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med_designer

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  1. I messaged Chris about this very topic earlier this year. With the name change to Audiophile Style it seems appropriate to at least discuss the pros/cons of the inclusion of vinyl specific forums. Sub topics could include: Tonearms: pivoted and linear tracking Cartridges: moving magnet, moving coil, moving iron. Turntables: direct drive vs. belt drive, suspended vs non-suspended designs, plinth materials etc. Preamps: solid state vs. tube Pressings: new vs. old (not all new pressings are bad, in many are quite good). This could also include mastering source discussions Care and Maintenance: All kinds of opportunities to discuss and argue here Setup: This topic can get into the weeds very quickly but could be used to discuss various approaches to setup based on the capabilities of the equipment in use as well as the what tools and experience the end user has. Someone may just want to know the how's and why's of a properly setup turntable. I spend the last year or so putting together a very nice vinyl rig that works for me. Is it better than my digital rig? If I am being honest perhaps not all the time but in some cases it is more enjoyable than the same album on any form of digital and in other cases the digital clearly wins. Two examples: Brian Eno: Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks: I have had this on CD for years and love this record. There is a new vinyl pressing with extra material so I picked up a copy and directly compared the two. In this case the CD wins. There is just too many quiet parts to this recording and my particular copy of vinyl has a few too many loud pops to be enjoyable. However, the vibe of the recording on vinyl is very good and probably captures more of the original intent. U2: Achtung Baby: Picked up a promo copy before pressed before the final mixes made it to CD. in this case the vinyl wins hands down. Much more body, punch, and balls than the CD or any digital counterpart. Great vibe. Quiet vinyl with no defects. This is now my go to reference for this album. The point is vinyl gives one options they may not have now. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Those not really interest should not bother. Is it expensive? Yes it can get silly expensive but for the most part a good vinyl rig will be similar to a good digital gig. Perhaps a bit more. Is it worth it? I think so, but how deep down the rabbit hole one goes will have an impact on your enjoyment. It is a commitment. Is there a need for good discussion? Yes, and while there are other forums one can join, having it all in one place where users can directly cross reference information would be valuable. Consider those just wanting to get into a basic vinyl rig with their existing computer based gear or those wanting to capture the signal from vinyl for playback from their music server. With has much discussion that has gone on in these threads of all kinds of topics one would think tweak happy audiophile types would really enjoy getting into the multitude of options and philosophies regarding a vinyl playback system. One thing I can absolutely guarantee. Be it an old time stereo enthusiasts or millennials getting their vinyl fix, none of them have any interest in MQA but would have interest in learning more about the sub-hobby of vinyl playback in the stereo ecosystem.
  2. Is there still a market for a PS3 with the correct software to create SACD.iso files? Thanks -
  3. Yes - similar followup question to @Confused - My D1100 would support up to 384kHz single BNC so I would think there would be some improvements but clearly not those found using it as a. "system", which for me is an entire McIntosh stack. In this case, the analog side of things plays a major role in the over sound just as we see in @austinpop review of the Chord units working together. Would be nice to try with a loaner if possible. However, if you know your system needs attention in other areas, that might be the better buy. I think I am just about done and thinking of a new Audi A7 - but that is another forum. 😀
  4. austinpop - By chance did you use the M Scaler with another DAC that does not support the Dual BNC configuration for the much higher sample rates and taps. I have a Mac D1100 and love it. Mostly use the proprietary DIN cable for CDs and SACDs. However, the potential to upscale to 384 could be something that might be worth a try. This would mean my SACDs would still use the DIN, but the PCM would use SPDIF/BNC. Thoughts or suggestions? BTW, very nice review. Thanks for your efforts.
  5. Kimo - A few thoughts in your integrated search. I am a McIntosh owner and very happy with my gear which consists of a D1100 DAC/pre, MCT450 SACD/CD transport, and a MC152 power amp. For the integrated consider the following. Both are rated at 200W and will easily exceed this rating in some situations. The both have built in upgradeable DAC modules. MA8900 https://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/integrated-amplifiers/MA8900 MA7200 https://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/integrated-amplifiers/MA7200 There are also a few interesting options of some fairly recent Mac integrateds on Audiogon and Chris's own Superphonica to consider as well. Having bought too many pieces of gear over the years it might be worth considering a "buy it once approach". IF you could spend some time with one of these or another Mac integrated you will know if it will work for you. Buy from your local dealer if possible due to weight and some flexibility with pricing. (BTW, I am not a dealer and work at a university). I understand that some do not care for the McIntosh brand for various reasons - we all have likes and dislikes. That being said it worth a listen to see if it could work for you.
  6. I got into audio quite by accident by wondering into a local high end store when I was round 11 or 12. Mom had gone to a few stores in this strip center and somehow I ended up in this store. It was located in central Pennsylvania. While there they showed me around and let me listen to all kinds of systems. Brands I remember them having where Luxman, Threshold, Dual, Magnepan, Phase Linear and Tandberg. After many trips to the store, listening and learning, I ended up with my 1st major upgrade. Perhaps 14 or 15 at the time. In collage we had a few great stores in town but my favorite was a small store with brands like Martin Logan, Mark Levinson, YBA, Wilson, and Kimber Kable. But my favorite system I ever heard there was a complete Cello system. Speakers, preamp, amp and cables. Simply wow. I wish I could have afforded it at the time. The speakers were two way floor standers. The take home point is most of my dealers have been patient and willing to work with me at all stages.. In home demos over the weekend were common. Trust and respect was a big part of the relationship. I do not feel dealers and customers have this like we once did. Today, high end audio of any type is not viewed in the best light. Many dealers are only interested in that 50k, 100k or more sale. They seem to only want custom designer homes where those buying the system don't even care what they have purchased or know anything about it. Also, this ads in the hi-fi rags with a rose and a bottle of wine, along with a gal in a little black dress and a strand of pearls, have done nothing to improve the perception of hi-fi.Many just seem to reject it or turn of completely. The audio industry has a dilemma. The customer base willing to fork out significant dollars for audio systems of any kind are going to dry up or die off. In some ways I regret getting involved. While I like my system, I would have a lot more cash on hand if I had been just happy with a basic system that got the job done. My latest experience has me not wanting to invest any more time or money in the hobby.
  7. I think I am going to keep my system as it stands. Overall it is pretty good. I only have two local dealers left and most of my system has come from them or local dealers that are now out-of-business. For a long time this hobby has been fun but recently the fun has slipped away. Going to try to be happy and not OCD recordings and the system to the point where listening is no longer enjoyable.
  8. Auditioning and purchasing audio gear is more difficult now than it was many years a go. Depending on where one lives, you may not have access to dealers that cary a variety of products let alone take them home for a home audition period. Enter the internet. While there are options to purchase and typically return if one is not happy with the gear they bought (typically 30 days or so) this potentially causes a number of problems and stress: 1. The hassle to buy and return it if not happy for whatever reason 2. Actually getting the refund processed 3. Maybe doing all over again with another product 4. Resorting to private sale if you can not return the item for some reason My question is what do you all do with buying, auditioning, and returning if need be? I just do not have any dealers locally that will do the home audition thing and I feel bad if I buy something and then what to return it. Some of this equipment is not cheap so it can make this hobby more stressful than it already is. Maybe time for a new hobby. Thanks -
  9. I currently own one of their basic power products and have looked at several other items including the DirectStream DAC and the P12 Regenerator. They have a various generous trade in policy and you do not have to trade a DAC for a DAC. You could trade an integrated for a Power Plant for example. I am currently considering a P12 for my system. Everyone I have ever spoken with at PS Audio has been very helpful and willing to spend time to answer my questions. It is probably worth giving them a try. I think I am going to with the P12 and maybe the P15.
  10. Torq - Welcome to CA. Thanks for your input and experience with R2R. I had looked at a few FPGA based DACs and will most likely get one at some point. I ended up with my NOS R2R as I wanted to try somethings whose lot in life only did D/A and did not take on other duties like a preamp or a streamer of some sort. My closest dealer is 250 miles away so I did not have an opportunity to audition the Chord. I had read about it and it is interesting how some like the Dave while others like the PS Audio DirectStream DAC. I almost purchased it over my Mojo Audio v3. The deciding factor to give it a try was after speaking with the designer at length it felt it was closest to one of my all time favorite DACS an Apogee DA1000E-20 from the late 90's. For reference, this is the Apogee DA1000E-20. The bottom unit was it's DC power supply. Should of hung on to it. The DACs outer aluminum casing was very warm to the touch. All the electronics were packed tightly. This later became the DA2000 which was the basis of the Cello Reference DAC shown below.For what it is worth I loved Cello electronics and speakers. Never had a chance to own them but had a local dealer in the mid 90s. Damm am old. Both use a Burr Brown/Texas Instruments PCM63P-K 20-bit. My Mojo Audio v3 uses Analog Devices AD1862 20-bit DAC
  11. amfrank - Good to read you found an R2R that is working for you. Agree on the 'more pleasing ' comment. It is very interesting how the same CD from the same transport and interface can sound so different from one of my DS based DACs to the new R2R DAC. Not 100% sure which DAC you found. Please provide link for make/model. buonassi - Welcome to the R2R club and the NOS crowd. Somewhat niche but I am finding it rewarding. My Mojo Audio V3 is still breaking in. Definitely experiment with the different inputs. I had been using the optical in while my new SPDIF cable arrived. While I know it is controversial in some threds as to interface choice and if cables make a difference, my experience says it does. Definitely experiment to see what you like best. Adding link to your DAC so folks can easily reference it. Please report back your findings. https://metrumacoustics.com/amethyst-det/ Current personal take home point: While new tech is interesting, I am currently finding more thoughtful implementations of older topologies in both the analog and digital realms is yielding more satisfying results. Even my friends and family members comment on the positive changes and they don't care about any of this stuff. When the untrained ear can pick out the change then we must be on to something.
  12. Thanks kvik - very comprehensive and detailed list. Clearly missed a few and quite a number that have been discussed here and some other forums.
  13. KingsRex - Over the years quite a few. Currently I use the McIntosh D150 for SACD/CD on it's custom DIN connector and the Mojo Audio V3 which I just received a week or so for CD. Before that I had used a Benchmark DAC1 HDR. Long before that I either used what was in my CD player or an external DAC such as a Apogee DA1000E with DC power supply. When looking back at players/DACS I have liked and upgraded from I discovered the DAC chip itself was almost always an R2R ladder and some were NOS. This is what prompted me to revisit this tech. The discrete R2R approach is also interesting but some claim it is very difficult to get the tolerances on the resistors tight and consistent enough to be effective. However, the likes of dCS and others succesfully using this design seem to indicate they have overcome this issue. Another interesting point on the Mojo v3, the designer stresses he importance of the power supply and how it provides power to the various parts of the DAC. I can say what I am hearing from it is making me happy. Less concerned with spectacular measurements that some DACS have and focusing on how it sounds and how I feel while listening to my favorite albums. Oh, one more thing. I have read comments on how R2R DACs may have vinyl quality to their sound. The way I am currently describing it is a high quality tape based reel to reel system. I may change my mind on this but for now I think it is a good description. Thanks for all the continued recommendations. BTW, would those of us who own a variety of the DACS mentioned be willing to write a mini review on our experiences? Might be fun and informative.
  14. Hi all. Thanks for all the interesting replies. Has anyone used the Shunyata Denali 6000T or other of their products. Some of the videos they have on their website are very interesting.
  15. I am looking a the new PS Audio Power Plant P12. I know there are many options and opinions. Just asking your approach and what has worked well for you or what do you have your eye on.
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