Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

austinpop

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2017
200
655
198
Austin, TX
So, with this setup is an Extreme worth investing in since my upscaler/Dac is not supported?

Welcome to the forum and this thread. As a DAVE and Extreme owner, let me just assure you that the Extreme is well worth investing in a DAVE setup, as Emile's already indicated, and as many other DAVE owners here have attested.

Are the new usb cards standard now or an add on ? And do they make sense for Dave owner?

I have the USB card burning in on my Extreme. I have purposely not written any impressions about it yet, as I like to let components burn in first. But I can safely say - YES, it makes sense!

Thanks for the welcome. Id love to hear some Taiko+ Mscaler+ Dave experiences from anyone here!

As @romaz hinted in this post from November,
https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/post-687661, many of us DAVE users are playing with a software alternative to M-Scaler. It is an off-line remastering tool called PGGB, currently in beta, that is optimized to accurately reproduce the music signal at the highest PCM rate and optimal bit-depth the DAC is capable of handling. For the DAVE, this means producing a 32-bit 16FS (705.6/768kHz) file.

Other DACs benefit too. For example, the Terminator+ works best at 20-bit/32FS, while the dCS DACs prefer 8FS.

I tried HQP and did not like it.

With PGGB, we don't have any need for real-time upsampling filters. We are only using TAS/HQPlayer as a music player, with no filters or noise shapers engaged. Why? It sounds way better than Roon, and even XD (this seems to be specific to DAVE), although I am confident that TAS/XD will soon surpass TAS/HQP for DAVE too.

PGGB is not publicly released yet, but anyone interested in trying it can PM me for details.
 
Last edited:

cat6man

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2013
887
981
1,155
west of NYC, east of SF
Well, hopefully not ignition!

Come on, give us a few of the juicy details. We won't tell anyone else. Promise!

Steve Z
oh, ok...........but don't tell anyone or put it on the interwebs!

re: ignition, it absolutely is and the taiko spaceship is gaining altitude.

so far, i've only listened with Stax 009 headphones.
less than 24 hours after a simple installation of the usb card, i hear improvements exactly where i was looking for them, and where i felt it was somewhat lacking (and looking forward to more of it!) previously.

i hear a sense of a lower noise floor, a more detailed yet at the same time more relaxed sound which makes it a more immersive experience, more fingers sliding on guitar strings, background and rhythm instruments behind the "lead" lines are more clearly textured and hence more easily followed. i want for nothing more than more of the same as things burn in and stabilize.
 

MarkusBarkus

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2021
960
1,577
228
65
@Sampajanna I have an Extreme with a Dave/DC4 and an MScaler, with Wave cables. Love it. Awaiting the USB card, so cannot comment on that aspect; however, the Extreme/Dave/MScaler is excellent.

I use TAS, BTW. These guys probably think I'm a freak (or deaf), but I prefer the MScaler to the few PGGB files I have tested, FWIW. No HQ stuff either.

I have nothing against any of those solutions, but per your comments, I have a low threshold for tinkering around when listening. I audit the threads and may jump in more when things settle out.

BTW: I went from Aurender ACS10 to Extreme, as baseline for you. Good luck!
 

cat6man

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2013
887
981
1,155
west of NYC, east of SF
@Sampajanna I have an Extreme with a Dave/DC4 and an MScaler, with Wave cables. Love it. Awaiting the USB card, so cannot comment on that aspect; however, the Extreme/Dave/MScaler is excellent.

I use TAS, BTW. These guys probably think I'm a freak (or deaf), but I prefer the MScaler to the few PGGB files I have tested, FWIW. No HQ stuff either.

I have nothing against any of those solutions, but per your comments, I have a low threshold for tinkering around when listening. I audit the threads and may jump in more when things settle out.

BTW: I went from Aurender ACS10 to Extreme, as baseline for you. Good luck!

since you mentioned the word deaf, i want to insert a fascinating off-topic link (apologies to emile et co) with 2 amazing videos about sound


now back to your regularly scheduled programming
 
Last edited:

microstrip

VIP/Donor
May 30, 2010
20,806
4,695
2,790
Portugal
Good news, I could just see that Fedex just delivered a parcel coming from Netherlands to my address ... I hope it is not a Fedex April's Fool Day message! ;)
It was not a April's Fool Day message - with the prompt help of Emile I just moved cards and installed the USB in slot 5. Just put two screws and listened to the same track - the last but one from Savall's Routes d'Esclavage that was playing before the change. Astonishing - better attack on the voices , bass articulation and an improved feeling of the dynamics performance, as well as a better general fluidity. For logistic reasons I have been listening to the SoundLab's A1's driven by a Quad 606 mk2 connected directly to the Vivaldi stack for the last few weeks and the first sensation was that I went back to the XLF's, such was the feeling of drive. This weekend I will surely re-connect them - eager to listen in the big system.

I usually do not post immediate impressions on changes, our mind is very easy to trick concerning stereo, but this time I feel able to do it with assurance. Everyone who did it before me more eloquently was correct. Congratulations Taiko Audio!
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
2,788
3,623
1,470
It was not a April's Fool Day message - with the prompt help of Emile I just moved cards and installed the USB in slot 5. Just put two screws and listened to the same track - the last but one from Savall's Routes d'Esclavage that was playing before the change. Astonishing - better attack on the voices , bass articulation and an improved feeling of the dynamics performance, as well as a better general fluidity. For logistic reasons I have been listening to the SoundLab's A1's driven by a Quad 606 mk2 connected directly to the Vivaldi stack for the last few weeks and the first sensation was that I went back to the XLF's, such was the feeling of drive. This weekend I will surely re-connect them - eager to listen in the big system.

I usually do not post immediate impressions on changes, our mind is very easy to trick concerning stereo, but this time I feel able to do it with assurance. Everyone who did it before me more eloquently was correct. Congratulations Taiko Audio!
It's amazing isn't it? It made me realise how bad the extreme was before we got this new USB card! :p
 

Sampajanna

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2021
627
727
170
Thanks so much for the kind responses guys. This thread and its members are great.

@MarkusBarkus I am not a fiddler either. I want to get drawn into the music.... Also, the PGGB isn't the best solution for me either as I am doing a lot more streaming than listening to local tracks. I love discovering new music. Sometimes I do an hour of critical listening and then get up and realize I just listened to the same 3, 5 or 10 songs over and over for an hour and feel silly. Don't get me wrong that is a lot of fun sometimes, but other times it makes me feel like I am working :)

This is all great news for me. I wouldn't even know where to turn if I did want to change dacs. This dual DC4 and MScaler./Dave has such incredible synergy with my speakers. Also, it was able to hang comfortably with some Titans side by side. We tested it with 2 Titan dacs and in both cases it was the kind of thing where one excelled in some areas but lost in others and vice versa.

Thanks again for your time and passion!
 

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
3,392
2,778
1,410
I have just acquired a Dave and DC4 myself which I have burning in now before giving them a serious audition.

Emile, what tube compliment do you use in your Pacific? It would be nice to know what you have landed on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: iain

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
3,392
2,778
1,410
It seems as though most people have the regular KR242s as opposed to the RK series.

I guess I need to get a pair to try them out.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
3,013
4,130
2,520
United States
It seems as though most people have the regular KR242s as opposed to the RK series.

I guess I need to get a pair to try them out.
I began w the KR242 in my Golden Gate 2 and after a year, put in the RK242. I think it's a slightly better tube in every way. Thicker glass (less microphony), better vacuum, better anode = slightly better sound. Less bright at high dynamics/SPL = increased believability. YMMV. (Also use EML 274b recti). Sorry for being OT. Tube preferences should be discussed elsewhere.
 
Last edited:

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
4,206
12,889
1,925
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
We have identified an issue with Totaldac DACs, reclockers and USB cables. It appears to be caused by a capacitor initial peak charge current which is on the USB voltage lines and in the filterbox of the Totaldac USB cable. This charge current triggers the USB card voltage line protection. We are looking into it. May need a firmware update which can be applied remotely.
 

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
3,392
2,778
1,410
We have identified an issue with Totaldac DACs, reclockers and USB cables. It appears to be caused by a capacitor initial peak charge current which is on the USB voltage lines and in the filterbox of the Totaldac USB cable. This charge current triggers the USB card voltage line protection. We are looking into it. May need a firmware update which can be applied remotely.

This may be totally unrelated but I installed the USB card this morning and was listening for about 45 minutes and heard a noise and then there was silence. I restarted the player and cleared the queue but couldn’t get any sound. I restarted the Extreme and all is well now. I will post if this re-occurs. I don’t have a Totaldac. I have a Pacific.
 
  • Like
Reactions: howiebrou

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
4,206
12,889
1,925
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
This may be totally unrelated but I installed the USB card this morning and was listening for about 45 minutes and heard a noise and then there was silence. I restarted the player and cleared the queue but couldn’t get any sound. I restarted the Extreme and all is well now. I will post if this re-occurs. I don’t have a Totaldac. I have a Pacific.

That is indeed unrelated and sounds like a driver crash to me for whatever reason.
 

kswanson27

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2018
368
179
128
79
We have identified an issue with Totaldac DACs, reclockers and USB cables. It appears to be caused by a capacitor initial peak charge current which is on the USB voltage lines and in the filterbox of the Totaldac USB cable. This charge current triggers the USB card voltage line protection. We are looking into it. May need a firmware update which can be applied remotely.
That was fast!
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
4,206
12,889
1,925
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
That was fast!
Yeah, “unfortunately” I promised to stay home for the whole Easter weekend so I cannot start working on it till Tuesday. Sorry for the inconvenience Ken, there was nothing wrong with your USB card (apart from the protection triggering).
 
  • Like
Reactions: cmarin

kswanson27

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2018
368
179
128
79
Yeah, “unfortunately” I promised to stay home for the whole Easter weekend so I cannot start working on it till Tuesday. Sorry for the inconvenience Ken, there was nothing wrong with your USB card (apart from the protection triggering).
Not to worry. Can you hold the replacement and do the firmware update on that or is it on the way?
 

EuroDriver

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2015
926
2,478
450
Monaco
This may be totally unrelated but I installed the USB card this morning and was listening for about 45 minutes and heard a noise and then there was silence. I restarted the player and cleared the queue but couldn’t get any sound. I restarted the Extreme and all is well now. I will post if this re-occurs. I don’t have a Totaldac. I have a Pacific.
Which player was running ?

There is a memory leak issue in LMS version 8.0 which is fixed in 8.2 which will be included the Beta v2
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing