Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

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Fretless
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

DH Labs Mirage USB cable is IN !!!!! :dance:

Must have been teleported from Canada. :sci-fi-beamup:

First impression and listen this evening (hopefully)
Still waiting for the Silver Sonic leads to arrive from Estonia.
Then I'll do a full comparison with AQ Carbon - maybe at the weekend.
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slinger (Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:59 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Well then. Audioquest Carbon USB is pretty well the benchmark cable for great sound at an attainable price, a 0.75m length has an RRP of 139 euros here.
For the same amount (126 euro plus 13 euro p&p) I've just installed a 1m DH Labs Mirage USB that I ordered at a 40% discount price from Canada last Friday (It's now Tuesday).

Image

Physically the DH Labs Mirage is quite a thick cable, oozing quality with a black-and-gold sheath. The Carbon is skinny in comparison and stiffer.

Soundwise. Um. Looking back on my comments on getting the AQ Carbon, the same applies here - but more so.

The Mirage has me listening to the MUSIC and not what any bits of wire are or are not doing. There is a sharp solidity of detail, separation of instruments like I haven't heard before, full bass with controlled extensive depth, WTF as they say.

But this is sharpness without glare. Detail with smooth finesse, relaxing, involving. A newly-acquired sense of living, organic realism. My modest system is pulling me into the sounds and taking me along on the ride.

Those looking for a truly musical USB experience should be placing an order at that Canadian webshop while they still have the 40% discount on this lead.
You won't regret it. :music-listening: :music-listen: :music-listening:



And the 'budget' DH Labs Silver Sonic USB links might be delivered as early as tomorrow.

More soon ....
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CN211276 (Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:27 am)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

Fretless wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:33 pm
Well then. Audioquest Carbon USB is pretty well the benchmark cable for great sound at an attainable price, a 0.75m length has an RRP of 139 euros here.
For the same amount (126 euro plus 13 euro p&p) I've just installed a 1m DH Labs Mirage USB that I ordered at a 40% discount price from Canada last Friday (It's now Tuesday).

Image

Physically the DH Labs Mirage is quite a thick cable, oozing quality with a black-and-gold sheath. The Carbon is skinny in comparison and stiffer.

Soundwise. Um. Looking back on my comments on getting the AQ Carbon, the same applies here - but more so.

The Mirage has me listening to the MUSIC and not what any bits of wire are or are not doing. There is a sharp solidity of detail, separation of instruments like I haven't heard before, full bass with controlled extensive depth, WTF as they say.

But this is sharpness without glare. Detail with smooth finess, relaxing, involving. A newly-acquired sense of living, otganic realism. My modest system is pulling me into the sounds and taking me along on the ride.

Those looking for a truly musical USB experience should be placing an order at that Canadian webshop while they still have the 40% discount on this lead.
You won't regret it. :music-listening: :music-listen: :music-listening:



And the 'budget' DH Labs Silver Sonic USB links might be delivered as early as tomorrow.

More soon ....
Interesting and food for thought. I presume you will be using the Mirage in combination with the Silver when it arrives, unless you prefer the AQ Carbon to the Silver.

I have had to buy another OTG cable. My phone was on the blink and the affordable replacement has a USB C input which the AQ Dragontail does not fit. I decided on the ifi OTG cable, similar price to the Dragontail, as it is a brand I have a high regard for based on the improvement the i Purifier brought to my system. The ifi cable is pure copper and shorter than the Dragontail. Less length is a good thing as it plugs directly into the AQ DF Red when I am out. For home listening the Dragontail connects directly to a longer length of Carbon to connect with the Mojo with a tablet now the source.

The ifi OTG cable sounds better than the Dragontail through my out and about rig. I put this down to the Oppo PM3 closed headphones, which for all there attributes are a bit on the dull side. The ifi certainly makes up for this and brings life to the music which was not there before. When I tried it through the open Grados the result was not pleasing, being bright. The Dragontail is more neutral and I believe the better cable, but it is horses for courses and the ifi cable definately sounds better through the Oppos. Both OTG cables are a night and day improvement over the cheepy I was using before.
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Fretless (Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:40 pm) • slinger (Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:28 pm)
System DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ JB, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, DH Labs Mirage USB/Silver Sonic BNC, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo, AQ Carbon.
Analogue Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1.
Second System Topping E30, NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA, NVA SSP, SSC, AQ Carbon.
Out Beyerdynamic Avenha, AQ DF Red.

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

Fretless wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:33 pm


Those looking for a truly musical USB experience should be placing an order at that Canadian webshop while they still have the 40% discount on this lead.
Had a look at the website and there does not seem to be any information about the type of USB connections. From the pictures it appears to be USB A to USB B.
System DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ JB, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, DH Labs Mirage USB/Silver Sonic BNC, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo, AQ Carbon.
Analogue Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1.
Second System Topping E30, NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA, NVA SSP, SSC, AQ Carbon.
Out Beyerdynamic Avenha, AQ DF Red.

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Standard A - B USB audio connections.

Thr Silver Sonic has arrived. See if I can get around to trying it. Got a couple of busy days here.
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CN211276 (Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:44 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

Fretless wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:57 pm
Standard A - B USB audio connections.

That could explain the thickness of the cable. Fine for a PC but not my streamer.
System DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ JB, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, DH Labs Mirage USB/Silver Sonic BNC, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo, AQ Carbon.
Analogue Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1.
Second System Topping E30, NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA, NVA SSP, SSC, AQ Carbon.
Out Beyerdynamic Avenha, AQ DF Red.

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

The combination of DH Labs USB cables is blowing my mind.

PC => Silver Sonic => Oehlbach Masterclock => Mirage => DAC

Planning a USB cable shoot-out for sometime in the near future. Specifically to hear the differences between various links.
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Quick experiment 1.

Compare AQ Carbon and DH Labs Silver Sonic as link from Volumio PC to Oehlbach Masterclock.

Mirage cable then inputting to DAC.

AQ Carbon does its thing. Excellent details and dynamics. Clear and crisp.

Silver Sonic immediately comes in with a bigger, fuller sound. More air & space. Musically far more involving.

In direct A/B comparison the Carbon sounds flatter, more 2D - less 3D, muddier.

The Silver Sonic USB costs about 1/3 the price of an equivalent length AQ Carbon.
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Found a photo of the main stereo rig from a year ago and that set me thinking about how much my ideas have changed in the last 12 months.

It was around then that I began to burrow around on AliExpress and got hold of cheap Chinese DAC's like the superb Topping D30 and the awesome Teradak Chameleon. These at a fraction of the price of similar-spec 'big name' European products.

Then the move from SPDIF to USB digital streaming sources raised the sound quality bar. And the discovery that second-hand, refurbished PC's can make phenomenally good music streamers.

Last summer my streaming front-end was an Allo DigiOne Signature with Tomanek LPSU and an OCC coax cable running to a Metrum Musette DAC.
Total cost about 1700 euro.

Current setup is the E-medic PC, Oehlbach Masterclock and DH Labs cabling into a Teradak Chameleon.
Total cost about 900 euro.

Effectively I feel that I've gained twice the musicality for half the money.

We live and learn. :dance:
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karatestu (Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:23 am) • slinger (Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:53 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Just ordered one of these via Amazon:

https://store.minisforum.com/products/m ... 40-mini-pc

Image

Strangely enough I actually want to use this as a Windows workstation for Internet, Email and (especially) Netflix. The aged netbook that I currently use is just so incredibly slow that I frequently get the urge to chuck it out of the window.

So, an Intel Celeron N4000 processor with 4Gb RAM, 64Gb SSD, Windows 10 Pro and sufficient holes to stick wires in should do the trick.
And Amazon had a €10 voucher discount on this model which took the price down to €140.

Did I mention it is fanless and completely silent? Would make a lovely Volumio streaming unit as well.... :think:
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slinger (Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:20 pm) • CN211276 (Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:42 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3
Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix

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