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This post is in response to a number of comments raised in a few posts above in this thread.
I have had the opportunity to listen to a Regen, W4S Recovery and an Intona plus Curious USB cables including 2 links over the past week. The Regen and the W4S are both powered by LPSs. I own a DS DAC but at the moment it is only a network connection because I do not have a USB cable long enough and it is too complicated to move the DS closer to the Server and Amp. The Server is an Antipodes DX. My listening was with another quality DAC. I do not understand any of the technical intricacies of USB. My comments below are based upon on what I heard and what I have read about the experiences of others.
The comments by stereophilus above were based on what he heard in my system a couple of days ago. Since then I have had another long llistening session today with another audio friend and the consensus on the outcome was the same as with stereophilus. Our limited but collective consensus was that each of the three boxes made a noticeably perceptible change in what was being heard. There was no if buts or maybes about the changes. The Intona on its own was the best followed by the Server and DAC with cable only. The Regen was superior to the W4S. The W4S lacked a little in the mid range. I own the W4S and I had expected and hoped that it would outperform the Regen but in my system it did not.
When each of the Regen and the W4S were connected together with the Intona in the chain the there was very little difference between the Regen and the W4S. Probably the W4S much closer to the Regen in outcome. Our definite preference was just the Intona on its own. With the Intona there was more life and air in the SQ and it seemed to refine the sound stage and imaging of my system. Whereas with either of the other two boxes there was a change in the SQ but it was not an improvement on the system without any of the accessories. There was a change with both the Regen and W4S. There was an increased emphasis or weight on the start of the note whereas other things were happening that may not be an improvement.
I have not tried all three accessories in the chain together.
Most of the tracks that we listened to were 16/44.1 so bandwidth for higher resolution was not a factor. Yet each box made an immediate noticeable change
Based upon the many comments in various forums about the benefits or otherwise of these accessories and my limited experience with them I have an some comments. Their use and benefits is probably system dependent. Therefore the experience of others could be quite different to my case. Given my system experiences and the many varied experiences of others I make the following observations.
- These accessories do in most or all situations make a difference that is mostly beneficial but not always even when there is more than one accessory operating.
- I wonder whether with the infinite variations in people’s systems if it would be achievable to design and build a universal accessory that could incorporate all the features of the various accessories that would ultimately have positive impact on all systems.
In the pursuit of system SQ excellence it was an interesting opportunity to try these accessories especially in my system and assess their respective impact. Their impact was easy to discern in each instance. Each box and the additional LPS are relatively inexpensive. It would be difficult to achieve such system changes at a minimal cost with cables for example. The trick will be to find which one(s) work best for you. For me the Intona was the shining light. Next week I am sending all three boxes and the other bits to another DS DAC owner to try and compare. His experiences will be interesting