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1  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Clairixa USB on: March 06, 2015, 07:35:25 pm
So I don't want to get off the topic of the wonderful new Clairixa USB cable, so I'll just make one further response about my other love besides my first love of audio, fast sports cars!

Mani,

You are certainly correct about wanting to drive the newcomer and both of them are beautiful mid-engined sports cars in their own way(although man the Ferrari is really a work of art).

But just to clarify, I've owned the NSX for over 20 years so I don't take these purchases lightly and the NSX will never go until I do! The F430 could be a stepping stone to a used 458 in the future, who knows.

One other thing, I do ALL the work on the NSX, including the current highly modified engine build(OK, I still need the machinist, but I do all the blueprinting and assembly) The NSX is turbocharged and put down 720HP to the ground on premium unleaded and over 850HP ON e85 ethanol, so it is WAY faster than the F430 Happy Wink

In terms of convincing my wife to go along? Well, she is my 2nd wife and we were both in our 40's when we got married, so I'd say our expectations were honest and "what you see is what you get" so I we both got it right the 2nd time! So I feel blessed.

If I had to choose between my love for fine music reproduction and fast cars, I'd choose Music!!

All in good fun!
Todd




2  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Clairixa USB on: March 06, 2015, 01:58:53 pm
So I've been busy installing a new 4 post lift in my garage to put my beloved NSX above its new stablemate, a F430 Spider Happy Happy I finally got a chance to do some evening listening of my new Clairixa cable. Here are my initial impressions:

WOW!! Peter, what is under that cotton casing? Magic fairy dust!! Your descriptions are dead on. At first I thought wow this is really smooth but then realized all the distortion free detail I was hearing. And body(Raquel Welch and Sofia Loren in their prime have nothing on
Clairixa!)

Across the board, wider, deeper soundstage and just way more information? And those highs! Cymbals are getting so much closer to reality and violins too, so sweet. I'm really quite stunned that once again I am listening to my familiar library and hearing it as if they are all brand new super high resolution masters! This is easily as transformative as the B75 BNC upgrade.

I'll do some more listening this weekend and follow up. I've got some new BD Orphean3 horns and a new DSP bass crossover itching to be installed Wink but I'll hold off an additional day just to acclimate to my new music reality and the all the new beauty I am hearing.

 Should really be an interesting weekend!

Heartfelt thank you Peter, really a fabulous upgrade!!
3  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Clairixa USB on: February 14, 2015, 08:18:06 pm
Hi Peter,

I'd love a 1 meter one also.

It's been nice having the dollar closer to the Euro, to bad this wasn't some full fledged "Peter's Brain" inspired piece of electronics Grin

Todd
4  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Merry Christmas on: December 26, 2014, 02:45:42 pm
Merry Christmas to all my fellow audiophooles here at XX  Wink

So I was wondering if any of you have experienced anything similar to what I noticed yesterday.

I was playing Christmas music at louder than normal volumes yesterday. My system is in my basement, so I left my stairway door open so everyone could hear it decently upstairs.

What I noticed was the sound coming out of th doorway was just crazy realistic! I could sit at the top of the stairs a really believe that there were live performers in my basement. Wow, it really sounds good from that perspective. Usually I'm sitting in my listening room sweet spot, and although of course the imaging and small details are better there, everything was just integrated so nicely from my stairwell.

I know Peter often mentions that he rarely sits in the sweet spot. Maybe he is on to something as to how we evaluate are system's performance.


Definitely gave me some food for thought.

Todd
5  Ultimate Audio Playback / Playback Tweaks and Source related subjects / Re: Mobo main clock replacement... on: December 21, 2014, 09:24:02 pm
So thanks to Nick, and the convenience of having a spare Dexa in hand, I put the Dexa in place of the standard motherboard clock yesterday.
This is after having the Blaxius and B75 mod in for about a week.

My listening yesterday and today confirm Nick's observations. To me it is like Blaxius and B75 Plus. Everything in perfect balance, detail in spades but not artificial, broader & deeper soundstage. Where the clock mod really made a difference, I would call "drive", more power and body to each instrument but especially percussion. Just more like how you feel more air movement from live instruments. You feel the music more in your body. And even more texture is fleshed out than the Blaxius mod alone.

I am definitely impressed and nicely surprised. To me I often gauge changes to my system in terms of would ever want or revert to the premodified mode. And both the Blaxius B75 mod and the motherboard mod fall in the category of keepers. I can't imagine going back!

I'm sure most of you are like me, you have multiple music "standards" that you know extremely well, and you use those to assess a change. I've got quite a few go to's but they usually include. Rebecca Pidgon "Raven"', Cowboy Junkies "Trinity Revisited", Natalie Merchant  "Leave Your Sleep", some Norah Jones, Lyle Lovett, Ben Harper, Black Crows, and various classical recordings. There wasn't a single one where I was thinking something is not quite right, they all were notably improved.

Todd
6  Ultimate Audio Playback / Playback Tweaks and Source related subjects / Re: Mobo main clock replacement... on: December 12, 2014, 03:33:19 pm
Hi Fralippo,

Thank for the warning, but a possible $270 to replace a motherboard is a small price to pay if we can give a separate opinion on whether there is merit to Nick's experiment in a different system. I assure you after some costly screw ups to my NOS1, which will never see any mods after the NOS1a upgrade!! I am not at all scared of modifying a computer. I already have a Dexa clock on my PCI Usb3 board, plus separate 12, 5 and 3.3 linear power supply's running the motherboard as it is.

Todd
7  Ultimate Audio Playback / Playback Tweaks and Source related subjects / Re: Mobo main clock replacement... on: December 12, 2014, 01:16:11 pm
Hey Nick,

Interesting stuff. I happen to have a spare Dexa here(can't imagine why Happy ) anyway where did you get the replacement oscillator for the Dexa and exactly what frequency are you using? Also, was there any fine tuning that you had to do on the Dexa adjustment trim pot or any other modifications?

Thanks,
Todd
8  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Cables with BNC Connectors/Adapters Are Generating A Superoir SQ on: October 29, 2014, 05:00:33 pm
Hi Juan,

In my case since my amps are self-built Hypex NCores, I can replace the current XLR inputs with BNC. I will, however, do that after listening with just the NOS1a converted to BNC, so I can report back what kind of difference I heard between using Adaptors at the amplifier inputs and with them converted to BNC. For those with amps that can't be modified, I should be able to let you know if it made any difference or not.

I will add one small observation, with the balanced connection on the NCores, I can barely hear the noise floor with my ear right up to the tweeter. With the single-ended input I definitely can hear in slight hint of power line noise(probably a 60Hz harmonic) with my ear up to the tweeter. So I will have to look at all my mains connections and try to eliminate that.

Todd
9  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Cables with BNC Connectors/Adapters Are Generating A Superoir SQ on: October 29, 2014, 04:11:46 pm
Hey Guys,

I thought I would pipe in since I was using all XLR cabling, but I am now using BNC coax between my NOS1a and my MID/Tweeter amp.(balanced cabling is still being used from the crossover to the two bass amps covering 260hz on down)

Even with BNC to RCA Adaptors at the NOS1a and XLR to RCA plus BNC to RCA Adaptors at the amp input, the sound was clearly better using the 50ohm BNC cable.

And by better I mean much greater detail, better timbre, with a deeper and more accurate sound stage.(smoother and more natural but with much more information) This is readily apparent in the realism and dynamics of cymbals and violins but also in male & female vocals)

Putting the balanced cabling back in is like draping a curtain between me and the speakers. I'm simply amazed that you don't know what your missing until you've heard something more resolving and then try to go back.

The only thing I'm missing is the gain I had with the balanced outs of the NOS1a which doesn't allow me to listen to some of my classical music at full scale.

I will be trying the 75ohm RG11 cabling soon with proper 75ohm BNC connections at the NOS1a and my mid/high amp. I will also probably modify the input sensitivity of the amp to recover the lost gain going to single-ended input.

Hope this gives some of you with XLR some frame of reference.

Todd
10  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Cables with BNC Connectors/Adapters Are Generating A Superoir SQ on: October 13, 2014, 07:20:34 pm
Hi Juan,

I've used Adaptors like these for digital connection from a source to a D/A converter, but I would be extremely hesitant to use any kind of coupling transformer on the pristine analog outputs of the NOS1. I was using an electronic crossover with very high grade Jensen transformers on the inputs and it definitely took the life out of the sound of the NOS1.
BTW, I am currently running standard BNC to XLR with the 50 ohm cables on my low frequency amps and like what I'm hearing.
I have modified the inputs on my midrange/tweeter amps with 50ohm BNC inputs but still connecting my 50ohm BNC cable using 50ohm BNC to RCA Adaptors on the NOS1a outputs and it has been truly transformative to the sound quality compared to the balanced cabling I was using.

Todd
11  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Re: Cables with BNC Connectors/Adapters Are Generating A Superoir SQ on: September 10, 2014, 02:20:46 am
So what about those of us who are fully balanced? Are there any lessons here that can be applied to XLR?
12  Ultimate Audio Playback / Phasure NOS1 DAC / Re: First impression of the NOS1a (and Orelo) on: August 31, 2014, 08:16:40 pm
Sorry I didn't resize the photo properly, my first time trying to attach one...

13  Ultimate Audio Playback / Phasure NOS1 DAC / Re: First impression of the NOS1a (and Orelo) on: August 31, 2014, 08:13:47 pm
Hi Paul,

Congratulations on your upcoming Orelinos! It will be nice to hear the impressions of someone who has never been a horn guy Happy

Regarding the Dexa clocks, my NOS1@ is a completely unadulterated model. No BG caps, no Dexa clock. Many thanks to Peter for absorbing most of the cost of returning it to stock.(I had removed all modifications to the USB board before sending it back for the "a" upgrade) I can not understate my appreciation to Peter for all he did and has done for me.

I do still use a Dexa clock and power supply on my PC USB3 board. Where I think it's quality is superior to a stock board and two different audiophile USB PCIe boards that I own and tried.

However, I think it's use in the NOS1a is ill advised. Peter's power supplies in all sections of the NOS1a have ripple factors much lower than anything out there, and I believe that synergy of all of his components are crucial to the low jitter and low noise that the NOS1a exhibits.

I've come to understand that without the quality test equipment, the engineering prowess and indeed the "outside the box" thinking that Peter possesses, I cannot possibly trust my judgement(or lack there of) in making modifications to the NOS1a

And at this point, given that you will have the Orlino's, another reunion with Mani might be in order for a subjective comparison Happy

Below is the right channel of my system. Kind of hard to see with the lighting, but the 8-12" Peerless XLS drivers are housed in a "W" shaped folded baffle open to the front and rear, behind the beautiful Brazilian Rosewood sides. The folding is just to make the system more compact and is equalized in the electronic crossover. They cover from 70Hz down 18Hz.

I'd love to hear what 2 Orelinos horns would do in place of the Scanspeak 8s and tweeters, since the cover from 260hz and up Wink

Again, can't wait to here your impressions of your new Orelinos once you get them!

Cheers,
Todd

14  Ultimate Audio Playback / Phasure NOS1 DAC / Re: First impression of the NOS1a (and Orelo) on: July 04, 2014, 05:45:18 pm
So I was one of the very fortunate early upgraders to the new NOS1a. We have all read some of the great initial impressions of the NOS1a, however, many of them have been with dramatic changes to the poster's other equipment (Iíd love to hear itís performance in those systems) What I will unequivocally point out is that with the level of performance Peter has achieved with the NOS1a we all will be evaluating any other weaknesses in our systems.

Since I havenít posted my equipment list in my signature, I thought I would put it here to give everyone an idea of what I am listening to. The PC is very similar to Peterís spec unit but in a full size case and with linear power on all voltage rails for the PC (not that this matters anymore with the NOS1a Happy, the NOS1a balanced outputs drive bridged Ncore 400ís, so two NC400 modules bridged on left channel and two on right channel connected to custom passive crossovers for the dipole midrange and tweeters of the Audio Artistry Beethoven Grands.(Normally these would be driven through the Beethovenís electronic x-over, but that was affecting the resolution of the NOS1.) I have a separate set of balanced outputs off a XLR Y-cable feeding the electronic x-over which feeds two more NC400ís per channel driving the mid-bass and subwoofer drivers. (for reference, there are a total of 8 ScanSpeak 10Ē drivers in the main panels and 16 Peerless XLR long throw 12Ē drivers in separate folded baffles, these are all open baffles. The total surface area is almost three times that of the Orelo MKIIís 6-15Ē drivers, so very low excursion and distortion for a lot of output)
Also, now knowing Peterís analysis of the Ncore amps, it is very possible that I will audition new mid/tweeter amps to be able to fully realize the potential of the NOS1aís resolution Wink

Ok, so back to the real reason for this post, the sound quality. Hard to put in words, from the moment I started playing it my mouth was just wide open in astonishment! Well truthfully, I had some phase issues from stupid wiring mistakes; (I forgot that the high output of Butterworth x-overs must have the phase inverted. Oh yeah and double check the wires of your XLR cable assembly before soldering them, duh.)  I hope Peter forgives me for initially implying that perhaps in final assembly one of the channels of the NOS1a was wired out of phase Happy

So once I corrected my wiring, what I heard was the most natural but detailed sound that I have ever heard. The music just flowed as one complete unit, I wasnít just drawn to one aspect, and everything was in perfect balance but with so much more information! I found myself literally overjoyed with emotion at what I was experiencing. And I have never heard such a precise soundstage, both from left to right and front to back. All the performers were firmly grounded in the actual positions in which they were recorded! Everything was in proper scale. I told Peter in an email that I could see one performer turning to the other during their interaction on stage; well I thought I could see it, but I literally could hear the change in where the performerís voice was directed!

I could go on and on and I assure you this is not hyperbole. I obviously donít post a lot Shocked, so Iím maybe not the best at pointing out specific things, but that is the wonderful thing about the NOS1a, everything is now presented as a whole so no more nitpicking this or that. It is all just so right!

For any of us that have been on this journey with the NOS1 and all the iterations of XXHighend, we have all listened to our music library like it was completely new. Re-exploring albums that we were familiar with and hearing them as if they were completely new re-masters. Well I assure you, if you get the NOS1a upgrade you will be doing that all over again, and donít be surprised if youíre listening to genres of music that normally arenít your cup of tea because theyí re viewed through a completely different lens!

Oh, and one other thing, it was Mani now years ago that posted his observations on another forum, saying how much he preferred the NOS1 to his Pacific Microsonics 2. He said to beg, borrow or steal to get your hands on a NOS1. So I did and never looked back. I would say that applies tenfold to the NOS1a! You know it sucks paying $600 in shipping to get something sent and returned from the States to the Netherlands, but I really would not hesitate to pay twice the upgrade cost after hearing the NOS1a!

Not to fuel any fires, but if I were way down the upgrade list, I would pay someone higher up a healthy premium to exchange spots just to get it sooner Wink
15  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: A superoir SQ of the NOS1 with 8x AP only! on: May 07, 2014, 08:51:21 pm
So I've been using 8x only for about 2 weeks, with sporadic listening sessions but enough cumulative time to form some opinion compared to 16x.

I find it more resolving but very relaxed and easy to enjoy without trying to sit there and analytically figure out the difference.

When an artist is singing softly there is a delicacy and naturalness to their voice and as the sound decays to nothing I feel like I hear every last molecule of air leaving their mouth. And when they sing loudly, I never feel like they are shouting unless they really are. I'd say it is more dynamic and fast without a hint of breakup or struggle, really nice, really natural.

The same air movement thing applies to horns and with stringed instruments I hear more of the vibration of the strings and a more natural resonance of the instrument.

In my musical selections thus far, I have not heard any exaggeration of the scale of the performer, instruments or soundstage.

I have not felt the need to return to 16x and when I've tried it, I prefer 8x, but if I had never tried it, I would still be loving 16x and really couldn't find fault with it.

Glad someone tried this because I never would have thought to. Who knows what comes next, but for now I think stick with it.

Todd



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