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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 75  

post #1111 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
For now, how subtle is the effect you describe from using the 6 meter cable?
To me it was very audible in the areas I described.

I remember that I was very surprised by the difference and thought for a moment that it could be placebo. So I asked a friend to listen to the 18ft. belden vs. Stereovox and Sobek digital cables (both were 1m long).
I didn't tell him anything before hand and said that the differences were very small and maybe not even be audible. Surprisingly, he described the sound exactly how I heard it.

I don't know if you will hear such a big difference with other systems as well, but it seems that in my system, using an 18ft/6m cable makes an audible difference that even someone who wasn't familiar with the system could pick it up easily.
I am digressing a little bit, but I have to note that he also described the sound of the Sobek vs. Stereovox XV2 the same way I heard it.

Anyway hearing as much differences between digital cables is not a good sign for the DAC. It means that its analog section is more transparent than its digital section and/or that it is overly sensitive to jitter.
That is one of the reasons I bought the dac19dsp as it is suppose to reduce (but not eliminate) the quality of the source/cable.
post #1112 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
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.
It is not exactly like that. The adverse effect of a long/jittery cable such as the one I used is that the timber of instruments and voices get messed up and simplified, there is confusion and intermodulation in complex musical passages, and there is a loss of low level retrieval.
So it is not exactly like front stage vs. back stage experience you are describing since some things are missing and others are added.

However, if you want to generate such a thing (more laid back, softer, rounder, ...) without too many drawbacks, I have found that upsampling from 44.1 to 96K with SoX.
The extent effect will depend on the type of digital filtering on the DAC. I tried those settings with different DACs and I got different sensitivities to that upsampling. Some of them exhibited a big difference (emu 0404 usb for example) while others showed a smaller one (dac19mk3 for example).

Overall, for those looking for a slightly more laid back and softer sound, I recommend to try SoX upsampling with the following settings:
Upsamling to 96K
Passband : 90%
Minimum Phase
It has less drawbacks than using a jittery cable and brings some of their "improvements" according to my experience.
post #1113 of 1712
slim.a,
I have an XV2 on the way and would like to know what you think of it.
post #1114 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post
slim.a,
I have an XV2 on the way and would like to know what you think of it.
I found the XV2 much better than regular digital cables (belden, canare, belkin, ...).
However, it sounded too lean in my system, so I sold it. For more details I wrote a detailed review of the Oyaide where I describe more precisely what I heard and where I make comparisons with the XV2 and other cables.

See here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/re...-cable-469313/
post #1115 of 1712
I agree with slim.a
All audio devices are designed around a series of compromises - there is no perfect device.
The Hiface is one such device, designed, I'm guessing, around the goals of portability & compactness with the good sound in mind. This goal of compactness led to the compromise of using the PS from USB which is it's major weakness.

About jitter, when this PS is dealt with, it's true low jitter character can shine through.

PS. slim I haven't sent your Hiface yet (sending it out tomorrow) - I decided to box it up first & here are the pics (I was going to keep it as a surprise for when you opened the package but I can't help myself):
Boxed unit contains 2 batteries, modded Hiface & connectors specified below. It's about the same dimensions as an iPhone but thicker

Front shows USB-in connector
Back shows BNC-out, On/Off switch, socket for charger


post #1116 of 1712
I've set up a basic web-site for this:
Home (Hiface Mods)
post #1117 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
I've set up a basic web-site for this:
Home (Hiface Mods)
I am impressed, it looks amazing!!! Good job there
post #1118 of 1712
Thanks slim - you should have it in your hands soon - posting tomorrow along with cables
post #1119 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
I've set up a basic web-site for this:
Home (Hiface Mods)
Definitely picking one of these up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I am impressed, it looks amazing!!! Good job there
Looking forward to reading your review slim. The HiFace has potential, and I agree with a lot of the good things you've said about it.
post #1120 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I found the XV2 much better than regular digital cables (belden, canare, belkin, ...).
However, it sounded too lean in my system, so I sold it. For more details I wrote a detailed review of the Oyaide where I describe more precisely what I heard and where I make comparisons with the XV2 and other cables.

See here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/re...-cable-469313/
Thank you for the link and for taking the time to post your review and findings . I will be curious to listen to the XV2 in my system, and will keep an eye out for the other cables that you mentioned, and perhaps give the Oyaide a go before the MC2=Zen that was going to be my next target.

Thanks again.
post #1121 of 1712
Testing the Musiland 02US before burn-in right now. I think if you already use this as a transport, there's no point getting the HiFace as the Musiland is not any worse overall IMO. The HiFace has the best bass quality of all the transports still, even after it got a bit looser and more plentiful after burn-in, though the Musiland is close. The Musiland has a better soundstage and its imaging sharpness and details are almost on par with the HiFace. I think the HiFace does a bit better in complex passages but the lack of harshness/in-your-face soundstaging makes the Musiland better for listening over the long run IMO. It has better bass quality and less smearing than my motherboard output, but less bass quantity than all transports.

I'm also impressed by the DAC of the 02. Not as good as the y2, but amazing for a $130 item. I might buy another one to give to family/friends. The amped output is decent too, although lacking in control (not volume) when compared to higher-end amps.

These findings may change after burn-in. So far my impression is positive, especially for the price paid.
post #1122 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Testing the Musiland 02US before burn-in right now. I think if you already use this as a transport, there's no point getting the HiFace as the Musiland is not any worse overall IMO. The HiFace has the best bass quality of all the transports still, even after it got a bit looser and more plentiful after burn-in, though the Musiland is close. The Musiland has a better soundstage and its imaging sharpness and details are almost on par with the HiFace. I think the HiFace does a bit better in complex passages but the lack of harshness/in-your-face soundstaging makes the Musiland better for listening over the long run IMO. It has better bass quality and less smearing than my motherboard output, but less bass quantity than all transports.

I'm also impressed by the DAC of the 02. Not as good as the y2, but amazing for a $130 item. I might buy another one to give to family/friends. The amped output is decent too, although lacking in control (not volume) when compared to higher-end amps.

These findings may change after burn-in. So far my impression is positive, especially for the price paid.
I haven't tried every transport or dac on the planet yet, but using the Musiland 02US into a Genesis Digital Lens and then to a Valab with upgraded output caps, I'm pretty satisfied. I just switched out the BJ Belden 1694A cable between the Lens and Valab for an Apogee Wyde Eye and noticed a pretty significant improvement all the way around. I agree that for the money it is(for me, IME) a good transport.

I'm listening to the same ~20 songs that I've been listening to for about 2 months now using Foobar 1.0 in KS output.
post #1123 of 1712
Thanks for this mini review between the Musiland 02US and HiFace. I'm still debating which one these 2 to get to replace my current X-Fi USB Surround 5.1. The reason I want to get rid of the X-Fi USB because of the popping sound I got using Winamp KS with Windows 7. I like the sound of Winamp with KS.
Do you know which one of the 2 work best with Winamp KS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Testing the Musiland 02US before burn-in right now. I think if you already use this as a transport, there's no point getting the HiFace as the Musiland is not any worse overall IMO. The HiFace has the best bass quality of all the transports still, even after it got a bit looser and more plentiful after burn-in, though the Musiland is close. The Musiland has a better soundstage and its imaging sharpness and details are almost on par with the HiFace. I think the HiFace does a bit better in complex passages but the lack of harshness/in-your-face soundstaging makes the Musiland better for listening over the long run IMO. It has better bass quality and less smearing than my motherboard output, but less bass quantity than all transports.

I'm also impressed by the DAC of the 02. Not as good as the y2, but amazing for a $130 item. I might buy another one to give to family/friends. The amped output is decent too, although lacking in control (not volume) when compared to higher-end amps.

These findings may change after burn-in. So far my impression is positive, especially for the price paid.
post #1124 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by duckymcse View Post
Thanks for this mini review between the Musiland 02US and HiFace. I'm still debating which one these 2 to get to replace my current X-Fi USB Surround 5.1. The reason I want to get rid of the X-Fi USB because of the popping sound I got using Winamp KS with Windows 7. I like the sound of Winamp with KS.
Do you know which one of the 2 work best with Winamp KS?
Sorry, I don't use Winamp anymore. I consider Foobar a lot more suitable for my needs and it also supports KS/WASAPI/ASIO/ASIO4ALL. In foobar, the HiFace unit works well with KS but is glitchy with WASAPI, and the 02 works equally well with both KS/WASAPI. BTW, I prefer the sound of WASAPI over KS, as subtle as the difference between them is.
post #1125 of 1712
I'll be waiting for the reviews of John's modded hiFace...
hope that package arrives soon at it's destination
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs. M2Tech hiFace