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Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement (Read 8939 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #60 - 12/07/13 at 17:57:49
 

Quote:
Sometimes I just wonder WTF?  Do people just shout out about a certain vendor because they spent their money on it or does it really work? Grin


I see this ALL THE DAMN TIME, in the guitar forums, gun forums, and in the audio forums. I've been banned from a couple forums because I point out that so many people are just *shouting out* a brand, but have not tried another brand, have no backup for their claims, or simply just say "it's the best" without even trying to explain WHY it's the best.

It's very frustrating when you're trying to get into something and researching and all you see is BUY A MAC, or BUY A DILLON, or BUY A SHUNYATA!

Not a good excuse, but that's part of why I tend to have an explanation or some history/background when I compare or recommend something. I've been accused of being quite wordy, but it's because I want to give some context to frame *why* I said what I said. Hell, I catch myself doing this even in the What's Spinning forum...I'll explain why a particular CD is in the player, how long it's been since I've listened to it, and how my current system has brought out something I've never caught before (or ruins the CD for me).  
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 17:58:31 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #61 - 12/07/13 at 20:56:41
 
Beowulf and LR,

I avoid most forums (or threads) because of the less than useful posts we have to wander through to get to thoughtful explanations that give us the what and why...as you say LR, with context. Luckily, there are a few around like this Forum that have somehow tended toward more knowledge enhancing information while avoiding the swinging dick and naysayer effects for the most part...forums who are made up of a lot of folks really looking for the real sound and willing to explore how to get there.

From this context it appears to me that standing behind a certain vendor tends to have merit, but of course, as highstream says...system dependent is sort of vast. This is especially true since room typically has a powerful influence on tonal balance.

So I second your point LR about context. After getting the sense of some forum members preferences over time, it sort of works to hear..."this is a great cable" or whatever, but for me it is always better to get comparisons and tonal value shifts from one to another.

I think this is especially important based upon the reality that one person might prefer a cable for compensating for an overly bright or edgy system/room, another might have a neutral system/room, and another a dark room...at times without even realizing it is happening....how much the environment, power, vibration and so on contribute to the tonal balance and quality.

Then there are a lot of us who no matter what the general character of sound we have arrived at, have very revealing systems that we have been refining to tastes for a long time, and therefore need pretty good information to make a leap here or there.

And then there are those of us who just can't hear the subtler stuff do to some physical thing....and so on and so on.

It is an interesting path!

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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 21:00:09 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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highstream
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #62 - 12/07/13 at 21:44:26
 
Nice post.  I agree, it's really important to figure out where the reviewer, professional or individual is coming from in terms of system and preferences.  A lot of reading between the lines in what's said and what's not and how things are said.  

Speaking of the latter, I like to steer clear of the term 'neutral,'  except where the meaning is crystal clear, such as if someone is putting it on a continuum of dark-neutral-bright.  But most of the time it's not clear from the context, or it's being used to describe a component as “playing what’s on the recording,” as if the writer could possibly know what’s on the recording.  I tend to look for a term like ‘natural,' then I know what the speaker is talking about and something about how they think.

I'm not sure why the previous writer is so wound up about Shunyata popularity or hype at the moment.  This is not politics and not usually science either, marketing claims notwithstanding.  To me, it's about the pleasure of listening to music and all the rest is white noise.  A great thing about the internet is how audio craftsman have been able to proliferate and find niches for themselves, which we as listeners and customers can explore and experiment with through direct purchase, often at much reduced cost.
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 21:46:55 by highstream »  
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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #63 - 12/07/13 at 21:49:09
 
EDIT: sorry highstream I put this post up before seeing your last one. It is an amazingly fun journey this audio dream!

highstream,

Quote:
Changed computer system outlet to Maestro and ran the computer's 3 straight to it, leaving the speakers' 3's through computer console.   Result was across the board brightness and nasel/raspy voices even after burnin.


I am guessing you are onto this, but not knowing your system I will go on. As Lon is illustrating in this thread, with my system explorations, there is no doubt that good power, and then the power and quality of components, vibration and noise isolation in and between components, cable quality, and so on, are all really important. From what I hear, a lot of what this all does is reduce hash, glare and smearing while allowing natural definition and detail across the spectrum without harshness.

I think that especially with most computers, noise is an inherent issue, and some make more noise than others (and inject it into the system). It seems this can manifest in about any way...through AC power, a bad cord, DC power, internal drives, any circuit or power supply, USB cables, DAC card, connection wires, and so on. Any point in the computer flow can inject some nasty stuff that not only makes noise, but also might truncate the digital information...Witness all the different DAC approaches to isolating from the server and convert the digital stream with the least damage....

Just wanted to mention this in case it may be your computer contributing to your sound tending to the bright and edgy. If this is the case, it could be that better power transmission through your Maestro plug and power cables could amplify these internal issues.

My Mac Mini is hailed as quiet, and my Tranquility DAC, noted as very musical while being neutral and revealing, and the Tranquility USB cable is notably more revealing and musical than several cables I tried....but by isolating the USB power from the computer before the DAC, I heard more of what the DAC is good for...micro detail in a bed of neutral musicality.

More subtle, but real, I could hear the difference between a few Firewire cables feeding music from my external drive to the Mini.

These components and the setup are refined attempts to bring out the best of the natural sound of music, including my Mini being used as minimally as possible as a computer with only basic system stuff to support the music functioning....and still there are the above details and more that make a difference in the final sound.

So I imagine that any part of an in-computer chain would likely change the digital stream and add noise cumulatively, especially if it is not specifically designed and carefully implemented for music only.

One basis for this theory is my experience with power cords. Like Lon, I have noticed that, in general (given a similar design and good quality), the bigger wired cable will let through more in a good source component than lighter ones. Why, I don't know, but in my DAC, Zstage and CSP3, all low power source type things, it is quite clear. With two VHaudio kit cables, one smaller, for "source," and one high current....and with two PI Audio cables, one with 12 and one with 10 gauge, the bigger wires make the components better in all ways…more flow, more transparency, more micro detail and dynamics, more accurate bass, better timbre….the lot.

So I tend to feel that detail per se is not what kills the natural timbre of the music, but more the quality and breadth of the information that comes across as detail. I am thinking that when I play an acoustic instrument in a decent room, the detail is endless helping to define the whole audio spectrum, particularly from mid bass to the very high highs. It seems more a matter of getting the whole musical range out well that defines correct timbre, and in this is amazing detail, macro and micro.

I guess this is why it all matters in a system/room. If the system room somehow truncates any aspect of detail, you can't get the fine textures that make an instrument or voice really feel alive. Granted all the rest has to be there and in balance, but without micro detail a system can be good sounding, but something is just missing...the stuff that makes it possible to feel the wood of the cello, drum, piano or voice ...almost like we are playing ourselves. Some thoughts anyway.
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 23:05:37 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #64 - 12/07/13 at 23:28:07
 
Lon,

I am enjoying your parents house system development. I have been out of it for a while, but I just read about the Zstage you got. I just pulled the CSP3 from my system having intermittent troubles with distortion/noise and signal drop in the left channel that I can't sort out.

But the happy ending is the Zstage is back in and I am reminded of how good it got with the Beeswax caps! If or when you send yours for repair, though I suspect you would do it anyway with your love of the Jupiter caps, at this point I would call them a must in the Zstage. They make the cables and especially the single tube choice even more important, but once the synergy is there, it is really good. Better than the CSP in some ways and not as good in others (here anyway). I have an amperex 12AU7 in that is really stunning, extended bottom to top, detailed, warm and smooth.

It does not do that magic thing the CSP3 does, that amazing differentiation and musicality combined that I have only heard from the CSP3...well, it does these things, but not in that special and particular way the CSP3 does it....I would say it is a sort of like it enhances the Torii within the Torii signature, rather than enhancing the Torii signature with that enchanting CSP3 signature. Sort of....at least the way I have it set up. And of course this is serious listening. I guess I would call it musical, but more transparent if that matters, which I don't necessarily have concerns about in the case of the CSP3.

And finally, my CSP3 does not have Beewax yet. When I send it in for repair, I will ask for them!
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 23:33:27 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #65 - 12/07/13 at 23:35:29
 
Hey will,

When I received my new CSP2+ with the Jupiter caps I put my trusty old CSP2 in place of the ZStage and I like it about five times more than the ZStage! I imagine both would sound better with Jupiter caps, but to be honest I don't consider the ZStage really worth the investment in comparison to the CSP2 and three CSP2+ that I have. I'm just going to put it in the audio surplus closet with the other components as back up to use if needed.

It's probably a synergy thing. I can see where the ZStage may shine more in use with a Torii, I haven't tried it and am not likely to. The CSP2 immediately added more balls to the system with the modded Zen C and with the adjustable outputs I've been able to dial in great sound with several tube sets. There's just a solidity and certainty to the sound that I didn't get from the ZStage.

Kindof eager to hear how the ERRs will sound in that system.

Interesting that your CSP3 doesn't have the Jupiter caps. You are going to love it when it does!
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« Last Edit: 12/08/13 at 00:08:20 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #66 - 12/08/13 at 00:19:17
 
Good point, my mistake...I was not thinking of it with the smaller amps, though all modded up, with the Torii MkIII it really is more similar to the stock CSP3 than I expected when I put it back in. I do remember the CSP3 doing some beautiful "body building" with the SE34 I auditioned too...Amazing how it completed an already really beautiful amp.

You're right...I have no frame of reference with the smaller amps having only the Torii, but with it, I was surprised when I put it in that in some ways it was "a breath of fresh air," and it is good enough that I am not missing the CSP3! With the original Zstage caps...that would very likely be different. In retrospect, I was always struggling a little with the old caps....playing with tubes and cables....but for me, the Jupiters and new ground path really brought this hyper-simple circuit to fruition.

I really do look forward to hearing what the Jupiters do to the CSP3!

Also to your report on the ERRs in your "new" system! I doubt that amp would satisfy me with the 93 db speaker, I need power with the HR-1s and 944s in my rooms.
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« Last Edit: 12/08/13 at 00:27:34 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #67 - 12/08/13 at 01:38:52
 
My new CSP2+ with the Jupiter caps is really beginning to bloom and now I probably will always think about putting them in all my preamps and my ZP3. Implementing these caps is a great service Steve has done for us. I can see how with these the ZStage would be a real "shaping" tool for the Toriis. And it sure is less expensive than the CSP3s (for good reasons). The minute I first put it into Dad's system I got improved sound, and staging bloomed. Still the CSP2 just took charge. They sit side by side, same chassis, and heat up the whole cabinet real good. Gave me more tubes to roll and dial in the balance of detail and tone. Listening this week I was really surprised at the sound, especially listening to solo piano by Earl Hines and Beethoven piano and cello pieces. The speakers do a very good job of reproducing this type of material, and my Dad likes that sort of material a lot.

I think you're right, the C is really going to need the gain and grunt that the CSP2 can deliver if the ERRs are going to work well in that room. And I have gobs of gain going in to the CSP2 as well from the Marantz processor/tuner. But then again the amps and speakers can really surprise you so there's a chance that at parent approved levels sound may be amazing.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #68 - 12/15/13 at 20:26:48
 
Okay, yesterday I installed my new HR-1s in my home in my second system. They already sound better than I thought they would, and they look amazing, the maple veneer is just perfect for either room they'll be in. Score another home run for Bob.

So today I brought over the ERRs to my Dad's system and set them up. First off, I knew going in that an ideal placment just is not possible. These buggers really like to be out in the room and the sonic rewards for getting them out in a room are large. I can't get them out in the room due to the logistics of the room and the mobility issues my parents face. They have to be both closer to the front wall and wider apart than I would want them, and it challenge them. They cannot be all they can be this way.

But. . . that said. . .they sound really nice. Now the speakers in the cabinet are very good, and are well-spaced apart (about six feet center to center.) The ERRs are about 8.5 feet  enter to center, wish they could be about six feet center to center. The tonality between the two sets of speakers is uncannily similar. I can leave the tone controls flat when using both which is surprising to me. What the ERRs bring to the table is more of all the good stuff: a bit more spaciousness, a bit more detail, a bit more dynamices, a bit more presence. I know they could bring more than a bit if I were able to adjust their placement. The "bit more" I begin to think is more than a small bit as I study the sound throughout the day. I tweaked their placement as much as I could and that has helped. It's not such a huge improvement that I'd cry if they were to have to travel back to my place or off to someone else's; I was happy before they were dropped in and I'm still happy, just more happy. Mom and Dad . . . well they didn't see me install the speakers as they were upstairs for a bit and I didn't advertise it. Finally when they were back down my Dad saw the change and said "Sounds good." Mom said "the bass is different." (It is, it's a bit more detailed and three dimensional).

I may be done, unless I can find a cd changer that is proven to be much much better as a transport and/or analog output than Dad's Denon.
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« Last Edit: 12/15/13 at 20:30:38 by Lon »  

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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #69 - 12/16/13 at 13:59:40
 
Okay, some more playing of cds in the system and some playing wiht placement of the ERRs and they clearly improve the sound. There's a spaciousness and depth that was not there before. If I could get them about three more feet out into the room,there would be the 3D lushness the speakers are so good at. .. but alas that would block the front door and the main path to the stairways upstairs, two main thoroughfares.

Listening to some Ella and she's much more solidly presented and the orchestra has greater power and breadth. Mom and Dad are happy. I'm happy. . . as happy as a tweaking audiophile gets when he reaches a certain plateau and thinks about the next one. . . .
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #70 - 12/16/13 at 21:29:59
 

I love hearing your positive reviews, Lon!

Maybe someday I'll get a set!

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marky
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #71 - 12/17/13 at 11:38:57
 
Yes, what a journey. My mother has the mild elderly affliction and it`s a full time job just switching your head to care mode. Glad you get down time...I get the old girl off to bed early, or rather she thinks `bedtime` earlier than most. Sometimes she`ll pop her head round the door and say `I though I could see, I mean hear voices` And I think `what improvements can I make next` The wit remains.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #72 - 12/17/13 at 11:52:45
 
Mark, I hardly get to switch back to standard mode! I do get some time off. . . not enough, I can't go on for years this way.

My Mom has become calmer due to some medication but nothing has stopped the constant barrage of messages that consume her time. Sigh. The geriatric psychiatrist says they will not go away, and it's slow downhill from here.

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JD
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #73 - 12/23/13 at 18:50:48
 
Added a PS Audio dectet to my system last week and it's there to stay.  Much easier to organize my cords with the outlets being on top and the ability to keep my analog and digital equipment separate via the different ports is great.   Cords are no longer lying on each other and it is easier to make changes if necessary.  Sound seems to have changed slightly in a positive way but hard to put into words...nothing too drastic perhaps a little bit more weight? Biggest difference was with my Panasonic plasma's picture.  The difference was immediate, more color saturation,crisper details and depth perception.  Couple of buddies thought I had bought a newer version of the same tv...they noticed without me even saying anything.  
Everything makes a difference...time to celebrate with little Elmer T. Lee bourbon.
JD
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #74 - 12/23/13 at 20:05:36
 
Hey JD, congrats, I really enjoy my Dectet in my second system. And yes, isn't it great to SEE the improvement in video equipment!?

I found less of an edge and more ease to the music, which in a way is more 'weight." I'm very happy with mine.

Sounds even better for the first month or so, tiny little bits of improvement as the weeks go by.
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