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High-end non-upsampling DACs - Page 3

post #31 of 76
i agree NOS DACs sound different, but wouldn't say they're inferior

depends which way you swing when it comes to sound sigs
post #32 of 76
Yep. Everyone should (at least try to) read this, it's pretty good in explaining how the calculations used to interpolate 44.1 redbook in up/over sampling DACs can introduce a noticeable (to the human ear) difference in the overall sound (jitter of 173ps or more).

http://www.sakurasystems.com/articles/Kusunoki.html

I'm sure many NOS DACs introduce bad jitter and do bad stuff just like the OS/US ones, but this article makes me believe that US/OS are the designs that are ultimately flawed and NOS is the better design, before even thinking about implementation and parts (IMO!).
post #33 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akathriel View Post
Dunno where you got that idea. i2s bus is the native interface for 16 bit dac architectures. I have no idea whether it even passes 24 bit word length. Steve since you're here and I'm sure you dont mind tooting you're own horn, would you mind anwering some questions about your SS DAC (which also happens to be NOS correct?).

Have you decided if its going to be true balanced yet?
Any closer idea how much it will cost? If its around 7k I'd actually be really interested.

I2S supports both 16 and 24-bit data streams. I routinely do both.

As for my Formula One SS DAC, I have not made much progress on it lately. I have redesigned the board for the Pace-Car to make it more of a "Swiss-Army-Knife" of reclockers.

I believe the Formula One will be a hybrid of balanced and SE. I will most likely use the best topology that gets me the lowest noise floor and best noise rejection.

The Formula One will probably be in the $7K range, depending on options, like the Pace Car inside, which might push it higher.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #34 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by rincewind View Post
Holy CARP! I wonder if there is a point where more chips starts to hurt the sound rather than help it, due to having to synch a clock signal into so many chips, and the extra IC's and stuff so close to each other. Must investigate....

Nice find!
The DDDACK is an inexpensive way to get low jitter, however it is not bit perfect. The receiver chip drops or adds bits on a continuous basis in order to maintain the bit-stream frequency. I believe the audio artifacts are probably small, but may be audible on highly resolving systems when the master reclocker frequency is not very close to the source frequency. If you can make them close, it should be quite good.

STeve N.
post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
why!? oversampling DACs sound better than NOS DACs, and the better oversampling DACs have the same "analog" sound just like NOS DACs.
Not always the case IMO. Some upsampling chips are very good and have great jitter rejection. Others dont. This is why there is so much variance in the opinion on this. Also, like everything else, the implementation is everything. A good chip in a poor implementation can be very jittery and not sound good.

Steve N.
post #36 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epicurean View Post
Then there is the 'ultimate nos dac' over at diyaudio. It looks very nice with 8 TDA1541s in parallel. I hink it is only available as a diy kit but maybe you can get someone to build one for you?
I took a look at that thread. I was surprised to read something from the original poster (on page 140 or so):

"NOS DACs have very low resolution, this results in quantisizing errors. These errors result in noise proportional to the signal amplitude. This is going to be audible one way or the other, regardless of the DA converter chip used."
post #37 of 76
Right. Well, you could tell me NOS DACs only uses the least significant bit per sample of the original data to create the sound they do, and I couldn't care less because I like the sound better. It's annoying to see ppl raggin' on NOS, especially without saying what they are comparing to. It's simply a preference, but you wouldn't know it around here.

A friend has 3K USD saved for a source and you know what he's waiting for? Just a ~900USD NOS DAC. He's had US, OS, NOS, dynamic, electrostatic, balanced, unbalanced, the lot, and listens to all kinds of music. He uses his ears to make decisions, and likewise - if I hear OS/US that wows me in a better way, then I'll dump NOS like a sack of spuds, but til then... :P
post #38 of 76
I use my ears as well. To be clear: I wasn't trying to rag on NOS (i'm actually a fan of NOS), I was just pointing out something I thought was interesting. If your post wasn't pointed at me, sorry .
post #39 of 76
Haha no, it's just in general. I hate baseless claims. That post was very interesting. I emailed the guy to see what he had to say, cos it got me curious. I'd guess he uses one of his own DACs in his home system, but thought it would be interesting to hear his view on US/OS compared to the statement there.

Probably about time I STFU, stole this thread :P Sorry OP!
post #40 of 76
The problem with most NOS DAC's is they don't have a filter. You end up with aliasing meaning ~15khz and above gets skewed to a lower pitch. If you haven't heard it look at my NOS DAC Test post. Some may like the sound of 15khz tones pitched down to 10khz but after taking the test you can't say these filterless DAC's are accurate.
post #41 of 76
Well I tried to let it lie, but:

1) Regardless of what the test shows Regal: You should be listening to music, not to tones. This 'skewing' is a well known part of NOS DACs. The best ones do it a negligible amount. Anyway, a DAC could measure the worst on earth and use a single capsicum as its DAC chip, as long as it sounds like the best thing I've ever heard, these are irrelevant to me.... as long as I can buy replacement capsicums BTW, a lightly modified DAC-AH is only just the tip of the iceberg WRT NOS DACs. A lightly modified Zhaolu would be equivalent in the OS world, and we all know they aren't overly special either in the grand scheme of things, so don't make generalisations based on that.

2) That quote from the 'ultimate nos dac' thread at diyaudio was taken way out of context. I got a reply from the guy who posted it cos I asked him about the thread, and he rattled off about 5-6 points of weakness each for OS and NOS DACs. The NOS points he explained were largely irrelevant in listening applications of DACs. And while the OS 'problems' are TECHNICALLY only of the same (sometimes even lesser) seriousness as the NOS problems when used in other applications, they are directly related to listening uses, and cannot be corrected by filtering or otherwise.

Let's let this thread go back to NOS recommendations for the OP.
post #42 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by rincewind View Post
Well I tried to let it lie, but:

1) Regardless of what the test shows Regal: You should be listening to music, not to tones. This 'skewing' is a well known part of NOS DACs. The best ones do it a negligible amount. Anyway, a DAC could measure the worst on earth and use a single capsicum as its DAC chip, as long as it sounds like the best thing I've ever heard, these are irrelevant to me.... as long as I can buy replacement capsicums BTW, a lightly modified DAC-AH is only just the tip of the iceberg WRT NOS DACs. A lightly modified Zhaolu would be equivalent in the OS world, and we all know they aren't overly special either in the grand scheme of things, so don't make generalisations based on that.

2) That quote from the 'ultimate nos dac' thread at diyaudio was taken way out of context. I got a reply from the guy who posted it cos I asked him about the thread, and he rattled off about 5-6 points of weakness each for OS and NOS DACs. The NOS points he explained were largely irrelevant in listening applications of DACs. And while the OS 'problems' are TECHNICALLY only of the same (sometimes even lesser) seriousness as the NOS problems when used in other applications, they are directly related to listening uses, and cannot be corrected by filtering or otherwise.

Let's let this thread go back to NOS recommendations for the OP.
In my opinion high frequency extension is pretty important for any hifi source (at least it is with my priorities).
post #43 of 76
Well, if you say you listen with your ears, but still let tests and IC specifications make decisions for you (ie you consider them at all), then stay with OS - they are MUCH MUCH better ON PAPER.

J-Pak, the bass on my NOS DACs went deeper and clearer than any OS DAC I've heard (barring the Theta) and the treble is more sweet, clear and airy than anything else I've heard. I think you've had the Benchmark and other stuff and weren't quite happy with it. You should try a good quality NOS DAC - a DAC-AH with the minor imperfections corrected is VERY cheap, can't hurt to try for yourself. They make my headphone and speaker systems sing like nothing else. Or ask Jahn about his DAC-AH - Why on earth would someone whose heard so much gear (the ever changing tower of power) 'settle' on something if it's apparently so bad? A NOS DAC was one of the few purchases I've made that 'fly in the face' of common known 'fact' as far as specifications and such go, and it was the BEST purchase I've ever made - audio or otherwise.
post #44 of 76
it took me forever to figure out NOS meant non-oversampling in context to this thread, and not new old stock...
post #45 of 76
Haha, I always think of NOS as non-oversampling...makes for a funny read sometime when you see NOS tubes.
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