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BACCH4Mac Pro Edition: a report

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You are right that I shall try u-BACCH anyway as there is no re-stocking fee.

Yet I wanted to know what to expect when comparing to the full version as otherwise if I am not impressed with u-BACCH then I will think the whole line-up is just another over-blown product.
 

Sir Sanders Zingmore

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I tried u-BACCH this evening, using the default Johann Sebastian settings in BACCH4Mac Pro and some Chesky Binaural+ recordings. The u-BACCH effect, while noticeable, is not as pronounced as that of BACCH-dSP with head tracking. This result is not unexpected, given that BACCH-dSP uses a calibration routine to control for the shape of the listener's head, the listener's speakers, and the listener's environment. u-BACCH controls for none of these factors. It is nonetheless impressive.
Sorry if this is s dumb question (maybe just lazy as I haven’t read the entire thread):.. you mention headtracking... how is this done?
 

Dialectic

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Dialectic

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Another dumb question .. if there’s more than one person listening who will it “focus” on and how big is the sweet spot ? (Two dumb questions I guess)
It's for one listener at a time. But another listener can sit directly behind the main listener and hear some of the effect.
 

Thomas savage

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I listened to this software trickery at @soundArgument place recently ( cheers Jon , appreciated your kindness) and through his old pair of open back headphones it was amazing. Not just parlour trick fun , the effect removes the headphones and offered a genuine improvement on my experience of recorded music though headphones. To Anyone who spends a lot of time at home listening like this I’d say you gota look into this technology. Further more to those who have small bookshelf speakers and spend time listening alone you might find this software removes the need to bother with speakers all together, It would for me.

Through his large stand mounted 8c’s the effect was while enjoyable and definitely worth considering less ground breaking and leaves me thinking about the cost and user interface quirks rather than just getting excited as I would if I were to be considering a headphone exclusive setup.

Over all it remains a intrest , I’m not sure if I like the way it puts a instrument so far out of what you’d consider natural placement. For example Iv never been to a gig where three members of the band are in front of me and ones playing from the ladies loos way off past my right shoulder. This I find distracting tbh but when all sounds where in front of me but made ‘free’ and seemlying emboldened with a acoustic ‘space ‘ , a three dimensional quality I found it very rewarding. If you have to have your speakers set up very close together as Jon does right now this system does buy you space. There’s a ‘ stretched balloon ‘ effect to some degree wrt the solidarity of the soundscape though a recent firmware patch Jon had installed seemed to address that and also it was a little genre specific by all accounts. I’d need to spend a bunch more time with the system to understand if that phenomenon remained after I’d got ‘used’ to the sound and just what genres it effected .

I have to say for a relatively modest outlay ( bugger all in high end audio terms) what Jon is enjoying through his system in his listening space is remarkable. I left very pleased knowing the guys enjoying good sound imo certainly way way way better than most who have far more exotic systems . I confess these meetings often end with me leaving kinda embarrassed for the poor sod who’s desperately convincing themselves they have a great music reproduction system.

A happy and somewhat relived man I am , congratulations Jon and thanks not only for being generous enough to let me come and listen but also for being something of a trail blazer with these products ( both the BACCH and 8c). It’s not always plain sailing buying into young companies and technologies but your doing a service to your fellow audio friends by doing so imo.

Cheers

( end of entirely subjective audio rant )
 

Dialectic

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I listened to this software trickery at @soundArgument place recently ( cheers Jon , appreciated your kindness) and through his old pair of open back headphones it was amazing. Not just parlour trick fun , the effect removes the headphones and offered a genuine improvement on my experience of recorded music though headphones. To Anyone who spends a lot of time at home listening like this I’d say you gota look into this technology. Further more to those who have small bookshelf speakers and spend time listening alone you might find this software removes the need to bother with speakers all together, It would for me.

Through his large stand mounted 8c’s the effect was while enjoyable and definitely worth considering less ground breaking and leaves me thinking about the cost and user interface quirks rather than just getting excited as I would if I were to be considering a headphone exclusive setup.

Over all it remains a intrest , I’m not sure if I like the way it puts a instrument so far out of what you’d consider natural placement. For example Iv never been to a gig where three members of the band are in front of me and ones playing from the ladies loos way off past my right shoulder. This I find distracting tbh but when all sounds where in front of me but made ‘free’ and seemlying emboldened with a acoustic ‘space ‘ , a three dimensional quality I found it very rewarding. If you have to have your speakers set up very close together as Jon does right now this system does buy you space. There’s a ‘ stretched balloon ‘ effect to some degree wrt the solidarity of the soundscape though a recent firmware patch Jon had installed seemed to address that and also it was a little genre specific by all accounts. I’d need to spend a bunch more time with the system to understand if that phenomenon remained after I’d got ‘used’ to the sound and just what genres it effected .

I have to say for a relatively modest outlay ( bugger all in high end audio terms) what Jon is enjoying through his system in his listening space is remarkable. I left very pleased knowing the guys enjoying good sound imo certainly way way way better than most who have far more exotic systems . I confess these meetings often end with me leaving kinda embarrassed for the poor sod who’s desperately convincing themselves they have a great music reproduction system.

A happy and somewhat relived man I am , congratulations Jon and thanks not only for being generous enough to let me come and listen but also for being something of a trail blazer with these products ( both the BACCH and 8c). It’s not always plain sailing buying into young companies and technologies but your doing a service to your fellow audio friends by doing so imo.

Cheers

( end of entirely subjective audio rant )
Thomas, thanks for the subjective rant, and you're welcome back any time.

I would add that the version of BACCH that Thomas heard is new and includes a mono correction feature. I've been brutally busy at work since Thomas departed, so I need a bit more time to test it. I will post a new thread on it probably sometime this weekend.
 

Thomas savage

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Thomas, thanks for the subjective rant, and you're welcome back any time.

I would add that the version of BACCH that Thomas heard is new and includes a mono correction feature. I've been brutally busy at work since Thomas departed, so I need a bit more time to test it. I will post a new thread on it probably sometime this weekend.
Thanks mate and Please do start a new thread on the BACCH mono correction feature , its fascinating technology and that really seemed to make a diffrence on certain music genres.

I can imagine some who might of dismissed the system would think again listening to this update.
 
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Hi, all. New member here, first post!

Your research and first hand reporting on the Bacch system is what's brought to your forum.

I've searched but not found any direct comparisons between the Bacch4mac and the Bacch SP products. As for the SP (ADIO or DIO), there's precious little information wrt to their hardware specs, other than the fact that it can serve as a pre, adc/dac, and crossover (in one box) that would justify the premium over the Bacch4mac system.

With this in mind, has anyone here had the opportunity to listen to, and or compare both? I'm on the West Coast, and am unaware of any dealers or demo systems. This would be a mostly blind investment for me, and a sizeable one at that.

Many thanks, in advance!

Gabriel
 
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Hi Gabriel,

This is Buddy from Theoretica. I am happy to give here a review comparing the BACCH-SP and BACCH4Mac products with the hope that it may answer your question.

The BACCH-SP is a standalone processor intended for high-end audio systems and built to exacting standards with no compromise using the best possible components (DAC, ADC, CPU, clock, streaming hardware, and linear power supply) housed in a unibody aluminum chassis worthy of the best 2-channel systems in the world. The chassis and power supply are built for us exclusively by MSB Technologies in California. Each BACCH-SP is manufactured by hand in Princeton, NJ and programmed and calibrated at our labs. The BACCH-SP comes in 3 models: Grand, adio and dio. The differences between the three models are shown in the features comparison chart at https://www.theoretica.us/bacch-sp-comparison.htm. If you click on the round icons showing the pics of each model, you will get to see the back panel of each panel which gives you an idea of how the BACCH-SP connects to a typical 2-channel system via various formats of analog and digital inputs/outputs. Incidentally, the BACCH-SP is also a Roon end point that can stream online audio from Tidal and Qobuz. The BACCH-SP is completely controlled through wifi via an iPad app that is easy to use (the BACCH-SP ships with its dedicated iPad). Each BACCH-SP is maintained and “serviced” remotely via the Internet by Theoretica and is made "future-proof” by frequent firmware updates, which often introduce new functionality and features.

Much more information on the BACCH-SP, its features and operation can be gleaned from browsing the BACCH-SP manual, which you can download from https://www.theoretica.us/bacch-sp-manual/ The last page of the manual lists the technical specs of the BACCH-SP.

BACCH4Mac is also intended to give you BACCH 3D Sound from two loudspeakers but is a very different product than the BACCH-SP. It is a software-based product intended for computer audiophiles. It requires the user to supply his own computer (Mac) and be somewhat computer savvy with some knowledge of computer audio. The BACCH4Mac ships with an RME audio interface that is needed to get the binaural microphone signal to the computer for creating the BACCH filters. While the RME unit also allows getting the processed output to the speakers (via its analog or Optical S/PDIF outputs) many audiophile users of BACCH4Mac choose to use their own DACs.

The various "editions” of BACCH4Mac are described in the features comparison chart at the bottom of this webpage: https://www.theoretica.us/bacch4mac/. The dynamic schematic above that chart shows you how it can be used in various audio system configurations.

At the heart of BACCH4Mac is the powerful BACCH-dSP application (https://www.theoretica.us/bacch-dsp/). The Pro version of BACCH-dSP comes with many software modules (not all of which are of interest to the computer audiophile) and is a very powerful tool for both rendering and content creation. It is very versatile and is used by audiophiles, pro audio people (mixing and mastering), composers, musicians, and AR/VR content creators, as well as audio designers and researchers in spatial audio. It is used at many universities (e.g. Princeton University, NYU, University of Rochester, Berkelee College of Music, SUNY Purchase, Digipen Institute of Technology) and companies (e.g. Tesla, Volkswagen, THX, Focal).

In sum, there is nothing that the BACCH-SP can do that BACCH4Mac cannot do but the BACCH-SP is a no-compromsie high-end audio component for 2-channel audiophiles who would rather not deal with a computer and the intricacies of computer audio. Being a hardware component the BACCH-SP has a much higher resale value. On the other hand the BACCH4Mac is much more affordable (the recently introduced BACCH4Mac Intro edition is less than $1000).

We will be happy to answer your questions on this forum or via email (through [email protected]).

Best regards,
Buddy
Theoretica Applied Physics
www.theoretica.us

p.s. You may also find the many press reviews on this page https://www.theoretica.us/press.html informative.
 
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Buddy, thank you, for taking the time to provide such a detailed and in depth response.

From a hardware standpoint, I'm very encouraged to hear that MSB was involved in the R&D and manufacturing of the SP unit. Very strong pedigree, indeed.

I appreciate your providing the link to the user manual.

Kind regards,

Gabe
 

RayDunzl

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I also have enjoyed listening to Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica with BACCH.
I you can stand The Captain, and haven't heard these, give Bat Chain Puller and/or Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) a listen. They are similar, but different.

While mastering Bat Chain Puller, Bob Ludwig was reported to say "Captain Beefheart's Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) [CD, VAULTernative VR2012-1] is an acquired taste, but once I am immersed in it, I never want to hear anything else." - interview here

I have to admit I really enjoy The Magic Band of that period:

Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) – vocals, harmonica, soprano sax, whistling
Bruce Lambourne Fowler – trombone, air bass
Jeff Moris Tepper – slide guitar, guitar, spell guitar
Eric Drew Feldman – synthesizer, Rhodes piano, grand piano, bass
Robert Arthur Williams – drums, percussion
Richard Redus – slide guitar, bottleneck guitar, guitar, accordion, fretless bass
Art Tripp III – marimba, additional percussion

Hmm... What is a "spell guitar"?

*grabs a Grolsch and puts on the Shiny Beast and moves the measurement mic out of the way and ponders eternity and fractional divisions thereof
 
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Dialectic

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I you can stand The Captain, and haven't heard these, give Bat Chain Puller and/or Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) a listen. They are similar, but different.

While mastering Bat Chain Puller, Bob Ludwig was reported to say "Captain Beefheart's Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) [CD, VAULTernative VR2012-1] is an acquired taste, but once I am immersed in it, I never want to hear anything else." - interview here

I have to admit I really enjoy The Magic Band of that period:

Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) – vocals, harmonica, soprano sax, whistling
Bruce Lambourne Fowler – trombone, air bass
Jeff Moris Tepper – slide guitar, guitar, spell guitar
Eric Drew Feldman – synthesizer, Rhodes piano, grand piano, bass
Robert Arthur Williams – drums, percussion
Richard Redus – slide guitar, bottleneck guitar, guitar, accordion, fretless bass
Art Tripp III – marimba, additional percussion

Hmm... What is a "spell guitar"?

*grabs a Grolsch and puts on the Shiny Beast and moves the measurement mic out of the way and ponders eternity and fractional divisions thereof
Bob Ludwig's comments on Shiny Beast are exactly my feelings on Beefheart generally. It took me a while to "get it," but now I rarely listen to other rock music. My favorite album is Lick My Decals Off, Baby, which, sadly, is one of the weaker ones in terms of sound quality.

With BACCH, Trout Mask Replica sounds like you're in the house in the valley where they recorded the album. At the end of "Hair Pie," when Beefheart walks outside to talk to the neighbors, it sounds as though you're listening to him from inside the house, from the perspective of one of the band members. "It's a bush recording. We're out recording the bush."
 

Eurasian

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Hello All,

I upgraded my Bacch4Mac from Audiophile to Audiophile+ after about 9 months of ownership by paying the difference in cost as if I had purchased the software as a + version originally.

I will say this without reservation, the Theoretica support team is the absolute best in the audio business. I have had all of my questions answered (both practical and theoretical) within a few hours and have had several very interesting sessions with Dr. Choueiri himself. The Professor is a very gracious and patient man. The team seems to never sleep -- I have received several very late night/early morning emails.

If you can afford any of the SP products and are not Mac computer audio savvy, I recommend you go the one box route. If you are a frugal type (like me) and willing to learn, the dSP products have exactly the same functionality -- but there are a lot of set up issues to overcome, particularly if (again like me) you are incorporating pro and consumer gear with an unfamiliar computer operating system and incorporating drc, active multi-amped loudspeakers with Roon and Tidal, etc. All of the problems can be overcome, just prepare to become very familiar with the multitude of connection methods, adapters and signal routing required.
 
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Is it possible to upgrade to BACCH4Mac Audiophile after purchasing Intro ?
Yes. Each edition (Intro, Audiophile, Audiophile+) can be upgraded to any edition that is higher (Audiophile, Audiophile+ and Pro), at any time, and for exactly the difference between the prices of the two editions.

Regards,
Buddy at Theoretica
 
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Well, I'm happy to announce that I've pulled the trigger on the Bacch SP adio, a dealer demo unit, with full warranty and support). It should arrive sometime next week.

Reading through the comments and feedback on this forum, helped make the decision, so many thanks to the early adopters!

I'm mostly a DIY person, but currently have 3 active systems, each unique in its own way, to help me evaluate the Bacch.

I use a pair of Kef LS50 wireless in a small/medium sized room, as a baseline/control for my other "hobby- builder" systems. Although not the final word, they do enough things right, that I've learned to trust the engineering that went into them. They're also a lot fun to just listen to.

My main rig is a pair of Oris 150hz horns, with AER Alnico drivers (114+db/1w), sitting on a double stack of Tact/Lyngdorf W210 corner subs, actively crossed over at 260hz. Amplification comes from SET monos to the horns, and Lyngdorf amplification to the subs.

Lastly, I've got a hobby room with a mix of multi-way horns (135hz midbass horn, Seos 24 flares), sitting on a quad of 18" proaudio drivers. Recently I've been playing around with some custom full range stats in that room as well.

In any event, wish me luck! I'll report back with any findings!

Cheers!
 

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Well, I'm happy to announce that I've pulled the trigger on the Bacch SP adio, ....
Cheers!
Congratulations on becoming a BACCH-SP adio owner and joining the BACCH family!

Please contact us directly at [email protected] so we can set a time to help you get your BACCH-SP set up and answer any questions you might have.

Regards,
Buddy at Theoretica
 

Dialectic

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Well, I'm happy to announce that I've pulled the trigger on the Bacch SP adio, a dealer demo unit, with full warranty and support). It should arrive sometime next week.

Reading through the comments and feedback on this forum, helped make the decision, so many thanks to the early adopters!

I'm mostly a DIY person, but currently have 3 active systems, each unique in its own way, to help me evaluate the Bacch.

I use a pair of Kef LS50 wireless in a small/medium sized room, as a baseline/control for my other "hobby- builder" systems. Although not the final word, they do enough things right, that I've learned to trust the engineering that went into them. They're also a lot fun to just listen to.

My main rig is a pair of Oris 150hz horns, with AER Alnico drivers (114+db/1w), sitting on a double stack of Tact/Lyngdorf W210 corner subs, actively crossed over at 260hz. Amplification comes from SET monos to the horns, and Lyngdorf amplification to the subs.

Lastly, I've got a hobby room with a mix of multi-way horns (135hz midbass horn, Seos 24 flares), sitting on a quad of 18" proaudio drivers. Recently I've been playing around with some custom full range stats in that room as well.

In any event, wish me luck! I'll report back with any findings!

Cheers!
Welcome to the leading edge. Very much looking forward to your impressions.
 
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