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Ed Sky

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About Ed Sky

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  • Birthday February 14

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  1. It is possible to get the first unfold of MQA without an MQA DAC. That would take you up to 96 kHz / 24 bits. To do this you would need to introduce a mac or PC into the mix and also some software (either Audirvana or Roon). You can then control the music via their respective remote control app on the mobile phone. Audirvana is probably the cheapest option as is costs a little over $100, once off and $15 for the phone remote app. Audirvana does provide a 14 day trial so you can try it out and see if it works for you. (Roon does also provide a trial but is a much pricier product.) So effectively you would need to do the following. 1. Download Audirvana to your PC or mac and activate the 14 day trial. 2. Connect to Tidal via Audirvana. 3. Get Audirvana to stream over WiFi to your Denon (via a protocol called UPnP). It sounds complicated but it's dead simple. Audirvana will just show your Denon as one of the output options. Audirvana will unfold MQA up to 96 kHz but it can also be set to up-sample lower resolution tracks to 96 kHz or even higher which does improve the sound quality. (My experience is that over WiFi anything over 96 kHz can be a bit choppy unless you have a wired ethernet cable.) So effectively the flow of data is Tidal --> Audirvana --> UPnP (over WiFi) --> Denon If the above works smoothly you can then download the Audirvana mobile app which allows you to remote control Audirvana on the PC or mac. For the above to work smoothly you need a fairly stable WiFi network, preferably operating in the 5G band (but don't worry about these scemantics, just try it out and see if it works smoothly for you). Hope the above explanation is clear. If you need any clarifications let me know.
  2. Certainly no, though you must consider that we are talking about an AV preprocessor that does not contain amplification, so if we are to compare it, we should compare it to a stereo preamp. While I have not done a comparison myself, I understand that a mid to high-end dedicated stereo preamp is likely to outperform the Marantz AV preprocessor being discussed here.
  3. That's useful knowledge @Ittaku , I wasn't aware of this. I guess this is where the new Master Quality Audio (MQA) format proposes an advantage where compensation for A to D and D to A conversion are taken into account both in the source and playback chain?
  4. This is where the "cryptic" part of the reply comes in. Most certainly the person that replied from Marantz does not have English as their first language, that's why I put it forward at this forum for interpretation. They do state: "The Pure Direct Mode is passed through the tone circuit/AD Converter/DA converter/DSP include Audyssey processing for Analog input." The ambiguous part is what they mean by passed through. Do they mean bypassed or goes through? Based on the fact that they include Audyssey in this list I would have to think they mean bypassed, as Audyssey is most certainly bypassed in pure direct mode. Also my original question to Marantz states: I have a Marantz AV8802a. I am considering connecting a DAC for stereo listening to the Marantz via the XLR inputs. My question is, if I put the Marantz in pure direct mode will the analog input from the external DAC go through a purely analog path to the pre output to the amplifier? I am just wanting to check that there is no analog to digital or digital to analog conversion that takes place to the signal in the Marantz in the above scenario. Marantz' final response is: "Probably, it is matched your target." Which seems to imply that pure direct mode will achieve this goal. Again, the English is far from perfect so I can't be 100% sure, but based on the above it seem to infer Pure Direct bypasses any digital processing.
  5. I was recently on a quest to determine if the Marantz 8802A pure direct mode provided a purely analogue pass through. (This question would apply to the 8805 as well.) Effectively I wanted to know if connecting an external DAC to it via pure direct mode would bypass any A to D or D to A conversion. This is important as if the signal was not maintained in its analogue form end-to-end then the benefits of an external DAC would be limited to some degree. I sent a query direct to Marantz about this and received the following partially cryptic reply: Dear Sir, Thank you for your contact with Marantz. At first, we have to say sorry for our lately reply due to our CRM system trouble. In this period, we could not recognize your inquiry due to this trouble. I’m writing about your inquiry for AV8802A. The Pure Direct Mode is passed through the tone circuit/AD Converter/DA converter/DSP include Audyssey processing for Analog input. In addition, stop the video and the display. Probably, it is matched your target. I hope to clear your question by this answer. Best regards, Marantz APAC Customer Support Team I assume this confirms a pure analogue path, unless I am misinterpreting the response? @Sime V2 I see they also mention the tone circuit separate to the AD/DA converter. This could imply that equalisation happens outside of AD/DA conversion, perhaps also in the analogue space.
  6. So you've finally put this up for sale, and at a very good packaged price. Good luck with the sale!
  7. For those interested, here is the link to the installation video if you want to confirm you've installed them correctly.
  8. So I received my GAIA IIs on Saturday. I’ve been hesitant to write my feedback as I wasn’t quite smitten with them. I think I heard some improvement, but I’ve been doing so many tweaks to my system in the past two weeks that I can’t tell what’s what. I was hoping that I’d get a degree of improvement that would make me want to rediscover my music library but it just wasn’t quite there. Improvement in bass though did seem noticeable but imaging wasn’t greatly improved. This left me a bit puzzled. I spent some time rereading user reviews and feedback on forums yesterday and I was left scratching my head, why I was not experiencing the same. There was something niggling though, when installed the GAIAs I followed my AV dealers guidance and just screwed them into place with the speaker still upright but tilted. I noticed that the GAIAs didn’t tighten into place as you had to position them with the IsoAcoustics logo facing forward. I was wondering if perhaps I hadn’t installed them properly. I did some investigations and watched a YouTube video, and indeed this was the case, I had not installed them correctly and failed to install the second washer which allows for the feet to be secured more tightly in place. There was no way I could do this installation with the speakers uprights so I lay my speakers down and reinstalled the feet properly this time. I was perhaps a little unconvinced if this would change things, but keen all the same. So I write this perhaps a bit perplexed, because I now hear the magic of the GAIAs. Improved resolution has emerged with such a level of clarity; imaging is sharper; noticeably more air; lower noise floor as smaller details in the recording are now more apparent; better separation of instruments and more realism to the sound. I guess I’m surprised that such a small tweak in installation could yield such improvements. Listening is so subjective, perhaps I just needed time to appreciate their benefit.
  9. If I look at the IsoAcoustics specifications it appears the GAIA III's can handle speakers up to 32kg, see the following link: http://www.isoacoustics.com/products/gaia-series/gaia-iii/
  10. Thanks @Happy Sacks, that's a great hack! I assume this is the product you're referring to: https://www.bunnings.com.au/surface-gard-60mm-round-spike-castor-cups-clear_p4050163.
  11. Thanks for the feedback. I'll get them without the spikes then. @Happy Sacks recommended coasters from Bunnings as an alternative to spikes as well.
  12. After a fellow forum member @Happy Sacks sang high praises about the Gaias, and after seeing positive feedback on this thread and also from my AV dealer I've decided to go for it as well. Gaias II is what I will need, just waiting for stock. What are people's view of the carpet spikes? My carpet is just regular thin loop carpet. Do you think the spikes are necessary?
  13. I did call QualiFi (the Australian Marantz distributors) two weeks ago and spoke to one of their technical specialists. I asked him if playing a source via Pure Direct mode on the Marantz AV8802/8805 bypasses DAC processing. He studied the schematics of the unit and concluded that in Pure Direct mode, no A to D or D to A takes place. He also confirmed that volume control was not digital. I did want to get this confirmed from another source just to be absolutely sure so I sent a support request to Marantz U.S for confirmation but they did not get back to me.
  14. I don't mean to post off-topic, but just wanted to clear the record regarding a previous post I've put forward on this thread, where I was a little dissatisfied with the sound quality of the Marantz prepro, particularly with B&W speakers. Just wanted to report that I've upgraded my power cable configuration which resulted in a complete transformation, I would say to such an increment as a DAC upgrade would result. I know one or two others on this thread expressed some issues with their 8805/8802A and just wanted to mention this as something to look into. I'm aware that cables may be a controversial topic, I just felt at liberty to correct my previous comments on this thread about the Marantz SQ.
  15. I just rang QualiFi (the Australian Marantz distributors) to ask them if any A to D or D to A conversion takes place if the Marantz AV8802a is placed in pure direct mode playing from the XLR analog inputs. They looked at the schematic diagram of the Marantz and concluded that with pure direct a purely analog path is followed, there is no digital conversion (and none required for volume control). This perhaps places a different slant on things as perhaps I could bypass the requirement for a stereo preamplifier and just connect a DAC to the Marantz. Any thoughts?
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