A few tweaks

I posted recently about some improvements that socket changes have had on my system. I’m mighty impressed by even the cheap switched sockets installed. I’ll be ordering some switchless ones soon once my TT2 arrives.

I’ve been struggling with a few things in my system for years;

  1. A grain treble/digital harshness which I could never understand as everyone kept saying Chord DACs sound analogue sounding
  2. Lack of music control and especially lack of hardness in the bass with system sounding 2 dimensional and not having a real grip or serious drive. Bass sounding soft and lacking guts. Vague sound. Even with a high quality server, amp and speakers and cables at the time.

Current system for reference;
Innuos Zenith MKII
Chord Hugo2 (Soon to be TT2)
Supernait 3
ProAc SM100

Chord Epic IC and Speaker cable
Chord Signature links
Vertere DFI Double USB (Curious Evolved just arrived)
Naim Powerlines on SN3 and Zenith
Something Solid XF Stands
Chord Silent Mount SM7s on stands and racks
Atacama Eris 5.0 rack (would like a Fraim but not sure on what my end goal system yet)

A few additions to the system/room have changed the game a great deal;

  1. Acoustic traps on back, front and side walls - a noticeable improvement (music brighter, thinner and a bit shrill without)
  2. Chord Silent Mounts on all racks and speakers stands - considerable improvement to focus and control (music brighter, shallower and less wholesome without)
  3. Curious USB - USBs are not snake oil (music is simply more real and enjoyable with this USB, bass it tighter, harder and more space around notes, vocals and beats)
  4. 40mm Sorbothane feet on server, amp and DAC - this may not be as good as Fraim but it certainly takes away a good deal of harshness most noticebly on the DAC but also the amp getting a tad beefer and tighter and less bright (music is brighter, harsher and less whole without)

As you make gains the music seems to go from a frenzied, chaotic space to a deeper, more wholesome, more fulfilling sound that feels tighter and more together with heavier but yet more detailed and open sound.

I’ve passed up moves up the 282/250DR, and other non Naim options that were very good but didn’t solve some of my burning issues. Ie harshness, vagueness.

I feel now that I could happily add a better series of components with confidence as the sound is excellent and without any real harshness and vagueness. Sounding very together and organic with a good deal of weight and feeling. Bass really has become solid. Even on the standmounters I own.

Will give the TT2 some time to settle in before I explore moving up to some hopefully end game amplification.

It’s been a long, relentless journey. One that has been full of surprise. One where really expensive speaker and amp options have not been the silver bullet. One where loads of small things have proved to be the gains I’ve sought.

The most stand out things for me have been;
Acoustic room treatment
Vibration isolation
Power outlets and power cables
High quality power supplies
Shielded cables that supress noise

Anyway, hopefully this helps someone get there quicker. Don’t neglect the simple things!


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Looking through your setup I think maybe the Chord epic IC and speaker cable might be behind you wanting more from what you’ve got.
Maybe a move up to Epic XL or try Vertere Acoustics offerings.

I’m going to give the EWA cables a whirl I think.
I’ve left the Epic in there but am aware it’s not got the transparency I desire. But all in all it’s sounding very competent and balance.

Did you changed the removable cable of the external power supply of the Hugo TT2 or do you use the original?

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