Letters to the editor – Week #12, 2021

  • Tomas writes…

    Hi John!

    Fairly new to this world of hifi but so so glad I joined! I love what you and your team do – absolutely fantastic. I’m not entirely sure if you have answered or covered this before (if so, sorry for asking!) but I found the video you did about Spoti-PI to be brilliant. Never used a Raspberry Pi before but looking to buy one after seeing your video. As a Tidal connect endpoint, is this something you have tried and got working? I did find some discussions online but seems to be a few problems getting this to work properly.

    Hope my Norwegian-English made sense! hah. Thanks again John, love your content.


    Me: I tried to get it to work when it was first announced but for whatever reason, it wouldn’t. I am waiting on someone with proper Linux expertise to fold it into a well-known distribution like Ropieee, Moode or Volumio.

    Chris writes…

    Hi John,

    Thanks for what you do. In particular, thanks for continuing to do a great job of straddling the objective and subjective side of our shared hobby.

    This weekend I was loaned something I’m (still) highly skeptical of – A Chord/English Electric “8Switch”.

    I’m using a Roon Nucleus (Qobuz and local files), Oppo-203 as my endpoint feeding a Schiit Yggy A2 via coax SPDIF out to a Parasound JC2/JC5 combo. Speakers are Focal Sopra 2’s.

    I wasn’t expecting any difference vs. a 5 port Netgear switch w/an iFi iPower 5v wall-wart. I was wrong. To my ears, the Chord/EE solution is better – more space (depth), better rhythm, better “tonal color” to use your descriptive style.

    My brain says the switch shouldn’t matter. It does. I’m not sure why, but perhaps it relates to issues similar to what Nuno Vitorino explained in your 2018 interview. Power supply noise, better clock, shielding. Who knows?

    Anyway, cheers. Thanks for your content and for keeping me curious to try new things.

    Kez writes…

    Hey John

    Just wanted to recommend the album Konstellaatio by Mika Vainio. Like your Monolake recommendation, I think it’s a great ambient/noise genre selection for audiophile systems. Thanks for the content, but especially for the music.

    Diluk writes…

    Really enjoyed your video re. Sonos Five and KEF LSX – agree that usability is more important than sound quality. The Sonos one pair in our dining room gets the most use in our household, far more than the 5 figure Roon based system in my basement! Big fan of Sonos.

    Was in Berlin last week, felt like a bit of a ghost town but still enjoyed museums and galleries and takeaway food (I live in a wine village in Baden Württemberg)

    Stay safe!

    Me: Careful now! I didn’t say usability was more important. I said it was sometimes as important. Glad you enjoyed the video though. And Berlin!

    Mark writes…

    Dear John, I have been a union electrician for 40 years,15 years as an electrical inspector for the city of Chicago I can tell you that the feed to your electrical panel, whether it”s a 100 or 200 amp service is fed by cheap aluminum tri-plex cable.. Your branch circuits from your panel that feed the receptacles in your home is thhn or thwn copper either #14 or # 12 gauge wire. How can you say that a power cable can make a difference? It is all snake oil. I would love for you to address this in one of your videos. Using an isolation transformer can actually add noise to your audio system. I do enjoy watching your videos.

    Me: Glad you enjoy the video, Mark. However, ‘Snake Oil’ is a serious accusation. It’s essentially an accusation of fraud on behalf of the manufacturer. Who is committing fraud — and do you have proof? As an engineer, you might find this white paper on power an interesting read.

    Written by John Darko

    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

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