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: 53 62.4%
  • Ethernet

    Votes: 14 16.5%
  • Both USB and Ethernet

    Votes: 10 11.8%
  • AES/EBU

    Votes: 10 11.8%
  • Dual AES/EBU

    Votes: 2 2.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 6 7.1%

  • Total voters
    85

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,504
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320
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taikoaudio.com
ps. Just please do not overload TAS with to much funcionality.
We dont want it to compromise the SQ.
Hi Kris,

Thank you for your kind words. You can rest assured every piece of code is verified by ear. As an example we tested a whole range of existing protocols/services just for remote control app communication and Wilson ended up coding his own from scratch as it was the only way to get a non malicious interface. If there is functionality you would like to have which we cannot render inaudible we will add a slider to optionally disable it.
 

Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
311
157
48
Hi Kris,

Thank you for your kind words. You can rest assured every piece of code is verified by ear. As an example we tested a whole range of existing protocols/services just for remote control app communication and Wilson ended up coding his own from scratch as it was the only way to get a non malicious interface. If there is functionality you would like to have which we cannot render inaudible we will add a slider to optionally disable it.
Thank you Emile
I am sure you will do your best to optimise it with no compromise.
If you are thinking to create slider to turn off some functions that might interfere with final SQ I think you can create also :
One botton with PURIST MODE that will trun everything not needed for playback off.
Many of us have playlists so no search or other things will be needed.
I hope some of our Extreme owners would love to have that option in menu
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,504
2,144
320
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
Thank you Emile
I am sure you will do your best to optimise it with no compromise.
If you are thinking to create slider to turn off some functions that might interfere with final SQ I think you can create also :
One botton with PURIST MODE that will trun everything not needed for playback off.
Many of us have playlists so no search or other things will be needed.
I hope some of our Extreme owners would love to have that option in menu

Hi Kris,

Examples of what we are working on already are disabling filesharing / network discovery services from the remote and specific services necessary for Roon or HQPlayer to run which we could start / stop depending on which player is active. Somewhere in the future we may even have options to select which switch you are using to optimize playback performance in conjunction with that. The switch which we are developing ourselves for example supports some very specific functions you'd want to enable software support for.
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,504
2,144
320
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taikoaudio.com
Wow! It is exciting to see the current development! I know the new driver is being designed for usb DAC. I am using Merging Revanna. Please kindly make sure that is compatible as well.

As Ravenna is an ASIO driver it should work. The USB driver we are developing consists of 2 parts, a kernel mode USB direct hardware driver and an ASIO driver interfacing the Player to hardware driver. For the driver there are 2 options, a generic USB class 2 compliant driver which can drive any DAC, or a more advanced driver which will likely only work with DACs which utilize a XMOS USB interface (most higher priced DACs use XMOS). The latter will require us to add individual support for each DAC as these will have unique USB id's which tell Windows to load the driver for that device, but it also provides more functionality we're not sure of if we actually need it.
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,504
2,144
320
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
hi guys, new to this forum-

Where can I sign up to be a beta tester?

Thanks!

Welcome to the What's Best Forum!

We are setting up an online subscription page which should go live in less then 24 hours (the page, not the beta).
 
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Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
311
157
48
Hi Kris,

Examples of what we are working on already are disabling filesharing / network discovery services from the remote and specific services necessary for Roon or HQPlayer to run which we could start / stop depending on which player is active. Somewhere in the future we may even have options to select which switch you are using to optimize playback performance in conjunction with that. The switch which we are developing ourselves for example supports some very specific functions you'd want to enable software support for.
This sounds awesome.
It looks is it the " Complete Taiko Package "
By doing it you have an absolute control of what is going on untill " bits are bits "
 

ray-dude

Active Member
Dec 8, 2019
54
129
35
50
Many thanks to Emile for getting me up on the TAS alpha this morning (and for @austinpop benefit, I'm now cooking with TAS ;)

Only had a chance to listen to a couple test tracks before Zoom meetings started, but SQ was stunning. Bravo to the team! Lot more listening test to come.
 

heebrog

Member
May 12, 2018
65
22
15
Perth, WA
There is still no Qobuz in Australia!!

Is Tidal going to be available on TAS soon?
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,644
1,427
520
There is still no Qobuz in Australia!!

Is Tidal going to be available on TAS soon?
There is no Qobuz on Hong Kong either. I just set it up when i was overseas. Or ask a friend to try. Once you're in, it will work anywhere.
 

EuroDriver

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2015
446
494
148
Monaco
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Kris

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
311
157
48
Hopefully we will have Tidal functionality in the Beta, but it might be clunky

Qobuz is supposed to be coming soon in Oz
https://www.headphonesty.com/2020/01/qobuz-eyes-library-expansion-system-enhancements/

You could set up a US PayPal account, use a VPN to open a Qobuz account with payment coming from your US PayPal account

There is alternative to this also,
You could go and purchese the International account on the ebay that someone created.
It is an empty account that will work 3 months only, after that you can get new one.
It is much cheper, but downside is that your older playlist will dissaper with new subscription.
Also it works everywere .
All you have to do is to enter the username and password in Roon.

But the better way to do it is to ask someone ( Friend) to create one for you and pay him
in advance for a year or two so he keeps it running.
Than you have all your music at all times with you.
 
Last edited:

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
1,504
2,144
320
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com

alwayslearning

Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2011
13
60
418
I am a fortunate new owner of an Extreme. It arrived in Seattle about ten days ago. This post will just focus on my initial sonic impressions.

For context, my previous digital front end was a classic "spaghetti" setup, i.e., a lot of small components with cables and power supplies arrayed everywhere. An Uptone Audio-modified 2012 Mac Mini ran Roon Core. The rest of the chain looked like this (minus power supplies and cables): EtherRegen > SOtM sMS-200Ultra > Uptone Audio ISO Regen > SOtM tX-USBUltra > Chord M Scaler M > Chord DAVE. Just three years ago this might have been considered a leading edge digital front end.

My current digital front end, despite the addition of the Extreme, has not been fully optimized. It looks like this: gigabit fiber > Centurylink ONT > SOtM dCBL-Cat7 ethernet > Actiontec router (powered by Uptone JS-2) > long run of generic Cat6e ethernet to wall jack > Sablon 2020 ethernet > Extreme > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord DAVE.

The Sablon ethernet cable just arrived yesterday and my sonic impressions were formed with a generic Cat5 ethernet cable as the last link into the Extreme (I had planned on using another SOtM dCBL-Cat7 but it was too short).

The Extreme is on the bottom shelf of a Finite Elemente rack with heavy duty Finite Elemente Cerabase footers supporting the rack. The rack is constructed of hard Canadian maple. I have the Extreme sitting on an IKEA bamboo Aptilig cutting board. Normally I would put 4 Stillpoints Ultra SS between the bamboo and the Extreme since I have had very good results with this combination under other components. But I want to let the Extreme burn in and get a good baseline before I experiment with Stillpoints. Of course I’m curious about Taiko's Daiza platform and may try that as well.

I am currently using a Shunyata Alpha HC power cord, which is plugged into an Audience ar6-TSSOX power conditioner. Later I will try going direct to the wall, where I have dedicated circuits. Eventually I will likely audition a Sablon Prince power cord.

So there are improvements that can and will happen over time, and I haven't even mentioned Taiko's new software, USB card, or switch.

Finally, I've been using Roon in combination with HQPlayer for my listening. HQPlayer has essentially replaced the M Scaler in this setup. I have not tried HQPlayer as a standalone player, though others say this results in a notably better sound than the Roon/HQP combination. I'm looking forward to the TAS/HQP software tailored for the Chord DAVE.

Here are my sonic impressions so far, roughly in order of biggest difference to smallest difference:

Tone

Visceral, bold, physical, solid; these are all adjectives that come to mind. By comparison, all previous digital sounds anemic. One way to think about it is that listening to music with an Extreme is more like viewing a sculpture (more 3-D, solid, and dimensional) and less like looking at a photograph. Another way of putting it is that tone and dimensionality sound more analogue. There is a tonal density and saturation of tonal colors that is compelling. Subjectively, the power range (100 Hz to 400 Hz) is beefier. Cellos, bass guitar, kick drum, trombones all are rock solid. Finally, timbre is true. I've always considered solo piano to be the best test of timbre up and down the frequency range and this is the most realistic piano I have ever heard.

Dynamics

No surprise here for anyone who has paid attention to this thread. The Extreme expands the dynamic envelope of your system — by a lot! So on recordings that really go from ppp to fff, you are going to hear this dynamic range in all its glory, with all the subtle shadings in between.

Some of the macrodynamic swings can be startling, especially with orchestral music. No, the Extreme can’t duplicate the experience of sitting in a good concert hall with a full symphony orchestra, but what I’m hearing now is more realistic, dynamically, than any other digital or analogue I’ve experienced in my home.

I also can't get over the subjective impression that overall volume levels have increased.

Timing

Timing, already a huge forte of the DAVE, is now significantly better. Transients are very distinct and clean, transforming the listening experience for percussion and bass lines. Combined with the bold, tonally dense sound, PRAT is off the charts for music where this is important.

Presence or Immediacy

Vocals are “right there” with seemingly nothing coming between you and your favorite singers. Unlike the type of “presence” that I heard with my old Shindo electronics, there is no romanticizing the music or making it more lush or beautiful than what you would hear in life (as pleasant as that can sound sometimes). If you have a neutral, balanced system to begin with, the Extreme will not change that balance.

Clarity and Separation

This is not the first thing you notice with an Extreme and that's why I put it last on the list. After being bowled over by the sonic characteristics noted above, you eventually notice that you are hearing things you hadn't heard before on well-known recordings. This is readily apparent with vocals, where lyrics that had been obscured for years are now suddenly intelligible.

Separation between instruments and voices is also greater, but not in a spatial sense or the imaging sense of instruments appearing in various locations in a soundstage. Rather, instruments and voices are simply more distinct from one another. This really helps one understand how music is put together

It is also worth noting that the additional detail and transparency does not sound analytical. It is fully fleshed out and balanced within the context of the musical whole. It just sounds like a bigger pipe is now carrying music into the room.

Things That Have Not Changed That Much

In my room, the soundstage has not increased noticeably in terms of width or height, although I will say that soundstaging and imaging were strong suits of my system before the Extreme landed. The width, height, and depth of the soundstage continues (appropriately) to be recording-dependent.

Poorly recorded music is not miraculously resurrected. That music will probably sound different with an Extreme but a poor recording will still be annoyingly apparent and there is still a large chasm between really well-recorded music and the dreck.

Conclusion

It should be obvious by now that I consider the Extreme to be transformational. The emotional connection with music is stronger. The musical intent of the composer and/or musicians is laid bare. Thank you to Emile and the entire Taiko team for enhancing our musical journey.
 

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
212
363
295
I am a fortunate new owner of an Extreme. It arrived in Seattle about ten days ago. This post will just focus on my initial sonic impressions.

For context, my previous digital front end was a classic "spaghetti" setup, i.e., a lot of small components with cables and power supplies arrayed everywhere. An Uptone Audio-modified 2012 Mac Mini ran Roon Core. The rest of the chain looked like this (minus power supplies and cables): EtherRegen > SOtM sMS-200Ultra > Uptone Audio ISO Regen > SOtM tX-USBUltra > Chord M Scaler M > Chord DAVE. Just three years ago this might have been considered a leading edge digital front end.

My current digital front end, despite the addition of the Extreme, has not been fully optimized. It looks like this: gigabit fiber > Centurylink ONT > SOtM dCBL-Cat7 ethernet > Actiontec router (powered by Uptone JS-2) > long run of generic Cat6e ethernet to wall jack > Sablon 2020 ethernet > Extreme > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord DAVE.

The Sablon ethernet cable just arrived yesterday and my sonic impressions were formed with a generic Cat5 ethernet cable as the last link into the Extreme (I had planned on using another SOtM dCBL-Cat7 but it was too short).

The Extreme is on the bottom shelf of a Finite Elemente rack with heavy duty Finite Elemente Cerabase footers supporting the rack. The rack is constructed of hard Canadian maple. I have the Extreme sitting on an IKEA bamboo Aptilig cutting board. Normally I would put 4 Stillpoints Ultra SS between the bamboo and the Extreme since I have had very good results with this combination under other components. But I want to let the Extreme burn in and get a good baseline before I experiment with Stillpoints. Of course I’m curious about Taiko's Daiza platform and may try that as well.

I am currently using a Shunyata Alpha HC power cord, which is plugged into an Audience ar6-TSSOX power conditioner. Later I will try going direct to the wall, where I have dedicated circuits. Eventually I will likely audition a Sablon Prince power cord.

So there are improvements that can and will happen over time, and I haven't even mentioned Taiko's new software, USB card, or switch.

Finally, I've been using Roon in combination with HQPlayer for my listening. HQPlayer has essentially replaced the M Scaler in this setup. I have not tried HQPlayer as a standalone player, though others say this results in a notably better sound than the Roon/HQP combination. I'm looking forward to the TAS/HQP software tailored for the Chord DAVE.

Here are my sonic impressions so far, roughly in order of biggest difference to smallest difference:

Tone

Visceral, bold, physical, solid; these are all adjectives that come to mind. By comparison, all previous digital sounds anemic. One way to think about it is that listening to music with an Extreme is more like viewing a sculpture (more 3-D, solid, and dimensional) and less like looking at a photograph. Another way of putting it is that tone and dimensionality sound more analogue. There is a tonal density and saturation of tonal colors that is compelling. Subjectively, the power range (100 Hz to 400 Hz) is beefier. Cellos, bass guitar, kick drum, trombones all are rock solid. Finally, timbre is true. I've always considered solo piano to be the best test of timbre up and down the frequency range and this is the most realistic piano I have ever heard.

Dynamics

No surprise here for anyone who has paid attention to this thread. The Extreme expands the dynamic envelope of your system — by a lot! So on recordings that really go from ppp to fff, you are going to hear this dynamic range in all its glory, with all the subtle shadings in between.

Some of the macrodynamic swings can be startling, especially with orchestral music. No, the Extreme can’t duplicate the experience of sitting in a good concert hall with a full symphony orchestra, but what I’m hearing now is more realistic, dynamically, than any other digital or analogue I’ve experienced in my home.

I also can't get over the subjective impression that overall volume levels have increased.

Timing

Timing, already a huge forte of the DAVE, is now significantly better. Transients are very distinct and clean, transforming the listening experience for percussion and bass lines. Combined with the bold, tonally dense sound, PRAT is off the charts for music where this is important.

Presence or Immediacy

Vocals are “right there” with seemingly nothing coming between you and your favorite singers. Unlike the type of “presence” that I heard with my old Shindo electronics, there is no romanticizing the music or making it more lush or beautiful than what you would hear in life (as pleasant as that can sound sometimes). If you have a neutral, balanced system to begin with, the Extreme will not change that balance.

Clarity and Separation

This is not the first thing you notice with an Extreme and that's why I put it last on the list. After being bowled over by the sonic characteristics noted above, you eventually notice that you are hearing things you hadn't heard before on well-known recordings. This is readily apparent with vocals, where lyrics that had been obscured for years are now suddenly intelligible.

Separation between instruments and voices is also greater, but not in a spatial sense or the imaging sense of instruments appearing in various locations in a soundstage. Rather, instruments and voices are simply more distinct from one another. This really helps one understand how music is put together

It is also worth noting that the additional detail and transparency does not sound analytical. It is fully fleshed out and balanced within the context of the musical whole. It just sounds like a bigger pipe is now carrying music into the room.

Things That Have Not Changed That Much

In my room, the soundstage has not increased noticeably in terms of width or height, although I will say that soundstaging and imaging were strong suits of my system before the Extreme landed. The width, height, and depth of the soundstage continues (appropriately) to be recording-dependent.

Poorly recorded music is not miraculously resurrected. That music will probably sound different with an Extreme but a poor recording will still be annoyingly apparent and there is still a large chasm between really well-recorded music and the dreck.

Conclusion

It should be obvious by now that I consider the Extreme to be transformational. The emotional connection with music is stronger. The musical intent of the composer and/or musicians is laid bare. Thank you to Emile and the entire Taiko team for enhancing our musical journey.

Congratulations! A very accurate and well-worded description. Welcome to the Extreme Club. You are going to have hours and hours of musical enjoyment with the Extreme.

Steve Z
 
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alwayslearning

Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2011
13
60
418
Thank you Steve and Rajiv. You have both been wise guides on my audio journey and I have learned a LOT from both of you.

Jon
 
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