system. So you can imagine it would be a tedious job to tweak the AL from normal boot to ramboot and then headless and then extreme 2 because it involves repeated reboot and sometimes it will not recognise the DAC after reboot. And I do not have time to do all these tweaks yet so I did say that it is not a critical evaluation yet. But one thing I noticed is that on connecting the dual machine NUC7i7 AL the noise that can be heard from the speakers is significantly greater than my original system (when I try not to use the isoRegen) and this is already using linear power supply to both NUCs including Uptone JS-2 , HDplex 200W . I am not sure whether other NUC users have noticed this in their system or not ? My wild guess is they are also present to a certain degree and that is why a really good LPS is essential in driving these NUCs in order to minimise all these leaking currents or dirty ground loops that might be present in these compactly packed NUC motherboards. And that is also why one must try to go for ramboot and take away all the SSD or SATA or any unused devices before one can get really good sound. So probably still a long way to go in tweaking these NUCs. As for the SOtM switch it has stayed in my system for more than a month now and has become an indispensable part of the system. I agree with Roy that it is probably the single most important product that SOtM has produced. Everything becomes more musical after putting it in the chain. The improvement is surprisingly not in improving accuracy or sharper focus but more on timbre, naturalness and immediacy. Everything comes out more smooth but everything feels just right. No more need to sit in the golden seat to enjoy music. You can listen to one speaker and yet can still enjoy all the details of your music. I just put the switch in between the HQplayer and the NAA and that is already good enough. And of course it needs a good LPS and I am giving it my Uptone LPS 1.2. So sorry I could not give you any straight answer for your questions because I still need more time to tweak the AL before I could make any comment.
  6. A comparison of 3 NUCs with AL in my second system After having read so much about NUCs in the past months I have finally got a NUC7PJYH Kit and 2 NUC7i7DNBE in their Plato X7D akasa case. And I have been familiarizing with these NUCs in the past month or so when some of my friends came over last weekend with a NUC8i7HVK kit. This is a rare chance that 3 different NUCs can come together and we think it might be an opportunity to compare these NUCs and see is there any significant difference. This is by no means a fair comparison because first it is not a blinded test Second my NUCs are intermittently used for a month or so though only very sparingly used while my friend's NUC8 is just right out of the box. Third the DDR4 ram are different. NUC7PJYH has a pair of 8GB Corsair 2400 CL16 (Tried HyperX 2400 8GB but like Roy has reported it is not compatible, but surprisingly a 16GB HyperX is compatible). The NUC7i7 has a pair of HyperX 2400 8GB inside. The NUC8 also comes with SSD and stock Ram. Fourth the NUC7i7 has a fanless akasa case but the NUC8i7 only comes with its kit and fan. The power supply we use for all is the new HDplex 200W (burned in for one month now). Fortunately we have several very experienced audiophile present at the audition so that hopefully can understand the possible impact of these differences.The setup is using this NUC(with Lush USB cable) to feed my Holo Spring DAC connecting to Cello Encore preamp and MC2 S1400 poweramp and to a pair of Gauss Optonica speakers in my small room. No use of isoRegen or switch or clock devices in this system. We have tried to use theses NUCs as a single piece server using HQplayer to play 44.1 wave files(Oistrakh playing Beethoven violin concerto) in a USB stick. The result is very obvious to everyone present. The 7PYJH gave a very pure and musical sound and is thought to be of exceptional value for its price. It probably excels in chamber music and probably not so much in full scale orchestral music. 7i7DNBE gave a much more stable soundstage with much better details especially in low frequencies and a much more lively sound. The immediacy and ambiance is also much better felt. 8i7HVK came up and all are just astonished that the sound can become even more dynamic than the 7i7. But to all our surprise is that after about 5 minutes on some harsh sound appears most noticeable in the high frequencies coming out together with the violin sound as if the recording becomes one of the very old recordings. So the 8i7 is more dynamic but perhaps a bit too powerful as to be giving some 'noise'. We have also tried in each NUC stepwise to change from normal boot to ramboot and also by removing the boot USB stick. Every time Ramboot gives a much better sound than normal boot while after removing the boot USB stick there is still another veil got removed. This has been consistent in all three NUCs tested. We have also tried to use these NUCs as Roon bridge while the Roon server resides in my Win 10 desktop computer next door, again playing the same 44.1 wave file without upsampling. The same observations as a single piece HQplayer is maintained when they serve as Roon bridge here. We have also tried to use these NUCs as HQplayer devices under Roon and playing the files in NAS through Roon. The sound is more to our liking than using Roon bridge in the sense that Roon bridge has a more smooth sound but the details appears a bit covered up as result of this smoothening of the sound). Even this HQplayer under Roon is still not as good as HQplayer alone without Roon in our setting.That is also the main reason why I have not been using Roon much even I have got the license for a long time. I understand that there might be personal preference and different system synergy in force here. A few other observations. One of the reasons that this NUC8i7 is chosen by my friend is because of its optical output from the Intel motherboard. It is also present in the NUC7PJYH but not in NUC7i7DNBE. We cannot make it sound with HQplayer or Roon but we succeded to connect it to my Holo Spring when we use jriver. The sound is mediocre if you use the adapter as shown in photo but the sound opens up when we use a good toslink optical cable(Lifatec optical cable). It is only slightly inferior to the USB connection or some of us think that it is not inferior but only of a different style(More analog or slightly more smooth sound). We have also compared Win10 OS using audiogate compared with AL using HQplayer in the NUC8i7HVK and the latter is quite obviously the winner even not using Ramboot. We have also tried to use the stock 19V SMPS that come with the NUC8i7 Kit and the sound is way way inferior to my HDplex 19V output. Dual machine We have also listened to but not critically(because not really optimised. no ramboot yet because need some time to setup in another system) on using NUC7i7 as HQplyer server and another NUCi7 as NAA(endpoint) and connected to switch without bridging over in my bigger system. The sound is good but not yet up to the standard of my existing server(also Linux system). Summary This is only an early report of the three NUCs in the same system. YMMV. Despite all the inadequacies in the comparison it seems that the NUC7i7DNBE is the optimum to go for either as a one piece server or as an endpoint. NUC8i7HVK seems to be a bit too powerful as to be causing some harsh sound(not sure it is the fan, or the higher power required that caused EMI RFI interference). Unless you need the optical output or the high power for upsampling to DSD512(which we have not tested because not enough time) or the like one could probably settle comfortably with the NUC7i7DNBE.
  7. hols

    HQ Player

    Can I ask if I use HQplayer to play a 44.1 PCM file and output it in the same native rate 44.1 PCM should I expect any difference if I choose different filters or different dithers?
  8. My Audio Clock Journey Hi CTU I am not so slow this time. I got my Cybershaft OP20 Limited 2(same as Ultimate but with 3 outputs instead of 1 output ) a month ago and has been burning it continuously for a month now. And it is about time to give a review of my audio clock journey as it has probably come to an end(really end game). I started to use master clock way back 15 years ago when I use the Drawmer M-clock with my Prismsound ADA8. My next clock is the Antelope Trinity + 10M(rubidium) about 10 years ago when I started my CAS journey using Linux OS and RME AES soundcard which like many professional equipments has a clock in in order for all equipments to use a synchronized clock. As has been discussed a lot in these pages that the majority opinion is saying that using internal clock is often better than using an external clock because of deterioration during the transfer of the clock signal. There is probably no dispute in professional gears because of the need to synchronisz multiple gears so using a master clock is often beneficial. However I think a lot of other factors need to be taken into consideration including (1) Accuracy of the clock --- a femtoclock is so much more accurate than a clock in the range of ppm (2) Phase noise of the clock -- this is often not stated in many clocks but this is probably by far the most important determinant of whether an audio clock can give good sound or not. (3) Power supply-- I remember that after using Paul Hynes SR9(old type) instead of the stock SMPS of the Trinity and 10M the SQ jumps significantly for my Antelope Trinity & 10M although I have also waited for more than 1 year before delivery 7 years ago. (4) clock cable used There is often a combination of these factors in coming to a final result and of course the final judgment is your own ears and see whether or not the resulting SQ improvement is justified or not. For me the Antelope Trinity +10M has stayed in my system for 6 years and served my RME AES soundcard, EMM Labs transport and Dac6e, MSB DAC IV. It has persistently improved the SQ by giving both a more precise soundstage layout, better timbre and instrument focus. The 10M especially give a warm and more analog feel persistently. They are actually very helpful in giving a much more analog sound when coming to high resolution files because in the early stages of high resolution files are typically very harsh. All over these years we have had comparison with other clocks including Esoteric P0 and the Antelope can still stand all the competition.Then came the Cybershaft claiming that the rubidium advantage of long term stability is not suited for audio and the OCXO has a better short term accuracy is more suite to audio. I was a bit slow and can only get a Premium OP13 initially but it is already good enough to kick out the Antelope 10M. It is at about this time when I added the SOtM txUSB ultra and the OP13 is attached to the SOtM. I gradually escalated to OP14 when I got a chance. The improvement of OP14 over OP13 is very significant as one of my friends commented it is like upgrading to a much higher level DAC. In May this year I changed to the Mutec Reference 10 and yes it is better than the Cybershaft OP14 by a wide margin both in stage layout and in instrument timbre. But most importantly it gives a warmer and more analog sound than the OP14. I think this is because it has a better phase noise at -116dB compared to -114dB in OP14. Secondly the power supply may be better in Mutec. And when this new generation of OCXO type 2 clocks from Cybershaft comes to the market with such a high price range and that I have only changed to Mutec for 4 months it is really a dilemma whether I should go ahead or not. I consider myself lucky to have decided to buy the OP20 early which is quickly sold out. And on connecting the Cybershaft OP20 for 30 minutes I know that this one is definitely worth it. The sound is so natural and like going to a concert. The last bit of harshness is gone. One of my friend cannot stand my system being so detailed and sometimes a bit powerful on the ears when it comes to a double forte passage so he used to stay in the back seat instead of in the golden seat. But now he commented that it is very enjoyable now in the golden seat. As was well said in the review in our local forum, the OP17 is like looking through a very well cleaned glass window and for OP20 there is no more glass there. And it is also true to say that the improvement from OP13 all the way to OP17 is incremental step by step but when when you get to OP20 you know that you are leaving this world and entering Elysium. At about this time the Habst cables arrived and I will report on the different clock cables later.
  9. Hi Seeteeyou, Thanks for introducing Viard Platinum HD. I must admit that I have not heard the sound of Viard cables other than in HiFi shows settings. The digital cable I am using now is the Stereolab XV-ultra and is actually a classic created by the legendary cable designer Chris Somnovigo. He first created the illuminati with Kimber cable, then he created the Stereovox cable and then changed its name to Stereolab. In the past few years he has created the popular Black Cat series and at the same time also created several exotic and expensive cables. The Stereolab XV-ultra that I use has all along been regarded as one of the best if not the best digital cables say 10 years ago. I have used it as my clock cable for almost 10 years both from the Antelope Trinity to my RME AES soundcard (my first attempt at CAS) and also MSB DAC 4, Merging Technology Horus(for recording) and also from the Antelope 10M to my Antelope Trinity. It has beaten many contenders including Rajiv's secret digital cable the Neotech EVD 2001, Oyaide DB510, Apogee etc. Actually I have ordered a pair of Habst digital cable with the CA group buy few months ago and should receive it next week. I can report on it after I have burned in the cable sufficiently.
  10. I can use an arbitrary scale 1 to 10 to describe the improvements. Intona Ultimate awarded 8. The improvement is mainly towards detail and timing, less so over musicality Lush 2 A: B-W-Y-R B: B-W-R awarded 5. The improvement is most significant over 3-D , imaging, layering Lush 2 A: B-Y & W-R B: B-Y & W-R B: B-Y & W-R awarded 5 . The improvement is mainly over musicality and timbre. Lush 2 A: B-W & Y-R B: B-W & Y-R (JSSG 360) awarded 2 . The improvement is comprehensive. Lush 1 and Lush 2 is 1 I find the best combination is Intona Ultimate from NAA computer to SOtM Tx USB ultra and Lush 2 A: B-W-Y-R B: B-W-R from SOtM to DAC. Of all the cables Intona Ultimate is indispensable because you would lose half of your detail. The position of Lush 2 can be substituted with other cables but you would need probably 5 times its price before you can get the same level of its improvement. Intona Ultimate in combination with Lush 2 is a synergistic combination. 1+1 is more than 2 in my opinion.
  11. Just would like to share my early experience with the Lush 2. I received my Lush 2 last week and I burned it continuously for a week (changed the configuration a few times during the burning, majority is burning the default configuration A: B-W & B-Y B: B-W) before I auditioned it together with my friends( all have over 30 years in this hobby). Occasional peeping through during the burning did show that the sound is improving with time. I shall report according to the sequence it has turned up in our gathering when it was connecting from my Windows 10 HQplayer to Holo Spring DAC playing mainly classical orchestral music (1)First that come up is the default config (A: B-W & B-Y B: B-W) and the sound is sort of neutral nothing surprise. Not really much change from Lush 1 from my memory. (2)Next up is the A: B-W-Y-R B: B-W-R and this one shocked everyone present. The orchestra and chorus suddenly falls into place with excellent layering, very lively sound and really holographic layout. Instruments accurately focused. This is the sound of a top notched USB cable one can dream of. (3)Then comes the A: B-Y & W-R B: B-Y & W-R and this another excellent presentation and seems to be on the other extreme. This one gives a very rich timbre of every instrument in the orchestra. And the music easily becomes very enjoyable. I would say that this is more like a tube gear sound while the one before is more like transistor gear sound. Almost all presnt prefer this config to the last one. But to my ears this is the one with a bit too much of mids. The piano sound is not as lively as before and one cannot hear the details as well as the last one. (4)Then comes the (JSSG360 )A: B-W & Y-R B: B-W & Y-R. The sound is sort of in between the first and second one but the musicality is significantly lower than the previous two. In other words, not so musical and then the layering and image focus is also not as good. The music does not catch the ear so much as the others. (5)Next comes the default again in order to verify whether it is that bad? It is quickly passed because the performance is way lower than the others. (6) A: B-W &Y-R B: B-W-Y-R not good. quite lean (7) Then we changed to the Lush 1 to have a listen and everyone finds that it is not listenable. Flat sound stage, muffled sound and not enough details. We don't have time to go to too much detail about the other configs yet. But the second and third one described is way above all the others to our ears. And thanks Peter for giving us such a high quality USB cable and can tune the sound according to one's preference.
  12. I received my Lush 2 last week and has burned it for more than a week continuously before I evaluate it together with a few of my audiophile friends. So this is only a sort of early report of the Lush 2 as it will need more burn in to reveal its full potential. I will only report 2 configurations of the shielding combinations here and leave the opinion on other configurations in the Lush 2 thread. Frankly speaking we don't have great expectations at first because we had been 'tricked' before by other cable manufacturers who come up with a little modification and boost that it is a revolution. So when the Lush 2 was used to replace another USB cable costing ($1800) from my SOtM Tx-USB ultra to the Chord Blu 2 our jaws dropped to the ground. This is the A: B-W-Y-R B: B-W-R configuration. We were listening to Lanchbery In a Persian market a piece for chorus and orchestra, the chorus and orchestra suddenly come back to shape. The percussions are much more focused , the Cello melody come on so sumptuously. You suddenly found all the Persian goodies are well displayed in front of you. This is really excellent layering and holographic presentation of the orchestra. We then changed to the A: B-Y & W-R B: B-Y & W-R configuration and this is another world. The instruments suddenly becomes much richer in timbre and so much more musical. You can feel the whole orchestra is enjoying the music. However the layering and focus of instruments are not as good as the first config. And opinions are a little divided here. Some would prefer this config than the first one for the musicality although I myself think that the piano sound is too thick and lost its liveliness. We have also substituted this Lush 2 with the Lush 1 and the reaction is that it is not listenable and have to change it back immediately. The difference is really great. And then there is the question of how does it compare with the Intona Ultimate? So we replace the Intona Ultimate with the Lush 2 and WOW we lost half of the detail we have got previously. The orchestra shrunk down both in size and in layering and in number of orchestra members. There appear to be holes in between instruments. What about using the USB cables just connected to DAC without the intermediary SOtM Tx USB Ultra. So we then tried the Lush 2 in another system where my Windows 10 HQplayer is driving my Holo Spring DAC. We tried Lush 1, Lush 2 , Intona Ultimate. The character of all the USB cables is similar to before. The Intona Ultimate is most detailed. Lush 1 appears musical but without too much of layering or focusing of instruments. Lush 2 is miles ahead of Lush 1 and it has advantage of being able to change the character in minutes by changing the configurations. And the character could be so vastly different, not imaginable before. So our conclusion is that Intona Ultimate excels in giving you details which at present no other cables can come close. Lush 2 is great either as a complementary cable to the Intona Ultimate or on its own. The question of (whether we Lush 1 owners should buy the Lush 2 or not) has now changed to how many do I need? No deal with Phasure ( I pay full price and get refund of 50 Euro like all Lush 1 owners). So it seems that both material & specification(Intona claims Ultimate 90 Ohm +/- 0.2 Ohm, Reference 90 Ohm +/- 0.5 Ohm) as well as shielding are all important in the final outcome of the sound generated.
  13. Yes, I have ordered Lush 2 and will try it when it arrives.
  14. Hi seeteeyou, What a surprise that I've got tracked down!! I can give a comprehensive account of the review here in English for our CA readers. Well first off I am not advocating using expensive cables but at the same time I do admit that I can hear huge amounts of difference among different cables. There has been quite some change in my system since I last posted here. My DAC has changed from Holo Spring to Denafrips Terminator(which I am sure you will hear more from Rajiv when he reviews it) and then 5 months ago to Chord Blu 2 + Dave(which has been praised so much in these pages as well as in head-fi). To me Chord Blu2 + Dave is excellent in giving a very accurate 3D presentation,very transparent layering and layout, natural ambience, fast rise and decay. But one thing is that the timbre of instruments and emotion is less well delineated to my taste which I attribute to a lower than my liking mids. So it needs some tweaks here and there to 'compensate' for my own sake. All along I have been using a Linux based HQplayer-NAA system compiled by my buddy. Recently he has come up with a new creation, probably world's first Dual Linux Audio system accomodated in a solid chassis with specially compiled realtime kernel with low latency of some ten nanosecond. This is far better than my other Windows10 based HQplayer. Along with that there is a definite need to further tweak the system. First I followed suit and bought a Mutec Ref 10 which indeed give some significant improvement over my Cybershaft OP14. And then as a lot of us know that the galvanic isolation of USB input of the Chord Blu2 is not well done and actually I can hear some background noise when the USB is connected so I have to put the Iso-regen and the USPCB back to the chain and this is very effective in isolating this ground noise and also give a bit more of mid range back to the system. While I am still waiting for my Habst BNC cable from the CA group buy I came across this Intona USB cable and I was caught by its idea of getting the best quality of raw materials in making the Ultimate cable. The idea is just similar to those who use tube gears that some most expensive tubes are simply handpicked from the group with the best spec or closest match. And this Intona Ultimate USB cable can really stand up to what some of them described it as the king of USB cables. After using it from my NAA computer to the Iso-regen you suddenly find that your orchestra is filled up with instruments that are not present before. You can now see the strings as twenty or so separate violins among the mass strings and not just a group of sound. The touch of the pianist is again the best that one can hear. When I listened to Joan Baez Diamond and rust I used to find the sound of Joan Baez a 'wobble' as if the sound is still in her throat but now the sound opens up as if she has finally opened her mouth to sing. At the end of the song the applause is most realistic with different groups of applause and the spatial orientation is as clear as one would want. What I would describe this USB cable is that it gives tremendous amount of detail and the details come in well orientated three dimensions. The focus of instruments is the best that one can imagine. The speed of this cable is superfast and most important is the low, mid and high all arrive in the same timing. One can always feel the correctness of this cable. As I have also mentioned in the local forum is that one cannot regard this cable to be a perfect fit for every system because with the tremendous amount of detail being delivered the sound might appear thin at times especially in systems that are on the thin side. And that would actually be a balance of the system that one need to tweak. And finally I must say that I have no commercial association with all the products that I have mentioned. And what I am most eager to know at this moment is whether any conclusion can be drawn from the thousands of combinations of Lush 2 ? And it would be great fun to compare the best result of Lush 2 with the Intona Ultimate. Cheers.
  15. Hi austinpop nice write up. You lucky man. Daniil Trifonov is really a genius and definitely the most exciting pianist around nowadays. You've got to listen to his recitals if you get a chance. It is even more startling than his concerto performance. Like you I am a classical music enthusiast and I go to orchestral concerts regularly. I agree with you entirely that in the actual performance the orchestra layout is not as sharp as in our recreated audio. But one point I would like to make when we compare real performance and our recreated audio sound is that there is an intermediary i.e. the recording engineer and the mastering engineer. I used to believe that what we can hear from our CDs is not 100% what the conductor wants you to hear but more what the recording engineer wants you to hear. (Musically yes mostly from the conductor but the HiFi aspect it is mostly from the recording and mastering engineer). There are many tricks or tweaks that the recording engineer or mastering engineer can put in before the release of the CD so much so that they can increase the depth or width of the orchestra layout, improve the timbre of certain solo instruments, enhance the reverberation or adding airiness to improve the dynamics. So the final outcome of the CD may or may not reflect the actual performance no matter how hard you try. Just my 2 cents.
×
×
  • Create New...