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PS Audio about to ... (Read 28638 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #240 - 07/07/14 at 19:38:00
 

Stone - I had a short E-mail conversation with Cookie from Blue Coast Records about the DirectStream. She says she's got one they use in the studio, and and one that's her personal DSD player at home. She sent me an E-mail to  tell me to go install the 6115 Firmware ASAP. I had to laugh because I was about to ask her if she's done the same yet.

I look forward to hearing your reports.

I'm going to try a couple Pangea USB cables and see if I hear any difference - I'm really doubting it, Ted even said he simply uses cheap USB cables - but others swear by nicer USB cables. Either way, it can't hurt to shorten the 10' cable I have with a nice .5m POCC copper one.

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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #241 - 07/07/14 at 22:43:47
 
There is an interesting thread going over on the Hoffman Forums as to whether they work or not.  After reading that I would say the consensus thinks they don't work for the most part.  

I have tried an upgraded USB cable ~ the $70 Wireworld Ultraviolet vs the standard freebee cable that came with my printer and while the WW Ultraviolet is made much nicer with better connectors, etc. I cannot tell the difference soundwise and if there is one it is so subtle that the costs outweighed the benefits.

However ... asisde the enormous bandwidth you can get with USB, the negative aspect is that it carries both data and power so there is noise involved within the signal that could potentially pollute the data preventing the cleanest signal possible to your DAC.  That being said there could be some potential benefits of splitting the signals (i.e. data in one stream and power in the other) which IMO would be better bang for the buck than buying expensive USB cables.  

There are some after market PCIe cards that filter this noise such as the one SOtM produces and that will clean up the signal.  But you can take it a step further and a newer device that I see a lot of potential with is the iFi Micro – iUSBPower which actually splits the signal when combined with their Gemini (double headed) USB cable.






I think what I like about this rather than the SOtM card is that even though it is filtered at the PC level, it is still transferred via the same cable so there is still potential for noise creeping in by the time it gets to the DAC.  If you wanted to take it one more step further iFi also makes a filter that plugs into the DAC USB port ... that way the USB noise is addressed at every link in the chain so to speak with the iPurifier.


There's a few good reviews on them:

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/01/amr-ifi-iusbpower-review/

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue66/computer_audio.htm

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ifi-idac-ican-and-iusbpower/?page=5
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« Last Edit: 07/07/14 at 23:05:42 by beowulf »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #242 - 07/07/14 at 23:39:28
 
Funny, I was just reading about that stuff today. I had half convinced myself that I'd build a nice external linear power supply (or buy one probably), and DIY a nice USB cable using 26AWG Zen Styx type wire. I'm pretty sure I could build some pretty decent cables...but then, I don't have the time for this crap...so I still have the Pangea cable in my Amazon cart. LOL
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Donnie
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #243 - 07/08/14 at 00:24:03
 
I hate to admit this, but I bought a Mapleshade USB cable a year or so ago. It sounded different than the crappy one I was using. I suppose it sounds better.
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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #244 - 07/08/14 at 02:11:37
 
@ Donnie ... I've heard that about the Maple Shade from at least three people now.  I even heard that somebody replaced their Wireworld Ultraviolet USB Cables (the same ones I use) with the Maple Shade and to a greater effect than the WWs, so they must be doing something right.
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will
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #245 - 07/08/14 at 07:04:02
 
It may well depend on the DAC and how it deals with USB power and data. My Tranquility most definitely benefited from a better cable, specifically the one DBAudioLabs built for it. With the ZDAC, a Wireworld Starlight was notably better than the inexpensive computer cable, more everything. The Tranquility Essential cable was not as good in the ZDAC, but in the Tranquilty, the Wireworld was nowhere near as good as the Tranquility Essential.

Adding a USB power supply that intercepts the voltage coming from the computer and puts cleaner power to the DAC notably improved the Essential cable going to the Tranquility...increased detail throughout, and particularly micro. But Orangecrush tried the same USB power unit, and he could not hear it with his DAC, presumably because the DAC itself had its own power to the USB chip, somehow isolating the computer power, or filters to keep noise from the USB cable to the Anedio D2 DAC.

Seems cable importance or lack thereof might have to do with how the data is processed also.

I wonder if this is why Ted thought a simple USB cable would be just fine...because the DS somehow processes out any nasties the USB might carry be it jitter or electronic noise.

LR,

As an aside, looking at your 944 classified, with the bass that the MGs can radiate, I would think you might be getting vibration caused signal damage at the P10 and Mystery. They seem really close to a bigass resonator even with tube dampers and if you are using good feet under the units. From my explorations, excess vibration can really do a number on the signal as it passes through the circuits, muddling any or all parts of the spectrum. Could be worth checking out anyway.
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« Last Edit: 07/08/14 at 07:06:38 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #246 - 07/08/14 at 14:05:35
 

Will, thanks for the observation, but the photo was from a visit to Palomino's house where I was showing off the P10 and ZMA in his well treated room. My setup at home is still kinda close, but not nearly as bad as that photo...it jus thappens that was the clearest photo I had of the MG-944. I don't have much in the way of light in my livingroom, so all my photos at home kinda suck (too lazy to bust out the Nikon and the tripod to do it right).

I'm working on building a new rack anyways. The rack is going to be quite nice and heavy, with resonation soaking shelves and cones at the top and bottom. I'm just not sure how/where to fit it in the room!

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will
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Reply #247 - 07/08/14 at 19:17:24
 
I see the complication... that is a lot of stuff to fit under the screen!

I am sure you have played extensively with the 944 placement within whatever limitations you have. But your system keeps changing. I found even with more damping and plinth adjustment (and without EQ) mine do better more out from the wall than that for the best sound and to get crazy good imaging. You probably already pulled them out further from the gear and wall, but if that were to work with the present system...sort of two for one?

It is good to hear yours and Stone's excitement over the new DS DAC! Interesting how we describe audio impressions, but as you both describe what you hear with the DS, if you replaced "DS" with "Tranquility DAC" (the way I have it set up anyway), I would agree with what you are hearing! Outrageous micro detail and associated textures and spacial information, timbre, and musicality. That is if redbook were the only choice with the DS like it is with the Tranquility!

I wish I could hear it. I live in the audio sticks!
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« Last Edit: 07/08/14 at 19:18:27 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #248 - 07/08/14 at 19:42:45
 

Will, the MG-944 are currently 71" from the back wall, and about the same from the side wall (on the left). Unfortunately on the right opens up to my dining room - so it's a non-symmetrical setup...which I do understand is part of my problem.

But even when we brought my MG-944 to Palomino's house, no matter how we adjusted things, we couldn't get them to image the way I want. I was getting huge soundstage, and a little depth (much more depth with DS now), but I wasn't getting that coherent 3d image of the musicians between the speakers. Vocals sound great honestly, I keep gravitating to CSN Helplessly Hoping and Wailin' Jennys - Summertime (live) because the voices just come alive and hover in the room with me...but guitars and sax don't. IMHO - it's the MTM that's keeping me from getting that.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #249 - 07/08/14 at 19:53:05
 

I should add, my expectation for 3d imaging, is exceptionally high to be sure. I was spoiled a long time ago by a well setup room, and it's possible I'm simply asking too much of speakers without having a completely dedicated and treated room.

Still, my instincts tell me MTM is hurting me. I think I need radial or simple time aligned 2 way.
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will
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Reply #250 - 07/09/14 at 00:45:48
 
6 feet out does seem pretty clear of the walls. Sounds like a difficult setup indeed, and intuition needs attention!

My 944s are not a perfect reference as I have modified them so the mid-bass and low bass are less resonant and dominant in the balance, revealing more upper-mid to high information. This did wake up the image though. As far as my experiments have shown, this area in balance determines subtle definition throughout, (including bass definition) and thus imaging potential. When the mid to upper info is missing or masked too much, it seems the image just can't come out fully.

It is good to hear the DS has increased your depth. I found this also, if the source brings out more fine detail musically, it improves the image while being more engaging. Along with room considerations, I think this illustrates the solution.

This room is very wide, and not too difficult in that way. The speakers are close to symmetrical given that the room opens in various ways on the right side being a small T rather than a capital L. The image of the modded 944s (with low EQ cut) was deep, wide and saturated, player placement and space around them clear. I could not identify the speakers as having sound coming from them. With big space recordings, the image was as much as 30 feet wide and as deep as 15-20 for the actual players, and boundless for ambience. Singers or horn players were clear in location and height, only moving when they moved in relation to their mic. Deep bass, now moderated to fit this space was felt in the body with natural sound.

The HR-1s, also needed to be modified similarly for me, in this room. They did change my sound...more refined, but not so much the imaging. This could be well be this room and arrangement though.

The modded MG944s in another room, the sound is warmer and image a little dreamy, but wide, deep, and saturated also. Sometimes when I hear this drum or that rattle or bell it shocks me it is so of itself in space. I am running a Rega Apollo to a Blue Torii with a ZSTAGE there, and no EQ to the modded 944s. The bass is strong, but quite good with that amp, and a bit domineering with the MKIII, but it images well there too. That room is not treated except by the chance of design, and darker than this one, but nice. Both rooms have ICs and speaker cables that do not smear or bring out excessive bass, and vibration is managed.

I think it must be very difficult to design great audio gear since no matter what, most rooms are untreated, a crap shoot....But then, treated rooms are treated with chosen design and tools (of many), and space limitations, and finally to each person's taste....better, but also varying a great deal in the ultimate sound.

Thank goodness for the transparent and revealing front end stuff, but speakers, they seem an extraordinary challenge to me when in fact, no room is either perfect or uniform to others. Like a lot of us, seems all that has turned me into an experimenter in all areas of the sound.
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« Last Edit: 07/09/14 at 01:00:52 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #251 - 07/09/14 at 03:50:24
 
Quote:
The image of the modded 944s (with low EQ cut) was deep, wide and saturated, player placement and space around them clear. I could not identify the speakers as having sound coming from them. With big space recordings, the image was as much as 30 feet wide and as deep as 15-20 for the actual players, and boundless for ambience. Singers or horn players were clear in location and height, only moving when they moved in relation to their mic. Deep bass, now moderated to fit this space was felt in the body with natural sound.


That sounds amazing - that's what I'm looking for. I'm working on getting some HR-1 to try out next.
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will
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Reply #252 - 07/09/14 at 05:15:56
 
I look forward to hearing how they sound there. Good Luck!
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will
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #253 - 07/09/14 at 18:32:52
 
LR,

To be clear, those spectacular big sound stages are as good as it gets here, not the usual by any means.

My references are 28 wide walls (at the widest area) and the far bedroom wall beyond the living room wall behind the speakers. With the voice a foot or two in front of the speakers, that wall is roughly 19 feet. My speakers are a little less than 5 feet center to center, often a better side-to-side reference for most recordings I listen to.

I do more whole room listening by far though, maybe only a recording a day in the seat, or sitting there when I am checking stuff out. I am in it for the music, mostly adjusting things for what sounds like "real" to me, but this does seem to correspond with better soundstage. I do get a big rush when sounds get close to or through my wide and deep references though!

But then it is imagination. At times I close my eyes and locate the instruments in space, then eyes open, place it in the room. Eyes closed tends to increase the stage sense for me, the visual turned off allowing a more a whole body/mind experience. Being more the norm for my serious listening I trust and enjoy the eyes closed sound...illusion or not, it is consistant!!! It gets a step better for me eyes closed and the room dark!

I would have to do some measuring, but more typical recordings I listen to might be more like 10-20 wide, and maybe 8-16 deep, some wider and shallower, some squarer, some wide and deep...

Not a perfect room, beyond speaker and room setup, it also depends on tubes, cables, feet, and synergy here. When I was experimenting with integrating the CSP3 with the Torii MKIV, an Ana Caram recording I use a lot, the guitar could be 2 or 4 feet right of the right speaker, and from just a little back to maybe 2 feet behind the speaker plane, and the horn could vary from maybe 7 feet left of the left speaker, and 3-4 back, to 12 or so left and 5 or so back. This was playing with tubes, cables and feet!

I have the most trouble with depth differentiation. When they stack some instrument/voices close to a relative line front to back, with some recordings, I wonder if it is even possible to be clear. But with others it is clearer even with this stupid mix. I suspect in the right room and setup this could be notably better. Relative to this, I have been impressed at times when recordings I did not consider to have great staging have improved notably as I get a better handle on my system/room. All is easier for me when instruments are have spatial differentiation front to back and side to side.

Here, it is always good at this point, but aspects are a little fragile, requiring specific balance.

Hopefully once you get your room and system done....speakers sorted, and the DS optimized and burned in, yours will be a lot better than this!
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« Last Edit: 07/09/14 at 18:36:47 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #254 - 07/09/14 at 19:42:34
 
What Ana Caram recording do you use?

Like Palomino did in his thread, I'm putting together a collection of tunes for demo and imaging purposes.

I've been using vocal harmonies with my MG944 because that's what they are good at. Percussion as well now that I think about it. Very distinct location of high frequency percussion like wood blocks and stuff.

Since the DirectStream represents things differently than my Oppo, I'm noticing I like the feel of some different songs now - so now is a good time to try and track down some new demo tunes!

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« Last Edit: 07/09/14 at 19:57:32 by Lonely Raven »  
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