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post #796 of 4842
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

That's for clearing that up. I appreciate your sincerity and honesty.

 

And we're cool too Purrin? I hope so. I woke up the other morning and thought 'oh f*** what did i say.....' :)

post #797 of 4842
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Assuming digital input - where I could use digital PEQ:

 

DAC

An MSB DAC or the AG-D M7/OR5. I'm still due for a shootout to see how close it may be. The MSB Analog may not be resolving enough for me. Unfortunately, I don't want to spend $20K for a better MSB. Getting an MSB DAC is like buying a Porsche. By the time I get all the options I want, the Cayman (the real Porsche since the 911 is so bloated now) is $120K.

 

AMP

Eddie Current 445, otherwise known as the "God Amp". Only five made in the first run. Don't know if there will be any more. 4 x 45 tubes. Will be running EML Meshes. Only 3 watts per channel.

 

SPEAKERS

A new high-efficiency open baffle design. The OB speakers you saw in the Bay Area Meet thread were a proof of concept using Moth Cicada drivers I had on hand and cheap $70 15" stamped frame woofers from PartsExpress. I slapped the thing together the week before the meet (although I had already done some of the design work / simluations keeping the Cicada drivers in mind months ago.)

 

I'd probably go a three for maybe four way for the final design. Aura NS18 18"woofer, Fostex FE208EZ 8" for mids, and Fostex FE108 4" for the highs. The 4" is a strange choice, but there isn't 2" driver / tweeter with the range and efficiency I want, unless of course Donald North designs one, which would be cool. I still need to evaluate a few more drivers to make a final decision. The Acoustic Elegance Dipole15/18 seem interesting as well. Since I would have digital EQ at my disposal, I would just run single caps and coils for the crossover circuits to keep them as simple as possible. Crossover components are evil.

 

The system would be bi-amped with the 445 powering the mids and treble. Reasonable priced but powerful solid-state (such as the Crest CA2 power amp) would handle the woofer amping duties.

 

 

Purrin, if you don't mind me asking...what would be the cost of your endgame system?

Also, do you think that realistically it's within your grasp?

 

God, I need a better job...:)

post #798 of 4842
I had a 300 amp breaker and incredibly stable power at my last house before I sold it. I dabbled in home theater installs and invested quite a bit in incredibly stable power. Even with many many 10s of thousands invested in electrical work and my power conditioners, the TEAC sounded terrible. Compared to the DAC2 I had before and eventually uberfrost I replaced it with, it made my KGSSHV > SR-007 mk1 sound like a significantly crappier setup.
post #799 of 4842
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post

proper power regulation should make any component sound better.

I agree with this point, though the level of improvements definitely vary with the gear. My BPT 3.5 Sig Plus transformed my Dynahi. It went from a great amp but a little jagged, a little peaky here and there, to the best amp in my stable. The Eddie Currents (ZD, BA) showed very little improvement comparably. The PWD I owned also improved very nicely, but my Master 7 to a lesser extent, if at all. So, a person should definitely think twice before dropping 5k on a power conditioner. It may be worth it and then again it might not be.
post #800 of 4842
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thathertz View Post

 

And we're cool too Purrin? I hope so. I woke up the other morning and thought 'oh f*** what did i say.....' :)

 

Yeah. We are cool. As I've said, I have a short memory. I would hope that you would understand where I am coming from by now.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thathertz View Post

 

Purrin, if you don't mind me asking...what would be the cost of your endgame system?

Also, do you think that realistically it's within your grasp?

 

God, I need a better job...:)

 

I dunno. Maybe $20K-$30K with most of that going to the sources (TT and/or DAC). I'm all SET (no pun intended) with the main amp. The cheapest part would probably be the speakers because I would build my own design as I have been for some years now. Thank heavens top speaker drivers haven't gone the way of top headphone prices.

 

I have kids to feed, but I would say its within my grasp in 10 years, possibly sooner if I decide to move to a state with less taxation, lower home prices, and less powerful public sector unions.


Edited by purrin - 3/11/14 at 9:47pm
post #801 of 4842
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post
 

I have tested Hugo with and without Hydra-X. 

I think the usb input from Hugo is very good on it's own.

 

I found MSB Analog Dac to be very resolving, not as resolving as signature but still very resolving. And it is resolving in a very natural way, nothing is pushed by force in front.

 

The transparency and details increase with the upgraded power source.


Thanks, I have heard similar reports from a Chord dealer who has heard many DACs, and his sentiments echo your report. Power supply, according to Robert Watts, should be fine as is with Hugo. I'm going to compare it to the Vega soon.

 

 

 

post #802 of 4842

thanks purrin. I think we mostly agree. obviously people had different mileage with the teac. it could just be my system room or whatever. I will be the first to say something sucks. truthfully when I got the teac I was sure I would be returning it before I used it. I guess just my own luck. I am using odin cables and  equitech 10wq off of separate mains coming into the home. than at the source I am using a Richard gray powerhouse. I realize most people are not going to do this with a $849 component as I have already said. however the rest of the system is much higher end then the teac. it just so happens it worked good. this is not even my main system which is run off a apc infrastructure. once the teac was heavily modded it suited me. stock it probably would not have been my choice. for the price stock I think it is okay. remember it is not very pricey. anyways I am trying to be truthful now. most people are probably not going to get this out of it. of course most people buying the teac are coming from no dac or an ipod or whatever. so for them I maintain it could be an improvement. i really did not mean to be misleading. sure, i could have put another diamond dac or dcs Vivaldi but the teac just worked better in this room for whatever reason. i am kind of embarrassed to have it in this situation but that is just my own snobbery. i will say i am not using the headphone amp in it which i left untouched. it is alright but not even close to my standards. then again i hardly listen to headphones anymore. also if it says anything when i did i mainly listened to my ps1k and not the he90 or sr009. that in itself might speak volumes about our differences of opinions. i don't try to seek out crap gear but i guess i just have unusual preferences. my ears are known to be good but what i chose to listen to for leisure often does not agree with many others. again, i am trying clarify what i may initially have been vague about. many dacs sound good. i said the pwd mkii sounds good. i just have my odd preferences. i can appreciate others likes and dislikes as well. i apologize i so vehemently defended the teac when there were some unusual circumstances surrounding my usage of it.  

 

oh, and sorry for yet another long paragraph. writing is not my strong suit either.

post #803 of 4842
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Yeah. We are cool. As I've said, I have a short memory. I would hope that you would understand where I am coming from by now.

 

 

I dunno. Maybe $20K-$30K with most of that going to the sources (TT and/or DAC). I'm all SET (no pun intended) with the main amp. The cheapest part would probably be the speakers because I would build my own design as I have been for some years now. Thank heavens top speaker drivers haven't gone the way of top headphone prices.

 

I have kids to feed, but I would say its within my grasp in 10 years, possibly sooner if I decide to move to a state with less taxation, lower home prices, and less powerful public sector unions.


Absolutely agree that most budget should go to the source! Glad to see you use a TT, if you find a DAC that compares favorably to vinyl when playing Redbook I'd love to hear about it. Thanks much for the entertaining read.

post #804 of 4842

Eh Purrin. a little off point here but have you heard the Audio GD M7 with DNA Stratus? I was wondering if you think it pairs well? Im getting the Stratus in a few months and am looking for a DAC to go with it. 

 

I will be using HD800 mostly

post #805 of 4842
Thread Starter 

I haven't heard that exact combo, but I don't see why it shouldn't pair well. Donald uses an old R2R tube based Sonic Frontiers CD Player at his meets which I suspect sounds more similar to the M7 than not. I've also heard SABRE based DACs with the Stratus, and the Stratus handles that well too. Donald had made some minor circuit changes recently to the Stratus, and although I haven't heard it in a while, I could swear there were some incremental improvements all across the board when I heard it again at the Bay Area meet.

 

I really like the Stratus. It ones of those amps that sounds good with almost anything you throw at it. Since you can roll 2A3 tubes (there are a TON of different kinds, not to mention the decent availability of vintage tubes), you can tweak the sounding to your liking according to your source and headphones.

post #806 of 4842
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

I haven't heard that exact combo, but I don't see why it shouldn't pair well. Donald uses an old R2R tube based Sonic Frontiers CD Player at his meets which I suspect sounds more similar to the M7 than not. I've also heard SABRE based DACs with the Stratus, and the Stratus handles that well too. Donald had made some minor circuit changes recently to the Stratus, and although I haven't heard it in a while, I could swear there were some incremental improvements all across the board when I heard it again at the Bay Area meet.

 

I really like the Stratus. It ones of those amps that sounds good with almost anything you throw at it. Since you can roll 2A3 tubes (there are a TON of different kinds, not to mention the decent availability of vintage tubes), you can tweak the sounding to your liking according to your source and headphones.

Thanks for the reply - I am really looking forward to tube rolling the Stratus

post #807 of 4842
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Assuming digital input - where I could use digital PEQ:

 

DAC

An MSB DAC or the AG-D M7/OR5. I'm still due for a shootout to see how close it may be. The MSB Analog may not be resolving enough for me. Unfortunately, I don't want to spend $20K for a better MSB. Getting an MSB DAC is like buying a Porsche. By the time I get all the options I want, the Cayman (the real Porsche since the 911 is so bloated now) is $120K.

 

AMP

Eddie Current 445, otherwise known as the "God Amp". Only five made in the first run. Don't know if there will be any more. 4 x 45 tubes. Will be running EML Meshes. Only 3 watts per channel.

 

SPEAKERS

A new high-efficiency open baffle design. The OB speakers you saw in the Bay Area Meet thread were a proof of concept using Moth Cicada drivers I had on hand and cheap $70 15" stamped frame woofers from PartsExpress. I slapped the thing together the week before the meet (although I had already done some of the design work / simluations keeping the Cicada drivers in mind months ago.)

 

I'd probably go a three for maybe four way for the final design. Aura NS18 18"woofer, Fostex FE208EZ 8" for mids, and Fostex FE108 4" for the highs. The 4" is a strange choice, but there isn't 2" driver / tweeter with the range and efficiency I want, unless of course Donald North designs one, which would be cool. I still need to evaluate a few more drivers to make a final decision. The Acoustic Elegance Dipole15/18 seem interesting as well. Since I would have digital EQ at my disposal, I would just run single caps and coils for the crossover circuits to keep them as simple as possible. Crossover components are evil.

 

The system would be bi-amped with the 445 powering the mids and treble. Reasonable priced but powerful solid-state (such as the Crest CA2 power amp) would handle the woofer amping duties.

Great components, thanks for the reference to the CA2. This is a really nice configuration, one that should offer most of the sound in a very attainable 90% system.

 

PLLXO’s splitting the amps? Keeps the crossover circuits simple, maximizes those 3 watts by focusing on the mids and highs, and enables a high quality source instead of multiple DAC’s after a digital/opamp based crossover. The Stealth DC-1 is my immediately attainable placeholder and while well suited to the configuration does still put an opamp in the mix.

 

Anyway, using a splitter in the RCA’s allows easy selection of either the inline crossover (speakers), or a full range input for headphone use. In my case, the EC ZDT has 3 inputs and 6 watts output, hopefully incoming Alpair 12p’s will be sensitive enough. The bottom end will be Peerless 830669’s in an H-frame, very well regarded and all 4 are less than one of the Aura NS18’s.

 

So just wanted to point out that waiting for the ship to come in is not a requirement for this style system.

post #808 of 4842
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by northshore View Post
 

PLLXO’s splitting the amps? Keeps the crossover circuits simple, maximizes those 3 watts by focusing on the mids and highs, and enables a high quality source instead of multiple DAC’s after a digital/opamp based crossover. 

 

I've thought about this. Here's my current setup / OB proof-of-concept. Just really quick and dirty using parts and gear I had on hand.

 

With PLLXO, I can do something like this instead:

 

Advantages

 

  • Don't have to worry about digital clipping (esp. with movies) on a digital processor.
  • More efficient use of tube amp with a direct couple of tube amp speaker outs to Cicada driver.
  • Eliminates digital processor. No more AD-DA conversion on the woofer.
  • Smaller values / cheaper / higher quality XO parts.

 

 

Disadvantages:

 

  • Less ease / flexibility with tailoring bass EQ to room.
  • Need wire up a volume control box.
  • Need to design a filter for low pass XO and OB correction
  • Possible disjointedness between woofer and wide-bander driver because they are now driven by totally different type of amps without any commonality in the chain. (I've always preferred sub plate amps driven from the speaker outputs of the mains instead of from line-level outputs of pre-amp. The sound is more cohesive this way.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by northshore View Post

 

So just wanted to point out that waiting for the ship to come in is not a requirement for this style system.

 

Yup. It's just a lot of elbow grease and unconventional thinking. With results superior than what can be commercially found regardless of price at the local hifi store.


Edited by purrin - 3/12/14 at 1:20pm
post #809 of 4842

Your first sketch seems to be the common approach. The second is what I was thinking and though it will take more effort to refine as you say it should reward with better results.

 

Disadvantages:

 

Less ease / flexibility with tailoring bass EQ to room. 

Yup, though at least OB bass/room interaction generally tends to be more favorable. 

Need wire up a volume control box. 

Probably the best answer, until then there’s always player software if upsampling. In my case, the DC-1 has a pretty good variable pre with a remote. It also has an adjustable level mute. Between that and the ZDT volume/CA-2 gain pots I might be good.

Need to design a filter for low pass XO and OB correction

Here's a spreadsheet that does the low pass calculations PLLXO_Calculator - I also need to do this after firming up on the CA-2 for impedance. Also, Craig told me something about testing rca jacks to confirm actual impedance. At least as you say the parts are inexpensive for testing. OB correction should be limited to low end EQ by crossing below the dipole peak. I need to look further into if/how a player’s EQ (jriver?) works with the low pass crossover.

Possible disjointedness between woofer and wide-bander driver because they are now driven by totally different type of amps without any commonality in the chain. 

True, though there’s the commonality of both amps coming out of a single dac/clock without the smearing of additional AD-DA conversion on just the CA-2. If bi-amping with a SET top end, then the CA-2 is probably as good as it gets for the relatively narrow range bottom. Plenty of clean power with nice damping which will help drivers which that also have potential for disjointedness, keeping my fingers crossed on the 830669’s. They do seem to match well with the wide-bander in the Manzanita, though again that is on a single amp.

post #810 of 4842

Hi there,

Let me start by saying that this post is very informative.

I am not an audiophile, but just recently acquired Revel Salon2 speakers and Pass labs X250.8 amplifier. All my music is in AIFF format in Mackbook pro (itunes). I just returned Benchmark DAC2 converter which I found to be very poor in midrange and bass and too shrill in treble.

What will be the best arrangement of components between my macbook pro and amplifier?

- DAC (with and without DSD). Where does Ayre QB-9 DSD stand?

- Preamplifier (can one do without it?)

- Connections (USB to IS2 [OR5]?)

Thx for attending....appreciate it!!

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