It improved a dcs Elgar/Purcell/P70 rig. The soundstage seemed to open up with better microdynamics and better image specificy. It had a widening effect on the soundstage. I liked it.
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unknown if it will work or not. I also have the 24MXL (superb dac btw), and tried it with my SF D2D-1 (similar to the Big Ben interface). No measureable improvement, but then no real degradation either, so you could try it and see what happens. Please post on this forum if you DO try it, and let us know how it goes.
I wouldn't waste my money, & keep Big Ben away from Big Jerry's Dac. I like to play too, & feel like a Audio Pimp in training lately as I took a Sonic Frontiers Jitterbug in trade not too long ago. It actually degraded the sound of the AL 24 mxl somewhat. The biggest improvements have been tube rolling with Siemens, & a pair of Harmonix Gp-101 Xlr's from the dac to pre. I would give Jerry Ozment a call, as he will not steer you wrong, & answer any questions you may have on his product 203-796-0648. If you order a AL 24 mxl the Balanced Xlr output $500.00 option is a major improvement over single ended, & a more valid upgrade than a non necessary jitter reducer in my opinion. Have Fun!
IF you're using a transport with low jitter, the Big Ben(BB), IMO is of little value and may disgrade the sound quality. I've listened to both the BB and Genesis Digital Lens and prefer the DL, but the DL can't handle rates above 48K.
I haven't heard the 24 MXL, but from what I've read it appears to already have very effective jitter control circuits built in. How does it react to different quality
Elberoth & Kana813
You are comparing apples with pears. Big Ben is a stand alone word clock, Digital Lens is a reclocking device. See http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/bigben.php with links to very positive reviews.
As always: try out in your own system. The effects depend highly on the degree of perfectionism you've reached (and appreciate ;-) IMO slaving a transport to a DAC or (in this case) to an external word clock like Big Ben is nearly always an improvement. Degredation is very unlikely (also from a technical point of view), in contrast to inserting reclocking devices.
Lourenz- I understand how they work, I've had both in my system, have you? Both units are being purchased by audiophiles as jitter reduction devises, and as such when connected between the same transport and dac, my experience was the DL improved the sound, while the BB degraded it. The set-up performed at 44.1 was transport AES out-> BB AES in-> BB AES out-> dac AES in. There are many BB users using the unit in this manner, and they feel it makes an improvement.
I agree that clock slaving a transport to a DAC should produce an improvement, but most consumer transports and and dacs(including mine) do not have word clock inputs/outputs, so few will be able to use the BB for this function. I haven't tested a BB in this manner, so I don't know if it reduces jitter and improves performance.
I would agree that you call Jerry Ozment as well and ask about it. The Audio Logic has an excellent re-clocking interface, as I understand it, and likely won't need it, but he'll tell you straight.
On isolation, I use a K-Works IsobaseK under my Audio Logic, it works even better under it than the Seismic Sink (which also made a positive improvement).
Background to the music got just a little "blacker" (i.e., the noise floor seemed to lower a little) and the images in the soundstage seemed more focused. The Sink does a nice job, as does the IsobaseK, of isolating from vibrations coming from the floor through the rack, but the IsobaseK is better at handling whatever vibrations are caused by the unit sitting on top of it (this makes it exceptionally good with transports and CD players). I imagine it might be even more effective with the 24MXL than my upgraded 34, as you have the power supply in the 24MXL chassis, instead of in a separate box like with my unit. I wound up using both under it for a while before I needed to increase my audio slush fund and sold the Sink; the difference between using both and using the IsobaseK by itself was negligible in my system.
Hey you saved some money!! Spend it on concert tickets, or give it to a good charity!
On a related note, if it makes you feel better, I (like you) used a dCS Purcell for 4 years with my Audio Logic, against Jerry's advice, because I liked the body and weight it gave on many recordings, although it did add some noise and adversely affected the delicacy the Audio Logic has in the high frequencies. I just sold the dCS to raise money for my audio slush fund, and while I still miss a few of the things it does, I think that Jerry ultimately is right, the unit sounds better by itself. In marked contrast, I might add, to a dCS stack I heard recently, where the Purcell and the Verona master clock units made a significant improvement. In fact, I think that the Verona finally made me feel that the dCS stack was about as good as my Audio Logic; before that it just seemed very good to me but lacked that something special. So maybe Jerry did it right the first time, and for a lot less money!
Yeah, now i just have to worry about digital IC's. I know this has been addressed before but, i have to ask... what do you like? I asked the salesman at Music Direct, what he thought of the AQ Eagle Eye compared to HT's Cyberlight IC. He said the AQ is slightly better(and cheaper too!). I've thought about Audience's offering and the Stealth Varidig. Oracle Audio likes HT cables but i don't know which way to turn. I have another problem. I don't know if i should purchase the GPA F-1 shelf for the transport($850)or get the standard HRS Isolation Base($1450)?
As far as digital interconnects go, I have used Siltech Golden Ridge (nice, a little soft sounding), K-Works digital interconnect (excellent, but limited production), Purist Proteus (excellent) and Kimber Selekt 2020 (also very good, probably not yet broken in). Since I sold the Purcell I'll probably sell one of the Purist or the Kimber (I have a Marantz DVD player which I use for the 6 DADs I listen to, think I may add all of that to the audio slush fund too!!) in the near future, so take any of my recommendations with that grain of salt in mind!! Jerry O recommends, and a number of folks here in a recent thread are singing the praises of, the latest Marigo Audio Labs digital cable, so check the archives, that seems to be a winner. Also, as I mentioned in that thread, the Kubala Sosna digital cable, currently out in AES-EBU form, was developed using the Audio Logic DAC and I think Messrs. Kubala and Sosna might have picked Jerry's brain a little in developing it, it sounded very good with that DAC and a CEC TL-1 transport in Mr. Kubala's system.
I'd save money on the isolation bases for the transport till you listen to things for a while. The K-Works IsobaseK works wonders under my Forsell, and is a lot cheaper than what you describe.
And I'd think the Digital Lens should degrade the sound, in theory, if the Big Ben would, but if you have one (as your post implies) you can just insert it into the signal chain and let your own ears be the judge!
"And I'd think the Digital Lens should degrade the sound, in theory, if the Big Ben would." Unlike the BB which uses a $20. SMPS, the DL has an audiophile grade dual
linear power supply. If you already own a transport with
very low jitter, it may not enhance performance, but I
haven't heard it degrade the sound using the ST glass, SPDIF
or AES/EBU inputs. If your equipment has AES/EBU input/outputs the Au24 is an excellent cable, and Audience offers 30 days to try it out.
I have to be honest, i love little black boxes. I have six pairs of Audit and Tactics(RCA and AES/EBU). If i have to give those up, i'll quit. Have you tried Bybee inside the dac? What i like about the Altis is that it's modular and the boards can be swapped out with little trouble and there's lots of room to breathe. If Jerry can do DSD in the future, there's no way we owner's can lose. What PC are you using? I have a UPC 200 on my mono amps and will purchase another for the digital section.
further testing in my system (since this thread started) has proven jitter interfaces do NOT help the AL 24MXL Dac, and so I agree with Rcprince. That says a hell of a lot about Jerry's design and superb re-clocking doesn't it? EVERY other high-end digital setup I have had (and I have had many, including EMM) benefitted from a jitter reduction interface (yes, I have had the Purcell among others), but the AL Dac sounds best without it- a great testament to a design that doesnt' need any re-clocking/jitter-reduction interface 'help'...
I CAN say that the Marigo Apparation 5.7 Sig dig. cable definitely brought it to the highest level possible though.
RC- I am a bit jealous with that Forsell transport I gotta say! My Vecteur L-4 is very good, a solid phillips drive with excellent build, but yours as well as CEC TLXX's are others that I am curious about (as well as the superb Spectral SDR3000 VRDS tank I used to own- that was awesome with the Audio Note 3.1x Balanced dac).
Oh, and RC- btw, I had a nice long chat with Jerry O yesterday- after I found through extensive testing in my and a friend's ultra-revealing horn-based system that believe it or not, the SINGLE-ended analog outputs from the AL 24MXL sound better (yes, that's a subjective term- let's say more 'emotional') than the xlr outs...
Dang! Now i have to sell the Lens too. This unit was originally used in an all DCS system(Verona included) and was factory modified to pass 48khz. here's a queston that i have'nt seen: what analog cables and PC do you use with the dac? I'd like to have the Wolff cables, but i might have to settle on the PSA Statements.
Tabl10s: Jerry has maintained to me that the rca inputs are the best-sounding digital inputs in his stock units, at least in the 34 and 2400 series; as for outputs, I only have single-ended anyway, I guess the new units have balanced, but my bet is he likes the single-ended better. Is the 24MXL a true balanced design? As far as PCs go, the two best I have used with this DAC are the Kubala Sosna Emotion and the K-Works Dynamo power cords, with the TG SLVRs close behind; I have had excellent results in ICs with K-Works Phantoms, NBS Omega and Kubala Sosna Emotions. I don't think Jerry's into designing transports, only the DACs so far (though he did design the original Jadis DACS).
Sutts, I think your Vecteur is an excellent match with the AL, so you may not be losing that much to the Forsells and CECs; I find that the more "analog-sounding" of the transports seem to sound best with it. The Forsell is the most analog-like transport I've ever found, and even though its tendency to go crazy when you have dust on a disc drives me up the wall at times, I still wouldn't want to give it up. If you're ever down this way from Toronto, feel free to drop by, you can hear what it sounds like as a combination. I've had the two (in one iteration or another) for 10 years now, and I'm still amazed at how good they sound together.
Regarding the choice of digital inputs, JO has said exactly the same thing to me; that his preference is rca coax; and he seemed to be very clear on that preference.
In my own experience, with my 34, using identical length and brand interconnects in direct comparison, the AES/EBU input is my hands down preference.
"If i don't upgrade the dac, i can then spend extra on the BB+ cables versus just 1k for the upgrade. YEAH! Wait a minute..."
Tabl10s- if you've got $$$ to burn, buy Jerry's DAC and
don't waste time on the BB+cables. I haven't heard Jerry's
DAC, but IMO less boxes and and cables=better digital performance.
Elberoth2- for jitter interfaces, I have owned and tested the DCS Purcell; GW Labs DSP; and Assemblage D2D-1
Tabl10s- be careful on that last statement- not sure Jerry himself would agree with that
Kana813- great advice for Tabl10s- buy the AL dac and simplify- couldn't agree more!
RCprince- 'K-Works IsobaseK'??!! sounds interesting- I am currently using an older Rosinante 'Dark Matter' slab under my 24MXL. ALso- your choice of IC's is very cool, but a bit $$$ for me unfortunately- I am still using HT Pro Silway II from dac to pre and happy with it...
Actually, on the ICs, I forgot to mention that for a while when I was waiting for the Kubala Sosna cables to arrive I used an inexpensive (comparatively, anyway) silver Vampire Wire interconnect from the DAC and, aside from it being perhaps just a little smooth on dynamic attacks compared with others, it was a very nice sounding interconnect.
Did JO like the 5.2 or the 5.7 digital cable? I was thinking of the Forsell before i lucked-out on the Oracle which i'm thinking of having it modded by GNSC. A problem that i'll face is that, all my equipment will be new: Merlin's, ASL amp/pre, upgraded dac and cables. I'm not going to know what item is doing what! Can you recommend any cheap tubes for burn-in purposes?
Tabl10s: Don't think he suggested a version, I'm just going froma prior thread. Sutts just got the 5.7 and his initial posting was to rave about how much better it was than anything else he'd tried. As far as tubes go, take the stock ones for now. Sovteks actually sound decent in the unit (a nice full-bodied sound), as well as Philips, and they'll tide you over till you're ready to do some serious tube-rolling.
Tabl10s, Stealth Varidig AES/EBU does sound very sweet with the 24mxl. I will however have to 2nd Sutts on the Marigo Labs Apparition 5.7 as being the best Coaxial digital I have tried. My Transport for now that I'm really enjoying is the small scale Northstar 192 top loading transport, which uses the Philips CD Pro 2 drive just as Accustic Arts Drive, MBL, Sim Audio, etc. I needed something that would fit atop my rack with my TT, as I have run out of space. I did want to stay with CEC, but as Parasound dropped the service contract on them on 12/31/04 the Philips CD Pro 2 seemed more rugged for the long haul in my opinion?
a shame about the CEC service issue- always wanted to try one of their transports, but from what you guys are saying, might have to give it a pass...
Tabl- JO did not mention what version Apparition, but I know it was an earlier one than my 5.7 Sig. As for price, he might swing you 15% or a bit more off, but thats' probably it- the cable is more than worth it IMO...
RCprince- re: the tubes, I (partially) agree with you with, as I found the Sovteks OK, but in no ways superb on the full-bodied front. Now we have agreed the stockies aren't too bad, however when compared with NOS, it's no contest. I noticed it mainly in 2 areas vs my Siemens Gold Pins- the Siemens had 1) better soundstage width/depth; 2) superior transients and detail retrieval. The Philips miniwatts I tried were a nice compromise b/w the two- not quite the Siemens, but a bit more body than the Sovteks. The Sovteks are no question the distant third in this shootout, and I wil be keeping the Siemens in mine.
Interestingly RC, we also tried a buddy's cheapie Bugle Boys, and you know what? They actually were pretty good! Price/performance wise I would actually choose them over the Miniwatt SQ. OK, you can flame me for this one, I have my fire-retardant jacket ready :-) C-ya!
Sutts: I agree it's no contest between either Siemens or Teles vs. Sovteks, particularly in terms of longevity (I've already had two of the Sovteks go bad on me) as well as sonically, as you mentioned. Tabl10s should wait a while before he starts playing with the high priced tubes, if he just wants to get a feel for the unit and his revised system. I always liked the Bugle Boys, they sound great in the phono section of a Jadis preamp, maybe I'll give them a try. I just wish there weren't so many damned screws in the chasis, it makes changing the tubes a royal pain.