My System


#1

Howdy

Here’s my system description that I usually keep current: http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/3367.html

With the DS I use cheap cables in general just because I want to make sure it sounds good with modest cables.

The rest of the system uses better cables (see system description above.)

To reach the table I work on I use Peavy 15’ balanced mic cables for interconnects.

I have a PerfectWave Transport and also an Oppo BDP-103 with an Audiopraise Vanity HD card as a SACD transport.

As you see from pictures a little lower down or from my system description above I have a few CD drives :)

I have a set of USB to S/PDIF units (an M2tech hiFace Two, an M Audio Fast Track Pro and some old Edirol stuff)

For a direct connect to the DS via USB from my laptop:

  • I have a 15' active USB cable (some generic thing I bought on Amazon: it doesn't have a brand on the label :) )
  • A couple of HUBs, a small Belkin external powered four port hub and a much bigger USB 3.0 7 port powered hub.
  • Then a shorter cheapo USB cable from Radio Shack.
The external HUB with it's own supply just before the DS ameliorates the crap upstream (e.g. USB bus powered USB drives, etc., my scopes, debugging modules etc.)

Here are some pictures (I’ll link more later.)

2007-10-26-173540.jpg2007-11-25-194755.jpg

2013-08-16-232751.jpg

-Ted


#2

Very cool. Great toys. Thanks for sharing Ted.


#3

A link to the pictures I promised: http://gallery.AudioAsylum.com/cgi/view.mpl?UserImages=7184&invite=1408691761

There are pictures of building the audio room, of the system, of my equipment and of some of my prototypes for the DS.


#4

That’s a lot of jukeboxes. :)

What do you use MIDI for?


#5

Ted, you mention above and have mentioned several times in the past that you use “modest” cables. I think it a noble pursuit that you have worked to make the DS essentially immune to cables, but I don’t recall you mentioning if you periodically compare the “modest” cables to something a little more upscale (in price, of course!) to make sure you haven’t strayed from the path. Please, set our minds at ease! On an unrelated note, I thought you were going to get rid of the carousel drives? I sure hope they’re not all powered up 24/7!


#6
pmotz said Ted, you mention above and have mentioned several times in the past that you use "modest" cables. I think it a noble pursuit that you have worked to make the DS essentially immune to cables, but I don't recall you mentioning if you periodically compare the "modest" cables to something a little more upscale (in price, of course!) to make sure you haven't strayed from the path. Please, set our minds at ease! On an unrelated note, I thought you were going to get rid of the carousel drives? I sure hope they're not all powered up 24/7!
I have a lot of interconnects (S/PDIF, TOSLink, AES/EBU, HDMI, USB, balanced and unbalanced audio), lots of power cords and a few speaker cables in baskets. When I get a new device I try various ones out till I find the ones I like the best.

I have some fine soft annealed silver interconnects that I use for the boxes close to the preamp (they are only 1 1/4 meter)

Also I periodically visit other people’s systems with the DAC and some good cables (and some bad ones), etc. to make sure I’m not accidentally tailoring things to my system.

The CD jukeboxes are in standby in, but not often powered up. For some reason the DVD jukeboxes are powered off, not standby. All of the displays are still fine after (in some cases) more than 15 years… They are a little dusty tho.


#7
Elk said That's a lot of jukeboxes. :)

What do you use MIDI for?

I used to use MIDI to enter, print and play music for practicing for choir, the Microtones (an a cappella group at Microsoft), etc. (We'd build cassettes for practicing with.) I'd play the music into a score editing program, enter the words and, if needed, print out music. The Microtones director arranged a lot of the Microtones music and for some years I transcribed his work for the group.

I also have some very old hardware/software that did a MIDI controlled digital mixing board, a sampler and other digital workstation things.

I don’t really use MIDI too often these days.

I also have some NIB jukeboxes as spares.


#8

Very nice room and setup. It is great to see systems meant to be enjoyed by more than one person and to pass on the passion. This is, after all, an aural tradition.

Room to share, listen and tinker. Cool stuff.


#9

Thanks Ted! I assumed you were doing this, but sometimes the obvious … isn’t!


#10
Ted Smith said I used to use MIDI to enter, print and play music for practicing for choir, the Microtones (an a cappella group at Microsoft), etc.
Cool!

A MIDI keyboard is great for entering music. It’s amazing to watch what one plays show up on a piano staff like a typewriter produces words.


#11

Hi Ted,

Thanks for sharing the composition of your home system.

In the description, I saw that you use 3 DirectStream DACs for Multi-Channel : could you shed some light on how this works in practice (the connections between the source and the DACs, the synchronization between DACs, etc.) ? Sorry if this has already been described elsewhere.


#12

I’m using an Oppo BDP-103 with an Audiopraise Vanity HD card for multichannel digital output. It provides 4 (tho I only use three for SACDs) S/PDIF outputs. I run one S/PDIF cable to each DAC. Synchronizing the DACs is a kludge: I don’t have any provision in the DS for explicit syncing, but any time the input clock changes (e.g. changing inputs to a different source, or starting or stopping a clock on a source, or changing sample rates on a source) all of the DACs are sample aligned. One of the things I did in this release was make the FIFO maintenance more deterministic so that multiple DACs would track an incoming sample rate the same and there would be consistent latency when syncing to video.

In practice it’s great to have my multichannel system back - I’ve got thousands of multichannel SACDs and the whole DirectStream DAC project was sort of jump started years ago when my multichannel transport died :)


#13

Hi Ted,thanks for sharing. How do you like your EMM Labs (Meitner) DAC6e w/ EMM Labs CDSD transport (SACD) ?

How does it compare sound wise to the PS Audio DS and PWT? Just curious…wink

Thanks…Mark


#14
mark-d said Hi Ted,thanks for sharing. How do you like your EMM Labs (Meitner) DAC6e w/ EMM Labs CDSD transport (SACD) ?

How does it compare sound wise to the PS Audio DS and PWT? Just curious…wink

Thanks…Mark

I've always liked my DAC6e, unfortunately the CDSD died years back. But that's sort of what started me on this project. The EMM gear and the Playback designs gear are the DACs I always liked best in the past: the DS has a similar sound (probably since they all change everything to DSD.)

Three DSs, an Oppo 103 and a Audiopraise Vanity HD card are about a replacement (e.g. I can now listen to multichannel SACDs again) but they don’t support my Sonoma DSD editing card :frowning: The PS PWT is a nice transport but it doesn’t support SACDs.

My daughter and wife have better hearing than I do and I often take advantage of them to double check what I’m hearing. When my daughter was pregnant her hearing was even more sensitive. I was A/Bing a prototype card against the DAC6e and at the time they were pretty close to my ears, but every time I selected the DAC6e my daughter would jerk and say “Stop that!”

When I hear something I don’t like I still play it on the DAC6e to verify whether it’s the DS or the recording. I haven’t found a problem that way with the DS for about a year now…

I no longer have the capability to play DSD to the DAC6e so I haven’t done a direct comparison of DSD against the DAC6e. For PCM I like the DS better, tho (unlike my pregnant daughter) I wouldn’t complain too much if I could only listen to the DAC6e.


#15

Ted,thanks for your thoughtful and candid reply.As the man behind the DS you could have easily given the DAC6e the poo poo treatment.Your integrity is what good design and work ethic is all about.Keep on keeping on…


#16

thanks for sharing Ted,

did you connect your Moon W-10’s to the PurePower regenerator?


#17

I haven’t found anything but the Jena Lab Power Ones that don’t take some of the life out of the W-10s. That’s not to surprising since the amps are 750W into 8 ohms, 1400W into 4 and 2200 into 2 ohms. There isn’t much current left in a standard outlet with a W-10.

The PurePower is being used for my DAC6e and my Switchman 2. (Both have switching power supplies, but I don’t know if that’s why my system sounded the best with them on the PurePower.

I’m sort of surprised that the SLA battery in the PurePower is still going strong, I’ve had it for about a decade.

At some point I should probably try some PS Audio power conditioning :)


#18
Ted Smith said At some point I should probably try some PS Audio power conditioning :)
You may be able to work out a deal with a guy named Paul McGowan. Drop him a line and tell him I referred you.