… the Franco Serblin seems to be equipped with Scan Speak Tweeters. Really fabulous.
I was considering a Vahalla2 HDMI before, but Phil discouraged me when he said it wasn’t that good when he borrowed one to try, so I went another direction. But I did try a Vahalla2 USB and was floored by how much better it was compared to my Audience FrontRow USB cable. Needless to say I bought the Vahalla 2 USB cable and never looked back.
This is the fourth day playing the new PST 24/7 nonstop with the Dragon HDMI, and the sound is unbelievable!!! So much presence, substance, liveness, and energy. I went back to the DMP using the same Dragon cable and it sounded a bit veiled and duller in comparison. Not even close. The DMP was left in standby and was never turned off so there’s no excuse.
I swear I have not heard such fidelity with my digital system before. I don’t even remember my Esoteric sounding like this. This PST is really something else. Wait until my brother come over and listen to this PST. I would like to see what his reaction would be like.
Amazing what a bit of wire can do.
I tell you, if your system can show it, this Dragon really is like no cable at all, it’s so transparent. Every other cable including the RAL degrades the sound somewhat. You can really hear it. And so is this PST. It really let you hear everything that is recorded in the signal. The DMP also veils the sound a bit in comparison.
I hope Al doesn’t see and read my comments, his Warning lights will start flashing like crazy!! But I tell it like it is. This is what I really hear, like it or not.
How long would say the burn in time was for your Dragon 48?
Although I thought the PST was clearly better than the DMP, the differences weren’t huge, but those initial comparisons where done using the stock PSA HDMI cable, which I think held back the PST’s full potential, more so than the DMP.
Plus I don’t think the PST was fully broken in before I surrendered my DMP for trade in.
Now with the PST fully broken in, and the upgraded Audioquest ThunderBird 48, my system is singing like never before. Wish I could’ve compared the two transports using the upgraded HDMI cable, along with the PST being fully broken in, but reading your findings helps give me a better understanding of the differences, and makes me wish I would’ve sprung for the Dragon.
The first day I compared the two transports, there were a little difference. The PST was a little bit clearer and I still heard a bit better texture and substance. Every day after, the gap increased. Today it really sounded like a totally different transport. It has so much more life and energy and such richness. I have not experience this level before. It took 4 straight days and nights for the PST to really open up. I don’t know if it will still get any better, but I really can’t imagine it will much more, it so good already. This is with the fully broken in Dragon cable that I bought last month. I did try the RAL, but it’s just not anywhere the same, so I don’t bother with that cable anymore.
As to @paul172 's question, I would say like the PST, about 4 straight days and nights. should do the trick. You’re not going to get that much more improvement after that.
My experience was that the PST was out of the box in another league than the DMP and over time got a bit better. This was during beta and improvements were also made along the way. The bottom line is that this deck, along with Dragon, is a formidable combo. Each bring you closer to the music. I have spent considerably more in gear and cables to yield this this kind of improvement. Very few cable companies address the audio side of the HDMI signal and I didn’t think Audioquest the type of company to f
oops…to focus on it but I am glad they did.
Until recently, I2s is not a common digital interface, so cable companies didn’t concentrate on this cable. They make HDMI cables mainly for video, not audio. The first time I heard of I2s was when PS Audio released their PWT and claimed the I2s was superior to all the other interfaces. Now we realize just how much better it is with these new transports and DACs’s with I2s interfaces. Still, there’s not that many state of the art I2s cables out there. Before RAL HDMI was a standout. Now, I believe the Dragon 48 is the one to beat.
Forgot to mention that the latest firmware update for the PST was another factor that improved the sound of this transport. It wasn’t huge, but it seemed to clean up the sound and give the player an even richer sound, making listening to music all that more enjoyable.
waymanchen11 … what’s the burn in time frame for the Dragon get to full performance?
Paul asked the same question earlier.
After 4 days 24/7, most of the roughness is gone, but the highs may still need more time to fully smooth out completely. But it should sound as good as it’s going to get after 4 days and I would just play music normally on and off after that to let the highs smooth out naturally.
I have the AQ Firebird48 for about 3 months. About two months ago I switched back to my previous favorite AQ Coffee HDMI. At that time I felt Firebird is better in most except the bass was a bit weaker than Coffee.
Today I compared the two again and no question. The Firebird is a lot better. So it takes over a month to break in. It will be interesting to compare to Dragon. They have the same construction, and the difference is Dragon uses silver conductor for the ground. My guess is Firebird is pretty close to Dragon in performance and it is about $1k less I think.
Is that the only difference ??!! A silver ground wire. Odd.
And why they would double the price of the cable for a ground wire. There’s something AQ is not telling you or they are robbing you right in front of your face.
My guess is there is more to it than what they are telling you. Of course it would be best if someone that has the Firebird borrows a Dragon for upgrade and find out for sure.
In their price book description the Firebird48 uses 10% silver while Dragon48 uses 100% PSS silver for ground reference. That is the only difference from product description and pictures that I could tell. But Dragon is asking 60% more so maybe there is something they’re not telling.
The AQ cables need so much time to break in is another problem for comparison. When PS Audio comes out with the new Music controller then I may get a Dragon to fulfill my curiosity.
In a hdmi cable there are 5 sets of cables so it’s a further 5 silver runs in the Dragon to replace the 5 copper drain cables in the Firebird.
I think there are 19 cables in total in a HDMI cable.