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Everything posted by Heckyman

  1. Wow, seems like the "streaming wars" have started. Lossless looks like becoming the new default. Enjoy it while you can, before everything goes 3D Just don't cancel your Qobuz / Tidal subs, otherwise you might find no service will stream natively to your hifi company streamer...
  2. Sorry no idea about Alexa. Just wanted to point out that the Rega Brio doesn't appear to have a digital input, therefore you need something with an analogue output (i.e. a built-in DAC).
  3. IME, yes. If you like the MBP in terms of usability, I would just get a new M1 Mac and possibly a nice fast external drive for your files. I've used both older Macs (2012 MBP, 2011 Mini, 2019 iMac) and RPis (Allo incl. USBridge + Digione sig.+ good PSUs etc.). The new M1 Macs are a step up in SQ, and WiFi seems to have less ill effect on SQ too.
  4. Agree, it's a matter of taste (and synergy with room). I auditioned passive 19's and 40's and I narrowly preferred the 19's. Better coherency and suitability for near field listening. The 40's are better for a pleasant room filling sound; I liked the mid on the 40 but wasn't convinced by the bass. The only time I've felt the 19's were "sharp" was when the upstream components were "sharp"
  5. 3.5 should last a very long time on MacOS, certainly for local playback. It's already been updated to run on M1 silicon, unlike the majority of the native streaming apps.
  6. Glad you got the DAC (finally) and looking forward to your updates. Do you also have a Denafrips DDC to try the clock out from the T2? I know Todmorden a bit, sometimes go for walks in Hardcastle crags.
  7. Slightly clearer but less involving over the long term. I tried it on a couple of different occasions and wasn't motivated to experiment further.
  8. I used a Ubiquity Edge Router X-SFP. If you have BT/Openreach you just use an old BT Openreach ADSL modem (£20 or so used) or put your ISP router into modem only mode. It doesn't have WiFi built in, so you might need to add a wireless access point. Sound with fibre in the networking chain was different, but I didn't prefer it overall. Results may depend on the specific SFP transceivers used, but I didn't fancy getting into "transceiver rolling".
  9. You pays your money and you takes your choice...
  10. Interesting observations and thanks for taking the time to write them. I've also experienced something similar (but different examples). In the end though, it all depends on the system context. This can get incredibly complicated once you throw cables and power supply into the mix!
  11. Had an ER for almost a year, tried loads of tweaks, ended up selling and now use WiFi or local playback.
  12. I have an ANV-50, I think it's great. Personally I prefer it to the Sugden pure class A stuff as it's more of a foottapper and will drive a far wider variety of speakers (I use ATC19's). Also great at low volumes.
  13. I tracked him down on Headfi and he actually clarifies/corrects that in a long post: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/an-exploration-of-chord-dave-mscaler-qutest-and-holo-may-hqplayer.952934/ I think basically he thinks the M-Scalar makes a lot of sense if you have a Dave, for non Chord DACs (or even the Qutest), not so much.
  14. Public broadcasting is one of the few areas where the UK is truly world class. BBC Sounds needs data to "compete" with commercial services, people expect a personalized service with recommendations etc.
  15. I've tried a few PSUs with the Qutest: DC3, Super PS, Shanti, 5V USB power brick... Not what I expected, but I found the changes to SQ rather subtle. Adding any old LPS is not an automatic improvement...
  16. The £2K Melco switch is a modded commercial Buffalo (Melco parent company). And apparently it's recommended to buy an aftermarket PSU. Maybe in a million quid system it could offer a "cheap" upgrade...
  17. I experimented with a run of fibre in my network when I had the Etherregen. Fibre did seem to change the sound, though ultimately I preferred copper.
  18. The effect of the network on sound quality is system dependent. Effects are second order i.e. noise from upstream PSUs or digital devices being carried into the DAC. I've tried almost all the wired network tweaks, my conclusion is to not use a network at all for "serious" listening and to use WiFi for "casual" (90%+) listening (fewer boxes and cheaper). For wired networks, the most important thing I found was the quality of the power supply to the last network device before the streamer/DAC. Then the switch itself (and of course the streamer/DAC...how much is it "affected" by noise from the network). Some of the gear I use/used: PSU: Farad Super 3, (Paul Hynes and SBooster would be other options but I didn't try these), cheaper options "medical grade" SMPS such as Meanwell etc. Router: Ubiquity Edgerouter X SFP Switch: QNap 2.5G switch Wireless Access Points: Ubiquity AP-Lite, Aruba 12, Zyxel (new WiFi 6) Modem: ISP router in bridge mode I never heard much difference with cables. Many "technical" folks advise unshielded, but I found cat 8 cables (with Telegartner-style plugs and solid core wire) seemed to have a slight edge over most unshielded cat 5e or shielded cat 6 I tried (Link Up yellow ones from Amazon etc, or Hagibis from China via AliExpress http://www.hagibis.com.cn/cat8-ethernet-cable-p00163p1.html). Also, if you have a ton of other devices on your network, it's good practice to create a separate subnet for audio. If you don't know what this means, just ignore it. Overall, the effects of network tweaking seems to be at, or even below, the level of mains cables.
  19. ...I'm still trying to decide between Mac mini's own DAC, Mac mini -> Qutest (USB) or Mac mini -> Hermes (Optical or SPDIF) -> Qutest If value for money were the main consideration, the first option would be a no-brainer. Very similar sounding but the cost doubles with each added unit + cable. I will revisit the comparision after upgrading speaker cables and interconnects.
  20. Slightly better specced clock in the Gaia, although the Hermes clock is already very good.
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