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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 86  

post #1276 of 1712

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post




I owned both and my answer is No. I preferred the STX/ST's coaxial output over the HiFace, although they're both good in their own ways.


Thanks for the info.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post


Yes. Use "Search this thread" with keywords "ASUS Xonar".


I know how the Xonar Essence ST sounds ( as I own one now; I also owned other Xonars in the past and various sound cards from Creative ) & I couldn't really find posts where a computer sound card that I've actually listened to was directly compared to the hiFace ( most of the comparisons for hiFace are made with other USB transports ) :)

post #1277 of 1712

extremely helpful thread, was looking for a way to increase a MF v-dac's usb limitations so that it can support at least 24/96 (a portion of my music)

post #1278 of 1712

Up and running over here........... 

 

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post #1279 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post

Tried the stock hiface, didn't really like it as it sounded too bright in my system even though it brought slightly more detail to the table.  Just made my music more edgy sounding which I do not like.  I much prefer the Terlink usb converter.  It's more natural and analog sounding with a bit of warmth to my ears.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

 

These were my findings as well. I preferred the Teralink-X2 over the HiFace, but liked the Essence STX/ST even more because the Teralink didn't have the greatest bass quality or attack.


These were my initial findings as well.  At first listen, the HiFace appears bright but that's not its main problem.  Presently, the HiFace is going to work best in dedicated music computers only because every time you click something with your mouse, it sends an audible static-like sound through the headphones.  I experienced a similar thing, although louder, with my up-sampling North Star and Stello when I tried to use them with cable TV.  Every time I changed channels they emitted a loud and annoying static-like sound, (which I didn't think was doing the headphones any good).  I switched to a NOS Constantine for cable TV use and no more static.  For this reason, IMHO, the HiFace is not ready for use in a work computer, where you're going to be doing things while listening.

 

Now, the extra brightness:  I'm not sure at this early stage of my evaluation if the brightness is a function of the HiFace or from the source material because it doesn't seem to be present in the same quantity with every recording or in every stream I listen to.  Unlike most of you who mainly listen to your flac libraries, I mostly listen to internet radio streams for the sheer variety that is available there.  I have found quite a number of 320 and 256 channels and that is where I spend most of my time.  As it turns out this is not a bad thing because you will be able to listen to exactly what I heard and draw your own conclusions.   http://85.114.130.208:8253/  and http://94.75.235.38:8199/ are oldies channels in 320 and http://195.144.11.148:8300/ is an ambient channel in 320.  The oldies channels exhibit the extra brightness, but the ambient channel does not.  http://89.224.210.186:8000/ is a french jazz-funk channel in 320 that also does not exhibit the brightness.  It would be easy to say the brightness is a function of the channel, but many of my flac recordings have it and many don't.  For example, Goldfrap's Seventree, which could easily slide into sibilance and brightness, doesn't, while Francoise Hardy's La Pluie Sans Parapluie and KT Tunstall's  Drastic Fantastic are both overly bright relative to how the Thingee presents them.

 

So, is the HiFace letting me hear things that have escaped the Thingee, or is it overly bright as some have suggested?  After a few hours of listening I'm in the group that thinks it's a little to edgy (read listening fatigue).  To be fair I will also say that this technology may be on to something but at this stage it reminds me more of the early days of CDs, where everything was overly bright, and the snare drum was so loud it hurt your ears.

 

These have been my initial impressions and they might very well change after I've had a chance to live with it for a while..  I will continue to evaluate the HiFace over the next few days on this laptop set up, but it's not going to stay here because of the ever present static-like clicking and popping sound, (more often than not), when ever I open or close windows or try to do any work.  I'll also try it on my dedicated music computer which has an optical out and see if it has any use there.

 

Another thing is that USB jacks were never made to hold this kind of weight and therefore the HiFace requires some sort of prop under it to support the weight of the device itself and the pressure from the coax cable.  My laptop is on small feet for cooling purposes so this is what the HiFace looks like propped up in this setup.

 

USG

 

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post #1280 of 1712

This reminds me of the slight static noise that I forgot to mention whenever I click or scroll which was a little annoying.  Yes, the unit was never design to hold the heavy usb connection cable, I had to use a usb extension cable to prevent putting too much pressure on the usb connector.  I've tried it on two different dedicated DACs and they both sounded edgy.  Switching back to Teralink X2 gave me a big relief and the enjoyment came back.

 

About the Teralink x2 not having the best bass quality and attacks could be attributed to its smoother sounding character?  I haven't tried the Essence STX/ST but took a look at the ST thread.  Seems interesting but I already have upgraded to the audio-gd reference 3 and waiting for its arrival  So I'll report back to see how it fairs.


Edited by tamahome77 - 5/16/10 at 2:57am
post #1281 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post
About the Teralink x2 not having the best bass quality and attacks could be attributed to its smoother sounding character?  I haven't tried the Essence STX/ST but took a look at the ST thread.  Seems interesting but I already have upgraded to the audio-gd reference 3 and waiting for its arrival  So I'll report back to see how it fairs.


Partially. I think it slows down transients and dampens attack across the frequency range, but its most noticeable in the bass.

 

@USG: I didn't think the HiFace was always edgy, although it had a tendency to be at times. My main beef with it was its up-front sound and resultant fatigue. It also had a dry "small" sound. It just doesn't sound as good as the STX/ST. The STX has better (and more) bass than the ST, but the ST has better soundstaging. So far, I haven't found the perfect USB-SPDIF converter. Hopefully my amp/cable sell soon so I can invest in jkeny's modded HiFace.

post #1282 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post

This reminds me of the slight static noise that I forgot to mention whenever I click or scroll which was a little annoying.  Yes, the unit was never design to hold the heavy usb connection cable, I had to use a usb extension cable to prevent putting too much pressure on the usb connector.  I've tried it on two different dedicated DACs and they both sounded edgy.  Switching back to Teralink X2 gave me a big relief and the enjoyment came back.

 

About the Teralink x2 not having the best bass quality and attacks could be attributed to its smoother sounding character?  I haven't tried the Essence STX/ST but took a look at the ST thread.  Seems interesting but I already have upgraded to the audio-gd reference 3 and waiting for its arrival  So I'll report back to see how it fairs.


I'm listening to the ambient channel I listed above.  No edginess to speak of, just lots of resolution.  If possible, paste that location into your foobar's "Add Location" and let me know how it sounds to you.

 

USG

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post




Partially. I think it slows down transients and dampens attack across the frequency range, but its most noticeable in the bass.

 

@USG: I didn't think the HiFace was always edgy, although it had a tendency to be at times. My main beef with it was its up-front sound and resultant fatigue. It also had a dry "small" sound. It just doesn't sound as good as the STX/ST. The STX has better (and more) bass than the ST, but the ST has better soundstaging. So far, I haven't found the perfect USB-SPDIF converter. Hopefully my amp/cable sell soon so I can invest in jkeny's modded HiFace.


Hi Shahrose

 

The HiFace doesn't sound like it has a small dry sound to me, but I wonder, since you don't care for the HiFace's presentation, why you feel the modded HiFace will be something other than more of the same?  (The reason I ask is that I have entertained a similar thought process)

 

USG

post #1283 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post


Hi Shahrose

 

The HiFace doesn't sound like it has a small dry sound to me, but I wonder, since you don't care for the HiFace's presentation, why you feel the modded HiFace will be something other than more of the same?  (The reason I ask is that I have entertained a similar thought process)

 

USG

 

It doesn't feel like it has that kind of sound until you compare it to the ST or my mobo coax (the latter is what I ended up with).

As for trying the modded HiFace, I want to try it because I'm curious. I've tried every other affordable converter, so why not this one. I felt the Hiface had potential, so if the mods can address some of the issues I had with it, maybe it would be worth keeping.
 

post #1284 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post



 

It doesn't feel like it has that kind of sound until you compare it to the ST or my mobo coax (the latter is what I ended up with).

As for trying the modded HiFace, I want to try it because I'm curious. I've tried every other affordable converter, so why not this one. I felt the Hiface had potential, so if the mods can address some of the issues I had with it, maybe it would be worth keeping.
 

The more I listen to the HiFace tonight, the more I realize the difference between how it sounds and how my ASIO4ALL/Thingee sounds is extremely similar to the change that occurs when I throw the up-sample switch on my Stello.  The bass becomes slightly attenuated and the sound stage looses some depth because the vocals and treble have been brought forward (made louder) from their original position.

 

I found that I can keep both USB devices plugged in and toggle back and forth with foobar and the input switch on my North Star.  I've had it on a few hours now and the biggest differences are the ones I mentioned above.

 

USG
 

post #1285 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post

This reminds me of the slight static noise that I forgot to mention whenever I click or scroll which was a little annoying.  Yes, the unit was never design to hold the heavy usb connection cable, I had to use a usb extension cable to prevent putting too much pressure on the usb connector.  I've tried it on two different dedicated DACs and they both sounded edgy.  Switching back to Teralink X2 gave me a big relief and the enjoyment came back.

 

About the Teralink x2 not having the best bass quality and attacks could be attributed to its smoother sounding character?  I haven't tried the Essence STX/ST but took a look at the ST thread.  Seems interesting but I already have upgraded to the audio-gd reference 3 and waiting for its arrival  So I'll report back to see how it fairs.


I meant to ask you if you think you loose any quality by using a USB extension cable?

 

USG

post #1286 of 1712

jkeny you don't have to try to convince me, I've already done my research and am planning to order a fully-loaded HiFace from you soon. The only issue I had before was the fact that your package was incomplete. Customers were (and may still be) forced to find and buy their own charger...

post #1287 of 1712



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post



The more I listen to the HiFace tonight, the more I realize the difference between how it sounds and how my ASIO4ALL/Thingee sounds is extremely similar to the change that occurs when I throw the up-sample switch on my Stello.  The bass becomes slightly attenuated and the sound stage looses some depth because the vocals and treble have been brought forward (made louder) from their original position.

 

I found that I can keep both USB devices plugged in and toggle back and forth with foobar and the input switch on my North Star.  I've had it on a few hours now and the biggest differences are the ones I mentioned above.

 

USG
 


The differences you are all hearing are typical of differences in jitter.  The circuits, power supplies and clocks used in these make the difference.

 

Softer, less dynamic sounds are usually higher jitter.  More detailed sound is usually less jitter.  The jitter spectrum can be objectionable, even with low jitter, resulting in harshness.
 

post #1288 of 1712
Thread Starter 

@ jkeny: I received my modified hiface yesterday and I can finally listen to the music and enjoy it! I had to listen for a few days to the Teralink X2 and it was pretty lifeless and fuzzy sounding in comparison.


Personally, I find the modified hiface both low jitter (dynamic, detailed) and smooth sounding at the same time, which is no simple task to achieve. Once again great work John!

 

By the way, for more details, I had already written a full review of his modified hiface (review loaner) here: http://new.head-fi.org/forum/thread/483900/review-jkeny-s-modified-hiface

post #1289 of 1712
Quote:

Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

 

I meant to ask you if you think you loose any quality by using a USB extension cable?

 

USG

To my ears, I didn't notice any difference using a 3 feet usb extension cord.
Well, my hi-face is gone so I couldn't do any further testing.   I'm still have some interest in the modified version so  I'll be waiting for more impressions from modded m2tech owners.


Edited by tamahome77 - 5/16/10 at 3:59pm
post #1290 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post



To my ears, I didn't notice any difference using a 3 feet usb extension cord.
Well, my hi-face is gone so I couldn't do any further testing.   I'm still have some interest in the modified version so  I'll be waiting for more impressions from modded m2tech owners.


I don't remember if I asked before, but why did you sell it?

 

USG

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