Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Howlar

Explorations concerning computer-based audio

Recommended Posts

I don't think I have read a bad word about the ULN-2, but equally the ULN-8 and LIO-8 are considered to be in a different league (whatever that means). I have only heard the ULN-8 and my unburned in LIO-8. One of the good things about the Metric Halo gear is that they try really hard to introduce new functionality and improvements in ways so that it is a simple upgrade to existing products. So there is a reasonable expectation that the ULN-8 and the LIO-8 will remain current for several years to come. The ULN-2 is an older product and so may not last quite so long before it is changed. I am sure there will be demand for an LIO-2 at some point, but Metric Halo's past behaviour suggests they will keep updating the ULN-2 as long as they can.

 

I don't find the 8 channels of the LIO-8 to be wasted. For example in one configuration I route the output to six output channels, four for bi-amping and two for a headphone amp. I also use two input channels for the firewire interface to the Mac/Hack, and two channels for another source. I can set the inputs at different relative volumes to each other, and I can switch between all these settings readily without leaving the listening chair. So, while it may seem a bit odd, I use the added channels so that I get the preamp functionality I want. Analog volume can also be changed remotely by the way. Setting it up as a preamp is not terribly intuitive at first, but after my first week with it I found there was absolutely no need for a preamp, so I go straight into my power amps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, Casatunes is a solid multi-room product alright but the thread is mainly about reference level kit. Not really the same bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a missing post above Ernie's? Perhaps it was from Casatunes themselves and therefore deemed an ad therefore deleted?

 

Or is Ernie just losing it ;):D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


 

Ernie;129727 wrote:
Someone obviously entered the Bermuda Triangle. Got a better chance of spotting the Marie Celeste now.
:)

 

Oops, I see what you mean now!

 

"Thpank him again thentuwian, and wougly!"

 

"...and throw him to the floor sir...?"

 

"Yeth Yeth, thwow him to the floow!"

 

Cheers

Brendon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm planning to dive into this computer audio thing. Where in NZ (preferably AKL) does one find these Metric Halo components and what kind of financial damage am I looking at?

 

I would like to call into service an old (C2D) MacBookPro as a music server so am thinking I just need some storage for the audio and a good DAC to feed the amp I already have.

 

Cheers for any pointers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info.

 

You'd think with all the extra components that the sound quality would be compromised over a 2 channel design. The thread at computeraudiophile seems to concur with what you've both said about the ULN-8/LIO-8 being sonically superior; though the ULN-2 appears to be well received.

 

Personally, the extra functionality would be redundant, or expensive to use (extra cabling; amplifiers). Antipodes: Is the Bi-Amping with the MH an active crossover, rather than a passive one (and did you find that there was benefit in doing so with the Nuforce)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


 

iSam;129779 wrote:
I'm planning to dive into this computer audio thing. Where in NZ (preferably AKL) does one find these Metric Halo components and what kind of financial damage am I looking at?

 

 

 

I would like to call into service an old (C2D) MacBookPro as a music server so am thinking I just need some storage for the audio and a good DAC to feed the amp I already have.

 

 

 

Cheers for any pointers!

 

In theory Protel are the NZ agents (according to the Metric Halo site) but Protel only have Apogee on their own site.

 

I went direct to the US, and dealt with Steve Devino at Granite Rocks

His online prices are ULN2 US$1695 and LIO8 US$3495. Postage was about US$100

 

I have used TRS-RCA adapters in the 2 headphone style outputs, but Antipodes tells me that the breakdown cables he made himself are better again.

 

I'm just been listening to my first 24/912 download from High Definition Tape Transfers again - I brought down the Shostakovich Cello and Piano Sonata free sample, and then purchased the album it came from.

I haven't heard a recording that sounds more like a cello, stunningly enjoyable.

 

That's via Pure Vinyl, Amarra is better on strings but is a pricey option.

I've got Amarra Mini (upto 24/96) and am waiting for a 20 day trial of the full product to be setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

eRaS;129800 wrote:
Thanks for the info.

 

 

 

Antipodes: Is the Bi-Amping with the MH an active crossover, rather than a passive one (and did you find that there was benefit in doing so with the Nuforce)?

 

The only bi-amping I have done with the MH has been to drive bi-wireable speakers. Not much benefit actually, just a little more immediacy. I previously tri-amped using the Nuforce and used a Rane digital crossover before using a modified (changed all the output ICs and a few caps) dBX active crossover (analog), but that was with different speakers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

kaka;129836 wrote:
In theory Protel are the NZ agents (according to the Metric Halo site) but Protel only have Apogee on their own site.

 

 

 

I went direct to the US, and dealt with Steve Devino at

 

His online prices are ULN2 US$1695 and LIO8 US$3495. Postage was about US$100

 

 

 

I have used TRS-RCA adapters in the 2 headphone style outputs, but Antipodes tells me that the breakdown cables he made himself are better again.

 

 

 

I'm just been listening to my first 24/912 download from
again - I brought down the Shostakovich Cello and Piano Sonata free sample, and then purchased the album it came from.

 

I haven't heard a recording that sounds more like a cello, stunningly enjoyable.

 

 

 

That's via Pure Vinyl, Amarra is better on strings but is a pricey option.

 

I've got Amarra Mini (upto 24/96) and am waiting for a 20 day trial of the full product to be setup.

 

Thanks - That may be a bit rich for me at the moment (kids and a mortgage have come along since I last went hifi shopping!). Perhaps I need to figure out where I sit on the continuum of computer audiophile. I got the impression that firewire was the way to go. Will have to see if there are any other options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

USB dacage is probably more sustainable for your circumstances. You'd probably need reference gear to appreciate the benefits of FireWire stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The all-in-one firewire that is more affordable without being too compromised is the Apogee Rosetta 200, but that can still cost around $3k (you not only need the base Rosetta but also the firewire card for it. Its DACs are pretty good, as is its clock, but the sound is a little hyped up - fatter bass and a bit more upper mid presence than neutral.

 

For a lot less money, I would look at the Wavelength Proton - a USB DAC where the USB bit is done very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Ernie;129868 wrote:
USB dacage is probably more sustainable for your circumstances. You'd probably need reference gear to appreciate the benefits of FireWire stuff.

 

Although that's not to say you are not running nice gear already. (I just read your gear sig). :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Antipodes;129878 wrote:

 

For a lot less money, I would look at the Wavelength Proton - a USB DAC where the USB bit is done very well.

 

Nervously, about to try one as DAC-Pre into a 300B power amp...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Ernie;129899 wrote:
Although that's not to say you are not running nice gear already. (I just read your gear sig).
:o

 

Hehe, that's fine. Was all bought in a different life. Two (London) salaries and no kids!

 

To be honest, it is part of the problem. I am keen to get into computer audio but really want to at least match the quality I am getting at the moment and don't have ten k to spare!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


 

curious_george;129900 wrote:
Nervously, about to try one as DAC-Pre into a 300B power amp...

 

Dac/Pre + 300B works for me :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

nixon76;129912 wrote:
Dac/Pre + 300B works for me
:D

 

Wavelength Proton use Apple Mac remote to control the volume hence the nervousness. Also, the Proton is USB powered so not sure if this will present issues/challenges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let us know how it pans out. Going knob free is a challenge. I hope the volume increments are fine enough. Otherwise ramping down the master volume onboard the Mac might work if your listening volumes don't vary much. Not ideal though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At work I'm working on getting clocks synced between computers so we can make some meaningful latency metrics. Windows Time can only do it to 1-2 seconds. However a product called Domain Time II can get it (in theory down) to 1ms. However this is difficult, and depends on the hardware, as computer clocks are of varying quality and suffer from....jitter (gasp :rolleyes:). Getting a 1ms sync on a badly clocked computer is a lot of effort. How does Domain Time II work? It references a NTP time server which in turn synced with an atomic clock. Basically it's telling the client to slow down, speed up etc.

 

The relevance to computer audio? Well this reemphasizes the point that the computer clock is 'bad' for audio, which is why being slaved is desired (as the Domain Time II solution is essentially doing). But also, as per one of my previous posts on this thread, I wonder how a computer would perform if it had a rubidium clock* at it's core.

 

* Supposedly top dog as unlike other clocks it's not affected by heat - something of a concern inside a computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curious N76. Domain Time II would be hard to run on a Mac, no?

 

And if it could, would it make a difference with a music-based setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a Mac client yes. You'd have to go out to the internet looking for an NTP Server but this increases your available tolerance due to increased latency. (Don't know if there are publicly accessible NTP Servers)

 

Would it improve things for music? I'm not sure! You could argue that fiddling with the clock is just another thing the music player has to contend in terms of getting timeslices, but that effect may be less than the improvement in clock consistency. Who knows....

 

Someone with some money find out! :D (it costs...)

 

www.greyware.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

iSam;129858 wrote:
Thanks - That may be a bit rich for me at the moment (kids and a mortgage have come along since I last went hifi shopping!). Perhaps I need to figure out where I sit on the continuum of computer audiophile. I got the impression that firewire was the way to go. Will have to see if there are any other options.

 

I listen exclusively to computer-based audio (via my Squeezebox) and have a relatively inexpensive DAC (Beresford TC7520) about $380 new via Trademe. The Beresford is noticeably better sounding than the native DAC in the Squeezebox, with a wider soundstage and more detail. I am also aiming to swap out the output OpAmps in the Beresford too, for what is reputed to be a worthwhile improvement. I can't compare it to other DAC's because its the only one I have heard, but I am very happy with it.

 

Cheers

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

nixon76;130727 wrote:
There is a Mac client yes. You'd have to go out to the internet looking for an NTP Server but this increases your available tolerance due to increased latency. (Don't know if there are publicly accessible NTP Servers)

 

 

 

Would it improve things for music? I'm not sure! You could argue that fiddling with the clock is just another thing the music player has to contend in terms of getting timeslices, but that effect may be less than the improvement in clock consistency. Who knows....

 

 

 

Someone with some money find out!
:D
(it costs...)

 

 

 

 

I did look. Enterprise level kit at enterprise level prices. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Classifieds Statistics


    Currently Active Ads

    Total Sales (Since 2018)

    Total Sales Value (Last 14 Days)

    Total Ads Value (Since March 2020)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...