My Audio Journey

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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby dimfer » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:55 am

rtsyrtsy wrote:Ding,

First, thanks for sharing 2015's ups and downs. The good things in life would not be as good without the perspective that the less pleasant stuff give us.

Second, glad that you've recovered and are looking forward to riding. Maybe I get to ride with you this summer? Planning a Canadian West Coast trip--campus tours na rin for my panganay. We're on the same boat. I need to drop 10kgs fast.

Third, fantastic photography by your daughter. Dad is not in Grade 1. Dad just does not have as much time to practice! Pero malamang mahabol mo si Uryelle if you arm yourself with a this SL. :-)

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Of course, there are those who will say "it's the Indian, not the pana." I think the SL is built tough enough to bash the heads of those who say that. :rock:

Fourth, thanks for letting us live vicariously through your Audio Journey. I think that if I can afford to re-tube one channel of your amps, I can already consider myself a very successful man financially! For me, just to find the time to listen is a struggle so I'm taking that as a positive na wala akong nadidinig na pagkukulang sa room/system at this point. :-)


I don't complain about my aches and pains - just lucky to be still alive, even with all the health issues and challenges that I have.. and you know what, we can live a happy life in pain :D

Bro, magkaibang level tayo ng ride, pang bakuran lang ang skill ko :D pero sige ride tayo, basta magdala tayo ng towing rope para hatakin mo ako.

Uryelle will give me serious heck when she catches me shooting with that camera in A mode - she would say "Dad, there's no point in shooting highend cameras in auto or preset modes, shoot in manual, or just get a point and shoot" :$

Decided na ba ang anak mo sa Canada/Alberta? Which school?

mura lang ang tubo nito, kayang kaya ng isang SVP ng malaking company na tulad mo..
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby dimfer » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:59 am

jadis wrote:Nice stuff, Ding. New Year, New speakers. Congrats.

thanks and Happy New Year din Phil

kabubi wrote:Always great to hear your stories, Ding.

and i especially love to hear how your homegrown amp still manages to be as good as the branded ones.
time for the preamp!


this homegrown amp can punch with the big boys.. I am working on the pre-amp project na, currently exchanging emails with Chris Johnson.. Deulund RS series tayo? sabihin mo kay MR, wag muna magpagawa ng case/chassis, baka malaki ang kailangan natin :devil:
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby kabubi » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:00 am

sigue ba!
kumpara natin sa Sprague.

may reliable source ka para diyan? expensive?

dimfer wrote: Deulund RS series tayo?
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby dimfer » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:17 pm

update muna, bago makalimutan

I always felt that my HT needed improvement from the beginning. I got an LG HTIB because our daughters were also using the home theater for Playstation gaming and to watch movies and we wanted a system that was simpler to use. I think using the LG for 4 years is long enough, time to take the home theater experience to the next level. I want something better, but didn't want to spend too much. I started looking for an HT receiver around Christmas time because everything goes on sale on Boxing Day (happens on Dec. 26, similar to Black Friday sale in the US).. traffic at Best Buy and other electronic store was just crazy on Boxing Day, so I ended not buying anything. I was really tempted to pickup a Yamaha RXV 1050 at Visions because it was $500 off, but $800 was still too rich for me. There was also a Harman Kardon model that Wwas on slae at Bestbuy but there were some features I want that it didn't have. NAD was a good proposition too, but just like Yamaha, the model that I want was a little beyond my budget. A guy at London Drugs whispered to me that they will put the Onkyo TX-NR737 on sale on January 8.. I did some reading about the product, it has 6 hdmi input, Dolby Atmos ready, 4k pass through, powerful enough, good enough for me.. so I waited. Early in the morning of Jan 8, I went to LD to buy my Onkyo, at more than 50% off.. it's a brand new, sealed 2014 model.. the salesman was trying to convince me to get the newer 747 which was also on sale, but it's $300 more. The only feature that separate the two is the DTS-X, the 737 is good enough for me..

I took the old LG HTIB out, our daughter was really glad to take it for her living room. I used my old Mordaunt Short MS40 monitor speakers as the fronts, kept the Energy Take 1 center channel speaker I was using, assigned the built in ceiling speakers as Atmos height speakers and re-used the surround speakers from the LG as rear surround and used one of the inputs of the Von Schweikert Shockwave V15 powered sub.. wallah - improved system on a budget. HT experience improved a lot.

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I was itching to upgrade the center channel speaker as well, but I like the way the smaller Energy Take 1 fits in my rack. I still have a pending offer on a Revel Performa C50.. but really, the Energy performs so well I could live with it

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I used up all HDMI inputs - Sony DVD Blu Ray player & streamer, my wife's karaoke, Sony PS3, NVidia Shield, Optic tv receiver

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I shoehorned the MS40 behind the Magico S7

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below is a screen shot of Pan, I am using an iPad and was not able to capture the actual picture quality, which is much better than what you can see here. The Shield can Stream up to 4k quality.

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we were invited to a friend's house during the holiday break and I was re-introduced to kodi android tv. I tried xbmc using an Ouya game console before and the experience was not good at all. It was buffering all the time and the picture quality in most of the streams were bad. In our friend's house, we watched the Revenant before it started to show in the movie houses here, no buffering and the picture quality was outstanding. I researched the best possible android tv platform as soon as I got home and bought an Nvidia Shield within a week. I paid more for the Shield vs other android tv options, but we have recovered our investment already because we've been streaming movies like crazy. I upgraded our internet plan to 50mbps with 400 gb cap. The Shield can receive signal via wifi but I chose wired connection to our gigabit router to make sure that I always have a fast and stable connection.. so far so good. Too bad Skull Crusher stopped streaming last February it was my favourite add on. ahem I promised not to spend a dime on Manny Pacquiao ppv anymore after the FMJ brouhaha, but I think I'll be watching him live after all :angel:

on the audio side, I sold my W4S Mpre and in the process of selling my ST1000. The pre amp is good, but the amp is badly beaten by the less powerful Aurender X725 integrated. I find the W4S veiled on top, and a lot of times uninvolving. I demoed it with the Magico S1, the sound was cold. Since the X725's DAC can only take USB input, I was forced to pullout the Aurender N100H from the main rig and move the X725 & N100H combo upstairs to work with the Von Schweikert VR 35.. and so far, this the best I've heard the Vr 35 sing, much better sounding than W4S and I prefer it over MR's 6c33-c and GM70. I hope Aurender make more powerful amps in the future. The system now has excellent clarity from top to bottom, very detailed without any glare or edge. Hi res files have good texture and has more weight and body.

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I was surprised that Aurender built a music server with no wi-fi connectivity. I was forced to get a wireless wi fi extender with an ethernet output port to supply internet connectivity to the N100H in our living room.

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I got a small fanless NUC to replace the Aurender in my main rig. I was very close to forking out $4k to build a fanless music server with linear power supply etc etc last year. The DIY factor was very appealing and was very curious if I could build one solely based on what I learn from computeraudiophile.com and other fora. I abandoned that idea and got the Aurender, now the itch is back.

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Somebody suggested that using a small computer fed by a server will yield better sonic result for much less investment than hooking a music server straight to the DAC. The idea is to have the server do all the processing and heavy lifting, and just use the NUC/NAA as a streamer/renderer. I have a Lenovo T430 that's not getting a lot of use since I got an iPad (a must have if you want to use Aurender the way it is designed to work), it has a decent I5 processor, good battery, two hard drives and could be used as a server. I ordered the NUC, RAM and an ethernet switcher online, while waiting for the hardware, I paid a guy for the specially designed renderer operating system (surprisingly big @ more than 15gb for something specifically designed to play music files and nothing else), bought HQ Player from an Italian reseller, setup my Roon account and installed the same on the Lenovo, Tidal HiFi followed soon after. Roon is quite expensive, but it is the only platform available right now that can integrate HQ Player and Tidal. The idea here is to use Roon to manage and play your music files, use Tidal as additional source to your music library and have everything played by Roon upsampled by HQ Player before it is fed to the streamer. I configured the streamer to just hand over the information to the DAC, nothing else. The idea is very similar to what Mark Porzilli did with the MP, although the implementation is a little different. The HQ Player upsamples on the fly, and can upsample everything that passes through it (including the Tidal stream) to DSD 256 aka quad DSD if your DAC can latch DSD 256. In my case, I have the HQP upsample to DSD128 because that's all the PS Audio Direct Stream can do. I also have an Uptone Regen Amber between the streamer and the DAC.

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Roon is quite cool because it's metadata include some background information about the artist and the recording, like what you get in LP's, nice to read stuff (good diversion from Facebook) while listening to the music. How's the sound? Quite good actually and better than many cd players, but in my experience, Aurender playing high res still sound better. I was told that upgrading the wall wart power supply for the NUC with a good quality linear power supply and replacing the ethernet cable between the router and the Streamer with a fiber optic isolation setup will enable the Streamer to surpass Aurender, but I am not willing to sink another $700 to this experiment at this point. Roon without HQP sounds mediocre, one client compared it to Jriver and Foobar2000 and found the two better sounding. But with HQP, it takes the ballgame to a different level.

Digital audio has changed a lot during past past 5 years. Mark Porzilli told me while we were having dinner in Newport Beach in 2013 that he expect other designers and engineers to surpass MP64 within the next few years, but to my ringing ears, high res pcm played on MP64 still sounded better than anything played on PS Audio Direct Stream (DSD). The guy may have disappeared from the audio scene (although Clement Perry told me sometime last year that the new 32 core MP is beyond anything he's heard in the market), but I still think he's a real genius. His ideas were so far outside the box that he was ridiculed and dismissed by a lot of audiophiles, something that he took very personally to the point he despised the audio industry altogether. But, he's been doing a lot of stuff in 2006 that are now being implemented by other designers. To my knowledge, he was the first to report that playing music files on SSD sounded better than on moving drives, now Aurender and everybody else is doing the same. He believed that upsamping music files and playing high resolution at source and doing no upsamping at the DAC sounded better.. this was hotly debated at various fora, bits are bits and you cannot improve 16/44 because you cannot add info by upsampling.. now, a lot of people like what Jussi Laako is doing with HQP. I could go, but I had been called a Mark Porzilli fanboy already, so I'll stop here :devil:

There's another mid/low priced brand in the market that keeps me awake at night 8) , I hope to get it soon and include it in my next report. Hint - an esteemed reviewer paired this brand's less than $2k dac/preamp and less than $4k per pair monos with the Magico Q7 and was very very impressed with the result.. para daw si connor McGregor, punching way above his weight class :devil:
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby JackD201 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:55 pm

Huwag naman si Connor. He just got knocked out by a replacement in his first fight above his weight class! :D
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby dimfer » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:59 am

JackD201 wrote:Huwag naman si Connor. He just got knocked out by a replacement in his first fight above his weight class! :D


he was winning and outpunching Nate, until the naked choke :D
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby elco » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:21 pm

Hi Ding. Kumusta? Update naman diyan! Wanna see those BHK amps. :)
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby dimfer » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:40 pm

Ikaw talaga, papapagtrabahuhin mo pa ako, para namang hindi hindi mo nakita sa FB :devil:

I'll take decent pictures and try to upload at photobucket then update the thread.
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby elco » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:37 pm

dimfer wrote:Ikaw talaga, papapagtrabahuhin mo pa ako, para namang hindi hindi mo nakita sa FB :devil:

I'll take decent pictures and try to upload at photobucket then update the thread.

Yippee! :)
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby dimfer » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:47 am

para kay Pareng Elco

Aurender N100H replaced by Aurender A10

temporary setup, amp and pre amp burning in
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Re: My Audio Journey

Postby dimfer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:15 pm

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testing imgur
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