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Mini Torii SE Amplifier (Read 60247 times)
Lon
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #345 - 10/22/12 at 21:23:44
 
H,

I'll probably be the only one responding this way but I've not gone the computer audio route, I tried it with the help of a digital engineer friend of mine and I just didn't' enjoy the process, I like cds, the physical product, I didn't like having stuff on a database, and I honestly didn't think that the sound was improved. Using a transport to a ZDAC-1 (at that time) and a laptop to the ZDAC-1 I didn't hear improvement. I think that EAC thing of "error free" reading of discs is overblown myself. I have it now in a PS Audio Perfectwave Transport I am using and it's not a big reason this sounds so good, the reason it does is a "digital lens" that takes care of jitter problems and I2S transmission via HDMI.

So . . . in your shoes I would be looking at another disc spinner (an SACD player probably as I like that format very much for Classical music) or a cd player as a transport and a great DAC. I spent big bucks for my PS Audio rig and LOVE the sound, I'm set. . . .

Just my opinion, and it's not a popular one here. Hope you get a very satisfying sound going either way, soon!
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« Last Edit: 10/22/12 at 21:24:36 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #346 - 10/22/12 at 21:57:07
 
Hi HPDJ! It would be interesting to know what CD player that is you are talking about, as it is basically what you would be upgrading from.  here is my experience: I used to listen to a tube output Cayin 15T (with switchable upsampling), which I had bought new for about 1500$ Can$ (just so you have an idea). I built my own DAC (a kit from audionote:2000$, much more expensive if you go for the finished product). I have 1000 CD's stacked away in drawers and lying all over the place in piles. I was miserable for years, never finding what i wanted to listen to, searching for ever, ending up listening to the same 20 CD's that I kept in a pile near my cd player.
A few months ago i decided to move away from this unbearable lifestyle, bought a 100$ 2Tb external drive and started ripping my CD's to flac via EAC (in case one of them explodes or goes into internal combustion/atomic fusion, you need to have a backup of all your music).
Then I installed a usb port on my DIY DAC (a diy hagerman usb port). The HAG came highly recommended, yet it sounded like crap.
I tried to understand what the best wifi solution was for relaying data from PC to DAC, but the information was enragingly inconsistent (or else there is always a perfect solution for 5000$).
I decided to go with a cheap USB cable from Staples. (50$, 5 meters).
I could not listen to the hagerman so I continued listening to my CD player.
Then I discovered the Musical Fidelity V-link 192. The V link is a usb to spdif converter.  (I know, this sounds like a commercial) Smiley  Got one for about 400$ from germany (via ebay) and TADA!
My CD player is now gathering dust, because the sound was simply MUCH better, visibly and audibly so, from the very start. I have no idea why, presumably lack of jitter??? (at this point I was using the cd player as a transport, of course, since I have the AN DAC).

My PC runs all day, so I don't have to turn it on for music listening. It happens to be in an adjacent room, so I don't need to make it more silent than it is (it is also DIY, with a wooden case ). A long cable running through the hallway is the biggest disadvantage of this setup.

I don't even need the wifi to be on, unless I need to remote control the PC through my Ipod. I use Foobar (freeware), which plays flac files (and everything else) using ASIO 64 drivers (easily installed).

I am not a fan of physical CDs, or booklets, although I read them all when I get a chance.

I tried to make a diy usb cable, but couldn't find diy usb plugs. Information on usb cable impact on sound quality is also enragingly inconsistent. But I can tell you that my 50$ cable, whether it is the bottleneck or not, runs circles around the CD player.

For me this was the way to go and i can't imagine going back. I am not attached to the Cd player, I was born in 74 and the advent of Cds forced me to stop attaching myself to media. It was sad enough to lose the tapes, i wouldn't let technology hurt me again Smiley

If you need specific help just let me know

PS: moving up from my CD'S internal DAC to the external DAC was the biggest move forward in terms of sonic experience. Followed by the replacement of the CD transport with the PC as a transport.    But the convenience of being able to play any album i feel like!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh boy!!!!!!!!!!
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #347 - 10/22/12 at 22:04:03
 
all that and what Lon said Smiley
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #348 - 10/22/12 at 22:08:12
 
i think the PS perfect wave cd reader costs a fortune given what a cheap PC (or MAC)  can do these days. In my understanding, EAC does manage to make a perfect copy of the cd and the drive + foobar then to send a bit perfect copy to the DAC. Problems arise during usb transmission, depending on what technology is used. i do not have that problem any longer. To my ears I am way past my cd player by now. Sonically of course, i would never trade sound for ease of use.
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Lon
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #349 - 10/22/12 at 22:11:55
 
I know the PS Audio Duo is expensive (especially since a price hike) but I have never heard sound like this before anywhere and I'm insanely happy with my digital now. I can also use it as a preamplifier and it covers three sources for me: Redbook, DVR and Blu-ray with exquisite sound. I'm set for everything but vinyl, and SACD (for now, there's rumors that the PS Audio will be updated to do SACD). It's the centerpiece of a killer audio visual system that just gives me a jolt every day.

I'm glad you're enjoying your set up, it's just not a route that works for me. I'm working to get myself away from computers, not moving more of my world into them. And I just don't like the process, as opposed to having my library of discs to peruse and marvel over.

Rad if PS Audio ever does come out with the separate "Digital Lens" they say they have in the pipeline, look into it. I think that is at the heart of what makes the sound so incredible, I can switch it in and out in my DAC and it's not subtle the difference no jitter makes. I think you would really dig what it does.
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« Last Edit: 10/22/12 at 22:18:06 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #350 - 10/22/12 at 22:21:12
 
of course Lon, I got that from the start, they are both valid routes to go. I shall not obtain any satisfaction in case HPDJ goes the USB route Smiley



But to say something that is not philosphical: in my understanding, the PS achieves a bit perfect reading of a physical cd, while the PC (or MAC) achieves the same thing in the absence of the physical CD (which you previously ripped bitperfectly to the drive).   Is this accurate?
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #351 - 10/22/12 at 22:25:14
 
also, now that I don't depend on my Cd player, i can play files up to 24/192 through the V link (other dac's and converters go higher).  Foobar also plays hdcd and sacd iso files. ( i don't know how that compares to sacd itself).
I don't care that much for higher resolution, but it is something to consider.
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Lon
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #352 - 10/22/12 at 23:08:29
 
I think that's accurate. And then the data is sent into a buffer and re-clocked, and sent to the DAC (which buffers and re-clocks it yet again). This is the "digital lens" aspect and that makes a very significant difference to my ears, really the most "analog" sounding digital I've yet heard.

Listening to a disc right now that I hadn't played through the PS Audio Duo before and it is just astonishing me how it's never sounded like this before, and it sounded great before. . . . This is where I have jumped off the merry-go-round.

I also can do 24/192 with the Duo. It's similar to SACD, there's no clear winner between these two imo, I have a growing collection of Classical SACDs and that's why I gravitate that way.

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« Last Edit: 10/22/12 at 23:10:03 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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Lon
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"Love without
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Philip K. D*ck

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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #353 - 10/22/12 at 23:14:22
 
Rad, of course I agree strongly that both are valid ways to go. But I want HPDJ to know that imo he doesn't necessarily have to follow the dealer's advice. If he truly enjoys the physical product (the way I do) and was happy with the sound from his CDP, he can continue along that route, or expand the route by using a CDP or DVDP as a transport and upgrading to a nice DAC.
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« Last Edit: 10/22/12 at 23:16:53 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #354 - 10/22/12 at 23:14:29
 
I wish I could compare, but we live so far away. The same thing happens with the usb to spdif converter and then the spdif port on the dac. It is impossible to tell without listening, which combination sounds 'better' and then you have the personal preference of course.  And then you have the budget that goes into those components...
 I am still wondering what Cd player HPDJ has. A good external DAC would make a world of difference... ANyhow, I am listening to Waterloo Sunset Boulevard, sung by Bowie...
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #355 - 10/22/12 at 23:20:33
 
Hi Lon, just got your message. Yes, I understand. If he likes to manipulate the CD then that PS thing of yours is probably an extraordinary machine (I had pondered buying that myself). Or he can go with a good external DAC and use the player as a transport (if it has an output at all). Or use a PC as a transport. In my experience the PC is the best transport, sonically (I think the dealer said that too).
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #356 - 10/22/12 at 23:39:10
 
Raduschka wrote on 10/22/12 at 23:20:33:
In my experience the PC is the best transport, sonically (I think the dealer said that too).


I just am leary of what a lot of people "say" (especially dealers, etc.) and my experience is that the pc is not really an improved transport. Ah well. I'm glad so many have found otherwise, but I'm happy. Smiley

I wasn't saying that he should go with the PS Audio equipment, just that was my decision as a way to have my system be all I could afford it to be and I have zero regrets, marvelous sound.
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« Last Edit: 10/23/12 at 00:00:37 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #357 - 10/23/12 at 00:23:54
 
I hear you Lon! My pc was an improvement over my cd player. That is pretty relative.
It is true that a lot of dealers say a lot of things. Like you, i am happy and I hope he'll be happy. No matter which way. Now I,ll go and do my yoga.
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Fireblade
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #358 - 10/23/12 at 03:44:53
 
HPDJ:

The single most important current advancement in sound quality research and improvement potential lies in the technology around the external DAC for digital music streaming.

This centers around (and has evolved through) digital data streaming as:

1. USB to DAC
2- USB to S/PDIF to DAC
3- USB to I2S to DAC

All three approaches deal with varying DAC chips and output stages featuring differing filters, all aimed at reducing (not eliminating, yet) sound pollutant jitter.

The previous logistic stage (transport or PC), has pretty much reached a plateau today, where dedicated sophisticated transports are pretty much equivalent in SQ (other things equal) to a well tuned PC optimized for music streaming.

The key today, more than ever, is in how to contain jitter (i.e., streaming data frequency distribution over time) from transport stage to final DAC's output.  It is this area that promises the biggest improvement potential for the near future and which has already demonstrated the irreversible path for development.

To give you an idea, today's PC-based music streaming through a competitive DAC has proven better in SQ than the best Transport/High-End CD players of a few years back, and at a fraction of the cost!

Then, there's the evident convenience of music material management with PC-based front-ends.

Furthermore, the big High-End (megabuck) audio hardware companies are offering modular design in an attempt to counter-balance this irreversible technological trend.  Now, think how easy it is today to update a SW platform in your PC and incorporate those advances in your home system in a straightforward way.

Cost, logistics and obsoleteness-robust arguments for this trend are growing up at an accelerated pace lately in the audiophile realm.  Let's just wait a bit for investors getting into digital Playback SW development for audio streaming from the PC (ala JPLAY mini), and this temporary resistance from the traditional firms will be washed out gradually and irrevocably IMHO.

In my particular case, back in the day I used to use sophisticated transport-processor based front-ends, and as I recall, what my simple laptop-USB/DAC is doing for my sound is as good as then.

I'm personally currently studying the best way to further improve my current PC-based system on that particular last stage 3 above, with already available, very affordable commercial offerings, that promise beating some of the best traditional high-end hardware out there.

Familiarize yourself with the current PC-based trend (plenty of education in the internet on this topic) and do not hesitate to take the plunge: Your ears and your wallet will thank you for that!  ;)
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« Last Edit: 10/23/12 at 13:13:49 by Fireblade »  

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Raduschka
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Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #359 - 10/23/12 at 03:51:43
 
Fireblade, did you compare usb cables? What is your experience with their impact on sound?
Excellent post, I feel like like a babbling baby now Smiley
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