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Paul R

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About Paul R

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    Ph.D. (un)Level Member

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    South West Wyoming

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  1. I think in some ways what you are saying is true, but I do not think it is as simple as all that. There are other factors involved than just cost, making a multi-dimensional axis necessary to plot the value and quality of a system in. It's all well and good to make broad sweeping statements, but the devil is in the details. More details please.
  2. I would highly recommend the posting below. It is the best summary I know of, is written well, and is pretty much what anyone considering MQA needs to know. -Paul
  3. I will probably hate myself for asking this, but just exactly what are those monsters? -Paul
  4. Well, that's one man's opinion. Maybe two. Seriously, you just went around three corners there. Piss on Bob, Explain the tech to me, and businesses can be run ethically but this one has not been and so piss on it. You act like they did something personal to you. The only person I know of who has had a personal conflict with MQA is Chris, and that wasn't with Bob Stuart, it was with the business lackeys. (shrug).
  5. Yep, I am really allergic to tubes, but Jason and a few other people got me thinking... maybe I should give it another chance. And it is fun to play with. -Paul
  6. No worries, probably me being too sensitive anyway, and I sometimes am a little too direct. Apologies back and let's start over. This is an incredibly interesting area for me, but perhaps one I am locked out of. I hear clear differences from almost every player I listen to - but have not heard differences from servers. It may be some form of self expectation bias, I am not sure. I can't hear changes based upon RAM in a machine either, but I know people who say they can, and I have no reason to disbelieve them. Also, I am a bit of a luddite in that Ethernet cables don't make a difference in the sound to me. Ethernet vs. Fiber Channel vs Wireless, yes - clear differences. But between two ethernet cables? Nope. In other words, I am a bit limited by what differences I can and cannot hear. I also have not found a mechanism to explain why a storage unit on a server could make a difference in the sound, but there are people whose opinions I respect that say they can hear a difference. For those folks, I think building their own server is the only reasonable path, at least if they want to retain their sanity or bank balance. Well, certainly we agree there! I should say I have not heard one either, but based upon the components, the probability is very low it would sound as good as one the SGC or Sonore units. Perhaps for the same reasons C.A.P.S. machines always seemed to sound better than the other players. It is possible, and I am sure the people who buy them like them. A lot! Well, there is something to think about there. I could easily be wrong I suppose. There are always more things to be found and explored in this hobby than you can shake a stick at. I suppose if you guys really wish - it is just a wee bit of Alibaba magic, and then dealing with the very well trained sales agents. To be honest, I would feel like I was pushing junk though, and really don't want to. I am investigating some Chi-Fi gear right now though. In fact, a small tubed amp just showed up from DHL. Perhaps I can write that up a bit and share it, and if anyone is interested, we can certainly do a group buy. -Paul
  7. Apologies if I gave the impression that listening was not important. I have listened quite a lot, sometimes finding what I expect, but most often, finding something different. (How the heck can a USB cable ever made a difference in the sound? But the cussed thing sometimes does... !) Here's the thing, if you find that something works for you- go for it! Youc an even change your mind later. This is a hobby, not life or death science.
  8. I hear you brother, but a fair world is the one thing we will never have.
  9. No, I was not talking about MQA in any sense. I was talking about the libraries that Apple, Amazon, and other companies have. Apple at least transcodes the music they deliver to 256 AAC, it is not archived in that format in their library. I believe what Mark and others are reporting is the number of high-resolution files currently available for sale or download, not the actual number that exists out there. Certainly, the labels do not keep masters in 16/44.1 or below, so even at that level, far more hi-res music tracks exist than that figure. To get an idea, one would need to know how many Albums/Tracks/Singles are released in a year and some idea of the demographics. I have not fully considered the matter, but there are estimates on the net that vary wildly, from 40K to well over 100K. But it is very unlikely that the source/masters for those songs are in CD format, or MP3, or even MQA. They are almost certainly in hi-res format, even if that is just 24/48k. So I expect that a total of 35K albums, meaning 350k tracks or thereabouts, is a very low number indeed. -Paul
  10. Yes, I can definitely see that. Unfortunately, his having a bad attitude and perhaps, ulterior motives does not make what he pointed out untrue. While I respect your experience, I also worked for decades in the Engineering/Software Engineering World. If this was really an engineering exercise, then yes, I would agree with you. But it is not. It is merely an import business with - possibly - some minor assembly. I would not even say that much, as once specced, the factories will assemble and load the devices for you much more economically than you or I could do it here. That "2 to 1" price is for an assembled item, which I assume, changes your mathematics. Or at least, you should reconsider your math. Costs are storage and shipping, and time value for money while things are in shipment. And of course, there are ways to control that too. My engineering experience leads me to believe that the server part of the equation, as long as it is sufficently powerful, has very little or no effect on the sound at an endpoint. I have not in my personal experience seen any situation where it actually has. Therefore, servers dedicated to music here are generally off the shelf. In the case of the current server, it is a 2012 i5 Mac that just will not die. (I want to replace with a new one with USB-C.) I have moved the storage from a fibre connected SAN to local USB connected RAID devices, and am quite pleased with the result. It is far cheaper to expand storage as needed. Being as it is only connected to the server, and the server is not connected to any DACs directly, there is no impact on the sound quality. Server software is Roon, and endpoints vary from a microRendu to a brand new Mac Mini, to SBCs setup with Windows and Linux. None of which was terribly complex to do, and takes advantage of a home wireless network instead of riding on a VLAN these days. Very convienent, sounds great. Total cost for dedicated music streaming hardware/software, somewhere around $5400. That does not include software licenses not being used, such as for Amarra, repurposed Windows Licenses, or computers like the Mac Mini on this desktop that are used for other purposes. What does the number of posts against my name have to do with anything? I have no idea why you would bring that up. You have 500+ post in 16 months, give yourself a decade and then see where you are. I get the strong impression you are trying to say your posts are superior, and perhaps they are. Most of mine are "pub chat" with friends about our shared hobby. You may be trying to jumpstart a writing career. If so, I wish you the best, and hope it goes well for you. As for me building and distributing that, why would I? I just did the research to find out the facts. If someone wants to spend that money, great. I am sure they will be happy with their purchase and enjoy the music from it for a good long while. I am not trying to protect them from making a mistake, because one man's mistake is another man's perfect choice. But it sure doesn't hurt for people to take a second look at the facts of hardware like that, and know what they are buying with their eyes wide open. The sellers of this device are not manufacturing the device. At the most, they might be assembling it, but I seriously doubt they would even be doing that, when having it done at the factory is so very cost effective. And as I pointed out, that changes the mathematics involved drastically. Let me point out we have several well run little companies here that sell products at least as good, and I believe very much superior to this thing. Let's just consider Sonore and Small Green Computers. From SGC, the rough equivalent of that device would be the MicroJukeBox . This sells, with a 1TB SSD, for $925. Stepping up to the cost range of the Innous (i.e. $4200), you can have the far superior sonicTransporter AP i7 4TB bundled with an UltraRendu . For $3,695. When I say far superior, I am saying a much better processor, more memory, more storage space, a much better USB endpoint in the UltraRendu. These are both from small, successful companies, putting out top-flight Audiophile class products, and doing so at a price that allows them to survive and thrive. And no, neither of those choices have the same cheap COTS components that were shown in the Innous. So there is literally no need for another competitor, these guys, and a few others have it handled just fine. And if someone wants a machine perfected to their own vision, it is not at all difficult to do what you did and buy parts to put together.
  11. The problem is that this becomes a very fine line indeed. So, British Steel (the Tata born version) was profitable two years ago, and goes into receivership in 2019. Greybull has some explaining to do. If I understand correctly, Greybull would not work with the British Government to save the company. That may or may not be true, as details seem to be sketchy, but what is clear is the government is doing a lot to save those jobs, even offering an indemnity to whoever will be the new owners. That seems like a balanced government response. As to competition with China, well, it is difficult to compete against companies where people are expected to work 7 days a week for low pay. Versus in the U.K. were salaries are high, vacations are guaranteed, and there are pension plans. Not impossible, but difficult, and dependent upon the financial management. Seems to me Greybull picked up the company with expectations of quick profit, not long term viability. I am not saying it is right, and I sure empathize with those folks who are facing economic strife if they lose their jobs. But tariffs, which will raise the cost of everything else hurting those workers, while benefiting companies like Greybull Capital - well - you can guess how I feel about that. As for the tariffs here, they are not going to protect anyone except the people here who are the equivalent of Greybull Capital there. Not the people the politicians say they are protecting. In some ways, China is more honest about that than any Western country. Not that such economic rape is admirable anywhere.
  12. Honestly? Your post shows a very good ability to crib from the internet, but a rather uninspired understanding of the costs of doing business.. Anyone who owns or runs a small successful professional business is quite aware of all the costs involved, and how to price their services to survive and thrive with the necessary costs of doing business. Your conclusion, that $4200 for a device with a fully delivered cost probably around $300 is “fair and reasonable” is - nuts. It is purely an attempt to price something so high people believe it is a elite product. Snob marketing, we call it. You can spend whatever you want on it, but you will still only be getting $300 or so worth of equipment. $800-850 per unit is a much more reasonable cost. If you add in service and support, maybe $1k, but for that, it had best be real service and support. I suggest if you need that kind of markup to make your business successful, you are not running it very well at all. Otherwise, it is just another of the thankfully few high end ripoffs that are still around. And yes, there is such a thing as a global just in time inventory, and yes, it can be carefully used to control costs.
  13. Not from the US, at least not yet. The do seem extraordinarily gifted at taking the best parts of whatever they really like though. Well, I do have to admit I was very annoyed to find out my DJI drone was sending stuff back to a China via the internet. If they infringe on one of my photos, I will do my best to start an international incident. 🤪👹 No argument from me.
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