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: 33 75.0%
  • Ethernet

    Votes: 7 15.9%
  • Both USB and Ethernet

    Votes: 2 4.5%
  • AES/EBU

    Votes: 2 4.5%
  • Dual AES/EBU

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 9.1%

  • Total voters
    44

adyc

VIP/Donor
Jan 6, 2013
481
120
123
Curiously I find that the USB cable changes more the sound of my system than any router modification I have tried. I am using the Intona Reference but after sampling a few other cables (unfortunately I could not keep them time enough to get a definitive opinion) I would like to find an USB cable with a more "liquid" balance in the treble, like moving from the Audio Research Ref 40 to the GAT2 preamplfier.
Can you please describe your experience on Intona Reference? Do you find it too analytical?
 
May 30, 2010
16,222
1,200
420
Portugal
Can you please describe your experience on Intona Reference? Do you find it too analytical?
My findings must be seen in the global vision of my system. The DCS Vivaldi stack is extremely neutral and gets an enormous amount of detail and energy. To my dismay I soon discovered that it needs good matching cables to show a balanced top performance in my system - the solution was the Transparent Audio Reference XL full set of cables - many steps ahead of other sets I tried, particularly in creating an airy and alive sound, with all the nuances and microdetails needed to support its energy. The Extreme is side to side with the Vivaldi transport, I would say it is neutral, the Intona Reference also sounds neutral, not analytical in the sense of pushing detail forward, but I am looking for a less seasoned balance in the treble and more air. In my system, in some sense the Intona has a balance similar to the CC power cords, that although respectable are not my preferred cup of tea.

Remember I have no experience at all with USB cables - just starting to learn on them!
 
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DMSB

Industry Expert
Aug 10, 2017
14
58
18
I'm doing USB over fiber right now with my 12 year old Playback Designs MPS-5 and the USB Xlll box which is essentially identical to the MSB USB Pro Interface

and yes I meant USB when I said copper
You are correct that the USB Xlll box from Playback Designs is superficially similar to the MSB Pro USB interface but the fiber interfaces flowing out of them are quite different. The Playback Designs interface is based on the very low bandwidth LED fiber transceivers from Avago (https://www.mouser.com/datasheet/2/678/V02-0176EN_2018-03-13-1366199.pdf) that have high intrinsic jitter and lots of dispersion generated jitter due to the multi mode fiber needed for 820nm light. These characteristics are very similar to the well known Toslink fiber optic interface. The MSB Pro ISL uses a very high bandwidth infrared LASER transmitter (1310nm) that has drastically lower intrinsic jitter and virtually zero dispersion jitter because it uses single mode fiber. (Basically the light traveling trough a multi-mode fiber sees several different optical "lengths" so the light that is transmitted all at once does not reach the receiver all at once smearing the receive signal and producing jitter. In a single-mode fiber the light only sees one optical length through the cable so all the light reaches the received end at the same time, adding zero jitter.) PLINK does support a better fiber cable system (glass fiber) and connector system (ST) than Toslink but is otherwise similar. Also there is no clock feedback path to synchronize the source to the DAC like the MSB Pro ISL interface supports. Also the Pro ISL was designed to decode with extremely low noise generated by reception, support strong forward error correction, and support strong CRC based error detection. I would be surprised if the PLINK has any of those features as well. The only area I see the two interfaces as peers is in the electrical isolation they both provide.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I appreciate the feedback and understand I am using a 12 yo DAC and technology at the present

My takeaway is your final sentences well as the knowledge that what I'm getting is much better :)

The only area I see the two interfaces as peers is in the electrical isolation they both provide.
 
Likes: Taiko Audio

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,695
866
208
Hong Kong
No hurry.
Wait for it to become v1.7x first. :D
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
757
308
203
My first suggestion would be to try a Sablon then.
Thanks for the name check Emile. As it happens, I’m presently kicking off on a development programme for my usb cable (whose design has remained unchanged for 3 years now) and have an Intona Ultimate here for comparison.
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,117
1,219
180
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
FYI, there is an update to roon 1.7 now. Build 505
I have been running that for a day now, I had only one instance where a track from Qobuz stopped halfway, but that has happened on 1.6 as well from time to time, our internet connection at the office is not rock solid.
 

Blackmorec

Active Member
Feb 1, 2019
212
228
43
67
I have been running that for a day now, I had only one instance where a track from Qobuz stopped halfway, but that has happened on 1.6 as well from time to time, our internet connection at the office is not rock solid.
I wonder if there really is such a thing as a ROCK SOLID internet connection. Rock Solid infers it never goes down and I don’t believe we’re that far yet. And frankly, an occasional ISP hiccup is forgivable as long as it really is only occasional and fairly short :( :confused: :)
 
Nov 7, 2019
45
18
8
47
I wonder if there really is such a thing as a ROCK SOLID internet connection. Rock Solid infers it never goes down and I don’t believe we’re that far yet. And frankly, an occasional ISP hiccup is forgivable as long as it really is only occasional and fairly short :(:confused::)
I guess if everyone is running Roon through their phone/tablet your always going to have a dodgy wi fi connection but if your using Roon through a wired connection to a laptop and connected to the Extreme would the same thing happen ? I'm guessing everyone who has an Extreme runs it via phone/tablet and not by a wired connection to a laptop which would add further noise into the system.
 

Blackmorec

Active Member
Feb 1, 2019
212
228
43
67
My findings must be seen in the global vision of my system. The DCS Vivaldi stack is extremely neutral and gets an enormous amount of detail and energy. To my dismay I soon discovered that it needs good matching cables to show a balanced top performance in my system - the solution was the Transparent Audio Reference XL full set of cables - many steps ahead of other sets I tried, particularly in creating an airy and alive sound, with all the nuances and microdetails needed to support its energy. The Extreme is side to side with the Vivaldi transport, I would say it is neutral, the Intona Reference also sounds neutral, not analytical in the sense of pushing detail forward, but I am looking for a less seasoned balance in the treble and more air. In my system, in some sense the Intona has a balance similar to the CC power cords, that although respectable are not my preferred cup of tea.

Remember I have no experience at all with USB cables - just starting to learn on them!
If you can get hold of a Synergistic Research USB cable (Atmosphere X Ref and up) you should try one. I started with their USB and have since gone right through my system’s ethernet connections, without finding any real identifiable ‘flavor’ or characteristic beyond transparency, neutrality and a very high level of detail that contributes to outstanding soundscape abilities. They also don’t seem to need a lot of time to burn in, so auditioning doesn’t need to be a protracted affair.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I have zero doubt that a good USB cable does matter and agree with you regarding transparency and neutrality
 

Kris

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
197
77
28
45
I hope this does not look like I’m seeking an argument, I’m really not, but if you had crossed that bridge to spend USD 5200 I would go all the way and get the full monty at USD 6900 :)
what would be in that 6900 usd basket Emile ?
could you please be so kind list it ?
thx
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,117
1,219
180
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
what would be in that 6900 usd basket Emile ?
could you please be so kind list it ?
thx
2*sotm switch + external masterclock
 
May 30, 2010
16,222
1,200
420
Portugal
Thanks for the name check Emile. As it happens, I’m presently kicking off on a development programme for my usb cable (whose design has remained unchanged for 3 years now) and have an Intona Ultimate here for comparison.
Does this mean you are replacing your current USB cable soon?
 

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
131
45
58
I had some time to evaluate Roon 1.7 this morning. I am overall pleased with this release. The interface responds better / faster. Functional improvements I like are improved scrolling capability on small devices like an iPhone and access to more features from those, for collections consisting of multiple albums you now have the option to list all tracks on one page, the live radio feature allows browsing radio stations, though I'm not likely to use that personally, new track discovery /exploration (valence) is interesting, the suggestions of what to play / suits your taste are better.

The sound quality is a big plus. The Roon announcement includes this:

View attachment 59179

Now streaming from Qobuz and Tidal has indeed improved, but local storage file playback has improved even more. There is just a touch of relative more warmth to Qobuz and Tidal due to a stronger upper bass section. It makes it very slightly less neutral then local storage playback. The delta for transparency and fine detail rendering is bigger for local storage then it is for Qobuz and Tidal. Now don't consider this a negative thing as overall the sound quality is up for all sources.

My notes regarding overall sound quality improvements:

There is a big plus for dynamic differentiation, both macro and micro dynamics have improved and the transitions in ramping up/down are smoother. The music flows better, sounds more continuous. There is an overall increase of suppleness / agility which, combined with increases in air, transparency, texture rendering quality and micro detail, creates a more natural / believable experience. Sound staging is better, more 3 dimensional, more holographic, better focus and decay is rendered better. Clarity and transparency are up. Altogether it sounds more alive, it is better at expressing mood or conveying feeling, it is just more musically engaging.
Simplistic question? Did I read above somewhere that the Extreme auto updates Roon to 1.7?
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
757
308
203
Does this mean you are replacing your current USB cable soon?
Yes, I am aiming to introduce a revised / enhanced model early in 2020. Although the current model is excellent, there is still scope to lower the noisefloor to hopefully match the resolution of the Intona Ultimate whilst also preserving its existing advantage in musicality.
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,117
1,219
180
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Simplistic question? Did I read above somewhere that the Extreme auto updates Roon to 1.7?
Hi wil,

It does depend on your Roon settings.

Capture1.JPG


The setting above is the default setting, meaning it will do small updates automatically but you will be prompted for mayor releases (like 1.7). If you set it to Automatically install all updates it will apply everything without asking. The 3rd option does exactly what it says.
 

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