Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

Christiaan Punter

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I just checked with Emile and he says that while it could *potentially* be done, the double components would introduce extra noise, and as such it would not be an improvement. So, it's not likely that this will be implemented.
 
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MusicFellow

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I just checked with Emile and he says that while it could *potentially* be done, the double components would introduce extra noise, and as such it would not be an improvement. So, it's not likely that this will be implemented.
… okay, so for the people with expensive XLRs the way to go is that you need a TACDD supported DAC so you get the benefits of the new interface, right?
 

Taiko Audio

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I just checked with Emile and he says that while it could *potentially* be done, the double components would introduce extra noise, and as such it would not be an improvement. So, it's not likely that this will be implemented.

Indeed with a BPS powered DAC you’re in somewhat of a different situation as individual component self generated noise and even additional pcb tracing becomes audible. Doubling up components and increasing PCB traces therefor increases this particular type of noise. Hence a balanced version need some more in depth investigation to atleast reach similar performance levels. That is not to say we won’t do it but it will require more effort then simply doubling up the output stage.
 

MusicFellow

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Indeed with a BPS powered DAC you’re in somewhat of a different situation as individual component self generated noise and even additional pcb tracing becomes audible. Doubling up components and increasing PCB traces therefor increases this particular type of noise. Hence a balanced version need some more in depth investigation to atleast reach similar performance levels. That is not to say we won’t do it but it will require more effort then simply doubling up the output stage.
Thank you for the insights, Emile.

At this stage there are a lot of moving parts in the equation. Do I invest in eg:
- A top of the line external DAC vs Taiko internal DAC Board
- … how does that equation change depending on the BPS powered internal DAC (vs the likes of MSB Select II or Horizon with their own power supply)
- Would a Taiko internal DAC and great preamp be preferrable
- … and then which interconnects to choose.

It‘s calming that the whole network area prior to reaching the Extreme (Switch, Router, DCD, etc.) seem mostly set and „immune“ from such considerations.

I‘m eager to see what all the users with great systems will report once those different setups will be compared in the upcoming quarters. Exciting times…
 

Christiaan Punter

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the insights, Emile.

At this stage there are a lot of moving parts in the equation. Do I invest in eg:
- A top of the line external DAC vs Taiko internal DAC Board
- … how does that equation change depending on the BPS powered internal DAC (vs the likes of MSB Select II or Horizon with their own power supply)
- Would a Taiko internal DAC and great preamp be preferrable
- … and then which interconnects to choose.

It‘s calming that the whole network area prior to reaching the Extreme (Switch, Router, DCD, etc.) seem mostly set and „immune“ from such considerations.

I‘m eager to see what all the users with great systems will report once those different setups will be compared in the upcoming quarters. Exciting times…
It's still a little early days but I expect these questions will get answered sooner rather than later:)

@All Dear Readers

Please note that Emile is currently on a long overdue, well-deserved, small break. Of course, him being him, he cannot resist responding here and there, but really, he should enjoy his break. So, if a question remains unanswered, that will be why:)
In any case, we expect him back next week!
 
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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
It's still a little early days but I expect these questions will get answered sooner rather than later:)

@All Dear Readers

Please note that Emile is currently on a long overdue, well-deserved, small break. Of course, him being him, he cannot resist responding here and there, but really, he should enjoy his break. So, if a question remains unanswered, that will be why:) In any case, we expect him back next week!
I hope he's gone diving for pearls as we are all looking forward to his rested return
 

oldmustang

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Dec 1, 2012
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… okay, so for the people with expensive XLRs the way to go is that you need a TACDD supported DAC so you get the benefits of the new interface, right?
You could use a pair of the appropriate gender RCA to XLR adapters at the output of the Extreme or input to your balanced input preamp, or to avoid the additional contact interfaces of adapters, convert a set of interconnect cables to have XLR connectors at the preamp end and RCA plugs at the Extreme end.

Steve Z
 
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MusicFellow

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You could use a pair of the appropriate gender RCA to XLR adapters at the output of the Extreme or input to your balanced input preamp, or to avoid the additional contact interfaces of adapters, convert a set of interconnect cables to have XLR connectors at the preamp end and RCA plugs at the Extreme end.

Steve Z
Steve, I think we need to have a chat with Richard at Shunyata. :p From past experience these reterminations are rather pricey.:D
Let‘s see what Emile comes up with when time comes and there should be enough demand.
 

oldmustang

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Dec 1, 2012
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Steve, I think we need to have a chat with Richard at Shunyata. :p From past experience these reterminations are rather pricey.:D
Let‘s see what Emile comes up with when time comes and there should be enough demand.
True, but in the grand scheme of things, much less pricey than a completely new set of build-to-order cables, or the TACDA itself, for that matter.

I plan to go the adapter route initially with a pair of decent quality Cardas adapters. If I like what I hear enough then I'll consider modifying the pair of XLR interconnects I currently use from DAC to preamp.

Steve Z
 
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jbrrp1

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So, all of this XLR discussion is based upon using the DAC on that board instead of the separate one you're using now?
 

oldmustang

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So, all of this XLR discussion is based upon using the DAC on that board instead of the separate one you're using now?
Yes. My existing DAC accepts a variety of inputs, USB, ethernet, dual AES/EBU, etc. However, I intend to try the TACDA DAC, which for the foreseeable future will only have unbalanced RCA analog outputs to my preamp.

Steve Z
 
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jbrrp1

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And you have hopes that it will best your Vivaldi APEX?! I hadn't ever thought the Taiko effort on the DAC to be any more than a convenience, but, then, there's Emile....
 
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oldmustang

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And you have hopes that it will best your Vivaldi APEX?! I hadn't ever thought the Taiko effort on the DAC to be any more than a convenience, but, then, there's Emile....
I am curious how it will compare. I realize on the face of it, that would be a very heavy lift. However, when you break down the systems, there is the potential that could at least be on the same playing field and certainly not embarrass itself, despite Emile's statements (to manage expectations) that Taiko is not a DAC manufacturer and that it should compare well to DACs in the $10K-$20K USD range.

The enclosure, vibration and EMI/RFI control between Vivaldi and Extreme are on par or favor the Extreme.

The existing AC to DC power supply and regulation are also on par or favor the Extreme. The upcoming BPS is clearly a superior power supply to Vivaldi.

The Extreme implementation of TACDA direct to motherboard eliminates the use of the USB protocol, eliminates all additional power cords, USB cable, clock cables and dual AES/EBU cables required with the Vivaldi system -- so advantage Extreme.

The unknowns are how the Rohm DAC compares to the Vivaldi "Ring DAC", how the Vivaldi APEX improved analog output stage compares to the TACDA output stage, and most importantly, how well the resulting TACDA sonic palette fits with the sonic priorities of the end user.

I don't make any predictions either way. I am simply looking forward to being able to hear the TACDA in my own system and make the comparison for myself.

Steve Z
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I am curious how it will compare. I realize on the face of it, that would be a very heavy lift. However, when you break down the systems, there is the potential that could at least be on the same playing field and certainly not embarrass itself, despite Emile's statements (to manage expectations) that Taiko is not a DAC manufacturer and that it should compare well to DACs in the $10K-$20K USD range.

The enclosure, vibration and EMI/RFI control between Vivaldi and Extreme are on par or favor the Extreme.

The existing AC to DC power supply and regulation are also on par or favor the Extreme. The upcoming BPS is clearly a superior power supply to Vivaldi.

The Extreme implementation of TACDA direct to motherboard eliminates the use of the USB protocol, eliminates all additional power cords, USB cable, clock cables and dual AES/EBU cables required with the Vivaldi system -- so advantage Extreme.

The unknowns are how the Rohm DAC compares to the Vivaldi "Ring DAC", how the Vivaldi APEX improved analog output stage compares to the TACDA output stage, and most importantly, how well the resulting TACDA sonic palette fits with the sonic priorities of the end user.

I don't make any predictions either way. I am simply looking forward to being able to hear the TACDA in my own system and make the comparison for myself.

Steve Z
I can't give up the tubes. I'm sticking with my Horizon all the way. o_O
 
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tsaett

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I am curious how it will compare. I realize on the face of it, that would be a very heavy lift. However, when you break down the systems, there is the potential that could at least be on the same playing field and certainly not embarrass itself, despite Emile's statements (to manage expectations) that Taiko is not a DAC manufacturer and that it should compare well to DACs in the $10K-$20K USD range.

The enclosure, vibration and EMI/RFI control between Vivaldi and Extreme are on par or favor the Extreme.

The existing AC to DC power supply and regulation are also on par or favor the Extreme. The upcoming BPS is clearly a superior power supply to Vivaldi.

The Extreme implementation of TACDA direct to motherboard eliminates the use of the USB protocol, eliminates all additional power cords, USB cable, clock cables and dual AES/EBU cables required with the Vivaldi system -- so advantage Extreme.

The unknowns are how the Rohm DAC compares to the Vivaldi "Ring DAC", how the Vivaldi APEX improved analog output stage compares to the TACDA output stage, and most importantly, how well the resulting TACDA sonic palette fits with the sonic priorities of the end user.

I don't make any predictions either way. I am simply looking forward to being able to hear the TACDA in my own system and make the comparison for myself.

Steve Z
Steve,
you have formulated my exact train of thought. But since my DAC is precisely in that $10-$20k range, I am hopeful TACDA will not only equalize but pull ahead.
In anticipation I even sold off my Ayre MXR monos, since I used my Bricasti also for volume control, which TACDA does not offer.

So I screened the market for single ended operation, volume control option, power to spare / ability to control difficult speakers and (best case scenario) battery powered. As a result I ordered an ASR Emitter II Exclusive with battery powered input stage, which fits the bill perfectly. To my surprise, even with my current setup it already sounds better than with the Ayres.
But the full gain I hope to get with TACDA and the BPS, since then I am off grid from server, to DAC, to preamp, only the power section is conventionally powered. I think this is a tempting setup with a very short signal path, very happy that TACDA will be the first in line of the new interface options.

Chris
 

Christiaan Punter

Well-Known Member
You could use a pair of the appropriate gender RCA to XLR adapters at the output of the Extreme or input to your balanced input preamp, or to avoid the additional contact interfaces of adapters, convert a set of interconnect cables to have XLR connectors at the preamp end and RCA plugs at the Extreme end.

Steve Z
Good point indeed. Cardas makes really solid and good-sounding adapters. Please note that the adapters with male RCA outputs are quite long and heavy and when combined with the weight of the cable this may potentially pull too much on the chassis connectors and PCB.
 
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gereric

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Good point indeed. Cardas makes really solid and good-sounding adapters. Best use the female RCA to male XLR version that connects to the preamp/integrated amp and requires a single-ended cable. The male RCA to female XLR version that can accommodate an XLR cable is quite long and heavy and when combined with the weight of the cable this may potentially pull too much on the chassis connectors and PCB.
Furutech makes a cable riser / booster which would address that if there is adequate space on the platform or shelf. Others may also.
 
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MusicFellow

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Good point indeed. Cardas makes really solid and good-sounding adapters. Best use the female RCA to male XLR version that connects to the preamp/integrated amp and requires a single-ended cable. The male RCA to female XLR version that can accommodate an XLR cable is quite long and heavy and when combined with the weight of the cable this may potentially pull too much on the chassis connectors and PCB.
Is there also a non Rhodium version of the Cardas adapters? I remember that we recently had the discussion here that pure copper outlets are preferable to the Rhodium versions. My assumption would be that that‘s also the case here… and maybe less costly.
 

theaudiogeek

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Good point indeed. Cardas makes really solid and good-sounding adapters. Best use the female RCA to male XLR version that connects to the preamp/integrated amp and requires a single-ended cable. The male RCA to female XLR version that can accommodate an XLR cable is quite long and heavy and when combined with the weight of the cable this may potentially pull too much on the chassis connectors and PCB.
Wondering if there are any concerns if pins 3 & 1 on the XLR side are connected to RCA ground or not?
 

cat6man

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Wondering if there are any concerns if pins 3 & 1 on the XLR side are connected to RCA ground or not?

not exactly on thread topic, but of interest to the xlr-rca question.

same question here, but for a different reason. i have an xlr cable going to my monoblocks.
if i replace my monoblocks with some rca input only monoblocks, how should an XLR to RCA cable be wired?
xlr from pass labs preamp to rca monoblocks
 

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