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

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
1,341
402
440
Emile, which license do you use for the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC? Is it the “Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC High-End?”
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,405
1,811
260
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Emile, which license do you use for the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC? Is it the “Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC High-End?”
We have an OEM volume license with a slightly different description but I expect the software itself to be similar if not the same.
 

Esotar

VIP/Donor
Mar 28, 2016
311
187
228
South Korea
www.digitusupremo.com
I'm testing Sablon Audio's new Panatela Ethernet cable.

Very amazing~!

I used old Panatela Ethernet cable. It is very good.

But

New version is much better than old version.

Elite USB is also fantastic, but new Panatela price is less than Elite USB.

I have Dalby Meda Ethernet cable. Very fantastic, but new Panatela Ethernet cable is my type.

Highly Recommended~!!!

Elite USB too~!!!



P1010064.JPG
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
895
508
283
Wow Esotar, that’s some great feedback there - thanks so much!

Although I knew this development of the ethernet cable gave a great bump in sound quality, I didn’t have any of the top of the market peers in for comparison like I did with the usb cable. Your report is most appreciated.
 
Likes: Esotar

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,391
1,128
400
I'm testing Sablon Audio's new Panatela Ethernet cable.

Very amazing~!

I used old Panatela Ethernet cable. It is very good.

But

New version is much better than old version.

Elite USB is also fantastic, but new Panatela price is less than Elite USB.

I have Dalby Meda Ethernet cable. Very fantastic, but new Panatela Ethernet cable is my type.

Highly Recommended~!!!

Elite USB too~!!!



View attachment 66188
I have also just received my Sablon Ethernet cable. Will be installed between my router and a Melco switch. Exciting times and the Sablon has proved to be an absolute giant killer imo.
 

kimurastanley

Well-Known Member
Mar 16, 2019
107
113
50
Singapore
20200613_183553.jpg

This is mine from router to edgerouter X. Killer performance for the price!

Looking forward to try the new Panatela with M12 plug. Stay tuned...
 
Last edited:

Esotar

VIP/Donor
Mar 28, 2016
311
187
228
South Korea
www.digitusupremo.com
Wow Esotar, that’s some great feedback there - thanks so much!

Although I knew this development of the ethernet cable gave a great bump in sound quality, I didn’t have any of the top of the market peers in for comparison like I did with the usb cable. Your report is most appreciated.

Mark, Elite USB and New Panatela Ethernet cables have many important meaning.

Two cables are very awesome but there is much more HI FI historical meaning.

For increasing sound quality, we may not pay big money from now.

This is my subjective opinion, but many WBF members will agree with my opinion.
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,391
1,128
400
I'm testing Sablon Audio's new Panatela Ethernet cable.

Very amazing~!

I used old Panatela Ethernet cable. It is very good.

But

New version is much better than old version.

Elite USB is also fantastic, but new Panatela price is less than Elite USB.

I have Dalby Meda Ethernet cable. Very fantastic, but new Panatela Ethernet cable is my type.

Highly Recommended~!!!

Elite USB too~!!!



View attachment 66188
Esotar, isn't the end marked red meant to be at the router end?
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
895
508
283
Esotar, isn't the end marked red meant to be at the router end?
Is not a big deal Howie as the construction is symetrical. I just mark them up to facilitate consistent use post burn in.
 

Esotar

VIP/Donor
Mar 28, 2016
311
187
228
South Korea
www.digitusupremo.com
Esotar, isn't the end marked red meant to be at the router end?
Right~!

I don't know about it.

Mark didn't explain it Ha Ha

When I know that, I changed cable way at once.
 

Esotar

VIP/Donor
Mar 28, 2016
311
187
228
South Korea
www.digitusupremo.com
SGM Extreme users~!

I'll do strange test about Setchi D-3 USB Type.

I let you introduce my test.

Look~!

P1010066.JPG


Is there someone who uses micro USB 3.1 port???

I think no one uses it.

But this port is very close to Extreme's the most important USB port.

If connecting Setchi D-3 to this port?????

I don't know the result.

Perhaps, I may get good result.

convert.PNG


Very cheap convertor.

I'll use it and test.

Regardless the result, I'll tell you about this test after one week.
 

EuroDriver

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2015
407
347
148
Monaco
What a difference a week makes !

I was back in Hengelo today and sat with my jaw hanging open in the listening room.

The sound quality is in every aspect is on a new level which I have not experienced before. Additional insight about the processing and transport process of the software and careful tuning of the threads and processes during a long Sunday night of clean power supply has resulted in Emile assembling a sonic package with musicality, coherence and density that elevates the realism of the performance.

A particularly challenging track to present realistically is Glen Gould, Goldberg Variations BWV 988, a great performance but a pretty mediocre recording even in its day IMHO. Today, Glen and his Grand Piano were absolutely in the room.

Particularly noteworthy is the PRAT and swing of that the system is delivering. Emile and I were both reflexively tapping our feet.

However the real proof of the pudding comes from Extreme owner reports and feedback. I am hearing the musical emotion has boomeranged back, but only Beta tester customer reports will let us know for sure. Every customer system is unique, each with its particular special strengths which in turn will display/ lay bare any weakness in the voicing that Emile has assembled.

The Beta package will be going out very shortly, like this week !
 

nenon

Active Member
Jan 29, 2020
41
172
33
39
I have debated whether I should post this or not. It's not relevant for most Extreme users. But a few of my audio friends from another forum with whom we used to tweak DIY servers together, now bought Extreme servers. They are the ones who will probably try to push their Extreme to its limits. So that post may give them something to think about. I also considered emailing Emile, but I don't think Emile leaves any stones unturned, and I doubt I can tell him anything he does not already know.
Having said that, I would not recommend Extreme owners to do anything on their own unless they absolutely know what they are doing. Installing software on the Extreme can ruin the carefully tweaked system and have pretty bad outcome. Okay, now that the disclaimer is out, if you are into that 1% of people left who like to explore and know exactly what you are doing, please read below.

I have been playing around with my DIY dual Xeon, which has similar hardware like the Extreme. It's also running Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC, and I configure CPU affinities, priorities, etc. with process lasso in probably a similar way like the Extreme. There has been a lot of tweaking on this DIY build - some things worked well, some made it worse, but I wanted to share one of the biggest improvements in sound quality that I believe would also apply to Extreme users.

This test was triggered by my last conversation with @romaz about networking tweaks. At that time (and I know Roy changes things quickly), Roy had tried to use HQPlayer while completely unplugging the Extreme from the network. I was not interested in that type of configuration for multiple reasons, but most importantly:
1. Roon sounded better than ever with this DIY server, and I was thrilled to be able to use Roon again (stopped using it a while ago in favor of Euphony/Stylus).
2. I could not accept the level of inconvenience - getting up to unplug/plug the network cable every time I wanted to change a track. I would rather play my vinyl records in that case.
3. I am using a NOS R2R DAC which does not benefit from upsampling. Actually upsampling with my DAC may cause some weird effects. Using HQplayer just did not sound like the right approach.
But I could not stop thinking WHAT IF, WHAT IF...

What if I try HQPlayer with no upsampling? Okay, that's an easy test. Downloaded and installed HQPlayer. Configured it not to upsample. Configured Roon to output to HQplayer. Improvement? Hard to say... the sound changed somewhat, but it definitely was not a significant improvement.

What if I try HQPlayer with no upsampling but get rid of Roon? That's fine, but unlike the Extreme servers I did not have VNC server installed on my computer. Remote Desktop is removed as part of stripping down my Windows. My best option to connect to the server was via KVM.

I probably should not assume that everyone here knows what KVM is, so let me explain.
Servers that are installed in data centers and managed remotely sometimes need to be power cycled remotely, or they may need their BIOS changed, or even the Operating systems to be reinstalled. Imagine your Extreme fails to boot Windows (knock on wood!) - you would not be able to connect via VNC or TeamViewer, because the Operating system has not loaded. Your only option is to connect a keyboard and monitor to see what happens. Well, that's not really an acceptable option for remotely managed servers. That's why most servers provide out of band management interface. Think of it as an option to use keyboard, video, and mouse remotely from a web-browser. It's a low-level hardware device that does not need an operating system to operate.

My Asus SAGE motherboard came with this little BMC card that provides KVM access:
Yes, just a matter of plugging in this module:

View attachment 61876

There's no real use for it though as the Extreme runs VNC software, the BMC is slightly audible.
From my previous experiments with DIY servers I know that network traffic impacts performance. Euphony / Stylus was loading everything in RAM and trying to do as little I/O (input/output) activity as possible. Roon developers prioritize convenience over sound quality, and Roon generates a lot of network traffic that can potentially impact the sound quality. That's why Roy discovered that unplugging the network completely sounds so good. And BTW, no server is immune to the negative effect of I/O. So this is not a negative for the Extreme. The Extreme, with its dual CPUs, is going above and beyond any other server I have seen to minimize this impact, but as we have discovered, network tweaks are beneficial even to Extreme owners.

What if I disable all network cards in Windows, so the OS cannot perform any network activity? And what if I use HQplayer with no oversampling and connect via KVM to control the software. Well, this my friends was one of the biggest improvements on my DIY server. If Extreme owners get even half of the improvement I got, it would still be a huge improvement. I need to do a few more experiments, but they would have to wait until next weekend.

My conclusion so far is two folded.
1. Roon sounds incredible with this hardware, and I am sure it sounds even better on the Extreme. It's the best quality Roon I have ever heard. But there are still other players out there that sound better than Roon. Maybe one day Emile will write his own "Extreme" player.
2. No matter what you do, network activity has impact on the server performance. No network is the best network.

If the 0.1% remaining users (Is that even 1 :)) would like to experiment try installing that BMC module and give it a try.
And hopefully Emile does not get upset with my post. By all means, feel free to delete if not relevant.

Cheers,
Nenon
 
Last edited:

cat6man

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

this is completely in agreement with what i have been reporting for a few years now.
HQPlayer with no upsampling or dither can sound fantastic.

i have a totaldac d1-direct and have not found any hqp signal processing that sounds better than bit exact, the benefit being (apparently) from separating the rendering (at the server) from the NAA which feeds the DAC

as for roon, not my cup of tea at all, as i want to search a well thought out directory structure, not look at tons of pages of album covers sorted in god knows what manner :)
i trialed it once and ran screaming back to my (luddite-ish) directory structured music library.

one more suggestion for running hqp with no upsampling/dither. try increasing the NAA buffer to the maximum 250ms-----made a nice improvement here where NAA is opticalRendu.
while 250ms is maximum permitted through hqp web page configuration, try editing the config file directly and set to 500ms

apologies to emile for non-taiko content, but i wanted to reinforce the suggestion that the extreme with no upsampling hqp is worth investigating
 
Likes: nonesup

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
305
126
128
Thanks for the great post, Nenon. I am extremely unqualified, and so unlikely, to muck around with the operating system, but it's great to see people pushing the envelope.

Practical questions on Roon listening with network cable detached:

1. If you want to play a 5 minute track for instance, do you start playing with the network cable attached for the time required for the full 5 minutes to load to buffer and then unplug from network and start at the beginning of the track?

2. What is the expected limit to how much music can be saved to the buffer? I tend to listen to entire albums streamed through Roon. Is it possible to save a 1 hour album to buffer and then play with the network cable detached?
 

nenon

Active Member
Jan 29, 2020
41
172
33
39
@nenon

this is completely in agreement with what i have been reporting for a few years now.
HQPlayer with no upsampling or dither can sound fantastic.

i have a totaldac d1-direct and have not found any hqp signal processing that sounds better than bit exact, the benefit being (apparently) from separating the rendering (at the server) from the NAA which feeds the DAC

as for roon, not my cup of tea at all, as i want to search a well thought out directory structure, not look at tons of pages of album covers sorted in god knows what manner :)
i trialed it once and ran screaming back to my (luddite-ish) directory structured music library.

one more suggestion for running hqp with no upsampling/dither. try increasing the NAA buffer to the maximum 250ms-----made a nice improvement here where NAA is opticalRendu.
while 250ms is maximum permitted through hqp web page configuration, try editing the config file directly and set to 500ms

apologies to emile for non-taiko content, but i wanted to reinforce the suggestion that the extreme with no upsampling hqp is worth investigating
I think you might have read a little bit too much into my post and missed the point about disabling the network completely. That is definitely one part of the advantage here. The other part is just using a better quality player than Roon. Going to a server / NAA solution with HQPlayer would be a significant step downhill here, and I am definitely NOT suggesting that. But I see what you are saying about "reinforcing the suggestion that the extreme with no upsampling hqp is worth investigating". There is another issue with HQPlayer on this hardware I briefly mention below.

Let me reiterate the two main points.
1. Roon was always inferior to other players in my DIY server builds. It is incredible what Taiko has done with the Extreme and how good Roon sounds. But I am realizing that the Extreme is so good and that's why Roon sounds better than any other software/hardware combinations I've heard. There is nothing better to compare with. But once you try other players on that hardware, you quickly realize that it can sound even better.
But you can't just install another player on the Extreme, as it would most likely create a disbalance, given how careful the Extreme is tweaked.
Also, I have some issues with affinities with HQPlayer on this dual CPU build, so I am not even sure that HQPlayer is the right software to be used here. It's just the one I experimented with. I will try other players too.
2. I've spent a lot of time, money, and effort to tweak my network. It's quite complex and consists of a careful selected combination of several switches, routers, power supplies, DC cables, transceivers, ethernet cables, etc. I've spent a fortune to make it as good as I can, and I enjoy streaming Qobuz more than ever. But what exactly have I done? It almost seems like all these network tweaks serve as a tone control to get the sound I wanted. Don't ask me how that works from an engineering point of view - I have no idea, but I hear what I hear. Bypassing all those network tweaks literally collapses the sound in my system. But what if there is no network at all? Well, the feeling is the same as if I bypassed a well-tuned tone control. Everything sounds more natural. That was my second point about the best network is no network.
And don't forget - I still have a network cable plugged in for my KVM session; and the noise still gets to my server; it just operates on a lower hardware level and there is no OS activity.

Thanks for the great post, Nenon. I am extremely unqualified, and so unlikely, to muck around with the operating system, but it's great to see people pushing the envelope.

Practical questions on Roon listening with network cable detached:

1. If you want to play a 5 minute track for instance, do you start playing with the network cable attached for the time required for the full 5 minutes to load to buffer and then unplug from network and start at the beginning of the track?

2. What is the expected limit to how much music can be saved to the buffer? I tend to listen to entire albums streamed through Roon. Is it possible to save a 1 hour album to buffer and then play with the network cable detached?
Will - give it a try. I have never found a clear guidance on Roon's caching mechanisms. But I gave up on Roon a while ago... until I tried this hardware/software... and it seems like I will be going that direction again.

Now as I am thinking more about this - I am starting to have some regrets about posting this. I come from a DIY background and am used to post in DIY forums where everyone is eager to experiment and try the latest and greatest. And here I am coming to the what's best forum where people discuss the best money can buy and telling people who bought the best that it may potentially sound even better... but it's not something they can buy or do. What good does that do to those people? None for sure! And that's why I started my post with who the post is targeted for. It was mainly targeted to people like me but who decided to end the DIY affairs and bought an Extreme... and who I know are still eager to experiment from time to time. And sacrifice convenience for sound quality. Because what I suggested means no shiny Roon interface and no online streaming.
For the rest, I'll tell you this - you have bought the best and you are in the hands of one of the most capable people in the industry. Enjoy the music and leave the tweaking to Emile.
But I know there are a handful number of Extreme owners who may find my post interesting and may consider exploring further. Next time I may PM them directly instead. The problem is it's hard to know who is interested and who is not.
 

cat6man

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2013
174
37
260
west of NYC, east of SF
Going to a server / NAA solution with HQPlayer would be a significant step downhill here, and I am definitely NOT suggesting that. But I see what you are saying about "reinforcing the suggestion that the extreme with no upsampling hqp is worth investigating".
nor was I. i was suggesting that a server/NAA, both inside the extreme and properly isolated via the magic tweaking stuff emile has mastered, might be an interesting and good sounding option.
and definitely not a diy project.


For the rest, I'll tell you this - you have bought the best and you are in the hands of one of the most capable people in the industry. Enjoy the music and leave the tweaking to Emile.
absolutely.
as for me, i'm hoping that 1) the new mojo going into the beta is so good that the extreme reaches new heights of sonic bliss and 2) the new mojo can bring the extreme-mini up to the level of the current extreme and within the range of my wallet.

stay safe everyone
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
312
400
68
67
I think you might have read a little bit too much into my post and missed the point about disabling the network completely. That is definitely one part of the advantage here. The other part is just using a better quality player than Roon. Going to a server / NAA solution with HQPlayer would be a significant step downhill here, and I am definitely NOT suggesting that. But I see what you are saying about "reinforcing the suggestion that the extreme with no upsampling hqp is worth investigating". There is another issue with HQPlayer on this hardware I briefly mention below.

Let me reiterate the two main points.
1. Roon was always inferior to other players in my DIY server builds. It is incredible what Taiko has done with the Extreme and how good Roon sounds. But I am realizing that the Extreme is so good and that's why Roon sounds better than any other software/hardware combinations I've heard. There is nothing better to compare with. But once you try other players on that hardware, you quickly realize that it can sound even better.
But you can't just install another player on the Extreme, as it would most likely create a disbalance, given how careful the Extreme is tweaked.
Also, I have some issues with affinities with HQPlayer on this dual CPU build, so I am not even sure that HQPlayer is the right software to be used here. It's just the one I experimented with. I will try other players too.
2. I've spent a lot of time, money, and effort to tweak my network. It's quite complex and consists of a careful selected combination of several switches, routers, power supplies, DC cables, transceivers, ethernet cables, etc. I've spent a fortune to make it as good as I can, and I enjoy streaming Qobuz more than ever. But what exactly have I done? It almost seems like all these network tweaks serve as a tone control to get the sound I wanted. Don't ask me how that works from an engineering point of view - I have no idea, but I hear what I hear. Bypassing all those network tweaks literally collapses the sound in my system. But what if there is no network at all? Well, the feeling is the same as if I bypassed a well-tuned tone control. Everything sounds more natural. That was my second point about the best network is no network.
And don't forget - I still have a network cable plugged in for my KVM session; and the noise still gets to my server; it just operates on a lower hardware level and there is no OS activity.



Will - give it a try. I have never found a clear guidance on Roon's caching mechanisms. But I gave up on Roon a while ago... until I tried this hardware/software... and it seems like I will be going that direction again.

Now as I am thinking more about this - I am starting to have some regrets about posting this. I come from a DIY background and am used to post in DIY forums where everyone is eager to experiment and try the latest and greatest. And here I am coming to the what's best forum where people discuss the best money can buy and telling people who bought the best that it may potentially sound even better... but it's not something they can buy or do. What good does that do to those people? None for sure! And that's why I started my post with who the post is targeted for. It was mainly targeted to people like me but who decided to end the DIY affairs and bought an Extreme... and who I know are still eager to experiment from time to time. And sacrifice convenience for sound quality. Because what I suggested means no shiny Roon interface and no online streaming.
For the rest, I'll tell you this - you have bought the best and you are in the hands of one of the most capable people in the industry. Enjoy the music and leave the tweaking to Emile.
But I know there are a handful number of Extreme owners who may find my post interesting and may consider exploring further. Next time I may PM them directly instead. The problem is it's hard to know who is interested and who is not.
I’m not an Extreme user and I’m not a DIYer, but i find all this information and discussion fascinating. What i personally get out of this is the insight into what it takes to get the very best out of local and remote streaming.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
The Taiko Audio Server- The icing on the cake !!

Happy Days Are Hear:) Again

I was late to the game of streaming music as I was heavily invested in Vinyl. It wasn't until October that I made the plunge and bought myself a Taiko Extreme. I was in hog's heaven and said here many times that the Extreme changed the way I listened to music. I loved it. I was emotionally involved and seemed i could never get enough

Things seemed to change however as I noticed a decrease in the sound quality of Roon after the last 2 updates. Initially I found changes in the bottom end which previously sounded excellent and the timbre, ambience and presence seemed to vanish. It was as if I was listening to a car radio. The music was there but for me the sparkle was gone. I was emotionally unattached and found my interest level seemed to be shortened or
non existent. Some here suggested it was my system or perhaps a faulty tube in my DAC. It was my feeling that the loss of SQ was due to other things.
I read with great interest a few months ago posts by Romasz that Roon could care less about SQ but were rather a data driven entity. The feeling was that with every update Roon became top heavy with code and eventually the SQ would deteriorate.

I wondered if that could be the issue and having almost daily talks with Emile it was not only his feeling that the issue was Roon related but that created a challenge in his mind to create a better server and better sounding player than Roon. Approximately 6-7 weeks ago Emile took up the gauntlet and challenge that he could do such a thing and hired a programmer and set off on the challenge

Well we are now 6-7 weeks down the road and I was fortunate today to have Emile load the Taiko Audio Server onto my Extreme. Bear in mind that this is still a beta version and the remote control is still under development and awaiting approval from the App store to load it there for us to download.

It took Emile approx 20-30 minutes to load the new server on my Extreme. he said it is normally faster but the auto install was being buggy so he literally installed everything manually

So let's cut to the chase and how does it sound?

My first few hours of listening brought a very short and simple answer. I can only make judgments based on what I remember hearing in October when my Extreme was installed to how it sounded last week and how it sounds now

For me I told Emile that I am not a DIYer and have a very simple network which performs flawlessly and I had no intentions of adding switches, fiber optic etc etc

I only cared about
1. The very best SQ
2. Everything is played native
3. An excellent search function able to access metadata, all my files etc
4. Bit perfect
I am simply mesmerized that not only did Emile pull this off in 6-7 weeks but the SQ literally destroys Roon in every way

The sparkle is back. Timbre is better than I have ever heard with my Extreme. The sense of ambience brings goose bumps as it restores the much needed sense of presence

It seems formidable initially to use but TBH it's very easy. My entire library is there as is Qobuz and Tidal.

Emile needs to do some polishing and corrections tomorrow as the search function was buried deep and I was limited to DSD 128 but could not play DSD 256 or DSD 512 due to needing larger buffer capacity. This is also an easy fix

What i missed the most (but again to Emile another easy fix) was being able to enable a switch (Roon) which allows for the format of every album to be seen with the cover art of the album.

The good news is that all of these issues can and will be addressed with the final version and future updates done by Emile

The even better news is that these functions will all be able to be done by us which will relieve Emile of countless hours every day accessing and fupdating our Extreme leaving his creative mind to deal with this new server which IMHO in just the beta version is quantum leaps better sonically than anything I have ever heard to date with my Extreme.

For Emile it too is all about the very best SQ and in this beta version (which remains so far in its infancy) the SQ makes me one happy Extreme owner

I know the plan is to have both Roon and the Taiko Audio server on each Extreme and a simple on/off switch which is coming will switch from the Taiko Audio to Roon server

We all have to admit that there is something seductive about Roon and we have all become accustomed to searching the metadata to get the music we want. Using the Taiko server, there are similarities to Roon but so also differences. I know it is the aim of Emile to make the metadata every bit as good or better than Roon and this will happen slowly with time. From what I understand whenever we use the Taiko Audio server and play a file it goes into the library of the Taiko Audio server

So for me once again it is all about the best sound quality and in this very short time Emile and Taiko Audio have stepped to the plate and hit a "walk off home run"

We are so very lucky to have such a skilled mind in Emile's head but also an audiophile like the rest of us whose only goal is to provide the very best sound quality

A very big tip of the Hat to you sir

More to come as I am going back into my room for another extended listen but so far the Taiko Audio Server is now IMHO truly the icing on the cake of La Creme de la creme
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,985
1,237
520
Hong Kong
The Taiko Audio Server- The icing on the cake !!

Happy Days Are Hear:) Again

I was late to the game of streaming music as I was heavily invested in Vinyl. It wasn't until October that I made the plunge and bought myself a Taiko Extreme. I was in hog's heaven and said here many times that the Extreme changed the way I listened to music. I loved it. I was emotionally involved and seemed i could never get enough

Things seemed to change however as I noticed a decrease in the sound quality of Roon after the last 2 updates. Initially I found changes in the bottom end which previously sounded excellent and the timbre, ambience and presence seemed to vanish. It was as if I was listening to a car radio. The music was there but for me the sparkle was gone. I was emotionally unattached and found my interest level seemed to be shortened or
non existent. Some here suggested it was my system or perhaps a faulty tube in my DAC. It was my feeling that the loss of SQ was due to other things.
I read with great interest a few months ago posts by Romasz that Roon could care less about SQ but were rather a data driven entity. The feeling was that with every update Roon became top heavy with code and eventually the SQ would deteriorate.

I wondered if that could be the issue and having almost daily talks with Emile it was not only his feeling that the issue was Roon related but that created a challenge in his mind to create a better server and better sounding player than Roon. Approximately 6-7 weeks ago Emile took up the gauntlet and challenge that he could do such a thing and hired a programmer and set off on the challenge

Well we are now 6-7 weeks down the road and I was fortunate today to have Emile load the Taiko Audio Server onto my Extreme. Bear in mind that this is still a beta version and the remote control is still under development and awaiting approval from the App store to load it there for us to download.

It took Emile approx 20-30 minutes to load the new server on my Extreme. he said it is normally faster but the auto install was being buggy so he literally installed everything manually

So let's cut to the chase and how does it sound?

My first few hours of listening brought a very short and simple answer. I can only make judgments based on what I remember hearing in October when my Extreme was installed to how it sounded last week and how it sounds now

For me I told Emile that I am not a DIYer and have a very simple network which performs flawlessly and I had no intentions of adding switches, fiber optic etc etc

I only cared about
1. The very best SQ
2. Everything is played native
3. An excellent search function able to access metadata, all my files etc
4. Bit perfect
I am simply mesmerized that not only did Emile pull this off in 6-7 weeks but the SQ literally destroys Roon in every way

The sparkle is back. Timbre is better than I have ever heard with my Extreme. The sense of ambience brings goose bumps as it restores the much needed sense of presence

It seems formidable initially to use but TBH it's very easy. My entire library is there as is Qobuz and Tidal.

Emile needs to do some polishing and corrections tomorrow as the search function was buried deep and I was limited to DSD 128 but could not play DSD 256 or DSD 512 due to needing larger buffer capacity. This is also an easy fix

What i missed the most (but again to Emile another easy fix) was being able to enable a switch (Roon) which allows for the format of every album to be seen with the cover art of the album.

The good news is that all of these issues can and will be addressed with the final version and future updates done by Emile

The even better news is that these functions will all be able to be done by us which will relieve Emile of countless hours every day accessing and fupdating our Extreme leaving his creative mind to deal with this new server which IMHO in just the beta version is quantum leaps better sonically than anything I have ever heard to date with my Extreme.

For Emile it too is all about the very best SQ and in this beta version (which remains so far in its infancy) the SQ makes me one happy Extreme owner

I know the plan is to have both Roon and the Taiko Audio server on each Extreme and a simple on/off switch which is coming will switch from the Taiko Audio to Roon server

We all have to admit that there is something seductive about Roon and we have all become accustomed to searching the metadata to get the music we want. Using the Taiko server, there are similarities to Roon but so also differences. I know it is the aim of Emile to make the metadata every bit as good or better than Roon and this will happen slowly with time. From what I understand whenever we use the Taiko Audio server and play a file it goes into the library of the Taiko Audio server

So for me once again it is all about the best sound quality and in this very short time Emile and Taiko Audio have stepped to the plate and hit a "walk off home run"

We are so very lucky to have such a skilled mind in Emile's head but also an audiophile like the rest of us whose only goal is to provide the very best sound quality

A very big tip of the Hat to you sir

More to come as I am going back into my room for another extended listen but so far the Taiko Audio Server is now IMHO truly the icing on the cake of La Creme de la creme
Hi Steve,
All my Extreme user friends and I have the same experience, feeling & thoughts.

We were in heaven with the Extremes 2 months ago but suddenly descended to hell after the new builds of Roon since then.
There have been uncountable communication with Emile and he has been working on the sound quality issue for weeks but in vain.

It seemed hopeless but Emile took the challenge up and hired a software engineer and developed the Taiko Audio Server.
We see the light again.
My salute to Emile!

This is the best aftersale service I have ever encountered!
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing