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Paul's System
#1
Just about half a year ago, I bought a Devialet 120 Expert demo model from a local dealer. From the first moment, I liked the sound of the 120 and I fell in love with its looks. And it pairs nicely with my ATC SCM 19 speakers!

The system went through many transitions since then. Initially, I had it paired with an Aurender N100H, which I like just as much. Later on, I bought a Roon Nucleus, because I like the software so much better than Aurender's old fashioned Conductor. I have the Aurender still in my audio rack, and the Nucleus in my office. All components are connected via Ethernet Cat 7a, and the Aurender also via USB to the Devialet. I thought, the Nucleus would replace my Aurender N100H entirely.

It wasn't this simple: listening to the Nucleus for a long time, it starts to sound a bit edgy, dry and flat. Switching back to the Aurender N100H, the sound is immediately smoother, and I can listen to it for hours.

So I am torn between good sound from the Aurender, but a bad UI, and Roon's excellent software, but less than optimal sound. Is this called schizophrenia  Wink?


Attached Files Image(s)
       
SonicTransporter i5 - AirPort Extreme - Devialet Expert 120 - ATC SCM 19 v1
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#2
Nice clean layout. I like the ATV rack. Who makes it? It looks similar to a Bell’o unit I had with the wood sides and glass shelving.

What’s on the middle shelf? Appears to be a CD player/ripper of some sort.
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#3
(26-Jan-2019, 20:48)mmorrison55 Wrote: Nice clean layout. I like the ATV rack. Who makes it? It looks similar to a Bell’o unit I had with the wood sides and glass shelving.

What’s on the middle shelf? Appears to be a CD player/ripper of some sort.

The rack is from Custom Design http://customdesign.co.uk/ It‘s configurable in many ways and rock solid.

Yes the middle shelf, a long story! It is indeed a CD player. My wife has lots of CDs she still likes very much. And more, she dislikes completely digital systems consisting of only a streamer and an iPad for a remote. That’s why the CD player is still part of the system, with digital out going into the Devialet  Wink.

She slowly starts to discover the advantages of streaming: we were at the opera a few weeks ago and the next day she wanted to buy the CD. The shop didn‘t have it on stock. So I showed her how to get it via Qobuz and she could immediately listen to it! She‘ll adapt pretty quickly and the CD player becomes obsolete.
SonicTransporter i5 - AirPort Extreme - Devialet Expert 120 - ATC SCM 19 v1
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#4
Nice system! I am considering purchasing Nucleus as well and wondering if there is any sound difference between Roon Core in Nucleus and Core in Mac mini. Have you had a chance to compare that?

If you like Roon UI but don't like the sound, how about replacing Aurender with Roon Ready device such as Lumin U1 MINI?
Mac Mini Late 2012(Amarra Symphony/Audirvana)/DELA N1A Mk1 - [AIR Ethernet] -  Devialet 800 (Power Cable - AET HIN AC EVD) - [Speaker Cable - Nanotec Systems SP♯79MK2] - Wilson Audio Sasha
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#5
(27-Jan-2019, 01:27)Umetaro Wrote: Nice system!  I am considering purchasing Nucleus as well and wondering if there is any sound difference between Roon Core in Nucleus and Core in Mac mini.  Have you had a chance to compare that?

If you like Roon UI but don't like the sound, how about replacing Aurender with Roon Ready device such as Lumin U1 MINI?

I first had Roon Core installed on my new 6-core Mac Mini equipped with 16 GB RAM and 1TB internal SSD. It is hard-wired with a Cat 7a Ethernet to my Devialet and, naturally, remote controlled with an iPad Mini. The system runs very reliably, but I didn’t like the sound. It was detailed, good bass, good highs, everything there, except that it had an unpleasant sharpness/glare. After long listening sessions, it got very tiring to listen to the setup.

That‘s why I bought the Nucleus. It was an immediate step up compared to the Mac Mini. The sound was basically the same as with the Mac Mini, but it was a lot smoother, and the harsh treble glare was gone mostly. Except that I became so sensitive to treble glare, that I still perceive a tiny bit with the Nucleus. But I could just be neurotic! The Nucleus is a fine piece of equipment.

Thanks for pointing me to Lumin. I might consider it. First, I‘d like to try an LPS to see if it removes the last bit of treble glare. I am looking around for a suitable LPS. Also, I might add internal SSD storage to the Nucleus, as I now have an external 2 TB SSD connected to it.
SonicTransporter i5 - AirPort Extreme - Devialet Expert 120 - ATC SCM 19 v1
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#6
Thanks, Paul.  It is great to know the sound quality comparison between Nucleus and Mac mini.  While I am interested in Nucleus, I could not find comments on the Nucleus sound quality with Devialet against Mac mini.

I would much appreciate your report on Nucleus with LPS.

Maybe you might want to look at an audio grade switch in addition to LPS and SSD.  I auditioned SoTM sNH-10G (https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/englis...m/snh-10g/) and was surprised that the switch made a difference on the sound quality.  While sNH-10G is great, it is too expensive ($1,700).  I am waiting for EtherRegen ($600) which is supposed to be out sometime soon.
Mac Mini Late 2012(Amarra Symphony/Audirvana)/DELA N1A Mk1 - [AIR Ethernet] -  Devialet 800 (Power Cable - AET HIN AC EVD) - [Speaker Cable - Nanotec Systems SP♯79MK2] - Wilson Audio Sasha
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#7
(27-Jan-2019, 10:57)Umetaro Wrote: Thanks, Paul.  It is great to know the sound quality comparison between Nucleus and Mac mini.  While I am interested in Nucleus, I could not find comments on the Nucleus sound quality with Devialet against Mac mini.

I would much appreciate your report on Nucleus with LPS.

Maybe you might want to look at an audio grade switch in addition to LPS and SSD.  I auditioned SoTM sNH-10G (https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/englis...m/snh-10g/) and was surprised that the switch made a difference on the sound quality.  While sNH-10G is great, it is too expensive ($1,700).  I am waiting for EtherRegen ($600) which is supposed to be out sometime soon.

Again, the Nucleus is, at least in my setup, clearly better than Mac Mini.

I thought about audio grade switches and there are good reviews concerning the SoTM sNH-10G. But it IS pricey. Also, for my setup I might need two of those and that's definitely too much. I am still thinking about upgrading my Expert 120 to the Pro 220 and that is costly as well! Thanks for pointing me to the EtherRegen!

The reason I am thinking about an LPS is the following: till a few days ago, I had the Nucleus connected straight to my Devialet, either by USB or Ethernet. So the Nucleus' power supply sat in the same rack as my Devialet. I now moved the Nucleus to my office (two floors upstairs) and I noticed that the bit of graininess and brightness disappeared completely. So it might very well be that the Nucleus' SMPS leaked some noise into my system. Now that it is far away from my setup, the difference was quite audible, and I am beginning to like the Nucleus just as much as my Aurender  Wink

I am cautious in attributing improvements in SQ to a particular feature, but it was quite striking. I hope it keeps up.

Attached is a cabling scheme. I wonder where an audio grade switch might fit into the system.


Attached Files Image(s)
   
SonicTransporter i5 - AirPort Extreme - Devialet Expert 120 - ATC SCM 19 v1
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#8
(27-Jan-2019, 18:28)Sailor4W Wrote:
(27-Jan-2019, 10:57)Umetaro Wrote: Thanks, Paul.  It is great to know the sound quality comparison between Nucleus and Mac mini.  While I am interested in Nucleus, I could not find comments on the Nucleus sound quality with Devialet against Mac mini.

I would much appreciate your report on Nucleus with LPS.

Maybe you might want to look at an audio grade switch in addition to LPS and SSD.  I auditioned SoTM sNH-10G (https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/englis...m/snh-10g/) and was surprised that the switch made a difference on the sound quality.  While sNH-10G is great, it is too expensive ($1,700).  I am waiting for EtherRegen ($600) which is supposed to be out sometime soon.

Again, the Nucleus is, at least in my setup, clearly better than Mac Mini.

I thought about audio grade switches and there are good reviews concerning the SoTM sNH-10G. But it IS pricey. Also, for my setup I might need two of those and that's definitely too much. I am still thinking about upgrading my Expert 120 to the Pro 220 and that is costly as well! Thanks for pointing me to the EtherRegen!

The reason I am thinking about an LPS is the following: till a few days ago, I had the Nucleus connected straight to my Devialet, either by USB or Ethernet. So the Nucleus' power supply sat in the same rack as my Devialet. I now moved the Nucleus to my office (two floors upstairs) and I noticed that the bit of graininess and brightness disappeared completely. So it might very well be that the Nucleus' SMPS leaked some noise into my system. Now that it is far away from my setup, the difference was quite audible, and I am beginning to like the Nucleus just as much as my Aurender  Wink

I am cautious in attributing improvements in SQ to a particular feature, but it was quite striking. I hope it keeps up.

Attached is a cabling scheme. I wonder where an audio grade switch might fit into the system.

Hello, another high end switch! As it reads, it would be worth a test!

https://audiobacon.net/2018/09/28/the-li...l-audio/2/

https://thelinearsolution.com/switches.html
Devialet 220Pro/CI, B&W 802 D3, McIntosh MA9000, Audio Physic Avantera III, Linn Klimax DS/Katalyst, Burmester 089 CD, Melco N10 + D100, S100. Cable Audioquest (NRG-10,Diamond,K2,Yukon,Coffee etc.), iPad-Pro, KECES P8 Dual, Sbooster MKII
IsoTek: 2 x EVO3 Genesis One, EVO3 Titan One, EVO3 Syncro 
Roon: Nucleus+, Lifetime  / Qobuz Studio                                                                                                             
Germany / Bavaria
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#9
(27-Jan-2019, 21:44)ÜK4680 Wrote:
(27-Jan-2019, 18:28)Sailor4W Wrote:
(27-Jan-2019, 10:57)Umetaro Wrote: Thanks, Paul.  It is great to know the sound quality comparison between Nucleus and Mac mini.  While I am interested in Nucleus, I could not find comments on the Nucleus sound quality with Devialet against Mac mini.

I would much appreciate your report on Nucleus with LPS.

Maybe you might want to look at an audio grade switch in addition to LPS and SSD.  I auditioned SoTM sNH-10G (https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/englis...m/snh-10g/) and was surprised that the switch made a difference on the sound quality.  While sNH-10G is great, it is too expensive ($1,700).  I am waiting for EtherRegen ($600) which is supposed to be out sometime soon.

Again, the Nucleus is, at least in my setup, clearly better than Mac Mini.

I thought about audio grade switches and there are good reviews concerning the SoTM sNH-10G. But it IS pricey. Also, for my setup I might need two of those and that's definitely too much. I am still thinking about upgrading my Expert 120 to the Pro 220 and that is costly as well! Thanks for pointing me to the EtherRegen!

The reason I am thinking about an LPS is the following: till a few days ago, I had the Nucleus connected straight to my Devialet, either by USB or Ethernet. So the Nucleus' power supply sat in the same rack as my Devialet. I now moved the Nucleus to my office (two floors upstairs) and I noticed that the bit of graininess and brightness disappeared completely. So it might very well be that the Nucleus' SMPS leaked some noise into my system. Now that it is far away from my setup, the difference was quite audible, and I am beginning to like the Nucleus just as much as my Aurender  Wink

I am cautious in attributing improvements in SQ to a particular feature, but it was quite striking. I hope it keeps up.

Attached is a cabling scheme. I wonder where an audio grade switch might fit into the system.

Hello, another high end switch! As it reads, it would be worth a test!

https://audiobacon.net/2018/09/28/the-li...l-audio/2/

https://thelinearsolution.com/switches.html

Super, thanks for the link, will look into it!
SonicTransporter i5 - AirPort Extreme - Devialet Expert 120 - ATC SCM 19 v1
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#10
Since my last post, I made quite some changes to my system. The speakers remain the same, ATC SCM19s on bespoke stands, although I decided to replace them in the near future.

I got rid of the Nucleus and replaced it first with a USBridge Signature. Till I found out that I liked my Devialet Expert 120 best when it connected via Ethernet. I replaced my Mac Mini with a SonicTransporter i5, connected to an Airport Extreme, that also feeds the Devialet via Ethernet. 

This is a minimalist setup, but a good one at that!

In the rack, I still have a Denon CD player, but it is never in use, so I could just as well get rid of it.

At the bottom of the rack is a Furman power filter. It gets rid of the worst power noise caused by the heating system.

Best of luck to everyone!


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SonicTransporter i5 - AirPort Extreme - Devialet Expert 120 - ATC SCM 19 v1
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