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- JPLAY - hi-end audio player for Windows
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Posted by darbonne on 17 February 2012 - 06:18 AM
Posted by Marcin_gps on 14 July 2011 - 09:41 AM
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Posted by The Chaplin (Peter C) on 20 November 2018 - 10:46 PM
Thought it would nice to share our test tracks.
Stop me if we have a topic elsewhere & let me know where thanks.
Here is my current list:
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Posted by JazzDoc on 15 April 2019 - 12:50 PM
I have had a computer audio installation as a part of my system for the past nine years. I started with a very simple single PC/JRMC/JRemote installation and over the years have progressed to dual PC/JPLAY Femto/AO 3.30 Beta/Process Lasso Server/Fidelizer Pro/BubbleUPnP. In the time that I have used computer audio, I have used Windows 10/2012 Server (GUI and Core)/2016 Server/2019 Server. I have always used my Naim Audio DAC, powered by a Naim Audio XPS power supply. I recently changed my S/PDIF converter from M2Tech HiFace Evo to Singxer SU-1. The sound that I am able to achieve now is without doubt, superior to the sound quality achieveable with my original Windows 10/JRMC/JRemote setup. Had JRiver not prevented the use of JPLAY with their software, I might still be there. Although JRiver referred to JPLAY as 'a hoax', my experience was that it did indeed significantly improve sound quality. My current setup is good. It is largely stable and reliable and it enables me to enjoy music although I have always felt that something just isn't right.
On Saturday, I went to my local vinyl store for the first time in years. It was Record Store Day and I wanted one of this year's available RSD releases. When I brought the record home and played it, I realised what was wrong. ith digital audio, both CD and DAC based, the sound seems recessed and flat. With vinyl the sound comes into the listening room with the listener, offering an almost holographic presentation of the music. I tried a few more digital vs analogue comparisons and found that my initial experience was consistent. Playing a vinyl album offers a quality of sound that is vastly superior to either of my digital sources.
I am aware that my computer audio equipment is long in the tooth. I have never heard a really good high end computer audio setup. It would I'm sure, make for an interesting comparison. I can't afford to get myself a high end computer audio setup. Having retired from work, my upgrading days are gone. I wonder though if it is the case that digital sound cannot rival its analogue counterpart. There are many who will tell you that this is the case.
As previously mentioned, I would be really interest to hear a comparative listening test between a high end computer audio setup and a high end vinyl setup.
Each has its relative advantages. CD is low maintenance, computer audio is mostly low maintenance and vinyl, by comparison, is relatively high maintenance. The listener is required to turn or change the record every twenty minutes or so, styli need to be treated with utmost care and kept clean. It can be a hassle.
I have a friend who is a devotee of analogue sound. For many years, he has built his own turntables and has frequently attempted to explain to me in technical terms why digital recording and replay can never equal analogue. He does not have and has never had, a digital source component in his system. I wonder if he is right and that a reference sound can never be achieve with digital components. The lack of general availability of vinyl will of course, influence equipment choice. I am most certainly glad that I have retained my vinyl collection of around 3500 albums, mostly purchased in the 1960s and 1970s.
Wonder where the audiophile market will go from here.
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Posted by FelipeRolim on 29 July 2019 - 06:38 PM
Hello friends. I created this topic to share with you the photos of the new case I built for dedicated computers (the software is the same as always - Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Core Mode and JPLAY FEMTO). With more time, I will insert in the descriptions about the reasons that led me to adopt this new layout, as well as the sound that I have obtained with the last changes.
Since there are so many photos, I created a shared folder to access and view.
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Posted by mdskier on 24 July 2019 - 05:10 PM
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Posted by FelipeRolim on 13 November 2018 - 01:06 AM
Since I had the feeling that the real performance of a stereo system isn't achieved by a desktop blu-ray player, but with a completely dedicated computer, I spent a lot of time on the mission of extracting the best I can from a dedicated computer. For this, many and many hours of studying and listening have brought me to the current stage, with at least one computer that I think performs well. In this topic, my goal is to write some things that I consider for a computer assembly, things that I took into consideration, things that worked for me, and that's why they represent my personal opinion on the subject.
The first thing that I consider essential in a dedicated computer is a linear power supply. First, talking generically, what I have to say is: every low signal source that's part of the system (computer, pre-amp, DAC, e.g.) is extremely more sensible than high signal source (usually amplifiers and integrated amps). It happens because the SNR between them is very small, in direct comparison. For example, a noise of 0,5v represents much more for a circuit with a voltage of 1,5v, 4v or 5v (as in the USB connection, or between DAC and pre-amp, or between pre-amp and amplifier) than for a circuit with 35v signal (amplified output). This makes a special care with noise necessary for our systems, especially high frequency noise. Many people say that electromagnetic shielding is enough, but it just physically isolates the circuit elements. I could, e.g., insulate a transformer with mu-metal, or a power supply, and probably the high-frequency irradiation will be controlled. However, there are other two big strands that are part of the equation: a) controlling EMI/RFI waves irradiation doesn't mean that they won't exist amymore, but just will remain closed. I mean, by enveloping a computer power supply, for example, all radiated noise will be confined within itself, reflecting indefinitely (there is a difference between absorbing and isolating); b ) even with a control of the phisycal incidence of electromagnetical waves, we cannot forget that noise also circulates over the conductors. And not just that. High-frequency noise has no "path", no definite direction. At the same time that it comes with the power cables (phase and neutral), it also returns through the same cables. In a few words, it means that the noise generated by a switched power supply propagates through internal components, spreads to the equipments through the USB cable, the coaxial cable, the RCA/XLR cables and reaches the speakers, but also returns by the electric cables to feed the other equipments directly by the transformer. This is, therefore, a double loss, since, with a switched power supply in the system, everything loses: DACs, preamplifiers, among others, and not just the equipment with a switched power supply. Not long ago I was highly contested in a Facebook group when making these notes, but no one was willing to prove me the opposite with the use of an oscilloscope. It's obvious that's there are linear PSU and linear PSU, switched PSU and switched PSU, and that an excellent switched power supply can be better than a bad linear power supply, but, in principle, working at 60Hz and with adequate filtering (and a few other things), a linear power supply, by its nature, can achieve a better level of performance.
Based on several assumptions, I developed and tested a dozen linear power supplies to arrive at the final form of what I have today. I believe that implementations are possible, but this isn't the focus of my dedication now. The fact is that after I completely removed any and all switched power supplies from my system, the performance level went up severely, and as I was implementing the computer and other items, I noticed that much of what I heard was due to the fact that the computer didn't has a switched power supply, and I was able to prevent it from inserting noise into the network or audio path. So, I consider that the first and one of the most important care of any audiophile that wants to build a digital stereo system is the non-use of switched power supplies and, of course, the adoption of good performance linear power supplies.
In next post, I'll write about the hardware of a dedicated computer (motherboard, processors and others). Hope you enjoy.
PS.: for those interested, I can also talk and explain about the construction of my linear power supplies, already apologizing for my bad English.
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Posted by Marcin_gps on 24 July 2019 - 03:21 PM
NO COMPROMISE AUDIOPHILE-GRADE OCC WIRES & SHIELDING RESULT IN A REMARKABLE AUDIO EXPERIENCE
The JCAT DC cables extract true performance of a linear power supply that is masked by poor quality of generic DC cables included with a PSU. Replace those with JCAT and experience the sound on a completely new level.
No compromise audiophile-grade DC power cables that can be tailor made for your PSU and needs: motherboard CPU (world premiere), SATA drives, USB/NET Card etc. Pictured is a 4-pin ATX 5V to 2x SATA DC cable for use with the HD-PLEX 400W ATX PSU
Multistrand OCC wires made up of up to 221 ultra pure fine copper strands. OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) wires developed by Professor Ohno at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan are used to eliminate impurities and grain boundaries which degrade conduction and consequent sound quality. Contrary to other copper wires, OCC copper is ultra (99.9999%) pure which allows the cleanest possible conduction
Advanced shielding prevents noise interference and guarantees a remarkable audio experience
Dramatic improvement of sound quality & image quality
More natural tone that is closer to analogue
The positive effect will improve up to one week from the installation
Once the DC cable is installed, the same directionality must be used to maintain the best sound quality
If the DC power cable for e.g. HD-PLEX PSU is ordered, it is designed to work exclusively with HD-PLEX PSU. Therefore the cable must not be used with other power supplies for safety reasons.
Motherboard DC power cable for CPU, a world premiere in computer audio, has the biggest impact on sound quality
Please specify the DC connectors and make/model of your power supply when placing the order. Available connectors and options included in the price are: motherboard 4-pin ATX (CPU), 2x DC jack 5,5/2,1mm, 2x SATA (pictured). The standard length is 1.4m
The cable is available now at the JCAT shop: https://jcat.eu/prod...c-power-cables/
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Posted by Marcin_gps on 15 September 2016 - 02:38 PM
Posted by PhilG on 08 September 2019 - 08:59 PM
Hello (from France) to all of you,
This is my first post and I wanted to dedicate it to my newly acquired Music server, the entry level at Core Audio, which this Hungarian company calls "DAIDO Barebone Entry". IMG_0563.JPG 570.71KB 9 downloads IMG_0561.JPG 711.12KB 5 downloads
It is actually a linear ATX power supply (8 circle full analogue low noise power supply) powered by 2 toroidal transformers (160va and 100va), the whole installed in the popular Streacom FC-10 enclosure. After several more or less successful attempts to make my own ATX power supply, I finally chose this solution which suits my needs with an "all-in-one" concept. I also wanted something different from what can be commonly found on the market in terms of ATX power supply.
This solution (and this is not the least of its benefits) allows me to build my own music server and customize it according to my needs. it offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to the choice of architecture (mATX server board with Xeon or gaming board with i7 or i9T…) and devices, accessories (cards, wires… ).
It's pricey, yes, but I think it's worth every penny, especially considering the above observation, as well as the global quality of this cleverly designed PSU, not to mention that it makes it possible to do without the previously required power supplies, especially DC/ATX converters and other pico PSUs. I was able to get rid of a 12v psu for motherboard, another12v for cpu, a pico psu, two dc and power cables, an extra power strip needed to connect all that, etc. I made two exceptions, however (more by curiosity than because of need): I kept my Bakoon BPS-02 battery to power the OS SSD and for the FEMTO USB card I kept the Uptone LPS-1 power supply (more precisely the LPS-1 set to 7v followed by two LT3045 based MPAudio power supplies in series (respectively 6v and 5v) for an ultra clean, ultra low noise 5v). But honestly it was more by coquetry and because I can hide these tiny little boxes behind the Streacom case, I could easyly live with the 5v from the Core Audio power supply without feeling any loss in SQ .
I finished the build two weeks ago (see attached pictures). I only made one modification to the rear of the FC-10. The Streacom box is certainly aesthetically pleasing but it has the drawback of not having any vertical expansion slots (only 2 large horizontal slots, only one of which is actually usable in practice because they are too close together). As a result it requires the use of a riser cable, which I wanted to avoid as it seems to degrade the sound quality a bit. So I cut the back of the FC-10 as well as the back of an old FC-9 (a useless spare case that had uggly wear marks on the cover) and assembled the two parts in order to have 2 usable vertical slots. Not so easy but nevertheless fully achievable with the help of simple but good tools, good eyesight and... a little patience! The result of this "organ transplantation" (with a high risk of rejection) was a kind of FC-9 XXL (or FC-11?). This allowed me to use two USB cards: one FEMTO JCAT and another (normal, not FEMTO). The latter is currently used to receive data from an external HDD housed in a Lacie case), but I could as well use this second slot for a FEMTO NET card for instance.
Now, let's talk a little bit about the SQ: ( I deliberately kept the best for the end !).
As I said earlier, I only recently finished my build and so I haven't been able to listen to much more than about 40 hours, yet we know that a music server, like most audio devices, requires a break-in time. A power supply such as the one installed in this music server is no exception to the rule, (all the more so since it has no less than 31 capacitors on board). Despite this, I had enough time to quickly glimpse the potential of this PSU. First impressions are very positive.
What immediately caught my attention is that this PSU is totally silent, the illumination of the white LED on the front of the Streacom and the green LEDs of the PSU are the only signs that it has been switched on. There is no noise, no parasitic vibrations, nothing.
It is probably a too soon to analyse the listening in detail. I could use expressions like "soundstage is very wide, 3D, airy, and so on" or "I could hear a lot of musical details previously hidden", the kind of words inevitably used in the reviews. Sure, they would be quite appropriate in this case, but perhaps not credible enough given the short time spent listening. At this point, and more importantly, I would rather say that I really, really like what I hear. I found myself listening to all kinds of music (Jazz, instrumental and vocal, Classical, Folk, French songs...) until late at night with curiosity and a certain greed. There are albums that I know by heart (or at least I thought I knew) and that I rediscover. It's real delight
The Core Audio power supply, whatever its qualities, is of course not the only one responsible for these results, the JCAT FEMTO USB card, the JCAT Reference SATA and JCAT Reference USB cables that I reinstalled are an important part of it. So I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank Marcin for his work and the quality of the products in the JCAT range.
As a last comment, I must point out that I get these listening results with a rather modest motherboard and CPU. No Supermicro server board or fancy ITX gaming board here, no Xeon or last gen I7 or I9 CPU. I only have an old mATX Asus with Haswell (i7 4770T) CPU. As you can see, it's not the latest in state-of-the-art technology!
I can hardly imagine the result I could get with one of these new motherboards/CPUs.
It is therefore not that difficult to guess what the next step in upgrading my Music server could be
Perhaps it will be another story... For now I am very happy with my new toy.
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Posted by Marcin_gps on 31 October 2018 - 01:46 PM
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Posted by Marcin_gps on 07 May 2018 - 07:16 AM
I know the topic is well known to many music lovers and audiophiles. I'm a huge fan of jazz trios myself; classical, modern, melodious, jumpy - all styles really.
Recently at the local jazz festival in my city (Jazz nad Odra) I discovered a pianist & composer Dan Tepfer. His music and style are so different from what I'd known that I needed a moment to adjust. Once I did, the music really touched me. I can recommend his latest album 'Eleven Cages'. It's available on tidal. Here's a sample, hope you enjoy it:
Have you discovered any interesting jazz trios lately? Please share
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Posted by brunohegy on 07 February 2019 - 10:36 AM
hello everyone, i wanted to share my experience, i'm on server 2019, femto, jriver, jremote, audiogd, amanero isolate, and my bill beard BB100 ...... i want to tell you c a meirveille i listen only dsd 128 in asio and c a real happiness, I tested a lot of products like Roon HQplayer, aurdivana, jriver and of course foobar, but none of my enjoy the pleasure and the quality of femto ..... BRAVO has jplayfemto ... ....
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Posted by FelipeRolim on 08 November 2018 - 02:21 PM
Hello guys. After I spent a lot of time trying to make my dedicated computer work with RAMdisk, I finally managed to succeed in this endeavor. As I tried many different paths, I wrote down everything so that I had some "extra" information when I finally got it, and also to have a guide in case I had to do it again. Well, I didn't have to do it again, hehe, but I hope the information I wrote down as "definitive" in terms of functioning is actually correct and helpful to colleagues in the forum. As I am Brazilian and I wrote the text originally in Portuguese, I spent some time transcribing it into English, so that it is possible to share with colleagues of this forum. I think it's valid, because it really was very difficult to get it for the first time.
For those who don't know, RAMdisk is one of the most high-performance methods for audiophiles in the world, and although I've never read anything about it in this forum and only have a personal friend who has tested before me, I've read a lot, a lot , much information in international scope, where it seems that the theme is more evolved. Reducing latency and high throughput is only a small part of the benefits. If that weren't enough, I've never heard any "original" setup, with SSD, SD card, M.2, or anything else, that delivers audio quality as good as RAMdisk. For me, it's the best, but what I don't know is if there are different RAM models that deliver different sonorities (Corsair vs. Kingston; Kingston vs. Crucial; Corsair vs. GSkill; e.g.).
To make it easier for me and my colleagues, I created a PDF file that can be downloaded, because the text is large and I also attached some images to make the complicated parts more enlightening.
Finally, I remind colleagues that although there are Windows software that makes RAMdisk easily, they only allow a very limited part of RAM to be defined as storage, and they don't allow the operating system itself to be installed or loaded on it. The guide I've tried to create effectively causes 100% of the operating system to go to RAM and run from it.
Here is a working video:
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Posted by Nobudy on 05 October 2018 - 01:47 PM
Posted by Carlosoptico on 15 April 2019 - 02:45 PM
I wanted to talk about a project made with a motherboard and a
processor that has been recommended several times in this forum and
that has kept me busy in recent months: The Asus P10S WS board and the
Xeon E 1235L V5 processor.
I looked in the web and had no problem locating the Asus board, but
the Xeon processor was very difficult to find and when I found one in
Aliexpress for € 78.5, I decided to buy it, without knowing what would
come and in what state it would come. It arrived after three weeks and
that encouraged me to continue with the project.
Then came the Asus board, the Apacer ECC RAM, extended temperature
range, 8 GB in two drives and HDPLEX H5 chassis with the HDPLEX200 and
HDPLEX 400 DC-ATX Hifi converter, which was what was available at that
With everything already at home I got "JPLAY fever" and I ordered a
JCAT USB FEMTO card and a JCAT NET FEMTO. This led me to situations of
doubt with my more stingy self, whether I had overspent the budget,
whether it was worth it, if it would end up working, since it was the
first time I was assembling a PC by myself. I encouraged myself, every
time I put the Lenovo laptop back on with JPlay FEMTO 7.d and I did
some improvements like turning off the anti-virus, deactivating
unnecessary programs and even disabling processes in the BIOS thanks
to the advice in this forum and hearing the results.
Nothing better to put an end to the doubts, than to finally start
assembling my first PC. With the help of the HDPLEX manual and looking
very carefully at the photos, the work was easier than I thought,
although when I had to connect the 24-pin ATX cables between the
motherboard and the HDPLEX400 DC-ATX converter in the place destined
for it, they did not reach, by little, but they did not get to make
contact. I moved the HDPLEX 400 to the left side, but I had to make
two new holes to hold it firmly to the base of the PC. I did not have
any more problems until I put the FEMTO USB card, it was a little
displaced and the USB inputs rubbing the chassis, a thick terminal of
a USB cable could not enter to the end, so I had to slightly deform
the parts that did not fit well in the chassis and the metal plate
that supported the card. In the end everything is perfect. I placed
the NET FEMTO card but when I went to connect it with the PCIE
extender, it had a torsion that I did not like. I decided to remove
the NET card for the time being, I would put it later in another
location and start with the LAN ports of the motherboard. To see if
that worked and I ordered an Intel M.2 SSD 700 series disk for the 256
GB operating system for € 70.To place the start-up LED, I removed the
upper coaxial connector that is next to the lateral USB connectors on
the HDPLEX chassis, which I was not going to connect and I put it in
the space that was left. Everything was done, the only thing left was
to put Windows 10 Pro, JPlay, the Devialet driver and put Fidelizer
And it worked . The sound was more elegant, more layers, more defined
and with better timbre than with the Lenovo. It was an improvement,
but after a while I wanted more. I ordered 1 x SSD Apacer Industrial
with memory type SLC and extended temperature range of 64GB, very
expensive, and I got two units. I did not make a claim for this. I
also ordered 8GB of RAM Apacer, to complete the four spaces intended
for RAM after reading an article in the forum, and yes, it sounds
better with the four spaces occupied.
I ordered a JCAT SATA Reference cable and a JCAT SATA HD cable, but
the delivery was delayed due to a mistake and as compensation I
received a prize from Marcin, who sent two Reference SATA.
I re-assembled everything, with the new Apacer SSD disks, one for S.O.
and the other as reference music library and SATA cables. I also put
the NET FEMTO card, but in another place, that although it is very
close to the passive radiator of the CPU, it does not make contact,
after deforming the part that holds the card. I had to remove the
safety on the side that connects with the JCAT NET FEMTO card of the
PCIe extender cable because it leaned on the passive radiator and
forced the position. Now the sound was quieter, more real than with
the Intel M.2 with the S.O. I have put anti-resonant treatment behind
the front of the chassis and under the electrical wiring line and in
the middle of the top cover where I have also put 3M EMI absorber
(5100) which I have also used for the RAM, the JCAT cards fastened
with cable ties and the electric cables and the HDPLEX DC-ATX
converter, USB ports of the motherboard and some free sides of the
chassis, using 3 sheets for everything.
I earth wired the HDPLEX chassis and placed 1 SSD M.2 Intel 700
Series disk of 1TB instead of the Intel SSD of 256GB , to test the
difference with the Apacher SSD of 64GB with the reference library and
I removed all switching source.
I also put a two-meter Oyaide EE / F-S26 mains cable between the
Victron 5000 Va solar converter's electrical box outlet and the wall
socket of the music room, replacing a normal cable. Later I changed
the cable from the wall socket to the 8 schukos power strip with the
same Oyaide EE / F-26 cable of 2 meters in length with Furutech
rhodium F1-E11-N1 and F1-11 connectors and the old Yarbo 8000 for the
Devialet with two Oyaide EE / F-26 with Furutech rhodium connectors of
1.5 meters. Now the TV monitor and the UltracapLPS 1.2 power supply of
the Iso Regen are powered by a 12-volt DC line from the batteries of a
solar system instead of the switch-mode power supplies they brought.
The motherboard, the USB FEMTO card, the SSD Apacer disks and a Hub
with the wireless mouse and keyboard and three 4 TB hard disks (which
I disconnect when not in use) are powered by the HDPLEX 200 with a
Vovox Texture 1 meter cable and the NET FEMTO card for a PSU
Audiophonics 25 with Furutech cable and Furutech rhodium connectors.
Each of these improvements were done one at a time, giving it time to
stabilize and to check whether they were improvements or were a
placebo. This time, after a week of burning the last addition, the
sound is much better, more real. There's a long way to go, put Windows
Server 2019 + A.O. 3 that will be the next improvement. Now I feel
proud and happy of this challenge that has been for me to get to know
JPLAY, the JCAT products, the learning project of making a SINGLE PC
and improving it, the comments from the forum, from Marcin, from
ThuanB and of course from Felipe Rolim and others. Now its time to
listen to the music and enjoy, until the "fever" returns. I have to
say that everything sounded perfect ... until I broke the UltracapLPS
1.0 and the IsoRegen stopped working between the PC and the Devialet.
I took 1 day to order a new one. I could not live without it, so I
want to thank Alex Crespi for the excellent product he has created and
Larry from HDPLEX for the good service given when necessary. The next
thing I would like to try is the dual PC, first with the Lenovo laptop
+ SINGLEPC and later, who knows, a new PCAudio, the same one but with
the HDPLEX 400.
- Marcin_gps, Adrian, motberg and 7 others like this
Posted by Marcin_gps on 20 March 2019 - 09:51 AM
Here is another product I've been working on during last year : high performance USB+LAN Ground Conditioner
It is quite unique - I have not seen anything like it.
I remember the first time I connected it to my USB Card FEMTO & NET Card FEMTO, I was shocked. The first thing I noticed was how much better the image quality got on my plasma TV, which was unexpected as the TV is not even connected to my audio PC, but it seems that my Audio PC, even though equipped with linear power supplies and good power cord, injects large amounts of noise back to the AC which is then spread to other components. Other than the image quality, the sound of my system reached a completely new level: more details, more natural, smooth highs, bigger soundstage and the feeling that the music is real. This is one of the most significant and immediate improvements I've had the pleasure of hearing in my system.
The product is available at the JCAT webshop where you can also find more details about it: https://jcat.eu/prod...nd-conditioner/
- Adrian, ellisdj, Thuan and 7 others like this
Posted by RCDingen on 10 September 2019 - 07:08 PM
Ive build a dedicated streamer with the following software and hardware.
Can someone help me with quick Play Femto and AO settings to start.
I read the manuals from JPlay and AO but really don't know what everything means and therefore don't know what's really important.
- Thuan, KanatsM, RatuzanM and 6 others like this
Posted by FelipeRolim on 16 March 2019 - 02:05 PM
Hello everyone. I looked in this forum and didn't find any topic that specifically deals with digital cables related to the computer, and I refer to them as the SATA cable, the LAN cable and the USB cable (or other that can be used, such as fiber optic cable). Although I've found information on other forums, they're all very sparse, and most of the time what I found were users struggling to convince each other that digital cables make no difference. For this reason, I've decided to create in this forum a specific topic with a certain degree of generality (digital computer cables), so that we can gather information we have, in particular, which cables to use, the kind of sound they offer and possible comparisons made between them. Please, that those who post to simply say "cable makes no difference" or "on an oscilloscope are all the same", I ask you to spare your time and remain silent.
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Posted by JazzDoc on 21 August 2018 - 03:14 PM
This excitement regarding audiophile recordings is all very well but how do you know that you are listening to a genuine audiophile recording and not a mere pretender? I hope that the following questionnaire will help:
- Is the featured artist someone who you have never heard of?
- Are they playing an instrument that looks impossible to tune, much less play?
- Does the featured artist spell their name in an unusual way?
- Was the recording released by an obscure record label?
- Does the music contained in the recording celebrate the cultural diversity of an indigenous people or their country of origin?
- Was the recording made using a restored vintage analogue R2R recording device, e.g. Nagra, Studer?
- Is the music contained in the recording wholly inappropriate for dancing?
- Would you have no wish to see the featured artist in live performance?
- Does the featured artist have facial hair? (Please note that this question is also applicable to female artists)
- Is it likely that, having listened to the recording once, you would never play it again?
- Would the featured artist be unlikely to release a ‘Greatest Hits’ album?
- Does the recording enable you to focus on the more detailed mid-range of your most recent system upgrade?
If you can answer ‘Yes’ to six or more of these questions, then you are probably dealing with a genuine audiophile recording. Take comfort in the knowledge that you probably have a great hi-fi system. If not, just file it in the ‘Redundant’ category of your music library, alongside ‘Kind Of Blue’ by Miles Davis and ‘Electric Ladyland’ by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
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