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: 40 72.7%
  • Ethernet

    Votes: 9 16.4%
  • Both USB and Ethernet

    Votes: 4 7.3%
  • AES/EBU

    Votes: 3 5.5%
  • Dual AES/EBU

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 7.3%

  • Total voters
    55

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,865
1,080
238
Hong Kong
Hello Emile,
Many audiophiles in Hong Kong are eagerly waiting for a new Taiko Audio server which is cheaper than the Extreme and as good as/better than the discontinued EVO.

I know that it's in development.
Would you please disclose to WBF members a bit about it?
Many thanks!
:)
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,198
926
210
Hello Emile,
Many audiophiles in Hong Kong are eagerly waiting for a new Taiko Audio server which is cheaper than the Extreme and as good as/better than the discontinued EVO.

I know that it's in development.
Would you please disclose to WBF members a bit about it?
Many thanks!
:)
I will be first in line!
 
Last edited:
Likes: Taiko Audio

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,297
1,506
210
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Hello Emile,
Many audiophiles in Hong Kong are eagerly waiting for a new Taiko Audio server which is cheaper than the Extreme and as good as/better than the discontinued EVO.

I know that it's in development.
Would you please disclose to WBF members a bit about it?
Many thanks!
:)
Hi CK,

We do indeed have several prototype servers up and running. I will elaborate a bit on decision factors for our next model release which is as of yet undecided.

The Extreme has been more successful then we anticipated creating a demand our subcontractors are struggling to keep up with. Once you enter the realm of custom made parts beyond PCBs populated with "off the shelf" parts there are significant manufacturing lead times and costs involved. We do employ quite a few custom made boutique parts. The power transformers, filter chokes, capacitors, memory modules, wiring and even the PCB materials used are all non standard custom made.

Then there is longevity, we design and build our servers to last. Every component is subject to wear due to exposure to vibration and heat. We design for vibration resilience and low heat operation. Take a CPU for example, it can operate 24/7 at 70 degrees Celsius (160 Fahrenheit), but its performance may start degrading after just 2 years and completely fail after 5. You can keep it running cool by using fans, but fans have a vibration signature and create "low" frequency electrical noise which is quite harmful to midrange integrity. Furthermore fans degrade fairly rapidly leading to increased vibration and noise. There are several after market passive cooling solutions available, but they have limited cooling performance, they works just fine initially, but performance will degrade faster then desired for our purposes. Do note this is not a problem in the DIY world where people tend to swap their hardware components frequently. None of this is acceptable for us so we design our own passive cooling solutions. This comes with it's own challenges, interfacing to the CPU for example, our CPU coolers are CNC machined to a 5 micron tolerance, that is 0.005mm, note that a 100 micron ( 0.1mm) tolerance is already considered to be very good for CNC machining. We also use heatsinks machined from solid copper as it cools twice as good (fast) as aluminium. This increases life expectancy by at least 4 and up to 12 times over other solutions. The resulting low operation temperatures also increases sound quality. Our CPU's operate at between 35-50 degrees Celsius (95-120 F) depending on environment and load. This also means audio performance will persist over time. Interestingly we get enquiries from the OEM non audio industry on a regular basis to purchase our cooling solutions. But it's to costly for those markets. A big upside to all this is if we have a component failure, it will be early on, either in the initial stress test in our factory, or in the first few weeks of usage.

Last but not least there's the chassis. It is a very complex design, very machining intensive with around 6000 (!) holes, a lot of cut outs and difficult angles. Each chassis takes several days to machine. But after that it gets really tricky, the horror for every manufacturer, it needs to be shipped disassembled, finished and anodized. We have had anodizing and shipping companies destroying up to 70% of our CNC output. Ask any manufacturer, it's the biggest problem in the industry. We have that down to around 20% now. This is the main problem which has been limiting our supply rates for the past year.

On to the new model(s).

We would expect these to sell in higher quantities. We do not want our customers having to face considerable lead times. IOW, we want to be able to quickly adjust to varying demand. We have a few custom made motherboard prototypes. They perform very well, but there are off the shelf options available which are to close in performance to warrant using these motherboards. If we were to use these, and demand ramps up, we would be facing very significant lead times. In fact we found a slightly better performing one, just released, which is available off the shelf, so we will likely switch to using that.

We have assigned paid research to a high tech analysis company to find an explanation for some results we observed leading to better sound. This type of advanced research seems to be rarely performed in our branch. We have received some very interesting results already which we can use to increase performance in cheaper products, and ultimately over time, should lead to upgrades for our top of the line Extreme model.

We want our products to be future proof, upgradeable to whatever we can come up with at reasonable cost, at any point in time.

Therefor our current line of thinking is towards introducing a new model, at a lower price point, but upgradeable to the Extreme level at near the price differential. It would need to be housed in the same chassis for that, and we are getting production rates for that under control, slowly but surely. We are exploring several cost saving solutions, like a single, lower performance CPU, enabling usage of an Aluminium single CPU cooling system, together a significant cost saving. We could cut the Memory modules used by 50%. And it would also lower power requirements for the power supply saving cost there, and possibly use some cheaper, more readily available off the shelf components for it. We would want to retain the PCIe internal storage solution as if we were to switch to SATA SSD storage, our Qobuz/Tidal solution would outperform local file playback quality. If we wanted to release an even cheaper model, it would likely have to be a streamer only solution, as it makes no sense to have internal storage capability with inferior playback quality.

While at the topic. I'm open to community opinion feedback here!
 

matthias

Active Member
Mar 14, 2019
229
72
28
Germany
If we wanted to release an even cheaper model, it would likely have to be a streamer only solution, as it makes no sense to have internal storage capability with inferior playback quality.

While at the topic. I'm open to community opinion feedback here!
Thank you Emile for sharing these very interesting details with us, much appreciated.

I do not need a model with internal storage capability, I am interested to have a streamer only solution with USB output only for the best playback from streaming services like Qobuz.

Thanks again

Matt
 

Kris

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
250
104
43
Dear Emile
As per your advice I want to stop worry and stop upgrating .
So only the best of you (extreme) is for me.

I undestand your concept of having the same chassis and just swaping internal components.
This is a great idea for those who want to buy something cheaper than extreme and upgrate easy in the future. This is very customer Friendly solution !
 
Last edited:

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,865
1,080
238
Hong Kong
Hi CK,

We do indeed have several prototype servers up and running. I will elaborate a bit on decision factors for our next model release which is as of yet undecided.

The Extreme has been more successful then we anticipated creating a demand our subcontractors are struggling to keep up with. Once you enter the realm of custom made parts beyond PCBs populated with "off the shelf" parts there are significant manufacturing lead times and costs involved. We do employ quite a few custom made boutique parts. The power transformers, filter chokes, capacitors, memory modules, wiring and even the PCB materials used are all non standard custom made.

Then there is longevity, we design and build our servers to last. Every component is subject to wear due to exposure to vibration and heat. We design for vibration resilience and low heat operation. Take a CPU for example, it can operate 24/7 at 70 degrees Celsius (160 Fahrenheit), but its performance may start degrading after just 2 years and completely fail after 5. You can keep it running cool by using fans, but fans have a vibration signature and create "low" frequency electrical noise which is quite harmful to midrange integrity. Furthermore fans degrade fairly rapidly leading to increased vibration and noise. There are several after market passive cooling solutions available, but they have limited cooling performance, they works just fine initially, but performance will degrade faster then desired for our purposes. Do note this is not a problem in the DIY world where people tend to swap their hardware components frequently. None of this is acceptable for us so we design our own passive cooling solutions. This comes with it's own challenges, interfacing to the CPU for example, our CPU coolers are CNC machined to a 5 micron tolerance, that is 0.005mm, note that a 100 micron ( 0.1mm) tolerance is already considered to be very good for CNC machining. We also use heatsinks machined from solid copper as it cools twice as good (fast) as aluminium. This increases life expectancy by at least 4 and up to 12 times over other solutions. The resulting low operation temperatures also increases sound quality. Our CPU's operate at between 35-50 degrees Celsius (95-120 F) depending on environment and load. This also means audio performance will persist over time. Interestingly we get enquiries from the OEM non audio industry on a regular basis to purchase our cooling solutions. But it's to costly for those markets. A big upside to all this is if we have a component failure, it will be early on, either in the initial stress test in our factory, or in the first few weeks of usage.

Last but not least there's the chassis. It is a very complex design, very machining intensive with around 6000 (!) holes, a lot of cut outs and difficult angles. Each chassis takes several days to machine. But after that it gets really tricky, the horror for every manufacturer, it needs to be shipped disassembled, finished and anodized. We have had anodizing and shipping companies destroying up to 70% of our CNC output. Ask any manufacturer, it's the biggest problem in the industry. We have that down to around 20% now. This is the main problem which has been limiting our supply rates for the past year.

On to the new model(s).

We would expect these to sell in higher quantities. We do not want our customers having to face considerable lead times. IOW, we want to be able to quickly adjust to varying demand. We have a few custom made motherboard prototypes. They perform very well, but there are off the shelf options available which are to close in performance to warrant using these motherboards. If we were to use these, and demand ramps up, we would be facing very significant lead times. In fact we found a slightly better performing one, just released, which is available off the shelf, so we will likely switch to using that.

We have assigned paid research to a high tech analysis company to find an explanation for some results we observed leading to better sound. This type of advanced research seems to be rarely performed in our branch. We have received some very interesting results already which we can use to increase performance in cheaper products, and ultimately over time, should lead to upgrades for our top of the line Extreme model.

We want our products to be future proof, upgradeable to whatever we can come up with at reasonable cost, at any point in time.

Therefor our current line of thinking is towards introducing a new model, at a lower price point, but upgradeable to the Extreme level at near the price differential. It would need to be housed in the same chassis for that, and we are getting production rates for that under control, slowly but surely. We are exploring several cost saving solutions, like a single, lower performance CPU, enabling usage of an Aluminium single CPU cooling system, together a significant cost saving. We could cut the Memory modules used by 50%. And it would also lower power requirements for the power supply saving cost there, and possibly use some cheaper, more readily available off the shelf components for it. We would want to retain the PCIe internal storage solution as if we were to switch to SATA SSD storage, our Qobuz/Tidal solution would outperform local file playback quality. If we wanted to release an even cheaper model, it would likely have to be a streamer only solution, as it makes no sense to have internal storage capability with inferior playback quality.

While at the topic. I'm open to community opinion feedback here!
Hello Emile,
Thanks so much for your sharing and explanation.

Do you have a timeline for this server model?
Will it be ready to launch in 1Q or 2Q of 2020?
The sooner the better!
:)
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,297
1,506
210
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Hello Emile,
Thanks so much for your sharing and explanation.

Do you have a timeline for this server model?
Will it be ready to launch in 1Q or 2Q of 2020?
The sooner the better!
:)
You’re welcome!

Ideally end of the year but I doubt we will actually make that, so your guess is probably about right :)
 

Kris

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
250
104
43
While getting ready for the extreme I wanted to ask current Extreme users :
What are the swich and router models you use ?
Is there any consensus of what works best ?
I know it is probably not as important what extreme is connected to ( is still going to sound great),
but wanted to know what the others use In their ” extreme audio heaven„
 

matthias

Active Member
Mar 14, 2019
229
72
28
Germany
While getting ready for the extreme I wanted to ask current Extreme users :
What are the swich and router models you use ?
Is there any consensus of what works best ?
I know it is probably not as important what extreme is connected to ( is still going to sound great),
but wanted to know what the others use In their ” extreme audio heaven„
And what about using WiFi?

In my home the IAP and my system are on different levels.

So far I am happy with WiFi.

Is it advisable to use WiFi with the Extreme?

Thanks

Matt
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,297
1,506
210
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
And what about using WiFi?

In my home the IAP and my system are on different levels.

So far I am happy with WiFi.

Is it advisable to use WiFi with the Extreme?

Thanks

Matt
You can, but you’d need something like a Netgear Orbi.
 
Likes: matthias

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,297
1,506
210
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
The tech specs are fine.

The WiFi recommendation from another forum so far was TP-Link RE650 and using the 5GHz band only.

But I trust your recommendation.

Matt
I prefer using the 2.4GHz band and if possible disable the 5GHz band.
 

matthias

Active Member
Mar 14, 2019
229
72
28
Germany
Last edited:

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,297
1,506
210
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,297
1,506
210
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Yes,
can you shed some light on why with the Extreme 2,4GHz is better, maybe in contrast to other servers?
Thanks

Matt
5GHz is faster, but 2.4GHz is more stable, especially over longer distances or through walls. We don’t want packet drops. Do note we have more concrete / bricks in European homes where American homes are typically wood construct / stuco, so 5GHz typically meets less structural interference in the US. But you are in Germany :) Furthermore, 5GHz is a bit more harmful for sound with 60GHz being really bad. Using something like an Intel NUC with a much higher noise spectrum wireless noise becomes very minor relatively speaking, but with an Extreme this does become more noticable. I’m also not particularly fond of very stong wireless transmitters, they tend to thin/bleach the sound. I also like to space these as far away from my system as possible, and then the 2.4GHz extended range becomes more beneficial.
 
May 30, 2010
16,454
1,356
420
Portugal

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
268
326
63
67
I prefer using the 2.4GHz band and if possible disable the 5GHz band.
Hi Taiko,
The problem is that most of your other wi-fi networked clients either only support 2.4 GHz or are distant enough to require the extra wall penetrating power of 2.4GHz so you need to share the 2.4GHz band with other clients. With 3 Band routers it is possible to dedicate a 5Ghz band solely to audio, picking up the wi-fi router transmission on a modified TPLinkRE650 (LPS so no 230v conversion, no wall mounting or cheap SMPS) with both 5GHz polling and the 2.4Ghz band disabled. A high quality ethernet cable takes the stream from the RE650 to either a reclocker or directly into the server, whichever sounds best. I tried a lot of other alternatives including 2 different Mesh installations and this gave by far the best sound quality. The benefits are, no wi-fi transmitter in the hi-fi room, no SMPSs, no bandwidth sharing so no dropped packets and a GUI that is so fast it feels like a local, hardwired solution
And to answer microstrip’s question, in my installation it sounded better than hardwired (even using SR CAT6 Active ethernet cable), presumably because of the isolation.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Taiko Audio

matthias

Active Member
Mar 14, 2019
229
72
28
Germany
5GHz is faster, but 2.4GHz is more stable, especially over longer distances or through walls. We don’t want packet drops. Do note we have more concrete / bricks in European homes where American homes are typically wood construct / stuco, so 5GHz typically meets less structural interference in the US. But you are in Germany :) Furthermore, 5GHz is a bit more harmful for sound with 60GHz being really bad. Using something like an Intel NUC with a much higher noise spectrum wireless noise becomes very minor relatively speaking, but with an Extreme this does become more noticable. I’m also not particularly fond of very stong wireless transmitters, they tend to thin/bleach the sound. I also like to space these as far away from my system as possible, and then the 2.4GHz extended range becomes more beneficial.
This makes sense but then the Orbi seems not be the best solution for Extreme because two Orbis communicate in the 5GHz band with each other.

Matt
 

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. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers 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