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Thread: Waiting for the Caiman SEG

  1. #21
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Sweden

    Posts: 24
    I'm Andreas.

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    I snagged a mint almost new one off of ebay the other day, it should arrive wednesday-thursday.

    Had I heard about this AOS discount I prob would have gotten a new one but hey, if I like it I have my eye on a local used 15v S-Booster and might order a modded SEG new from Stan.

    It's going head to head with a Rega Dac for the system spot. Even if it loses I want something for the PC, we shall see what happens.

  2. #22
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Near Oxford

    Posts: 669
    I'm Bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterTape View Post
    I snagged a mint almost new one off of ebay the other day, it should arrive wednesday-thursday.

    Had I heard about this AOS discount I prob would have gotten a new one but hey, if I like it I have my eye on a local used 15v S-Booster and might order a modded SEG new from Stan.

    It's going head to head with a Rega Dac for the system spot. Even if it loses I want something for the PC, we shall see what happens.
    I rate the SEG way above the Regardless - let us know how you get on.
    Allo Digione Player / Caiman SEG with Longdog Audio LPSU / Sennheiser HD600

  3. #23
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Sweden

    Posts: 24
    I'm Andreas.

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    Will do. Should have an early impression some time next week.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: http://www.homehifi.co.uk

    Posts: 6,090

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewR View Post
    Hi Baffleport,

    Tonally the SEG I have is sounding brighter, with an electronic edge to it - which my Caiman II never exhibited (in fact the Caiman really does sound analogue). There is also less bass heft and decay than the Caiman II.
    First off, check that the Left and Right cables to the amp are also wired into the L and R sockets of the SEG. The sockets are the other way round to the Caiman MKII. So if you wire it the wrong way round the sound from your speakers will be swapped round and give you a different soundstage etc compared to the MKII.

  5. #25
    Join Date: Apr 2010

    Location: Royston Vasey

    Posts: 200
    I'm AndrewR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StanleyB View Post
    First off, check that the Left and Right cables to the amp are also wired into the L and R sockets of the SEG. The sockets are the other way round to the Caiman MKII. So if you wire it the wrong way round the sound from your speakers will be swapped round and give you a different soundstage etc compared to the MKII.
    Hi Stan, yes I noticed that, which I donít mind. Iíll be back home soon after a few days away. Will have a listen for any change in the frequency balance from the further burn in.

    Andrew
    Andrew Randle

  6. #26
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Sweden

    Posts: 24
    I'm Andreas.

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    Mine arrived today and SEG vs Rega wasn't even a contest. I expected to have some sort of decision to make but nope, bloodbath in SEG's favour.
    System Allo DigiOne with S-Booster LPSU -> Beresford SEG -> (2017) Rega Brio -> Harbeth P3ESR

  7. #27
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Hertford, Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 232
    I'm Adam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterTape View Post
    Mine arrived today and SEG vs Rega wasn't even a contest. I expected to have some sort of decision to make but nope, bloodbath in SEG's favour.
    Just as a matter of interest Andreas - I assume your Rega is the older Rega DAC and not the DAC-R ?

    Also what input do you use Co-Axial, Toslink or USB ?

    I am just interested as I have a Creek CD50 CD Player / DAC. This uses the same Wolfson 8742 chips as the Rega DAC (in dual differential mode).

    Also what Digital filter do you use on the Rega DAC. I favour the Minimum Apodizing filter on the Creek DAC.

    I also have a SEG in another system - so any comparisons you can make would be interesting. How would you compare the tonal balance of the SEG to the Rega etc.

    Oh and finally what Sound Signature setting do you use on the SEG - I use setting 3.
    Last edited by Theadmans; 23-05-2018 at 20:01.
    Adam.

  8. #28
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Sweden

    Posts: 24
    I'm Andreas.

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    Hi Adam, happy to answer but keep in mind these are my "12 hours in" impressions.

    It's the older DAC. With a power chord upgrade that reduced the noise floor (Supra SPC using a IEC to mickey mouse adapter).

    Co-Axial, in both cases from an Allo Digione streamer with S-Booster linear power supply. It's a nice and clean source.

    Filters the same in both instances.

    As for differences,

    You catch the bass difference every time in A/B. The SEG trades "bloat" for power, extension, definition. The bass is notably cleaner and tighter. Switch back to Rega and you spot the wet immediately.

    The SEG has a resolution edge. I think it's mainly due to a lower noise floor that also shows up as better separation between parts of the mix.

    The SEG is more airy. It's part extension, part just having a slightly lifted treble compared to the Rega I think.

    I don't find the sound stage bigger, in direct A/B switching things stay put. But I think the L/R separation must be significantly better in the SEG. If you have a track with say a cowbell far right, it stays in the same spot but loses focus when direct switching from SEG to Rega. The same goes across the sound stage but I find those extreme placements make it more clear.

    I don't think there is a lot of difference in overall character. Both are warm, analogue sounding Dacs. I just think the Rega now sounds wet, doesn't place instruments with the same confidence, isn't as sure footed, comes off as slightly fuzzy around the edges. Lower resolution. Something like that.
    System Allo DigiOne with S-Booster LPSU -> Beresford SEG -> (2017) Rega Brio -> Harbeth P3ESR

  9. #29
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Hertford, Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 232
    I'm Adam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterTape View Post
    Hi Adam, happy to answer but keep in mind these are my "12 hours in" impressions.

    It's the older DAC. With a power chord upgrade that reduced the noise floor (Supra SPC using a IEC to mickey mouse adapter).

    Co-Axial, in both cases from an Allo Digione streamer with S-Booster linear power supply. It's a nice and clean source.

    Filters the same in both instances.

    As for differences,

    You catch the bass difference every time in A/B. The SEG trades "bloat" for power, extension, definition. The bass is notably cleaner and tighter. Switch back to Rega and you spot the wet immediately.

    The SEG has a resolution edge. I think it's mainly due to a lower noise floor that also shows up as better separation between parts of the mix.

    The SEG is more airy. It's part extension, part just having a slightly lifted treble compared to the Rega I think.

    I don't find the sound stage bigger, in direct A/B switching things stay put. But I think the L/R separation must be significantly better in the SEG. If you have a track with say a cowbell far right, it stays in the same spot but loses focus when direct switching from SEG to Rega. The same goes across the sound stage but I find those extreme placements make it more clear.

    I don't think there is a lot of difference in overall character. Both are warm, analogue sounding Dacs. I just think the Rega now sounds wet, doesn't place instruments with the same confidence, isn't as sure footed, comes off as slightly fuzzy around the edges. Lower resolution. Something like that.

    Many thanks for your detailed thoughts on this Andreas.

    I originally ran the SEG in my lounge system with a Creek 50A amplifier.

    My wife asked if it would be possible to have a Hi-Fi that looked less like a "Science Laboratory".

    I bought the matching Creek 50CD DAC / CD Player for the lounge. At the same time I tucked my Rasperberry Pi / Wolfson Card combo behind the Creeks. I also bought a discreet Ifi iPower PSU for the Pi instead of the Chinese PSU with blazing LEDs I used before.

    The SEG and Chinese 15v + 5v PSU I had originally used in the lounge - were shifted to an inferior bedroom system that uses an identical Rasperberry Pi / Wolfson Card combo.

    My wife now only sees the two Creek Components in the lounge (which looks neat and tidy).

    ...but I keep wondering if I should try using the SEG back in the lounge - so your comments are useful. I suppose it is possible that the Creek 50CD DAC would outperform your Rega (even though they have identical Wolfson chips).

    The other advantage of the Creek 50CD is that I was able to sell my excellent but fairly ugly 90s vintage Pioneer Stable Platter CD player. I mostly stream using the Pi these days - but occasionally I like to be able to play a CD.

    I may have to switch the SEG back into the lounge system (the next time my wife is out !)
    Last edited by Theadmans; Yesterday at 18:17.
    Adam.

  10. #30
    Join Date: Apr 2010

    Location: Royston Vasey

    Posts: 200
    I'm AndrewR.

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    Adam,

    Get that SEG back into the lounge and cover it with one of these.



    Andrew
    Andrew Randle

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