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Toward higher end DACs - Page 3

post #31 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
You hit the nail on the head. Which is why I am quite happy with my U$200 TC-7510 MK6/3. To get just a barely noticeable improvement on it I would have to fork out at least 4 times as much.
On the more expensive DACs the added cost is mainly in a bigger case, more expensive caps, taxes, marketing.
So all DACS are basically the same argument? Odd. I had/have 3 DACs.. & noticed a improvement after every upgrade..
post #32 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
it's not about the case, it's about the circuit design and going above and beyond the ordinary to put together something special.
But what would that entail exactly? Without technical details and explication, how do we know it's even true? Surely at such price points as are currently under discussion, the desire to hear positive differences is strong enough to give us a healthy doubt about what our ears seem to tell us. Not that I'd write off hearing, but I'd like technical information to back up what I think I've heard. Even that is not the last measure, but without it I'll never believe a $10k dac is better than a $3k one, even if I think I can hear it being a little better.
post #33 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
90% of the people on this forum are either guests trying to figure out what to buy for a first headphone or people using mp3 players and stock soundcards as their source. Perhaps it's true that 8 or 9 of the remaining 10% would agree that a dac improvement is worthwhile, but the number who have (and can afford) high end dacs is really pretty miniscule in terms of the whole community, I think. What's more, I bet that less than one percent would say that dac choice is more important than headphones. Any weak element in the chain is a bottleneck for the end result, but headphones are the element that makes the greatest outright difference in how the whole thing will sound-- two great dacs on the same amp and headphone will show a subtle but potentially key difference, but nothing compared to if the headphones were the variable. This isn't to say that the dac isn't important, I fully agree that it's silly to buy a great amp and expensive headphones and then run them out of a poor source.



All those things are absolutely key, and I think anyone venturing into a high end dac purchase should familiarize himself a little with these parts and their implementation, to gain some immunity from the other two elements that have a huge effect on price: casework and voodoo.
I agree. Headphones are numero uno. & most people don't need a 1-5 grand DAC to enjoy their music.. I see it as the icing on the cake.. & gives me a much cleaner representation of the music..
post #34 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
But what would that entail exactly? Without technical details and explication, how do we know it's even true? Surely at such price points as are currently under discussion, the desire to hear positive differences is strong enough to give us a healthy doubt about what our ears seem to tell us. Not that I'd write off hearing, but I'd like technical information to back up what I think I've heard. Even that is not the last measure, but without it I'll never believe a $10k dac is better than a $3k one, even if I think I can hear it being a little better.
Read pages 9-11 of the following document for the technical details and explication of what makes the Lavry Gold DAC an amazing piece: http://www.lavryengineering.com/white_papers/DA924m.pdf

As much as one might cite something like the placebo effect or the desire to hear positive results, actual listening from a relatively unbiased position surmounts such concerns for me. I could care less whether some of these really expensive items sound great or not, as they are not on my to-buy list any time soon (at least until I find gold in my backyard). I have no motivation to WANT these devices to sound good. I've just simply listened to them because I've had the opportunity. I've also heard some extremely expensive gear that didn't have the kind of sound quality one would hope, considering the price. The two pieces that I cited in my previous post have stood out to me due to both their engineering and performance.
post #35 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by yossi126 View Post
DACs are painly expensive. Show me a dac better than mine and i'd be pissed off until i get it.
Meh, VDA-2 with dedicated PSU...
post #36 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by unkle11 View Post
herandu did you sell your DAC1 after comparing it to a 3 version Beresford?
Yes, but that was not my initial plan. I noticed the low price of the 7510 MKI and bought it just to try out for the fun of it. The DAC1 had deeper bass, clean midrange with no sibilance, and an extended tops with no early anti aliasing filter killing the tops. But for 90% of my music and applications (DTV, PS2, PC) there were no deep bass, high pitched female vocals, or piercing treble. And I found instant use for the 4 inputs on the 7510. So I sold the DAC1 since I was using it less and less.
The MK6/3 is the 1st version to recover ground on the DAC1, which has more pace. i.e. better attack and decay times. The DAC1 I would be my 1st choice in terms of value for money, and the 7510 MK6/3 would be 2nd. I would say that those who are not into modding would appreciate the DAC1 and TC-7510 MK6/3. The Stello 100 would be 3rd on my list of best value for money DAC.
post #37 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post
So all DACS are basically the same argument?
How do you come to that conclusion in what I typed? I made it quite clear that to get an improvement requires added expenses that start to hike up the price and deliver us diminishing returns. That doesn't mean that spending on an upgrade delivers an improvement in sound. What you actually get is a "difference" in sound, which the mind can easily confuse with an improvement tied to the spending factor. i.e. because you have spent more any difference is perceived as being better.
post #38 of 142
High end : current out DAC chip, discreet I/V, discreet analog stage

Mid end : current out DAC, opamps for I/V & analog stage
or voltage out DAC + discreet analog stage

Low end : voltage out DAC, opamps for analog stage

Buffers and jitter reduction voodoo are snake oil IMO.
post #39 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
Read pages 9-11 of the following document for the technical details and explication of what makes the Lavry Gold DAC an amazing piece: http://www.lavryengineering.com/white_papers/DA924m.pdf
Nice document, thanks for the link, ID. And I fully agree that as much as one must be ever wary of the placebo effect, hearing and perception must be the last judgement, what all this effort is meant to please after all.

In general, I like the idea of going to a high-end source, for me it's just that cheapish dacs already get up to decent levels of performance, and upgrading from there gets expensive fast. At that level, comparable upgrades on the headphone and amp fronts are possible for much smaller sums. Once the headphones and amp are in place, though, choosing a better source becomes a much more interesting and critical question. To press this issue to absurdity, I think we can all agree it would be silly to put a Lavry behind an SR-60 and a cmoy.
post #40 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herandu View Post
The DAC1 I would be my 1st choice in terms of value for money, and the 7510 MK6/3 would be 2nd. I would say that those who are not into modding would appreciate the DAC1 and TC-7510 MK6/3. The Stello 100 would be 3rd on my list of best value for money DAC.
Just out of curiosity, what other DACs or CDPs have you heard in your own system? It's always useful to understand a persons context.
post #41 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
High end : current out DAC chip, discreet I/V, discreet analog stage

Mid end : current out DAC, opamps for I/V & analog stage
or voltage out DAC + discreet analog stage

Low end : voltage out DAC, opamps for analog stage

Buffers and jitter reduction voodoo are snake oil IMO.
is there an link that have info on how to tell by looking at the internal of the dac, if the dac is current out and discreet i/v? what is i/v stand for?
what current dac chips available now are consider as high end?
post #42 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by minivan View Post
what current dac chips available now are consider as high end?
Here are a few:

dCS RingDAC

AKM AK4396

Cirrus Logic CS4398

Burr-Brown PCM1702/PCM1704
Burr-Brown PCM1792/PCM1794/PCM1796/PCM1798
Burr-Brown DSD1792/DSD1794/DSD1796

Analog Devices AD1852/AD1853
Analog Devices AD1955

Wolfson WM8741

If you're oldschool and like non-oversampling, there's always the classic Philips TDA1541.
post #43 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
In general, I like the idea of going to a high-end source, for me it's just that cheapish dacs already get up to decent levels of performance, and upgrading from there gets expensive fast. At that level, comparable upgrades on the headphone and amp fronts are possible for much smaller sums. Once the headphones and amp are in place, though, choosing a better source becomes a much more interesting and critical question. To press this issue to absurdity, I think we can all agree it would be silly to put a Lavry behind an SR-60 and a cmoy.
It's all certainly very true. A $1000-$1500 headphone or headphone amp can be extremely close to the very top, whereas a source on such a level would cost at least $5000 (based only on my own listening experiences). In fact not too long ago I sold a headphone amp which was on that level, because I knew it could scale up to a source that I might never spend enough to afford, so the amp was effectively being wasted. I used the proceeds to upgrade my headphones, and have been happier with my system ever since.
post #44 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
High end : current out DAC chip, discreet I/V, discreet analog stage

Mid end : current out DAC, opamps for I/V & analog stage
or voltage out DAC + discreet analog stage

Low end : voltage out DAC, opamps for analog stage

Buffers and jitter reduction voodoo are snake oil IMO.


GREAT! seems my OMZ falls into "High End" category.
post #45 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by ast View Post
GREAT! seems my OMZ falls into "High End" category.
yay! \o/

*highfive*
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