The Barn: Here's What's Here

Sometimes I need more time and this is one of those times. While I try to make every effort to produce one review per week, sometimes...I need more time.

Here's what I'm working on:

Merging Technologies NADAC ($10,500.00 for stereo version)

ELAC Discovery ($1,099.00)

Ayre QX-5 Twenty Network Hub ($8,950.00)

dCS Rossini DAC & Rossini Clock Follow-Up ($23,999.00 & $7,499.00)

SOtM sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition ($3,500.00), SOtM sPS-1000 Linear Power Supply ($1,000.00)

Schiit Yggdrasil ($2,299.00)

T+A DAC 8 DSD ($3,995.00) & AMP 8 ($2,800.00)

Mytek Brooklyn DAC ($1,995.00)

Sonic.Build Sonic DAC ($249.00)

Sonore Sonicorbiter SE ($298.00)

You may have noticed that a number of these devices are Roon Ready (NADAC, Discovery, QX-5, Sonic DAC, Sonicorbiter SE) and one Roon Server'd (sMS-1000SQ). Hmm.

I'll also note that with the recent changes to my review system including the addition of the Tellurium Q Black cables, the sonicTransporter (Roon Server), microRendu (Roon Ready), adding optical isolation, the rearranging of my equipment racks, and the slight adjustment to my DeVore Fidelity gibbon Xs, my system has never sounded better. Remember, it's the little things, and the big things, that make all the difference.

bobflood's picture

Your microRendu will sound better with a Linear Power Supply (I started out with the ifi as well). This one doesn't break the bank and works very well.

I had this leftover from use with a Duet years back and put it to good use with my mRendu.

Alex at Uptone Audio has a beautiful hand made cable that I use with this for the mRendu. It is 5.5x2.5 ==> 5.5x2.1 1.5 meter heavy gauge coax with metal ends.

Just a suggestion.



Michael Lavorgna's picture
Thank you for the recommendation. I have a few things up my sleeve in that department ;-)


bobflood's picture

keep the ifi and use it on the receiving end of the TP Link pair. I am pretty sure that they are 9 V.

Alex should also be coming out with the LPS-1 soon. I plan on using the CIAudio as a charger for it when it becomes available.

It is nice to see some real innovation in this industry.

Thanks for keeping us informed.


JeffRogers's picture

I don't mean to be pushy, but would also like to see the subject article provided as well. Appreciate your expertise.

DH's picture

Is that it sounds absolutely at its best when playing back files upsampled to 512 DSD-its native rate for its 1-bit DSD engine. And that in native 512 DSD mode it is comparable in SQ to DACs costing double its price.
Would appreciate your reaction to this, as a talented and DAC experienced listener.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
....loaded up with Roon and HQPlayer ;-)
bobflood's picture

DSD 512 takes some serious processor power. On CA many have reported their best results using 4 core i7 Skylake chips or high level Xeon chips. It seems normal chips are prone to dropouts at that level.

monetschemist's picture

...appears to be a Cubox-i something, I guess with Sonore's own software.

I've really enjoyed the two Cubox-i4's that I have, though I have been unable to get them working with an AudioQuest DragonFly v1 that I have. I've used mine with Voyage Linux, Volumio and these days Archphile and they function well with my Bifrost Uber and my Fulla.

One thing I really like about the Cubox is that it has an eSata port - so one can hook up a local hard drive without using the USB ports.

hifial's picture

Michael,I am very familiar with the T+A DAC 8 DSD. I URGE you to include in your review what many of us have come to find as a leap in sound quality, and by no means a small one. By up-sampling all rates (PCM/DSD) to DSD512 using HQ Player and sending those files to the T+A DAC 8 DSD, one of the few (for the present) DAC's capable of playing DSD512.

Now as mentioned in the above post this takes a computer with the right processing power. An i7 6700K Quad Core Skylake is one.

There are a few others, some with help using offloading to a CUDA Graphics Card.

I use a purpose built PC that is used for music only. I would be happy to lend you my PC/Server to assist you in conducting this part of the review. If I remember correctly we do not live very far apart. I live in the NJ/NYC Metro area, as I believe you do, not far from Giants Stadium.

Also I highly recommend that you consider using the new Sound Galleries Music Server, SGM 2015. It will not only take the T+A to another level but just about (dare I say all) every other quality DAC to another level. And not just DSD capable DACs but also HiRez PCM up-sampled by HQP using the SGM 2015.

I now you heard it in Munich but you need to hear it in a proper setting to understand its true potential.

And just to be clear I have no financial affiliations with T+A or Sound Galleries. Just a very happy customer of one and hope to be of the the other in the near future.

vjack's picture

If you don't mind me asking, what rack is the one at the top of the first picture? I'm in the market for one, and I really like the look of that one.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...are from Box Furniture Co..
bobflood's picture

In our quest for lower noise, this must take the proverbial cake. In fifty years in this hobby, I thought I had seen or heard it all but this caught me off guard.

If you don't have access to the WSJ maybe a friend can pull it up and send it to you. I saw a condensed version on MSN News.

This would be the ultimate review.

Happy reading,,


Michael Lavorgna's picture
bobflood's picture

I didn't realize there was video.


bmichels's picture

Hello Michael.

Thanks a lot for those good and enjoyable reading to come.
I am looking forward your QX-5 testing since it is the DAC I expect to purchase to drive my BHSE+STAX SR009 that I just got this WK.
So please can you let us know when you expect to publish this review ?

many thanks in advance

CraigS's picture

TOKYO— Takeo Morita wanted absolutely the best fidelity possible from his audio system, so he bought a utility pole.

The 82-year-old lawyer already had a $60,000 American-made amplifier, 1960s German loudspeakers that once belonged to a theater, Japanese audio cables threaded with gold and silver, and other pricey equipment.

Normal electricity just wouldn’t do anymore. To tap into what Mr. Morita calls “pure” power, he paid $10,000 to plant a 40-foot-tall concrete pole in his front yard. On it perches his own personal transformer—that thing shaped like a cylindrical metal garbage can—which feeds power more directly from the grid.

“Electricity is like blood. If it is tainted, the whole body will get sick,” says Mr. Morita. “No matter how expensive the audio equipment is, it will be no good if the blood is bad.”

Demonstrating his power’s purity, he mounts a turntable with a vinyl record of Queen’s “I’m in Love With My Car,” settles into his sofa and beams. Pre-pole, he says, the vocals didn’t sound as lively as this.

“Now, it feels like Queen is in this room, just for me.”


CraigS's picture

I'll look closer next time