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39 minutes ago, Heckyman said:

Sugden themselves advised me several years ago to stick to vinyl (preferably) or CD due to computer noise (RFI/EMI) going everywhere once inside a system. At that time I was of the "bits are bits" belief, and more or less determined just to use consumer gear like computers, tablets, phones etc. as I could see it was "the future". I thought the hifi company streamers were a waste of money. To be fair, at the time, I did get by with just fine with computers and tablets as my entire system was firmly in the budget category. Only after upgrading speakers and amp did I slowly come to realise the full significance of the advice I'd been given.

More recently, hearing my ANV-50 with my speakers plus a very good turntable (well out of my price range!) brought home to me just how bad my digital source really was (and how capable my amp and speakers really were).

As to what I subsequently did, I did almost all the things that create arguments on forums ;-)  ...the rabbit hole goes very deep and I think you can already guess. Hard to give advice as I went only one way and there are other equally valid alternatives which I didn't compare with. 

If you have a Node 2i, there's a nice long thread on pimping it..also on reclockers...I've done a similar thing but with the Allo Raspberry Pi. I went with the Pi platform as I prefer to buy just the circuit boards and case, then choose my own PSUs and OS/software. 

Also worth bearing in mind "stock" computers themselves have improved a lot in terms of SQ compared to the computers of the pre-streamer days.  My work iMac (2019 i9) does in fact sound really quite good as long as you use a very good digital converter / reclocker. And of course you can also spend a lot of money and get a very nice purpose designed audiophile server/streamer or even build your own...many roads lead to Rome.
 

Thank you for this. As you say the digital rabbit hole is deep and one of the labyrinthine warren tunnels probably does lead to Rome! Hopefully, anyway. 

I have considered getting the Node 2i "pimped" but, to be honest, it is not a path I am comfortable with but only because, in my view, you can end up with some kind of Frankenstein machine that may or may not get you to where you want to be. The changes can be costly and reversing them impractical and ultimately pointless.

I would rather improve things with separate hardware although admittedly this is more expensive route. The advantage is it is straightforward and more cost effective in the long run to reverse any changes and start again. 

Interesting what you say about the La Voce S2. I think I need to borrow a few DAC's in the New Year to see if these offer an improvement or if the Node 2i is holding the system back. 

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Hello all Picked up my brand new IA4 yesterday and my room is very warm now. Took me about an hour to pull the trigger after having one on home demo a few weeks ago.  Decided after many years of

So, having been underwhelmed by the ANV-50 and as subsequently reported here: I took my Posselt Albatrosses to Fanthorpes in Hull and heard them driven by A21 Signature, A21SE and IA-4. The IA-4

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1 hour ago, HouseElf said:

I think I need to borrow a few DAC's in the New Year to see if these offer an improvement or if the Node 2i is holding the system back. 

Sounds like a plan!

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10 hours ago, HouseElf said:

Thank you for this. As you say the digital rabbit hole is deep and one of the labyrinthine warren tunnels probably does lead to Rome! Hopefully, anyway. 

I have considered getting the Node 2i "pimped" but, to be honest, it is not a path I am comfortable with but only because, in my view, you can end up with some kind of Frankenstein machine that may or may not get you to where you want to be. The changes can be costly and reversing them impractical and ultimately pointless.

I would rather improve things with separate hardware although admittedly this is more expensive route. The advantage is it is straightforward and more cost effective in the long run to reverse any changes and start again. 

Interesting what you say about the La Voce S2. I think I need to borrow a few DAC's in the New Year to see if these offer an improvement or if the Node 2i is holding the system back. 

The DAC in the Node is IMHO its performance limiter. Find your DAC before pimping the Node as a streamer.

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12 minutes ago, TheFlash said:

The DAC in the Node is IMHO its performance limiter. Find your DAC before pimping the Node as a streamer.

And what a minefield the world of DAC's is! You seem to favour the Metrum DAC's at the moment? I was looking at them today and from everything I have read it seems like they could be a good place to start. 

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26 minutes ago, HouseElf said:

And what a minefield the world of DAC's is! You seem to favour the Metrum DAC's at the moment? I was looking at them today and from everything I have read it seems like they could be a good place to start. 

No, they’re completely useless. I couldn’t recommend them to anyone. What you want is modern, well-designed, competent over-sampling design. This will allow you to get as accurate a reproduction of the recording as possible, which is by definition the purpose of “hi fi”. Choosing such a DAC is straightforward and does not involve so called “auditioning”. Measurements will tell you everything you need to know.

🤔

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4 minutes ago, TheFlash said:

No, they’re completely useless. I couldn’t recommend them to anyone. What you want is modern, well-designed, competent over-sampling design. This will allow you to get as accurate a reproduction of the recording as possible, which is by definition the purpose of “hi fi”. Choosing such a DAC is straightforward and does not involve so called “auditioning”. Measurements will tell you everything you need to know.

🤔

How foolish of me. I shall go and slam my head in the kitchen drawer until I have seen the light and buy a Topping DAC. 

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6 minutes ago, HouseElf said:

How foolish of me. I shall go and slam my head in the kitchen drawer until I have seen the light and buy a Topping DAC. 

Very sensible!

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7 hours ago, TheFlash said:

The DAC in the Node is IMHO its performance limiter. Find your DAC before pimping the Node as a streamer.

Agreed. Adding a dac to the Node is a bigger improvement than pimping it with an external power supply. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello people,

I am very new on the Hifi journey, I have been a lurker since beginning of lockdown in March 2020 doing a lot of reading on here and the internet in general. I watched various Youtubers and got the point where I auditioned a used Sugden A21SE and a used Sugden CD player with some Totem Sky Bookshelf speakers on official Totem Sky stands.

I tried a few other speakers - some Neats, PMC and some lower priced Totem speakers. To me the Sugden CD, amp and Totem Sky was the best stereo system I have ever heard. I bought it all, picking up the Totem Sky bookshelfs after the latest Tier 4 lockdown. I am running the Sugden amp and cd player on some Larsen 4 speakers I got cheap just to get some music flowing in the house in the interim!

I want to connect my TV into the system as well as my Raspberry PI with HifiBerry Digital passover HAT. What I don't have is a DAC to do this.

What DACs do people suggest to keep the Sugden sound?

I am looking to keep the wide soundsatge the Totems provide along with the musicality of the Sugden. Ideally I would want a remote for the DAC so it is easy to switch between TV and music, but would consider non-remote DACs if the sound matches what I think I want.

After extensive googling I have a list so far of:

  • Sugden DAC4 - PROs matched with my existing Sugden kit, small footprint. Cons - no remote control.
  • Musical Paradise - PROs by all accounts very musical sounding. Cons - looks very large, no remote control
  • Vincent DAC7 - PROs by all accounts very musical sounding, has a remote. Cons - Made in China
  • Chord Qutest - Worried it might be too bright, small foot print. Cons - no remote.

In terms of sound I am looking for - I like a wide sound stage, tight, controlled bass with good detail but kind of rounded at the top end so I can relax and enjoy music after work. I am not looking for a cold, analytically sound. I want balance with the sound.

I also don't want to pair all warm components to tilt the system to the warm end of the scale and therefore lose all the detail in the top end. Am I making sense? :)

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8 hours ago, oxymoron said:

Hello people,

I am very new on the Hifi journey, I have been a lurker since beginning of lockdown in March 2020 doing a lot of reading on here and the internet in general. I watched various Youtubers and got the point where I auditioned a used Sugden A21SE and a used Sugden CD player with some Totem Sky Bookshelf speakers on official Totem Sky stands.

I tried a few other speakers - some Neats, PMC and some lower priced Totem speakers. To me the Sugden CD, amp and Totem Sky was the best stereo system I have ever heard. I bought it all, picking up the Totem Sky bookshelfs after the latest Tier 4 lockdown. I am running the Sugden amp and cd player on some Larsen 4 speakers I got cheap just to get some music flowing in the house in the interim!

I want to connect my TV into the system as well as my Raspberry PI with HifiBerry Digital passover HAT. What I don't have is a DAC to do this.

What DACs do people suggest to keep the Sugden sound?

I am looking to keep the wide soundsatge the Totems provide along with the musicality of the Sugden. Ideally I would want a remote for the DAC so it is easy to switch between TV and music, but would consider non-remote DACs if the sound matches what I think I want.

After extensive googling I have a list so far of:

  • Sugden DAC4 - PROs matched with my existing Sugden kit, small footprint. Cons - no remote control.
  • Musical Paradise - PROs by all accounts very musical sounding. Cons - looks very large, no remote control
  • Vincent DAC7 - PROs by all accounts very musical sounding, has a remote. Cons - Made in China
  • Chord Qutest - Worried it might be too bright, small foot print. Cons - no remote.

In terms of sound I am looking for - I like a wide sound stage, tight, controlled bass with good detail but kind of rounded at the top end so I can relax and enjoy music after work. I am not looking for a cold, analytically sound. I want balance with the sound.

I also don't want to pair all warm components to tilt the system to the warm end of the scale and therefore lose all the detail in the top end. Am I making sense? :)

What sort of budget do you want to commit to a DAC ? Looks like from your list, £1000 used? I don’t get why a remote is important with a DAC but I would consider in addition, Luxman as the sound is more in keeping with Sugden. The MP is massive and if you want to valve roll, it’s ideal but I’d focus on a decent ‘sorted’ DAC. 
Nothing wrong with Vincent, made in China but designed and conceived in Germany and built to an extremely high standard and overlooked in China by on site German engineers. 
Personally if it was me, I’d go Luxman or Sugden 

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1 hour ago, radiant red said:

What sort of budget do you want to commit to a DAC ? Looks like from your list, £1000 used? I don’t get why a remote is important with a DAC but I would consider in addition, Luxman as the sound is more in keeping with Sugden. The MP is massive and if you want to valve roll, it’s ideal but I’d focus on a decent ‘sorted’ DAC. 
Nothing wrong with Vincent, made in China but designed and conceived in Germany and built to an extremely high standard and overlooked in China by on site German engineers. 
Personally if it was me, I’d go Luxman or Sugden 

Hi there,

I think budget wise up to £2k but would like to hit £1.5k or under. I think the remote would have been ideal as I could easily switch between TV and streamer, but maybe it is not much of a problem as I have to turn the amp on in first place.

If I dont run the Sugden CD player through a new DAC I would need to get up from my bottom to switch sources on the amp anyway.

Did you get the Musical Paradise DAC? I saw your thread from last year.

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26 minutes ago, oxymoron said:

Hi there,

I think budget wise up to £2k but would like to hit £1.5k or under. I think the remote would have been ideal as I could easily switch between TV and streamer, but maybe it is not much of a problem as I have to turn the amp on in first place.

If I dont run the Sugden CD player through a new DAC I would need to get up from my bottom to switch sources on the amp anyway.

Did you get the Musical Paradise DAC? I saw your thread from last year.

My point exactly about the remote 😊

No, I didn’t get the MP, I have a Cambridge streamer and a meridian DAC (only for the Cd transport) its only capable of 44.1kHz which suits me for Cd duties however I may invest in a Luxman DA 250 as I had a DA 100 which was in line with my preference of the Sugden sound.

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1 hour ago, radiant red said:

My point exactly about the remote 😊

No, I didn’t get the MP, I have a Cambridge streamer and a meridian DAC (only for the Cd transport) its only capable of 44.1kHz which suits me for Cd duties however I may invest in a Luxman DA 250 as I had a DA 100 which was in line with my preference of the Sugden sound.

Thanks for your response. The DA-250 looks an interesting option. It is not to big at only c370mm wide has enough ports on the back but also has the remote, and from what you have said it retains the sugden sound

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1 minute ago, oxymoron said:

Thanks for your response. The DA-250 looks an interesting option. It is not to big at only c370mm wide has enough ports on the back but also has the remote, and from what you have said it retains the sugden sound

I wouldn’t touch a Chord. No soul, just an analytical and hard sounding Dac, I’ve wanted to like them but they are just too hard for me

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Just now, radiant red said:

I wouldn’t touch a Chord. No soul, just an analytical and hard sounding Dac, I’ve wanted to like them but they are just too hard for me

I read similar, I think in threads you and others have posted before. i want that happy medium and found that with the Sudgen stuff and Totem Sky Speakers. I'm going to try to find reviews on the Luxman.

What has got me thinking now - Is the Vincent DAC7 compareable in tone to Sugden DAC-4/Luxman DA-250? It is around £600-£900 cheaper.

I'm just not sure about the Vincent as it is a bit of an unknown and I don't want to make purchase mistakes. I want to get this right first time and be done for 10-20 years, aside from streamer upgrades and I guess a new CD player when it does.

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