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  1. Hi Rob, I'm not quite sure I understand your message! I can send messages etc, I only have one account! Oh, I see now, you're replying to an old message of mine... got it now! (A bit slow on the uptake I am). Yes, this was all sorted. Cheers, Ric
  2. Thanks for the write-up, very helpful. I'm only confused by one thing - the description of transient attack. You say the Ares is more fluid with richer harmonics, yet it has more impactful transients than the Holo May's leaner, cleaner signature?
  3. As a new Roon adopter I thought I'd share a few thoughts for anyone on the fence. I play local files, as opposed to streaming Tidal, Qobuz etc, and I actually trialled Roon twice and rejected it! I didn't like the way it displayed my digital library, even when set up to extract the info solely from my audio file tags—which are meticulous. Secondly, the sound quality wasn't as good as Audirvana or HQPlayer. And mostly I was annoyed by all the written blurbs, artist and album links, anything extraneous to my library folder system. What a hassle, I thought! Obviously I've changed my mind! Firstly, using HQPlayer as an endpoint gives me a pretty high quality of sound. A direct comparison without the Roon interface reveals a less 'noisy', slightly 'denser', more 'natural' signature. But if I want to listen critically I can dual boot into an optimised OS (Win Server 2019) where I drag and drop files into HQPlayer. But this is missing the point of Roon, which is to provide an intellectually and visually stimulating medium for playing music. My advice for newbies is to use Roon's settings to populate your music library. Then immerse yourself in the wealth of information, artwork etc. Click on random albums that pop up, relinquish control and—let yourself go!
  4. I've owned the original Rega DAC as well as the Rega-R, and the first Apollo and Saturn CD players. The Rega DAC has some very positive attributes: natural timbre in the mids and a solid bass that's not overly 'taut', and like all Regas it has great rhythmic drive. The DAC was first used in the ground-breaking Rega Apollo—a classic CD spinner, in my view, and one of the most enjoyable listening experiences I've had. In fact, I couldn't get the stand-alone DAC to perform quite as well as 'integrated' in the Apollo. The downside of the Rega DAC is that it has less resolution than equivalent brands, at least overtly. More importantly, it has a rather stark treble with hard transients and very quick decay. To my ears, this is an issue across the Rega range to a certain degree, and it's most apparent in the original DAC. This undermines the midrange warmth that makes acoustic material and '70s rock so enjoyable. This characteristic is perhaps a side-effect of the rhythmic snap of Regas, the power-supply design and/or the Wolfson chipset. In this price-range it's hard to complain, of course! My advice is to hold on to the Rega, and get a second-hand Gieseler Klein which has a very transparent sound signature with a large soundstage and tighter bass etc.
  5. I think the OP is going for the Lumin all-in-one, so the rest of us are just nattering! In my opinion, the sound signature of a system depends upon mixing and matching every component in the chain, as much as it does the choice of equipment. This includes the prudent placement of components and cables, and sensible use of power outlets and anti-vibration tools. Experimentation—changing only one component at a time—is often a long process but always worthwhile knowledge-wise. Doubtless the OP will embark on this process with the Lumin and let us all know how it's going!
  6. Just some quick thoughts on our wariness of 'bright' or 'extended' treble. For me, this was a residual effect of listening to inferior digital systems in the past. Inferior compared to some modern-day DACs, transports and streaming devices, that is. Some of the offending components I'm talking about were, and are, high-end. However, the very best systems I've heard, analogue and digital alike, have treble that extends all the way to the heavens! For me, this is an essential feature of 'live' sounding, engrossing playback of music of all genres. Ideally, extended treble doesn't skew frequency and dynamic balance; rather, it's cohesive. Certainly, it avoids that hard, sharp brightness so prevalent in digital hi-fi of the past.
  7. It's ok - I just read ASR website and all you need is a $100 Topping DAC.🤗
  8. Let me be serious for a moment. It's difficult to do, mind you, with certain people batting their wings wildly with accusations of condescension and rudeness— perhaps you're confused between someone addressing the argument and the person? Stop being so sensitive! I'll definitely own up to being flippant, however! And there's no excuse for flippancy....🤕 In my defence, it's tiresome to read posts from inexperienced people, their familiar little pokes: transports don't matter; blind-tests rule; a Stack Audio Link II streamer is just a Raspberry PI so why pay more than $200? etc................. It's tiresome, because anyone with experience knows that everything matters. You can't dismiss anything in the chain, and advising others to do so is a rookie mistake. There's no foundation behind such an opinion, no long-term perspective gleaned from listening to many components and systems. These posts are just little pokes that take up space. I suggested the Link II streamer (prompting a particularly annoying little poke), expressed my preference to use separates, and gave some reasons why. Others suggested the Lumin and Auralic equivalents—great suggestions for the $7000 budget the OP has at his disposal. Bon appetit!
  9. No point explaining this to someone who believes all transports sound the same, and relies on blind-testing to come to this conclusion. I got straight to the point and said 'youre wrong' because the OP and others would be led astray by your principles—which really is what you're pushing here. After all, the OP has a $7000 budget and by your recommendation he'd spend $1000 on a transport and $6000 on a DAC. Awful advice.
  10. Yep, for a universal streamer-DAC that's hard to beat. But you really have to know and like the DAC's sound signature to take the plunge on an all-in-one.
  11. Sorry, but that's completely wrong - on every point. Quoted for misguidedness!
  12. Some good advice and some not-so-good: in digital audio the transport, be it of the spinning or streaming variety, is just as important as the DAC in my experience. So spend equal amounts on both or near enough, or get an extremely good all-in-one. (I prefer separates personally).
  13. We talking music, man, we talking life🙂
  14. You obviously haven't compared a pi with a well-designed streamer.
  15. Everything is supported, as the website will tell you😉 The Link II is an extremely good sounding streamer, housed in a weighty chunk of aluminium, the inner workings designed by digital guru John Westlake. Natural-sounding tonality, very low noise-floor, balanced signature across the frequency range. Further benefits come from a minimal-software approach where only the necessary streaming protocols can be enabled on the dashboard page; most are disabled by default. According to Theo Stack, many Link users pipe Qobuz or Tidal through Roon, and are happy campers. The Link also supports HQPlayer's NAA protocol and that can be used as a Roon endpoint too. Personally I prefer to stream local files and for everyday listening I use Asset UPnP / Twonky servers and BubbleUPnP / Hi-Fi Cast remote control points. For more serious listening I like Audirvana 3.5 controlled from the computer. Placing an EtherRegen before the Link took it to the next level in my system. Link II
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