Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,254
365
83
Hong Kong
#1
Emile of Taiko Audio told me that he has been very busy to fulfill the orders of SGM Extreme for his Korean customers and he doesn't have time nor energy to start a thread on WBF.
Let me do it for him. :)

Here are some of the spec of the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme :
  • -Dimensions 483*450*180mm including feet,
  • -Weight: 42Kg / 93lbs.
  • -Dual Xeon Scalable 10/20 core CPUs.
  • -48Gb (12*4Gb) custom memory modules.
  • -The 2 cpu’s and 12 memory modules are not shared but split into 2 domains, 1 dedicated to the operating system, 1 dedicated to music related services and playback software.
  • -All storage is directly connected to the Xeon CPU integrated disk controllers, no sata ssd’s / controllers used. Maximum number of drives supported: 24.
  • -400 watt high current powersupply, lundahl chokes, ~700.000uF mundorf electrolytics, duelund pure silver foil bypass capacitors.
  • -Custom Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 OS.
  • -Playback software: Roon + Jplay, HQplayer optional.
  • -Completely passive cooled, no fans.
 

Attachments

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,254
365
83
Hong Kong
#2
Emile's Korean customers ordered Extreme without any prior listen!
Some of them such as WBF member Esotar are receiving delivery this week.

The dealer in HK has received an Extreme too.
20190204_175750~2.jpg

It's bigger and heavier and has a totally diff chassis when compared to SGM2015 or EVO :
20190204_175350~2.jpg

Its back.
20190204_175436~2.jpg

It can be seen from the slots that the back-plate is very thick!
20190204_175518~2.jpg
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,254
365
83
Hong Kong
#3
Many of the internal components used are proprietary.

Emile sent me this photo which shows a proprietary electrolyte capacitor encased in panzerholz to modulate vibration :
IMG-20181117-WA0036.jpg

All the RAM used are also proprietary and Emile ordered them with special requests.
Each RAM are carefully measured and are built with matched memory chips to ensure the best performance.
IMG-20181117-WA0037.jpg
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,254
365
83
Hong Kong
#5
Ben Lau of Volent HK, the official dealer of Taiko Audio is still burning-in the Extreme and fine-tuning it to match his showroom components.

I luckily got a glimpse of its interior.
I was shocked. The interior is completely different from all audiophile servers/streamers in the market. It's neat & tidy and well-built to the extreme! No wonder it's named Extreme.

I had a brief audition too.
Even though it's unboiled and not yet fine-tuned, I have 100% confidence that it will remain on its throne for at least the coming 4 to 5 years.
It's simply too difficult for the other brands to catch up!

Please stay tuned.
I shall go back to have another audition in a week's time and update all of you on WBF. ;)
 
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Esotar

VIP/Donor
Mar 28, 2016
191
66
28
South Korea
www.digitusupremo.com
#6
Hello, CKKeung~!

I'm not customer.

I'm SGM dealer.

I introduced SGM 2015 EVO three month ago, and Korean audiophiles are all shocked.

So I sold 7 SGM 2015 EVOs, and 11 SGM Extremes.

The reason I received Extreme first is that I must know how to use Extreme.

My Extreme is not burn-in at all, so I can't write Extreme's sound quality.

After 2 weeks, I'll compare EVO & Extreme to MP 64-32 Diamond.

I'll post the result~!!
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,254
365
83
Hong Kong
#7
Hello, CKKeung~!
I'm not customer. I'm SGM dealer.

The reason I received Extreme first is that I must know how to use Extreme.
My Extreme is not burn-in at all, so I can't write Extreme's sound quality.

After 2 weeks, I'll compare EVO & Extreme to MP 64-32 Diamond.
I'll post the result~!!
Hello Esotar,
Nice to met another EVO/Extreme dealer here.
The HK dealer is now doing the same thing as you now. :D

BTW I think it's rather meaningless to do the comparison because the result is predictable.

It's more important for dealers to understand and be familiar with such a complex server so that they can assist their clients to set up and fine-tune it to suit the clients' audio systems.
;)
 

Hieukm

Active Member
Oct 2, 2016
157
33
28
#9
Ben Lau of Volent HK, the official dealer of Taiko Audio is still burning-in the Extreme and fine-tuning it to match his showroom components.

I luckily got a glimpse of its interior.
I was shocked. The interior is completely different from all audiophile servers/streamers in the market. It's neat & tidy and well-built to the extreme! No wonder it's named Extreme.

I had a brief audition too.
Even though it's unboiled and not yet fine-tuned, I have 100% confidence that it will remain on its throne for at least the coming 4 to 5 years.
It's simply too difficult for the other brands to catch up!

Please stay tuned.
I shall go back to have another audition in a week's time and update all of you on WBF. ;)
Does the first impression equal top TT??
 

Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
823
250
63
Melbourne, Australia
#10
So as I understand it, the Sound Galleries music server is just a pure server, meaning you still need a dac/streamer & control app or laptop to manage your library? Also If you placed one of those servers in your study, can you connect it via Cat 8 ethernet cable to a dac (renderer) such as the Boulder 2120 in your music room? Cheers.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,459
860
113
E. England
#11
What is the range of prices here?
SGM2015, SGM Evo, Taiko Extreme.
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,254
365
83
Hong Kong
#12
What is the range of prices here?
SGM2015, SGM Evo, Taiko Extreme.
The SGMS2015 has been discontinued and replaced by SGM Evo.

Emile,
Please tell us the msrp of the Evo and the Extreme.
Thanks.
 
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Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
562
324
63
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
#13
Thank you everybody! I will respond in detail as soon as my schedule permits.
 
Likes: CKKeung
Sep 17, 2015
301
21
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Monaco
#14
It has been my good fortune to listen to the Extreme every 3 to 5 weeks since the first test mule was sitting in a prototype chassis. A totally different computing strategy and no OCXO sonic magic, the Extreme prototype was simply was not as musical as the SGM EVO 13 months ago but the potential was clearly there. The big challenge was to replicate and surpass the sonics which the 5 ppb OCXO brought to the play back sound.

Never one to give up, Emile persevered and by the Summer of 2018, the sonics pulled ahead of the SGM Evo. What Emile had learned from modifying the Herzan Anti-Vibration platforms and designing Linear power supplies for the Herzan, paid off in spades for the SGM Extreme power supply design and chassis vibration tuning.

Emile has been using Mundorf caps for decades because of their superior chemistry which delivers the class leading sonics. Now, Emile, through hundreds of hours of listening and also Setchi development experience has figured out how to get the vibration environment of Mundorf caps to be a huge sonic enhancer as well. Mundorfs can’t do everything and there are some locations / functions where Dueland’s reign supreme and have been installed.

When it comes to RAM, the amount of tuning and optimization has been simply mind boggling. The timings, hardware characteristics means the ECC RAM bank actually costs more than quite a few music servers, but when the motherboard power supply is so low noise, the differences between the hamburger and filet mignon RAM is easily audible. Just as filet mignon needs to be carefully seasoned, the same applies to RAM settings and timings.

The chassis is the extremely heavy and expensive, but its RF emission characteristics and vibration signature were clearly audible as the first pre-production prototype was benchmarked against the testing mule. At the low noise level that the SGM Extreme is playing at, everything is audible. The CPU heat sinks, and heatpipes are absolutely unique to the Extreme. It turns out that higher CPU temperatures degrade the sonics audibly as well.

To give credit where credit is due, the pace, focus and success rate of the experiments and development of the Extreme would not have been possible without the very low noise Audionet Stern and Heisenberg pre and monoblocs and the TotalDAC D1-12 Mk 2. The arrival of the D1-12 Mk 2 enabled cumulative big strides in the CPU workload allocation testing and propelled the SQ to levels which we did not think were possible. There are literally dozens and dozens of small improvements which would have been very difficult to detect on a higher noise system but were readily apparent with the D1-12’s sub -150 dB noise floor. When you run all of these small changes together you get a very audible sound quality jump on every good sounding system.

Emile and I have been using some test tracks with B- to A- recording quality from the time of the first SGM in 2016. Over the years, these tracks have been sounding better and better. Now these 16/44 tracks sound like Master Tapes. That’s the sound quality level that the Extreme, and ultra linear and ultra low noise downstream components can deliver, simply incredible
 
May 30, 2010
15,310
595
113
Portugal
#15
(....) To give credit where credit is due, the pace, focus and success rate of the experiments and development of the Extreme would not have been possible without the very low noise Audionet Stern and Heisenberg pre and monoblocs and the TotalDAC D1-12 Mk 2. The arrival of the D1-12 Mk 2 enabled cumulative big strides in the CPU workload allocation testing and propelled the SQ to levels which we did not think were possible. There are literally dozens and dozens of small improvements which would have been very difficult to detect on a higher noise system but were readily apparent with the D1-12’s sub -150 dB noise floor. When you run all of these small changes together you get a very audible sound quality jump on every good sounding system. (...)
Thanks for chiming! How do you connect the Extreme to the TotalDAC? Ethernet cable using an exact bit datastream?
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,595
289
83
Eastern WA
#16
This sounds like the biggest joke I have ever heard about. If it was only DSD, I would understand a little. DSD is very vulnerable to a lot of things. But even so, not counting PCM... the only conclusion is that since this puts out a digital line only to a DAC or such... it cannot be anywhere near bit perfect. The only way to force these changes is by greatly changing the original signal. I have no doubt it could sound unique, and maybe it’ll float your boat like never before, but let’s be realistic... it’s done by paying someone to dress up a computer to scramble up the signal. It’s a big insult to all true engineers that deal with RF, and make the world work. I’m glad someone likes it so it isn’t a total waste.
 
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Sep 17, 2015
301
21
18
Monaco
#17
This sounds like the biggest joke I have ever heard about. If it was only DSD, I would understand a little. DSD is very vulnerable to a lot of things. But even so, not counting PCM... the only conclusion is that since this puts out a digital line only to a DAC or such... it cannot be anywhere near bit perfect. The only way to force these changes is by greatly changing the original signal. I have no doubt it could sound unique, and maybe it’ll float your biat like never before, but let’s be realistic... it’s done by paying someone to dress up a computer to scramble up the signal. It’s a big insult to all true engineers that deal with RF, and make the world work. I’m glad someone likes it so it isn’t a total waste.
Back in 2015 I was sceptical too. How can digital equipment delivering an un-corrupted data stream, buffered and timed with precision, sound any different ?

The interesting consistent empirical observation is that the listener heard sound quality coming from digital equipment is very vibration sensitive and of a similar order of magnitude to the vibration sensitivity of analog equipment.

Another consistent observation is the sound quality is heavily influenced by OS activity and processes, the delivered bits are the same, they are all buffered and timed with precision so what’s going on ?

3 years ago Emile and I invested in acquiring quite a bit of RF detection and spectrum analysis gear from these folks https://www.aaronia.com/products/antennas/

What we can observe is that the RF soup coming from all of the clocks and oscillators gets everywhere and is very difficult to dramatically attenuate. The RF noise is transmitted over the air and piggybacks on every cable, conductor and ground plane. We can also observe that CPU and RAM activity changes the observable RF emissions.

I would humbly propose that the sound quality differences we are hearing are being transmitted by RF noise emissions emanating from the myriad clocks and oscillators in digital equipment, and being detected by the analog components and cabling in the playback chain.

All of the hardware and software features which Emile has implemented deliver sonic differences that are easily perceivable and consistent with a mechanism of RF transmission of noise, both SQ enhancing, and SQ degrading. The design strategy is to shape the noise, minimizing the SQ degrading RF noise and to amplify the SQ enhancing RF noise.

I am more than happy to have a phone call with you to further discuss transmission mechanisms, but let's keep it off line and not clutter this thread with theoretical discussions
 
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Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
562
324
63
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
#19
The SGMS2015 has been discontinued and replaced by SGM Evo.

Emile,
Please tell us the msrp of the Evo and the Extreme.
Thanks.

Thank you for taking the lead to introduce the SGM Extreme CK. Much appreciated!

The MSRP of the EVO is Euro 14.500
AES/EBU out adds Euro 1.000
STP (fibre channel) network card adds Euro 150*
Internal music storage is restricted to 1 Sata SSD, 1TB is included by default, 2TB and 4TB are optional

The MSRP of the Extreme is Euro 20.000
AES/EBU out adds Euro 1.000
STP (fibre channel) network card is included*
Internal music storage is 2TB of PCIe storage by default, we can fit up to 24 drives depending on other options, contact us for details

All listed prices exclude Sales Tax / VAT / duties / shipping where applicable

*STP / Fibre channel networking requires more then just a STP card, we are more then happy to advice on how to implement a properly setup Fibre channel network
 
Likes: CKKeung

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
562
324
63
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
#20
So as I understand it, the Sound Galleries music server is just a pure server, meaning you still need a dac/streamer & control app or laptop to manage your library? Also If you placed one of those servers in your study, can you connect it via Cat 8 ethernet cable to a dac (renderer) such as the Boulder 2120 in your music room? Cheers.
The answer to all questions is yes.
 
Likes: CKKeung

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