The making of: The Two Towers (a 25 driver Full Range line array)

As the temperatures outside were quite a bit higher than normal I saw a clear shot to start the make-over of the new acquisition.

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Even though I had ordered a black anodised Mudu-shop case, the color was rather different from my other amp after it's initial make over.
So I decided to give this one similar treatment to tie them together.
The new logo has arrived as well, so hopefully I'll stick that on tomorrow after some extra time for the paint to cure.

Not a tweak for better sound, still something I like to do anyway. :eek:
 

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Tying the theme together...

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Looking a lot like the predicted outcome.
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A big thank you to koldby for making it possible. Even when seen from the backside they tie
in together like one happy family (big brother and little brother). It's beautiful and I love it!
No pictures from that side though. My cable management still is horrible :eek:.
 

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I'm still having a hard time to decide which DAC I prefer. There sure is a difference between the two.
The M1 DAC seems to add some air, much like what I usually hear at concerts/live shows... Hard to describe it into words. It isn't unpleasant and after listening to this DAC for a few years now, I may have grown used to it.
The Xonar presents a different picture. I can't fault it but it doesn't seem to add anything. It is presenting less of that restlessness compared to the M1.
Do I miss what the M1 conveys? I don't know.

I remember when I switched to the M1 I had to get used to that new presentation as well. Besides trying to optimise it with Asio drivers it sure felt different.

I was listening to Pink Floyd - The Wall, as I will be going to a concert next weekend that will present that album in a grand scale performance.
With the Xonar DAC I had a few moments where I was going "what was that?" The recordings have quite a few added stuff as in environmental sounds and noises and on a few occasions it made me look as if there was something happening I wasn't aware of right there in my surroundings.

Maybe I should run a full set of measurements with the Xonar and rebuild the DSP around that to see how I like it.

My son, who seems to be on his way to really appreciate my efforts has heard both and did notice the differences. In his words: one sounded fresh to him (M1) and the other as if the singer (Eagles - Hotel California - Hell Freezes over, his favorite track) had already sung a few songs (Xonar).
He enjoyed both presentations, he did get the (now famous) chills down the spine on both occasions.
My girl also listened to a few songs (M1) and continues to be amazed to hear new things in familiar songs. She said: All instruments are really separated, you can clearly hear each element by itself but it still forms a whole. I'm picking up a guitar part that I've never noticed before. Tested with her own favorite songs.

That last part she described is what I really like about this setup. In fact it has made me hear lots of new things as well, that I never realised/heard before. It's what I have worked on, these past few years :).
 
If I were you, presented with these same differences, I would most likely choose to optimize my setup with the Sonar in mind and go from there. As you write it, or as I understand it, it seems like the M1 is perhaps adding something, which of course can be preferable or enjoyable, but the Sonar seems to be a bit more boring. The good thing about boring digital equipment is that bells and whistles can be added afterwards.

This is my opinion, I always try to look for the most accurate gear before injecting my own preferences into the chain.

I guess what I am saying is that you will never know which is better unless you go all the way with the Sonar :).
 

BYRTT

Member
2009-12-21 6:18 am
Hi wesayso,

Yes try it one day and it could be fun involve your son and girl with their same favorite tracks and report back here, know for scientific reason it should be blind but they your trusted family so think its best show and involve them the exchanged chips and repeat the same exercise between stock M1 and rolled Xonar, love hear yours and their previos review so thanks if you share experience if roll is percieveable, somewhere on a backup drive i have loopback sweep of REW all the way up to highest rate using ASIO, IIRC back then REW Java driver was limited to 44,1/48kHz rates so not interesting, but think remember standard setting of dual NJM2114D and one LM4562, verse dual NJM2114D and one JRC4580, verse trible LM4562, verse trible JRC4580 measured exactly the same responses in audio domain numbers and IR, so to see any real speed performance above audio band it would need some other gear than simple loopback, also have three MUSES opamps somewhere that should be dedicated the task and recommended, stupid expensive 10-15€ a piece or something like that, two of them is same numbers and should outperform standard NJM2114D, third one different number should combined the other two outperform standard LM4562 buffer, as told before it didn't work for me if they expensive recommended or speedy, they all measure the same in audio band range, orginal set is really not bad probably because surrounding component values are engineered selective for them or what do i know, but all three rolled to JRC4580 had my most reel close to analog feel, now taste is taste and sometimes we listen with eyes and knowlegde but should be exiting hear your son review Don Henley again what his young ears will sense, in that subject have a fun copy of hearing range with age as below, where one can get into i didn't hear what you said darling : )

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I do know I deviate from that graph, I am as sensitive at 6K as I am at 4K, making me somewhat overly sensitive for sibilance as I've noticed. However with mid/side EQ I've never had that problem pop up again.

I haven't done measurements or other experiments and keep coming back to the M1 as my favorite at this moment. I did not expect that. Anyway, I really do need a new set of measurements but life gets in the way sometimes. :)
If I have limited time, I'd rather spend it listening, I'm not at a bad place. I really enjoy what I have here. We see more movies too, as that is a lot of fun, with the sound system as well as the bigger screen.

I think my next move will be some of the Universal Buffers, putting them in a case with the option for both single ended as well as differential. That way the option remains open to go with all balanced long lines to cover the distance between PC and amps.
As a first step I will go balanced to the subs, single ended to the other two amplifiers. It would take 2 more Universal Buffers at the amp side to go with fully balanced long lines.

If I were to use a Universal buffer with SE in Differential out, does that double the output voltage arriving at the subs if no gain is applied?

I know my DAC is 2.2 V on SE, 4.4 V on the balanced connections.
So if I have a 2 V SE input on a Universal Buffer, does it have 4 volt output at the differential side as well? As that would be a +3 dB gain compared to single ended input into the subwoofer amp (which is meant to have balanced inputs).
 
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BYRTT

Member
2009-12-21 6:18 am
In my view the most important is mains which is 90% or more signature of your sound system and in you have no hum or buzz problems why do you priotize ambience and subs amps to have pro ballanced interface before mains, as long as you prefer M1 it takes only one of those buffers to go pro for mains and ballanced cable is there IIRC, so if you can afford two buffer boards at a time think use one for mains and one for subs and pospone that less important ambience and let it stay SE, shure if Zonar wins the DAC battle situation change and needs two costly buffer boads for a pro interconnect, what do you say to message :) are you afraid ballanced XLR on M1 can't drive 10 meter ballanced cable because it has higher output impedance than Atom and those buffer boards, then remember theoretical you win improve on noise plus common modes and dynamic range going ballanced and maybe those features sound even better than Atom and also think that many excellent sound systems you have heard over time so as tube gear etc have had higher output impedance than the 47 ohms for SE RCA out of M1.
 
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In my view the most important is mains which is 90% or more signature of your sound system and in you have no hum or buzz problems why do you priotize ambience and subs amps to have pro ballanced interface before mains, as long as you prefer M1 it takes only one of those buffers to go pro for mains and ballanced cable is there IIRC, so if you can afford two buffer boards at a time think use one for mains and one for subs and pospone that less important ambience and let it stay SE, shure if Zonar wins the DAC battle situation change and needs two costly buffer boads for a pro interconnect, what do you say to message :) are you afraid ballanced XLR on M1 can't drive 10 meter ballanced cable because it has higher output impedance than Atom and those buffer boards, then remember theoretical you win improve on noise plus common modes and dynamic range going ballanced and maybe those features sound even better than Atom and also think that many excellent sound systems you have heard over time so as tube gear etc have had higher output impedance than the 47 ohms for SE RCA out of M1.

I think the most important benefit of the Atom amp is the headroom it creates with the provided (~ +6dB) gain. It should also work if it were placed on the other side of that long cable. At that's where the HP-1 did exactly that.

Placing a Universal Buffer on the amp side would give me a new problem. I don't want any extra loose boxes over there. Mounting it inside the Goldmund would mean it has to be somewhere above the two big toroids. Would that be a good idea?
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