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In Reply to: RE: Supra ZAC Toslink Cable Report posted by bcowen on March 30, 2017 at 15:57:00
Not the same kind of break-in/burn-in of electrical cables, but I think the Toslink receiver circuitry may need to break-in if never operated under load, which might affect the the presentation of the DAC in some manner that is improved after a number of hours of operation...
And I put it down to the toslink circuitry not having been used.
It's been a few weeks now and the toslink sounds particularly vivid with the Lifatec glass fibre cable, with greater differentiation between recordings than previously (Blue Jeans Cat 6A cable, I2S connection between transport and dac). Most unexpected, especially given my past experience of toslink (muffled dynamics, poor definition, vague tonality).
"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."
The Lifatec Silflex Glass Toslink cable sounds very fast and detailed. It may sound pretty ruthless if there are other aspects of an audio system that sound a bit edgy. It sounds best if a system provides good image density, IME.
Hadn't thought about the circuitry. Never been used in any of the 3 components. I'll let it play some and see what happens. Thanks!
Another issue I find is that any make/model Toslink cable interface does not sound as good as it could unless it's first connected to a Monarchy Audio DIP (Digital Interface Processor), then the Monarchy Audio DIP is connected to a DAC via S/PDIF digital coaxial cable or AES/EBU balanced digital cable interface. Otherwise, a digital optical Toslink signal tends to sound lackluster, dull or brittle in some cases. The Monarchy Audio DIP reclocks the S/PDIF signal, reduces jitter, and converts the digital optical signal to a digital electrical signal. I own three of them, they are inexpensive within the used marketplace (Mr. Poon of Monarchy Audio is retired), and they work like a charm, bcowen.
However, the DIP is very sensitive to digital cables and a power cord upgrade, so you have to factor that investment into the purchase. Otherwise, the sound quality may be better than before, but not near its full potential, IME.
From what I can see with a brief read on the Monarchy is that it and the Remedy are serving much the same purpose if jitter reduction via reclocking is the main function. Perhaps, and totally by accident if so, I had the best setup initially: Transport -> Lifatec -> Remedy -> S/PDIF (Oyaide) -> DAC. I'll give this setup some time to break in the circuitry and see what happens.
It's also hard to know the quality of the optical circuitry -- could be an afterthought in any of the 3 pieces, which would make the quality of the optical cable a moot point.
What type of external 9VDC power supply does the Remedy Reclocker feature? If it's a switch-mode wall wart, a PSU upgrade is a must-have.
The Remedy came with a cheapo wal-wart supply. I replaced it with a linear PSU (linked below). It made a clear improvement.
What DC umbilical design are you using?
I bought the wire from Chris VH you recommended for the tight twisted-pair configuration, just haven't gotten around to putting it together yet. I'm way behind on my project list. :)
What's in there now is Canare star-quad (copper), connected directly to the PSU output terminals on one end, and with an Oyaide DC-2.1G plug going into the Remedy (last 2 pictures in the prior post link).
I noticed the Oyaide DC connector, which is a must-have; nothing else comes close to it. BTW, as good as the hand-built 21 AWG VH Audio OCC solid core AirLok wire is for a DIY DC umbilical project, VH Audio's pre-made V-Quad cable is a more refined sounding option, but at greater expense. The self-shielding factor is that of a Canare star-quad cable, but it's unshielded (as it should be), the AirLok dielectric design is SOTA, the solid core OCC copper, and the precision manufacturing is far superior to that of a Canare cable. I suggest buying a length of it rather than my DIY design for your particular project, and find use of the 21 AWG VH Audio OCC solid core AirLok wire for another project if you seek a reference-quality DC umbilical. YMMV
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