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Seattle/Bottlehead Meet 8/4/2012 Impressions thread - Page 4  

post #46 of 52

It indeed was.. the near field listening experience was just phenomenal.

 

A no brainer for someone looking for just such a setup. Great price, great build. But what took me by surprise was how instantly those speakers disappeared. and enveloped you ..fantastic imaging (was way well off the floor...those who deal with speakers know this is a tough tough cookie to crack at any price) and sound staging was very good. And this is from a 3 inch driver. Just beautiful. Wish i had the extra scratch for such a rig.

 

The Bottlehead 300Bs sounded like they were made for the Blumensteins.

post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC (MKI) vs Parasound DAC (Sachu's, unsure of model): At the end of the meet some source-swapping was done on Sachu's system and I got to hear the difference between these two on the SR-007/LL.

The Alpha DAC affirmed to me that source can definitely make a difference, especially when it comes to the SR-007. As I told Sachu, I thought the Alpha was the better DAC. It had more dynamic range - it was better at conveying low volume specifically, and it provided more of a contrast between soft and loud. It also had more clarity, and more separation/diffusion. The imaging on the Parasound was downright concentrated/integrated in comparison.

However, as better as the Alpha DAC was, and I thought it was a clear step above the Parasound in pretty much every way, it still wasn't as good as my own setup at home. My setup provides even more dynamic range - specifically, the ability to really push wide-volume swings from very soft to very loud, and I also got the nagging suspicion that my setup is considerably clearer-sounding too.

 

Was there a good USB transport behind the Berkeley?  It's widely known on Computer Audiophile that the Berkeley's native Toslink, BNC, and AES is not that good.  I got a significant upgrade using a Wavelength Wavelink USB converter.  I've read similarly good experiences from people who have tried the Alpha USB, Empirical Offramp, and Diverter.  The Weiss INT 202, not so good.  A good USB converter is much better than a Lynx PCI card, which is what most people did until we had the USB converter renaissance in 2011.

 

It's a shame that the Alpha doesn't handle jitter that well, but I guess there were design considerations why they designed the unit the way they did.

 

If you hear the difference between ICs, I got a pretty shocking difference going from a Wireworld coax to a VH Audio Pulsar Ag.  I normally don't hear much difference between ICs, but the digital IC really surprised me and my girlfriend (who is pretty unmerciful about pulling punches if I just wasted money on something that made no change or made things worse, like NOS tubes).

 

The Berkeley is capable of being an awesome D/A, but needs some experimenting before it gets there.  It's still really nice out of the box with Monoprice cables, which is what I did for several months.

 

Too bad you haven't heard a KGSSHV.  I'd be interested in reading some impressions on how the KGSSHV stacks up against the current top-end SS amps.  I might be able to hear a KGSSHV soon, which I'm looking forward to.

post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post
Was there a good USB transport behind the Berkeley?  It's widely known on Computer Audiophile that the Berkeley's native Toslink, BNC, and AES is not that good.  I got a significant upgrade using a Wavelength Wavelink USB converter.  I've read similarly good experiences from people who have tried the Alpha USB, Empirical Offramp, and Diverter.  The Weiss INT 202, not so good.  A good USB converter is much better than a Lynx PCI card, which is what most people did until we had the USB converter renaissance in 2011.

 

I don't know which digital connection was being used to swap between the Berkeley and Sachu's Assemblage, but it definitely wasn't USB, as we weren't using a computer. My guess is coaxial, as we were using a CD player as a transport.

post #49 of 52

Anyone want to come visit the Vancouver meet with your gear this September? :)

post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girls Generation View Post

Anyone want to come visit the Vancouver meet with your gear this September? :)

I'm pretty sure my dad (palmfish) and I will be coming! Not for sure, but I think so. :>

post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

I don't know which digital connection was being used to swap between the Berkeley and Sachu's Assemblage, but it definitely wasn't USB, as we weren't using a computer. My guess is coaxial, as we were using a CD player as a transport.

 

Yeah, that is definitely not ideal for the Berkeley.  Granted, a lot of people on CA believe that wav sounds better than flac, but most Berkeley owners who post readily agree that the BADA improves substantially with a quality USB converter with battery power.

post #52 of 52

sachu will have to be the one to clarify, but I think my BADA was being fed by AES from another Assemblage component that was acting as the switch between transports.  It might not have been a digital cable either.  :P

 

@Elysian - Were you using BNC then to the BADA with the Wavelink?  I don't know if I've seen a Wavelink before firsthand, so just want to be sure.

 

EDIT - I should also add that I spent some time using Josh's Off-Ramp.  There were definitely positive results over the SB Touch via optical TOSLINK, but I attributed most of that to the SB Touch as a transport, which may have been incorrect.  And when sachu's laptop was feeding the rig, there was a USB converter in the chain, but I think sachu has more mods in store for it.


Edited by Equus - 8/20/12 at 3:56pm
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