Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

With respect to the Taiko Extreme how do you connect it to your DAC

  • USB

    Votes: 92 67.2%
  • Ethernet

    Votes: 26 19.0%
  • Both USB and Ethernet

    Votes: 13 9.5%
  • AES/EBU

    Votes: 12 8.8%
  • Dual AES/EBU

    Votes: 3 2.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 5.8%

  • Total voters
    137

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
643
417
173
It's a priority for me as well
It's a priority for me as well
XDMS raises the bar on Naturalness

I had my first listening session of XDMS playing files from storage this morning in Oldenzaal

Wilson and Emile have pulled another rabbit out of the hat. What struck me was the naturalness of the sonic presentation took another very noticeable jump. PRAT is up significantly as well. My 16/44 test tracks sounded like never before, simply amazing

To achieve this level of SQ needed a lot of rework of the program plumbing, but wow was it worthwhile.

Their efforts are Herculean and relentless, my hat off to the both of them
Did you listen to streamed files as well?
 

Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
396
225
113
Looked for this and I couldn't find any network icon in server settings, just the word network. Under that the only buffering is radio station buffer which was set at 3. I tapped the three dots in the upper right corner and went to server settings. Am I looking in the right place?
yes this is right place. I am sorry, I was not very accurate.
My system is very specific so it might not be a good idea for others but I am very happpy with the result. Like it a lot !
Also it might be temporary benefit with that as I see Emile already has XDMS that will be a cure.

I agree with what Emile suspects. I might have to low noise overall in my system.
I treated everything with as low noise ( or high isolation) as possible.
Absolutely everything is isolated , top class supplys, lifepo battery for some ,
things are double , triple regulated ….
All AC powered lines are with 7 balanced trafos ( one for each component).
Also the DAC is double Totaldac Twelve - We call it D1 - 24, this also cuts down noise significantly,
Two TotalDAC drivers With XLR.
2 Switches with Pinkfaun ultra clocks
Router with pinkfaun ultra clock
Modem with pinkfaun ultra clock
Exclusive grounding with extreme low impedance.

Adding a little noise with higher buffer at network is not a bad idea im my case,
same with USB buffer . I prefer 4k or 8k so two highest buffers at USB.
It also sounds much more natural and real than ever before.

Quite sure XDMS that Tako Team is getting for us will solve all issues permanently.
Not only my issues but everyone here .
With XDMS Taiko will have close to 100% controll over things they wanted.
 
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ctydwn

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2019
100
243
48
No pressure! just kidding
wow @Kris, that is serious stuff. love it

Glad this thread is flowing again. Cannot fathom the SQ improvements from the switch and XDMS. Unbelievable work team Taiko. A bit excited about it.:)
 
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oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
390
648
335
Thanks very much for all the updates. Very encouraging about XDMS and XDMSPlayer progress and the new CNC machine is way cool.

If we're throwing in our wishlist items for consideration I'd nominate having a Search function that goes out and queries subscribed streaming services (Qobuz and Tidal) as well as doing searches of the stored library. I know search engine design can be tricky and in the case of streaming services requires the services to supply a functional API, so this might take some time and not make the first couple of beta iterations. But I have confidence the Taiko team can come up with a search engine for library items that is more reliable than Roon's at actually displaying *all* the stored or cataloged music items that fit a given search criteria.

I like a functioning progress bar and ability to zoom ahead or circle back, but it's not a high priority for me by any means, particularly if it impacts sound quality.

Playlist integration or at least playlist import from Roon would be awesome.

Thanks for all the Taiko team's hard work.

Steve Z
 

EuroDriver

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2015
638
1,097
243
Monaco
Some additional notes after 2 days of listening to XDMS and XDMSPlayer

My personal takeaway is that the sound reproduction takes on a feeling of intimacy as well. This is especially noticeable for Piano and other solo instruments. Also, I have never heard PRAT with this much life, jump and swing.

Today we had the iOS App, the Android .apk and the Windows 10 native remote control apps all running
 

Johnny Moondog

Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2014
37
17
140

cat6man

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2013
362
211
285
west of NYC, east of SF
All of our testing has been with stored files so far.

We are still working on the streaming client, but it has taken second priority to getting the stored files sounding at a new level

All of our testing has been with stored files so far.

We are still working on the streaming client, but it has taken second priority to getting the stored files sounding at a new level
It looks like I need to go back to daily check in here :)

I love the SQ reports on testing with stored files and I am fully copacetic with streaming as a second priority.
In fact, a release with the improved SQ for stored files and only(!) the current SQ for streaming would be fabulous as a solid first release point (if the effort to advance streaming SQ takes more time)
 

EuroDriver

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2015
638
1,097
243
Monaco
It looks like I need to go back to daily check in here :)

I love the SQ reports on testing with stored files and I am fully copacetic with streaming as a second priority.
In fact, a release with the improved SQ for stored files and only(!) the current SQ for streaming would be fabulous as a solid first release point (if the effort to advance streaming SQ takes more time)
We can’t use the TAS Qobuz and Tidal streaming clients for XDMS as they are Logitech Media Server plugins. The XDMS Streaming client will not need LMS and benefit SQ wise from being LMS free.

That being said, LMS does sound pretty dammed good, but XDMS is better

We will not release XDMS before we have the XDMS streaming client sound quality close to the stored file quality.

Patience please
 
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2ndLiner

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2015
74
102
138
I am both excited and patient and enjoying the buzz of anticipation. I think most of us recognize that the dedication to continual improvement of the Extreme’s ability to convey music and instruments in all their grandeur is unparalleled. Not that you need to hear it but please, Emile, Ed, Wilson, et al, take all the time you need!
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
390
648
335
One other wish-list item for consideration -- the ability to construct playlists from whatever screen in XDMSPlayer we happen to be in, without first having to load the track into the queue (as is the case presently).

Whether streaming or resident library, there should be a click-on or pull-down list associated with each displayed track, one button of which is "Add to playlist" that takes the user to a screen that allows adding the track to any of the existing playlists or allows the user to create and name a new playlist.

Thanks again for all the hard work!

Steve Z
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Whether streaming or resident library, there should be a click-on or pull-down list associated with each displayed track, one button of which is "Add to playlist" that takes the user to a screen that allows adding the track to any of the existing playlists or allows the user to create and name a new playlist.
Its been a year since I’ve used Roon because TAS is where the future is but IIRC isn’t that a feature of Roon.
I do agree with your suggestion however. There are still some Extreme users who won’t use TAS until it’s a finished product. Having said that I’ve followed personally in my system the very first version of TAS and have seen many improvements until what we are using now . As audiophiles here using the Extreme, I believe we have been a part of the development of TAS but even better I think we are watching the genesis of something great happening in the digital world. To my ears TAS has provided the aural pleasure that I, at least, have been seeking
So definitely I’m expecting when Taiko announces the next version it will be at the very least a beta version of the new player etc But with the work the Taiko team has been doing along with their silence I’m strapped in and and ready for something great.
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
390
648
335
I tried an experiment tonight. During the recent discussion about copper ethernet input vs. optical to the Extreme I disconnected the optical lead I had been using for over a year and connected a decent but no pretensions to being “audiophile” copper UTP ethernet cable. I had only used this copper ethernet cable once before to feed the Extreme the first two days after I received it, but quickly abandoned copper in favor of fiber optic.

Both runs, copper and fiber, originate directly from ethernet ports on my ISP provided DSL modem/router. Copper of course goes completely uninterrupted. Fiber is via a Sablon copper jumper from modem/router to the copper input on a Sonore OpticalModule. The OpticalModule is powered by a 7VDC Sonore Signature LPS further double-regulated down to 5VDC through a DXP regulator box.

Out of the OpticalModule via a Finisar SFP, single-mode fiber goes directly to a matching Finisar SFP in the Extreme.

As Emile mentioned, the copper ethernet cable isn’t at all bad and is more relaxed or forgiving in comparison to fiber. It certainly sounded better than I remembered it sounding the first, short go-round back when my Extreme was new.

With copper ethernet connected I played a bunch of albums I have that are a bit hot and a few that are downright harsh. All were more palatable and easier to listen to. So I left the copper UTP connected.

While iniitally I found the copper kind of growing on me, a week or so ago I started realizing that something just didn’t seem quite right with my system compared with how it had been sounding some weeks ago. Something or somethings were missing. Well-recorded tracks that used to fairly explode from the speakers were sounding, well, a little polite. And tracks that were expansive and immersive, filling the entire room with music were smaller and flatter than before.

I hadn’t moved any Tube Traps or other room treatments around or changed the location of anything, listening chair included. I finally figured out that the only thing I was aware of that had changed in the last several weeks was swapping optical cable for copper.

That was the culprit. As soon as I plugged the fiber at the Extreme and pointed TAS player at the new IP address of the fiber NIC the first track I queued up made it clear I wasn’t imagining things. While the copper input certainly tamed more egregious harshness quite nicely, in my system at least it ultimately proved to be a little too much of a good thing. However, I can hear how another system with a different balance might benefit from the touch of warmth and little bit of forgiveness of copper ethernet relative to fiber optic. It is something worth hearing and judging for yourselves if you haven’t already compared fiber to copper.

Steve Z
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,541
2,166
580
Hong Kong
I tried an experiment tonight. During the recent discussion about copper ethernet input vs. optical to the Extreme I disconnected the optical lead I had been using for over a year and connected a decent but no pretensions to being “audiophile” copper UTP ethernet cable. I had only used this copper ethernet cable once before to feed the Extreme the first two days after I received it, but quickly abandoned copper in favor of fiber optic.

Both runs, copper and fiber, originate directly from ethernet ports on my ISP provided DSL modem/router. Copper of course goes completely uninterrupted. Fiber is via a Sablon copper jumper from modem/router to the copper input on a Sonore OpticalModule. The OpticalModule is powered by a 7VDC Sonore Signature LPS further double-regulated down to 5VDC through a DXP regulator box.

Out of the OpticalModule via a Finisar SFP, single-mode fiber goes directly to a matching Finisar SFP in the Extreme.

As Emile mentioned, the copper ethernet cable isn’t at all bad and is more relaxed or forgiving in comparison to fiber. It certainly sounded better than I remembered it sounding the first, short go-round back when my Extreme was new.

With copper ethernet connected I played a bunch of albums I have that are a bit hot and a few that are downright harsh. All were more palatable and easier to listen to. So I left the copper UTP connected.

While iniitally I found the copper kind of growing on me, a week or so ago I started realizing that something just didn’t seem quite right with my system compared with how it had been sounding some weeks ago. Something or somethings were missing. Well-recorded tracks that used to fairly explode from the speakers were sounding, well, a little polite. And tracks that were expansive and immersive, filling the entire room with music were smaller and flatter than before.

I hadn’t moved any Tube Traps or other room treatments around or changed the location of anything, listening chair included. I finally figured out that the only thing I was aware of that had changed in the last several weeks was swapping optical cable for copper.

That was the culprit. As soon as I plugged the fiber at the Extreme and pointed TAS player at the new IP address of the fiber NIC the first track I queued up made it clear I wasn’t imagining things. While the copper input certainly tamed more egregious harshness quite nicely, in my system at least it ultimately proved to be a little too much of a good thing. However, I can hear how another system with a different balance might benefit from the touch of warmth and little bit of forgiveness of copper ethernet relative to fiber optic. It is something worth hearing and judging for yourselves if you haven’t already compared fiber to copper.

Steve Z
Normally there are more than one ethernet cables/segment within our home CAS network.
I always recommend to install at least one optical fiber connection in the network path but more than one segment of optical fiber will gives more cons than pros.
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
456
625
163
68
I tried an experiment tonight. During the recent discussion about copper ethernet input vs. optical to the Extreme I disconnected the optical lead I had been using for over a year and connected a decent but no pretensions to being “audiophile” copper UTP ethernet cable. I had only used this copper ethernet cable once before to feed the Extreme the first two days after I received it, but quickly abandoned copper in favor of fiber optic.

Both runs, copper and fiber, originate directly from ethernet ports on my ISP provided DSL modem/router. Copper of course goes completely uninterrupted. Fiber is via a Sablon copper jumper from modem/router to the copper input on a Sonore OpticalModule. The OpticalModule is powered by a 7VDC Sonore Signature LPS further double-regulated down to 5VDC through a DXP regulator box.

Out of the OpticalModule via a Finisar SFP, single-mode fiber goes directly to a matching Finisar SFP in the Extreme.

As Emile mentioned, the copper ethernet cable isn’t at all bad and is more relaxed or forgiving in comparison to fiber. It certainly sounded better than I remembered it sounding the first, short go-round back when my Extreme was new.

With copper ethernet connected I played a bunch of albums I have that are a bit hot and a few that are downright harsh. All were more palatable and easier to listen to. So I left the copper UTP connected.

While iniitally I found the copper kind of growing on me, a week or so ago I started realizing that something just didn’t seem quite right with my system compared with how it had been sounding some weeks ago. Something or somethings were missing. Well-recorded tracks that used to fairly explode from the speakers were sounding, well, a little polite. And tracks that were expansive and immersive, filling the entire room with music were smaller and flatter than before.

I hadn’t moved any Tube Traps or other room treatments around or changed the location of anything, listening chair included. I finally figured out that the only thing I was aware of that had changed in the last several weeks was swapping optical cable for copper.

That was the culprit. As soon as I plugged the fiber at the Extreme and pointed TAS player at the new IP address of the fiber NIC the first track I queued up made it clear I wasn’t imagining things. While the copper input certainly tamed more egregious harshness quite nicely, in my system at least it ultimately proved to be a little too much of a good thing. However, I can hear how another system with a different balance might benefit from the touch of warmth and little bit of forgiveness of copper ethernet relative to fiber optic. It is something worth hearing and judging for yourselves if you haven’t already compared fiber to copper.

Steve Z
Hi Steve,
One small word of caution. You‘ve integrated all ethernet cables under the term ‘copper’, but I think you’ll find that what you’re hearing is related more to a specific cable rather than to copper in general.
I have standardised my network on Synergistic Research Atmosphere X Ref cables. A few months ago I was loaned an Innuos PhoenixNET to try and was short an extra SR cable so used an AQVox Edge cable that I’d since replaced with an SR. And the effect was as if I’d instantly stepped back ca. 15 months in my system development. I have upgraded a lot more since, but that single cable still added its own character to the mix. The reason I like SR is because I’ve found their cables to be exceptionally neutral and transparent to the actual recording and by adding the AQVox I introduced a sonic character that I instantly recognised from several months previously. I don‘t know about optical cables (I’m waiting for FTTP to arrive before I make a trial installation) but in the World of copper ethernet, when a system gets to the level of resolution you enjoy, a single cable can markedly change what you hear and those copper ‘limitations’ you’ve identified will almost certainly disappear with an ethernet cable that is more appropriate for your system.

The other area to consider is of course isolation. When I was first installing my system, the worst sounding configuration was a cheap ethernet Cat 5 cable between the ISP modem/router and my server. The second worst was a Synergistic Research Active Cat 6 ethernet cable. By far the best sound was obtained when a wireless link was introduced, first via a mesh network, then finally using a simple wi-fi to ethernet bridge arrangement.
 
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oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
390
648
335
Hi Steve,
One small word of caution. You‘ve integrated all ethernet cables under the term ‘copper’, but I think you’ll find that what you’re hearing is related more to a specific cable rather than to copper in general.
I have standardised my network on Synergistic Research Atmosphere X Ref cables. A few months ago I was loaned an Innuos PhoenixNET to try and was short an extra SR cable so used an AQVox Edge cable that I’d since replaced with an SR. And the effect was as if I’d instantly stepped back ca. 15 months in my system development. I have upgraded a lot more since, but that single cable still added its own character to the mix. The reason I like SR is because I’ve found their cables to be exceptionally neutral and transparent to the actual recording and by adding the AQVox I introduced a sonic character that I instantly recognised from several months previously. I don‘t know about optical cables (I’m waiting for FTTP to arrive before I make a trial installation) but in the World of copper ethernet, when a system gets to the level of resolution you enjoy, a single cable can markedly change what you hear and those copper ‘limitations’ you’ve identified will almost certainly disappear with an ethernet cable that is more appropriate for your system.

The other area to consider is of course isolation. When I was first installing my system, the worst sounding configuration was a cheap ethernet Cat 5 cable between the ISP modem/router and my server. The second worst was a Synergistic Research Active Cat 6 ethernet cable. By far the best sound was obtained when a wireless link was introduced, first via a mesh network, then finally using a simple wi-fi to ethernet bridge arrangement.
Thanks for your kind reply. Actually, I am completely open to the idea that various copper ethernet cables can sound different from one another. I wasn't clear but the only thing I was trying to compare was a good quality but not audiophile UTP (unshielded twisted pair) copper ethernet cable such as what Emile mentioned (if I understood him correctly) against the fiber optic connection to the Extreme I've been using for some time.

I have experience with power cords, power distribution devices, interconnects, speaker cables, USB cables, clock cables and yes, copper ethernet cables all having their impacts on sound quality. However, given that distance from my DSL modem to the back of my Extreme is currently 20 meters, at audiophile prices a premium ethernet cable let alone several to compare to each other is just not in the cards. I may however try your suggestion of wireless, though space and outlets behind my equipment rack are definitely at a premium.

Steve Z
 

K3RMIT

Active Member
Sep 4, 2020
168
49
28
Hi Steve,
One small word of caution. You‘ve integrated all ethernet cables under the term ‘copper’, but I think you’ll find that what you’re hearing is related more to a specific cable rather than to copper in general.
I have standardised my network on Synergistic Research Atmosphere X Ref cables. A few months ago I was loaned an Innuos PhoenixNET to try and was short an extra SR cable so used an AQVox Edge cable that I’d since replaced with an SR. And the effect was as if I’d instantly stepped back ca. 15 months in my system development. I have upgraded a lot more since, but that single cable still added its own character to the mix. The reason I like SR is because I’ve found their cables to be exceptionally neutral and transparent to the actual recording and by adding the AQVox I introduced a sonic character that I instantly recognised from several months previously. I don‘t know about optical cables (I’m waiting for FTTP to arrive before I make a trial installation) but in the World of copper ethernet, when a system gets to the level of resolution you enjoy, a single cable can markedly change what you hear and those copper ‘limitations’ you’ve identified will almost certainly disappear with an ethernet cable that is more appropriate for your system.

The other area to consider is of course isolation. When I was first installing my system, the worst sounding configuration was a cheap ethernet Cat 5 cable between the ISP modem/router and my server. The second worst was a Synergistic Research Active Cat 6 ethernet cable. By far the best sound was obtained when a wireless link was introduced, first via a mesh network, then finally using a simple wi-fi to ethernet bridge arrangement.
have you tried any other form of network isolation?
how did this effect streaming music like tidal ? I would think the taiko would have an internal method of dealing with isolation over all . I do agree isolation is almost always a plus.
 

K3RMIT

Active Member
Sep 4, 2020
168
49
28
Thanks for your kind reply. Actually, I am completely open to the idea that various copper ethernet cables can sound different from one another. I wasn't clear but the only thing I was trying to compare was a good quality but not audiophile UTP (unshielded twisted pair) copper ethernet cable such as what Emile mentioned (if I understood him correctly) against the fiber optic connection to the Extreme I've been using for some time.

I have experience with power cords, power distribution devices, interconnects, speaker cables, USB cables, clock cables and yes, copper ethernet cables all having their impacts on sound quality. However, given that distance from my DSL modem to the back of my Extreme is currently 20 meters, at audiophile prices a premium ethernet cable let alone several to compare to each other is just not in the cards. I may however try your suggestion of wireless, though space and outlets behind my equipment rack are definitely at a premium.

Steve Z
I agreed right up to WiFi lol. but if it’s goal is only isolation and use dhcp only it’s fine I feel. I use an online iso from emo tech at router network switch to my audio only router. This not only isolates but also keeps non audio traffic away , this is easily shown in a then be.
regarding copper network cables matter. has anyone compared non audio cat 7 shielded? it’s Emi RFI rated if real ones not China fake
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
456
625
163
68
have you tried any other form of network isolation?
how did this effect streaming music like tidal ? I would think the taiko would have an internal method of dealing with isolation over all . I do agree isolation is almost always a plus.
Hey K3RMIT, thanks for the reply. To be clear, I’m not a Taiko Extreme user, although I do track the technology with great interest and have learned a great deal from this thread and its contributors. My background is is in highly complex analytical systems and I tend to apply a lot of what I learned there to building hi-fi systems. My current system was started from the ground up for digital local and remote streaming for a single listener….. My previous system had focussed on making CD replay as natural and musical as possible and was therefore all tube based, but eventually I got tired of listening to music in a sauna. Its also based in a small room, which at first I thought may be a waste of time but which eventually, surprisingly and happily proved to be the best room I’ve had the pleasure to listen to music in, possibly due to the near field listening position, which I love. When I look at a system I tend to try and standardise as much as possible around components that provide that deeply satisfying reproduction that communicates the essence and spirit of the music without any conscious effort required by the listener and without any discernible sonic signature, so the establishment of my system has taken over 3 years, trialing many different products and networking topologies along the way, with the exclusion of optical, which I will trial once I get an FTTP service.
As I started building my system before I’d even heard about the Taiko Extreme, I‘ve resisted any urge to change horses midstream, including listening to one, which would have absolutely no point unless I intended to buy one, which I currently don‘t as I’m implementing a different philosophy based on using the network to highly refine the data stream before it reaches the server. Having said that, I believe that there are now 2 ways to achieve absolutely top quality sound via streaming…..the way I’m pursuing, which is to use the network to clean and refine the data stream and the Taiko Extreme + TAS which through innovative processing, optimal resource allocation and highly refined component selection and matching is able to produce absolutely wonderful sounding music from a less than perfect data stream, which makes the Extreme a very compelling offering if you’re after the best sound you can get from streaming.
In terms of local vs remote streaming, I hear very little difference between the two, compared to the major differences in how albums are recorded and mastered, so I’m equally happy listening my own music collection or Qobuz remote streams via the network.
 

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