Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
553
309
63
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,246
685
113
Sorry but this a misleading interpretation of audiophile comparisons. IMHO it does not matter which is better - although people can't resist saying calling their preferred of "better" . :) What matters is why people consider it pleases them more. I do not expect people telling me if Rembrandt is better than Van Gogh, but I can appreciate reading people with expertise in such subject comparing both styles. And yes, I know I prefer Van Gogh and although I do not expect to change just by reading such comparison , nobody knows ...
Very much agreed, endless pointless circular argument over what’s best isn’t often that interesting... people explaining fully and articulately why they actually prefer something can be both interesting and valuable... and while no expert yes I would never argue who is best but also prefer Van Gogh, the depth of expression, the richness of ideas, the volatility of the brushstroke for me resonates much better (more wildly and movingly painterly)... and while I can appreciate the master’s skill and that minimal but absolute control and extraordinary articulation of light in Rembrandt’s brushstroke... but still I can look away. With Van Gogh it is always just hard to look away... his expressiveness is just fascinating.
 
Last edited:

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,254
362
83
Hong Kong
ok; tonight i received some longer power cords for the MSB power-bases which now allows me to use my new Adona rack which is more friendly to my passive resonance control and also allows me to move the Tripoint Elite to behind the new rack and eliminate that unsightly little table i was using for one of my power bases on the right side of my main rack. you can see the Elite now sitting behind the new rack in the last picture below.

first thing i did was to compare the new longer power cords to the old shorter one's to make sure there was no performance loss. even brand new and cold i could not hear any difference. MSB had done some testing and felt good about it, but encouraged me to check it for myself. thank you to MSB for working with me on this small but important to me thing.

Micro always scolds me for changing too many things at once, and here i'm doing it again. but i can easily hear what my new set-up is doing better than earlier tonight before the changes, just by now having everything on a similar passive approach.

you can see the new taller rack on the left. i got it taller so i have room for the 4 shelves if i decide to add another tt at some point. now looking at it i think i will not wait for another turntable, but will move the Extreme to a shelf under the top when i have someone to help guide that beast between those legs. i can tell you it was a real chore to get that over 100+ pound Extreme (with all that beautiful casework) on top of that shelf by my lonesome tonight. scared the crap out of me i was going to drop it.

View attachment 53445 View attachment 53446 View attachment 53447
Hello Mike,
Big congratulations!

It seems that many WBF members want to know your verdicts on it as soon as possible.
Haha

The EVO needs several months to burn-in.
The Extreme which got a much more elaborate powersupply section must need longer time to do so.
Our WBF friends have to be more patient.
:cool:
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
the OCD guy i am, once i got it in my head that i wanted to move the Extreme down, i just had to do it. i listened for a while tonight, and it was sounding very fine indeed, but then i had to make it look right. i think i pulled a muscle in my forearm hefting the Extreme off the top.....but that will heal. it all just fit with good space around everything.

anyway; now i'm happy with it and can just listen and not worry about it. and the top is now clear for record albums when i'm doing that.

i have trouble relaxing and just letting the music come to me when something is out of place. i have to act and get that out of my mind.

Ex-4.jpg Ex-5.jpg Ex-6.jpg
 
Last edited:

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
553
309
63
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
i have trouble relaxing and just letting the music come to me when something is out of place. i have to act and get that out of my mind.
Totally get that.
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
2,311
687
113
UK
Very much agreed, endless pointless circular argument over what’s best isn’t often that interesting... people explaining fully and articulately why they actually prefer something can be both interesting and valuable... and while no expert yes I would never argue who is best but also prefer Van Gogh, the depth of expression, the richness of ideas, the volatility of the brushstroke for me resonates much better (more wildly and movingly painterly)... and while I can appreciate the master’s skill and that minimal but absolute control and extraordinary articulation of light in Rembrandt’s brushstroke... but still I can look away. With Van Gogh it is always just hard to look away... his expressiveness is just fascinating.
Then both you and Micro prefer vinyl to digital because in my analogy Rembrandt represented digital and Van Gogh vinyl ;)
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,246
685
113
Then both you and Micro prefer vinyl to digital because in my analogy Rembrandt represented digital and Van Gogh vinyl ;)
Actually you are 100 per cent correct... originally I bracketed after Van Gogh with the words (more analogue) lol... but went in for a quick edit when I realised then that I’d painted myself into a corner ;)

PS yes I do love analogue and good digital... mostly I just love music. I grew up with recording audio on reel to reel for my uncle’s film company... I have detoured a might since then.
 

Rhapsody

VIP/Donor
Jan 16, 2013
507
251
63
NYC
This is what I don't get about the analog vs. digital debate that I've been listening to since the 80's. If you are an equipment junkie/aficianodo then it makes perfect sense to continue to discuss "which one is better/more to someone's liking" adnauseum until the "cows come home".

On the other hand if one loves music and they have both great digital (files and streaming), great vinyl and throw in great R2R, then all of these formats should provide for tantilizing listening sessions, continually receiving goose-pumps from the music they love regardless of the format that one is listening to.

I for one am MUCH more into the music and as long as a particular format has the capability to give me a STRONG emotional connection to the music and when listening and I am totally absorbed with the music I could care less what format is being used.

I honestly can say that with my streaming, file playing, R2R or vinyl each one, which probably are not at the el supreme level that is possible, but are so good that I could care less which format I am listening to as I am again totally absorbed by the musical experience that is playing.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,246
685
113
I believe when you are solely focussed on the sonics you are much more aware of the limitations of the sonics of the format.

When you are instead completely focussed on performance of the music the format then tends to cease to be an issue. With music it’s great performances that transcend the mundane.
 

wil

Member
Jul 22, 2015
59
12
8
the OCD guy i am, once i got it in my head that i wanted to move the Extreme down, i just had to do it. i listened for a while tonight, and it was sounding very fine indeed, but then i had to make it look right. i think i pulled a muscle in my forearm hefting the Extreme off the top.....but that will heal. it all just fit with good space around everything.

anyway; now i'm happy with it and can just listen and not worry about it. and the top is now clear for record albums when i'm doing that.

i have trouble relaxing and just letting the music come to me when something is out of place. i have to act and get that out of my mind.

View attachment 53470 View attachment 53471 View attachment 53472
I think I liked it better on top next to the turntable.
It gives a better Mano a Mano presentation for us here at WBF.

Please move back to top shelf when your arm heals. :)
 
Likes: Mike Lavigne

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
regarding comments about (1) whether certain systems are oriented toward (or voiced to optimize certain music on) vinyl, and (2) the idea of comparing digital and analog.

i cannot speak for anyone else, but my system building has always been toward natural tonal neutrality and musical truth. get the room and system out of the way of the recording. and i've been a format comparison junkie since way back.......since i had my Linn CD-12 and Basis 2500/Koetsu RSP into the early Aesthetix Io phono stage in 98' and 99'......then later the Marantz & EMM Labs verses my Rockport Sirius III.......and so on. and comparing the degree of musical connection between formats (including PCM and dsd, even 2 channel and multi-channel......and headphones) has been a fun thing for me to enjoy.

my system is absolutely not favoring one format over another, and my intention is not to have source gear that strays from natural neutrality. when i listen to my current sources, including my analog tape, to my ears they are all of a piece. which is the idea. i want to pursue the music itself, and my mood will dictate which format.

there are differences between the presentation of the formats, but as each format gets better they have less of that character and become more alike.

i'm not ready to get into details about what i'm hearing from the Extreme; i'm still working with Emile to optimize it. but i can say that it does space and scale in an effortless way that certainly approaches top level vinyl in a way i've not before heard from digital. but i've not played a record yet. does it come close? stay tuned.
 
Likes: Esotar

Blue58

Active Member
Jan 20, 2013
456
118
43
London, UK
Hi Mike,

Are you using JPlay/Tidal or Roon/Tidal/HQPlayer?
If you’ve lost Roon how are you finding the experience, negative or similar?
I also think it should be at the bottom on a Tana platform and the two power bases parallel to the Select. ;)

Cheers
Blue58
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
I think I liked it better on top next to the turntable.
It gives a better Mano a Mano presentation for us here at WBF.

Please move back to top shelf when your arm heals. :)
i appreciate your viewpoint. but i think the pecking order is pretty much how it's going to be.;)

i prefer the 'mass' of the Extreme down lower as the 2 racks look more balanced. plus......room for another tt or a place to manage the vinyl easily.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
Hi Mike,

Are you using JPlay/Tidal or Roon/Tidal/HQPlayer?
If you’ve lost Roon how are you finding the experience, negative or similar?
I also think it should be at the bottom on a Tana platform and the two power bases parallel to the Select. ;)

Cheers
Blue58
no HQPlayer since the MSB prefers bit perfect. so using Roon/Tidal right now.....and JPlay is one of my zones to try but have not really used it yet.

the reason that the Extreme is in the middle is that the power plug on the rear of the Extreme would be a conflict with my Tripoint Elite sitting behind it if the Extreme was on the bottom. the Extreme has a very deep chassis. i do agree aesthetically that would be preferable.

another $16k for an additional Tana platform for the Extreme is not in the cards. i'm very happy with my HiFi Stay Trinia + Dazia + Dazia footers which are under both MSB Powerbases, the Extreme, and under both the Tripoint Elite and Troy Reference. adding this Adona rack allows all those passive devices to be optimized.

i do appreciate that the Adona rack has a very solid connection to support the Extreme in that spot.
 
Last edited:

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,457
859
113
E. England
Mike, I had wondered what the cost of a Tana platform was. I guess that can always be a future upgrade option.
 
May 30, 2010
15,298
587
113
Portugal
This is what I don't get about the analog vs. digital debate that I've been listening to since the 80's. If you are an equipment junkie/aficianodo then it makes perfect sense to continue to discuss "which one is better/more to someone's liking" adnauseum until the "cows come home".

On the other hand if one loves music and they have both great digital (files and streaming), great vinyl and throw in great R2R, then all of these formats should provide for tantilizing listening sessions, continually receiving goose-pumps from the music they love regardless of the format that one is listening to.

I for one am MUCH more into the music and as long as a particular format has the capability to give me a STRONG emotional connection to the music and when listening and I am totally absorbed with the music I could care less what format is being used.

I honestly can say that with my streaming, file playing, R2R or vinyl each one, which probably are not at the el supreme level that is possible, but are so good that I could care less which format I am listening to as I am again totally absorbed by the musical experience that is playing.
No, it makes perfect sense to debate analog versus digital even you are not an equipment junkie/aficionado. Stereo reproduction is a challenging subject, and many of us like debating it. And the fundamnental and technical differences between digital and analog are enough to justify this long debate you address - I have read great articles on it, both by professionals, experts and amateurs.

Sound reproduction is not live music. It is a very different experience and better systems and good understanding of them, as well as personnel involvement of the listener in building the system, can result in a stronger emotional connection with music. IMHO it is why many of us come regularly to WBF. Our debates are part of it.

Sorry but I must say that I feel uneasy when other people try to tell us what audio subjects should be debated or not in this forum.
 

Rhapsody

VIP/Donor
Jan 16, 2013
507
251
63
NYC
No, it makes perfect sense to debate analog versus digital even you are not an equipment junkie/aficionado. Stereo reproduction is a challenging subject, and many of us like debating it. And the fundamnental and technical differences between digital and analog are enough to justify this long debate you address - I have read great articles on it, both by professionals, experts and amateurs.

Sound reproduction is not live music. It is a very different experience and better systems and good understanding of them, as well as personnel involvement of the listener in building the system, can result in a stronger emotional connection with music. IMHO it is why many of us come regularly to WBF. Our debates are part of it.

Sorry but I must say that I feel uneasy when other people try to tell us what audio subjects should be debated or not in this forum.
Of course, then debate away, enjoy! If you want me I'll be in the bar:) In no way was I telling anyone what to or not what to debate, I was saying that I personally did not understand the debate as again I personally love listening to music vs. debating about what format "sounds better".

I also play acoustic guitar, nylon and steel, for around 2 hours each day and no audio system, regardless of price or formats even come close to playing and hearing what I am playing, so again for me formats don't matter much as long as they let me enjoy music. Debating formats is for others, it just doesn't resonate with me.
 
Last edited:
May 30, 2010
15,298
587
113
Portugal
Of course, then debate away, enjoy! If you want me I'll be in the bar:)
I am sure that after you have a few drinks you will not resist coming in the debate ... ;)
 

Rhapsody

VIP/Donor
Jan 16, 2013
507
251
63
NYC
I am sure that after you have a few drinks you will not resist coming in the debate ... ;)
Btw, I don't drink:)

I thought about it and again, this is just me, not trying to suggest for anyone else, but I enjoy immensely not necessarily debate but good strong interactive, respectful conversation regarding the differences say in vinyl, between tables, cartridges, arms, suspension etc.

In digital, the differences in dacs, serverers, connecctions via usb/aes/I2s are all very interesting to me and very informative.

Even in R2R - tape preamps Studers vs Ampex etc.

Personally all of these conversations are very educational and entertaing as well. It's when the comparisons are about one format vs. another that just doesn't as I said above resonate with me, BUT that's just me, nothing to do with anyone else.

So I enjoy the "in format" discussions others enjoy debating format vs. format. To each their own, just so everyone is a happy camper!
 
Last edited:
Likes: Mike Lavigne

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
some progress down the road of discovery about the Extreme.

Emile did load some files of various resolutions from my NAS onto the 2tb internal drives standard on my Extreme, which allowed me to directly compare the files from the NAS (over both USB and the Renderer) and after lots of back and forth i do prefer the internal drive files to the NAS files. definitely a little more lively, vivid and musically nuanced with the internal drive......and the bass is a little more powerful and interesting. i can only say in my system worth pursuing.

so i'll be adding those drives to take it to 32tb's and which will hold all my files. the dual NAS units will be back up.

currently i prefer the USB interface to the Renderer after optimization by Emile.

today i added Qobuz 'Sublime' one year subscription. it does sound much better than Tidal. we will be working on the fiber network to optimize the streaming performance.

overall i'm thrilled with what i'm hearing from the MSB - Extreme both from the files and Qobuz.

last night after i did the file compares i played some vinyl for the first time in a week and the first time since the Extreme arrived. there are aspects of the best digital that get into the feeling of the vinyl. but vinyl, to my ears, in my system right now, is a whole different level of musical realism from the best digital has to offer. this digital can move me emotionally....it's does space and tone, and gets the textures and power of the music.....it lacks nothing. vinyl grabs me and pulls me into the music. more of everything. it's epic. it would be interesting if i had this level of digital 3-4 years ago to compare to my vinyl then.

it's a great time for both digital and vinyl lovers.
 
Last edited:

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 convertors (DACS), 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