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Computer Audiophile

russtafarian

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About russtafarian

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    Sophomore Member
  1. SACD Ripping using an Oppo or Pioneer? Yes, it's true!

    I tried this for the first time last night and it worked! I sure wish this was available four years ago when I bought the Oppo. I finally have a correct rip of The Sopranos soundtrack. It's a two disc set but both ISO files have identical names. So when others ripped it for me the second disc's ISO file would overwrite the first. I was able to fix that with my rips and get both discs on to my server. Nice! Russ
  2. Call for testers! Daphile

    I tried the PCM to DSD conversion option last night. The system is a 7 year old Sony VAIO laptop feeding a Benchmark DAC2. Set to DSD64 (the Benchmark's max DSD rate) and the 5th order (safe) filter, RBCD files played back with a more natural, organic flow than I'm used to hearing. Engaging and colorful, but a bit too diffused sounding for my taste. This would be a good setting for overly harsh sounding RBCD files. I jumped to the 7th order filter and the sound maintained the same organic flow and added more precise instrument delineation and clean, extended treble energy. This is a more of a resolution microscope kind of sound but without hyped, edgy treble. Really impressive but a little too intense for me. The 5th order (fast) filter hits it just right to my ear. I'll leave it on this setting for a few weeks to find out if the PCM to DSD sound works for me long term. It's nice to have choices. I used the CPU load data on the info screen to monitor the VAIO's single core CPU. Moving from native rate to PCM-DSD conversion increased the CPU load from around 0.4-0.5 to 0.7-0.8 and I experienced no issues with dropouts or stuttering. I would not have thought this old laptop could handle up-conversion, but it seems to be working just fine. Russ
  3. Call for testers! Daphile

    Problem solved. Mixer control setting boxes somehow got unchecked. Re-checking the boxes got it working again.
  4. Call for testers! Daphile

    Help! Since I updated to the latest release two days ago, Daphile will not connect to either of my USB2 DACs. I can't get any sound out of my Benchmark DAC2 or Behringer UMC202, both of which are 24/192 USB2. Daphile will connect and play through a Nuforce uDAC3 which is limited to 24/96 USB1. Please let me know how I can roll the S/W back to the previous version that worked just fine. In the mean time I will reset my Benchmark to USB1 mode, which I haven't tried but should work like the uDAC3. Russ
  5. Call for testers! Daphile

    This is more of a Windows 10 question but hoping someone here can give me a quick and easy answer. A couple weeks ago after a Win10 update, Daphile disappeared from Explorer as a network drive that I can copy files to. What can I do in Win 10 to get my Daphile NAS drive back? Other than this Daphile is operating just fine.
  6. UpTone Audio Regen Listening Impressions

    I see you're still rockin' the DCX.
  7. UpTone Audio Regen Listening Impressions

    The listening impressions I shared on Mark's blog are pretty much what I would share here. There have been a number of questions and comments about the setup and methodology. We worked with what we had in terms of time and gear and did our best to conduct a fair listening evaluation.
  8. UpTone Audio Regen Listening Impressions

    Mark has five B&W 801 speakers set up in the ITU configuration. We listened to the L & R speakers. There were two bookshelf B&W speakers set up between the front LCR 801s. Those weren't in use and I don't know what they are for. The studio is also set up for TXH cinema mixing so there are huge LCR cinema speakers against the wall in front and cinema "surround" speakers hung along the sides. The soundstage thrown by the L&R 801s was pretty impressive.
  9. UpTone Audio Regen Listening Impressions

    Yikes! Just stumbled onto this thread. If anyone has any questions about the Regen session I participated in with Mark Waldrep a few days ago, let me know. Russ Stratton
  10. Saving up for a AHB2 is a wise move. Rory Rall let me take one home for an evening and pair it with my DAC2. I was truely shocked by what I heard. I expected a lower noise floor and increased resolution. I was not prepared for how the overall presentation relaxed and bloomed. The synergy between the DAC2 and AHB2 is special. Russ
  11. The Benchmark DAC2 is a fantastic sounding preamp. If you can make it work, I'm sure you'll be really happy with the results. There are two issues to consider. First, I don't think the Benchmark will turn back on if its AC power is cut and restored. This would be easy to verify. If the Benchmark doesn't turn back on after losing power, then you simply need to remember to mute or turn off your power amp before rebooting the Benchmark. The second issue has to do with power amp gain. Getting the gain match between the Benchmark and the amp is critical when using it as a preamp. When listening to digital files, the DAC2 volume control range should be between 12 o'clock and max. If you can only turn it up to 10 or 11 o'clock with digital, the digital VC level is too low to optimize DAC performance. If you use XLR to your amp, you can adjust the DAC2 jumpers to reduce the gain. If you use RCA to your amp, you can turn down your amp's volume control or input level trim pot volume if available. If your amp has no gain control, pick up a set of RCA in-line attenuator pads. Try -10dB and -20dB values and use the value that best optimizes the gain match between DAC and amp. While this may sound like a hassle, once the gain match between DAC and amp is optimized, the resolution of your system will jump considerably. As a side benefit of optimizing the gain match, the turn on pop from the Benchmark will be nominal and will not harm your speakers. Russ
  12. Call for testers! Daphile

    I successfully installed Daphile on this fanless mini PC. ECS Liva X 2GB/32GB Mini PC - Newegg.com This replaces an old laptop that's been running Daphile for the past year. The only trick to installing on this PC is to use Rufus instead of Unetbootin to set up the USB boot stick and choose "GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer" during setup. Next step is to use this 12v linear power supply to power the PC. Amazon.com: Tripp Lite PR7 DC Power Supply Low Profile 7A 120V AC Input to 13.8 DC Output: Electronics
  13. To DSD or not to DSD?

    FWIW, the Chuck Ainlay quote is from 2005, when he remixed Brothers In Arms for SACD and DVD-A. Certainly a valid viewpoint for that time and project, but that's like a century ago in DSP years.
  14. The balanced connection between the DAC2 and the AHB2 is optimized for low noise, low distortion, and wide bandwidth. So a separate preamp isn't needed. The right tube preamp could add a denser, more saturated texture to the sound, at the cost of some S/N ratio and distortion. But if the DAC-preamp-amp combo creates musical magic, there's nothing wrong with that approach. Ideally, you can try out a preamp or two while you have the ABH2 in for audition. Please report back if you try this. Russ
  15. Hello Dreaming Jester. I've had a DAC2 HGC since November 2012. The sound is what it is: neutral and resolving, yet musical and enjoyable. I've heard better DACs; the (upgraded) Ayre and Auralic are a touch more refined and resolving. If you can double your budget, they are worth considering. The DAC2 does pop when turned on and off. Pops between tracks can happen but it's software dependent. I have no pop issues using Daphile/Squeezelite. The line stage is really clean and works well for a phone stage or HT bypass. As for your question about the DAC2 ever being able to handle sampling rates higher than 192 kHz and single DSD (which uses 176 kHz DoP), my guess is no. The 211 kHz oversampling jitter reduction circuit pretty much caps the sampling rate at its current spec. One other thing. I had a chance to hear my DAC2 with the new Benchmark power amp in my system for an evening. That combination is magic. I've never heard my speakers sound that big, fast and resolving. Yet the overall character of the music was relaxed and airy. Bottom line, I'm saving for that amp. Russ
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