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  1. #1
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    Transporter vs. Lavry et al for analog output

    So, here's the thing: I am only interested in the Transporter for analog output.

    My question is, knowing what little we do know about the Transporter, and knowing that the Lavry (which I have tried) consistently beats out the DAC1 in shoot-outs (see link in the Lavry forum), what might the difference be between the two? That is, between the SB3->Lavry and the Transporter? The SB3 is quite good enough for a high end review as a transport in Stereophile...therefore, the only real issue is the DAC.

    From what we know, what can we tell? Lavry has years and years of experience developing high end and professional DACs. They are at the top of the game. Can Slim Devices actually trump them? Input from all welcome.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by highdudgeon View Post
    The SB3 is quite good enough for a high end review as a transport in Stereophile...
    It is not that cut-and-dried. JA finally says he is using it for background listening. Also, note the jitter at 300ps.
    Even with my Panny receiver (vs a Philips 963sa dvd player as transport)I was not happy with the sound, I ordered a modded Elpac power supply from boldercables. The sound is surely better. waiting for the black gate capacitors in the power supply to take its time to stabilize. Will post my detailed impression after 2 weeks or so.

  3. #3
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    Actually, isn't the sp/dif jitter of the SB3 around 80 or so? shouldn't matter, though, because the Lavry completely buffers and re-clocks the incoming signal. So much for jitter.

    JA didn't say quite that. He said they were virtually indistinguishable and that he uses the other transport for the most critical listening. I think some of this is psychological. From the article: "Even when I am listening seriously, I have to strain to hear that difference (as long as I'm not listening to lossy-compressed files" .But, again, if the DAC buffers and re-clocks, you've done away with jitter and, in theory, all transports are the same. It's about the DAC.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoftwireEngineer View Post
    It is not that cut-and-dried. JA finally says he is using it for background listening. Also, note the jitter at 300ps.
    Even with my Panny receiver (vs a Philips 963sa dvd player as transport)I was not happy with the sound, I ordered a modded Elpac power supply from boldercables. The sound is surely better. waiting for the black gate capacitors in the power supply to take its time to stabilize. Will post my detailed impression after 2 weeks or so.
    Last edited by highdudgeon; 2006-09-13 at 17:11.

  4. #4
    I just read up on the Lavry, it is quite possible it is immune to transport jitter. The idea seems to be the same as the Genesis Digital Lens (put data into memory buffer and clock it out), which is supposedly a very good jitter reduction device.
    In that case, a SB3 and a Lavry might be your ticket to audiophile nirvana (atleast as far as digital source).

  5. #5
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    Alas, the problem then becomes one of attenuation. The Lavry has a range of 0-56 for volume control. It is analog. They recommend 40, which seems high, for use with domestic audio products.

    Okay, I've tried it in the past, and it was okay. However, it means using the SB3 volume at far from maxed out.

    Problems?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdudgeon View Post
    Alas, the problem then becomes one of attenuation. The Lavry has a range of 0-56 for volume control. It is analog. They recommend 40, which seems high, for use with domestic audio products.

    Okay, I've tried it in the past, and it was okay. However, it means using the SB3 volume at far from maxed out.

    Problems?
    Huh? I use a Lavry DA-10 with my SB3. I locked the digital out on full, disabled the analog out and use the output level of the DA-10 as the volume control. I set my amp gains with the DA-10 output on 55. If I want it loud 40-45 is usually about right. For normal listening, 25-30 is good.

    -Ben

  7. #7
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    Ben,

    I've got a DA10 at home right now. Here's how I am using it -- and what seems to work with the Lavry:

    1. I want use the remote. That means allowing digital attenuation on the SB.
    2. However, I want to use as LITTLE digital attentuation as possible.
    3. I have "normal" amps in that they don't have gain settings.
    4. Setting the Lavry to between 10-12 allows a nice range from loud to mild with very little movement of the volume bar (if that's a measure of anything) on the SB.

    Seems to work. Sounds excellent.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdudgeon View Post
    you've done away with jitter and, in theory, all transports are the same.
    Well, it is not quite that simple. Error handling in the transport plays a role, as does how the jitter is being done away with.

    If you rip your CDs with something like CD Paranoia you are getting the best error correction available - better than what a CD player is going to give you.

    There are a couple at least different ways of getting rid of jitter - one is to asyncronously resample and upsample the digital data. This eliminated jitter but maps the jitter into noise. This is what the Benchmark DAC1 does. The Lavry Black in Crystal mode buffers and reclocks with no upsampling - this is a superior method.

    So a Squeezebox combined with a Lavry Black is a very potent combination indeed. In my listening to the Lavry using headphones it seems to me that the SB/Lavry is exposing the limits of the recording and the headphones, period. The SB/Lavry is performing at a level much higher than the other components I am using. No matter what I have tried to date.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jmourik's Avatar
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    Transporter vs. Lavry et al for analogoutput

    Same problem here. I want to add a SB to my main system, and get an external
    dac like the Lavry or maybe one of those Chines Dacs (Lite maybe?). But the
    Transporter looks sooo nice, but would it make sense to spend the extra
    money on that? And maybe somebody will build a dac with the AK4396?

    Decisions, decisions...

    jan


  10. #10
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    a related question, hopefully I'm not derailing the thread too much....

    I use the SB3's digital out to an AudioNote DAC 1 (non-OS). How do I know if this DAC is doing anything similar to what the Lavry does to eliminate jitter? I like the sound of this combination very much, but as always if there's something I can do to improve on it - short of the 2k required to upgrade to the Trans - I'm game.

    In a recent a/b between the AN DAC and the Benchmark DAC1, everyone present decisively preferred the AN. To me it just had a much more engaging, musical, natural presentation. So I'd like to try to keep it.

    Would the Bolder digital mods, plus the upgraded Elpac p/s, plus say a Digital Lens put me in the same or better territory than a Transporter? I guess, part of what I'm asking is, is it worth using the Lens to clean up jitter if the DAC itself is just going to re-introduce it's own at a level comparable to a digital- and p/s- modded SB3?

    Hmmm, any case, let's see $$ how that adds up in comparison anyways:

    SB3 - 300
    Bolder mods - 275
    Elpac w/mods - 110
    Lens - 450

    Still a bit cheaper than a Trans, but not by a ton.

    Have never tried the Lavry, but if that coupled to a the SB3 both eliminates the jitter issue and sounds as good / better than the AN, it would seem an excellent alternative as well.

    So, which to choose? Trans, Bolder mods + Lens, or replace AN with a Lavry?

    Wouldn't it be cool to be able to do a shoot-out between the three systems?
    Last edited by joncourage; 2006-09-27 at 12:00.

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