One and a half

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  1. Wow, the concept album is back, Styx created the Mission to Mars and an inkling of getting there and then some. For gapless deniers, this album is not for you, it's broken into different tracks, but plays in one continuous hit. Headbangin' - you bet, classic prog riffs and changes in atmospheres, man something new, it's been a while. Acoustic Sounds release as a 88.2-24, and hey it doesn't sound too bad at all. DR5.6 (to Jriver measurements) is just about minimum I suppose, but when you want dynamics they're there. Hint : try "Locomotive" for dynamics and play this loud.
  2. Love this feature, and it works! Great thanks to Chris! No more MQA vapourware to read about in the headlines.
  3. Can fas42 and aj take the discussion if you can call it that to another location. Your devotion to one another is tedious, aggravating and not even entertaining. Take a hike, please.
  4. A new amp does need some time for the caps and transformer to settle in. By that I mean for a transformer, the laminations and insualtion need to find their feet in the housing, if a transformer will hum, now's the time to find that out. For a toroid less so, but they also can hum. For the large caps, so long as a voltage is applied, they are happy, but let them do some work as well. But how? Loudspeakers at close to full power for 24/7? Out in a field maybe, so try this. Buy two 1500W (110V) immersion heaters. Cut the plug off, or modify an extension cord and remove its plug off. Bare back the wires and connect like a speaker, and don't bother with the polarity. A 1500W heater has a resistance really close to 8 ohms, and the coiled end adds some inductance which is a bonus. It's not possible to burn out the resistor, unless an amp is over 1500W !! On the safe side though, place the heater into a pail/bucket, the water will cool the heater and let the amp run with music, get a good night's sleep and not disturb the neighbours. Heater Link at Amazon (USD24).
  5. If only Roon would index files at the speed of JR instead of taking days and creating a mess of the tagging. JR's indexer can catalog 50k files in about 10-20 minutes including the artwork, Roon struggles overnight and then some. Being an endpoint over a network, Roon doesn't sound as good as standalone players as it has to negotiate complex routing and timing. Just an overhead I can live without. I don't see much of it raved about in these pages nowadays, does that tell us something? I've tried it twice and found the experience more annoying than engaging, no matter how 'easy and simple' it is to operate. I still don't understand Tidal, that interface is nowhere near the ease of Spotify and the sound from local files easily trumps streaming from Tidal. Anyway, if you're happy with Tidal, integrate away.
  6. The Icron Ranger like the 2214 is a point to point USB transmission using CAT5/6 cables to extend a USB wire. It is a true extender, so whatever trash you have at the source, the Ranger will faithfully transmit that trash. Conversely if Intona or regen are wired to the lex unit, the sound will change to whatever product does isolation or USB fixing. I doubt the Ranger converts to that high baggage TCP/IP since the Rangers are not routable and the object is to create a transmission that looks like USB at the source and the receiver.
  7. One aspect of balanced power is why it was introduced in the first place that discussion here is non existent. Standard type EMC filters are symmetrical by design like this: When the neutral is tied to ground, it messes up the current flows, balanced power fixes that 'imbalance'. Every audio device worth its salt has an EMC filter to prevent crud leaking back into the network, so it makes sense to provide a voltage that's suitable. I'm quite happy with the Equitech Q, it provides a great way to suppress background noise, for years I listen to the silky black provided by this power source. For safety, there's a RCD on the output of the Equitech, and balanced power is only used for audio equipment. Plain daft to use it for computers or anything else for technical reasons and code compliance. I did draw a circuit in another thread for reference. @marce 230V is still 230V whether referenced to 115V either side or a TN 230V. 60V is considered 'low voltage' (in my country) and that classification requires regulatory principals the same as if it were < 1000V. Voltages 24V and lower are considered non lethal and non licensed persons can do what they like with that equipment. Higher voltages generally have lower harmonics, but have twice as much leakage currents as 120V systems. Your choice? I found the article from Sound on Sound to be uninformative and in some cases misleading and BS. There are ways to protect people and equipment.
  8. The classic approach to filtering is detection and correction. Unlike the leakage currents from audio devices, mains contaminants have considerable strength. More contaminant voltages, the more power and developed heat is a by product. Looking at the size of the iFi unit there's room for line filters as well as filters for higher frequencies. Hopefully it differs from the Harvester which either works with incremental or no improvement. There's a limit as to how much and what type of frequency that is allowed past the gate. I would be happy with the higher than mains frequencies, say 100kHz upwards since these frequencies can attach themselves to anything and can propagate via very small capacitances. For small signal gear lower mains harmonics may not cause that many problems, these affect power amps or are in fact created by them.
  9. After many, many months of trying various upsampling systems, Audirvana +, HQPlayer to DSD128/256, i gave up the quest as a fruitless exercise. The sound was ok, but never quite satisfied, 'natural' sampling was more engaging, sounded less thinner and overall easier to listen to. PCM upsampling didn't fare much better really since the DAC internally upsamples to DSD anyway. Now, very reluctantly, mainly due to the attitude of the owner, I use Jriver again as library management is very important equaling SQ. I don't like to spend time repairing A+'s current quirks with file management, and HQPlayer's non existence. OK, I can wait for the 500ms for the DAC to change the sample rate and lock onto the new and hear a relay click. As for the sound out of Jriver, it gets the job done. Far more important is the DAC's ability to playback Redbook, if this quality is good, then any other different sample rate file generally follows the same pattern.
  10. The Japanese are willing to leak something, well let us know about things. Phile Web has posted an AC iPurifier that was shown at Munich hi-end...c'mon people that went there, you not see this?? Quote via Google Translate One is "AC iPurifier". This is the application of the DC iPurifier technology which recorded the biggest selling soon after the release to the AC power supply, and it becomes the first AC power related accessory as iFi-Audio. It is planned that the original technology of iFI-Audio including active noise cancellation will be installed in the interior and it is currently under development. The appearance is prototype, it is planned to adopt aluminum body in the future. If ifi use their active noise technology applied to the AC Mains for audio use, it hopefully will reduce the AC crud fed into low level signal devices such as DACs and really hoping for enough grunt to combat media server pulsed AC wave forms. Now active cancellation circuitry depends on detecting the crud to begin with and then to counteract and here's the rub. There's no free lunch here, cancellation circuitry is nearly perfect, which isn't too bad, but it does give off heat. Not like a toaster, but enough to be of a concern. The device would be inline with the device you wish to filter. It can't block what's incoming, as the impedance on the network is rather low, but certainly for its size work on the smaller load side. Let's see in the coming months the discussion on this rather important audio device which has no connection to the audio signal itself
  11. Thing is the external clocks advantage is that the source and dac have the same reference. Mainly applied to S/PDIF, having the same clock keeps jitter and latency in check, but S/PDIF front end receivers vary so widely that much of advantages of keeping time in check are lost and relies on PLL to keep on the straight and narrow. Ideally if you had the source and the Dac from the same manufacturer that understands the transmission, we would be better off, the only one comes to mind are Dcs and the new Gen2 from Auralic. They go some way, but neither locks onto the source directly.
  12. That's a methodology worth the exercise. The SQ improves quite well, taking out that gritty edge of the spdif. Ultimately the mechanism of what's in front has limitations.
  13. The m900 is released this week. I own the m920 and the previous model, both good, down the line DACs. There's no need for re-invention as these DACs are reliable pieces of kit and have the runs on the board. So a new Dac based on these should have a good foundation. The chips are new to Grace but the overall sound will be different than the larger DAC, which way..... I shrug shoulders, just have to listen, hey.
  14. The previous software used at CA was Vbulletin, where such references existed. It appears that these references are gone now. To reference a post, you can find it with search or the hard way, and use the share icon in the post to obtain the post link. From that you can use the link icon to reference. And don't be demanding.
  15. What about the new Grace Design m900. Has dual hp outputs, usb to DSD256, rca line outs to amps, bus powered, painted black with volume control. Street price of USD499. WWW.gracedesign.com