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DAC Showdown: AQVOX USB 2 D/A vs. Benchmark DAC1 vs. Lavry Black DA10 - Page 3

post #31 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Just switch the damned upsampling/reclocking on
At So-cal meet I noticed that AQVOX sounding better with upsamplig off.
To my ears, when upsampling is on it sounds notceably worse than Benchmark or Lavry.
post #32 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferbose
At So-cal meet I noticed that AQVOX sounding better with upsamplig off.
To my ears, when upsampling is on it sounds notceably worse than Benchmark or Lavry.
Either the listeners at your or at my side of the pond are victim of a strange kind of group hypnosis.
All those crazy europeans believe the DAC sounds better with upsampling on, but that might be influenced by the engineer's opinion (also an european).
All the americans at the meet thought the DAC sounds better slaved to whatever with upsampling/reclocking off.Even the damned passive analog filter isn't designed for 44 KHz.But, honestly and without meant to be offensive, to each his own.Many listeners like tube distortion better than solid state precision, and there's nothing wrong with using a DAC in another way as it was suggested by the engineer.
That's soooo funny.
Really.
post #33 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Either the listeners at your or at my side of the pond are victim of a strange kind of group hypnosis.
All those crazy europeans believe the DAC sounds better with upsampling on, but that might be influenced by the engineer's opinion (also an european).
All the americans at the meet thought the DAC sounds better slaved to whatever with upsampling/reclocking off.Even the damned passive analog filter isn't designed for 44 KHz.But, honestly and without meant to be offensive, to each his own.Many listeners like tube distortion better than solid state precision, and there's nothing wrong with using a DAC in another way as it was suggested by the engineer.
That's soooo funny.
Really.
European version runs on 220V, right?
US version runs on 110V, I assume.
Could it be a version difference?
post #34 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Either the listeners at your or at my side of the pond are victim of a strange kind of group hypnosis.
All those crazy europeans believe the DAC sounds better with upsampling on, but that might be influenced by the engineer's opinion (also an european).
All the americans at the meet thought the DAC sounds better slaved to whatever with upsampling/reclocking off.Even the damned passive analog filter isn't designed for 44 KHz.But, honestly and without meant to be offensive, to each his own.Many listeners like tube distortion better than solid state precision, and there's nothing wrong with using a DAC in another way as it was suggested by the engineer.
That's soooo funny.
Really.
Maybe you know a little more about AQVox specs than what's on their website? There's precious little info available.

I know it uses Burr Brown PCM2906 chip for USB input, but is the data then converted to spdif before being delivered to the DAC chip (Burr Brown PCM1796)? Or, does PCM2906 deliver pure I2S data to PCM1796, which would be better.

Which spdif receiver chip is used, and what kind of reclocking circuit is used?

Also, which voltages are delivered from AC power to the DAC board? Is it 12V, or are there other voltages necessary (5V, etc).
post #35 of 133
Excellent informative review Iron dreamer. Many thanks.

Would appreciate if you could compare the Lavry to the most popular CD players
post #36 of 133
Peter, congratulations for your review. One of the best I've seen here. After reading it, I think the better option for americans could be Lavry and for europeans Aqvox .
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Either the listeners at your or at my side of the pond are victim of a strange kind of group hypnosis.
All those crazy europeans believe the DAC sounds better with upsampling on, but that might be influenced by the engineer's opinion (also an european)..
Well, I'm european and yes, I prefer upsampling for certain type of music, but not all. I started using the aqvox mostly without upsampling, but I'm finding myself using it more and more. No problem, you only have to push a button to choose .

About USB, with the ASIO USB driver recommended by Aqvox, you can get very good quality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
I can see playing Emiliana Torrini, Maria Taylor, Feist, Buddy Guy over the AQVox via my tube amp through my speakers and just going, "Ahhhh..."
Simply wonderful...
post #37 of 133
Excellent Review Peter!!! It definately gives me another nudge towards trying the Lavry as an all-in-one solution, I just don't know if I can give up the great sound and versatility of the GS-1 though.
post #38 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser
He says he is now thinking about that remote volume control. Maybe I should wait that out.
Where did you hear that from? Do you have any other details on how it would be implemented?
post #39 of 133
"in case your mobo USB chip is decent (Intel chipsets are generally, others vary) you might find that the USB input option is quite decent."

What sort of sonic deterioration do you hear with less than optimal USB ports?


I currently own a Biostar M7NCG rev. 7.2 (Nvidia Nforce2 chipset) in my audio server computer and I eventually want to upgrade to an Nvidia 6150 microATX mobo (probably an asus A8N-VM CSM).
post #40 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mshan
"in case your mobo USB chip is decent (Intel chipsets are generally, others vary) you might find that the USB input option is quite decent."

What sort of sonic deterioration do you hear with less than optimal USB ports?


I currently own a Biostar M7NCG rev. 7.2 (Nvidia Nforce2 chipset) in my audio server computer and I eventually want to upgrade to an Nvidia 6150 microATX mobo (probably an asus A8N-VM CSM).
The days when AMD/(typically) VIA chipsets were noticeably inferior to Intel chipsets are over for the most part. Nforce chipsets should be first-tier quality and not recognisably different from Intel chipsets -- especially in the implimentation of USB and firewire (note: I understand that the performance capabilities of USB2 devices are substantially better than those of legacy USB sound cards). If you suffer any doubts or encounter problems, one solution would be to get a pci add-on USB2/Firewire card from a first-tier manufacturer like Adaptec. The Adaptec cards will add 2-4 USB2 ports and FW, are of very high quality and are supported by regular driver updates and good service.
post #41 of 133
Have you found that the USB ports of any recent motherboard sound about the same?

And what sort of sonic degradations have been observed for less than optimal usb ports?
post #42 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
You are fairly new to this DAC, and maybe you should give some other settings a second chance.
Admittedly I sometimes bypass the upsampling, but most of the time I prefer the upsampling.You might need some time to readjust, it's similar to a noncoloring amp that sounds uninvolving when you are long term used to a coloring amp, but after a few days of uninterrupted listening to the new one the colored presentation sounds weird.
At least with upsampling switched on you actually might get some jitter reduction.Your preference for bypassed upsampling has a side effect : you are bypassing the reclocking, too.
Doesn't surprise me you've found the Aqvox to be much more prone to jitter than the Benchmark, especially when feeded by the extremely jittery USB signal.
Just switch the damned upsampling/reclocking on, bypass the infamous K-mixer by utilizing the recommended third party USB driver, and in case your mobo USB chip is decent (Intel chipsets are generally, others vary) you might find that the USB input option is quite decent.
Well, jitter reduction at it's current state is not perfect, in fact the jitter is kind of transferred to noise and therefor the input signal with the lowest jitter is still the best, but it makes a small difference.
Hmm, well I am sorry if my lack of upsampling seems to have so offended you. It simply sounds worse to me, the midrange sounds absolutely nasal, and unrealistic. I did not notice this problem if I upsampled in foobar first. I am not a fan of upsampling to non-integer multiples of 44.1kHz in the first place, as it tends to sacrifice microdynamics for an airier high end.

Certainly I did get SOME jitter reduction from this DAC, because even when fed with the most jittery inputs, it still sounded better than the DAC1. I used it with a DFI NForce3 motherboard FWIW. I did not want to pay for a USB driver, when I was not going to have any real use for USB other than testing, when I already own a better transport to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Either the listeners at your or at my side of the pond are victim of a strange kind of group hypnosis.
All those crazy europeans believe the DAC sounds better with upsampling on, but that might be influenced by the engineer's opinion (also an european).
All the americans at the meet thought the DAC sounds better slaved to whatever with upsampling/reclocking off.Even the damned passive analog filter isn't designed for 44 KHz.But, honestly and without meant to be offensive, to each his own.Many listeners like tube distortion better than solid state precision, and there's nothing wrong with using a DAC in another way as it was suggested by the engineer.
That's soooo funny.
Really.
I really tried to like what it sounded like with upsampling (since as you note that is the recommended configuration), but it was so noticeably and undeniably colored, it simply could not be ignored. If anything sounds more like tube distortion, it's this DAC with the upsampling turned on, followed by it with upsampling turned off. No offense, but both the DAC1 and Lavry sound more like "solid state precision" to me. Even if I upsampled in foobar (to my preferred rate of 176.4kHz), all I got out of it was the typical trade-off of microdynamics for an airier sound, which is not a trade-off that I enjoy, nor find accurate or transparent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlosgp
Peter, congratulations for your review. One of the best I've seen here. After reading it, I think the better option for americans could be Lavry and for europeans Aqvox .
Yeah, the Aqvox is certainly a great deal for Europeans, and you needn't worry about it being lost in the mail for months before it arrives I'd think the price to import the Lavry would be quite a significant increase from the price of the Aqvox over there.
post #43 of 133
Exellent review
post #44 of 133
Very nice review. Thanks for going to the trouble.
Makes me wish I had held out a few months till the lavry was available before I bought my dac1. Oh well, I like the dac1 just fine ;-) It is the best source I have, and as long as I am happy, and don't listen to something better, I should be able to resist the upgrade bug for a least a year (I hope)

In the interest of completeness can you tell us which revision of the DAC1 you have?

Edit: I can't remember if you mentioned it, but as you know, at this level (or at any level for that matter) changing headphones or speakers will have a much bigger impact on the sound.
post #45 of 133
Anyone know the dimensions of the Lavry, i want to know if it would fit under my mpx3, thanks
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