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Audiophilleo 1 and 2 USB to S/PDIF transport - Page 71

post #1051 of 1163

I had a major improvement with the AP2 +PP on my NAD M51.

However I probably had mine connected differently. NAD claim the AES/EBU is the best digital input so I used a 75ohm BNC to 110ohm XLR Impedance transformer. Direct connected the AP2 to the BNC on the impedance transformer.  Sounded better than using that cheap little digital RCA connector, and it let the AP2 do its improvements.

post #1052 of 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by HumanMedia View Post

I had a major improvement with the AP2 +PP on my NAD M51.

However I probably had mine connected differently. NAD claim the AES/EBU is the best digital input so I used a 75ohm BNC to 110ohm XLR Impedance transformer. Direct connected the AP2 to the BNC on the impedance transformer.  Sounded better than using that cheap little digital RCA connector, and it let the AP2 do its improvements.

Can you tell me exactly which (brand, model) device you used to transform BNC to AES/EBU?

 

Thanks

post #1053 of 1163

I have an AP-2 with an AQVOX power supply.  I'm thinking of upgrading to PP, is it worth it compared to the AQVOX

post #1054 of 1163
I have bought AP2 with Pure Power and i could not be happier, big improvement across all ranges. I have Metrum Octave DAC and AP pairs amazingly well with it sending signal from Mac Mini. Sound is organic, rich and very much analogue, especially voices become so live real simply stunning, piano is like it is played in front of you and you can hear all subtleys of hammers ticking strings inside cabinet, drums ambush you with so much air that you nearly feel it punching you in your chest, this is like opening a window on a fresh frosty morning, like a sea breeze in evening, simply a dream.

Biggest gain is in dynamics, tonal refinement allows for subtle details and nuances, black space becomes much blacker helping improve imaging and opening truly 3D stage. I understand my Evo was not on par so for me all improvements were worth the price. I did not compare to other expensive converters but in my opinion this combination with PSU unit will be very difficult to beat.

Update:

yesterday listened to some symphonic and jazz with Metrum and Audiophilleo, one word OMG... This combo blew my socks off, stunning, paired with good tube amp it produced something i cannot describe easily, i never felt so immersed into musical act, unreal but i never thought something this cheap could challenge my Naim CDX2 but after audition i can only say music never felt so easy flowing, unobstructive and full, love every bit of these little boxes.

If i would be a reviewer i would put a highly recommended for Audiophilleo and Metrum, AP does amazing job for openning up sound and removing digital stress. I am afraid repeating myself but digital music never sounded so analogue in my setup.
Edited by Gintaras - 7/17/13 at 1:18pm
post #1055 of 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Can't believe I haven't joined in on this thread yet! I've been using the AP1+PP combo for several months now, and it's become an indispensable part of my system. Obscenely clean sounding - simply the best I've heard in terms of transport. For some history, I've owned quite a few CD players and transports that cost me a lot of money.... far too much in retrospect. My favorite was probably the Marantz SA-1 with Audiomod upgrades, which was roughly $14k all told. The Audiophilleo AP1 with PurePower, driven by any laptop (nothing fancy required), is a far better transport than the Marantz. Same thing applies to my old transports from Esoteric, Krell, Lexicon, and various others. As many of us are gravitating towards computer based playback rather than fiddling with optical discs, a device of such high caliber is highly welcome. I know some guys spend big bucks on the MacBook Pro with the idea that it will sound better as a USB playback device. I say: of course, if you like Mac then go for it. But if SQ is your chief concern, you'd probably be better off going with any decent laptop, and getting the Audiophilleo gear instead. A nice Windows-based machine plus an AP1+PP is roughly the same price as some of the MacBook Pro options anyway. 

Here's a scenario some people might be interested in - what if you already have a really good USB signal to work with? Well, in those cases, the AP1+PP may have less of an impact, but in a really high end system it's still worthwhile in my opinion. For example: I use an Auraliti PK90 music server. It's basically a dedicated computer running Voyage MPD Linux, custom tailored for audio duty. It uses the SOtM tX-USB card which is tightly regulated and produces one of the cleanest USB signals around. It doesn't draw power from the motherboard but rather gets it straight from the power supply via 4-pin connection. In my case, I feed it with a NuForce LPS-1 linear power supply. So basically this is an ultra-clean setup dedicated purely to USB playback. And in that sense it's excellent, among the best I've experienced (up there with the SOtM sMS-1000 which costs a lot more). 

But you know what? Adding the AP1+PP still makes this already clean signal sound even better. How? I don't really know or care. It just does. I noticed it sounding better right from the start but didn't fully appreciate the difference until I went back and used the system without it. It's a significant improvement over what I thought was the best signal around. That's quite a feat. 

I'll have more to say about the AP1+PP when I find time for a full write up. But for now I can say it's an absolute reference grade option. I recently had a chance to hear the new Bel Canto RefLink as well as the Empirical Off-Ramp 5. Both of those are quite good in their own right, and both bring a few things to the table that might be appealing for certain users (HDMI, AES/EBU, etc). And I know we tend to love newer stuff and figure it must be better than the older.... but in this case I just didn't hear it that way. Neither seemed, to my ears anyway, to match Audiophilleo combo in terms of resolution as well as pure involvement. The AP1+PP just seemed more lifelike to me, and this was on a highly transparent speaker based system where the differences were more noticeable than usual. So At the end of the day I'm sticking with the AP setup. 

Pretty interesting, I upgraded from AP2 + PP to Reflink (much more nuance and clear timing) and a friend of mine also has AP2 + PP and BADA USB and finds the latter to be better. I have heard that people find AP1 to sound better than AP2, so maybe there is some more to this? AP1/2 has advantage in not needing coax SPDIF cable, so this may make up for some of the difference depending how good the SPDIF cable is. I might see if someone has an AP1+PP for comparison as your findings have me intrigued.
post #1056 of 1163

i have AP2+PP with dedicated Mac Mini Server with Audirvana Plus and SPDIF Wireworld cable and i cannot see where else or how i can get more improvements because sound purification is already top notch. perhaps Windows machine is not best fit for dedicated digital playback. i know Mac Mini is faved by all audiophiles with higher end setup.

 

in a separate word Audirvana Plus wins easily over Pure Music for me.

post #1057 of 1163
I haven't really optimised my mac laptop but in terms of outright transparency by PC is ahead, at least with Amarra vs Jie Extreme Player. I haven't tried audirvana yet.. I don't think Mac is necessarily the best possible server either, with dedicated music servers from SoTM, Auraliti etc running customised operating systems, drivers etc. I think a lot of people with higher end setups already like Mac for other reasons, like library management, form factor, familiarity with the OS etc. I don't agree that all audiophile with higher end setups use mac. But this is drifting off topic. In any case differences in operating systems should not skew preferences one way or the other, my freind runs mac mini server and on his system Reflink and BADA USB still won out. Like I said it could be that AP1+PP is a completely different beast to AP2+PP ( i have heard this elsewhere) or that there were some poor cabling choices.
post #1058 of 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

I haven't really optimised my mac laptop but in terms of outright transparency by PC is ahead, at least with Amarra vs Jie Extreme Player. I haven't tried audirvana yet.. I don't think Mac is necessarily the best possible server either, with dedicated music servers from SoTM, Auraliti etc running customised operating systems, drivers etc. I think a lot of people with higher end setups already like Mac for other reasons, like library management, form factor, familiarity with the OS etc. I don't agree that all audiophile with higher end setups use mac. But this is drifting off topic. In any case differences in operating systems should not skew preferences one way or the other, my freind runs mac mini server and on his system Reflink and BADA USB still won out. Like I said it could be that AP1+PP is a completely different beast to AP2+PP ( i have heard this elsewhere) or that there were some poor cabling choices.

AP1 and AP2 are identical. I'm not sure why you are even insinuating otherwise?
post #1059 of 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor View Post


AP1 and AP2 are identical. I'm not sure why you are even insinuating otherwise?

 

One of those cognitive dissonance scenarios, project86 says AP1+PP is better than Reflink, in my own experience Reflink was more accurate and nuanced than AP2+PP.  Either we are hearing different things, or there are some other factors that are affecting things.  Most people who compare Reflink favourably to AP2+PP, but I haven't seen any other AP1+PP compared to Reflink.

post #1060 of 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

One of those cognitive dissonance scenarios, project86 says AP1+PP is better than Reflink, in my own experience Reflink was more accurate and nuanced than AP2+PP.  Either we are hearing different things, or there are some other factors that are affecting things.  Most people who compare Reflink favourably to AP2+PP, but I haven't seen any other AP1+PP compared to Reflink.

I was addressing your comments about the AP1+PP being a "completely different beast" than the AP2+PP. This is not right. They are identical.

I had both, and I repeat, they are identical.

I can't speak about the Reflink.
post #1061 of 1163

guys, i do not understand what are your particular points comparing to Reflink?

i have AP2+PP and honestly i find it magically sounding, it pairs so well with Metrum that i cannot see why would i wish to upgrade. how much is Reflink?

post #1062 of 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor View Post

I was addressing your comments about the AP1+PP being a "completely different beast" than the AP2+PP. This is not right. They are identical.

I had both, and I repeat, they are identical.

I can't speak about the Reflink.

Thanks for clarifying, I was speaking speculatively.

Reflink was $1600 when I bought it.
post #1063 of 1163

ufff... a cool 1600$? dammit crazy frown.gif

post #1064 of 1163

For what it's worth - Philip at Audiophilleo told me the AP1 and AP2 are in fact the same, with these exceptions: AP1 has the OLED (obviously) which he made sure to isolate so it's doesn't impact the sound. And more importantly, the AP1 has VirtualCable function, which could, in some systems, help achieve better sound. Having said that, he believes most users will get best results leaving it set at default. So we're back to AP1 and AP2 sounding the same again.

 

From my comparisons (and I'll have more to say in an upcoming article at (PartTimeAudiophile.com) the RefLink was closer in character to the AP1+PP, but just not as satisfying. The Empirical OffRamp5 was darker, which I suppose could be more to the liking of some listeners, or be superior in some systems. Not mine though. 

post #1065 of 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

For what it's worth - Philip at Audiophilleo told me the AP1 and AP2 are in fact the same, with these exceptions: AP1 has the OLED (obviously) which he made sure to isolate so it's doesn't impact the sound. And more importantly, the AP1 has VirtualCable function, which could, in some systems, help achieve better sound. Having said that, he believes most users will get best results leaving it set at default. So we're back to AP1 and AP2 sounding the same again.

From my comparisons (and I'll have more to say in an upcoming article at (PartTimeAudiophile.com) the RefLink was closer in character to the AP1+PP, but just not as satisfying. The Empirical OffRamp5 was darker, which I suppose could be more to the liking of some listeners, or be superior in some systems. Not mine though. 

Hey project86, can you elaborate about the OR5? I am told by some folks that this converter has been the defacto standard for a while. I have still not heard it though. Just curious on your thoughts! :-)
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