Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

With respect to the Taiko Extreme how do you connect it to your DAC

  • USB

    Votes: 49 69.0%
  • Ethernet

    Votes: 10 14.1%
  • Both USB and Ethernet

    Votes: 6 8.5%
  • AES/EBU

    Votes: 8 11.3%
  • Dual AES/EBU

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 5 7.0%

  • Total voters
    71

tsaett

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2014
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Hi Christof, Thank you for posing such an interesting experiment!

I was skeptical at first that I would hear any differences, but as you and others have said, each increment is noticeable. Incremental for sure (a percentage or two), but a helpful tonal modification I imagine for most. I have thoroughly enjoyed 'default' but experimented as you suggested. '10' to me sounded lifeless. For my system and my ears I much prefer '1' between the two. Spending considerable time now listening to 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7, I have settled on 3.

For me it maintains the speed, clarity and slam that I just find hypnotic, but also tames a bit the highs. I think these differences definitely became more pronounced at higher volumes (mid 80 db-Cs avg and above). Obviously, personal preference as well as I guess I am running, on the spectrum, a decently resolving non-tube SS system, cabling and speakers already (all to my liking). I do need to double back and compare 3 to 'default', but I will be listening the rest of the evening at 3. Again, thanks for providing such a fun time, gratis, without even having to change a cable.
Take care everyone
Thanks for your report, it shows how this "tool" is well suited to tune your system in the direction you like, there is no right or wrong setting!

Christoph
 
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tsaett

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2014
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Hi guys,
Am not a Extreme owner yet but I do follow all the postings here very closely. I tried the settings on my setup which uses the Zenith Mk2 and the soTm trifecta with dual soTm switch. As much as I would have liked to hear some difference with the settings, I couldn’t really hear much difference. I’m back on default now. It was fun though to try it out and thank you.

By the way I’m a headphone user. Abyss is my choice of poison
Thanks for taking part, very valuable data point indeed!

Christoph
 
Likes: Abyss Man

cat6man

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2013
174
37
260
west of NYC, east of SF
Hi Christoph,

I have also, in the past, played with the Buffer Size setting and found it has a bigger impact than the Master Clock Priority. I find the max legal setting of 500ms sounds best. There are apparently ways to increase this further with hacks "under the covers." In effect, this is similar to changing the -a buffer setting in Squeezelite, and I suspect there are similar parameters in JPlay.

Of course keep in mind, we are talking about buffer size in the ALSA driver on Linux in my setup, not on ASIO on Windows, which is what Extreme users must be using.
another data point, not Extreme related, but supportive:

i use hqplayer embedded, running under audiolinux on a NUC and an opticalRendu as NAA.
hqplayer is set to do no signal processing/dither/upsampling/filtering at all and the purpose is simply to put less processing burden on the NAA which feeds my TotalDAC.
for unknown reasons, increasing the buffer on hqplayer (even though it is doing no 'real' work) helps the sound quality to a noticeable extent.

so one more vote to experiment with buffering here

/back to normal thread discussion of extreme
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
161
251
295
I tried the modification to Roon's Clock Master Priority last night. Since I had other obligations I couldn't devote as much time as I'd have liked to trying out various settings, so I jumped right on 7. I heard a difference and I think I like what I heard but I need to devote more time to this. I'll check back in when I've got a couple of evenings with this under my belt.

Thanks Christoph for bringing this up. I really like Roon's rich user experience, so if the smart people in the room can continue to find ways to improve sound quality through Roon or Extreme settings, that will be fantastic.

Steve Z
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I spent all of last evening going from 6 to 7 to 8 and then jumping down to 1,2 and 3

The latter (1,2 ,3 ) sounded slow and bloated bottom end.

8 was just a little lean for me

6 sounded very very good but in the demo disk I used the mid and deep bass sounded slower and slightly bloated whereas 7 was quick and open and overall 7 for me is where I am at as it has the most natural sound for my ears
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
8,886
2,671
770
maybe someday instead of digital verses analog, or tubes verses solid state, it will be a 'Roon World' and the '5's verses the '7's.;)
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,469
2,333
603
E. England
Yep Mike, and the cd renaissance will be well in vogue as well...
 
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alwayslearning

Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2011
4
13
343
Here are some quick and dirty impressions from a non-Extreme listener on Roon's Clock Master Priority settings. My first couple, shorter listening sessions, I changed from "default" on the Clock Master Priority to 7, and had some very pleasurable listening. Now I can't say that was due to the change but it was a hopeful sign.

This afternoon I have been playing around with the settings, experimenting with 3 through 8. In general, I find the closer I get to 3, the tighter the sound feels, with a crisp, subjectively bright, sometimes slightly mechanical sound. Perhaps more PRAT. The closer I get to 8, the looser the sound feels, and it seems subjectively slower and slightly darker. A little more analog and maybe a little more natural. The sweet spot for me may be between 5 and 7, and it might vary from track to track.

My guess is that preferences with this setting are going to be highly subjective and system dependent. I thank the good folks at Taiko for making this known and encouraging experimentation. I am in full agreement with @oldmustang that Roon provides a terrific user experience and I would love to keep using it and squeezing as much sonic goodness out of it as possible.

FWIW, my system is a "spaghetti" setup with a modified Mac Mini (Uptone Audio) serving a chain that includes various SOtM and Uptone components (e.g., sMS-200 Ultra, tX-USB Ultra, EtherRegen, ISO Regen) feeding a Hugo M Scaler and Chord DAVE, in turn feeding a Crayon CFA 1.2 integrated amp and Devore Gibbon X speakers.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
A little more analog and maybe a little more natural.
Music to my ears as they say. Perhaps that is why7 appeals to my ears.My goal is "it must sound natural"
 
Mar 8, 2015
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So colour me confused, is Roon's 'clock master priority settings' the same as its volume settings? It seems as if they may be separate settings.
 
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wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
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I my system, I like the lower numbers. After playing around I went back to Default-- whatever # it is, it sounds clear and natural.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,742
896
555
United States
Hi Christof, Thank you for posing such an interesting experiment!

I was skeptical at first that I would hear any differences, but as you and others have said, each increment is noticeable. Incremental for sure (a percentage or two), but a helpful tonal modification I imagine for most. I have thoroughly enjoyed 'default' but experimented as you suggested. '10' to me sounded lifeless. For my system and my ears I much prefer '1' between the two. Spending considerable time now listening to 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7, I have settled on 3.

For me it maintains the speed, clarity and slam that I just find hypnotic, but also tames a bit the highs. I think these differences definitely became more pronounced at higher volumes (mid 80 db-Cs avg and above). Obviously, personal preference as well as I guess I am running, on the spectrum, a resolution leaning combo of non-tube SS, cabling and speakers already (all to my liking). I do need to double back and compare 3 to 'default', but I will be listening the rest of the evening at 3. Again, thanks for providing such a fun time without even having to change a cable.
Take care everyone
FWIW, I played with the setting for the first time this evening for a few hours. I settled on "3" as well. I found it useful to try and use less complex material for this sonic exercise. A relied on several piano recordings, but the one I really found valuable was the fantastic trombone in Rimsky Korsakov's Concerto for Trombone on this superb recording that I downloaded in DSD256.


Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 1.10.00 AM.png

ctdyn's comment about "speed, clarity and slam that I just find hypnotic", was spot on. With the 3 setting, I thought the sound and intonations from the mouthpiece were detailed and nuanced but this was also coupled with the "right" sound of the bell that makes a very distinctive "blat" which is a hallmark of the instrument. Setting 3 had the "blat" perfectly, whereas higher settings such as 7 -10 produced more of a "blah" for me, and with far less definition of the mouthpiece intonations that just are not the characteristic of the real thing, at least for me. By the way, the entire album is a sonic spectacular with out of this world performances by the guest soloists from the Concertgebouw. You won't hear a better trombone cadenza than the one at the end of this piece. Goosebumps when played at concert hall levels. (The Variations for Oboe and the Concerto for Clarinet are equally wonderful pieces.)

I'm not sure how I'd characterize the default setting which some have called slightly harsh. It makes me wonder if these settings somehow modulate jitter that might (???) reduce this characteristic which appears to be further attenuated as you move higher in the setting numbers. But it seems the higher settings can be a double edged sword as I seemed to lose clarity the expense of softness by escalating to higher setting numbers.

Not everyone is using re-clockers intrinsic to the Extreme or servers such as the Innuos Statement (my ZENith Mk3 is far less sophisticated), or that are available in a wide variety of various switches and add-ons. Therefore my guess is the disparity of preferences we are seeing with this Roon setting is directly related to one's individual network and devices as well as the rest of one system, blah blah blah....with the usual caveat of YMMV. It might be that those using a server that reclocks the ethernet input and/or USB output may prefer a very different optimum Roon Clock Master Priority setting number, than those of us that use less powerful or less sophisticated servers.

I'm impressed that someone (Taiko) actually discovered this sonic tweak (should we call it just another tone control :eek:, or is that just an unintended insult to the good folks at Roon!!) In any event, this observation was an unanticipated find and provides confidence that the Taiko folks are indeed doing some serious listening.
 
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tsaett

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2014
100
89
233
Cologne
So colour me confused, is Roon's 'clock master priority settings' the same as its volume settings? It seems as if they may be separate settings.
Volume setting and Group Zone playback (which is the functionality affected by Clock Master Priority) are unrelated.
We do not use this functionality at all, which makes this finding all the more intriguing.
 
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tsaett

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2014
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89
233
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So far we have the following distribution of preferences:

7 - 5 votes
between 5 and 7 - 1 vote
5 - 2 votes
3 - 2 votes
Default - 1 vote
no difference - 1 vote
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
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Hmmmmm....Clock master priority settings. For me that raises a whole lot of questions:
What is it?
What does it do/change/optimise?
How does it interact with other settings?
Are there other hidden or advanced settings like this that also change the sound?
Are these setting something that need to be tweaked with subsequent revisions?
How system dependent are these settings i.e if I change something else on my system, do I need to go back and change this?
What is the default setting?
Who is meant to use this adjustment......the user? The hardware developer? The DIYer? Roon SW engineers?
 
Likes: ctydwn

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
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Strange how some say 3 is bloaty and slow and some say 7 is bloaty and slow, i.e. the exact opposite. My understanding is it is also age related, i.e. younger ears trend towards 1 and older ears trend towards 10. Not sure at which age you start moving in the opposite direction though...
 

tsaett

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2014
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89
233
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Visit to Jeroen's system in 2020

Yesterday I had the brief but intense pleasure of visiting Jeroen in his lovely home, thanks for the invitation!

Jeroen is living in a beautiful home in a very nice neighborhood and can consider him lucky to have an excellent dedicated listening room for his amazing system.
I was anxious the whole day to hear his system and see what the bigger brothers (or rather great great granddad?) of my own speakers are capable of doing. Rest assured, I was not disappointed.

His system is well documented here, so I spare you additional infos and photos, though i can assure that in person it is even more impressive.
https://whatsbestforum.com/threads/audioquattr-system-from-a-to-z.27192/
We only listened to digital.

I asked Jeroen to start with some of his music recommendations, which were mostly very good Jazz trio / quartett recordings, something I enjoy myself very much. As soon as the first note started, you are there with the musicians.
I heard an enormous soundstage, reaching well outside the room walls. The musicians were standing firmly within that soundstage, having body, weight and a "face", bringing the illusion of witnessing a real live concert. The speakers were able to project sounds well into the room, compared to the Alsyvox speakers at Taiko the music is more "they are here" rather than "you are there", something I know and value from my own system. Don't take that too literally though, usual hifi-lingo does not capture the experience in full.

Tonality wise I was surprised to hear a very pleasant (not to be confused with sweet) rendition of all tracks, no sharpness, no glare, no thinness or flatness, essentially nothing I negatively witnessed on several exposures to big Cessaros in Munich. Jeroen clearly has tamed these beasts and created a system to which you can listen for hours, keep you engaged big time and won't induce listener fatigue - It just sounded right.

I then asked Jeroen to play a few of my reference tracks, Kenny Burrel ("Mule") for musicality, Leonard Cohen ("Amen") for voice and The Stimulators ("new years eve on the waterfront") for stage rendition.
On Mule, I was immediately set back to '63, zooming out for the whole track and just enjoyed what the musicians were performing. The Stimulators showed incredible texture on the bass, very realistic voice rendition and bringing maybe the greatest micro dynamic shading I ever heard from a system. The bass felt perfectly integrated and seamless!
The Leonard Cohen recording also was immensely enjoyable, but showed the only area where I thought it is not perfect: On the same perceived volume level as before (and only on this track) I reached out for the remote to turn it down lower than I would have liked, as I felt a bit room overload - not really a fault of the system though.

My takeaways:
- Cessaros are great speakers which react to the slightest (and i mean slightest) change in the playback chain (I kind of knew that already from home)
- Alieno are fantastic electronics, something I might want to look into myself
- Music reproduction is such a diverse field, you can achieve incredible results with many different approaches

Thank you Jeroen for an incredible experience, I think I can confidently call your system one of, if not the best system I have heard.

Christoph
 
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tsaett

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2014
100
89
233
Cologne
Strange how some say 3 is bloaty and slow and some say 7 is bloaty and slow, i.e. the exact opposite. My understanding is it is also age related, i.e. younger ears trend towards 1 and older ears trend towards 10. Not sure at which age you start moving in the opposite direction though...
Emile at 46 and me at 31 both prefer 7 FWIW.
 
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