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post #451 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by agrogg View Post

I think I understand that this is impossible, but I just want to make sure: I have a Nova connected either via direct USB to my MacBook or via toslink to my Airport Express (to my MacBook). I've just downloaded some 24bit/96khz tracks from hdtracks.com. There's no way to get these from my computer to the Nova in 24bit/96khz form, correct? Both the USB and the Airport Express outputs are only 44khz, right?

You are correct sir!

I have a Musiland and HiFace here, either of which would do what you want.

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post #452 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 05:16 AM
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I solved my clicks and pops when I externally clocked my transport, an EMU 1616M, to a Black Sparrow ADC.

Amazing.

In this case, I think the 1616M has a problem with the clock setup as it uses a PCI card, and must communicate via ethernet cable.

I won't bore you with the details. At first I thought it was the stock 10ft. BNC cable which was all I could get my hands on, but I'm using that same cable as well as a short 9" BNC cable between ADC and 1616M transport.

Externally clocking dramatically improved performance in this case, go figure.

happy for now,
DC

Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me. IK
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post #453 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agrogg View Post

I think I understand that this is impossible, but I just want to make sure: I have a Nova connected either via direct USB to my MacBook or via toslink to my Airport Express (to my MacBook). I've just downloaded some 24bit/96khz tracks from hdtracks.com. There's no way to get these from my computer to the Nova in 24bit/96khz form, correct? Both the USB and the Airport Express outputs are only 44khz, right?

I've looked into this only just a bit because I need a very long cable to get from my imac to my Nova, so I've settled for using an express (for now) for hard drive based audio.

I think you can use the device DC recommends, or something like an M-Audio transit, and configure it through your audio MIDI setup utility for 24/96 output. Then, either use software to convert your files to something itunes can read, or use a player like VLC, which I think supports 24/96 output.

Lots of "I think"s in there, I know. Something to look into if nothing else.
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post #454 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post

You are correct sir!

I have a Musiland and HiFace here, either of which would do what you want.

Update as soon as I reach 3 posts...
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post #455 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 12:10 PM
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(Just one more.)
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post #456 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post

You are correct sir!

I have a Musiland and HiFace here, either of which would do what you want.

Except I think I've found a solution that doesn't require additional hardware! My MacBook has--and all Intel-based MacBooks have--a toslink audio out that's capable of 24bit/96khz output. It's a combo output with the standard, analog headphone out; when you plug a toslink cable in (using an adapter), the MacBook recognizes it as such, it shows up as a Digital Out (from the Built-in Output) in Audio MIDI Setup (in Applications --> Utilities), and Audio MIDI Setup allows you to specify a 24bit/96khz output.

Unless I'm missing something, when I play 24bit/96khz -encoded FLAC files in a program that supports them (iTunes reportedly doesn't, so just in case I use VLC), my MacBook is feeding my Nova a real 24bit/96khz signal. Yes?
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post #457 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 12:39 PM
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I'm not clear on which Macs have 24/96 Toslink but I know some or most do have the capability so you could use VLC or Amarra (couple hundred bucks though).

I can't remember the limit on Toslink length off the top of my head either.

When I clocked the 1616M to the Black Sparrow, the 10ft digital coax worked fine; previously the same cable resulted in pops & clicks due to the internal clock in the 1616M.

I don't buy the longer length argument for digital cables that Empirical Audio is a proponent of btw. At least not until I can try switching out my 9" patch cable with my 10ft cable...and play the "find the jitter" game (ugh).

DC



Quote:
Originally Posted by agrogg View Post

Except I think I've found a solution that doesn't require additional hardware! My MacBook has--and all Intel-based MacBooks have--a toslink audio out that's capable of 24bit/96khz output. It's a combo output with the standard, analog headphone out; when you plug a toslink cable in (using an adapter), the MacBook recognizes it as such, it shows up as a Digital Out (from the Built-in Output) in Audio MIDI Setup (in Applications --> Utilities), and Audio MIDI Setup allows you to specify a 24bit/96khz output.

Unless I'm missing something, when I play 24bit/96khz -encoded FLAC files in a program that supports them (iTunes reportedly doesn't, so just in case I use VLC), my MacBook is feeding my Nova a real 24bit/96khz signal. Yes?


Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me. IK
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post #458 of 2037 Old 01-08-2010, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agrogg View Post

Except I think I've found a solution that doesn't require additional hardware! My MacBook has--and all Intel-based MacBooks have--a toslink audio out that's capable of 24bit/96khz output. It's a combo output with the standard, analog headphone out; when you plug a toslink cable in (using an adapter), the MacBook recognizes it as such, it shows up as a Digital Out (from the Built-in Output) in Audio MIDI Setup (in Applications --> Utilities), and Audio MIDI Setup allows you to specify a 24bit/96khz output.

Unless I'm missing something, when I play 24bit/96khz -encoded FLAC files in a program that supports them (iTunes reportedly doesn't, so just in case I use VLC), my MacBook is feeding my Nova a real 24bit/96khz signal. Yes?

I'd say yes, if VLC supports 24/96 playback (which I think it does) and audio MIDI setup allows you to select 24/96 output. If I remember correctly, audio MIDI setup only allows the selection of what is possible, (based on the hardware connected) so if you can select it, it's probably going to work.

Also, I remember looking into playing flac files in itunes, and "fluke" rings a bell. You might want to google "fluke flac".
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post #459 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 06:29 AM
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I just received my Nova yesterday and have it hooked up to audioengine a5 active speakers and s8 subwoofer. Today my passive speakers arrive and I simply can't wait. Hurry up fedex!

Before the nova, I used an Intel Imac > usb EMU 0404 for the DAC to the a5 speakers. I must say, I was not expecting an improvement in SQ switching to the Nova, but there is a marked improvement. Very impressive.

Anyways, the primary reason for this post is to just add I checked around in the Audio Midi setup of my Intel IMAC and there is the "built-in 96hz 24bit" output option. Currently I'm using the USB out to the Nova at 44hz. I noticed with it in USB mode there's a 48hz/16bit option.

Is it worth investigating further to get the 24bit option? I like VLC and wouldn't mind using it since it has a handy remote on my iphone.

I don't really know what I need cable-wise though. I need about 6' of cable to connect the imac to the Nova.
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post #460 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by nycmtber View Post

I don't really know what I need cable-wise though. I need about 6' of cable to connect the imac to the Nova.

Thanks for your comments about your new Nova. I'm getting closer to pulling the trigger on one, and appreciate reading other owners' experience with it.

I can't comment on different speed/bit depth differences, but did want to mention that you might want to consider using an optical connection instead of USB. I run an optical connection from my iMac to a SuperPro 707 DAC and have been very happy with it. I prefer an optical link for two reasons: (1) it provides electrical isolation between the Mac and the amplifier. I once completely fried the mother board of a PowerBook that was connected to a DAC via USB because of a faulty power conditioner used on my amplifier. (2) it doesn't take up a USB port, which always seem to be in short supply; the optical connection just uses the headphone jack on the iMac which you likely aren't using anyways.

An optical cable is cheap (less than $10), so you might want to consider trying it. You just need a 1/8" adapter on the Mac side (or buy a cable with an 1/8" connector on one end and a regular toslink connector on the other.) As with all things Macintosh, setup is a snap.
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post #461 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycmtber View Post

I just received my Nova yesterday and have it hooked up to audioengine a5 active speakers and s8 subwoofer. Today my passive speakers arrive and I simply can't wait. Hurry up fedex!

Before the nova, I used an Intel Imac > usb EMU 0404 for the DAC to the a5 speakers. I must say, I was not expecting an improvement in SQ switching to the Nova, but there is a marked improvement. Very impressive.

Anyways, the primary reason for this post is to just add I checked around in the Audio Midi setup of my Intel IMAC and there is the "built-in 96hz 24bit" output option. Currently I'm using the USB out to the Nova at 44hz. I noticed with it in USB mode there's a 48hz/16bit option.

Is it worth investigating further to get the 24bit option? I like VLC and wouldn't mind using it since it has a handy remote on my iphone.

I don't really know what I need cable-wise though. I need about 6' of cable to connect the imac to the Nova.

I can't help you with the audio MIDI setup and confirm 24/96 output is available, but I will say that other than the cost of the optical (toslink) cable, it doesn't hurt to experiment with different ways for getting source material to your amp. Let your ears be your guide.

The previous poster mentioned cables for under $10, which seems a bit cheap to me, but maybe that's possible. My experience has 2 meter optical cables costing from around $20 on up to something totally unreasonable. As he mentioned, you can find cables with the mini on one end, or get the adapter, which is essentially a little tunnel that snaps onto the cable and extends into the ouput on your imac.

Lastly, if you can actually output 24/96 through optical cable, I doubt you'd see much benefit if your source material isn't of commensurate quality.
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post #462 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Terrya View Post

The previous poster mentioned cables for under $10, which seems a bit cheap to me, but maybe that's possible. My experience has 2 meter optical cables costing from around $20 on up to something totally unreasonable.

Monoprice (see link at the top of this page) sells a 6 foot toslink to miniplug cable for $2.56. As with all digital cables, there's no need to drop a lot of money on them; other than better/sturdier construction there will be no audible difference.
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post #463 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by pdferguson View Post

Monoprice (see link at the top of this page) sells a 6 foot toslink to miniplug cable for $2.56. As with all digital cables, there's no need to drop a lot of money on them; other than better/sturdier construction there will be no audible difference.

That's pretty amazing. I guess I need to look around a bit while I'm here.

I think I agree with your assessment, and disagree a bit too. (respectfully)

Better/sturdier cables typically have better quality terminations, which help achieve proper alignment at the connection. And, better/sturdier cables are more robust and less likely to suffer from fractured fibers, which can degrade the signal and the resultant audio.

The bottom line is that there is a lot of hype and snake oil around cables, and you don't need to spend cubic money for a good cable. Personally I'd be a little leery of a $3 cable, but I'd be more than willing to audition one if it were handed to me.
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post #464 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Terrya View Post

And, better/sturdier cables are more robust and less likely to suffer from fractured fibers, which can degrade the signal and the resultant audio.

I have no direct experience with Monoprice cables, but many users on this forum do, and as far as I have seen, they are well received.

With regard to your comment above, I'm no audio engineer but I am suspicious of your claim that fractured fibers can degrade the audio quality. Digital is just that: digital. Zeros and ones. While a faulty optical cable can cause problems, they will be very obvious problems (clicks, pops, dropouts), not a degradation of the sound like what you might experience with cheap analog cables.

I'm sure this issue has been argued to death elsewhere here on the forums, and have no desire to rehash it again. There certainly are people (especially people who sell audio products) who make all sorts of claims about cables, both digital and analog.

As I said, I'm no audio expert (although I am an expert on zeros and ones...), but I don't want to leave people with the wrong impressions about how digital transmission works. There will be absolutely no audible difference between the $2.56 Monoprice cable and one that costs a hundred times as much (which, I guess, is my claim then...)
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post #465 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pdferguson View Post

There will be absolutely no audible difference between the $2.56 Monoprice cable and one that costs a hundred times as much (which, I guess, is my claim then...)

It's a good thing I spent $72 on a toslink Transparent cable today at my local hifi shop. I mostly wanted a far shorter one than I currently had to organize things nicely (gotta please the wife) and also needed some other stuff from the shop, so decided to just get it. I also got some bi-wire Transparent analog wave cables, or named something to that effect. it has a huge transformer-like box about half way through the cable. They were even more, a lot more, than that silly 1 meter long toslink cable. They are extremely well made, but I highly doubt they will make much difference to my ears!
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post #466 of 2037 Old 01-09-2010, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pdferguson View Post

I have no direct experience with Monoprice cables, but many users on this forum do, and as far as I have seen, they are well received.

With regard to your comment above, I'm no audio engineer but I am suspicious of your claim that fractured fibers can degrade the audio quality. Digital is just that: digital. Zeros and ones. While a faulty optical cable can cause problems, they will be very obvious problems (clicks, pops, dropouts), not a degradation of the sound like what you might experience with cheap analog cables.

I'm sure this issue has been argued to death elsewhere here on the forums, and have no desire to rehash it again. There certainly are people (especially people who sell audio products) who make all sorts of claims about cables, both digital and analog.

As I said, I'm no audio expert (although I am an expert on zeros and ones...), but I don't want to leave people with the wrong impressions about how digital transmission works. There will be absolutely no audible difference between the $2.56 Monoprice cable and one that costs a hundred times as much (which, I guess, is my claim then...)

Yeah, not that I know anything for sure, but I agree with your assertion that if an optical cable is managing to get the signal from A to B with no pops, clicks, or signal dropouts, then it's doing it's job.

I'm only suggesting that if a particular cable has ends that allow for a more positive connection, and is more robust and resistant to failure due to handling, etc, there may be value in that. (for some)

That isn't meant to imply that just because a cable is cheap it can't offer those features, or that a more expensive cable necessarily does.

I personally prefer nice positive spring loaded connections, but I'll admit only one of my optical cables has this feature, and the three other optical cables currently in use in my systems were all very inexpensive, have no locking mechanism, and are working perfectly.
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post #467 of 2037 Old 01-10-2010, 05:19 AM
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"Music Box" Shown at CES:

http://blog.hometheatermag.com/ces2010/010810peachtree/



Jeff

I'm nerdy in the extreme, I'm whiter than sour cream...
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post #468 of 2037 Old 01-11-2010, 06:59 PM
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I have a few days of listening now to my finalized Nova setup. I'm positively thrilled with the sound. It seems to keep sounding better and better each time I listen to it.

I ended up getting PSB GB-1 speakers mostly because they were heavily on sale and were highly recommended. I almost got NHT classic 3, and it was a really tough choice. So far I'm very pleased with how they sound. Originally I had planned on keeping my audioengine subwoofer with them, but now that I hear these speakers with the Nova it just seems wrong. Not because they go really low, because they don't, but they are so much more detailed and accurate than anything I've heard before and the subwoofer simply seems lacking when paired with them. It's turned off and looking for a new home these days.

The nova is a treat. It's super easy to setup and use and just works. I use it with USB from my IMAC and with an optical cable from my blu-ray player.
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post #469 of 2037 Old 01-12-2010, 09:27 AM
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Just an update on my noise issue.

Last night I put on a Blu-Ray disc and forgot I had unhooked the coax digital cable which I use to play decoded PCM from Oppo to Nova. Well, I forgot that Blu-Ray must have encryption because it is all white noise.

So I connect up an analog cable to the Nova and that EMI from my PC gets picked up right away. I tested my Pro-ject tuner w/ Cardas Golden Cross cables and did not get the noise; I plan on trying the Oppo with the Golden Cross. If my theory is right, I should hear no EMI.

Thus, cables do matter (as generic a statement may be, it is true). I think the HOSA cable must be like my other 2 cables, in that they have the shield floated at one end which acts like an antenna in this case.

DC

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post #470 of 2037 Old 01-12-2010, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post

Just an update on my noise issue.

Last night I put on a Blu-Ray disc and forgot I had unhooked the coax digital cable which I use to play decoded PCM from Oppo to Nova. Well, I forgot that Blu-Ray must have encryption because it is all white noise.

So I connect up an analog cable to the Nova and that EMI from my PC gets picked up right away. I tested my Pro-ject tuner w/ Cardas Golden Cross cables and did not get the noise; I plan on trying the Oppo with the Golden Cross. If my theory is right, I should hear no EMI.

Thus, cables do matter (as generic a statement may be, it is true). I think the HOSA cable must be like my other 2 cables, in that they have the shield floated at one end which acts like an antenna in this case.

DC

Interesting stuff. I get (apparent) EMI from (apparently) the Nova into (apparently) the hard wired interconnects to my Rega turntable. Maybe the cartridge is picking it up. I'm not sure. I guess I could tear into the turntable and have a look at, or replace the interconnects, but I have some homework to do before I go there.
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post #471 of 2037 Old 01-13-2010, 01:22 AM
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rwinner.

They said it's fairly simple....swapping two resistors with ones of different values. But they're going to try several values first and get back with me this week with procedures and pics for the tech who services Novas for us.

Have you gotten an answer to that yet?

I'm current using the JH13 Pro and the Nova's headamp gain is way too high for it. I hear a buzz in the left channel of my IEM regardless of the position of the volume knob and I can't go past 7:00PM either.

I tried using the Ultimate Ears attenuator with my JH13, but the attenuator noticeably degraded the sound as details, air, and treble extension were compromised.
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post #472 of 2037 Old 01-13-2010, 06:37 AM
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Have you gotten an answer to that yet?

I'm current using the JH13 Pro and the Nova's headamp gain is way too high for it. I hear a buzz in the left channel of my IEM regardless of the position of the volume knob and I can't go past 7:00PM either.

I tried using the Ultimate Ears attenuator with my JH13, but the attenuator noticeably degraded the sound as details, air, and treble extension were compromised.

we recently received some volume pots that work much better with high efficiency speaker and headphone designs. Please call David Richardson at 704-391-9337 for a return authorization.
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post #473 of 2037 Old 01-13-2010, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jim@signalpath View Post

we recently received some volume pots that work much better with high efficiency speaker and headphone designs. Please call David Richardson at 704-391-9337 for a return authorization.

Jim,
Thank you, but there is a potential problem with this solution: if I use not-so-high-efficiency speakers and high efficiency headphones, there might not be a single pot that works. I am using era D5's and Shure IEM's as I mentioned before and there are sources (my TV on some HD channels) that seem to require setting the Nova volume to 1 o'clock.

In any case, I have decided that I use the IEM's with the stereo rarely enough that I'd prefer not to be without the Nova for the time it would take to do the fix.

By the way, are you sure that (North Carolina) phone number is correct?
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post #474 of 2037 Old 01-13-2010, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jim@signalpath View Post

we recently received some volume pots that work much better with high efficiency speaker and headphone designs. Please call David Richardson at 704-391-9337 for a return authorization.

Would you be able to give instructions so I can do it myself? I live in Los Angeles, so I would like to avoid to be without my Nova and spend a fortune on shipping it back and forth.
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post #475 of 2037 Old 01-13-2010, 10:40 AM
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rwinner, I'll be in china from the 19th-30th of this month and will ask about a "compromise" control. Cable boxes are a pain sometimes. The Tel# is NC but David's in Washington.

Moon...call David in a couple days and ask about user swaps. (right now he's in the middle of unloading and testing a full container of Decco2's and iDecco's) It isn't a piece of cake but if you're handy.....
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post #476 of 2037 Old 01-13-2010, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jim@signalpath View Post

Moon...call David in a couple days and ask about user swaps. (right now he's in the middle of unloading and testing a full container of Decco2's and iDecco's) It isn't a piece of cake but if you're handy.....

Thanks for your help Jim, I really appreciate it.

1) So Do you know how well the new pot works for IEMs?
2) Also, am I right to assume that switching to this new pot would lower the gain as well?
3)Lastly, How much does this new pot cost if I am to buy it from you guys?
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post #477 of 2037 Old 01-14-2010, 08:14 AM
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[quote=jim@signalpath;17916820]rwinner, I'll be in china from the 19th-30th of this month and will ask about a "compromise" control. ...

Jim, is there a plan to sell a digital ipod dock separately for use, for example, with the Nova? I know I can accomplish the same thing by getting digital sound output directly from my computer to the Nova, but in my house that presents logistical and aesthetic problems. Right now I can stream via my LG BD390 to the Nova, but the darn blu-ray player won't accept losslessly compressed files. Absent that, I'd have no problem.
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post #478 of 2037 Old 01-14-2010, 10:21 AM
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[quote=rwinner;17923398]
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Originally Posted by jim@signalpath View Post

rwinner, I'll be in china from the 19th-30th of this month and will ask about a "compromise" control. ...

Jim, is there a plan to sell a digital ipod dock separately for use, for example, with the Nova? I know I can accomplish the same thing by getting digital sound output directly from my computer to the Nova, but in my house that presents logistical and aesthetic problems. Right now I can stream via my LG BD390 to the Nova, but the darn blu-ray player won't accept losslessly compressed files. Absent that, I'd have no problem.

Excuse me for butting in here, but I'm curious as to why you wouldn't want to stream wirelessly to an express in this situation. I've been streaming from itunes (airtunes), as well as VLC and Pandora (via Safari/Firefox) using airfoil for several years now. Streaming to the express, connected to the Nova through toslink, using the dac in the Nova, sounds pretty dang good.

I have high rez source material as well. Streaming to the dac in the Nova reduces the sonic gap considerably.
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post #479 of 2037 Old 01-14-2010, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Terrya View Post


Excuse me for butting in here, but I'm curious as to why you wouldn't want to stream wirelessly to an express in this situation. I've been streaming from itunes (airtunes), as well as VLC and Pandora (via Safari/Firefox) using airfoil for several years now. Streaming to the express, connected to the Nova through toslink, using the dac in the Nova, sounds pretty dang good.

I have high rez source material as well. Streaming to the dac in the Nova reduces the sonic gap considerably.

OK, I get that, but I have wired net access to my stereo area and don't run a wireless net in the house. To do as you suggest I must get a wireless access point at the computer or main router as well as the AP express. It just seems to me that since I already have wired access, I ought to be able to do this more straightforwardly. I am highly computer literate but at the wrong level: how they're built not how they're used, at least for audio. I can't believe it costs a couple of hundred for a network-capable audio decoder/decompressor. In fact, it irks me that the LG BD390 player won't accept any lossless codecs since I already have that.
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post #480 of 2037 Old 01-14-2010, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rwinner View Post

OK, I get that, but I have wired net access to my stereo area and don't run a wireless net in the house. To do as you suggest I must get a wireless access point at the computer or main router as well as the AP express. It just seems to me that since I already have wired access, I ought to be able to do this more straightforwardly. I am highly computer literate but at the wrong level: how they're built not how they're used, at least for audio. I can't believe it costs a couple of hundred for a network-capable audio decoder/decompressor. In fact, it irks me that the LG BD390 player won't accept any lossless codecs since I already have that.

I'm sorry, when you suggested you were running it through your LG I made too many assumptions. (one being wireless) My buddy has a Samsung blue ray player with wireless capabilities.

Recent Apple computers (which I assume you aren't running) come with a built in wifi card, and have the ability to create their own network, and stream directly to an express without the need for a wireless access point. For $99 (the express) you're streaming music. If you're computer is hard wired with no wifi card, add a cheap wireless router to the mix and you're streaming.

It can be a nice option when there's some distance between your computer and your stereo system.
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