Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wyred4Sound Remedy - First Listening Impressions

I have hooked up the Remedy between my Logitech Squeezebox and my Audio Research DAC 8.  The only true jitter measurements I could find were for it's slightly newer cousin, the DSPre.  It seems that the DSPre is wildly sensitive to jitter, at least the measurements are, so I'm just going to assume the DAC 8 is the same or worse.

Most of my listening these days is to Internet radio, including Toronto Jazz FM 91, which in addition to having great programming also streams at 24/96.   The other station was KDFC 90.1, Bay Area Classical.

In the middle of this my power regulator has started to hum, so I can't do the remedy justice until I move it to a quieter location.

Still, here's what I think so far.

The remedy works much more noticeably with low-resolution stations, but it IS better. The sense of space inside the sound stage and the treble decay. Sometimes it feels worse though. During mass string crescendos the sound gets too complicated.  With Jazz 91 the improvements seem much less pronounced, but still there.

However this is really hard to gauge with radio.  I'll give this a better listen soon, when my biggest noise sources have been fixed.

Update August 28, 2016
So I had thought my impressions might greatly change, but they did not. I think this is a good tool but only for more source sensitive DAC's like I had (just sold it), the ARC DAC 8. That DAC played brilliantly when driven by an Ayre CD player, but when I brought it home it was much fussier.

With high resolution music (96k and above) I could honestly not tell if it was working or not, which I guess is a good thing. So, overall I would recommend this to clean up the sound of a mid-Fi CD player or Internet radio or inexpensive streamer like my Squeezebox Touch. 

I have however switched over to a Mytek Brooklyn DAC which sounds as good as the Wyred4Sound + ARC DAC 8 without the remedy in place, regardless of how it was driven.

I'm now driving the Brooklyn with a 2TB Linux streamer I built myself ($650) and it's very happy to play PCM, MQA and DSD from it.