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Thread: Bigblog - The Revolving Door of HiFi Auditioning

  1. #161
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Staffordshire, UK

    Posts: 161
    I'm Rob.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    More arrivals today,

    After being totally enamoured with the improvement and sound quality I am getting from my SPOTFIRE Speaker Cables, I decided to see what sort of connectors I could get for sensible money that *may* improve things from a stability perspective.

    One worry for me was when using Zplugs, the rather bulky cable was only secured by a soldered joint. I do use silver solder so that joing is probably a bit stronger but I wanted something stronger.

    I picked these because of the screw ability and also I am confident that with them being Gold plated copper, I can also get a run of solder inside.

    I've just plugged them into the binding posts on my speakers and they are very snug. Less so on the Krell as the posts aren't very deep. I'll stick to spades that end.

    Look nice though!

    Just need time to fit them.
    Any feedback on the new plugs yet or too soon to say?
    Well Tempered Versalex, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Trilogy 906, MCRU LDA Linear PSU, Naim ND5 XS 2 , Exposure 3010S2D, Roksan TR-5 speakers, Spotfire Interconnects/Spotfire Reference speaker cable

  2. #162
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,804
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmass View Post
    Any feedback on the new plugs yet or too soon to say?
    No mate, I am awaiting a delivery of more materials to make me a new set after I sold my originals. Should be next week when the materials arrive and I can get them on.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage
    Digital: Orchard Audio PecanPi with JRiver
    Preamplifier: DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator or Neurochrome Differential Preamp
    Amplification: Neurochrome Modulus 686
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Mordaunt Short Performance 880

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  3. #163
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Staffordshire, UK

    Posts: 161
    I'm Rob.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    No mate, I am awaiting a delivery of more materials to make me a new set after I sold my originals. Should be next week when the materials arrive and I can get them on.
    No worries mate.
    Well Tempered Versalex, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Trilogy 906, MCRU LDA Linear PSU, Naim ND5 XS 2 , Exposure 3010S2D, Roksan TR-5 speakers, Spotfire Interconnects/Spotfire Reference speaker cable

  4. #164
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,804
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmass View Post
    No worries mate.
    If its any sort of help, I bought a very similar set for a lot less and fitted them to a spare run of speaker cable I have. I think they are really good and I get a very snug fit.

    I managed to get a solder connection on that set so no reason I can't do the same with the gold ones pictured earlier in the thread.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage
    Digital: Orchard Audio PecanPi with JRiver
    Preamplifier: DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator or Neurochrome Differential Preamp
    Amplification: Neurochrome Modulus 686
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Mordaunt Short Performance 880

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  5. #165
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,804
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Replicas
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage
    Digital: Orchard Audio PecanPi with JRiver
    Preamplifier: DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator or Neurochrome Differential Preamp
    Amplification: Neurochrome Modulus 686
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Mordaunt Short Performance 880

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  6. #166
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Staffordshire, UK

    Posts: 161
    I'm Rob.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    Replicas

    OK cool keep me posted.
    Well Tempered Versalex, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Trilogy 906, MCRU LDA Linear PSU, Naim ND5 XS 2 , Exposure 3010S2D, Roksan TR-5 speakers, Spotfire Interconnects/Spotfire Reference speaker cable

  7. #167
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Much Wenlock

    Posts: 1,045
    I'm Gary.

    Default

    Hi Oli,

    There must be different types of Z plugs, all of mine had two screws to secure the cable.

    Gary


    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    More arrivals today,

    After being totally enamoured with the improvement and sound quality I am getting from my SPOTFIRE Speaker Cables, I decided to see what sort of connectors I could get for sensible money that *may* improve things from a stability perspective.

    One worry for me was when using Zplugs, the rather bulky cable was only secured by a soldered joint. I do use silver solder so that joing is probably a bit stronger but I wanted something stronger.

    I picked these because of the screw ability and also I am confident that with them being Gold plated copper, I can also get a run of solder inside.

    I've just plugged them into the binding posts on my speakers and they are very snug. Less so on the Krell as the posts aren't very deep. I'll stick to spades that end.

    Look nice though!

    Just need time to fit them.
    It is easier to seek forgiveness than to ask permission

    Rules are meant for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men

  8. #168
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,804
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryder5 View Post
    Hi Oli,

    There must be different types of Z plugs, all of mine had two screws to secure the cable.

    Gary
    Yes Gary,

    These have screws but I want to double up. Screw fixings and a solder connection. They must also comply with my spec which is where things get a bit more tricky.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage
    Digital: Orchard Audio PecanPi with JRiver
    Preamplifier: DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator or Neurochrome Differential Preamp
    Amplification: Neurochrome Modulus 686
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Mordaunt Short Performance 880

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  9. #169
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,804
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Allo Katana Vs PecanPi

    I was sitting out in the garden last night, pondering how to describe my thoughts in this write-up.

    Clear Sky, Stars out and a slight haze in the air which was diffusing the light from the moons reflective surface. It gave it a weird looking halo effect which I thought was very cool indeed.

    Then It hit me, not the moon, the way I was going to be able to express my thoughts on these two BIG HITTERS of the Raspberry Pi movement.

    As most of you know, I have had the Pecan Pi here and professed my joy at its abilities. Upon issuing my review, Peter (boyse) of this forum got in touch and soon a loan of his Allo Katana was offered. Obviously, I wasn’t going to say no. After all, how often do you get to try something without buying it!

    The Katana arrived with the Pure THD board attached. For those who aren’t aware, there is another option. A SQ optimized version. I plugged it in with great enthusiasm and bang! My jaw hit the floor. It was terrible. The soundstage was flat, there was no dynamism or life and after about 30 minutes I had lost the will to listen. I was absolutely stunned. The Pecan Pi (its price rival) had annihilated the Katana. I had no idea how to tell Peter. Looked like he was going to have to eat his hat after all.

    I informed the folks who had been waiting impatiently of the news. The Katana had failed us all.

    An air of relief came to light, we didn’t have to buy one and could keep using our Allo Boss, knowing we weren’t missing out. Unfortunately, I then remembered that the SQ board hadn’t been tried. I wasn’t optimistic but thought I had better give it a try. If only to complete the task.

    A few minutes later, the Katana was back in and I chose a random track. Blitzen Trapper – Furr.

    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The Katana came alive!

    The vocals were chesty and lifelike. The Guitar sounded fantastically wooden and the pace of the track felt like the Katana had grown some adrenal glands.

    Eagerly, I played another track, then another and then looked at my watch and it was 21.00. Where has the last three hours gone? The wife and kids were camping out and were all asleep and for once, I had some alone time to listen to music after dark. Superb. With my Alarm due to go off at 05:00, I thought id play a couple more tracks and get to bed. And I did. I went to bed at 01:00 lol

    I spent the next day listening again and making a few notes about what I heard. The soundstage was good, but not as good as the Pecan Pi. The imaging was good, But not as good as the Pecan Pi. The detail was good, but not as good………you get the idea. So why was I still listening to the Katana?

    Well, it all comes down to tone.

    The Pecan Pi images like nothing I have heard, other than the Chord Dave, which is quite superb for that. It has the edge in detail, channel separation, dynamics, bass and all for the same price as the Katana. However, the Katana did something that only one other piece of digital has done, convince/trick me into forgetting I was listening to a piece of HiFi equipment. The other piece? The Allo Boss.
    Listening to the Katana delivers a believable sound. Natural and organic, just like the boss, but even better. It gives you realism. Eva Cassidy sounds like a real person is singing and I love that. Its one of the reasons I love Vinyl. It’s ability to convey the naturalism of sound. The Katana has this too. It improves on the Boss too. It far more transparent, theres more detail, the soundstage is cleaner and the whole thing sounds less cluttered and more refined.

    The thing is, the Pecan Pi beats it in all areas except for that glorious midrange.

    So, if I were to buy one, where would I go?

    Truth is, I really am not sure. On one hand you have a unit that (just) beats the other on almost every benchmark of listening. On the other, you have one that sounds …….. “right”

    I listened to the Pecan Pi and marveled at its abilities. I listened to the Katana and marveled at the songs. I am afraid this is where the decision can only be made by you, and your ears. To me, the PecanPi does so much right and once again, its imaging was second to none, however, for pure music enjoyment, the Katana was fantastic. Also, it was close enough to the Pecan in performance terms to not hinder my feelings towards buying one, especially when it sounded as good as it did.

    So subjective listening taken out of the equation, there are a couple of points to mention. I have had digital noise from the Pecan since it arrived here and even though adding lines of config to the Pi and rehoming the unit to the place of least interference, I cannot get it to be totally silent. IF my house is to blame, then so be it but the Katana is silent from digital noise, or any noise for that matter. If my house has tripped up the PecanPi, as far as I am concerned, it’s a fault. The Allo gear had the exact same environment and configuration to work in and it did.

    Secondly, The Katana is a power monster. Compared to the one SMPS the Pecan needs, the Katana is just greedy lol. I totally recommend getting the best LPSU for the Katana that you can because my little Chinese jobbies are hot and get hot quickly.

    So where does my night sky opening come into it?

    The Pecan gives you a razor-sharp image of the moon with no haze. The Katana gives you the moon and stars, but you have to accept a little halo around the moon, but like I say, I thought that was really cool.

    The Katana is a good enough step forward from the Boss to warrant the spend but I would urge you to listen for yourself before buying either, if you can.

    I don’t know if I can let go of the abilities of the Pecan Pi. I really rate it highly but that digital noise is a problem. If Leo can fix that or if a workaround/resolution can be sorted, I’d probably go one. If not, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a Katana.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage
    Digital: Orchard Audio PecanPi with JRiver
    Preamplifier: DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator or Neurochrome Differential Preamp
    Amplification: Neurochrome Modulus 686
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Mordaunt Short Performance 880

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  10. #170
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,875
    I'm James.

    Default

    Great write up Oli. I can imagine your dilemma having heard the PecanPi. I expect the Katana is just more of the Boss 1.2 so I think I know where you are coming from in musicality especially midrange tone. This however is the issue I have always heard with DACs, they never seem to do the best of all worlds, usually veering towards either the analytical and hyper detail or slightly warm and congested - relative speaking.

    Ladder DACs and FPGA DACs have the potential to move into the middle ground possessing both detail, soundstage and good tonal qualities. I have heard an FPGA DAC implemented with ancillary equipment which can do this. I would love to hear one of the TotalDACs from the French company as I believe these, according to all the reviews I have read, possess all the qualities we are looking for.

    Herb Reichert mentions a description of one in this review. I have read many reviews on these TotalDACs and they sound ideal apart from the price!

    https://www.audiostream.com/content/...power-dac-line

    Back to the PecanPi and Katana. A tough decision but maybe you might not go wrong with either although I would go for midrange tonal expression over detailed soundstage myself.

    Of course vinyl can do both!
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

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