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Ultra Fi Aubisque USB Dac Filter revisted!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I started this earlier and the computer dumped.


So I will start again.


I took delivery of an Ultra Fi g 41 dac I purchased on audiogon.  I had Mr. Moore of Ultra Fi upgrade it to current spec with the Twin Regulator Mod.


This is where this all begin.  I of course need to be involved with my audio purchase on any number of levels both before and after I buy it.


The dac was a carefully considered, long researched and spontaneously done when I found what I was looking for on Audiogon.  It was the right product, with the right mystique. The price although a stretch was just within my range.


Once I had it the fun started.  That is what this is all about fun...enjoyment...escape and delight.   Cut all the crap...put away your pocket protector and let your ears dance.  If your system doesn't make you sing or dance why are you in it?


I gave up the pretense years ago of having to answer to anyone about what I heard or why.


I trust my ears...those are the test instruments of my experience... Objectivity yeah thats fine for getting in the ballpark but I want my hot dog soaked in mustard. While I'm listening to the roar of the crowd and jumping up I may spill my coke and stain my jeans. But, damn I was there when Trout spanked that ball out of the park and got them in the playoffs.   I heard and felt and EXPERIENCED IT. Measure that!


Emma Kirkby sang like an angel at the Ambassador auditorium where I sat sixth-row center.  Her husband accompanying on a beautifully tuned period lute.  John Dowland might never imagined this when he wrote this for the English theater. Measured on a spectrum analyzer her voice will resonate at close to 10k at times. Damn I heard that

live? How do you explain that feeling?


What is the sound of one hand clapping in the woods?  I have no frickin idea!


I trust my experience and I trust the experience of those who demonstrate a similar appreciation for and understanding of those things which I have appreciated. 


This is the common framework which I have learned tells me more than harmonic distortion figures,20hz-20khz, power handling, free air resonance of 15" woofer or why

even order harmonic distortion is more musical than odd. 


I remember buying an Akai cassestte deck cause it was cool and had a two level deck...and damn...20-23k response.  Then I heard a 30-18k Tandberg kick the crap out

of it musically.  But the measurements!


I've heard a 3W 2a3 on Lowther do far better bass than 200 Watts on a 18" JBL sugarscoop.  Measure that!


I put a Kimber KCAG in my wife's Onkyo system!  "Damn your nut's!". Righto mate, but I had an extra set and wanted to show her.  She has partial hearing in her right ear...and she heard the difference and wouldn't give it back to me even after our divorce.  Measure that!


Damn the formality!  Larry...(arrrgggghhh, you spoke of him in the familiar sense. "SChillllll!" Disregard, ignore, all that has been said must be lies) Moore informed me

about the Aubisque USB filter in an email responding to my inquiries about the upgrade to my dac.


That was where I started, after Larry texted me why I should get it.   I have yet to speak with him...but we have briefly corresponded.  His final suggestion before I purchased the Aubisque filter was that it was a no-brainer.



Listen to yourselves is this place about audio and fun and experience!


I have read Lizard Kings review and a few others suggested on Larry's site. I have read with interest, laughter, and some incredulity at the comments on this site. I have even commented to Larry!


The polemic flames of controversy!  Why are they fanned by some?  Why are fanboys

put to the torch?  Are opinions and ideas not for sharing?  Is objectivity more than subjectivity?  Gentleman lend me your ears...on second thought I will just use mine!


Is a manufacturer entitled to charge a reasonable price as he perceives it to be.  Who gets to decide? You the non customer who refuses to listen just because you aren't willing to try it?  No it isn't cheap but honestly the best audio stuff isn't.  Is that wrong?


This is a cottage industry and part of the game is what is a fair price and who sets it?


All I know is if you want support, customer service and a choice of product somebody

has to make a living at it and that doesn't mean their theives.  Accessories make money.  Hell where do you think I made my money at RC Willey.  Warranty and accessories.  Don't sell em... dont make a living.  Belly up...not a whole lot of profit

these days with all the internet and wholesale clubs.  You have to differentiate with

something that is really good and worth paying a bit more for.   Building Value they call it.  LARRY Moore gives you more.


Hell go kick the tires a bit...just quit kicking Larry until you have heard it.  The value isn't in the size of the filter it ain't even bout the digital noise issue far as I can tell. Yeah it makes the backgrounds blacker..if that means noise floor, yeah maybe!  PM me!



First of all I agree with the reviews of this product.  Frankly, the only bad things I have

heard about, except for one comment on audiogon, if from people who want to flame it.


I like controversial things.  It either does or it doesn'?  Black and white is simple!  Interestingly I think this forum cemented my purchase after I read the reviews.  Larry never made a fuss at all,  other than told me it would improve my digital.  He gives

you a trial and a money back guarantee. 


Truth is I have owned a number of controversialaudio accessories and even a particular loudspeaker that caused a heatwave on a particular Online Magazine site.  PM me if your interested!


I know your going "oh yeah, but there was that one comment!"  Ok he mentioned the filter didn't really work well with the cable he was using.  Fair enough.  Try it send it back...go on your merry way a little wiser.


Hell, my wife who knows better but still likes her Bose radio. 



"Burning down the house", excellent song but not the agenda that benefits this forum. 


Lizard King is obviously excited and I understand why...I am to!  PM me!


If anything Larry has understated this.  I can assure that the improvements are SURPRISING.   Hell, Larry could have buried a satchell full of them under a fairy mound

and let Oberon himself sprinkle the pixie dust on them.  Actually I have it on good authority the Keebler elves were slumming and Larry rescued them and they told him

about this out of gratitude...that is why its so damn small. LAUGH, CMON!  CRACK THAT FROWN!  WHY SO SERIOUS? 


Honestly!  Oh yeah my wife informs me that you only say that when your trying to be deceptive.  Cheers!  Yes you objectivistss have ferreted me out of hiding. I have an Ultra Fi tatoo branded on my but and a small shrine where I burn incense to Larry to ward off the ill smelling smoke of bad reviews.(hmm where are those anyway?)  I slink around gollum like in my dark digital caves trying to corrupt you with the unholy device that will bind our digital in analog chains.


Nooooooo!  I will not let you off the hook!  Share my precioussss, I willss share it. hehehe...PMsesss me.   Get it, try it...keep it you will! OOpps some one else snuck in the cave.  I'm forcing him out now!  If not sendsss it backesss, butsss you will loves the precioussss. "It's mine, it's all mine....nassssttttyyy jedisssses, get your own trial period."


Larry isn't getting mine back. Will I lend it?  Hell no, get your own.  I am not about

to listen without this in my system.


Where is Harvey, the Great Gizmo...damn he was fun I miss him.  Go back and read the writings of Harvey Rosenberg.  The man was a joy!  Hell Giz I would send you one

of these despite my meager earnings. Then even you might dance to the digital muse.


That's what audio is about.  Fun dammit, fun.  That is what the Aubisque filter is about, that is what it does. There I said it!


The best $200.00 I have ever spent! 


It lies it does!  Nasty Triodistsss, Nasty Subjectivistsss.  Kills them we will, yes my preciouss. 


Putting the Aubisque system is like putting your digital on a diet of Master tapes and triodes.  If you understand any of this then try it and you will be squealling with delight...ahh the preciousss...and it is. 


Support those elves...even with hostess out of business it aint so great.   Keebler ain't cuttin it no more and their aren't any rent subsidies left for tree dwellers with sequestration thing.


Too much fun...but more fun listening.


Oh yeah and better watch it Anthony I'm coming to steal Emma away from you so she can sing baroque opera to me tonight....muhaha!


Happy Listening



post #2 of 4

Well...I have to say I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say. But I'm glad that you're apparently happy with your gear. And props for the LoTR references.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Well...I have to say I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say!


Sorry pardon my rhetorical stance!   If  you read the original Aubisque thread on Computer Audio forum where I also posted

this you will get the context.  


I had to start a new thread since that one had apparently closed.  So it's also over there I believe.


I decided I wanted a little wider audience than just the computer audio guys so I should have edited first changed

my emphasis and then posted.  

Sorry it didn't quite translate.  If you will read between the lines...I will endeavor to fill in over the next few days,  you will catch my ideas

and meaning.


This is amazing little device that has the ability to surpisingly improve the quality of USB signal by somehow isolating it from the Source.


Larry is not entirely going into all the details...so as Arthur C. Clarke put it. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


I think there is a certain charm in this device in that regard, and if you try it with your USB dac I suspect it will put a smile on your face and take up more hours then you planned dancing or listening to your system.


It really makes my computer digital stream, I am running Jplay in audiostreamer mode,ie. a control PC and an Audio PC, sound like the best of an excellent turntable and master tapes.  I'm running it in Ultrastream(windows 8 only) in hibernate.  I set all the buffers and timing as low as possible,  That seems to sound the most correct.


That has been a whole seperate progression that has truelly amazed me.  But this dac filter  created a transformation that not only isolates,  but some how enhances every aspect and really brings out the PRAT, as people like to say on the forum.  As a matter of fact I have previously never heard digital do this in the way really good tables do.  It's doing it much better than the full Linn/Ittok/Troika setup I used to run and love.


First thing I noticed was the musical flow, than the low level detail, then the complete top to bottom integration of the fundamental note with it's harmonic structure locked to it and the air and space around it being simply a continuation of that note extending out in all directions of the hall.  These effects are really stunning in the low registers. Bass overtones help create a clearly defined sense of focus and anchored size that force my earbuds to sound far larger than they have any right to.  Low notes actually resonate my chest in ways that balanced armatures would not seem capable of.  The highs!  Listen to the lovely Mrs. Rooley(Emma Kirkby) sometime and you will swear you died and went to heaven. You can hear the effortlessly subtle blend of each harmonic as she climbs the heights of the note and her breath control during and in between notes.  I have heard her live and this is the closest I have ever gotten to having  that sense of her standing in front of me.


I well tell you that I heard a subtle shaken tambourine, that I believe Bono was holding, when  he sings "If God will send his Angels",  a counterpoint to the massive drum sounding in the background. Usually you just hear this as a shimmer.  With the Aubisque you hear all the subtle detail, the skin and the small muted shimmer of tiny metal hats riding on their guides.  You can hear it. Without  the aubisque it is lovely ill defined smear, although a well blended shimmer.   


It is this quality which make listening a blast because it allows you to easily follow the beat, harmonic timing and unique character of each instrument and each voice in the mix or chose the effortless blending of all those things.  It is like a gourment meal where you can taste each individual flavor the chef has carefully chosen, savouring the delicacy and unique quality of every seansoning.  At the end of the meal the medley of flavors allow the blend to transcend itself superlatively.  A lesser chef can blend them but

doesn't capture the piquancy of each element.


It seems almost contradictory.  But much like the melting pot that is America, emphasizing the individual improves the whole


These are the things that triodes and single driver loudspeakers do in ways that I rarely hear solid state and multi-way dynamic systems do.  There are some brilliant designers whose masterpieces transcend their genre and fool you through the magic of technology and brilliant implementation of their art.  But honestly it is only occasionaly when that really has to do with just getting the specs right.


I believe Larry starts his creative process from a fundamentally sound approach based on the best of vintage technologies and modern, using his engineering background to improve on the best aspects and then.   Magic!.


Magic is fun, and joyous and can not always be readily explained until the master reveals his tricks...and then we of course demean the value by saying, "Yup that's what I thought!"


Col d' Aubisque is mountain pass in the Pyrennes.  A steep climb and descent in the Tour de France.  Larry is at heart a cyclist also.  So I like the idea of climbing and ascent and reaching to the heights of acheivementor or perhas integrating the high's and

the lows as in note or frequency.  But it has that elegant frenchness about it and rolls off the tongue nicely suggesting it will do

the same for your auditory experience.


Any way it does what others have suggested and more...it is worth a listen and Larry offers a money back gurantee.   Larry's dac is magical in it's own right and his cable of the same name, "Aubisque",  is  pricey but only moderately so in comparison to other offerings.  It is  very worthwhile and can easily demonstrate it's value in a good USB based playback system.  But the really uniquely satifying and most amazing thing I have heard from him may be this little device.  I can't explain why and I won't attempt to...but it will change your idea of the current state of the art in what USB can accomplish.


I think finding out if it will create that for your system is worth the very minimal risk and the cost of return postage.


Happy Listening,



post #4 of 4
Originally Posted by ender323 View Post

Well...I have to say I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say. But I'm glad that you're apparently happy with your gear. And props for the LoTR references.

Yeah. This product has already been discussed: http://www.head-fi.org/t/647354/for-those-who-use-a-computer-usb-input-to-a-headphone-dac-amp-you-got-check-this-device-out
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