post #436 of 496
9/2/09 at 5:16am
I might be wrong, but IIRC the prevailing opinion at Hydrogen is that up-sampling with foobar degrades the sound.
I found this thread on hydrogenaudio.org:
Hydrogenaudio Forums > Upsampling audio before D-A conversion
Here are some quotes from it (from David):
"The resampling in, say, fb2k, is measurably better than the upsampling / oversampling / reconstruction filtering in even a good digital to analogue converter, never mind in a laptop sound card."
"Given that no DAC on the market today (or in the last decade) actually works at the native sample rate of the content, the audio will be upsampled (=oversampled=resampled) somewhere. The questions are where, how well, and in how many stages."
"There's nothing good about the "simple" approach of leaving it to the DAC itself. It might be good enough, but it's certainly not the best that can be done in terms of doing the job properly."
Ironmine is quite correct when he says that that engaging the 192 up-sampling switch on the Stello DA100 brings the mids and vocals forward as is shown in his picture , flattening out the depth of the sound stage (although with headphones it doesn't move the entire sound stage from behind your head to in front of it). Disabling the up-sampling restores the depth.
I don't know what the up-sampling switch actually does electronically, so saying "inverting the depth information" may not be an accurate description of how the Stello up-samples.
I was describing only what the picture shows:
1. Upsampling mode, voices are closer than guitars/drums
2. Bypass mode, voices are farther than guitars/drums
Hence, depth information has been inverted. Only one of these can be correct, since they are exactly opposite of each other.
I can't really hear as much difference in the soundstage, except that maybe bypass mode is closer and more diffuse.
I have the Stello DA100 connected to an Asus notebook with a USB cable.
I read however on this thread that the USB implementation is not that good and that it downconverts to 44.1/16. I have some music in 96/24 and more of it is becoming available.
I wonder if there's any point in buying (for instance) the Transit M-audio so that I can connect through the optical in and get full 96/24 playback. And will this give an improvement for 44.1/16 sources?
I have to say I'm already very happy with the sound, a marked improvement over what I had previously. But I just wondered if there's room for improvement with this relatively cheap purchase.
My setup is as follows:
External harddisk ->
Asus eeepc notebook 701 with Windows XP and Foobar2000 and ASIO -> USB ->
Stello DA 100 ->
Harman Kardon HK 680 amplifier ->
Bowers & Wilkins DM2000 speakers
Thanks USG, for your reply.
What you mention, however, are d/a converters and I have no intention of changing from my Stello DA100.
What I'm looking for is not another d/a converter, but a device that can be connected to my notebook with USB but outputs optical or coax, to connect with my Stello. By avoiding Stello's usb input I'm not limited to 44/16.
Anyway, back to searching the forums (and enjoying the music, of course)