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USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs. M2Tech hiFace - Page 72  

post #1066 of 1712
When I showed you measurements from AMB's website of my DAC and amp, you said measurements don't tell the whole picture, yet here you are assuming what other people's gear sounds like from measurements and also use them to convince others of the hiFace's superiority.

Notice the difference between my posts and yours. You come across as aggressive towards anyone who disagrees with you and attempt to assert your opinion on anyone who does so. Do you see anyone else telling you that your gear is not revealing enough, even though that may very well be the case.

For example, I could just as easily say that your headphones aren't revealing as much and I own them so I know for a fact they don't. I could also say your amp isn't up to snuff, or that your DAC is just imposing its own sound signature on the transport's (BTW I've had people listen to the Reference 1 and my own DAC and say that there is little difference). These claims would be equally valid as yours. However, I choose to instead accept the fact that your tastes and gear may produce a result different than mine and don't try to rebut your opinion or try to change your mind through my own experience.

There are no right or wrongs in subjective listening, I thought you would have learned that by now. I take issue with is the fact you feel the need to consistently tell people they are either wrong or that there is a problem if they don't hear the exact same things as you do.

Further, I think you've misinterpreted my decision to buy the cables you recommended. The quote you bolded is meant more as a figure of speech to show that I wasn't a firm believe in these types of cables...you've used it to (wrongly) assume my intention. If anything, it shows the respect I have of your findings and reviews. I bought something expensive, against my own judgment, only because of your insights. I'm not sure how anyone can see this in a negative light.
post #1067 of 1712
I have AMB/MisterX y2, Audio-gd 19Mk3 & DEQX HDP-3.

AMB y2 is as revealing as the 19Mk3. IMO, Op-amp or discrete output stage do not really matter as long as the implementation is done right.

I'm also only able to detect subtle differences between the 3 digital filters in the y2 with the ASRC installed.

As for the M2Tech hiFace, I didn't like it enough to keep it.
post #1068 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

Just realize that all the differences we're discussing are subtle...nothing earth-shattering. It's tedious to always type that out in every message, so take that as a given.

The HiFace always had a compressed soundstage compared to the other transports (Teralink-X2, and my desktop motherboard coax output), burn-in did not change that. The only thing worse was the direct USB input of the y2 DAC (plugging the DAC straight into a USB port into the desktop). I think the upfront/in-your-face treble and sharp imaging of the hiFace (the latter being a good thing) produce this effect.

I don't want to be repeating all that I've previously said so search within this thread. I posted detailed impressions of what I think of the HiFace a few pages back somewhere.


Shahrose

Understood that we're discussing subtleties regarding the bass quality.

(Apologies for the repetition but this thread is 71 pages long....)

But just to clarify, was the compressed soundstage also subtle?

USG

And Slim, no offense meant, but despite your two lengthy dissertations critiquing Shahrose's observations, don't you agree that he is as justified in reporting his findings as you are reporting yours?
post #1069 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by h.rav View Post
I have AMB/MisterX y2, Audio-gd 19Mk3 & DEQX HDP-3.

AMB y2 is as revealing as the 19Mk3. IMO, Op-amp or discrete output stage do not really matter as long as the implementation is done right.

I'm also only able to detect subtle differences between the 3 digital filters in the y2 with the ASRC installed.

As for the M2Tech hiFace, I didn't like it enough to keep it.
In the interest of extending our knowledge base, might you explain what you didn't like about the HiFace and why you didn't keep it?

USG
post #1070 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Shahrose

(Apologies for the repetition but this thread is 71 pages long....)

But just to clarify, was the compressed soundstage also subtle?
Not a prob USG.

It's one of those things that you may not notice immediately, but over time you feel your music isn't sounding as "big" as it was before. It's like listening to the same song out of small vs large speakers. The small speakers may reproduce the song well, but it will sound smaller and congested in comparison to its larger counterpart. When comparing the other transports to the hiFace, things seem to come from farther away and sound "bigger".
It's difficult to explain but the end result is a sound that's more engaging and realistic.

This is just one factor though. I'm only discussing the negative side here, there are lots of positive I listed before as well.
post #1071 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Not a prob USG.

It's one of those things that you may not notice immediately, but over time you feel your music isn't sounding as "big" as it was before. It's like listening to the same song out of small vs large speakers. The small speakers may reproduce the song well, but it will sound smaller and congested in comparison to its larger counterpart. When comparing the other transports to the hiFace, things seem to come from farther away and sound "bigger".
It's difficult to explain but the end result is a sound that's more engaging and realistic.

This is just one factor though. I'm only discussing the negative side here, there are lots of positive I listed before as well.
Understood.

Thanks for the explanation.

USG
post #1072 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
It's one of those things that you may not notice immediately, but over time you feel your music isn't sounding as "big" as it was before. It's like listening to the same song out of small vs large speakers. The small speakers may reproduce the song well, but it will sound smaller and congested in comparison to its larger counterpart. When comparing the other transports to the hiFace, things seem to come from farther away and sound "bigger".
It's difficult to explain but the end result is a sound that's more engaging and realistic.

This is just one factor though. I'm only discussing the negative side here, there are lots of positive I listed before as well.
I have two friends who basically came to the same conclusion. The word they use is "anemic."

Thank you very much for your honest and much respected opinions and observations Shahrose.
post #1073 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post
I have two friends who basically came to the same conclusion. The word they use is "anemic."

Thank you very much for your honest and much respected opinions and observations Shahrose.
Digger, do you know what DACs and amps your friends paired the HiFace with?

USG
post #1074 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
When I showed you measurements from AMB's website of my DAC and amp, you said measurements don't tell the whole picture, yet here you are assuming what other people's gear sounds like from measurements and also use them to convince others of the hiFace's superiority.

Notice the difference between my posts and yours. You come across as aggressive towards anyone who disagrees with you and attempt to assert your opinion on anyone who does so. Do you see anyone else telling you that your gear is not revealing enough, even though that may very well be the case.

For example, I could just as easily say that your headphones aren't revealing as much and I own them so I know for a fact they don't. I could also say your amp isn't up to snuff, or that your DAC is just imposing its own sound signature on the transport's (BTW I've had people listen to the Reference 1 and my own DAC and say that there is little difference). These claims would be equally valid as yours. However, I choose to instead accept the fact that your tastes and gear may produce a result different than mine and don't try to rebut your opinion or try to change your mind through my own experience.

There are no right or wrongs in subjective listening, I thought you would have learned that by now. I take issue with is the fact you feel the need to consistently tell people they are either wrong or that there is a problem if they don't hear the exact same things as you do.

Further, I think you've misinterpreted my decision to buy the cables you recommended. The quote you bolded is meant more as a figure of speech to show that I wasn't a firm believe in these types of cables...you've used it to (wrongly) assume my intention. If anything, it shows the respect I have of your findings and reviews. I bought something expensive, against my own judgment, only because of your insights. I'm not sure how anyone can see this in a negative light.
Measurements:

I am not contradicting myself about measurements; you probably didn’t understand fully what I was trying to say. So allow me to be clearer. I am not saying that measurements are good or bad as you are implying, but what I am saying is a lot more subtle and complex than that.

When you have only a limited set of frequency domain measurements (FR, THD) they are not enough to fully grasp the performance of a unit as the time domain measurements (jitter, impulse response, transient intermodulation, ...) might have a bigger impact on the sound. Since it is not easy to measure all those parameters in DACs and amps, it is hard make a judgement solely basing the opinion on the FR and THD measurements.

For the source, it is somewhat a different story. If you have a source with low jitter, low phase clock noise and proper impedance (75 ohms for coaxial and 110 ohms for AES/EBU) you are pretty much “there”. So designers know what ideal source they should be developing: a source with a vanishingly low jitter and clock phase noise, and with proper impedance termination.
If you look at all high-end transports be it CD transports, PCI cards or usb sources, they all share some common points and they are all trying to achieve the exact thing.

Of course, if you are comparing 2 units with the same amount of total jitter, they can still sound differently if they don’t the same distribution of jitter according to the frequency. So in that case, since no one (to my knowledge) seems to be able to correlate the jitter pattern with what hear, subjective listening can play a big role in selecting which transport “sounds best”. But that recommendation would be specific to the particular DAC it is being used with and its characteristics: DIR, PLL, type of DAC chip, “colour” of the output stage. A different DAC with different characteristics would yield a different result.

However, if we are comparing 2 units with different amount of total jitter: say unit A has 1ns and unit B has 20 ns, then one can easily say that unit A is better than unit B.
Or if you wish, we can look at the problem from another point of view: If you wish to achieve true 20 bits performance, you need to have jitter levels lower than 4 ps (at the analog output of the DAC). So the higher the jitter, the lower the effective resolution (in the time domain) of the DAC is. For more information you can read this interesting research paper about jitter and building high resolution DACs (http://www.iet.ntnu.no/courses/fe811...t_audiodac.pdf)

So to sum up about measurements, I am not saying that measurements are good or bad. I am saying that depending on what component is being measured, and what type of measurement we perform, we can achieve different level of confidence about evaluating that gear. So while my comments might have seemed random and contradictory, this little explanation will hopefully clear up my thought process on measurements and subjective listening.
While I think that because of the lack of understanding in certain areas (and because of personal preferences), subjective listening is still very important for certain type of equipment amps, speakers, cables, headphones ... I do however believe that when it comes to sources, one has to aim for the absolute transparency. If anything is lost at the source (because of jitter for example) it cannot be recovered later on the chain. By “component and cable matching” you can mask certain faults and achieve a pleasing tonal balance, but you would lose valuable information that would have brought us closer to the original wave form of the recorded event.


Hiface & subjective listening:

Is the Hiface a perfect transport? No
Is the Hiface the best match for every system? No
Is the Hiface the closest to perfection (in the affordable category)? Yes

If you look at the measurements of jitter at the digital level, you will understand that the performance of the Hiface is exceptional. The Hiface had jitter measurement of 1ns (close to the limit of the test equipment). That was better than the Lynx Professional card and also better than a Nagra recorder and a CD player. On a Stereophile measurement, the EMU 0404 usb (which is also async) had a jitter of around 8ns. Even digital cables can have jitter levels of a few ns.
So the Hiface can output a cleaner digital signal than most PC sources out there. So that is a fact.

Another fact is that a lot of people have listened and liked the sound of the Hiface. Weirdly enough, even people using well designed high end DACs (Lavry, Northstar, Audio-gd Ref1, Audiomat ...) seem to have liked what the Hiface did to their system. So if there was anything intrinsically wrong with the Hiface, it would have shown on those systems.

On the other hand, we have a few reports of people who didn’t like the Hiface because it sounded compressed, constricted or some other thing. So what to do with those reports?
First, before to answer that question, I will just tell you an anecdote on how the sound of the Hiface can be manipulated. By using a 18 feet Belden digital cable, I achieved a bigger, more laid back (and more diffuse soundstage) from the Hiface. Another trick that achieved the same effect was to use upsampling to 96K with minimum phase and setting the passband at 90% (instead of the standard 95%). I got pretty much a similar effect in nature (but less in quantity).
So by generating higher amounts of jitter (by the means of an 18 feet Belden cable) or by manipulating the waveform (SoX upsampling with unusual settings), I achieved a result that went towards what the more jittery achieved.
So what to make of that? Well, my guess is that if you inject high amount of jitters at certain frequencies (with a little bit of trial and error) you can make the Hiface replicate the sound performance of the Teralink-X.
What people are hearing with jittery transports such as the Teralink X, Emu 0404 usb... are distortions. Those distortions can be annoying in the case of the emu0404 usb or pleasing in the case of the Teralink-X but they remain distortions nonetheless.

So by now, you should see where I am going. If on a few specific systems, the Hiface is found to have a “compressed soundstage” or a “dry sound” for example, it simply means that the excessive warmth of previous components were masking that. So since the Hiface is merely a digital transport (with relatively low jitter) that doesn’t make sound on its own, does it mean that the compressed soundstage (for instance) is coming from the Hiface or from the DAC it is being paired with? Usually, the other transports are described as having a bigger soundstage but less defined imaging and less low level details. Those in my book correspond to the description of jittery transports.
Again, as I stated earlier, in such a case, I consider that the compressed soundstage is not the “sonic signature” of the Hiface but that of the DAC it is being paired with.


Limitation of the test gear:

You have mentioned several times that the Silver cabled Sennheiser HD-650 I used for my tests were not as resolving as your Sennheiser hd-800, and that is probably the case. However, if I can detect those differences on the hd-650 and if those differences also happen to correlate with measurements, then I say that those differences were big enough to be heard.

As for the DAC being used, I never said that my DAC was a reference class one: What I consider as a reference class DAC is something like the Esoteric D-01, the MSB Platinum, DCS, Lavry DA2002, Reimyo... All of those of DACs unfortunately cost $8000+. So in shopping for a mid level DAC, one has to look for one that has less compromised than others. I settled for quite a while on the dac19mk3 and I sold it last week in order to get the dac19dsp.
By trying out the dac19mk3 for several months (you can read my review of the dac19mk3) I was able to detect that its analog section was far more transparent than its digital section. The sonic signatures of the PDM100 and DF1704 could clearly be heard through its analog output. That is one of the reasons I decided to upgrade to the DAC19dsp which uses a custom made DSP1 supposed to be better PMD100 and DF1704 (more processing power, configurable oversampling and dither options, de-jitter function, ...). I am very pragmatic: what I liked about the dac19mk3 was the transparency of its output stage and the naturalness of tone of the pcm1704 uk being used. What I “disliked” about it is that the 2 digital filters had 2 distinct sonic signatures, and I spent my time going back and forth between them. Each one of the filters had distinct strengths: the DF1704 was fast and utterly transparent, and the PMD100 was warm and had a superior tone. With both filters the dac19mk3 however (subjectively and to my ears) outperformed any other sigma delta based DAC I have compared it to.
So when I was comparing usb to spdif converters, I was not using one DAC, but I was using 2 reference DACs (DF1704 and PMD100) and I would also check my findings with other DACs I had on hand as well as other digital cables.

So when I am saying that the Hiface sounds like this or like that, I have already tried with a big number of configuration (DACs, digital cables) and against different usb to spdif converters.
Also, when I try equipment, I try to understand as much as possible what is going inside. For example, the Musiland (and other converters such as the Teralink) is very bad at generating a 44.1 clock. So I test it not only with 16/44 data but also with 24/96 to avoid that dreadful 48 to 44.1 clock generation. But for the sake of being concise, I don’t cite everything I test, I compile and synthesize data.

So as you can see, I am well aware of the limitations of my test gear. But by having of few equipment around (to serve as different points of references), and by understanding the technology behind each equipment, I am confident enough that my findings are not specific to my system but can be generalized to other systems as well.

So when I am saying that your DAC might be the culprit or might not be as transparent as you think, you shouldn’t take it as an insult or as a direct criticism. I just wanted to attract your attention to the possible limitations of your DAC since it seemed to me that you consider it beyond reproach.
In the quest of perfection, the Hiface is a relatively closer to perfection than either the AMB Y2 or the dac19mk3. If there are perceived colorations in a mid level system when inserting the Hiface, it is more likely the intrinsic sonic signature of the DAC than it is the sonic signature of the Hiface.

So to be clear, I don’t disagree with your subjective listening results. What I strongly disagreed with you is the interpretation of those subjective listening results which could be misleading.

If the Hiface works well in 80/90% of the cases, it is close to a miracle in this audiophilia game. Try dropping a revealing headphone amp in many different systems and you would see that will have far worse positive results and acceptance.
Of course, there will still be a few cases where the Hiface won’t give the best sound. But to my knowledge, those cases remain rather small and have more to do (in my opinion) with a mismatch combination with the DAC than with the Hiface.

Again, I don’t think the Hiface is perfect but it is closer to perfection than the other converters and Jkeny’s mod is a good step towards perfection.


Final notes:

My intention with this post is not to start a debate. It is to be more explicit about what I have previously said.
Reviewing a usb converter can be tricky if one doesn’t fully understand the science behind it and the way it interacts with DAC (jitter spectrum, clock phase noise, type of digital filtering, oversampling ...). I don’t pretend to fully understand all that is going on. However, I am trying to do so: I have read many research papers on jitter, DACs, digital filtering, temporal resolution... and I continue doing it.
So by combining theoretical data, measurements (when available and relevant) as well as subjective listening (with the proper equipment), I am trying to form opinions that go beyond this sound good or this sounds bad.

Of course, for “fine tuning” a system, one has ultimately to rely on subjective listening.
However, in my opinion, a usb to spdif converter should not be considered a tool for fine tuning a system. Any loss at the source simply cannot be recovered later (and something like a motherboard coax or a Teralink X represents a loss in my opinion).
Also, I don’t recommend using interconnects and digital cables for fine tuning as the more transparent the digital cables and the interconnects, the better the results.
So what does it leave us with? One can seek the “coloration” either in the amplifier or preferably in the speakers/headphones themselves. One can also try with different power filtration and vibration control techniques. In fact, a good power supply (outside of the components) and a good vibration control do no really colour the sound as much as they reduce unwanted colorations.
This will hopefully show you that I am not “closed” to subjective listening, quite the contrary. However, in some cases we know what to measure and how to build something to sound good in most systems.

Let me give you a final example. If for example I tried the top of the line CEC transport or the Empirical Audio Pace Car in my system and they sounded compressed, I won’t blame them. I would go and look elsewhere in my system (digital cable and DAC for instance). I am simply applying logic and considering what would be right 99% of the time. Of course, there is the possibility that those specific units would be defective, but at least I will try to test them with different gear to make sure that I am not simply uncovering an intrinsic characteristic that was buried (and blurred) under the noise jitter before.

Well, this post ended up being longer than expected. I hope that is clear enough. My intent is not to start a debate but to explain why in my opinion (and according to my research) we hear different things and how we should interpret those different findings.
post #1075 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

Measurements:


Hiface & subjective listening:

Limitation of the test gear:

Final notes:

Do you post at Hydrogen Audio as well? If not, you really should. Perhaps under "Listening Tests". It's Located Here

USG
post #1076 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Do you post at Hydrogen Audio as well? If not, you really should. Perhaps under "Listening Tests". It's Located Here

USG
No, I don't post at the hydrogen audio forum. But I will definitely look at the forum you pointed out (I am not registred there).
post #1077 of 1712
I disagree with the statement that the X1 is a jittery transport. It hasn't been measured so you can't say that. And the design is leaps and bounds better the the Hifiace trying to run clocks off the +5V USB line which you are knowledgable enough to know is rediculous.

Hiface with separate shunt regulations for each digital component, you could claim would class but not running off the stupid computer power supply, sorry 1nS of jitter is still way to much for me to believe it is a significant improvement. You see at 1nS, jitter is still very high and its spectra distribution influences the sound, so its very concievable that a transport with 2nS of Jitter with an even distribution would sound better than the Hiface ifs its jitter is centered around certain frequiencies, which is highly probably with a SMPS.
post #1078 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
I disagree with the statement that the X1 is a jittery transport. It hasn't been measured so you can't say that. And the design is leaps and bounds better the the Hifiace trying to run clocks off the +5V USB line which you are knowledgable enough to know is rediculous.

Hiface with separate shunt regulations for each digital component, you could claim would class but not running off the stupid computer power supply, sorry 1nS of jitter is still way to much for me to believe it is a significant improvement. You see at 1nS, jitter is still very high and its spectra distribution influences the sound, so its very concievable that a transport with 2nS of Jitter with an even distribution would sound better than the Hiface ifs its jitter is centered around certain frequiencies, which is highly probably with a SMPS.
Teralink-X1:

I am basing my statement on the Teralink-X1 being a jittery device on the following facts:
1. The Teralink X is an isochronous/adaptive mode usb device. Its master clock is not the big 12mhz inside the unit but the the clock of the computer itself.
2. The Teralink is not totally isolated from the power supply of the computer (even if it has the possibility to be run from an external power supply)
3. The Teralink X uses the old CM 108 media chip which is known to have high level of jitter. This measurement for example (Audial :: S/PDIF or USB? (page 3) ) mentions a level of 3ns at the analog output of a CM108 usb. You can also look at the measurements by Stereophile of the DACMagic (which uses the CM108 usb chip) from its usb input and you will see the high jitter level of that chip.
From a logical point of view, a CM108 usb converter can never achieve low level of jitter even if you run it from a SLA battery and replace the 12 mhz clock inside by a 12mhz ultra low jitter rubidium clock. The fact that it doesn't act as a master clock (to begin with) prevents it from achieving any low level of jitter.


Jitter at the "digital level" vs. jitter at the "analog level":

I think that the different level of jitter that are being quoted might seem confusing. A jitter value of 1ns at the transport is excellent while a jitter value of 1ns can be horrible.

As I stated earlier, if you do a little bit of research you will find that digital cables can increase jitter by a few ns. So when we have a source that has only 1ns of jitter and that is properly terminated with a 75 ohm connector, it is excellent news. So how do we go from a level of 1ns to 100ps at the analog output of the DAC. If we assume that the digital cable doesn’t generate a lot of jitter and that the DAC is properly built, we are looking at a reduction of something like 30db at the level of the PLL of the digital receiver and again further jitter reduction by the DAC chip itself.

That is why a 1ns figure at the output of the Hiface is an excellent figure.

If you look at the measurements of the CM108 usb at the analog level, you will see levels of a few ns. So you can only imagine what would be the value if it were measured similarly at the digital level.


Teralink-X vs. Musiland and EMU 0404 usb:


So what makes the cm-108 based Teralink sound good? Well for one, it uses good quality components throughout (which allows it to perform close to the ideal performance) and it uses good output pulse transformers that help isolate the computer from the DAC. That is why I think that despite its technical inferiority, it can outperform the Musiland and Emu 0404 usb. While on theory, the Musiland and the EMU could have been made a lot better, a very poor choice of components and implementation caused them to have a poor performance.
Just to give you an idea, you can read look at the spdif output of the Musiland. In fact, the way I see things, the Teralink-x is not a good design per se but rather the Musiland and EMU are poorly designed (according to the audiophile standards).


Power supply from the computer:


I understand your scepticism and suspicion about the 5V coming from usb port. I agree with the fact that a 5v linear power supply or better a 5V battery power supply would be optimal.

So while I admit that usb power is not an ideal source, it doesn’t mean that everything that is powered by a 5V usb is bad. In fact, if the 5V was affecting badly the performance of the Hiface, it would have shown on the jitter measurement.
If you look at the problem from another way, you cannot achieve low level of jitter (such as the Hiface) if the power supply was not filtered to a certain extent.

I am not saying that it cannot be improved (jkeny’s mod prove that it can indeed be improved with minimal investment). What I am saying is that since the Hiface didn’t make any gross designing mistake, it is hard to make an adaptive mode usb converter better, especially if it has to derive the 44.1 clock from a 12mhz and if it uses an old chip like the cm108 usb.


Another car analogy:

Let me make a car analogy. When comparing the async Hiface vs. isochronous Teralink-x, it is like preparing 2 cars for a race track. The first one (the Hiface) is a lotus Elise. The second one (the Teralink-X) is a Hummer.
Even if you use cheap tires, cheap fuel and a cheap engine, the Lotus (async) will still be a lot faster and quicker around the turns than a “modded” Hummer. Even if you put very expensive tires, very fast engine and the best fuel available, the Hummer would still suffer from inertia (master clock being the computer).
Of course, under specific conditions, you can build/prepare a Hummer in a way that it will outperform an Elise. When I am talking about such a case, I am not referring to the Teralink X but more a cost no object device such as the Sonicweld Diverter.

I understand that in the audiophile world, a small and cheap looking plastic unit such as the Hiface can fail to trigger the wow effect that a bigger and shinier unit with a separate linear power supply can do.
While I feel the same thing about most other components (the bigger the power supply of a dac or an amp, the better the result), I have to be pragmatic when it comes to usb converters and not be affected by placebo.
By comparing a good async device such as the Hiface against asynchronous devices such as the Teralink-x, we are not comparing apple to apples.
Assuming that because the power supply of a computer is so bad that it would cause on the Hiface jitter at a specific frequency (and will left other untouched) is a far stretch and not a valid assumption to me. If the computer generated such a weird behaviour, wouldn’t it affect even more the performance of an adaptive mode usb converter such as the Teralink if you connect it to the same computer?

So to sum up, and by applying logic, here is how I see things (this represents my personal opinion).
If the Hiface was intrinsically jittery (poor clocks, poor drivers...) it would have been impossible to achieve jitter levels on par or better than professional equipment.
If we say that we are going to use the Hiface on a computer which has dirty power throughout, then most adaptive mode usb can only do worse than the Hiface since they will cumulate their intrinsic jitter with the one coming from the computer (since the computer will act as a master clock). In the case of the Hiface, the effect of a poor power supply affects it only indirectly through its ability to reject noise coming from the usb power supply.
Of course, we can imagine a case where a computer has super clean power inside, where the usb power is noisy and where the isochronous usb conveter is galvanically isolated from the computer. In such an unlikely case, yes you can perhaps make an isochronous device such as the Teralink X better than the hiface. But I am not even sure that such a set of test parameters would be possible under normal circumstances.
post #1079 of 1712
"So to sum up, and by applying logic, here is how I see things (this represents my personal opinion).
If the Hiface was intrinsically jittery (poor clocks, poor drivers...) it would have been impossible to achieve jitter levels on par or better than professional equipment."

Compare the Hiface jitter to a good non computer transport. Comparing it to soundcards and saying it has good jitter performance is just plain misleading. Fact is that 1nS at the transport is still terrible performance for a good transport. Really not worth the hassle and the SQ is so dominated by this transport's jitter spectra distribution that its entirely conceivable that people aren't liking the sound of it. Sorry.
post #1080 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
"So to sum up, and by applying logic, here is how I see things (this represents my personal opinion).
If the Hiface was intrinsically jittery (poor clocks, poor drivers...) it would have been impossible to achieve jitter levels on par or better than professional equipment."

Compare the Hiface jitter to a good non computer transport. Comparing it to soundcards and saying it has good jitter performance is just plain misleading. Fact is that 1nS at the transport is still terrible performance for a good transport. Really not worth the hassle and the SQ is so dominated by this transport's jitter spectra distribution that its entirely conceivable that people aren't liking the sound of it. Sorry.
I think that you didn't really read the links I pointed out and that you are confusing jitter at the transport level and jitter at the analog output levels.

Here is an extract from a Stereophile test of a transport:
Fig.1, for example, shows the eye pattern of the Boulder 1021 disc player's data output, plotted over one "unit cycle" as, for 60 seconds, it fed the Audio Precision a 16-bit AES/EBU datastream comprising the Miller/Dunn J-Test Signal. The calculated jitter level was the lowest I have so far measured with the SYS2722, at 1.75ns, and you can see that, other than a slight thickening of the horizontal sections of the traces, the eye is indeed wide open. Fyi, the Boulder 1021 is a cost no object product and costs $24,000! It is considered as one of the best built CD players on the planet. So if the Boulder is the best measuring transport with a jitter level of 1.75ns ...

I am not trying to find excuses for the hiface by comparing to it lesser equipment. If you read the following test (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/us...ml#post6063226) you will see that the hiface not only bettered the LynxTwo but it also bettered the Nagra DII (which is professional recorder selling for a few thousands dollars) as well as a Marantz CD Player.

So all indications seem to point towards the hiface being a well engineered and measuring product. If its power supply was so poorly affected by the fact that it draws it from a usb line, how would it possible to achieve such a good results?

I am not trying to contradict anybody's convictions in purpose, I am just stating facts.

By the way, if you find a measurement of a transport (at the digital level not at the analog output of a DAC) that is much lower than 1 ns, I would really like to see it.
FYI, and to the best of my knowledge, most measuring equipment cannot reach much below 0.5ns in the digital domain, so it would be hard to measure something at that level anyway...
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