HiFiMan Susvara
Oct 19, 2020 at 10:29 AM Post #4,907 of 12,800

beemerphile

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There is a discussion of John Swenson's White paper on the Audiophile Style site, in case that interests you :

>> Link: Discussion of white paper <<
I am not an electrical engineer. My background is that I am a 40 year chemical engineer, but most of those have been in process control. Additionally I am a HAM radio operator and have learned a bit of electrical theory from that. There are many here whose electrical training and understanding exceeds mine and I don't present myself as an expert - a reasonably well-informed hobbyist, I guess. Regarding the "white paper", my personal tendency is to never buy anything that is sold on the basis of a "white paper" from the seller, and I am a guy who has even written a couple of white papers. Let's go through the noise types that you mentioned one at a time...

"common mode noise,"

Ethernet is, by design, inherently robust against common mode noise. Common mode currents flow with the same voltage and direction, and go to ground by the parasitic capacitances between the lines and ground. There is no common mode current flow through the load of a balanced differential receiver such as is contained in an ethernet transformer because there is no voltage difference on the load. The only way to induce noise into the unshielded twisted pairs of an ordinary ethernet cable is to unbalance the line. The magnetics of the ethernet connector contain chokes and shunt capacitors to control common mode noise caused by normal amounts of imbalance. Extreme imbalance could be caused by cable, connector or device problems - in other words, problems that don't generally exist, but should be found and fixed when they do. Almost any system built and tested to EIA/TIA standards is sufficiently resistant to normally experienced common mode noise. I've seen ethernet systems strapped to welding robots that functioned without error. No house has this level of EMI source in it. It is possible for a poorly designed switch to have unbalance caused by something like PC board layout, but bad design is fixed by design improvement, and not an add-on box. Such a product should fail in testing.

"leakage current noise"

There are two types of ethernet cables - shielded (STP) and unshielded (UTP). Hopefully you are using UTP so there is no opportunity for a leakage current to flow through the shield (also known as a ground loop). The only path to ground in an intact UTP circuit would be by parasitic capacitance of the transformer in the connector. I haven't measured and don't know the ground impedance of a typical connector, but I would expect it to be quite high - meaning it would take a very high frequency for it to conduct any troublesome quantity of leakage current to ground. Remember that equipment is tested for resistance to EMI and that any noise below the noise floor of the system is inaudible by definition.

"ground plane noise"

We are again talking about a noise source that is not universal, but one that only exists in significant levels in poorly designed equipment. Don't buy any of that.

"clock phase noise" and "jitter"

In general terms, jitter is a variation in timing of the signal edges from their ideal values. Phase noise is just a particular type of jitter where the noise is off-center of the carrier frequency, so I'll comment on these together. A clock with high jitter (of any type, including phase noise) can cause high bit error rates in an ethernet system. Bit errors in an ethernet protocol (whether UDP or TCP) are managed by a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) within the frame check sequence. If there is an error within a frame, it is re-sent. Errors are common within an ethernet system and so long as the errors do not exceed the maximum error rate that the process can handle (due to its speed, buffering, etc.) then there is no consequence. If the maximum error rate is exceeded, there will be a dropout. In audio systems, a blank or a click. It will not be an incremental change in sound quality that gets better and better as jitter is reduced. Sound.... No sound. A baseline level of jitter exists based on the accuracy level of the clock that is used. The solution if this is a problem is a better clock. That will not be a problem for any commercial ethernet equipment because it would not have passed its testing for throughput. As far as the other variable sources of clock jitter caused by such things as load, noise, heat, power supply fluctuations, etc., so long as the error rate that it produces is below the jitter tolerance of the system, it is of no consequence. Why? Because the timing is thrown away and re-created in the next step - where it's accuracy very much matters to the incremental quality of the sound. This is what conditions us to the mindset that less jitter is incrementally better, but that shouldn't be used to sell us an ethernet device. Ethernet packets don't even necessarily arrive at the receiver in the same order they were sent. Some were in error and had to be re-sent. Some arrived later by a different routing. Variations in network traffic and QOS rules within switches and routers can be causes of this. Having received this mixed up packet stream in its buffer memory, your Ambre goes to work unpacking the data and assembling it in correct order. It then paces this ordered data stream with a different and very important clock for presentation to the DAC. The Ambre takes clock accuracy very seriously. It has two separate high quality Tentlabs clocks for 44.1 and 48 kHz (and multiples thereof). Jitter in this clocked stream matters incrementally rather than by threshold.

So why did you and so many people hear an improvement that I do not believe can exist? I don't know, but I don't doubt you and the many others who believe this device to be useful. That is why you bought it, kept it, and recommend it to others. They say that if the Wright brothers had been to college they would have known that they couldn't fly. That means it is very possible that I am the one in error here and for that reason, I should not state my case too strongly. I hope that I have presented it clearly, rather than strongly. I am not telling anyone what to do or think. I could be wrong. Regarding the money back guarantee that this type of equipment is so often sold with, that does not persuade me to spend the effort to try it. If you offered me a pill with a money back guarantee that would allow me to lift the corner of my house I would not buy it, because I do not believe it to be possible for it to work. I will not spend the effort to try it. My doubt here is not to that level, but is sufficient to keep me from a "buy and try". I did my test with an uninterrupted optical link from the SFP port of an enterprise grade managed switch to a media converter on my Ambre and heard no improvement. Maybe it just matched my confirmation bias, but I buy and will continue to buy my network equipment from the best network specialists. I buy my audio equipment from the best audio specialists. I am a large fan of Nelson Pass and Cees Ruijtenberg, but I would not buy a network switch from either one of them any more than I would buy a Cisco power amplifier or DAC.

It is easier to show that a difference exists than it is to show whether the difference makes a difference. It is easy to show that oil filter A only traps 4 micron particles and that filter B is better because it traps 3 micron particles. But does the engine care? If the engine lasts 300,000 miles with the "bad" filter will it last any longer with the "better" filter? That is more difficult and maybe impossible to show. It may well not matter at all, making the "better" filter only better by measurement and not by function. I do not doubt that the differences exist in jitter, etc., but I have shown why I do not believe that the difference makes a difference. Showing two pictures of someone's eyeball and pointing out how under close inspection that this one is different and clearer than that one has been done and leaves little doubt that there is both a difference and an improvement. But at viewing distance with the frames passing by at 30 per second is there any outside chance that someone would see it and recognize it as better? I think not.
 
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Oct 19, 2020 at 1:11 PM Post #4,909 of 12,800

MatW

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Do you use Uniti Atom?
No, I have an Auralic Aries G2. You called it a streamer so I assumed it was a similar device, but now that I looked it up I think it has a DAC built in. If it cannot be bypassed, and looking at the connections I suspect that is the case, you cannot combine it with the Dave. Maybe someone who knows the Atom can chime in.
 
Oct 19, 2020 at 3:55 PM Post #4,911 of 12,800
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The Susvara replaced an HekSE in the same chain, and it took me less than one minute of listening to notice the improvements in SQ performance, although I am still a very ardent admirer of the HekSE and wish I have not had to trade it up for the Susvara...

Yes, it is an instantly noticeable upgrade. Not "a bit here and a bit there" but immediate jump up, at least that's how I see Susvara vs HEKv2 :)
 
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Oct 19, 2020 at 4:13 PM Post #4,913 of 12,800
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Any one heard of Nativ Vita Streamer?

I rember seeing it a long time ago as a "work in progress" development that looked really good and was up to date on functionalities. At this time it should be available I imagine, but I have no idea how it sounds.
 
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Oct 19, 2020 at 4:27 PM Post #4,914 of 12,800

Dipesh

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I rember seeing it a long time ago as a "work in progress" development that looked really good and was up to date on functionalities. At this time it should be available I imagine, but I have no idea how it sounds.
I will be purchasing a Dave and Mscaler but my current source might not work. I am Naim Uniti Atom. Looking for a source. Auralic/ Innous Nativ.etc etc. Any recommendations ?
 
Oct 19, 2020 at 4:51 PM Post #4,915 of 12,800
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I will be purchasing a Dave and Mscaler but my current source might not work. I am Naim Uniti Atom. Looking for a source. Auralic/ Innous Nativ.etc etc. Any recommendations ?

If I had to give something a go, at our office we were happy with SOtM, but Auralic and Innuos are liked among folks paying attention to sound quality as well. I'd narrow my search to functionalities (storage inside, Roon ready etc.) and most likely hunt from there.
 
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Oct 19, 2020 at 5:17 PM Post #4,916 of 12,800

beemerphile

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I have been searching for some aftermarket thicker pads for the Susvara because the OEM pads are so thin that the speakers touch my ears. I found out that Dekoni Audio has a set in the prototyping stage and that it is expected to launch before end of year. I hope they are thicker and well made. We'll see. - Lee
 
Oct 19, 2020 at 5:31 PM Post #4,917 of 12,800
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I found out that Dekoni Audio has a set in the prototyping stage and that it is expected to launch before end of year.

Lots of folks here like Dekoni pads, so there has to be a good reason for this :sunglasses:
 
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Oct 19, 2020 at 7:08 PM Post #4,918 of 12,800

GU1DO

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I have been searching for some aftermarket thicker pads for the Susvara because the OEM pads are so thin that the speakers touch my ears. I found out that Dekoni Audio has a set in the prototyping stage and that it is expected to launch before end of year. I hope they are thicker and well made. We'll see. - Lee
Great nwes and i hope to see it soon for the susvara and the he1000 variants ,, there pads are among the best.
 
Oct 19, 2020 at 7:09 PM Post #4,919 of 12,800

jlbrach

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Yes, it is an instantly noticeable upgrade. Not "a bit here and a bit there" but immediate jump up, at least that's how I see Susvara vs HEKv2 :)
for a brief moment in time I thought it was more worthwhile to keep the SE vs the susvara and use it directly out of my dave but when I discovered the proper amping I realized the susvara was really in a league of its own and I went back to the susvara...one of the reasons I tend to take a lot of comments here with a grain of salt is that some many reassessments happen over time...I tend to wait to hear others saying similar things
 
Oct 20, 2020 at 1:03 AM Post #4,920 of 12,800

Ethereal Sound

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I have been searching for some aftermarket thicker pads for the Susvara because the OEM pads are so thin that the speakers touch my ears. I found out that Dekoni Audio has a set in the prototyping stage and that it is expected to launch before end of year. I hope they are thicker and well made. We'll see. - Lee

I too, am strongly anticipating the release of their Susvara pads. For better or worse, we have almost no options for different pads.
 

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