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Everything posted by halloweenman

  1. Don't believe everything you read, I found TT is warmer and smoother than Qutest. Rob Watts, designer of both, says this too in Headfi forum. Personally, I didn't feel the difference between TT and TT2 was worth the upgrade. Similar sound signatures, for me the original TT being the slightly warmer sounding. TT2 being more incisive and insightful. Both excellent.
  2. I can only go by my personal experiences of EQ, DSP, Room Correction, etc. It works for some, others not. ATC SCM40A offered too bass for my room having a peak of around +12db at 45Hz. It's easy to control mid and high frequencies with room treatment such as acoustic panels but bass is another matter. I tried bass traps, they didn't work. I tried various EQs and Roon DSP and for me they killed the sound. My biggest mistake in this hobby was to measure my room and try various digital tools to correct it. It drove me crazy and I was never happy with the sound. The solution that worked best for me was to find speakers I liked as much as ATC but offered less bass - Spendor 2/3. I then treated the room with acoustic panels displaying artwork and optimised speaker and listening position. I couldn't be happier, I haven't changed or considered changing anything for about a year now which is quite something for me. I don't measure my room anymore, I use my ears and brain and decide if I like the sound or not. Besides, no room will measure perfectly.
  3. Here's a tip for connecting Chord DACs to ATC actives - Go RCA to XLR. Why? Chord DACs are single ended (unbalanced) devices by nature. Their XLR outputs require an additional component to convert the single ended (unbalanced) single to balanced which reduces transparency/accuracy but the difference is marginal.
  4. When I demo'd, TT2 was warmer sounding than Qutest. I own original TT and didn't think it was worth upgrading to TT2. Both TT and TT2 are superb dacs.
  5. Hi @BananaPlug I used to run Chord Hugo TT (original version, not new TT2) into ATC SCM40A active speakers. The sound? Stunning. Musical. Enjoyable. Neither warm nor bright but very easy to listen to, surprisingly forgiving, no listener fatigue. I very much doubt you will beat this particular combination for sound quality per £. The original Hugo TT on bay are a bargain. I've listened to many many dacs at home over the years (Dave, Hugo, Hugo TT2, RME, Mojo, Benchmark, Sony, Marantz, etc) and the original Hugo TT is still my favourite. Proof? I still own it. All the other DACs with the exception of Dave, and TT2 I found 'brighter' than Hugo TT. Without a shadow of a doubt, go for it. ATCSM40A speakers are very special speakers. I'd still have a pair if my room could take the bass energy they produce. I downsized to Spendor 2/3 which are equally superb. Bonus: Designed and made in England, not China (like Auralic).
  6. Other speakers I've found that have a comparable mid to ATC are Harbeth (Monitor 30.1/30.2) and Spendor Classic 2/3. I found the Harbeths tweeter/top end not as well integrated as with Spendor. Goldilocks style: I didn't keep SCM40 because the bass energy was too much for my room otherwise I would have. I didn't keep Harbeth because I found the top end too prominent. I found the Spendor's just right. Can't imagine ever changing.
  7. I've listened to both the Neumann KH310 and ATC SCM40. Neumanns are excellent speakers and great VFM. However, I much preferred the ATCs, to me they just sounded better in every department. The Neumanns sounding more akin to mid budget home studio monitors. My guess is most studio engineers would pick and use ATC professional monitors over Neumann. imo the best judge of sound quality is the human ear and brain over charts and graphs. Not saying charts and graphs don't have their place, they do, but they are not the be all and end all.
  8. Very difficult question as it's took a long time and effort to get my system sounding right. I love every component and wouldn't swap anything, no matter what the price. The hardest thing in this hobby for me has been finding speakers I love the sound of but are also a good match for the room. Therefore, for me the component I would keep above all others is my Spendor Classic 2/3 speakers. I've found a good test of speaker driver integration is to stand about 1m away and if the sound of the tweeter differentiates itself and sticks out like a sore thumb then you know it's going to have an exaggerated and irritating top end. My Spendors don't suffer such issues. I found too many speakers suffer this issue. If it's hard to ascertain where the sound is coming from, tweeter or mid driver, with voice then you know the drivers are well integrated. Next would be my dac, Chord Hugo TT, after that my amp, Moon 330A.
  9. Well that's the downside of battery power. I tend to only listen for an hour or two but the laptop doesn't seem to use much power at all playing back music library from Apple Music - 4-6 hours from full charge. To be honest I'm not sure I can tell the difference plugged in or not.
  10. I was recently reading the highly respected Rob Watts (designer of Chord Electronics dacs) blog about this very thing. He view is that an iPhone or iPad is about as good as a streaming/playback device can get. Why? Because it's battery powered and low energy makes it a low noise device, and as you say no ground loops. I've used a battery powered fanless MacBook for years. I playback bit perfect audio CD rips (Apple Lossless, 16 bit 44.1kHz) using Apple Music and couldn't be happier. I control the playback using my Apple watch or iPhone (Apple Remote app). Some recommend put device into airplane mode to disable cellular/wifi/bluetooth etc. Here's what Mr Watts said: "Your phone is the best source you can get technically if you have bit perfect data using the phones local memory (micro SD or on device); it's best as it is very low power, and battery operated, so no RF currents can circulate into the DAC ground plane and then cause noise floor modulation. So use your phone as a reference and select a streamer that comes close or identical to that SQ would be my advice. My guess is that would happen with a good bit perfect streamer with optical outputs - if 192k is your max file sample rate. As you suggest, make sure it is not upsampled or modified data." See https://www.head-fi.org/threads/watts-up.800264/page-131#post-15874191
  11. One thing to check is cable dressing. Make sure cables are all well apart from each other, particularly power cables not touching other cables carrying the audio signal, such as interconnect or speaker cable. I once discovered a laptop power cable touching an expensive Chord cable interconnect and was shocked at the resulting harshness of sound and buzzing. For such an expensive cable the lack of noise rejection/shielding was shocking. Lesson learned - don't buy expensive esoteric hifi cables. It was replaced with relatively cheap Mogami 2549 (common in recording studios) that suffered no such problems.
  12. Yes, I use 3.5 and it's an excellent cable, it will not add any brightness or harshness. I find it to be a very natural sounding cable. Go for the 3.5 over the 2.0. Technically, it is outstanding having PTFE/Teflon dielectric (see https://www.atlascables.com/design-insulation.html), high quality 72 0.25mm² copper conductors (I've never got on with silver plated copper), and solder-free termination. For me it's the perfect speaker cable. Highly recommended. I'm also a big fan of Mogami cables. Seeing as though you are in Germany I would check out https://www.cma.audio/en/mogami - I've bought some Mogami 2549 interconnects from website and they are superb. Again, add nothing bright or harsh to sound, very natural sounding.
  13. Well I didn't start the insults did I? But you didn't feel the need comment on that one.
  14. You suggested what I said was fake by linking it to conspiracy theories. I find that pretty insulting.
  15. I suspect this post is going to be controversial but I'm going to say it anyway. Auralic are a Chinese company selling Chinese made products using off the shelf DAC chips. Some of their profits will go to the Chinese Communist Party. I suggest you read up and find a little more about the Chinese Communist Party, it doesn't make pleasant reading. Chord are a British company making British products using technology that is unique to them and world leading. The sound quality speaks for itself. I know where my money goes.
  16. I couldn't hear much difference to be honest to justify the cost of changing. For me the original TT has the balance right between musicality (musical enjoyment) and transparency. I have listened to other Chord dacs and found unforgiving. I found Dave a little 'processed' sounding, almost too 3d, just sounded a little weird or over egged. I use Apple MacBook playing back CD quality bit perfect data as player/streamer. Rob Watts uses battery powered laptop for critical listening.
  17. @Griff500 Only one DAC to consider with SCM40A and that is Chord Hugo TT - the original version. Can be had on ebay within your budget. I've never listened to a DAC I prefer more (including Chord Dave, RME ADI, and others) and worked beautifully with SCM40A speakers I previously owned. I think the attitude of the dealer you describe is almost unique to the hifi industry. I've never experienced it anywhere other than hifi. I had a problem with Lintone Audio in Gateshead, or rather they had a problem with me. The were informed by their PMC sales rep (which was likely unlawful) that I had purchased PMC speakers from Fanthorpes. They got the hump because I purchased elsewhere after demoing PMC speakers with them. Forgivable but what they didn't know was that I also purchased another product (Hugo TT dac that Lintone did not sell) from Fanthorpes at the time with the PMC speakers. Hence why a multiple item discount deal was done with Fanthorpes and not Lintone. I was appalled by the unpleasant attitude of the staff at Lintone (up their own bottoms) and will never return there. They have lost $$$ thousands in sales from me over the years as a result of their pettiness, small mindedness, and quite possibly unlawful activity of discussing third party sales with their sales reps.
  18. Absolutely. I've discovered lots of new music on this station. Excellent sound quality too. My favourite is BBC 6 Music. That's the beauty of radio. You hear and learn new things.
  19. Oh hadn't realised that, good spot. Airplay and wireless streaming is a nice addition.
  20. In fact, it looks like Marantz currently have three amps and players which are all more or less identical in all but looks. 30 Series, 12 series, and Ruby series.
  21. Looking inside and at the specs it appears to be the same as new PM-12SE but with a different skin. Looks-wise, I prefer the PM-12SE.
  22. I'd be surprised if it came anywhere near the sound quality of Hugo TT into a decent class A/B power amp. Isn't M33 made in China? I'd rather get a Naim Nova (made in UK) all in one at that price.
  23. For a small room situation have you considered TT direct to active speakers such as Neumann KH120. No power amp needed. btw I own the original TT, not the new TT2.
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