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Topics - Tranquility Bass

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Firmware Updates / Firmware Update: 210513-1335
« on: May 13, 2021, 04:16:04 AM »
Firmware Version: 210513-1335
Firmware release date: 13-May-2021
Tested On: UP2, UPP
Description: This update addresses differences in Apple remote controls as there appears to be two types of remote with slightly different codes and some wouldn't work depending on which one you purchased which wasn't clear as they both looked identical. This has now been fixed in this release so the UP should now respond to both types.

We have also changed the "Setup S/PDIF Output" menu and have removed the loop through function and added a sample rate output selection because some external DAC's cannot run at the native DSP sample rate of 192kHz nor can the Toslink output of the preamp run at more than 96kHz.


How to upload firmware updates to the Ultimate Preamplifier

How to implement a stereo 5-way crossover with the Ultimate-Preamplifier

This firmware download link below:

Please refer to the following documentation for full instructions on how to upload firmware updates to the Ultimate Preamplifier

How to upload firmware updates to the Ultimate Preamplifier

Wiki and Q&A / Using Jriver with the Ultimate-Preamplifier
« on: May 04, 2021, 10:38:32 AM »
Jriver provides direct hardware support for the 2-channel Amanero USB adaptor used in the Ultimate Preamplifier 2/+ so some setup in Jriver is necessary to take full advantage of the Ultimate-Preamplifier. Here is the setup I used in Jriver version 27. Earlier versions of Jriver will be very similar.

Step 1. Make sure you have installed the drivers for the Amanero device on your PC and make sure your PC is connected to the USB audio 2-Channel input on the back of the preamp. Select "Combo384 ASIO" from the Audio Device menu as below:-

Step 2. Set Device settings as follows

Step 3. Since the preamp can only handle a maximum of 192 kHz sample rate you can down convert the higher formats using integer fraction sampling rates as below:-

Step 4. Both the 2-ch Preamp and 2-ch Direct DAC modes on the Preamp use hardware DSD (not DoP) so set this as follows:-

For more information on this topic please download the following pdf document:-

Not all Balanced Inputs are created equally or How not to design a power amplifier !

Wiki and Q&A / DC Coupling And Offset Voltage Issues
« on: May 03, 2021, 05:31:45 AM »
For more information on this topic please download the following pdf document:-

  DC Coupling And Offset Voltage Issues

For more information on this topic please download the following pdf document:-

  Eliminating Intersample overs in the Ultimate-Preamplifier using Intersample Over Guards

For more information on this topic please download the following pdf document:-

  How to upload firmware updates to the Ultimate-Preamplifier/url]

For more information on this topic please download the following pdf document:-

How to connect a turntable to the Ultimate-Preamplifier

For more information on this topic please download the following pdf document:-

  Uploading an Audioweaver Design to the Ultimate-Preamplifier

Wiki and Q&A / How to install the 2-channel USB Amanero drivers
« on: March 29, 2021, 12:28:28 AM »
All of our preamps are fitted with an Amanero 2-channel USB interface adaptor. For Mac users there is nothing more to do to communicate with this device. However for PC users they will need to install the relevant drivers to be able to send digital audio to the Preamp.

Please visit the Amanero website to download and install the relevant drivers on your PC by visiting

Test Methodology:

In this test we are looking at how the DAC is good at resolving very low level signal levels or in other words its micro-dynamic resolving capability. In this case we feed each channel a low level digital signal of -90.31 dBFS which corresponds to a full-scale (0dBFS) signal divided by 32768 or a reduction of signal magnitude by 16 bits which is the lowest level for redbook CD ! This is a 32bit DAC so still has plenty of bits left in the tank to resolve this detail ;)


Even with a reduction of level equivalent to 16bits in magnitude we see the Ultimate Preamplier has no problem and resolves it cleanly compared to the DEQX Premate which adds a lot of noise and distortion to the signal.

Performance and Measurements / Ultimate Preamp vs DEQX
« on: March 19, 2021, 10:04:07 AM »

Whilst we don't actually have a DEQX in front of us to test and compare with, we can still leverage the test results from a recent Stereophile review of the DEQX Pre-mate  which apparently is the same hardware used in all of their models with some changes to the I/O and software capability otherwise it is the the same old hardware except for the cheaper models which apparently use a switch mode power supply instead of the linear power supply used in the more expensive models. Of course the UP uses a linear power supply in all of its models ;)

For a detailed comparison between DEQX and the Ultimate-Preamplifier please click here to refer to our comparison table

Test Results:


We can see a pattern emerge here and that in all tests shown below the Ultimate Preamplifier displays superior performance over the DEQX in all cases. Not just a small improvement but a major improvement !

DEQX claim the following from their own website but the measurements from Stereophile review don't really support these claims !

Audiophile-grade engineering

Every aspect of a DEQX is carefully engineered for optimum audiophile performance. For example: countless design, development, and auditioning iterations were put into the latest A/D convertor circuit and the DAC's I/V (current to voltage) convertor circuits. Over a decade of constant refinement and attention to detail has paid off in superlative performance.

Now add in superb digital coding and algorithms: a −140 dB digital processing noise floor and a precision digital volume control. The end result? A truly transparent component with zero digital artifacts. An "analog" sound for all combinations of input to output: analog to analog, digital to digital, and any combination of the two.

DEQX also claim in one of their reviews of "'first do no harm' transparency" but the measurements from Stereophile compared to our own measurements of the Ultimate Preamp show anything but transparency. Add to this an antiquated DSP platform with very limited FIR capability shows that this product is trying to be all things to everyone but succeeding at none of them.

Performance and Measurements / DAC (19kHz + 20kHz) CCIF IMD test
« on: March 17, 2021, 07:21:22 AM »
Test Methodology:

The configuration is loaded with a twin tone in the signal generator, with two high frequency tones (19kHz + 20kHz) at amplitudes of -7dBFS each, and separated in frequency by 1kHz. The analyzer measuring the first-order difference frequency at 1kHz using a highly-selective FFT-based filter.

Test Results:


The following test results show that the IMD distortion of the Ultimate Preamplier is exceedingly low and betters the performance of the DEQX Pre-mate by a long margin !

Performance and Measurements / DAC Filter Impulse Response
« on: March 08, 2021, 12:43:41 PM »
Test Methodology:

In this test we excite the DAC with a 1KHz impulse train at -3dBFS and observe the impulse response on a scope for each of the seven different reconstruction filters available in the DAC settings menu.

Test Results:


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