Taiko Audio with 'Evo spec' meets MSB Select II digital + NVS tt

lately I've had a bit of action around my place, with new amplifiers (ML3 and VAC Statements) and Ron Resnick's visit. then last week Ed Hsu of Taiko Audio/SGM spent 3 days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) at my home. mostly I was gone to work and Ed was there working.

Ed visited to (1) convert the stock TS-150 and TS-140 Herzan's to the Taiko Tana top plates and remove the internal SMPS's, (2) add one more Taiko Tana Linear power supply, (3) to convert the now -3- Taiko Tana Linear Power supplies to the new 'Evo spec', and (4) introduce the new Daiza Panzerholtz plinths. the top plate conversions, and 'Evo spec' upgrades to the Linear Power Supplies was a big job and took most of the 3 days (when I got home from work we listened to that days work product). Ed also brought a suite of special vibration measuring devices and spent some time with those.

when Ed arrived i had 4 active units; a stock TS-140 sitting on my barn kitchen table unused, a stock TS-150 under the SGM server, a Taiko Tana TS-150 (under the dart pre) and TS-140 (under the NVS tt) each with a Taiko Tana LPS. also i had 3 panzerholtz plinths; one each under the TS-140 and TS-150 and one under one of the LPS's. now I'm using 4 active units; all fully Taiko Tana top plated, with 3 now 'Evo spec' LPS units (i switch one when i go from digital to vinyl until the 4th LPS arrives). sorry for all the detail and realize you might need to read it a couple times and look at the pictures to digest it. short answer is that now all my front end electronics and tt except the 2 power supplies of the MSB Select II are on SOTA active devices.

Evo Spec had been developed about 2 months ago with significantly better anti-vibration sonic performance on analog and digital electronics, but how would it perform for the Tana under a NVS turntable?

Wednesday night when i got home, two of the LPS's had been converted to 'Evo spec'. we connected both of those to the already Taiko Tana'd top plated TS-140 and TS-150 and listened to vinyl. i want to be objective here and just say there was a solid noticeable improvement in the performance. specifically more focus, cleaner, noticeably greater dynamic contrasts, more expressive, and greater tonal richness. interestingly since the dynamics were increased it was louder and more lively. i saw higher peak wattage for the same volume points (less smearing...rounding off peaks). i also noticed that on musical peaks things were all the way sorted out and it changed my reference for how some familiar pressings can sound. i used the same recordings i had used with Ron Resnick; specifically the Classic 45 4-disc of Mussorgsky's Pictures, disc 4 'Great Gates', and the Classic 45 disc 2 of Scheherazade. there were others, but these were enough to confirm the step up. these areas of performance were already at reference levels, so to get any improvements was impressive. we listened to a number of vocals, Jazz (Mallitoba Spank), and some rock. but more than the objective areas of clear improvement was the increase in calmness, ease and refinement which translated into a very beguiling and compelling musical experience.

Thursday night when i got home Ed had converted the stock TS-150 to full Taiko Tana top plate, and the 'Evo Spec' to the 3rd LPS. so now we inserted the Taiko Tana top plated TS-150 under the MSB dac box and then listened to this with dart pre also with Taiko Tana + Evo spec LPS. now this was a huge step up, since this was the first time i had had active under the MSB dac of any kind. wow. Ed had told me that dac's showed the biggest result from Taiko Tana treatment and he was right. we both listened to our reference tracks, and there was so much more space and rendering of delicate detail that it was spooky. I'm going to stop there and come back later to this subject.

Friday night when i got home Ed had completed the TS-140 top plate and so we did add that to the mix under the SGM server (needing to switch the third LPS unit from the tt to the SGM) and there was a further boost. and there is lots more details i will get into further in future posts.

on Sunday i did ask Jazdoc to visit just to give me some feedback. i won't speak for him at all.

16 years ago, in 2002, i first heard a Halyconics active device in my room. i had the passive air suspended Rockport Sirius III for 9 years from 2002-2011. then in 2013 i bought my 2 Herzan units. lots of promise from those products.

that promise is now delivered.

ed-3.jpg

ed-4.jpg
 
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Comments

Sep 17, 2015
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Monaco
#3
Introducing Daiza !

My thanks to Mike and Pam for letting me camp out in the listening room for 3 full days. The Sonics in the room just get better and better !

I want to share you what the underside of the Taiko Daiza platform looks like. Mike has two so far, one under the MSB Select II, and one under the Dart Pre. My technical speculations, listening observations and graphs to come
BB64157C-C90A-4ADC-BA65-DDC3361759C5.jpg

The white foam inserts were the clear SQ winners after testing 4 different alternatives. All sounded noticeable different. Supports the notion that everything matters, and you can hear everything in a good system !
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#4
further details on these changes.

if you look closely below at the three pictures from my room you will notice that previously there was a panzerholtz plinth below the TS-150 under my dart preamp. and now in the newest picture at the bottom, you see what appears to be a similar panzerholtz plinth now between the TS-150 and the dart pre. then look above and you see that there is also the same thing going on above with the MSB dac, with the TS-150 sitting on the Adona wood/granite shelf, then the TS-150, then the plinth, and then the MSB dac.

the plinth below the TS-150 in the prior pictures is 'just a slab of panzerholtz'; whereas the new plinths between the TS-150 and both the dart pre and MSB dac are 'Daiza's (see Ed's post and picture just above). there is a thin layer of rubber between the top panzerholtz layer attached to the TS-150, and the Daiza.

the Daiza's are a passive complimentary partner to the Tana, enhancing higher frequency noise attenuation, while the Tana take care of under 200hz. but we could not use the Daiza's on the Tana TS units during Ed's visit since there was not enough height adjustment on the Adona rack due to the third shelf support arms you can see if you look closely, from the MSB power supply that had been on that shelf. there was no time during Ed's visit for 2 hours of Adona rack disassembly to remove those support arms. that MSB power supply was moved to the small table sitting to the right of the Adona rack (over the top of the Elite).

the first picture below is prior to Ed's visit. the second is from Friday night when Ed's work was done just prior to him leaving. the third picture is from Saturday night after I had a chance to disassemble the Adona rack, remove the support arms for the third shelf to allow enough room for both the Daiza platforms on both Tana's for the dart pre and MSB dac.

I have additional Daiza platforms coming for the -2- TS-140 Tana platforms (the panzerholtz plinth in the TS-140 Tana will be removed and returned), plus 4 smaller Daiza's coming for under each Tana 'Evo spec' LPS sitting on the floor. since we could not use the Daiza's on the Tana TS-150's until after Ed left, we did try the Daiza's under the Tana 'Evo spec' LPS units during Ed's visit and they made a definite positive difference there.

tana-dart pre-3.jpg

ed-2.jpg

ed-3.jpg
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#5
Thank you for chronicling these evolutionary developments, Mike!

Does the thick panzerholz Daiza (with its thin layer of rubber) replace the thin layer of panzerholz which is fastened with screws to the top of the Herzan, or does the Daiza simply sit on top of the original Tana/Herzan?
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#6
Thank you for chronicling these evolutionary developments, Mike!
you are welcome. I wish the Tana-Daiza-Setchi process was simpler to explain. re-reading it, I know it will take motivation to carefully read and understand what is going on. OTOH this is state-of-the-art bleeding cutting edge vibration control finally combining the best possible active low frequency vibration control with passive high frequency vibration control. the overall refinement covers new ground for me.

Does the thick panzerholz Daiza (with its thin layer of rubber) replace the thin layer of panzerholz which is fastened with screws to the top of the Herzan, or does the Daiza simply sit on top of the original Tana/Herzan?
the Daiza just 'sits' on the 10mm panzerholtz layer that is attached to the top plate (with the thin rubber between). so yes, that panzerholtz layer remains.
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#7
Impressive! The Wood enhances the appearence of the platforms too.
thanks Christian.

between my Studer tape decks, and all the Taiko panzerholtz, there is lots of rich wood everywhere, not to mention the 2000 layers of Baltic Birch of my Evolution's plus all the maple on the walls and built in cabinets.

it was never any conscious plan, but it's what's going on.

sounds pretty good too.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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#8
Interesting, Mike, thank you!

The proof is in the listening, but it is very interesting to me because Herzan taught you the gospel, and you taught me the gospel, that “There shall be no compliant layer between the component and the Herzan platform.” However, the president of Herzan told me on the telephone that she can understand people wanting a thin compliant layer between the component and the Herzan actuators to deal with frequencies above 200 Hz.

So the original gospel has an official, Herzan-approved exception. This exception seems to be what Taiko is increasingly successful in implementing.
 

Mike Lavigne

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#9
Interesting, Mike, thank you!

The proof is in the listening, but it is very interesting to me because Herzan taught you the gospel, and you taught me the gospel, that “There shall be no compliant layer between the component and the Herzan platform.” However, the president of Herzan told me on the telephone that she can understand people wanting a thin compliant layer between the component and the Herzan actuators to deal with frequencies above 200 Hz.

So the original gospel has an official, Herzan-approved exception. This exception seems to be what Taiko is increasingly successful in implementing.
yes; the proof is what I am hearing. the Taiko direction is not any exception; it's more like the real whole frequency range picture. and that 'gospel' perspective I had was actually about avoiding a compliance layer below the active device so as not to compromise it, not above it. and that is still mostly ideal.....although it's not quite that simple.

I must come clean regarding my own past active vibration reduction 'truisms'. a year ago November, and then January, Ed Hsu visited me twice and was impressed by my Herzan devices. he brought that enthusiasm back to his SGM partner Emile Bok and they started investigating the whole subject. now a year later they have debunked a number of my previous viewpoints with lots of objective measurements and experiments. and finally have brought out these new products.

my viewpoints had been based on subjective observation and reading the tutorials on the Herzan website. I was not completely wrong, but I was missing lots of audio/music relevance to my perspective. so just like my room experience, I've moved forward from all that to a new perspective.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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#10
Understood on all points. Yes, no compliance below the Herzan — I remember that too!
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#11
Mike, are you planning Tana/Daiza/Evo combinations under all your gear?

Even seperate platforms under each MSB Powerbase, SGM and Dart monos?

Maybe even the Troy Elite?
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#12
Mike, are you planning Tana/Daiza/Evo combinations under all your gear?

Even seperate platforms under each MSB Powerbase, SGM and Dart monos?

Maybe even the Troy Elite?
Marc,

one is already under the SGM now (see pictures). and it's important that the 2 power supplies of the MSB are on separate shelves, so unlikely to go down that road. as far as under the Tripoint......not thinking about that at all but maybe at some point I could try it. Ed and Emile think that my Hardpoint's 'floating' nature actually enhances the magnet action inside the Tripoint's (I don't really understand that).....and i'm happy with how those sound as they are.

I have no plans to add more Tana/Daiza/Evo in the future. I have 4 of them now; -2- TS-140's and -2- TS-150's. that is a considerable investment. but when you consider alternative's for this level of vibration attenuation.....well......there are no alternatives.

I do have plans, once I get my fourth 'Evo'd' Tana LPS, and the mini Daiza's for underneath all the LPS's, to remove the -2- TS-140's from beneath the NVS and SGM and try them under the dart 458's (they fit and have the weight capacity). I would then need to use RTR tape for my source comparisons since removal of the TS-140's would compromise both digital and vinyl. I could also listen for awhile with the TS-140 removed from the digital, or even do this 458 experiment after I get the new Renderer for the MSB so the SGM is not reference critical. this could be quite significant and that might push me to add 2 more combo's (should the delta be large enough). it's hard to imagine the 458's sounding much better......but they could. and since that would be a system wide jump in performance I would likely find a way to do that.

but looking at my overall system performance and my own long term plans i'm not thinking of buying more stuff. I know I could add some Tripoint goodies and push things a bit more, and more Taiko pieces too, but I think i'm done except a few organic things like the 458 -> 468 amp upgrade, the SGM -> 'Evo' SGM, and MSB upgrades (like the new renderer) to the Select II that come down the road.

strategically; room focus is in the past, it's time for my gear focus to end, and go to just media focus.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#13
Mike, I can just hear all the girls crying, this is like the Beatles announcing the end.

No more “gear focus”, just “media focus”.

It’s now all about the music, yes?
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#14

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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#16
Mssr Lavigne must be the only audiophile where the rest of us say “oh yeah, I forgot, he’s due the AS too!”
 
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#18
I was just over at Mike's, and hadn't been there in about 4 weeks or so, since he got his new amps. As usual there were lot's of changes since I was there.

The multiple LPS, Evo Spec and Daiza were new additions.

The last time I was at Mike's I thought the combination of latest MSB Select plus the Taiko Audio was producing the best digital I have heard and his vinyl playback was the best ever also. The latest Evo Spec and Daiza additions were simply amazing. I couldn't believe there was that much music/information still obscured in an already SOTA system. Who knew the media had the potential. Anyway, I am blown away and consider it all breakthrough SOTA+, the stuff of dreams. Kudos Mike.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#19
What is the price of the TS-140 and 150 or is there newer products?
the TS-150 and TS-140 are current products sold by Herzan in the US. the TS-150 lists for $10k, the TS-140 for $12k.

https://www.herzan.com/products/active-vibration-control/ts-series.html

Taiko Audio is a European company that modifies these products for optimal use in an audio system. here is a link to related products discussed in this thread.

https://www.taikoaudio.shop/

I purchased 2 of my units stock from Herzan 5 years ago, and 2 of my units directly from Taiko Audio recently. this thread is partly about Taiko Audio upgrading my stock units to the 'Tana Evo spec'.

I hope that answers your question.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,708
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#20
I was just over at Mike's, and hadn't been there in about 4 weeks or so, since he got his new amps. As usual there were lot's of changes since I was there.

The multiple LPS, Evo Spec and Daiza were new additions.

The last time I was at Mike's I thought the combination of latest MSB Select plus the Taiko Audio was producing the best digital I have heard and his vinyl playback was the best ever also. The latest Evo Spec and Daiza additions were simply amazing. I couldn't believe there was that much music/information still obscured in an already SOTA system. Who knew the media had the potential. Anyway, I am blown away and consider it all breakthrough SOTA+, the stuff of dreams. Kudos Mike.
thank you Joe, glad you enjoyed the listen. it's quite remarkable......but as you said to me it's hard to put what we were hearing into words. you have to hear it.
 

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