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austinpop

A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

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9 hours ago, hols said:

Hi Larry,

 

Now that I have further burned the isoREGEN  and USPCB for more than 2 weeks it seems an appropriate time to give it an intermediate term assessment.

 

Great to hear your update on the ISO-Regen. Your experience confirms to me that ultimately every system is unique, every listener is unique, and what matters in the end is what you hear, and not what you read! Your insights are most appreciated.

 

BTW - I also wanted to ask you for an update on the Cybershaft reference clock driving the tX-USBultra. I went back and reread your comments. I had missed the fact that you felt the improvement from the Cybershaft was as great as the improvement of the tX itself. That sounds quite exciting.

 

On 6/27/2017 at 11:45 AM, hols said:

I would say the improvement is even greater than the experience of from no SOtM to adding the SOtM ts-USB Ultra. The improvement is mainly in giving a rock solid soundstage, the presence as if in the venue and also the more accurate timbre and timing of different instruments within the orchestra. I don't have the experience of listening to the Mutec 10M reference clock yet. But the Cybershaft which is less than half of the price of the Mutec is actually a very worthwhile addition to the SOtM especially if one is contemplating maximising use of all the 4 clocks from the SOtM. 

 

I know @romaz and @Bamber are getting the Mutec Ref 10, but that's just way outside my price range, whereas a used Cybershaft under $1k seems possible - althought they don't pop up for sale too often here in the US.

 

Any intermediate-term updates here?

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hols   
29 minutes ago, austinpop said:

BTW - I also wanted to ask you for an update on the Cybershaft reference clock driving the tX-USBultra. I went back and reread your comments. I had missed the fact that you felt the improvement from the Cybershaft was as great as the improvement of the tX itself. That sounds quite exciting.

 

 

I know @romaz and @Bamber are getting the Mutec Ref 10, but that's just way outside my price range, whereas a used Cybershaft under $1k seems possible - althought they don't pop up for sale too often here in the US.

 

Any intermediate-term updates here?

Hi Rajiv,

 

I must say that the Cybershaft premier OCXO 10M reference clock has become an inseparable part of my SOtM tx-USB Ultra. Together they provide you with a rock solid soundstage, a feeling of right proportion and like providing you with all the backbone so you can add on your whatever colour you like. Without it the soundstage got shattered, unclear focus and most importantly lack of presence.  I have not tried to separately test taking away the Cybershaft from the SOtM but I have tested with and without the SOtM (combo with the Cybershaft)while testing the Singxer SU-1 again today with the Lush cable. I tried the following 3 settings

(1)  isoREGEN & Lush cable to SOtM then Vertere HB USB cable to Holo Spring playing Dop DSD 256( I am using Linux and not able to get 512 with Sinxer SU-1)

(2) same as (1) but Vertere HB USB cable to Sinxer SU-1 and then Nordost Blue heaven hdmi cable (I2S)to Holo Spring

(3) same as (2) but take away SOtM combo and Vertere. That is isoREGEN and Lush cable to Sinxer then Blue heaven hdmi to Holo Spring.

 

Result is that (1) and (2) are quite similar. No more superiority of using Singxer SU-1 and I2S . Same result as tested 2 months ago with only SOtM without Cybershaft.  And with (3) that is without the SOtM combo the soundstage just shrinks and shattered. Even though with the Lush cable it cannot give you the accuracy and focus and presence of the SOtM. That confirms my opinion that the SOtM combo is essential and provides you with the backbone. Without the backbone everything collapsed. 

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17 minutes ago, hols said:

Hi Rajiv,

 

I must say that the Cybershaft premier OCXO 10M reference clock has become an inseparable part of my SOtM tx-USB Ultra. Together they provide you with a rock solid soundstage, a feeling of right proportion and like providing you with all the backbone so you can add on your whatever colour you like. Without it the soundstage got shattered, unclear focus and most importantly lack of presence.  I have not tried to separately test taking away the Cybershaft from the SOtM but I have tested with and without the SOtM (combo with the Cybershaft)while testing the Singxer SU-1 again today with the Lush cable. I tried the following 3 settings

(1)  isoREGEN & Lush cable to SOtM then Vertere HB USB cable to Holo Spring playing Dop DSD 256( I am using Linux and not able to get 512 with Sinxer SU-1)

(2) same as (1) but Vertere HB USB cable to Sinxer SU-1 and then Nordost Blue heaven hdmi cable (I2S)to Holo Spring

(3) same as (2) but take away SOtM combo and Vertere. That is isoREGEN and Lush cable to Sinxer then Blue heaven hdmi to Holo Spring.

 

Result is that (1) and (2) are quite similar. No more superiority of using Singxer SU-1 and I2S . Same result as tested 2 months ago with only SOtM without Cybershaft.  And with (3) that is without the SOtM combo the soundstage just shrinks and shattered. Even though with the Lush cable it cannot give you the accuracy and focus and presence of the SOtM. That confirms my opinion that the SOtM combo is essential and provides you with the backbone. Without the backbone everything collapsed. 

Hi Hols,  how are you powering the ISO Regen or SU-1? SOTM TX?  Sorry if I missed it.

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48 minutes ago, hols said:

Hi Rajiv,

 

I must say that the Cybershaft premier OCXO 10M reference clock has become an inseparable part of my SOtM tx-USB Ultra. Together they provide you with a rock solid soundstage, a feeling of right proportion and like providing you with all the backbone so you can add on your whatever colour you like. Without it the soundstage got shattered, unclear focus and most importantly lack of presence.  I have not tried to separately test taking away the Cybershaft from the SOtM but I have tested with and without the SOtM (combo with the Cybershaft)while testing the Singxer SU-1 again today with the Lush cable. I tried the following 3 settings

(1)  isoREGEN & Lush cable to SOtM then Vertere HB USB cable to Holo Spring playing Dop DSD 256( I am using Linux and not able to get 512 with Sinxer SU-1)

(2) same as (1) but Vertere HB USB cable to Sinxer SU-1 and then Nordost Blue heaven hdmi cable (I2S)to Holo Spring

(3) same as (2) but take away SOtM combo and Vertere. That is isoREGEN and Lush cable to Sinxer then Blue heaven hdmi to Holo Spring.

 

Result is that (1) and (2) are quite similar. No more superiority of using Singxer SU-1 and I2S . Same result as tested 2 months ago with only SOtM without Cybershaft.  And with (3) that is without the SOtM combo the soundstage just shrinks and shattered. Even though with the Lush cable it cannot give you the accuracy and focus and presence of the SOtM. That confirms my opinion that the SOtM combo is essential and provides you with the backbone. Without the backbone everything collapsed. 

 

Thanks - that's an exciting report! 

 

Do you have a link to the Lush cable?

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3 minutes ago, romaz said:

I found a few minutes today to log on and I read @Hols posts with interest and I thought I’d comment.  This will be my only post today and I probably won’t comment again for a couple of weeks and so forgive me if I offer no follow up to this post.

 

I have had a well broken-in Iso Regen with USPCB in house for the past week thanks to the generosity of another CA member.  It has been playing almost non-stop and it has well over 350 hours on it.  During the week that I have had it, I’m not sure I have heard it change at all and so I am presuming it is pretty well broken in.  With the Iso Regen, I have thus far used it exclusively with an LPS-1.  At some point, I will try it with my SR7.

 

Like the opinion of many others, my opinion is that it is a wonderful device resulting in a very smooth and refined sound, rich in tone with great bass and a denser midrange presence compared to what SOtM offers.  In my system, turning GI on results in an improvement but the difference is very small.  If I have one criticism, the soundstage is considerably flatter than SOtM’s offerings.  It does not provide the detail delicacy or the layering of detail that the tX provides so well and so I consider it a lower resolution device.  Is this a big deal?  For complex orchestral music, yes, this is a big deal.  For studio vocal recordings where artificial reverb is mixed in, not so much.  In fact, this is the type of music where I find the Iso Regen to excel in, but that is just my opinion.  

 

If I was forced to select one USB endpoint, based on the type of music I listen to the most, I would go with the tX.  Fortunately, I am not forced to choose only one.  If I have a dilemma, I find the Adnaco and the Iso Regen to sound very similar.  At this point, it is too soon to draw any comparative conclusions but one thing is clear, the Iso Regen is a winner.  

 

My point with this post is really about USB cables.  I have been a part of several blinded USB cable shootouts over the past few years.  At one point, having compared the AQ Diamond, WireWorld Silver Starlight, Synergistic Research USB Active  SE, Light Harmonic LightSpeed,  among nearly a dozen others, I found I had preference for the TotalDac USB and so this was my reference USB cable for nearly a year.  This was eventually replaced by the Curious USB (both the 0.8m and the 0.2m Regen Link) and my favorable endorsement of this cable over the TotalDac USB is still featured on the Curious website.  Like many audiophile USB cables, it turns out the Curious USB doesn’t meet USB 2.0 spec (Rob Woodland owns no measuring equipment) but still, I found it superior sounding to my TotalDac USB.

 

Last year, during another shootout, I was surprised by how easily the Curious USB was beaten by other USB cables.  I found the Curious slightly bettered by the Audience AU24SE and Transparent Premium USB but rather soundly beaten by the Clarity Cables Natural USB.  This is a cable comprised of single crystal silver with a cotton dielectric.  Data and power lines are separated and this cable is extremely heavily shielded.  Each cable is handmade by Chris Owens, a former NASA engineer and measured to exactly 90 ohms differential impedance, something that he stated is not easy to do.  What this cable brings is speed and detail without harshness or thinness and a very expansive soundstage.  Not as emotive in the midrange as the Transparent Premium USB, which is my second favorite USB cable, but much more resolving.  With the Clarity Cables Natural USB, I had come to the conclusion that meeting USB 2.0 spec mattered with regards to USB signal integrity.  At $1k for a 0.75m length, this cable is not cheap but it has been my reference USB cable for the past year.

 

Comparing the USPCB to various USB cables I presently have on hand, one thing is clear, USB cables can make a big difference and cable disbelievers should take note.  With most cables I have on hand, the USPCB asserts its superiority.  There is probably no USB cable in existence that meets USB spec as perfectly and this is as close to an invisible cable as there is, however, is it the best?  This is where system needs and personal preference come into play.

 

When directly comparing the USPCB against my Clarity Cables Natural USB, the USPCB has greater immediacy.  It is more “in your face” whereas my Clarity Natural has a calmer, more relaxed presentation.  The USPCB has a more commanding leading edge and crystal clear clarity that makes you take notice immediately although the Clarity Natural presents detail and delicacy every bit as well.  For my Omegas, I easily prefer the USPCB but for the Voxativs I have on hand, I prefer the Clarity Natural.  It just sounds more “natural.”

 

I took notice of Hol’s comments about his new Lush USB cable and I find Peter Stordiau’s approach fascinating, that meeting USB 2.0 spec in theory results in better signal integrity but does it lead to better, more natural sound?  I don’t know the answer to that but I have placed my order for a Lush USB cable and so I’ll be able to hear for myself.  I have also ordered SOtM’s new USB cable.  It is not yet on their website but it incorporates the exact same filter block used in the dCBL-CAT7.  In the end, I suspect it will once again come down to system needs and personal preference.

 

Regarding the rest of my system, I will comment once everything has adequately been broken in but because of other obligations, it will be a couple of weeks.  My REF10 and Habst clock cables are due to arrive tomorrow.  I have a couple of other unexpected surprises.   I have no idea how this tuns out.

 

Thanks for stopping by and tantalizing us! Now we wait. :D

 

When you next get a chance - I was curious what you thought of the ISO-R both before and after the tX.

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Superdad   
2 hours ago, romaz said:

At $1k for a 0.75m length, this cable is not cheap but it has been my reference USB cable for the past year.

....

When directly comparing the USPCB against my Clarity Cables Natural USB, the USPCB has greater immediacy.  It is more “in your face” whereas my Clarity Natural has a calmer, more relaxed presentation.  The USPCB has a more commanding leading edge and crystal clear clarity that makes you take notice immediately although the Clarity Natural presents detail and delicacy every bit as well.  For my Omegas, I easily prefer the USPCB but for the Voxativs I have on hand, I prefer the Clarity Natural.  It just sounds more “natural.”

 

Well length aside (and I recognize that our shorty can only be used in some places), our $35 versus $1K makes for a heck of a value, yes? 

 

Thanks Roy!  And glad you enjoyed the ISO REGEN so much as well.  :)

 

Best,

--Alex C.

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hols   
9 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

Hi Hols,  how are you powering the ISO Regen or SU-1? SOTM TX?  Sorry if I missed it.

the iso Regen is powered by LPS1 enregized by Teradak linear power supply. SU-1 is on its stock power supply and powered from my digital stream power conditioners using a Grover Huffman power cord. SOtM is 12V and powered from Uptone JS-2. Cybershaft has its stock R core linear power supply and is driven with a Furutech power cord.

 

9 hours ago, ted_b said:

Hols, you can go here and get the firmware required.

https://download.shenzhenaudio.com/Singxer/

Thanks Ted for pointing the way. Actually I have already done the firmware upgrade in May but it only works in Win 10 and failed to work in my Linux Debian system.(Don't know the exact reason but don't really have enough time to sort out the reason).

 

1 hour ago, romaz said:

I found a few minutes today to log on and I read @hols posts with interest and I thought I’d comment. 

 

Thanks Roy for your very detailed analysis which I agree entirely. I do have a couple points to add.

 

First I think obviously there are quite many similarities between our systems yet on the other hand there are quite a number of differences. I use a 'big speaker system' TAD 2404 speakers and driven by a whole set of Cello Suite preamp and Palette and Performance poweramp. As for music types I listen to mostly Classical music with a tendency to listen to more Orchestral pieces like Mahler and less on vocal pieces. I also do some amateur recording using Merging Technology Horus and Pyramix software to do live recording. The only time I use headphone is when I do recording. I guess that probably is quite different from what Roy is used to.

 

Second, I have no intention to bring in USB cable difference because this has all along been a very controversial area. I have gone over many comparisons of USB cable too although I confess I don't know the underlying technology( if any )of these cables. We have listened to TotalDac USB cable way back 2 or 3 years ago. We have also tried the Light Harmonics, Sablon cable, the 8 inches Curious USB cable before and recently the $5k Goebel USB cable. I still ended up using mainly the Vertere HB cable for its very dynamic character as well as an excellent high. It was purely coincidence that this Lush cable came in few days ago and it is a great cable right from first hearing and most importantly it is very reasonably priced (as are all the products from Phasure and I still consider Phasure NOS1a G3 upgrade together with his xxHighend player the best digital sound at whatever price). Peter's other USB cable Clarixa is also an excellent cable that is more on the accurate and very balanced side. But this Lush cable adds quite some bits of musicality without affecting the transparency and balance and should be a dream cable becoming reality. The Uptone USPCB is also a 'great USB cable' but unfortunately the Lush is really too strong on comparison.

 

And I eagerly await your further reports.

 

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hurka   

I created my uspcb for test with  1mm diam.4cm long high purity silver.

The uptone stuff sound better.But I need 2pcs Ucap psu,and short high quality Y cable feeding iso regen usb input.

otherwise sound worse.

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hols   
4 minutes ago, sadekkhalifa said:

@hols would you please post the link for lush usb cable 

you have to go to 

www.phasure.com and register to sign in. Go to Chatter and forum related stuff and you can find the Lush thread and you can post there saying what length you need and Peter will contact you with email afterwards.

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BigAlMc   
4 hours ago, hols said:

you have to go to 

www.phasure.com and register to sign in. Go to Chatter and forum related stuff and you can find the Lush thread and you can post there saying what length you need and Peter will contact you with email afterwards.

 

Hi @sadekkhalifa,

 

I'm not registered at the Phasure forums - but I have looked there a couple times as some interesting stuff going on.

 

But I placed my order yesterday by simply emailing Peter (PeterSt) at:

Sales @ Phasure dot com

 

Peter responded promptly and it was an easy transaction from there.

 

Regards,

Alan

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2 hours ago, BigAlMc said:

 

Hi @sadekkhalifa,

 

I'm not registered at the Phasure forums - but I have looked there a couple times as some interesting stuff going on.

 

But I placed my order yesterday by simply emailing Peter (PeterSt) at:

Sales @ Phasure dot com

 

Peter responded promptly and it was an easy transaction from there.

 

Regards,

Alan

This way is more easy than registering in the forum. 

 

Thanks Alan @BigAlMc

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New guy   

I would like to thank everyone on this thread for all of your hard work and info! My system has gone from a disappointment to one of pure enjoyment. In fact CA has become my daily must read.  Last night was the 1st time since i began building my system that i was able to sit back and marvel at the sound quality. Every tweak, every improvement, every upgrade over the last few months has been a step forward thanks to this thread. Last night my IsoRegen must have fully broke in and the sound is amazing!

 

So with that said....I am looking forward to three more improvements in my system.

1. Schiit Bitfrost multibit DAC upgrade

This week Schiit announced that they have improved the USB input on my DAC and for $150 they will install a new USB input board which includes a new clock and galvanic isolation.  Going by the theory that I should have the best clock closest to the DAC this should be interesting. They will have my DAC tommorrow and I should know next week how it improves my system.

2. Upgrade microRendu to version 1.4. I am going to do this after i get my Bitfrost DAC back next week.

3. Replace my hard USB adapter between my microRendu and IsoRegen when available.

 

This is great time to be an audiophile!

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1 hour ago, New guy said:

I would like to thank everyone on this thread for all of your hard work and info! My system has gone from a disappointment to one of pure enjoyment. In fact CA has become my daily must read.  Last night was the 1st time since i began building my system that i was able to sit back and marvel at the sound quality. Every tweak, every improvement, every upgrade over the last few months has been a step forward thanks to this thread. Last night my IsoRegen must have fully broke in and the sound is amazing!

 

So with that said....I am looking forward to three more improvements in my system.

1. Schiit Bitfrost multibit DAC upgrade

This week Schiit announced that they have improved the USB input on my DAC and for $150 they will install a new USB input board which includes a new clock and galvanic isolation.  Going by the theory that I should have the best clock closest to the DAC this should be interesting. They will have my DAC tommorrow and I should know next week how it improves my system.

2. Upgrade microRendu to version 1.4. I am going to do this after i get my Bitfrost DAC back next week.

3. Replace my hard USB adapter between my microRendu and IsoRegen when available.

 

This is great time to be an audiophile!

Looking forward for your observations 

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1 hour ago, New guy said:

I would like to thank everyone on this thread for all of your hard work and info! My system has gone from a disappointment to one of pure enjoyment. In fact CA has become my daily must read.  Last night was the 1st time since i began building my system that i was able to sit back and marvel at the sound quality. Every tweak, every improvement, every upgrade over the last few months has been a step forward thanks to this thread. Last night my IsoRegen must have fully broke in and the sound is amazing!

 

That is what it is all about! So glad you're enjoying your system.

 

1 hour ago, New guy said:

So with that said....I am looking forward to three more improvements in my system.

1. Schiit Bitfrost multibit DAC upgrade

This week Schiit announced that they have improved the USB input on my DAC and for $150 they will install a new USB input board which includes a new clock and galvanic isolation.  Going by the theory that I should have the best clock closest to the DAC this should be interesting. They will have my DAC tommorrow and I should know next week how it improves my system.

2. Upgrade microRendu to version 1.4. I am going to do this after i get my Bitfrost DAC back next week.

3. Replace my hard USB adapter between my microRendu and IsoRegen when available.

 

Yes, please definitely report back on the impact of these changes from your current baseline. The Gen 5 USB board is very intriguing. The question on a lot of minds would be:

  1. straight up, does it improve the sound of the DAC?
  2. does it render you immune to upstream devices like the ISO-Regen?

While I expect 1, the answer to 2 remains open, despite Schiit's claims.

 

1 hour ago, New guy said:

This is great time to be an audiophile!

 

Where have I heard that before? 9_9

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New guy   
1 hour ago, austinpop said:

Yes, please definitely report back on the impact of these changes from your current baseline. The Gen 5 USB board is very intriguing. The question on a lot of minds would be:

  1. straight up, does it improve the sound of the DAC?
  2. does it render you immune to upstream devices like the ISO-Regen?

While I expect 1, the answer to 2 remains open, despite Schiit's claims.

I am looking forward to trying every combination, especially going straight from the computer to the DAC with nothing in between.  I cannot imagine removing the isoRegen would be better though.

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amir57bs   
On 7/17/2017 at 4:39 AM, romaz said:

Last year, during another shootout, I was surprised by how easily the Curious USB was beaten by other USB cables.  I found the Curious slightly bettered by the Audience AU24SE and Transparent Premium USB but rather soundly beaten by the Clarity Cables Natural USB.  This is a cable comprised of single crystal silver with a cotton dielectric.  Data and power lines are separated and this cable is extremely heavily shielded.  Each cable is handmade by Chris Owens, a former NASA engineer and measured to exactly 90 ohms differential impedance, something that he stated is not easy to do.  What this cable brings is speed and detail without harshness or thinness and a very expansive soundstage.  Not as emotive in the midrange as the Transparent Premium USB, which is my second favorite USB cable, but much more resolving.  With the Clarity Cables Natural USB, I had come to the conclusion that meeting USB 2.0 spec mattered with regards to USB signal integrity.  At $1k for a 0.75m length, this cable is not cheap but it has been my reference USB cable for the past year.

 

Comparing the USPCB to various USB cables I presently have on hand, one thing is clear, USB cables can make a big difference and cable disbelievers should take note.  With most cables I have on hand, the USPCB asserts its superiority.  There is probably no USB cable in existence that meets USB spec as perfectly and this is as close to an invisible cable as there is, however, is it the best?  This is where system needs and personal preference come into play.

 

When directly comparing the USPCB against my Clarity Cables Natural USB, the USPCB has greater immediacy.  It is more “in your face” whereas my Clarity Natural has a calmer, more relaxed presentation.  The USPCB has a more commanding leading edge and crystal clear clarity that makes you take notice immediately although the Clarity Natural presents detail and delicacy every bit as well.  For my Omegas, I easily prefer the USPCB but for the Voxativs I have on hand, I prefer the Clarity Natural.  It just sounds more “natural.”

 

I took notice of Hol’s comments about his new Lush USB cable and I find Peter Stordiau’s approach fascinating, that meeting USB 2.0 spec in theory results in better signal integrity but does it lead to better, more natural sound?  I don’t know the answer to that but I have placed my order for a Lush USB cable and so I’ll be able to hear for myself.  I have also ordered SOtM’s new USB cable.  It is not yet on their website but it incorporates the exact same filter block used in the dCBL-CAT7.  In the end, I suspect it will once again come down to system needs and personal preference.

Romaz , I have used these USB Cables Acoustic Revive , Curious , AQ Diamond , iFi , HP , Purist Anniversary.

after over 300 hours of break-in time the result was this:

Purist Audio Anniversary : 100/100 lush midrange and natural . the only cable changed my system to a new level of realism. no other cable were even close to Purist.

Acoustic Revive: 50/100 very analytical , un natural transparency. not musical

Curious: 30/100 not good

other cables were below 30 score.

 

 

I should say only the Purist Anniversary turn your system to a new level of natural and emotional sound.

if you prefer natural emotional sound of good analog and not artificial resolution of today systems  just go for Purist Audio.

 

Amir

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Looks like Sonore has stepped up its game with mR 1.4, the UltraRendu, and the Signature Rendu.

 

I also see some push back regarding the clock chain approach some of us have tried here with the sCLK-EX gear, and soon, with reference 10MHz clocks. That's cool, since most of what we're hearing (especially with the reclocked switch) really don't fit any known paradigms.

 

All that said, I plan to stay out of the debates about "which is/should be better" and why. These are pointless discussions for me. I would rather see people do actual listening comparisons.

 

I have no plans to buy either, but would always welcome a loan of either the UR or the SSR from any interested parties who would like to see the comparison.

 

Or - bring your gear to Austin, TX, where we now have 2 of us with Ultra setups.

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