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About Archimago

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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  1. Cool. Looking forward to it! I think this is simply being honest rather than a personal attack. What he does IMO is the equivalent of what a salesman would have done at the local brick & mortar store back in the day before the Internet; a "salesman" is a fine profession with certain understood characteristics that come with the job. There's little critical assessment of products here and it's clear over the years whether it's the assessment of MQA, stuff like the Dragonfly Cobalt, or skewed insistence on sonic difference between USB cables with tortured reasoning. It'
  2. I don't know how many informed audiophiles hang out at Darko's and would fill out his survey... ;-) What we need these days is a slick YouTube video production with animations to show people the perspectives and reasons from the "Thanks, but no thanks, MQA." side. :-) @Fast and Bulbous, know anyone who wants to do this?! I think that labelling "anti-MQA" audiophiles as "extremists" is rather silly of Darko. That's like calling Galileo an "extremist" for going against the Church when he's writing books and showing people evidence for his stance on heliocentrism
  3. Hi @JoshM, I don't know about exactly how much "damage" has been done between a regular CD and MQA-CD other than the fact that at least 1-bit would be needed for the control data. I suppose if they embedded that data into the least-significant bit especially in a live/pop/rock album, it would not be problematic since it'd merge into background noise and dither. As I recall, MQA allows the control stream to be in other bits higher up which would be more damaging so I think this one would need to look at specific albums and check. Would be curious about your Fagen Nightfly MQA-C
  4. How do you know "they've successfully identified" anything?! Is that any different from 320kbps MP3 also "successfully identified" all the content that's inaudible such that in fact in blind tests, most people would not be able to tell a difference? Since MQA-CD is not hi-res or even equivalent to 16/44.1 resolution, the real choice for physical media is actually between CD and vinyl these days for many albums. SACD releases are rather few if you're into new music. If we ever lose the choice of just a standard unmolested CD and only have MQA-CD releases, that would be a
  5. Based on this line in the feature description for the Gustard DAC-X16: "5. USB supports MQA full expansion decoding. C0AX/ AES/OPT/IIS supports MQA hardware rendering. Automatically recognize and render the MQA digital stream after the first level is expanded." It's pretty clear that full MQA decode is only for USB. The rest of the digital inputs are "rendering" only - like the AudioQuest Dragonfly DACs. It needs the USB XMOS processor to do the "first level" decoding. Even if we disregard the lossy "hi-res" and even-worse resolution reduction wh
  6. But that's touching on my point (bolded). How do you know there was too much distortion? Obviously not all recordings are of good tonal quality. Some have "razor sharp edges" baked into the signal itself and an accurate reproduction of the sound would let listeners know that the recording was simply of poor quality. Has there been consistent demonstration that the situations you're alluding to actually are primarily distortion-related? Not saying it's not a possibility, rather I'm not sure I've come across this much...
  7. Awesome horns, cool beats. A little like these: Wife didn't think the clothes, man-bags/purses, and hairstyles suited me though. Lemme see if Givenchy has an appropriate pandemic winter men's collection this year...
  8. Sometimes, "tame the highs" is just "tame the highs" depending on the system. Maybe a little EQ would be more effective and easy to refine to taste. I agree that there's no need for any magic devices like this. But also no need to interpret the anomaly as "distortion in the replay" is there? Unless one can show actual distortion present...
  9. 😕 As one who used a Technics SA-GX690 back in the 1990's, who ever said it would not sound fine feeding a high efficiency speaker like this?
  10. Yup, TRS --> RCA adaptors for the line output would work into the Rotel assuming it's an integrated amp. The Presonus output is +10dBu level based on the specs which is around 2.4Vrms. The Behringer PP400 is a phono preamp so there's no need for that with the Presonus line level.
  11. I think already you're seeing that among the "audiophile" crowd there are all kinds of variations and idiosyncrasies just like you would with "music lovers" in general! For me - no rituals. I love music, and the hardware to render it well is important. I'll have it on whether it's on the computer desktop (50% headphones, 50% desktop speakers) doing E-mails with a player like foobar, or Roon running. In my sound room listening with the big speakers, almost always streamed from my music server library, currently do not subscribe to a streaming service. Yes, I'll spend hours setting u
  12. Absolutely. Wish you were closer! You've got some great gear there @ray-dude! The DAVE's output would be an interesting one to examine because of the very clean, strong "ideal" filter it implements. Changes to things like dynamic range, noise floor and variations in harmonic distortion could show quite clearly with a DAC like that. Would be a nice documentation of the effect that the power supply has.
  13. Interesting read. Glad you liked the results... Just to state the obvious. I think it would be really nice to have a quick look at the noise level coming out of the DAVE with its stock SMPS vs. the others. The reason I bring this up is that in the past I have found at least one example where the power supply can clearly affect noise level and it was in fact a linear power supply that was problematic for the DAC. Sometimes the noise is ultrasonic so you won't necessarily hear the issue but nonetheless is being fed to the amp and speakers. Furthermore, you might find situ
  14. That's nice that a CD transport can do this... Billions of CDs out there to play! But these days, it's not like CDs are hot items. I don't know what cost-benefit equation would compel the record label to purposely mass encode MQA into standard 16/44.1 for the sake of the few consumers who might have this CD transport or MQA-capable CD player. Seriously guys, MQA-CD has to take the cake for being the most ridiculous thing they could do with MQA. What a waste of a perfectly good data bit which could be used for real audio instead of MQA control/"authentication" content!
  15. I don't want to be paranoid or make up conspiracy theories... But sometimes when this kind of thing happens, it's hard not to! 👽😈
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