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The Final Steps -? (Read 2819 times)
JOMAN
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The Final Steps -?
09/18/23 at 01:56:02
 
I posted a response on the Decfest thread that I felt I needed to add to without derailing that thread.  So here it is...

Like many on this forum I've been at this "journey" for a period longer than I care to state.  During the journey I've learned a lot including a lot about what it is that keeps me on the the journey.  Simply stated... music and the talented persons that can talk that language so well.  Bringing those individuals into my space using electronic components is no small challenge.  I think that I'm finally able to meet the challenge, at least for me.

My recent experience with digital front end components and the UFO25 was key to helping determine what I feel will be my end game set up,  here's what I believe will be the final steps:

Digital front end:
Lumin U2 Mini with the Muon System, Chord Hugo TT2 with the Hugo M Scaler connected with a pair of Wave Storm BNC Cables.

Preamplifier:  
To be determined.  The Hugo TT2 has a preamp stage that is supposed to be very good.  That along with the discussions regarding autoformer volume controls and my experience running a DAC directly into my UFO25 has me feeling that I need to revisit the preamp stage.  

Amplifier(s):
Very likely a pair of UFO25's.  I was considering the SARAH but I feel that I should stay with what has been my systems anchor - the UFO25.  If I recall correctly a pair of UFO25's will do more than just increase power.  as I've made changes the UFO25's transparency became so evident.  I consider the UFO25 to be very special in that regard along with its many other talents.  Not saying that the SARAH is not as transparent, I wouldn't know.  Just feel that I should stick to what to me is "old faithful".

Speakers:
The new Wathen Dipole speakers.  Love my Omega Vintage 8's.  After experiencing the difference that a pair of eight inch super fast drivers made I can't resist two 15" drivers that have been CryoToned.  Add the Wathen CryoTone AMT7 tweeter to this and I can't resist.  (By the way did I mention that I'm a CryoTone... enthusiast?  That all the tubes in my system are CryoTone?  and that I AM objective, subjectively speaking😆)

This process will begin after my sound room is completed, sometime in November and it won't be instant.  So for those who are interested... stay tuned.  
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CAJames
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"I've run every
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Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #1 - 09/18/23 at 04:23:07
 
Since I’ve been waiting 22 months for a pair of UFO25s I think you’ve made an excellent decision. Esp. if you go balanced from the TT2 into the ‘25s. But that raises some practical considerations. The wait is like 4 years if you want to get a new matched pair. That is a heck of a journey IMO. I guess the other option would be to find a second UFO25 on the used market and send them both to Decware to get them matched. Either way it sounds like you’ll be busy for a while.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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JOMAN
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Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #2 - 09/18/23 at 12:24:32
 
Quote:
I guess the other option would be to find a second UFO25 on the used market and send them both to Decware to get them matched.


👍

Thanks CA!
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Tony
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"Life without
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Posts: 650
Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #3 - 09/18/23 at 16:25:29
 

Hi CAJames,

You said above,

the other option would be to find a second UFO25 on the used market and send them both to Decware to get them matched

I seem to ask the basic questions, so what does that mean?  What would Decware do to ensure a match?

JOMAN, thanks for your post.  It will be fun to see how this turns out for you.

Tony
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SE84UFO25 | Ic0n4 Passive Preamp | ZBIT | Cambr. CXNv2 | Denafrips Pontus II | Denafrips Gaia | Decware I/Cs | Decware Pwr Cbls | ZWIRE Speaker Cbls | Omega SAHOM & KEF KC62 | Furman Cond l GIK Room Trmt
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JOMAN
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Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #4 - 09/18/23 at 18:17:03
 
My UFO25 is one of the first 5 I think.  It has the Jupiter caps and glass resisters.  Current UFO25's have Miflex caps and the glass resistors are, I believe, no longer available.  I would want both to have the same caps and the same resistors although the caps are more of a factor going from memory.

The other considerations are that I may want no volume controls and have them configured for full differential mode operation.  Most of the pre owned UFO25's probably have volume controls.

So I may be in for the very long haul.
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CAJames
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Posts: 1851
Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #5 - 09/18/23 at 19:00:50
 
Quote:
Posted by: JOMAN      Posted on: Today at 10:17:03

...The other considerations are that I may want no volume controls and have them configured for full differential mode operation.  Most of the pre owned UFO25's probably have volume controls.


JMO but I like stepped attenuators better than no volume control. Sonically I think they are pretty much equivalent (no volume control still needs a resistor) and gives you flexibility to find the optimal gain on your front end. I had them on my UFOs and it worked out really well and am getting them on my '25s.

As for full differential mode, that is available by default. What you'll need is a custom jumper than breaks out the XLR into 2 RCAs. Check out page 11 of the UFO25 manual for details. Both Geno and I had them made by different ebay sellers. Steve keeps threatening to sell Decware versions but I don't think that has happened yet. If you already have XLR cables you really like you might talk to him about making short adapters if/when you send the amps in.

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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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JOMAN
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Posts: 767
Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #6 - 09/18/23 at 20:29:14
 
Quote:
JMO but I like stepped attenuators better than no volume control.


Right now I have stepped attenuators in the CSP3A and standard volume controls in the UFO25.  Personally I like that set up as I find that there are not enough positions in the stepped attenuators for that last little bit of adjustment.

What I end up with will be determined by what I decide to do with the preamp stage. So stepped attenuators or standard volume controls aren't out of the question just have to go through the process.
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CAJames
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"I've run every
red light on memory
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Posts: 1851
Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #7 - 10/06/23 at 04:19:51
 
Based on the latest post in the classifieds it looks like Hugo has spoken. Smiley
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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JOMAN
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Posts: 767
Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #8 - 10/06/23 at 19:13:06
 
Yes, and what a PIA!

I listened through my Beyer Dynamic T1.2 headphones to both the CSP3A and the TT2.  Keep in mind that I also have the M Scaler and the dual Wave Storm Reference BNC cables.

At first it was no contest, CSP3A all the way.  After a couple of hours things began to change.  After about four hours, man talk about a close call.  It was like two closely matched heavy weights going at it.  The worst part was that the better 3/4's preferred the CSP3A.  But then she's not privy to all my scheming (probably only fooling myself).

Moving right along... Tonally very, very, very close.  The Hugo TT2 being an all in one should not be able to do that and the CSP3A should not be able to compete from a price perspective.  But they did!

The difference was in the sound stage and perspective (my wife agreed on that).  The Hugo TT2 produced a larger sound stage even with headphones, width and depth.  Musicians were pinpointed within the soundstage in relation to each other and more space or breathing room between each other to a greater degree in a good way.  This had the tendency to put more of a spot light on the vocalists or main instruments and put others in the background.  No less detail just more prominence to some on the stage than others.  At first it made seem that there was some loss of detail in say the cymbals.  There wasn't just more distance and less prominence.  That was tough!  

My wife preferred the the CSP3A and I wanted both 🤦‍♂️.  What swung me was "THE PLAN" ... The Hugo TT2 is dual differential balanced, so that means a couple of UFO25's and possibly a ZTPRE?

Oh, yes, the d*%# thing drove the 600 ohm Beyerdynamic T1.2's with out breaking into a sweat (hate that Hugo!).
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JOMAN
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Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #9 - 10/06/23 at 19:22:45
 
If you use the analogy of two boxers...

Think of the last fight in REAL STEEL where Atom (CSP3A) went at it with Zeus (Hugo TT2).
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CAJames
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"I've run every
red light on memory
lane."

Posts: 1851
Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #10 - 10/06/23 at 20:47:08
 
Well, if you're looking for stuff like transparency, detail and dynamics than I think you'll find going balanced all the way to the speakers a nice upgrade.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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JOMAN
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Posts: 767
Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #11 - 12/08/23 at 19:40:39
 
The next step is in process and it's going to take a while...

I've been struggling a little with making the decision to go with the either the Sarah or a pair of UFO25's that will be configured in mono, balanced.  The order for a pair of UFO25's is now in process.

The challenge was determining which option would be better for me, not which amp was better.  If I had the space and budget I'd likely have both.  Some time ago it was impressed on me that the source is the key.  Of course it all matters but it starts with the source.  The degree to which my current UFO25 revealed the difference between sources and cables as I upgraded made me even more of a believer in the importance of the source and just how unbelievably transparent the UFO25 is.  

Next came a conversation with Steve and a somewhat long story short: the UFO25 is "transparent almost to a fault".  That's what I need in order to achieve my goal.  I want to hear a pass through of the recording or event.  I already have that to a very large degree but I want to go the distance.

So here's what I will be waiting for (hopefully I'm still around):
2 SE84UFO25
- custom wood if available (this is the final step and I want to personalize it
  somewhat)
- Standard volume controls
- Black chicken head knobs
- shipped to Wathen Audiophile for processing
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GroovySauce
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Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #12 - 12/09/23 at 14:59:56
 
JOMAN, That's exciting.

Did you get your room finished?

I'm going to reinforce your decision. If you are home as CAJames mentioned in another thread don't mess with it. I'm a curious person and always want to try new things. More than once I've had something explode in my face and cause me a lot of suffering. If. you love the UFO25 sound stick with it... or 2x of them.

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Maximus NEO TT|ViV Rigid Float TA | Phasemation PP-200 or Hana ML | Sutherland Little Loco MK2 | Innuos ZENith MK3 | LampizatOr GA TRP | EMIA Remote Autoformer | STL "Super Tube Rectifier" STR-1002 | SRA Cables | PAP Quintet 15 1.6 Voxativ |Torus AVR15
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JOMAN
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Re: The Final Steps -?
Reply #13 - 12/10/23 at 17:19:57
 
Hey Groovy,  Not yet.  As with most renovations we found things that had to be addressed in order to move forward.  Right now the electrician is wiring the renovation and he'll be running a 10 gauge cable from the panel for the system.  I'll also be running a CAT8 cable with RJ45 terminations.  Realistically, I think completion will be at some point in January.

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