I'm getting really nice results from this DAC using FLAC encoded files playing through the Cog player on a MAC. I'm running optical fiber from the MAC to the DAC then straight into the power amp and can control the volume / skip tracks from Cog using the little MAC remote..............sweet
If you've already have a computer, for ~$550 AUD you get a quality source where you don't need to pay for a per-amp or have it degrade the signal. The ultimate bypass
P.S Word of warning, if you try this make sure all sounds from your computer are muted so you don't get a high volume "ding" that shoots your woofer across the room when an email arrives ;D
You must have some fairly serious isolation (or distance) between your humungous IB and turntable
How are you dealing with the feedback issues?
the turntable is an old '78 Sony X5... it's base is made from cast steel and the platter is machined stainless... the base alone weighs 18lbs and platter weighs in at almost 10lbs
it's heavy... and doesn't move easily... but still you would think that the tracking and downforce would be an issue with the huge amount of infrasonics from the IB... but i havn't had any feedback issues yet... even through Bach's Taccata and Fugue in D Minor... and my favorite, Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra at painfull levels
i've never heard music sound so alive before... especially with the addition of the IB... Vinyl sound has always been hands down the winner for true reproduction and reproducing the 'soul' of music... but the combination of the IB and records... it's downright scary
the final grand crash of kettle drums and organs in Zarathustra shook the house mercilessly... and my clothes were flapping in a breeze... but it felt like the massive organ was towering over me... it's true majesty and splendor of it's sheer power and awsome tone seemed to revel at my insignificance...
if anyone says IB's can't be real and do what their multi-thousand systems can't... come listen... my room is a disaster at the moment... and my music has never sounded so alive and real even when it was back normall and treated...
my house has a soul... and it dwells in my Infinite Baffle
Finally a proud IB owner. Eight Acoustic Elegance fifteens with mind numbing response.
It's nice when the emotion of musical enjoyment is so overwhelming and so beautifully described. There is something about vinyl which connects directly to the reward centres of the brain. Like wallowing in a dopamine bath. CD doesn't even come close. It's more like a photocopy.
After years of listening only to CDs and never playing a record I put on my old favourite LP: Dire Straits. Brothers in Arms. Despite the terrible surface noise of a totally worn out record the slow guitar at the beginning of the title song had tears running down my cheeks and my spine tingling. I'd listened to the album on CD dozens of times since putting away my turntable but it always just musak at any level.
The same goes for organ bass. CD is very revealing but has no soul. I have collected quite a lot of old vinyl albums since restoring the LP12 to its rightful place. Some of the quiet pieces are very moving indeed. On CD they just sound like an organ. Organ bass on vinyl is very different to CD too. Softer edged and without the infrasonic support and more obvious intermodulation of the higher registers.
If anyone is interested there are a few YouTube videos with a chap experimenting with 4 Hz and 8 Hz pipes of 64 feet and 128 feet equivalent length. The effects on the higher stops are obvious even on my tiny computer speakers.
He has installed a couple of 18" as an IB in the church where the real pipe organ is sited. Rather oddly he felt the need to coat the cones with varnish to protect them from the damp. That must have pushed Fs down a bit. He reports that even very low input power is overwhelming at these very low frequencies. This may be due to the sheer size of the building supporting half or full waves. It doesn't sound very musical though. He probably hasn't used enough 18" drivers and is listening to the end stops being hammered. (I'm joking of course) ;D
There are several videos by the same chap and some interesting video responses if you poke around.
Let's be careful out there people! Let's not destroy the neighbourhood. Or (worse) destroy any drivers. Excursion is frequency dependent in an IB and these extremely low frequencies are supposed to be inaudible.
Three 24" x 24 " x 3" thick concrete slabs resting on valve spring did not help at all. The resonant frequency was too close to the LP12's own suspension frequency and the whole lot underdamped and rather unstable. I have read online that a really massive support would isolate a turntable but my rack is incredibly heavy already and that doesn't help at all. My flimsy baffle wall is behind the rack so that can't be used. There are no other vertical surfaces within 26 feet of the rack. The whole floor is reasonably safe but hopelessly flexible. It lies over the kitchen so can't be braced with a pillar. I'm seriously considering hanging something from the ceiling above the rack.
Sorry, Grazer. We seem to be taking over your thread now. Jim's was full up.
carvernut & Chris, You won't get any augment from me on CDs Vs Vinyl, unfortunately I didn't ever have the funds to execute a decent phono setup and now it's in the too hard basket. So using SACD's and higher sample rates at least gets you closer.
That is tempting, but outside my budget at present
While we are talking turntables, and taking over Dave's thread in the process, could you elaborate further on rumble mitigation strategies?
I would surmise that rumble comes from two sources. Direct transmission via the floor to the turntable, and induced vibration from low frequency energy present in the listening environment
I like your suggestion of suspending the turntable from the ceiling, thus minimising floor vibrations. I can already visualize chains down to a turntable sized platform, splayed, of course, so it does not swing around in the turbulence generated by the IB at full throttle
But, how does one deal with the infrasonic excitation, if that is indeed an issue? It does not appear to be a problem for carvernut, so what is he doing different?
BTW, I have that exact same LP, but have not listened to it in a long time, choosing instead, to play CD versions of Dire Straits recordings, for the reasons outlined above, but would love to drag it out of mothballs and experience it the way you have.
The problem with suspended turntables is the lack of damping. Any attempt to damp the springs greatly reduces the isolation offered. The suspended mass has a low frequency resonance which can be easily excited. I notice that DJs use direct drive non suspended turntables for their abuse of the vinyl medium. There may be help to be had from this direction but I was around at the birth of subjectivity and the whole belt driven versus servo driven controversy. You wouldn't believe the amusing nonsense written about the Linn back then.
At present I have no useful insights into avoiding feedback or footfall excitation of my turntable. I suspect that the LP12 can manage the airborne infrasonics quite well but footfalls remain its "Achilles heel".
Thick carpet underfelt may offer a partial solution. Unfortunately the rack lies on a traffic route and (rather oddly) my wife objects to being locked out of the house while I'm playing records. Well, I suppose she has a point. It is midwinter. ;D
l'll join in for a bit too...........l always remember a mate coming around to my place ( this was back in the 80's ) , he had a new yamaha cdp with him and wanted to compare it with my turntable/lp's . At the time l was running a nice moving coil setup ( about $400 back then ) on a denon turntable , we set up the cdp and using my favourite album at the time......yes , Brothers in arms , we did a comparison ( he had the same on cd ). l switched between lp and cd over a few songs , as you guys have mentioned, the lp just had that alive and emotional feel to it whereas the cd sounded very smooth , but seemed to lack any "heart" to it .......it left me feeling a bit let down as l was expecting it to be on par with the lp sound .
My mate ended up buying it all the same as they were all the rage, and a few years later l ended up buying one as cd's were being produced and lp's being phased out.........l've noticed my enjoyment for sitting back and getting into 2 channel stuff has fallen off a lot now , l cant seem to get "into" it like l used to and l lost my turntable due to smoke damage in the fire we had a few years ago....should've replaced it , but used the money to help upgrade the ht. l now tend to get into music dvd's as l get the whole audio/visual which to me is a good experience ( so long as the quality is good ) l know the audio could be better sometimes but at least the whole package can entertain you pretty well, dts can be nice especially with some liquid audio enhancement
l'm yet to purchase a sacd......apparently they are much better than cd's.....l hope so , with new higher bit rate stuff supposedly coming out music might get back its "feel " that we all miss
I dragged out my vinyl version of "Brothers in arms", which I guess we all are here, and cued up the title track, after listening to all the others first, of course ;D
Now, I grant you, my gear is not that special, but in its day it was not bottom shelf either, for a poorly paid 20 something year old person searching for audio nirvana.
Yes, I had surface noise, as well as the pleasure of getting up after 20 minutes to change sides, and yes it sounded dam good.
Next I cued up the same track (but a slightly shorter version), on a music DVD compilation, "The Sultans of swing", and let that rip.
If it was of lesser quality, I could not tell, and my DVD player is only a crappy $200 Toshiba jobbie Perhaps that makes me an audio Philistine I really don't care. I am happy with digital. It pushes my buttons sufficiently, to make it very enjoyable, and the convenience is a bonus.
I think Ken is right about the added sensory stimulation that music DVD's provide to the experience I have spent the last several nights listening to/watching the Eagles Farewell Tour, recorded in Melbourne, Australia. It is simply amazing, and I have five Eagles albums in my collection, but they have never sounded this good, on my gear at least
So, I don't think I will be leaving the digital domain anytime soon, and technology is sure to bridge any gaps, eventually. Enjoyable listening to you all, regardless of source ;D
Well I can truly say I'm a product of the digital age given I had the first Sony CDP 101 then the 502 ( made my girl friend (now wife) bring it back in her luggage from Hong Kong, forgot to mention it weighed 9kgs ) It's swings and roundabouts, CD has a lot of good qualities, if CD weren't around we probably would have IB, most turntables struggle with really tight LF.
The reality is that a top phono set up will whip a CD player every time but to get a top phono setup is expensive and consistency is a problem with the wild variations in the quality of pressings.
l've noticed my enjoyment for sitting back and getting into 2 channel stuff has fallen off a lot now , l cant seem to get "into" it like l used to and l lost my turntable due to smoke damage in the fire we had a few years ago....should've replaced it , but used the money to help upgrade the ht.
Ken I was wondering if your drop off of enjoyment in 2 channel is just a result of the over stimulated we're all subjected to with the volume of media coming our way? Is it that hearing music is no longer enough and we now need to see it to get the same enjoyment. Or could it be that we all just stopped smoking joints while we're listening to our stereos
Well I never inhaled... but I have recently done some extended subjective listening tests of two of my CD players and can discern no real difference between them. I can detect the difference between the sound quality of the CDs themselves though. As did my wife without any prompting.
I used my old Marantz CD63SE and my new Pioneer LX70a BDP for the comparison. Moving 3 different versions of the CD, of the same Clannad track, between the players immediately made one more pleasant (or worse) than the other. Both players were used with analogue out and the Naim preamp source selector used to switch between players. I used my Galaxy SPL meter to check that they played at exactly similar levels. Which they did. (this rather surprised me because the Pioneer sounded louder)
A secondhand Rega turntable with a moving magnet cartridge will get your vinyl spinning nicely. There are also plenty of secondhand stereo amps around. Use an active crossover to keep your IB busy on music too. No big bucks required. I'm now trawling the flea markets and charity shops for very affordable vinyl. I check every record for the least sign of scratching of course and reject all but pristine examples. Often buying for mere pocket change.
CD is very listenable and exquisitely detailed. Often with pinpoint imagery. It just seems to lack an obvious emotional connection to the music. Vinyl is usually softer and more rounded but seems to demand one's attention. Those who really enjoy their CDs should avoid vinyl or face possible disappointment when returning to the digital format. Vinyl is not for everybody. It is a fragile medium with many physical problems of handling, storage, wear, damage and replay. Which is why I gave it up myself for a number of years.
Subjective judgement of audio is obviously a very personal matter and often mood dependant. Your ears and heart are certainly not broken if you prefer CD. I wouldn't be too quick to (mis)judge your old CD player either from my own listening experience.
Now all we need to do is trash the SQ difference between amplifiers and we will have destroyed the world market for consumer electronics! Thank goodness for film DVDs. ;D
Yeah both formats have their advantages, l guess a lot of the problem is compression on cd's , as we all know the guy doing the mixing has control of the finished product and that can be pretty bad sometimes. Same deal with vinyl too , l dont know how many studies on this has been done , a lot l reckon , if you have a spare hour up your sleeve here's an interesting ( but lengthy ) discussion for you to do your heads in over Click on the video icon
COMPRESSION on CD? Heck even my best Shefield LP's only had about 65 dB dynamic range. Yea, a tad more musical ( Grace F9L, Sota, into a home built FET amp). But I sold all my LP's for CD's. Reason? I spend the time PLAYING music, not playing WITH it.
Those old enough will remember we used to buy peak unlimiters and other non-linear distortion generators to add some dynamics to records.
About 99% of what people blame oin the CD is actually the studio. Early CD's were only 14 bit. The old boards were (are) full of 741 op amps. Now half of the stuff is mastered on a PC. Then we play it back on equipment a hundred times better and think it makes a difference.
Good thing there are areas like low distortion bass that still can make a difference for a DIY.