ET3 and LP66S

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:58 pm

wynnytsky wrote:....

My favorite interconnects are the "Blue Jeans Cable LC-1". They have Taversoe heads on them that grab just hard enough that they can be inserted and removed w/o twisting. About 15 years ago I got monster cables that have a grip so hard that I damaged several units pushing them into position. I have some monoprice interconnects with the same monster grip. No thank you.

....
When I was doing research into building my own interconnect cables I decided to go with the wire that Blue Jeans Cable uses, the LC-1. I could not find one bad review. The only thing is that I really like locking RCA plugs. It puts zero strain on the connectors with putting them on and off, and you can make that connection super tight if you want. They sell the raw cable and it's very reasonably priced.

Here is the link with the DIY instruction guide if anybody is interested.

I really don't like the monoprice interconnects. I love their other stuff as they are generally good quality and VERY VERY cheap in price. Their interconnects sound pretty terrible and their rca plugs are too tight and can damage your equipment.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:42 pm

Coming soon.... Mark Levinson 360S dac.

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:12 pm

Well I must say right out of the box this Mark Levinson dac is a step up from the Adcom it replaced. I'll do a separate review of it later on, but attached is a pic. Pat
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ML 360S
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:21 pm

Looks really nice. Does it actually autodetect that it's an HDCD in there? I don't think I have ever seen that on a DAC before. Very nice, congrats. Looking forward to the review.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:18 am

Ya the display lights up HDCD if it detects one. I was playing the soundtrack to American Beauty by Thomas Newman. That's another one of those secretly hidden HDCD discs I have that has no indication that it's coded that way. The only problem I have w/ this dac is the previous owner sent me a PSAudio Radian power cord. It's extremely stiff and very thick. :x I'm forced to elevate the dac just so the power cord can clear under the unit. As some people may not be aware, some Mark Levinson products have their IEC cords plug in directly under the unit to the transformer. This eliminates the need to run additional lengths of cables within the unit and cuts down on any chance of electrical interference, so they say. What I need to do is find an original power cord from ML. When I have the chance I will call them. Oh this dac also can decode 24/96 so all I have to so is get the right USB to S/PDIF bridge. I'm thinkin' the Halide will do nicely. Pat

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:39 am

That's really nice. Although I love my CJ d/a2b DAC, I do feel envious about the 24/96 decoding and the bells and whistles of HDCD detection! :)

If you are looking for a cheap component elevation solution, you may want to check out my DIY Speaker Feet Coasters with Instructions topic. I started off using them for my speaker feet, but since have put them under many of my components as they look really nice (a darker color marble may look very nice under the DAC). They are easy to make and you can make about 18 coasters for about $5 total and they will elevate your components about 1/2 an inch which should be just enough.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:14 pm

I don't know why or how, but my Mark Levinson 360S dac is dead. The display won't light up and there is no sound. I can hear a click when I unplug it and plug it back in, but other than that, nothing. Also, the case is warm to the touch like it's in stand by mode. The owners manual says a fuse could be blown. So with surgical precision I opened it up. I found the two fuses next to the plug and put a volt meter to them. They are ok as far as I can tell. I talked w/ ML and they said it's going to need a check at their service center. They only have 5 official ML service centers. So I spoke with the one in Austin. They confirmed the same thing. There's a $99 diagnostic fee no matter what, but they will apply that to any repair. Also, it probably needs a firmware upgrade. I will be honest w/ y'all, this dac despite it's complexity and high quality is not what I expected. After many hrs of play it has yet to impress me. I thought it would considering it's high cost and build quality. I guess this is one of those times when a certain component isn't going to work the way you thought it would w/ certain c-j equipment. Many reviews of this dac said it had the most analog or vinyl sound of any dac. So with the c-j gear I have maybe it's too much. Anybody have any thoughts :?:

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:18 pm

On another note my old cable box croaked. It was during a storm so I think a surge got it either through the wall or cable. Luckily I had the main power off to the rest of the system & TV or I might have lost a piece or two. I now have a really small cable box and it's so much better both in terms of weight and size. Pat

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Sorry to hear about the loss (the dac, cable box not so much :) ). You mentioned you had a power surge, is this when the dac gave out on you as well? Do you use any power conditioning/surge protection? If you do, some of them come with a warranty to protect your equipment. You can perhaps give them a call and say you had damage to your equipment during a storm if that is indeed what may have occurred.

As for recommendations on dacs, there are certainly many to choose. CJ's new DAC is usb only, so it's not really for using with a transport. You can find some of the older CJ dacs on ebay or audiogon on occasion. The only downside to that is that it not compatible with higher than CD standards (so no SACD, HD tracks, or HDCD detection, although it will play hdcd's fine).

Let us know what happens.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:20 pm

Naw the cable box died two months ago, the dac just the other day. What I'm thinkin' now is to go ahead & get the Oppo 105 and have one universal do everything player. This will clear away three devices. But this ML dac is worthless dead considering how much I paid for it. A factory 360S is worth well over $3K. If it was an upgraded 36 or 36S it would be worth less than that. My Brickwall 8 filter is fine and it never tripped during the storm which is why I think the cable box got scrambled through the coax cable. I will get the dac fixed b/c it's worth it to do so. I drug out the box today and I'll send it out tomorrow. I expect it will take two weeks to fix allowing for half of that time in a UPS truck. Pat

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:00 pm

Well it took much longer to fix my ML dac than expected. Pyramid Audio in Austin didn't tell me they were already 4-5 weeks back logged when I sent it. Anyway, I spoke w/ them yesterday and it's fixed. It did have a blown fuse, but the interesting thing is they replaced 78 caps. Yes that's a total of 78 caps! Most needed replacing b/c they were not within specs, some the power surge got. I didn't know it had that many caps, but then again it's a complicated dac with dedicated boards for each channel. Total costs + return shipping is $615. In addition to the caps, they cleaned some corrosion, new fuses, and a firmware update too. I'll get a full report when the unit is returned to me. The tech said that he cannot say if the sound will be better or not. I guess we'll have to see. Pat

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:16 pm

Considering it was 78 caps they replaced, shipping, upgrading firmware, that's actually not too bad. Replacing that many caps is a lot of soldering and testing connections. Let us know how it turns out.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:45 pm

Well I got the dac back on Wed the 25th. I set it up on Thu and let it chew on a disc for a few hrs before I listened. Sounds good. Here's what their report says:
Replaced 78 problematic caps. Resoldered the main power transformer. Updated software to v1.06. This allows you to hold the source button to view bit rate and oversampling. Replaced fuses. While it was away, I bought a new power cord for it w/ a right angle plug that won't stress the outlet. The one I was provided w/ by the previous owner really pulled on the unit b/c it was too stiff, exited the dac from the side, & was only 1M in length. It was challenging to get it to work the way I wanted it to. My newer cord many not have the quality that PSAudio has, but it's flexible, longer, & exits out the back. I also positioned the dac closer to the pre so I can use 0.6M interconnects. Finally I bought another quad set of Black Diamond Racing LM discs to elevate the dac just enough to clear the power cord and to isolate the unit on the composite discs. I figure if I tweak this thing enough I won't be tempted to resale it. I mean c'mon! I spent a fortune on it and I want to keep it. I figure more time to burn in the new parts will help, but for now I've found new enthusiasm for it. I've got some discs to spin. Later y'all! Pat 8-)

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:56 pm

I'm test driving some now toys this week.
1. PSAudio Powerbase
2. Nordost Heimdall interconnects
3. Morrow Audio MA2 interconnects
I bought all these brand new this week and last week. I will give them some serious listening as they break in and file a report soon. Pat

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:51 pm

Attached below is a pic of the PSAudio powerbase under my SACD player. It's perfect for that player and is just the right dimensions. I tell ya, this thing is much heavier than it looks. I have no idea how long the break in period is, but since it just stays on all the time, I doubt it will take very long. You'll notice that there is plastic between the two. They recommend leaving it on for now b/c if you need to return it, your gear can easily scratch the glossy black top. So for now I will leave it on during the warranty period. I bought all this stuff from Music Direct here in Chicago.

In other news, I connected the Morrow MA2 cables from the SACD player to the pre and I must say that I'm pleased with the sound. It's nice full n' rich and extends the bass well. And the price was right too. The Nordost Heimdall cables are between the pre and the amp. They're the first version of these cables that they used to sell, but they are brand new. I think Nordost re-issued them and they're using the same RCAs as the ones used on the Red Dawn LS. Maybe they found a huge spool of this wire in the warehouse and decided to put em' back for sale. I don't know, but the price was right and I like the sound.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:53 am

Looks really nice. Definitely some nice additions to the system.

I don't blame you for wanting to keep the protective plastic on the top cover. It seems that surface scratches on the top of units seems to be very common. I have started to use coasters underneath all my equipment feet to prevent scratches. I find some manufactures do a really good job of putting ample rubber padding on equipment feet, others not so much. You may want to check out my DIY marble coaster feet at this link as they could potentially prevent damage. I also find that the extra separation between components is good for ventilation and heat exchange.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Coming soon: Oppo BDP-105. On order & should be in a few days.

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:00 am

eagle6014 wrote:Coming soon: Oppo BDP-105. On order & should be in a few days.
Awesome. I really think Oppo makes the best blu-ray players. Any thoughts about the 105 vs the 105 "Darbee" edition? I'm usually not a fan of any "video" manipulation, vivid modes, color modes, etc.... If it was me I probably would go with the regular edition to save some money but I find that Oppo only incorporates the best technology so this is the first time I would consider any video processing that significantly alters the picture.
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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by eagle6014 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:23 pm

Yeah I was thinkin' about the Darbee edition for either the 103 or 105, I went w/ the reg version of the 105. From everything I read the 105 has the best audio and that's what I've wanted for a long time. Of course today I saw on AGon both a used 95 and 105 which I could have considered. But they were both posted today after I already placed my order at Music Direct. After I recover from this acquisition, it will be time to look at that power conditioner situation again. I really want to beef that up. But that's another area for another time. It's getting about time for another clearance sale here. The ML dac is purring right along, but my digital sources are over lapping each other and getting redundant. So it will have to go. It's the least technological item in my inventory. Pat

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Re: ET3 and LP66S

Post by admin » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:56 pm

With the 105, I don't really think you need a DAC as it's the DAC in the 105 that makes it so expensive. Every review I have read about the 105 had nothing but positives to say.

Awesome purchase. I'm envious. :)
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