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About ecwl

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    Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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  1. I think it’s hard to find a truly “bad” amplifier in your price range. Technically, the Benchmark AHB2 is probably the best amp in your price range and should be more than enough to power your system. But sometimes, when you have too much transparency, you start hearing the flaws of your other components. I think your dealer recommendations of the Arcam PA240 and Audio Control Avalon G4 are great. Ideally, you’d want to find out if you can get an at-home demo. My suspicion is that you’ll prefer the Arcam (having listened to it before) whereas I’ve only listened to older Audio
  2. Ah. I re-read the post. Good point. I’m glad PS Audio can play the Tidal MQA streams, just not as MQA files but as FLAC files for now. But to me, @PJ4301 still can’t play the Tidal MQA files with decoding function until PS Audio fixed their firmware. The problem with Aurender is worse as it skips the Tidal MQA file completely, so it won’t even play the file as FLAC. I don’t actually have Aurender so I can’t test it. I doubt my Aurender dealer would since he just wants the new Aurender firmware to fix the problem.
  3. I understand @wklie's point is that the reason why Aurender/PS Audio/Moon (SimAudio)/Pioneer cannot play Tidal MQA streams is not as @Cebolla pointed out due to a simple MQA tag issue. And it's great that Lumin, Roon and the Tidal apps on laptops and iOS can play those same Tidal MQA streams. But at the end of the day, it doesn't help people who own Aurender/PS Audio/Moon/Pioneer streamers who currently can't play Tidal MQA streams. To me, it almost doesn't matter the why. For those Aurender/PS Audio/Moon/Pioneer users, they are either waiting for Tidal to fix the problem or waitin
  4. My dealer had the same problem. His ACS100 was skipping all Tidal MQA tracks but other Tidal tracks and local tracks played normally. He called Aurender and was told Tidal changed something in how it sends MQA tracks and that Aurender should have a fix soon. That was 3 days ago.
  5. My dealer has been having problems playing MQA tracks off Tidal on his Aurender server, regardless of whether software Core Decode is on or off. The Aurender ACS100 would just skip all the Tidal MQA tracks. He ended up calling Aurender 2 days ago and was told that Tidal changed something with how they send the MQA files and that Aurender will have an update soon to address this. His laptop and my iPad running the Tidal app, or my Roon server play the same Tidal MQA files just fine. It’s possible he misheard and it’s Tidal that’ll fix the problem rather than Aurender. Ha
  6. The second and third images wouldn’t show up on this site. I got sent to your AV Nirvana post so I was able to see the second image there after a search. Looks good if that’s how you want to integrate your subwoofers. There is no right or wrong, just your preference. I prefer my subs (20-100Hz) to be flat to my speakers. You have yours set at about 10dB above your speakers. Try it out, see if you like the sound. If you don’t, just set it to a lower volume, say 4-6dB above your speakers. I’m sure you’ll find a sub volume that you’ll be happy with.
  7. I wonder if this question is better posed at Head-Fi website, rather than the Audiophile Style website. Mostly because I don’t know how many users here listen to headphones and of those who do, how many of them routinely listen to multiple headphones less than $500. By comparison, I suspect the Head-Fi website would have many more users who routinely listen to multiple headphones less than $500. Sometimes at this price range, you’re essentially getting a different sound, rather than a better sound compared to your Sennheiser HD650. That said, headphones technologies have improved a
  8. I have to admit I’m very confused by this discussion. Granted, we have no idea what Denafrips Ares is doing in it’s implementation of NOS R2R playback. But I see lots of people getting upset over NOS R2R not being truly R2R. But I’ve mentioned in other posts before that many DSD playback is not truly DSD either. And it seems that nobody gets very upset about that and vigorously defend it as “normal”. To clarify, almost all “true” DSD playback is actually DSD with shift register with multiple elements. So technically, you’re not hearing “the original DSD” signal because of the mu
  9. Unfortunately, Qutest does not have digital volume/digital preamp functionality. So you would either have to add an analog preamp with Qutest and it is very difficult to get an analog preamp with sufficient resolution to ensure you don’t lose the soundstage (or transparency). My friend has a nice Parasound preamp for his vinyl but I bypassed that with the Hugo 2 as I can clearly hear the degradation from the preamp. Alternatively, you can feed Qutest with a music signal that has already been digitally attenuated in volume. However, I am not sure Cambridge 851N can do that. I’m aware
  10. I have to admit I don't totally get the rationale for Apple Music to go lossless. Most of their devices playback music wirelessly via lossy AAC anyway. That said, when I listen to an AAC/mp3 track off a wireless AAC headphones, it sounds worse than a lossless ALAC file going to a wireless AAC headphones. I'm just not sure how many people would notice or even truly use the full lossless stream. I do Airplay lossless files to HomePods but is that something most people would notice? Not sure. But as our great leader @The Computer Audiophile likes to say, "I like options". In Cana
  11. Re-reading what @NWDave is looking for in his system, given the budget, I only have two advice. I suspect both are counter-intuitive to you. But would give you that extra realism in soundstage and sound in general. 1) Hire somebody to build a convolution filter for you so you can run it in Roon. Mitch Barrett has a good service at accuratesound.ca. You will need a laptop and USB microphone probably though. 2) Buy a Chord Hugo 2, feed it with a cheap Toslink cable from your Cambridge Audio 851N and use the Hugo 2 as your battery powered DAC/preamp. #1 is counterintuit
  12. Haha. I want to know how @The Computer Audiophile felt when he was told he is just “computer making money”. Anyway, another great interview. Thanks for sharing.
  13. I’m going to cheat a bit with my answer. It’s my USB microphone (currently miniDSP UMIK-1) that led to the most improvement to my system. I think a lot of people already said room acoustics, including speaker placement, seat placement, room treatment usually lead to the most improvement which I concur. This to me is followed by a proper convolution filter (or at least parametric EQ). However, with both room treatment and DSP, it is extremely easy to screw up. So as a starting point, you need a microphone to actually measure what changes you’re actually making. The micr
  14. Sounds like you’ve pushed your system very far. If you still have suspicion that you can push it further, you can always ask @mitchco or just hire him through his new service to setup the convolution filter for you. You already have all the latest measurements. You already know what your preferred frequency response is. So it’s just a matter of the optimal way to build the filter so I presume the cost would not be exorbitant. That said, sometimes, part of the fun is learning and understanding more about convolution filters. On the other hand, sometimes, it’s just more f
  15. It is hard to know whether you're hearing the 18" subs because you're localizing 20-60Hz from the Sub or more likely, whether you're hearing the 60-200Hz from the Sub even with the crossover. I believe the solutions are either a steeper crossover which can create other problems, or a lower crossover frequency, e.g. 50Hz or 40Hz to see if you run into the same problem.
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