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About MotherSky

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  • Turn Table
    JVC TT-71;DIY plinth
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    DIY Hadcock / MMIII
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    on board LS100
  • Digital Source 1
    PSAudio PWT
  • Digital Source 2
    Auralic Aries Femto
  • DAC
    Aqua La Voce S3
  • Pre-Amp
    Modwright LS100
  • Power Amp/s
    Sugden Musicmaster
  • My Speakers
    Proac Response 1sc
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. I'm not familiar with the later generations of REL subs - I use a Strata V to excellent effect in my setup - I would recommend looking at unported models, and be prepared to spend quite a long time getting the integration right - it's not a straightforward job, and I think it's one of the reasons some people are so set against subs in a hifi context: as @TheFlash says, when done properly you should only really notice it when you switch it off...
  2. I'd look at a few mods to that DAC if you've got "permission" to drop a few quid on the hifi..
  3. I can't help from direct experience, but my youngest has a Fiio X3 and I know that he was pretty amazed by an Astell & Kern that an old friend of mine had with him when he came to visit last year - I'm not sure of the model - DAPs aren't really my thing - but could find out if it helps. As @Lurch says, probably Headfi would be a better starting point - far more white noise to filter out over there, however... Another point to consider would be the addition of a portable headphone amp (can be piggybacked on to your DAP) - the built in headphone stages are often fairly compromised, which will really hold things back - MH Edit: just realised you already have the Mojo acting as a headphone amp/DAC should have read your post properly
  4. I would actually say that the Proacs have more pronounced upper midrange - just goes to show that there are far too many variables to reliably generalise, and much that is subjective anyway
  5. Is it right that the A80 is basically the power amp section of the IS ref? I owned the latter for a while, and it really didn't want to drive my Proac 1SCs (86 dB/w and a very benign impedance curve) - a truly beautiful sounding amp, but I wouldn't think it would be an ideal match for the Ushers, certainly not on paper - MH
  6. It's worth a look at the Proac owner's thread, you might get an idea of general consensus re specific models etc - I don't get the sense that Proac are releasing new speakers with unusual frequency, and their naming system seems pretty clear - I have heard other Proac speakers, but the absolute stand out for me were/are the Response 1SCs - these have been my main speakers for around 20 years now, and whilst they do have their foibles, I've found little to touch them - they need really good, very high mass (& tall) stands; despite their size, they need a lot of space - well clear of all boundary walls; they need the right amplifier to really give their best (at one point I was threatened with divorce if I bought another amplifier to try, and I really don't think she was joking...), and obviously they lack low bass due to basic physics - a spot of carefully executed subwoofery works well for me. I have got a pair of Heco Direkts plumbed in at the moment - the first genuine competition for the 1SCs in my system - and they are superb, but different rather than necessarily better, and their aesthetics are a bit challenging to my eye, so I may well be sticking with the Proacs yet again, and that is actually a rather pleasing result - YMMV etc - MH
  7. I use a PSAudio PWT - has a couple of ergonomic quirks, and some may balk at the use of a standard computer drive (upside being that you can replace them for about £15 a pop), but in terms of SQ, it outperforms every other digital source I have tried - obviously only potentially in budget second hand - MH
  8. I was actually going to suggest something like a Toshiba SD900e or similar (battleship universal machines very much out of fashion) - can be had for £150 or so and IME outperform many very fancy pants dedicated CD transports
  9. Conrad Johnson is another company I've always admired - just spotted the ACT2 preamp @daveyu has listed in the classifieds - definitely on my wish list should my ship ever come in...
  10. I would trust your ears if I were you - I certainly had no "expectation bias" when first attempting to set up a simple streaming system - on the contrary, I found (find) the variation in sound quality between different digital sources extremely frustrating/annoying, and they are in no way subtle (this has persisted through three changes of DAC, by the way) on numerous occasions I felt like giving up completely and sticking to CDs and vinyl - nothing would have pleased me more than being able to plug in a basic laptop and find it sounded just the same as my CD transport - sadly not the case at all in my experience: "computer" audio seems to be very difficult to get right - this may be true of vinyl as well, but at least I feel with that as though I understand the underlying principles. YMMV etc MH
  11. There is indeed some excellent kit made in the States - Modwright gear is superb, but seems to be moving further and further upmarket with each new product release - this seems to be a trend with US manufacturers (?) - Schiit and Wyred4sound being two notable exceptions. I also use a PSAudio transport, which beat everything else I tried into a cocked hat, but like a lot of American stuff, only really makes financial sense once it hits the second hand market
  12. Never mind thread drift, this is more like forum drift...😁. Thanks for this - very much feeling our way with this at the mo, and will definitely investigate the Decon MH
  13. As @Warszawa says, you are finding out that digital transports can indeed sound very different - it has taken me a great deal of time, faff and a reasonable amount of money getting my streaming source to sound comparable to my CD transport (both feeding the same DAC) - having got things to the point where I can finally listen quite happily to Tidal, I thought that adding a NAS drive and ripping my CDs to that was the next logical step, only to find that when I compare the same album: CD/Tidal/NAS, the file ripped to the NAS drive is audibly lacking compared to the other two sources - this (so far) makes no sense to me at all - why would files arriving over the internet sound better than those stored on my own network? - files are FLAC, ripped in dBpoweramp, NAS is a Qnap with SSD cache, feeding the same streamer as handles Tidal - this has started me looking very closely at dedicated servers (Melco, Innuos,Aurender etc) - I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that is where I would have begun my "journey" (why is everything described as a journey these days?), especially from the perspective of locally stored music - something like an Innuos Zenith would be well within your stated budget, and I would think relatively easy to organise a home loan/audition - MH
  14. Just a quick follow up to this in case I have inadvertently caused concern to people using ultrasonic RCMs by my slightly ill considered initial posts: the tanks we use at the workshop for parts cleaning run at 40khz - an RCM like the "Degritter" runs at 120khz according to their blurb, so clearly the action will be very different - also, the effect of ultrasonic cleaning on 200-300 year old cast brass ( which is porous and has a crystalline structure) is not going to give any reliable indication of the effect on something like a vinyl record, so apologies if I have added to anyone's paranoia. Thank you @AntA for the tip about pyrex beakers - I'm going to try a couple of careful experiments - As you were... MH
  15. Not wanting to be alarmist - I was just rather taken aback by the aggressiveness of the tanks (they are a recent addition to the workshop - we are trying to move away from the more traditional horolene baths for parts cleaning due to the ammonia content) - before commenting further, I will check the spec of the machines we are using: I think they are quite expensive, and possibly just very powerful compared to anything purposed for vinyl cleaning - to be clear though, the etching is a direct result of the ultrasonic action, and occurs even with just water - we have been experimenting with ways to incorporate it into the cleaning regime without ruining the surface finish - for small delicate automata components etc I've stuck to using a non-ultrasonic watch cleaning machine from the 60's to avoid risk of damage