SOtM Trifecta

My front end for the past couple of years has been the Sonore ultraRendu > SingXer F1.

Last weekend a friend came over with his DCS Network Bridge. This had a tad more resolution and a tad more dynamics - as well as greatly simplifying the spaghetti of cables & LT3045s I have cleaning the DC. All for £3,250.

This got me thinking, the thoughts including:

  1. Is it really worth an additional £2k?
  2. What about the Auralic G1 or G2?
  3. Which effects the SQ more, the F1 or the uR? and
  4. How good is the SOtM Trifecta?

So, I have bought the SOtM Trifecta with a 30 day money back guarantee, this comprises:

  • SOtM 200ultra 12V with clock input;
  • SOtM sps500 PSU; and
  • SOtM txUSB 12V with clock input; and
  • DC Y cable - copper, they will send me the silver when it is in.

Will this simplify my system? NOT AT ALL. These three boxes will replace just my ultraRendu!

Reports to follow.

M

Original Post
Timo posted:

Mr Underhill, I look forward to your reports — how the Trifecta compares to your ultraRendu, and I am also rather curious as to whether the txUSB makes a big difference.

Happy Listening! 

Hi Timo,

Thanks, I am curious too.

Splitting these functions across multiple boxes is not advantageous I believe.

I have read that the txUSB only comes alive in the context of the other SOtM boxes, but my plan is to:

1. Run the full SOtM setup for 300 hours;
2. When it appears run in then review it before swapping parts out to hear what the effect is, compare and contrast; finally
3. Compare the SOtM to the uR and the DCS (hopefully).

In some threads people have sent switches to SOtM to get the matching ultra clock fitted, to great effect ....I will think about that.

M

Mr Underhill posted:

My front end for the past couple of years has been the Sonore ultraRendu > SingXer F1.

Last weekend a friend came over with his DCS Network Bridge. This had a tad more resolution and a tad more dynamics - as well as greatly simplifying the spaghetti of cables & LT3045s I have cleaning the DC. All for £3,250.

This got me thinking, the thoughts including:

  1. Is it really worth an additional £2k?
  2. What about the Auralic G1 or G2?
  3. Which effects the SQ more, the F1 or the uR? and
  4. How good is the SOtM Trifecta?

So, I have bought the SOtM Trifecta with a 30 day money back guarantee, this comprises:

  • SOtM 200ultra 12V with clock input;
  • SOtM sps500 PSU; and
  • SOtM txUSB 12V with clock input; and
  • DC Y cable - copper, they will send me the silver when it is in.

Will this simplify my system? NOT AT ALL. These three boxes will replace just my ultraRendu!

Reports to follow.

M

I am looking forward to read your findings! Perhaps your box count is a bit too pessimistic, the three boxes will finally replace both the ultraRendu and its PSU! Still, after the 200ultra you will still have the SingXer F1. I do not have any experience with this device but I would expect this last link of the chain to have a more definite impact on the signal that comes out of your DAC than what is upstream of it. If you are looking for ways of simplifying your system perhaps a  DigiOne Signature with a very good power supply on the clean side could be a good approach?

nbpf posted:

Perhaps your box count is a bit too pessimistic, the three boxes will finally replace both the ultraRendu and its PSU!

Unfortunately not, that PSU is a low noise R-Core 6A, via 2xLT3045, and is used to power the SingXer-F1.

I have tried other DDCs, for instance the Matrix. Initially I thought it was better, but over a couple of weeks realised it was a false promise. Some prefer the SingXer SU1, but that comes with a poor onboard PSU.

I also have ANOTHER R-Core that I use to power my Iso Regen, that I am using between the SMS200ultra and the txUSB. PSUs everywhere!

M

Emre posted:

so no nd555?  it can be a good solution to use with a chord dac maybe a new tt2

Funnily enough that was why I was, and am, considering the DCS NB. This has the dual spdifs and so can fully utilise a Chord DAC, or M-Scalar.

ND555? More than I am willing to spend, but very happy to lend my ears to anyone who buys one!

M

For those with PSU's everywhere, one option could be the new version of hdplex's 200w 4 rail LPS. It's flexible as 2 rails are adjustable. I'm thinking of one of these to power my Lumin, Qutest and switch (lumin already on its own LPS but Qutest and switch are on supplied smps or ifi ipower). 

Mr Underhill posted:
nbpf posted:

Perhaps your box count is a bit too pessimistic, the three boxes will finally replace both the ultraRendu and its PSU!

Unfortunately not, that PSU is a low noise R-Core 6A, via 2xLT3045, and is used to power the SingXer-F1.

I have tried other DDCs, for instance the Matrix. Initially I thought it was better, but over a couple of weeks realised it was a false promise. Some prefer the SingXer SU1, but that comes with a poor onboard PSU.

I also have ANOTHER R-Core that I use to power my Iso Regen, that I am using between the SMS200ultra and the txUSB. PSUs everywhere!

M

I see, the curse of PSU proliferation!

I have so far established that, in my system and with my hearing, I cannot perceive improvements in sound quality if I shut down the UPnP server of the RPi hosting the DigiOne and detach its USB drive. Thus I am still on a two boxes solution: the RPi + DigiOne combo and its PSU. I guess replacing the DigiOne with a DigiOne Signature would be a nice upgrade. I would need one more PSU to power the clean side, of course. To this end, a LPS-1.2 might ve a valuable investment.    

The dCS seems a very meaningful design and a capable design but, as always with these kind of solutions, one is at the mercy of the manufacturer's software. In most cases, this is based on obsolete open source software and the pace at which errors are fixed is very slow. It would be interesting to see how the dCS compares to the Signature sound quality wise.

nbpf posted:

I see, the curse of PSU proliferation!

I have so far established that, in my system and with my hearing, I cannot perceive improvements in sound quality if I shut down the UPnP server of the RPi hosting the DigiOne and detach its USB drive. Thus I am still on a two boxes solution: the RPi + DigiOne combo and its PSU. I guess replacing the DigiOne with a DigiOne Signature would be a nice upgrade. I would need one more PSU to power the clean side, of course. To this end, a LPS-1.2 might ve a valuable investment.    

The dCS seems a very meaningful design and a capable design but, as always with these kind of solutions, one is at the mercy of the manufacturer's software. In most cases, this is based on obsolete open source software and the pace at which errors are fixed is very slow. It would be interesting to see how the dCS compares to the Signature sound quality wise.

I have a fw RPi3s hanging around, including one with the DigiOne, I think, so at the end I will be doing a threeway: SOtM Tf vs uR vs DCS (If I can persuade my friend to bring his back.)

Well, three days in, and I have been listening.

It was immediately apparent that the tonal signature of the uR is rather brighter than the SOtM. The SOtM has more meat on the bone, and I am aware of greater resonance.

The bass lines on the uR are more obvious, but the SOtM goes deeper.

Initially the SOtM was throwing out a few zingers on vocals, this has been reducing over time.

Last night we were listening to Les Miserables, 10th Anniversary. I was immediately aware of the emotions that the singers were placing into their singing. As my wife entered the room she didn't say anything but she sang a phrase picking up the anger and dismissiveness of Colm Wilkinson. As the music moved into complex passages I was able to follow the sung overlapping interplay with far greater ease. The soundstage was more 3D, with front to back positioning slightly more pronounced.

There is more work for me to do setting up the SOtM gear. I have not: plumbed these units into my earthing loom; ensured I am using the right USB cables from 200 ultra > Iso Regen > txUSB; used any anti-vibration treatments under the units.

Burning in nicely.

M

nbpf posted:

Do ultraRendu and sMS-200ultra both rely on MPD as a replay engine or do they use different programs? This could explain some of the differences you noticed.

Hi NBPF,

They can, but I used LMS for the uR and I am burning in the sms200ultra using the same. With the uR I found the differences were small, but I did prefer LMS overall. Once the SOtM stack is burned in I will ring the changes.

M

In preparation for the full comparisons - my digital setup:

I am using the AQ Pearls to split the +ve and -ve Power over Ethernet (PoE) to filter the DC power which powers the SingXer, which I have found gives the biggest bang for buck, by far.

The Current SOtM chain is:

Backend
StarTech 4x512GB USB [R-Core LPSU PoE Ibra]> USB3 Hub [R-Core LPSU PoE Ibra] > Audiostore Prestige 2 [SBooster LPSU] > FMC [LPSU] > Cisco 2960 Switch
Frontend
Netgear Switch [9v LPSU] (BJC CAT6 >> EMO 70HD >> Audioquest Cinnamon CAT7) > SOtM sms200 ultra [SOtM sps500 5A 12 v via PoE Ibra] (Matrix USB) > Iso Regen [R-Core DC30W 2A LPSU >> 7V2 1A LT3045 >> PoE Ibra >>5V 0.5A LT3045] > SOtM txUSB ultra [SOtM sps500 5A 12 v via PoE Ibra] (SOtM USB) > IFI Idefender [No power] > VBus2 > IFI Mercury 3.0 > Adapter > USB B power injector [R-Core 8V 6A LPSU >> DC 3.1 PoE Ibra >> 5V 0.5A LT3045] > IFI iPurifier 2 > SingXer F1

M

Listening last night a couple of albums really stood out to me:

No Frontiers - Mary Black
This CD rip has always been a bit 'meh' via the uR. My memories of it go back to the early '90s where my then dealer, in Crystal Palace - long since defunct unfortunately, played it constantly. It is great. Via the uR I MUCH preferred my rip of her live Dublin concert. Via the SOtM is has regained its life and vibrancy, rather than playing as a pretty dead studio album. The Dublin performance is still great, but no step up on where it was, just tonally different.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters & Old Friends
BOTW has been a problematic album on my system. It is an early CD and pretty poor quality. The sibilance on El Condor Pasa was always marked, and getting it under control was a test that I finally passed using the uR - although not completely to my satisfaction. The SOtM stack handles it about as well as the uR. What REALLY struck me was how much better the Old Friends box set rips are. These are better mastered, but through the SOtM the difference is MUCH greater.

M

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