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gparker777

Off-ramp 5 with I2S w turboclock upgrade worth it?

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I am ready to move on the off-ramp 5 for use with my main system dacs: a w4s dac2 (using I2s interface of the off-ramp with hynes regulator upgrades) and NAD M51. The regulator upgrades on the outputs are relatively inexpensive and seem like a sensible upgrade, but struggling to justify the turboclock upgrade and interested on opinions if it is worthwhile investing the additional $700 given the relative low cost of my dacs and the primary use on I2S bus etc.

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Apparently the actual clock is only a $70 part, so either Steve has a very expensive cocaine habit or they are incredibly difficult to fit, either it's too rich for my budget and Drez reckons they age over time degrading performance.

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....... Drez reckons they age over time degrading performance.

 

All crystal clocks drift over time. This isn't too much of a hassle when its an ordinary clock as the drift remains a small percentage degradation of the base performance.

 

With an  accurate clock the drift can exceed the original specs within 12 months ie over 100% deterioration in performance within a year on average.

Edited by Nada

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All crystal clocks drift over time. This isn't too much of a hassle when its an ordinary clock as the drift remains a small percentage degradation of the base performance.

 

With an  accurate clock the drift can exceed the original specs within 12 months ie over 100% deterioration in performance within a year on average.

When there is a drift in performance of the clock - what is the effect on the performance of the whole unit?

Does that mean over time you have to get new clocks or a new unit?

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I don't think it completely ruins the performance, but it won't ever be quite the same as it was new. Still I guess it would perform better than standard clocks for quite a while?

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Long term frequency drift is not an issue for an audio clock that will have any observable impact on it's performance in the audio reproduction.

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I haven't compared the two - ie the non turbo to the Tubo since I only own the Turbo.  But I would suspect it would be less than an upgrade from an AP2 which I have heard.  You can hear the difference but there is zero objective way to quantify if its worth the money.  Would I do it?  Yes - but for me money is not the main issue - only you can decide what level of performance is worth what to spend.  If you are in any doubt about spending a lot for a marginal improvement don't do it.

 

As to what Steve charges for it I doubt very much if he is making a killing.  He is one of the most highly qualified digital engineers in the world holding several key patents for the Intel Pentium processor and charges technicians rates accordingly - but, in my experience, he does not charge an 'exorbitant' amount such as $700.00 for something that costs him only $70.00 and a small amount of time - its likely to cost him a heap more than that in parts and time - and he would need to recoup a bit for the R&D he put into it.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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Hi gparker

I also have a W4S Dac2 and am considering the OR5 over the next month or so.

I'll be eagerly awaiting your comments after you take the plunge!

Are you aware Steve will also be offering a Paul Hynes regulated supply as an option soon?

Regards

Jeremy

Edited by wikeeboy

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Finally went ahead and just ordered the fully optioned off-ramp and the USB short block. Steve indicated about a week before shipment so I can expect to receive it in 2-3 I guess.

For the i2s cable what are others using? I was planning on a sub 100 dollar hdmi 1m cable unless there are some compelling benefits upgrading this further?

Regardless of cables I look forward to seeing if/how this transforms my two budget dacs - w4s dac2 and. Nad m51.

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Speaking with someone in the know recently and they sighted length as being an often overlooked issue when coming to i2S connections as well as the "separation" of each core that carries each respective signal type. 

 

Not an issue for the guys using an twisted pair flying leads of course. Can you try an inexpensive 20cm HDMI cable off eBay?

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Finally went ahead and just ordered the fully optioned off-ramp and the USB short block. Steve indicated about a week before shipment so I can expect to receive it in 2-3 I guess. For the i2s cable what are others using? I was planning on a sub 100 dollar hdmi 1m cable unless there are some compelling benefits upgrading this further? Regardless of cables I look forward to seeing if/how this transforms my two budget dacs - w4s dac2 and. Nad m51.

 

Gparker777..here is the I2S cable you need for the OR5 to the W4S DAC...it is on special at the moment, at a ripper fo a price compared to list and am going to buy one myself...Rob

 

http://www.partsconnexion.com/wire_hdmi_psaudio.html

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Great price - have already ordered the 1m length.Thanks for the link Rob!

 

matt200sr - happy to try a few different cable lengths and options to see what works best. I have made and tried a lot of different tweaks on separation for the USB signal and regeneration over the years with varying success. Interested in exploring if there are options to play with for hdmi/I2S. Of course the off-ramp itself is the most expensive "tweak" yet for USB DAC quest...

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I am ready to move on the off-ramp 5 for use with my main system dacs: a w4s dac2 (using I2s interface of the off-ramp with hynes regulator upgrades) and NAD M51. The regulator upgrades on the outputs are relatively inexpensive and seem like a sensible upgrade, but struggling to justify the turboclock upgrade and interested on opinions if it is worthwhile investing the additional $700 given the relative low cost of my dacs and the primary use on I2S bus etc.

I would have passed on the Turbo clocks and put Hynes regs on every output.

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Apparently the actual clock is only a $70 part, so either Steve has a very expensive cocaine habit or they are incredibly difficult to fit, either it's too rich for my budget and Drez reckons they age over time degrading performance.

 

The Turboclock module has 2 custom Crystek clocks, two Hynes-type regulators, power decoupling, coax connectors, 2 coax cables and power glitch protection.

 

Steve N.

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When there is a drift in performance of the clock - what is the effect on the performance of the whole unit?

Does that mean over time you have to get new clocks or a new unit?

 

you will not hear any difference with a little drift.  Its the jitter that matters.

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Steve, you posted this over there:

 

I'm planning to make it an upgrade for OR5.  I may call it OR6 though and have a new front panel.

Steve N.

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There is an upgrade / choice that I wasn't aware of and seems to be a recent evolution of the OR5 - email from Steve:
 
Glenn, did you want this OT or OTL?
 
 
I replied with OT given I don't have Galvanic Isolation (thanks Bhobba for confirming in another thread) on any of the DACs I currently own, however given my primary DAC will leverage the I2S interface my question back to Steve was:
 

Although I replied already with OT, actually I will mainly be using the I2S as the w4s DAC2 is my current primary DAC. I got the S/PDIF Hynes option on the premise that I may upgrade my DAC in the future and looking to somewhat futureproof the option. The other dacs I use are the benchmark and NAD M51 both of which don’t have isolation on the S/PDIF, but assuming that I don’t really care about these DACs and want to “future proof†the performance behaviour of my OR5 and likely upgrade my DACs in the future does that change the decision on OT vs OTL?

 

Interested in any other views on this tweak / upgrade....

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Hi Glenn

 

I asked Steve on Audio Circle whether it would be best to continue running i2s into the W4S DAC2, or in light of his recent 'breakthrough', go OTL and use the coax input. His answer was that the i2s was still the way to go as the coax implementation is not as good.

 

My understanding is that to continue using the W4S DAC2 you would only have the choice of OT as the DAC2 is not galvanically isolated.. maybe i have this wrong?

 

Interested to hear comments from those with a better understanding.

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You are correct, the choice would still be OT. Unless you know you are moving to a DAC that has galvanic isolation on the coax Steve indicated you would pick the OT upgrade.

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Hi Glenn

 

Sorry for asking something i should probably direct at Steve, but if you use the OR5 via i2s will there to your knowledge be any improvement after sending the OR5 back for his latest upgrade if the coax will not be used?

 

Thanks

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There is an upgrade / choice that I wasn't aware of and seems to be a recent evolution of the OR5 - email from Steve:

 

Glenn, did you want this OT or OTL?

 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=115008.20

 

I replied with OT given I don't have Galvanic Isolation (thanks Bhobba for confirming in another thread) on any of the DACs I currently own, however given my primary DAC will leverage the I2S interface my question back to Steve was:

 

Although I replied already with OT, actually I will mainly be using the I2S as the w4s DAC2 is my current primary DAC. I got the S/PDIF Hynes option on the premise that I may upgrade my DAC in the future and looking to somewhat futureproof the option. The other dacs I use are the benchmark and NAD M51 both of which don’t have isolation on the S/PDIF, but assuming that I don’t really care about these DACs and want to “future proof†the performance behaviour of my OR5 and likely upgrade my DACs in the future does that change the decision on OT vs OTL?

 

Interested in any other views on this tweak / upgrade....

I would recommend to stick with OT if you do not know what DAC you will have in the future.

Steve N.

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Hi Glenn

 

I asked Steve on Audio Circle whether it would be best to continue running i2s into the W4S DAC2, or in light of his recent 'breakthrough', go OTL and use the coax input. His answer was that the i2s was still the way to go as the coax implementation is not as good.

 

My understanding is that to continue using the W4S DAC2 you would only have the choice of OT as the DAC2 is not galvanically isolated.. maybe i have this wrong?

 

Interested to hear comments from those with a better understanding.

Its the coax implementation on the DAC2 that is not as good as the I2S because I2S avoids the upsampling and reclocking of the Sabre chip.

Steve N.

Steve N.

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Hi Glenn

 

Sorry for asking something i should probably direct at Steve, but if you use the OR5 via i2s will there to your knowledge be any improvement after sending the OR5 back for his latest upgrade if the coax will not be used?

 

Thanks

No improvement in the I2S. If you want to improve I2S then change the Wall-wart to a Hynes supply.

Steve N.

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If you have the WFS DAC 2 I would get the Off-Ramp with the Hynes upgrade and feed it via I2S.  Also Rob181 knows someone that upgrades WFS DAC's and it makes an appreciable difference.  I heard that DAC and can tell you its one of the best DAC's I have ever heard - period - but that was feeding it SPDIF from my Off-Ramp.  It annihilates the NAD - sorry NAD guys I own the NAD to and this is just the plain truth.  The only issue with the WFS is its detail - its a bit too overt for my tastes - I prefer the restrained charms of my Chord - but that is purely a personal preference thing.  Since you have the WFS its the direction I would go.

 

However a bit further down the track I would gret a hold of a Chord and see what you think - its a bit different - having a very smooth full rich sound with the detail jumping at you - not overtly like the WFS - but in a natural unforced sort of way.  I was at the comparison of Rob's WFS to the Chord - Rob preferred the WFS and I preferred the Chord.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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OR5 arrived (ordered with fully maxed out everything...) and setup now in my mainly digital system powered with AJ's DIY PSU using a toroidal (30VA) and a SuperTeddyreg super-quiet output stage, and connected via I2S (PerfectWave I2S 1m HDMI). Lots of power and USB tweaks in the background. However, the OR5 is the "final" component to at least feel like I have achieved my goals for this obsessively researched budget setup. 

 

Unfortunately I cannot tell whether the turboclock upgrade is worth it as I don't have the non-turboclock version to compare against. I need some more time with the OR5 and will play around with various cable and other tweaks to see what sounds best in my situation, however initial impressions are very positive and more or less in line with expectations with a big step up in clarity the most obvious improvement with some HD Jazz tracks. 

 

post-112923-0-85098700-1364989351_thumb.

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