Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Shunyata Zi-Tron Cobra (new not King Cobra) (Video Inside)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Shunyata Zi-Tron Cobra (new not King Cobra) (Video Inside) - Page 2

post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post

The power cord I use on my desktop PC server makes a big difference to the SQ.
 

I have a feeling you will get far more improvement from a dedicated server than a power cord however, I guess we will see tho!


What type of power supply is your PC server using? Is it a standard computer PS, or something else?

post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post

 Just a bit more on that tangent above - it seems I'm not the only one plugging away trying to improve the performance of a middling $1000-ish value DAC.

 

 If you look over at the Computer Audio forums, many of us are using 'J PLAY' as our playback program of choice, sure it's a little clunky and what not

 but it sounds fantastic - many of you may not be aware that the head cheese over at J PLAY - actually uses and recommends one of these.

 

 The Musica Ibuki Wooden Case DAC - 700 Euros or there abouts. $900 - cheaper than the full retail on my Rega DAC.

 

 Musica Ibuki.jpg

 

 Now get this! - It uses an old Burr Brown chip that is limited to 16bit/44Khz - that's right, not even 16/48.

 

 Bet a few of you are sitting there, scratiching your heads wondering why a guy who has written one of the best Windows audiophile playback

 systems on the planet elects to run a wooden cased 16/44 DAC that offers absolutely no functionality in regards to the delights of hi-res

 material via HDtracks etc blink.gif

 

 One word - tonality.

 

The JPlay forum has been a big help for designing my own server. I certainly wouldn't have thought to use an external hdd via optical USB, rather than an internal SATA drive. He lost me on that DAC, though. The BB PCM270x USB chips are garbage. There's no redeeming quality to them. You can stick one on the best sounding DAC in the world, but it's still a crap chip, and it will compromise sound quality no matter what. 

post #18 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

 

The JPlay forum has been a big help for designing my own server. I certainly wouldn't have thought to use an external hdd via optical USB, rather than an internal SATA drive. He lost me on that DAC, though. The BB PCM270x USB chips are garbage. There's no redeeming quality to them. You can stick one on the best sounding DAC in the world, but it's still a crap chip, and it will compromise sound quality no matter what. 

 

 I think he might be a sweetness lover - as in the tube output stage on that thing must really sweeten things up, have not

 heard it myself but as you say if the DAC chip itself does nothing for separation, imaging and overall detail then perhaps

 it's a strange choice - just wanted to point out that there are people out there who are far more knowledgeable

 than me making even more bizarre DAC choices biggrin.gif

 

 Speaking of external devices - the main CAPS 2 video from Rocky Mountain audio festival suggests using an

 external supply for the motherboard if you can find one - this appears to be supported by what Gav Torn is

 saying in that he is noticing differences between power cables for the internal PC power supply on his

 machine.

 

 Might be best to power it externally and hook it up to a conditioner of sorts.

post #19 of 61

I don't try to apply too much 'logic' to some of the more esoteric choices out there - particularly when the kit comes from Japan. You mentioned tonality, and that seems to be the reason some are willing to pay for the (admittedly gorgeous) Yamamoto amp - even that is a bargain compared to some of the cartridges coming out of Japan. All limited edition, numbered collectable 'artworks' - horses for courses, I guess. 

 

Personally, I wouldnt pay ~6K for this (bolding is mine), but then how many people look at the asking price of the LCD-3 and shout '2K for a headphone ! wtf !?! ......

 

http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=KOEURUSHIR

 

The Urushi Signature comes in 3 cosmetic finishes (Wajima, Tsugaru and Vermillion). The Wajima finish encrusts the whole cartridge body with gold flakes and is the most expensive to produce. The Tsugaru starts with a base piano-black finish and has bands of gold speckle along its sides. The Vermillion is finished in a reddish lacquer color. 

The Urushi cartridges are probably the most striking in the whole Koetsu lineup because it encompasses the traditional art of Japanese lacquerware in the production of the cartridge body. Even without reproducing music, the Urushi is itself, a work of art

post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post


What type of power supply is your PC server using? Is it a standard computer PS, or something else?

Just a standard seasonic x460 fanless w/ shunyata venom 3 p/cord.

 

Most of the specs and tweaks for the music server are from the jplay forum.

post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

 

The JPlay forum has been a big help for designing my own server. I certainly wouldn't have thought to use an external hdd via optical USB, rather than an internal SATA drive. He lost me on that DAC, though. The BB PCM270x USB chips are garbage. There's no redeeming quality to them. You can stick one on the best sounding DAC in the world, but it's still a crap chip, and it will compromise sound quality no matter what. 

I also have the Adnaco s3 fibre optic usb hub that Marcin from Jplay uses - I think that may be why he sticks with his DAC - it helps a lot.

post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post

Just a standard seasonic x460 fanless w/ shunyata venom 3 p/cord.

 

Most of the specs and tweaks for the music server are from the jplay forum.

 

I see. There may be a benefit to using a shielded PC as opposed to unshielded, but that's it. Using anything better on a standard ATX power supply shouldn't have any effect on the quality of the DC at the other end. If DC ripple on any of the rails was reduced by even a few mV, or if voltage regulation improved, that would shut the "power cords are all snake oil" folks up for good. I've never seen that demonstrated.


Edited by DaveBSC - 6/25/12 at 10:52am
post #23 of 61
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post

 

 @Lenni / Gavtorn

 

 Yes, I did forget to mention that - like Gavtorn there will be a basic open case, fanless, external power supplied desktop replacement in the works,

 should not cost a lot since I build my own PC's and have access to good prices - last night was a perfect display of how bottlenecks can appear

 out of nowhere. The Laptop has not been rebooted in about a week, coming out of a long hibernation period, I fired up a track and then attempted

 to check my email - the amount of clipping and drop outs was substantial to say the least!

 

 

 

I don't have any issue with expensive power cords either, but I think you've your priority wrong. not as bad a Patrick82 though... the guy paid $20k+ for a custom built monstrous power cord to be used with a pair of powered Adam 7's or 5's and an external emu soundcard or something. ridiculous!

 

a fan-less desk-top PC will not do. you need a dedicated music server like the one listed in my sig. top priority. I'd rather use that music server with a cheap DAC/AMP/Cables, than an expensive DAC/AMP/etc..with a desktop PC. seriously.

post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

a fan-less desk-top PC will not do. you need a dedicated music server like the one listed in my sig. top priority. I'd rather use that music server with a cheap DAC/AMP/Cables, than an expensive DAC/AMP/etc..with a desktop PC. seriously.

 

All of the evidence I've seen suggests that a properly configured desktop PC can match or exceed the performance of $5K+ dedicated music servers - many of which are glorified PCs in a headless case, running some variant of Linux. Unless I'm mistaken, Chris over at Computer Audiophile has yet to test a dedicated server that outperformed his "CAPS" desktop, a basic integrated Mini-ITX Atom based computer with a crappy switching power supply, running Windows and JRiver. The fully tricked out PCs that the guys in the JPlay forum have should stomp all over the CAPS sever.

 

Further, the two setups that TAS awarded Best Digital Sound at the last RMAF were both running Mach2Music Minis, not dedicated servers. I'd be willing to bet that a JPlay server into a top shelf USB DAC like the Empirical Overdrive could beat any dedicated server under $10K.

post #25 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

 

I don't have any issue with expensive power cords either, but I think you've your priority wrong. not as bad a Patrick82 though... the guy paid $20k+ for a custom built monstrous power cord to be used with a pair of powered Adam 7's or 5's and an external emu soundcard or something. ridiculous!

 

a fan-less desk-top PC will not do. you need a dedicated music server like the one listed in my sig. top priority. I'd rather use that music server with a cheap DAC/AMP/Cables, than an expensive DAC/AMP/etc..with a desktop PC. seriously.

 

 

 Yeh Lenni I like to do things a little differently smily_headphones1.gif For example I had my Rega, V200 and Audiophilleo for a dang long while and all I had was a Grado 325i and

 AKG K601 - plenty of Head-Fi folk said at the time - why aren't you buying a flagship for that rig? I did in the end - the PS1000 but many would tell you on

 here that the correct way is to eg, buy a HD800 or PS1000 and run it off let's say a $270 Audio-gd NFB-12 Dac/Amp and then upgrade from there.

 

 Horses for courses. I still believe that it worked for me as many mid $400-$500 offerings sound pretty darn good if the rig is up to task.

post #26 of 61

I don't know what Chris of CA has tested over *his* CAPS server, and how much I can rely on what he says. the difference between my desktop PC and the music server is amazing. like I said I'd rather use this server with a cheap dac, than a uber expensive dac plugged into a notebook. I'm pretty certain the former will sound ten times better than the latter.

 

I've never been to a meet, but from the photos posted here of various meets I see a lot of expensive gear used, but also there're a lot of various notebooks around, which seem to be used as servers. not the way to go, imo.

post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

 

I don't have any issue with expensive power cords either, but I think you've your priority wrong. not as bad a Patrick82 though... the guy paid $20k+ for a custom built monstrous power cord to be used with a pair of powered Adam 7's or 5's and an external emu soundcard or something. ridiculous!

 

a fan-less desk-top PC will not do. you need a dedicated music server like the one listed in my sig. top priority. I'd rather use that music server with a cheap DAC/AMP/Cables, than an expensive DAC/AMP/etc..with a desktop PC. seriously.

Hey Lenni -

 

The AMS looks to be a customised linux PC?  I am sure they creators have done their homework and have it well setup, especially if you think it beats a desktop PC.

 

Are you able to post pics of the insides?  I would be interested to see if it uses a Pico PSU.

 

Thanks,

 

gav.

post #28 of 61

gavtorn, I've sent the AMS back for a minor change. I'll take some pics of the insides once I get it back.

 

I wonder how much the SOtM tx-USB has to do with difference in sound, probably quite a bit.

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

I don't know what Chris of CA has tested over *his* CAPS server, and how much I can rely on what he says. the difference between my desktop PC and the music server is amazing. like I said I'd rather use this server with a cheap dac, than a uber expensive dac plugged into a notebook. I'm pretty certain the former will sound ten times better than the latter.

 

I've never been to a meet, but from the photos posted here of various meets I see a lot of expensive gear used, but also there're a lot of various notebooks around, which seem to be used as servers. not the way to go, imo.

 

Notebooks are really problematic. You have a lot of stuff shoved into a too small space, and they aren't designed to run their CPUs at a fixed clock. You're also stuck with the onboard USB ports. You can use something like the Lab Brick to help deal with that, (or Empirical's Short Block if your device draws no bus power) but you can't use the ideal solution, the Adnaco USB over fiber which requires a PCI-e slot.

 

The typical ordinary use desktop into a DAC via a sound card using something like Foobar isn't any better. I've tried it, and the sound was nowhere near as good as a $400 CD player, or even the line-out of my Hifiman HM-801 if you can believe that. What you need is a purpose built PC, one that runs the absolute bare minimum of software. If you're using Windows, that includes eliminating every service that isn't absolutely necessary for the computer to run. All of the power saving features have to be turned off, the CPU should always be at a fixed clock, running full speed. Then you need to go USB, either into a converter like the Off-Ramp and then on to your DAC of choice, or a USB DAC at least as good as the Calyx or Anedio D2.


Edited by DaveBSC - 6/26/12 at 10:47am
post #30 of 61

Finally, a product out of the Southern Hemishphere - free delivery if you live in Oz or NZ:

 

http://www.antipodesaudio.com/music_servers.html

 

gallery_AMS_black_low.jpg

 

Now all I have to do is find 2400 AUD and find some way of getting this to Thailand when I move in 2014. Other than that, its all good downunder right now - huzzah !   biggrin.gif

 

Forgot about this - aaarrggghhhh  - half of bloody NZ lives here, but we would still have to pay Customs Duty per this example:

 

If the Customs value (CV) of imported Goods = $1,500.00 
Then the Customs Duty @ 5% of the $1,500 (CV) = $75.00 (Payable) 
Assuming the international transport and insurance (T&I) = $125.00 
Then the VoTI = (CV) + Duty + (T&I) = $1,700.00 
GST = 10% of the VoTI = 10% x $1,700 = $170.00 (Payable) 
Therefore the Total Duty plus GST payable = $245.00

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Shunyata Zi-Tron Cobra (new not King Cobra) (Video Inside)