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Jud

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  1. Alert: None of what follows involves blind testing. A week or so ago I received new cables from Ghent Audio - one USB cable for $35, two RCA-to-XLR cables to connect my pre-amp and amp for $15 each (all one meter lengths). All were star quad, and the USB cable in addition has a "JSSG360" configuration. Then this week I received two 3 foot long power cords from Amazon. The idea for the USB cable was to change from a fairly heavy, stiff JSSG360 cable another member kindly made me that required an adapter (my DAC has an unusual USB A male input, necessitating a USB A female cable termination or adapter) with something lighter and less stiff that didn't need an adapter. The reason was to put less torque on the DAC's USB input, which I was concerned might lead to potential problems down the road. So I changed out the cable, and subjectively I liked it slightly better than the homemade one. I'd liked the homemade one better than the Mapleshade Clearlink Plus, a USB cable I'd preferred to anything else I'd heard for several years (including the two AQ cables at the top of their line). Very nice for $35. The idea with the two RCA-to-XLR cables was twofold: (1) See whether the star quad configuration might lead to less noise pickup than my very lightly shielded Omega Mikro interconnects; and (2) though I know just having an RCA-to-XLR cable won't provide any of the noise reduction advantages of a truly balanced setup, see whether there might be any audible difference between the RCA and XLR input circuitry in my amp (unlikely, I felt). The result was that I liked the sound with the new cables a fair amount better, at about 1/20th the price of the Omega Mikros if I remember what I paid for them correctly. Of course this could simply be expectation bias, random chance, whatever, but I continue to think the system sounds a bit better now. And finally, the new power cords, absolutely plain heavy duty power cords that came in a package of 3 for $6. The idea was to use two of these in place of MIT Z-cords (which are sturdily built and have ferrites), then insert the Z-cords in place of two Mapleshade power cords, one to the pre-amp power supply, the other to the amp. The Mapleshade cords have next to no shielding, so again the thought was better shielding and less noise pickup. Well, all did not turn out as I thought. The sound seemed a bit lifeless, "hi-fi" rather than "live," in subjective listening. So I switched the Z-cord plugged into the amp back out for one of the Mapleshade power cords, and all was bliss. The bite of violin bows on strings, the snap of percussion, the impression of fingers hitting keys on a piano rather than just notes being played, were back. (I don't have that much recent experience with live unamplified percussion, but for the past year I've had onstage seats for the local chamber music series, so I feel I'm somewhat familiar with piano and violin sounds.) I have no idea at all why the much more lightly constructed and unshielded Mapleshade should sound better to me subjectively, or indeed why power cords would make any difference at all other than potential noise pickup. Other than random chance or subconsciously wanting the Mapleshade to sound better though I consciously expected the Z-cord to be better, I have no explanation for my subjective impression. But anyway, I'm enjoying listening to music very much these days. And (obligatory non-audiophile spouse story) my wife has asked me who the artists were on a couple of albums she never liked before.
  2. I have no idea what the link is, I was just noting that you asked about currency conversion and there is none in the US store - Bob said prices were "after currency conversion" regarding the GB and FR store prices he converted to dollars.
  3. He's quoting dollar prices for GB and FR....
  4. Jud

    USB cable comparisons

    Another member here very kindly made me a JSSG360 USB cable by modifying a $6 StarTech cable. I preferred this to the Mapleshade Clearlink Plus that I had used for several years. Eventually I came to want to replace it, because (1) it was fairly stiff and heavy, (2) it required an adapter because my DAC uses an unusual USB male A input, necessitating a USB female A cable termination, and (3) these factors resulted in torque on the DAC USB input that I was afraid might potentially cause it to fail down the road. So I ordered a JSSG360 USB cable from Ghent Audio, $35 for one meter with a female A termination (so no adapter needed), less stiff and heavy than the previous cable. My purely subjective impression upon first connecting it was that it sounded a little better than the homemade JSSG360, and by the transitive property that would have it sounding better than the Mapleshade Clearlink Plus, a cable I liked more than any other I'd heard for years (including the top couple in AQ's range). I haven't changed my opinion of the Ghent Audio cable in the ensuing week. For $35 (plus shipping, not exorbitant), very nice indeed IMHO.
  5. Jud

    Official Qobuz Issues Thread

    But to be fair: I know this is just because by gosh, you really wanna hear it now! 🙂
  6. There are any number of Ethernet isolation transformers you can buy, and they do work to some extent for various types of noise, but to me they are a different type of product than the ER, not so much competing. I agree that if folks want to discuss this other type of product, creating a dedicated thread would be a good idea.
  7. Jud

    Audirvana Plus 3 (official thread)

    Perhaps, and/or perhaps it means A+ is not intended primarily as a server, but will do so if you ask it to send music to a renderer/network player.
  8. Jud

    Audirvana Plus 3 (official thread)

    You should select DoP in the preferences, and if you already have it selected, try another DoP version/selection.
  9. Jud

    Official Qobuz Issues Thread

    Sal, have you ever taken time on a job you were doing to get it really right, only to have them ask what was taking so long? They've got one shot to make a good enough first impression in the largest streaming market in the world to possibly persuade people to leave what they're familiar with. That takes some doing.
  10. Jud

    5G - Are We Safe Or Insane?

    On our little OT journey here (thank you to @Axial for permitting us to take it), ouch (have a look under Conclusions in the abstract): https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.k5092
  11. Jud

    Audirvana Plus 3 (official thread)

    A+ is an "ad hoc" UPnP/DLNA server. You then need a renderer at the other end. But it works pretty much as you've described.
  12. Jud

    5G - Are We Safe Or Insane?

    The bacteria left to reestablish the infection would be the ones with some degree of antibiotic resistance, so two aspects of the same thing.
  13. Jud

    5G - Are We Safe Or Insane?

    I suppose the general idea on one side of the question is to try to kill as many pathogens as possible even after symptoms are gone, lowering chances there will be some left with higher drug resistance to reproduce. The general idea on the other side I suppose is that you've got a huge number of bacteria in your system at all times; they can interchange DNA; so why breed drug resistance into any part of that population? This is when you get good scientific questions, when there are logical, factually supported arguments for multiple courses of action.
  14. Jud

    5G - Are We Safe Or Insane?

    I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your waiters....
  15. Jud

    5G - Are We Safe Or Insane?

    Impregnated, eh? Will the baby tablets be 5G, or start as 3G and grow up?
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