Cable for Lynx card to Berkeley DAC

Does anyone have information an a better cable to connect a Lynx card to a Berkeley DAC than the standard Lynx breakout cable?

6fdf46a6 edd6 455e 9a03 b3c50b54a3ceshaq
Hi Shaq,

Try Chris Stubbs are Redco. He has made up several cables for me and the guys at Really good stuff and really cheap. I just sent you a pm w/info.

It's funny, I was so used to paying thousands for cables that, when it was only $30.00 I was shocked. However, it's the real deal!

I initially used an inexpensive Gotham HD26 to XLR cable which was pretty good. But, depending on how resolving your system is, the quality of your hearing and the value you place on accuracy, I have found that the Cardas Clear HD26 to XLR cable to be easily superior to the Gotham. is considerably more money. In my system to my ears its worth it. Of course, audio is like wine, only the individual can assess price vs value. I use a Zalman fanless music server with the Lynx AES16 card, the Berkeley Alpha DAC, a Pass Labs XA30.5 and Atma-Sphere M-60 amplifiers and Geddes Abbey speakers.
We too went with Redco with Mogami Gold. All our DB25/26 connectors were made by Chris.
Earflappin - that's a very nice system. What do you use for remote interaction with the server (i.e. from listening chair)? I take it you run the Alpha straight into your amp... if so what sort of digital attenuation do you typically require? Finally, have you thought of moving to the Pass XA60.5, or had a chance to hear how the two compare (e.g. on bass dynamics). Thanks
Ral - sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks for your kind comments. The Zalman silent music server and Alpha DAC are producing the best digital sound I've heard. On Hi-Rez material to my ears the Alpha DAC is better than vinyl.

For remote control I use a Toshiba netbook running WinXP Pro with Remote Desktop Connection. I have found it works great even with the netbook communicating wirelessly to the Zalman via my wireless router.

Yes, I run the Alpha DAC directly into my amps. It sounds fantastic. I was leery of a digital attenuator, but in speaking with the brain trust at Berkeley I got comfortable. I tried a couple of SOTA pre-amps just to experiment, but they degraded the sound. I don't do analog anymore so I don't need a phono stage or multiple analog inputs. In terms of attenuation, I am generally at 30-50db on the 60 max scale of the Alpha DAC. The nice thing about the Atma-Sphere M-60 amp is that I can pull power tubes so that Alpha DAC runs closer to top of range.

My speakers are very efficient with a relatively flat impedance curve and roll off at 50hz as they are a sealed box two way design. I use servo subs for LF. Therefore, the XA30.5 has more than enough power to drive my speakers to very loud levels. I can never get the bias needle to move on the XA30.5 so more power is not needed.

Hope this answers your questions. Happy listening.
Earflappin - thanks for that info. Very helpful. I am seriously considering the Zalman + Berkeley as my venture into the world of hi-rez. The netbook for remote access sounds like a good solution, one that more and more people seem to be using. I'm wondering if one could buy one of those Zalman units (e.g., through Goodwins) with a built-in XLR output (i.e., have all the Lynx-to-XLR conversion happening internally over very short wires), such that you can just use your own high-end AES/EBU digital cable to connect the DAC.
As for the XA30.5, it sounds like you have a nice solution for the "bass issue". I have full range floorstanders, and I haven't tried this amp in my own system yet to see how things work. But having listened to a XA30.5 at my local dealer, it is clearly the most musical solid state amp I have ever heard (from mid-bass on up) for under $10K.
Earflappin - one more question: Could you elaborate further on how you set up the remote netbook (e.g., what extra software was installed on the Zalman, also what playback program does your Zalman use?). Thanks.

The Lynx card only has the HD26 pin out, therefore, your best single cable solution is a HD26-to-XLR cable. Otherwise, you're talking two cables - one to convert HD26 to XLR and then an XLR-XLR cable. Of course this would degrade sonic quality since you have multiple connectors in the signal path.

If you are the least bit handy technically you can save big $$ by buying the components for the Zalman yourself. That's what I did. It's pretty simple to install the motherboard, Lynx card, memory, optical drive and SSD or spinning driver yourself. But you do need to know your way around WinXP and be comfortable assembling hardware. Goodwins is a class outfit so that's the way to go if you want one pre-built.

My netbook runs WinXP Pro and it comes standard with Remote Desktop Connection. You just run it to connect to the Zalman. You need to set up a domain and a password, but that's easy.

In terms of playback software I use Samplitude as I've found it sonically superior to all the other programs. However....!!! is a pro piece of software and only plays one song at a time so it's not for everyone. I also load my music files into a RAM drive as it sounds better than having them pulled off the SSD. Also, solid state drives (SSD) sound better than spinning drives. Again, these things may not matter or be audible in some systems so to each their own. If you want maximum convenience and user friendliness than MediaMonkey is a good choice as a software player. I would not use iTunes.