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About Rcanoe

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  1. Congrats to the all the people who made the decade a digital music wonderland! Chris, your article brings back fond (and frustrating) memories of finding the digital audio experience. Thanks! Looking forward to a new decade!!! What new wonders await! Cheers
  2. Rcanoe


    I have struck a bargain with my wife allowing to buy more toys if we buy more furniture..... Since I have the Bryston BP26 with the built in DAC is it worth going for the BDP1 or stick with my mac mini? The issue with the BP26DAC is that it can't go beyond 24/96 so a BDP1 may be overkill? Or should I go and get the BDA1 and BDP1 and not worry about knowing that the $1000 DAC feature in my BP26 won't be used. My macmini would just replace my 9 yr old XP machine. Plus I would need to by twice as much furniture My music is all ripped CDs but I would like to see what hi-rez is all about and am not sure if 24/96 is enough. Especially, for the the next 10 years. I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks
  3. Interesting point of views which makes this forum so great! As an engineer (not electronic) I would like to see scientific measurements and double blind A/B testing As an frugal consumer that likes high end audio I would like to know that I am spending my money on something that has the best cost/benefit (new cord or new dac?) As a music listener I always crave a more pure and emotive listening experience. A power cord on a computer? Well at least its an inexpensive way of tinkering with your system instead of blowing tens of thousands of dollars on a valve amp. Hey there is an idea. A valve computer!!! : ) Cheers
  4. I would like to thank everyone in advance for your expert advice to some basic questions. I'm still trying to digest the digital world and some preconceptions I have. 1) Switching power supplies are bad. But in terms of impacting your home electrical supply --- what can you do? e.g refrigerators, garage door openers etc. I'm of the belief that you get a power supply with a huge amount of premium capacitance for your amps and DACs and this becomes a non-issue? 2) Inside the mac --- 1 and 0s --- assuming the hardware/software are spec'ed appropriately for the task at hand --- how does power supply affect this function? My preconception is that 1s ans 0s are building blocks that are reproduced perfectly. i.e a voltage drop won't make a 1 a 0? 3) In the USB/SPDIF converter that is powered by the computer bus the process still exists in the binary world of 1s and 0s. So how can power affect this? 4) My preconception is that the critical part of the process is that handoff of the SPDIF signal to the DAC. That is, if the carrier signal with 1s and 0s is contaminated with poor electric waveforms the DAC will be affected in the digital to analog conversion. ie the analog output contains the same poor waveforms??? Please set me straight before I spend more money on a power supply for my mac mini. Cheers
  5. I used a 16GB Kingston drive with OSX 10.6.4 loaded on it. It worked but it was very slow to load load compared to a hard drive disk. Using a memory player Audirvana I played WAV files off another USB Stick. Results: The soundstage degraded significantly to the point it sounded like a cassette recording (remember those). I keep the 16GB flash drive with OSX for computer recovery only now. My guess is that USB drives are not in the same league as SSD
  6. Folks, I upgraded the ram from 1 GB to 3GB (actually 4gb but my CPU can only access 3gb). The sound quality is the same (great) in the 3gb setup as with the buffer maxed out in 1GIG mode. But now the playback is stable without the CPU overload issues! I think I have tweaked my 16/44 system to where I like it! BTW Itunes sounds better with the upgade and I also notice disk activity was a lot less as well. But believe me when I say the soundstage is is much more clearly defined with Audirvana! FYI. Before I upgraded the RAM I tried booting the mini using a 16GB USB flash drive with OSX to run the system without a harddrive. Audirvana was also loaded on the same disk. I used another flash drive for music files. The CPU O/L issue disappeared but for some reason the soundstage collapsed sounding like a cassette recording???? I read that the USB drive is too slow on read/write?!?
  7. Rcanoe


    Definately envious..... Living just west of TO would your dealer be Audio1? That is where got my Bryston stuff. As soon as I am convinced the packaged solution is better than a mac mini I'm in line for a BDP myself. Not there yet and hopefully wont have to either. Can't wait to hear your reviews.....have fun!
  8. Any expertise on the following statement by Hagtech on power noise isolation at the USB-SPDIF converter stage? "The HagUsb is a hi-fidelity USB to S/PDIF (digital audio signal) converter compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS-X based computers. It requires no special drivers, just plug and play. HagUsb connects a computer to your audio system without introducing ground loops, power supply noise, or other unwanted artifacts, thanks to the high quality output coupling transformer. " Question: isn't it better to clean the power source after the computer than before? Thanks
  9. Thanks Damien for the feedback on the 1GB memory issue. The buffer reduction to 256mb reduces file swapping but now I'm hearing subtle fadeouts in the music. I did some google research and am convinced that I should upgrade my MEM. Memory is on order and will have 3GB usable (max) when it arrives. I will continue my testing and reviewing at that point and will provide observations on how the MEM change improves the experience with all other things unchanged. Is there anything in particular I should look for before I swap out the RAM?
  10. Damien, Thanks for the new release to tryout and get the bugs out. The CPU/Dropout issue did not go away. Instead it became more frequent occurring once or twice per song. It didn't improve or degrade over time. I spent about 3 hours listening. Activity monitor shows a consistent 35-55MB free memory. I tried a reboot after maximizing the volume slider. Didn't change a thing. I'm reviewing using the default settings in your release install. Thanks
  11. Some feedback on performance after extended listening. The sound quality is superb using the software. I have played about 20 albums of varying genres and periods. The sound is reproduced without any tonal adjustments. I dont pretend to have a "golden ear" so I wont bother everyone with subjective descriptions of music reproduction. Thanks Damien! I've had my mac mini setup since 2006 and never was happy with the sound from Itunes!! Feedback: After about 5 albums the CPU overload flashes and I get dropouts in sound. It gets progressively worse and drops out every 30 seconds. It wasn't because of the type of music. It started with ELO but continued with Frank Sinatra . I switched on the activity monitor "disk activity" and found progressively more frequent spikes. I reboot the system and the problem went away. My mac mini is older - 1.83 ghz with 80 gig drive. It has 10.6.6 installed. It is dedicated to music with only 3 apps loaded one of which is Audirvana. The other 2 are simple utilities that are user activated. All my audio files are wav and are bit perfect. Airport is turned off and time machine is off. I hope this helps your cause.
  12. You are right the Bryston BP26DA has SPDIF inputs only but can handle 24/96. If you want a bryston product with all the inputs/outputs you need to go with their component DAC the BDA1.
  13. My bias is towards the Bryston BP26DA preamp with built-in DAC. Reference quality class A design preamp with the DAC. This unit has a huge power supply that promises accurate reproduction. Read up on it at there website as they explain it quite well.
  14. I had a chance to listen to my 16/44 library using Audirvana today. Fantastic sound when compared Itunes and a "free demo player". Very realistic sound. It makes my DAC and system shine. System: mac mini; HAGUSB, Bryston BP26DA preamp and 3BSST amplifier.
  15. My Mac Mini was not making me happy for years and the tipping point was when my wife call my server "tinny" music. I had the usual settings in Itunes with EQ off etc. My software is the latest Itunes and snow leopard. I only have 16 bit/44 cds ripped in WAV so I thought it was optimized. NOT What turned things around was when I made the following adjustments: 1) Use USB port closest to the right edge when looking at the back. Big difference. I believe it is now dedicated and not sharing with bluetooth. 2) Shut off Wi-Fi. Shut off auto look for update of software. I think this caused "artifacts" everytime the CPU switched tasks. Drawback is I can't use Ipod touch remote control which runs on Wifi. 3) In Sound Preferences - shut of sound effects (beeps etc for hitting buttons etc) 4) In Sound Preferences - adjust sound volume so that your DAC output has the same level of another analog component in your system. I use Magnum Dynalab MD90 (fm tuner) levels which brings the level in Sound to about 93% The result is fantastic. No audible artifacts and the music has lost its "tinniness". I'm happy now. My goal was to keep the CPU working on one thing only - music. And to produce a output level matching my DAC/Preamp. I hope this helps someone in their tweeks. I have a 2006 MacMini --> HAGUSB tied into my Bryston BP26 DA preamp which has a built in SPDIF dac. Cheers
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