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  1. Maybe I am using rca which is known for softer vs Xlr as well, i will swap them to see
  2. Got a Mullard ecc81 1958 NOS today from Dave, so again NOS tube is better than stock, quieter. I tried Mullard on rca output and using Seraphim rca, shooting out with Telefunken Ecc801s ans using Seraphim XLR. As expect, Telefunken is darker, cleaner and more transparent while Mullard is more musical, vocal is more foward and come closed like 1 step. so personally, Telefunken is my cup of tea.
  3. Those are the only cables in the world that I am confident to take to non cable believers, sit them down, ask them to close their eyes, play music, then the most rewarding thing is the moment to look at their faces during listenning those cables, normally I ask them to use a tape to fix their jaws or jaws will be dropped to the floor Seraphim is so expensive and Zensati is no longer able to offer them unless the statement line Zensati X which can only bought in full loom and cost 5 figures usd, To make gold plated over copper, the people who sell Seraphim do not agree to let people call gold plated conductors, but use term “Gold dripped” as maker literally drips melted gold to the pure copper conductors. And, no one is crazy as Mark when he made those, instead of two gold dripped copper conductors for hot/neutral wires and a shield mesh outside, he used 7 of those conductors, and 5 of them to act as a shield, why? Because it is an elegant way to tell the world this is the best of best cables human can make.
  4. Well Vinyl has never died, but cd format is quite alarming to die, just like DVD/tapes. I have to say Cd Player is the most affordable high quality source at the moment, we can find top class cd player on SNA from 6-8k that dropped from 30k rrp range. Yes, yes we can grab so many bargains in sound quality from cd player
  5. One thing I found that many folks do not want to invest serious money to streaming and expect a budget streaming setup with a dac and a computer to sound as good as cd player. Can that happen? No Wanting convenience, latest complex technology, no need to pay for cd discs, accessing to millions of songs but then comparing 10k cd player vs 10k dac/streamer and simply say cd players blow streamers out of water. Or some just tease each other as s 20k streaming setup just sounds as good as my 3k secondhand cd player. so anyone wants to get streaming to be as good as cd, unfortunately need to pay double or even triple. Will many do that? Yes, because we don’t want to stuck in the past and Cd player is a thing in the past.
  6. Finally got my Curious Evolved USB to replace XLO UltraPLUS USB Cable for Aqua La Scala USB input. At 869.00/2m, it is not cheap but not expensive for a well-made and well-known Aussie product. I think it is a sweet spot for digital cables as I have tried multiple ethernet cables and found they do not contribute significantly to sound improvement (considering I am a huge cable believer with Zensati loom in my system) I have to say Curious USB cables work as advertising, no need to find new words but bring up their words: "Increased resolution providing more space, separation and three dimensional sound staging. Inner detail is improved, so you’ll hear more of the recording than ever before. " The most immediate improvement I could find without much burn-in was that the music seems to flow more naturally, which I would say timing improved in streaming. Normally we can only hear great timing in an excellent well-setup turntable system, myself heard an excellent setup of TW-Acustic from a mate and understood what is high-end sound of "timing": just natural. Streaming is not as good as analog yet but the gaps are getting closer. Curious USB will help to improve this.
  7. This is indeed design ideology of Roon folks, unfortunately not many streamers on the market could reach level of 100% upstream immunisation yet. I have seen a few top DAC makers could achieve upstream SQ independence such as MSB ProISL module Or LinQ with HQPlayer Core and NAA modules. Their new implementations have proved to achieve best sound quality in their ecosystem. Until the day we can use use crappy PCs to run roon core and still receive best SQ, streaming will still go round and round in design ideology and experimenting
  8. K40 is indeed a S40 and S60 with higher CPU specs and beefier power supply. (I am sure S40 is core i5, guessing K40 is core i7) if you determine to use Ethernet port on Bartok, you should go to K40, your S30 is designed as dedicated Player with lower-power cpu (guessing Celeron)and usb out and has only one Ethernet port. S30 requires you to connect everything to a switch and who knows that switch drives your system synergy and sound quality to what level. Also ethernet is not the best sounding interface in most dac, MSB acknowledged that and tells very clear on their website about what is the best interface they could achieve ( USB via fiber) The secret sauce on Antipodes servers is noise and bandwidth management, both S40 and K40 have dual Ethernet ports which can ensure your streamer on a good hand for those synergy management. If you have the budget, go for K50 and you can change multiple dacs down the road without anymore headache. I wanted K50 badly but do not have the budget to go that much.
  9. Yes, I won’t share S60 with an Etherregen or any switch, I tried it and it is a big no for sound quality, always power your switch by a separate power supply,
  10. Got an opportunity to shootout between Antipodes S30 (3.5k rrp) shared S60 lps (2.4k/2) verus Bryston BDP-3 streamer (6.2k rrp). DAC of choices are in two difference classes: Aqua La Scala mk2 and Holo Spring 2 L2. Rest of setup is S40/S60 as music server, Technical Brain TB-int zero integrated and Cube Nenuphar mini speakers 1) With Aqua La scala dac (mid/highend dac): S30 via USB won by a far distance S30 with Curious Evolved USB to Aqua La Scala DAC: much more dynamic, clearer, more shimmer, bigger soundstage, so they are a better combo in synergy matching as Aqua dac is on the dynamic side, not mellow/warm. Bryston BDP-3 to DAC via AES (NBS Signature AES) is really mellow and soft, music lost some charm and energy. ***further update: after figuring out to enable USB for a Bryston BDP -3, I could shoot out direct between Bryston BDP-3 and Antipodes S30 via USB connection. I would say the performance is very close, BDP-3 is about 5% better as it is a bit more transparent and clearer while the S30 is warmer and a bit more musical, BDP-3 has better bass and separation among instruments . It would be interesting if S30 is added a separated linear power supply S60 and potentially to perform better Bryston player. for system synergy, I think a lot people will like Antipodes for warm organic characters 2) With Holo Spring 2 L2 dac (lower end): Bryston BDP-3 is much more preferred in my setup vs S30. Bryston BDP-3 to Holo Spring via AES gives much clearer, organic , more shimmer comparing S30 to feed Holo via USB (I don't have opportunity to try usb output on Bryston BDP-3 but the AES is a very good output from Bryston) So in my test case, I can give to my two cents to folks who are looking streamer option If your dac is on the higher end spectrum with excellent clock, USB connection can give very satisfying results (dynamic, energy and soundstage). This is consistent with @TerryO finding after pairing numerous streaming setup and have a same conclusion on the dynamic of USB. If your dac is on a lower end with less precise clock, a dedicated streamer with better clock and SPIF output can give a really noticeable jump in performance. So it comes to to each dac design/hardware quality but the common sense here is the higher end dac, the better clock quality (oven controlled oscillators for example) and the dac can still have excellent synergy and sound quality with USB regardless of marketing words out-there with I2S and AES are the best. Back to Antipodes ecosystem with S30: lesser dac --> lesser clock --> Antipodes S30 with USB output might not benefit when comparing to a dedicated streamer with S/PDIF out and precise clock such as Bryston BDP-3 or Auralic G2
  11. Thanks, can I get a 1TB version and swap SSD later? I can source 4TB SSD under $500 and my mate needs 4TB? Does stock-installed SSD contain OS on it?
  12. Can someone give me a hint on price structure of Innuous's SSD capacity option? I am looking for a mate to improve his streaming but I must shake my head INNUOS - ZENith - Music Server 1TB is $7,000 INNUOS - ZENith - Music Server 4TB is $9,000 INNUOS - Statement - Music Server 1Tb $22,000 INNUOS - Statement - Music Server 4Tb $26,000 For same capacity upgrade, it is double price in Statement line while top line 4Tb SSDs on the market is around $500-700. Is it simply of part cost to multiple different ratio among the INNUOS' lines ? I don't want my friend to be ripped off as he does not want to buy a SSD from ebay and and swap by himself, is there any performance difference with other SSD brands?
  13. Leave the debate bw analog vs digital aside, I agree, Who could think this country-side house the head office of one of the best music server makers worldwide? This place is full of “analog” sound in my imagination, not sure Mark has highspeed internet, nevermind, streaming only needs 100mbps anyway
  14. Has anyone tried different aftermarket DC cables on S60 and noticed difference?
  15. The race in gearing up streamer/server has been escalating fast. A few years ago most audiophiles went round and round with DYI PC or modded Mac computer and debated about USB just 0s and 1s and laughed to others when someone buys an expensive USB cable. The streaming in hiend is really moving fast. My mate has LinQ to feed his Aqua Formula xHD while server is Antipodes K40 , they are one of the most revealing streaming setup I could listen around. If you decide to go with LinQ plus dual modules of HQPlayer Core/NAA, they will be the best combo and less prone to upstream server quality. Antipodes or Innuous are both good choices.
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