Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Review of Audio-GD DAC-19MK3
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review of Audio-GD DAC-19MK3 - Page 8

post #106 of 695
slim are you using the musiland 01 to feed the 19mkIII with coax instead of using the direct usb input of the 19mkIII. do you find the prior option to be better than the latter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I read on the Ref1 thread IpodPj discussing how good was the BJ Belden 1694A 18 ft. long, so out of curiosity I ordered one since it costs only $24.

Well, I was very surprised when I got mine because it outperformed my reference BNC to BNC cable (the HC Sobek straight out of the box.
I had previously settled on the Sobek Cable because it outperformed many spdif cables I tried in my system (Canare, Belkin, dh-labs, ...).

The sound is more transparent than my previous reference cable, and with a better soundstage. (This was noticed while using the Musiland 01 usd. ). It is a true audiophile bargain.
post #107 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Mode B after 120 hours + of Burn-in :
First of all, I feel really stupid giving my first comment about only 10 hours of listening. The module has greatly improved with burn-in.

Transparency :
The resolution/definition is about the same between the 2 modes.
On normal CDs the mode B is ahead.
On HDCD recordings, Mode A is slightly better (as expected).
24/96 recordings on mode B are absolutely fantastic with great resolution.
Overall, the perceived transparency is better through Mode B.

Timbre :
Now that I had time to listen to both modes, I find Mode A to be the more colored with a "tube like" sound.
Mode B is what can be described as "monitor like" but not in a bad way. There is more differenciation between sounds.
Overall the sound is clearer than mode B, with a lot more energy in the high frequencies while retaining a solid foundation in the bass.

Soundstage :
Before burn-in, I found that the soundstage was smaller and less defined than with mode A.
But after 120hours+ of burn-in, I feel that it is one of the biggest strengths of mode B. It is big, deep and very well defined. It is so good, that in many recordings, I don't feel like I am listening through headphones.

Dynamics :
Mode B seems louder than Mode A and also more dynamic with better micro and macro dynamics swings.
Mode B also seems to have faster transients, without being dry. It is very quick to respond throughout the whole sound spectrum.
Also, at high volume levels, there seems to be less compression in the bass.

Overall:
I highly recommend to anyone buying the DAC-19mk3 to try both modes (A and B). They give different "flavors" of sound like swapping opamps in other dacs.
In my system, I prefer mode B because it has more extended highs, better definition and better dynamics than with mode A. In comparison, the mode A sounds muffled with a slight euphonic coloration.
All:

Slim gives, what I call, a pretty good eval of the Audio gd 19 MKIII "B". So, I trust his calls.

Overall, we prefer the "B" because of the dynamics, its ability to handle 96K (which seems to becoming ubiquitous) and its superior (we think) receiver chip. The "A" version sounds a lot like the other audio gd DACs (Compass, DAC-200, DAC 3SE, DAC 9) where the class "A" sound gives a certain sweetness (although not tube -like) character to the sound. While it may resolve a a tad more, the "B" musicality is something to be heard.

Curious - we are positioning the Monitor 01 US optical out with other DACs as a superior USB solution. Your thoughts?
post #108 of 695
Thread Starter 

Comparison between inputs of the dac-19mk3

Quote:
Originally Posted by rated1975 View Post
slim are you using the musiland 01 to feed the 19mkIII with coax instead of using the direct usb input of the 19mkIII. do you find the prior option to be better than the latter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Trola View Post
All:

Slim gives, what I call, a pretty good eval of the Audio gd 19 MKIII "B". So, I trust his calls.

Overall, we prefer the "B" because of the dynamics, its ability to handle 96K (which seems to becoming ubiquitous) and its superior (we think) receiver chip. The "A" version sounds a lot like the other audio gd DACs (Compass, DAC-200, DAC 3SE, DAC 9) where the class "A" sound gives a certain sweetness (although not tube -like) character to the sound. While it may resolve a a tad more, the "B" musicality is something to be heard.

Curious - we are positioning the Monitor 01 US optical out with other DACs as a superior USB solution. Your thoughts?
All my tests were done using the Musiland 01 USD as a transport as I felt it was way superior to the usb input of the dac-19mk3. So I agree with your assessment that the monitor 01 is a superior USB solution.

If I had to give a ranking of the inputs of the dac-19mk3 in my system from the best sounding to the worst, I would rate it like this :
1. BNC / RCA Spdif (best)
2. Optical input (very good)
3. Usb input (OK, but way inferior to the two other solutions)

Also, I have found the Musiland 01 usd consistantly superior to the EMU 0404 usb as a transport. In fact I even tried the Musiland as a transport for the EMU 0404 usb and it improved its sound but the 0404 was still far from the performance of the dac-19mk3.
Also, I received 2 days ago another usb to spdif converter, the TeraLink-X usb to spdif converter and it is performing about the same level of the musiland 01 usd (from the initial impressions). It is also a step up from the usb input of the dac-19mk3.
post #109 of 695
Is there anyone who have heard both the 19MK3 and the hard-to-beat Zero (with HDAM)? I am wondering the difference between the two.
post #110 of 695
Thanks for all your efforts slim.a. Great comparisons. I think I'll stick with mode A, even though I have the mode B also. I'm not sure if I need any more extended highs than mode A has but then again, better dynamics sound quite tempting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Also, I have found the Musiland 01 usd consistantly superior to the EMU 0404 usb as a transport. In fact I even tried the Musiland as a transport for the EMU 0404 usb and it improved its sound but the 0404 was still far from the performance of the dac-19mk3.
Also, I received 2 days ago another usb to spdif converter, the TeraLink-X usb to spdif converter and it is performing about the same level of the musiland 01 usd (from the initial impressions). It is also a step up from the usb input of the dac-19mk3.
Yet another USB to S/PDIF converter. It gets difficult to choose. Can you do some deeper comparison between Musiland and this new one? I'm planning to try one out also. Though I just bought M-Audio Audiophile 192 with coax output on the card so I now have quite good coaxial output on my PC.
post #111 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickEC View Post
Is there anyone who have heard both the 19MK3 and the hard-to-beat Zero (with HDAM)? I am wondering the difference between the two.
I have both the Zero dac and the Dac-19mk3 however I didn't bother to do a direct comparison.

However, I did compared the dac-19mk3 with the dac-100 (as described in my review). And I found the dac-19mk3 much better than the dac-100.
The Dac-100 is in a fact pretty close to the zero dac in design (it uses the same AD1852 dac chip) but uses better components and a better digital receiver. Overall, I found it a little bit better than the Zero DAC.
post #112 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
Thanks for all your efforts slim.a. Great comparisons. I think I'll stick with mode A, even though I have the mode B also. I'm not sure if I need any more extended highs than mode A has but then again, better dynamics sound quite tempting.




Yet another USB to S/PDIF converter. It gets difficult to choose. Can you do some deeper comparison between Musiland and this new one? I'm planning to try one out also. Though I just bought M-Audio Audiophile 192 with coax output on the card so I now have quite good coaxial output on my PC.
I did some A/B comparisons between the two usb to spdif converters Musiland 01 usd and the TeraLink-X usb to spdif and I found that I slightly prefer the TeraLink-X. The latter seems to have slightly sweeter and more extended highs and better transparency.

Howvever, the funny thing is that I hear more differences when I switch between digital cables.
The best BNC digital cable I found is the 18ft. Belden cable from Blue Jeans which is cheap but performs very well. Compared to the other cables, it has a huge and believable soundstage. The depth in the soundfield is also one of its strengths.
For now, I let the TeraLink-X burn-in and I will do more A/B comparisons in a few days to see if burn-in improves or not the sound quality of the TeraLink-X.

Anyway I think the TeraLink-X sounds so good because it uses audiophile grade components (1ppm clock, Oscon capacitors, ...). I wish that someone offers a mod to the Musiland Monitor USD 01 because I think that with the help of better grade capacitors/power supplies, a higher quality clock, and a true 75ohm bnc output, it could be a giant killer usb to spdif converter.
Maybe the guys at Pacific Valve can offer something like that ?
post #113 of 695
slim.a would you mind sharing you foobar2000 settings with us? media monkey + otachan + mpg123 has a fuller sound to my ears while hissing and harshness is not that disturbing compared to foobar 0.8.3 + foo_output_asio(dll)_051_7.rar - Intel required - best with "Direct Input Monitor" activated ( ASIO builds ) + those settings Imageshack - foobar1

Maybe i hear those harsh/over bright highs because I use stock cables and an my x-fi's optical output as a transport, AKG K601 are not supposed to sound like that, right ?
post #114 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickEC View Post
Is there anyone who have heard both the 19MK3 and the hard-to-beat Zero (with HDAM)? I am wondering the difference between the two.
I have the compass and dac19mk3, compass is liked better than the zero by those who have compared, and I'd say the dac19mk3 sounds a good margin more detailed than the compass dac when paired with the compass amp, and there's simply no contest when paired with a good quality amp and recabled headphones. I must say though, I really like the effect my entry-level furman power conditioner has on the music, making things lively and non-fatiguing, and it improves even the phoenix which has a very complex psu. And with the low street price of $125 or less I would give it consideration before anything else if I didn't already have one or a lightning strike killed my setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post
slim.a would you mind sharing you foobar2000 settings with us? media monkey + otachan + mpg123 has a fuller sound to my ears while hissing and harshness is not that disturbing compared to foobar 0.8.3 + foo_output_asio(dll)_051_7.rar - Intel required - best with "Direct Input Monitor" activated ( ASIO builds ) + those settings Imageshack - foobar1

Maybe i hear those harsh/over bright highs because I use stock cables and an my x-fi's optical output as a transport, AKG K601 are not supposed to sound like that, right ?
That otachan build does feel harsh but in certain setups I really like it because it somehow feels very detailed, I think you might be interested to try http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/cm...player-444784/ which sounds to me to be less harsh than foobar+otachan, and more accurate than mediamonkey+otachan. It only takes cuesheets or single wav/flac files though and is much less friendly than foobar or mediamonkey if you try to use some of the cmp functions.
post #115 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I have both the Zero dac and the Dac-19mk3 however I didn't bother to do a direct comparison.

However, I did compared the dac-19mk3 with the dac-100 (as described in my review). And I found the dac-19mk3 much better than the dac-100.
The Dac-100 is in a fact pretty close to the zero dac in design (it uses the same AD1852 dac chip) but uses better components and a better digital receiver. Overall, I found it a little bit better than the Zero DAC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
I have the compass and dac19mk3, compass is liked better than the zero by those who have compared, and I'd say the dac19mk3 sounds a good margin more detailed than the compass dac when paired with the compass amp, and there's simply no contest when paired with a good quality amp and recabled headphones.
Thanks for the indirect comparisons. Given that the HDAM which Zero shines with is a product of the 19MK3 maker, I am inclined to guess that the 19MK3 worth more than the Zero in terms of performance-per-dollar(roughly). But that is just my guesswork. Direct comparisons of 19MK3 with Zero, Valab, Compass, Lavry, Benchmark, Ref1 etc will be interesting to many.
post #116 of 695
Hmm, so you guys are finding the Mode B board to be as good or better than the A? Is the different sound worth $50 to check it out?
post #117 of 695
Swapping digital filters is probably as impactful as swapping between digital cables or digital inputs. I'd rather buy an antec earthwatts psu from newegg for $50 (some computer psu's have nice power conditioning ) to reduce jitter which will make mode A very happy.
post #118 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Swapping digital filters is probably as impactful as swapping between digital cables or digital inputs. I'd rather buy an antec earthwatts psu from newegg for $50 (some computer psu's have nice power conditioning ) to reduce jitter which will make mode A very happy.
Most interesting. Could you link to a site where they review the power conditioning ablility of the antec earthwatts psu (and or other psu's) in relation to sound card output please? Thanks.
post #119 of 695
I don't really get your question but you can find a lot of info about computer psu's here.

Computer Audio Asylum - cMP - the open source high-end Memory Player - cics - December 30, 2007 at 05:42:01

Do a text search for "psu" in that page.
post #120 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Swapping digital filters is probably as impactful as swapping between digital cables or digital inputs.
To me that means it makes no difference . I've only noticed a difference between the Audio-GD power cable and the cheapo stock one, and the difference is fairly small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
I'd rather buy an antec earthwatts psu from newegg for $50 (some computer psu's have nice power conditioning ) to reduce jitter which will make mode A very happy.
I think I'm set in that department until my current one dies. I have a 500W Antec SmartPower 2.0, which was phased out by the EarthWatts line.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Review of Audio-GD DAC-19MK3