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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 73  

post #1081 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowlord View Post
I actually don't know why i have so much noise in the first place.
I think i try my laptop as source on the weekend and see if it is the usb port of the pc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
Try the laptop n battery power too.
I tried the laptop on the weekend but the noise level stayed the same.


hmm, maybe a computer always introduces more noise than other digital sources (e.g. cd-players)? can someone confirm this ?
post #1082 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
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 ...
...
You got me there. But understand that digital design is all about powersupply, powersupply, powersupply, and I'm not talking about simple linear regulators either, its the fundamental to digital audio design. You have to understand that 1nS of jitter if its all bunched up in the mid bass will sound much worse than 3nS of Jitter with an equal distribution across the audible freq range. Plus most digital recievers are able to all but eliminate jitter above a certain PLL freq. So the jury is still out on Hiface powered with the SMPS, its not possible to filter enough.

I'd like to see a project where we power the Hiface with proper for digital shunt regulation like the Bolder is surely using, like Tentlabs does. I'll bet people who have trouble with the sound of the Hiface would be much more pleased. And I'd like to see it be an open source DIY project before Steve N and the other guy get their hands on it. Currently there is a good open source shunt regulator project on DIYAUDIO. When I finish my amp, this will be my next project, when Hiface has good stable drivers for Win7x64.
post #1083 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
You got me there. But understand that digital design is all about powersupply, powersupply, powersupply, and I'm not talking about simple linear regulators either, its the fundamental to digital audio design. You have to understand that 1nS of jitter if its all bunched up in the mid bass will sound much worse than 3nS of Jitter with an equal distribution across the audible freq range. Plus most digital recievers are able to all but eliminate jitter above a certain PLL freq. So the jury is still out on Hiface powered with the SMPS, its not possible to filter enough.

I'd like to see a project where we power the Hiface with proper for digital shunt regulation like the Bolder is surely using, like Tentlabs does. I'll bet people who have trouble with the sound of the Hiface would be much more pleased. And I'd like to see it be an open source DIY project before Steve N and the other guy get their hands on it. Currently there is a good open source shunt regulator project on DIYAUDIO. When I finish my amp, this will be my next project, when Hiface has good stable drivers for Win7x64.
I totally agree with the fact that using a better power supply will indeed improve the performance of Hiface.
Jkeny's mod is one way of doing it.
Another way of doing it would be to use a separate box similar to this thing: Morello USB-SPDIF 24bit/192khz Enabler - Max | Diy HiFi Supply and use the space to store BPS, linear power supplies, High performance clocks, ...
By the way I am very intrigued by the tube output stage of the Morello device: does it make sense or is it just marketing BS?
(Since it is the first time I come across such a thing, I have no pre-conceptions about it).

ps: I am well aware of the importance of the distribution pattern of jitter. That is why I don't believe for one moment that the hiface could outperform the Boulder CD in a proper system. However, the fact that it measures so low in jitter (1ns) is an indication of good design being a usb converter.
post #1084 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
IBy the way I am very intrigued by the tube output stage of the Morello device: does it make sense or is it just marketing BS?
(Since it is the first time I come across such a thing, I have no pre-conceptions about it).

.

There was a thread at diyhifi.org where there are true digital design professionals who said the tube powered clocks were marketing BS. I suggest you check out that forum, linear regulators aren't the best for the digital end.
post #1085 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
There was a thread at diyhifi.org where there are true digital design professionals who said the tube powered clocks were marketing BS. I suggest you check out that forum, linear regulators aren't the best for the digital end.
Thanks for the info. I also remember reading a Stereophile review about a Prima Luna (I think) CD player that used a tubed powered clock. It didn't seem to bring anything substantial.
Since the Morello is using the tube for the output stage, I thought for a moment it could be beneficial... But indeed I will have to look at the diyhifi.org later.
post #1086 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

If you look at the measurements of jitter at the digital level, you will understand that the performance of the Hiface is exceptional.
So the Hiface can output a cleaner digital signal than most PC sources out there. So that is a fact.
I'm not arguing against the fact that the HiFace is the best when it comes to jitter. But, there is something else at play here because what I'm hearing from the other transports just plain sounds better, and subjective listening is the ultimate test in this hobby. I believe we aren't able to measure everything we hear yet and don't know all the variables that affect sound either. This is why I can't give you a technical explanation of why I'm hearing what I am, despite the clearly superior jitter measurements of the HiFace. I know I've been describing subtleties up to now, but if we single out just the soundstage aspect, the HiFace is significantly weak relatively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
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.
I'd like to see them compare the HiFace to other transports before coming to that conclusion. I thought the HiFace was the best thing going too until I heard other products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

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.
Surprisingly, the upgraded cables made my other transports sound better and the HiFace sound the same, if not worse.
Also I hate excessive warmth, that's definitely not what's making them sound better (BTW, only the Teralink added warmth). It's like being in the room with the musicians with them, being surrounded completely by music, but with the HiFace this perception is very noticeably degraded.

The other thing that stands out here is your assumption that the HiFace is revealing the true sound of the DAC rather than the other transports. You say the HiFace doesn't have a sound of its own, but it most certainly does. If not, then the sound wouldn't change from the jkeny upgrade because the DAC wouldn't be touched. If I hear an improvement in sound after upgrading the HiFace, does that mean my DAC has magically improved? No, it means some of the flaws of the HiFace have been rectified so the sound signature it is imposing on the DAC (everything imposes a sound IMO) has improved.

In that vein, I would argue that the sound that other transports impose (some would say "colour") is more pleasing and realistic than the HiFace. They produce a larger image, more liquid sound, and there's a perceivable increase in realism and the visceral, tactile feeling of being at the recording venue. There is no loss of low level details either, in fact, I think there is more of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
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.
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.
Hmm, I disagree. Atleast in the case of the y2, it sounds very impressive from other transports, but not from the HiFace. If "perfection" means revealing the flaws of a DAC instead of its strength, then I'll take the "imperfect" transport any day.
post #1087 of 1712
Thread Starter 
@ Shahrose: let me sum-up my points:

1. The hiface is less coloured than the other transports you tried and/or mentioned
2. Those transports have a pleasing distortion that pushes the soundstage further back and blur the sounds.
3. By a clever choice of digital cables (long and jittery) and upsampling settings, you can make the hiface sound like the other transports
4. In most systems (let's say 80%) the Hiface will provide the best results.

You have to understand that you are judging a transport (the hiface) with a single upsampling DAC. If you look at the specs of most ASRCs, they will tell you that in theory they throw away the incoming time stamps, and that they totally get rid of jitter.
So the data your dac chip is receiving has already been messed up with the ASRC. There are a lot of discussion about how good or bad sounding ASRCs are.

So again, you cannot generalize your subjective experience with a single upsampling DAC. If you are not willing to try the hiface with another DAC, we are just wasting time discussing this.

I do understand that subjective listening is what is important about this hobby. However, if you have done all your testing with a single upsampling DAC, it is deceitful to go repeating that the Hiface has a compressed soundstage. A more appropriate choice of words would be : the combination of the hiface + y2 DAC gives a compressed soundstage.

I hope that you get my point by now. I am not doubting your findings. What I disagree with your interpretation. If you have the intellectual honesty to try the hiface with a different DAC, you will see that you will get different results.
post #1088 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
...
Sure, I won't deny your claim that I've tested with only one DAC, certainly a valid point. I'll put my theory to the test when I get the Musiland 02 DAC I ordered.
Although, it's important to note that others have found the same thing as me too (in this very thread), so it's not just my DAC.
post #1089 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Sure, I won't deny your claim that I've tested with only one DAC, certainly a valid point. I'll put my theory to the test when I get the Musiland 02 DAC I ordered.
Although, it's important to note that others have found the same thing as me too (in this very thread), so it's not just my DAC.
I don't deny that there will be cases where the Hiface (and the Oyaide as well) won't be a good match. But having tried both with different equipment, they seem to have less coloration than other equipment.

Are you going to get the Musiland Monitor 02 US or did they release a separate DAC?
post #1090 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Are you going to get the Musiland Monitor 02 US or did they release a separate DAC?
I'm only aware of the 02US. That's the one I'm getting to test its DAC section. Apparently, it's touted to be a world beater by some, so I'm curious to see how it will compare. As an added bonus, and topic more relevant to this thread, I can also test its USB-to-SPDIF conversion in the process.
post #1091 of 1712
@ Slim.a, have you tried AMB y2 yourself?

I get the similar results pairing the hiFace with AMB y2, DAC-19Mk3, my new Ref7, and DEQX HDP-3.

@ USG,

I like the hiFace, the only reason why I'm getting rid of it is because I find S/PDIF output on my computer is better.
post #1092 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by h.rav View Post
@ Slim.a, have you tried AMB y2 yourself?

I get the similar results pairing the hiFace with AMB y2, DAC-19Mk3, my new Ref7, and DEQX HDP-3.

@ USG,

I like the hiFace, the only reason why I'm getting rid of it is because I find S/PDIF output on my computer is better.
No, as I already told earlier (maybe you didn't read it), I have never listened to the amb y2.

If you like the spdif computer better, good for you, you are saving money for yourself
post #1093 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by h.rav View Post
I like the hiFace, the only reason why I'm getting rid of it is because I find S/PDIF output on my computer is better.
x2. I prefer both the desktop-coax/Teralink-X2 overall, despite the hiFace's superiority in a few areas.
post #1094 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by h.rav View Post

I like the hiFace, the only reason why I'm getting rid of it is because I find S/PDIF output on my computer is better.
What motherboard is this?
post #1095 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by h.rav View Post
@ Slim.a, have you tried AMB y2 yourself?

I get the similar results pairing the hiFace with AMB y2, DAC-19Mk3, my new Ref7, and DEQX HDP-3.

@ USG,

I like the hiFace, the only reason why I'm getting rid of it is because I find S/PDIF output on my computer is better.
Ref7 has a pretty darn good reclocking DSP inside.. You won't get much if no improvements at all with S/PDIF inputs.
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