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Quest

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About Quest

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  1. I primarily tested with my emmlabs dac2x and chord qbd76hd. Speakers are mainly Focal Utopia Scalas. My CAPS is nothing very special - fanless, headless with no on-board graphics, with care to cabling and software. I tried the sotm and paul pang stuff but preferred sticking to my own choices.
  2. I had two CAPS and a Mac Mini, and they beat the S10 and X100 easily.. this is even without AO or anything fancy. For the Mac, I had to do some changes including to linear PSU to bring the performance up to par, but the base mac mini had some aspects which sounded better to me already. As it is more convenient to use, I wanted the Aurender to win so badly that I bought a X100L to tinker with it for a longer period, but gave up eventually. Have not tried the N100. Spent a few weeks with S10 and X100L respectively.. one thing I did not try was to put it on a linear PSU - did not want to mod as I decided to sell already.
  3. I think you guys should do benchmark tests before and after. That sets a good basis for comparison for such claims. While I never knew anything about error rates, my tests showed that PC benchmarks could be improved through various means. For instance, one of my old PCs on a power regenerator could play certain video files without fault, whereas when it was plugged direct to the wall using a stock power cord, the same video would stutter badly.
  4. Wow thanks.. it's actually surprising to me as in my country (or at least my perception), most people serious with hifi AND playing with computer tend to be younger. Great to see this movement!
  5. No offense to anyone, but what is the average age of the CA forumer? Genuinely curious.
  6. No offense taken. You already know I'm aware how my experience/views can come across. Thanks for all the patient responses (including the elaboration on the dc plug) and I won't derail your thread, but I did not appreciate you highlighting all my 'questionable queries' just to prove your point to the public. I didn't realise it bothered you that much, sorry about that. I had two visitors 2 days ago that heard various differences from the minutia in my system, and one also said even though he could hear significant differences, he would not share as he wouldn't know how to do so without coming across as crazy. Anyway, I hope you realise I wrote a response here mainly to add endorsement for your product, and not for any other purpose. You're right that you have a good product based on good engineering, and that which sounds good, and I'll continue to recommend it to others. We need people like you to push the envelope on that front, and I hope you do well so that you continue to explore other products. Perhaps I shouldn't have added my other comments, but it was done in a good natured manner - incase other people heard something similar to what I did. Not everyone is an engineer and can compare between different LPSUs from that perspective, but I do know everyone in this hobby is pursuing good sound. And we all know 'good sound' is subjective. Thanks and best of luck.
  7. I did, his upgraded DC cable is the Belden I'm referring to. I'm not saying it is no good, I'm just saying it can be better (at higher cost), and could be worth looking into. My hifi is a bit on the pricey side so maybe I'm more particular. One more thing I forget to mention and maybe Alex can chime in here.. I'm not sure where the contact/solder point inside the JS-2 for the DC outputs are. It'd be useful to know as I had to pretty much turn my DC plug around in the DC socket just to figure out which angle had a better sound. I personally find if the contact/solder points on the plug and output match, generally the sound is better. Just IMO and I know a lot of people can't hear this.
  8. I've had my JS-2 for 2 months now, and only just finished my evaluation. On the technical aspect: 1. I think the JS-2 and MMK is very easy to install, but I agree that for 2014 Mac Mini owners (like myself), that documentation is a bit light and it may be a bit daunting initially to open it up and do the changes yourself. I have my own toolkit so that wasn't an issue. A youtube video will work much better than any instruction manual. I would recommend this approach. 2. For 2014 Mac Mini, the ribbon cable for the fan controller doesn't really fit anywhere good, although it is easily affixed to somewhere else. No other major complaints. I'm also waiting for a replacement antenna cable for the Mac Mini, so I can leave the bottom cover off. Now onto the sound: On first install, the sound is a lot more stable than on the stock power supply of the Mac Mini (kind of floaty), and has nice depth. These qualities are not very easy to find in power supplies, IMO. Refinement is up a notch and overall vocals have a nice touch to it. However, I felt in terms of dynamics and openness, it was a bit shy.. so I gave it a thorough running in (truth be told, not much difference there), and I made my own power cable to connect to the MMK. The Belden provided is a decent performer, but can be bettered. Dynamics and openness were partially resolved with my custom made cable, and the rest I got after other tuning to my hifi and software. I haven't tested using the sense mode (if that sounds better), or done a comparison with/without using the fan controller. Overall satisfied with the purchase and would recommend it to others.
  9. Dropped Superdad a PM as recommended a few days ago but guess he is too busy to reply. They really need a website.
  10. Hi all, I've done some further listening tests with the Aurender X100L and would like to share some additional points for discussion (though my earlier points didn't go anywhere). Does anyone else feel that the sound is different depending on how you select a track? e.g. selecting same song via 'album' view, 'folder' view or 'genre' view. This is an easy test.
  11. It depends what's your comparison point. Is it 'better' than the SPDIF or AES digital out from a USB converter plugged into the S10? I don't feel so, but that would add more cost so not quite apples to apples. Is S10's SPDIF better than its direct USB? Maybe.. Also, for someone who has a DAC2X, you'd want to come closer to the TSDX performance.
  12. My 2 cents as a DAC2X owner who owns Mac, PC and Aurender: 1. Macmini can sound good, but like all PCs, are finnicky. Small changes to software will affect the sound in a big way when you have a revealing system IMO. I don't think it is a lot worse than the default CAPS systems if set up right. If you are unwilling to put in the hours and agonize over software (sometimes due to system updates, I have to re-tune for awhile before I can play), skip Mac and PC systems. 2. Aries can sound good, but you also need to pay attention to the server too. If it's only for Tidal and no local playback, I say go with this. 3. Aurender X100 works with the DAC2X well via USB, and sounds better than S10, IMO. This is a simple all-in-one solution that is stable and gives decent performance without any tweaks. A fully tweaked out PC (or two for dual jplay) can be better (note not cheaper), but not without the effort. I'd avoid using Aurender S10 SPDIF for SQ reasons, but if you want to use spdif, then use a usb/spdif converter. W20 is a different story. X100's USB output is also better than the S10, IMO. DAC2X is somewhat on the neutral side so you need the source to be managed well in order to get the nice tonality that we associate with high end. With most PC sources, largely due to hardware IMO, it can sound a bit lacking in this area even when other aspects of performance is there. The computer is just as important when a USB converter is added to the chain, although it will help. Using something to 'clean' the USB power will be just as good.
  13. I personally did not quite like the S10 much, and would prefer the X100L. SPDIF would mean you will lose access to DSD. To solve the supposed USB issue, you can always hook up a two prong USB cable and with the power lead coming out of a separate power source. This is what I did. If SPDIF is still preferred, the other approach is via a usb/spdif converter. I did this during my S10 trial and preferred the sound than direct from the SPDIF output.
  14. From my experience, physically or electrically separating the audio system from the network via a wifi to ethernet adapter can help, but changing ethernet cables in the house still affected the sound. For what it's worth, a wifi card sounded better than the adapter. And no, I am not transmitting any audio data across the network at all for my PC based system, just using an ipad for control. Even if I used a laptop direct (although connected via wifi), the same applies. The same even applies to CDP playback at home - i.e. even without data transmission or connection to network at all, the ethernet network at home still affects the sound. Even the direction of the antenna from wifi card or routers also affect the sound. Unplugging unused PCs from the router also improves the sound. Is this discussion placing too much emphasis on just the data transmission element?
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