Sitting Taiko SGM extreme with Wadax Atlantis Server

Taiko Audio

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Hi Emile (I guess),

Roon recognize my DAC as Amanero Technology USB Driver 1.0.62. It is a WASAPI driver. Guess this is not the best driver?

There is scope to extract more but as you probably have been using the same driver on the Atlantis it's not that relevant for your results.
 
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Huy Hoang

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Jan 5, 2019
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I didn't have the chance to try TAS, the in-house software from Taiko. I'm a heavy Roon user and I misunderstood the TAS as a pure local file player and didn't realize it can integrate Qobuz and Tidal. Pity I didn't try it before I returned the Taiko. I read quite some comments that the TAS sounds better than Roon.

I do believe it is true, though I didn't believe it for a long time that an app can bring SQ differences. This recent conviction came from the use of Auralic Aries G 2.1.

I always likes a transporter with a screen which give me a better feeling when looking at the cover of the record I'm playing. That's the reason I wanted an Aries in the first place. I planned to use it as a renderer to Wadax core, without expecting it can improve the SQ.

When I replaced M5 by Auralic Aries, there was no good or bad surprise. They just sounded similar to my ears. Just the graphic gives me a good pleasure in playing the streaming musics.

However, after a few days of Roon, I randomly opened up the DS software developed by Auralic, not only using it to set up the unit but also using it as the player. I immediately noticed the improvements it brought to the Roon playback. The DS+Auralic gives a quite analog sound, fuller bodied, quite involving. I cannot say it easily beats Wadax+Auralic or even Wadax standalone but it comes to a similar level. I can live with a single Auralic with no complaints. It misses a bit of details and scale compared to Wadax (both separate and standalone) but the dark and analog sound it brings to the playback kinda compensates what is lost.

I do appreciate the Auralic Aries G2.1 when it is used with DS apps. This also "convinces" me that if I tried TAS on Taiko, it should have brought the performances of those combos above into a higher leve. By all means, Roon is designed to work with a lot of platforms while DS or TAS are specialized and customzied to their brands.

I heard from Edward Hsu of Taiko that the XDMS will be soon available on SGME. I belive that'll bring new improvements.
Hi Shawn, it will be a big mistake when you missed to try TAS. To my ear, the sound difference between TAS and Roon is too much far in term of harmonic refinement, density and nuance beauty.
 

skids929

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Dec 31, 2020
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I am using Vinyl, CD and streaming sources. Since this thread is about the streaming, here's the list of gears I'm using/experiencing:

Server: Wadax Atlantis Server, Taiko SGM Extreme
Renderer/NAA: Bricasti M5
Digital transporter: Auralic Aries G2.1
DAC: Metronome Kalista
Switcher: Melco S100+local DIY, Melco fed by a linear power supply
Net cable: Voodoo, Audio Quest Diamond, Wire World Platinum
USB cable: Intona Reference
AES cable: Nordost Odin 2

Auralic arrived the latest. Before Auralic came, with those gears, I can put together 7 configurations:

A. Wadax standalone with its USB output
B. Taiko SGME standalone with its onboard USB output
C. Taiko SGME standalone with its standalone USB output
D. Wadax Core+Bricasti M5 (USB or AES/SPDIF)
E. Taiko SGME Core+Bricasti M5 (USB or AES/SPDIF)
F. Wadax Core+Taiko SGME USB output as renderer
G. Taiko SGME Core+Wadax USB output

When Auralic arrived and settled, the SGME was returned to the dealer, therefore I didn't have the chance to use Auralic as a renderer to Taiko SGME. So I have 2 more configurations:

H. Wadax Core+Auralic Aries as renderer
I. Auralic standalone with USB or AES directly into DAC
Thanks for testing these combinations and putting in the work, very helpful.....These tests are either interesting to me or very sad, possibly maddening since I bought a K50 recently and boxed up my M5 and put it in the closet. I bought the K50 with every intention of consolidating pieces into one chassis (yes I understand individual chassis is preferred for sound quality). I just figured the overall design and cost of the K50 (and positive reviews) would absolutely best the M5. I'd hate to say I spent what I spent just to get a Server and the M5 actually sounds better. Although I shouldn't be completely surprised since the M5 is really a wonderful piece of gear. I just would have kept it in the mix and bought less of a Server in the Antipodes line. I may have to run this test on my own since I still have the M5.
 

ShawnZH

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Sep 20, 2020
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There is scope to extract more but as you probably have been using the same driver on the Atlantis it's not that relevant for your results.
Thanks for testing these combinations and putting in the work, very helpful.....These tests are either interesting to me or very sad, possibly maddening since I bought a K50 recently and boxed up my M5 and put it in the closet. I bought the K50 with every intention of consolidating pieces into one chassis (yes I understand individual chassis is preferred for sound quality). I just figured the overall design and cost of the K50 (and positive reviews) would absolutely best the M5. I'd hate to say I spent what I spent just to get a Server and the M5 actually sounds better. Although I shouldn't be completely surprised since the M5 is really a wonderful piece of gear. I just would have kept it in the mix and bought less of a Server in the Antipodes line. I may have to run this test on my own since I still have the M5.
Thanks skids, I do realize it is a pity not trying TAS. My ignorance.

Later on, I used an Aries G2.1 from Auralic and found it working pretty good when using the DS software, much better than using it as a Roon bridge. From there, I would believe TAS must win over Roon with Taiko. Hope one day, I could try again, or even possibly with the new software XDMS.
 
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ShawnZH

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Beautiful system BTW!

For future reference, If you'd wanted to use the Extreme as a Roon core only we should configure it to run Roon Core on the second CPU so you would make use of both CPU's, like this:


View attachment 87654
Thanks Emile. It is always reassuring to see that Taiko provides such good level of customer support. Top notch server with top notch service, bravo.
 

skids929

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Dec 31, 2020
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Thanks skids, I do realize it is a pity not trying TAS. My ignorance.

Later on, I used an Aries G2.1 from Auralic and found it working pretty good when using the DS software, much better than using it as a Roon bridge. From there, I would believe TAS must win over Roon with Taiko. Hope one day, I could try again, or even possibly with the new software XDMS.


That wasn't me who criticized you for not using TAS! I was just saying I have an M5 and just bought a K50 and using as a Server and a Player. If I knew the M5 was as good (speculation at this point) as the player in the K50 I'd have spent less on a server.
 

ShawnZH

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Sep 20, 2020
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That wasn't me who criticized you for not using TAS! I was just saying I have an M5 and just bought a K50 and using as a Server and a Player. If I knew the M5 was as good (speculation at this point) as the player in the K50 I'd have spent less on a server.
Sorry, I only looked at the yellowish icon background. It was H inside instead of S. Apologies.

I have M5 too, indeed it is a good gear. I like it a lot.
 
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Taiko Audio

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Thanks Emile. It is always reassuring to see that Taiko provides such good level of customer support. Top notch server with top notch service, bravo.

Thank you @ShawnZH ,

We will add functionality in the remote control app to reconfigure the Extreme to operate as a dedicated Roon Core or Roon Endpoint. We actually did not consider it might be used this way before your report here!
 
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skids929

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Thank you @ShawnZH ,

We will add functionality in the remote control app to reconfigure the Extreme to operate as a dedicated Roon Core or Roon Endpoint. We actually did not consider it might be used this way before your report here!

I will add it was part of my criteria for buying a server/player all in one box. Not that I want to use them separately, but mostly because it provides alot more flexibility if/when things change in the future. I look at is as future-proofing to some degree.
 
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nenon

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Jan 29, 2020
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@ShawnZH - great experiment. Thank you for sharing. Are you planning to stay with the Wadax Atlantic Server?

Roon recognize my DAC as Amanero Technology USB Driver 1.0.62. It is a WASAPI driver. Guess this is not the best driver?
Certainly not the best. Moving from WASAPI to ASIO is an improvement. Moving to the Taiko USB driver (which might not be possible with this DAC) is yet another improvement, although the Amanero USB is not exactly the best USB input... I had to bypass it on my Chord DAVE DAC and replace it with JLSounds on my other DAC. And switching from Roon to the Taiko proprietary software is another big improvement that takes Taiko apart from the competition.
My Taiko Extreme is being built at the moment, but I have heard all these differences many times with several Taiko Extreme servers. And I have built my own DIY Extreme server that I have been tweaking over the past few years, and so I know how big of a difference these software settings can make. The Server <--> DAC integration is the most important part in the digital chain for me, and the software + USB driver + USB hardware is the plumbing for this.

Later on, I used an Aries G2.1 from Auralic and found it working pretty good when using the DS software, much better than using it as a Roon bridge.
The Auralic G2.1 always sounded a bit "digital" to me despite doing a lot of really good things. However, I just modified one with the latest Sean Jacobs DC4 ARC6 and WOW, this thing really sounds amazing.
image1 (2).jpeg
Given my affiliation with Sean Jacobs, I will leave things at that not to violate any forum rules and let other people who try it comment further on this mod.
 

MarcelNL

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I have recently heard an (older) Auralic and I must say I was not impressed beyond a sound that I can only compare with a 'typical high end' very 'polished' sound that was not very natural or organic.

ASIO sounded better to me than WASAPi, yet LMS in a Linux environment topped it.

I'd love to hear the Extreme sometime soon to have a sortof benchmark as what I info I read from Emile makes me think they are on the right track, but Covid is a bit of a handicap for that.....(I planned to visit the audio show in Veldhoven but was unable to at last last minute)
 

naim

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Mar 6, 2019
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I. Auralic standalone with USB or AES directly into DAC
Hi ShawnZH,
i take this opportunity to ask you a question: in your opinion, can an Auralic G2.1 directly into my Bricasti M1se dac be a great match? Or do you think I can get a lot more with more expensive alternatives like Innuos Statement or Aurender N10?
Thank you
Roberto
 

ShawnZH

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Sep 20, 2020
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Hi ShawnZH,
i take this opportunity to ask you a question: in your opinion, can an Auralic G2.1 directly into my Bricasti M1se dac be a great match? Or do you think I can get a lot more with more expensive alternatives like Innuos Statement or Aurender N10?
Thank you
Roberto
Hi Roberto,

Aries G2.1 has all popular outputs: AES, SPDIF, USB, i2S to connect to a DAC, some supports higher format music (DSD 512 for example), some lower. So matching M1se should be fine. As for the level of SQ, principally you get more out of more expensive gears. Since I used to use Aurender W20, I can be almost sure that Aries G2.1 can be better than N10. I am not a fan of Aurender at all, but it could be a personal taste. I’m comparing Aries G2.1 with my own WADAX Atlantis and the demo SGM. Indeed Aries G2.1 is not as good but I don’t find it unbearable. Considering the price difference, I’d say I’m pretty happy with what I hear. I recently added an Auralic Sirius G2.1, an up-sampler to be used between Aries 2.1 and my DAC (Metronome Kalista Dreamplay DAC), it enhances the performance further.

It’s all about how much marginal improvement money can buy. I believe Auralic Aries G2.1 is a very good buy. I’m very happy with what I heard. Hope it helps.

Best,
Shawn
 

K3RMIT

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Sep 4, 2020
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Your best choice being F makes good sense. this is due to using one OC as core music player. second PC taiko becomes the end point or bridge makes the usage of the taiko very low yielding better sound
the taiko and only taiko uses two PCs in one box. it’s the only server I know of ready made products on this level.
i feel taiko will easily win the server wars
 

7ryder

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Jan 31, 2015
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Your best choice being F makes good sense. this is due to using one OC as core music player. second PC taiko becomes the end point or bridge makes the usage of the taiko very low yielding better sound
the taiko and only taiko uses two PCs in one box. it’s the only server I know of ready made products on this level.
i feel taiko will easily win the server wars
The Antipodes K50 has two PCs in one box too.
 
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Taiko Audio

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taikoaudio.com
The Antipodes K50 has two PCs in one box too.

That is different though. As far as I know the Antipodes indeed has 2 internal systems, likely connected by ethernet, both of which run an Operating System, with one running a core and the other an endpoint. A "dual PC in one box".

The Extreme is 1 internal system, but with 2 CPU's, one CPU runs the Operating System, the other only audio processes (so without the need for a second operating system). These are connected by an Intel Ultra Path Interconnect, not Ethernet.

UPI is a low-latency coherent interconnect for scalable multiprocessor systems with a shared address space. It uses a directory-based home snoop coherency protocol with a transfer speed of up to 10.4 GT/s. Supporting processors typically have two or three UPI links.
 

divertiti

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Jan 12, 2021
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That is different though. As far as I know the Antipodes indeed has 2 internal systems, likely connected by ethernet, both of which run an Operating System, with one running a core and the other an endpoint. A "dual PC in one box".

The Extreme is 1 internal system, but with 2 CPU's, one CPU runs the Operating System, the other only audio processes (so without the need for a second operating system). These are connected by an Intel Ultra Path Interconnect, not Ethernet.
Hi Emile, you mentioned earlier in the thread that if Roon is being used, one CPU is doing dual duty of both OS and Roon Core while the other is doing Roon Point right? Can you elaborate a bit on how the transfer speed of the interconnects across the two systems affect sound quality? I was under the impression that audio data volume is fairly low so speed isn't a bottleneck.
 

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