Beta Test Impressions of the New Strata

I too am coming from a Sprout100 that will be traded in. I ordered a Schiit Mani phono preamp to pair with my Strata, it arrives on Monday. Hopefully it lives up to the sweet sound of the Sprout100 phono preamp!

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I recently bought a Chord 2Go to add on to a Chord Hugo 2. The 2Go has a choice of several methods of connection for streaming. If wired ethernet is connected this disables the wireless input.

I am puzzled about a couple of things that have “magically” changed in the 11 days that I have been playing with the Strata. In the first few days I had to reset via the main power switch several times due to the Strata crashing, but have not experienced that problem in over a week. The other voodoo concerns the 0 volume issue. Up until this morning I have had a digital/burbling sound when wireless streaming music with the volume setting at 0. Today that sound has disappeared and in fact, I have no volume at the 0 setting! But, I do still have audible volume through the other analog and digital selections. Is the Strata self correcting or are the wizards at PS Audio able to access my machine or…???

Earlier this year I took advantage of a great trade-in deal and purchased the Stellar phono amp. I can tell you that it is a perfect pairing with the Strata. If it is within your budget I would not hesitate for a second.

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@jamesh

I hadn’t heard multiwave on my SP3 with the Strata till today because of a faulty remote.

Multiwave + Strata is amazing. Sounds like a different system. Timing is improved dramatically, timbre, more analog sounding… Can’t imaging Strata without SP3 and multiwave; you guys better build a bundle package quick for people!

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The DAC is really something. I was just listening to B. Evans Sunday at the Village Vanguard. On Alice in Wonderland take 1, i hear a faint rumbling sound around 0:20-30 that I had not heard before. On the Exposure amp I figured it was some club or mike noise. But with the Strata I realized “that’s a subway underneath!”. I would know, I used to live in a big city with subway under my appt. I check on google maps and sure enough, lines 1/2 pass underneath the club.

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Cool revelation! Good story!

Had to put it on to see if I could hear it. No doubt. It’s the 1,2, or 3 going up 7th ave if I remember where the Vanguard is. That’s great!

Day 12 and more voodoo. Yesterday I had no volume and no digital hash sound at 0 volume while streaming music but today it has returned. On the bright side I am fortunate to have my system plugged into a P3 and I took the advice of cxp to switch on Multiwave. Before getting the Strata I had experimented and really couldn’t tell a difference between Multiwave on and off. Today I was streaming some Hi-rez Madeleine Peyroux from Qobuz and after turning on Multiwave my immediate impression was that I had switched from a CD to Hi-Rez. In addition to improving the realism of the instruments and her voice, the whole sound stage got deeper and wider!

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What is Multiwave?

A function of the PS Audio P3 regenerator. According to its manual the function “increases the charge time of the P3’s output sine wave by altering the peak of the sine wave. A longer charging time, occurring at the peak of the output sine wave, lowers the connected equipments power supply ripple, much the same way as increasing the power supply capacitance of connected equipment.” Dunno…but it does make an improvement for me.

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Strata should benefit a lot since there is no transformer inside and there isn’t a huge capacitor bank like in A/B amps.

Multiwave should simulate a larger power supply. Doing this has huge effect since you are improving everything inside from the DAC to the preamp/amp!

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Thanks, any and all above for drawing attention to the notion that the AC matters to the Strata. In my application, I’m sorting out if it can replace a bunch of components in a 2nd system. The AC distro is pretty funky in my new (old) house, and there’s a lack of outlets, so the 2nd system is plugged into a fairly fancy conditioning power strip (not naming names).

The Strata would be replacing 5-6 boxes, so only needs a single outlet. After reading today’s posts, I removed the (now unnecessary) strip, and the difference was not subtle.

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Strata/PS Connect app users: Help me out here. Perfectly willing to believe this is My Problem.

Have only been pulling tracks from my list of Qobuz Favorites or their usual offerings so far, in order to do comparisons and SQ tests, etc. for the beta. Just tried to search for something for the first time, and there doesn’t appear to be any Search option within Qobuz(?) in the App, and if I back out to the Search in the PS App itself, it gives me no result. For anything.:man_shrugging:t2:

The search is inside that little green menu box when you first go to Qobuz. Same place that you select your streaming resolution. A little wonky for sure. I have just been populating my Favorites on other computers and then using the PS Connect app.

Duh - thanks! I go there for my Favorites list all the time, but didn’t for this.

Heads up Ethernet cables sound very different on my system. Cat 6 vs 6A are night and day, both Blue Jeans.

One sounds really clean but very flat imaging while the other is full and has tons of depth.

Cisco switch SG-110, Sbooster Mk2 on switch plugged into Stellar P3 in Multiwave, dedicated circuit.

I spent the day bouncing back and forth between wireless streaming Qobuz and playing the same tunes via a Mac AirBook USB. I have to admit that I preferred the USB experience more. Sound quality was so close that I couldn’t pick a winner. But, via USB I never experienced the gaps between songs that seem to be a feature of the wireless streaming. Is this happening on all units?

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But which was which?

Cat6A is better than cat 6 in my system.

This is in my system with this switch… The Cisco which is pretty transparent. My Netgear switch came with a muddied sound so I could see where the Cat 6 could balance that better. Keep in mind though that different power supplies had a much less obvious effect on the Netgear which makes me suspect it was masking things. The Cisco is highly responsive to power supplies.

I encourage people to experiment. Even experiment where you plug the switch in. I had mine plugged into a cheap power strip and it had degraded SQ compared to plugged into the wall. I have since upgraded to Sbooster and it’s plugged into my SP3.

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