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Old 28th September 2010, 03:18 AM   #41
TC Goh is offline TC Goh  Hong Kong
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Talking Bigger Not Better?

Hi

Yesterday I decided to try out the big K75-10 10uf Russian PIOs for output coupling. These are big and heavy caps (please see earlier post). As I had solder some screw connectors onto the board to facilitate cap rolling (ha ha), this was a very easy exercise.

I feel the DAC sounds a little different. For starters, it was not as forward as the KBGs. I think this is good, at least for vocals. Bass was about the same. Not much to sing about, so far.

However, I felt the most significant improvement was in the mids. It was even more refined and the presentation was sweeter, clearer and more lifelike. I think this cap is very easy on the ear, even on extended listening sessions.

I like what heard and I will definitely keep this on, at least for now.

How to fit this all into the case is another matter...

Ah well, you win some you lose some … and who says you need a case!!! Click the image to open in full size.

Thanks for reading …..

Best wishes

TC
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Old 28th September 2010, 03:49 AM   #42
TC Goh is offline TC Goh  Hong Kong
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Hi Chris

I think therein lies the problem. Its not easy to find good ones at a reasonable price. I think (and I may be wrong) the best in-production mechanism is the Philips CD Pro. However, the top loading feature will not work for me as it needs to be placed into a middle shelf in the components rack!

Hmm... I guess I must be lucky as I have not had any problems with my Sony. In fact, it has been very faithful, other than for normal wear and tear (tray loading belt). The Sony is built like a tank and I particularly like the rubber sealing when the tray shuts. It is supposed to prevent stray light from affecting the laser pickup operations.Click the image to open in full size.

I stopped using the on board DAC long time ago as I felt that although it was sweet (I think it has a TDA1541A but not sure if crowned or not) it was not the ultimate in transparency and detail.

Is your DSD-S10 stock?

One thing is for sure, the CD format is a dying media. I think it is kept on life support now largely due to its large installed base.

I think Sendler is 100% right, media players are the way to go .... 24bit by 96Khz.... I don't think any CD player can beat FLAC files in detail, transparency and dynamic range and hence musicality. That was why I got a DAC capable of playing these flies.

I think CDs will be like those vinyls I used to cherish, played on a Thorens turntable using a SME 9 series ‘S’ arm sporting a Shure MM Cartridge!! Wow .. talking about a blast from the past!!!!!

That is progress, I guess .....

Have a good day!

Best wishes

TC

Last edited by TC Goh; 28th September 2010 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 28th September 2010, 03:58 AM   #43
TC Goh is offline TC Goh  Hong Kong
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Default e-transports

Hi Scott

With you 100% here. I am actually not that advanced as you are (surprise, surprise!) and was looking at the Logitech iTouch. It is capable of 24*96 playback. At about $315 here, its value is difficult to beat, assuming you have a spare computer around and lots of HD space!!!

Hey, any other recommendations for a novice?

Best wishes

TC
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Old 28th September 2010, 05:38 AM   #44
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi Scott,
You do realize that the gold CD recordable medium caused tracking problems with most CD players, don't you? Specifically, the reflectivity is well outside the CD standards. Data CDs use different specifications than music CDs did.

When CD burning first became popular, we suffered a few years where CD transports were damaged by the use of that medium. DJs were the worst for this, and exercise club instructors. It didn't matter how many times you told them this wouldn't work, they continued until I began charging them. Warranty is not insurance!

What would happen is that the servo would lose lock (RF waveform out of spec) and the head would get run forcibly to the far outer location past the last track. In fact, this was so violent that it often stripped the gears. 100% of the time, there was either a burned CD in the tray, or the user acknowledged that they were using blanks they recorded themselves.

What no one seemed to understand is that any departure from the standards (including "stabilizer rings" that threw the mass off) always resulted in sub-standard performance. Then most "improvements" would eventually end up caught in the transport, causing a jam and sometimes more damage. You have to understand that the CD servo filters are set up for a specific range of rotating mass. Same goes for CD thickness! Back then, manufacturers didn't make those crappy thin CDs. But these things also caused tracking problems due to both reduced mass and inevitable warping. The list of defects that CDs can have is extensive without messing with the media. The average person who just played music had years of trouble free service. The audiophile always ended up spending far more for maintenance than "normal" people simply due to all the accessories and "improvements" they bought. Almost every one of these people would swear their CD player sounded better after the messing around until I demonstrated (using a 'scope to monitor the RF test point) how it either degraded the signal, or made no difference. The green marker is still my all time favorite, with the green LEDs coming up a close second. BTW, the laser is in the near infrared part of the spectrum, not the green, yellow or blue wavelengths. Food for thought.

Now, I hate to bring this up, but the more expensive high end brands often used inferior CD transports. EAD never made their own mechanism, nor did they ever design their own servo section. What was often done was high end brands often used a very inexpensive transport and charged the world for it. In other words, you most likely had the same CD transport and servo section used in $200 players. Sorry about that. This means that your findings are expected.

How do you get your music into the computer? If they are MP3, your quality is inferior to what most CD players supply. However you seem to be using the system as background music anyway. In that case it makes perfect sense as well.

-Chris
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Old 28th September 2010, 05:42 AM   #45
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi TC,
Computer CD transports are inferior to half decent, real CD player transports. Don't start talking about data CDs having zero defects, because they don't. What a data disc standard does have is far better error correction. This is not the same information that a music disc is made with.

There is a reason why this technician still uses real CD players. My wife and kids use MP3 players, but for enjoyment listening they use the real stereo system - by choice.

-Chris
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Old 28th September 2010, 05:58 AM   #46
TC Goh is offline TC Goh  Hong Kong
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Wink e-transport

Quote:
Originally Posted by anatech View Post
Hi TC,
Computer CD transports are inferior to half decent, real CD player transports. Don't start talking about data CDs having zero defects, because they don't. What a data disc standard does have is far better error correction. This is not the same information that a music disc is made with.

There is a reason why this technician still uses real CD players. My wife and kids use MP3 players, but for enjoyment listening they use the real stereo system - by choice.

-Chris
Hi Chris

Hit a nerve, eh ha ha? Click the image to open in full size.

I still remember similar discussions in the early 80's when CDs were first introduced.... well they are still being had now!!

Whatever, I believe the internet has changed everything. There is no denying that they are more convenient although possibly not as good.

Best wishes

TC
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Old 28th September 2010, 06:14 AM   #47
TC Goh is offline TC Goh  Hong Kong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c1cc1ccc1 View Post
Hi everybody,

....

As a next step I will give different output caps a try. At the moment there are no output caps which is a small risk but since I have output transformers to connect the balanced output to the single ended input of my preamp latter is protected.

Last word: I can highly recommend the PCM1794 to everyone looking for a good-sounding DAC.
Hi

Looks like we both have the same board!! The Balanced Mode DAC rocks.

You are going to have lots of fun with output caps!

I was with some friends yesterday and thought of this. Why not put some sort of simple on/off switch between the two points of the output caps and use it to toggle between OCL and non-OCL Cap Crazy mode!!! Best of both worlds at the flip of a switch.... I thought it was really cool.

... and the beautiful thing is it is not difficult!

I have also soldered a few of those blue screw connectors to the four output cap positions to facilitate cap rolling... really neat, in my opinion... However, those from Spencer are too big… Click the image to open in full size.

Welcome to the 1794A Club!!!

Have fun. I am ….

Best wishes

TC
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Old 28th September 2010, 06:20 AM   #48
TC Goh is offline TC Goh  Hong Kong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skseah View Post
Hi All,
I also got a Balance kit from Spencer. The kit came well packed and marked. I just finished soldering the components (except the output coupling caps) and now looking for some hookup wires. Attached is a photo of the layout, unfortunately there is not much space so the trans (maybe should look for smaller ones, but these were my spares) are very close to the PCB.
Regards
Victor
Hi Victor

You too!!!Click the image to open in full size.

Pleae check out a later post I made on cap rolling, if you are keen ...

Best wishes

TC
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Old 28th September 2010, 11:28 AM   #49
sendler is offline sendler  United States
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Default Background

Well? I really don't care about CDRs and transports anymore but I must respond to all of that... I am sorry that apparently someone ruined your transport with a green ring?
.
Any transport die hard will have done comparative listening to different CDR blanks as they all sound a little different and burns always sound better than the original cd. This is well documented in other threads with the Mitsui Gold and Gold Audio blanks being two of the best sounding blanks.
.
Why would you think that I only use my system for background music? That actually makes me chuckle as most normal (non audiophile) people would consider me obsessed with comparative listening. Passive components, chips, cables, ect. Let alone complete circuit topologies. Can you believe there are still large numbers of people that argue that all good amplifiers sound "The Same"? You have prompted me to change my moniker. All (fill in the blank) do not sound "The Same".
.
Why also would you assume that everyone using a hard drive play back system would use digital file compression? Hard drives are cheap. I rip full wave. Some people actually use upsampling software to save upsampled files. The spdif out from my Firewire410 sounds better than my transport. Simple. And, now I have all of my favorite CDs (hundreds) stored as full rez on a portable hard drive that I can carry in my pocket! When that gets filled up, I will buy another one for $100.
.
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anatech View Post
Hi Scott,
You do realize that the gold CD recordable medium caused tracking problems with most CD players, don't you? Specifically, the reflectivity is well outside the CD standards. Data CDs use different specifications than music CDs did.

When CD burning first became popular, we suffered a few years where CD transports were damaged by the use of that medium. DJs were the worst for this, and exercise club instructors. It didn't matter how many times you told them this wouldn't work, they continued until I began charging them. Warranty is not insurance!

What would happen is that the servo would lose lock (RF waveform out of spec) and the head would get run forcibly to the far outer location past the last track. In fact, this was so violent that it often stripped the gears. 100% of the time, there was either a burned CD in the tray, or the user acknowledged that they were using blanks they recorded themselves.

What no one seemed to understand is that any departure from the standards (including "stabilizer rings" that threw the mass off) always resulted in sub-standard performance. Then most "improvements" would eventually end up caught in the transport, causing a jam and sometimes more damage. You have to understand that the CD servo filters are set up for a specific range of rotating mass. Same goes for CD thickness! Back then, manufacturers didn't make those crappy thin CDs. But these things also caused tracking problems due to both reduced mass and inevitable warping. The list of defects that CDs can have is extensive without messing with the media. The average person who just played music had years of trouble free service. The audiophile always ended up spending far more for maintenance than "normal" people simply due to all the accessories and "improvements" they bought. Almost every one of these people would swear their CD player sounded better after the messing around until I demonstrated (using a 'scope to monitor the RF test point) how it either degraded the signal, or made no difference. The green marker is still my all time favorite, with the green LEDs coming up a close second. BTW, the laser is in the near infrared part of the spectrum, not the green, yellow or blue wavelengths. Food for thought.

Now, I hate to bring this up, but the more expensive high end brands often used inferior CD transports. EAD never made their own mechanism, nor did they ever design their own servo section. What was often done was high end brands often used a very inexpensive transport and charged the world for it. In other words, you most likely had the same CD transport and servo section used in $200 players. Sorry about that. This means that your findings are expected.

How do you get your music into the computer? If they are MP3, your quality is inferior to what most CD players supply. However you seem to be using the system as background music anyway. In that case it makes perfect sense as well.

-Chris
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Old 28th September 2010, 11:51 AM   #50
sendler is offline sendler  United States
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Default EAC and HiFace

The simplest way to get a great spdif out from your pc would be with a HiFace usb stick. They are a little pricey for the amount of hardware you get but should be worth it in the long run as one of the few usb solutions that can pass hi rez. If not that, then you would need an internal soundcard with coax out or a firewire external card. Coax still sounds better than optical with a good cable such as the twisted pair taken from Belden 1701A. Rip your CDs full rez with Exact Audio Copy. Be sure to set up a nice, uniform file structure where each CD is in it's own folder labeled : Artist (last name first), date of release, and album title. Label each song: track number (start with 01 as many players think 1 means 10 and comes after 9) and title. EAC has data base look up which does all of this automatically. I am a newbie. There are many threads about hard drive music.
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TC Goh View Post
Hi Scott

With you 100% here. I am actually not that advanced as you are (surprise, surprise!) and was looking at the Logitech iTouch. It is capable of 24*96 playback. At about $315 here, its value is difficult to beat, assuming you have a spare computer around and lots of HD space!!!

Hey, any other recommendations for a novice?

Best wishes

TC
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