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Everything posted by DavidHB

  1. One of my few regularly listened to pop (or rock, if you prefer) albums. I have one of the early pressings (with the transparent window in the outer sleeve). I actually used this album as one of my test records when I upgraded to Karousel, and made full "before" and "after" digital recordings using Songcorder. Definitely Category 1 in my list. Had I but space enough on my NAS and time enough for real time recording, I could record all my LPs and then I'd have a whole new record collection . David
  2. Thank you for the compliment, but the best I can offer is my subjective opinion, as objectively stated as I am able. I have mine stacked on my machined Radikal case (with pieces of Gunstig under the feet of course ). Both boxes are black, so they It look very elegant, in a restrained kind of way. David
  3. Clarity, openness, the sense of space around the music - all things I associate with a lowering of the noise floor, though I would not know whether that is what is happening. A significant improvement? IMO, yes. A massive improvement, comparable to going Exakt or upgrading to Katalyst? IMO, no. Yes, and so there should be. I had an ADSM/1 to trade in, so the net cost of the KEDSM, though not inconsiderable, was manageable. But if I were starting from scratch, I would be bound to regard the combination of the ASH and the Exaktbox-I as much the most cost effective means of getting myself a Katalyst Exakt setup. That would involve (probably) a small amount of compromise on performance compared with a much more costly component system, a limitation to a maximum of four way speakers (still plenty of choice there), and something of a dead end if and when it came to upgrading. For many users, I suspect that those disadvantages do not outweigh the value that such a system provides. David
  4. Given the price differential, it has to be a fair question. In the case we have been discussing (KSH versus ASH), some of us have found the answer to be surprising. But that answer would not necessarily apply across the range. With the LP12, the massively more expensive Klimax build standard does provide a different, more nuanced and more engaging listening experience than its Akurate counterpart, good as that is. I've never compared the current KDSM with the ADSM, so I can't comment on that. I did hear a comparison of two pre-Katalyst Klimax Exaktboxes with the original Akurate Exaktbox 10 (using Akubarik speakers), and, though the difference was clearly to be heard, I did not think that it justified paying almost four times as much for the Klimax kit. Similarly with the amplifiers; I didn't think that the (Chakra based) Klimax Twin was a night and day improvement over the Akurate 2200. (The Klimax Solo, which I have never heard, is of course a completely different design to the Twin.) The moral, which I think brings me back on topic, is that the only sensible thing to do is to listen to a number of options and decide where you want to be, if not now then in some foreseeable future. Though I doubt that it represents the direction in which zee9 is headed, the MDSM/4 with M109s I have just bought as a second system will be all the 'true' Hi-Fi that many users will ever want or need. David
  5. Yes, for two reasons. Firstly, because It was indeed Chris who suggested that I try the KEDSM. Now you could say that this is good salesmanship, as indeed it is, but Chris does seem to have the knack of understanding where customers want to be with their systems and suggesting options they had not previously considered. The second reason is of course that, since I heard the news of Chris' illness, he has been much in my thoughts. It is only a fortnight ago today that he came her to deliver my MDSM. David A view that my other half, sadly no longer with us, would certainly also have taken. I think I could have persuaded her to allow me my original ADSM. But any form of Exakt system would have been a very hard sell. David
  6. Perhaps 'revelation' is not the word I would use, but the difference is surprising, especially if you are of the mindset that they are just digital devices and there can't be any difference. I have the KEDSM rather than the Klimax System Hub, but that's a distinction without a difference in the present context. The bottom line is that, after a proper listening test in my own system, I had no qualms about trading in my ADSM to buy the KEDSM, and I'm still happy to keep it. I understand that the later KEDSMs and the KSHs have a different main board (to take advantage of the latest production machinery). A number of people, including @Nrwatson, tell me that this sounds even better than my version, but, unless and until Linn offer an actual upgrade, I shall stick with what I have. David
  7. Of course, some of the ISP supplied routers may be rebranded Fritz!boxes (I don't know whether this is the case), but the brand as such is not well known here. Indeed, I'd guess that 90%+ of broadband users in the UK use ISP supplied routers. Many will have no idea that users can supply their own router. BT, who are the dominant supplier, foster the idea that users have to use their router by insisting on supplying one as part of contract startup; you get a router (and to pay for "postage") whether you want the thing or not. Naturally, BT (and others) will set up their routers so they connect as smoothly as possible to the paid for media services, including BT TV and BT Sport, that they offer. Open Source UPnP AV seems to come way down the list of priorities; in fact it suits BT fine if streaming from anywhere other than their portal is a hassle. David
  8. In the UK, yes, but they don't seem to have much of a presence David
  9. @MickC Yes, the aspect of the discussion you refer to is indeed off topic. I'm not going to get into a comparative discussion of different control points. My comparison was, if you like , of Kazoo with itself in different environments. My point is that, if you fix the network, you, more often than not, fix Kazoo. The fix does not work nearly as often the other way round. Sadly, this approach does not seem to work for the Linn Account when it gives trouble. I can understand the scepticism about the usefulness of clearing the browser cache (and/or cookies and history), but can only report that, so far it seems to have worked for me. My browser allows me to clear the data on a 'per site' basis, which is useful in situations such as this. David
  10. I'm really glad to see that the business is continuing at this difficult time. David
  11. I heard about this a couple of days ago from Paul and from @Nrwatson, but I wasn't sure how widely Chris would want it known. This must be a hard, hard blow for someone who spends his life helping other people. I must say that he has been greatly in my thoughts since I heard the news. David
  12. You can simply delete the stream.transcode setting (or remove references to FLAC from it if, say, you are transcoding MP3 streams). MinimStreamer will not transcode anything without an instruction to do so. David
  13. Unlikely, for the reasons given by Phobic. You are simply adding another, and very likely unnecessary, stage of upsampling to what the DS/DSM will be doing in any case. On the other hand, AFAIK the processor in the DS/DSM does not adjust the bit depth during the course of the processing sequence. If it does, it leaves the significant digits in the signal unchanged. David
  14. !2V AC, You do'n;t get something for nothing in this world. I found that the Lingo was a bit of a slow starter, but otherwise had no troubles with it. Radikal (12V DC) is much better in that regard. In the cases you mention, it works if the oil is topped up as Linn recommend, so is I suppose not actually faulty. I had another reason for the Lingo not changing to 45. When my dealer built the deck, he used a platter of his own to test it, to keep my new platter pristine. Unfortunately, when he came to install the deck with the new platter, he forgot to fit the strip of sticky back ribbon used with the detector inside the rim of the platter. With the ribbon supplied, I easily fitted it myself and all was well. David
  15. FWIW, my setting is flac:wav24-0gb, mp3:wav24-0gb, aac:wav24-0gb The "0gb" is to prevent the stream from stopping on radio stations at the end of the standard time limit, and so is not really relevant to the present discussion. As you see, I change the bit depth but not the sampling rate. Johannes' result suggests that changing the rate may result in timing issues. It is worth emphasising that you don't get something for nothing with transcoding; the amount of significant digital data remains unchanged. Any sound quality change can only be the result of the way the player handles the transcoded stream. The findings so far are representative of the spread of views in similar past discussions on the MinimServer and old Linn forums; some people don't like what they hear, some can't hear any difference, and others detect an improvement. I certainly wouldn't buy MinimServer just for the transcoding (except perhaps for radio), but as it's there, effectively free, and can be left to do its thing for years on end, I'm happy to go with the slight improvement I do hear. My most recent experiments (a year or more ago now) have been with radio stations including a couple with FLAC streams. With them, for some reason (perhaps the amount of compression they use) the change is a little more marked than when playing ripped CDs. I agree with that. Thanks for the reminder about that interesting Linndocs page. As I understand it, the digital signal goes through several upsampling and downsampling stages in the course of the processing sequence. David
  16. Simon is one of those people who likes to offer options for everyone, and he will explain things in precise detail, forgetting that we mortals mostly find precision confusing The pricing structure is actually quite simple. At the end of the (IIRC) 30 day trial period, the software reverts to the basic free version (not configurable, no MinimStreamer). To continue using the full software, you pay upfront either £28 (use on up to three devices) or £40 (use on up to 5 devices). The MinimServer licence is permanent, but, if you want to continue using MinimStreamer and/or receiving updates to MinimServer, that will cost you £10 per annum from the end of the first year. Simples MinimServer is astonishingly fully featured; I cannot believe that anyone would want to use everything it offers. The manual is comprehensive and written in clear, detailed prose without a single picture on any page. Newcomers tend to find it hard work, but it really is worth persevering with, as MinimServer gives you control over your browsing sequence like no other server application. The MinimServer forum is pretty active, and Simon responds to all queries made there, usually within a day or so. That in itself is IMO worth the cost of the program. The other gotcha that trips up newcomers to MinimServer is that, if you are running it on a remote device such as a NAS, you need the MinimServer control program MinimWatch, which you can download and install (no extra cost) on your PC, Mac or Linux box. This places an icon in the system tray which you right click (or Ctrl-click) to access the control functions and the extensive range of settings. If you are running Minim directly on your desktop or laptop (in principle, you install it where the music library is stored), you don't need MinimWatch, as MinimServer itself will put the icon in the system tray. Simon's plan is that MinimWatch will be progressively replaced with a web-based control page, the first, very basic, version of which is already available; interestingly this page appears as a device controller in Konfig. Hope this helps. David
  17. No, it's part of MinimServer 2, which is paid for software. There is a free trial period, however. There is a basic free version of MinimServer 2, but it does not have MinimStreamer If you are running the old MinimServer 0.8, that will remain operational, but its MinimStreamer licence has already expired or will shortly do so. Simon Nash, the author of MinimServer, was waiting until MinimServer 2 had been added to the Synology and QNAP software application libraries before finally pulling the plug. David
  18. I think that it's a bit old to be classed as a "discovery"; IIRC, it was discussed extensively on the MinimServer forum in 2014 and 2015. That was my best guess as well. But if the difference in sound quality does indeed result from the lowering of the noise floor, there must be something happening in the analogue domain as well. I've only tried the process with Linn players. The transcoding changes the bit depth, but not the sampling frequency. So 'Red Book' CDS are transcoded to 24 bit/44.1 kHz. I now have Katalyst, but my initial observations were with an ADSM/0, so long before Katalyst was launched. I would repeat that I wouldn't want to make too much of the difference. It's not huge, but it's free, and there does not appear to be any downside. David
  19. Yes. To be absolutely clear as to what "transcoding" means, the losslessly compressed FLAC files remain unchanged on the server, but the audio stream is converted to WAV 'on the fly' at the server end for playback. So the DS/DSM reports to the Control Point that it is playing a 24 bit WAV stream. If this is a ripped 16 bit CD, no additional significant data is added to the stream by the transcoding process, which simply pads out the additional digits with zeroes. Somehow, however, the player deals with the stream in such a way that the noise floor is lowered. Incidentally, there is an option in MinimServer just to transcode the 16 bit FLAC to 16 bit WAV. I have found, however, that this makes/made little if any difference in any of the 4 Linn DSMs I have owned. It is the transcoding to 24 bit that somewhat improves sound quality, but I have no idea how this works. David
  20. I'm FLAC only, having (after experiments with MP3 that are much better forgotten) caught on to the reasons for Linn's preference long before I read their advice. But, as I have MinimServer/MinimStreamer set to transcode all FAC streams to WAV, I actually get the best of both worlds. I wouldn't say that transcoding makes a major difference to sound quality, but the improvement (which, over the years, I have reassessed on several occasions) is noticeable. IIRC, Naim used to say that using WAV rather than FLAC lowered the noise floor in their players, and the results I get (slight improvements in transparency and clarity) are consistent with that finding. David
  21. Rather, it is the case that, if software works on many or most networks, but not on others, the likelihood is that the root problem is with the networks, and not with the software. The best that software can do is to try to work around the problems. The Linn software has become more robust over the years, and there are much more comprehensive instructions on Linndocs than there used to be to help users troubleshoot network issues. There are things that can be done to 'harden' network infrastructure. The first point is that the failure rate is lower with Ethernet connections than with Wifi, particularly if you reserve IP addresses for devices in fixed locations (typically the DS/DSM and the NAS). Secondly, decent wifi - including a line of sight connection from wireless devices to a current (AC) standard access point - can increase system liability markedly. For circumstances where the control point refuses to connect or loses sync with the DS, it helps to have a control point app with a proper Exit option which forces a status refresh when the app is restarted. BubbleDS has this feature, but Kazoo does not, at least on Android. I note that the most persistent complaints about connectivity loss with Linn systems come from users of iThingies of one kind or another. Whether this is because more people use control points on iOS rather than Android devices, or whether iOS devices tend to be less robust I do not know. It is a fact however that the Control Point which a number of us regard as the best available, BubbleDS, is Android only. I think that it is worth buying an inexpensive Android tablet just to run Bubble. All of that said, this thread is about the Linn Account, and I agree that its failure to connect can be seriously annoying. Part of the problem is that the page seems to store its state in the browser cache, which has to be cleared before the page can be properly refreshed. FWIW, I have noticed that errors seem less frequent when I access the account via my (Ethernet connected) desktop computer rather than a wireless device, and if I log on each time rather than remain logged on between sessions. David
  22. I don't imagine that there is too much of a call for second hand Basik Plus arms these days, though one in good nick can still give the Pro-ject arm formerly fitted to the Majik LP12 a run for its money. It is just possible that Chris at Hidden Systems (https://www.hiddensystems.co.uk) will still have my old Basik Plus, which was still in good shape when I upgraded. David
  23. That is certainly the case. A few basics may clarify things. All Exakt systems (Exakt speakers, Exaktbox-I, standard Exaktboxes with amplifiers) have, from a functional perspective, the same signal path, which is: digital (typically network) input > renderer (DS/DSM) > Exakt engine (processing) > DAC channels > amplifier channels > individual speaker drivers. Clearly, the quality of the renderer, as it is a source component, is of great significance in determining the quality of the system as a whole. In the early days of Exakt, there was a quite widespread misconception that all renderers were essentially the same "it's all just 0s and 1s"). there are plenty of folk here who can attest that this is not the case. I've never heard and MDSM used as an Exakt renderer in comparison with, say, an Akurate System Hub (formerly the AEDSM). But I have compared an ADSM in comparison with a KEDSM (now the Klimax System Hub). The result of that comparison was that I traded in my ADSM and bought the KEDSM. So my money is where my mouth is. I think that there are three areas of performance where Exakt systems can vary. The first is timing/jitter. In an Exakt system. the master clock is in the Exakt engine, but the renderer does have to deliver a clocked stream to the engine, and I believe that the clock in the renderer is slaved to the one in the Exakt engine. Clearly, the better the clocking system as a whole works, the better the ultimate sound quality will be. The second variable is noise. For present purposes, the digital signal as such is noise free, but the (analogue) circuitry which carries and processes the signal is not. Keeping that noise out of the analogue domain is a serious challenge. All circuitry generates noise of some sort, so removing redundant circuitry from a component lowers its noise floor. An MDSM used as an Exakt renderer has a lot of redundant circuitry, while an ASH, depending on the use case, has little or none. The final variable is the quality of the A to D conversion provided by the analogue inputs of the renderer. Here again, the conversion circuitry can typically be better implemented in the less congested board layout of the System Hub than in the much more crowded DSM, which of course in the case of the MDSM includes built in amplification. This, I believe is why, although the ASH has much the same price new as the previous, Exakt-capable, MDSM, it has been reported as performing much better than the latter as an Exakt renderer. I suspect that Linn themselves were well aware of this, and it is, I think, relevant that Exakt capability has been omitted from the current MDSM/4. David
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