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  1. #1
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    So happy with my digital...finally

    Getting my digital back to close to where I was when I had the Select II at home with the Avantgarde’s has been a daunting task with my MBL 101e mk2’s.

    With top cabling, Everest 8000/Omega XC, the 9008 monos/6010d pre, an Aurender W20SE/ACS10, I was well on my way to getting my MBL system to perform to its ultimate level. But finding the right sources has remained my biggest challenge.

    I brought home a number of different DAC’s, some that were the absolute best with every speaker in the store, were not quite the right fit for the MBL’s. The MBL’s are different birds. They need sources which are super dynamic and detailed, but retain a smooth naturalness to the midrange with tight bass. The one thing MBL’s do is reveal any flaws or weaknesses upstream.

    The MBL Reference DAC and N31 were excellent. I could have lived happily with either of those, but I kept looking. I brought home a variety of different DAC’s and CD/DAC combo’s, including the MSB, EMM, Luxman, Chord, etc. And like Goldilocks and the three bears, some where a little too smooth, others a little too bright, others a little too flat, but when I stumbled upon the K-03XD in my system, it was “just right”. I knew right there and then that the new XD sound was perfect for my MBL system.

    When I jumped to the Grandioso K1X, I was a little apprehensive. I was concerned that the excellent combo I had with the K-03XD was going to somehow disappear if I moved up the chain and lead me back to going in circles. That concern was quickly dissipated from the first note from the K1X. From this point, I waited patiently for the K1X to break in before making my next move: the Cybershaft Clock and external PSU. When the clock arrived and was connected with a Shunyata Sigma 75ohm clock cable, this is when things got really interesting. I heard an even greater smoothness, but with no loss of detail. Digital immediately became a lot less digital sounding. There was no downside to this addition, only more positive attributes.

    Next up, I added the Esoteric PS1. The addition of the power supply helped tighten up the bass region and provide more dynamic punch, but it’s impact wasn’t quite at the level of the Cybershaft clock. If the clock was the icing on the cake, the PS1 was sprinkles with a cherry on top.

    My next move was to replace existing USB cables with Omega USB. I will soon be replacing all existing cables with Omega clock cables, Omega Ethernet from the wall to the ACS 10 and Omega Ethernet from the ACS10 to the W20SE (that’s how they connect). I’m also going to add an 50ohm Omega Ethernet between the W20SE and Cybershaft Clock.

    At this stage, I am beyond delighted with the sound of my digital. YES, this is a hell of a lot of money and a hell of a lot of boxes, but I really feel it’s now up to snuff with what I had with the DAC I still consider the best in the world, the MSB Select II on my AG’s.

    So what’s left? You know...the mind keeps thinking. Esoteric is reportedly coming out with a new ultimate reference clock (G1X). The details are sketchy at this point, but I am excited to see what the new year brings. I’m thinking of getting this new clock and possibly integrating it with the Cybershaft clock (which remains as the Master Reference Clock). This is definitely “out there” in the world of clocks, but the results could be even more incredible. Stay tuned.

    https://www.esoteric.jp/images/produ...c/p1x_main.jpg
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  2. #2
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Getting my digital back to close to where I was when I had the Select II at home with the Avantgarde’s has been a daunting task with my MBL 101e mk2’s.

    With top cabling, Everest 8000/Omega XC, the 9008 monos/6010d pre, an Aurender W20SE/ACS10, I was well on my way to getting my MBL system to perform to its ultimate level. But finding the right sources has remained my biggest challenge.

    I brought home a number of different DAC’s, some that were the absolute best with every speaker in the store, were not quite the right fit for the MBL’s. The MBL’s are different birds. They need sources which are super dynamic and detailed, but retain a smooth naturalness to the midrange with tight bass. The one thing MBL’s do is reveal any flaws or weaknesses upstream.

    The MBL Reference DAC and N31 were excellent. I could have lived happily with either of those, but I kept looking. I brought home a variety of different DAC’s and CD/DAC combo’s, including the MSB, EMM, Luxman, Chord, etc. And like Goldilocks and the three bears, some where a little too smooth, others a little too bright, others a little too flat, but when I stumbled upon the K-03XD in my system, it was “just right”. I knew right there and then that the new XD sound was perfect for my MBL system.

    When I jumped to the Grandioso K1X, I was a little apprehensive. I was concerned that the excellent combo I had with the K-03XD was going to somehow disappear if I moved up the chain and lead me back to going in circles. That concern was quickly dissipated from the first note from the K1X. From this point, I waited patiently for the K1X to break in before making my next move: the Cybershaft Clock and external PSU. When the clock arrived and was connected with a Shunyata Sigma 75ohm clock cable, this is when things got really interesting. I heard an even greater smoothness, but with no loss of detail. Digital immediately became a lot less digital sounding. There was no downside to this addition, only more positive attributes.

    Next up, I added the Esoteric PS1. The addition of the power supply helped tighten up the bass region and provide more dynamic punch, but it’s impact wasn’t quite at the level of the Cybershaft clock. If the clock was the icing on the cake, the PS1 was sprinkles with a cherry on top.

    My next move was to replace existing USB cables with Omega USB. I will soon be replacing all existing cables with Omega clock cables, Omega Ethernet from the wall to the ACS 10 and Omega Ethernet from the ACS10 to the W20SE (that’s how they connect). I’m also going to add an 50ohm Omega Ethernet between the W20SE and Cybershaft Clock.

    At this stage, I am beyond delighted with the sound of my digital. YES, this is a hell of a lot of money and a hell of a lot of boxes, but I really feel it’s now up to snuff with what I had with the DAC I still consider the best in the world, the MSB Select II on my AG’s.

    So what’s left? You know...the mind keeps thinking. Esoteric is reportedly coming out with a new ultimate reference clock (G1X). The details are sketchy at this point, but I am excited to see what the new year brings. I’m thinking of getting this new clock and possibly integrating it with the Cybershaft clock (which remains as the Master Reference Clock). This is definitely “out there” in the world of clocks, but the results could be even more incredible. Stay tuned.

    https://www.esoteric.jp/images/produ...c/p1x_main.jpg
    Congrats Mike,

    Quite a system you have there! Next to my Select DAC, the Grandioso K1 was my favorite, so I’m not surprised the K1X is an ideal fit. The Select DAC is so organic sounding, it might have been too much of a good thing when paired with the inherent smoothness of the MBL 101E speakers.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  3. #3
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Congrats Mike,

    Quite a system you have there! Next to my Select DAC, the Grandioso K1 was my favorite, so I’m not surprised the K1X is an ideal fit. The Select DAC is so organic sounding, it might have been too much of a good thing when paired with the smoothness of the MBL speakers.

    Ken
    You nailed it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  4. #4
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    You nailed it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Esoteric has historically had a sharper attack than the MSB DACs. While this might have been somewhat exaggerated in their earlier models, they appear to have gotten it just right in their latest iteration.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  5. #5
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    dang, that's a lot of work Mike - glad you found success!
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ EMT HSD-006 cart, MSB Premier DAC --> Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2

  6. #6
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Is your Esoteric stack less expensive than the MSB Select II you originally had? I'm curious if you had found digital nirvana with the MSB, why try and recreate it with Esoteric?
    Electronics: Pass Labs XP-22, Pass Labs X250.8
    Digital: OPPO UDP-205, Auralic Aries G1, Bryston BDA-3
    Analog: U-turn Orbit Custom w/ Ortofon 2M Blue, iFi iPhono3
    Speakers: Janszen Carmelita, SVS SB13-Ultra
    Other: David Laboga Custom Audio/Shunyata/Audioquest cabling, Panamax power conditioner

  7. #7
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by tino27 View Post
    Is your Esoteric stack less expensive than the MSB Select II you originally had? I'm curious if you had found digital nirvana with the MSB, why try and recreate it with Esoteric?
    If you read what I wrote above, I changed speakers. To compare apples to apples price wise, I really need the P1X/D1X.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  8. #8

    So happy with my digital...finally

    Essentially, what you are saying, is there that is not a best component, but a best system as a combination of attributes. Depending what you have down the line, will determine the best synergy.

    I concur with that line of thought.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  9. #9
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    I did actually read that you changed speakers. It never occurred to me that one might have to re-evaluate upstream components when changing speakers. I guess I always assumed that once you got your upstream components sorted, the choice of speakers would complement that stack of electronics.
    Electronics: Pass Labs XP-22, Pass Labs X250.8
    Digital: OPPO UDP-205, Auralic Aries G1, Bryston BDA-3
    Analog: U-turn Orbit Custom w/ Ortofon 2M Blue, iFi iPhono3
    Speakers: Janszen Carmelita, SVS SB13-Ultra
    Other: David Laboga Custom Audio/Shunyata/Audioquest cabling, Panamax power conditioner

  10. #10
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by tino27 View Post
    I did actually read that you changed speakers. It never occurred to me that one might have to re-evaluate upstream components when changing speakers. I guess I always assumed that once you got your upstream components sorted, the choice of speakers would complement that stack of electronics.
    The MBL’s are different birds as I mentioned above. More careful matching the sources. I discussed my Phonostage on another thread. Horses for courses.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  11. #11
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    BTW, congrats on getting things sorted with the Esoteric stack! I know how hard dialing in system synergy can be.
    Electronics: Pass Labs XP-22, Pass Labs X250.8
    Digital: OPPO UDP-205, Auralic Aries G1, Bryston BDA-3
    Analog: U-turn Orbit Custom w/ Ortofon 2M Blue, iFi iPhono3
    Speakers: Janszen Carmelita, SVS SB13-Ultra
    Other: David Laboga Custom Audio/Shunyata/Audioquest cabling, Panamax power conditioner

  12. #12
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Essentially, what you are saying, is there that is not a best component, but a best system as a combination of attributes. Depending what you have down the line, will determine the best synergy.

    I concur with that line of thought.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Yes. I would still say the Select II is the best DAC I’ve heard, except on the different birds: MBL’s. Ditto for my Phonostage! Maybe it’s their efficiency or their lack of that makes you pick different sources. Maybe it’s the super smooth tweeter. Maybe a combination.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  13. #13
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by tino27 View Post
    BTW, congrats on getting things sorted with the Esoteric stack! I know how hard dialing in system synergy can be.
    Thanks. It’s been fun.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  14. #14

    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    So Mike, replacing the VAC and the MSB, what was it exactly in the sound that did not harmonize with the MBLs? Too smooth, lack of detail? Of course, AGs are like putting a stethoscope on your upstream components.

    Not trying to be nosy here, trying to learn. I could see MBLs somewhere in my future as well.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  15. #15
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    So Mike, replacing the VAC and the MSB, what was it exactly in the sound that did not harmonize with the MBLs? Too smooth, lack of detail? Of course, AGs are like putting a stethoscope on your upstream components.

    Not trying to be nosy here, trying to learn. I could see MBLs somewhere in my future as well.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Too smooth as Ken mentioned. The MBL tweeter is super smooth with a roll off around 14-15khz.

    From Stereophile review:

    “The 101E Mk.II is remarkably flat throughout the midrange and treble, and this version of the speaker is less peaky in the top octave than the original, though it does roll off quickly above 14kHz.”



    Source: MBL Radialstrahler 101E Mk.II loudspeaker Measurements | Stereophile.com



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  16. #16

    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Too smooth as Ken mentioned. The MBL tweeter is super smooth with a roll off around 14-15khz.

    From Stereophile review:

    “The 101E Mk.II is remarkably flat throughout the midrange and treble, and this version of the speaker is less peaky in the top octave than the original, though it does roll off quickly above 14kHz.”



    Source: MBL Radialstrahler 101E Mk.II loudspeaker Measurements | Stereophile.com



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks for pointing out the roll-off, Mike. That basically means that the MBLs are more tolerant towards components trimmed for high resolution and sparkle in the top-end.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

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  17. #17
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Wow, they really do roll off above 14 kHz! But they sure sound terrific. One of my top four speakers under $100K. It’s all about component matching. I rebuilt my entire system every time I’ve changed speakers.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  18. #18
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    ...I really need the P1X/D1X.
    ...now you're talking.
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and YG Acoustics Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair)

    On Order: Extra isolators for the amp stands

  19. #19
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Wow, they really do roll off above 15 kHz! But they sure sound terrific. One of my top four speakers under $100K. It’s all about component matching. I rebuilt my entire system every time I’ve changed speakers.

    Ken
    MBL knows that most music lies well below 15K Hz and that most people who can afford their gear cannot even hear 15K Hz (I know I can't). The 20K Hz spec so often quoted may be meaningful to our dogs and cats but probably less so to us.

  20. #20
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Yes. I would still say the Select II is the best DAC I’ve heard, except on the different birds: MBL’s. Ditto for my Phonostage! Maybe it’s their efficiency or their lack of that makes you pick different sources. Maybe it’s the super smooth tweeter. Maybe a combination.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My theory is that the the sharper attack on the leading edge of notes (sparkle or bite) of the Esoteric K1X compared to the MSB DACs offsets some of the treble roll off (smoothness) of the MBL 101E’s.

    I really don’t believe it has anything to do with the level of detail, as my Select DAC has more detail than any of the three Esoteric Player/DACs I’ve owned.

    This is what component matching is all about in a system, offsetting the tendencies of different components to achieve a balanced and pleasing overall presentation.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  21. #21

    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Getting back on track here...

    Congrats, Mike, that sounds like an amazing system.

    With respect to Omega, you might consider trying the new Omega QR-s PC for your DAC as well.

  22. #22
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    ..Esoteric is reportedly coming out with a new ultimate reference clock (G1X)...
    Given what Cybershaft are doing it would be hard to justify pulling the trigger on G1X unless you were splashed with cash and really wanted the eye candy option for eye candy sake. I would love to own a G1X but my next clock will be a Cybershaft, hidden in the bowels of my audio rack.
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and YG Acoustics Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair)

    On Order: Extra isolators for the amp stands

  23. #23
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    Given what Cybershaft are doing it would be hard to justify pulling the trigger on G1X unless you were splashed with cash and really wanted the eye candy option for eye candy sake. I would love to own a G1X but my next clock will be a Cybershaft, hidden in the bowels of my audio rack.
    I want to see the specs of the G1X. It may outperform the Cybershaft. Who knows?


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  24. #24
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    It might. But one thing is a given, it will be a lot more $$$ than the highest spec Cybershaft.
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and YG Acoustics Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair)

    On Order: Extra isolators for the amp stands

  25. #25
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Congrats Mike!

    Not surprised about the results Mike is hearing from the top shelf Esoteric digital components. Like Mike, I have an all MBL pre, amps and speakers system.

    Several months ago I brought home the new Esoteric N01XD for a trial. I posted the results elsewhere on AS, but, in summary, it easily bested my current streamer and elevated the overall performance of my system. The folks at Esoteric have raised their game. And, the synergy with MBL is fabulous.
    _______________

    Mike

  26. #26
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    i'm guessing that the synergy in Mike's MBL system is amp<->dac related. or maybe amp/speaker <-> dac related.

    but since it likely requires those big MBL amps to properly light up the MBL 101's, then there you are.

  27. #27
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    i'm guessing that the synergy in Mike's MBL system is amp<->dac related. or maybe amp/speaker <-> dac related.

    but since it likely requires those big MBL amps to properly light up the MBL Extreme's, then there you are. were you to use a different set of amps then the equation would likely change. you might need a quad set of different amps. a challenging scenario.
    Yes, that's absolutely true. Cables too.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  28. #28
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    This is a very interesting thread and one can see from the responses why it is so difficult to identify what the impact of any single component on the sound of our systems.

    Some of this goes back to the debate of how we prioritize the components in our set-ups. (After treating your room and insuring clean power) I am in the camp of:
    1- Selecting a speaker that works well "in your room"
    2- Amps that get the most out of the speakers.
    3- Source components
    4- Cables that get you closer to the sound you are looking for.

    As Mike OP notes far too often judgements are made on components/speakers without considering how they are interacting with the rest of a set-up. I think he and Mike B. (Ritmo) noted how difficult it is to match non-MBL gear with MBL speakers. I would probably own 101e MK II's right now if I didn't truly believe I would have to move from my Momentum's to 9000 series MBL amps. Even though I believe that M-400's should be "included" in any discussion of Best Amps I think 101's and Xtreme's will always sound best with 9000 series amps. MBL's are not easy speakers to control.

    Another interesting comment from Ken in Post #20 relates to MSB "detail". I have not had the Select DAC in my set-up so I can only comment on the Reference version. When A/B'ing the Reference versus Vivaldi the MSB was absolutely stunning on vocals. The Reference DAC cleaned up something, call it hash if you want, that accompanied vocals. It was one of those things you did not know was there 'till it was gone. Detail is where the MSB trailed. At the time I posted my thoughts I noted one example where birds could be heard at the beginning of one track with the Vivaldi, yet you could barely make them out with the Reference DAC. In this comparison if one was choosing DAC system based on vocals and price, just the way most purchasers lean, the Reference wins out. If you are looking for extracting all of the detail in a recording and you were willing to spend a bit more, the Vivaldi could be the choice. Since most of us are not starting from ground zero others factors come into play.
    Jim

    D'Agostino Momentum M-400's & HD Pre-amp
    Wilson Alexandria X2 Series 2 speakers
    Digital: dCS Vivaldi DAC, Clock & Upsampler
    Analog: SME 20/3 with Esoteric E-03 Phono
    Transparent Opus Speaker Cable & Interconnects & Opus Power Cords
    Power Cords on Digital: Shunyata
    Power Conditioner - Shunyata Everest

  29. #29
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Well, after chatting with Mike in the background a fair amount in recent weeks, I think it is appropriate for me to contribute to this forum my experience with the K1X/PS1/Cybershaft setup, by combining and editing several posts I made on another forum.

    I recently replaced an Esoteric D02/P02/G01 stack with an Esoteric K1X/PS1/Cybershaft OP21A/Ultra Pure PS setup. For me, the K1X is a revelation, especially in combination with the PS1 and the Cybershaft clock and PS. To my ears, the sound I am getting is better than what I have heard from both a DCS Vivaldi stack and a Nagra HD DAC X in a system with the same electronics as mine with Magico M3 speakers, and is in the same league (at least at first blush) as what I heard at MagicoÂ’s facility from a system consisting of MSB Select II feeding CH Precision M1 monos (might have been M1.1s) and Magico M6 speakers. To be fair, I listened to this last system for only an hour, using music I know well, and some cuts chosen by Alon Wolf. It could well be the case that if I had spent significant time with it, I may be more or less willing to state that the sound I am getting is in the same league as that being produced by the system at MagicoÂ’s facility.

    In any event, what I hear from the K1X is music with a transparency, organic immediacy, unetched detail, tonal density, three dimensionality, openness and incredibly well articulated, center of the earth bass that is only matched by the system I heard at Magico. It goes without saying that there are plenty of great systems with great digital front ends I have not heard. But I sure do love what I am hearing. Interestingly, I am getting this sound, which largely mirror's Mike's experience, in a system that incudes electronics and speakers that are very different than Mike's, especially the speakers and electronics.

    The other equipment in my system includes a Baetis Ref server (soon to be replaced by a Taiko SGM Extreme), Spectral DMC 30SV pre/DMA 500 AR mono amps, MIT SHD interconnects and speaker cable and Magico M Project speakers. Clock cables are Shunyata Sigma v1. Looking forward to getting the v2 version, or perhaps the Omega version :-). I also own a Spectral 4000SV CD player, and while it is higher resolution than the Esoteric P02/D02/G01 on redbook CD and creates a wonderful synergy when used in an all Spectral SV topology setup, it is clearly bested by the new rig and has been largely collecting dust of late. For those who are interested in some clock comparisons, and the relative contribution of the Cybershaft vs the PS1, read on.

    Before selling the G01, I tried using it with the K1X and found that whereas the G01 was necessary for the D02/P02 to sound highly resolving and musical (rather than fairly resolving and a touch too analytical, which they did without the clock), it did not provide the K1X with a clear improvement. Indeed, I slightly preferred the K1X without the G01, although my wife (a jazz vocalist with an excellent ear) slightly preferred it with the G01. By contrast, the Cybershaft clock and itÂ’s PS made a dramatic improvement to the sound of the K1X, which already sounded streets ahead of the older stack. This improvement was in the nature of greatly enhanced spatial resolution and transparency. It was more impactful than the addition of the Esoteric PS1, which I would characterize as being akin to going from a great stereo amp to a pair of monoblocks based on the same circuit design (larger soundstage and better low end and better dynamics). Further, adding the G01 to control my DCS Network Bridge as a Word Clock generator while slaved to the Cybershaft added no noticeable improvement as compared to not having the G01 in the system. I appreciate that the G01 is not the latest offering from Esoteric, but it is the data point that I have.

    What I did not do was wait the presumably 200 hours or whatever the burn in period is for the K1X before adding the clock and the PS1. Rather, I had the K1X for about ten days before I had the clock, and it was another week or so before the PS1 showed up. During the period from getting the K1X and finally the PS1, I was only semi-diligent about burning in the new pieces. So it is reasonable to conclude that some (significant) improvements continued to take place in each component in addition to compounding improvements being realized by the addition of the clock and then the PS1. Indeed, the whole setup does seem to me to be getting better still. I have also not gone back and tried the K1X with the PS1 but without the clock, or with the clock and without the PS1 now that they have undergone perhaps 100 hours of use. So, my inquiry is far from being as methodical as it might be. That said, I am pretty confident in my conclusion that forced to choose I would take the clock over the PS1.

  30. #30
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    This is a very interesting thread and one can see from the responses why it is so difficult to identify what the impact of any single component on the sound of our systems.

    Some of this goes back to the debate of how we prioritize the components in our set-ups. (After treating your room and insuring clean power) I am in the camp of:
    1- Selecting a speaker that works well "in your room"
    2- Amps that get the most out of the speakers.
    3- Source components
    4- Cables that get you closer to the sound you are looking for.

    As Mike OP notes far too often judgements are made on components/speakers without considering how they are interacting with the rest of a set-up. I think he and Mike B. (Ritmo) noted how difficult it is to match non-MBL gear with MBL speakers. I would probably own 101e MK II's right now if I didn't truly believe I would have to move from my Momentum's to 9000 series MBL amps. Even though I believe that M-400's should be "included" in any discussion of Best Amps I think 101's and Xtreme's will always sound best with 9000 series amps. MBL's are not easy speakers to control.

    Another interesting comment from Ken in Post #20 relates to MSB "detail". I have not had the Select DAC in my set-up so I can only comment on the Reference version. When A/B'ing the Reference versus Vivaldi the MSB was absolutely stunning on vocals. The Reference DAC cleaned up something, call it hash if you want, that accompanied vocals. It was one of those things you did not know was there 'till it was gone. Detail is where the MSB trailed. At the time I posted my thoughts I noted one example where birds could be heard at the beginning of one track with the Vivaldi, yet you could barely make them out with the Reference DAC. In this comparison if one was choosing DAC system based on vocals and price, just the way most purchasers lean, the Reference wins out. If you are looking for extracting all of the detail in a recording and you were willing to spend a bit more, the Vivaldi could be the choice. Since most of us are not starting from ground zero others factors come into play.
    Jim,
    Could you let me know the name of the song with the chirping of the birds in the beginning? It will be a good test for my system.
    Thanks,
    Anshul

  31. #31

    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by apdoc2004 View Post
    Jim,
    Could you let me know the name of the song with the chirping of the birds in the beginning? It will be a good test for my system.
    Thanks,
    Anshul
    On Ummagumma/ Grantchester Meadows from Pink Floyd there’s some chirping at the beginning, and throughout the song.

    But that’s probably not the song, because if you wouldn’t hear that chirping clearly and well differentiated with a 90K DAC, you’d been profoundly screwed So happy with my digital...finally. It’s a great audiophile track anyway.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  32. #32
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Bairdg View Post
    Well, after chatting with Mike in the background a fair amount in recent weeks, I think it is appropriate for me to contribute to this forum my experience with the K1X/PS1/Cybershaft setup, by combining and editing several posts I made on another forum.

    I recently replaced an Esoteric D02/P02/G01 stack with an Esoteric K1X/PS1/Cybershaft OP21A/Ultra Pure PS setup. For me, the K1X is a revelation, especially in combination with the PS1 and the Cybershaft clock and PS. To my ears, the sound I am getting is better than what I have heard from both a DCS Vivaldi stack and a Nagra HD DAC X in a system with the same electronics as mine with Magico M3 speakers, and is in the same league (at least at first blush) as what I heard at MagicoÂ’s facility from a system consisting of MSB Select II feeding CH Precision M1 monos (might have been M1.1s) and Magico M6 speakers. To be fair, I listened to this last system for only an hour, using music I know well, and some cuts chosen by Alon Wolf. It could well be the case that if I had spent significant time with it, I may be more or less willing to state that the sound I am getting is in the same league as that being produced by the system at MagicoÂ’s facility.

    In any event, what I hear from the K1X is music with a transparency, organic immediacy, unetched detail, tonal density, three dimensionality, openness and incredibly well articulated, center of the earth bass that is only matched by the system I heard at Magico. It goes without saying that there are plenty of great systems with great digital front ends I have not heard. But I sure do love what I am hearing. Interestingly, I am getting this sound, which largely mirror's Mike's experience, in a system that incudes electronics and speakers that are very different than Mike's, especially the speakers and electronics.

    The other equipment in my system includes a Baetis Ref server (soon to be replaced by a Taiko SGM Extreme), Spectral DMC 30SV pre/DMA 500 AR mono amps, MIT SHD interconnects and speaker cable and Magico M Project speakers. Clock cables are Shunyata Sigma v1. Looking forward to getting the v2 version, or perhaps the Omega version :-). I also own a Spectral 4000SV CD player, and while it is higher resolution than the Esoteric P02/D02/G01 on redbook CD and creates a wonderful synergy when used in an all Spectral SV topology setup, it is clearly bested by the new rig and has been largely collecting dust of late. For those who are interested in some clock comparisons, and the relative contribution of the Cybershaft vs the PS1, read on.

    Before selling the G01, I tried using it with the K1X and found that whereas the G01 was necessary for the D02/P02 to sound highly resolving and musical (rather than fairly resolving and a touch too analytical, which they did without the clock), it did not provide the K1X with a clear improvement. Indeed, I slightly preferred the K1X without the G01, although my wife (a jazz vocalist with an excellent ear) slightly preferred it with the G01. By contrast, the Cybershaft clock and itÂ’s PS made a dramatic improvement to the sound of the K1X, which already sounded streets ahead of the older stack. This improvement was in the nature of greatly enhanced spatial resolution and transparency. It was more impactful than the addition of the Esoteric PS1, which I would characterize as being akin to going from a great stereo amp to a pair of monoblocks based on the same circuit design (larger soundstage and better low end and better dynamics). Further, adding the G01 to control my DCS Network Bridge as a Word Clock generator while slaved to the Cybershaft added no noticeable improvement as compared to not having the G01 in the system. I appreciate that the G01 is not the latest offering from Esoteric, but it is the data point that I have.

    What I did not do was wait the presumably 200 hours or whatever the burn in period is for the K1X before adding the clock and the PS1. Rather, I had the K1X for about ten days before I had the clock, and it was another week or so before the PS1 showed up. During the period from getting the K1X and finally the PS1, I was only semi-diligent about burning in the new pieces. So it is reasonable to conclude that some (significant) improvements continued to take place in each component in addition to compounding improvements being realized by the addition of the clock and then the PS1. Indeed, the whole setup does seem to me to be getting better still. I have also not gone back and tried the K1X with the PS1 but without the clock, or with the clock and without the PS1 now that they have undergone perhaps 100 hours of use. So, my inquiry is far from being as methodical as it might be. That said, I am pretty confident in my conclusion that forced to choose I would take the clock over the PS1.
    Thanks for your post. Interesting comments. I owned the Grandioso K1 and found it to be very musical with a warm and organic presentation. When I added the Grandioso G1 Clock, I got quite a bit more detail and clarity but the musicality to my ears went way down. I was frustrated with this result, so I traded in the Grandioso K1/G1 for the MSB Select DAC, which gave me both a high level of detail and musicality. Had I not purchased the Grandioso G1 Clock, I would probably still own the Grandioso K1, although I may have upgraded, yet again, to the Grandioso K1X. Maybe the Cybershaft Clock is just plain better than the Esoteric Clock.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  33. #33
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by apdoc2004 View Post
    Jim,
    Could you let me know the name of the song with the chirping of the birds in the beginning? It will be a good test for my system.
    Thanks,
    Anshul
    See Post #79 in this thread should you care for additional details. MSB Reference DAC

    The song was Melody Gardot's "After The Rain"

    An aside, my local dealer and I have discussed performing another A/B in my set-up. Awhile back they swapped out the Femto 77 for the Femto 33 clock.
    Jim

    D'Agostino Momentum M-400's & HD Pre-amp
    Wilson Alexandria X2 Series 2 speakers
    Digital: dCS Vivaldi DAC, Clock & Upsampler
    Analog: SME 20/3 with Esoteric E-03 Phono
    Transparent Opus Speaker Cable & Interconnects & Opus Power Cords
    Power Cords on Digital: Shunyata
    Power Conditioner - Shunyata Everest

  34. #34
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Thanks for your post. Interesting comments. I owned the Grandioso K1 and found it to be very musical with a warm and organic presentation. When I added the Grandioso G1 Clock, I got quite a bit more detail and clarity but the musicality to my ears went way down. I was frustrated with this result, so I traded in the Grandioso K1/G1 for the MSB Select DAC, which gave me both a high level of detail and musicality. Had I not purchased the Grandioso G1 Clock, I would probably still own the Grandioso K1, although I may have upgraded, yet again, to the Grandioso K1X. Maybe the Cybershaft Clock is just plain better than the Esoteric Clock.

    Ken
    Ken, I think it may well be the case, especially due to Cybershaft's focus on phase noise and short term accuracy. But, I only have experience with the G01, and presumably the G1 represents a step forward, albeit at a price that is 4x that of the top of the line Cybershaft kit. I also think it is the case that the internal clocks in Esoteric DACs continue to improve (see my comments re the G01 not providing a clear cut improvement vs the K1X alone, contrary to my experience in adding it to the P02/D02 pair). That said, I think the new DAC design in the current generation of Esoteric players and DACs is a real advancement over the prior AKM-based DACs. As a whole, the reviews of these new devices would seem to indicate that this new architecture results in sound that has a lot in common with R2R based DACs, perhaps placing Esoteric in closer competition to TotalDac and the upper echelon MSB DACs. In fact, my plan had been to get the Esoteric because I have a lot of SACDs, and then also audition the TotalDac D1-Twerlve-Mk2 for playing local files and streaming. However, while I remain curious about that DAC, the sound I am getting is so satisfying, I have instead opted to acquire a Taiko Audio SGM Extreme server as a next step and see what improvements it makes, before trying the TotalDac.

    Baird

  35. #35
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Good stuff. Esoteric is such a nice brand. I have great memories of their lower end SACD players from 10+ years ago.

    I may have an opportunity to buy a second hand N01XD and I am awfully tempted since I already own a Cybershaft OP21a with external LPS...

    I can see myself connecting it to my new Mojo Deja Vu Evo server through the Jcat XE USB output. Of course I bought a Shunyata Sigma USB cable days before the announcement of the Omega... :-)

  36. #36
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardl View Post
    I may have an opportunity to buy a second hand N01XD..
    Huh? How can there be a 2nd hand N01XD out there, not even a year since it was released, right?
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and YG Acoustics Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair)

    On Order: Extra isolators for the amp stands

  37. #37
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    I guess someone either needs cash or is going for something better...

  38. #38
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Probably the cash. Because probably nothing better. Hope you get to get one.
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and YG Acoustics Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair)

    On Order: Extra isolators for the amp stands

  39. #39
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    I am hesitant because the Devialet has an excellent built-in dac and does convert analog inputs to digital internally.

    But there are quite a few reports of Totaldac/Devialet owners feeling that the external dac still helps gaining an additional bit of sound quality...

    Tough choices...

  40. #40
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    It looks like I am not hesitating anymore...

    So when are we getting Roon support again? ;-)
    Room treatment: Gik Acoustics | Vibration control: Townshend pods | Power: Shunyata Omega XC + Everest + Sigma NR v2 for amps/Venom V14 Digital for digital components + Sigma ground cables | Source: Mojo Audio DejaVu EVO with JCAT XE USB running Roon core (Raat) | Ethernet: Sonore Optical module + Melco S10 on Stillpoints SS + Shunyata Omega ethernet cable x 2 | External Dac: Esoteric N-01XD + Cybershaft OP21A clock | Dac/Pre/Amplification: Devialet D1000 Pro CI (Chord Sarum T RCA-RCA link) | Speakers: Chord Sarum T + Wilson Benesch Act One Evolution P1

  41. #41
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardl View Post

    So when are we getting Roon support again? ;-)
    As of October, Esoteric was working with Roon on that. Two months later.... nobody knows 🤦*♂️
    B&W 803 D3 | T+A PA 3100 HV | Esoteric N-01XD | Esoteric P-05X | Shunyata Sigma v2 & Alpha v2 | Shunyata Everest

  42. #42
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Thanks. I guess I could start by using it in USB for now.

  43. #43
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally



    Santa brought a few goodies for me.

    Shunyata Omega 75 Clock Cable - for Aurender W20SE to clock off the Cybershaft OP21A
    Shunyata Omega 50 Clock Cable - for the Esoteric Grandioso K1X to clock off the Cybershaft OP21A
    Shunyata Omega Ethernet Cable (long run) - from switch to ACS10
    Shunyata Omega Ethernet Cable (short run) - from ACS10 to W20SE. I already had a Shunyata Omega USB cable which runs from the W20SE to the Esoteric Grandioso K1X.

    When I first connected the W20SE to the clock, I went into Advanced Settings2 and enabled to WORD clock. I sat back and listened. It sounded like crap. Compressed soundstage, veiled, etc. Then I remembered the upsampling rates of the DAC, in this case, my Esoteric Grandioso K1X must match the W20SE and visa versa. I have always liked 4fs on the K1X which is upsampling everything to 176.4, so I set the up sample rate under the WORD Clock Setting on Aurender Settings2 to 176.4 and VOILA! Magic! PURE magic!

    I’ll let these new cables burn in before further evaluating things.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  44. #44
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post


    Santa brought a few goodies for me.

    Shunyata Omega 75 Clock Cable - for Aurender W20SE to clock off the Cybershaft OP21A
    Shunyata Omega 50 Clock Cable - for the Esoteric Grandioso K1X to clock off the Cybershaft OP21A
    Shunyata Omega Ethernet Cable (long run) - from switch to ACS10
    Shunyata Omega Ethernet Cable (short run) - from ACS10 to W20SE. I already had a Shunyata Omega USB cable which runs from the W20SE to the Esoteric Grandioso K1X.

    When I first connected the W20SE to the clock, I went into Advanced Settings2 and enabled to WORD clock. I sat back and listened. It sounded like crap. Compressed soundstage, veiled, etc. Then I remembered the upsampling rates of the DAC, in this case, my Esoteric Grandioso K1X must match the W20SE and visa versa. I have always liked 4fs on the K1X which is upsampling everything to 176.4, so I set the up sample rate under the WORD Clock Setting on Aurender Settings2 to 176.4 and VOILA! Magic! PURE magic!

    I’ll let these new cables burn in before further evaluating things.
    Nice Mike! Also gulp. That is $12k of clock cables in my set-up!!

    Can’t imagine the improvement you must get with the Omega Ethernet
    Jim

    D'Agostino Momentum M-400's & HD Pre-amp
    Wilson Alexandria X2 Series 2 speakers
    Digital: dCS Vivaldi DAC, Clock & Upsampler
    Analog: SME 20/3 with Esoteric E-03 Phono
    Transparent Opus Speaker Cable & Interconnects & Opus Power Cords
    Power Cords on Digital: Shunyata
    Power Conditioner - Shunyata Everest

  45. #45
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Mike: are you able to discern any difference between Omega Ethernet and Sigma Ethernet? Thanks
    B&W 803 D3 | T+A PA 3100 HV | Esoteric N-01XD | Esoteric P-05X | Shunyata Sigma v2 & Alpha v2 | Shunyata Everest

  46. #46
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    With all of those goodies, Santa thinks you were not “naughty” this year!
    _______________

    Mike

  47. #47
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Quote Originally Posted by thyname View Post
    Mike: are you able to discern any difference between Omega Ethernet and Sigma Ethernet? Thanks
    Yes, BUT, not as significant as the USB.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  48. #48
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    Re: So happy with my digital...finally

    Mike,...outstanding! Congratulations!
    Legacy Audio VALOR, Legacy Audio i.V4 ULTRA 4ch amp, Legacy Wavelet with HDPlex 200W LPSU & Revelation Audio Labs Passage Cryo-silver DC Umbilical, Esoteric P-02, D-02, Legacy i.V4 ULTRA, Cybershaft Premium Limited Type2 OP21A 10 MHz Clock, SHUNYATA TRITON v3 & TYPHON QR, Avatar Acoustics AfterBurner8 duplexes, Elrod MASTER SERIES Diamond & Statement Gold Power cords, Elrod Statement Gold XLR, Elrod Diamond XLR, Shunyata OMEGA Q4R & SIGMA v2 power cables, Shunyata SIGMA AES/EBU 110ohm, Shunyata SIGMA CLOCK-50, Shunyata Anaconda Zitron XLR, Elrod Statement Gold speaker cables x 2, Adona AV45CS4, AV45CS2 & AV45CS1, Composite Audio CF-2010, HRS DPX Damping Plates, Stillpoints Ultra SS. Ultra Bases

    Computer Audio/Rip Playback: Apple MacBook Pro 15” 2019, 6-core i9, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, Audirvana+ v3, iTunes, REW Audio Analyzer for MacOS, dbPowerAmp, DVD Audio Extractor

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So happy with my digital...finally

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