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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 87  

post #1291 of 1712

Too bright for my taste and didn't match well in my system like the teralink did.  That's basically it and plus wanted to raise funds to try out the RE-3 converter.

post #1292 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.

Here you go - latest impressions from users: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/449885/usb-to-spdif-converters-shoot-out-emu-0404-usb-vs-musiland-monitor-01-usd-vs-teralink-x-vs-m2tech-hiface/1275#post_6643910
 

post #1293 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post

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.
 


The problem with the HiFace is not the increase in detail, which many interpret as brightness or harshness, but the imbalance to the audio spectrum it causes because it's out of proportion to the rest of the spectrum.  Less jitter does not mean that the treble and vocals have to dominate the audio spectrum.  It reminds me of the early days of CDs, where the treble was elevated above  everything and the snare drum dominated everything, to the point of being too loud.  This has been corrected with CDs  in the years since their introduction and I'm sure will be corrected in later versions of the HiFace.

 

Although EQ is not the answer or a solution,  EQ the bass up a little with your HiFaces and listen to the improvment as the audio spectrum becomes more balanced.

 

My opinion on day 2 of listening to the HiFace, is that  the HiFace, our new FOTM transport, is not ready for prime time until the clicking, popping can be eliminated so it can be used on an every day computer, and the audio spectrum is tuned so that the treble and vocals don't dominate everything else. 

 

USG

 

I tried this EQ for my '03 880s.  It's not the solution, and you might need more or less boost for what ever cans you are using, but it gives you an idea of what an acoustically balanced HiFace could sound like.

 

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post #1294 of 1712

Can you please describe your computer setup. Did you try foobar2000 with KS, this is the best sounding option, esp. combined with SoX upsampler? I had very occasional crackling on Vista, usually during heavy browsing and upsampling to 196khz, after moving to Windows7 never heard a single blip, totally silent black background even under heavy load. BTW, you can setup foobar to listen for internet radio stations too.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post


 


The problem with the HiFace is not the increase in detail, which many interpret as brightness or harshness, but the imbalance to the audio spectrum it causes because it's out of proportion to the rest of the spectrum.  Less jitter does not mean that the treble and vocals have to dominate the audio spectrum.  It reminds me of the early days of CDs, where the treble was elevated above  everything and the snare drum dominated everything, to the point of being too loud.  This has been corrected with CDs  in the years since their introduction and I'm sure will be corrected in later versions of the HiFace.

 

Although EQ is not the answer or a solution,  EQ the bass up a little with your HiFaces and listen to the improvment as the audio spectrum becomes more balanced.

 

My opinion on day 2 of listening to the HiFace, is that  the HiFace, our new FOTM transport, is not ready for prime time until the clicking, popping can be eliminated so it can be used on an every day computer, and the audio spectrum is tuned so that the treble and vocals don't dominate everything else. 

 

USG

 

I tried this EQ for my '03 880s.  It's not the solution, and you might need more or less boost for what ever cans you are using, but it gives you an idea of what an acoustically balanced HiFace could sound like.

 

Hosting provided by FotoTime

post #1295 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

Can you please describe your computer setup. Did you try foobar2000 with KS, this is the best sounding option, esp. combined with SoX upsampler? I had very occasional crackling on Vista, usually during heavy browsing and upsampling to 196khz, after moving to Windows7 never heard a single blip, totally silent black background even under heavy load. BTW, you can setup foobar to listen for internet radio stations too.
 


 


Hi Andrew, how are you?

 

I'm using a laptop rig for this evaluation and not the dedicated music computer I used when we discussed the Stello.  The laptop is a 3.0 Northwood with a gig of ram, running XP.  Foobar is 9.6.8 and I have it set up as per the HiFace instructions.  I've run it with and without SRC resampler and no software upsampling because my North Star DAC upsamples.  If I don't touch anything, I won't hear any crackling or popping, but if I open or close a window, or start clicking on things, like changing tracks or internet radio stations there is a static like pop. And yes, I'm using foobar for internet radio.

 

USG

post #1296 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post


Hi Andrew, how are you?

 

I'm using a laptop rig for this evaluation and not the dedicated music computer I used when we discussed the Stello.  The laptop is a 3.0 Northwood with a gig of ram, running XP.  Foobar is 9.6.8 and I have it set up as per the HiFace instructions.  I've run it with and without SRC resampler and no software upsampling because my North Star DAC upsamples.  If I don't touch anything, I won't hear any crackling or popping, but if I open or close a window, or start clicking on things, like changing tracks or internet radio stations there is a static like pop. And yes, I'm using foobar for internet radio.

 

USG

 

Sounds like DPC latency spikes. Google DPC latency checker.
 

post #1297 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by transient orca View Post


 

 

Sounds like DPC latency spikes. Google DPC latency checker.
 


I googled it, but the clicking/hesitating/popping phenomena seems to be reported by almost everyone.

 

But that's not the most troubling aspect of the HiFace.  It's the unbalanced audio spectrum that's slanted heavily toward the treble that's most annoying.  The extra details are great, but they dominate the music rather than being part of it.  I EQ'd the bass with the foobar equalizer and it gave me an idea of what the HiFace could sound like if it had a balanced audio spectrum.... but EQing is not the answer, more has to be done to get the spectrum balanced and I'm sure the second generation of HiFace will address this.

 

USG

post #1298 of 1712

For what it is worth, the trouble with popping and clicking that I had with my Hiface/KS and my netbook (mostly when I switched tracks) all but disappeared once I set the foobar bitrate thing from 24 bit to 16 bit.  It's probably irrelevant to the problem you are having USG but perhaps give it a try anyway?

post #1299 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

For what it is worth, the trouble with popping and clicking that I had with my Hiface/KS and my netbook (mostly when I switched tracks) all but disappeared once I set the foobar bitrate thing from 24 bit to 16 bit.  It's probably irrelevant to the problem you are having USG but perhaps give it a try anyway?


That's interesting K_19.  The set up info says to set the bit rate to 32 for the least CPU usage. 

 

I'll try your suggestion and see how it works.

 

From the installation pdf:

 

standard.jpg

 

Edit to say that I tried 16 bit and it did alleviate most of the clicking between tracks but not the much more severe electrical/pop/hesitation when I open or close windows.....  Not sure why that should be or why they recommend 32 bit to reduce CPU usage or if there is any disadvantage to using 16 bit instead of 32 bit.... 

 

Do you have the treble imbalance I wrote about? 

 

What's the rest of your netbook rig like?


Edited by upstateguy - 5/17/10 at 6:04pm
post #1300 of 1712

My current laptop rig is an Eee PC 1000HE (XP/foobar/Hiface Kernel Streaming 16bit, buffer of 1000ms) -> Hiface -> Stello DA100 (standard) -> WA6 standard or Gilmore Lite -> HD800/RS1. The popping occurs in any bitrates set higher than 16bit, and occurs on both Kernel streaming and ASIO4all (since this is XP netbook I cannot try WASAPI).  No popping or clicking at all when minimizing windows/doing other tasks however.

 

I do think that there is slight lower treble peak with the Hiface/DA100/WA6/HD800 in which I hear some sibilance with the HD800 on certain songs.  My secondary CD player rig is a PS3 optical -> DA100 and I find that the sibilance is more noticeable with the Hiface (with my CD's, it's only there on tracks that do unquestionably have them).  I'm not sure whether this is due to the Hiface, CD/Flac file differences or the differences in optical/coax inputs (and I won't bother bringing in cable into the equation here since IIRC you don't seem to believe in the differences) but that's my observation thus far.


Edited by K_19 - 5/17/10 at 6:28pm
post #1301 of 1712

      Quote:

Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

My current laptop rig is an Eee PC 1000HE (XP/foobar/Hiface Kernel Streaming 16bit, buffer of 1000ms) -> Hiface -> Stello DA100 (standard) -> WA6 standard or Gilmore Lite -> HD800/RS1. The popping occurs in any bitrates set higher than 16bit, and occurs on both Kernel streaming and ASIO4all (since this is XP netbook I cannot try WASAPI).  No popping or clicking at all when minimizing windows/doing other tasks however.

 

I do think that there is slight lower treble peak with the Hiface/DA100/WA6/HD800 in which I hear some sibilance with the HD800 on certain songs.  My secondary CD player rig is a PS3 optical -> DA100 and I find that the sibilance is more noticeable with the Hiface (with my CD's, it's only there on tracks that do unquestionably have them).  I'm not sure whether this is due to the Hiface, CD/Flac file differences or the differences in optical/coax inputs (and I won't bother bringing in cable into the equation here since IIRC you don't seem to believe in the differences) but that's my observation thus far.


You have some nice stuff K_19.  I see we have Stellos, Woos and Gilmores in common.

 

What happens if you run the HiFace on your netbook at 32bits and 100ms, other than increased popping/ clicking?  Does it pop if you're just listening, or is it when you are doing some sort of work, or just when you change tracks?

 

Are you running your Stello in bypass or 192? (I haven't tried it with my Stello yet)

 

By all means bring in your cable experiences.  I'd like to hear your impressions of what worked and what didn't. 

 

Regarding sibilance:  I don't really hear sibilance that is not present in the original source material.  What I find is that the entire spectrum is boosted, volume-wise, in the treble region relative to what I'm used to hearing... so in with that in mind, what transport were you using prior to the HiFace?

 

USG

post #1302 of 1712

How can the makers of HiFace "tune" it to equalize it better? I cannot understand this idea. I've thought that HiFace is a "USB-SPDIF" converter, not an equalizer. The only "improvable" thing in it is the jitter. Or, are we saying here that the jitter can be manipulated in such a way as to equalize the sound differently?

post #1303 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmine View Post

How can the makers of HiFace "tune" it to equalize it better? I cannot understand this idea. I've thought that HiFace is a "USB-SPDIF" converter, not an equalizer. The only "improvable" thing in it is the jitter. Or, are we saying here that the jitter can be manipulated in such a way as to equalize the sound differently?


I don't know how, ironmine, but almost everybody seems to feel that the HiFace is "bright".  Since the manufacturers were able to make it brighter and slightly louder than my other sources, they should have the ability to tone it down or boost the bass a little, and end up with a better acoustic balance.

 

That said, they are certainly on to something, it's just not fully worked out yet.  Maybe it's all in the drivers?? 

 

USG

post #1304 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post




I don't know how, ironmine, but almost everybody seems to feel that the HiFace is "bright".  Since the manufacturers were able to make it brighter and slightly louder than my other sources, they should have the ability to tone it down or boost the bass a little, and end up with a better acoustic balance.

 

That said, they are certainly on to something, it's just not fully worked out yet.  Maybe it's all in the drivers?? 

 

USG


USG. Since your last few posts, your findings seem to match mine more. I also thought that a certain part of the sound spectrum was louder which caused the more up-front sound and occasional harshness. I do still think that it sounded a bit dry/anemic compared to my other converters though. Despite the subtle differences in descriptions, we can atleast agree that the HiFace does have room for improvement.

Oh and BTW, cables won't change the sound nearly enough to fix this problem, and depending on the cable, they might make it worse IME. The drivers didn't make any difference in sound either. Switching from KS to WASAPI did produce a slightly smoother sound I thought, but then the HiFace was glitchy with WASAPI and stopped producing sound when the seekbar was used in Foobar (v1.0) in Win 7 x64.

post #1305 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post


 


USG. Since your last few posts, your findings seem to match mine more. I also thought that a certain part of the sound spectrum was louder which caused the more up-front sound and occasional harshness. I do still think that it sounded a bit dry/anemic compared to my other converters though. Despite the subtle differences in descriptions, we can atleast agree that the HiFace does have room for improvement.

Oh and BTW, cables won't change the sound nearly enough to fix this problem, and depending on the cable, they might make it worse IME. The drivers didn't make any difference in sound either. Switching from KS to WASAPI did produce a slightly smoother sound I thought, but then the HiFace was glitchy with WASAPI and stopped producing sound when the seekbar was used in Foobar (v1.0) in Win 7 x64.

 

There are quite a number of people who agree with us about the HiFace.  It has been described in a few different ways but the end result is pretty much what you said, "that a certain part of the sound spectrum was louder which caused the more up-front sound and occasional harshness."  The only word I had trouble with in your description was "anemic", which usually means weak or lacking power, because the HiFace is anything but weak.  It is louder than anything produced by the Thingee, the USB implementations of the Stello and Constantine and the optical outs of my 3 Shuttles. 

 

Reflecting back on what you said, it must be the bass spectrum of the HiFace, which, by comparison to the treble, could be considered anemic.  If this is what you meant, we are in complete agreement, right up to the "up-front sound", which I notice in female vocals, and piano and guitar solos.

 

USG

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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