Digital Transports - USB Solutions, CD and SD Players, DAPs, and More!

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Hands, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Artasia

    Artasia Friend

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    I wonder how much the Regen w/LPS feeding the Mutec impacted your impressions of the Mutec (assuming you kept them together in your comparison): some of the terms you used to describe the Mutec parallel Marv's in his comparison of the Regen to the Wyrd. I do not mean to imply I am doubting your evaluation but am just curious.

    Thank you for writing this up.
     

  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I can try to check, but using the Regen with the 1.2 at the last meet only seemed to bring improvements.
     
  3. Artasia

    Artasia Friend

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    No worries. The D100 seems like a fantastic source. As I said, I do not doubt your impressions. I feel like I can relate to some of what you are saying about the Mutec but would need to do some more rigorous listening to be sure. You've listed some points of comparison that will make it easier for me to focus.

    The effect of softening or rounding the edges is interesting. Another owner of the Mutec said this too. As a user of the Gumby, I seemed to have noticed a similar effect, but in my setup it seems to have been a largely noticeable positive, reducing the grain and glare of going straight USB and lending a more natural, analog character if that makes sense (less fatiguing). But without having another transport at my disposal for direct comparison, it would be hard for me to know if I prefer all of these effects afterall. I do seem to recall that switching from the Regen into USB to the Mutec did sacrifice some stage depth. However, my memory could be playing tricks on me and will need to actually listen for it again. It happens I have another Regen here I purchased for cheap so may be able to do so later in the week.

    What seemed clear is that the Mutec made a positive change versus Regen into the Gumby overall. However, with a new piece of gear, it is important to track down weaknesses and costs for that perceived benefit in other areas. Certainly something could be said for the PC source feeding into the Regen-Mutec w/LPS combo, but you pointed that out. Since I am still using the stock PSU in the Mutec, it would appear you have access to a superior device than I do anyways, let alone the upgraded Regen.

    I recall Marv stating that the stock Regen slightly smeared over details and transients more than the Wyrd but that it excelled at separation, imaging, and staging, whereas the Wyrd, a more intimate sound, was better at resolving micro-detail, the natural decay of instruments and a more incisive transient response. That's why I was wondering about the effect of the Regen in the chain, even if all these sonic differences are very subtle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
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  4. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I should try the Wyrd into the Mutec too. Why not? It could also be very DAC specific. I thought the same thing about the Transient and Mutec into the Gumby, but haven't had a Gumby on hand to try with the D100. Maybe it would sound like ass!
     
  5. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I have never heard an improvement with any usb cleaner upper. Different yes, but better no. And most tend to do exactly what Hands described, smear, diffuse or soften attack or high end.
     
  6. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    I have heard what you and a bunch of people have heard in one setup. However, in an overly full setup, I felt that it did clear quite a few things up. It probably did the same thing, but in this instance it helped reduce its deficiencies, due to system synergy.

    Anyone trying out any of these things should see how they work in their system, I guess. I was very surprised myself, as I've never been happy with the Regen with the Gumby, though I liked it with my iDSD alone (and absolutely hated it when using the iDSD to feed SPDIF to Gumby.

    Overall though, I think the Berkeley USB beats 2 Mutecs, 1 Mutec, and the Regen, but am still evaluating. I have not heard the Intona.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  7. Vent

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    bixby on your blog you seemed to like the Mutec 1.2/1.3, so I presume when you say USB decrapifiers haven't improved your chains that you're excluding any kind of bridge or reclocker?

    Wfojas are you referring to this: http://www.berkeleyaudiodesign.com/alpha-usb/

    Edit: WTH that thing is $2k.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  8. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    I'm glad you all are getting to the bottom of these issues. In the meantime, I am trying to pay off my debts and hopefully USB or whatever other digital implementations will keep improving by the time I can afford a top-flight DAC and one of these doohickeys.
     
  9. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    That is correct, I have only heard the Wyrd and Jitterbug, in my system(s) and the Regen in a few. So my experience is limited. As @Wfojas described, They may have a more desirable effect in other systems.

    And yes, I am excluding bridges and reclocking bridges since they are providing another function.
     
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  10. Artasia

    Artasia Friend

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    That is exactly my point. The description of smearing, diffusing, and softening attack was attributed to the Mutec chain and not solely the USB decrapifier. It could be that this is also what the bridge itself is doing, but in your blog, for instance, your description of the Mutec did not use similar descriptors. I would like to do some more focused listening when I get more time later this week.
     
  11. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I can agree with what Hands describes he heard. I think the D100 may be better sounding than a pc setup in comparison. I think folks are making big progress with audio optimized appliances vs computers.

    I did not use similar descriptors on the Mutecs because in my pc setup they had an opposing effect with more clarity for the most part and with some bridges more clear than others, if that makes sense.
     
  12. Luckbad

    Luckbad Basshead - Friend

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    Listening to a Singxer F-1 right now. Very good for the price. Not as good as the Mutec straight from USB (no uber USB chain), but good enough that I might use it for work.

    Having a four figure Mutec for work makes me nervous.
     
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  13. Artasia

    Artasia Friend

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    It makes sense. I agree with you on it being reasonable to assume the D100 and other quality audio-optimized appliances would surpass most computers with a bridge.
     
  14. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Almost "Made"

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    Singxer F-1/wyrd sounds better to me than the Mutec 1.2. Is the mc-3+ a significant bump from the 1.2?
     
  15. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    My guess is the bump from 1.2 to 3+ would be relative. Probably not as big on, say, a Gumby going from straight USB to 1.2. The 3+ does seem to have some similar characteristics, I think. Maybe. I'll need to try with Wyrd and without anything to see if that affects things for better or worse (or just different).

    It's totally possible that maybe the 3+ would be more competitive with a different PC. Maybe one of those super special Mac Minis w/ LPSU would sound better than the Surface Pro. Maybe Linux would sound best. Maybe I need some sort of fancy USB card that costs a hundred bucks. But then my head starts spinning.

    Having listened to a good CD player, which I'm not sure is as good as the D100 even, vs. anything coming out of a PC, I'm starting to think maybe it's just better to use a high quality device that is built only to play back digital audio. Makes sense in theory, anyway. I don't know why it would really sound different, but I'm beginning to think USB audio has its own characteristics, spoken as a true nut job that has gone off the deep end.

    So, instead of dumping a ton of research, effort, and money into a million different PC builds and tweaks, then pairing it with multiple USB decrapifiers and SPDIF bridges, or even a PCIe SPDIF card, I thought my money would be better spent on something like the D100. $850 isn't cheap, but it's still less than trying to screw around with PCs and devices spun off from that, not to mention a whole hell of a lot easier to setup and run. That's also MUCH less than you'd pay for almost any other device with similar specs and capabilities. I mean, shit, look at Aurender...you can do a whole lot worse than $850.

    Again, I know some are tied to PC setups for one reason or another. Some of that it just because of particular software options, some out of convenience, etc. I also won't pretend that the D100 doesn't have a few minor quirks, just, for me, nothing that really gets in the way whatsoever or bothers me. If I really need gapless playback, I re-rip my CD and get the cue file. The UI is surprisingly good once you work your way around it but, no, not always as perfect as easy as a KB/M with Jriver Media Center. There are worse things in life, and it's worth the sound quality to me.

    Will repeat myself over and over and over that tastes vary and the D100 could sound worse on another DAC. It could also be bias. Yada yada blah blah.
     
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  16. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    Yeah, its diminishing returns. In a blind taste, most $70 wines will taste different from a $10 bottle. But if you really don't know any better, a $280 bottle won't taste that much better than a $70 bottle, just a different flavor, and a ton of nuance.

    Or how different are $3500 phono cartridges? At that point, its just taste. I have a feeling the Mutec 1.2-3+USB is like $70 to $280 wine. And the $280 wines are the Mutec 3+USB and the Berkeley Audio.

    There is no set reference, its not like absolute anything. My basis is a) vinyl if I have it, b) my cd player if I have it or failing that, what sounds more lifelike to me. The road should be finite, I think. Once you get to a good place,you stop, or you will go crazy.

    All I know is USB doesn't work soundwise for the Gumby from any source I have. The CD player sounds better through its output stage than through the Gumby but not much, still. Am in the middle of ccomparisons for SPDIF. Maybe the S-1 and F-1 are enough. @Luckbad just sold one of his 3+USBs, though the F-1 is not as good.

    Looking forward to the D100 impressions. There will be a flood of those, soon too, I think.
     
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  17. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Maybe. I would recommend folks hold off so I can take the D100 over to the next CO meet or a couple guy's houses to see what they think.

    I'm also not sure I am a high enough level to get a large amount of people to follow my word. ;)
     
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  18. Vent

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    Wfojas with the juke out change of avatar.
     
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  19. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    :drunk:Hey, how high do we have to be? Just lay it out, and say in MY SYSTEM.

    For years in a different group there was this one guy that proclaimed undying love for the early Mobile Fidelity releases. The one even Stan Ricker (the Engineer) who cut the wax claimed was unlistenable, and ear bleeding bright.

    Then he changed his preamp, and sheepishly admitted it sounded like crap. Didn't sell his vinyl, though.

    In case I am further accused, lol.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  20. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Hahahahahahahahaha. That would be funny if it went all circular. For example:

    D100 > Mutec > Regen > Wyrd > OR5 > D100 > Mutec > Regen
     
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