Massive computer meltdown sends audiophile back to 1970’s and better sounding Vinyl!

After installing drivers for a Wacom tablet, my Mac Pro (the engine of my video Post production system as well as music sever) has become completely disabled. I’m learning the Terminal window and some Unix in an attempt to remove the offending divers, so I can at least safe boot. In the meantime I have no access to JRiver and my several terabytes of Hires music (some converted to WAV which I’ve found to sound much better)

After playing an LP or two I decided to turn off my DS and EtherRegen, since I wouldn’t be needing them until my OS problems are solved or reinstalled.

Turning them off In the middle of a song, I heard a definite shift of perspective from in front of the speakers to behind. The soundstage sounded a little narrower but definitely deeper and more relaxed, an effect I’ve always associated with less distortion.

As I listen to a great but not talked about LP, Dave Brubeck A-la-Mode, I had the distinctive reach out and touch experience of handling my friend’s upright bass. There was an intimacy and delicacy I don’t recall ever hearing on this LP before. Similarly cymbals had a quality I can’t remember hearing previously on any format.

The DS and EtherRegen are plugged into the digital bank of my Niagara 7000, with the rest of the system in their own banks for amps and sources.

I definitely feel thrust back into the 70’s before the digital era, when LP was my best sounding source, and am realizing the sonic benefits.

Many years ago I used to turn off digital gear when listening to LP’s, since the digital was a secondary source and I didn’t care that it took time to warm up to sound best, if ever.

Since like many, digital is my main source of music these days, and I’m not sure how I’ll handle things once my Mac Pro (and livelihood) are back online.

Has anyone else noticed added analog creamy goodness after disabling your digital playback?

I play vinyl and digital in roughly equal measure.

The Mac Pro is a noisy beast. It’s power consumption is around 300w, about 20 times the power consumption of, for example, my Innuos Zen server, and double my entire audio system. That may be an issue.

The conditioners I use (Shunyata Hydra Alpha and iFi Power Station) both have cross contamination isolation, so the individual power outlets are completely isolated from each other. So individual components should not have any effect on others. I do not know if this is a feature of the Niagara 7000.

If your digital system is sending noise into your phono amp, or you have a grounding issue, you are going to have a problem, but this is easily avoidable. The iFi Power Station costs only about $600.

The streaming route I wish I’d gone was SSD QNAP to dCS Bridge then AES/EBU out. This is ideal for a very large music library. It’s also simple and produces superb sound quality. As luck would have it, I bought an SSD QNAP for other reasons a year after buying an audio server.

Thanks for the response Steven. The Mac Pro and all the hard drive raids, video and audio interfaces are in another room and on their own conditioner. The only connection is ethernet and that is through an EtherRegen which has galvanic isolation.

The Niagara 7000 also has isolated sections for amps, preamps and digital. I have to test but the switching power supply of the EtherRegen could be a source of noise, but that too is plugged into the digital bank of the Niagara, which makes the ER sound better.

I’m having a dedicated 20 amp run put in so maybe getting the digital off that circuit could help.

When I was using an ER in my system I powered it with an sBooster MK2.