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LowMidHigh

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  1. LowMidHigh

    Article: McIntosh MS500 Music Streamer Review

    For me, all those fancy-pants streames commit a cardinal sin: they omit both Google Play and sideloading. Sorry, not interested in being restricted by some coorporate-head to which music to listen. Until those people realize it's in thier interest and thier customers' interest to open thier eco-systems, I'll stick with a small humble DAP. As for SQ, a re-clocker can do wonders.
  2. You mount a vigorous defense of Cybershaft, Mark…The passion is appreciated. And thank you for sharing all that edifying information. Still, there’re a few points I’d like to raise. You completely ignored my re-stocking fee offer to Kenji. I understand he might loathe to be the victim of whimsical audiophiles, but said fee would separate the wheat from the chaff and compensate Kenji for any trouble; really an insurance policy to keep both sides satisfied. You make this point: “As far as faith in what he does, he does share a full test and certification report battery report with the buyer (did so with me 4 times) BEFORE he ships giving the buyer the right to walk away from the transaction’” That wasn’t the case with me. He was going to have my paypal the fund 8 days before the unit was ready for shipping. There was no claw-back. You make this point: “Used OCXO units...": agree that Cybershaft's higher end modules (including the OP21 unit I have today) are curated and deeply tested used and proven units. When i first heard of this as I ordered several clocks to test and to eventually own, I was skeptical being the good audio-nut that I am 🙂 and wanting 'brand new'. Kenji explained the benefits of finding such proven units and rigorously testing them versus buy supposedly perfect new units and hoping they will stabilize and be rock solid; I was sold on this after several iterations.  Just like anything else in high precision manufacturing, every unit coming off the line is not perfect and some are much better than others over time. For a component like an OCXO module (or Rb for that matter) I'd rather (now) have a used unit that is validated, proven and certified than a new unit where i hope all is well...” It's very interesting logic, even convincing, but going by it, we should all inspire to purchase used and “well-tested” products, especially high-precision ones. I guess most humanity disagrees. Julian would certainly beg to differ, given Mutec has opted for a new OCXO, supposedly having given it careful consideration. Personally, I don’t care either way. I could test drive the Mutec for a full refund and that was swaying enough. “Inconsistent answers: to the extent that my experience matters, I can promise you based upon that experience alone that the inconsistencies are due to language barrier. He's been extremely reliable in my dealings with him over 2+ years and always delivers what he says he will; the finer details of the communications and the fact that he's learning English these last 2 years including I believe taking classes as of late to improve his communications take a bit of getting used to but I trust him completely for which the proof has been in actions, not in words...” I’ll tell what raised my hackles. In my original communication with Kenji, he explicitly said one can’t perceive the difference between OPn and OPn+1 (e.g., OP10 vs. OP11). Later on, when I made more inquires, he stated OP16 sounded better than OP15 when feeding MC3USB. So which is which? Could be a “translation” error, but it still raised a quizzical eyebrow.
  3. Well, since we’re on the subject, let me share what I picked up from Kenji regarding the Ultimate / Limited with many detailed and nagging questions. (A) The new models perform equivalently to the discontinued models + 1. That is: Ultimate OP13 = discontinued OP14 Ultimate OP14 = Premium OP15 And so on. (B) According their measuring instruments, the clock’s performance plateaued at 14/15 when locked to MC3+USB. So on paper anything higher is a waste. Still, their AB/X suggest audible improvements when going beyond 15, albeit marginally so. I don't know if the AB/X was performed properly and if the sample is statistically unbiased. YMMV (C) To their ears, the new OP15 sounds very close to REF10, and the OP16 exceeds it. Again, they stress those are their opinions. As always, be wary of placebo and bias confirmation. (D) According to Kenji, despite being based on reclaimed chips, their clocks have been flawlessly operating for over a decade. In general, failure rate is infinitesimally low. (E) OCOX are sensitive to vibrations. If your clock is by a turn table or affected by low frequencies, you should contemplate making some changes. Yes, subwoofers in the vicinity will degrade the performance as well. The Cybershaft support feet can be replaced with 4mm spikes, but I’d advise against it: studies show spikes actually magnify vibrations. Rubber bumpers should be more suitable. (F) Preferably, the word clock cable shouldn't exceed 2 meters, but they tested a 6-meter implementation, and the signal showed no degradation. _______________________________________________________________________ OP15 sounded enticing—over a grand saving over REF10—but ultimately, I went the Mutec route. The reason? Cybershaft has no return policy. I tried to convince Kenji to accept a re-stocking fee, but he politely declined, which was more the reason to make me leery. I’d never pony up $2,200 on “cat-in-a-bag” gear, and more so if the manufacturer doesn’t have full confidence in their product’s performance. I should mention that I did run into a few contradictions in his replies. Perhaps things got “lost in translation” so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Lastly, if you intend to get either the Limited or purchase the clock distributor, the small difference in price points between Cypershaft and REF10 points in the direction of the latter.
  4. Omitted: 5) No AES. Spdif doesn't cut it with pros Since you seem affiliates with the company, I'll opine "Dragonfire" is a poor choice for a name. I understand the origin, which all in itself is grandiliquent, but it comes across presumptuous and adulesent. "Dangeons and Dragons" pops in mind... Still, if the sound is as fantastic as you claim, there's a possibility it will ekk out a niche in the hi-end market. Good luck!
  5. "So yeah, i have a hunch that in time dragonfire will replace Genelec, Focal, Barefoot, etc as the top end solution adopted by mastering engineers around the world." Don't hold your breathe. 1) Their exorbitant price will deter many pros. 2) It's a passive system 3).They appear too delicate for a workplace environment 4) Where are the 5.1, 7.1, immersive e.t.c.? Have you compared that system to the new coaxial Genelec (8331 ¯ 8341)? Thier perfoance is exceptional.
  6. LowMidHigh

    Nativ: High-Res Music System & Touchscreen Control

    Thank you for your viewpoint. I always appreciate an opposing opinion; an opportunity to re-assess my own position. 1) Issuing a refund is an extremely low bar to pass, for which Nativ doesn't deserve credit. First, they offer 30-day money-back, thus there's a contractual obligation. Second, PayPal would step in, so refusing refund would’ve been futile. 2) The fact that Apple might also engage in such questionable practices doesn't absolve Nativ. IMO, paying $1,600 for relatively simple piece of electronics with claims of audiophile grade warrants higher standards than biding components together with electrical tape. In fact, Nativ explicit agree with that position and even denies employing said methods. Mind you, I wasn't supposed to gain access to the innards. So there's a whiff of deceit here. Some people may shrug it off; I prefer to exercise caution. 3) It went beyond the LCD screen. There was a circuit board that was taped in place (see images above). I mean, seriously? 4) The glue job was also a botch-up of the first degree, compounded by a HD compartment that rattled like a pissed off snake. To me it felt like $125 AliExpress gadget. In conclusion, I hazard to guess most people would agree with me. However, the rest are free to contact Nativ and place an order.
  7. LowMidHigh

    Mutec MC-3+

    Crap! You posted everything to do with he Brooklyn on this thread yourself! Why bring it up again?
  8. LowMidHigh

    Mutec MC-3+

    From Myteck's Design Philosophy document, vis-a-vis the Brooklyn: Special attention to clock jitter. Internal Femtoclock generator (jitter<0.82ps) MC+3 clock: Clock Jitter < 1 ps So you're unlikely to perceive any difference. There's an entire discussion in this thread regarding the Brooklyn. If you want to know more, use the search option.
  9. LowMidHigh

    Mutec MC-3+

    Changing the subject for a second. Vis-a-vis re-clockering, I've repeatedly encountered a basic question: "How do I get away from USB and still playing music off my Mac?" My solution: an affordable DAP. Its USB is connected to the Mac for audio transfer and charging, while it's mini spdif feeds the MC3. Best of both worlds.
  10. LowMidHigh

    Nativ Vita - Buyers Beware

    http://www.6moons.com/lettersfeedback/lettersfeedback.html
  11. LowMidHigh

    Mutec MC-3+

    Thanks you. I was looking for this particular input. I gather you feed the 1st MC3 with USB. I wonder if going coax would render the 2nd MC+ superfluous. I'll try soon as I'm waiting for REF10 + 2nd MC3. I can't believe anything can improve my current sound, but oh lord, let me be wrong
  12. LowMidHigh

    Mutec MC-3+

    Thank you for the input. Base on your observations, arguing that the MC3USB isn't sensitive to the source is unattainable. I suppose it mean there’s some sort of “leak”, i.e., jitter/interference travel within the device to affect the re-clocking output. It’s beyond my pay-grade, but I have a hunch some sleuth work could nail it once and for all. I suggested to Christian to improve the product with an internal loop that would mimic a stack of MC3USB, or an external feed with user provided cable and an option to set the number of iterations. The reply was the idea had been floated before, but space and cost considerations prevent such upgrade.
  13. LowMidHigh

    Nativ Vita - Buyers Beware

    A wise advise. I've gone there, but no comment area. Bummer, because I want to warn others. And yes, the images are sleek in general. They put a lot in their website too. But it's all hat no cattle. Maybe they set out on the right foot, but lost their footing along the way.
  14. LowMidHigh

    Nativ Vita - Buyers Beware

    I fully a agree with your assessment. As for manufacturer's respond, I wouldn't hold my breath. Here's another tidbit to make the case: I warned Nativ their reputation and credibility was on the line and gave them the opportunity to prove their claims of aberration by submitting photos. Thier reply: only if I commited to accept a replacement would they produce said photos. My cynical interpretation: only if money was on table would they fabricate evidence (Photoshop or a mockup). It's impossible to know what's going on in their minds. Nothing at all, i.e., stupidly? That their prospects and customers are gullible fools? Or perhaps they're on their last gasps, ready to fold. At this stage, I'd be dubious of any explanations they offered.
  15. LowMidHigh

    Mutec MC-3+

    I have a feeling the less than stellar USB performance is why a stack of MC3USB is needed to clean up the signal further. I doubt cascading will do much when spdif/Aes is the source. But I'll find out soon...
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