So between the 4 of us in our little audio tinker group we did some serious listening, the unanimous vote was that digital now sounded different than high end Vinyl but better in many aspects...A bit weird to have to rely on others to tell me how the server sounds, I'm still too deaf to hear anything other than hints (and those sound pretty nice), Even the neighbours must have liked the sound as they probably enjoyed our music until they asked if we could turn the volume a bit down at 02:00 (I truthfully claimed I'm deaf)
The rig consisted of the server, an Audio Note 300B amp (nice amp but not stellar) and 2 KL405 VAC in large open baffles.
Burn in is under way, and will likely take a few weeks....
I sent my Hafler xl280 in to Musical Concepts and got it back a couple of weeks ago now. I ran it 24/7 until yesterday and had a good listen last night. Man O man does it sound good! It’s a major upgrade that John Hillig does and it’s basically not the same amp anymore but I am very impressed with his work. The sound stage is huge and on some songs it was wrapping around the wall to straight off my shoulders. I’ve never heard my open baffle speakers coming that far into the room and to the sides of me. Normally the sound covers the entire front wall and up the side walls a couple of feet in front of the speakers but never to straight across from me. Of course not all music does this and much of it just sounds glorious covering the front wall. I’m wondering how much improvement I would get from adding a power supply to my macmini music server at this point. The sound right now is really special but on some vocals I still hear just a bit of an edge but that may very well be the recording. Nothing like my class D 1200as2 based amp though. The clarity is similar but with a lot more edge or harshness at the edges. Also the sound stage is way smaller and the instruments and vocals sound thinner some how. All and all I’m very impressed so far. All of the crystal clarity of class D but with the huge sound stage and fullness of the instruments and vocals. I think it’s going to be hard to beat and perhaps only by a really good tube amp.
Digital music is as much a rabbit's hole as Vinyl...for sure your Macmini will fare better with a nice LPSU, the problem is that tackling the PSU is mainly 'cosmetics'. If you can find a Taiko dealer near you just ask if you can listen to the Extreme to hear how digital can sound.
I’m not privy to the fine details of the upgrade. I know that he uses the original mosfets which my amp has 8 per side. He also uses the original transformers which are supposed to be very good. The caps in the power supply section are upgraded to high end (fancy) types but after that I’m a little vague about the new boards. He calls it an upgrade but in many ways it’s a brand new amplifier.
Pretty much that is the case. What is really impressive is the clarity that the amp brings to the table without the harshness that often accompanies that aspect of reproduction. I am truly impressed at this moment but time will tell if that changes for me with long term listening.
That’s great news and what we all try to achieve. I’ve been doing the same thing with my newly upgraded Hafler amp. It’s hard to stop listening because I’m constantly trying out different music to hear what I hadn’t heard before. I’m very happy for you and it’s too bad we live so incredibly far away from each other. If you ever come to Seattle let me know. My audio room is a separate building from our house and has a full kitchen and bath to boot. By the way, Merry Christmas!
when I'm reasonably close I'll for sure stop by, that is IF travel ever gets back to normal....
I have swapped the laser modules for the fiberoptic stretch of my network for SFP+ datacenter modules with low latency and even higher bandwidth (the previous ones already outperformed any audio data requirement by far)
Very nice improvement that translates into cleaner backgrounds and faster transients and more detail texture and 'color', next stop is to add another 8pin EPS cable to feed the CPU and tinker with bypass caps for the PSU.
It is going to take some time before we can travel at will. When I retired I thought that I would be traveling the world. The truth is that I haven’t gone anywhere at all and my world feels smaller than ever.
If you are able to make it here you will have a free place to stay. Before Covid I had people come from Oregon and Idaho for listening get togethers and then stay in the audio building over night. It’s a studio but has a nice pullout bed. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait until we can start up again.
There is a company that has come out with a new fiber hdmi cable that has apparently won some awards. If I come across it again I’ll post what it is.