Saturday, May 20, 2017

10 analog inputs!

My living room equipment rack now has 10 analog inputs, after my having piggy backed the 5 input dB 5 way selector (with Teflon jacks...the upgraded version) on top of the main selector I have been using, recently modified for zero load and zero pass resistance through the tape outputs which I use, the Aragon 24k, which itself has 6 inputs but I must use one to connect the second switch.

Ahh, preamps have never had enough inputs...and now for some time the "preamp" itself has been obsolete or something, though the impressive preamps nevertheless being built approach unimaginability in previous less high high end audio.

Having lots of analog inputs is freedom, just like having analog inputs at all.  It is freedom I cherish.  Digital connections come with policies, DRM, and hidden stuff like jitter and garbage.  While somewhat jitter prone, SPDIF and AES are at least free and open and I like them, but Analog is even better, Analog is free and pure.  Even when generated by digital devices like DVD-Audio players.

Anyway this finally enabled me to make a "permanent" connection of my two tuners to the input hub where the selected analog input gets converted to 24/96 digital by an amazing Lavry AD10.  Everything needs to either be digital or converted to digital to be used in my system, which is based on mind boggling DSP.

Somehow, I don't know, but it seems like liberating the analog signal from various disc players and reconverting that to 24/96 digital sounds better than using the raw digital, in every test I've ever run, and in complete contradiction of (reason?) established practice by virtually everyone else.

Anyway giving the tuners this super high quality AD conversion rather than the pedestrian 16/44 conversion through Sonos, clearly wakes them up, they are sounding fantastically better.  And now I notice finally the Jazz station I've been supporting for years has finally cleaned up the analog distortion they were adding to their signal in large amounts.  I'm loving FM now, more than ever though the 24/96 conversion.  I made numerous previous attempts to do this, btw, which ended in failure.  Back in earlier times, before my rack of last year, back when it was hard to get behind stuff to make even the most basic connections.  (And, btw, a preamp or selector switch amalgamation NEEDS a shelf all it's own, so the "permanent" connections can be constantly revised, as it seems they often are.)  Back then, earlier attempts resulted in motorboating sound from the tuner tuned to the classical station, and just plain distorted (even more) sound from the equally superior tuner tuned to the Jazz station (each connected to the better antennas for each).  But now, apparently with cleaner wiring and the ability to reach behind the tuners and properly adjust their variable outputs is making this work, finally.

I need to have whole house audio based on 24/96, with unlimited analog inputs, and access to libraries and streams (always, all commerical products put digital libraries and streams ahead of analog, at least Sonos grudgingly provides analog inputs, that's why I chose them and have stuck with them so far, but it's been clear for a decade that I need to make my own no-compromises system to do this, and nobody else does).

And yes I think a decent selector or preamp should have 10 unbalanced analog inputs, and at least 5 balanced inputs, balanced output, and simple switched polarity converter taking advantage of balanced output (and assuming the destination device has real balanced input).

There's never enough.  It's always the unconnected things you need to get connected, and the "reference" connected devices you've grown tired of.

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