HAKAI playground

A DIY digital music streamer with exceptional performance

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Sopper
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Sopper » 2018-10-23 20:08

FairPlayMotty wrote:Having just listened to two clips of a favourite track my conclusion is I would never buy HiFi based on a smartphone recording!
Couldn’t agree more

We can Pinpoint the differences between 2 clips, that’s all.
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2018-10-23 20:13

Sopper wrote:
FairPlayMotty wrote:Having just listened to two clips of a favourite track my conclusion is I would never buy HiFi based on a smartphone recording!
Couldn’t agree more

We can Pinpoint the differences between 2 clips, that’s all.
Glad you agree Sopper and thanks for your efforts! Got Gaucho playing now.
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-23 21:48

FairPlayMotty wrote:Having just listened to two clips of a favourite track my conclusion is I would never buy HiFi based on a smartphone recording! The same track sounds incredible on my system via Hakai one in room one and on my second system via Hakai two in room two.
I don't think any of us would. Certainly for me it is not about whether a smartphone recording can sound as musical as a track in your room (of a musical system, of course) but whether it allows you to hear important musical differences between two devices, settings, etc. This can definitely help in deciding what to investigate.

In this example I also find the first clip sluggish and easily prefer the second one. Does either of them compare to what I hear playing the same track in my room on my somewhat less than optimal HAKAI? Most definitely not. Then again the HAKAI isn't nearly as musical as the same track played off vinyl on my Klimax LP12, so I suppose I should just give up on digital streaming altogether (I see you nodding back there, beck!).

While on the clips, I have finally had the time to listen to the four clips from David Neel of the two different boards. I am with the majority here and find the first clip of the first pair more musical (even at the very beginning before the instruments come in) and I prefer the second clip on the second set of clips. Given this, and the comments about the J3455 in comparison, I am most definitely looking forward to the arrival of my N3160N that I ordered last week. Looks like I have another upgrade coming!
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Azazello » 2018-10-23 22:32

Ok so I know I’m a bit late here, but I i did listen before I red the revelation. Even though I had read that all of you preferred #2 I have to say I didn’t hear much of a difference at all! So I guess that’s a good thing if it turns out the more expensive was better :)

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2018-10-24 01:02

ThomasOK wrote:
FairPlayMotty wrote:Having just listened to two clips of a favourite track my conclusion is I would never buy HiFi based on a smartphone recording! The same track sounds incredible on my system via Hakai one in room one and on my second system via Hakai two in room two.
I don't think any of us would. Certainly for me it is not about whether a smartphone recording can sound as musical as a track in your room (of a musical system, of course) but whether it allows you to hear important musical differences between two devices, settings, etc. This can definitely help in deciding what to investigate.

In this example I also find the first clip sluggish and easily prefer the second one. Does either of them compare to what I hear playing the same track in my room on my somewhat less than optimal HAKAI? Most definitely not. Then again the HAKAI isn't nearly as musical as the same track played off vinyl on my Klimax LP12, so I suppose I should just give up on digital streaming altogether (I see you nodding back there, beck!).

While on the clips, I have finally had the time to listen to the four clips from David Neel of the two different boards. I am with the majority here and find the first clip of the first pair more musical (even at the very beginning before the instruments come in) and I prefer the second clip on the second set of clips. Given this, and the comments about the J3455 in comparison, I am most definitely looking forward to the arrival of my N3160N that I ordered last week. Looks like I have another upgrade coming!
I can't listen to the clips and not doubt the source of any sonic differences. Smartphone microphones just aren't accurate enough, in my view, to allow meaningful comparisons. They're not close to challenging Shure, Sennheiser etc. just yet.

Both of my Hakais are as musical as my Rega Planar 9. After playing a vinyl album to wake up my power amps I have played one record, the best quality vinyl album I own (45rpm test pressing of Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus). My sole concern about the Hakais so far is having to schedule my sleep and exercise. It's way too easy to sit and enjoy the music for hours on end.
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by beck » 2018-10-24 09:07

FairPlayMotty wrote: I can't listen to the clips and not doubt the source of any sonic differences. Smartphone microphones just aren't accurate enough, in my view, to allow meaningful comparisons.
Fair point. If the above is true that would leave us with two options. We could stop making comparisons using clips (boring forum in sight) or you could just disregard the comments. The comments on this forum should not lessen your enjoyment at home. I for one believe you when you say you really enjoy listening to music via Hakai.

In the end I find the discussions when comparing clips and the thoughts they generate the most valuable and interesting of all.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-24 11:09

To my surprise, I have found recording and listening to the clips interesting. Even when I disagree, I can usually see what others are finding. But I agree there is no substitute for listening in the room!

So with that in mind, here are two clips: ADS/3 vs HAKAI with N3050N-D2P.

1. https://www.dropbox.com/s/2q4dpz0kifufg ... 2.mp4?dl=0
2. https://www.dropbox.com/s/s0a9nky83ygn0 ... 6.mp4?dl=0

Now deleted in case there was another change between the two clips - I will redo shortly.
Last edited by David Neel on 2018-10-24 14:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2018-10-24 12:45

beck wrote:
FairPlayMotty wrote: I can't listen to the clips and not doubt the source of any sonic differences. Smartphone microphones just aren't accurate enough, in my view, to allow meaningful comparisons.
Fair point. If the above is true that would leave us with two options. We could stop making comparisons using clips (boring forum in sight) or you could just disregard the comments. The comments on this forum should not lessen your enjoyment at home. I for one believe you when you say you really enjoy listening to music via Hakai.

In the end I find the discussions when comparing clips and the thoughts they generate the most valuable and interesting of all.
The clips are enjoyable and fun. I just wouldn't bet a dime on the accuracy, suspect unconscious angle change to a smartphone mic makes a big difference. Despite best efforts one clip made me feel slightly seasick yesterday. Fun though!
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-24 13:52

FairPlayMotty wrote:I just wouldn't bet a dime on the accuracy, suspect unconscious angle change to a smartphone mic makes a big difference.
It depends on your definition of 'accuracy'.

In-room clips are not accurate in revealing how the music sounds when you are in the room. When comparing several clips from the same room, however, they can reasonably accurately give an impression of how the fundamental musical qualities differ.

The angle or position of the phone when recording makes a negligible difference to the musical qualities. This has been tested many times. It is however not advisable to point it in a completely different direction or to drastically change position, as this makes comparing the clips more difficult.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-24 15:15

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-24 15:38

To my ears, these two have a sound that's much more alike than in your first ADS/3 versus HAKAI clips, where they performed very differently.

Was it a different motherboard back then? I think I would prefer that one (that's a wild guess of course).

The second clip is more in tune than the first, which is a bit wobbly on the notes.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-10-24 15:44

My general view is that the clips should demonstrate relative musicality and make it easier to compare components because we can listen in quick succession - something that's not easy 'in room'.
Of course the clips don't give absolute musicality but that's never been the point of them, to my mind at least.
The one thing I'd expect/hope is that, in room, the relative order of musicality would be maintained to a large degree, for a given individual's preference. If not then the clips are just for fun rather than any practical purpose.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-24 15:52

Same motherboard as the earlier ADS/3 comparison. But fancy power strip and cables removed, and all but power amps are now on Quadraspire SVT Bamboo instead of Isoblue, which is a very noticeable improvement. The other difference from the earlier clips is that the NAS is now Hakai/Debian rather than LSNAS/Win7HP. Maybe I need to swap motherboards between NAS (currently N3160N) and streamer?
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Tendaberry » 2018-10-24 16:19

I prefer the second one as well, the guitar playing is better, more fluid and the story comes more alive through the singers voice.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-10-24 16:20

1 is rhythmically more catchy than 2. 1 is also richer, whereas 2 seems clearer. 1 is more engaging, 2 is a bit cold hearted. To me.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-24 17:36

1. was the Hakai, 2. was the ADS/3.

In this comparison (same track, volume may have changed) I have swapped the motherboards, so that the streamer now has the N3160N, and the NAS the N3050N. To keep the comparison fair, I re-recorded the ADS/3.

1. https://www.dropbox.com/s/rwfik3pocdeno ... 0.mp4?dl=0
2. https://www.dropbox.com/s/pow36uggcun7e ... 9.mp4?dl=0
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by kallesprätt » 2018-10-24 19:03

I prefer the first clip, it has better flow and the singer performs better than in the second clip.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-24 19:30

On the latest clips I like 1 better, it seems to flow better and clip 2 seems a bit deader musically.

On the previous pair of clips I agree with with Fredrik that the sound is much closer than when we did those comparisons earlier. I'm also there with tokenbrit in finding clip 1 a bit more engaging although clip 2 does appear to be more in tune. I went back and forth on these several times and once again noticed that the first listen to clip 2 was worse than repeated listens. Overall I have a hard time picking a preference and was about to listen to them again on my earpods (instead of the iMac speakers) but the clips had been removed - I expect to make room for the newer ones.

Very interesting to hear how a HAKAI that has a fair amount of burn in compares to the ADS with Katalyst. A quite good showing! Just received a shipping confirmation on my N3160N so I'll be listening to my own soon. Everything I'm hearing is making me happy with the choice to order it.
Last edited by ThomasOK on 2018-10-24 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Charlie1 » 2018-10-24 19:31

tokenbrit wrote:1 is rhythmically more catchy than 2.
I listened earlier and preferred 1 for the same reason. I listened again a moment ago and wasn’t so sure either.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Charlie1 » 2018-10-24 19:39

Also prefer 1 for latest clips. Some of the guitar strums seemed a bit off in clip 2.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Spannko » 2018-10-24 19:42

1 sounds wrong. 2 sounds better. Personally, I don’t think it’s close.

Edit:

You only gave us 2 hours! I’ve been busy so couldn’t post, and then I discover most prefer 1.

First time round, it took one note of 1 to know it was so out of tune there was something obviously wrong.

Listening again, to make sure I haven’t made a mistake, based on what I’m hearing though my iPad speakers, I’d give 1 a musicality score of 3-5, and 2 a score of 6-7’ish (out of 10).
Last edited by Spannko on 2018-10-24 19:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-24 19:52

Spannko wrote:1 sounds wrong. 2 sounds better. Personally, I don’t think it’s close.
Interesting! As you're the man who got me into this pastime of posting clips, I'd love to know why.

BTW, 1. is the Hakai. I also agree with Fredrik and Thomas that it's a lot closer than the earlier clips.
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Spannko » 2018-10-24 19:56

Crossing posts! See my edit above.

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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-24 20:04

Spannko wrote:1 sounds wrong. 2 sounds better. Personally, I don’t think it’s close.

Edit:

You only gave us 2 hours! I’ve been busy so couldn’t post, and then I discover most prefer 1.

First time round, it took one note of 1 to know it was so out of tune there was something obviously wrong.

Listening again, to make sure I haven’t made a mistake, based on what I’m hearing though my iPad speakers, I’d give 1 a musicality score of 3-5, and 2 a score of 6-7’ish (out of 10).
Thanks! Gives me a few things to think about....
FWIW, I don't think the N3050N as a NAS is anywhere near as good as the N3160N. Maybe I should revert to the LSNAS.
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Re: HAKAI playground

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-10-24 20:18

I really can't decide this time round - the latest clips are more difficult for me to split than the ones from earlier today...
Would be interested to hear them fed by the LSNAS.

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