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APL 3910 32bit *56k beware*


spritzer
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I'm not picky, any stax will do really.

Good to know when the shit hits the fan...

Congrats on the new gear, spritzer!

Speaking of DAS-R1, do you have any decent picture of the DAC?

I'll have to check but I don't think so. I'll pop the hood someday and take some pictures but it's so damn heavy :kitty:

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Speaking of internal porn, it looks like you jizzed all over the place in there! :o

That is a sweet source, congrats. I just heard neilvg's NWO3.0GT again recently and it reminds me that I want some APL goodness one of these days.

You perv... :D The detail level is unbelievable but it isn't forced like with the majority of high-end sources. In fact there is nothing forced but still a slight bass deficiency which is probably caused by the power situation. The ability of the player to change the soundstage from track to track, album to album is nothing short of outstanding. I'm a very happy bunny... :dance:

Waiting forever for APL to finish their updated DAC :horsey:

Who knows when that one will be avaialble... You can have Alex add a digital input for around 500$ to the 3910 and some of the other players.

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That looks the shiznitz Spritzer. You really don't do anything by halves do you?

I really need to move up from the Squeezebox. I've had my permission for my anthropological research project at a doctors surgery this summer denied now on ethical grounds (read: ethical red tape of huge size). So I guess that leaves me with more time to work behind the bar and do a shitty dull project from the workplace instead. Means I can put in more hours though, which means more money. I'd rather be doing the project I wanted though.

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Help which was appreciated, I was not after all, specific about the limitations of my needs. Gives me a piece of gear to read about and drool over doesn't it? :D

I've looked at the Cambridge players. They are nice, newer than the Quad and sound good (I've heard Milkpowders). The Quad would fit into my rack though, being quite small, the Cambridge is too big. I like the look of the Quad gear too. And it'll match up if I ever go up to the 909 amp.

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That looks the shiznitz Spritzer. You really don't do anything by halves do you?

I really need to move up from the Squeezebox. I've had my permission for my anthropological research project at a doctors surgery this summer denied now on ethical grounds (read: ethical red tape of huge size). So I guess that leaves me with more time to work behind the bar and do a shitty dull project from the workplace instead. Means I can put in more hours though, which means more money. I'd rather be doing the project I wanted though.

I've never been known for my ability to compromise... :D

While you can drink more with more money it won't make you happy. Been there, done that... :-\

Spritzer,

That looks very nice. My NWO is supposed to be here Friday. :prettyprincess:

Can't wait.

Congrats though I wouldn't start to celebrate until you get the address confirmation email from Alex. There were a number "will ship out next week" emails.

Also I'm on the look out for a cheap 230v UX-1 to have ready for mods.

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Also I'm on the look out for a cheap 230v UX-1 to have ready for mods.

230 V limited edition gear is rarely cheap...

Who knows when that one will be avaialble... You can have Alex add a digital input for around 500$ to the 3910 and some of the other players.

I know, I just have a problem buying a CDP that will be used as a DAC all the time. I'm strange :sadcat:

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I know, I just have a problem buying a CDP that will be used as a DAC all the time. I'm strange :sadcat:

The thing that pushed me over the edge for the NWO is the new WiFi module alex can add now. It is a modded squeezebox board. He describes it more at his forum. So, i'll be able to do all formats. Granted i am sure i will use the network 95% of the time. But it's nice to have the disc drive as a back-up.

His stand-alone dac will not have the same dac as the NWO, not as many chips i guess. I think they want the NWO to stand apart.

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Yeah, the tracking number is supposed to come today. Brent told me he got out all of his backlogged players except for one before his 2 month European trip. He's gone now. I'm fairly positive mine is in the mail. fingers-crossed icon here.

That means you'll get it before the weekend!!! :dance: I'm adding a pictur of the APL loge to make the waiting harder... ;)

main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=2459&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=618379947e9e778751320e8cad4edaad

230 V limited edition gear is rarely cheap...

I know, I just have a problem buying a CDP that will be used as a DAC all the time. I'm strange :sadcat:

It's a pain from Europe but most of Asia is 230v as well so some great deals can be had there.

I'm going to start ripping my entire collection as soon as I rebuild the server with enough space and backup to handle it all.

The thing that pushed me over the edge for the NWO is the new WiFi module alex can add now. It is a modded squeezebox board. He describes it more at his forum. So, i'll be able to do all formats. Granted i am sure i will use the network 95% of the time. But it's nice to have the disc drive as a back-up.

His stand-alone dac will not have the same dac as the NWO, not as many chips i guess. I think they want the NWO to stand apart.

I think there will be at least 3 dac's for sale and one is NWO spec. The NWO is also being replaced as TOTL with the obscenely expensive P-01/D-01 mod. As if they weren't expensive to begin with... :o

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I just wanted to post a quick update. After about 10 hours of use there is very little bass and the whole sound is rather thin. I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride for the first few days but I hate running in new gear!!! :rant: I'm going to let it cook overnight feeding one of my Stax amps and see if it is better in the morning.

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The bass deficiency is mostly gone now thanks to some running in on those massive output transformers and... ehhh... my mistake. It seems that the RCA/XLR switch doesn't work by turning one off in favor of the other so XLR cable was causing some trouble even with the BH turned off. This is what you get for not including an instructions manual which I wouldn't have read anyway... ::)

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I know it's OT, but since APL does this... Why is using multiple DAC chips such a big thing?

I always thought that the only effect of having more chips in parallel would be increasing the output voltage thereby reducing distortion by square root of two (~40%), possibly saving an amplification stage due to the increased voltage output. However, according to this thread it seems there's more to it than that:

Balanced or parallel DAC chips

With DAC chips having SNR specs all the way down to -132 dB I never thought you'd really need any further noise reduction, but I guess it's useful if an amp with a lot of gain pushes the noise floor up in the audible range. What am I missing? ???

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With DAC chips having SNR specs all the way down to -132 dB I never thought you'd really need any further noise reduction, but I guess it's useful if an amp with a lot of gain pushes the noise floor up in the audible range. What am I missing? ???

not all chips have this low SNR, and not all chips sound the same. Case in point, NOS current-output DACs, where paralleling to gain extra current is very common.

Also, check out the ecdesigns DACs, as well as the new Accuphase players to see cases where chips are "combined" to gain more resolution, using bit shift registers.

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I don't know about multiple DAC chips in parallel -- the only thing I've heard about is dual differential DAC chips -- so I wouldn't mind an explanation of this, neither.

well, that's simple. Apply the concept of monoblocks, or balanced drive to a DAC.

Here's some Accuphase marketing swag, note the section on MDSD... apply this concept to a non-oversampling DAC chips, and you have my little DAC project :)

http://www.accuphase.com/model/pdf/dp-700_e.pdf

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  • 4 weeks later...

An update is in order. The player has been sitting here useless for about a month now as it had started to distort and had very little bass output. APL wasn't much help as Alex is in Europe but I suspected the tube to be the culprit as the player was fine on day one. The tubes I ordered just came in and the player is playing just fine now. I must now receive punishment for the epic fail of not having spare tubes but I just don't care as the sound is sublime and that from a SRM-T1 driving the SR-007A :dance: The detail retrieval is impressive and small overdubs can be picked up with ease while never being intrusive. Bass is tight and controlled though the amp and can combo makes it less precise then the BH/SR-007 mk1 would be. Everything else is good but I need a lot more time to get to grips with the sound but first impressions are just that... impressive. ;D

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Now that I've had some more time with the player it's clear that this is a very impressive beast. The first thing to stand out is the detail that it pulls out of every silver disk I throw at it as well as the bass control. The sound on the whole is a bit laid back but can be very aggressive if that is called for... like... wait for it.... the SR-007. ;D I've been using my modded Stax SRM-T1 (all wiring replaced with soft silver and with WBT silver RCA sockets) with Toshiba tubes and all the wiring is DIY soft silver. The APL is running of an old step down transformer for now but I'll probably have a 100VA unit custom made and mount it on the back plate of the player. The fewer connectors, the better.

Since I haven't hooked it up to a speaker rig yet I won't go into much detail on the imaging but it works very well with the slightly larger then life soundstage of the SR-?. It's wide for headphones but also quite tall. It stretches from ear to ear in a very natural way with no gaps at all. This is largely due to the excelent transducers but they can't reproduce something that isn't there in the first place. Each instrument or over dub has its own space even if they are layered one on top of the other. I will have to try the Sigma Pro 404's soon... :P

Being a child of the digital age the harder sound of digital has never bothered me much and I've always accepted it as a side effect that would always be there. Most designer try to eliminate it by making the players warm but killing the HF response and making the whole sound spectrum muddy as hell. There are a few exceptions to this though such as some good NOS dac's and vintage, TOTL models like the Sony DAS-R1 I own. They all lack detail to some degree and the APL is the first player I've heard which combines the two with the most stunning HF response. There is no doubt in my mind that the transformer coupled tube output is the cause for this lovely natural sound so chalk up yet another win for ancient technology. :D

I also did some mods to one of my computers so that it could output S/PDIF via the built in sound codec. I wanted to see how the player would handle the absolutely worst I could throw at it via crappy MP3's as well as FLAC's. Way too many high end devices only sound good with those select few audiophile recordings and like crap with everything else. All in all the APL 3910 didn't disappoint and dug out as much info as the crap source allowed while never sounding harsh or cold.

More later in the week...

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