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DAC Showdown: AQVOX USB 2 D/A vs. Benchmark DAC1 vs. Lavry Black DA10 - Page 6

post #76 of 133
Found an interesting thread at Audiogon.com: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...openfrom&1&4#1


"I own both the Lavry Blue and the DAC1 and like them both. Neither sound like a good tube DAC, but if tube DACs are not your cup of tea then the Blue and DAC1 come close to the best DACs around in a medium cost system. In a top class system however the difference between them and the best DACs is indeed significant. I prefer my USD1200 Lavry Blue over my DAC1. The Blue costs more and it has only XLR connectors, and no switching or volume control. But the sonic improvements are significant.

I agree with the comments that the DAC1 sounds relatively thin through the mids and upper bass, but it does so without introducing anything objectionable to the sound - and that is its trick. The result is a degree of clarity that is very engaging. It is not what I hear live, but it is very musical and sounds lively even when the recording is a bit flat. In that respect the DAC1 is coloured, but it does not offend one's musical sensibilities in any way. But switching to the Lavry the naturalness of the sound improves, images are more palpable, subtle details are more apparent, textures are more like live sounds, soundstage is larger, bass is fuller, dynamics are better, etc."
post #77 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mshan
Found an interesting thread at Audiogon.com: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...openfrom&1&4#1


"I own both the Lavry Blue and the DAC1 and like them both. Neither sound like a good tube DAC, but if tube DACs are not your cup of tea then the Blue and DAC1 come close to the best DACs around in a medium cost system. In a top class system however the difference between them and the best DACs is indeed significant. I prefer my USD1200 Lavry Blue over my DAC1. The Blue costs more and it has only XLR connectors, and no switching or volume control. But the sonic improvements are significant.
You do realize that the Lavry Blue and the DA10 are different designs don't you?
post #78 of 133
Iron_Dreamer

I noticed that you built a cable between you RME Digi96 and you DA10 to use the AES/EBU signal. Do you know anyone around here that could build one for me?

Would you recommend your RME Digi96 for the interface with your computer or is there another solution that would be nearly as good and possibly cheaper that would use the AES/EBU signal? Or should I not be concern with that.

At the time that I was asking about the iHP-120 and the DA10 I failed to notice that you were using the RME Digi96 as your computer source. With that card no wonder it sounded better than the iHP-120. The RME is somewhat high ended and you have added a few mods if I am not mistaken.

Thanks
post #79 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser
Iron_Dreamer

I noticed that you built a cable between you RME Digi96 and you DA10 to use the AES/EBU signal. Do you know anyone around here that could build one for me?

Would you recommend your RME Digi96 for the interface with your computer or is there another solution that would be nearly as good and possibly cheaper that would use the AES/EBU signal? Or should I not be concern with that.

At the time that I was asking about the iHP-120 and the DA10 I failed to notice that you were using the RME Digi96 as your computer source. With that card no wonder it sounded better than the iHP-120. The RME is somewhat high ended and you have added a few mods if I am not mistaken.

Thanks
Of the ones I've used, the only PCI soundcard I'd take over the Digi96 is the HDSP 9632, not much help, I know . The Lynx cards are reputed to be very good as well, again not helping in the budget dept. I am not familiar with any others that use AES/EBU, not to say they're not out there.

There are a number of competant cable builders around here, I guess it just depends on who you know and what you want. If you want me to recommend someone, just send me a PM.
post #80 of 133
Thanks for the information...

If I may suggest one more test for you to do with your DA10 and the iHP-120. I know your shoot-out used the crystallock of the DA10 that has a great jitter reduction capability but the wide has the upsampling which is much more compariable to the DAC1 upsampling. I know you said the iHP-120 had more grain but have you compared it with the DA10 set on wide mode?

Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Of the ones I've used, the only PCI soundcard I'd take over the Digi96 is the HDSP 9632, not much help, I know . The Lynx cards are reputed to be very good as well, again not helping in the budget dept. I am not familiar with any others that use AES/EBU, not to say they're not out there.

There are a number of competant cable builders around here, I guess it just depends on who you know and what you want. If you want me to recommend someone, just send me a PM.
post #81 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser
Thanks for the information...

If I may suggest one more test for you to do with your DA10 and the iHP-120. I know your shoot-out used the crystallock of the DA10 that has a great jitter reduction capability but the wide has the upsampling which is much more compariable to the DAC1 upsampling. I know you said the iHP-120 had more grain but have you compared it with the DA10 set on wide mode?

Thanks again.
Well, having listened to the iHP-120 optical output to the DA10, there is a limit to jitter reduction.


-Ed
post #82 of 133
Could you guys tell me what
Quote:
24-bit/96kHz S/PDIF In/Out (switchable to AES/EBU)
means? (Switchable?)

EMU1212 specs

I'm wondering if I really have to get an RME or Lynx to use the AES/EBU connection or if a 1212m would do the trick.

thanks
post #83 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mecc
Could you guys tell me what means? (Switchable?)

EMU1212 specs

I'm wondering if I really have to get an RME or Lynx to use the AES/EBU connection or if a 1212m would do the trick.

thanks

The 1212M can put out an AES signal, but it is not balanced, so you do not have the advantages associated with the XLR output on the RME or Lynx.
post #84 of 133
I think, based on what I have been reading that I need to go ahead and get a RME Digi96/8 Pad with the AES breakout cables for my computer to feed my DA10 for when I am listening at my desktop.

Anyone here have the Digi96 Pad? What do you think? I have found this for less than $400 USD. This would put my system on a higher level for sure. I guess I should have done a search before asking that last question since I find myself in the middle of the RME team here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
Well, having listened to the iHP-120 optical output to the DA10, there is a limit to jitter reduction.


-Ed
post #85 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser
I think, based on what I have been reading that I need to go ahead and get a RME Digi96/8 Pad with the AES breakout cables for my computer to feed my DA10 for when I am listening at my desktop.

Anyone here have the Digi96 Pad? What do you think? I have found this for less than $400 USD. This would put my system on a higher level for sure. I guess I should have done a search before asking that last question since I find myself in the middle of the RME team here.
There has been a lot of discussion about the digi 96/8 pad. But not much about the AES/EBU, can't say i use it - i don't because i thought all pad versions came with the AES/EBU. Turns out the standard version only comes with the cinch/coax digital out. You might want to shoot Mshan a PM. i know he has been looking for an AES/EBU breakout cable, and he might have found one by now. As to "what do you think?", i'll keep it short and say i think it's a great card with the best drivers i've ever used, but depends on what you need.
post #86 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
The 1212M can put out an AES signal, but it is not balanced, so you do not have the advantages associated with the XLR output on the RME or Lynx.
Has anyone actually done comparisons between a coax (and/or toslink) output and an AES output from the same sound card? I am somewhat skeptical that there is really any difference between them, though one friend of mine here has gone so far as to install two audio cards in his computer (E-Mu and RME) just so he can use the AES output of the RME into a DAC1 (he uses the analog output of the E-Mu for other reason)...to me that seems highly questionable (the added complexity of a computer with two sound cards can't possibly overcome any supposed advantages provided by an AES connection, can it?).
post #87 of 133
I haven't done any comparisons, but I don't expect there to be much, if any, difference.

AES/EBU is a much better way of transporting digital signals. The signal levels are much higher, and it's balanced, making it much more resistant to interference. In pro audio, it makes long cable runs much less likely to experience errors and sync problems resulting in dropouts. The cleaner signal also reduces jitter with respect to an equal length run of SPDIF, making it possible to synchronize multiple ADCs. In the audiophile arena, cable runs tend not to be that long, and so there's no dropout problem to solve. The jitter performance will most likely be slightly better than SPDIF(I don't have test data on typical AES/EBU transceivers, but it will be theoretically).

With a good jitter reducing DAC, like the DAC1, I don't think the difference would be audible. Most, if not all, of the jitter will be removed in the DAC. You only have one device, so jitter-induced synchronization error isn't a problem.

On a long cable run, with a standard DAC, and a jitter-experienced listener, it's very possible a difference could be heard. With a DAC incorporating good internal jitter reduction I doubt the difference is audible, if even measurable without artificially induced jitter.

I'd be interested to see if anyone can hear a difference. It would probably indicate bad jitter reduction on the part of the DAC, or a large amount of low-frequency jitter than PLLs have trouble removing.
post #88 of 133

Now going with a RME Digi96/8/AES breakout cable to feed my Lavry DA10

Reading these threads is very damaging to the wallet isn't it. Now I am going to become part of the team RME group. I don't regret these purchases as all. I am really enjoying the music.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and comparison for these DACs. I have a Lavry coming in, in about two weeks and the RME in about a week. So I will have upgraded very significantly since last May, from a handy CD player, TAH and a SR-80 to what you see in my Sig.
post #89 of 133
I'm also wondering if there would be an audible difference between AES/EBU on the RME vs toslink on a E-MU1212m with the DA10.
post #90 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser
I think, based on what I have been reading that I need to go ahead and get a RME Digi96/8 Pad with the AES breakout cables for my computer to feed my DA10 for when I am listening at my desktop.

Anyone here have the Digi96 Pad? What do you think? I have found this for less than $400 USD. This would put my system on a higher level for sure. I guess I should have done a search before asking that last question since I find myself in the middle of the RME team here.
Don't spend over $300 for a new digi96/8 PAD. Over $400 and you are getting into HDSP territory.

And yes, it's all about the RME drivers. I love it!

-Ed
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