Author Topic: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage  (Read 6829 times)

Offline Magnaryder

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The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« on: April 06, 2015, 07:00:39 PM »
A little audio porn for you:
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2015, 07:02:04 PM »
I'm sitting here tonight in my office just digging my little CF amp, LucasLabs pre, Alesis Monitor Ones driven by my office PC. I've been going to the library and ripping CDs to my SSD drive. I've managed to rip alot of Porcupine Tree, Steely Dan, Rush, Cobbie Callait, and a bunch of the Celtic Women who have their own albums. Since I've had to spend so much time here I figured I'd put it to good audio use. It seems the library system in Ohio is linked and on-line. I can look up something and if it's in the on-line catalogue they'll get it to me likity-split. So tomorrow after a grueling round of meetings off to the library I go in search of new-to-me tunes. I've been using Exact Audio Copy to rip them and the results have been stellar for CD.

I'd did order a Schiit Audio Mani phono pre for my LucasLabs/Carver office rig. I can't wait to add vinyl to my office. Should be a great addition.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2015, 07:02:48 PM »
Well the Schiit pre I ordered a while back is here and waiting to be unboxed and installed in the office rig. More than likely it won't find it's way into the rig for a week or so based on my work schedule. Right now I have 172 albums(CDs) ripped to the SSD drive in the office rig. I traveled to MicroCenter in Columbus a couple of weeks ago to replace a dead 128Gb drive and picked up a new 256Gb drive to install in the office rig along side the 128Gb that I've filled with music. I really like going to the library to borrow music and get reading material on Diabetes.

I've rolled several sets of tubes in the LucasLabs Linestage and love everything about the LL linestage. Mark you did a great job on it and it does a wonderful job. This week the speaker stands I had built for the Alesis Monitors get powder coated....woo freekin hoo!!!! PartsConnexion sent the parts to upgrade the X-overs in the Alesis and I cant wait to install them.

ray

Tom (Julian) Reitz turned me on to an artist named Keb' Mo'. I really like the first CD I found at the library and hope to find more in the system when I return the current round of discs I borrowed the other day and ripped to the office rig.
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 07:03:32 PM »
Ripped some really tasty tunes swiped from the public library. I finished my Keb'Mo' and Brian Culbertson collections and want to find something else interesting. I'm open to suggestions. I added a 256Gb SSD drive to the office rig and figure it'll hold about 350 cds worth of music. That will bring my catalogue to 525 albums in the office rig, plenty enough to listen to for a bit.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2015, 07:04:08 PM »
As you're are aware the Carver sub arrived from Harry. The office rig is getting upgraded a bit. I bought a new video card and a BD burner to install in the rig. I hope to increase video and audio performance. The video card adds HDMI capability and the BD burner will speed up ripping over the DVD drive it replaces. I'm also taking a Yaqin CD2 tube buffer from home to install between my ASUS Zonar outboard dac and the LucasLabs Linestage just for kicks. Too many tubes you say....we'll see I say. Can't have too many valves. I am transferring Hi-Rez tracks I've purchased from HD Tracks to the office rig. I'd like to see if my gear can resolve enough information to hear a difference.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2015, 07:04:35 PM »
ripped some 'the crystal method' to the office rig from the pubic library today. plan of putting an ear on it later tonight. microcenter was kind enough to loan me an asus zonar on board video card to compare against the stand alone. report to follow after the subwoofer(that hasnt been open)report.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2015, 07:05:05 PM »
Well here it is, my last word(for now) on computer driven hifi. I was trying to figure out whether or not I could hear the difference between on-board/out-board and stand-alone DACs. I'm running an ASUS Zonar Essence STX, Realtek ALC 889 and 892 codecs and an ASUS Zonar Essence One. I down loaded several HiRez songs from HD tracks. This time instead of listening to the same 'ol stuff I thought I'd try a different tact....songs I'd never heard before and compare each unit and try to find one of the bunch that resolved things the others didn't.

The Rig:
LucasLabs CF14 Line Stage
CarverFest 2011 (heavily modded amp)
Velodyne CHT10 Subwoofer (modded with a JLAudio 10" W3)
Alesis Monitor Ones(modded crossover)
CarverAudio and Mark Tunis Silver ICS
Audio Note AN-9 Silver Loudspeaker wires

I recently built a new PC for Hi-Fi listening (and some movie watching) at home. I did some research and decided upon the AMD 990 chipset. A trip to MicroCenter in Columbus, Ohio scored me the parts I needed to complete the PC build. I'm running an AMD 9590 BE processor, Gigabyte 990FA-UD5 board, Corsair H100 closed loop cooling solution, 2 ASUS R9 290 video cards crossfired, 32gbs Corsair Vengence 2400 DDR3 ram, 2 ASUS SuperMulti BD players, and the ASUS Zonar STX sound card in an NZXT Phantom case. It's a really cool rig.

The Gigabyte board has the Realtek ALC889 chipset which is widely considered to be the top o the heap as far as on board DACs go. My previous PC rig(AMD 890 chipset/Biostar TA890FXE/AMD 1090t processor/16gb 1333gb ram /2 crossfired AMD 6850s) sports the Realtek ALC892 chipset, which sounds pretty good also.

The ASUS Zonar Essence One is a stand alone DAC with alot going for it. First, it's f**king beautiful. Sorta fits in with the EAR V20/Fosgate Signature. Lots of power for headphones and can run in a balanced mode up to 192k/24 bit and like the ALC889 it claims to run 176.4k/24 bit audio.

I tried all kinds of settings, on all of the units and wanted this to be a fair fight, but the best I have been able to manage to this point is 96k/24bit resolution on all of the units when testing. Be that as it may, they all sounded pretty good. One thing I did notice when reading up one several of the units I planned on listening to was how important level matching reflected the outcome.

First up was 'Postcard from Paradise' from Ringo Starr. Ringo, like Troy Polamalu has lost a step, but he IS still Ringo! Sounds like he did a while ago. I bought this download because I wanted to hear differences articulated accurately in the mid to lower registers. At first blush all of the DACs performed well, until I listened a little longer and closer. The ALC892 was a little inarticulate in the lower end. All of the other units sounded the same....to me. Further listening with my girls involved netted the same result, they heard the things I heard.

Next was Boz Scaggs' "A Fool to Care". Here I wanted to hear the subtle nuances of his voice. All of the DACs came through keeping his voice intact. I was really impressed with the imaging and soundstage presented on this recording. Makes me want to find it on vinyl.

Try as I might, up to this point I can't hear the difference in any of these products. Now the ASUS Essence One and the ASUS Zonar STX are nice products with a heft and feel I like when spending that kind of $$. On the other hand the Realtek ALCs are backed by WAAY more computing power than any CD/DVD player known to man and can buffer any DVD or bluray in their ram, giving the chipsets alot of power backing them up and doing a great job on the oversampling. I just haven't found any difference to my ear to justify spending any of my hard earned money on anything other than the motherboard chipsets.

YMMV!

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2015, 07:05:55 PM »
Right now I'm listening to the CF'12 DVD-A sampler Mark gave us, and if memory serves me(hahaha) There is alot more soundfield and detail information on the DVD. For those of you who want to try this on your PC or laptop I'm using a free DVD player called IReal.

you can download it here:

http://en.softonic.com/s/ireal-blu-ray- ... e-download

enjoy....I am

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2015, 07:11:17 PM »
a little more audio porn
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline MacGeek

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 07:36:54 PM »
Nice rig and nice review.  If you are nearfield listening, will the tubes give you a "sunburn"?
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Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2015, 07:42:07 PM »
they certainly warm the room

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline Kingman

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2015, 07:46:34 PM »
Excellent review Ray!!! Looking forward to getting my line stage one day!
IN REALITY IT ONLY MATTERS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE TO YOU!!!!!

Offline Mongojustpawn

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2015, 09:55:28 PM »
Ray, my lack of knowledge or experience with tube equipment is nil, ( or less ), unless you count a Zenith tabletop am/fm radio. I can't believe I forgot to check the library, I know they have/ had a bunch of vinyl, CDs, DVDs, and if they don't have it, they'll try to get it from another library. I used to borrow lots of books this way. Also, your system looks really sweet!
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Offline F1nut

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 02:03:01 AM »
That's a rig you can call up close and personal  ;)

Quote
   Tom (Julian) Reitz turned me on to an artist named Keb' Mo'.   

Pretty sure I turned him onto Keb. Some others you may like...

Robert Lucas - Luke and the Locomotives (stellar recording)
Otis Rush - Lost in the Blues and others
George Faber - Blues (stellar recording)
Aimee Mann - Lost in Space, Live at St. Ann's Warehouse and many more
Lonnie Mack - Attack of the Killer V and others
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"A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."
 

Offline Magnaryder

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Re: The Office Rig and the Lucas Labs(CF)Linestage
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2015, 10:55:43 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions Jesse, I'll give them a look.

ray
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

 

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