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hopkins

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  1. The greater transparency is definitely changing my appreciation of some recordings. I'll try to provide some examples in the coming days.
  2. @Norton are you sometimes revising your judgment (in a good or bad way) on the quality of recordings after playing them on the UPL ?
  3. We were counting on you for DAC comparisons But all jokes aside, it would be good to hear of actual comparisons with other DACs.
  4. No worries, they did confirm that they will contact us to arrange for the upgrade. Just give them a little more time (telling myself that as well!). They just have not given any "official" announcements - and they probably resent me for mentioning it here
  5. I also spend a lot of time tweaking. Sure, it has been fun at times, but retrospectively completely futile. I basically stopped a couple years ago when I heard the previous UPL (with the previous MOS16 DAC, and even better with the Terminator). I got a sense that they were on to something that one could simply not compete with, regardless of how much you invested in the source. When they came out with the first improvement, the ElectroTOS connection (but still using the standard spdif protocol), that they kindly retrofitted on my old UPL, things sounded better, and that was also encourageing and served as a confirmation. Then they mentionned their work on their new DAC, and practically a year went by. The wait was well worth it, and I think everyone who has heard it understands.
  6. That is my understanding. Tweaking the source to reduce the processor's activity, read files from memory, use battery or linear power supplies, etc, is simply not sufficient. The fact that one can today tweak all this and impact the sound quality does not mean you are actually getting the best sound quality! Even if you did miraculously have a really clean signal from a PC, the USB chip that converts this incoming signal will itself generate interferences as well. Dealing with them is not so simple. ECD's solution for this is novel, and effective (based on measurememts and listening). Adressing interferences within the USB adapter seems to be the only solution, or having a dedicated player that will essentially do the same. Vis a vis dedicated players like the SDTrans or the UPL, you also have processing activity and potentially connections (such as i2s) that carry large bandwidth and noise. Once all this is achieved it can all be destroyed if the DAC is not able to transcribe the digital signal to analogue precisely 🙁 Once the analogue signal comes out of the DAC, there are also lots of opportunities to mess things up, but that is going to be the next chapter of ECD's lasting contributions to audio 😉 As always, "experts" will certainly debate this, and i will just trust my hearing.
  7. Looking forward to reading about your (and everyone else's) impressions when you do get the units.
  8. Do you have an idea as to when the new units will be available ? Knowing it is "in the works" it becomes increasingly frustrating to have to deal with USB keys... Patience is not my virtue
  9. To clarify, with the U192ETL + Fractal DAC, I see no benefit in using wtfplay as a source as opposed to using a basic PC as a source.
  10. A few comments: - the upcoming batch of U192ETL should offer essentially the same quality as the UPL96.According to ECD, there will always remain a small difference between the two, but the U192ETL will offer very satisfying quality. With the current units, the gap is more significant. I only use the UPL96ETL and am really eager to getting an upgraded U192ETL to finally have all my music available without the hassle of USB keys... - with the U192ETL, I do not think there will be any benefit in using wtfplay, but of course you can test that for yourself when you get it. I tried wyfplay with the current U192ETL and heard no benefit. - my personal feeling, at this point, is that the combination of the U192ETL and the Fractal DAC is going to outperform the Terminator with the same source. I ageee the Terminator does have a good toslink input. I heard the Terminator on many occasions, and a few times with the previous UPL. A lot of the increase in sound quality in the current units comes from the new Fractal DAC, and the use of the new protocol between the Fractal DAC and the source. By using either source (U192ETL or UPL96ETL) with the Terminator, I do not see how it could reach the same level as what I am hearing today. Once again, this is my personal "feeling", and there is no way of knowing for sure until a comparison is done. I would recommend getting both the U192 and the Fractal DAC and then deciding which DAC you wish to keep
  11. I've been listening to the UPL all day (rare I get to be alone in my flat, these days, to do that) and I splurged on my vintage jazz favorites. I spend the past week also swapping around some cables and adjusting the placement of my equipment, trying to get the most out of my system. With these "non Audiophile" recordings the UPL/Fractal does wonders, and it's an immense source of satisfaction to listen to them without having this typically lifeless digital sound (that I dare say the previous MOS DAC/UPL was not completely exempt of, even if it did pave the way for the current units). What strikes me is how much closer it brings you to understanding the musician's "intentions", and appreciate the quality of the music.. As was mentioned it is very possible that vinyl may perform better yet, but this sounds pretty damn good to me
  12. Sorry to chime in here, for a brief comment. The answer is obvious: it will stop when noise can be prevented from distorting digital to analog conversion. Until then, have fun!
  13. Sorry, there is no post for that, it was just what they have communicated in email exchanges (to several of their customers, I believe). I don't want to quote them and get into technical discussions (I have very limited technical knowledge). The DIY thread gives the basic idea. Let me just stress that I have not listened to these upgraded units. I just think that this is a significant development and that is why I mentioned it.
  14. Here is a post which dates back to January but gives a general idea: https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/79452-building-ultimate-nos-dac-using-tda1541a-post6031506.html
  15. Sorry, not sure I understand your question. Can you elaborate ?
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