Sunday, July 14, 2024

Guides, Testimonials, News

User Testimonial from the Audiophile Style Forum

Hello everyone.

I am coming up on a year of owning the S88 (not the Mark II version). The DAC continues to work flawlessly. I also purchased the Teddy Pardo power supply. I'd like to list my thoughts using this DAC in my system. All music and videos are ripped to my server.

1. The first upgrade was purchasing the Coleman Audio 7.1SW Eight Channel Switcher COL-71SW. This allowed me to go direct from the DAC to my amplifier. I have never felt the need for additional pre-amplification. I use my system for both music and movies. The switch allows me to include my pre-amp for movies.

2. I use JRiver as my primary player. I also have ROON but I am likely to cancel it since I almost never use it. JRiver gives me everything I need (including video playback). I also have QOBUZ but I have yet to find multichannel music. It does let me sample albums before purchase.

3. Since I switch between music (using the DAC) and movies (using my pre-amp), JRiver needed two sets of settings. I discovered JRiver's ZONES which greatly simplified playback. One ZONE is for movies (configured for HDMI bitstreaming). And I have two zones for music through the DAC, one for standard playback and another configured to remix music from stereo to 5.1. These zones can be switched using JRemote2.

4. I own quite a few BluRay Opera and concert discs (copied from disc to my server). I send the audio signal through the DAC. The video plays fine (I have my pre-amp set to pass through video to my projector from my server). All my opera discs automatically play multichannel which is great. I do have my server mouse handy because I can right click and select subtitles. BluRay audio discs (almost all are from 2L) do require I select the audio track so I keep my keyboard handy too. I have also downloaded quite a few concert videos from YouTube and Vimeo. Of course, these are stereo so I select the remix to 5.1 ZONE. Not high rez audio but I am happy with the result. A great many of these videos are not available anywhere else - and they are often taken down after several weeks. Several are later released in SACD and I do have both.

5. I do rely on reviews to select high quality audio or concert videos. For audio, I primarily use or Hurwitz's Classics Today (either their website or YouTube videos). For concert/opera videos I use HDVDARTS.

The system is very stable, no audio dropouts or any other issues. Since I am retired (going on two years now) the system gives me many hours of music enjoyment. Using the DAC forced me to discover how to properly set it all up.

Thanks for listening.

Speakers up front: three Spatial Audio Lab X3 open baffle speakers. 97dB efficient. Pulled 5 feet from my front wall. 10 feet between left and right speakers and 10 feet to the MLP.

Photo 1 is front view from the MLP

Photo 2 is the side view showing the open baffle design.

Left side of cabinet: • Shield Pro media streamer • Panasonic 4K Blu-ray player • exaSound S88 • Parasound 5 channel amplifier (A52+)

Center of cabinet: • OPPO SACD Player • Teddy Pardot power supply for S88 • Coleman switch (switch between S88 and Pre/Pro going via XLR to amplifier) 

Right side of cabinet: • Marantz AV8805 pre/pro (used for movies and streaming) • Empty space is for an amplifier for ATMOS/Auro 3D speakers (temporarily removed).

Rear of room - surround bookshelf speakers.

Follow the e68/s88 discussion thread on Audiophile Style.

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