Sunday, 15 December 2019

Sonos PLAY5 (Gen.1) Repurposed

My humble abode was set-up (Sonos-wise) into initially 3 x Zones (Living Room, Dining Room, Man Cave). The Living Room Sonos Connect was decommissioned when I went full-on TIDAL and AudioQuest. 

The Man Cave (PLAY5) has always worked flawlessly since day.1, but .. the Dining Room (PLAY5 again) has just been a PIA. 

Having gone through all the standard troubleshooting, to no avail; ... what to do? Even though it’s 1st Gen .. I really don’t like throwing anything away.

A lightbulb goes off in my head and within 5 minutes .. I’d rushed up to the Man Cave .. made both PLAY5’s a stereo pair .. and after Truplaying it .. they sound glorious! 

Hurrah for salvage! I might get a few more years out of it yet 🍻

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1I7BAfxY6LEZZePWJRHHHA0MfMCRqtyRD


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Where we’re at ..

It’s been a while. Not that long, but still.

So, what have I been doing? 

I’m still madly in love with Tidal and MQA, but I have made one major change. I’ve taken-back my iPad and repurposed it with an iPhone 5 .. and you know what? .. there isn’t a perceivable difference. Which is mind-boggling. 

A smaller footprint, but the same big, clear, highly-detailed sound ... but ... it’s ... so ... darn ... small. I can’t get used to it and I don’t want to bring my iPad back into the mix.

The future will see me use the AudioQuest Cobalt Blue DAC somewhere else and I will be buying the Auralic Vega G1 at some point as my main digital device. 

As always, I’ll let you know 😎

Thursday, 24 October 2019

TIDAL Observations ..

Well, having tested out Tidal for a couple of weeks now on the free trial, I can honestly say .. it’s a keeper.

Surprisingly, I’ve not really visited my 77,000 strong song library held on my external hard drive. It seems that Tidal has everything that I could possibly need. Added bonus is that there’s a good smattering of what I like in MQA (thank you so much AudioQuest Cobalt Blue DAC)*

All I really need to do now to enhance my music experience, is get a better cartridge for my turntable. 

Thinking on preferred formats, I have to say: I like all of ‘em. At the end of the day, it’s the music that counts. All I can really say is upgrade what you have until you’re 100% happy. When you’re happy: Stop.

* Best purchase ever.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Alternate DAC/Streamer to MQA heaven? ..

Hmmm .. I’m exploring all avenues. Having more-than-strongly thought about the Auralic solution (Hi-End DAC / Streamer), thanks to John Darko .. I might think about hooking-up my iPad to an Audioquest Cobalt DAC to experience MQA. It’s certainly a lot less expensive.

Anyway, here’s John with a great 20 minute video about it (try to not let it fry your 🧠) ..



Thursday, 10 October 2019

TIDAL .. Here I come! ..

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1bMsDv3ngaB7qUd_1VXqVXQ85I6IT-IwL
Having taken out a three month free trial for Amazon Music HD, as good as it is .. I’ll more than likely drop it for the more expensive TIDAL.

*Just started a 60 day free trial.

Why (you may ask)? .. Much better resolution equals better sound quality. Plus ... the new audio magic of Bob ‘Meridian’ Stuart’s MQA technique and the promise of being able to listen to albums in Studio Authenticated Master quality (much, MUCH higher than Amazon HD).

I won’t get the full benefit of listening to fully unfolded MQA until next year when I get my Auralic Vega G1 DAC / Streamer, but I can listen to the first unfold via my IOS devices and Roon .. and .. BOY! .. even that sounds amazing!

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Naim’s NAP250 Power Amp. Does it live up to expectations? ..



The short answer is: ‘Yes! .. and then some!!’.

It’s now been plumbed-in for 24 hours and the first thing to notice is its vice-like grip on fast moving bass notes .. there’s no ‘slurring’ .. every note is rendered distinctly. 

There’s also better imaging. My KEF Q900’s seem to have disappeared, leaving a band playing music in my living room.

Overall, I’m really happy with my purchase. I could take it further with a NAC52, or go for the Classic black range, but .. no .. reaching the end of the Olive line at this stage is perfect for me.

Next stop: A new digital front end. A combined DAC/Streamer, here I come! 

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Upgrading Path Continues ..

Here we go. The last link in the amp chain ..

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1h7WOBNez-u2VZa8rdUYkXsT17159RBui

Here comes the Naim NAP250 power amp (upgraded from my NAP140). Should be plumbed-in to the system by Saturday.

What a year it’s been so far. Upgraded my Naim pre amp from a NAC102 to a NAC82 (a NAC52 is way out of my pay grade), upgraded my PSU from a Hicap to a Teddy Pardo DualTeddyCap (incorporates the equivalent of 2 x Hicaps and a NAPSC) and now the power amp upgrade from a 140 to a 250. Why a Chrome Bumper version of the NAP250? Word is, it had a better toroidal transformer in it than the later models 🍻

To be continued ..