Stalaktite

Upgrade from Majik DSM / Majik 109

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Ummm. Do we get into the digital v analogue debate?

It's not about compressing and decompressing for a start. Digitising an analogue signal samples it, it doesn't compress, nor is it "lossy". It is a lossless conversion.

You will find that most recordings are digital anyway, and they are converted to analogue to press a piece of plastic. There's probably more loss there.

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Nah I dont want to start a debate on my first day :p

Sorry about the vocabulary. I know about all this, including the inadequate mastering / bad pressings of the records from the past years (decades?), but I like the idea of playing my old Pink Floyd records on a system that does not digitalize the input (and although it is not compression, I would not call it "lossless" either as there is a loss of information inherent to the process.)

I agree to say that most of this is mental / philosophical. But it still makes me sad :p

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There's pros and cons with both, but recent advances, leaps, in digital technology, especially what Linn has achieved, makes the cons, were there any, not so much compared to the pros. The benefits of room correction (SO), and digital crossovers (Exakt) can only be done in the digital domain after all. The ADC (particularly at Klimax/Urika II level) has come on leaps and bounds too, as has the DAC (Katalyst).

It's a brave new world. Don't be sad :(. Embrace it! :hug:

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As far as I know, you can select in Konfig for the Majik DSM whether the phono signal should be digitised or not. For Akurate and Klimax DSM models with Katalyst this is no longer possible.

@ Stalaktite: It looks like you have a few very deep cuts in your Space Optimisation 1, have you tried modifying the gain and width?

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1 minute ago, Tendaberry said:

As far as I know, you can select in Konfig for the Majik DSM whether the phono signal should be digitised or not. For Akurate and Klimax DSM models with Katalyst this is no longer possible.

@ Stalaktite: It looks like you have a few very deep cuts in your Space Optimisation 1, have you tried modifying the gain and width?

I thought Davaar 50 removed that. There used to be a Direct option for Delay mode that bypassed SO at least. It's now Minimal and doesn't. Ir was that something else?

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Tendaberry, I checked on the web interface, and I do have the choice!

on => "The source is digitised, allowing access to Space Optimisation and Songcast"

off => "The source is not digitised, preventing access to Space Optimisation and Songcast"

I learn a lot of stuff in this thread :p

It makes more sense to me to have that choice on a Linn product. Even though it looks like it's about to disappear. Once I plug my player (in a few months) I will test both settings. Although there's a serious chance it will sound better with digitization and space optimization...

As far as SO is concerned: No, I haven't tried modifying gain and width. I'm flying blind here (or deaf?), and this is all quite new to me. But I will try learning a bit more about all this.

Thanks again

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2 hours ago, Stalaktite said:

I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed by this choice. I view turntables at the last real "lossless" audio format (I know it's not actually lossless, but I hope you know what I mean)

Now if I understand correctly, my current Majik DSM - although sounding better than my old Sony system - is actually compressing and decompressing the signal from my turntable, which my former system wasn't doing.

Although it does make sense to upgrade my system to Exakt knowing this, I am disappointed. I should probably stop asking questions now :p

We are all of us by now used to seeing digitally created images which are visibly superior to what was typically available with film ('analogue') technology. In other words, digital technology is not necessarily more lossy than its analogue counterpart; there are likely to be gains and losses on both sides. Our preference for one or the other is likely to change over time, because technology does not stand still.

In the specific case of the DSM models, the conversion from analogue to digital is done at a bit rate which far exceeds that of an ordinary 'red book' CD (16 bit, 44.1kHz). Each additional bit in a sample doubles the number of values available within the sample, so the increase in sample size from 16 to 24 bits is very large. When this is allied to an increase in the sampling rate from 44.1kHz to 96kHz or 192kHz, the resolution of the digital stream is sufficient to encode the analogue input from a turntable in a transparent way, and from that point on the signal from the turntable can take advantage of all the streaming and signal processing capabilities available in the digital domain. Linn have always maintained (in my view correctly) that an LP contains far more usable information than a CD, but they are still prepared to offer, as their top of the range phono stage, the Urika II which converts the phono signal to digital before applying precise RIAA correction in the digital domain. In other words, conversion to digital is done not as a compromise but because, at the bit rate (resolution) it is done, it produces the best result for the listener.

By the same token, it is misleading to think that the various stages of digital signal processing involve compression and decompression. They do involve upsampling and downsampling, but the purpose of those processes is to ensure that the integrity of the information content is maintained at all times. That is the fundamental reason why your MDSM sounds better than your Sony; the conversion of the phono signal to digital is actually a good thing, not a bad news compromise. If that sounds counter-intuitive, it is because we have been conditioned over time (I forbear to say 'brainwashed') into thinking that the analogue signal is somehow a 'purer' version of the original than its digital counterpart. But the analogue signal is itself a potentially lossy conversion (from sound energy to wiggly amps), and the digital signal is actually still an analogue of the original musical stream. The sooner we stop worrying whether the signal is digital or analogue at this or that point in the chain and just sit back to enjoy the music, the better off we all will be.

David

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1 hour ago, Stalaktite said:

Tendaberry, I checked on the web interface, and I do have the choice!

on => "The source is digitised, allowing access to Space Optimisation and Songcast"

off => "The source is not digitised, preventing access to Space Optimisation and Songcast"

I learn a lot of stuff in this thread :p

It makes more sense to me to have that choice on a Linn product. Even though it looks like it's about to disappear. Once I plug my player (in a few months) I will test both settings. Although there's a serious chance it will sound better with digitization and space optimization...

As far as SO is concerned: No, I haven't tried modifying gain and width. I'm flying blind here (or deaf?), and this is all quite new to me. But I will try learning a bit more about all this.

Thanks again

I completely understand your misgivings about digitising LPs, which in my case are almost all from the analogue era.  But I’ve not heard the newest models either, and you’re lucky to have the choice.  Like you, I’d not be surprised how good it can sound  

Re SO v1, it’s been popular to reduce the cuts by about half, just by overwriting the values, eg changing -28dB to -14dB. Good luck!

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13 hours ago, Stalaktite said:

[...] The only difference was thicker cables (I have K20, they had K200) and the room acoustics. [...]

It wouldn't make sense for me to change the positioning, because :

  • ...

Yes, there are always practical limitations not to mention aesthetic ones. But I just had to ask :) Anyhow, just a proposal with your current setup, try to put some absorbent in the cavity behind the speakers. A small cushion or similar will do. I found this beneficial when I put small monitors in a bookshelf in my study. Regarding cabling the K200 was an improvement over the 2.5 mm2 Rega cable I replaced. You seem to have rather short runs, but it might be worth a try.

/HansBertil 

Edited by HansBertil

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