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Max Headroom

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About Max Headroom

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  1. Max Headroom

    CHORD HUGO TT2 DAC/PREAMP + KRAFTWERK PSU combo

    Very interesting Clay , have been meaning to ask you about a PSU for my Chord Qutest which is 5V. If this helps at all, I had a 12v Kraftwerk which I tried on my Chord 2Qute, and I was already running an MCRu Linear Power Supply, and could also run it off my Uptone Audio JS-2 Linear power supply. Totally over-specced for the 2Qute, so didnt expect an improvement, but holy-moly, totally transformed the 2Qute. When I switched back from the Kraftwerk, the 2Qute sounded like it was playing through a pipe. The tone and soundstage massively improved with the Kraftwerk. No guarantee that the same magic would happen to the same extent with the Qutest, but worth considering as the Kraftwerk is by far the best power supply I've used in all my years owning and playing with HiFi gear.
  2. Max Headroom

    FS: Chord Signature Speaker Cable - Pair 1

    I’ve had them sbout 3 or 4 years. Bought them off someone else. Specs as per vinyl revival ad that ive linked to
  3. Item: Chord Signature Speaker Cable 2mtr Location: Williamstown, VIC Price: $450 + postage Item Condition: Good Reason for selling: NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: I bought these as a second set - I liked my first set so much that I bought these. The Chord Signature speaker cables were my first serious high-end speaker cables. I'd been stuffing around with DIY cables, and cheap cables, so when I put the money down for these they were the most expensive speaker cables that I'd ever bought. But boy oh boy did they deliver. These cables will make your music come alive, improve the sound stage depth and width of your playback, and delivers a vice like grip on full and extended bass. Fantastic upgrade for someone who wants to step into the high-end without breaking the bank. This pair are black, and are slightly different to my first pair that are a later version with the red and black outer sheath. When I purchased them I thought I got ripped off, but I did quite a bit of research and these are the way the Signature speaker cables came out originally. Spades at one end, banana plugs at the other. Spades show signs of wear, but they are still solid and reliable. I did a compare with my other set, and I could hear absolutely no difference. So for these are a real bargain as the current version costs $1900: https://www.vinylrevival.com.au/products/chord-signature-speaker-cable?utm_source=google&utm_medium=smart_campaign&utm_campaign=gs-2018-11-03&ref=SFDR_238078668&variant=13759816899&ptcid=27736_389_379368720&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIraHOhIqQ3wIVhCQrCh3ihQwpEAYYASABEgIPi_D_BwE PLEASE NOTE - These are a stiff cable so need a little more space than flexible cables, but unless you have your speakers up against the wall, shouldn't be a problem. Pictures:
  4. Item: Chord Signature Speaker Cable 2.5mtr Location: Williamstown, VIC Price: $650 + postage Item Condition: Very good Reason for selling: NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: These were my first serious high-end speaker cables. I'd been stuffing around with DIY cables, and cheap cables, so when I put the money down for these they were the most expensive speaker cables that I'd ever bought. But boy oh boy did the deliver. These cables will make your music come alive, improve the sound stage depth and width of your playback, and delivers a vice like grip on full and extended bass. Fantastic upgrade for someone who wants to step into the high-end without breaking the bank. I liked these so much that I picked up another pair - see my other listing - which I am also selling. This pair come with the original round bag. New these great cables are $1900, so grab yourself a bargain... https://www.vinylrevival.com.au/products/chord-signature-speaker-cable?utm_source=google&utm_medium=smart_campaign&utm_campaign=gs-2018-11-03&ref=SFDR_238078668&variant=13759816899&ptcid=27736_389_379368720&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIraHOhIqQ3wIVhCQrCh3ihQwpEAYYASABEgIPi_D_BwE PLEASE NOTE - These are a stiff cable so need a little more space than flexible cables, but unless you have your speakers up against the wall, shouldn't be a problem. Pictures:
  5. Item: 2 sets of The Chord Company Chameleon VEE 3 RCA interconnect - 1mtr Location: Williamstown, VIC Price: $110 ea pair + postage Item Condition: Very good Reason for selling: NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: A terrific sounding interconnect that is revealing, yet falls on the warm side, with strong and extended lower frequencies. In near new condition, its a great cable to upgrade to if you have stock cables or low range interconnects. Great buying as its $400 new for a 2 metre pair. “The way you can pick out and follow a single instrument within a band is extraordinary.” The new conductor configuration in the Chord Chameleon VEE 3 has a profound effect on just about every aspect of performance that is important to a properly immersive musical experience. There is a good chance that the Chameleon VEE 3 will begin to let you understand that your equipment is better than you thought and begin to understand just how good your favourite musicians are. Three sets of multi-stranded silver-plated oxygen free copper conductors are connected to silver-plated VEE 3 RCA plugs using a special silver solder and shielded from interference with a 93% braid and a heavy gauge shield. The conductors are insulated with FEP, a combination of materials that improve signal transfer at frequency extremes. A cotton fibre conductor wrap reduces mechanical noise and a fully floating high frequency effective, high density braid and foil shielding combination minimises signal loss through interference. The cables are fitted with Chord’s custom VEE 3 RCA plugs. The design of the ABS outer shell and the unique silver-plating process applied to the contact areas improves signal transfer across a wide frequency range. The signal return surround provides a secure high pressure contact with all types of RCA sockets. The centre pin is insulated with PTFE and the design of the plug and ABS outer shell provides good strain relief without compressing the cable and compromising performance. Pictures:
  6. Item: Chord Indigo RCA interconnects - 1mtr Location: Williamstown, VIC Price: $500 + postage Item Condition: Very good Reason for selling: NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: When new (£900) this cable was approximately the same price as todays current Chord Indigo Tuned Array ($2200). It was my first 'high-end' interconnect, and is a great step up for those wanting to try some seriously good interconnect that gets them into serious hi-end cables. At the time it was Chord's most advanced interconnect. The Indigo was designed in response to the extended bandwidth speakers that were becoming common, to transfer a signal completely accurately. It featured what was unique machined acrylic plug casing. The plug casing is made from specially chosen acrylic plastic that has outstanding vibration damping properties. Precision machined to an exacting tolerance from bonded solid acrylic block and diamond polished, the plug casing shrouds an ultra low mass, silver-plated earth connection and is toleranced to damp any resonances. The plug has a tapered strain relief profile which avoids any direct clamping pressure on the cable itself, crucial to obtaining the best possible performance. The cable has been produced to an extremely high tolerance and optimised for analogue signal transmission. A low capacitance, high velocity design with extremely low high-frequency attenuation making it ideal for accurate wide bandwidth signal transfer. The central conductor is comprised of specially chosen, stranded, silver-plated oxygen-free copper conductors and is surrounded by a Teflon dielectric. The Chord Indigo cable is a fully balanced configuration and has been assembled in a way that optimises send/return signal transfer. It is constructed using a direct connected return and signal path. All signal path components are silver-plated and all the connections have been made with a high silver content, lead-free solder. Because of the plug, the impedance is completely stable along the length of the cable. The shield, which has been based on the ones used in the Chord Signature interconnects and speaker cable, has been left fully floating Original cable: https://www.hifix.co.uk/chord-indigo-phono-pair-1m Current version: https://www.aussiehifi.com.au/products/chord-indigo-tuned-aray-digital-interconnect-rca-1m PLEASE NOTE: These cables are not a flexible cable, and the plugs have a very tight grip, so you would want your gear to have some space behind to accommodate and handle these cables. Pictures:
  7. Item: Garrott Optim S2 cartridge - "Dynamic Coil" moving magnet Location: Williamstown, VIC Price: $500 plus postage Item Condition: Very good Reason for selling: Upgraded to MC cartridge Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Original ad below... Garrot Bros cartridges are renowned for the musical nature and being hugely competitive for the price. I've put maybe 20 hours on this cartridge since I got it, but upgraded to an MC cartridge not long after. I intended to keep this as a spare, but its been sitting in a drawer since I mounted the other cartridge, so time for it to go to a good home. Please note that the original body is an 'S' but was upgraded to S2 spec as can be seen on the Garrott Bros sheet. "The original cartridge sold for US$700 (see review link for price), and this one has had a new stylus assembly and cantilever fitted by Garrott Brothers in October 2014 (cost was $365, have receipt) and has low hours since then (estimated 50 hours or less). The cartridge was further tuned and serviced by Garrott Brothers again in September 2015." Link to review: http://www.stereotimes.com/cart081402.shtml Link to specs: http://garrottbrothers.com/sites/default/files/garrottoptim.pdf Pictures:
  8. Max Headroom

    SOLD: 23x blu-rays

    Message sent with intention to buy
  9. Max Headroom

    Power supply upgrade for Gross, Fein & Klein III DAC’s.

    What’s with the microwave Clay? Going to burn in units before sending them out?! Hahaha.... ok bad dad joke
  10. Max Headroom

    Fein dac - impressions

    Well it's been weeks now and unfortunately I didn't take notes. I was meaning to capture all of my findings when I had all of the gear but due to family responsibilities I didn't have time. I was expecting the JS-2 to be unassailable but the Kraftwerk made the Fein sound better in every way. From memory sound opened up more. Timbre of instruments improved dramatically, already good soundstage width, depth and height increased. And it wasn't subtle. Music had more body and density, as if to fill out a thinness you only really notice if you have much more expensive DACs/better equipment. JS-2 paired with te Fein was good, and definitely improved upon the stock power supply, the Kraftwerk was just so much better. I have the JS-2 powering my Mac Mini. Makes a huge difference to the Mac, and I've had it powering USB devices and DACs from the second output, but I am solely using it for the Mac most of the time. Great product, but not up to the standards of the Kraftwerk when paired with the Fein DAC. The Kraftwerk also worked wonders on my 2Qute DAC. Dramatically changed the nature of the sound from that DAC and really opened up the sound. Again, not subtle changes! I don't like tweaks that give you a little bit of an improvement here, a smidge there... If an improvment is obvious and clear and not just different I'll call it very worthwhile. I dont like chasing my tail for subtle differences and improvements.
  11. Max Headroom

    Fein dac - impressions

    Yes... and I didnt want this to be so, but... no comparison... KRAFTWERK kills the JS-2 with the Fein! I didn't think there would be that much of a difference, but the improvement was considerbale. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
  12. Max Headroom

    Fein dac - impressions

    Yeah, it was late and perhaps not the clearest, but the comparison wasn't clear cut. So to answer a couple of questions... I won't rank top to bottom, more group. Fein was USB only. Listened to the Holo Spring as a combo with Sonore Sig. Rendu, and standalone, but take my comments as a Combo. Great both ways, but seriously good and obviously better with the Sonore. Hugo TT2 is amazing on its own, but with the M Scaler takes it to a new level. I suspect I was reaching the limits of my system and in a better, more revealing system the difference between Hugo TT2 on its own and with the M Scaler would be so much more obvious, and then totally justifiable from a cost standpoint. Otherwise if your system is mid-fi and not very revealing you may not hear the difference. The 'lesser' DACs were still amazing, so you cant go wrong, but the better DACs were better and clearly so. I dont think you can by a Musical Fidelity tube buffer new now, so you'd have to look another brand. Fein is amazing, incredible bass control and extension, and paints an airy and large sound stage - without any extra attachments and power supplies. On that cout beats all the other DACs without a doubt. But music and sound isn't just all about bass and soundstage. So in that regard I would say it comes down to preference and your tastes, but I've had enough of making excuses for equipment that doesn't paint a sound stage larger than the space between my speakers, and that replays drums and instruments in lower frequencies 'accurately' but you can't feel the energy of those instruments. With the Fein I can turn the volume down and still get a sense of the scale of the music and have the same presence and impact as when the volume is turned up. So the Fein ticks boxes for me and my preferences. I can totally understand people preferring the Chords in this situation So 2 groups I place 2Qute, Qutest and Hugo 2 in the first group, and Holo Dac (with or without Sonore Sig. Rendu) and Hugo TT2 (with and without M Scaler) in a second group as far as ultimate sound quality goes. They second group were better, and I suspect with an even better system than mine the differences would show even more. (Sort of makes the Holo Dac a bargain on its own if you avoid the USB input) I frankly couldn't be bothered with the frigging around with cables with the Hugo 2 as its clearly designed for use as a headphone amp/portable DAC, but it sounds fantastic, just really not that much better than the Qutest to justify the trouble or extra cost. The difference is there, but you wouldn't lose any sleep over it if you dont use your DAC as a portable rig. So without additional power supply and tube buffer: Fein easily bests the Chord 2Qute, and keeps pace with the Chord Qutest, Hugo 2, and would come down to preference, but it does many things so right. And while it has amazing abilities in sound staging and presentation of the lower frequencies, the the other DACs are ahead in the mid range frequencies. The Holo Dac (with or without Sonore Sig. Rendu) and Hugo TT2 (with and without M Scaler) still have a more complete presentation, naturalness to the instruments, better tonality and high frequencies and uncontrived sound, so you can easily hear they are better. WIth the Kraftwerk power supply: Fein comes closer to the Chords in the mids and builds on its strengths of deep, controlled and detailed bass, and increased air around instruments, larger sound stage not contained by my room or speakers. Also improves the naturalness and tones of the sound of instruments, considerably improves the treble frequencies. So less of a preference thing in the first group as its such a strong performer with the Kraftwerk power supply - extremely impressive. At this point you may be so impressed that you would save the difference and not go the Holo Dac/Sonore Sig Rendu or Hugo TT2/M Scaler. But they were still better and more consistent and complete with their presentations. But hey we are talking $2150 for the Fein and Kraftwerk power supply, and you'd have a damn impressive DAC and sound quality at less money than all the other DACs. Really we are talking a bargain. With the Kraftwerk power supply and Musical Fidelity X-10D tube buffer: Nothing in it really, as the Fein now has a very complete sound across the frequency range, much more coherent and consistent, and easily within a hairs breath of the 2 better DAC's. I think this shows where the extra money goes in the more expensive DACs - I suspect the output stages have alot to do with it as when I add the tube buffer to the Fein it's very competitive with the more expensive DACs. They might edge ahead still, slightly, but you'd hope so for approx $16000 for the Hugo TT2/M Scaler and approx $8000 for the Holo Dac/Sonore SIg Rendu combinations. The Holo Dac is an amazing DAC in its own right, but I think the Fein/Kraftwerk/MF X10-D combination is better at around the same price. With the Kraftwerk power supply, Musical Fidelity X-10D tube buffer and Sonore Micro Rendu: The Fein is there playing with the big boys, no questions asked. I'd say there would be small differences and seriously you'd have to sit and have a long listen to each and compare to pick a difference, but I would not say that one is better than the other. In much better (and more expensive) systems than mine then you would hear more clearly the differences so you may have a stronger preference for one or the other brand, but thats all that it would come down to I suspect. So Clayton, when am I going to get my Fein and Kraftwerk power supply?!!!
  13. Max Headroom

    Power supply upgrade for Gross, Fein & Klein III DAC’s.

    If you have a Fein DAC, don't stop and think about buying a Gieseler Kraftwerk power supply. Order it NOW - your ears will thank you! Takes it up level or two and makes the DAC a killer at the price. Have a look at my review...
  14. Max Headroom

    Review of M18PSU – Gieseler Kraftwerk 12V 4A PSU

    Well I've just posted my review of the Fein DAC in comparison to Chords latest and greatest - you'll find the post under "Fein DAC impressions'. The Kraftwerk power supply took the Fein from a really solid and great sounding DAC to absolutely terrific. It made a huge and substantial difference which is easy to hear, and is a dead set bargain when paired with a Fein DAC. Can't recommend it enough. Don't umm and ahh if you're on the fence. Just grab one and you'll hear the difference.
  15. Max Headroom

    Fein dac - impressions

    Ok everyone. Sorry but I've literally been snowed under the last couple of weeks... OK where to start... Over a period of several weeks I got to test and compare: GIeseler Fein Chord 2Qute (which I used to own) Chord Qutest Chord Hugo 2 Chord Hugo TT2 Chrod Hugo TT2 + M Scaler Holo Spring Level 1 Dac + Sonore Signature Rendu (with i2s) I wont go into a long explanation of each DAC and comparisons so I will try and keep it short and to the point. And also keep in mind that I didn't have the Holo Dac / Sonore combination at the same time as all of the Chord DACs. I listened to the Holo Dac on a Saturday and had the Chords for several days from the Sunday. I have previously borrowed the PS Audio Direct Stream DAC and compared to the previous Chord DACs and it was found wanting... even against the 2Qute. I had the Gieseler GroB Dac on loan at the time and it wasn't even fair to the PS Audio. Yes yes yes before anyone starts it had the latest firmware (the last version until the recent upgrade), and was burnt in. It was soft, inoffensive and bloomy... probably why people say it sounds analog, but reality is they've never heard good analog. But back to the Fein. I had it on loan at the same time as the Holo Dac and the Chords. The Fein kept up with the DACs but he Chords were more consistent across the frequency range, and the Holo Dac and the Hugo TT2 with and without M Scaler were better than the Fein. But that's a BIG difference in price. It's a bit more interesting when comparing against the 2Qute, Qutest and Hugo 2 and TT2. The Fein is better than the 2Qute and compares to the Qutest and Hugos but gets a run for its money. The midrange is more balanced and filled out on the Chord DACs, so you get a more coherent sound. Hugo TT2 + M Scaler and the Holo Spring 2 Dac + Sonore Signature Rendu combinations are absolutely sublime. Really stunning. But even against these the bass control and extension of the Fein still beats these DACs. Really phenomenal. (the USB input on the Holo Dac is pretty woeful so use BNC/SPDIF, ideally i2s or get a really good USB to SPDIF converter) I was really hoping the Fein would be a giant slayer... but had to admit that the better DACs in the comparison were better in the mid-range and more consistent across the frequency range. Fein had the best bass and painted a huge and spacious soundstage so easily compared there... UNTIL... Well I thought 'you know what, for $1750 or so its an interesting alternative to commercial DACs any near its price, but not perfect, and beaten in the mid range'... but I though I've 'experienced this before', and was wondering whether there is an impedance mismatch between the Fein and my pre. SO I tweaked. I happened to have Claytons new Kraftwerk power supply on loan, and a Musical Fidelity tube buffer and a sonore micro rendu stashed away somewhere. Well, firstly, I added the the Kraftwerk power supply, and OMG what a transformation. The sound coming from the Fein now fleshed out, the sound stage grew. Now the Fein and power supply combination at approx $2150 sounded alot more consistent throughout the frequency range, and was a lot closer in sound to the other DACs. The bass extension and control on the Fein is unbeatable, and it projected and huge, open soundstage. I then added the tube buffer and now there was hardly anything in it between the Fein/Kraftwerk/tube buffer combination and the top 2 DACs. The mid range filled out, to accompany the amazing bass and sound staging. Even though I didn't have the Holo Dac and the Hugo TT2/M Scaler together they were so obviously in the same league and a cut above all of the DACs I had heard previously, including the Qutest, Hugo 2 and Hugo TT2. But here I was listening to a $2600 or so combination comparing with some of the best out there until you start to get to really silly money!!! (Yeah I know Hugo TT2 and M Scaler is about $15,000 so definitely NOT CHEAP). Yes its a bit of a hassle with the extra cables on the Fein, but hey we are comparing with DACs as good as the Hugo TT2 / M Scaler and/or Holo Dac with the Sonore Sig Rendu. Really unbelievable. And at significantly less cost! I added my Sonore micro rendu to the Fein combination and now I'm sitting there shocked at how good it all sounded. I have to say that I was powering the Sonore with my Uptone Audio JS-2 linear power supply so that makes a more expensive combination again, but oh my what a combination. So for about $3700 (if you buy a sonore micro rendu with one of the additional power supplies they sell) you've got sound that just beats anything anywhere near the price, with bass extension and control, and imaging and sound staging that is better than most DACs below mega buck DACs. I was amazed and grinning like a cheshire cat - best bang for buck I've ever discovered. Really serious performance for not ridiculous amounts of money. On the Saturday @gonefishing999 brought over his Holo Dac and Sonore Signature Rendu which we connected via i2s. It soundly beat the Fein on its own, before I started tweaking. Playing a track by the Jacques Loussier Trio - their version of Saties Gymnopedies / Gnossiennes, it sounded great via the Fein, until we tried the Holo Dac / SIg Rendu. There is a double bass in the track which is being strummed, sounds powerful through the Fein, but the Holo Dac combination adds presence and tone to the instrument, making it sound much more real. Going back to the Fein it sounds dull and thuddy in comparison. Also the treble region... well the Fein was soundly beat here. There is wind chimes/chime bells that are played at the beginning of the tune - on the Fein you can hear it clearly in the background with a metallic sound. With the Holo Dac / SIg Rendu the chimes are much clearer, more forward in the mix and take on a shimmering effect - as if they were veiled with the Fein. And the piano - well the Holo Dac / SIg Rendu filled the room with a body and naturalness to its tone the Fein couldn't match. Keep these observations in context though. I thought the Fein sounded great till I compared it to the Holo Dac / SIg Rendu combination. But temember thats an $8000 combination compared to the Fein at $1750 DAC. You'd be happy with the Fein if you heard it in isolation - its a terrific dac for the price! But when you add the Kraftwerk power supply, a tube buffer and stream via an external device like a Sonore to the Fein you get a combination which comes in at under $4000 but compares to much more costly combinations! What really pushes the Fein combination out front, and was obvious with the TT2/M Scaler and Holo Dac/Signature Rendu is the quality of the sound and the effortlessness of that sound. For example it's not just great detail, body, sound staging, rhythm, attack, extended highs, shimmering treble, mid range with body and extended and full bass. These elements were all there in abundance, but added to this was an ease and effortlessness to the sound which makes every other DAC not at that standard sound contrived or unnatural. And this is why you get turntables often being considered as delivering a much more natural sound - instruments and music don;t sound contrived like the average digital playback chain. If I had the money to afford the Holo Dac/Sonore Sig Rendu or Hugo TT2 and M Scaler, I'd still be considering the Fein. The price difference between the first 2 DACs and the Fein combination is considerable, but the sound quality is at the same level. I know where I'd rather spend my money... If presentation and packaging of a DAC is important to you, well nothing looks and feels quite like a Chord DAC, and the Hugo TT2 and M Scaler is a thing of beauty. The Holo DAC has its own look which is up to the standard of the Chord DACs, and quite attractive in its own right. But if sound quality is your priority, then the Fein combination is an outright bargain. On a final note - just so everyone knows, here is a list of my equipment. It bothers me when people write reviews and don't list the associated equipment they are using. Many times their equipment is not capable or revealing enough for them to be able to offer a valuable opinion. Michell Gyrodec with Ortofon Kontrapunkt C moving coil cartridge Pioneer PD 70-AE SACD player Mac Mini, modded with Uptone Audio JS-2 linear power supply Chord 2Qute DAC with MCRu linear power supply OAD CP1 pre amp and UF1 power amp PS Audio P3 power regenerator Dynaudio Focus 380 speakers Lightspeed 10G usb cable Inakustik LS1603 speaker cables Inakustik LS1603 inteconnects ISO Acoustics Gaia speaker isolators
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