Intro

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Mainewoods

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Intro
« on: 4 Jul 2021, 08:30 pm »
Hello from Maine everyone. I picked up the black SET 400 demo Frank had on the site early last month to replace my Synergy double 240.  It's paired up with a T-10 RB I've had since I traded back an Omega pre about 3 years ago. Frank does great work. After a few weeks with the SET 400, I think he has a homerun.

Scott

Mainewoods

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Re: Intro
« Reply #1 on: 11 Jul 2021, 07:20 pm »
Hello all,
I realized that I had not updated the list of my gear in awhile. Thought that might be more helpful to anyone trying to make a decision on the SET 400. There have been a few changes in both the gear and the listening room in the last four years. I 've already mentioned the T10 RB, smooth and just slightly warm with some detail and air as well as very crisp and nuanced bass added by a pair of Reflektors. The digital front end is a Moon 380D DAC.  Sources are a NuPrime CDT 8 transport and a dedicated Asus I5 running JRiver Media Player. Analog is a lightly modified VPI HW 19 jr, with a Grado Reference cart on an AQ 7 arm into Frank's latest phono pre. The speakers began life as a pair of Magnepan MMGs and one DWM low end module. Listened to them for a year or so and really began to appreciate their output but it felt like they might have more to offer. There is no shortage of Maggie tweaks out there but the "Gunn mod" seemed worth the effort after corresponding with John over a weeks. http://www.indiespinzone.com/magnestand.html.
The MMG drivers are now solidly mounted in quartersawn oak frames (I had access to some incredible lumber) and I've rebuilt the crossovers per John's schematic and parts list. Very good outcome!
A pair of REL T-0s fill in most of the bottom.
The ICs are a combination of Anticable Level 6(USB and AES) and homebuilt helicals with Mundorf AG/AU alloy, VA Audio foamed Teflon tube and Absolute Harmonies.
I am using a variety of power cords right now.  2 Level 1 Anti Cables, 1 Cardas Parsec, Homebuilds include furutech nano gold wire and gold Oyaides terminals (CDT), 3, 9ga wires w/ Silver Sonic signals and double 12 ga AG plated neutrals with different Furutech term combos (Amp, Pre, DAC)
Power arrives through 2 dedicated 20 amp circuit via VH Audio's cryoed 12 ga from a 100 amp sub panel. One circuit has a double furutech copper receptacle running to a Blue Circle 6 gang, a single 20 amp furutech gold outlet powers the amp.
The room is purpose built too but that's a whole other story.
Hope you all have had a great weekend!
Scott

charmerci

Re: Intro
« Reply #2 on: 11 Jul 2021, 08:33 pm »
Audirvana has a thirty day free trial. You oughta try them out to compare to JRiver.

Mainewoods

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Re: Intro
« Reply #3 on: 11 Jul 2021, 08:49 pm »
Thanks for the suggestion. What would say are the advantages?  It's pretty sticky stuff. Makes it a giant pain to switch

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Intro
« Reply #4 on: 11 Jul 2021, 09:36 pm »
Thanks for the suggestion. What would say are the advantages?  It's pretty sticky stuff. Makes it a giant pain to switch

JRiver sounds midfi compared to other players out there.  Audirvana is way better.  It is more detailed and resolving.  It has more air and transparency with wider sound stage and more depth.  The JR interface is great, however, they have not upgraded the sound quality in years and it is more of a multimedia tool.  I still use it to rip CD's or to change resolution on music occasionally.

Audirvana use to be $75 but they have upgraded it to be more like Roon and it has a monthly fee.  You can download  a free 30 day trail.  You can control  it with a cell phone app or another computer or tablet.

Also, give HQ player a try if you have a good computer.  There is a 30 day free trail.

Hysolid is a free player that sounds very good and runs off your cell phone.

At least give the 30 day trials a whirl.  It will open your eyes and ears to much better sound.

Mainewoods

  • Jr. Member
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Re: Intro
« Reply #5 on: 11 Jul 2021, 11:01 pm »
Thanks IGF.  I originally went with JRiver because it let the DAC handle all of the processing. A significant software update would be a welcome improvement.

Mainewoods

  • Jr. Member
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Re: Intro
« Reply #6 on: 13 Jul 2021, 09:12 pm »
Well, so much for getting off the upgrade train for a bit. Thanks guys!
Audirvana runs best on Windows 10. The new laptop will be here by the end of the week.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Intro
« Reply #7 on: 14 Jul 2021, 02:04 am »
Well, so much for getting off the upgrade train for a bit. Thanks guys!
Audirvana runs best on Windows 10. The new laptop will be here by the end of the week.

Sorry, forgot to mention that.  If you have a windows 8 computer you can upgrade to 10 for free.

Mainewoods

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Re: Intro
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jul 2021, 08:24 pm »
It was a Win7 OS. Its time had come. And I do appreciate the help identifying a weak point.

WGH

Re: Intro
« Reply #9 on: 14 Jul 2021, 10:31 pm »
It was a Win7 OS. Its time had come. And I do appreciate the help identifying a weak point.

Windows 7 had the free update to 10 also. I have a 13 year old Toshiba laptop that had Windows Vista, talk about an OS that it's time had come and gone. I installed Win7 from an old disk and the update to 10 went flawlessly. Now the laptop is a slow and stable backup computer.

I have no idea if the free upgrade still works, if it does here's how:
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=167226.msg1775174#msg1775174

WGH

Re: Intro
« Reply #10 on: 14 Jul 2021, 10:39 pm »
JRiver sounds midfi compared to other players out there.  Audirvana is way better.  It is more detailed and resolving.  It has more air and transparency with wider sound stage and more depth.

Got the 30 day trial and listening to Audirvana now. Seems like results are system dependent, I'll be switching between Audirvana and JRiver for another 29 days.
Are you using WASAPI?

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Intro
« Reply #11 on: 15 Jul 2021, 12:49 am »
Got the 30 day trial and listening to Audirvana now. Seems like results are system dependent, I'll be switching between Audirvana and JRiver for another 29 days.
Are you using WASAPI?


It depends upon the DAC and system I am using.  Some I use ASIO and others WASAPI.  I am not surprised that you find it system dependent   Every DAC is different.

By  the way,

My go to music player is still Bug Head for critical listening.  Nothing that I gave tried sounds better.  There are over 100 versions of Bug Head and they all sound different.  The issue with it is  that it clears memory and writes the music to memory so  the load time could be 30 seconds or it could be 90 seconds depending upon whether your are upsampling or not.  I use it when I am listening to whole albums or part of one or a play list.  It is not good for jumping around.  Processing time varies with the version.

Mainewoods

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: Intro
« Reply #12 on: 15 Jul 2021, 11:44 pm »
Very cool that you got it to run on that machine, WGH! Did you have any issues with sudden bursts of noise from your high res library?  It seems like I have been able to reduce the frequency by keeping the buffer under 25% of RAM but still get the occasional pop or hiss.
IGF, any suggestions for narrowing down the the Bug Head field?

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Intro
« Reply #13 on: 16 Jul 2021, 12:58 am »
Very cool that you got it to run on that machine, WGH! Did you have any issues with sudden bursts of noise from your high res library?  It seems like I have been able to reduce the frequency by keeping the buffer under 25% of RAM but still get the occasional pop or hiss.
IGF, any suggestions for narrowing down the the Bug Head field?

If you want, I can send you a few versions of Bug Head and send some screen shots on the settings that I use.  What are the specs of your new computer- CPU and RAM.  Also, a SSD does speed up loading slightly.  Just remember that each version sounds different and the settings do make a difference.

For Audirvana, are you using WASAPI or ASIO?  Try playing around with the buffer some more.  I have no issues with my Luxman DAC or my sons DAC in his Cary Integrated but I did have issues with my Schiit Modi 3 DAC but  finally got it to work.

I assume you are using a decent USB cable.

WGH

Re: Intro
« Reply #14 on: 16 Jul 2021, 01:30 am »
Very cool that you got it to run on that machine, WGH! Did you have any issues with sudden bursts of noise from your high res library?

I don't use the laptop for music, I built a dedicated fanless music server 10 years ago that is slower than the laptop using a JetWay JNF96FL-525-LF motherboard with integrated Intel Atom D525 (1.8GHz, Dual-Core) Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo with 4GB ram. I have used JRiver for years with no noise, clicks or pops and recently trying out Audivana and it is silent too. My DAC only does 24/96 (DSD is downsampled).

The music server is tweaked to the max so that may have something to do with the excellent sound. Three separate linear regulated power supplies, a Paul Pang Audiophile Grade USB card and a JMaxwell data only USB cable.
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=122520.msg1290043#msg1290043

The server OS is up to date running the latest Windows 10 but it's showing it's age. I have a parts list put together for a new music server, I always build all my computers.
« Last Edit: 16 Jul 2021, 04:18 pm by WGH »

Mainewoods

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: Intro
« Reply #15 on: 17 Jul 2021, 04:09 pm »
Thanks IGF. I would appreciate that. A quick search turned up quite a few options. The system is an I5 with 8GB RAM and an HDD. I usually listen to entire albums, so load time would be less of an issue for me.
I located the source of noise issue with audrivana in a setup error I had made. With that and another buffer adjustment, it's working well.
My first impressions are that while it does seem album dependent, Kernal Streaming sounds consistently more transparent with a soundstage improvement over ASIO and WASAPI.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Intro
« Reply #16 on: 17 Jul 2021, 06:56 pm »
Thanks IGF. I would appreciate that. A quick search turned up quite a few options. The system is an I5 with 8GB RAM and an HDD. I usually listen to entire albums, so load time would be less of an issue for me.
I located the source of noise issue with audrivana in a setup error I had made. With that and another buffer adjustment, it's working well.
My first impressions are that while it does seem album dependent, Kernal Streaming sounds consistently more transparent with a soundstage improvement over ASIO and WASAPI.

Glad to hear you got Audirvana working.  How do you like it compared to JR?

PM me with your Email.  I will send you a few versions of BH on Monday or Tuesday.  I will try and send some screen shots on settings.

By the way, I use to run my music off of a laptop and external 8gb HD.  I built a custom music computer with a higher end low ripple power supply and very good Motherboard.  I don't use a monitor with it and I remote in with my laptop using windows remote desktop.  The improvement in sound was dramatic.  Blacker background. increased detail and resolution and more musicality.  I spent about $1K in parts all bought on sale around Thanksgiving.

Mainewoods

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: Intro
« Reply #17 on: 1 Aug 2021, 02:31 pm »
Now that it is working smoothly, I would say Audirvana is a solid improvement over JRiver. I found that the 8GB of RAM in the first Win10 laptop wasn't sufficient to run the OS as configured and switched to a 16GB model. What were your impressions WGH?

WGH

Re: Intro
« Reply #18 on: 1 Aug 2021, 07:44 pm »
Now that it is working smoothly, I would say Audirvana is a solid improvement over JRiver. I found that the 8GB of RAM in the first Win10 laptop wasn't sufficient to run the OS as configured and switched to a 16GB model. What were your impressions WGH?

I would say Audirvana is system dependent, it doesn't sound as good as JRiver in my system.

Ani Difranco's latest album "Revolutionary Love" is a good test album. The album's first track "Revolutionary Love" has both deep bass and a faint triangle in the left speaker. If you don't hear the triangle then something is wrong. The low resolution of YouTube videos kill the triangle, it is very clear in the 44.1kHz/24bit download from HD Tracks.

Audivana's bass is bigger and not as tight. I have a REL Gibraltar G2 sub, it is super fast and tight to 20 Hz. The low bass increase is easily heard and change adds more boominess, I would have to turn down the sub if I kept Adirvana .

The high treble is rolled off. The Salk HT2-TL speakers use the RAAL ribbon tweeter, any attenuation by any component, be it cables, electronics or software can be heard. Even though I know the triangle is there I have to strain to hear it.

The micro-detail is missing. I am using a full loom of Hapa interconnects along with a review sample of Jason's new Ember USB cable. The Hapa cables resolve micro-detail very well, there are plenty of reviews in the Hapa Circle talking about the increased dimensionality music has.

 Tomy2Tone has a good review: "They [Quiescence Copper] really do have a what I call an " in the room" feel to them but not at the expense of any hyper detail or exaggerated tone."
The "in the room" presentation is missing with Audirvana, all those subtle clues are missing, the music sounds OK but the soundstage is a shallow arc between the speakers.

Hey, Audirvana's midrange is pretty darn good so the software isn't a total disaster.

But... If you have stand mounted or tower speakers with limited low frequency response and no sub then the added bass will sound great. At the other end, speakers with a tipped up treble like Klipsch or Paradigm or electronics with pronounced highs like some Krell amps and Japanese receivers will benefit from the decrease in high treble. The USB outputs on laptops is filled with noise that can make the music sound harsher (that is why the USB filters like the Audioquest Jitterbug are popular), a decrease in high treble would probably be beneficial.  And if your system never resolved micro-detail then you will never know it is missing.

Adirvana could be the perfect player for the masses. The interface still sucks though.


It's strange the laptop needed more ram to run Adirvana. The program ran smoothly on my 10 year old Intel Atom (1.8 Ghz) with 4 GB ram Windows 10 music server. I finished my new music server and Adirvana still runs smoothly. Build details are here. The Kingrex UC384 USB/SPDIF converter only does WASAPI. Kernal Streaming and ASIO are not available so I can't listen to those.

WGH

Re: Intro
« Reply #19 on: 1 Aug 2021, 11:47 pm »
My first impressions are that while it does seem album dependent, Kernal Streaming sounds consistently more transparent with a soundstage improvement over ASIO and WASAPI.

I figured out how to enable Kernal Streaming in Audirvana and it does make the music clearer, so the program isn't that horrible, I can see how people would prefer it over JRiver.
Changing USB cables can also fine tune Audirvana. I have a USB cable that is more forward sounding than the Hapa Ember and it works well with WASAPI.

The sound you like also depends on how WASAPI, Kernal Streaming or ASIO interact with the default Realtek drivers or a dedicated USB card like I have.