Pachanko Constellation Masterpiece initial thoughts...

pk_LA

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Oct 21, 2021
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So, I ordered a Constellation Masterpiece. I was initially a bit anxious because I had read a post about delays in production. But, Chan (the Principal at Pachanko), was great. He was incredibly communicative and I received the unit exactly when he said it would arrive.

The build quality is excellent. There are three boxes with top quality connection cables included (except power cord which is standard basic pc). The two power supply boxes come with spikes while the PC box sits on pads.

Chan walked me through the setup which was quite simple. I still have a minor issue with the power light blinking to which Chan has repeatedly offered to help me with - I just need to get a few minutes!

Sonically (is that a word?) I was blown away immediately. My prior setup was a Roon Nucleus. I used the Nuc in two different setups. The first was simply as a core connected to the network while an ethernet cables was separately connected to the dac. The second setup was with a USB connected from the Nuc to the dac. (Sablon USB and Shunyata Omega ethernet) In both setups, the Masterpiece brought warmth, depth and air - it made the Nuc seem thin by comparison. Some might recall that I auditioned quite a few top-flight dacs some time ago. The Masterpiece made as bif a difference in the system as any delta between dacs!

As for negatives, I don't yet have any complaints! Well, maybe one. The standard (non USB 2.0+) port sits right below the Ethernet port. Given the bulky connectors on the USB and the Ethernet cables they don't coexist great. I simply used the USB 2.0 port instead.
 

TheHagueAudio

Member
Feb 21, 2022
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Hi pk-LA,

As I am seriously considering getting a Pachanko server myself, I would appreciate getting another update from you on your experiences in the general use of your Masterpiece server. Especially as I’m not a massive Windows adept. Also, have you looked at/considered- or perhaps even tested the Diretta communication option, prior to linking to your DAC further downstream? I’d be interested in your experiences with that, should you have any, as linking a Roon based Pachanko server through an Oliospec Canario DUB to my Lampizator Pacific DAC on USB is how I foresee to be using it myself.
Thanks for any further insights.
 
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TMY168

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Oct 12, 2022
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Hi pk-LA,

As I am seriously considering getting a Pachanko server myself, I would appreciate getting another update from you on your experiences in the general use of your Masterpiece server. Especially as I’m not a massive Windows adept. Also, have you looked at/considered- or perhaps even tested the Diretta communication option, prior to linking to your DAC further downstream? I’d be interested in your experiences with that, should you have any, as linking a Roon based Pachanko server through an Oliospec Canario DUB to my Lampizator Pacific DAC on USB is how I foresee to be using it myself.
Thanks for any further insights.

I just got my delivery of Constellation Reference a few days ago. It's not the Masterpeice, but quite a big upgrade for me from Constellation Mini SE and Stella Linear PSU. I use it with Lampizator Amber 4 and Golden Atlantic TRP 2. Diretta with Olio.Spec Canarino Bridge DUB into both LampizatOrs gives the best sound, much better than USB connection.

I say go for it!
 

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TheHagueAudio

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Feb 21, 2022
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. So in my consideration to choose between a Constellation Mini SE or a Constellation Reference, you say it’s worth shelling out the extra money to choose for the Reference?
Can you share what specifically is better about it?
Much appreciated.
 
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TMY168

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Oct 12, 2022
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. So in my consideration to choose between a Constellation Mini SE or a Constellation Reference, you say it’s worth shelling out the extra money to choose for the Reference?
Can you share what specifically is better about it?
Much appreciated.

With the DAC you have, I'd recommend going for the Constellation Reference with Diretta.

After a full day with Reference, I can say it's clearly better than the Mini SE plus Stella LPSU, as it should. The scale is bigger, more slam. The bass is more solid and well-define. The mid flows smoother, especially piano and violin.

But I need to run it in for another 200 hours or so. But on the first day, I was very impressed.
 
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TDX

Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2020
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Hi pk-LA,

As I am seriously considering getting a Pachanko server myself, I would appreciate getting another update from you on your experiences in the general use of your Masterpiece server. Especially as I’m not a massive Windows adept. Also, have you looked at/considered- or perhaps even tested the Diretta communication option, prior to linking to your DAC further downstream? I’d be interested in your experiences with that, should you have any, as linking a Roon based Pachanko server through an Oliospec Canario DUB to my Lampizator Pacific DAC on USB is how I foresee to be using it myself.
Thanks for any further insights.

my masterpiece plays well. I like how balance it sounds. I can write more but rather just say everything is spot on (separation, bass definition, body, timbre you name it).
Windows is not in the scene at all. Once Chan setup for you, you just use roon and play non stop if you wish. Never had a glitch.
 

DrPo

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2018
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Athens, Greece
Thank you for those additional comments.
And already without using that Diretta option then.
Very encouraging words for me to go down the same Pachanko Labs path.
All the best!
I have the Constellation Reference and as I commented on another thread after a short demo at my local importer’s I added the Diretta SPEC UB-1 between the Constellation and my DAC. It makes the sound even more naturally flowing, removing any hint of rough edges or “anxiety” in the musical presentation
 

bryans

VIP/Donor
Dec 26, 2017
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I have a CAT Masterpiece and must say the unit is pretty awesome. Never had any issues with the unit to date. Like @TDX stated, all I ever worry about is making a selection of music via Roon.

I started out with the Masterpiece then added the Diretta Target. I have since added the Stellar LPS.
 

Zappadaddy

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Dec 27, 2020
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any other developments? What diretta target are you using? Oliospec, Soulnote Z3 or some other brands?Does Diretta target requires some pc knowledge and istalling some apps etc?
 

DrPo

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2018
17
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108
Athens, Greece
SPEC RMP (USB version). Settings were updated by Chan. Only glitches I have noticed is that I cannot easily swap DACs despite the SPEC Diretta client having two USB outputs (ideally I would like to have both my main DAC and my headphone DAC/AMP fed by Diretta) and that I am still waiting for a software update to allow playing DSD 256 files (currently Diretta does up to DSD 128; this update was in beta version some months but have not followed up - I am not fixated on “highest” resolution but my DAC plays natively DSD 256…)
 

pachankolabs

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Nov 16, 2020
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SPEC RMP (USB version). Settings were updated by Chan. Only glitches I have noticed is that I cannot easily swap DACs despite the SPEC Diretta client having two USB outputs (ideally I would like to have both my main DAC and my headphone DAC/AMP fed by Diretta) and that I am still waiting for a software update to allow playing DSD 256 files (currently Diretta does up to DSD 128; this update was in beta version some months but have not followed up - I am not fixated on “highest” resolution but my DAC plays natively DSD 256…)
You can, you just need to select the correct DAC from the Diretta control panel.
 

bryans

VIP/Donor
Dec 26, 2017
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any other developments? What diretta target are you using? Oliospec, Soulnote Z3 or some other brands?Does Diretta target requires some pc knowledge and istalling some apps etc?
I haven't made any digital changes. I'm using the Canario Diretta Bridge. Chan set mine up so no PC knowledge needed on my end.

I do plan on listening to SoulNote as I have heard great things about it.
 
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Zappadaddy

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Dec 27, 2020
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I haven't made any digital changes. I'm using the Canario Diretta Bridge. Chan set mine up so no PC knowledge needed on my end.

I do plan on listening to SoulNote as I have heard great things about it.
thanks for the answer
 

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