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Patrick82's My old Nordost Valhalla system (year 2007) System
IP Address: Last Update: June 04, 2010 at 03:46:23
Amplifier: PS Audio GCC-100 (Underwood Level 1 modifications + my own.)
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): None
Speakers: AKG K1000 earspeakers.
CD Player/DAC: Cary 303/300 as transport only. 192kHz upsampling with Nordost Valhalla AES/EBU.

Benchmark DAC1.
Other Source(s): Computer (underclocked).
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Nordost Valkyrja speaker cable (modified for headphones and internal wiring of components).

Nordost Valhalla for the rest (1 conductor per signal = less fake openness and more low-level detail).
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): PS Audio Premier Power Plant.

Magix levitation feet with Solid-tech Feet of Silence under them.
Tweaks: Hardwired interconnects and headphone cable. Oyaide P-037 for power cords.

100+ sheets of ERS Paper.

Moved DAC1's transformer out of chassis and put on top of Magix. Huge improvement in low-level detail.

Valkyrja DC wiring for DAC1 and Cary 303/300.
Room Size (LxWxH): 3m x 3m x 3m
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Complex and fast bass, subtle details and multiple melodies, female vocals; Trance music.
System Goals/Comments: For the transport, the silver plating of Valhalla power cord gives fake speed, openness, clarity, transparency and detail. It makes everything sound thinner which makes the low-level transients appear faster. It also moves all the music up to the surface which makes everything more emphasized. The sound signature is similar to cold capacitors that remain cold, it never gets going, it's just constantly airy. The power supply doesn't function as good with Valhalla as with cables that aren't silver plated. Valhalla is the most colored cable I have heard, you can just add a few cm of it after stock extension strips and it colors the sound. Valhalla sounds kind of cheap and hollow. But it compensates for muddiness in the system. Pure copper cables sound warmer and richer with more body. They don't have a muddiness problem when used with a transport.
With Valhalla when using 1 conductor per signal (instead of 2 or 3), more of the signal is traveling in the copper core instead of the silver plating, it sounds more neutral and gives more low-level detail. The dielectric doesn't seem to matter for transports. Shielding matters a bit, but the difference isn't as big as the silver plating manipulation.

For the amp and DAC, the improvements are similar except the dielectric, conductor size, conductor spacing and shielding all matter. If the shield is too close to the cable it sounds muddy, if the conductors are too close to each other it also sounds muddy. Disconnecting conductors of Valhalla solves the muddiness problem. Putting ERS Paper 1+ cm from the cable doesn't add weaknesses, it just gives a blacker background.

For the interconnect, the silver plating gives fake layering because it makes the lows and highs sound different from each other. The deep silver plating makes it sound edgier which gives the illusion of a blacker background.
Less silver plating depth (Valkyrja) made it sound flat and lifeless, everything sounded the same.

Valhalla is the best match with ERS Paper and Magix because it gives 'hairy thin transients' which doesn't exist with neutral cables. It makes the transients thinner and more emphasized than neutral. That's why Valhalla is a great match for trance music, it also compensates for the smearing of mp3.

Both the power cord and interconnect have less low-level detail than neutral, but the coloration makes it sound more like real life. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=261315
System Strengths: Resolution.
System Weaknesses: I don't complain anymore.
Video/HT System: None
URL Link: http://www.coconut-audio.com
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Truth / Truth / Philosopher

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