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Author Topic: Clairixa USB  (Read 122315 times)
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vrao
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« Reply #90 on: March 07, 2015, 03:35:31 pm »

Small update,

So in the first hour, the cable had a bit of constriction/darkness which opened up thereafter. There was a bit of harshness on the highs only noticeable on multi-violin crescendos, which I could not detect last night. The Clarixia is a bit more forward in presentation than the AQvox. Smoothness very very similar. Sound stage width is the same. AQvox seems to have a deeper soundstage. In the last few days with AQvox I thought I detected a subtle digitiz/zing around the notes. This is not present with the Clarixia.

With the Clarixia I though the highs were truncated (I don't think it's the cable) I'm still using the custom filter. Maybe Peter May be able to explain?

 I Hope to compare them head to head today.

Cheers,
VJ
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PeterSt
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« Reply #91 on: March 07, 2015, 04:31:37 pm »

With the Clarixia I though the highs were truncated (I don't think it's the cable) I'm still using the custom filter. Maybe Peter May be able to explain?

Hey VJ,

That depends on how much highs as such you can hear. But I don't think you can where this indeed will be the case because of the filter. It's actually a sort of other way around :

In the higher regions you *will* be able to hear - with Arc Prediction. That is, you may perceive distortion. However, this distortion exhibits merely by, well, more rolled of in the first place and less of the actually frequency otherwise. Okay ...
With the Custom Filter you will be using, there's less roll off and more of the real frequency. Say this is from of 16KHz where the changes begin (downwards).
But this now is for comparing normal Arc Prediction with the Custom Filter ...
(hey, if I read this back I can't even understand it myself)

What I have here for filters at the moment goes further;
Roll off is earlier again, BUT the way this is done - the roll off *under* that (say towards 10KHz) is less. This is again because of the better reconstruction. At the same time, the whole range is more "honest" and more of the higher frequencies is perceived. So generally, the earlier the formal roll off, the better the reconstruction around that area the more net energey and the more genuine "frequency" (think nice sines). Thus, the earlier the roll off of the filter, the more highs you will perceive. Notice though that this explicitly anticipates 12KHz - 14KHz to be perceived well by our ears in the first place. IOW, when you'd perceive 18KHz very well, then I can tell you that this is now heavily rolled off (say up to 8dB).
Remember, this is all for the filtering I have here and which you all do not have (nobody).

That I, meanwhile, am able to lift the highest frequency with the F-M curves of the speaker is very comfortable of course. So I do that too.

How is this related to another cable ?
Think of it (if all is right !) ... Normal Arc Prediction at first glance will also show more fresh sound. My view : no way this is because of the roll off. It is distortion. So analogously the AQVox should also show more distortion ...
All, of course, is dependent on how good "we" are in detecting distortion. For that, try normal Arc Prediction and learn it from there. Be careful though what music you use for it. I mean, the super square ambient stuff only will sound more interesting because of it. So it must be the more normal music first.

2c
Peter (pretty sure you could not follow because of the upside-down reasoning)

PS: Maybe I should have summarized all by saying : that roll off you perceive from the Clairixa should be about less HF distortion. Next we can "use" a better reconstruction of the high frequencies, which is exactly what I do. And now the HF output is only *higher* but up to ~14KHz.
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vrao
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« Reply #92 on: March 07, 2015, 05:34:58 pm »

Peter,
 thankyou thankyou

So how I would look into your explanation is, there are less or none  higher order harmonics to give us the cues for loudness, detecting notes edges. Smoothness .....

I forgot to add in my prior post a couple of additional things

Music has a better sense of control with this cable. (Maybe a combination of this and the above gives that truncation effect)

Bass: Aqvox was better than the standard cable. Clarixia has more bass than AQvox.

VJ
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« Reply #93 on: March 07, 2015, 06:34:56 pm »

About the Clairixa...

I have been using a special USB cable for the last 2-3 years and I was quite happy with it (Clearlink Plus USB 2.0 Cable). But when Peter announced that he was making his own cable, I could not let that occasion pass.

First: I still haven't upgraded my NOS1 for the "a" version. I will ask Peter when I feel I can send it.

Here are the observations that I made (and they are to be taken with a grain of salt since I do not have trained ears):
- I had trouble connecting the cable to the NOS1 because it is stiff, as are my ICs, so I am a little concerned about the pressure applied on the USB port that the crossing cables generate. I may ask if my USB port can be moved to the rear of the NOS1 to prevent this in the future.
- The Clairixa allows more bass to flow. My speakers are bass shy (or my acoustics do not allow me to perceive them well), but they have always been tight. With the Clairixa, I get more tight bass and it generates more "power".
- There is at least as many, maybe more details than with my Clearlink Plus, but this should be compared when I will have enough hours done on the Clairixa.
- The Clairixa lets the music play already !

These comments come from early listenings. I should come back with more information as time passes.

This to conclude that I am an happy early Clairixa adopter and... Well Peter, you get the best of me, even when I write too many emails Wink

Alain
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Arjan
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« Reply #94 on: March 07, 2015, 07:20:27 pm »

Hi,
Finally yesterday evening I was able to start using the Clairixa cable (0.8 m). I currently use an AudioQuest Coffee (0.75 m), it is at the same price point as the Clairixia.

For me it is bit mixed feelings:
The Clairixia is the best I ever heard in the Highs! Also piano sound really good, nice round sound and long decades. This I like very much!

And voices are very good, no harshness.

I think that is one of the main differences between the AQ and Clairixa. The Clairixa is rounder (smoother) sounding.
I know the AQ contains some silver so maybe that makes it sounds different.
Therefor also the AQ sound more open. My wife calls the Clairixa more flat sounding.

But in the lower part it seems to miss detail. And it is a bit to much (booming) in my system. The cable sounds to me a bit out of balance. (for my system at least)

Example: an electric bass guitar can roar, with the AQ you can hear that very well, the Clairixa makes it rounder so the roaring detail seems to be lost a bit.

But highs are so brilliant!!!!!! yes they are.

I do not know which cable will stay in the chain. Now I have heard what is possible I might test other cables again.
Or maybe I have to tweak my system to get the low end better with the Clairixa? If possible.

Will keep on testing, switching cables now and then. Will report later.

kind regards, Arjan Kremer
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« Reply #95 on: March 07, 2015, 08:05:17 pm »

Hi you all,

So that concludes the first testing/reporting from all who are at home. Thank you for your extensive reports !!

Now one thing obviously jumps out : bass.
And I think if you look back in my own "reporting" you won't see anything about bass. Maybe this is because I come from the $1 cable (the stock one with the NOS1) ? Is my room large enough and yours is maybe not ? (to hold the large waves I mean) ? Did I just forget to hear it ? (now I am used to it, so a bit too late for that).

So for me the funny thing is that most report about more bass (and almost all also for the better) while I just didn't notice a thing about specifically that. Odd.

But I think we are all in agreement about the highs. Quite crucial of course.

The past few days my ears are a bit bass-shy (famous cold). But when it's recovered I will try to compare with the stock cable again.

For now, thank you all. And please report new findings as well.
Btw, at some stage I thought that all went better again, but didn't dare to speak about burning in. But maybe that influences (I forgot, but maybe 4 days it was when I thought I noticed <- a bit difficult when all sounds good right from the start).

Regards and have a nice weekend !
Peter
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Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
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*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10 (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
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« Reply #96 on: March 07, 2015, 08:31:11 pm »

Hi Peter,

When I started changing my old ICs with better ones, at the time I was not really concerned about the differences in SQ because some components just came in my system so I would not have been able to distinguish which did what (too many updates at the same time).

When I changed my standard AC cables, I experienced a problem with some female voices (this "halo" I mentionned then). It disappeared in about a few months.

So I do believe that something was in order with these cables. Not that I can explain what phenomenon was at work, but the "burn in" could be a part of the explanation.

Since then I tend to believe that a cable needs to "sit" with use. The Clairixa is "clear" (I forgot to mention it), but I expect that it will soften a little.

Anyway, it is too early to comment further...

Alain
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« Reply #97 on: March 07, 2015, 09:12:45 pm »

Hi Peter,
Did you (or other) notice any change after many hours of burn-in time?
I just have 5 hours now and there was a change the first 2 hours.
regards, Arjan
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« Reply #98 on: March 08, 2015, 03:34:48 pm »

Arjan, As I said in my previous post - not really, although at the 4th day or so I thought things were better. But I myself don't dedicate any real value to that.

Regards,
Peter
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Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
W10-10586.0 - May 2016 (2.05+)
*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10 (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
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« Reply #99 on: March 08, 2015, 03:49:07 pm »

Hi Peter,

Any thoughts about making a second batch?

Best Regards Johan Fishy
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« Reply #100 on: March 08, 2015, 05:25:40 pm »

Hi there Johan,

Yes, that seems definitive. So now the polite question to those who might even the slidest consider to obtain a Clairixa as well - to please announce themselves and with the length needed.
Do notice that orders are only definitive when they are paid for, so no real risc when you are not 100% sure yet. But it lets me better estimate what to buy without too much overhead.

For the 2nd batch we now have 16 people.

Regards,
Peter
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XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC ->Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 10/20 cores) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, 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 = 140.19 (max 140.19) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, 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 = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / *Arc Prediction Filtering (16x)* / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^2*A:B-W-Y-R, B:B-W-R* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> *Blaxius^2 A:B-R, B:B-R* Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
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« Reply #101 on: March 09, 2015, 01:39:29 am »

To complete the Clairixa small review I did the other day Id like to add some of the notes I took spontaneously while I was  listening.
As I said, the standard cable that comes with the NOS1 was my reference. This cable is, in my opinion, excellent. I tried maybe 10 cheap cables both USB3 and USB2 similar to the standard one, I tried also the Mapleshade Clearlink USB 2.0 which is perhaps the only cable that is a bit clearer. However, I ended always using the standard cable. I cant find a better explanation for the good performance of this cable than that this is the one that Peter used from the start with the NOS1, therefore should be in an excellent sync with the dac. I guess, that the same philosophy can now be applied to the Clairixa regarding the  NOS1a and the NOS1a 75B with the Blaxius cables.

These are the notes I took:

The bass is more prominent although very well integrated. There is perhaps a slight emphasis on the upper bass.

The mids and a bit up and down becomes, as it should be, the essential body of the sound.

A phenomenon occurs that I had not perceived previously: the feeling that the air in the room vibrates and that that vibration energizes the room and even reaches the chest. Something like as when one is in a disco with those terrible bass, but this time the effect is much more subtle and balanced, and this happens also at lower levels of sound.

The voices have a greater body than previously with the standard cable and acquire more maturity.  A female voice is a voice of a woman. I dont know how to express that feeling in a better way.  The piano has also that same body and maturity as also the violin, the orchestra, the sax or the bass. All of this with a clarity that seems closer to the reality.

The soundstage is larger in all the dimensions, height, width and depth. There are no empty spaces in the soundstage, all  the space makes sense, even the spaces where there is no sound (some call it "air"). The combination of three-dimensional space, body and air makes what I would call "ambience". The Clairixa has ambience in spades.

The speakers disappear completely, until the point that from the listening position and closing the eyes, it's really hard to find the exact speakers location.

I had to find the appropriate volume to get the best sound. A qualitative leap is perceived when the optimum volume is reached. In my case, this sound is around -22.5db / -21.0db. I guess this depends largely on the listening room.

There's a sense of speed in the response to different sounds. Maybe it's better dynamics or because the sounds are better defined and that produces that sensation of speed.

The Clairixa does not seem to be smoother than standard cable. Rather, the standard cable is smoother than the Clairixa. Perhaps it is due to that  the standard cable rounds a bit the highs or maybe to that just gives less information. Certainly the softness of the standard cable can be addictive. However, the clarity of sound that gives the Clairixa has nothing to do with aggression. Interestingly some old recordings appear now very gently. Maybe that recordings were not as bad as it looked.

The contribution to the SQ that makes this cable is incomparably greater than any cable of any type at any price I've tried before.

Perhaps this cable will evolve if Peter evolves also the NOS1a 75B and the Blaxius cables. However, today, I have the intuition that, at least for the ones with those components, the Clairixa is the best cable. Of course just an intuition.

Has the Clairixa defects? Sometimes the upper bass seems a little oversized. It may be in relation to my speakers, Im not sure. Anyway, it happens only in some recordings.

All these appreciations are actually related harmoniously with each other and obviously are not only a result of this cable. It is the balanced set of components that produces this sound.
In the end,  the result of the synergy extracted from the NOS1a, the Blaxius and the Clairixa as a system, makes listening music, more than ever, a pleasure and not a permanent dissatisfaction.

Juan
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« Reply #102 on: March 09, 2015, 04:48:15 am »

So now the polite question to those who might even the slidest consider to obtain a Clairixa as well - to please announce themselves and with the length needed.


Hi Peter,

I will add my name to the list if it helps you to order things, but I am certainly in no hurry.  I have a new music room to renovate and as a result will not know the length of cable I need for some time.  Likewise with the Blaxius.  I am guessing Clairixa 1m and Blaxius 2m.

Cheers,

Anthony
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« Reply #103 on: March 09, 2015, 08:58:51 am »

Quote
So now the polite question to those who might even the slidest consider to obtain a Clairixa as well - to please announce themselves and with the length needed

Hi Peter - I confirm my order but I will go with 50cm length.

Cheers

Paul
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« Reply #104 on: March 09, 2015, 09:20:28 am »

Well Juan ... What a beautiful description you gave there. And I don't mean because it is so positive, but merely because I recognize all of it and you must be good at this audio analysis. So I recognize it all, but am not able to put it in such words.

Because of the "consistency" (can I call it that ?) it reminded me of something I wanted to say for a longer time about the Clairixa but it never would fit in a story of mine. It fits in yours, but I am not sure whether others can see the consistentcy with it (I do) :

I think (haha) that I definitely (again haha) know how ultra low jitter sounds. This perception comes as a puzzle with pieces; the puzzle is the whole jitter spectrum while the pieces are individual sounds and some of those sounds can improve as crazy. But really crazy like not being there at all against blasting through the room.
I've got that perception from various "situations", some experiments, some just coincidentally there because of general improvement.

While it is "sound" that can so vastly improve, it is hard to find that in an instrument. So far example, expressing that the voice of a female becomes the voice of a woman ... who can do anything with that. Or, how everything receives more body. What is that ? More mature ... we audiophiles really see them spinning now. Disco-bass but lucikly not.
All of these I have talked about in various topics and all has been related to jitter (although half of the time I didn't tell about that so you couldn't know).

Still this only expesses in sounds as such. Thus while expressions like the above (which are actually Juan's) are the exhibit of the net result and which is good because it is about music as such, deep down all springs from something which I don't know myself how it works, but which is audible throughout. Say how "strange" an otherwise normal sound or instrument suddenly can sound. Strange in the sense of "huh ?! never heard *that* before". And I don't mean the sound of a plectrum against a wound string and such (which are the usual suspects to hearing more detail) but how an otherwise far away cymbal hit now are 3 girls with a tambourine. Thus really too large differences to be "normal".

And when you explicitly apply ultra low jitter (say in lab situations) all these kind of strangenesses appear.

And all these exhibits of "sounds" is what the Clairixa exhibits too ...
Not as crazy as how I have had it with the low jitter applications, but the very same sounds (or what can submerge).

With this huge lead-in, I actually wanted to point out one thing only : that there *is* an instrument which sort of shows all of this : the steel pan (or steel drum - see picture below). But this is how I mean to say "I don't know how it works" because I can't reason out what actually happens in such an instrument that it can show ultra low jitter. Maybe if we sort it out we may find that it only plays "flagiolettes" (remember ?). So only the harmonics and not the fundamental. At least it sounds like that to me and it would fit the general (my) idea that the lower the jitter the better flagiolettes show.

But wait, because with pointhing out this instrument, all I did was telling you what kind of sounds will jump out and those with the Clairixa should recognize it. So this is this instrument itself (but I wonder whether I ever heard it via the Clairixa). But it would also be the "singing saws" (in the end just a classical instrument, apart from percussion as such).
It is all about sounds of which you can feel that the sound they express emerges later than the initiation of it. Think of the body of the sound which actually is NOT there if we talk about the fundament of it. Uhm ... think more physically now, and see how the sound springs *from* the body of the instrument.

Well, enough. But in my perception the Clairixa has to lower the jitter vastly, although I can not proove/measure it. How it is supposed to work as an influencing phenomenon which can work via the back door only (NOS1a isolation) ... don't ask.
But it is not just lower noise or blacker or more of indirect voodoo ... it has to be about jitter because I recognize it.
And I can be wrong.

Peter

PS: Sound of such a steel pan / drum and try to notice the lacking attacks (sound evolves later from inside of the instrument) :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-bTMbePj0A


* steel-pan.jpg (40.83 KB, 600x400 - viewed 476 times.)
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For the Stealth III LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - Oct 31, 2018 (2.10)
XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC ->Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 10/20 cores) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, 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 = 140.19 (max 140.19) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, 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 = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / *Arc Prediction Filtering (16x)* / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^2*A:B-W-Y-R, B:B-W-R* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> *Blaxius^2 A:B-R, B:B-R* Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
W10-10586.0 - May 2016 (2.05+)
*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10 (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere.

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