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struts

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About struts

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  1. Fascinating stuff @austinpop! I have yet to audition the Abyss myself, but have to say that the "medieval torture device" aesthetic does give me pause for thought (although I do think the ceramic coating somehow improves the appearance slightly over the anodized). The Empyrean otoh gets full marks from me on aesthetics (and build quality and comfort and packaging and..) not just on sound quality. In fact reinforcement of these brand values extends beyond the product itself to the broader "customer journey" and their website also exhibits a design aesthetic and a level of polish that really tick my boxes. I find that kind of "Apple-like" thoroughness very impressive, especially from a small company like Meze Audio. Kudos Antonio Meze! Anyway, an informative (and entertaining) read as always, many thanks for sharing these findings.
  2. Haha, misread the date in your post, I now see it is over a year old. Sorry. Hope things worked out for you. Regards.
  3. Hi bobbmd, Not really a fair comparison imo. The Phantoms are active and include built in DAC (Toslink or network inputs) and amplification, even an Airplay renderer, while the Legacy monitors are passive so you need to add the cost of those components in for an apples-to-apples. I own a pair of Gold Phantoms for several years and have been very pleased with them. They are surprisingly uncoloured, image well, have a good extended frequency response (give real deep bass, not a bloated upper bass that many people confuse with deep bass) and have huge dynamic headroom. The software (Spark) works but is not great imo, however coupled with Roon (which can feed them via AirPlay) this makes a great easy-to-use file- or streaming-based system. One word of caution though, I have found that you need to have a wired connection between the Dialog and your network switch to get the best experience, both WifI and PLC have proven somewhat unreliable in my apartment. I have only heard the Legacies once, at someone's house, and wasn't too impressed. To me the system sounded a bit bright, lacked bass extension and was not especially accurate (I didn't like the way it portrayed instrumental timbres), also the imaging was poor with no stage depth whatsoever iirc. I should stress that this was one listening session in an unfamiliar system and any of these observations could be down to the source, the amp or the room setup (on a bookshelf, far from ideal) and so not necessarily the speakers that were to blame. The owner loved them though, ymmv. Based on my experience I would say the Phantoms are definitely worth a listen, and as an active proposition with the functionality they offer I think they represent pretty good value. Imo it would be hard to better them with separates at the price. Good luck!
  4. Four critical components in my main listening chain are new or have received major upgrades this year. I have never enjoyed better sound, neither has listening been more convenient nor my computer audio infrastructure more stable. That's progress! 1. Roon 1.3 with huge improvements to playlists and tagging, better library management, DSP, composers/compositions etc. The best just got very much better. 2. Sonore microRendu. 2.5 Firmware and clock upgrade. Ditto above. A "class A" digital transport for $640. Outstanding! 3. Uptone LPS-1 (with a special award (sainthood?) to John Swenson please!) 4. Devialet Expert Core Infinity upgrade. Bought a D-Premier nearly 5 years ago and in pretty much the fastest-developing area of audio technology it is still fully supported and being regularly enhanced with hardware and software upgrades. For all the whingeing I see on the Devialet boards I challenge anyone to point to a high-end audio brand with this level of commitment to upgradability. Nominated for this as much for relentlessly pushing the ball upfield on sound quality.
  5. I'll certainly be happy to test when I have the time, which I didn't unfortunately have when I quickly hooked everything up yesterday. Just wondered if anyone was a step ahead of me.
  6. You're right, I fell into the trap of assuming that someone with a similar product would have had similar experiences. Time and again this is shown not to be the case. Over at devialetchat there are several threads where multiple owners report various AIR problems, but there are plenty of reasons why this might give a completely inaccurate picture of the user base as a whole. Once more 'assume' makes an ass of u and me, Sorry if I caused offence.
  7. ...because if you did you probably wouldn't be asking! AIR has been more-or-less unstable (over both wired and wireless connections) since its inception. AIR 2 took a backward step, possibly as it was no longer a native implementation but was redeveloped on the Qt framework, presumably to facilitate portability. I have suffered chronic instability using AIR from an iMac to my D250, both legs wired via an enterprise-grade switch. AIR-over-wifi proved similarly unstable even when using a high quality access point with line-of-sight about 2m from the Devialet (although I suspect the instability had everything to do with AIR and nothing to do with the wifi connection). In every case streaming would suddenly stop and the AIR icon would just grey out for no obvious reason. This would necessitate a complex ritual of restarting the streamer, AIR, the Devialet etc until things jerked into life again, only to do exactly the same thing a few minutes later. Under these circumstances it doesn't take long to lose faith completely. It will be a loooong time before anybody coaxes me back to take another run at AIR, if ever. So even though AIR 3 beta has been out for a while I haven't even been following the various threads to see how folks are getting on with it. If they are finding it stable and offering good SQ I'm happy for them. In the meantime my microRendu has been completely reliable and, powered by an Uptone LPS-1 has provided the best SQ I have ever experienced in the bigrig. The only irritation has been the slightly quirky behaviour of the Devialet when waking from sleep, although that may well be fixed with this new USB driver. Devialet is promising a new "streaming board" early next year as part of the Pro upgrade. We'll see what that offers. All I will say is that the microRendu has set the bar pretty high! Just to put all this in context I would have to say that the AIR debacle is so far the only major fly in the Devialet ointment from my perspective. It is an extraordinary product in so many ways, and continues to deliver nice surprises via firmware updates on a sporadic basis. I admire Devialet's engineering prowess and the boldness of their innovation. Can't wait to see what they come up with next!
  8. Hi Jesus! Just wondered if you have seen one of the new Devialet Expert Pro units yet. They seem to have made some changes to the USB driver, at least the diagnostics and device reporting look different: Might this solve the sleeping issue?
  9. Thanks firedog. Costs nothing to try so will give it a go before trying Jesus' firmware suggestion. Out of interest which fw version do you have in your Mytek?
  10. Thanks Jesus. I've done exactly this multiple times but the Mytek never locks on, just blinks "No Lock". Can't for the life of me figure out what I'm doing wrong..
  11. Having a problem which is driving me crazy. While my Devialet is off in France being upgraded to Expert I thought I would try my microRendu with my Mytek headphone amp. The mR and USB cable are both known to be working fine (worked with the Devialet) and the mR is visible on the network and bootable/configurable/rebootable via the web interface. But try as I might I can't get the Mytek to lock onto the USB output from the mR. Mytek is latest (last) fw 1.8.3 and Mytek is on when I boot/reboot the mR per the mR release notes. mR also on latest sw, 2.3. But whatever I try the Mytek just flashes "No Lock". Mytek website states that the USB2 driver doesn't work under El Capitan so I haven't been able to test the Mytek with any other USB2 host (all my Macs are on Sierra). Works fine on other inputs though (Firewire, S/PDIF RCA). I know plenty of others have this combo working so I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Audio device list reports "Error in alsa-capabilities (v0.9.1): aplay did not find any soundcard.". Any clues for the clueless gratefully received!
  12. Thanks for the comprehensive reply, Alex. I understand your rationale and suspect you are right that it makes sense for a smaller business like yours. To try to answer your question about how VAT works in the EU (deep breath) in general VAT is charged at the prevailing rate in the country where the goods are sold. However for products sold online in one EU country for delivery in another there is an exception and VAT might be charged at the prevailing rate in the destination country. Each country has a threshold value of either €35,000 or €100,000. If a company sells product into a given country for over its threshold value it has to register for VAT in that country and charge VAT at that country's prevailing rate. In such cases the price is usually adjusted when the customer specifies the delivery address in the checkout process. So if I buy something on Amazon.co.uk for delivery to Sweden the price goes up by 5% in the final stage of the checkout as VAT is adjusted from the UK's 20% to Sweden's 25% because Amazon's Swedish sales lie well over Sweden's €35k threshold. However I am guessing that Vortexbox is not selling for more than €35k in any one EU country so their products will have VAT charged at the UK's 20% rate regardless of destination. Unfortunately VAT isn't the only thing that gets added when we buy from outside the EU. Import duty is added first, then a customs handling fee and then VAT on all of that plus the declared value of the product. So my microRendu (ordered from the US) cost $640+$45+$182=$867, i.e. $57 more than if I had ordered in the UK. Of course if the UK actually manages to extricate itself from the EU its role as an EU "staging post" will disappear.
  13. Many thanks for the update Alex. Do you have any plans to offer a shipping point within the EU as Sonore do for the microRendu via VortexBox??
  14. ..and am very happy with it, but it's a few years old now and probably not available any more. You may like to check out this pretty recent comparison and decide which features are most important to you: The Best External Optical Drives for DVDs and Blu-rays | The Wirecutter
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