Visiting an ENT is something that I and many of my friends and acquaintances consider doing and agonize over all the time. To be certain, I am aware that variances in my hearing acuity from day to day do occur. This is why I listened to the 6.2.1 build of 0903 for several days prior to asking my question.
I heard an immediate and noticeable improvement upon installing 6.2.1, however I wanted to be absolutely certain that my hearing wasn’t an active variable in this case. For several weeks prior to the release of 6.2.1 I had been considering investing in new loudspeakers ( Magnepans) or upgrading my DAC or investing in a Vega G2. This was after eliminating my hearing as a possible cause of my dissatisfaction with the sound of my system.
It certainly is not reasonable to expect audio over the internet (AOI? ) to sound as good as a local source. Here is an interesting article that you might enjoy reading that was helpful to me:
I just was disappointed initially by the lack of quality in the Qobuz material. And I didn’t intend to blame Qobuz exclusively in my previous post. I did change from wireless to CAT6 wired internet connectivity that resulted in no improvement in Qobuz quality. Qobuz may still be working out their ingest workflow. And I also realize that the Mini itself may have been ( or still is ) a factor in this issue. For example, some of the 44.1 Qobuz material sounds better than the 96/24 hi-Rez material on Qobuz. Could this be because the Mini doesn’t have the processing power to handle hi-Rez material over the internet as easily as lower bandwidth stuff? Perhaps. And still I would assert that the Mini is perhaps the GOAT in terms of cost versus performance for a digital player. I can’t imagine anything supplanting the Mini in this regard in the near future.
It is always most important in these cases to “ solve the right problem. “ And these issues rarely are simple and straightforward issues. In my experience and on my system, however, the differences in sound quality between firmware 5.8 and 6.0.b.3 and between firmware 6.1.1 and 6.2.1 are immediately audible and not subject to physiological variables or power line noise, whether the room is dark or light, etc., etc.
Of course the brute force solution is a Vega G2 plus Leo. In the meantime 6.2.1 is amazing. Best change of all is the lower noise floor. It is fall off a cliff - emerge from darkness apparent silence to signal. If this is not audible, then, yes, one should check one’s hearing or audio system, listening room, etc. Thanks…