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 61 
 on: June 19, 2017, 04:32:33 am 
Started by briefremarks - Last post by briefremarks
THE ORELOS HAVE ARRIVED!  This sounds a bit like the announcements made about mussels in Belgium and wines in California.

I have a lot more detail to provide, but for now:they look fabulous and sound exceptional.  It took a good week for them to "settle" and I can hear on-going opening up of the sound.

My major anxieties have vanished: no hiss or noise, excellent imaging, not too finicky of a sweet spot (one does need to be sufficiently far back), deep and wide sound stage.

The dynamics, precision/detail, realism of instrument timbre are better than anything I have owned or heard.  This fact has been validated by friends who have heard my previous speaker incarnations.  At least in my setup SQ with Intona is superior.

The Orelos are LARGE!  I was asked snidely if I was compensating for anything.

A more detailed review and photos soon.  One for now in its new space.

 62 
 on: June 15, 2017, 11:50:51 am 
Started by manisandher - Last post by manisandher
Great! I'd recommend everyone who currently uses XX's digital attenuation to try this - takes 5 seconds to click on PE and decrease attenuation (i.e. increase volume level) by 3dB.

BUT... I almost guarantee that the sound will become duller. My feeling is that you should stick with it, and adjust other software parameters and/or hardware configs until the balance is restored.

Interested in hearing others' thoughts...

Mani.

 63 
 on: June 15, 2017, 11:26:58 am 
Started by manisandher - Last post by PeterSt
OK Mani, so I must start listening to everything just with PE engaged, right ?
So I will !

Peter

PS: As you may recall I myself am quite confident that something *is* going on, just per your reports about this all so often, combined with the fact that what all happens is complicated so prone to error. But then you may also recall that I can't find any bugs in the code and I looked so often (in the past) ...

 64 
 on: June 15, 2017, 09:53:25 am 
Started by manisandher - Last post by manisandher
And of course it is already known that about each person trying to digitally attenuate with a preamp (or analoge volume of other means) present, always comes up with this 6dB.

Yes but -6dB without PE still sounds different to -3dB with PE. You may feel that this is obvious - I mean, PE should be doing something to the sound, right? But I'm interested in why PE at any level sounds similar in 'character' to 0dB.

Any attenuation level without PE now sounds wrong to my ears. There's an edge to the sound. A 'hollowness'. The full-bodiedness of instruments and voices is gone. But if I switch to a Custom filter or put the Phisolator in the chain, PE simply sounds too dull.

Mani.

 65 
 on: June 15, 2017, 09:43:20 am 
Started by manisandher - Last post by manisandher
I also dare say that Mani has "visions" (don't want to call it issues) on this from what ? ... 6 years back ? or was it 8 years because even prior to the NOS1 ? I think so ...

Oh yeah, I've been playing around with active, passive and digital attenuation for quite a while now. For a long time, I refused to use digital attenuation because it just sounded wrong to me, and used instead an Audio Synthesis balanced discrete resistor passive or a Pass Labs X1 active. I switched to using digital attenuation when I received the Orelos.

I am not sure how Mani tested it with the Orelos though...it must have been far to loud to listen with no attenuation.

With the Orelos, I just compared -21dB_no_PE with -18dB_with_PE - the difference in sound was obvious. I assumed that PE was messing the sound up in some way, but I now wonder if attenuation without PE is the issue...

Mani.

 66 
 on: June 15, 2017, 09:13:34 am 
Started by manisandher - Last post by acg
If so, then I assume that each system has different tube amps which leaves the G3 as the common denominator.
[...]
That both of your systems display the same trait still leads me to think there is something about the B'ass driving those amps, but even that is unlikely in my view.

Anthony, by now I think you saw it yourself (reading Mani's post later than you wrote yours) but this was already happening prior to the G3/B'ASS upgrade.

I also dare say that Mani has "visions" (don't want to call it issues) on this from what ? ... 6 years back ? or was it 8 years because even prior to the NOS1 ? I think so ...

Peter

Yes, I have read that now.  I am not sure how Mani tested it with the Orelos though...it must have been far to loud to listen with no attenuation.

 67 
 on: June 15, 2017, 09:11:14 am 
Started by Tore - Last post by acg
Sounds promising then?  I'm looking forward to what comes of it Peter.  There are some guys in my part of the world that love what they are hearing from their MQA dacs and players, but I take all that with a grain of salt...after all they are already starting from behind us regarding SQ.

 68 
 on: June 15, 2017, 08:31:11 am 
Started by manisandher - Last post by PeterSt
If so, then I assume that each system has different tube amps which leaves the G3 as the common denominator.
[...]
That both of your systems display the same trait still leads me to think there is something about the B'ass driving those amps, but even that is unlikely in my view.

Anthony, by now I think you saw it yourself (reading Mani's post later than you wrote yours) but this was already happening prior to the G3/B'ASS upgrade.

I also dare say that Mani has "visions" (don't want to call it issues) on this from what ? ... 6 years back ? or was it 8 years because even prior to the NOS1 ? I think so ...

Peter

 69 
 on: June 15, 2017, 08:25:10 am 
Started by Tore - Last post by PeterSt
Hi All,

Let's say that strange things are happening;

Yesterday was the 3rd day that I could listen to MQA without any disturbances of explicitly preparing an album, not being sure whether it played correctly and all kind of more things that can distract. IOW, I have MQA playing as should, and this includes the Prepare from Tidal which is like a breeze now. In other words : find album in MQA version, Prepare it, play it.
In reality this goes a bit different, because one can spend quite some time in finding MQA versions of the albums or artists you like. So it is hit and miss for say 75% when you try to find one album of one of your beloved artists, but if you do this on the couch with the tablet and XXHighEnd at the other end set for that (on the Music Server PC now), then the time spent goes unnoticed and the PC is doing the work for you in the background. So this is how I last Sunday Prepared 20 or so MQA albums, which I can still benefit from tonight (but almost ran out so I need to spend some time again).

Back to the strange thing :
At first I was sure that MQA sounded different but that I did not like it at all. It was even ear-hurting IMO. I never expressed so much about it, although all what you may have read from me (mainly elsewhere) is hints which allowed either direction (so I'd always be right later Happy). But in fact I did not like it at all, and one of the strange things is that I held on.
I didn't count the hours spent, but it really ain't few. And, say that I left off 2 months or so ago because things got a bit difficult and I faced the hurdle of formalise all or get rid of it (the get rid of it is still in my ToDo as a fact), ... I sat down to eliminate all for you (from the XXHighEnd software I mean) and ... instead I thought of finishing it because of the wasted time otherwise. Additionally it seems that nobody is really able so far to bring an MQA player forward on the Windows platform, so that motivated me to accomplish it after all.

Maybe it is because I made it all neat and formal with MQA icons and blue and green (or no) lights and everything, and maybe it is because I really liked the result of it, also observing that what XXHighEnd can do, others won't be able to (haha) ... but when I then pressed play I only heard good things.
Is it psychological ?
I can't imagine that I can be fooled by that, but maybe I can after all.

Maybe it is because I never compared or looked back at normal Redbook (CD), which btw in itself is because I wanted to explore the next MQA album (clapping). But anyway, with the first one coincidentally a success and the success continuing, at this moment I "don't know better" and because I am not disturbed I continue. On the other hand, I am a little bit afraid for all the albums I played 3-4 months ago, and which I each for each did not like at all; they had potential but I didn't like them. So at this moment I avoid those ...



I am not trying to bail out by any means, but there is something else which - I am confident - is highly related. Thus, I have applied something new and this improves all over vastly. And the stupid thing is, I am able to reason out how what I heard from MQA previously, is now not a problem any more. I find it unbelievable myself, but I think this is just so. It is only that the guys at MQA don't know about this, nor could they anticipate it.
secret

With all of it together, there's an unbelievable clarity to the sound which - in my thinking - only leads to less inherent distortion. But it is very difficult to think that for real.
For now it motivates me, though.

Peter

 70 
 on: June 15, 2017, 08:00:08 am 
Started by manisandher - Last post by acg

It can just as well be caused by that amp etc. Same thing about the voltage rails, BUT you'd need to play at maximum "power". Read : your amp could be clipping.
Not sure !


If I remember correctly, Mani was hoping for more output from the B'ass I/V so that he could drive his amplifiers louder.  This would indicate that the amp is not clipping with anything the G3 can throw at it (nominal 1.5vrms I think?).  Of course that is no guarantee that the amp in not clipping, but is an indication that it probably needs more than 1.5vrms to achieve full power, and therefore induce clipping, so 0dB attenuation in XXHE should be no different to -1.5dB.

Hi Anthony,

Hmm ... that makes me think twice. But I think that only for some sense of "logic" you may be right. This does not mean that technically you need to be right per se. So I think the other way around :
With exactly the same thought (there's lack of power in general), you thus feed the amps with full voltage (whatever that is for the moment) and thus for that situation it requires the most power. So of course you can think that a DAC with e.g. 2x the output voltage should be able to work too for any situation (because "an amp is an amp" ?) but it doesn't really work like that. So I think the other way around : we have some amps that suffice for 109dB sensitive speakers (at say 3 Ohms) and that thus siffices the same for 115dB sensitive speakers (at 3 Ohms) ? I don't think so. And thus : if the amp suffices "just" for the 115dB speakers it lacks a factor of two for power on the 109dB speakers.

So all what's required to let the amps clip is :
a. have underpowered amps;
b. feed them with a voltage which is just more than they can handle.

Ad b.
Make that a little less (digital attanuation or by other attenuation means) and they are fine.

Right.
And now I say that all is moot because I said that I have dreamt that I saw a text from Mani telling about "since this tube amp and speakers" but I don't think I dreamt and Mani rather pulled that text (because ... and I didn't look it up - Mani had the problem prior to that already).

I already said "not sure !" and it is far more easy to think that the NOS1a clips. But then "unnoticed" for me and it should be related to a frequency because I coincidentally checked it for exactly this phenomenon (clipping) and it does not (but with 3dB more IIRC it does). It does not at 1KHz.

While this would be some technical explanation from my side, I only present you this information because it is an understandable explanation (I hope). But what I really think and should say is that each NOS1 has its sweet spot for attenuation which is related to the PCM1704 chips which has the sweetspot and which is not equal at al for each chip. But as you can understand in itself, this is not any explanation to bring forward because nobody can deal with it (I wouldn't be able to either). From there, another explanation is more feasible and this is that the MSB (Most Significant Bit) from the chips (or one of them etc.) implies a "not the best" sound. So remember, when we attenuate digitally even the slightest, that bit is turned off and never comes up throughout and piece of music (no matter how loud). Or an even better explanation for those understanding the PCM1704 : that one half of the chip (forming the 24th bit (MSB)) is shut off and which is special (regarding to all of the other bits).

... And of course it is already known that about each person trying to digitally attenuate with a preamp (or analoge volume of other means) present, always comes up with this 6dB. I never tried it, but this may not be a coincidence.
So in the end it is nothing new ?


blablabla ... Happy
Peter

Thanks for this post Peter, it is most informative, especially the bit I have made bold.  In the past I have noticed that no attenuation does not sound as good as just a little bit, but I always put it down to the untreated room I was in and thought that the "problem" was a result of  non-optimal acoustics as more sound power was added to the room.

I have not bothered to find the attenuation sweet spot with the preamps I have here but maybe I should one day.  Have been waiting to properly treat the room first before I bothered with such relatively minor tweaking, but I also have other more pressing audio projects on the go...

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