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DrSK

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  1. It appears that your DACMagic may be a better DAC than what is in your CD player. I don't think you will hear your Bluray player in this test. All things being equal I suspect the music is being resampled to 48kHz from 44.1kHz which normally drops quality. I always get a quality drop on music if passed through HDMI and I think this may be the reason as my understanding is they are at different rates. If the CD player has digital out, try sending this to the DACMagic. You may be surprised. I was, when my old 5.1 USB sound card from 20 years ago provided better quality analogue output than a recent $2400 AVR. Bought the 20yo card new in 2000 for lab testing work when it was better than dedicated lab cards costing 10 times as much.
  2. I have two TV systems, 2.0 upstairs and 4.0 downstairs and don't use an AVR. Using my old $90 Sony Bluray as an example you might do the following. Stick with 2.0 and use the coaxial digital output and feed it into a Klein III DAC ($650) then into your amp. Leave the sound on TV turned down. Set the downmix and delay options in the Sony menu. The quality you can get doing this is rediculous for the money. With the TV turned down I didn't need to adjust any delays etc. The Klein III has a USB option or a combined coaxial/optical input option when you purchase. With the latter you could take coax off the Bluray and Optical off the TV. On a 2008 Panasonic TV I had delay issues with the optical from the TV. No issues with 6yo Panasonic TV. The above option was much better than my first attempt. I first attempt started with an older (12yo) flagship Panasonic Bluray using the downmixed 2.0 analogue out into an analogue amp. This however still smashed a $2400 AVR in 2.0 for audio quality when the AVR was connected via HDMI to the Bluray. I'm running Lenehan speakers and Metaxas power amp and been through a few pre options. Then went the Oppo route (with either a Klein III or Konverter external DAC) for functionality which with the right models are Swiss army knives capable of HDMI in, ARC, USB (for HDs or synchronous), digital inputs and HDMI outputs plus digital and analogue outputs (5.1 or more). They also usually have trim and distance/delay adjustments like an AVR. I have a 205 and a 103. With the Oppo. You need a 204 or 205 if you want 4k if my understanding is correct. Good luck buying a 205. While the Oppos are generally reasonably well regarded audio analogue wise my system showed them up. There are also after market mods people do to bump up the output stages.
  3. Like many my two Panasonic plasmas are still going strong and while HD, they still have better picture quality than 4k QLED etc. Probably their downfall, if they blew after 5 years I'd have replaced them with Panasonic OLED by now. That and they couldn't keep up with App updates like Samsung etc. Laughed when I bought the last one, negotiated big discount on plasma run out sale at Bing Lee then watched as our local Hifi store resold the same models a month later for double the price as premium products over LCD at the time.
  4. Dropped to Trevor, what a great guy! We chatted like old mates before I had to leave for a work meeting.
  5. The Klein III off an Oppo is a killer, the 103 is a perfect front end for it. Audio quality of his current stuff gets compared with $8k+ DACs. Differences are the Klein is more basic, either USB or S/PDIF input and need external streamer. I've gone the S/PDIF as it allows two inputs, optical and coax allowing me to connect both the Oppo and a streamer at the same time, manual switch between the two. Clay's DACs are insane value for audio quality. Heaps on his stuff in these forums.
  6. Same here. Running two Oppos, one for lounge and other for man cave. While the 205 is good and well reviewed, the Konverter running off the 205 coax showed it up after only 3 seconds into an album. A stock 205 loses a lot of detail and is harsh in comparison. So good I bought a lower spec Oppo for upstairs and a Klein III to duplicate for a much lower budget ($650 for DAC, $200 Gumtree Oppo).
  7. Used to lust after that CD tray in my teens! Rotated much like an RX7 rotary engine.
  8. You're in the right place! Lot's of knowledge and between here and Gumtree plenty of 2nd hand HiFi comes up at LoFi prices. Especially Gumtree. Plus plenty of Australian made HiFi products with great value that you won't find in most stores. Eg Lenehan, Gieseler and a number of Aussie amps. I'm 42 and generationally confused and technically the end of X but married to and identify mostly with millennial with some X tendencies. I hate myself for that sentence! My thoughts are most in this age group grew up with the start of mass AVR, highly compressed music on mp3 players and highly processed recordings. None of this lends itself to Hifi appreciation due to overall quality. I instead grew up in a family on the early 80s staples at home of Acoustic Research speakers and NAD plus an uncle with higher end gear running real to real tapes, then moved out of home with hand me downs, then pursued a career in acoustics All I can say is that even my moderate to severely deaf millennial wife with good hearing aids can hear the difference with HiFi. And millenials and others get blown away by my low budget HiFi.
  9. My experience with an Oppo 205 and a Yamaha RXA 2030 is that the analogue out on the Oppo was vastly superior to the AVR. But quality was destroyed if the analogue out was fed to the AVR. I think if you run an Oppo 205 but pass audio via HDMI to an AVR you may as well have bought the 204 or 104 if not running 4k. Unless you are hooked up on ATMOS (205 passes through HDMI but no ATMOS analogue out) etc you're better off ditching the AVR and running a stack of integrated amps fed off the 205 which has trim and delay settings for up to 7.2 HT. A few well picked $100 Gumtree integrated amps plugged into the 205 will probably smash your AVR. Other than room correction stuff which I prefer to set up the room physically instead, the 205 is basically an AVR with preout only. You can set up the 205 with variable output volume on the decoded analogue outputs. I've ended up a step further. While the 205 is well regarded sonically, reviews had it as equivalent to most $5k CD players, I found the Konverter from Gieseler Audio and any of Clay's recent DACs to be a level up again. I now feed my fronts off the 205s coaxe digital out via the Konverter. This coaxe digital out is downmixed stereo but at a fixed level, I manually calibrated the volume control settings to balance the fronts with the rest of the HT. Currently running HT in 4.0 with Lenehan ML2+R fronts and ML1+R rears as this is where my budget ran out for speakers and electrical gear. At some point I will need a bigger sweet spot and may add a centre speaker to fill in a bit. JLTi do a 205 upgrade, it has a great chip but it has a few weaknesses through the output stage from what I gather. However in stock form it was way better than a $2400 AVR.
  10. Thanks all, I rang around but didn't get to talk to the Ken Wallis techs, only the manager. Trever from Rage Audio was most familiar having worked on a few amps from Metaxas and confirmed this by finishing the name Soliloquy for me which leaves me tongue tied. And talked about typical components specs for these. I'll be heading over to Trever in a week or two.
  11. Many VW or *** dealers will extend the warranty if you keep servicing with them. Depends on the dealer. If it is about to run out of warranty I'd get an inspection done by a good private to see if the dealer is honest and hasn't been avoiding fixing some issues. If they have, take the inspection report to the dealer to fix before the warranty runs out and then consider a good private if the dealer has been dishonest. On non-genuine vs genuine parts. Depends on the parts. There are plenty of components that are not made by the car manufacturer and just have their name stamped on it. Sometimes the same part without their name from the same supplier is half the price. Sometimes the non-genuine parts are better and the car manufacturer may even use them to supply parts on the next model car. Then there are non-genuine parts that are rubbish. For any workshop, I always speak to the mechanic. In many places the front desk are basically sales for repairs. We don't have Autobahns here, parts that need to handle 250-300km/h etc may have a bit more service life and can wear a bit more for Aussie speed limits. I've done well with a good experienced *** mechanic that set up his own shop. And respect that on occasions he has referred me to Audi. On modern cars, too many mechanics now can't mechanic and only know how to follow what the computer fault code tells them. Sometimes the fault code is at fault. Eg dodgy wire triggering a fault code on a part that is fine. Once saved myself $3000 by fixing a bad earth wire on a plug, took 10 minutes. Same issue on a mates car with intermittent fault from a faulty sensor, mechanic couldn't figure it out as the computer couldn't and he'd spent a few thousand already at two mechanics. I just systematically unplugged key sensors until I reproduced the intermittent fault and isolated the issue. Fixed it with a $70 part and 15min of my time.
  12. Other than vinyl I solved a similar need with this. https://www.gieseler.com.au/product-page/m16d-klein-dac-iii and got the S/PDIF input which can plug both optical and coax in at the same time. Heaps of reviews on here. My set up differs in that I take ARC to my Oppo Bluray player then coax to the DAC and use optical for a streamer.
  13. Can't recommend highly enough and practically a whole forum on here. The S/PDIF version allows you to plug both coax and optical in at the same time. https://www.gieseler.com.au/product-page/m16d-klein-dac-iii I'm set up in lounge with ARC from TV to an Oppo (also using for bluray, HDs full of music etc) then coax to the Klein. Then Sonos Connect as a streamer via optical to the Klein for Spotify etc (never used the Sonos output analogue stages but don't like music out of their speakers.. ). Klein to Redgum amp to Lenehan ML1 Reference. Sonos Connect also allows me to integrate with Sonos in kids bedrooms and kitchen or transmit anything from the line out of the Redgum to every Sonos speaker (Redgum line out is plugged into the Connect RCA input). Downstairs runs a Gieseler Konverter DAC/Pre. Clays bigger DACs and the Konverter have both S/PDIF and USB etc.
  14. I completely agree. Something basic I'd like to do is simply overlay some music signal inputs and outputs for some different gear then also break it down by bandpass limiting the output signals in a few frequency ranges and overlaying them on the same bandpass of the input In my opinion the focus by too many regarding quality is on the frequency domain whereas I'm certain many of the issues/differences would be more apparent in the time domain. I can certainly hear time domain differences between different quality amps and DACs. Part of my PhD was on temporal acoustic effects and how they relate to perception, so is a draft standard I've written using psychoacoustic simulation to rate/predict the levels of community annoyance from different heavy vehicle engine compression brakes.
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