Negatron II

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I hooked up my IFI Signature DAC to my cxa5100 via balanced to see how it sounded. It sounded pretty good in some areas but something just did not seem right...so I ran Roon through Airplay to compare and was shocked by the differences. The IFI Signature DAC was very wooly on the bass when compared to the CXA5100 via Airplay. The CXA5100 was also much more revealing on vocals on up too. The cxa 5100 has amuch more 3d sound too.

For a 6 year old AVP it smoked the IFI Signature on my setup. I had thought that streaming ROON via Airplay would sound worse than a stand-alone DAC, but was shocked to find out it still kicks butt!
That is interesting, I have heard a lot of good things about Yamaha and that confirms it. Are you leaving it as is or getting another DAC?
 

NBPK402

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That is interesting, I have heard a lot of good things about Yamaha and that confirms it. Are you leaving it as is or getting another DAC?
I submitted a support to IFI to see if this DAC is defective. If it is not I will just use it with the IFI Signature amp qith my 6xx cans. I am planning on getting a new preamp in the fall...if I have enough $$$.
 
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I submitted a support to IFI to see if this DAC is defective. If it is not I will just use it with the IFI Signature amp qith my 6xx cans. I am planning on getting a new preamp in the fall...if I have enough $$$.
An A/V preamp or a stereo preamp? I know that you have a trade off with an A/V preamp when it comes to music and am thinking about adding a dedicated 2 channel preamp with HT bypass.
 

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An A/V preamp or a stereo preamp? I know that you have a trade off with an A/V preamp when it comes to music and am thinking about adding a dedicated 2 channel preamp with HT bypass.
I need to get a new AVP, and I am also planning on looking for a 2 channel preamp with HT bypass.
 

ddude003

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium TubePre (2 channel+sub)
Main Amp
McIntosh MC152 SS Amp (2 channel)
Additional Amp
Yamaha RX-A850 Pro (the other 5 channels lol)
Computer Audio
MacBook Pro, Custom i7 7700k De-lid build, Audirvana+, LiquidSonics, SoX
DAC
Chord Electronics Ltd. Qutest
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
LG Blue-Ray
Front Speakers
Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion C2
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4 (yes, another set of these)
Subwoofers
Martin Logan Dynamo 700
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cifte 12AU7 NOS & Genalex Gold Lion Tubes in Pre
Video Display Device
Sony TV KDL50W700B
Remote Control
PrimaLuna & Lumin iApp
Streaming Equipment
Lumin U1 Mini Streamer/Transport
Streaming Subscriptions
Roon & QoBuz Studio Premier, Amazon Prime & Netflix
Other Equipment
ThrowRug, SaddleBlankets, WideBand & BaseTraps...
I hooked up my IFI Signature DAC to my cxa5100 via balanced to see how it sounded. It sounded pretty good in some areas but something just did not seem right...so I ran Roon through Airplay to compare and was shocked by the differences. The IFI Signature DAC was very wooly on the bass when compared to the CXA5100 via Airplay. The CXA5100 was also much more revealing on vocals on up too. The cxa 5100 has amuch more 3d sound too.

For a 6 year old AVP it smoked the IFI Signature on my setup. I had thought that streaming ROON via Airplay would sound worse than a stand-alone DAC, but was shocked to find out it still kicks butt!
I don't doubt that a proper implementation of a ESS SABRE™ Ultra DAC ES9016S, in the CXA5100, might sound a bit better than the Burr Brown chip in the IFI... Horses for courses... And you are comparing two devices with a ~10x price difference? I also think Airplay may be doing some funky conversions...
 
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NBPK402

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I don't doubt that a proper implementation of a ESS SABRE™ Ultra DAC ES9016S, in the CXA5100, might sound a bit better than the Burr Brown chip in the IFI... Horses for courses... And you are comparing two devices with a ~10x price difference? I also think Airplay may be doing some funky conversions...
My reasoning is digital tech keeps changing and getting cheaper. I would have thought that just going to direct via balanced to a new DAC would be a good improvement over using Airplay, but apparently not.
 

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Finally a little progress...
5 6" thick acoustic panels (4" of Roxul) for the front (black burlap)
4 6" thick acoustic panels same as the front, but in natural burlap
6" dimmable LED lights for the living room controlled via Insteon wall switches
1 new wine stave chandelier with 8 dimmable LEDs, and mone large LED. This is controlled via 2 Insteon wall switches.

Front is a mockup to see 8f we have enough material for the valance. The center will have another layer sewed tonit to allow it to come down lower. I have Peacock blue tiebacks that will be used for 2 purposes...one is for holding the valance to the framework, and the other is to tie back the curtains to some black steel brackets behind the tv on the wall.
Lastly is my 3 IcePower 50asx btl amps sitting on the left speaker awaiting final wiring. I will have 1 Icepower per front 3 speakers and 1 AmpCamp per speaker. The amps will only be used for the mids and I will change the wires depending on if I want to do serious listening or casual. The 2 woofers in each speaker will be individually powered by a IcePower 125asxbtl amp per driver. All the baas drivers will be in the largeamp case on the bottom left of the rack.

PS for Sonnie, i made the panels and the chandelier 100% myself, but I had the chdelier and light switches installed by an electrician. IcePower amps aassembled by me and a friend is either going to teach me to solder or solder for me. ;)

I had an electrician install the height channel lighring wiring from the switch to the first lamp using a product that is used for speakers...it is made by Sewell and is called ghost wire. It is a 16 gauge copper ribbon wire that has an adheasive on one side and is attached to the wall and has the other side with a textured finish which we painted. We also used it for the chandelier since originally there were 2 lamps and we now wanted one chdelier centered and have the 8 outer LEDs powered with one switch and the large center LED powered with another switch. I think it worked out well...with the only hard part being the adapter converting the flat wire to a light switch wire. With hindsite I think we could have stripped it back more and then bent the wire to a conventual wire shape and heat shrinked it.
 

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NBPK402

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Today I finished my 2 new high frequency amps (3rd one hopefully tomorrow) for the k402MEHs...EXCEPT for the LED for displaying status. This part might rake a while as I need to test out a dc stepdown converter tonsee if it will do what I want. What Inam planning on doing is running it off of the IcePower aux power supply which is 24v unregulated. The downconverter is supposed to be able to do this "
Maintain stable output voltage and limit the output current over a range of input voltages. Great for general voltage conversion, battery charging, powering raw LEDs, automotive electronics, battery conversions, micro-controllers, and electronic projects.
Input Voltage: 8-36V DC, Output Voltage: 1.25-32V DC, Max Load: 75W/5A Peak, 50W/3.5A Sustained (whichever is lower, amps or watts)
Conversion Efficiency: Up to 95%, (our test result: 24V->12V1A: 92.7%)
Dimensions: 51x26.3x14mm, XL4015 IC, 180KHz Switching Frequency
Input must be at least 1V more than the output voltage. Applying reverse polarity voltage to the input or output may damage the module. Current limiting function requires at least 5.6V input.

This module combines the high efficiency XMLSEMI XL4015 DC-DC buck converter IC with a TI LM358 Op-Amp for stable current regulation. Now I am not sure what they mean by a capacitive load...would the down converter be one? I am only going to be powering 1 LED by each downcoverter and a resistor.

Yesterday rewired 2 of the 3 MEHs for 1 amp per woofer instead of 1 for 2 woofers. Because of the impedance of the woofers I was only capable of 125w per woofer, and now I will have 450w per woofer...pure overkill, but should help for dynamics.

I purchased the cases off Ebay, and then had a friend machine it so I could complete the amps. I then finished off the amps. I know the work is not as nice as what others here have done, but I am still a beginner in DIY, and due to my health I cannot do some work and must farm it out. To do the soldering I used a mask, and I hope that is enough to protect my lungs.

Next I will be completing the rewire of the AmpCamp amps, and starting to assemble the mini MEHS, and finish the valance for the curtains.
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NBPK402

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I now have all 3 amps with EMI filters installed, and will start on the LEDs as soon as Inreceive my DC variable output box. I bought this so I can test the convertor boards to see how they work before I install them. Last time I installed a device that converted 25v DC to 12v I blew a amp board, so this time I hope to be able to donit properly. This will also allow me to wire up some LEDs to see how rhey work with different size resistors... I want to match the brightness of the AmpCamp Mono LEDs.

In the pics you can see that I have tidied up the wiring a little more and hot glued some of the wirong plus the TDK EMI filters. I do not know itpf they will make any difference as I did not have a EMI problem in the bigger amp, but I had a bunch laying around from the 90s when I was testing out all the mods at the time. Now I am older and just want itnto sound as good as I can for a reasonable amount of cash. Hopefully next week I will get the big amp case holes drilled and tapped for the 125asxBTL amp module
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s (I have put the 50asxbtl amps in the new cases and I will be putting 3 new 125asxbtl amp in their place).
 

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This is the cable I am using foe the XLRs foe the horn amps... I love the fact that it has a cloth covering and is Soooooo flexible, and not expensive either. I got them off of Amazon, but they appear to be out of stock. I love them so much I emailed the Manufacturer and asked if I can get shorter XLR lengths or speaker wires withnthe cloth covering!
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Yesterday I cut all the kerf for 2 speakers (that was a lot of work! 96 cuts for 1 speaker!), and today I finiahed the first amp 100%. I did the best I could and it works...so I am happy. I will work on the other amps and hopefully get them done next week. Once that is done I will work on the K402 MEH Minis. You can see the amp on top of its speaker and also my acoustic panels(one is flush with the right hand side and is left there until Inlisten seriously at night. Then I move it out so it is on the right side against the speaker angled to where it is sorta like a horn.). The left hand side has 2 Acoustic panels and they stay like that...in front of the curtains.
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NBPK402

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Yesterday I worked on my lighting, which I have been wanting to get setup for remote controlling for quite a while. I am using Insteon lights and outlets with a ISY994I hub. I used this before in my last home, but I was using CQC Automation Software to control it. This time I decided to try just a android app for the ISY and the eeb interface. I found it very easy to set up scenes and set them up with my Insteon scene switches.

I made folders and copied my switches and outlets to them..one example is I made a folder called Home Theater and then copied all the switches I wanted to it. Next I created a scene and selected all the devices from the folder to be in the scene, including the switch button (for when I want to use a wall scene controller). I then did this for each scene controller and then showed my wife how to use it. I even made one that turns off all the lights in the house at night.

Now the downside is that I do not have the custom screens or custom layouts, but that is ok for me for now. I like that I can turn on only my stereo amps or turn on or off my other amps remotely now too.
 
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A little update... i have now completed the wiring of 1 125asx2 BTL module per woofer, and ran the first REW for my friend Chris to tune. The old REW was good, but the new readings look great!. First look wss about 15db higher at 20hz, and that was after lowering the bass gain by 8db. One thing it also did was mess up how flat it was before, and now it has a bug bump around 100Hz...as well as other discrepencies up to 1k. Now to be honest I have another thing I did for this tune besides the amp. The other thing was I refined my measurement technique. When we originally tuned them I just laid a 2x4 piece of Roxul in the gap between the horn and the cabinet on each side of the cabinet, put onempiece of Roxul on the floor, and 1 after my DIY Mic stand. This time I used my 6" deep acoustic panels and made sort of a box. I wanted to have it be a complete box, but my other panels are mounted up high on the walls. In the future I hope to have 1 or 2 more panels to complete the box better. I also used some stick on felt to to help stop the reflections. I would have used more, but I ran short. I was not perfectly square when I took the picture so it looks like it is not centered on the horn throat, but it is.
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NBPK402

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I reran REW today, and this is what it looks like after 8db gain cut on the bass. I have that huge peak at around 100hz still, and a big dip 700hz.
Does anyone know why this would happen when all I did was run a duplicate amp to each woofer instead of connecting both speakers to one mono amp? The bass is much better, and if I can retune it without messing up the phase growth it would be perfect IMO. I also do not know why REW is not going below 23hz, when it is set to go to 10hz. Just to be safe I have another mic on the way to see if it slipped out of calibration somehow in the last 6 years of use.
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Update... today a friend came over and worked his magic on outpr valance, and I am very happy with the way it came out.. Next I will lowerntye right channel spotlight to match the left and get some more black felt for right above the light.
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