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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 74  

post #1096 of 1712
^ Yep, that's what I found out too.
post #1097 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by tosehee View Post
Ref7 has a pretty darn good reclocking DSP inside.. You won't get much if no improvements at all with S/PDIF inputs.
The Reference One DAC has the same DSP inside and I did notice a very significant increase in SQ with the hiFace and that was upgrading from motherboard S/PDIF.
post #1098 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by h.rav View Post

@ 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.
Would you be able to describe "what ever it is" about the computer spdif that sounds better than the HiFace coaxial?

USG
post #1099 of 1712
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 was just rereading the last few pages regarding the HiFace's compressed soundstage and thought this was significant enough to bring up again.

USG
post #1100 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Digger, do you know what DACs and amps your friends paired the HiFace with?

USG
I must say up front that I had so little time with the hiface that my perspective is almost useless, but I take my friend's viewpoint pretty seriously because he is one of the only people who shares the same passion for listening that I do. He is a friend from work and although we don't associate all that much after hours we do bring stuff into work for listening comparisons sometimes.

I can't remember what kind of equipment my friend has, but it's not like thousands of dollars in audiophile stuff. It's like Technics, Pioneer, etc.

I use the dynamite for amp, and W5000 or Stax SRD-5pro with 404LE. I got to listen for one weekend. One weekend is not long enough for me to make a decision myself. I thought it sounded OK actually at that time.

I let him borrow my dacs to compare while he had the hiface. This was around Christmas last year and he no longer has the hiface. I wish he did because I would like to try it out and see how it does with the digital lens that I have now. The digital lens gives an error readout in ppm for the transport. It isn't like jitter, but the transports average deviation from the standard output frequency(I copied that from the Stereophile review). The Musiland 02US that I use now has a deviation of 189ppm.

The dacs were(all borrowed from me, and listened to usually for one week each, hiface to dac to his home stereo)
Adcom GDA700
Parasound 1600 and 2000
EAD DSP 7000 mkIII
I don't have these anymore either. Money it tight these days.
post #1101 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
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.
I very much look forward to your findings regarding the 02US. I have been using it for a few months now, and it seems to be a pretty good converter, but I only listen to CDs and at 44.1 it falls short on the analog conversion(for me, IMO, with my system). I would like to try something HD or Hires sometime, but can't seem to find anything that I'm already familiar with. The only dac I have now to use it with is a slightly modded Valab(output caps only, changed to Vcap OIMP.)
post #1102 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
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.
Is this the transport you're talking about? e-bay
post #1103 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post
I very much look forward to your findings regarding the 02US. I have been using it for a few months now, and it seems to be a pretty good converter, but I only listen to CDs and at 44.1 it falls short on the analog conversion(for me, IMO, with my system). I would like to try something HD or Hires sometime, but can't seem to find anything that I'm already familiar with. The only dac I have now to use it with is a slightly modded Valab(output caps only, changed to Vcap OIMP.)
Ah yes, I remember you asked in the Teralink thread. I'll let you know what I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Is this the transport you're talking about? e-bay
Yep. Pretty cheap too as you can see. macrog from the Musiland thread said its DAC section was very close in SQ to his Cambridge 840C, so I look forward to hearing it.
post #1104 of 1712
I noticed the description states "2010 New Edition."
post #1105 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post
I noticed the description states "2010 New Edition."
I'm pretty sure it just means that they've installed the newest firmware (which can be done manually by anyone).
post #1106 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

Yep. Pretty cheap too as you can see. macrog from the Musiland thread said its DAC section was very close in SQ to his Cambridge 840C, so I look forward to hearing it.
It's in the same price range as the Thingee I'm using, (which also has DAC outputs).... Does it have one chip for the transport and another for the DAC or is it like the thingee which uses a single 2707 chip? Is it asynchronous like the HiFace?

USG
post #1107 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
It's in the same price range as the Thingee I'm using, (which also has DAC outputs).... Does it have one chip for the transport and another for the DAC or is it like the thingee which uses a single 2707 chip? Is it asynchronous like the HiFace?

USG
The Musiland 02 uses a separate DAC chip (the PCM1793 I believe).

It is asynchronous but not exactly like the hiface. The Musiland doesn't use true audio clocks, it uses its FPGA to synthesize 44.1K. It was so bad with the first drivers that some people reported problems with their DACs locking at that frequency.
To see the importance of true audio clocks, you can read the following link: Computer Audio - The Altmann Attraction DAC

The Musiland had a lot flaws in its design, you can read this: Computer Audio Asylum - Musiland Monitor 01 USD - late to the party, but... - Thorsten - December 17, 2009 at 10:35:40

Of course, that is only theory as some people might actually prefer in subjective listening a more distorded and jittery sound.

One other thing, this whole jitter/source thing also depend on the quality of the recordings. I am not talking about lossless enconding but more about how the recordings were made.

With high quality recordings from Linn, HDtracks, Chesky, 2L, Decca, ... you will notice more differences between sources as those recordings have less jitter to begin with.
post #1108 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
The Musiland 02 uses a separate DAC chip (the PCM1793 I believe).

It is asynchronous but not exactly like the hiface. The Musiland doesn't use true audio clocks, it uses its FPGA to synthesize 44.1K. It was so bad with the first drivers that some people reported problems with their DACs locking at that frequency.
To see the importance of true audio clocks, you can read the following link: Computer Audio - The Altmann Attraction DAC

The Musiland had a lot flaws in its design, you can read this: Computer Audio Asylum - Musiland Monitor 01 USD - late to the party, but... - Thorsten - December 17, 2009 at 10:35:40

Of course, that is only theory as some people might actually prefer in subjective listening a more distorded and jittery sound.

One other thing, this whole jitter/source thing also depend on the quality of the recordings. I am not talking about lossless enconding but more about how the recordings were made.

With high quality recordings from Linn, HDtracks, Chesky, 2L, Decca, ... you will notice more differences between sources as those recordings have less jitter to begin with.
Thanks for the link. So, with all those problems, why would anyone want it? Is the O2 a major upgrade? Were all the problems corrected?

I'm not sure I understand the part I highlighted. What is the "theory" you're referring to?

RE distortion: Do you mean that some people might prefer the distortion of a jittery sound the way some prefer the distortion of a vacuum tube?

USG
post #1109 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Thanks for the link. So, with all those problems, why would anyone want it? Is the O2 a major upgrade? Were all the problems corrected?
Well, I just brought your attention to some of the designs flaws. Most entry level gear have design flaws or poor choice of components so it can end up being "less worse" than the emu 0404 usb as a DAC for example.

Why would people want it? it is cheap, it is asynchronous and it has good specs on paper. Those are good selling points.
BTW, I have listen only to the Musiland 01 usd, so I don't know how the Musiland 02 sounds as a DAC.
But both units share the same digital section so the same principles about the FPGA, clock, ... apply for both the 01 and 02.

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
I'm not sure I understand the part I highlighted. What is the "theory" you're referring to?
What I mean by theory is the measured jitter of the source and its effect on the performance of the DAC being connected.
The Musiland 01 and 02 have poor digital characteristics (as you have seen in the link I showed you).
In my book high level of jitter, inconsistencies in clock output, wrong impedance matching mean less effective resolution at the DAC output. Every serious designer will tell you that lower jitter means better resolution (and overall performance) at the output of the DAC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
RE distortion: Do you mean that some people might prefer the distortion of a jittery sound the way some prefer the distortion of a vacuum tube?
Yes and No.

Yes, some people might prefer a little bit of distortion. Personally, I find pleasing amps that have a lot of second order harmonic distortion. But I get tired of it pretty quickly.
I used to find that by increasing the jitter on the source side using a 6m long belden cable, the sound became more laid back, softer, rounder, and the soundstage became bigger. But at the same time the sound became fuzzier, and there was a big loss of low level details.
So in that particular case, increasing jitter (by using a lesser and longer cable) have caused a distortion that could be described as being good if someone was looking for a bigger and softer sound.
Personally, once I have identified a kind of distortion (in the time or frequency domain), I can't live with it. While it was nice to have a bigger and softer sound with the 18ft. Belden cable, I found that there was a loss of low level details, a blurring of the sounds, less distinction in the timber of instruments and voices, and confusion in big loud orchestral passages. So having a distorted sound involved trade offs that I wasn't willing to settle for.
However, since different people focus on different qualities, they might find that kind of distortion as an improvement.

No, it is not exactly similar to the distortion of the tube amps.
I think that some people like the sound of the tube amps not only because they have more THD distortions but because they have actually less of other kind of distortions.
Most tube amps use rather simple and short signal paths with few gain stages and usually very little or zero negative feedback. When negative feedback is used in a "slow" circuit, it can create time domain distortion. That is why many tube lovers describe solid state amps as being zippy and edgy.
Speaking of negative feedback, it all depend on the design, if you look at 2 high-end audio amp mannufacturers, Vitus Audio and Soulution. You will see that both sell very expensive solid state amps ($20,000+) but they tackled the problem from different angles. Vitus Audio use zero feedback for its designs, while Soulution amps use a lot of feedback but have extremely fast circuits. The end result is that both achieve low levels of time domain distortion and could be tolerated by tube lovers.

I hope this helped to clear some of the points you raised.
post #1110 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

I used to find that by increasing the jitter on the source side using a 6m long belden cable, the sound became more laid back, softer, rounder, and the soundstage became bigger. But at the same time the sound became fuzzier, and there was a big loss of low level details.
Bear with me, but you write so much that it's hard to respond to the whole treatise in one post.

For now, how subtle is the effect you describe from using the 6 meter cable?

And, curiously, what you describe seems to be what is experienced as one moves further away from the source... be it speakers or a performance stage. The sound becomes more laid back, softer, rounder, the soundstage becomes wider and at the same time the sound becomes (for lack of a better word) fuzzier, with a loss of low level details because you have moved too far away to hear them..... Conversely, as you approach the source or stage, everything works in reverse.

USG

[I used bold to separate the question from the speculation.]
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