FYI Mark 2 versions of both AP1 and AP2 hardware are now available.
Also firmware updates for all models now available, plus a good firmware update to PurePower (recommended for all users)
Edited by HumanMedia - 3/3/15 at 7:40pm
I bought it used, so it was already well-used. I think the harshness is noise from the computer and the Audiophilleo can't totally clean it all out, not helped by a less-than optimal power set-up.
I will probably either sell the AP2/PP or I will probably pick up an Auraliti unit and a decent power conditioner (most likely the latter, as I do like the AP2/PP and think it can help in the right set-up). More $$$, but I'm believing less and less in using a computer as a main audio source.
Audiophilleo was one of the first to do an all-out, spare no expense DDC like this. They are the real deal. I compared to some newer competitors like the Off-Ramp and Bel Canto RefLink, and preferred the AP1 with PurePower.
If you want to cut down noise from the computer something like the Schiit Wyrd might work, but yes there are some USB transports which are less forward than the AP2/PP.
Yes computer audio is an uphill battle, but it's all in the journey right?
Agreed, the Offramp 5 is smoother/more rolled off sounding which could be a better match depending on the system.
At that point, you'd be using two units just to "calm down" the crap coming out of the computer. I wouldn't trust the source at all, by that point, no matter how well it is cleaned up. I threw together a CD-based rig by an outlet away from the computer and it sounds instantly cleaner than anything I've tried near my computer (my old Sony 300 CD carousel, Fostex A8 Dac, Magni and HD600).
Depends on the DAC, but in many cases it definitely does.
It's pretty rare for most DACs to have a complete, balls-to-the-wall, state of the art USB section, when the DAC itself is built to a price. Even a relatively expensive DAC at $1500+ has to make some concessions for budget, not to mention space constraints inside their cases. Most of these DACs are using off the shelf implementations from XMOS, C-Media, etc, which can range from mediocre to excellent depending on the situation.
I'd say almost every DAC I've encountered (with a few expensive exceptions) benefits from the Audiophilleo setup. The question is how much. Paying that much for a 2% boost in SQ is not really worth it, but if it's more substantial then it can be a good buy. Unfortunately there's only one way to find out....
I definitely think it will, though a lot of DACs now sport very good USB implementations, but upgrading the transport is always worthwhile. I bought the AP2 on an impulse last year and It was an interesting surprise at how the AP2 improved a lot of DACs, like the Rega DAC, Emotiva XDA-2 and my Yamaha receiver's built-in PCM1796 DAC (granted they are all on the lower end of the scale and sport worthless USB interfaces). It was one of my more fun discoveries in the last year, seeing the audible improvements possible with high quality low jitter transports. Also did some experiments with the M2Tech Hiface, Concero and AP2 and was fun seeing the differences in how they sound and/or benefited from an external power supply.
A lot of DACs in the $1500 range also sound inconsistent using different inputs (PS Audio NuWave for example) and adding a good transport can negate some of these performance variations or allow you to optimise your transport to provide the best quality signal to the best interface. Improving the overall jitter performance is a worthwhile pursuit in any digital system.
Hopefully in the near future, I'm going to be able to audition an Auralic Aries, with the femtoclocks. I'll plan on trying it both with and without the AP2/PP. My original plan was to try an Auraliti, but the premium Aries has the femtos and the linear power supply for about $200 more than the PK90 w/ optional linear power supply.
I just preordered a 2Qute dac. I will be trying my AP2 with pure power on it. For now I will be using it with my Burson Conductor if I can bypass it's internal dac. My other amp's not due until May or June.
I have my 2Qute on order as well. Have you got yours yet? and if so, how much improvement does the AP2 offer to the 2Qute?
According to Rob Watts, the new 2Qutes have galvanically isolated USB, so the APs might not make any significant difference. I know that when I run my Hugo using a Schiit Wyrd USB isolator, I get the same results as with the AP1/PP.
I just read on the 2Qute thread there's an unconfirmed two week delay now. The 2Qute has already been launched as the first production was sold out in March.
There may be some units from the March release still at the retailers. The next was said to be released at the end of April.
We are at the mercy of the system as usual.
edit: Rob Watts has spoken on the 2Qute thread and say's there's a couple of batches; one to go out this week (sold out) and one next week (sold out). But,
the unit is still heavily back ordered.