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Sonicweld/Cryo-Parts Diverter 96/24 USB to SPDIF Review - Page 10

post #136 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by manaox2 View Post
Way OT. I don't really want a match to see who has the best gear here.
Yes, my bad - PM me if you want details, or create a new thread on the subject in Dan's forum.
post #137 of 310
Quote:
Yes, feel free to tap the IC and compare output to that of the input hitting the controller, assuming there aren't any software issues you'll have accuracy.
Doesn't answer why the Lavry USB is supposed to be best in class. Does it perform better than other USB implementations? Is it best because it is perfect and therefore cannot be improved upon? Do you have proof of either claim? How is saying, "oh you should measure for yourself" any justification?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDee View Post
Out of curiosity, what exactly would constitute transparency in design?
Make a special version of the Diverter with transparent acrylic case instead of aluminum
post #138 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by some1x View Post
Doesn't answer why the Lavry USB is supposed to be best in class. Does it perform better than other USB implementations? Is it best because it is perfect and therefore cannot be improved upon? Do you have proof of either claim? How is saying, "oh you should measure for yourself" any justification?
Who left their straw man here?
post #139 of 310
It would be a straw man argument if I used the example to attack ThisBen's position on the Diverter I am specifically interested in getting a good USB converter. Since ThisBen claimed the Lavry has the best one, I'd like to know why it is so.
post #140 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by some1x View Post
Make a special version of the Diverter with transparent acrylic case instead of aluminum
Good one! I'm sure some from the non-metallic school of enclosure design would actually consider that a plus. Maybe if I included some internal LEDs, I could snag the computer case modder crowd also.
post #141 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
I have the USB 2.0 spec sheet and I did the best I could, following their guidelines. It's hard to hand build to the same exact tolerances as a machine, but they are well shielded/isolated with good conductor materials and they sound good to me, far better than my printer's generic USB cable when I went back and forth a few times. While you're talking down to me, why don't you show off your USB cables.
Didn't mean to offend you, sorry you took it the wrong way. If you want to see my USB cables then I'll have to look behind my printer or digital camera. I don't use a USB source.
post #142 of 310
personally speaking, I think the isabellina has the best usb implementation of usb converting it straight to i2s into the dac chip. With that being said I think my offramp with usb to spdif conversion is an improvement over the usb input.
post #143 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by komi View Post
I never say i dont have money, i say IS NOT FOR ME, cuz i am not buying anything i dont know what i am buying ...
Even if you saw a picture of the internals, you'd still not know what you're buying, you'd just have a picture of electronics you have little or no understanding of. It'd just be there to make you feel better about your purchase. Considering that it's audio equipment we're talking about, I'm surprised that the improvement in sound quality from your system wouldn't be your primary criteria for purchasing something, not a visual placebo to placate your ego.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thisbenjamin View Post
The root problem here is that anyone with common sense is going to be skeptical of a device that is sealed, chips that are sanded, epoxied, or obfuscated in anyway.

[...]

In the mean time I'll continue to rock the DA11, which has a best in class usb controller as well as a best in class DAC, headphone amp with a multitude of professional and consumer-pro applications.
Dan Lavry doesn't post internal pictures of his equipment, nor reveals any more about his design, except that it isn't impossible to open up a DA11.

I have a box that does a similar thing to the Diverter, and the result, with music I've listened to for months with the same equipment, at the same volume level (stepped volume controls for the win!) had more detail. Since this was what I was looking for, I am satisfied. My reason for choosing it was that, like JayDee, I am personally satisfied with the designers honest attitude and intent with his designs.

As I said essentially before, some people here have made up their mind about the diverter. All internal pictures would do is satisfy their desire to spill more verbal blood in declaring it snake oil. By the way, the person you should be asking is Kevin Gilmore.
post #144 of 310
Thread Starter 
If anyone is interested in adopting one, my drama llama
farm is in full swing. Now, less banter and
more discussion.

LOL I just realized what the Diverter reminds me of. It's like the Cryptex from the Da Vinci Code, if you try to open it wrong you will destroy what's inside as Josh said. And like the Cryptex it contains instructions on how to find the holy grail, of music awesomeness.
post #145 of 310
excellent.

I no doubt think this gear helps aid the usb conversion for music. I bet it sounds damn good, and can be a truly audiophile grado component. I am just worried that the price is a little on the high end. It could be that the R&D for this was huge and as a smaller company cannot compete with prices of the huge guys.

That doesnt mean ESPECIALLY as a small business owner that he has to divulge his design so that others can say if its good or not based on how flashy it looks. Im thinking the care to detail should be enough, look at other things he has made. While I would love to know as well, we cant make him. And in all actuality this community is getting very whiny and reminiscent of gamer trolls and adolescent children. I am just sad at how people are so quick to slay someone on these boards when in the past it was not the case.

Id love to hear one, my hope is that soon we will get options at the $200 level that are out of this world. Or better yet since the standard for usb 2.0 is out new usb boards for DACs so that all can do 24/192 and so on to replace these kits unless they are truly boutique like the diverter.

Hey what is the specs on this Decoder dac you mentioned?
post #146 of 310
Quote:
Hey what is the specs on this Decoder dac you mentioned?
Here is a brief description that Lee posted a few months ago:

Quote:
The Decoder--24/192 DAC/Headphone Amp/Preamp with 24/96 USB input. I am not going to give too many details away yet, however, this will be a reference quality DAC that allows up to 24/96 through the USB input and 24/192 through the S/PDIF. The Decoder will have a reference quality balanced headphone amplifier and preamplifier built in as well, so it will make it an "all in one" reference quality computer music source.
post #147 of 310
Thread Starter 
Yep, the price is high, it did feel a little to me like throwing money at the problem and I wasn't 100% confident that I'd hear a difference when I ordered it. Lee was pretty adamant about how it sounded in his system and he's more experienced than I, so I gave it a chance. The problem was solved - if you really want to solve the problem, the price isn't really the sticking point, unless you literally can't afford it, at which point you can either make room for it or keep your system lower budget and try to be happy. I haven't been 100% happy with my audio system until now, there's nothing I would change about the sound.

The Decoder probably won't be here much before Christmas but I'm sure it has some neat stuff in store, including a Diverter-like USB input that takes I2S directly to the DAC, no SPDIF conversion. This would probably improve SQ further. Supposedly it has various other never before seen goodies, so we'll see in a few months.
post #148 of 310
That is sweet as long as its not $5K. If its around 2 like most good ones and if he wants more sales itll rock.
post #149 of 310
Thread Starter 
Yeah, $2000 would be pretty bargain priced for a super high end, all in one like that. I have a feeling it would be more like $4000. I'm pretty curious what sort of DAC chips it will use (which ones would Josh consider the best...the top end Sabre chips are all the rage in the Buffalo DACs, the PCM1704UK chips that Kingwa's top DACs use are legendary for their beautiful sound, the new Wolfson chips are high performance and economical). And what sort of output stage would it use...something monstrous with wall to wall transistors like the Phoenix or the B22, or a lot of tiny op amps and SMD parts like Headroom's stuff has? I'm sold on Diverter but for a headphone amp, there's stiff competition and the HD800s like power, which the Phoenix has 3 watts of at 300 ohm. Of course it helps sound quality for the amp to be technically correct throughout with proper design techniques and the sort of obsessive stuff that Josh does, but I'm curious just how "burly" this Decoder is. I've been told that the Decoder is the best sounding headphone all in one by a little bird....so we shall see.

$2000 is the "right" price point, depending on how cost no object its design is it is maybe doable...$5000 he has pretty gnarly competition and it probably wouldn't sell as many people are set on separates. Although after all the talk about shortest possible signal paths...when implemented right Josh's solution may win out.
post #150 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
The Decoder probably won't be here much before Christmas but I'm sure it has some neat stuff in store, including a Diverter-like USB input...
Yes, that's true. The Decoder essentially has a Diverter built-in, but with the additional benefit of a direct I2S output feed rather than a SPDIF conversion. It will also accept electrical and optical SPDIF in, as well as balanced AES/EBU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
Supposedly it has various other never before seen goodies...
I'm very excited for it myself, but I'm not sure if I'd go so far as to say that. I do think it will be a special product and that it will have a compelling and unique combination of attributes, but like my other design work, I'm not claiming it will have anything reverse-engineered from secret Area 51 tech. Design-wise, all of the things I said about the Diverter will apply here also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
I'm pretty curious what sort of DAC chips it will use (which ones would Josh consider the best...the top end Sabre chips are all the rage in the Buffalo DACs, the PCM1704UK chips that Kingwa's top DACs use are legendary for their beautiful sound, the new Wolfson chips are high performance and economical).
There truly are some great DAC IC choices on the market right now. Okay, for everyone who has been waterboarding me over specific part details - I'll throw you a bone on this one, and we'll see what happens. The Decoder uses dual PCM1792a ICs running in a differential mono configuration, with the post-DAC signal path being fully differential all the way to the outputs. There will be at least one additional, even higher-end model of DAC I'll be releasing that will use a different ICs, but I won't say which at this point because I haven't decided for sure, other than to note that they aren't from TI.

For the record, I am of the opinion that top-end DAC ICs are at a sufficiently high level of refinement that much of the overall product's sound is determined by other aspects of the implementation. I'm not saying the choice of DAC isn't important or consequential - it certainly is - just that the rest of the design also carries an equal amount of weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
And what sort of output stage would it use...something monstrous with wall to wall transistors like the Phoenix or the B22, or a lot of tiny op amps and SMD parts like Headroom's stuff has?
Yes, the output stages - indeed, the whole thing - will be entirely SMD except in a very few unavoidable instances, for reasons I've already commented on at length. I won't say exactly what the output stage is at this point, only that it will be robust. I wouldn't hesitate to drive any cans I could think of with it. But I'm not claiming that it will have speaker amp-like output, either. Given that our audio avocation revels in overkill engineering, it often sounds amazing to claim ridiculous output capability for amps, and many manufacturers do. Power output capability is surely important, but other factors are equally important in my mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
$2000 is the "right" price point, depending on how cost no object its design is it is maybe doable...
We haven't announced pricing and won't until it is released, but I can say definitively that it won't be $2k, or really even close to that. The Decoder design contains three circuit boards, two of which are six-layer designs, a bevy of inputs, a rather elaborate power supply, a chassis machined from solid stock (break out the pitchforks and light the torches), and so forth. Not an inexpensive implementation.
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