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magiccarpetride
2010-10-19, 12:06
I've been over the moon since I've installed my Touch. Keep rediscovering my music library, and the excitement in my listening room is growing like crazy. My wife is now also enamored with the incredibly revealing capabilities of this little digital transport device (I'm using it strictly as a transport to feed the bits into my Beresford Caiman DAC).

However, not everything is rosy as it seems. Having such a revealing player can be quite heartbreaking at times. For example, my wife and I listened to one of our favorite tracks ("El Picador" by Cecelia Barraza) in a huge anticipation to be blown away. This is one of those tracks that we always thought were sonically so rich, and thus emotionally so engaging. But much to our chagrin, Touch now reveals that it's a very poorly recorded, poorly produced piece of music. So all of a sudden, the magic is gone.

On the up side, however, many of the tracks that I thought were ho-hum are now being revealed by the Touch to be actually quite brilliant! So you lose some, and then you gain some.

Have any of you been through this re-discovery process, where you find out that what you thought was a great sounding recording actually sounds sub-standard when played through a more revealing system?

iPhone
2010-10-19, 12:29
But much to our chagrin, Touch now reveals that it's a very poorly recorded, poorly produced piece of music. So all of a sudden, the magic is gone.

On the up side, however, many of the tracks that I thought were ho-hum are now being revealed by the Touch to be actually quite brilliant! So you lose some, and then you gain some.

Have any of you been through this re-discovery process, where you find out that what you thought was a great sounding recording actually sounds sub-standard when played through a more revealing system?

Just exactly how is this a problem with the Touch?! Shouldn't the post title be more like, the Touch reveals problems with poor recordings? The Touch is doing what it is supposed to do. It can't help if one feeds it a poor/badly recorded or engineered recording. The Touch also can't help it if it reveals lacking components in people's systems either. It has been incorrectly blamed for that also.

JohnSwenson
2010-10-19, 12:33
This has happened several times to me. What I've found is that the previous system either had some resonances or distorted with loud signals. For example a system that distorts with loud transients will sound bad with wide dynamic range uncompressed music but sound quite good with compressed music. Then you get a system which can handle loud transients well and all of the sudden the stuff that sounded bad before now sounds incredible and the stuff you liked before now sounds flat and boring in comparison.

I had a major issue with that with my vinyl system. At one point I got a screaming good deal on a really good cartridge, installed it and set it up properly and sat down, waiting to be impressed and found most of my favorite LPs now sounded terrible. It eventually turned out that the new cartridge was extracting so much more stuff from the records that other parts of the system couldn't handle it. I had to upgrade several other parts of the system before things really started sounding good again. That bargain cartridge turned out to be a lot more expensive than I thought! (but it did eventually wind up sounding way better than before)

John S.

SteveEast
2010-10-19, 15:52
Just exactly how is this a problem with the Touch?!

I think the post was missing a smiley in the title.

Steve.

magiccarpetride
2010-10-19, 15:57
Just exactly how is this a problem with the Touch?!

Imagine dating a gorgeous looking person. After a while, you may realize that you're having trouble reading, and you go and see the eye doctor. The doctor prescribes you glasses, and that fixes your flailing eyesight. The next thing you know, you go out on a date with that gorgeous person, only to find out she's not that great looking (upon a closer look).

Wouldn't you say you have a problem with those glasses?

JJZolx
2010-10-19, 16:05
What were you using previously as a transport to the DAC? I find it a little hard to believe that the Touch is _that_ much better, unless the old transport really stunk.

magiccarpetride
2010-10-19, 22:02
What were you using previously as a transport to the DAC? I find it a little hard to believe that the Touch is _that_ much better, unless the old transport really stunk.

I was using Squeezebox Duet.

ralphpnj
2010-10-20, 06:55
I was using Squeezebox Duet.

I had a similar set up in that I replaced a Squeezebox Receiver with a Touch, using the digital out on both devices into an external DAC (the DAC in my Headroom Desktop amp). I completely agree with MCR (magiccarpetride) that the differences between the two are not subtle - the digital out of the Touch sounds much cleaner with a much better frequency balance in that the bass response of the Receiver is/was much too loud.

However the Controller still works great.

Now if only I could stream my (mostly flac) music library via the web to any other computer or to the Controller via the web rather my home network.

magiccarpetride
2010-10-20, 09:32
I had a similar set up in that I replaced a Squeezebox Receiver with a Touch, using the digital out on both devices into an external DAC (the DAC in my Headroom Desktop amp). I completely agree with MCR (magiccarpetride) that the differences between the two are not subtle - the digital out of the Touch sounds much cleaner with a much better frequency balance in that the bass response of the Receiver is/was much too loud.

However the Controller still works great.

Now if only I could stream my (mostly flac) music library via the web to any other computer or to the Controller via the web rather my home network.

Fully concur. One thing I'm not sure about is whether the digital transport in Touch is susceptible to the 'burn in' phenomenon. I've been experiencing extraordinary transformations of the sound quality with my Caiman DAC as it was burning in; Caiman is a piece of equipment that truly needs substantial burn in period before it can shine its true colors (it sounded incredibly underwhelming out of the box).

With Touch, I think I'm hearing some improvements after four days of constant burn in, but it could also be that I'm merely learning how to listen to it properly, as my ears adjust to the added clarity and softness in the sound.

Any observations from the field by those of you who have been living with the Touch for a few months now?

Oh, btw, one way to stream your content to any computer would be to store it on amazon s3 cloud. Touch allows you to access different IP addresses and stream your content.

ralphpnj
2010-10-20, 09:57
Fully concur. One thing I'm not sure about is whether the digital transport in Touch is susceptible to the 'burn in' phenomenon. I've been experiencing extraordinary transformations of the sound quality with my Caiman DAC as it was burning in; Caiman is a piece of equipment that truly needs substantial burn in period before it can shine its true colors (it sounded incredibly underwhelming out of the box).

With Touch, I think I'm hearing some improvements after four days of constant burn in, but it could also be that I'm merely learning how to listen to it properly, as my ears adjust to the added clarity and softness in the sound.

Any observations from the field by those of you who have been living with the Touch for a few months now?

Oh, btw, one way to stream your content to any computer would be to store it on amazon s3 cloud. Touch allows you to access different IP addresses and stream your content.

I haven't noticed any change one way or the other in the sound of the Touch's digital output over time.

Thanks for the cloud computing suggestion. I looked into Amazon's S3 service and instantly got a monster headache when trying to figure out the cost. See if you can make some sense (cents:)) out of this: http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/calc5.html

magiccarpetride
2010-10-20, 10:12
I haven't noticed any change one way or the other in the sound of the Touch's digital output over time.

Thanks for the cloud computing suggestion. I looked into Amazon's S3 service and instantly got a monster headache when trying to figure out the cost. See if you can make some sense (cents:)) out of this: http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/calc5.html

To simplify it a bit for you, let me just say that I'm using the Amazon S3 and I'm being billed at the rate of 15 cents per gigabyte per month. This amounts to $1.80 per year. For that cost, I can store at least 3 CDs (in FLAC format) and stream them from anywhere in the world. I prefer to keep my hand-picked favorite music out in the cloud (in addition to my hard copies -- i.e. the originally purchased CDs, plus the soft copies on my auxiliary storage at home/office).

To my mind, the convenience and the extra peace of mind (never need to worry about safety backups and the headaches associated with restoring your data warehouse if the disc crashes/CDs get damaged), are worth the added expenditure.

Also keep in mind that the prices are bound to go down -- there will never be a point in the future when it will cost you more to store your content in the cloud than it's costing you today.

ralphpnj
2010-10-20, 10:22
To simplify it a bit for you, let me just say that I'm using the Amazon S3 and I'm being billed at the rate of 15 cents per gigabyte per month. This amounts to $1.80 per year. For that cost, I can store at least 3 CDs (in FLAC format) and stream them from anywhere in the world. I prefer to keep my hand-picked favorite music out in the cloud (in addition to my hard copies -- i.e. the originally purchased CDs, plus the soft copies on my auxiliary storage at home/office).

To my mind, the convenience and the extra peace of mind (never need to worry about safety backups and the headaches associated with restoring your data warehouse if the disc crashes/CDs get damaged), are worth the added expenditure.

Also keep in mind that the prices are bound to go down -- there will never be a point in the future when it will cost you more to store your content in the cloud than it's costing you today.

Thanks, I'll take two aspirin and call you in the morning :)

JohnSwenson
2010-10-20, 12:36
Fully concur. One thing I'm not sure about is whether the digital transport in Touch is susceptible to the 'burn in' phenomenon. I've been experiencing extraordinary transformations of the sound quality with my Caiman DAC as it was burning in; Caiman is a piece of equipment that truly needs substantial burn in period before it can shine its true colors (it sounded incredibly underwhelming out of the box).

With Touch, I think I'm hearing some improvements after four days of constant burn in, but it could also be that I'm merely learning how to listen to it properly, as my ears adjust to the added clarity and softness in the sound.

Any observations from the field by those of you who have been living with the Touch for a few months now?

Oh, btw, one way to stream your content to any computer would be to store it on amazon s3 cloud. Touch allows you to access different IP addresses and stream your content.

I'm not so sure about burn-in in the usual use of the term, BUT I have measured that most digital audio devices run with lower jitter as they heat up. I have measured this in other devices, but jitter in the Touch is just below my measuring capability so I can't test it specifically. But given the circuit and components used I would suspect that it also exhibits lower jitter as it warms up. Given that its dissipating several watts in a mostly plastic case, the internal equilibrium temperature is probably significantly higher than ambient, so the affect is probably non-trivial.

I haven't actually measured it, but it probably takes awhile to reach that equilibrium temperature. That means keeping it on and playing all the time will keep it at the highest temperature. I haven't actually done the temperature over time test on the Touch, but I have with other devices, some of them can take 8 hours to reach equilibrium.

John S.