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About Stereophilus

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  1. I am in the camp that believes “everything matters” in a digital front end. With that in mind I would advise you to carefully consider certain digital front end tweaks as part of your progress towards a more engaging sound. Given your equipment and the fact you have noticed a difference with a better power cord to the CX, I would suggest looking into the following ideas: 1) USB power and reclocking. USB cables can improve sound, but the quality and delivery of the 5V rail on the USB is critical (even on the DAVE). A good place to start is something like the Moonlight Audio Darkside USB cable, which allows you to add a separate low noise 5V DC supply. I personally like the Uptone Audio USB ISO-regen with Gieseler LPSU. I have found the upstream USB cable has minimal impact once the 5V rail on the USB is attended to, regardless of the DAC. 2) electrically isolate your Ethernet connection to the CX using, for example, ethernet to optical converters or alternatively an EtherRegen. 3) Separate the server and renderer as you are doing. Cheaper renderers are a valid choice too, although, I have found that the quality of the renderer is more critical than the quality of the server. The Ethernet link between server and renderer should be as short as possible and as good quality as possible. 4) isolate all power supplies from each other, using something like the Shunyata Venom PS8. Note that your Thor does not do any isolation on the distribution side. There is more of course, but the above ideas make a good impact to most digital front ends in my experience.
  2. Adding the EX could make a big difference. There is also the possibility it wont improve anything. Could you describe your system a bit further?
  3. Im surprised a bit by rule #6. I suspect we (as audiophiles) mostly strive for that feeling of "I am there". There are many times with well recorded music and the right conditions that i get that feeling when listening to my system. Maybe Steve Guttenberg has a different point of reference? Maybe i have misinterpreted?
  4. Sarcasm noted. However, I would love the sound of this DAC regardless of how it measured. An interesting point for me, personally, as an audiophile is that I have (over 20 years now) compiled a system that has some of the best measuring electronics (on ASR) without even realising that was what I was doing. I suspect I have valued resolution, dynamics and transparency above other things in my listening. Also, the music I listen to (a wide variety, but Electronic mostly) sounds best with these traits highlighted.
  5. For those interested, the stand-alone version of the Mola Mola DAC got the ASR “once over” recently: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/mola-mola-tambaqui-dac-and-streamer-review.10770/ If you follow the thread, Bruno himself chimes in with some very interesting technical comments about the DAC architecture. Worth a read.
  6. Wifi transceivers are typically noisier than anything wired. A well designed wifi streamer could outperform a wired unit in theory. Practice is yet to realise this. https://darko.audio/2018/08/ethernet-or-wifi-which-is-better-for-high-end-audio-streaming/
  7. Sonore UltraRendu with a Schiit Bifrost DAC would be my choice. Thats if you're buying new. Plenty of great choices second hand as well. Also check out Gieseler DACs and power supplies for something Aussie made at a great price.
  8. A GTG is long overdue. I would be very interested in listening to any network audio “tweaks”, including the EtherRegen and/or anything else you might have in mind. I have found that the JCAT USB+LAN “ground conditioner” caused the most significant improvement in SQ when added to my Antipodes EX than any upstream network tweaks.
  9. In my own somewhat basic trial with FMCs, I found adding iFi iPower power supplies to power the FMCs made a noticeable improvement in SQ. As is the norm these days, the thread I started providing this information was shut down. I think the EtherRegen device provides a much more elegant method for potentially isolating noise from inbound Ethernet.
  10. Yes, it is possible. No dispute there. The point of my question was that if we can agree that electrical noise and earthing issues in Ethernet transmission to a hifi streamer/server can affect sound quality, then we should dispense with the whole “perfect data integrity = no affect on SQ” argument. Data integrity, in my view, has never been in question. The core of this thread is about what else in Ethernet streaming of music could affect SQ?
  11. Thankyou for the honesty. I find that insight very interesting.
  12. And, having put in the time to listen to your reference tracks in an unfamiliar system, comparing the 2 configurations... Did you hear a difference? And do you have a preference?
  13. Ok, I’ll bite. Did you do any comparative listening, with and without ER? If so, did you draw any conclusions from this listening?
  14. Would the people here advising against audiophile switches also conclude that Ethernet-optical converters placed upstream of the Hifi server/streamer make no difference to the sound quality?
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