Cary 303/300 vs computer
Originally Posted by Patrick82
I have a Cary 303/300 that I use for transport and it's clearly better than my tweaked computer + 7 harddrives, there is no comparison. But when the computer has only 1 harddrive drive running, it's better than the Cary. It's very easy to flip the switch of my DAC1. It's easy to confirm the differences from tweaks, I have done it for a long time. Everytime I switched from Cary to computer I complained of fatigue from the edginess, but not anymore.
By using tweaks I have given Cary the edgiest sound signature possible (Toslink, Feet of Silence, nude Valhalla), and I have made my computer the smoothest possible (Magix, ERS Paper). If people can't hear it, then there's a problem.
Originally Posted by Patrick82
I'm using Toslink now. But before that I used Nordost Valhalla AES/EBU with 192kHz upsampling, I used that for half a year. Highs were crazy.
But I don't like inserting the CD before I want to listen. Even when Cary was better I ended up listening to mp3's on the computer 99% of the time.
So then I started tweaking the computer to close the gap, I found out that Cary was always 2 steps ahead of the computer when both were using the same tweaks. I could plug the Cary into the wall and it sounded better than computer into Ultimate Outlet etc.
But back then I didn't realize the harddrives mattered. I wonder what the results would have been if I wasn't ignorant.
CD players have problems, vibration from the transformers and the spinning disc. With the computer the problem is solved. I have the PSU isolated from the mainboard. I have the harddrive on the floor on top of foam, I tried Magix under the harddrive but didn't hear a difference. Using Magix under mainboard and PSU is good enough.
With the Cary 303/300 I used 96kHz upsampling with Toslink cable and it sounded about the same as Nordost Valhalla digital cable with 44.1kHz from computer.
The computer always used a twice longer Valhalla power cord, so it gave more coloration, I believe that's why I liked the computer more than Cary.
My Cary has been unplugged for a couple weeks now because I needed its Valhalla power cord so I could add another power conditioner for my computer.
My computer was using 2m Valhalla - Ultimate Outlet - 50cm Valhalla - P300 Power Plant - 1m Valhalla - computer
Today I replaced the computer with 1m Valhalla - Ultimate Outlet - 50cm Valhalla - P300 Power Plant - 2m Valhalla - Cary 303/300
I also moved the Valhalla digital cable and Magix levitation feet to the Cary. I also turned on 192kHz upsampling. Now the Cary sounds better than ever, with the exact same tweaks the Cary sounds smoother than computer! And the extra smoothness boost from 192kHz increases the gap even more!
The reduction of jitter that upsampling makes seems to be bigger than any other tweak, it compensates for the spinning disc. I don't want computer for audio anymore, it's too expensive to get it good, and programs are too slow. With too little RAM the programs keep quitting by themselves, it's annoying. I need to keep staring at the RAM usage which stays around 98%. I don't see the point of using computer as transport if even moving the mouse gives edgier sound. I will use my Cary 303/300 as transport instead, no problems then. I'm moving my mouse now and nothing happens, Cary stays smooth and consistent no matter what I do!