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legend

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  1. I forgot to mention 2 other caveats! Firstly the overall gain of the Qutest + amp needs to be large enough to drive the output voltage of the amp (and so the input voltage to the speaker) so that they are loud enough for your needs. Some amps have lower gains than others - hence Qutest compensates by providing more gain options. But as Sime has pointed out it can lead to overload of the amp. The other caveat is that by requiring one of the devices to give more gain it may increase that devices noise output and so hum or hiss of the overall system - but again this seems unlikely to be a major problem in Rowan's case.
  2. It should not make any difference! The overall loudness of your speakers is determined just by the (signal) voltage at their inputs ie the voltage at the amplifier output. In the context of your question this voltage will be determined by the gain of the Qutest x gain of the amplifier. If you increase the gain of Qutest (by increasing its output voltage) then as you have found you have to decrease the gain of the amplifier (on its volume control) by the same amount to compensate to give the same overall gain and the same loudness of your speakers, The only caveat would be if one or other of the devices had distortion that varies greatly with gain which would cause a change in sound character – or if you overloaded the input or output voltage in one of the devices so it 'clips' and causes gross distortion - but this is unlikely in your case.
  3. For what it worth (and for some probably not much!) the Chord TT2/MScaler combination has just been given the DAC of the Year Award by The Absolute Sound magazine: Chord Electronics Hugo TT 2/Hugo M Scaler $5795/$4995 The visionary digital design consultant Rob Watts develops most Chord Electronic DACs. Typically, Watts’ DAC designs include elaborate FPGAbased, long-tap-length digital filters running proprietary WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filter algorithms. Here’s why this matters: Watts has long claimed that standard-res (16-bit/44.1kHz) audio files could, if processed through a digital filter of near infinite tap-length, yield analog waveforms as accurate as those produced from high-res files, albeit with slightly higher noise floors. It is the claim that Chord’s Hugo TT 2 DAC/preamp and M Scaler aim to prove. The powerful, quiet Hugo TT 2 features a sophisticated DAC that supports PCM to 786kHz rates and DSD to DSD512. Hugo TT 2’s digital filter offers an impressive 98,304 taps and sounds very fine in its own right. However, adding the M Scaler further elevates performance by upscaling incoming digital files to 705.6kHz or 768kHz levels, then processing them through an FPGA-based filter offering 1,015,808 taps and running an enhanced WTA algorithm. The end result truly represents a new way forward in digital audio—one where standard 16/44 material in every way sounds as good as (or better than) even the highest-resolution files. A technical and musical triumph, and our DAC of the Year Award winner. THE END RESULT TRULY REPRESENTS A NEW WAY FORWARD IN DIGITAL AUDIO.
  4. Over the weekend I did my Houdini impression and managed to untangle all the wiring to & from my DEQX HDP-4 and connect the M-Scaler to one of the DEQX analog inputs via my Qutest with full 16xupscaling to 705k (and 1M taps) via the dual BNC connections between M-Scaler and Qutest.   Unfortunately it generally sounded significantly worse than the M-Scaler connected direstly to the DEDX via one of its digital inputs with only 4x upscaling to 176k (and 256k taps) which is the maximum that the DEQX will accept. With the analog connection input much of the micro-dynamics, precision and PRatT of the music that makes it sound 'live' was lost as was the incredible soundstage with direct digital connection. The depth, texture and tightness of bass was particularly reduced.   The only cases where I might have preferred the analog method were some poorer orchestral recordings where it smoothed out some of the treble 'harshness' in massed strings or voices and where micro-dynamics can be diluted in any case by the reverberant acoustics of the large recording space - and some of the detailed soundstaging lost.
  5. Yet another (very long!) review of the M-Scaler with all of Chord DACs plus others: https://audiobacon.net/2019/05/31/chord-electronics-hugo-m-scaler-review-digital-disruption/ and has even compared some digital coax cables to go with it: https://audiobacon.net/2018/08/11/the-audiophiles-short-list-the-best-digital-coaxial-cables/ Like all reviews just one person's opinion.
  6. You are probably right but intuitively I would have thought at lower upsampling rates the FPGA hardware would have had more time to do more taps.
  7. Many thanks for the feedback - no problem with its length as good to hear your full insight! I agree whole-heartedly that the M-Scaler makes almost all recordings a pleasure to listen to, including badly recorded ones. However objectively (rather than subjectively) I find this a little worrying and wonder it Rob Watts has somehow added a little 'euphonic sweetener' with his WTA filters. It does not occur with @Ittaku upsampling - or rather it occurs in a different way - they have slightly greater clarity that reduces the background 'white noose" (intermodulation distortion?) at high frequencies and one can hear more deeply into the recordings so they have a slightly greater sense of 'authenticity' though not necessarily 'niceness'. I have had to dismantle connection to my active speaker system to do some more work on passive ones but hope to next week reconnect the Tikandis (and also the Big Red Actives) to try going from the M-Scaler at 705k (and so 1 M taps!) through the Qutest into the analog input of the DEQX. Of course you are very welcome to come to Nowra at any time to replace my Qutest by your Dave - I would love to hear what difference it makes. My Tikandi dealer in NZ has just borrowed a TT2 to compare with his Qutest using the M-Scaler via the DEQX analog-in and says it makes a significant difference but also says if he buys the TT2 he will have to remortgage his house and will be divorced - as would I!
  8. Thanks! Do you know the reason for this? When @Ittaku did his off-line upsampling for me the number of taps seemed independent of his upsample rate that varied from 176 to 705k.
  9. Whatever I thought the M-Scaler upsampling to 88k was significantly better than the RBCD 44k fed directly into the DEQX - while the 176k upsampling was slightly better again. I have yet to try feeding the 705k upsample to my Qutest and then the analog output to an analog input of the DEQX where I think it is redigitalised at 192k. In the past (pre-MScaler) I have always found that this softens the sound slightly - which can be fine for poor recordings but loses some dynamics on good recordings. The M-Scaler may change the net benefits. Unfortunately where the DEQX is located in my system one needs to be Houdini for physical changes to its input!
  10. Yes I am upsampling RBCD to 176 kHz in the M-Scaler and feeding it directly into a digital input on the DEQX. I can find nothing to say the M-Scaleris not using 1M taps? And yes I think DEQX downsamples it to 96 kHz for it DSP processing - but presumably downsampling causes less errors than upsampling? Whatever the sound quality is quite spectacular - though of course this may also be partly due the rest of the system (active speakers and their superb drivers plus multiple power Ncore amps).
  11. During this past week after working recently on passive loudspeakers I finally managed to connect my M-scaler to my DEQX-active Tikandi loudspeakers. I fed the M-scaler's output into one of the DEQX HDP-4 digital inputs after upscaling 44 kHz CDs 4x to 176 kHz (the maximum the DEQX will accept). The results were quite extraordinary with the clarity/resolution, speed (PRaT) and soundstage being outstanding. I guess this is not unexpected given the M-scaler reduces timing errors at the digital front-end; while the DEQX improves timing/group delay at the speaker backend (as well as correcting for speaker and room frequency non-linearities plus having the Ncore amps connected directly to the speaker drivers).
  12. We usually struggle to use our 50 Gb quota - but then we are from a different generation and not addicted to Facebook, Netflix etc!
  13. I pay bottom dollar - but it is adequate for my needs!
  14. Agree totally! I have had FTTP for the past 3 years but sometimes the speed has been as low as 2 Mb/s and often around 8 Mb/s. Llast week changed to a new provider and it did take much more hassle than I had expected but the speed is now consistently 11-12 Mb/s so even this very large file took only a few minutes to download.
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