Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews

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audioengr

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #60 on: 19 Dec 2012, 06:56 pm »
Steve (or any other poster):  Could you provide some comparison in terms of performance of the SynchroMesh with well-regarded units like the Audiophilleo 2 or the new Audio gd DSP-V2 or V3?  I am familiar with the units' functionality (and the fact that the AP2 is a USB convertor) and of course realize that the SynchroMesh is your own product, but would be curious about comments you would make.  Thanks.

The outcome of this type of shootout would depend on the software used for playback with the USB converter.  With most software I believe the SM will beat the USB converter.  If you have done all of the tweaks to the PC and using Foobar and Jplay maybe not.  Even with this it could be close.

Steve N.

steve in jersey

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #61 on: 19 Dec 2012, 10:26 pm »
Just a short comment today,as I made a discovery last night that I did'nt expect to make !

While waiting for my SM to arrive I spent some time reading any threads about the SM to get a feel for what other users were saying about it. In one of the postings someone mentioned they were using it with the same DAC that I'm using , a Metrum Octave. The poster mentioned that the 24bit setting was a no go with the Octave , so other than a quick listen (which I took to be the "true character" of this setting) I unplugged the SM put the switch on 16bits . I was actually pretty happy with the sound at this setting, until curiosity got the better of me. Guess what ? You know the infamous net saying YMMV ? Truer letters were never typed in this case !

 I should know better when it comes Metrum Octave related comments (but I won't get into that for now). Realistically , even if another user should have two of the same components that you use the odds that the playback results "will" have similar results are highly unlikely . As it turns out the 24bit setting works pretty well in my system . Whether this has anything to do with the BNC connection from the Auraliti to the SM (I'll admit to the unscientific conjecture here) I honestly don't know, but it works.

As Steve keeps reminding us, try the different setting after you've had the SM in your setup for a while. (Sorry for not being brief, but I thought this was worth sharing)

Happy Listening,
Steve A

audioengr

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #62 on: 20 Dec 2012, 01:18 am »
I'm glad I put that 16/24 switch on there.  Seems like most users of the optional 44.1 output SM like the 16-bit setting best, but it varies for the 96 version.

Steve N.

steve in jersey

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #63 on: 20 Dec 2012, 01:25 am »
Yup, surprises me. I'm pretty glad at your foresight !

ozzy

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #64 on: 20 Dec 2012, 02:09 pm »
Steve,
After reading your recent posts, do you prefer the 16 bit setting or the 24 bit?

cooch

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #65 on: 20 Dec 2012, 03:37 pm »
question............my peachtree dac has 2 settings, one for hi-bit or low bit, and one for non-oversampling or oversampling..........if i set the SM on 16 bit, what settings on the peachtree should sound best?     or if i set the SM on 24 bit, what settings on the peachtree should sound best?     i guess the peachtree should be set the same as the SM?  thanks   

paul79

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #66 on: 20 Dec 2012, 04:48 pm »
The 24bit mode is better with my DAC. The 16bit mode was a little soft and some detail was lost. Even though, it still sounded pretty dang good on 16bit. I had no trouble enjoying the music. I can see where some older or brighter sounding DAC's (or systems) would benefit using the 16bit mode.

A little follow-up: After using it for a week now, I can say that it's gotten even better sounding. Toggling back and forth using my transport with and without the SMR, it is very obvious what this little box does for the sound. Quite an amazing little piece it is, and I am very pleased with it. No brainer for us SPDIF junkies.

steve in jersey

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #67 on: 20 Dec 2012, 05:24 pm »
Steve,
After reading your recent posts, do you prefer the 16 bit setting or the 24 bit?

Hey Oz,

I know that should'nt be a hard question to answer, (seems I've had better luck here then some people), I've had success with both setting. I'm going to say that I'll probably leave at 24bit setting.

The reason I'm "hedging" a bit is that I have several groups of different "recording perspectives" that seem to benefit from either "opening up the sound stage" a bit or in some cases you might want a bit more "focus". As an example some of the orchestral recordings I like exhibit a "dry" acoustic to the hall . This "recording artifact" has a upside for me, there is a greater specificity to the players spacial relationships to each other. Players don't perform on "infinite" stages. "Well ,we don't hear that much inner detail in the audience" That's okay we have this great tool called "recordings" that lets us hear what we may not have heard live "the inner sound stage"(ain't technology great ?). The problem is sometimes "dry"(actually semi-dry) recordings need some help with the portrayal of width & depth so we can help that by increasing the bit depth & we still have all that wonderful inner sound stage.

On the other hand some recordings (& genres of music, & recording locations) don't benefit from "opening the soundstage up" a setting that is closer to a bit perfect rendition of what was recorded sounds better or "more focused".

The thing is ,try as we might we can't get things perfect. I look at bit depth settings as being like making vta adjustments on a tone arm (& very few of us made adjustments for each album; It went by majority rule of what sounds best...but it's a hell of a lot easier with digital)

Nick B

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #68 on: 21 Dec 2012, 11:27 pm »
Steve N.
You mentioned the performance of the SM/Touch as 7.5 vs the Off Ramp as a 10. When a better chip? comes out for the SM, would you expect that to radically improve over the 7.5 performance? Also, if improvements are later available for the SM, could that be an upgrade to the existing SM or would it likely be a brand new unit?
Nick

audioengr

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #69 on: 22 Dec 2012, 06:59 pm »
Steve N.
You mentioned the performance of the SM/Touch as 7.5 vs the Off Ramp as a 10. When a better chip? comes out for the SM, would you expect that to radically improve over the 7.5 performance? Also, if improvements are later available for the SM, could that be an upgrade to the existing SM or would it likely be a brand new unit?
Nick

Nick - I doubt if the SM will ever match the Off-Ramp 5, however if you use a really good S/PDIF cable and upgrade the PS to a Paulhynesdesign.com SR3-12, then it will be close.  I dont expect any new upsampling chips to be released that are better than the one I use, but you never know....
 
I hope to be selling the SR3-12 on my website in the new year.

Steve N.

ozzy

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #70 on: 24 Dec 2012, 12:20 am »
Well first I took the Synchro Mesh in and out of the system and compared the sound quality differences.
Then I and went back and forth comparing the 16 bit vs the 24 bit.
So, with my system , I can conclude...

With the SM out of the system, the sound has better bass with a solid round quality. With the SM in the system the bass is much weaker and further back in the performance.
However, with the SM in the system, the soundstage is generally further back with a more layered sound, with the SM out of the system the soundstage is more up front.

Then, I compared the 16 bit to the 24 bit. Again, with my my system the 16 bit setting has the bass sounding close to what it sounds like without the SM. That is, clearer, more rounded etc. But, the 24 bit setting has more depth than the 16 bit.

So, to sum up , the SM does improve my system somewhat. But, with a trade off between achieving more depth but with the bass being slighlty buried in the soundstage.

I believe that the standard Squeezebox Touch already has very low jitter and that probably minimizes the improvements that the Synchro Mesh can provide to say a Sonus unit.
Also, my Squeezebox Touch has been modified and I am using an upgraded linear power supply along with a high quality power cord.

paul79

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #71 on: 31 Dec 2012, 05:53 pm »
You might try different cables Ozzy. i find that they do make a difference.
« Last Edit: 20 Jun 2013, 05:34 am by paul79 »

steve in jersey

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #72 on: 31 Dec 2012, 09:13 pm »
You might try different cables Ozzy. i find that they do make a difference, even the cable going into the SMR.

You're correct there. The Black Cat Silverstar75 that I finally recieved last week made a nice little change once I connected it BNC (from my PK100) to the BNC connector on my SM & placed my Harmonic Tech. Digital Copper cable to the SM to DAC (BNC to RCA)

With the cable change I noticed the sound I was noticing listening to my dBPoweramp ripped CD files (Using the SM 24 bit setting) was more focused with a more open soundstage & bass response that was more in line with what I was hearing using the 16bit setting. I was not expecting to like the 24bit setting at all as I don't care for any Upsampling DAC that I've had (Musical Fidelity M1 async., PSAudio DL lll) . For myself it appears that whatever the SM bit depth switch is doing it is not affecting the frequency integrity in an manner that affects the timbre of the notes that I can't ignore with "Upsampled" files. That is one of the reasons I opted for the 16bit, 44.1khz output. Should I build up a 24b/96k collection I will buy another SM for dedicated 24/96 playback & switch between the 2 SM as whatever source material I'm playing dictates. I'm in no rush to do this as  the 44.1khz material I'm listening sounds "very, very nice" to me. I don't obsess over listening to the "CD layer of my SACDs anymore. I've never collected music that was'nt well recorded , this trumps format every time for me.

I'll get off my soapbox (for now , anyway!) . I'm thinking of upgrading my SM to DAC cable to a better Harmonic Technology, Acrolink, or Siltech cable. Any yays or nays to any of these ?

Steve

paul79

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #73 on: 31 Dec 2012, 09:32 pm »
Wish I knew. I'm currently on the hunt for some good S/PDIF Cables. Perhaps some people with experience can chime in on their favorite cables??

steve in jersey

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Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #74 on: 31 Dec 2012, 11:55 pm »
Oops, I should have mentioned the cable question was directed to anyone having any experience w/ any of these cables. I guess I'll call John over at the CableCo.com. & chat about them as that is where I was browsing at them


Thanks, all the same .

audioengr

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #75 on: 1 Jan 2013, 01:21 am »
question............my peachtree dac has 2 settings, one for hi-bit or low bit, and one for non-oversampling or oversampling..........if i set the SM on 16 bit, what settings on the peachtree should sound best?     or if i set the SM on 24 bit, what settings on the peachtree should sound best?     i guess the peachtree should be set the same as the SM?  thanks

I would recommend making a matrix and try them all and compare SQ on 2 different tracks.  Never use only one track for this. 

Impossible to predict.

Steve N.

audioengr

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #76 on: 1 Jan 2013, 01:26 am »
With the SM out of the system, the sound has better bass with a solid round quality. With the SM in the system the bass is much weaker and further back in the performance.
However, with the SM in the system, the soundstage is generally further back with a more layered sound, with the SM out of the system the soundstage is more up front.

Then, I compared the 16 bit to the 24 bit. Again, with my my system the 16 bit setting has the bass sounding close to what it sounds like without the SM. That is, clearer, more rounded etc. But, the 24 bit setting has more depth than the 16 bit.

So, to sum up , the SM does improve my system somewhat. But, with a trade off between achieving more depth but with the bass being slighlty buried in the soundstage.

Do these comparisons carefully and be aware that high jitter in the bass frequencies can sound louder and fuller, but is actually going down the garden path.  A good track to play with is the Flight of the Cosmic Hippos.  If this drives you out of the room with bass then you have high jitter in the bass.  If you can listen to it and hear all of the bass overtones clearly, then you are on the right path.

If you have better imaging, this is usually correct and not down the garden path.  I would to see if the bass is limited by something else int he system.

I know because I have also been down this garden path in the past.  I know what to look for now.

Steve N.

audioengr

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #77 on: 1 Jan 2013, 01:29 am »
BTW, had a customer over for the afternoon and I tried the Synchro-Mesh for the first time using a Monolith Li battery supply.  Major difference.  This is quite close to the Off-Ramp 5 now.

Those that use this as their primary source should consider PS upgrades.  I dont offer the Monolith anymore, but I'll be offering Hynes supplies in the near future.

Steve N.

audioengr

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #78 on: 6 Jan 2013, 08:04 pm »
I am ordering for another build of SM and I'm thinking about removing the BNC input jack.

Customers have complained that there is not enough room to fit 2 Toslink connectors.  I could spread the connectors out if the input BNC jack were removed.

Any issues?

Steve N.

Watthead

Re: Synchro-Mesh reclocker reviews
« Reply #79 on: 6 Jan 2013, 08:47 pm »
Seems a good idea to me.


Question: Will ordering a Coaxial with factory terminated BNC (source) to RCA (Load) be in any way advantage to just going ahead and having just RCA to RCA Coaxial? (Sound Quality wise I mean). Reason I ask is because in a future I wanna upgrade from the SM to the Off Ramp. And Off Ramp having a BNC out seems like a good idea buying such a cable now. I know the Off-Ramp has a BNC to RCA adapter, but i guess i'm not a fan of adapters.

Thanks

Watthead