Sine Nomine

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  1. I could say those things are money for old rope, but I wont.
  2. Yeah, that's exactly right - thanks for answering CnoEvil. The shoes are just metal disks with a dimple in the middle that the spike fits into - protects a wooden floor. When you insert the spikes, it's a fiddle to ensure there's no movement at all. Especially if your floor isn't quite flat like mine. But it seems that's what you have to do to get the best sound. Total isolation doesn't seem to work - for Harbeths anyway.
  3. I have C7s on Hifi-Racks ‘Grand Signature’ stands. They look good and sound great. The stand’s carpentry and finish are super, but I’m less impressed by the engineering of the spikes - they just feel a bit cheap and don’t fit that well. Just for fun, I borrowed a set of Isoacoustics Gaia IIIs. I know these are really meant for floor standers, so I wasn’t expecting too much. They’re much better engineered and more easily adjustable, fitting the stands better than Hifi-Racks own spikes! With the Gaias fitted, even with the slight movement due to the Gaia’s isolation system, the speakers felt very steady and secure - just as firm really as with the spikes. I have solid wood floors and the isolation footer acts as a sort of suction cup making a good grip on the floor. With spikes I need to use spike shoes which don’t make as good a coupling to the floor - you can push the speaker quite easily. So I felt encouraged, and I must admit I was now eagerly anticipating some improvement. How completely wrong can you be? I was truly shocked at the wholesale destruction of SQ. What was previously an exciting live, dynamic and all enveloping experience was now flat, dull and boring. I’m not out to criticise the Gaias. They clearly state they are intended for floor-standers, and I was using them on a stand-mount. However, I wasn’t prepared for such an epic fail. But I think it does suggest that Harbeths are critically sensitive to how they are mounted, the nature of the stand and how that is supported. What I’ve found does work is to ensure that the spikes fit as precisely and tightly into the spike shoes as possible, with no micro-rocking. A circular spirit level helps.
  4. Heard the proms ‘first night’ yesterday on the new experimental flac lossless R3 stream. Very impressive, I do hope the beeb are able to roll this out generally. Clearer and more transparent than the normal R3HD stream, which sounds a bit ‘fuzzy’ by comparison. Perversely, the realism of the audience noise was striking – all those little coughs, squeaks and shuffles. The piano sound in the slow movement, especially, of the Beethoven C minor concerto was impressively real and present. Igor Levit played some very soft pianissimo passages, and everything was crystal clear. I also enjoyed his ‘political’ encore! We’re in for a real treat this summer...
  5. I’m really loving Qobuz. It has transformed my listening over the last couple of years or so. If you’ve a well set-up streamer, the SQ is tremendous – easily better than say 99.5% of CD players. I don’t bother with downloads there’s simply no point. I personally prefer it to Tidal. IMHO the SQ on spotify is just not good enough for any serious listening on a decent system – end of story. I agree that MQA is intriguing. Could be an advantage for Tidal, but if it takes off they’ll all have to support it anyway.
  6. Yeah, I’m coming to the same conclusion. £4k seems rather a lot for a box that does so little - unless you own a legacy dCS DAC of course. I also have an issue with ‘black box’ designs in general. With a commercial computer it’s fully open, you know exactly what software it’s running and you can change or update it at any time you want. With a closed solution you are at the mercy of what the supplier decides to provide and when. I recall a couple of years ago the BBC changed the way radio 3HD was streamed, and loads of ‘black box’ type streamers just stopped working.
  7. Thanks for the info. At the moment I’m using Qobuz hi-rez in A+ on a Mac Mini, which I’m very happy with – superb SQ. I run the mini in headless mode and control everything from an iPad. I realise a commercial computer like the Apple is probably noisy in audio terms. But like a lot of people, I find the Intona galvanic isolator effective at dealing with noise on the USB output. So to be clear, could I operate the Network Bridge in a similar way? Does it natively run a dCS proprietary equivalent of A+ with a Tidal app (I understand Qobuz will be supported in due cause)? How would I run internet radio on it? BBC Radio 3 HD and 6 HD are a must. I’m not keen on Roon, as I don’t need or want all that elaborate library management stuff.
  8. I don’t really understand how products like the dCS Network Bridge work. I was confused when someone on the linked CA thread above said it’s very similar in concept to the microRendu. So do you still need a computer? How does it ‘run’ Tidal? I currently have a Mac Mini with A+. Could the Network Bridge potentially replace that, or would it run alongside it? What would be the advantage?
  9. I like the MF MX-DAC as well, it’s a shame it’s been somewhat overlooked. A close run thing with the Chord 2Qute IMO. The 2Qute is very detailed and engaging, but there is still a trace of harshness in those upper-mids. The MX-DAC is smoother – just gorgeous. I feel this approximate price level is the sweet-spot in DACs. You have to pay significantly more to get a worthwhile improvement. And I think I’d want to wait until it’s clear how MQA is going to pan out before spending big bucks on a DAC today.
  10. I’ve been using A+ now for several months – loving it! The sound quality is definitely better than Amarra that I used before. But really great thing is the seamless integration with Qobuz. It transforms the Qobuz user interface, which was somewhat clunky to say the least. The iOS app is intuitive and a joy to use.
  11. I'm a classical music fan, so Qobuz is a no-brainer. Vast catalogue and excellent SQ. It's true the user interface is a bit clunky. My hope is that whoever buys them will improve that aspect, we shall see. SQ is by far the most important thing for me, so I don't want to have to switch to Tidal. When I last checked Tidal didn't even support gapless playback! That would make it a complete non-starter.
  12. There does seem some basis for optimism now. If a viable buyer does emerge from the boiseries, it will be interesting to see who it turns out to be. The petition now has over 7000 signatures apparently.
  13. Yes of course, but that's hardly the point is it...
  14. Probably won't make a blind bit of difference, but there is a petition now to save Qobuz from oblivion. I signed it, I have a soft spot for hopeless causes...
  15. I really hope we don't just end up with lossy streaming. Most physical media is right at the fag-end of its life cycle. (OK - perhaps vinyl is a niche exception.) No one buys DVDs anymore. All the shops that once sold them have long since gone bust. Youngsters don't even know what a CD is (or to them "was"). In only a few years it will be increasingly difficult to find any CD players to play them on. When did you last see a cassette deck for sale?