Old "King" of R2R DAC Is Dead? Denafrips Terminator-Plus / Terminator+ Arrives
Jul 14, 2020 at 10:37 PM Post #46 of 223

richardloh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Posts
375
Likes
196
Hi, any updates or further thoughts on your Tubulus Argentus HDMI?

I just ordered one so I am curious.

Thanks!

Hi Blake,

May be a bit too much to ask of you but do consider getting Pangea Premier SE HD23PC that I am using for not too much $ or if you can get one loaned to you.

Would love to hear your finding how it compares to Argentus etc.

Cheers.

Richard

Screenshot_20200715-103242_Chrome.jpg
 
Jul 14, 2020 at 11:02 PM Post #47 of 223

johnzz4

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Posts
712
Likes
504
Location
Worcester, MA, US
Hi, any updates or further thoughts on your Tubulus Argentus HDMI?

I just ordered one so I am curious.

Thanks!
Just that IMO the Argentus is next level up compared to the Wireworld platinum. More body, more natural, smoother, more real, and all without any perceived reduction in detail. I tried running in the Wireworld constantly for several days, and while it smoothed out a bit, it’s character didn’t change, and it didn’t win me over. It’s getting returned. Argentus wins.
 
Last edited:
Jul 15, 2020 at 9:47 AM Post #48 of 223

richardloh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Posts
375
Likes
196
For the clock cables, I purchased these, but also have Mogami and the Apogee Wyde Eye on order. All I can tell you is that the Canare with Neutrik connectors is performing very well so far. I'm not even sure what to listen for when comparing clock cables, but we'll see.

Hi John,

Factory terminated Canare D55HUDC01E from Japan arrived :)

Cheers.

Richard

IMG-20200715-WA0017.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20200715-214708_Gallery.jpg
    Screenshot_20200715-214708_Gallery.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
Jul 19, 2020 at 5:39 PM Post #49 of 223

johnzz4

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Posts
712
Likes
504
Location
Worcester, MA, US
Jul 19, 2020 at 9:36 PM Post #50 of 223

richardloh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Posts
375
Likes
196

Hey John,

Nice !

As I had not received a demo gaia, how much of an expected drop and which areas in SQ with added cables and an extra component in your system when you compare same AES and USB sources connect via the gaia against directly into the Terminator Plus when synced the gaia to the ocxo clock of the Terminator Plus and using i2s connection between them ?

I also noted the synced clocking between the gaia and Terminator Plus is via 2 separate clock cables for 44.1khz and 48khz as well as their multiples .. any disruption when playing single cdr or music library when files changes sampling rates or when changing sources of differeny sampling rated? Automatically and no user's intervention needed right ?

Please help test out if not already done to share here .. disregarding brands of i2s hdmi, i2s rj45 or clock cables.

Many thanks and cheers.

Richard
 
Last edited:
Jul 20, 2020 at 12:23 PM Post #51 of 223

zzzmonster

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Posts
264
Likes
45
I think it would be more prudent to wait for the complete 6 moons review to decide whether to get the Soundaware Streamer or to get the Gaia.
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 12:47 PM Post #52 of 223

richardloh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Posts
375
Likes
196
I think it would be more prudent to wait for the complete 6 moons review to decide whether to get the Soundaware Streamer or to get the Gaia.

Hi zzzmonster,

Heard the soundstream stuff had bad user software but also different product.

The gaia is a DDC and not a streamer.

Cheers.

Richard
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 10:02 PM Post #53 of 223

zzzmonster

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Posts
264
Likes
45
Hi zzzmonster,

Heard the soundstream stuff had bad user software but also different product.

The gaia is a DDC and not a streamer.

Cheers.

Richard

Can we assume that if a Streamer A has a clock in and connect directly to the Terminator Plus through i2s, it will always sound better than Streamer B without clock in but connect to Gaia via USB which is connected to Terminator Plus? Assume Streamer A and Stream B hardware are almost similar(ie Power supply, RFI shielding, track buffering)
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 11:20 PM Post #54 of 223

johnzz4

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Posts
712
Likes
504
Location
Worcester, MA, US
Can we assume that if a Streamer A has a clock in and connect directly to the Terminator Plus through i2s, it will always sound better than Streamer B without clock in but connect to Gaia via USB which is connected to Terminator Plus? Assume Streamer A and Stream B hardware are almost similar(ie Power supply, RFI shielding, track buffering)
I can appreciate what you're getting at with this comparison, but I don't think it's that simple. In my case, the Aries G2 and the Gaia both have galvanic isolation which is electrically disconnecting the devices. The fact that a streamer and the DDC are both in the digital domain, combined with galvanic isolation and reclocking - you are essentially recreating the signal with fresh power and fresh clocking within the Gaia. With the recreated signal, is there really any loss between the streamer and the DDC? Perhaps, but it's not as straightforward in the digital domain. I think your comparison works much better in the analog domain where signal degradation is cumulative.

Combine all of that with the fact that the Gaia and the Terminator Plus were designed to work together - so perhaps there are some optimizations between them (same i2s transmit and receive hardware, impedance matching, who knows, etc.)

All that said, the Soundaware may sound better, but I think it's safe to say that it may not.
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 11:52 PM Post #55 of 223

johnzz4

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Posts
712
Likes
504
Location
Worcester, MA, US
Also, I was very much hoping the word clock cables wouldn't make an audible difference. Alas, a comparison between Mogami, Canare, and Apogee Wyde Eye net very discernible differences. Here's a summary of my findings with about 100 hours on each (except the Apogee):

Canare - Least impressive of the bunch. Small soundstage, bloated lower frequencies, and grit in the treble. I don't know if this is specific to the brand of pre-built cable I purchased (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/WDCS1.5--pro-co-1.5-foot-premium-canare-word-clock-cable) or if 100 hrs wasn't enough time for it to fully settle in.

@richardloh - I see you bought a Canare cable. Note that yours looks completely different from mine, and I have Neutrik Gold connectors, so my experience likely isn't representative of what you'll experience.

Mogami - Always smooth, but started out with bloated bass. Over the course of a few days, it tightened up to the point where it was so tight it became borderline sterile. The sound stage is so big and the decay is so short, it's the HD800 of clock cables (without the fatigue). This cable showed me what I was missing with the Canare.

Apogee Wyde Eye - I only have about 10 hours on this cable. It lacked some treble and the treble it did have was edgy out of the box. Just in the 10 hours, the treble increased a bit in quantity and largely smoothed out. I'm left with this incredibly smooth (especially in the mids and bass), thick (but not bloated) sound and a sound stage that exposes the layers of depth beautifully. It's the smoothness of this cable that allows you to hear the further layers without any obstructions. It doesn't have the pinpoint accuracy of the Mogami, but the flow of the music and holography of the sound stage are really something. I know I'm rambling about this cable, but it's really unlike anything else I've heard. Most cables, the sound stage has layers, but usually with limits. For instance, a little outside your head to really outside your head OR inside your head to a little outside your head. The Apogee spans the entire gamut. As of now, tonally, it's the LCD4 of clock cables.

All of these are obviously my perceptions on my system, but interesting to see something as simple as a clock cable making such impact on the sound presentation. I'm going to spend a few more days with the Apogee and see how things play out. I can't say whether the Apogee or Mogami is better - system matching and preferences would play heavily into this.

One other thing.. the Apogee sounded distinctly better when I realized it is a directional cable and I flipped it around (the arrows are easy to miss). Like the clock cable itself, the directionality was another thing I didn't expect to make a difference. The audio rabbit hole is deeeep.
 
Last edited:
Jul 21, 2020 at 9:29 AM Post #56 of 223

richardloh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Posts
375
Likes
196
Also, I was very much hoping the word clock cables wouldn't make an audible difference. Alas, a comparison between Mogami, Canare, and Apogee Wyde Eye net very discernible differences. Here's a summary of my findings with about 100 hours on each (except the Apogee):

Canare - Least impressive of the bunch. Small soundstage, bloated lower frequencies, and grit in the treble. I don't know if this is specific to the brand of pre-built cable I purchased (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/WDCS1.5--pro-co-1.5-foot-premium-canare-word-clock-cable) or if 100 hrs wasn't enough time for it to fully settle in.

@richardloh - I see you bought a Canare cable. Note that yours looks completely different from mine, and I have Neutrik Gold connectors, so my experience likely isn't representative of what you'll experience.

Mogami - Always smooth, but started out with bloated bass. Over the course of a few days, it tightened up to the point where it was so tight it became borderline sterile. The sound stage is so big and the decay is so short, it's the HD800 of clock cables (without the fatigue). This cable showed me what I was missing with the Canare.

Apogee Wyde Eye - I only have about 10 hours on this cable. It lacked some treble and the treble it did have was edgy out of the box. Just in the 10 hours, the treble increased a bit in quantity and largely smoothed out. I'm left with this incredibly smooth (especially in the mids and bass), thick (but not bloated) sound and a sound stage that exposes the layers of depth beautifully. It's the smoothness of this cable that allows you to hear the further layers without any obstructions. It doesn't have the pinpoint accuracy of the Mogami, but the flow of the music and holography of the sound stage are really something. I know I'm rambling about this cable, but it's really unlike anything else I've heard. Most cables, the sound stage has layers, but usually with limits. For instance, a little outside your head to really outside your head OR inside your head to a little outside your head. The Apogee spans the entire gamut. As of now, tonally, it's the LCD4 of clock cables.

All of these are obviously my perceptions on my system, but interesting to see something as simple as a clock cable making such impact on the sound presentation. I'm going to spend a few more days with the Apogee and see how things play out. I can't say whether the Apogee or Mogami is better - system matching and preferences would play heavily into this.

One other thing.. the Apogee sounded distinctly better when I realized it is a directional cable and I flipped it around (the arrows are easy to miss). Like the clock cable itself, the directionality was another thing I didn't expect to make a difference. The audio rabbit hole is deeeep.

Hi John,

Wow ... nice sharing !

Indeed ymmv since system and individual preference but indeed I too found out clock cables changes the sound/quality.

In my system, the cheaper canare D55HUDC01E sound better than the Apogee Wyde Eye which in comparison sounded dull and closed up with less detail. I do prefer more detailed sound of the canare D55HUDC01E which you had mentioned Apogee to be a bit lesser pin point which is probably means less detailed.

I further tried my friend's locally terminated bulk wire furutech fx alpha 5N silver one since all mega bucks clock cable are either pure silver or silver+gold. It was indeed smooth and more musical than the canare D55HUDC01E. However, midrange is recessed in comparison and I had the Antipodes to play the same for reference.

FURUTECH FX-ALPHA BNC-BNC 5N SILVER DIGITAL/WORD-CLOCK SPDIF CABLE for S$160 https://carousell.app.link/a8mgn1GMi8 on #carousell

I am now back to canare D55HUDC01E after 3 days on Hagerman babyfry cable burner and it has approached the smoothness of the also new Furutech fx alpha which is on 6 days in the frybaby2 ... probably still stay with the canare D55HUDC01E unless burnt in Apogee wyde eye and Furutech fx alpha yielded significant improvement .. the latter means more money which I prefer to spend more on audio i2s RJ45 cable. You may wish to consider the cost effective frybaby here which I loan out regularly to also run in equipment e.g. phono stage:

https://hagerman-audio-labs.myshopify.com/products/frybaby3-compact-burn-in-generator

On the i2s rj45 cables, the meicord opal arrived but it was removed as it sound also dull compared to the inhouse china made ofc ones per below link .. no chance to burnt in this 4 wired cable in the frybaby until I diy some adaptor:

#Aliexpress SG$ 38.77 30%OFF | Cat8 Ethernet Cable RJ 45 Lan Cable Cat 8 Networking Cable 0.5M 1M 1.5M 2M 3M 4M 5M 7M 8M 10M 12M 15M 20M 25M 30M 40M 50M 60M
https://a.aliexpress.com/_dYnTzfP

Cheers.

Richard
 
Jul 21, 2020 at 1:23 PM Post #57 of 223

richardloh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Posts
375
Likes
196
Can we assume that if a Streamer A has a clock in and connect directly to the Terminator Plus through i2s, it will always sound better than Streamer B without clock in but connect to Gaia via USB which is connected to Terminator Plus? Assume Streamer A and Stream B hardware are almost similar(ie Power supply, RFI shielding, track buffering)

Hi zzzmonster,

I do think your assumption is most probable ..

However this restricts only single source with sync clock which the gaia resolves and hence my consideration on the gaia.

I would still prefer to have my avator get synced clock with direct i2s while other sources namely my Bel Canto fm-1 tuner via the gaia but this requires daisy chaining the clock as shown in below photo on the 44.1khz clock ... Denafrips advised that it is possible but unsure if the TP's clock has enough voltage to keep sync.

I will also keep my antipodes' usb output directly to the TP as I understand that clocking protocol differs and I do believe overall higher quality design consideration especially on power supply-noise etc. in the flagship TP than the gaia.

Have to wait for this demo gaia to really know if adding gaia benefits my Bel Canto fm-1 tuner and hence my earlier queries to John.

Cheers.

Richard
Screenshot_20200722-010248_Drive.jpg
 
Last edited:
Jul 21, 2020 at 4:59 PM Post #59 of 223

richardloh

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Posts
375
Likes
196
@richardloh. It is not daisy-chain. Multiple devices are wired in parallel. Output/input impedance do not match anymore. You get multiple reflection and jitter.

Hi Sajunky,

The daisy chain topology is taken from gearslutz and repeated in musictech:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/235181-correct-termination.html

https://www.musictech.net/tutorials/ten-minute-master-digital-word-clocks/

Any recommendation on alternative ?

Else there is no way to sync both the avatar and gaia to the seemingly best ocxo clock in the Terminator Plus else it is kind of dumb for latest offerings of "denafrips ecosystem" and unfortunately I had still not able to get a demo gaia.

Cheers.

Richard
Screenshot_20200722-051025_Chrome.jpg
 
Last edited:
Jul 21, 2020 at 6:36 PM Post #60 of 223

sajunky

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Posts
2,056
Likes
1,328
Location
South Africa
Right, as inputs are high impedance they do not count, the end of cable must be terminated. I wrongly assumed that inputs are terminating 75Ohms. Sorry pal, my mistake.

Now I understand source of confusion: Denafrips statement about possible not enough voltage when adding more devices.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top