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Is anyone using the Cullen modified Sonos ZP-80 or 90? Looking for impressions as a streamer through an off board DAC for 2-channel playback.

Mark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by truffleshuffle83 /forum/post/14860197



the live 30% cashback ebay deal got me this bundle for 600, im hoping to score another one for the same.

Dude,


How did you get that? How can I get that?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfugh /forum/post/15038017


Is anyone using the Cullen modified Sonos ZP-80 or 90? Looking for impressions as a streamer through an off board DAC for 2-channel playback.

Mark

wow, $550... for what is effectively snake oil... guess one would need that to go with their $1000/ft cables & magic pixie dusted AC power cord...and my personal favorite, the AC audiophile wall plate ...


This new ultra clean low jitter signal

so can anyone actually explain why/how jitter is bad??

here is a nice study about jitter , for anyone who cares...
 

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Great idea for a long overdue thread!


I rarely visit the Sonos forum and had no idea untilreading this thread that there is a Sonos controller app for the Iphone-brilliant!
 

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Set up 2 zones (the house was already wired with speakers in many rooms) and got them working relatively painlessly. Also have an ampless zone to hook into my reciever that I will get to soon.


I have to say they must have worked hard to make this so simple to set up. The only thing that took more than a minute or two to get going was just getting the service to find my music library, mainly because I just set up the media server last weekend and wasn't completely familiar with that yet (not really sonos fault)


Also downloaded the app to my iphone, had it up a running in less than a minute.


Quite happy with the sound quality and frankly this is an awesome product.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/15043458


wow, $550... for what is effectively snake oil... guess one would need that to go with their $1000/ft cables & magic pixie dusted AC power cord...and my personal favorite, the AC audiophile wall plate ...


This new ultra clean low jitter signal

so can anyone actually explain why/how jitter is bad??

here is a nice study about jitter , for anyone who cares...

That wasn't necessary and you know it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfugh /forum/post/15068514


That wasn't necessary and you know it.

In order to combat the massive fraud being committed upon unsuspecting consumers, posting a scientific study about jitter whenever anyone starts talking about expensive external DACS is not only necessary, IMHO it should be MANDATORY.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgatie /forum/post/15069943


In order to combat the massive fraud being committed upon unsuspecting consumers, posting a scientific study about jitter whenever anyone starts talking about expensive external DACS is not only necessary, IMHO it should be MANDATORY.

I appreciate that, but all I had asked was anyone using the Cullen modified Zp-80/90 and their impressions if they had. I didn't need the snake oil statement, $1000/ft cables & magic pixie dusted AC power cord, etc.


Jitter study appreciated, just not the initial comment.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfugh /forum/post/15070353


I appreciate that, but all I had asked was anyone using the Cullen modified Zp-80/90 and their impressions if they had. I didn't need the snake oil statement, $1000/ft cables & magic pixie dusted AC power cord, etc.


Jitter study appreciated, just not the initial comment.

IMHO, they go together. You can't seriously look at the jitter study without conceding that all the above crap is . . . well . . . crap. I mean why would you actually care about the "impressions" of others when a scientific study proves that those "impressions" are meaningless? It's like asking people to describe the unicorn they have in their back yard.


By the way, the jitter for the unmodified ZP90 is 338 picoseconds, 1/7th of 250 nanoseconds, which is generally known to be the minimum threshold of audibility.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/15043458


wow, $550... for what is effectively snake oil... guess one would need that to go with their $1000/ft cables & magic pixie dusted AC power cord...and my personal favorite, the AC audiophile wall plate ...


This new ultra clean low jitter signal

so can anyone actually explain why/how jitter is bad??

here is a nice study about jitter , for anyone who cares...

SWL, I'm not going to go too far down this rabbit-hole with you, because audio performance, both real and perceived, and whether both can be argued to show value, can be debated endlessly. I will simply say this: the whole is sometimes more than the sum of the parts; or, there's more to a DAC than just its numbers.


Here's some info, I was actually looking at in regards to another post, that I think argues my point; it's from PS Audio, in regards to their DLIII (which I happen to use):

The receiver in a DAC is a critical component. It takes the serial data stream (everything in one straight line of data) and converts it to a parallel stream and separates out the clock. This function is the first place a DAC can make or break the way it performs, and here we used the hottest new receiver on the market, the 192kHz Crystal CS8416 with its extremely low-jitter performance (around 50 ps after we reclock it later in the process).


Once the data has been separated by the receiver, it’s sent to the astounding TI SRC4192 high-end sample rate converter. Now here, regardless of the original sample rate your USB, SPDIF or Optical source has (typically 44kHz) we take the data and upsample it to 192kHz. The TI device is the finest made today and maintains low distortion during the upsample process.

The output stage is the key. Once the sample rate has been converted, it is sent to the TI PCM1798 balanced DAC and its output is fed into our unique output stage.


DAC’s convert the digital signal into current. Unfortunately, to play music through our systems, we need voltage. So the first job of the all important output stage is to convert the current output of the DAC to a voltage, then amplify it so our preamplifier can play it back through the power amp.

99% of every DAC on the planet uses an op-amp to convert the output of the DAC to a voltage. We learned years ago that this is the worst thing you can do for the sound, because op-amps all have two major problems when used for this function: feedback and speed issues.

Without getting too technical, the greatest opportunity for a bright and edgy “digital” sound is caused by op-amp based current to voltage converters (IV converters) because the high speed of the DAC’s output causes transient or slewing induced distortion in the op-amps (SID). SID is a combination of feedback and transient response issues that some exotic high-speed op amps can come close to handling, but all have a problem with it.

PS Audio’s engineers avoid the SID harshness by eliminating the feedback of the IV stage. We do this by a unique single transistor IV converter with no feedback. Speed issues and SID issues are completely eliminated with this technique.

Once the signal has been converted to a voltage, the next potential sonic weakness is found in the filtering. All DAC’s produce switching noise that must be eliminated before it reaches your preamp/amp combination. Most companies use a gain stage with active feedback filtering. The problem with this approach is somewhat the same as we just encountered with the IV converter, feedback and speed issues.

To solve this, PS Engineering uses a passive first stage filter to lower the noise before it enters the gain stage. This is a simple technique that completely eliminates the hardness associated with active filtering.


Next to last, the gain stage itself which boosts the output of the DAC to the standard line level output required to play music. For this challenge, PS Engineers stayed away from op-amps yet again, and built a 100% class A discrete FET based output stage. This high-end stage uses sweet sounding FET’s at the input and low noise powerful bipolar transistors for the gain and output stage.


Everything is direct coupled between the DAC output and the DLIII output so bass is stunning in its power and impact.

Last, but certainly not least, is the power supply. Everything we do to help the sonics of our product be the best in the world would be for naught if we had a small power supply. We’ve seen everything from the wall mounted transformer supplies (shudder) to power amp size power supplies. Bottom line is this: if you want high-end performance you need a high-end power supply.


Inside the DLIII is a huge transformer, coupled to many thousands of microfarads of capacitance, Linear Technologies regulators and high speed, low noise diodes.



Now, is this marketing from PS Audio, to try and taught their products as superior...of course. But it doesn't mean it isn't grounded in engineering fact. Doesn't mean that it is either; I'm not an engineer and I don't claim to know what any of that means. You might say "well they take advantage of the fact that I don't know anything to convince me that it's "better" when it isn't" and I might respond "they take advantage of the fact that I don't know anything, to educate me, and convince me that it's "better"...and it is". There's an argument to be made on both sides. You probably couldn't even get two engineers to always agree.


But let's stop just quoting jitter numbers, and what's audible and not, as the end-all, be-all criteria for judging how a digital device sounds. Some believe there's more to it than the DAC, more to it than the jitter, and if the Cullen mod, which is what we're talking about in particular, improves the parts in the path of signal processing, well...like the PS Audio article articulates, that may make a world of difference.


I'm not an absolute believer myself. You'll see that my language reflects that I am on the fence when it comes to some of this stuff. I take everything on a case-by-case basis; do I think an external DAC, that was built for the sole purpose of digial-to-analog conversions, and uses high quality parts, because it was built to hit a 4-figure price-point, is likely to outperform the one that is included in a device (such as either the SB or Sonos), that does many other things, and is built to hit a very competitive and specific price-point of $150 (or $250 or $350)? Yes.


Do I think even a $50 aftermarket power cable might enable a 5-figure amp to draw cleaner power than the $0.50 throw-away black cord that they toss into every electronics box? Sure, why not. Do I think a $500 power does 10-times the job? Me, no. But all this stuff is really, really subjective, and there can be an argument made for both sides. If it's not your bag, that's fine; maybe someone in another forum makes fun of you because you think you're justified in spending 6-figures on a Porsche, when that poster can drive 65, just like you, for much less. It's the very nature of hobbies and enthusiasms. Don't just dismiss them with the knee-jerk reaction that everything you don't believe in must be "snake oil".


CD
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgatie /forum/post/15069943


In order to combat the massive fraud being committed upon unsuspecting consumers, posting a scientific study about jitter whenever anyone starts talking about expensive external DACS is not only necessary, IMHO it should be MANDATORY.

to be fair, I do believe golfugh to be correct in that I went a little too far with that... but to be realistic, that's just who I am... it's what I do...
 

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@CDLehner - gee, you again, where to begin? well first I must say, you turn up a lot in Sonos threads, you sure you are not a closet sonos wannabe?


I guess now is the point you would expect me to tear apart PS audios marketing fluff? well, I am not, while they did their best to make it sound all flowery and wonderful, they are not lying as is so common these days, for example:would be for naught if we had a small power supply so true, a proper sized power supply for the needs of the device is always best... I can supply actual engineering proof if you really need it...



they are claiming around 50ps (after a re-clock
) but I am sure their marketing team insisted they put that in... actually, it almost looks like they were forced (at gun point maybe?) to put that in... but it doesn't really say anything


but I fail to see how you believe something like a wall plate compares to this?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/15074172


@CDLehner - gee, you again, where to begin? well first I must say, you turn up a lot in Sonos threads, you sure you are not a closet sonos wannabe?


I guess now is the point you would expect me to tear apart PS audios marketing fluff? well, I am not, while they did their best to make it sound all flowery and wonderful, they are not lying as is so common these days, for example:would be for naught if we had a small power supply so true, a proper sized power supply for the needs of the device is always best... I can supply actual engineering proof if you really need it...



they are claiming around 50ps (after a re-clock
) but I am sure their marketing team insisted they put that in... actually, it almost looks like they were forced (at gun point maybe?) to put that in... but it doesn't really say anything


but I fail to see how you believe something like a wall plate compares to this?

Well, first of all SWL, my response was to the argument against the Cullen mod, not the IsoClean Receptacle (which I was not familar with, but I am very familar with products like these http://psaudio.com/products/soloist.asp and http://psaudio.com/products/powerport.asp ...no, familar does not mean that I have one). I said that I don't agree with the need for some of these uberbuck, over the top peripherals.


But, as a matter of fact, I could see there maybe being something to these receptacles (you realize it's not just a wall plate, right?). Again, I'm no engineer, so all I can do is use a little common sense. Not being an engineer, here is what it seems to me a power amp does: it accepts a signal, takes power from the wall, and converts it to useable power to drive speakers. Now, in that sense, it does seem to me like a garbage-in-garbage-out kind of situation; just like you can't feed a DAC garbage and expect it to come out the other side sounding like nirvana (maybe Nirvana, the band...lol).


Now, do I buy the argument that your average, run-of-the-mill household power is garbage, full of peaks and valleys, spikes, brown noise, and the such...especially in some areas? Yes. And if I had a $10,000 Krell, or Pass, 350wpc beast, that was so reliant on drawing clean current to sound its best...you bet I'd be willing to spend $50 for the receptacle, or $200 for a receptacle and built-in conditioner (which is what the PS Audio and IsoClean units are). Now, if they turned out to be hype, and I couldn't hear the difference, I'd sell them to some other sucker on AG...lol...but I agree, in theory, with the notion that the weakest link in a $50,000 rig, shouldn't be the $0.50 receptacle you get from the hardware store.


No need to go back and forth on this; especially as it hijacks the Sonos thread. It's a fun debate, but an endless one.


CD
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner /forum/post/15074722


Well, first of all SWL, my response was to the argument against the Cullen mod, not the IsoClean Receptacle (which I was not familar with, but I am very familar with products like these http://psaudio.com/products/soloist.asp and http://psaudio.com/products/powerport.asp ...no, familar does not mean that I have one). I said that I don't agree with the need for some of these uberbuck, over the top peripherals.

well in that case, you'll notice that while your ps audio friends do mention jitter, they don't actually say anything meaningful... not to mention the minor fact that Sonos and SB are both transmitters, even if you believe the jitter hype, it would be the receivers that you should be worrying about as far as jitter...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner /forum/post/15074722


But, as a matter of fact, I could see there maybe being something to these receptacles (you realize it's not just a wall plate, right?). Again, I'm no engineer, so all I can do is use a little common sense. Not being an engineer, here is what it seems to me a power amp does: it accepts a signal, takes power from the wall, and converts it to useable power to drive speakers. Now, in that sense, it does seem to me like a garbage-in-garbage-out kind of situation; just like you can't feed a DAC garbage and expect it to come out the other side sounding like nirvana (maybe Nirvana, the band...lol).


Now, do I buy the argument that your average, run-of-the-mill household power is garbage, full of peaks and valleys, spikes, brown noise, and the such...especially in some areas? Yes. And if I had a $10,000 Krell, or Pass, 350wpc beast, that was so reliant on drawing clean current to sound its best...you bet I'd be willing to spend $50 for the receptacle, or $200 for a receptacle and built-in conditioner (which is what the PS Audio and IsoClean units are). Now, if they turned out to be hype, and I couldn't hear the difference, I'd sell them to some other sucker on AG...lol...but I agree, in theory, with the notion that the weakest link in a $50,000 rig, shouldn't be the $0.50 receptacle you get from the hardware store.


No need to go back and forth on this; especially as it hijacks the Sonos thread. It's a fun debate, but an endless one.


CD

nothing personal, but you are wrong on both points...

first - the whole purpose of a power supply IS to supply clean power... ie garbage in, well regulated power out... if those receptacles & wall plates & magic power cords actually do make a difference for you, it means your power supply is either crap or broken....(hypothetical you in this case... not you you)


second - this is a Sonos owners thread, after a couple people come in and say everything is fine and dandy the thread will die as without a good hijack there is nothing to talk about...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/15074948


nothing personal, but you are wrong on both points...

first - the whole purpose of a power supply IS to supply clean power... ie garbage in, well regulated power out... if those receptacles & wall plates & magic power cords actually do make a difference for you, it means your power supply is either crap or broken....(hypothetical you in this case... not you you)

That makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/15074948


second - this is a Sonos owners thread, after a couple people come in and say everything is fine and dandy the thread will die as without a good hijack there is nothing to talk about...

You may be right, but that's a damn fine picture of the Controller at the very least.


CD
 

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...so are there any Cullen modified Sonos owners out there?



Food for thought: If the stock and modified were sold for the same price, which would you buy?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVImpulse /forum/post/15077535


...so are there any Cullen modified Sonos owners out there?



Food for thought: If the stock and modified were sold for the same price, which would you buy?

stock... from an audiophile point of view, upsampling scares me... whats the point? you can not add more info than is already stored in the 44.1 signal, the best you could do is stay exactly the same if you just do a straight clock multiply (ie 44.1 > 88.2 > 132.3 etc...) anything else and you are changing something... how can a changed signal ever be more original than the original signal?
 

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and should be here middle of next week...


My question concerns accessing the music on my computer. How do I do this?


Will the bridge do this wirelessly or does my computer need to be hooked to anything?


This is the only part I am confused about.


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmhughes /forum/post/15080168


and should be here middle of next week...


My question concerns accessing the music on my computer. How do I do this?


Will the bridge do this wirelessly or does my computer need to be hooked to anything?


This is the only part I am confused about.


Thanks.

one zoneplayer (or the AP point if you bought one) needs to be connected to your 'network', your PC (you really want to have your music stored on your PC?) needs to be connected to your 'network'...


your 'network' could be just about anything... how do you connect to the internet? dial up or broadband?


a simple network would be just your PC & one ZP (or AP) plugged into a cheap switch... or even to just each other with a cross over cable...




one thing you may want to consider in the future... a NAS... D-link makes some good cheap ones, as do others... get a 2 drive NAS, through two equal size drives in there and do raid 1, (sounds complicated if you never done it, but its amazingly simple to actually do...)

then you wont need to turn on your PC just to listen to music...
 
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