pk_LA: it is a bit of head scratcher for me. I just auditioned a pile of top line dacs and I don't think any of them made the difference that switching from my Roon Nuc to the Pachanko Masterpiece has. It has brought warmth, density, texture and a relaxed-ness to my system that I love!
I do also notice that it must be warmed up to sound its best.
I only have a few hours on it. I will report back when I have sufficient time.
Also, Chan (the Pachanko rep and principle) has been incredibly supportive - day and night *I felt a little bad as he was talking to me the other night at 0330 his time!
Bryans: OK so I have had the CAT Masterpiece for about a month now. I must say I'm still in awe of this unit. The detail at times can be scary. I have some music that I have had in my rotation for decades, yes even those poorly recorded ones, now have so much more detail. I find myself "grooving" with the music so much more now.
Now I know some of you are hard core critical listeners and there is nothing wrong with that. Over the last month I find myself doing none of that. I'm simply just enjoying listening to my collection. My wife asked me why am I doing so much more listening, is that good or bad ?
Now let me first say I am a believer in breaking in gear. But I'm not one of those who can say 500 or 1000 hours ago my system sounded like this or that in great detail. I "think" I know but do I really? All I can say is how much I am enjoying my system today. Today with the Masterpiece my system has tremendous detail, pace, air, smoothness, is way more dynamic, and just enjoyable to listen to. The toe-tapping factor is at an all time high. Yes I know I made up toe-tapping factor .
Now I'm still using Roon (non HQPlayer) over 90% of the time. I haven't done any upsampling, etc. so at some point I will start playing around with HQPlayer in more detai. The CAT is just sounding so good I just want to enjoy it as is.
Also I must say Pachanko support (Chan) has been on point. I haven't had any issues, just a bunch of questions like backup procedures, optimization of unit, etc.
Bryans: OK I promised an update and here it is. After waiting a week between US Customs and me traveling for work I finally was able to set things up last night. Now this is just Day 1 and really all I did was take everything out of the boxes and stacked up the gear as you can see in the picture. I'm using Pachanko Ethernet and USB cables. The USB is feeding my MSB Premier via ProUSB/ISL.
First I have to say the pictures on Pachanko's site doesn't really convey the mass of this unit. This thing is built like a TANK! If you are about power supplies this unit has it and more. Setup was pretty straight forward as Chan jump on the server and walked me through moving my files to the internal drive, restoring my Roon database, and doing the recommended settings.
I have to say after nearly 5 hours of listening this is one sweet unit. The detail I am hearing from some of my recordings is really amazing. Yes I have done a few double takes. The music has more body and weight to it in a good way. For example as I write this I'm listening to Death Row by Chris Stapleton (On From a Room: Volume 1). The bass thump is smooth, tight, and precise.
I'm not getting any digital harshness or fatigue even after a very long listening session. Now I'm using Roon with no DSP, etc.. I do have HQPlayer and the Diretta Host which I will play around with later.
With this being Day 1 I expect things to continue to improve.
Juju84: I made the investment of an ethernet cable made by hand by the company Pachanko Labs, this cable is really fabulous, it is silky soft, it reveals all the quality of the machines connected to it. Congratulations to CHAN for the quality of its products, we are close to perfection for my taste. the sound is analog. long live Pachanko Labs
VK-GR: ...IGNORANCE IS BLISS....
Over the last 45 days I have enjoyed applying changes to my digital front end.
This was not entirely planned this way. I think though this info to be useful to other members as long as I explain as plainly as possible what changes I applied and how these affected my stereo system. The most important aspect of below info is that, with every change, I had at least two or three weeks of listening. And also that it was an upward journey, with audible improvements in every step.
Speakers: ProAc Studio 125
Pre & Amplification: Musical Fidelity Preamp 8 and MA65 monoblocks
DAC: Project Pre Box RS2 Digital
Keces P8 Linear Power Supply
Digital Front End:
A. Front End Initial setup
Mac Mini with all UpTone Audio mods and Linear Power Supply feeding inexpensive bridge (allo usb), Intona USB Isolator
B. Front End Stage 1 (older Constellation Mini)
Previous Version Constellation Mini (fed by LPS), Intona USB Isolator
C. Front End Stage 2 (new version Constellation Mini)
New Constellation Mini (fed by LPS), Intona USB Isolator
D. Front End Stage 3 (new version Constellation Mini & Diretta Target)
New Constellation Mini (fed by LPS), Diretta Target, Intona USB Isolator
Impressions and Listening
1. from A to B - Normal/Generic pc and bridge feeding DAC to a dedicated digital transport or music server
The change is ENORMOUS.
It amounts to as big a difference as "when you purchased your first pair of higher-end speakers".
When you went from those generic Sony, Philips or Aiwa speakers bundled with a mini stereo system, to your first Wharfedales or KEFs or...
It is this kind of a difference....
The complete change below 200Hz where for the first time you can hear an undistorted and fast bass
The complete change above 2000HZ where for the first time the digital "brightness" and edge is removed from your highs and the vocals start "hanging: in the air, above the center image and providing you with a realistic phantom that is clearly singing and entertaining YOU!
The mids have substance, weight, and are flowing effortlessly.
The soundstage has grown in proportion and the image itself is well defined.
When listening to classical music, orchestra, you can now place the instruments in exact position. Yes, I know they were already in position.
But you know that slight flickering of the image...a slight move 5cm left/right...this is gone...
the instruments and vocals are pinned to their correct places.
What I got with the Pachanko Constellation versus other gear which I auditioned before purchase
The darkest - "pitch black" - backgound that i have been raving about in this forum.
At this price point, this aspect is - for me -what sets the Pachanko in a league of its own
And the client service experience - I was lucky here - from both Pachanko and Chameleon Audio (Greek distributor)
2. from B to C - Old Pachanko Constellation Mini to New Pachanko Constellation Mini
When I installed the new Mini in the system I did not really expect to see any difference at all. Really.
But what I got was more PRaT.... It was not like a sledgehammer revelation. It was subtle. But it was there!
I had spent a month with the old mini and when I installed the new mini I was amazed to find a little bit more rythm in the music. a bit more toe tapping. When I reported this to Chan ,saying "I am certain this is my bias, since this is a new unit or my unit etc..."
"Better Resonance Control in the new case"...said Master Chan! May the force be with him!!!
3. from C to D - Adding Diretta Target to System (Pachanko, Diretta and DAC fed by LPS)
* connection Chain is Ethernet to port1 of Pachanko, Pachanko Lan Port 2 to Diretta Target, Diretta Target to DAC by USB cable
Now, this is again interesting. I would not call the changes which I heard subtle but rather "the best high end refinement in my system"
The center image level lifted some 25cm above the top of my speakers, which was the previous level at which center image sat.
Soundstage equally grew by some 25cm each side.
Initially I thought this was a 2D effect. But by listening at my reference songs again and again I understood that it was as if I had actually doubled the layers of my sound image. I mean in depth. If there is a singer and a drum behind him/her then you can now place a distance between them.
The only way I can best explain or that I best felt this change is in songs such as Emeli Sande's "My kind of love - Live Royal Albert Hall"
The vocals are at center so you can very easily track the change in height of the image.
But...mid song...3:00 minute, there is a drum transient that goes from right border o the soundstage all the way to the left border.
The definition, weight, airiness and openness of the stage is now staggering. And this is where you can also well understand the layering when the drum traverses behind the singer at center.
Equally in "Billy the Kid - Suite from the Ballet: Gun Battle" from the McIntosh Audiophile Test Reference Recordings I was shi@@ing my pants!!!
Better bass definition and layering is also much apparent in other songs such as Alan Parson "Genesis"
So... "Ignorance is bliss"... Not Exactly
Well, if i had not heard the differences every step of the way I would be non-wiser.
Sure, I would also perhaps be a richer man in my pocket. Don't purchase anything....
But the juice of this story is what I discussed with both Nick/Chameleon Audio an Chan/Pachanko Labs
If you hear the difference, the extra bit of magic in your system, you cannot go back.
And the cost is worth it in this case, I assure you, every step of the way up,
By far the biggest change was moving to a dedicated computer audio transport.
But all the other little changes also added so much!!!
TannoySuperPrestige: First impression with the Pachanko Constellation mini SE with the Stellar power supply
Last Friday (19 of August 2022) Piet de Vries from Audiotweaks (https://audiotweaks.nl) brought me my Pachanko Constellation mini SE with the Stellar power supply. This is a dedicated built computer audio transport (CAT) built to get the best out of ROON. I am a great fan of ROON. Developed and built by the fantastic people of Pachanko (https://www.pachankolabs.com/product-page/constellation-mini-se). My main contact is with Chan. His service is beyond approach. Is on the highest service level you can wish. Even on times when normally people have free-time…Chan will help! In the last couple of month Piet was so generous to me that he lend me his Pachanko mini with a power supply from Hypsos. This was already a great sounding experience.
A bit of technical speech (be aware I am NOT a technicians only a dedicated listener):
What makes the CAT from Pachanko for me so special? Pachanko uses the DIRETTA protocol (https://www.diretta.link). So does my network player form Sforzato! Because of this these units can communicate with each other. To put it in simple words. With DIRETTA you make use of the best transmission way of the digital information what is actual available, IMHO. See the Diretta website. Beside of the use of DIRETTA the CAT of Pachanko sound great! The DIRETTA ads the extra (awesome) bonus. The built quality is really superb. When Piet started unpacking both units I looked at him and said…wow….this looks and feels great! Be aware of the dimensions of both the Constellation mini SE and the Stellar! They are bigger than I expected!
As speakers I use the big giant Westminsters Royals SE from Tannoy. My actual amps are the DM-20/DM-30 from DENSEN. Turntable: Linn LP 12 on a very high level. With the EMT JSD-5 cartridge.
When the Constellation mini SE was warmed up we started to listen. Both Piet and I like to listen in silence to several numbers before we come to conclusions. We could not really follow are normal path! After…..20 or 40 seconds we gazed at each other…with both a very big happy smile on both our face. Why? The sound was so transparant, so fluently, so organic, so spacious, so musical as you only hear in real live or when in an audio system everything is……..100% just RIGHT! I am convinced that Pachanko has developed a solution in the difficult world of digital audio that gives an answer ‘how to transmit the 1 and 0 bits in a truly time correct way’. No time shifts, no phase shifts…..With help of the DIRETTA protocol they set an huge step forward! Far more imported is: the Pachanko sounds also very musical in an emotional way. The sound can emotional touch you as if.....you are listen to one of the BEST turntables! Perhaps better? Be sure I am a BIG longterm fan of analog audio!
Panchanko also incorpated the HQ Player in this mini SE. After only two days of listening I am convinced….HQ Player sounds great! Already one of my best audio friends visited me this weekend to listen to my new ‘Pachanko’s’. His setup is: Rockport speakers/The Absolare integrated amp/The Memory player/all cables from Echole. He nows my system very well. He was deeply impressed over the progression in sound he heard at my house. He described the sound as more holograpic, spacious, transparent and dynamic.
To be continued!
VK-GR: Proud new owner of the Pachanko Labs Constellation Mini
....and my (hilarious, sorry Chan) first impressions of a different customer service experience.
Good day to all members. Being new to the forum, I must apologize for my lengthy first post, but had no other way to fully convey my audio emotions of today.
Four days ago I visited Chameleon Audio in Athens.
I was decided on purchasing the SOTM Ultra Neo network bridge.
I entered the shop with the air of an audio connaisseur who knew what he wanted and wanted it NOW!
The owner of the business, Nick (...thanks NicK!) tried to say something in the lines of "would you like to audition..."
I steadily repeated "I want the SOTM Ultra Neo..." I am certain that Nick thought I was some kind of Audio nenderthal.
Nick proceeded to switch off the air conditioning, a true suicide move in Athens in August, asked me to sit at the listening position, and pressed a few buttons on his ipad.
Jazz music started playing but it was different to what I had heard - in the digital domain - in any audio show or presentation.
Music was "creamy and airy" with a black background that I can only describe as mystical.
In the silent pauses within the songs I got goosebumps.
With the same sense of audio neanderthal certainty I turned around and said to Nick...
"The SOTM is an amazing piece of gear!!!"
Nick smiled and responded "yes it is a great piece of gear, You are listening to the Pachanko Labs Constellation Mini"
It replaces your current computer and eliminated the need for a separate bridge!
I was not at all convinced!!!! What was Nick trying to do? I wanted the SOTM? What was he playing at?
He saw my distrust at what I was hearing and said. "We shall AB both equipment, but the Pachanko gear is much, much better sounding."
We sat down and listened to 5 songs, then again. After 45 minutes of trying to pick every little detail apart I conceded...
THE PACHANKO GEAR SOUND WAY BETTER!!!!!
With - still - a slightly hesitant facial expression - I told Nick, "Pack it, I m taking it home"!
Nick explained we had to place an order (black color not in stock). The shop would be closing for 2 weeks for vacation period.
I would get my unit at end of month.
I was sort of fuming....first you let me hear heaven....then I agree to purchase...then you don't have?????
Then he did it for a second time....YOU CAN HAVE MINE THOUGH FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS UNTIL YOUR UNIT IS DELIVERED!!!
Took the unit and headed to work, opening the box every 10 minutes, just to check the Mini had not escaped.
Having finished late at work I headed home, hooked-up the unit and had a listen to 4 of my favorite/reference songs.
The sound was AMAZING....Airy, Soundstage beyond the limits of the side walls, voices that where really inside the room and singing!!!!
I was really tired so I headed to bed absolutely happy. What a purchase!!!!!
The next morning - first thing - I received a parcel. And what good timing indeed to receive this order...
New sftp ethernet cables, fiber optic to replace most of my lan copper, media converters, ifi audio low noise power supply for the converters...
I installed everything and switched on the music streaming from Tidal and upsampling to DSD as I normally do.
I was certain I had an awesome system at this point. Being morning time I left the system playing background music at low level.
A few hours later it was time to zoom in. I sat in my chair, relaxed, put on my favorite track and maxed the volume....
WHAT CRAP WAS THIS???????
A boomy sound comming out of my Proacs, muddy, murky....
A sound more resembling to a 1950s TV with a shot full range driver.
What black magic was this???? Nick, what have you done to my system?????
I was coming from Audirvana. This was my first hands on experience with Roon.
I took a moment to think and swiftly concluded...
"Roon is s@@t"!
Nick had left me with specific instructions. If anything happens call Chan at Pachanko Labs.
I emailed Chan and 10 minutes later we were speaking on the phone.
I explained how I had heard the Constellation Mini, was amazed, but I was having trouble with Roon or settings or setup...
SOMETHING WAS CLEARLY WRONG! MY ULTRA TRAINED rolleyes ears were not lying to me.
I sounded so disappointed. Chan went through all the settings with me.
I started questioning him on everything you can imagine, as something was clearly to blame....
Chan must have also sensed how freaked out I was....
Over the course of the next three days we went over every little detail, re-installing software, remotely changing settings.
Chan, to his credit, wes ultra patient with me as every day for the next three days I was telling him how bad my system sounded!
He explained every bit of tech that Pachanko have applied to the Constellation, including the "Diretta" upgrading path (ethernet protocol)
We tried every bit of tweak....hours....
Then we had a sincere call where I told Chan
"Look your product and my system clearly don't mix".
Both of us were disappointed. Chan reluctantly added....
Maybe your sound taste is different to mine...maybe its just that....we shall see what we can do.
Perhaps I could swap the Constellation Mini with another model?....
(Chan, If it was me in your shoes, I would have told me to @@@@ @@@!!!)
We started entertaining the idea, both an unenthusiastic me, and a Chan at the brink of sanatorium "check-in"
Yesterday evening I was so unhappy.
I had heard magic playing out of the Pachanko Constellation Mini....But it had disappeared.
I had made a bad purchase. At least the company was supporting me with unbelievable hand-on service.
I was convinced though that most probably Roon was ruining my day.
Through all this I think Chan must have just wanted to push the "eject" button!
I sat on my listening chair, 12 o clock at night, and turned the volume up. WHAT HORROR????
This was like a lego sounding system!!!!!
I was perplexed. I took everything apart. EVERYTHING! amps, cables, dac, preamp, everything.
Then started from scratch.
When I got the the point of connecting the system to the ethernet, I had left the fiber optic gear on the side and could be bothered....
NAH...connect 5 pieces of equipment or the old copper cable and I am done? It was 3 in the morning so I just plugged in the damn copper cable and was done with it. switched on the system, put my favorite "XIASOU / Analog Dreams in a Digital World"
!@#$!%!#%%#$%#%!%#%#%%!.....WHAAAAAATTTT.....WHAT MAGIC WAS THIS....I WAS SUDDENLY IN HEAVEN????????
I got up, got the remote, pushed pause, and brought volume to 12 o clock. I wanted to be certain there was no mistake....
The highs were suddenly appearing from 2 meters behind my speakers and tickling my brain cells.
An extremely well defined bass that was punching my chest at every beat of music.
That creamy, airy, musically-perfect with fantastic tonal balance sound!!!!!!
I WAS SUCH AN IDIOT!!!! Installing the Constellation Mini and the fiber optic at the same time it did not occur to me that the Media Converter would be screwing up the sensitive ethernet input of this small little jewel, the Pachanko Constellation Mini!!!
By this time I was in fact twice an idiot as my wife, clearly freaked out, was blasting at me "WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT 03:15 IN THE MORNING" and my jumping up and down shouting at her, over the loud music, "IT WORKS, IT WORKS, LISTEN!!!LISTEN!!!!!!" she was not entertained....
This morning I had an extra call to make.
"Chan, sorry I am an idiot"...
PACHANKO, thank you for your patience, thank you for your help and support, and thank you for a great product.
The least I can do is to recognize the unprecedented level of support over past 3 days.
The best I can do is to recognize, having discussed with you thoroughly, the technical genius behind your implementation on the Constellation Mini.
YOUR GEAR SOUNDS AMAZING
A fan for life
DrPo: I had the opportunity yesterday to test the entry-level Pashanko server (powered by a good power supply) against my Antipodes EX in both USB and AES/EBU (using the Antipodes P2 reclocker) modes. The Pachanko came as a very clear winner; more quiet, better soundstage, timing and tonality. Peaks (like orchestral tutti) were navigated with ease by the Pachanko without any hint of strain. The P2 reclocker in AES/EBU mode improved on the USB output but was still well behind the Pachanko. I would definitely recommend a demo if you are in the market for a good Roon server.
Pngbb: Hi~ Bogen88, you got such a wonderful setup! I’m from Hong Kong, so space is a very crucial factor affecting my music listening environment and size of system/equipment. I used to play the music from my desktop PC and my DAC is Weiss DAC501. Keep it simply and nice, I use PSI Audio A17m active speakers. SQ is good, but I found something is missing in the music from this setup… So I moved on and started to find ways to improve my setup. Upgrade the internal power and SATA cables of my PC may help… somehow, I found Pachanko. So, I discussed my case with Chan. He recommended a little brother Constellation Mini to me and it is able to fit on my desk. It took quite a long time to deliver the server to my country because of COVID. Now, I have been using the Constellation Mini for a month already. It is basically a computer, easy enough to operate with Roon. The power consumption is very well controlled and minimized, I think. I keep it on 24/7 and never feel hot to touch on the case. Regarding sound quality, Constellation Mini simply completes the missing parts of my previous setup, it puts live and musicality back to the music. In my case, Constellation Mini brings quite an impact to my listening experience. From a lifeless and boring CAS system, “transform” to a very decent HiFi system that fits on my small desk.
I ordered an audiophile grade switch already. My next target is to buy the Stellar LPS for the Constellation Mini and new switch. Hoping these will further improve the sound quality.
Hope you don’t mine I share some of my thoughts here about my new music server~
Bogan88: Everything's been running in for ~2months now, left on 24/7. and I am still totally satisfied with the SQ since adding the Pachanko.
music just flows and I find myself glued to my listening chair for longer each night. (eg 2-3 hrs)
whilst I cannot remember the exact improvements since day 1, and Pachanko has kindly "dialed" into my server to do periodic updates (free service). Often done without me knowing, I just get a message that it's been done
Still smitten by how my Tidal streaming sounds now. I have re-visited many albums from Tidal that I have "added", but never enjoyed for one reason or another. Now they all sound "better". Who would've thought upgrading a server will impact on streaming. but it did.
Also, they send me their new LAN cable. And compared to my 2020 Sablon LAN (I have head to toe-Sablon LAN), smoothness comes to mind.
Sablon has an edge in the bass department (system dependent), but the Pachanko is a killer in sound stage accuracy and streaming sounds less "digital". Which sounds like total BS for anyone who doesn't have the chance to experience digital streaming done "right".
This server (and LAN cable) leaves you surprised how far we have come in digital streaming. (and seriously how much better it can get).
So I still stand by my initial finding. Their stuff are a bargain compared to other "branded" stuff.
Brian H: The Serentiy Silver SATA cable has a rich texture to triangles, flutes, and cymbals. I have not heard a SATA cable deliver such transparency and realism. The Serenity Ag cable is a large upgrade of the generic SATA cable that most people use with their computer audio systems. I liken the improvement to a better pair of speakers! Highly recommended.
Oliver H: I have this weekend been finding out how good the Pachanko Signature Edition power supply is.
My equipment is shown below. I am a vinyl lover and have been building several computer music servers for a while now, starting with improving what I was first sold by a now-defunct business in the UK: Item Audio.
The power supply has made a difference every time. I started off with an HDPlex LPSU, first the 100w one, then the 200w one, and then, a week and a half ago, I received the 300w one. I had already by then spent what for me was a lot of money ordering Pachanko's Signature Edition LPSU (https://www.pachankostudio.com/product-page/pachanko-audiophile-signature-edition-highend-lpsu), but I wanted to see what the HDPlex one was like, since I have three computer audio transport sources - two SSD-based, playing high-resolution and lossless files (one for a headphone-only system, one for a speaker system), and one streaming-only source (fanless, of course) - and if the new HDPlex LPSU was good then it was not going to be wasted.
The 300w HDPlex LPSU was quite a big step up from the 200w one, and I wondered whether I had spent wisely getting the Pachanko LPSU. I had indeed. The Pachanko Signature Edition LPSU has done precisely what I wanted in the speaker-based system, in which I have my vinyl replay equipment. The Pachanko LPSU-based computer audio transport sound now equals the sound of the vinyl replay system (a good mid-range one based on a Nottingham Analogue Ace Spacedeck with heavy kit and Wave Mechanic) and in some cases betters it.
The sound is now organic (not normally a word I would use in this context, but if feels right here), rich, detailed and such that I can just enjoy the music, which of course was my aim all along.
I decided to splash out on the Pachanko Signature Edition LPSU after taking into account the high cost of the Taiko (which combines both SSD replay and streaming, which if done properly via components in the same case is expensive, I am guessing) and the fact that Naim's big thing is power supplies. I now agree with Naim: the most important thing in the chain is the power supply.
I can guess that the Pachanko server will be every bit as good as the Taiko: but I cannot vouch for that as I have not heard the Taiko, nor the Pachanko system as such, although the Pachanko Aphelion SATA cable made a big difference (as compared with the Pachanko SATA Pure Reference, which itself was a big step up from a stock but cryo-treated cable) in my SSD-based computer transport for the speaker-based system.
I have had a Chord DAVE DAC in my system for a while, comparing it with the DAC64 with the 4-second delay, and the latter was more musical, so I do have some experience of well-regarded top-of-the-line stuff.
The Pachanko LPSU is a great buy, in my view.
My speaker-driving digital file replay equipment currently is this: a Streacom FC9 Alpha housing a Gigabyte gaming motherboard, with a mix of Pachanko Studio and Ghent Audio DC leads; a JCAT XE PCIE USB card fed by a JCAT Optimo Duo power supply; a 2tb M2.SATA disk for storage; a 128gb SSD fed by a Pachanko Aphelion SATA cable for the OS, with Audiophile Optimizer; the Pachanko Signature Edition power supply for the motherboard; Tellurium Q Black Diamond USB cable to Matrix X-SPDIF 2; Nordost Heimdall 2 AES/EBU to Chord DAC64; Clearer Audio Silver Reference BNC to MHDT Pagoda.
For headphones I use a Stax SR-007 Mk1, fed by a Stax SRM-007tii modified by Kimik (which at the time I bought the combination was among the very best in the world, and remains so in my view if fed with a high-quality clean signal). They are fed by a second Chord DAC64, which is fed by another well-fettled computer audio set-up housed in a Streacom FC10 Alpha and now fed by the HDPlex 300w LPSU.
Oliver H: I can vouch for the quality of the Pachanko Aphelion SATA cable. I first used an audiophile SATA cable when I put a Pachanko Pure Reference SATA cable into my SSD-only (not streaming) computer audio transport. It made a big difference, so much so that I could not believe that the Aphelion would be much better. But I am on a quest to get the best sound using a computer (and not spending silly money on it). I am using a Streacom FC9, with a cheapish motherboard (which might be a weak link: it is a cheapish Biostar one), Audiophile Optimizer and Windows 10 Pro, with an HDPlex LPSU and 400w DCATX and Ghent Audio DC cables (all UPOCC), going to a Matrix USB SPDIF converter via a JCAT XE USB card, powered by a JCAT Optimo Duo. The USB cable between the XE card and the Matrix USB SPDIF converter is a Tellurium Q Black Diamond, and the signal goes from the Matrix converter via a Nordost Heimdall AES/EBU cable to a Chord DAC64 (which on the second filter setting, with a 4 second delay, sounded better than a borrowed DAVE earlier this year). The Matrix converter is powered by a Wyred4Sound PS-1 via a Ghent Audio DC cable.
I got the Aphelion SATA cable yesterday. I first kept the system as it was with the Pure Reference in place and played Donald Fagen's The Nightfly (96K) via the computer and on my Nottingham Analogue Ace Spacedeck with an Origin Live Illustrious Mark 2 arm and an AT OC9/iii cartridge (via an Origin Live phono stage), comparing the sound of the two. The digital sound was good: comparable overall, in one sense, but with a more forward, digital sound, than the rounded sound of the LP, which seemed to have treble a bit recessed in comparison. I preferred the sound of the vinyl overall.
Then I put the Aphelion in, and played the same track. The digital was now much more like the vinyl: the treble had become more like the vinyl, and the digital sound had more "ease" than before.
I then tried a track from Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, in the Qobuz 96k version, comparing it with a clean mid-2000's vinyl version of the record. The latter was still better, as the former was more trebly than (I am thinking) it should be.
So, I guessed that the better the digital remaster was, the more analogue-like the digital sound would be.
Then, I played an old favourite via the digital system only: Love Work Out by Crosby and Nash, from a CD rip via iTunes. Wow! It sounded truly analogue-like (although I did not compare it to the vinyl, of which I have a good original-issue copy). Treble not too forward; soundstage excellent, and tone wonderfully natural.
Anyway, I can confirm that the Pachanko Aphelion SATA cable is well worth the money as far as I am concerned.
Thuanb: With the Aphelion cables installed and run in, the SQ is natural yet detailed. Well recorded vocals soar in front of and over accompaniments. There's heightened sense of quieter background helping the spot light beamed to the main performers on stage or in the mix leading to immersive listening experience. Same can be said about large scale classical works, only in a large proportion. It's easier to "see" and hear the musical personality and play style of the individual performers whether they're vocalists or instrumentalists. Due to constraints of my room which tends to flavor width over depth, the setup with Aphelion cables manages to render an extraordinary width AND pretty satisfying depth.
Playing high energy, fast, dynamic music such as Alex Lofoco Beyond pleasantly shows off the Aphelion's chameleon nature. Gone is the relaxed breathy mood, in is the "fast and furious" relentless manner, plus a baddest bass. Yet the playback still lacks digital edginess, the chalkiness that would otherwise shorten listening sessions. In other words, the Aphelion cables seem to disappear sonically, not adding or subtract much if any from the music data flow.
Once I swapped Aphelion Ethernet cable for the same lenght of TLS, which isn't slouch. It didn't take me over 2 minutes to listen and decide to put the Aphelion right back. There is just fluid, juicy musicality with the latter that the TLS, however impressive it has been between Sonore oM and controlPC (a different topic), just doesn't match. Similarly, the Aphelion cables outperform other prior listed cables in my setup.
I'm well aware of other wonderful cables in the market: SOtM, JCAT, Sablon, Wireworld, just to name a few. Each of them has its own set of merits and pricing.
Even PPA is offering a Platinum version of his Ethernet cable. But for me and for now, PACHANKO Aphelion SATA and Ethernet cables look good, perform reliably, and offer a SQ that satisfyingly natural with decent details to boost.
Mancubus: "So... Chan did it again!
I'm happy user of Pachanko Reference and Pure Reference cables and was using these cables since they showed up.
Sometimes it is hard to imanage how already great sound could transform for better especialy when we talk about digital cables.
I have tested the latest creation of Pachanko - Aphelion SATA and boy it is awesome.
If you're not familiar with astronomy, Aphelion is the point in the elliptical orbit of a planet where it is farthest from the sun.
Imanage that you are the planet, the Sun is music and the orbit is your room. And it's good way to describe it.
This is the first quality that undeniably showing when I plug this cable in - The depth perspective. Never had in my system so much of it!
The sound with Aphelion becomes "liquid" like water but the tones are very natural. It just gives you more of this "realism" what we all are after for. Literally can't turn off the music...
Amazing achievement once again!"
Mancubus: " So I swaped my OS disk Reference Sata for Pure Reference Sata.
Pure Reference Sata = pure bliss.
I tested it in 2 systems vs the Reference. Both systems showed the same more appealing sound signature. Better clarity, space, depth, details and air. The Reference sata has darker presentation.
Pachanko Pure Reference really is the best sata cable in the world! No more no less... "
Fran White: " Hey Chan, what kind of Malagasy voodoo did you put in the Pachanko iteration lan cable??? Wow!
I have your dual headed usb-excellent. I have the original i2s/lan cable you did - very good/better than the one PPA it replaced. I have the pure reference SATA - superb and the most impressive gain of these 3 cables.
You convinced me to try the new iteration lan cable. I was reluctant because I need 2 and it is kind of expensive. I have the original PPA ethernet switch on a linear supply reclocking the audio signal between my control and audio pcs . These cables replace your original lan cable and a PPA lan cable on this line.
The new iteration lan cables just blew my mind. No cable has done what these 2 cables have done. The improvement is beyond anything I thought cables could possibly do. Extended dynamics, rich textured mids, increased presence and kick-ass bass. The music is more THERE and there's more of it. What is it, the four pairs of conductors in the cables lets more music through and you hear quadrophonic music or something???
A complete system upgrade......from 2 cables. I don't get it. I'll never understand this computer audio thing.......2 cables....complete system sound quality upgrade.....ridiculous
Fran White: " Once upon a time, I had the stock SATA cable on my OS drive of my audio pc. Then I replaced it with a PPA red SATA cable and discovered that SATA cables can make a difference. Last year I replaced the PPA cable with a Pachanko Reference SATA cable and was surprised that the PPA could be surpassed so decisively by another audiophile cable.
Today I installed the Pachanko Pure Reference SATA cable and was amazed that the sound quality was boosted even further. More depth, bass and texture. The music just has more body and presence. I expect it will open up some more in the next few weeks and sound even better. Very impressed by this superior sounding cable. Well worth the investment. Great job, Chan! "
Audiotruth: " I thought I'd offer some early impression of my experience with the Pachanko speaker cable. I installed Chan's speaker cable in my system a few weeks ago. I have approximately 150 hours on them. Chan says they need around 500 hours. So consider this an early impression.
Chan’s speaker cable provides a fitfully weighty and rock solid clarity with space between instruments. Music sounds less Hi Fi-ish. Instead, music is presented with a crisp, clean and an uncanny delicate clarity, pinpoint imaging, wide soundstage, grip on the base with great base control and best of all, outstanding tonal accuracy. Since the speaker cable was inserted in my system, I’ve noticed a child like grin plastered on my face when listening to music and often when playing music files catch myself unexpectedly repeating the word ‘wow’. The speaker cable’s ability to turn music reproduction into an engaging and thrilling experience is stunning. I've not notice a downside to the cable.
I declare myself to be a ‘Pachankophile’ "
Bernie: "After the experiences with the first SATA cable (OS disk - SSD) I was curious and ordered a second SATA cable for the music SSD, plus a power cable - the Levitation 2, which, according to Chan from Pachanko, was made with audio PCs in mind. After plugging in both I had a few hard days, listening to a sound that was super (!!!) dynamic, nervous and - if I may say, un- suble, almost brutal. I though about discussing with Chan to take back the cables really. But I eventually waited for the first 100 hours, then 200 hours of burn- in. To make it short, I now absolutely love the sound. Patience is a virtue, and "burn- in" has never been so clear and necessary as in this case. I do not know where this effect comes from and I know that to many this sounds "snake- oilish", but I only believe my ears and it was more than obvious.
As I am not a gear tester I don't have enough patience to swap single cables against the default standard PC cables back and forth to isolate the effect of each single one, I just enjoy to listen to my whole audio setup, and this is by far the best digital sound I have heard out of my loundspeakers.
What I can do is to listen to files on my HDD (connected by a convetional SATA cable) and then to an identical file on my SSD (connected by the Pachanko reference). Yes there is a difference, but I have to say, the bigger one was by putting in the OS disk SATA cable and the power cable. Those 2 cables have done wonders to my sound, they clearly over- delivered relative to my expectations.
I meanwhile also added a HDPlex 100W linear power supply which feeds the HDPlex 250W DC to ATX power supply. All devices and cables have progressively improved my sound, resulting now in a very musical, 3D like, dynamic sound. Only half a year ago, being on Win 7 without AO, fidelizer and the hardware modifications, I hadn't been able to imagine how good my digital sound could become.
Having seen those improvements I couldn't resist and ordered custom made cables between my HD-Plex linear PSU and my PC components (24pin cable, cpu power, SATA SSD cable). This is currently the last bit that has still default computer cables. All in all this has resulted in the most expensive computer I ever had, but having no CD player since years, and seen the pleasure I feel when listening to music I do not regret...
Once the additional computer cables have arrived I may report back. Oh, just in case that to some that sounds too good (to be realistic): I have no link of any kind to Pachanko (or HDPlex). I discovered those companies on this forum (and AO website) 3 or 4 months ago. Both the contact and service from Pachanko and HDPlex has been exceptional, they seem to really stand behind their products, and their service is extremely responsive. They really seem to care for their customers. In the past I also made this experience with other 1 man companies (I only bought HiFi products from those for the last 20 years), but only once with a big company (Carl Zeiss optics)."
Y.L : " Après 4 jours de rodage intensif, l'image est vraiment somptueuse, plus analogique. L'association est réellement très bonne entre le Recovery et les câbles Pachanko. Vraiment tout cela m'a apporté un gros plus à mon plaisir musical."
Peter Farley: "I recently installed 2 Pachanko sata cables in my server (one to a 1TB SSD - music files the other to a 128Gig SSD - operating system) Additionally, I purchased a Pachanko's dual head usb absolution cable (connected to a recently installed J-Cat usb card).
Before describing what I noticed after installing the Pachanko cables in my system, I thought it worth mentioning a friend recently purchased two Paul Pang sata cables. So I should be able to report back on the difference in SQ between Pachanko / Paul Pang /J-Cat sata cables.
Back to the Pachanko's sata cables. Although Chan mention the cables would benefit from 200 hours burn-in, I found his sata cables to be very good from the get go. The Pachanko cables transformed the sound of my system. Not only was I hearing greater detail, the background was blacker, sound stage depth and width increased as well as an overall improvement in base. Specifically, the base was better controlled as well as more extended. What was even more surprising was the positive change in timbre and tone of the music. Music had gone from a Hi Fi sound to being more organic.
Over the years I have replaced countless numbers of Pre-Amps, DACs, Power Amps, Speakers, Speaker Cables, interconnects etc. etc. Many of the changes made a difference, none timbre and tonal improvements as did the Pachanko cables... go figure! I'm reporting changes I hear in my system, I'm not predicting how the cables will sound in other systems"
Siembida Gilles: "Bonjour, je vais bien et vos réalisations prennent place sur mon petit système. A la "fin" du rodage, un réajustement des enceintes aura été nécessaire et maintenant, je commence à profiter. Après un peu plus de 100 heures, les rj45 évoluent encore un poil à chaque extrémité de la bande passante. Une impression que tout ce détend et moins de sur brillance sur le haut médium. Ainsi, les aigus prennent leur place avec finesse.
Les basses continuent a prendre un chouille de Corp et sont bien situées en bas (30 cm) dans le placement. Les voies sont pleines, mieux incarnées et bien détachées. La 3D gagne en profondeur et largeur ainsi le placement scénique devient encore plus réel."
Jamie: "Hi Chan, your Reference SATA cables have been in my desktop PC for just a little over 180hrs now - very close to the recommended 200hr burn-in.From a technical perspective, they are functioning 100% - No glitches, Windows related problems, file transfer issues, or other...I have owned other "audio grade" SATA cables before in which I did have problems -- so two thumbs up here!.Audio playback wise.... What can I say? ... They are fantastic!Compared to the BitFenix Alchemy cables (slightly better than a stock SATA-3 cable with sleeving), the Reference cables sound more full with an excellent bass extension that goes both deep and at the same time translates nicely up into the mid-range. Upper mid-range performance is better defined, more clearly presented - better details, transparency / resolution.Trebletown is much the same. Nice and airy (good extension), with a nice measure of detail / resolution and control.
The overall sound is really quite nicely balanced from top to bottom. To the end that I would have to say that your Reference cable isn't a "LOOK AT ME" kind of product.
It seems to go about its job in a very natural sounding way - be it watching a movie or listening to music, the sound simply flows without any particular part of the frequency spectrum standing out.
Consider me a very satisfied customer :)"
Fran White: "I exchanged a few emails with Hiroyuki. Mostly thanking him for the incredible gift he has given us. I also mentioned to him the great friends I have made on this thread....and the impact he has had on me. I told him many of us, including me, will not abandon WS 2012, thus we can no longer use any future versions.
I planted the seed and I now I let it go...........we'll see.
If this is the last version then he has left us on very high ground with version 6.66 (mark of the beast). It is blossoming like a beautiful flower in my system.
6.66 is also getting help from 2 fantastic digital cables by Pachanko, a usb and a lan cable. They have clearly beaten my 2 PPA cables, which I still think highly of. The depth and clarity of this system is now stunning. Thanks Chan "
Florent Galli: "http://www.thresholdlovers.com/articles.php?lng=fr&pg=2124"
Dev: "I recently bought 3 of them - two for control (os + music drive) and one for audio. After replacing the stock yellow cables with Pachanko, the sound was more relaxed and stress free. The cables did cut down glares to some extent and songs with bad recording are more listenable now. Chan said that it takes 100hrs to burn in for which I am not there yet but the improvements are already very noticeable. I will report back after they are fully broken in. They are very well made as well. Also, on a personal note, Chan is a great guy to work with.
As just like with computer audio, Jplay/AO is a MUST, I feel that the Pachanko sata cable tweak further takes the CA to the next level.
My very high recommendation".
Leon Motta: "I replaced my B.M.C. PureUSB1 cable with the Pachanko USB "Absolution", and I can tell you that this Pachanko USB cable is a definite must have. The sound that this cable has produces is so outstanding that all the tracks I have played with the Pachanko USB cable in my system sounded like it was the first time hearing them, it was that dramatic.
Very highly recommended!!!"
Fran White: "These cables were competing with a very good Stereomatic "Goldilinks" special edition cable I was quite fond of. I connnected them between the ifi micro idsd and a Woo WA2 which serves as both headphone and preamp in my system. I found their construction be very pragmatic with the flexible "air dielectric" tube and very smart Neutrix profi connectors. These connectors give a very secure fit that you can be confident in.
I immediately noticed more tightly focused images and greater soundstage. In particular, instruments were more clearly separated from each other. There was also greater dynamic range, with beautiful clean transients. What I liked most was the vivid timbre and texture of instruments, whether it be percussion, guitars, violins or pianos, all beautifully rendered. I found vocals to be very natural and handled with both control and delicacy. If there was any shortcoming it would be in the bass, although it was tight and articulate, it lacked a bit of the depth and slam that would be optimal. Actually, I was able to remedy this with the Pachanko Revelation V2 power cord on the Woo, but that would be another review.
All in all, you would be hard presed to find a better RCA cable at this price point. It outperformed the more expensive "Goldilinks" cable in all metrics except bass."
Fran White: "Hi Chan, I just put one of your sata cables on my control pc hard drive. The improved depth and dynamics were immediately noticeable. Awesome and easy tweak...........I love that! "
Massimiliano: "I finally bought a Lévitation Power Cord, with IEC connectors (male and female), to feed my Genesis Digital Lens using Clearaudio APG (Accurate Power Generator). I'm really happy with it . Noticed an immediate and significant improvement from the stock AC cord. The bass sounded tighter and better articulated, i.e. more integrated into the music. The mid and high ranges seemed to be much more natural, without any digital glare. The added depth and "airiness" were particularly noticeable, especially on female vocals. It's a really good AC cable. Thanks again to Chan for his kindness and cooperation".
Berthilde Buchner: "Enfin un câble secteur qui me fait découvrir mon système. Le son est plus libéré et mieux posé. Je le recommande vivement.
Bravo au concepteur"
Chafi Mallet: "Ces câbles sont d'un naturel et d'une transparence inouie! Un rapport qualité prix imbattable, à acheter les yeux fermées :)"
Enrick Ponapin: "Ouverture, tenue, son plus analogique... La dureté du son numérique à complètement disparue! Merci Pachanko!"
TM: "Belle découverte pour ce câble secteur, écoute très vivante et homogène, parfois l'on se casse la tête a changer et dépenser beaucoup d'argent dans ce domaine. L'écouter c'est l'adopter et en plus pour un rapport qualité prix vraiment intéressant, moi je dis bravo!"
Alix Riviere: "En qualité d'utilisateur , j'aimerai vous faire part de mon expérience concernant le cable secteur PACHANKO "REVELATION" , je l'ai branché sur ma barette secteur pour alimenter mon ampli à lampes .
Mon ampli consomme beaucoup d'énergie , il est primordial que la section soit importante afin de lui apporter le flux de courant dont il a besoin . Au début le cable n'était pas rôdé , l'image sonore était restreinte puis aprés une cinquantaine d'heure environ la musique est devenue plus fluide , transparente agréable à écouter tout simplement . Ce cable secteur porte bien son nom révélation ."
Josef Piri/JPLAY: "Chan was nice to send me his cables for test and similar to AudioPhil I decided to keep Revelation for amp and Levitation for PC. The improvement especially with PC compared to standard stock cable was a no-brainer.
I also tried Levitation with Auralic Vega DAC and while there was an improvement over 'standard' cord I still preferred Acrolink Mexcel which is not a surprise considering Acrolink's insane price – it may be though that Levitation has better synergy with different DACs as Acrolink does seem to have it's own sound so I tried it with Lampizator DAC and that seemed to be a better pairing.
Bottom line, like with anything in audio the best recommendation is to listen and decide for yourself – worst case scenario is that you have to pay for shipping the cable(s) back as Chan offers 100% money-back guarantee within the trial period. And like with anything power-related, if you live in a crowded city try to do your tests on Sunday if at all possible :)"
Stéphane Hoareau: "Got the revelation cable, and even if I'm in a "particular" configuration, ie all my components are behind a furman filter (mono blocks, dac, two pre amp, audio pc, tv), the benefit from the revelation as a source behind the furman was tight, but clear, mostly for me on the bass area, tighter bass.
No stage influence on my area, but that's very related to my room and setup sadly:)
Coming from the supra lo rad (which I use now on my gaming pc, not lost:) ), it was a good opportunity."
Audiophil/Highend-AudioPC: "I use Pachanko cables as well. I have one Pachanko Révélation for my main power distributor and three Pachanko Lévitation for my Mytek DAC, WooAudio WA2 and Sennheiser HDVA600. I was sceptic about the effect and if the money spent will be worth it, but once more in my journey i was proven wrong and all went out very well :)
Today I truly adore Pachanko cables in my system and don't want to miss them at all! I can only encourage everyone to give them a try, you won't be disappointed!"