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Review: Resonessence Labs Invicta - new high end DAC/amp/playback system - Page 17

post #241 of 715

I really want one now that I think about how useful it would be in auditioning speakers at the moment. Take it to a dealer and you've got a familiar, high quality source.

post #242 of 715
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I really want one now that I think about how useful it would be in auditioning speakers at the moment. Take it to a dealer and you've got a familiar, high quality source.

 

Yep - and coming soon, DSD playback (including via SD card). Not that there's a ton of DSD music available just yet, but for the purposes of speaker auditioning you wouldn't need much. 

 

I love how Resonessence keeps pushing the Invicta with new software upgrades. There are some more good ones coming soon which should make people happy (I can't say any more....) around here. 

post #243 of 715

It's at the top of the lit right now due to the SD card slot and 'portability' of it. I could see getting one of the big Pelican cases and taking the Invicta + TH900 with you on trips and what not. 

 

I'm worried about it being too analytical, but I guess I should try to audition first anyway.

 

Is there a 'cap' on the size of SD card you can use? Because a 256gb filled with AIFF files sounds awesome.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

Yep - and coming soon, DSD playback (including via SD card). Not that there's a ton of DSD music available just yet, but for the purposes of speaker auditioning you wouldn't need much. 

 

I love how Resonessence keeps pushing the Invicta with new software upgrades. There are some more good ones coming soon which should make people happy (I can't say any more....) around here. 

post #244 of 715
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

It's at the top of the lit right now due to the SD card slot and 'portability' of it. I could see getting one of the big Pelican cases and taking the Invicta + TH900 with you on trips and what not. 

 

I'm worried about it being too analytical, but I guess I should try to audition first anyway.

 

Is there a 'cap' on the size of SD card you can use? Because a 256gb filled with AIFF files sounds awesome.

 

 

It's not really analytical imo, unless you define that as being "anything not super-tubey and NOS sounding". 

 

I don't think there is a cap in terms of size since it recently got an upgrade to support SDXC. The only issue would be scrolling through all those thousands of files on the display. It has monitor support via HDMI out but that might not be an option in a truly transportable system.

 

128GB SD cards are going for around $120 right now. But the sweet spot seems to be 64GB cards which are $40 or so, meaning 192GB for $120. 

post #245 of 715

It'd probably be 120gb at they're fairly reasonable. 256 tends to still be quite expensive and unreliable, but I'm sure we'll see them drop this year.

 

Does it play literally 1 file at a time, or will it continue with a whole folder? If organized well enough folder wise (which I'm very particular about) it wouldn't be too much trouble to scroll through and find artist/albums. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

It's not really analytical imo, unless you define that as being "anything not super-tubey and NOS sounding". 

 

I don't think there is a cap in terms of size since it recently got an upgrade to support SDXC. The only issue would be scrolling through all those thousands of files on the display. It has monitor support via HDMI out but that might not be an option in a truly transportable system.

 

128GB SD cards are going for around $120 right now. But the sweet spot seems to be 64GB cards which are $40 or so, meaning 192GB for $120. 

post #246 of 715

It plays through a whole folder.  Also, the Invicta has an "organic" sound to my ears, more so than the Zodiac did at least.  But if you find it analytical, they have a number of filters to choose from.  

 

I actually find the remote scrolls through the SD card files quickly.  Holding down the button will take you from A to Z fast.  I have...I don't know, 40 albums on my 32GB right now, it wouldn't be hard at all to navigate through 160 albums.  I really appreciate the time the Res team spent on the UI, it could have been so much worse, these are things that are typically overlooked.  

 

I've connected mine to a LCD panel before and while nice, I prefer just navigating off the Invicta.  The read out is a little small but I'm able to make do from 8 feet away.  I imagine in a larger room with bigger speakers I might need a monitor.  Thankfully I can't afford bigger speakers or a larger room.

 

The only gripe I have is that the files need to be in a particular order.  I'm not sure Invicta can read metadata to discover embedded order.  I may have to prepend numbers to dictate an order to each file name.  For example - "1 - The Greatest" as a file name instead of "The Greatest."  

 

Having lost my digital collection about a year ago to HD failure, I don't have many files to do this to.  Things might be more painful for you guys.  I haven't investigated the issue deeply, so if something else is wrong with my files and Invicta IS able to read file order metadata, it could very well be so.  As soon as I get around to verifying it, I will post back.  In the meantime if someone else can corroborate or do the opposite, that might help.

 

--

 

Btw, thanks Econ & Res team for making the video happen.  Very useful.  Once you get the cover open removing the fuse holder is not intuitive at all without the video.  It feels like you're going to break the fuse holder if you try to pry it up.  And then you end up doing what I did and shipping your $4K DAC to Canada just to have the fuse replaced, haha.

 

--

 

Project 86, it's nice to see the Res. team is working on further enhancements beyond DSD with 4.0.0 (if I'm reading your post correctly).  

post #247 of 715

Did I mention shipping to Canada and back was about $200 total?  Most expensive fuse replacement in history.

post #248 of 715
Thread Starter 

If I recall correctly, it plays the whole album starting with whatever track you selected. Basically like a CD player would. 

 

I imagine a lot of structure with genres broken down into folders and sub-folders and it would be manageable. 

post #249 of 715
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

If I recall correctly, it plays the whole album starting with whatever track you selected. Basically like a CD player would. 

 

I imagine a lot of structure with genres broken down into folders and sub-folders and it would be manageable. 

A few of my own comments about the SD card function:   I find that 64GB cards are about the right size for storage, plus they are cost-effective and very reliable.   I suppose at some point I might try out larger capacity cards but not until their price comes down. SD cards can although rarely fail (caveat - don't cheap out on the cards!), and the thought of losing 128 or 256GB worth of WAV or AIFF files due to a card failure does slightly concern me. Of course the files would still be available on your hard drive + backup but it would still take time to re-install the files on a replacement card.  

 

You can effectively manage files on the SD cards by creating subfolders and grouping individual albums under a particular artist, music genre, etc.  I've only created first order subfolders, so I don't how far down you can go (but you don't want a too complex subfolder directory either).   

 

My biggest gripe with the SD card system is that it won't read the embedded/hidden numerical metadata from an individual album -- i.e. when you start an album, it will play straight through but with the selections in alphabetical order!   There is a work-around for this but it requires that you manually enter a number (e.g. 01, 02, etc) before the title of each selection!   Only then will you have the correct numerical order designated by the metadata.  I'm hoping that in a subsequent software update this "glitch" can be fixed.  

post #250 of 715
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

Project 86, it's nice to see the Res. team is working on further enhancements beyond DSD with 4.0.0 (if I'm reading your post correctly).  

 

Yep, I can't comment any further but to say that there's still some goodies coming down the pike soon enough. As with DSD, some people will be in love with the update and some people won't really care at all. It's clever though.

 

The cool thing about Invicta is that it's actually a platform - when Resonessence wants to test new stuff, they can easily do so. There really is a startling amount of engineering in the device that they haven't even fully explained in their marketing literature. For example - did you guys know they wrote all their own code for the SD card reader? It's sort of the equivalent of making USB drivers from scratch rather than using something like the typical Thesycon driver. But that's a bad analogy because the Thesycon driver is made for audio - SD Card readers have never been used for high-end audio playback before. So there's probably a lot more shortcomings and areas to improve. 

 

The benefit here is that Resonessence has all this cool stuff already finished, so they can use it in future products if they ever have a need. Another benefit - since they created it, they have full control. So stuff like metadata support could be implemented if users want it (within limits of the hardware of course). 

post #251 of 715

Twsmith, thanks for corroborating. On the flip side the alphabetical feature is very useful in all other instances, like when navigating folders & sub-folders.   

--

I'm very curious now about the next update (after DSD/4.0.0).  

--

I asked Mark recently about the SD card implementation (wanted to know whether it went I2S to the ES9018), and I received a quick reply (unfortunately it was in engineering-speak and indecipherable to me / "...custom decoded and output to the DAC in left justified 32-bit format."), but it did reveal that the SD is custom decoded.  The brevity of the response is totally understandable given the context: Res engineers are hard at work on the DSD update.

 

A couple of people on DIYaudio have DIYed their own SD card transports which output I2S to DAC chips (so cool).  

post #252 of 715
Thread Starter 

New press release on the Resonessence Labs website. It discusses the new DSD option as well as a future update coming later this month. See if you can see anything that might be relevant to HeadFi members....

post #253 of 715

BALANCED HEADPHONE OUTPUTS? Wait...what?

 

Also, Japanese characters is a very good thing as well...And did they add ALAC support or just FLAC? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

New press release on the Resonessence Labs website. It discusses the new DSD option as well as a future update coming later this month. See if you can see anything that might be relevant to HeadFi members....

post #254 of 715

Yes...what?  

 

A software update for balanced output?  P86, any insight?

post #255 of 715
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

BALANCED HEADPHONE OUTPUTS? Wait...what?

 

 

That was fast - I figured there would be some confusion. See, what the next firmware does is actually change the two 1/4" jacks to dual 3-pin XLR format through a proprietary FPGA liquid molding process.....

 

Oh wait, that's impossible. What it actually does is allow each headphone jack to act as a separate channel for balanced drive. Just like the Matrix Quattro Amp does, or the Chazz 2 tube amp. A special cable would be required - check my Chazz 2 link for an HD650 cable for $45, or else see HERE for more options including adapters that work with existing 4-pin XLR or dual 3-pin XLR. Or of course you could just contact your favorite cable manufacturer and have them make one for you. 

 

This balanced mode essentially doubles the juice received by the headphones, as well as minimizing crosstalk from using a single TRS jack. I know people complained about it in the Matrix Quattro and thought they should have used XLR jacks. But since Resonessence is essentially retrofitting this upgrade, I find it brilliant and wouldn't mind working around it with a new cable or adapter. 

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