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Winno

Steve's hi-fi adventures.

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53 minutes ago, Winno said:

Y'day, I switched out my old Monster M550i analogue interconnect currently between my Audiolab CD player's coax digital out and the Theta for the new Oyaide coaxial and what a difference!

 

 

To be expected.  Cables designed for analogue audio will work for digital, but  probably not very well.

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2 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

 

To be expected.  Cables designed for analogue audio will work for digital, but  probably not very well.

 

Cables designed for analog video can be excellent for digital audio....I'm using Audioquest VSD-1 (which is a slightly above entry level analog video cable) as a digital coax cable between the stereo digital source and DAC.

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12 hours ago, WhakPak said:

Cables designed for analog video can be excellent for digital audio.

 

No, this is terrible advice.

 

The VSD-1 is specifically designed for digital audio.

 

On the other hand....   If the cable is only designed for analog audio (and not digital), then you should not it expect it work work well (or perhaps at all).

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To quench my curiosity, because I bought it as an analog video cable, according to AQ it's designed for video and digital audio. Here it is, found in the composite video cable archive at AQ website:

 

http://www.audioquest.com/archives/interconnects/composite_video/vsd1.html

 

So the proof is in the pudding. I was happy with it for analog video, tried it for digital audio and found it to be also good for that. And all the time it was designed for both. So there must be some truth in the marketing. Proof of what I said above that cables designed for analog video can be good for digital audio (despite also being designed for digital audio, as it turns out).

 

People shooting at me from the hip again....lucky I'm not an easy target.

Edited by WhakPak

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13 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

No, this is terrible advice.

 

 

Well, the cable manufacturer agrees with me it seems....

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Just now, WhakPak said:

Well, the cable manufacturer agrees with me it seems....

 

Their cable is "designed for digital audio".

 

 

If it were not designed for digital audio (but only for analog audio) .... then it would have the right connector .... it would probably even "work" ... but not necessarily well (or at all).

 

The point is that not all cables with RCA connectors on them, are suitable for digital audio  (unless they are specifically designed for digital audio).

 

 

The reverse case is different.  All cables designed for digital audio, will be suitable for analog audio.

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And my point is, what I said at the outset is true, but you've had a crack at me for saying it. The thing is, I knew it to be true because I've owned this cable for years, and my advice was based on my experience with this cable.

 

So no point continuing to have cheap shots at me, saying I'm giving out terrible advice, when the advice I give is supported by a wealth of user experience, and as it now turns out, supported by the manufacturer.

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27 minutes ago, WhakPak said:

cheap shots at me

 

I didn't mean it like that.

 

Ooodles of people (some of them could be reading)  think that becuase an analog audio cable has RCA connectors on each end, that it can be used for digital audio  (and poor, or no, performance ensues).    Wasn't just trying to ensure that misunderstanding wasn't perpetuated.

 

Quote

Y'day, I switched out my old Monster M550i analogue interconnect currently between my Audiolab CD player's coax digital out and the Theta for the new Oyaide coaxial and what a difference!

 

The point is that the Monster M550i cord is not designed for digital audio ..... so you should (and did) notice a big improvement when using a cord designed for digital audio.    :thumb:

 

Analogue video cords are not typically of tight enough tolerance for digital audio  (so unless they are listed as being also designed for digital audio, then they likely won't have perfect performance).

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You are the one talking about analog audio cables, not me. I never mentioned analog audio cables once. You said I gave "terrible advice" in response to my comment that "cables designed for analog video can be excellent for digital audio". My advice was based on the analog video cable I use at home, AQ VSD-1, which by accident I found to be an excellent cable for digital audio, and hence my comment.

It turns out that AQ also designed this cable for digital audio (primarily it's an analog video cable, it was sold primarily as an analog video cable and it's been archived in the analog video cable section), so it just goes to prove my original point that cables designed for analog video can be excellent for digital audio.

 

So how is my advice terrible advice, given my findings at home, and what the manufacturer has said?? Analog video cables can be excellent for digital audio.

 

If you say my advice is terrible, I disagree with you.

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6 minutes ago, WhakPak said:

It turns out that AQ also designed this cable for digital audio

 

Yes, that's exactly the point.      Nobody should expect cables that aren't listed as being deigned for digital audio to work well .... even if they say they are designed for analog video.   :thumb:

 

Lot's of people just use them (cos they're got the right plugs on the end), which is a mistake

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I use interconnects upwards of $10,000/pair. I was pleasantly surprised that my cheap analog video cable ($10/m) turned out to be good for digital audio, no need to spend an insane amount of money on the cable between the source and DAC.

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5 minutes ago, WhakPak said:

I use interconnects upwards of $10,000/pair. I was pleasantly surprised that my cheap analog video cable ($10/m) turned out to be good for digital audio, no need to spend an insane amount of money on the cable between the source and DAC.

 

Yep. Spending insane amounts of money in that instance is not necessary, but does one require a $10K IC cable?:D

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Considering I have a $250k AV system, spending $10k on a pair of interconnects is not out-of-place, particularly as it gets me that elusive 1% extra performance...actually, it probably gets me an extra 2%. I then bought a 2nd pair to overcome another weak point in my system that the 1st pair identified. I'm totally done with interconnects now.

Edited by WhakPak

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2 minutes ago, WhakPak said:

Considering I have a $250k AV system, spending $10k on a pair of interconnects is not out-of-place, particularly as it gets me that elusive 1% extra performance...actually, it probably gets me an extra 5%. I then bought a 2nd pair to overcome another weak point in my system that the 1st pair identified. I'm totally done with interconnects now.

 

In that context, fair enough:)

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So, the mass of the Theta preamp I recently picked up exceeds the rated capability of the on-wall shelving unit I was using.

So, I eBayed a great buy-it-now deal on a stand. The catch was, I had to do a Brisbane-Kingscliff-Brisbane drive to get it home.

I chose it because it was fairly low in height, is wide and deep to better fit the Theta, and I kinda liked the design.

I was looking at Teak coffee tables with a shelf to match my work desk in the same room but have you seen the price of solid wood furniture here in Australia?!

Yeah, I know, solid wood is still cheaper than the $1k to $10k+ for some high falootin' audio stands which probably do a fantastic job but, I am trying to be relatively frugal for the time being. 

 

So, the wall shelves were removed and screw holes filled.

 

IMG_7657.JPG

 

I decided the shelves for the new unit had to be modified before I assembled it.

Sorbathane washers were installed top and bottom of the cross bars to provide a degree of isolation between the glass shelves and the stand itself.

 

IMG_7661.jpg

 

 Shelves ready for fitting to the frame.

 

IMG_7662.jpg

 

Done.

 

IMG_7665.jpg

 

The Theta DSPre in its new home. 27 years old and still competing well against much more modern offerings. No remote control, coaxial input only, 16bit only, but, the sound; the dynamics, the detail, the massive sound stage and imaging - worth it.

 

DSC08097.jpg

 

The Dell Inspiron 560s sits below the pre in the stand.

 

DSC08095.jpg

 

This pc is giving me some grief at the moment. It's got a fresh install of Windows 10 on it but it really needs a proper clean out and refresh as its getting on a bit. The Dell might also allow and respond to board improvements too. If I can't get it going properly in the shorter term, it'll be replaced by a much more up-to-date Lenovo touch-screen laptop in a couple of weeks. If I do end up using the laptop, it'll be homed on the top shelf.  The hope is to have the Dell or the Lenovo only performing streaming duties from Tidal Hifi. My cd collection has been booked and put away now.

 

I'm waiting on one more piece before I can use the system as shown;

 

DSC08101.JPG

 

Yep, a USB -> SPDIF bridge. I'll jump for a Singxer SU-1 with a nice LPS in the near future but in the meantime, a Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 will be doing converter duties once it arrives from an SNA member in Perth. Cables shown are from Oyaide.

 

DSC08094.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Winno

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Theta

you need some Schiit ;)

 

multibit schiit :)

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Theta

you need some Schiit [emoji6]

 

multibit schiit [emoji4]

Yeah, I hear the yggy is supposed to be pretty good. Same original guys as Theta too.

The thing is, I got this from my father. The Audiolab 8200CDQ, when it sells, will pay for this and a Singxer SU-1 USB bridge.

An Yggy is a bit too far to stretch for me right now due to other projects demanding $ and time.

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Yep all good you have scored, was just referencing that the new Schiit stuff is by the same desginer 

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Ok, so I ended up with a Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 instead of the Singxer USB bridge.

A very good deal on this and another good deal on a Teradak U9 LPS meant I could get a relatively good benchmark to start me off doing computer audio properly.

The V-Link arrived today and I wasted little time connecting it up to my old PC with its new Windows 10 OS.

First hitch: the V-Link powered up ok but I got no lock and no sound output. And I also couldn't find the unit in my Tidal settings to enable WASAPE.

I'd followed the Windows settings set up advice given to me in a few links in threads I'd started in the computer audio threads so I was stumped. I tried to run the drivers on the cd that came with the V-Link but it wouldn't load on Windows 10.

Then I remembered the MF website has drivers for download. Just in case these were different to the driver on my cd, I saved and ran the online version.

I clicked Finish once it was installed and got lock straight away - yay!

Pressing play saw my Dragons produce some stunning sound - Crosby and Nash's "Lay me down".

Very happy indeed.
It'll be interesting to see what the Teradak does when that is put into the system tomorrow night.

I want to thank those who helped me on threads and via private messages. This is easily as good or even better than my cd based system and I know it can get better (already thinking of a Yellowtec PUC2 or Lite USB converter and Swagman LPS)

bd4e69a887dead22ac678779187aa9b0.jpg

Yes, I'm currently running a monitor. I have a 5m VGA cable coming which will allow me to move the monitor back to my desk beside my listening chair.

I'll try JRiver shortly too with its matching portable device app. If I like this, I'll think about running headless.

Any ideas what I should work on next?

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I've got a V-Link 192 too and I think it's great. No pops or clicks into my Processor/DAC and a good ASIO driver.

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On 24/01/2017 at 1:03 PM, Satanica said:

I've got a V-Link 192 too and I think it's great. No pops or clicks into my Processor/DAC and a good ASIO driver.

 

It is indeed.

I also added a Teradak U9 LPS to mine y'day courtesy of @scumbag.

This lifted the level of performance again.

 

Then, I played with my simple Elsafe power filter that'd been sitting in my cupboard, on my speakers to see if it made an improvement. I have a dedicated mains spur to this room for audio but thought I'd try this anyway.

Surprisingly, it did offer a subtle improvement - the space between performers was enhanced and the stage is now more holographic. So, now everything runs through this.

 

With the improvements offered by the Teradak and Elsafe, I may also look at even better power treatments.

Edited by Winno

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Ok, I really like what the V-Link192 and U9 LPS do in my system. It's really very good. But, with selling my Audiolab, I am now looking to step up to a Yellowtec PUC2 Lite and Swagman LPS as quickly as possible.

I've put a wtb ad up in classifieds for the Yellowtec and will list the MF/Teradak combo once I have this.

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I got great news on Thursday afternoon - my Theta DSPre has been successfully repaired.

 

My worst fears were initially confirmed by the tech after his assessment when he confirmed my non-functioning right channel was caused by an issue on the digital board. My heart sank when hearing this as this dac/pre is very nice indeed. Plus, this unit has been through two family related homes (my name sake and my father) and has some sentimental value to me.

 

But, he was able to repair the unit by sourcing the original Analogue Devices DAC chips. Happy days.

 

I'll pick it up over coming days.

 

Just as my Theta was failing, I picked up a Yellowtec PUC2 DDC for use between my PC and the Theta as the Theta is coax digital only (its 27 years old now).

 

The trouble was, the PUC sounded very distorted when playing into my DAC. It turns out, it had an issue somewhere with one of the boards inside it.

 

The seller decided he had nothing to lose so ripped out one of the three boards. It had something to do with the analogue side of things we think. Anyway, now it works perfectly, for my purposes at least.

 

So, the PUC had lots of empty space in it and I didn't like seeing the four XLR sockets on the end facing me when listening.

 

Today I fixed this;

 

cb2b7e7e779777e0bdf437c73bc943de.jpg

 

That board on the left is essentially what a PUC2 Lite is. The full version (this one) has a dac and analogue stages in it. These stages were binned.

 

06e2a4daeb297496c3c90ceeb2c41700.jpg

 

f0e290d6d4aa1e4512c3244c94bc5439.jpg

 

a2e47ab9426857325e0c1927d655ecce.jpg

 

No XMOS here but, who cares when this DDC sounds so amazing.

 

8bef7876734040a351b7909c4d4f57ad.jpg

 

Compared to my MF Vlink192/Teradak U9 combo, listening with the PUC2 makes my speakers and the walls of my room positively disappear. And music sounds incredibly natural and more real. I don't think I have ever heard so much space between performers in the sound stage in any of my systems previously either.

 

I do have to use the alternative algorithm on the Theta though as the PUC rings like crazy if I don't.

 

I can't wait to get my Theta back for more listening.

 

Also added an Audioquest Dragonfly Red to my iPhone 5 and Dita The Answer portable head-fi.

 

This made an incredible improvement to my downloaded Tidal HiFi music.

 

0d981ca416806617568f7965a8495fed.jpg

 @scumbag

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Guest scumbag

At first glance I thought, this PUC is f**ked. But on second thoughts, I'm thinking, that's LITE done right.

I think the guys at Yellowtec need to see this. :P

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Was mowing the lawn this evening and peeked through the music room's windows from outside.

So, I thought I'd try to capture my music room from a different perspective;

 

 

 

 

Edited by Winno

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