View Full Version : SB2 and Apogee Big Ben (and a Wadia 270)
I thought you might be interested in this trial/thread, have a look about 2/3 of the way down this page. Currently working on my SB2 for the rematch, but the BigBen, a very recommended piece of kit.
All the best
Looked at the Meridan forum thread and agree totally with void's
"I don't have experience with Meridian on Big Ben, but I've tried several 'high-end' CD-Transports and DAC's with the Big Ben. With most transports it offered a good improvement (especially with bad transports). However with the best transports the sound got significantly degraded by the Big Ben. Maybe it's better to solve problems at the source, or we need a clock/reclocker of even better quality (I guess with lower phase noise)."
In my system, used with a low jitter source the Big Ben(BB) degrades performance. Soundstage and dynamics are reduced.
To my knowledge there are no published reports with measurement of the BB confirming it's jitter reducing ability.
The BB use a cheap noisy SMPS. Even if you upgrade(I've modified a number of them for people on the TacT forum) this supply, the BB still does nothing to improve performance of quality digital source.
Many TacT user who purchased BBs, have sold them after upgrading the PSU in their RCS.
If you need a proven jitter reduction unit(read the sterophile review), look for a used Genesis Digital Lens, it has an audiophile grade linear PSU and unlike the BB, it has a remote to switch digital inputs.
If your DAC is sensitive to jitter, take a look at the Lavry Blue, it has a buffered input.
Thanks for the reply, I'll look into the items you mentioned.
But my ears told me that there was a noticeable improvement with SB2->BB than with the SB2 on its own.
When I've modded my SB2, I'll be revisiting and trying again, may take some other bits of kit as well, it will be interesting to see the results.
It would be great if you can do a comparison with the Genesis unit.
I hear that it can do a better job than the BB. I myself uses modded
BB. I do hear an improvement with the BB also. I put the BB away
from other units (2' to 3') and also put the SB2 away from everything
else (about 8'). It helps. The Genesis unit or the SB2 mods can
probably let you have your equipments closer and possibly give you
better sound. I am happy with the sound I'm getting though. Also,
with some recordings, I get improved sound with the screen turned off
(it's probably better that way all the time but I can only tell on
On Sep 27, 2005, at 11:19 AM, Mr Perceptive wrote:
> Thanks for the reply, I'll look into the items you mentioned.
> But my ears told me that there was a noticeable improvement with
> SB2->BB than with the SB2 on its own.
> When I've modded my SB2, I'll be revisiting and trying again, may take
> some other bits of kit as well, it will be interesting to see the
> Mr Perceptive
> Mr Perceptive
I stand by my comments in the Meridian thread.
As much as Dan dismisses the Big Ben in this and the TacT forum many users are gaining a benefit from its use. I'm sure there are transports out there which perform better than the Big Ben but there are plenty that don't and which do benefit from it's help.
FWIW Dan's power supply mod was the biggest upgrade to my RCS so far but in my system I continue to hear the benefit of the Big Ben.
My next step however is to use the Big Ben as it was intended which is as a master clock for my modified SB2 and TacT RCS with word clock inputs.
> As much as Dan dismisses the Big Ben in this and the TacT forum many
> users are gaining a benefit from its use. I'm sure there are
> transports out there which perform better than the Big Ben but there
> are plenty that don't and which do benefit from it's help.
The thing about the Big Ben is that it seems to pretty reliably bring a
digital stream's jitter performance to its (the Big Ben's) level. So
for near-perfect sources that's a step down, and for many sources it's a
step up. To my ears it definitely improves the digital-audio streams
from my cable-TV box and my SB2 (the latter with linear power supply but no
internal mods yet).
I will note that an unsubtle improvement in the Big Ben's sound came
quite recently, when I finally got around to depleting the world's
precious remaining supply of BlackGate capacitors and did the one-cap
power-supply mod spelled out by a certain Maui Dan some months ago on
Another List. The Big Ben as shipped improved fine-detail retrieval
from the digital-TV stream, but at the cost of a bit of an edge. With
that one mod, the edge I'd been hearing receded well below the threshold
of obviousness and the two sources I've mentioned, run through the BB,
sounded better in several ways, and worse in no ways, than run direct.
Mahalo for the kind words about the power supplies.
Jeff, wait till you hear the Aberdeen 2150 and the other RCS mods.
Anthony also has a BB on his bench, so I'm sure there'll be upgrades there too. - Dan
> Jeff, wait till you hear the Aberdeen 2150 and the other RCS mods.
Well, if people wouldn't keep mentioning what amazing work he does,
maybe he wouldn't be so damned busy and he could get my 2150 out the
door... Of course, I suspect one of the problems is that every time he
discovers another way to wring some more music out of the equipment, he
wants to go back and apply it to everything. This is the sort of
problem I'm happy to live with, as long as he finishes eventually.
> Anthony also has a BB on his bench, so I'm sure there'll be upgrades
> there too.
H'mm... very, very interesting. Because however much sniping the Big
Ben gets, there are places it definitely helps in my setups, as I just
mmentioned -- and that Aberdeen power supply freakin' transformed my RCS
Except, oops -- we're supposed to be on a Slim list.
SB2 good. SB2 through hotrodded Big Ben into a decent digital
front-end, gooder. (FYI, my SB2 listening observations earlier in this
thread involve an Arcam AVR-250 A/V receiver, not the fancy TacT gear.
But the Arcam receivers new enough to be cross-pollinated with
AV8-generation tech do good-sounding D/A.)
I talk with Anthony almost everyday, and you're correct, the 2150 project has been delayed by his desire to incorporate the best ideas into his signature mod. R&D takes time. It will be worth the wait.
I know we're on the Slim list, and would like to say how impressed I'm with Sean's open minded attitude about allowing people to discuss improvements to his products and sharing
his measurement details on this forum.
Other so called hiend equipment manufacturers could learn a lot
from his approach. - Dan
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