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Review of Audio-GD DAC-19MK3 - Page 10

post #136 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoYouRight View Post
here is a m2tech converter that looks way better than the musiland but cant find it for sale anywhere yet.

M2tech - homepage
I couldn't find anywhere the m2tech converter and sent an email to the contact they indicate on their website.

This product looks indeed very promising!
post #137 of 695
Thread Starter 

m2tech hiface usb to spdif converter

I have just orderd the m2tech converter by contacting m2tech by mail at : sales at m2tech.biz. It costs 82,5 euros + shipping.

I will let you know how how it compares to the other converters but il really looks very very promising.
post #138 of 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I have just orderd the m2tech converter by contacting m2tech by mail at : sales at m2tech.biz. It costs 82,5 euros + shipping.

I will let you know how how it compares to the other converters but il really looks very very promising.
I got the same price also. It really looks interesting but the price is quite high. I'm waiting for your review before pulling the trigger.
post #139 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patu View Post
I got the same price also. It really looks interesting but the price is quite high. I'm waiting for your review before pulling the trigger.
My unit is supposed to ship tomorrow. Hopefully, I will get it before the week-end.

Also, I noticed something : the m2tech converter doesn't need a usb cable which is a good thing (I have noticed diffrences between usb cables) : so no cable is probably better than my reference usb cable (the wireworld ultraviolet usb)
post #140 of 695
it looks very interesting and it does not use the clock of the pc I believe which has jitter.
post #141 of 695
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 ?
quoted just in case you missed my post, I'm really curious to know wether i have foobar set up exactly the same way as you do so I can compare my findings easier when I eventually upgrade from compass to 19mk3
post #142 of 695
I can't hear a difference between any setting changes in ASIO. ASIO's sound different from each other to my ears but not different latencies etc, although there are people who think it is important. Lower is always better according to them. Another option I think is worth trying is cPlay which I think is a mix of the two players you mention above, but you'll need to use the recursive cue creation program on the official website to make cuesheets of all your music. cPlay+cMP is better and comparable to wavelab ASIO in my opinion but it's not a friendly program it likes to disable explorer.exe and make me restart the computer whenever I want to leave cMP. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/cm...player-444784/
post #143 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post
quoted just in case you missed my post, I'm really curious to know wether i have foobar set up exactly the same way as you do so I can compare my findings easier when I eventually upgrade from compass to 19mk3
Sorry, I missed your post the first time.

Actually, we are using almost the same settings with the same version of the otachan asio plugin. The only setting that is different is the one I put in the attached image. I put the "process priority class" at the normal setting because whenever I tried to put it higher my computer crashes. So I kept the basic setting.

As for the harshness you are noticing, there might many reasons such as the accessories (interconnect cables, the digital cable, the X-Fi, the power cord, the platformyou put your DAC unit, ...) or maybe the DAC itself.
As I wrote in my review, I was amazed about how non-digital sounding the dac-19mk3 is. I am sure there are better DACs out there (deeper bass, better high extension, better soundstage, ...) but I feel that the biggest quality of the dac-19mk3 is that it is natural sounding. It sounds very close to the real instruments to my ears and the better the transport, the better the sound.

Anyway, if you found MediaMonkey better, you should stick with it because it seems that it offers a better synergy with your current system.

By the way have you tried the 0.44b ? From memory, it had a "fuller" sound but with less precision/definition than the 0.51 version. But these were really subtle differences, nothing like changing a power cord, or the stock cable of a headphone for example.
LL
post #144 of 695
Thread Starter 

Update on the m2tech usb converter

A little update on the m2tech usb converter :

The shipment of my unit was delayed until next tuesday because I asked for a bnc input and they are still waiting for a major upgrade on their drivers that is supposed to fix some issues and improve performance.

However, I am very happy with the TeraLink-x for now.
I did a quick comparison yesterday between the same file that I have downloaded from Linn Records at 16/44 and 24/96. Well, to my surprise, I found the 16/44 played through the Teralink-X much better than the 24/96 played through the Musiland.
The sound coming out of the Teralink-X was clearer and more "liquid" than the one coming from the Musiland. There was also better instruments separation with the Teralink-X.
I did my test using the wireworld ultraviolet usb and the 18 ft. Belden BNC digital cable.
It is really too bad that the Musiland doesn't use low jitter clock and audiophile capacitors.

Hopefully, the m2tech can be better than Teralink-X and provide 24/96 support. More when I get the unit ...
post #145 of 695
im kind of skeptical of this teralink x, beacuse I own Valabs dac, which is made by the same company, and uses the same CM108 chip and same 12mhz clock, but my dac sounds better though coax/optical spdif. Also, that CM108 chip has it's own windows drivers, using base windows driver you can only do 16/48 16/44.1 but if you install the appropriate cm108 driver you can actually do 24/96, or possibly higher. Im surprized no one has tried these drivers yet, being owner of valab dac though, im pretty familiar with Teradak products and valab owner's have known about these for a long time. Im still no so sure about all the spdif converters anyways, I think a transformer coupled coax out from a quality sound card may be better still. My line of thinking is if the Teralink x is better than musiland, and i've basically got that interface sitting here in front of me with my dac, and that is bettered by my X-fi's pretty crappy Coax SPDIF output, where does that leave these devices?

http://www.x-drivers.com/catalog/dri...108/index.html
post #146 of 695
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
im kind of skeptical of this teralink x, beacuse I own Valabs dac, which is made by the same company, and uses the same CM108 chip and same 12mhz clock, but my dac sounds better though coax/optical spdif. Also, that CM108 chip has it's own windows drivers, using base windows driver you can only do 16/48 16/44.1 but if you install the appropriate cm108 driver you can actually do 24/96, or possibly higher. Im surprized no one has tried these drivers yet, being owner of valab dac though, im pretty familiar with Teradak products and valab owner's have known about these for a long time. Im still no so sure about all the spdif converters anyways, I think a transformer coupled coax out from a quality sound card may be better still. My line of thinking is if the Teralink x is better than musiland, and i've basically got that interface sitting here in front of me with my dac, and that is bettered by my X-fi's pretty crappy Coax SPDIF output, where does that leave these devices?

C-Media CM-108 | Catalog - X-DRIVERS.COM: eXtremly full software portal
Thanks for the drivers link. I didn't know the cm-108 usb was able to do 24/96.

As for the comparison you are implying, I don't think we can draw conclusions about ranking the x-fi coax out and those converters coax out without actually listening to them in the same conditions.
In fact, I found out that the 3 usb to spdif converters I own (emu 0404 usb, musiland, and Teralink) outperform the usb input of my DACs (DAC-100 and DAC-19mk3).
By experimenting, I found something I wasn't expecting : The emu 0404 usb sounds better through its optical input using the Musiland as a transport than through its usb input.

My guess is that all spdif receivers are doing to some level some de-jitter work, that makes them better than direct usb input.
From memory the only usb to spdif that sounded bad was the cheap "PCLINK USB-SPDIF UDA1321 / CS8405A" that I got for free with my zero dac.
post #147 of 695
Thread Starter 

C-Media CM-108 drivers fot the Teralink-X

I tried the C-Media CM-108 Driver v.5.12.8.2119 with the Teralink-X (I am using windows xp media center).

24/96 capabilty
The driver shows up as being able to do 24/192 and 8 channels in Asio4all drivers.
However, there is only 2 possible choices for the digital output in the control panel : 44.1 and 48khz.
My guess is that the driver might fool windows that it is being able to play at higher sample rates and bit depth but there is probably resampling to 16/44.1 or 16/48

Ease of use
The Control panel is full of tabs and options that many audiophiles wouldn't care for. So you have to check manually at many places that all "enhacements" and DSP are de-activated.
Also, the sample rate has to be set manually between 44.1 and 48. It seems to me there is a loss in sound quality for a 44.1 file played while the digital output is set at 48

Sound Quality
Worst of all, the sound quality seems lower than the basic windows drivers. The sound becomes harsh, the soundstage shrinks, and there is definite loss in definition/resolution.
I played a true 24/96 file (downloaded from Linn records) and it sounded worse than the same file at 16/44.1 (with added noise). I am almost certain there is resampling done wich might explain the degradation of quality.

Conclusion
Unless someone needs some of the DSP features of the custom drivers, there is no real sonic benefit for using it instead of the basic drivers that install automatically with windows xp.
post #148 of 695
hmm that is interesting, this is the first i've heard of a bad responce with these drivers. Though when I use them, normally in foobar there are 2 options, one that says "USB Audio Device-Speakers" and one that says "USB Audio Device-Digital"

If I use the one that says "Speakers" it go's thru the driver mixer panel, if I use the one that says "Digital" it does not go thru the driver mixer panel, and nothing in that control panel has any effect on sound quality. This is using Windows 7 With Wasapi.

I can only use 44/48 khz thru wasapi and digital output, to get 96khz I must use asio4all, at which point the music does go thru the driver mixer, and software resampling is possible, I never did comparisons at 96khz because it's not somthing I listen to.

Thanks for your "review" I will try the base windows drivers again somtime and compare.
post #149 of 695
Maybe we can move this disussion of the Terra-x to the computer audio forum? Mods? I am interested in this unit among others.
post #150 of 695
So i was just on the Audio-gd website and it seems like they might have run out of the PMD100 Mode A boards. Right now the are only selling the DAC19MK3 with the DF1704, im damn glad that i picked up the PMD100
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