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Author Topic: z7-4 Sound Quality  (Read 19839 times)
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Scroobius
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« on: September 26, 2012, 08:06:47 pm »

Well having just fired up z7-4 I have to ask Peter "what have you done!!!!".

The SQ is so much better - so much so that I have to wonder if I was doing something wrong before - maybe some wrong setting. Well no it can't be that I have just checked all the settings and they are the same.

Except for Peak Extend which is now off because it really does not sound any different when *on* or *off* (have not tried HDCD yet). And the difference in SQ is not explained by the 3db increase in vol with PE off.

So Peter am I turning stir crazy or does this sound substantially better.

I am listening to Tony Allen  "Black Voices" which lets face it is not the best recording quality in the world. But wow it just sounds so much better now.

I think I had better crack open a beer to celebrate.

P
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 04:08:55 am »

What Paul said...Really.  Happy
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 08:36:56 am »

Hi Peter,

The SQ in this version is certainly better, especially in the mid range, but only at SFS of 2, not so much at SFS of 60. Unfortunately SFS of 2 has other problems (mentioned in other post)

Best regards,

Arvind
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 09:09:12 am »

Haha, this sure can be true. It was intended. But believe it or not :

The last appliance I added in the spare hour I had between being ready with 0.9z-4 and regular listening time and because it needs the LAN here to transfer the installation files from the development machine to the meachine where I deal with the forum uploads, at least some of you may have listened to it earlier than myself. Yea, what a joke.

The other thing SQ related I added a few days back, but I couldn't really observe the changes because too many confusing other things at hand. But :

At least the last two days (so, 0.9z-7-4) I observed something like "infinitely more" cymbals. And well, at least here it's a kind of a strange thing;

So, not trying to feed you with placeboes, but merely to help out (ehm, myself ?) and especially thinking back this morning about last evening ... I'd have to say something like that cymbals have become separate from the music to the sense that normaly they may create a mesh when not careful, while now they have there own life as should. Something like that.

For example, there's this Papa was a Rolling Stone from Ray Brown and those other two R's. This (and actually the whole album) is a kind of dark brown thing because there's only these upright basses and halfway the album I tend to turn it off because it becomes a dull thing. Well, I think this is still so, but this one track I played last night suddenly exhibits this high-hat all the time making me think that it isn't about a recording with poor microphones. It can't because those high-hats now are there so profound and at the good level. Again thinking back I even wonder now wherer this "drummer" came from suddenly.

And this is with everything; when cymbals become more profound they also tend to mesh the further music. This has always been the danger when they become profound. But especially last night I was thinking throughout the couple of hours I listened something like : wow, things now have become crazily fresh. Is this right ? *Can* it be right ? and then I envisioned that a live performance would exhibit the same. And *that* part was in my mind the same day before yesterday already, but actually having no time/rest to explicitly observe.
Played some Beatles from my "demo Gallery" and hardly recognized it - again.

Okay, if this really works, let's say that I'm slowly but certainly now am cracking the OS to where it should be.

If anyone can contribute more (and that most certainly is allowed to be in the "negative" direction) ... the more the better.

Thanks,
Peter
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CoenP
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 09:15:44 am »

For the statistics:

With the same settings 7-4 sounds definitely different from previous versions. And I am not even using the NOS1 nor PE at the moment!

Obviously a much smoother and complete midrange, very captivating thankyou! Also a bit different bass, less pointy and more 'ripe' (audiophile speak for more pronounced overtones?).

regards, Coen
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 09:36:56 am »

Ah, I can't wait to get back home this weekend and give it a go.

Mani.
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 10:16:31 am »

For me from the bass : much more correct harmonics , richer also on the piano keyboard. The bass guitar and drums present good and clear articulation of the score very enjoyable . Ok on cymbals and mixing of the midrange content. What i liked the more ( like ) is the perspective of the whole recording that for the first time in x x approaches the real infinite and relaxed zone of the eye with respect to the sound stage. Natural and complete . I believe this is starting to call the mature software xx high end. For my setting i did try it in a simple fashion made of 32 bit 192k wasapi intermal sound card with playback drive ( internal ) . MBR partition .SFS 80/240. Stefano.
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 10:46:36 am »

Stefan - Well said I agree and I would add that to these ears anyway cymbals now sound very real. Before I could get cymbals to sound either a bit muted (big SFS settings) or very impressive but maybe because they were a bit edgy (small SFS settings). Now there are no questions in my mind - they just sound right. And less dependent on SFS settings (but I need to play a bit more to be sure).

SQ to me now sounds "proper top drawer". And no pops or ticks or big bass unit excursions.

But to go back to that Tony Allen album the really striking thing now is that before the sound was a bit of a mess but now I can hear what is going on. The complex strands are unravelled easily and naturally. Fantastic because I love to listen to Tony Allen - and much more now.

To me this is a very fundamental step forward.

P
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 02:08:51 pm »

I agree with the comments so far, a big step forwards.

By happy coincidence I put some V-CAPs into my tweeter crossover a few weeks ago. I did not realise how much detail was being held back and how highs can change music so much, even down to sounds that you might call midrange. But there was edge in the highs as well with the new caps. Now z7-4 comes along perfectly timed (thanks Peter  Happy ) and what a combination ! I'm having to get used to listening to much more top end but is sounds very good.

Elsewhere I am still running in input caps on my amp trying different different input layouts (some more nice caps are in the post) so its difficult to be too precise about the sound of z7-4 but first impressions are very, very posertive.  Happy

Nick.
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 07:27:49 pm »

Peter, your cymbals example fits with my Q1/Q1factor settings along with 430 SFS on my current z7-1.  That was one of the big finds, along with bass and note decay.  Wondering now if z7-4 will be even better, or force new settings upon me.  Hmm, sounds like a weekend project!
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 08:56:40 pm »

Right after PA such a big inprovement!!! Who could have guessed that!

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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 10:36:52 pm »

Hey Peter,

that's what I hear by trend for now:
 
Big improvement for voices. Reference is the very good engineered record Folk Songs of the Swingle Singers. Every voice is recorded teasing out the individual voice characteristics with small reverberation. Nevertheless the group sounds as a whole.
Big improvement for harmonics of cymbals, gongs, glasharp and so on. Clean transients when knocking wood on wood or knocking glas with metall rods. Reference is the Tomato Record Three Constructions of John Cage.
Very black background for electronic music. Reference is Andreas Vollenweiders Behind the Gardens.

You're on the right track, Peter!

Georg

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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 11:39:12 pm »

Thanks Peter!
This version is perfect, don't change anything anymore!
No it's more than perfect!
I don't know what you changed but the result is unbelievable.
There will be some late nights coming!
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2012, 01:11:55 pm »

Thanks Peter,
Again a big improvement with 7-4. Went from 7-3 to 7-4 with same settings, my first reaction was: what is going on! A really nice surprise.

Tried JPlay last night via HDMI and USB (on ultrabook with i5) but so far nothing beats XXHighend (on Netbook with Atom)!

And hopefully in the near future I can also try PA.

kind regards, Arjan
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2012, 08:21:01 pm »

Hey Peter,

heard mostly guitar and violin music this weekend. In summary I cannot hear any additional artefacts which are not part of the music. As a formerly private guitar player playing family music I can say that the tone of the strings is right. I can definitely say if it's a synthetic material, steel or phosphor bronze or the combination of them. I can hear a loosen tuning peg and the resonances in the corpus sound right.

Very nice!
Georg
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XXHE 2.10 - PC ASUS Sabertooth X99, passive Cooling / Seasonic P-400FL Platin / Core I7 6800K 6/12 cores scalable @1.2GHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 30/-/1/1/1/ Q1Factor = 10 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 15ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.69  (max 0.69) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ 2GB RAMDisk (IMDisk) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Stop Desktop, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 35 / Nervous Rate = 10 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / *Arc Prediction Filtering (16x)* / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On
(Settings currently not stable)

USB3 from MoBo -> 2m Belkin -> Intona (Standard) with external power supply -> Clairixia cable
USB3 from MoBo -> 0,5m Belkin USB3 -> ALLDAQ ADQ-USB 3.0-ISO-PS with external power supply -> 2m Belkin USB2 cable

-> WaveIO to dddac1794 or to Soekris DAM1021
-> SMSL SU-8 ES9038
-> 2x Gainclone -> TQWT 9710M/01 + BMS 4524 Horn
-> 2x Quad 405 rebuild as mono amps with Dada Electronics boards -> Quad ESL63 Pro
-> 2x Anaview ALC0300-1300 -> Original Celestion SL6 in concrete housing
-> 2x Neumann KH-120
-> Funk MTX Monitor -> AKG K701
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