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Letters to the editor: Paying it forward

  • Nicolas P. writes:

    I write in relation to the observations of some of your readers on the pros and cons of WiFi versus wired. Because of the layout of my house and the headache that would be caused setting up a wired network I have no choice but to use WiFi.

    I use an Allo USBridge which feeds a Chord Mojo on my main system. The USBridge really allows the Mojo to shine. Because the Allo Sparky has no inbuilt WiFi, I have had to resort to using a dongle. Prior to this, I had been using an airport express connected via ethernet to the Sparky but with really poor results: dropouts, lost packets and a generally poor reception which meant that the USBridge would constantly crash.

    Now for the revelation. The WiFi dongle made a big difference with regards to the solidity of the connection but the sound was a little edgy and metallic sounding. One day I had an epiphany. Why not put an AudioQuest Jitterbug between the WiFi Dongle and the Sparky? Et voila! The sound became more organic sounding, there was more bass and the midrange opened up. I know that there might be an issue when streaming exceedingly high bitrate music as the Jitterbug clocks every to USB 2.0 speeds but for my needs, it works great. I have been able to upsample up to 384khz using Audirvana over UPnP… I don’t have any DSD to try.

    Peter D. writes:

    I have some HDMI products from Blustream that I totally recommend. I use a 2-way splitter that provides a coax digital out as well as the HDMI split which supports 4K as well. AU$129.

    I also use an HDMI extender from one room to another with no loss of quality at all. My second bedroom/TV room has a 2×4 HDMI matrix unit supplying Foxtel, PVR and Blu-ray to my TV which enables me to use an old Yamaha RXV3200 surround system for sound and I’m really happy with this. These are Australian products. Designed here, built in China.

    Cesar P. writes:

    Thanks for sharing the letter to the editor on Three Ways to Juice Your Chromecast Audio. I tried something similar I bought the ethernet to USB adapter from Amazon that was originally intended to juice the Fire devices.

    Mostly because the UGreen adapter was sold out at the time. I powered up with a power supply from Allo that I had sitting around. I was happy to see that these are available Stateside now through Amazon as well.

    I also route all this through an iFi Nano iOne DAC to really sharpen everything up.

    The change was huge! Immediately there was a crisp sound from the CCA something I had come to grips that just wouldn’t ever come in the price point of the CCA. Prior to this everything always sounded like it was rounded off. The drum hits are so precise now. Vocals sound almost unreal. The bass is really punchy too. I hear so much more clarity and reverb just goes on and on.

    Thanks for sharing I can’t stop trying to find new songs to hear through the Chromecast.

    Greg E. writes:

    Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your site. I’ve been following it for over two years- really since I’ve gotten into high-end audio. I may not always agree with some of your takes but I really respect your style, opinions, and the way you do comparisons when reviewing products. I hate when other reviewers talk about a product as if it’s the latest greatest thing without any mention of similar items or even more/less expensive items to justify if the new product is worth the price the company is asking. Plus you review items that aren’t “traditional”, including super integrated amps, all-in-one speakers, and so forth that I usually hear about first on your site. I wouldn’t tell you what to review because I enjoy seeing/reading about things that I never considered or would have thought about. You are truly the 21st-century audiophile. I really like the podcast and videos you’ve been posting lately as well – I always learn something or look at things with a new perspective – such as the latest video – you are dead on in saying digital audio is invisible and I do miss having a visual appeal.

    Well, that’s it – just wanted to say thanks for the work you are doing.

    Juan P. writes:

    In my opinion, DAPs are dead. I always found DAPs useless because: 1) it’s very inconvenient to carry another heavy and bulky gadget in your pocket besides the phone; 2) as you highlight, there are no streaming services available; 3) storage capacity is limited and similar to phones; 4) The so labelled “Hi-Res” music is, in most cases, a fraud as +95% merely are upsampled files from analogue tapes or 16-44.1 digital master recordings, not native 24-96/192 recordings, many blind benchmarks demonstrate that the 16-44.1 version of a Hi-res file is indistinguishable for +95% of people, 5) today there are phones that come with similar DACs as the DAPs and support for Hi-Res files for the same or less money.

    I foresee in the near future phones with up 1TB of storage, support for 24-192 and DSD and hi-end headphones with high sensitivity and likely internal or external DAC options. Further external files can easily and wirelessly be accessed via apps with DLNA support. Users can then select his/her preferred lossless streaming service provider and stream to the network streamer via Apple Airplay 2, Google Chromecast, DLNA and proprietary protocols. Within 5 years most streamers and power amplifiers will have moved inside the loudspeakers which will become the sole box we’ll see in our listening room. The KEF LS50W is an unstoppable trendsetter.

    Willam W. writes:

    If you’re a fan of the likes of Autechre, Squarepusher etc, you might like these guys (above):

    I prefer their live, unstructured stuff but it’s worthwhile giving their LPs a go. Jojo Mayer is a very technically skilled drummer and I feel bridges the gap between acoustic drumming and synthesized beats.

    Cheers from NZ.

    Ruud N. writes:

    As for tips from readers: searching for an interlink I stumbled upon this pen with a contact liquid:

    The effect is quite stunning. In my setup of poly/mojo (thanks for the reviews), valve amplifier and Magnepan 0.7’s the effect really is like window cleaning. Further extended bass and treble, more detail in the mids and far better separation between instruments. Wider and deeper soundstage. Less glaring (I know, the mojo barely has any), more involvement with music. The link is just a (Dutch) distributors link, not the manufacturer.

    To me, this tweak eliminates the itch to upgrade further from the poly/mojo or the EL34 valves. Powerful and delicate, just fine.

    A neighbours set of Auralic Femto, PS Audio DAC, valve amplifier and Sonus faber Liuto improved so dramatically after use of the liquid, we were both quite stunned with the result.

    A lot more involvement in music without changing equipment for 30 Euro. Good deal.

    I wish you all the best with your work and will keep on reading Darko.Audio. The LG V30 might well be the next purchase. Again, thanks for the review.

    Matt C. writes:

    Not a question…but just wanted to drop you a line to say I truly love the content and reviews, and even more so impressed by your impeccable taste in electronic music. Definitely, someone to trust when it comes to recommendations!

    One of my favourites from this year if you haven’t heard:

    Cheers, and keep up the great work!


    Victor D. writes:

    Re. Yosi Horikawa

    I knew we had something in common!

    I have been listening to Yosi for about a year, in particular, “Bubbles” which I use to surprise friends and clients. Next time I won’t be quiet about my eclectic tastes in music. I found him on Tidal while browsing.

    By the way, I never thanked you for the positive comments on the Sonos Connect Wi-Fi shut-off. Readers’ comments on things I like (watches, wine, music and cars) tend to skew to the negative so I tend to avoid them.

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    A short film about the Denafrips Terminator

    KORG’s Nu 1: MM/MC phono, ADC, DAC, Nutube in one box