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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 10:34 am 
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Joined: February 28th, 2013, 1:19 pm
Posts: 599
Pete,

I also just received two (2) 1M KingRex uArt USB cables. I got two since I am using an Intona USB isolator between my endpoint and DAC (now have a Chord Hugo M-Scaler). I have to evaluate if I really need the USB isolator in my new setup (The M Scaler already has USB isolation), so I may only need one cable. Just a thought and another USB cable to try out.

I can say the KingRex uArt is quite a bit better than the Wireworld USB cable you brought over early last year (which I bought right afterward). But these are practically unobtainable, Jim Gerfin put together a group buy a few weeks ago from a dealer in Hong Kong who had stock.


David


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 1:00 pm 
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 657
Let me know how it works out, I would be interested in trying/buying it from you if you only need 1 cable.

David McGown wrote:
Pete,

I also just received two (2) 1M KingRex uArt USB cables. I got two since I am using an Intona USB isolator between my endpoint and DAC (now have a Chord Hugo M-Scaler). I have to evaluate if I really need the USB isolator in my new setup (The M Scaler already has USB isolation), so I may only need one cable. Just a thought and another USB cable to try out.

I can say the KingRex uArt is quite a bit better than the Wireworld USB cable you brought over early last year (which I bought right afterward). But these are practically unobtainable, Jim Gerfin put together a group buy a few weeks ago from a dealer in Hong Kong who had stock.


David


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 8:03 pm 
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Joined: March 1st, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 42
Hi all,

I haven’t checked the board in a long time and just found this thread. I’ve been working on renderers for a while and I’ll pass along what I’ve found for what it is worth.

Started out with a CAPS server v. 2. Was OK but not great for what it was designed for but worked great as a renderer in a DLNA system with minimserver and BubbleUp. Got better with a LPS. So the original had a SOtM USB card output. I attached a LPS to the card and to the Atom MB and Bingo – instant improvement. I ran linux on it (Debian) using MPD and UPMPDCLI. This is important because Roon makes a bridge for linux which runs just fine on the Atom board. Wouldn’t use it for the server part as it just doesn’t have enough computing power but as a Roon endpoint it is super. I have one of these lying around for comparison if anyone wants to try it out.

Next step up was the JCAT USB card. Obviously better than the SOtM but I had problems with interactions with it and my 1.5 meter KingRex cable. Took me a while to figure out that the cable was the problem. Then I added the JCAT ethernet card. Woah!!! made a big difference. I tried several ethernet cards – they were all better than the on board ethernet but the JCAT was obviously the best at the time. As I told Jim the easiest place to hear it was with applause. With the lesser cards or MB ethernet you just heard an amorphous blob. As the cards get better you hear more and more individuals in the blob. Strangely enough the second (now third) best card was only $35. You pay a lot for minor improvements.

At this point, searching for JCAT cards I found Matt at Fully Silent PCs. He has a good working relationship with Marcin at JCAT and sold me a “superserver” computer with Xenon processor, error checking memory and a Supermicro MB that Marcin recommended. I couldn’t help myself, what can I say? Big improvement. At this point was using the JCAT Femto USB and ethernet cards. Settled in and was happy except for the interaction with my cable. That led to my search for a better USB cable which I can document if anybody in interested. Short answer is that a 1 meter length of KingRex worked great and I was happy until……………….

Surfing the internet one evening after having one to many IPA’s I saw that JCAT had come out with the XE version of their cards. So far I’d only gotten great results from JCAT so I took a deep breath and ordered them. A moment of insanity that has really paid off. I haven’t had such an amazing improvement in my system since I got my current speakers 15 or so years ago. I just sat there amazed that cards would make more difference than a DAC. I’ve been trying out some world class DACs since Covid has me sitting at home and the difference from DAC to DAC was nothing like the difference these new cards made.

So, for anybody that’s interested I’m going to have renderers set up with the SOtM card, the JCAT femto cards, and the XE cards so that people can have a listen if they are interested in what difference cards make once we can get together again. It has been an amazing journey. By the way, USB cables make more of a difference than DACs as well

Charlie


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 9:36 pm 
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 657
USB cables make more of a difference than DACs? That is interesting to hear Charlie, and frankly somewhat surprising. I wonder if this is a result of comparing a bunch of really, really good DACs with vanishingly small differences? Nevertheless, I have had a sneaking suspicion recently that my USB cable is a weak link in my system and your findings may force me (a cable cheapskate) to upgrade. :obscene-drinkingcheers:



charliewphelps@gmail.com wrote:
Hi all,

I haven’t checked the board in a long time and just found this thread. I’ve been working on renderers for a while and I’ll pass along what I’ve found for what it is worth.

Started out with a CAPS server v. 2. Was OK but not great for what it was designed for but worked great as a renderer in a DLNA system with minimserver and BubbleUp. Got better with a LPS. So the original had a SOtM USB card output. I attached a LPS to the card and to the Atom MB and Bingo – instant improvement. I ran linux on it (Debian) using MPD and UPMPDCLI. This is important because Roon makes a bridge for linux which runs just fine on the Atom board. Wouldn’t use it for the server part as it just doesn’t have enough computing power but as a Roon endpoint it is super. I have one of these lying around for comparison if anyone wants to try it out.

Next step up was the JCAT USB card. Obviously better than the SOtM but I had problems with interactions with it and my 1.5 meter KingRex cable. Took me a while to figure out that the cable was the problem. Then I added the JCAT ethernet card. Woah!!! made a big difference. I tried several ethernet cards – they were all better than the on board ethernet but the JCAT was obviously the best at the time. As I told Jim the easiest place to hear it was with applause. With the lesser cards or MB ethernet you just heard an amorphous blob. As the cards get better you hear more and more individuals in the blob. Strangely enough the second (now third) best card was only $35. You pay a lot for minor improvements.

At this point, searching for JCAT cards I found Matt at Fully Silent PCs. He has a good working relationship with Marcin at JCAT and sold me a “superserver” computer with Xenon processor, error checking memory and a Supermicro MB that Marcin recommended. I couldn’t help myself, what can I say? Big improvement. At this point was using the JCAT Femto USB and ethernet cards. Settled in and was happy except for the interaction with my cable. That led to my search for a better USB cable which I can document if anybody in interested. Short answer is that a 1 meter length of KingRex worked great and I was happy until……………….

Surfing the internet one evening after having one to many IPA’s I saw that JCAT had come out with the XE version of their cards. So far I’d only gotten great results from JCAT so I took a deep breath and ordered them. A moment of insanity that has really paid off. I haven’t had such an amazing improvement in my system since I got my current speakers 15 or so years ago. I just sat there amazed that cards would make more difference than a DAC. I’ve been trying out some world class DACs since Covid has me sitting at home and the difference from DAC to DAC was nothing like the difference these new cards made.

So, for anybody that’s interested I’m going to have renderers set up with the SOtM card, the JCAT femto cards, and the XE cards so that people can have a listen if they are interested in what difference cards make once we can get together again. It has been an amazing journey. By the way, USB cables make more of a difference than DACs as well

Charlie


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 9:51 pm 
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Joined: March 1st, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 42
The KingRex is cheap for what you get. Hope David can pass one on to you. The DACs I've been using are the Chord DAVE, Aqua Formula, Aqua La Scala, and the Berkeley Reference version 1. They are all amazing but so far I like the Berkeley best. Truth is though that there is far less difference from DAC to DAC at this level than there is from cable to cable or card to card. I know, it makes no sense to me either.

By the way I found all my phono step up transformers if you are still interested in trying them out. My digital setup sounds so good these days that I haven't been listening to analog. I have lost my mind. :D

Charlie


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 10:03 pm 
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 657
Well, I do agree that just about EVERYTHING makes a difference one way or the other. All those DACs are heavyweight sources and although I have not heard the Berkeley, it has an excellent reputation. I am still interested in your stepups. At some point, lets talk about them. I have also been spending more time with digital since upgrading my source and DAC. Still love vinyl but streaming is very enjoyable.

charliewphelps@gmail.com wrote:
The KingRex is cheap for what you get. Hope David can pass one on to you. The DACs I've been using are the Chord DAVE, Aqua Formula, Aqua La Scala, and the Berkeley Reference version 1. They are all amazing but so far I like the Berkeley best. Truth is though that there is far less difference from DAC to DAC at this level than there is from cable to cable or card to card. I know, it makes no sense to me either.

By the way I found all my phono step up transformers if you are still interested in trying them out. My digital setup sounds so good these days that I haven't been listening to analog. I have lost my mind. :D

Charlie


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2021, 6:59 am 
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Joined: February 28th, 2013, 3:31 pm
Posts: 1503
charliewphelps@gmail.com wrote:
Hi all,

So, for anybody that’s interested I’m going to have renderers set up with the SOtM card, the JCAT femto cards, and the XE cards so that people can have a listen if they are interested in what difference cards make once we can get together again. It has been an amazing journey. By the way, USB cables make more of a difference than DACs as well

Charlie

For the little time I spent with Charlie's system I have to agree with him that USB cables make more of a difference than DACs. We compared servers, DACs and USB cables and to my ears the USB cables made the biggest difference by far. I can't explain why, I can only say that I heard it. Surprised the hell out of me.

In my old room it would not have made much difference as the room was such a problem with early reflections from room surfaces and the huge equipment cabinet between the speakers stomping all over the details and imaging. I am in the process of treating my new room with just the absorbers in place, Except for my turntable and preamp, all the rest of my equipment is on a rack in the basement with no big cabinets near the speakers. I still have to install the diffusers and bass traps, but even at this stage and with the ability to get the speakers away from the walls, the higher ceiling, and the early stages of treatments, the differences are profound. I should be able to discern these differences for further experimentation. Here is an early photo of the absorbers on the front wall and ceiling. Much more to come. When I'm done, I'll start a new thread.

Tom


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Sound room front wall and ceiling treatments.jpg
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