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Everything posted by internethandle

  1. I've use the Aptitlig blocks for a number of years now to get mostly various power-related components (conditioners etc.) off the carpeted floor (along with some Herbie's Audio Lab Superior Decoupling Spikes) in my apartment. They work great and definitely bring an audible improvement! You've prompted me to get some of the smaller ones to put under my SR4T and tx-USBUltra SE, I think, I keep forgetting to do that. Right now they're just on Herbie's Audio Lab Tenderfeet (which are just on top of a desk). Anyway, one of the better budget tweaks in audio, and can lead to Daiza et. al upgrades later on for those that want to first wade into vibration control. You've also reminded me I've been meaning to grab a Cardas Clear Power for my SR4T, too. Right now it's just got an older Harmonic Technology cord on it, which is nice, but not on the level of the Clear. They're great cords, at least in my system. Currently have a Beyond Clear feeding a PS Audio conditioner and a Clear feeding a headphone amp at the moment to great effect.
  2. Ugh, that sounds like a nightmare. FWIW, my SR4ST-12 (ordered mid Feb, arrived approx. mid to late April) took about 10 to 12 days to arrive from South Uist to Southern California via the standard Royal Mail -> USPS route. Still, I've had numerous issues with USPS bungling domestic shipping in the past, with probably one pretty seriously delayed international item, as well, so yes probably safer to go a different carrier if possible.
  3. With the introduction of the new JCAT XE card, I'm banking on someone possibly wanting to unload their used JCAT FEMTO USB card after an upgrade. I'm long overdue for replacing this 5 year old or so PPA V2 USB card, and have heard multiple good things about the FEMTO. Anyone with one available, please either privately message me or respond to this thread. Thanks very much!
  4. It's unfortunate you have to contend with two fuses in one component, especially for a digital piece, but out of your control. As for safety, I see no issue in using a stock fuse and a audiophile fuse together. It is true that audiophile fuses are semi-notorious for blowing, which is something that some folks try and mitigate by buying an amperage that is slightly or markedly higher than the rating for the component (so, if a 1A slow blow fuse is called for, some would order a 1.5A slow blow, or even a 2A) to give it more headroom, but in my thinking that is more dangerous in the sense that in the event of a overvoltage/short/surge the fuse may not do its original job and fail to blow resulting in component damage. If your audiophile fuse blows just because it's an audiophile fuse and blows prematurely, the only problem is you have a dead audiophile fuse, your component should be unharmed. Note that I've only heard of these issues and have never experienced them personally (and I've done quite a bit of fuse rolling at this point). Premature blowing seems more likely to happen in large amps, from the accounts I've read. I think your approach re: using a stock fuse paired with a SR Orange to play with directionality is most sensible, yes. That way you can isolate the sound change for each fuse. I re-read the insert that comes with the SR Orange last night and I had it slightly wrong -- SR does not hold the position that their fuses are bidirectional -- the "correct" position is supposed to be left to right when looking at the fuse's lettering/logo. The issue arrives with determining how current flows through the fuse holder in the component -- most components have a left to right flow orientation, but some do not depending on design, so for that reason SR recommends switching the fuse direction if things seem to sound incorrect or worse than stock at first (which is pretty subjective!).
  5. Thanks for that write up and the photos. Extremely impressive job on that cabling, especially your tackling of the 24 pin! PHD really does seem to be thriving under the standard production arrangement with Stephen & co. -- I'm aware there will still be some desiring more esoteric builds from Paul himself and consequently facing the same issues with respect to very long lead times, but having a lineup of supplies available within a reliable timetable really helps make the value of their products more evident to more people. I've been so happy with my SR4T that, only five days in, I'm considering doubling down and placing another order.
  6. Yes I used the tab for leverage - it looks like this once it's out -- the plastic holder that slides out keeps the fuse in place, the actual fuse contact/cradle is inside the inlet: It did take enough force that the holder flew out and onto the floor when I got it open, so be a bit careful (not that there's much to damage).
  7. Yeah if there's a weakness in Ghent's lineup, it's that there's not many silver options. The cable you linked is the only one, IIRC, and I know from previous discussions here on DC cables that no one's sure who manufactures it and it just seems like regular copper for the conductors, no fancy audiophile metallurgies. It's good that it's star quad, since there is a line of thought from John Swenson that star quad geometries lower inductance (I think?) in DC applications and result in a benefit, but if I was going to get a Ghent star quad cable I'd probably go with the Gotham or the Canare OFC option. Gotham has a ridiculous amount of shielding as well as fancy copper, plus some good reviews on here. I was unable to find comparisons between the UPOCC or OFC Neotech cables from Ghent and the Gotham. I am using a Gotham between a DXP-1A5DSC and a Paul Pang V2 card, which seemed notably better than the Uptone-manufactured star quad cable.
  8. I know what you mean! It definitely was the hardest to open of that IEC inlet style of fuse holder that I've encountered. I eventually got it with a kitchen butter knife, although I think the right size of flat head screwdriver would also work, mine were just too large. I think it was so difficult because it has an unusually beefy cradle for the fuse inside the inlet that grips the fuse pretty tight.
  9. As for fuse direction, in my experience: yes, it matters. SR takes the position that you should try both ways and see which one you prefer. The Blue did sound better to my ears in the Bifrost 2 with the lettering going the opposite direction of current, the Orange so far I've only tried with the lettering going the the same direction as current. Other companies will say differently, however (I'm fairly certain HiFi Tuning, for instance, says to place their fuses with lettering in the same direction of current).
  10. The SR4T uses a 4 pin XLR output, so you need to use the "Oyaide to XLR(Male-4P) (for Paul Hynes SR5/SR7)" option below those first options. The XLR plug Ghent uses is gold plated a Neutrik, which pairs nicely with the SR4T because its female XLR port is also gold plated Neutrik. For the other side of the cable either a right angle or straight Oyaide plug would be fine (although it looks like you would have to e-mail them to custom order a 4 pin XLR to right-angle plug if you wanted one - an example of a right angle plug is here), but make sure it's set to (default) "DC-2.1G" for the 2.1mm plug and not the 2.5mm Oyaide plug, since the DC ports Uptone uses accept 2.1mm plugs (as do most DC ports, IME). Keep in mind with Ghent that because they are in China coronavirus has impacted their shipping severely, so they are recommending a ~$23 USD expedited shipping method, which I used. It's very quick (took about 6 days to California), but pricey. It looks to me from the picture str-1 provided that PHD's own new UPOCC DC cables are using the same Neotech UPOCC wire that Ghent is using (red insulation gives it away), however it's just twisted bare wire with no shielding like the Ghent, and the plugs are not as nice for the XLR or DC ends (they just look like generic ones, unsure of manufacture).
  11. FWIW the DAC I tried the Orange and Blue in was also a Schiit DAC (Bifrost 2), so it's possible, at least, that the Orange will also translate to good synergy with the Yggy A2. Since I don't have the Blue around any longer (returned it for the Orange), I can't tell you how well it pairs with the SR4T, unfortunately. I do think it's correct to suggest that it's difficult to say whether an experience matching a fuse to a DAC like the Bifrost 2 would translate 1 for 1 to an LPS like the SR4T. I suspect it could be a very different result, and although my ears do hear a familiar holography/euphonic-sounding presentation with the Orange in the SR4T, it's hard to say how much of that is the fuse vs. the supply itself! The place I've seen the most discussion of fuses in general is over at What's Best Forum, where a lot of users have seemingly tried the gamut of audiophile fuses and many of them zeroed in on the Blue, for many months, as the best of the batch. There were only a few detractors, most of whom liked I think the Audio Magic Beeswax fuse instead (which is even more expensive!). Orange has since taken over Blue there, also, but I guess the previous consensus about the Blue might lend some credence toward it working well in the SR4T.
  12. The SR4 and SR4T conveniently list the fuse rating needed on the sticker below each unit (which also includes the voltage setting information), the fuse rating being 1A Time Delay/Slow Blow. The DC cable is UPOCC copper (https://www.ghentaudio.com/part/dc-7n16c.html). I did not compare the stock fuse to the SR Orange in the SR4T, but I have compared it to stock vs. Hifi Tuning Supreme Black vs. Synergistic Research Blue in my DAC, and found it to lend a sense of holographic staging vs. the blue, with much better imaging and much cleaner. The Blue actually sounded a bit muddy vs. the Supreme Black, and the stock just sounded flatter, one dimensional, and lifeless vs. all others. So in other words, in my DAC at least the ranking went something like SR Orange >>>> Hifi Tuning Supreme Black > SR Blue > Stock.
  13. Received my SR4ST-12 yesterday. Excellent packaging job -- perhaps the most bubble wrap I've seen on any item I've ordered in audio! Swapped out the fuse for a Synergistic Research Orange, DC cable is a Ghent Audio DC-7N16C (their UPOCC Neotech JSSG360 cable), power cable is an older Harmonic Technology Pro AC-11 I had available, some Mapleshade style cork feet under it, and a Alan Maher passive filter on top of the chassis in the transformer's approximate area. Anyway, even right of out the box into my ISO Regen, wow! Insane improvement over the Linear Solution LPS-912 I was using beforehand, which I had found to sound a teeny bit better than an Uptone LPS-1. It retained all I enjoyed about the LPS-912 (nice high extension, good imaging) and added tons in dynamics, body, bass extension, and staging. Anyway, the Turbo's worth it!
  14. FWIW I ordered my SR4ST-12 on 02/17, and it was shipped on 04/17. I'm located in Southern California. This is about in line with current timetables for SR4's from this thread and elsewhere, with an approximate 8 week order to ship date, so I wouldn't worry much as long as you hear something by the second week of May or so. Personally, I was impressed Stephen has been able to stick to typical build times given he's essentially flying solo amid COVID-19!
  15. Thought I'd add that this past week, after inquiring about pre-paying for a 400W LPS, Larry informed me that the 400W will soon be discontinued for an upcoming 500W LPS, which he said he would e-mail me about when available. No other details than that, but suppose somebody could ask. Unsure if that also means the 200W will be discontinued for the 330W.
  16. I've considered that, yes. I'm not sure, however, of whether or not this would have a positive or negative impact on sound quality. It stands to reason that if the CPU is not being tasked with also serving as a basic GPU via onboard Intel Graphics that this may help SQ, but if you're using a "audiophile" USB3 output PCIe card (as both your friend and I seem to be - I also use a Paul Pang card), a video card theoretically may add "noise" to the PCI bus/compete for PCI resources/lanes. Also, as far as I know, using a video card does not completely disable Intel Graphics, and there's not, on most motherboards, a way to even do so, so it's still running in some fashion, just perhaps in a less intensive way. Really no clear way to know without trying it out, and I haven't ever seen a definitive answer from any music server builders/computer audiophiles on the subject. I've seen some who claim a video card is beneficial to SQ, others who say the opposite. Also, from what I can tell, most high end servers (Pink Faun, Sound Galleries, others) seem to use Intel Graphics for video output, which would seem to indicate a video card is not preferred, but who knows!
  17. Unfortunately I don't have a solution for you, but this same issue occurs with my Paul Pang TCXO-modded ASUS motherboard with Intel graphics from time to time. It does seem to stabilize over time and happen less and less frequently, but I have not found any reliable way of either provoking it into happening or getting it to stop other than waiting it out. My suggestion, then, would be to keep the PC on 24/7 and see if the problem eventually either lessens or stops. Restarting the computer or doing some other major system change (re-installing Windows, for instance) always seemed to make it happen with the highest amount of frequency, which was very annoying, but after leaving my audio PC on 24/7 for a number days it (usually) would stop happening. Still, every once in awhile it will re-appear without warning for a few days (less frequent drop outs than if I did a system change of some sort, but still there and annoying), and I again just have to wait it out until it stabilizes again.
  18. By "helps a Modi 2" we're still talking about something that should be below the threshold of audibility, correct? As in, the Modi 2's measured noisiness sans ISO Regen/USB Hub/etc. I still find this whole enterprise of measuring stuff very confusing in that regard. It does seem to me that Uptone know their audience, and that audience (the ones who subjectively hear an improvement with the Regen/sundry accessories, or believe there's a problem to be fixed - namely, audiophiles) are extremely unlikely to be running extremely long USB cables that came with their printer. They're much more likely to either be using a) an audiophile USB cable b) a direct adapter as Uptone has recommended for some time or, at the least, c) a short run of a standard USB 2.0 compliant cable. Faulting them for sub-standard possible scenarios with respect to USB connection seems to me rather silly. It's like faulting a french press maker for not explicitly telling a customer their coffee will taste like crap when the customer decides to use Folgers with the press. I feel similarly about faulting them for (probably inaudible!) mains harmonics generated by the default SMPS, although I see the point of maybe beefing up the caveats on the marketing material to indicate just how sub-optimal of a solution that might be (or just not selling it).
  19. I'm also having trouble reconciling his measuring jitter plots/distributions and correlating them with his son reporting having heard computer activity through his DAC, which Amir posits is through the shared PC ground (this is in his semi-veiled Bifrost measurements). Objectivists I've run into tend to claim that hearing computer activity through a DAC is impossible, or that jitter numbers outside of huge spikes are inconsequential. Or take Stoddard's comments about jitter numbers mattering most at the DAC's wordclock and not its output: How much of what Amir is measuring, in other words, should (objectively!) be audible? I'm asking these things mostly out of ignorance and/or genuine curiosity, so please don't take me for necessarily poking holes for the sake of doing so.
  20. His Q.V. does appear to be fairly impressive if he is who he says he is and it would be quite an elaborate ruse if he isn't. Still, I suppose one could (and this seems to be the implied if not explicit position of most in the audiophile industry who have bothered to respond to his measurements) make the case that having worked on computer based audio standards and the like is not the same thing as having designed a piece of audio equipment.
  21. Amir's brief autiobiography linked by esldude doesn't really give me much confidence in who he might be. Whenever someone provides a series of unverifiable claims about their identity that all read as highly impressive (he's read "all" the books and papers on DAC measurement, he introduced the use of AP analyzers to Sony, his work on signal processing at Microsoft touched "practically any product that plays audio"(? - he seems to mean with optical media here, but I'm not sure), his measurements "have been published in magazines and reviewed by countless people in the industry and research[sic]", etc.), it tends to perk my ears a bit. I think who he is would be less important if his work wasn't potentially effecting the livelihoods and reputations of what are often times small/boutique audio companies who deserve to know who they're up against.
  22. Yes I suppose that's part of the issue - there's so few out there doing any sort of third-party measuring of audiophile gear that when one person pops up a large (maybe undue) amount of heed is given to their conclusions, which would be helped if there were more out there doing the same to the same equipment. It's going to be pretty hard to find a lot of people with an AP, although the units Jason himself mentions in the Schiit Happened chapter I linked above I suppose could be a starting point. (edit: QuantAsylum is the manufacturer of said units) And yes, I've always found Stereophile's measurements section partially so illuminating because they include a manufacturer comment/response.
  23. Well you could reverse that question and ask why one SHOULD trust Amir. Isn't one of the functions of objectivism espousing the idea that one prove that something is true before asking that it be disproven? I could be totally mistaken, but I haven't seen any credentials from him other than retired tech executive with apparently a lot of cash to burn and (purportedly) an Audio Precision Analyzer. Other than that there's a paucity of information about who he is/might represent, what exact equipment and conditions he tests with/in, etc. It's also bizarre that we're even having this conversation, given that the conclusion Amir reached with his output-only measurements of the ISO Regen's effect on various DAC's is that ISO Regen provides no additional benefit. That he found one solitary DAC where it had a measurable effect is nice, but I severely doubt Uptone is going to want to market their device as only measurably effective on Schiit Modi 2's, not that they'd necessarily need to (nor would Schiit likely let them). It's equally bizarre to me that a group of audio objectivists have concluded there are problems with products that tend to attract objectivists (if I recall correctly, Amir has also found fault with a Bifrost) due to their low prices/irreverent marketing and poo-pooing of audiophile "voodoo." I can imagine Schiit objectivist acolytes demanding in turn that Amir and co. prove that such aberrations are even audible. In terms of Schiit's response/why their DAC might be found to be behaving this way, I can only guess, but if I had to conjecture I'd say it would probably resemble something in Jason Stoddard's "Schiit Happened" chapter where he explicates measurements in general and specifically how Schiit employs them in designing and testing their own product, linked below: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/schiit-happened-the-story-of-the-worlds-most-improbable-start-up.701900/page-467#post_11763661 Still, for all my apologism, I do find it a little suspect, and wonder if the problems that Schiit was finding with customers having dropouts etc. with their USB implementations in their various DAC's (which was one of the primary reasons they developed the Wyrd, by their own account) has more to do with their USB receiving designs' vulnerabilities to USB port noise than with the noisy ports themselves. Regardless, with Gen 5 USB/Eitr it seems like they've at least solved that issue for most of their DAC's, but noticeably not for Modi, at least internally to the DAC and not yet.
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