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Found 6 results

  1. Hello, Fairly new to this and would like your recommendations please. I have the KEF LS50 Wireless and would like to build a streaming system around them. I am using Roon on a MacBook Pro with quality USB cable direct. The computer will need to go away. (It's my wife's). So....I would like a computerless solution to running ROON. Thinking NUC to Sonore MicroR. Raspberry Pi? Would a one box solution suit me? ELAC Discovery? Aurilic, OPPO Sonica (would require a streamer yes?). NAS with Roon core? I do not have too much stored music but plan to change that. My budget is under $2K. I thought about Chord MOJO w/Poly but not liking the idea of going analog out from the MOJO back to digital for the KEF's. I guess that's a concern of mine--not going to ananlog needlessly. Help Would be very appreciated... Much Thanks and Respect in advance. Tony
  2. I bought a microrendu 2 days ago and I feel I have to get a lot of accessories to make a "simple" system "complicated". The reason to choose microrendu is due to its simply design. Now I have to play with router / NAS / Music Servers / Extensions and worry about degrade of sound quality. My original plan is Sotm SMS1000Q WE (or any other optimized PC, like CAD, Mojo etc). For more details about an optimized PC : any PC with low power assumption (generate less noise), separated power supply to USB, low noise circuit design, internal power filter and linear power supply ,EMI isolation, low jitter clock etc. Any kind of optimized PC can feed signal to USB DAC with highest bit rate support via STABLE PHYSICAL connection. [PC - USB DAC + linear power supply]. How about Microrendu? I was attracted by the CA reviews and bought it. Now I realize the system is not simple at all and the system may have inferior SQ due to ethernet transport parameters, plus, the routers and photoelectric conversion modules of those systems are not audiophile grade. [Music Server / Router / Microrendu / USB DAC / Several linear power supply / Maybe Ethernet Switch / NAS]. How could I convince myself to invest further in microrendu system because I could not see any advantage now. How about SOUND QUALITY? Thanks for any suggestions.
  3. Hi, Short Question: Is there any guidelines/ideas on how to split the money spent in components to get maximum audio quality on a system at a given price. My own system example: 10 % Desktop PC 03 % PCI to USB CARD 01 % USB Cable 33 % DAC (Stereo) 03 % XLR Cables 50 % Active Monitors (Stereo) $5K-$30K Price Range I did a few searches on the topic and came empty handed, but please post a link if any or your toughts/example. Long Explanation: The idea is to have a guideline in to how much to spend in a Component versus an other in a given system. There will be too many variable behind those %, probably hundreds of disccusions about components etc. Please, I'm trying to stay away from particular discussions, brands and models, I know it's hard :-) I assume that everyone will pick their favourite component brand influenced by they priority's e.g. Connectivity, Design, Power etc. Don't quote me on the %, I'm guessing base on my limited experience/reading (I suppose most will do the same) (the leading 0 on the % number is just to keep the alignment) It will change with the whole system price, so price range should be a factor. But may be wider than $5K-$20K. Also avancement on technology of a component will tend to reduce it's % vs the rest. This should be the case of DAC vs Speaker If you change the system design itself just list the components as a chain, e.g. Active Monitor may change for Amplifier>Cables>Speakers How I think to use the guideline: For example I'm upgrading all cables. Currently my DAC is the best component, which is likely stay in the system longer. So I would take the value of the DAC $6500 and apply the % in reverse to get the whole system value Target System ($) = Component ($) / Component (%) $6500 / 33% = $19,696 33% will be 0.33 in this case or 100 / 33 That is not my current system value, but the one I would build if I keep the DAC in place and upgrade all the other components. Now, How much should I spend on my next XLR Cables to match the DAC value? Component ($) = Target System ($) x Component (%) XLR Cables $ = $19,696 x 3% XLR Cables $ = $590 Remember it's just a guideline, to somehow "relate" our audiophile daydreaming with the pocket :-) Regards, Yogui. Chris, If the site have some kind of user form everyone could place their current system components, that may also be an indication and work as a reference with profiles etc. head-fi does it and I found it usefull.
  4. Greetings from a humble new member of your forum! (bow) I'm attempting to create a reasonable 2-channel system for music only (music style: everything). No movies. But first a little background... I was a pro musician in the 1980's and spent lots of time in recording studios with the best sounding audio systems, but I'd always had an appreciation for high quality sound. Like many others, I made compromises when “home theater” hit. My existing audio gear went in the closet to make room for HT gear, because the popular position was and is that quality 2-channel music listening is far less important than hearing BOOM! when big bad T-Rex is coming. (Is there anyone who didn't hear a demo or two of Jurrasic Park?) Anyway, my internal audiophile is back, and the old gear with it. (But WOW! The landscape is so different.) It's time to figure out what old stuff goes and what new elements need to be added that might substantially boost performance without breaking the fargin' bank. My proposed system is detailed below in order of process. Component I already own are indicated with “***” but I'll replace anything your collective wisdom so requires. Your experience is what I'm needin' so here we go: 1. ***FLAC files 2. ***Internal Hard Drive (WD 2TB Sata hdd installed in below computer) 3. Homebrew computer – tentatively comprised of the following (incl. Newegg's part#): -Bare bones computer kitwhich includes small case, 200w Power Supply, 1155 Sandy Bridge motherboard, USB 3 (model: Shuttle SH61R4 - NeweggItem #: N82E16856101124) -Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Item #: N82E16832116986) -Intel Processor (Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge BX80623G530 Item #: N82E16819116409) -Ram (4 Gigs of G.SKILL NS F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS Item #: N82E16820231394) -Optical Bluray Drive/Player/DVD & CD Player/Writer (ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Item #: N82E16827135247) -Wireless Adapter for occasional Pandora streaming (BUFFALO USB WLI-UC-GNHP Item #: N82E16833162032) -20” Monitor (Acer G205HVbd Item #: N82E16824009314) -Wireless Keyboard with Laser Trackball(IOGEAR GKM561R Item #: N82E16823176018) -Sound Card with optical out (PCIe ASUS Xonar DGX Item #: N82E16829132052) 4. Software Music Player (I'm open to suggestions. Winamp, iTunes, MediaMonkey, etc) 5. Unknown optical interconnect from optical out on sound card to optical in on DAC 6. DAC - Schiit Bitfrost 7. Unknown RCA interconnect from DAC analog out to receiver RCA preamp in 8. ***Preamp/Amp: Denon DRA-1025R 2-channel receiver (Class-A amplification and Denon's top-of-the-line model when I bought it new in the late 1980's at Federated's going-out-of-business sale.) 9. Unknown LONG RCA interconnect from Denon's “Main Out” to RCA “line in” on sub woofer 10. ***Sub Woofer: Velodyne F1200 (circa 1995, 12” woofer, 20-85hz +/- 3db, internal amp produces 100 watts RMS, bass management which I plan on using [adjusted to 80hz]) 11. Unknown LONG RCA interconnect from “line out” to “Main In” on Denon receiver 12. Unknown speaker wire (or gauge) from Denon to speakers 13. ***Speakers: stand-mounted Canton Karat 920 DC bookshelf speakers (circa 1996, 7” woofer + tweeter, none bi-amp) 14. ***My 52 year old ears Thanks. Gary
  5. Computer Gaming System

    For those of us that are into both computer gaming and high end audio; there are not very many compromises with hardware. Sure there are bundled systems like Bose that maintain as one of the greats for computer music lovers (cheap ones at least), and there is also the newly released Corsair Sp2500’s. Both are a great products, but lack one crucial feature; EAX effects. Playing games on your PC has taken many major leaps over the past decade with many hardware changes with displays, graphics cards, and processing technologies; but one area remains completely un-appreciated and overlooked; the sound card. Those who have them swear by them and those without are completely missing intense levels of depth in their favorite games. For the longest time I have been looking for a high end sound system build for my gaming computer that includes support for EAX and also satisfies my audiophile spoiled ears. I could have easily just sent optical out from the computer to a home theatre receiver and had great sound with the capability of multichannel support, great, but that doesn’t work for professional gamers. As much as I’d like to claim it, I’m by no means a professional gamer in the sense, but I take computer gaming and sound very seriously, as any professional does. First, let’s break down what exactly environmental audio extensions (EAX) effects are. Created by non-other than Creative Technologies; the idea is to use hardware accelerated sound processing to add lifelike sound qualities to games. An easy way to think of it is most people do not use EAX and get 2D sound; flat and non-directional, whereas EAX is 3D sound, directional and lifelike. As adding extra graphics detail and depth that you get with a nice graphics card; same thing applies to sound detail when you upgrade to a nice sound card. So when you are planning a build like this, where do you go? There are not very many if none at all that have been built with the intention of using EAX effects. The first thing I had to do was choose a good sound card that supports EAX; so after extensive research, I choose the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium. You may notice that it has RCA out/inputs versus 5.1 channel 3.5mm mini jacks; I did this on purpose. I decided that I was going to only build a system with 2.1 speakers versus a 5.1 system. I have been using 5.1 systems for over a decade, and don’t get me wrong they are nice to have, but take up way to much space and you really have to have an optimal desk layout to really benefit from them. Most people are super pumped when they get them, but eventually move them to the side or not even plug the rear speakers at all. From there, I needed a receiver. Sense I am using analog lines to carry my signals and not optical; I only needed a 2-channel stereo receiver with a pre-out for the sub. I have always been a huge fan of Pioneer so I looked at them first. Their PM8004 was on my mind until I ran into a Marantz SR4023 at a Magnolia HIFI store in San Ramon, CA. it was half the price with the same if not better sound quality. And then it came to the biggest question, what speakers should I use? I really thought about this one for a while. There are tons of good manufactures out there with thousands of varieties to choose from. I was thinking of all the great manufactures and remembered that last time I had heard something of theirs, until one name popped into my head; Martin Logan. I was at the San Ramon Magnolia store when an employee demoed a set of Vantage Electrostatic tower speakers playing Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles through a McIntosh amp. There are special times in everyone’s life where something magical happens that you will always remember; like seeing the ocean for the first time, falling in love, or going on an epic European vacation through the Mediterranean; this was one of those moments. The song starts off with a string quartet and as soon as the artist brushed the strings on their instruments, the hair raised on my neck. The Cello in particular made me feel like I was sitting right in front of live musicians and their instruments. It is really hard to describe the feeling that I was having. I was never really into high end audio before I went into the store; I was only accompanying my brother in law so he could look, but left in disbelief. So I started doing some research into Martin Logan and saw that they had a set of bookshelf/wall mountable speakers I could use. As much as I would love it, I can’t fit floor standing towers in front of my desk, so I went back to demo the Motion 4’s. Again; I was amazed. I even put these up against the best set of Bowers and Wilkins bookshelf and even two sets of floor standing models, and the Martin Logan’s blew the pants off of the competition. People in the store were trying to figure out where the great sound was coming from and kept looking at all the really high end and super expensive sets in the room, pretty funny if you ask me. So I was totally sold. I also included a Dynamo 700 sub to better balance out the frequency spectrum in the lower end. For testing I had chosen a list of recently released games and a diverse song list that includes HIFI studio samples down to everyday listening. Many companies demo really high end quality music to listeners at stores to help the sell, but it is really important to list to the music you will be listening to on your new set of speakers, so you know that they work great with the stuff you love. After a good few days of just music listening, artist ranging from Mason Williams to Slayer and everything in between, to really get a good feel from every type of music genre; and believe me, Martin Logan delivers. Gaming on the other hand is where is believe Martin Logan and Creative really shines. Playing Battlefield 3 on this system is something else. Every foot step, on every different type on ground, and the sounds of whistling bullets takes gaming to a whole new level of amazing. Playing multiplayer on a 2.1 system usually puts someone to a disadvantage because of directionality, being where the enemy is compared to you, that favors 5.1 or surround headsets; but not this system. With using Creative 3Dfx processing, the game sounded as if I had a 5.1 system; I mean you really do start looking in the direction of sound in the room because you know that there are no speakers behind you, but you look in disbelief anyways. Every explosion and every tank round fired reverberated through my room and straight to my chest thanks to the Martin Logan Dynamo 700 sub; extremely accurate, lifelike, and powerful are only a few ways to sum up my experience with it. Purely magical in its ability to blend in to the room and take music and games to a whole new level of realism. Sub placement is key to the great sound and Martin Logan has a funny instructional video on sub placement located on their website. I started to do what it told me on the video and after some funny looks and snickers from my wife, I found the magical spot in my room and set the proper settings on the back panel. The next game I tested was awarded one the best sound effects and detail of any game, Dead Space 2. The game itself is not life changing in anyway; fun and suspenseful, but not the best action game out there. However, the sound alone is worth it. I had played and beaten this game before I purchased my stereo system, so I had the before reference already set and was ready to see the after. And after beating the game a second time, I had noticed that it took me a few hours longer this time than before, and I started thinking what the hell? It should have gone faster if anything. But it didn’t and here’s why. The game scared the sh*t out of me; constantly... It’s hard to admit and anyone who has played this game with a nice system will tell you, the sound alone is scary. I had to take many breaks from the game. With the Martin Logan speakers, I was hearing every ounce of detail such as aliens scrambling about air ducts, bodies being dragged and eaten rooms away, and just the creepy ambiance of just walking around the crumbling up ship by yourself. Every gamer remembers when they played the 2004 release of Doom and walking around Mars’s substation with a flashlight or a gun, not both at the same time, in the dark and hearing the monsters coming at you without being able to see them, not cool. Dead Space 2 is a non-stop adrenaline rushed edge of the set thriller only for that fact that the sound alone has you tuned in and wetting your pants; it is a spectacular audible adventure that I recommend to everyone. So do I recommend this system and all its components… hell yes. It is a little on the expensive side for a computer audio build, but it is worth it; in every way. If you think about it, it is more an investment than anything. I was going through cheap sets of speakers almost every 1-2 years, and at around $300 each, it adds up. With buying higher-end equipment, you get excellent build quality with fantastic warranties; you should be good listening to your new equipment for decades, not years. I would recommend saving up for a system like this, for as long as it takes, because, it really is worth it. I was never a real audio buff, until I heard what is was missing, and I challenge you to go and demo some nice equipment and tell me you don’t notice a difference. I also open an invitation to anyone in the Reno/Tahoe area that would like to come over and hear some music or play some games with me; and I do mean that sincerely, I love nothing more than share my incredible experience with others and welcome you to the wonderful and rewarding world of high-end audio. So feel free to email me with any question you have and also if you would like to set an appointment to come and demo my equipment. I had a blast putting this system together and am looking forward to setting up a home theater system using Martin Logan's much anticipated, and more affordable, Electromotion Series speakers. I'll keep you guys posted, but with funding, it should happen some time late next year. Daniel Gilbertson Dannyg85@yahoo.com
  6. So I have powered audio engine A5+ speakers and a powered AS8B subwoofer. Both have stereo RCA inputs. Currently I have my main line out go into the main speakers then out the speakers and into the Subwoofer. I am about to get a M2Tech Young DAC. This DAC like most has only one stereo RCA output. Whats the best way to set this system up? My thought is to put a cable on both the left and right outs of the DAC and send both stereo to the speakers and the sub. I'm fairly new to all of this so is there a better way?
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