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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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I Have a Rega DAC as well and i'm really interested on the SM but would like to know if someone has tried the SM with the Rega DAC....

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.

Yea that Bill Hobba has more money than sense. Come to think of it with the way he has been spending his dosh he may not have that much money for long. :nana :nana :nana :nana :nana Thanks Bill

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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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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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

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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

Maybe as I was using it in the coax pipe between SBT and M51 - not in the USB chain ? IMHO the coax into the NAD is pretty solid. I didn't really give it enough time to do it justice, kets just say the difference in the other system was night & day - the NAD was substantially more subtle. AJ

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Are you using a hub, alcarp?

No JD. No hub. Playing Legend - Remastered, Bob Marley & the Wailers from HD Tracks at 192. M51's LCD says 192k.

Unless Syncromesh SQ is much better than AP2, the latter seems a better proposition for the SBT using EDO

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No JD. No hub. Playing Legend - Remastered, Bob Marley & the Wailers from HD Tracks at 192. M51's LCD says 192k.

Unless Syncromesh SQ is much better than AP2, the latter seems a better proposition for the SBT using EDO

That's interesting. When I hooked up luzart's ap2 to my sbt, edo digital output settings only claimed 44.1khz.

I shoulda used the psaudio dac to ascertain input sample rate. Will need to retry at some point I think.

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"it's no good" "dream on" and "never let me down" on high rotation this morning - still stunned at the mesh/Teddydac combo. S.N. is a clever guy - AJ

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AJ,

Thanks for your first thoughts on the SM (bit worried about using that ancronym) and it seems certain the both the Offramp and the Syncro Mesh are adding genuine value to digital front ends.

I hope to hear the difference for myself whenever Bill gets back to Brisbane, gets settled back into suburbia and has some time on his hands. Really looking forward to hearing the difference for myself with Bills Offramp 4 into my W4S and if it does add the kind of sonic value people are talking about, I will have a chat to Steve to see what will best suit my system.

As a newbie, I have to say the comments and generosity of the members here is just outstanding....and restores the faith in humanity...have a GREAT weekend all...Rob

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I hope to hear the difference for myself whenever Bill gets back to Brisbane, gets settled back into suburbia and has some time on his hands. Really looking forward to hearing the difference for myself with Bills Offramp 4 into my W4S and if it does add the kind of sonic value people are talking about, I will have a chat to Steve to see what will best suit my system.

Hi Rob

PM sent to firm up when you can come on over. We will soon have you up to speed on exactly what this stuff does not just on the WFS but on other stuff such as the Playback Designs and NAD.

Thanks

Bill

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Nope. It doesn't yet have working USB For OS X Lion.

Hi JD, re the NAD M51 USB/Lion issue, I don't know if the latest M51 firmware update (from 1.37 to 1.39) fixes it. NAD (Pam Anderson) tells me the update fixes 'some OS X USB issues'. I haven't updated yet as it probably involves about 3 hrs roundtrip drive to nearest dealer ... unless I can persuade Todd Norberry at Audio Products to trust me, send the update, so I can do it myself!

VERY happy with sound of system now, using USB from MM to AP2 (plugged directly into M51 coax). Now using battery USB to AP2.

Hope I haven't misunderstood your comment above?!

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Hi JD, re the NAD M51 USB/Lion issue, I don't know if the latest M51 firmware update (from 1.37 to 1.39) fixes it. NAD (Pam Anderson) tells me the update fixes 'some OS X USB issues'. I haven't updated yet as it probably involves about 3 hrs roundtrip drive to nearest dealer ... unless I can persuade Todd Norberry at Audio Products to trust me, send the update, so I can do it myself!

VERY happy with sound of system now, using USB from MM to AP2 (plugged directly into M51 coax). Now using battery USB to AP2.

Hope I haven't misunderstood your comment above?!

Unless they guarrantee 100% fixed and provide some technical info to back that claim, dont bother! Firmware upgrades that require an authorised tech to perform is a real disaster PR for NAD especially for a consumer audio product!

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Sorry to go OT above. What I meant to add is I'm very impressed with Steve at Empire Audio's expertise based on the feedback on here and Computeraudiophile.

I'm still toying with idea of getting one of his OR5's, despite Bhobba's buying group idea biting the dust (at least for now!). I'm curious to hear what AES/XLR input to M51 would sound like in my system.

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Unless they guarrantee 100% fixed and provide some technical info to back that claim, dont bother! Firmware upgrades that require an authorised tech to perform is a real disaster PR for NAD especially for a consumer audio product!

Yes, it's no longer an urgent issue for me for reasons stated above, and LC's comments that my present connection set-up to M51 is better than straight USB.

Actually, I'm grateful there WAS (is?) a USB issue, as I might never have arrived at the decision to buy the Audiophilleo2.

Or...being tempted to buy an Off-Ramp. You've got a lot to answer for Bill Hobba!!!!

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I wonder wether the synchromesh can work its magic with top quality cd transport. So far, haven't seen anybody tested it. Will monitor the progress of this thread.

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I wonder wether the synchromesh can work its magic with top quality cd transport. So far, haven't seen anybody tested it. Will monitor the progress of this thread.

I would imagine (and I could be wrong) that it will be a diminishing return. If you are starting with a very well engineered and clean signal to start with, such as that you would expect from a top end CD player, then I don't imagine the Synchro will really add much if any value. The benefit of the SM is that it reclocks a data feed and presents a clean de-jittered signal, if you have that already - there is no point.

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Yes, it's no longer an urgent issue for me for reasons stated above, and LC's comments that my present connection set-up to M51 is better than straight USB.

Actually, I'm grateful there WAS (is?) a USB issue, as I might never have arrived at the decision to buy the Audiophilleo2.

Or...being tempted to buy an Off-Ramp. You've got a lot to answer for Bill Hobba!!!!

A right trouble maker is that Bill!
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I would imagine (and I could be wrong) that it will be a diminishing return. If you are starting with a very well engineered and clean signal to start with, such as that you would expect from a top end CD player, then I don't imagine the Synchro will really add much if any value. The benefit of the SM is that it reclocks a data feed and presents a clean de-jittered signal, if you have that already - there is no point.

Yeah! Top end cd transport should have a very well engineered digital output, but I would like to be wrong in this case where or I hope so that the syncromesh can improve it further. Quite a few of a good transport i've seen doesn't include a digital spdif reclocking. That what makes me interested with this product. I just hope that any kind souls over here can give a feedback in the future wether it is good or not with a good cd transport.

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Well I don't think a signal needs to be reclocked if is is fine in the first place - I guess that was my point. I would expect a top end player to provide a quality SPDIF signal, at least the couple that I've been lucky enough to try have.

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Well I don't think a signal needs to be reclocked if is is fine in the first place - I guess that was my point. I would expect a top end player to provide a quality SPDIF signal, at least the couple that I've been lucky enough to try have.

I can remember only a few years ago when I thought bits were bits. But I let my ears be the judge and I couldn't figure out why these damned CD transports sounded better than, say, my AirPort Express. Mike Lenehan's tricked-out Marantz I2S transport made my best computer gear sound like total rubbish. :confused:

But then came the Audiophilleo, and even handicapped by SPDIF it outshone the Marantz. Then Mike and Clay put a HiFace inside the DAC with a direct tap from its I2S feed and it takes a step up again. And still later the OffRamp 4 turns up courtesy of Bill bringing performance at least as good as the PDX's internal HiFace to anything it touches.

Bottom line: the advances driven by computer-based audio playback - advances the Synchro-Mesh takes advantage of - have pushed this class of devices into territory that very few traditional CD transports could even approach. I would expect the SM to bring an improvement to just about any disc spinner.

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Bottom line: the advances driven by computer-based audio playback - advances the Synchro-Mesh takes advantage of - have pushed this class of devices into territory that very few traditional CD transports could even approach. I would expect the SM to bring an improvement to just about any disc spinner.

Take a cheap DVD player with the Syncromesh and compare it to a top of the line transport like a Wadia or Esoteric - now that would be interesting.

Thanks

Bill

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You've got a lot to answer for Bill Hobba!!!!
A right trouble maker is that Bill!

Yea that Bill Hobba has more money than sense. Come to think of it with the way he has been spending his dosh he may not have that much money for long. :nana :nana :nana :nana :nana

Thanks

Bill

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Yea that Bill Hobba has more money than sense. Come to think of it with the way he has been spending his dosh he may not have that much money for long. :nana :nana :nana :nana :nana

Thanks

Bill

I like to be in this situation; more money than sense!

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I rather have the money!

I would rather have both....the skill to find the best HiFi gear within a defined budget....and the budget to find the best HiFi...Rob

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