Griff500

DAC / Pre Amp setup for SCM40A

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Super Dealer
3 minutes ago, Griff500 said:

That's interesting.

What are your thoughts on the Aries Mini as a source ?

It's not as simple as just passing through the ones and zeros in full, or is that just wishful thinking?

The Aries Mini is not bad (I had one before my Auralic Aries Femto) and is probably worth keeping whilst you familiarise yourself with the other new kit. The Mini has a DC input and so you could also try pimping it with a linear po0er supply) I have a spare LPS from the Auralic Aries Femto.

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What has the budget got up to now? ;) FWIW, listening to some of these different options you're considering would be very worthwhile. Two different competently made digital sources into a good quality DAC should give near enough the same measured output (once you take volume controls, DSP etc. into equation). Some people still perceive audible differences - I don't, but even if you do there's no reason to think a more expensive source will sound better than a cheaper one. This isn't like with speakers, where for example there are some known technical advantages of active over passive designs and measurable differences.

There's other reasons to buy high end transports, of course (some are beautiful pieces of design and engineering!) If you're focussed on getting the best sound, though, listen before buying :)

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4 minutes ago, George 47 said:

And to spice it all up there is a great deal of discussion going on in the USA where some dealers are charging for demos. If you buy you get the money back otherwise it is a cost of buying.

There are other sectors where you pay for advice and then get that money discounted from fees if you proceed with the product or service, so it's not an unreasonable idea to try. The market will decide of course!

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Super Dealer
Just now, jon said:

wo different competently made digital sources into a good quality DAC should give near enough the same measured output (once you take volume controls, DSP etc. into equation). Some people still perceive audible differences - I don't,

Change your batteries in your deaf aids then. I say CHANGE YOU BATTERIES IN YOUR DEAF AIDS!!

Seriously though, even competently made digital sources can sound very different.

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4 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

The Aries Mini is not bad (I had one before my Auralic Aries Femto) and is probably worth keeping whilst you familiarise yourself with the other new kit. The Mini has a DC input and so you could also try pimping it with a linear po0er supply) I have a spare LPS from the Auralic Aries Femto.

I use my Aries Mini with an SBooster. It certainly works fine as a streamer, although I don't yet know if it passes through the original file or something that has been altered. It was a great bit of kit for the money though.

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4 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

Change your batteries in your deaf aids then. I say CHANGE YOU BATTERIES IN YOUR DEAF AIDS!!

Seriously though, even competently made digital sources can sound very different.

:) at any rate, worth the OP trying a few examples to see if they share my hearing problems (or, if they can hear differences, no reason to think the most expensive option will be the best)

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33 minutes ago, George 47 said:

And to spice it all up there is a great deal of discussion going on in the USA where some dealers are charging for demos. If you buy you get the money back otherwise it is a cost of buying.

That will soon change if they don’t get any customers, can’t see it working here.

I certainly won’t be paying for a demo. 

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46 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

Do not be hasty in this final stage of your acquisition. Try a few things before rejecting them.

Aries Mini to Qutest to Music First Passive to AT40 actives will be superb. (Or indeed I admit that some of the other transformer based passive preamps might be equally amazing).

An interesting option, although that might mean I would have to get off my arse to change the volume...

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Super Wammer
1 minute ago, Griff500 said:

An interesting option, although that might mean I would have to get off my arse to change the volume...

Nope, many apps have volume so just increase/decrease streamer output, + my MFA Baby Reference passive pre has remote volume control. 

I do this when using my CCA in a non remote 80s 2nd system

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Super Dealer
4 minutes ago, Griff500 said:

An interesting option, although that might mean I would have to get off my arse to change the volume...

There are some fancy passives with remotes but I have not personally comared them to the Music First Baby Ref (which is stunning - ask @Lurch)

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3 minutes ago, Lurch said:

Nope, many apps have volume so just increase/decrease streamer output, + my MFA Baby Reference passive pre has remote volume control. 

I do this when using my CCA in a non remote 80s 2nd system

Wouldn't this work best with maximum output from the DAC and volume controlled by the passive pre? That particular model is a fair chunk of the budget.

Edit: I note that you mentioned using the streamer app volume control. Something to consider. For my girlfriend to use it I'll ideally have some of this working from my universal remote where possible.

Edited by Griff500

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Super Wammer

A used regular baby ref can be had around £2.5k, the remote is retrofittable to all MFA passives so easily sorted. 

And as Fourlegs has intimatted, the Baby Ref is stunning, I grabbed mine about 2 months ago and can't believe how good it is. It took me about 30 seconds to decide it was staying in my system when I had it here for audition. 

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Super Wammer

@Griff500 once you get your new speakers, grab yourself a pair of xlr leads and give me a shout. I will pop over with the MFA Baby Ref, pimped node & Jolida DAC so you can hear what the MFA is capable of. 

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15 hours ago, Lurch said:

@Griff500 once you get your new speakers, grab yourself a pair of xlr leads and give me a shout. I will pop over with the MFA Baby Ref, pimped node & Jolida DAC so you can hear what the MFA is capable of. 

That's a very kind offer (I thought I had already replied to this but I cannot see the reply here).

At the moment I'm thinking it's down to the Linn Akurate DSM3 with Katalyst, Auralic Vega G2 (apparently a good analogue preamp) or the Hugo TT2 on it's own using my Aries Mini. These would range in cost between £4,000 to £4,400.

The Auralic and Chord (Qutest and TT2) seem to measure well, so that should make @PuritéAudio happy. ;-) 

The Chord approach would mean I could use it on it's own initially and add a passive preamp in the future if it would provide an improvement. I'm on the fence about going all-in with the M-Scaler as well and I'll be interested to hear what difference it makes. It looks like it's very easy to do an A/B comparison with it.

I guess an alternative might be the Qutest and passive preamp approach, but I wonder how that would work in terms of the output. It seems the passive preamp is basically an attenuator like I use on a guitar amp at home to drive the power amp section but reduce the output to the speakers so as to not be excessively loud? Would the output from the Qutest be sufficient to make that work well into SCM40A?

That last option would definitely be a 'hidden in the cupboard' approach - I don't think my girlfriend would be too impressed with the appearance.

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19 hours ago, halloweenman said:

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.

As an aside, our tax money goes to our Government who have used it for various questionable purposes, including wars, regime change, straight out of the country to tax havens for the wrong PPE, chocolate Companies for PPE, etc. 

I think Auralic make some good products. 

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