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MUSIC SERVERS (Read 7314 times)
will
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #45 - 09/10/11 at 23:16:05
 
Quote:
Regarding the fidgeting: if you are in a curmudgeonly manner and have a big resource of material and are very happy with your non-computer-based system the very act of moving to a computer-based-system could seem a herculean effort


Lon, I get it now. I thought you were talking generally, not about your particular situation. You have gotten the benefits of resolved jitter, error correction, resolution choices, memory play, and filter shaping without  losing discs or having to rip them. These data treatments were some of the reasons I went a computer and you did it without the change!


Beowulf.

My name is Will, but I get the quotes as I seem to have spelled it with a little w. That audiocircle thread is amazing in length and breadth, and with useful bits as you found. The jitter/uncompressed/error correction things all make a lot of sense, and the async helped my ZDAC. But interestingly, the basis of that thread, the Tranquility DAC, by many posters in several forums, bests many popular (and more expensive) async/upsampling  DACS and it is a NOS DAC without async. Just goes to show there are many ways to get there.

I have been working with Eric Hider at dBAudioLabs, and he is treasure of information from long years of very careful exploration, and very willing to go there. I have been auditioning a Tranquility for a while and ended up finding it better than my V-link/ZDAC in some ways, and mine better in some ways, so there was no clear winner. But we finally agreed that the V-caps in my Tranquility that were a special order for a guy who upgraded to their Signature DAC, might well be the culprit. The part I did not like about my sample was it was at times, perhaps too "smart" at resolving inner detail, sometimes seeming a little intellectual.

Then I got to playing with caps in my speakers and I realized, this is a cap sound in the Tranquility, which makes sense especially since it has a very simple circuit designed to let out the music as neutrally and in as uncolored a way as possible. In talking about it with Eric, he agreed this may be the case since the V-cap has a signature and the one they use stock "just gets out of the way." So he offered to give it a listen to find out for himself, put in the stock caps if he thinks it will help,  and report back. Amazingly helpful guy in advice and assistance all through this process! I hope he can get the DAC to where it is a notable upgrade for me, as it already is in many ways.


Donnie,

I agree with Lon. That Amphenol glass cable is nice! Interesting that the iphone/wadia beat your laptop so handily, and perhaps relevant to computers not being equal with sound. But the wadia probably has some signature stuff going on to. Hmmm. I wonder....were you playing uncompressed files from both or did the iphone setup also have the handicap of MPEG?
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« Last Edit: 09/10/11 at 23:19:13 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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4krow
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #46 - 09/10/11 at 23:28:58
 
ok you guys, now you've done it, i'm goin back to vynil
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Lon
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #47 - 09/10/11 at 23:44:03
 
LOL
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« Last Edit: 09/10/11 at 23:45:28 by Lon »  

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4krow
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #48 - 09/10/11 at 23:46:52
 
ok,now i'm hurt...make it 4 track tape
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Donnie
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #49 - 09/11/11 at 01:18:20
 
Lon and Will,
The only thing I have with a optical output is my Onkyo DVD player and all it does is sit on it's stand quietly.
Will, I compared "Sometimes Salvation" from " The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion" by The Black Crowes by ripping a copy off of the CD onto my hard drive as a WAV. file. I then copied it onto my Ipod through Itunes as a WAV. I used Winamp to output the file from my computer into my ZDAC-1 and switched between the Wadia and the computer with the ZDAC. I'm wondering if my USB cable was upgraded from the one I found in the back of my closet things would change things.
I'm now wondering on how "Cloud Computing" can fit into all of this? If I store all of my music on a cloud do I download what strikes my fancy or is it streamed to a server? This whole business is starting to make my head hurt, I'm going back to humming to myself.
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« Last Edit: 09/11/11 at 01:20:07 by Donnie »  

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will
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #50 - 09/11/11 at 02:07:17
 
Donnie, sorry, in the flurry of activity on this thread I forgot from your first post that the test file was the same. What I gather is that it is likely micro timing stuff (jitter from the computer clocking the ZDAC) and noise from the computer that degrades the sound. But I have to say, I have forgotten most of what I have read about that pesky clocking stuff.

I can definitely say that I hear differences between the Macs I have tried, also the USB cables I have used, between different feet under the Mini, between different software players, between different firewire drives for source files, even subtle differences with different firewire cables, and all with the exact same error corrected and uncompressed files!

Additionally, my Music Fidelity V-Link is an async device that is supposed to take over the timing and solve a lot of jitter. And I like how it improved my sound. But here is the catcher....a lot of folks say that the USB cable matters not as long as the 1s and 0s are delivered accurately, because the async takes over the timing organization from the computer. But I hear a difference between my Wireworld Starlight, and my DbAudioLabs Essential USB cables with or without the V-Link async in the mix. Go figure. The difference was greater without the V-Link though, and I had no doubt that the Starlight was worth $89 to me over the standard USB cable that came from my drawer.

So I would say yes, it would be relevant to try a Starlight USB cable. It is 89 for a 1/2 meter. You can get a 30 day trial here http://www.tweekgeek.com/Audio-Cables/USB-Cables/  Could be good to ask Mike about how the Furtech or the less expensive Ultraviolet compare too. He is a smart and accomidating guy.

I think the idea is that by distinctly separating the data from the power and ground, your data goes through better and with less noise from the computer and from other electronic noise passing to the DAC. This is apparently the a big part of highend USB cables, and the wireworld cables take care of some of this problem in a relatively inexpensive way.

Can't answer on the cloud, but it seems like a lot of bandwidth for daily use!
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« Last Edit: 09/11/11 at 02:09:32 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Lon
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #51 - 09/11/11 at 02:14:15
 
Sorry Donnie, I saw "USB" but somehow thought that was optical, Toslink.  Just my brain being fuzzy, that glass of blackberry Sangria my gal and I had may have been a contributing factor!
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will
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #52 - 09/11/11 at 02:16:02
 
Another thing that may be at play here is that if your computer for whatever reasons might be truncating the data via how it processes the WAV files. If so, that is a done deal when it leaves the computer even with the best USB cable out there. This is out of my range technically, but I have heard that this can explain part of why good ears with good gear may not hear the difference between cables....that the data is already missing stuff before the cable.
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Donnie
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #53 - 09/11/11 at 03:02:33
 
So I guess what I am figuring out is that the Ipod sounds better than my computer. It actully makes  some sense, the Ipod was designed as a music server, the computer as a all powerfull gizmo. The Wadia takes the files and hands them off to the ZDAC, something else designed from the ground up to play music.
Has anyone else did any serious listening with the Ipod/Wadia combo? Hey if the Apple Mini is the computer to use, maybe the Ipod is the real thing?
And also everyone should also take into consideration the fact that I have been around loud stuff all of my life, motorcycle racing, competitive handgun shooting, concerts of bands that play too loud and most of all working 60-70 hours a week in machine shops. I'm lucky that I can tell the difference between my clock radio and my Decware system. But I will say that at 4:10 AM that the clock radio dosen't sound good!
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will
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #54 - 09/11/11 at 03:49:14
 
Have you hunted around in your control panels and properties for all the audio settings in your software and in your computer? If you can find everything that has to do with the audio output to USB and set it to do basically nothing...no increase or decrease in bit rate or sampling (set it for 16 bit/44K), no EQ or other processing....if not already set this way, this will give you a sense of what your computer's potential with the player you are using and the cable you have. In my Mini, I have a lot of system stuff cut off, disconnect the net and bluetooth....basically make it do as little as possible other than passing the music as is. Then I have Hog mode with PureMusic that robs computer resources for the player when it is on. This all helps the computer sound.
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Lon
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #55 - 09/11/11 at 03:59:33
 
Hah! 4:10 a.m. There was a time I was rising about then!

I have the Wadia iTransport and an iPod and I used to use them together with a Peachtree Audio Decco via coaxial output. Sounded pretty good, very close to the cd sound from the same unit (integrated amp with DAC).
I now just use the audio out from the iTransport into a ZBox (I had Steve add a second input to mine and have my bedroom Blu-Ray player into the other input) and then into my SE35.2. Output is low from the audio outs as you know, but in my bedroom I get it loud enough with the iPod and the analog out into the ZBox sounds close to the digital out from the iTransport into the Peachtree Audio Decco, close enough for use in this room. I don't use the iPod that much, I just use it to hold lossless files of cds that my gal likes to listen to that I don't have on cd myself.
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Pale Rider
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #56 - 09/11/11 at 16:07:24
 
beowulf, no bad at all! It's a changing landscape, and Apple has not fully eliminated all DRM. There are still some legacy tunes—or at least I believe so—where some DRM constraints may be on files available in certain jurisdictions. And of course, movie/TV rental is inherently a kind of DRM. What a lot of folks don't realize is how rabidly Apple has pursued DRM elimination, but as a market leader, it had to do so transparently with all the labels with which it had relationships, and in a bit of a balancing act with the rights owners. Google and Amazin have been somewhat more cavalier about that issue, but in the end, no one has been able to lawfully ignore DRM as a distribution obstacle, and neither Google nor Amazon has been near as successful. And sometimes this can seem like a one-step-forward-two-steps-back process. But I still think we have seen amazing progress. We use the iiTunes Store at home mostly for video and kids' iPod music. I do not use it for my music server source. But as Apple keeps creeping to higher quality downloads, with cloud backup and distribution, it actually helps anyone who cares about digital music access. Folks like iTrax and HDTracks will not move the needle on bandwidth expansion. Services like iTunes, video calling, Netflix, erc., can make that difference. We are living in amazing times when we can watch these changes right before our eyes.

Lon, I went ahead and ordered the PW DAC w/ Bridge. Note that it is the Bridge that contains the Digital Lens, the specific technology that ensures the output of files matches the original input. The Bridge is not just for Internet or streaming but is for all practical purposes a requisite for proper playback of files delivered by anything other than a transport.

Bur I am concerned about how it will interface with the Ultra. We shall see.

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« Last Edit: 09/11/11 at 16:10:13 by Pale Rider »  

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Lon
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #57 - 09/11/11 at 16:55:21
 
My PerfectWave Transport has a version of the digital lens enclosed.  So I have the Lens there. There's some talk of an "upcoming Digital Lens" in the PS Audio literature, it would be very cool if I could plug in one of those in the DAC though it doesn't seem lacking because of its absence. More than half of its use is with the Transport.

I don't think there will be any problem with the Ultra and the PW DAC. The CSP2 has no issues with it between a Torii, and I would be very very surprised if the Ultra doesn't act nearly identically. I wish I had rack space to have a CSP2 in the system right now, perhaps in the near future. Have to get some income coming in first.

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« Last Edit: 09/11/11 at 16:56:36 by Lon »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #58 - 09/11/11 at 17:31:30
 
That's an important clarification, that the Transport does indeed have the Lens. PS Audio has been dangling the prospect of a standalone lens for years, like its progenitor the Genesis Digital Lens. But I have a suspicion that a standalone lens undercuts the market value prop of the PWT just a bit too much. I could be completely wrong, but it makes sense to me, especially given how the Genesis remains one of the most sought after devices, and it is old and outdated. GDLs listed on fleabay or AudioGon typically last less than 30 minutes.

The combo of the Lens and Native Mode (whether you get it from the Transport/DAC combo or the DAC/Bridge) strike me as being as close to getting digital outputs aligned with analog inputs as we can for at least the next 18-36 seconds, er,r months.  
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Lon
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Re: MUSIC SERVERS
Reply #59 - 09/11/11 at 17:43:25
 
I agree with you. But if say they produced a 3 or 4 hundred dollar pop in version of the Lens to fit inside the PW DAC, that may garner a few sales for the DAC. I don't know. I think it would be cool. I think there's going to be an increasing market for audiophiles who want the best possible sound from disc and cable sources and don't want to go computer-based. The Duo is a great product for these, and a non-Bridge Lens could be another selling point.

Anyway, I think you'll be impressed with the DAC after break-in. I'm really impressed with mine.
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« Last Edit: 09/11/11 at 17:57:28 by Lon »  

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