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Wretched excess - digital

69.130.188.89

Posted on October 22, 2021 at 09:06:43
Mike K
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Here we have the Wadax Dac, transport, and streamer - a mere $145k if my
math is correct. And a review of same that will require you to enlarge
the font size on your screen. Really? $145k? It's obviously made for
audiophools whose ego and bank account are both too large.

I'm thankful for products like this, however; gives me a chance to make
some snarky marks about over-the-top products.

https://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipment/wadax_atlantis.htm

As an aside, why even review stuff like this? It's irrelevant.
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein

 

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RE: Wretched excess - in any form, posted on October 22, 2021 at 11:42:38
Story
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Posts: 5358
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there's a few people even here who have the wretched excess to afford such things, like changing a car battery after only 2 years and piling up stuff to be recycled or disposed of unnecessarily. I would say that's a waste of many things including brain cells.



 

Good digital isn't THAT hard in year 2021, posted on October 22, 2021 at 13:47:22
Jon L
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But then I noticed that reviewer uses Nordost Odin 2 cable loom, which together easily costs 6 figures...
Knock yourself out.

 

And still only two channels!! (NT) , posted on October 22, 2021 at 14:40:00
Kal Rubinson
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Location: New York
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No Optical Inputs......., posted on October 22, 2021 at 15:23:49
Todd Krieger
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Regardless of price, if the RFI emissions or isolation issue isn't addressed, a digital source becomes a boat anchor.

 

TOSLINK Optical became a boat anchor decades ago - nt, posted on October 22, 2021 at 18:34:07
AbeCollins
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.

 

Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 22, 2021 at 19:56:51
Todd Krieger
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There is a basis for me using optical cables.... RFI isolation.... When using a multi-box system, or especially a computer based system, I personally cannot enjoy the music without this isolation.....

Just because you don't personally use something doesn't mean that others shouldn't have the option to use it.

I once had a similar issue with the early adopters of CD..... Who told me I should get rid of my vinyl..... I refused to get rid of my vinyl.... And in retrospect, thank God.....

 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 22, 2021 at 20:11:08
Sibelius
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I use it too. My Ruby has 3 inputs into the DAC: USB, SPDIF and Toslink. I have to say I think the Toslink sounds more musical from my SB Touch, of course it doesn't allow for DSD. I also like that it frees up the two other inputs for the computer and a Blu Ray player. I like having it all!

 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 22, 2021 at 20:27:04
Todd Krieger
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"I have to say I think the Toslink sounds more musical from my SB Touch, of course it doesn't allow for DSD."

One of the big breakthroughs for me would be the capability to use optical with higher-resolution formats..... I've seen designs that use "dual Toslink" for this... But unfortunately, it is only available on gear priced way beyond affordability.

CD is a weird source for one reason..... When done well, it doesn't make me long for higher resolutions (and I *am* a resolution freak)...... (I often enjoy CD versions of albums expressly to spare my vinyl.) But easier said than done.

 

;-) [nt], posted on October 23, 2021 at 00:47:50
Chris from Lafayette
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RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 23, 2021 at 10:06:01
John Elison
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Some people laugh at me because I like FiiO digital players, but they really suit me and they sound absolutely awesome. I just bought the new FiiO M11 Plus LTD and I'm amazed at its sound quality. I connect it directly to the balanced inputs on my Parasound Halo A21 amplifier, which drives my B&W PM1 speakers set up in an ultra near-field listening configuration. I'm very impressed with the sound.

I also own the FiiO M15 Flagship DSD player and it sounds better than my Mytek Brooklyn Bridge. I'll bet its sound quality is competitive with just about any DAC or digital player out there. The M15 has dual top-of-the-line AK4499EQ DAC chips with both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.

Unfortunately, neither of these players have optical inputs, but I have nothing against Toslink Optical. My HDTV is connected to my Mytek Brooklyn Bridge with Toslink Optical and it works just fine.

Since discovering FiiO a couple of years ago, I use these little FiiO players for all my digital music listening. They'll decode all digital formats up through DSD512 although I don't have any DSD512. Each player uses a 1-TB micro SD memory card to store my digital music files and they play everything up through DSD256 directly from the memory card.


 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 23, 2021 at 10:30:11
Sibelius
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Hey John,

I think it's great that we all find what works for us. I have my new Ruby SACD player/DAC and it's just lovely, perfect for my needs of a SACD disc player and DAC. Those who've given up on the silver discs have what works for them.

I wanted to ask, how are the headphone outputs on those players?

 

That's your set up?, posted on October 23, 2021 at 10:32:54
oldmkvi
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Posts: 9910
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Its a crowded mess!

 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 23, 2021 at 10:34:38
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 6900
Joined: June 15, 2020
had one but never replaced it ... but you keep talking them up and you'll give me gear acquisition syndrome to do just that ... I think they're great

they're not just the niche product many assume they are

btw, nice collection of toilet seat covers you've got there

regards,

 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 23, 2021 at 11:13:53
Todd Krieger
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Posts: 35670
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I have a FiiO BTR5 portable DAC...... It's a nice piece, but it got knocked off by a Hidizs AP80 Pro Red Copper Limited Edition portable player..... (The FiiO required a separate playback source, and didn't sound quite as good.) The AP80 Pro Red Copper LE is a great one-piece solution for portable digital audio. (It's also the player I alluded to in another post in which I had "meta tag" issues, and "sitting in a drawer for 15 months" due to the COVID restrictions.) It does sound considerably better than the standard AP80 Pro.

 

RE: That's your set up?, posted on October 23, 2021 at 11:25:57
Todd Krieger
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Jeez.... My systems are a lot messier than that........ (This was the high-efficiency system ["100dB Club"] six years ago, but the system hasn't changed much since then.)




 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 23, 2021 at 11:47:24
John Elison
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I think the headphone outputs are great. I have a number of different headphones and earphones and they all sound fine to me. My favorite earphone is the new FD7, which is really superb. It's the best I've ever heard. I also have the FD5, which is excellent, too. I have several other FiiO earphones in addition to Koss ESP/950 electrostatic headphones and a couple of pairs of Grado headphones, the HP-1 and RS-2. I probably have 10 different headphones and earphones and they all work very well with my FiiO digital players. I have the original Grado headphone amplifier, but I haven't used it in quite some time because the FiiO players work just fine. The headphone output on my TASCAM DA-3000 is also very good.

I wish I had access to the top-of-the-line Stax headphones because I'd like to compare them with my FiiO FD7 earphones just to see how much better the Stax are. ;-)

Best regards,
John Elison

 

RE: That's your set up?, posted on October 23, 2021 at 11:53:07
John Elison
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So, what's you point? It's my setup--not yours! Why would you care if it's a crowded mess?

 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 23, 2021 at 12:09:50
Sibelius
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Thanks, and good to know, a portable player is on my list of wants. I'm looking at new headphones and would love to try e-stats and planars. Having a hard time trying to figure out how much to spend. I never really was a headphone guy, but current living situation with the wife still working from home for the foreseeable future requires it.

One of the amps I'm looking at seems like they can drive almost anything (maybe not Stax...but most others from the specs.) IEM's are most definitely not for me for long term listening. I like the isolation, but just have a hard time with comfort.

 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 23, 2021 at 12:15:58
John Elison
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Yeah, the BTR5 is not something I would want, either. Like you, I also prefer autonomous players. Additionally, I prefer AKM DACs instead of ESS DACs. My Brooklyn Bridge has ES9028Pro DACs and it doesn't sound as good as either of my FiiO players with AKM DACs.

It's unfortunate that AKM DACs are no longer available due to a fire at the AKM factory. I hope it's not permanent because I think AKM DAC chips are the very best DACs ever. ;-)

Best regards,
John Elison

 

Do you use the subs in the ultra near field listening?, posted on October 23, 2021 at 13:02:10
richardl
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I have found that UNF listening can be a bit sterile because small speakers pulled out too far will lack bass. However, I see the subs in your setup.

 

RE: Do you use the subs in the ultra near field listening?, posted on October 23, 2021 at 13:39:45
John Elison
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I use the subs only with the Thiel floor-standing speakers. However, the Thiel's are still fairly near-field--about 6-ft from my ears. The little PM1 speakers are closer still--3-feet from my ears--and farther away from walls, yet they seem to have adequate bass without subs.

When my friend and I auditioned the B&W PM1's in the audio dealer's show room we were both impressed with the bass response from such small speakers. We compared them with the B&W 803 and 804 floor-standing speakers, and we both liked the full-bodied, robust sound from the little PM1's better.



.
.

 

What does really good digital sound like?, posted on October 23, 2021 at 15:48:50
geoffkait
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Thin, honky, boomy, threadbare, two dimensional, lifeless, electronic, rolled off, like papier-mâché, synthetic, compressed, congealed, Muzak, wiry, bloated, metallic, maddening and uninspired.

 

But ..., posted on October 23, 2021 at 17:06:51
Mike K
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if you have a good DAC, it doesn't sound like that. Nor does it sound
like rice krispies and you don't have to tiptoe across the floor
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein

 

RE: But ..., posted on October 23, 2021 at 17:12:46
geoffkait
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The theory comes after the observation, not before.

 

RE: What does really good digital sound like?, posted on October 23, 2021 at 20:41:24
hahax@verizon.net
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It's obvious you never listened to even a decent digital system. Even turntable manufacturers I know would never make a statement like you did, even in jest.

 

RE: What does really good digital sound like?, posted on October 24, 2021 at 03:49:07
geoffkait
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You might need to listen to a good analog system sometime to find out what you've been missing.

 

RE: What does really good digital sound like?, posted on October 24, 2021 at 04:55:57
Todd Krieger
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Really good digital should sound like good analog......

But it rarely does.....

It *is* possible to come very close, but it's a lot more difficult than a lot of us realize...... And a lot more difficult than it should be.......

I believe a major part of this issue is just taking RFI, an artifact of digital audio playback, very seriously. This includes isolation at the AC mains (isolation transformers) and at the DAC (optical cables)..... It's amazing how much digital audio improves with these measures being undertaken. (This is also why I always play vinyl with the CD source powered down.)

 

RE: What does really good digital sound like?, posted on October 24, 2021 at 05:45:53
geoffkait
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Define "very close."

I actually no longer believe in an "absolute sound" - It doesn't exist. But Everything is relative to something else.

The major problems I see (have seen) for CD playback are vibration, both internal and external, and scattered background laser light, flowed closely by the fluttering of the disc while playing. All of those things are never addressed by manufacturers.

Many people believe the limit is only 5% away or perhaps 10%, whatever. It's the old cost effectiveness argument, why spend another x dollars just to achieve the last 5% in SQ?

First climber: Wow! What a view from the top of Everest!
Second climber: This isn't the top, we're only at Base Camp.

 

isolation transformers, posted on October 24, 2021 at 06:12:51
Story
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the day before I got flooded I decided to plug all my digital gear to a power strip plugged in to an isolation tranny that I put together years ago and sat unused. I also had all the preamp gear plugged into a PS Audio IT, so it was plugged into that. I posted about the result already that I only listened briefly the day before I got flooded but was quite surprised at the improvement which was noticeable immediately. And I am quite familiar with changes that are just noticeable blah blah blah on and on.

Analogue like? I don't bother with the usual audiophile terms so just let me say that it was substantial. The only real absolute is the real thing and I have many real things in the house, and play them regularly. I'm a musician, owned a music store, played many instruments, had wonderful talented teachers including one with a Selmer Mark 6, and have advantages that others here only search and dream about. I also find what you're saying has great validity. Cheers



 

yea, that's what Einstein said when he proved the special theory, posted on October 24, 2021 at 06:16:47
Story
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duh, you need new direction and instruction, go back to school and start all over.



 

RE: yea, that's what Einstein said when he proved the special theory, posted on October 24, 2021 at 06:44:07
geoffkait
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Actually, Mr. Smarty Pants, Einstein didn't prove the special theory of relativity, he only postulated it. See the difference?

To whit,

Special relativity has a wide range of consequences that have been experimentally verified.[5] They include the relativity of simultaneity, length contraction, time dilation, the relativistic velocity addition formula, the relativistic Doppler effect, relativistic mass, a universal speed limit, mass-energy equivalence, the speed of causality and the Thomas precession.[1][2]

 

again, go back to school, posted on October 24, 2021 at 06:57:24
Story
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he theorized the bending of light around the sun and THEN proved it. Many of us are theorizing what disorder afflicts you, but not wasting much time on it. I may have to get out my phone and dial you up for a digital improvement to your brain cells.



 

RE: again, go back to school, posted on October 24, 2021 at 08:45:14
geoffkait
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He didn't prove it, someone else did. Didn't I just say that? Lol

 

RE: again, go back to school, posted on October 24, 2021 at 09:26:31
Story
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he theorized it and it was confirmed by an audience of scientists. Go back to school you worm. You are way off the point and are an AA oddity gone wild and daft trying to defend yourself as usual.

Give me your phone number, I'll have my secretary call you



 

RE: again, go back to school, posted on October 24, 2021 at 10:28:09
geoffkait
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I'm glad to see you finally agreed with me. Glad you figured out how to use Google. Just what we need, another Google scientist. That's a very good likeness of you by the way.

 

RE: again, go back to school, posted on October 24, 2021 at 11:07:11
Cut-Throat
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.



 

Although I dumped vinyl back in the 80's. . . , posted on October 24, 2021 at 12:24:16
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . I've been to enough shows to hear its "progress" in the meantime. (Unless you're contending that none of the vinyl set-ups at shows are any good?)

Aside from the sound itself, one of the main problems with analog for me is that the VAST majority of releases I'm interested in are simply unavailable as LP's.

Anyway, I'm not that impressed, even with a "good analog system" (in comparison to digital). But if other people are, then far be it from me to impugn their judgment. ;-)

 

RE: Although I dumped vinyl back in the 80's. . . , posted on October 24, 2021 at 13:00:28
geoffkait
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You might be right about availability but that's a different argument. I have no argument with availability. Everything is relative. "Good analog" provides subjective and technical performance characteristics "good digital" can't. Obviously there is a boatload of things that can be done to improve and given system. It depends on what floats your boat. If you want to talk about off-the-shelf untweaked systems they're all pretty much junk if you ask me. Booooring!

 

Agreed. I'd certainly sooner have a full dCS system. nt, posted on October 24, 2021 at 13:05:23
jusbe
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Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

RE: going backwards , posted on October 24, 2021 at 14:29:24
Story
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you and Deepthroat are not clever enough to understand your rapacious nature. I hope no one here gets themselves sucked into your psycho babble, but there is a certain entertainment value and maybe that's why you are so beloved. Cheerio!



 

RE: going backwards , posted on October 24, 2021 at 15:17:36
geoffkait
Manufacturer

Posts: 10996
Location: northern Virginia
Joined: August 23, 2000
Did you forget to take your smart pill today?

 

RE: yea, that's what Einstein said when he proved the special theory, posted on October 24, 2021 at 15:20:23
rivervalley817
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Posts: 6900
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'See the difference?'

I do ... Einstein postulated Special Theory and after conducting a theoretical investigation wrote mathematical proofs ergo he 'proved' it

he later revisited it to introduce 'simplicity'

so during an eclipse a group of scientists had the opportunity to conduct observations in an experiment that provided final confirmation, not proof

Story is correct, Einstein proved Special Theory

 

RE: yea, that's what Einstein said when he proved the special theory, posted on October 24, 2021 at 15:39:16
geoffkait
Manufacturer

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You obviously don't know what you're talking about. All theories need independent verification, so Einstein can't prove his own theories. That's why they have such things as peer review in science. Duh! Besides I already attributed the experiments that proved special relativity earlier on this thread. Maybe you were snoozing. Minkowski and Lorenz provided mathematics that supported special relativity, not Einstein. Go sit in the corner with Story.

 

RE: yea, that's what Einstein said when he proved the special theory, posted on October 24, 2021 at 15:54:57
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 6900
Joined: June 15, 2020
'All theories need independent verification'

no they don't, but others did check his proof and verified it independently

so now you're confused about how theories become 'laws' in physics?

or are you struggling with the term 'proof' in applied math & physics?

ah well,

say, what's your hold time so far on that NASA call?



 

RE: What does really good digital sound like?, posted on October 24, 2021 at 21:29:25
Todd Krieger
Audiophile

Posts: 35670
Location: SW United States
Joined: November 2, 2000
"I actually no longer believe in an 'absolute sound' - It doesn't exist. But Everything is relative to something else."

An "absolute sound" is a hypothetical phenomenon..... Even if it does exist, nobody would know what it actually is..... Or how close we are to it......

It's like nothing being "perfect"..... Or not knowing how close to "perfection" we actually are..... But we still strive to get as close to it as possible.....

I do think that if there is an "absolute sound," a requisite to approaching such ideal is to play recordings that enable realization of such standard...... But I do think most recordings would "fail" in this regard...... Even unadulterated recordings in which, for example, may have been recorded in a venue with poor acoustics..... Or a recording in which the A/D conversion had excessive jitter..... (Such recordings would not be helped with the use of "reclocking" at the playback end.) Or a recording in which asynchronous sample-rate conversions had taken place (Beatles "Box Sets" have this issue)..... Or a recording in which "clipping" had taken place or excessive dynamic limiting/compression had been utilized..... Or a recording in which resolution was lost due to improper dither application (excessive noise, dither applied in which downconversion had *not* taken place, etc.)..... (A lot of recordings are degraded in which the chain of custody from recording session to final production disc was "broken" at some point during the process.) A lot of ways a recording can become degraded to where an "absolute sound," if it were to exist, becomes unattainable.

"The major problems I see (have seen) for CD playback are vibration, both internal and external, and scattered background laser light, flowed closely by the fluttering of the disc while playing. All of those things are never addressed by manufacturers."

I would tend to agree if there was a lot of "CD quality" playback of music files that improved upon playback of physical CDs...... But I think good CD playback sounds better than good playback of a numerically identical CD-quality file off a server. (The latter is devoid of the issues you alluded to.)

"Many people believe the limit is only 5% away or perhaps 10%, whatever."

It could be 50 percent away..... Nobody really knows......

"It's the old cost effectiveness argument, why spend another x dollars just to achieve the last 5% in SQ?"

This is why people should listen before they buy...... And determine if the changes in sound they hear is worth spending the money.

 

RE: Although I dumped vinyl back in the 80's. . . , posted on October 25, 2021 at 01:32:18
Todd Krieger
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Posts: 35670
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I know too many people who dumped vinyl in the 1980s, and have later regretted it......

A lot of them just threw their vinyl in the trash..... Some have had collections that today would have been worth at least ten grand......

I was asked in the early 1990s why I still had vinyl..... At the time, I thought CD was a hopelessly flawed playback source...... (Prior to that Wadia moment I had in Cleveland... ) I think too many people presumed the medium was "superior" to vinyl, believing what they've been told over what they may have been hearing..... (I was often ridiculed as being "nostalgic" way back then, for sticking to vinyl..... )

I remember one person telling me, "CD seems to sound 'unpleasant,' but music is *supposed* to sound like that...." Aside from Gabe Wiener, from a technical perspective, that individual was the first I had "heated" debates in regard to the two mediums..... Gabe claimed the resolution of CD was beyond that of human hearing..... I strongly disagreed with him back then, but in recent time, I would have agreed somewhat..... I do believe there is a "vagueness" to the extreme top that doesn't exist with vinyl or higher resolution digital audio..... (This "vagueness" is the very thing I've been trying to minimize all these years. The Wadia 9 DAC was maybe the best performer I've ever encountered in this regard.) I still think the top-end "vagueness" with Redbook CD is a lesser evil than the lost listenability of digital audio at higher resolutions. Two artifacts that don't exist with vinyl or open reel tape playback.

 

RE: yea, that's what Einstein said when he proved the special theory, posted on October 25, 2021 at 03:53:48
geoffkait
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Location: northern Virginia
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You guys don't seem to realize that even if someone provides "full math details" of his theory it doesn't prove the theory. I suspect it's you who is hung up on the difference between theory and proof and between proof and evidence. Why are there experiments in science? Report back when you get the answer. Pop quiz - Do you think E=mc2 is a theory or a proof?

 

RE: TOSLINK Optical became a boat anchor decades ago - nt, posted on October 25, 2021 at 13:03:26
wheezer
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Posts: 4280
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What cable/connection type do you use Abe?

 

RE: Wretched excess - digital , posted on October 26, 2021 at 09:39:13
Cpwill
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Yes, but they offer a one year warranty on parts and labor. How generous of them after you've paid with your right arm and first born child.

Ciao,


"Starting in the middle of a musical sentence and moving in both directions at once." - John Coltrane.

Cpwill

 

RE: TOSLINK Optical became a boat anchor decades ago - nt, posted on October 26, 2021 at 19:08:19
AbeCollins
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For audio USB.... sometimes but rarely COAXIAL SPDIF.

I used Optical for TV to DAC (or AV receiver) but that was replaced and bettered by HDMI long ago.



 

RE: Not For Me It Isn't........., posted on October 26, 2021 at 19:09:25
AbeCollins
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"I have to say I think the Toslink sounds more musical from my SB Touch"

Makes some sense for such an ancient streamer.




 

RE: TOSLINK Optical became a boat anchor decades ago - nt, posted on October 27, 2021 at 14:47:30
wheezer
Audiophile

Posts: 4280
Joined: January 24, 2001
Can the RPI4 output in that form or with a hat?

Thanks Abe.

 

RE: Wretched excess - digital , posted on October 28, 2021 at 23:29:42
KanedaK
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Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
Ultra high end digital sources sometimes leave me perplex. When I hear what comes out of my 599$ Gustard A18 DAC, with a little care (power cable, fuse, clean electricity) I wonder how could anything digital be SOOO MUCH BETTER that it would need to cost the same price as a small house...

 

RE: TOSLINK Optical became a boat anchor decades ago - nt, posted on November 8, 2021 at 07:39:35
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 39351
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
RPi4 can output over USB, HDMI, or 3.5mm audio jack. There are HATS available to output over Coax SPDIF or Optical TOSLINk.



 

RE: TOSLINK Optical became a boat anchor decades ago - nt, posted on November 8, 2021 at 15:29:31
wheezer
Audiophile

Posts: 4280
Joined: January 24, 2001
Thanks Abe.

 

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