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Steve M

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Steve M last won the day on May 5 2015

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  1. WAR Audio is still open for business ...I dealt with Pat O’Brien a couple of weeks ago and he was very helpful to me.
  2. I tend to agree with the above, and currently using a laptop for CA duties as recently the motherboard on my dedicated server died (have a replacement coming from USA). Anyway, when I went back to the lappy from the server device I didn’t think the sound quality took a major dive. In fact it sounds very good. If you like the laptop approach and are used to it, I’d say go for it. The Topping D10 makes a nice USB bridge @ $100 into your favourite DAC, though I am presently using a Singxer SU-1 bridge @ $500. I also use and am happy with JRiver as the player loaded on the laptop. The dedicated server dying has taught me an important lesson - don’t get too hung up on chasing the best with CA. If you want ultimate fidelity use a good turntable or CD/SACD player. All just imho and recent experience ... Steve. .
  3. +1 on the above and they are made from beryllium copper not brass so that’s another plus. Last time I bought them from RS Components a few years ago they were about $3.50 each.
  4. I think a sign of ‘non-audiophilia’ is when you start preferring Spotify over all of your other more exotic source components. Personally, I am these days a predominantly 60% Spotify listener preferring to discover NEW music and being excited by it - rather than pursuing material that is considered to be audiophile fare on other formats. Cheers, Steve. .
  5. My own skin in the game regarding a USB derived source (meaning computer audio), is that as of 2019 it has basically ‘caught up’ and arrived. Yes, I agree it (CA) is perhaps missing that last ounce of liquidity and realism compared to pure analog (meaning turntables and r2r tape machines or dare I say it well done 44.1 CD and SACD), but the convenience form factor and access to a plethora of streamed music - makes CA the logical choice into the future. Steve. .
  6. Audiophile Neuroscience/David, Imvho, you are almost an impossibly emotive and yet logical scientific addition to the StereoNet community, by far. Enjoying your posts and please keep up your very nuanced responses to the many and varied threads on this forum. Cheers, Steve.
  7. Of course these little Bakoon pre-power amps @ $8K from Pat O’Brien at WAR Audio at only 15w/ch Class A are a magical response in the whole mix ...like the best SET amp possible with solid state (accuracy) virtues!
  8. OK, over extended listening today the Gieseler Fein II DAC continues to impress with its vividness and overall ‘lit up from the inside’ presentation. The MF Trivista 21 valve dac @ $4.5K is not shamed and did not disappoint with this morning’s listening session and more than keeps up with the Fein albeit in a midrange valve accentuated beguiling way, as opposed to the refreshing modern clear tone of the Fein. Bass output with the Fein was considered to be more than competent as displayed by the various reggae and techno tracks I played today. I still could not get the Fein to play ball in DSD mode so cannot compare it to the Holodac which is is excellent in this regard. I’m told that the Fein II that I have at hand is oriented towards DSD replay via Linux as opposed to the laptop Windows 8.1/JRiver PC and server that I am presently using. Tomorrow the Fein II dac goes to John Daly of Sublime Audio for further assessment. John has the reputedly excellent sounding Mola Mola dac - so that should be an interesting comparo. Cheers, Steve.
  9. I have the Gieseler Fein II 3 input version dac in house, thanks to Conch/Liam. At the get-go the Fein II is a very fine sounding DAC (pun intended). It is significantly better than the MF Trivista 21 dac @ RRP $4.5K, NuForce Reference 9 dac @ $1,200USD, a DIYAudio.com Aya II Sabre 9018 dac with Amanero USB input and the little Topping D10 DSD dac, I have been playing around with. I will not mince my words, the Fein has greater clarity, soundstage and instrument separation than the above mentioned dacs. The Fein dac has fantastic detail retrieval due to the foregoing attributes and is thrilling to listen, while at the same time is tonally beautiful and inviting. Bass is articulate and perhaps a tad light (or its just perfectly judged) and is therefore subject to further assessment. The $64K question is, is the $2.3K AUD Fein II better than the Holo Audio Spring Level 3 r2r DAC with silver transformer @ $3KUSD - that is a benchmark for many of us?? You know, it just might be. The Holodac is long gone now in my previous quest for the ultimate dac within reason and audio memory is fickle, but I do recall that the Holodac may have been a little whispy in the highs (suggesting a lightness of touch) that may have lead one to believe that it was slightly artificial in its presentation - whereas the Fein seems to have all the clarity of the Holo, but has a more fleshed out palette. The Holodac was very good with hirez DSD material showing the minutiae in the music, and DSD replay is something I have not yet been able to get going with the Fein. More to do with my CA set-up and JRiver settings than anything else I think, something for me to sort through and on which I will report further tomorrow. Just when I had settled (detoxed) my mind to thinking that dac cost does not matter too much so long as it is reasonably high quality - along comes the superb sounding Gieseler Fein II DAC. It’s made me rethink some audio priorities ... Cheers, Steve.
  10. Nothing will fix the bass from the LS50 for Doddsy ...because he is a fussy (experienced) listener who’s owned Wilson Watt Puppies, Linkwitz Orion’s etc. Once he’s heard proper bass it can’t be forgotten and no amount of port stuffing and dsp xo tricks will conjour it from the small Kef driver and boxes.
  11. Rest assured Doddsy would have tried all that, he’s a very experienced audiophile from waay back having owned Wilson Watt Puppies and built Linkwitz Orion open baffle speakers etc. He’s just fussy/not impressed about the fudged up bass in most small speakers including the LS50 ...no great criticism and just physics at play really.
  12. Steve/Doddsy, I agree with you regarding the LS50, a very nice point source speaker if a little fudged in the bass like most standmounts. You obviously have fussy ears as they would meet most people’s needs for a small speaker. Having heard the MA Kairos spkrs that Thomo mentions, they are very good. The thing they have over most other standmounts is the sealed non-fudged up bass - aiming more towards accuracy rather than flavour or a faked fullness. The only problem is you’d have to engage Thomo’s cabinet making skills at a couple of $K to make them look as good as his pair, done DIY! The other small contenders from my experience are the Proac 1SC which are very musical if a bit flavoursome however, still a favourite overall; also the Jamo Concert 8/D830 which are accurate if a little tight-arse sounding and lastly the Mark & Daniels Maximus which are refined and a very competent speaker so long as you can control their prodigious long-travel bass and not let it bloom too much in your room. The SF Electa Amator 1 with Esotar tweeter is supposedly very musical and don’t forget the Usher 718 which are quite big! but sounds very refined with the right amp and tends to deliver proper bass compared to the others. Cheers, Steve. PS: have had a few good standmount spkrs in my time as seen below ....
  13. Oops, you did say that in your first post.
  14. Alan, btw what amp have you got with the 6C33C tube? Cheers, Steve.
  15. As a side comment, I really like the sound of the 6C33CB tube. It sounds crystal clear and transparent, silky extended treble, midrange is hearthrough with no obvious flavour and good tight clean textured bass. Probably why Lamm use it in their ‘affordable’ ML2.2 amplifier @ $30K USD. Although they are probably fibbing about the 18w/ch output as a single 6C33C tube is only capable for about 10w clean undistorted power. Steve.
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