Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
09/27/20 at 04:23:26 


       


Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Steve's Digital Journey (Read 4370 times)
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Steve's Digital Journey
04/22/20 at 04:51:28
 

Yes, it has been a long one, not unlike a bad car ride to a place way too frikin far away...

I started in the early 1980's with a Radio Shack CD player made by Hitachi. Twenty years later after starting Decware, I had a nice Conrad Johnson DAC that I really liked, and several others all being served by a highly modified DVD player for a transport. You know, If I'm going to champion good sound without the extra zeros on the price, I have to live it... not that I really had a choice because we are not high rollers around here.

One day a customer of mine offered to bring his top of the line Wadia dac and transport over to let me hear it, and I couldn't say no because to hear it in my own listening room with my amps was going to be highly useful.  I head the DAC hooked to my transport and digital IC and it blew away all the dacs in my collection.  It was over 20 grand at the time.  This was 20 years ago btw.  

So he had my attention, and proceeded to get the matching 38 lbs transport and lugged it into my listening room.  We hooked it up, and the difference that made was twice as big as the difference the dac itself made.  I was amazed and depressed.  We're now approaching a total of 30 grand.

Then he offers to replace my 600.00 digital IC that I felt cost easily twice what it was worth, with his 6000.00 digital IC and I said sure why not.  This one I fully expected to be minimal at best and the damn thing was transformative to the point that as soon as we took it out and put mine back in the entire stereo sounded broken.

I was pissed because I then knew for a fact that it would take 38 grand for me to like digital which started a long resentment towards the CD format which lasts today.  Basically if you don't have a CD transport that weights 30 or so lbs, you're not in the game.  Basically the total system price of this reference rig was pushing 40K.

I spent 10K on a vinyl rig and had the last laugh for many years.

That doesn't mean I didn't listen to digital literally every day, who doesn't.  We came out with many fantastic poor mans CD player's with tube output stages that sounded pleasant and as long as you didn't listen to the Wadia rig at 10X the price, it sounded great.

So fast forward about 15 years or so to more recent times, and I do a lot of streaming from Tidal and Qobuz, and the sound is very good.  DACS have been a variety of Burr Brown based sub 2K offerings that rise to the top of the their price pool, and the streaming was always done from computer via USB connection.

This lead to trying many different computers, power suppliers, cables, software, and DACs, the most recent being the TEAC UD500 series stuff with our transformer-coupled output stage.  The sound is good, and has hosted many DECFESTs over the years, but during the rest of the year day in and day out during work and in the evenings, I have a completely love HATE mostly hate relation ship with it.

I have a keen ear for sudden changes in the 'ether' that underpins sound quality and the required system synergy. When these changes (distortions) happen it is distracting beyond belief.  It happens all the time.  For years it happens and wastes hours troubleshooting ghosts that do not exist all because the stream started compressing or creating artifacts that make your amplifiers sound like they are distorting when they shouldn't be.  This has happened at least 10, 000 times to me over the past 5 years.

The only good news in this depressing saga is the Qobuz and even Tidal streaming hi-res audio.  In the case of Qobuz it is CD quality with no compression whatsoever.  And it goes up to 24/192, and at least half of everything on it is 24 bit. This is a serious breakthrough over listening to MP3's and iTunes in past years.

Ever since Qobuz, my main streaming service, came out I have had issues with a stumble when the song starts (exactly like a carburator with a broken accelerator pump) and at least 10% of the songs will just stop mid stream for no reason and the spinning wheel of death just sits there and spins indefinitely until you click on a new song.

Recently I finally snapped and decided I had to do something before I take it all out in the yard and shoot it.  

So in an effort to eliminate this stalling and stumbling and inconsistent sound quality that really shorts me out, I knew it was time to move away from software (my computers, of which I buy the best IMAC's and have owned 11 so far.) and move into dedicated streaming hardware that only does that and that alone.

My research combined with what I know lead me to realize that many of the best streamers were also DAC's, and it makes sense to combine the two for more reasons than I care to list here. Of those the Cambridge CXNv2 streamer was frequently ranked higher than models costing 4 & 5K, and it has it's own DAC eliminating the need for the cable.  Not just the Digital IC but also the USB.  WIFI is all it needs to work, so basically a dedicated piece of hardware that streams without a computer, has it's own DAC, upsamples everything to DSD and can be controlled with any smart phone, tablet, PC, or it's own remote....

Two things happened when this arrived.  Flawless streaming without a single glitch, stumble or stall and sound quality I completely wasn't expecting.  This is a serious giant killer.  My complete respect for the British audio company, Cambridge.  

I want to get into the reason for the sound for a minute.  First the dedicated hardware eliminates software.  Also it eliminates jitter.  Finally it eliminates the giant inconsistency from one album to another which is of course impossible unless you have some really gifted programmers crafting the ultimate algorithm for upsampling.  I would say it does a hell of a lot more than just that.

Prior to this I was using the Team USB dac with our mods, going into a ZROCK2 that went into the ZTPRE and that was my source.  I used the ZROCK2 about 50% of the time depending on the recording.

Wonderfully I am able to have both systems hooked up simultaneously so that I can use the ZTPRE to select the TEAC/ZROCK2 SYSTEM and the Cambridge balanced outputs directly into the ZTPRE with no ZROCK2.

To make the two systems sound the same, the ZROCK2 has to be turned on and turned up to that sweet spot that ZROCK2 owners' know all to well.  

This should be impossible unless the algorithm and DSP have figured out how to a digital version of a ZROCK2.   Believe it or not, the Cambridge with no ZROCK2 connected directly to the ZTPRE has exactly the same output and HIT as the Teac DAC with a ZROCK2.  I know, I'm repeating myself, but it's just so hard to believe.  Anyway, while the hit is the same in this comparison, the Cambridge has better speed and clarity.  It just sounds firkin unbelievable.  Better than the Wadia of 20 years ago for sure.  The Algorithm is magic and consequently it has made my digital sound quality rival the consistency of my vinyl and tape library for the first time.

I wish every Decware customer had this unit, because it would make their amp sound twice as good like it did mine.  I can't tell you how much of a joy it is to hear streaming that is high res, never wavering, far superior to CD, and somehow creating a bridge to use when needed when recordings are less than stimulating with some kind of intelligence that just knows how to fix it.

Sound quality consistency problem with streaming miraculously solved.

Next, I will talk about the next step which is believe it or not EQUALLY transformative, and when the two are combined the result is just spectacular.  We'll save that for another night.

Steve




Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #1 - 04/22/20 at 05:40:00
 

So as a followup the the long winded post above I can safely say I have never heard digital sound like this that I didn't personally manipulate with tube and transformer output stages combined with ZROCK2 and high voltage preamps... even then it wasn't this good.  Now that my digital sound is truly competitive with my vinyl rig and my four reel to reel tape machines.  The better sounding format is no longer a question of format but rather of the recording and the musicianship itself. As it should be. Finally. Amen. All three formats merge into glory.

Also, I have only listened to it on the ZF15M speakers with the tilt kit, driven by the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier (which is 2 watts) and it is the best dynamics and hit I have heard in my room since I started Decware. And this is happening with 2 watts, so higher power promises to be surreal on those rare occasions when you need higher power.

The dynamics and weight of this combination, Cambridge, ZTPRE, ZBIT, 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier model SE84UFO25 are equal to my servo-charged direct drive electrostatic speakers (Aqustat Monitor 4's) but the sound quality is at least 10 times better due to the superiority of the amplification. It's heaven. I feel so cheated to only be able live to be 60 to 120 years tops and being at the 60 mark. What the hell happened to living to be 800 or 1200 years old or more...  I mean seriously, now that I have access to all the music on the planet, most of it in 24 bit high resolution and have it sounding like it should it would take that long to explore what I want to hear.

// and for God's sake, pull your speakers out away from the walls if you haven't already and get a Decware amplifier so you can find out what lucid listening that never ends is all about ; )

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
JBzen
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #2 - 04/22/20 at 14:05:49
 
Steve,

While I share your views on the shortcomings of digital equipment especially compatibility between and even same manufacturers, I have come to the point of searching streamers for the Chariot.

I just finished upgrading the vinyl rig and now find the CD lineup is pale in comparison. Streaming HQ music is new to me. In the past, I never had much luck with digital streaming on computers. It seems now that some rely on this medium exclusively so it must be up to par as of late. Your write up above started this search. I like what was found on the Cambridge CXNv2. The Cambridge CXN is still available at $200 less than v2. It seems that both share the same DACs and inputs/outputs. The only difference is physical from what I can tell. Do you(or anyone else) know any real difference between the two?

John
Back to top
 
 

AMC CD8b>XO3>Beldon coax>Sheldon Stokes tube DAC>twisted copper>Cambridge CXNV2>ZSTAGE>ZKIT1>Carol silver>Jordan JX92S/VTL box>AKSA 100W SS Amp>Wicked One with DMH108. Ortofon 2M Bronze>ZP3>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>JR SU-2 balance power
  IP Logged
JBzen
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #3 - 04/22/20 at 22:15:55
 
So, I did more research on the Cambridge streamer. The differences between the first CXN and V2 are a faster processor, more memory to better stream without dropouts, and built in Cromecast in the V2 version.
Looks like the CXN V2 would be the one to purchase just to get the stable music feed as you mentioned.

Another thing is the price increase on both versions. The price back in December was $899 for the V2 on Amazon. Now it is sporting a price of $1099 on Amazon! From the looks of the Amazon price history it just was raised a day or so ago from $725.

John
Back to top
 
 

AMC CD8b>XO3>Beldon coax>Sheldon Stokes tube DAC>twisted copper>Cambridge CXNV2>ZSTAGE>ZKIT1>Carol silver>Jordan JX92S/VTL box>AKSA 100W SS Amp>Wicked One with DMH108. Ortofon 2M Bronze>ZP3>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>JR SU-2 balance power
  IP Logged
JBzen
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #4 - 04/22/20 at 22:18:11
 
Screen shot of Amazon price history of V2.
Back to top
 

IMG_0014.PNG

AMC CD8b>XO3>Beldon coax>Sheldon Stokes tube DAC>twisted copper>Cambridge CXNV2>ZSTAGE>ZKIT1>Carol silver>Jordan JX92S/VTL box>AKSA 100W SS Amp>Wicked One with DMH108. Ortofon 2M Bronze>ZP3>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>JR SU-2 balance power
  IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 2239
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #5 - 04/23/20 at 03:08:52
 
Hey Steve,

So glad you finally found digital you like. I always felt bad when you would complain about it, knowing how good it can be with the right combination of things....And you solved it with one! Happy days!

Will
Back to top
 
 

Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender+>RevolutionMacMini/Audirvana>Kitsune Singxer>Gustard x20pro DAC modified; Cables: Pi Audio PC, DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, Speaker; Decware- CSP3, Torii IV, HR1-all modified; DIY ZBIT; feet- Archie's, alum/ball bearing, and more
  IP Logged
Tommy Freefall
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 235
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #6 - 04/23/20 at 19:21:33
 
I have no analog sources, so when Steve talks digital he’s got my attention.
And this Cambridge CXNv2 sounds like a great piece of gear.
Back to top
 
 

Torii MkIV w/ 25th ann mods
Rachael SE34I.5
ERRx
ZStage, ZBIT, ZRock2
Tascam CD-240
Border Patrol DAC
Zu Audio Mission speaker cables
Declare Interconnects
Zenhead, Grado 325e
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 17109
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #7 - 04/23/20 at 19:41:58
 
I have no current need for streaming, being a disc person, but that unit has gotten good press and I'm glad it has been so satisfactory.

The curse of the Decware products is that they show you what you have so if you have a digital system there's definitely a learning curve to find and implement good sources! I have a turntable too, but I went full digital in the 'eighties because it's still about the music for me, and the music that I want to hear, mostly jazz, was pouring out of the vaults on compact disc, and albums I would never find in that time frame in central Texas were coming out week by week. It's great to have killer sounding music, but it's music that is the value, and I'll struggle through mediocre sound if I need to to hear music. Luckily with Decware and the guidance of Steve and Bob and all here we don't have to have mediocre sound, even if good digital sources are hard to afford til recently!
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
  IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 2239
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #8 - 04/23/20 at 21:10:21
 
Hey Steve,

Have you had a chance to try the Cambridge with DNAs, or HR-1s? Just wondering how it carries its beauty into box speakers that also go higher into the upper frequency range.
Back to top
 
 

Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender+>RevolutionMacMini/Audirvana>Kitsune Singxer>Gustard x20pro DAC modified; Cables: Pi Audio PC, DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, Speaker; Decware- CSP3, Torii IV, HR1-all modified; DIY ZBIT; feet- Archie's, alum/ball bearing, and more
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #9 - 04/24/20 at 01:07:22
 

Will,

The beauty is in the top end, because it sounds analog.  There is so much more information there.  Also a more bold sound so slightly different tube rolling with this one, but well worth it.  I have not hooked up other speakers yet, but I don't need to do that to hear what it sounds like.  All my problems with digital over the years appear in the top end.  No matter the speaker.  That issue is now gone.  The algorithm is glorious.

Steve

Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #10 - 04/24/20 at 01:58:35
 

Part II - Roon

I made sure to select hardware that was Roon ready in case I decided to try Roon.

As I understood it, Roon offered a more pleasant interface that did more shit than Qobuz, Tidal or even the Stream Magic app for the Cambridge. People seem to like it.

So one night I visited the site to start my investigation of Roon... yea the graphics look OK but not really any different than Qobuz from all appearances on the surface. The whole time I'm trying to really figure out, why would I want a program to use Qobuz when Qobuz needs no other software?

About then I discovered it was $100 a year! (Pushed one of my negative buttons right there). Ohh please.... give me a flipping break!  Are you blanking kidding me? Yea, not.

About a week later mentally armed with the knowledge that this wasn't cheap, I had to see if it was legit. It would have to be awfully damn good...

I began to realize what it actually is and what it actually does which is to provide metadata on all your music that is far more in depth than what you find on Qobuz or Tidal as two examples. It does this by listening to the music and then identifying it (like Soundhound) and then pulling pictures and data from it's own database. That means every single track on your hard drive that has no name, and you have no clue what it is will suddenly come up as though it were on Qobuz or Tidal with all the same wealth of information.

From there it uses it's own AI to select similar music from your hard drive, online streaming sources, and anything else it can find on your network to effectively become a Radio.  I can tell you from enjoying that feature on both Tidal and Qobuz over the years, that this is far better at getting music I like but have never heard before.  In fact to give you an example...  I used Tidal for 1 year and found about 100 albums that I liked.  I had a similar experience with Qobuz.  I have already blown past 300 new albums that I like that I hadn't head before and I've only had Roon for 2 weeks. Should tell you something.

After only two weeks of exploring it, and having less than 50% of it figured out I went ahead and paid for it. Truthfully it turned me onto more good music in two weeks than I've found in two years without it so it has already paid for itself and it is wonderful to use. Seamless and just works.

So the combination of this software and hardware have given me something I never thought I would actually have, which is constant / consistent pleasure. The computer is not connected to the DAC, yet I can still use it to select the music I want to hear. Up till now digital has intermittently been like a mild case of poison ivy on your balls that never lets you forget it's there. Thank God that's over.

I'm only giving credit where credit is due.  I have no affiliation with either company nor have I spoken with them.  I just know that anything that works for me like this is also going to work for you, especially if you have Decware amplification.

Steve

Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 2239
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #11 - 04/24/20 at 05:39:45
 
Hey Steve,

Quote:
The beauty is in the top end, because it sounds analog.  There is so much more information there.  Also a more bold sound so slightly different tube rolling with this one, but well worth it.


Got it, thanks! Sounds really good! Compared to the Teac....right? Wish I had heard one, but things got so real with my front end setup, I stopped looking. Interestingly when I got the Revolution OS in my Mini, it too added boldness, density, and balanced more toward bass, along with amazing smooth resolution. Maybe just what happens with cleaner digital?

At this point I do no streaming, at least so far, though I finally got internet out here that might make it work. So you have sparked my interest! Roon sounds really good.

I took Wifi out of our place. All ethernet to help reduce damages to health, so I won't be adding a WiFi streamer. Even though we turned our modem off at night, it was a pretty obvious improvement to lose WiFi altogether, for my wife and I.

But I guess it is time to check out streaming. The pointing to like-music sounds really good!

As usual, thanks for filling us in with your exploration Steve.

Will
Back to top
 
 

Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender+>RevolutionMacMini/Audirvana>Kitsune Singxer>Gustard x20pro DAC modified; Cables: Pi Audio PC, DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, Speaker; Decware- CSP3, Torii IV, HR1-all modified; DIY ZBIT; feet- Archie's, alum/ball bearing, and more
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #12 - 04/24/20 at 05:59:15
 

Haha, I know, I constantly have the urge to do the same thing, but there is so much organite around here that it there's really no possible way... more dangerous outside actually.  

I have been listening to what I guess you have to call Roon radio all evening.  See any time you play any track, be it on your computer, or from a streaming service like Tidal or Qobuz,  as soon as that track it finished, Roon immediately has selected another track it thinks you will like, just like most streaming services do, however this one actually works.  I have been listening to it for 7 hours without interrupting it because I haven't head a single track I didn't like.  Simply amazing.  I suspect it learns.  Tonight alone I added about 6 albums to my collection that I didn't know existed.  This thing is setting my musical spirit free, like a warp drive through the musicsphere.

It's so good, I will do the lifetime deal for 6 or 8 hundred bucks when this year runs out.  Easily worth it.  It's so weird because it is actually worth more than a good sounding DAC.  Music is everything, and this will set you free even with mid-fi components I'm sure.  

The way this software thinks is scary good.  It actually does think.  You can see it.   It picks music from who knows where and plays it for you.  Like you had a clone of of yourself that just went through your library and selected tracks for you to enjoy, but did it without ever missing a beat, no bad tracks, just one perfect song after another.  

In the time it has taken me to post this, I have found two new albums and added them to my stash.  The logic that is used in this software is really blowing my mind the more I use it.  How refreshing to actually LOVE software instead of HATE it.

One cool feature is when a song pops up that you like, you click on the album it's from , the album pops up with all the tracks, and there is how many other people have favorited each track!  VERY HELPFUL because we all want hear what everyone else things is good.  This way you see an Album come up and 5 or 6 tracks or more have hundreds of other Roon listeners who have liked the track, you know that's an album you want to add to your collection without even hearing the other tracks... which can be cone later in a more in depth discovery.  It's just so layered.  

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 2239
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #13 - 04/24/20 at 06:47:07
 
Amazing and exciting!

It sounds like "collaborative filtering." As I recall, they did a lot of development at the U of Minnesota, way back now, with a project called Movie Lens. After submitting enough ratings, that service was close to impeccable in pointing us to movies we would like. The more you rated movies, the more it aligned you with the group of folks who liked a similar selection, and led you to top choices by that group for movies you have not seen. Pretty simple and smart. Sounds like Roon has made this into an art form, monitoring your play, and going from there!

Good to hear orgonite is working so well there.

I have a fair bit around now, and I have been impressed how good it can be for modifying not-so-good energetic patterns into ones that are. Not having branched out more than a few hundred yards from our place yet, it feels way better here, though I think more would be good.

Sounds like you have "covered the water front" more than I, but the air almost immediately felt calmer, cooler, and more liquid with the elimination of WiFi here. Kind of amazing to me.
Back to top
 
 

Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender+>RevolutionMacMini/Audirvana>Kitsune Singxer>Gustard x20pro DAC modified; Cables: Pi Audio PC, DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, Speaker; Decware- CSP3, Torii IV, HR1-all modified; DIY ZBIT; feet- Archie's, alum/ball bearing, and more
  IP Logged
Abunadh
Verified Member
**




Posts: 17
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #14 - 04/25/20 at 00:13:56
 
Hi Steve

My understanding is that this machine can play files from a personal server, but I may be wrong about that.

If it can be done, I am curious about how your own digital files (ripped from your own discs) sound on this network player. Is it able to compete with your Roon experience?
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
JohnWatson
Senior Member
***




Posts: 59
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #15 - 05/06/20 at 20:48:57
 
Thank you for this article Steve, it inspired me to rethink my streaming via computer.  I purchased the Cambridge Azur 841n and am direct streaming through a Rachel to a pair of Klipsch Heresys and a large veil was lifted.  Things are clearer, better separation and an improved soundstage...and those are words I rarely use.  So glad I jumped back in!  I've only used Tidal through the streamer....might have to try Roon later.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
bikehappy1
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 159
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #16 - 05/08/20 at 01:55:04
 
I’ve been on the fence between getting a streamer or a Mac mini. I already have a PSAudio DSD that up samples everything to DSD. It doesn’t make sense to me to get a streamer with a dac. Can’t decide in this digital spaghetti bowl.
Back to top
 
 

Home: Torii MKIV-25, ZP3-25, HR-1’s, ZLC, DSR, DHC-1, PSA DSD, ZRock2, SA8005, Zenstiyx, VPI Prime, Hana ML, ZMC1, Herbies.
Work: SE84UFO-25, AQ Dragonfly red/jitterbug, Trapeziums, Lenovo, Spotify, Lossless
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #17 - 05/08/20 at 16:57:49
 

USB cables have been known to add to or cause some jitter.  Having the DAC inside the streamer eliminates this major weakness as well as others.

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
JohnWatson
Senior Member
***




Posts: 59
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #18 - 05/08/20 at 17:24:38
 
Amen to That!!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 17109
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #19 - 05/17/20 at 21:41:44
 
On the PS Audio forums someone is selling a Cambridge Audio CXN Vers. 2 for a good price. . . FYI
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
  IP Logged
lazb
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 253
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #20 - 05/17/20 at 21:47:10
 
WOW! that is about 1/2 price!!!    wonder what he "upgraded" to?
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 17109
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #21 - 05/18/20 at 16:26:58
 
lazb wrote on 05/17/20 at 21:47:10:
WOW! that is about 1/2 price!!!    wonder what he "upgraded" to?

Indeed.It's already been sold.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
  IP Logged
JBzen
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #22 - 05/18/20 at 19:51:27
 
Hey Lon, thanks for the heads up! I've been hunting and bagged the CXN V2. Mike only used it for a streamer without the internal DAC. I will be using it at this time for a FLAC file player.

John
Back to top
 
 

AMC CD8b>XO3>Beldon coax>Sheldon Stokes tube DAC>twisted copper>Cambridge CXNV2>ZSTAGE>ZKIT1>Carol silver>Jordan JX92S/VTL box>AKSA 100W SS Amp>Wicked One with DMH108. Ortofon 2M Bronze>ZP3>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>JR SU-2 balance power
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 17109
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #23 - 05/18/20 at 20:12:20
 
Awesome JB! I'm glad I mentioned it here and you snagged it!
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #24 - 05/21/20 at 04:20:01
 

So as I continue on this never ending journey I have spent a lot more time with Roon.  The algorithms in Roon combined with their database of metadata are far beyond what I or anyone else would be able to have anticipated.

Let me give you the best honest example that I can...   You live on planet earth, you suffer through todays streaming services, missing the days when you could set on the couch and hold a record cover while you listen... you need a device in your hands, phone, pad, laptop, desktop mouse, something at all times... because that way you can skip songs you don't like and keep the show from stalling out or getting lost along the way.

Now, you have been given an invite to visit another planet who's people are millions of years older than earth, and while chilling out in your host's apartment, the music is also playing... but there are no controls... something just reads your mind and pics everything you want to hear before you have to labor yourself thinking about it.  It's as though a real higher intelligence is at work here, and it is... humans who are sick of mediocrity.  I can safely say that Roon is the best thing that has happened to my music library - ever.  

It's like radio that can read you mind BEFORE you have the thought.  As a programmer back when it was cool, I have the greatest admiration for the potheads that wrote this algorithm for Roon.  And forgive me if you weren't potheads, in that case it's even more impressive what you did.

Steve

Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #25 - 05/21/20 at 04:53:01
 

BTW, Just for the record, I have never contacted Roon, nor have they contacted me.  Even if they read these great reviews of their product and offer a discounted service I won't accept it.  My entire business has been built on peoples raves about our products, and this is no different. I am impressed enough with it and smart enough to understand that it parallels my goal of enhancing the listening experience for the sincere but broke audiophiles.



It's an $800 product for a lifetime prescription which I have not yet signed on for, since like many I will give it a year to crash and burn before I make the investment.  Still, I'm sure it won't crash and burn based on it's flawless performance so far, and would rather see someone spend the money on this instead of whatever DECWARE product they were saving for, because I know that this will elevate things enough to change your audio priorities and that will lead to your wanting to push farther into the hobby.  For some that will mean even more Decware gear or speakers.

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
JBzen
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #26 - 05/22/20 at 14:29:53
 
I received the used Cambridge CXN V2 black yesterday and had some time to listen this morning. First impression is the onboard DAC is very good but not as good as Sheldon's tube DAC. Not to say it is bad but just not as warm. I will need more time making some adjustments to possibly get it up to par with Sheldons. If I remember correctly, HK purchased one and shipped it off to get it modded with linear power supplies and other goodies. I may also look into mods.

The thing is, it's a major game changer when it comes to convenience. All music on the USB connected hard drive can be accessed on the CXN V2 front panel, remote control, or the App on a android device. As well as all the great features of this unit. I tried the Chromecast feature and it worked well until I switched the voicing switch to +dynamics on the Zstage. It just quit streaming and now will not reconnect to the phone with Chromecast. I will most likely have to reset it on the WIFI router to get it working again. Yeah, still not perfect!

I downloaded Ed's samples and was streaming from my phone. Stringed instruments sound better on my system with the added dynamics available from the Zstage. Ed's work is going to have to wait for another day!

Smiley Cheers!

John
Back to top
 
 

AMC CD8b>XO3>Beldon coax>Sheldon Stokes tube DAC>twisted copper>Cambridge CXNV2>ZSTAGE>ZKIT1>Carol silver>Jordan JX92S/VTL box>AKSA 100W SS Amp>Wicked One with DMH108. Ortofon 2M Bronze>ZP3>JVC QL-F4>Sims isolation. DIY Isolation>AC filtering>JR SU-2 balance power
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4708
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #27 - 06/20/20 at 05:56:30
 

Tonight after listening to some Don Grusin, Roon's algorithms sent me on a Bob James trip followed by a night of discovery.  I now have 9 more albums than I did before I walked in here this evening.  Before Roon, this would have never happened, and has never happened.  There's a reason for that. The music I discovered thanks to Roon algorithms and Qobuz library which is the only thing Roon has to work with at the moment, is well worth $100 dollars to me.  That's what I would pay to keep the music I have found just tonight.  This has happened several times over the past few months.  Compared to before Roon, my music was stalled out.  A week or two of new music every year from the DECFEST, but then maybe 400 or so tracks that I really liked to choose from gets old in about a week.  Now,  there is really no possibly of that.  I am so thrilled to find music I really dig, like Bob James for example, that I would have likely never found without Roon.

Steve

Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Nick324
Verified Member
**




Posts: 28
Re: Steve's Digital Journey
Reply #28 - 09/16/20 at 02:01:22
 
Big +1 on the Roon and quality server combo along with a paid service or 2. Streaming is getting better almost monthly and has expanded my musical horizons like nothing else ever before. I have listened to more variety in the past 2years than in my 40+ years before this combined. Being able to stream also allows me to have small eclectic Quality systems set up in multiple rooms (I enjoy gear), rather than sitting on a shelf waiting for a rotation into the main system.
Back to top
 
 

Innuos Zenith MKIII, Exogal Comet+ & ION powerdac, Qutest, CSP2, SE341.5, Glow audio II, Sugden FPA-4, Adcom GFA555II, LM 216 & 218IA mini, Klipsch Heresy, WF34 & RP600, Ωmega Super 6 Alnico, LSIM703, Falcon LS3/5A, Steve’s Tiny Radials
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print