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About tom012

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  1. ? As i mentioned i am using a cheap one already but it is loose on one end so needs replacing. What more would there be to learn by buying another cheap one? I don't necessarily mean i am going to get that particular $200 cable (although it is on the short list) but from what i can gather for a cheap but reputable USB regen i'm going to be up for around $200 anyway and as Fred found it did not fix his hum. For the same $200 I could get a top of the line glass optical cable. Of course i am looking at a few much cheaper ones too :). Thanks Fred. Did you try cutting/removing the 5v usb wire/pin from the pc too to see if that made a difference when using the regen? I'm still reading and learning but unless i misunderstood it seems some people have success removing it. I have no idea if my DAC even needs the 5v but ill look into it and maybe try DIY'ing a USB cable in the morning without the 5v. Other possible solutions i've found to try since the OP are clip-on ferrite noise suppressors on the USB cable or running a wire from the case of the DAC to the case of the PC. The no mucking around/easy option is sounding pretty good right now haha.
  2. Hi guys, I have recently moved house and have changed my audio and pc setup to suit my much more limited space. I was using a Rega DAC and preamp to studio monitors but am now with a Marantz HD-DAC1. I also had to remove my sound card due to a smaller PC build and was hoping to feed the DAC from USB but the noise/hum is just too much to bear. I have spent a few days playing with location and rewiring things to try and eliminate it which i thought i had managed to do but then i opened a PC game and the hum was back with a vengeance. I am assuming EMI/RFI from the GPU is just too much and is getting into the usb cable or usb power in the PC or whatever the explanation. Clearly I am not an expert with the tech but my research has pointed me to a few solutions and hoping to get some ideas from from you guys on which way i should go. I could use a better shielded USB cable but the schiit audio cable I have did not reduce the hum any more than the standard cheap printer style that came with the DAC. So from my research it seems the most $ friendly solutions i can do is to go to optical as the motherboard has optical out, or get something like a schiit audio USB decrapifier or Wyred 4 Sound Recovery USB Reclocker. Id rather not drop much more than $200 as replacing the PC motherboard and reinstalling the old sound card and going back to coax wouldnt be more than that. I am using a cheap optical cable at the moment which sounds fine but one of the connections is very loose so if i stay with optical ill be looking to upgrade that cable and will probably try something glass. So what do you guys think? $200 on a new Wireworld supernova 7 optical cable, $200 on a Schiit USB decrapifier or $200 on a used Wyred 4 Sound Recovery USB Reclocker. Or perhaps there is something else you would suggest? Cheers for any help.
  3. Item: Rega DAC (with original box). Location: Brisbane Price: $450 Now $400 Item Condition: Fantastic. There is a sticker peeling a little on the rear as seen in the photos but otherwise clean and tidy and an great sounding DAC Reason for selling: Moved house, no longer required. Payment Method: Cash on pickup, bank or paypal for post. Extra Info: Solid-state D/A processor. Inputs: two coaxial, two optical (TosLink) S/PDIF, one USB. Sample rates/bit depths handled: 32–192kHz (S/PDIF); 32, 44.1, and 48kHz at 16 bits (USB). 5 different digital filters, selected with a push-button on the front panel. Dimensions W 220mm x D 320mm x H 90mm Item: Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Preamp II Location: Brisbane Price: $180 Item Condition: Fantastic. Reason for selling: Moved house, no longer required. Payment Method: Cash on pickup, bank or paypal for post. Extra Info: Great basic and clean sounding preamp. Personally I loved it and would be happy to keep it if i could find another use for it. Pictures:
  4. Old gear? I don't have any old gear....... And i have been listening to the speakers with no pre since I go the them near the end of September which more than covers the +1 week before making changes. I also had a mate here who owns a basic recording studio last week so pretty sure I have most of that covered :-). Unfortunately he just threw $$ at his setup and other people did it all for him so couldn't input much. But he was might impressed with the A77x's How do you know my partner isn't an audio addict? You'd be right, but then i'm not either, we just both play instruments and write and appreciate quality and accurate sound. Edit: my main concern with the cheaper pre was that lows or highs would roll off earlier which seemed to be a common complaint of some. I couldn't hear any changes by ear, and the graph shows that at least in my setup this wasn't the case. It may have been if I was using a sub or speakers that go to a lower frequency though.
  5. Well my UMIK-1 mic arrived and I pulled the trigger on the Tisbury pre but i'm still in the corner :-(. I'm happy with the pre and really cant tell any difference other than the volume drop (obviously) so now i'm onto the learning curve that is REW. I've had a bit of trouble determining where exactly my ears are most so for now this is an over analysed "i think i spend most time here" test of the DAC vs DAC+pre in the setup. My plan is to get my partner to come in and say freeze when i'm immersed in something and try again. It seems to vary drastically with small moves. I had a bit of trouble matching the volumes and have smoothed to 1/48 in this one to make it easier to see any differences.
  6. Thanks for the input shogun2. They are for me. It wont be a $$ making room, at least not while renting. Just for a little hobby writing & mixing, the occasional unpaid friends wedding or similar track mix (done a whole 2 so far) and a whole lot of listening. They are setup now similar to the old speakers in the first post but pointing a little more past my ears, not directly at them. I will be moving in front of the window though. I have moved the speakers to the far right of the desk for a quick test and it made a much bigger sweet spot. This isn't essential for now, but might as well let guests enjoy them too. Hoping to get the testing mic soon as I really want this to be a learning experience based on data as well as personal preference rather than just guess work. It about time I took it as seriously as my now empty wallet has been. Ebay is having 15% off everything right now so again I've got the urge to pull the trigger on a preamp. Arek who is the maker of one of the preamps Brett linked has said he can make one with both RCA and XLR inputs/outputs so now leaning towards that a little as it seems a decent future proof option. PITA to have to spend 1/2 to full price of the dac just to control the volume. Made me research DACs with volume control again but to actually "upgrade" the rega it seems ill be up for a hell of a lot more. Either way I want the pre to be something I only have to buy once and can be happy with in future systems if need be. So the reading continues...................... Thanks again :-)
  7. I had thought I had scared everyone off with my massive post. As a veteran in a few other non audio forums, i know confused newbies don't always get the love they need. Thank you so so much Brett :-) The tisbury audio preamp had recently became my 1 choice but I will keep an eye of for another MEI Xing too. I hadn't stumbled on them yet. And thanks Henry, using software control now, but would rather a dedicated pre for those quick mutes, vol changes between programs etc. I have actually made some major changes since my post. I ended up selling everything except the Rega DAC and struggled to survive without music for a few weeks. In that time I listened to a few traditional set ups but still found myself drawn to monitors. A few days ago I bought home some Adam A77X's and some isoAcoustics stands to put them on. <3ing them but they have sure highlighted how much work the room needs. The preamp and anything else is on hold until my UMIK-1 arrives and I can learn a bit more about my room and effects changes have. Its funny you mention curtains. I was finding my right ear was getting fatigued much faster than the left and hanging a dooner on the window made a huge difference so I have spent most of today researching curtains and reading up on flutter, reflections and standing waves. Its only a rental but so far this is number one on the list until i get a chance to check local shops for an equivalent. http://www.quickfitblindsandcurtains.com.au/bond-room-darkening-soft-drape-eyelet-curtain-panel-avail-in-4-sizes-black.html I have actually rotated the tweeters in the speakers so I could have them vertically which sounds much better in the corner but getting ready to do a day of rearranging and moving to the smaller desk in front of the window. I will of course leave a gap but its difficult without moving everything first to gauge how much space I can actually leave and still fit everything else in here. Other than that the main project on the cards will be DIY acoustic panels. Soooo many posts and soo much confusion on this topic especially with the different types available in different countries. But from what I can gather Bradford Rockwool Fibertex 350 seems a common go to in Australia (literally reading up on all this now) so that might be my start. Sounding like I am on the right track? haha hope so.......... Probably will aim for 4 side wall panels to start and then see where/if i can fit bass traps. These speakers are pretty amazing even in the horrible setup they are in. Thanks again. I will check back more often now :-)
  8. Hi guys, This will likely be long winded but i'll note any parts you can skip. Backstory (skipable) 3 or so years ago I decided id had enough of logitech and wanted something decent with a small footprint for my desktop which where I do the most listening. Actives seemed to fill the gap as well as being near field so I listened to a few but ended up blindly purchasing some Swan T200b's largly due to the awesome reviews they have and because they come with a relatively flat SPL vs Freq curve for each speaker which I figued would be easier to match to components/tune to a room if need be than something with a more defined character. If thats worth the paper it's written on I have no idea but I was very happy with the speaker although not completely. Months of reading later I had a new ASIO capable sound card, a Swan H10 sub, and a Rega DAC and was loving every note, but was very unsatisfied with how difficult it was to control volume so added a Matrix M-stage headphone amp/pre amp and a pair of AGK K702's. Obviously caught the bug and dove straight into the deep end but managed to turn myself off after spending the half the cost of the system on chord chameleon RCA's and prodac coax, which were way better than what I had and but i'm not sure they are thaaat much better; and some power cords which didn't really fit the cramped space I had everything in so were resold. So overall my current system is... System Room Dimensions Door Wall - 361cm Window Wall - 338cm Height - 243cm Sorry about the mess! ;-) Soundcard - Auzen X-Meridian 7.1 2G (ASIO capable, AUX & optical outputs) DAC - Rega DAC (RCA only) Preamp/ Headphone Amp - Matrix M-Stage (with AGK K702's) Active Speakers - Swan T200b (RCA + XLR Inputs) http://www.swanspeaker.com/products/products.aspx?cid=5&sid=0&pid=29&cmenu=spec Sub (currently disconnected) - Swan H10 http://www.swanspeaker.com/products/products.aspx?cid=1&sid=0&pid=123&single=subwoofer Power cables - Stock Available cables Coaxial/Optical - Chord Prodac 1m + up to 4m noname 6mm Optical RCA - Chord Chameleon 1m, 2m & 4m Note: Current photographed setup is using one of the 4m chameleons as a coaxial as I did't have anything long enough and the 4m optical is in the mail. Questions Broad Outline So basically I'd like some help/guidance in how I should have this all setup to get the most from it. I am no longer in a share unit but in a house with a small family (big change in 3 years) so am aiming to keep things childproof, cheap, and improve the speaker SQ as much as possible as I rarely use the headphones. In my old room in our old share unit it was all thrown into a desk with a hood/cabinets over the top in a tiny room so using the sub made for seemingly more even low volume on frequency tests but in this new room with new desks and the speakers in the open they sound much better without the sub which either sounds directional at some frequencies if not under the desk, or leaves big gaps and volume increases in frequency tests wherever i seem to place it under the desk. I chose to put the dac and headphone amp to the left as they fit nicely, are away from the PC and the draws on the right side are fixed. The current PC location also allows heat to go out the window. It is possible for me to move everything to the smaller desk and place it in front of the window which i'm sure will be suggested. But I obviously chose the larger easier for cable management work space first and the window is a front window to the street. Room treatment is unlikely as it will be a play room/work room for partner too but some minor inexpensive work might be possible if deemed essential such as a thick blind. :-). Specific Questions 1. The Matrix M-stage - The only real use the headphone amp has had is as a preamp volume control, it requires an extra power cord and I have always felt it was the weakest link (although I cant really A/B test it easily I felt adding it and the sub took sound stage and depth away from the speakers (more specifically the sub). From an SQ standpoint, would it be worth removing the M-stage and adding a passive preamp instead? Limited to RCA connectors from the Rega DAC all I can really find is the Goldpoint SA1. http://www.goldpt.com/sa1.html Or I could use something cheap like this. http://www.amazon.com/Scosche-RLC-Remote-Level-Control/dp/B002EEP3WA/ref=sr_1_6?&ie=UTF8&qid=1309580499&sr=8-6 I cringe at the thought of connecting chameleons to it, but it would be easy to put under the desk. Unfortunately I cant find much suitable priced in between. The goldpoint seems a lot but not undo-able and much better than anything than I can build. But if it is an upgrade or not from the matrix I have no idea and the matrix only uses 7w of power in usual listening so I cant justify the cost using the power use either ;-). Note: I am considering a new and larger screen (and have ordered a new longer display port cable so i can actually center this one) so may end up hiding the DAC behind it in which case a small volume control to tuck under the screen would be nice but i'm also unsure if this is a recipe to increase interference having it all so close to the screen? 2. The H10 Sub - Recon its worth keeping? At a guess I think the rear corner behind me might be best but is a rental so cant cable through the walls/roof and that 4 rca run on the floor is too much so I am considering selling it. As mentioned I could move to the smaller desk and maybe it would work better but against the window isn't ideal with everything else that has to go in the room. However, I could probably setup on the smaller desk where it currently is but fear while this corner desk beast is in here + my partners stuff and sons toys that are yet to come, and because i'm not treating the room the 10" sub is never going to be quite right. Although i couldn't get it to sound good under or away from the desk, I didn't remember to try with the filing cabinet the dac is on removed. Any input/thought appreciated. 3. RCA's - Will using different length RCA's from the headphone amp to the speakers make a difference to SQ/timing at short lengths? I'm currently using a 4m to one speaker and 2m to the other which made routing away from power cables easy and didn't leave a 2m of left overs for the left speaker I didn't notice a difference but am having trouble finding an answer in searches. 4. Power Cables - Do you think its worth upgrading these for this system? I am sometimes easily swayed by hype (as you can probably tell haha) and as mentioned I want the best from what I have got but am not in a position to spend heaps. I wouldn't go much beyond RK cables VMF or Lorad's plus the Rega has a clover plug and the speakers figure 8 so it takes up a bit of room with adapters/weight on the little plugs etc. But I have read many times the rega likes an upgrade too.... And that's about it for now. Thanks if you made it through this far :-). I am open to all ideas really and moving to the other desk if need be. Probably even to selling off everything but or including the speakers and buying a new DAC with inbuilt volume control and XLR connectors. But the budget wouldn't go much beyond what i could sell it all for and I really am happy with the sound I currently have. Its made me love music I didn't even know i liked. I just discovered Sara K after setting up here a few days ago and looking for new test tracks and wow! I really appreciate any help guys I have been a long time reader and am saving for a house deposit so I can eventually build a system and room together and can invest in something I cant help but close my eyes to with every note. haha :-)
  9. SOLD! Item: RK Cables Figure 8 (f8) power cables 2m Location: Toowong 4066 Price: $130 each, $220 for the pair (including AU postage) Item Condition: As new, used for less than 3mths; lived in the top of the cupboard since. Reason for selling: No longer required Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal Extra Info: Comply to AU & NZ standards, tagged and tested 30/03/2012. For more info please see the RK cables site. This cable is third from the bottom ($190 + shipping each new) http://www.rkcable.c...FMpowercord.htm Pictures:
  10. Item: RK Cables Figure 8 (f8) power cables 2m Location: Toowong 4066 Price: $160 each, $300 for the pair (including AU postage) Item Condition: As new, used for less than 3mths. Reason for selling: No longer required Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal Extra Info: Comply to AU & NZ standards, tagged and tested 30/03/2012. For more info please see the RK cables site. This cable is second from the bottom ($190 + shipping each new) http://www.rkcable.com.au/VFMpowercord.htm Pictures:
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