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A J

Synchro-Mesh

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OK here we go, and its only been one afternoon.

The postman only rings twice, well in this instance lucky for me he did, as he was delivering my (24/96 configured) Synchro-Mesh from Empirical audio, which I had waiting patiently for like a kid just before a birthday.

Consider this just a very brief initial impression. JD has covered it well over at 6 moons so I will spare the detail.

Firstly, with my main music system - SBT via Mesh (Lenehan cable) into Wolfson WM8741 based TeddyDac (Kokiri cable) into Plinius CD-LAD Pre (VDH Cable) into Plinius 8200P into ML1+ via Leneham ribbontek cables.

It was a revelation, the Teddydac while easy to live with was missing just a little bit - with the Mesh in it transformed it in a pretty big way to produce a clearer, more detailed and forward sound. Soundstaging was noticeably better, and overall I think I am going to love this setup now. I had been drifting back to vinyl recently and have quite good chunk of new music, however for today at least - the turntable has not turned, well not since the postman came anyway.

I did some a/b comparo using synched SBT's into the two coax teddydac inputs, one obviously via the Mesh. While I had to get up & down to switch between them, it was pretty evident that exhibit A was clearly a better proposition than exhibit B, so I saved myself the effort and just listened to VMCG's new Sssss (high rez) and then some jazz (hi rez) and a bit of Pink Floyd (remastered redbook).

This system is nothing to look at, just a mess of boxes and wires stuffed in behind the couch so that my loving partner has no ammo to hit me with in terms of asthetics, the disconnect being that she is happy listening to a transistor radio and thinks all hifi gear is ugly and a waste of time, luckily my teenage daughters still think I'm cool.

post-110771-0-39390900-1336714382_thumb.post-110771-0-28847200-1336714520_thumb.

Ok well having recently also purchased another poular item, a NAD M51 DAC, I thought I would firstly verify that the Mesh was outputting 24/96 and secondly see what difference it made in that system. Well point 1 was verified but second wasn't so clear-cut as it was with the Teddy. After a bit pf playing around, I think I would be challenged to pick whether the Mesh was online in this system in a blind test. It did sound slightly better, but I suspect this will be my brain telling me it should be so as I've shelled out 700 clams to get this thing, so it should be better right??

Anyway, for reference, this system was an SBT via Mesh to NAD M51 via Abbey Road ref cables to a Fetzilla dual-mono amp into (you guessed it) Leneham ML1's via ribbontek cables. This system is the "family" one which runs an HTPC (Mac Mini with SSD running Win7) for all tv etc, Apple TV, Oppo BDP-83SE, and Panny Plasma. I strongly suspect when I have more idle time, I would love to try the Mesh in between the Apple TV (optical) and NAD, I think it will make a serious difference there, but as I said, the lift the Mesh gave to the SBT/M51 via coax was seemingly there but hard to describe what (if any) changes I was hearing.

post-110771-0-13969200-1336715022_thumb.post-110771-0-67922600-1336715052_thumb.

So as a quick summary of my initial impression, very happy with it so far. makes a stunning difference in my music system and lifts the performance of the TeddyDac to the point that to these cloth-ears it now sounds on a par with the very best CD spinners I've heard, the Plinius CD101 comes to mind as a reference mark. the difference in the other system with the M51 DAC was less clear, I didn't labour the point really as it was pretty clear to me where the Mesh was best deployed, so deployed it was and music ensued.

AJ

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. What I'd love to know is how it compares to a USB reclocker like the AP2 or JKSPDIF when run from the same source, i.e.

Mac Mini > JKSDPIF (USB)

vs

Mac Mini > SyncroMesh (Optical)

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. What I'd love to know is how it compares to a USB reclocker like the AP2 or JKSPDIF when run from the same source, i.e.

Mac Mini > JKSDPIF (USB)

vs

Mac Mini > SyncroMesh (Optical)

Yes I'd be interested in hearing how it goes with Mac mini optical

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Does the Syncromesh top out at 24/96? The AP2 can go to 192 with the SBT + EDO.

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Yeah the SM is either 24/44 or 24/96. It is not bit perfect, it resamples or upsamples depending on the model. Check out the review by JD at 6 moons for the full story.

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Does the Syncromesh top out at 24/96? The AP2 can go to 192 with the SBT + EDO.

Yep it does the two available configurations as I understand it for the moment are 44.1 and 96 - both are switchable between 16/24 bits. I have heard the AP2 against the Mesh 44.1 - this was pretty close, I gave the edge to the mesh. I will sometime next week do some work trying the Mac and ATV optical outs via the Mesh.

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For the record after hearing the AP2 - I considering buying one for the HTPC - anyway that's another story. I guess I'm now convinced of the need for clean digital feeds.

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Thanks for initial honest thoughts.

Can we conclude there will be noticeable improvements for entry level dacs and it may not be worth the $$ for high end dacs. I'm interested to hear thoughts on where the line can be drawn...

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Thanks for initial honest thoughts.

Can we conclude there will be noticeable improvements for entry level dacs and it may not be worth the $$ for high end dacs. I'm interested to hear thoughts on where the line can be drawn...

I dont think it's as cut and dried as that - the Teddydac I have cost me more than the M51. I think it's a synergy thing - beyond that I'm not really qualified to offer an educated opinion - I'm happy to lend it out to people if they want to try it?

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I dont think it's as cut and dried as that - the Teddydac I have cost me more than the M51. I think it's a synergy thing - beyond that I'm not really qualified to offer an educated opinion - I'm happy to lend it out to people if they want to try it?

Sell the M51. ;-)

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I haven't heard an off ramp or the synchro mesh, but I have heard the ap2, with my m51. I suspect the SM does for coax and optical, what the ap2 does for USB. The m51 really benefitted from the ap2, compared to its own USB implementation. I'm not surprised that AJ thought that the SM made less of an impact on the m51, outside the context of the USB.

I'm beginning to suspect that the NAD m51s' only flaw is its own USB, despite their marketeering.

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Sell the M51. ;-)

Stirrer haha

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I can confirm to my ears into my C390DD my Off-Ramp made an easily noticeable difference so much so you don't want to go back - in fact it was one of the best sounds I had ever heard. I will be doing some more comparisons etc a bit further down the line but right now I can say with the Off-Ramp it really is up there. It was only that way it really took it to a PDX.

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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I'm beginning to suspect that the NAD m51s' only flaw is its own USB, despite their marketeering.

That's my view as well. I am not 100% sure why Ajst2duk didn't experience a bigger uplift - I guess time will clarify whats going on but I suspect it may have not been relative to the USB as you suggest.

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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