Help me beat my CD Transport

#41
For those that want to do WIFI to your Ethernet DAC, but are afraid it will impact SQ, no worries. I just optimized this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018YPWORE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I ordered the 300Mb/S version

If you put a Mbit isolator like the EMO, Black Box or GISO on a short cable and then a longer cable to the DAC from this wireless adapter, the SQ is excellent. If you use an earth-grounded LPS to power the wireless adapter, it knocks it out of the park. Ultra-black background and 3-D imaging in spades. Just as good as a wired connection direct from your router. I plan to include these with my best DAC, the ODSX with Ethernet input.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 
Jun 18, 2011
738
5
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Hong Kong
#42
This is the coming MSB Reference Transport which will replace the UMT V Transport :

Reference Transport introduction and price.jpg
 
#43
This is the coming MSB Reference Transport which will replace the UMT V Transport :

View attachment 36724
These prices are high IMO. I would choose computer audio and get better results and more convenience for a lot less money, as well as hi-res playback, 192kHz.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#44
These prices are high IMO. I would choose computer audio and get better results and more convenience for a lot less money, as well as hi-res playback, 192kHz.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
could you describe your experience with specific top level transports that would justify your comment about 'better results' with computer audio?

thanks.
 
#45
could you describe your experience with specific top level transports that would justify your comment about 'better results' with computer audio?

thanks.
Starting with a number of transports that I modded from 2000-2010: By installing improved clocks, rebuilt output stages and improved power delivery, I was able to reduce the jitter a LOT, but when I started designing computer audio interfaces, I found that it was easier to make the jitter significantly lower, particularly with advent of asynchronous USB clocking.

Since 2010, I have had the opportunity at a number of trade shows to hear how good the new transports are. They are definitely better, but you have to spend a TON of money to get the same result that you can get with less expensive electronics and power delivery using computer-driven audio. Notable are the players that have essentially CDROM drives and buffer the data at high-speed, to be spooled-out of a memory. These memory-based players are essentially computers with a buffered output. They definitely beat the classical versions of CD players for jitter and a few rival good computer audio, but again at high expense.

If one has reasonable computer skills, I cannot fathom why anyone would still want to spin CD's. The convenience of playing large playlists containing only the tracks that you like is just as important as the low jitter than can be achieved using these technologies. You get the best in convenience combined with the best SQ, including hi-res tracks in PCM format, not just DSD. This is why I retired my CD spinner years ago. My CD library is only for ripping and archive now.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#46
Starting with a number of transports that I modded from 2000-2010: By installing improved clocks, rebuilt output stages and improved power delivery, I was able to reduce the jitter a LOT, but when I started designing computer audio interfaces, I found that it was easier to make the jitter significantly lower, particularly with advent of asynchronous USB clocking.

Since 2010, I have had the opportunity at a number of trade shows to hear how good the new transports are. They are definitely better, but you have to spend a TON of money to get the same result that you can get with less expensive electronics and power delivery using computer-driven audio. Notable are the players that have essentially CDROM drives and buffer the data at high-speed, to be spooled-out of a memory. These memory-based players are essentially computers with a buffered output. They definitely beat the classical versions of CD players for jitter and a few rival good computer audio, but again at high expense.

If one has reasonable computer skills, I cannot fathom why anyone would still want to spin CD's. The convenience of playing large playlists containing only the tracks that you like is just as important as the low jitter than can be achieved using these technologies. You get the best in convenience combined with the best SQ, including hi-res tracks in PCM format, not just DSD. This is why I retired my CD spinner years ago. My CD library is only for ripping and archive now.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
thank you for the answer; but you did not support your claim that your 'computer audio' had better results than expensive transports. relating your own modifications of classic transports is not relevant to 'uber' transport performance.

if you are going to cite price as the problem with these 'uber' transports I respect that, and as far as not fathoming why anyone would like to spin discs, I respect that too. many would agree with you on both issues. which again, is different than whether computer audio sounds better.

as a digital product manufacturer that holds himself up as an expert, I think you need to hold yourself to a higher standard, and be more careful to not paint your opinions with such a broad brush, particularly in relation to another digital product. high end transports have their serious proponents.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
10,987
4
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Manila, Philippines
#47
My CH D1 appears to be in that category Mike with it's CH link that carries all formats and separate clock as well as the ability to be slaved via BNC connections. It does come at a high price too however.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#48
My CH D1 appears to be in that category Mike with it's CH link that carries all formats and separate clock as well as the ability to be slaved via BNC connections. It does come at a high price too however.
not personally heard the D1, but feedback I've read is very positive on it, especially with the C1 link as you mention. and in addition to the MSB Reference transport mentioned above, according to the MSB website there is also a Select Transport in the works. scroll down on this link for the 'tease'.

http://www.msbtechnology.com/transports/

i'm sure the price of the Select transport and associated power supply with be daunting. 'uber' transport fans continue to have some interesting choices.
 
#49
thank you for the answer; but you did not support your claim that your 'computer audio' had better results than expensive transports. relating your own modifications of classic transports is not relevant to 'uber' transport performance.

if you are going to cite price as the problem with these 'uber' transports I respect that, and as far as not fathoming why anyone would like to spin discs, I respect that too. many would agree with you on both issues. which again, is different than whether computer audio sounds better.

as a digital product manufacturer that holds himself up as an expert, I think you need to hold yourself to a higher standard, and be more careful to not paint your opinions with such a broad brush, particularly in relation to another digital product. high end transports have their serious proponents.
I'm not claiming that all computer audio interfaces beat the best transports. I'm claiming that given the same money spent on each, that the SQ result will be better with the best computer audio interface, but I get to pick the interface. I suppose the only way to really prove any of these claims is to have an independent shootout, like this one between top-tier DACs:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/absolute-top-tier-dac-for-standard-res-redbook-cd?page=73

If we can find a reviewer with a good enough system (many are not up to snuff IME) to do this CD player to computer audio shootout, I think the results will be interesting. One will need a really good DAC and cabling to do the comparison with, and I get to choose this as well. I will state the price of the computer interface and then the reviewer can choose ANY CD transport out there for the same price for comparison. They must provide the transport.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,010
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Marina del Rey, CA
#50
thank you for the answer; but you did not support your claim that your 'computer audio' had better results than expensive transports. relating your own modifications of classic transports is not relevant to 'uber' transport performance.

if you are going to cite price as the problem with these 'uber' transports I respect that, and as far as not fathoming why anyone would like to spin discs, I respect that too. many would agree with you on both issues. which again, is different than whether computer audio sounds better.

as a digital product manufacturer that holds himself up as an expert, I think you need to hold yourself to a higher standard, and be more careful to not paint your opinions with such a broad brush, particularly in relation to another digital product. high end transports have their serious proponents.
So Wadia cdps/transports from his GNS days isn't enough?

I rarely disagree with you Mike, but find your tone quite bewildering here. If your point is just to justify a $42k transport, then i don't get it.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#51
So Wadia cdps/transports from his GNS days isn't enough?

I rarely disagree with you Mike, but find your tone quite bewildering here. If your point is just to justify a $42k transport, then i don't get it.
what does the price have to do with this? if the product performs, it performs.

did I miss Steve relating his experience with a current tip-top level transport? that is what I asked him for. he ignored my question.

he wants to dismiss these products without listening to them. I have a problem with that.

if I make a claim without listening to the product I get called out too.
 
#53
I have yet to be impressed by ANY CD transport at a trade show for the last 10 years. That is evidence enough for me, plus the fact that I modded a LOT of different CD transports over 10 years for customers worldwide. Like I said, expensive transports are very good. Expensive computer audio solutions are better at the same price-point IMO.

On second thought, I think the right test to prove my assertion is an objective one, rather than a subjective shootout.

I can measure jitter distribution over time accurately with my programmable 7GHz scope. I could measure what I consider the best computer audio solution at a price-point of ~$4K and then what you believe to be the best transport at the same price-point, using the same audio track at 44.1kHz. The standard deviation of the distribution plots can be compared to see which yields lower jitter. Then, if the computer audio prevails, one could up the ante for the transport to $10K to see if it beats the $4K computer audio system etc..

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

Uk Paul

Member Sponsor
Sep 27, 2012
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UK
#54
We all differ, there really is no better Steve, for any money. It is personal preference. I have yet to be convinced by any computer audio enough to even consider it as a source, that doesnt say that you are wrong, or that Mike is right, its just that i personally do not respond well to something about music off a computer. Last Sunday i had the opportunity to spend time with a system that was well beyond the means of many, myself included, using an analog source, SME 30/12 EMT cart, and a state of the art Nagra digital audio device, sorry i dont have the details of which. The analog was absolutely, imo, more comunicative. No contest. Granted, there was not an expensive transport this time, but so many times, physical media has outdone computer, for me.

What is getting pretty damn irritating now is that, with all due respect, you have recently joined this forum, and while we welcome your views, they are just that, and not gospel.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,071
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#55
We all differ, there really is no better Steve, for any money. It is personal preference. I have yet to be convinced by any computer audio enough to even consider it as a source, that doesnt say that you are wrong, or that Mike is right, its just that i personally do not respond well to something about music off a computer. Last Sunday i had the opportunity to spend time with a system that was well beyond the means of many, myself included, using an analog source, SME 30/12 EMT cart, and a state of the art Nagra digital audio device, sorry i dont have the details of which. The analog was absolutely, imo, more comunicative. No contest. Granted, there was not an expensive transport this time, but so many times, physical media has outdone computer, for me.

What is getting pretty damn irritating now is that, with all due respect, you have recently joined this forum, and while we welcome your views, they are just that, and not gospel.
+1. my comments were about the way in which things were said. we all have a right to our opinions and preferences when stated as such.

for the record; I'm on the side of computer audio being better than a transport. but I'm not in a position to make that case.
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
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#56
What is getting pretty damn irritating now is that, with all due respect, you have recently joined this forum, and while we welcome your views, they are just that, and not gospel.
+2 I agree with you and MikeL Wholeheartedly

BruceD
 
Aug 18, 2013
26
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0
Long Beach, CA
#57
Well I’m pretty happy using Roon with my Upsampler converted to DSDx2 (which I really love). Did anyone notice that Soulution/Axiss was using their Olasonic CD-1 ($550) with their 560 DAC at RMAF? Hmm, are they trying to tell me something because I am thinking about a transport for my small number of physical CDs?
 

Uk Paul

Member Sponsor
Sep 27, 2012
281
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16
UK
#58
Well I’m pretty happy using Roon with my Upsampler converted to DSDx2 (which I really love). Did anyone notice that Soulution/Axiss was using their Olasonic CD-1 ($550) with their 560 DAC at RMAF? Hmm, are they trying to tell me something because I am thinking about a transport for my small number of physical CDs?
How did that Olasonic sound Steve?
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
3,874
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Greater Boston
#59
I have yet to be impressed by ANY CD transport at a trade show for the last 10 years. That is evidence enough for me, plus the fact that I modded a LOT of different CD transports over 10 years for customers worldwide. Like I said, expensive transports are very good. Expensive computer audio solutions are better at the same price-point IMO.

On second thought, I think the right test to prove my assertion is an objective one, rather than a subjective shootout.

I can measure jitter distribution over time accurately with my programmable 7GHz scope. I could measure what I consider the best computer audio solution at a price-point of ~$4K and then what you believe to be the best transport at the same price-point, using the same audio track at 44.1kHz. The standard deviation of the distribution plots can be compared to see which yields lower jitter. Then, if the computer audio prevails, one could up the ante for the transport to $10K to see if it beats the $4K computer audio system etc..

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Your experience is different from mine. Recently in a friend's house we compared my Simaudio Moon 260 DT transport (costing less than $ 2 K) with his carefully implemented server configuration. The transport quite clearly beat the file server on separation of instruments / musical lines, and on freedom of grain. The latest upgrades to the server system, auditioned in a later session, seemed to have bridged the gap to some degree, but we felt the transport may still have performed better.

There is much more to the issue than just jitter. For example, it is known that computers can be quite noisy, which is why Shunyata even offers a power conditioner addressing this very issue:

http://shunyata.com/products/power-distributors/hydra-dpc-6-v3/

But then, the Moon may not be an ordinary transport. From a review:

"Fifteen years ago a transport this good would have a $10,000 price tag attached; This MOON does it for just $3,000. Now that’s progress."

(The $ 3,000 price tag is for the unit with built-in DAC, mine is without.)
 
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#60
Your experience is different from mine. Recently in a friend's house we compared my Simaudio Moon 260 DT transport (costing less than $ 2 K) with his carefully implemented server configuration. The transport quite clearly beat the file server on separation of instruments / musical lines, and on freedom of grain. The latest upgrades to the server system, auditioned in a later session, seemed to have bridged the gap to some degree, but we felt the transport may still have performed better.

There is much more to the issue than just jitter. For example, it is known that computers can be quite noisy, which is why Shunyata even offers a power conditioner addressing this very issue:

http://shunyata.com/products/power-distributors/hydra-dpc-6-v3/

But then, the Moon may not be an ordinary transport. From a review:

"Fifteen years ago a transport this good would have a $10,000 price tag attached; This MOON does it for just $3,000. Now that’s progress."

(The $ 3,000 price tag is for the unit with built-in DAC, mine is without.)
What server was it?

Steve N.