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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 90  

post #1336 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gattari View Post

Slim.A have you the same picture for hiface, before and after modding ?

Ciao


You should ask jkeny for that one

 

The intent of the picture was just to show that the output stage of the stock musiland (which is the same for the 01 and the 02) was poorly made.

The Musiland was one of the first affordable async converters out there, but unfortunately they skimped on the quality of a few parts (and screwed up the 44.1 clock generation) which compromised its performance. It could have been a much better device if they had improved a few things.

post #1337 of 1712
Quote:

Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post

Oh, and...

Re-1 and γ2 have absolutely no problems with hiFace (have not heard DAC19 through hiFace).

Re-1 has no flaws.
 


I have the y2 and I hear the HiFace's flaws with it. Earlier in this thread, h.rav, an owner of the RE7, y2, DAC19 and DEQX HDP-3 also said he heard the same thing as I did with all the DACs mentioned.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

DA100 here - zero problems or tonal shifts. Same goes for Chord DAC64.
 


K_19 and USG also have the DA100 and they hear the problems with the HiFace.

 

So once again, my conclusion for all this: variations in sound preferences.


Edited by Shahrose - 5/18/10 at 3:47pm
post #1338 of 1712

How could that be variations in sound preferences as there is no FQ shift I can hear from the same DAC going from internal USB implementation and other USB converters to HiFace. It cannot have coloration as it's just bit by bit stream converter (it doesn't even upsample), just more detailed and smoother due to lesser jittery. Wonder if these variations besides different material and playback setup are  somehow related to the power delivered from USB port as it can greatly vary between computers, Marco at some point suggested using external powered hub, anyone heard any difference going this route.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post




I have the y2 and I hear the HiFace's flaws with it. Earlier in this thread, h.rav, an owner of the RE7, y2, DAC19 and DEQX HDP-3 also said he heard the same thing as I did with all the DACs mentioned.
 


K_19 and USG also have the DA100 and they hear the problems with the HiFace.

 

So once again, my conclusion for all this: variations in sound preferences.


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 5/18/10 at 4:01pm
post #1339 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

How could that be variations in sound preferences as there is no FQ shift I can hear from the same DAC going from internal USB implementation and other USB converters to HiFace. It cannot have coloration as it's just bit by bit stream converter (it doesn't even upsample), just more detailed and smoother due to lesser jittery. Wonder if these variations besides different material and playback setup are  somehow related to the power delivered from USB port as it can greatly vary between computers, Marco at some point suggested using external powered hub, anyone heard any difference going this route.
 


 

You're assuming that everyone hears the same way as you do though. Clearly, there are some people here that do notice a shift in tonal balance.
 

post #1340 of 1712

I do not assume anything, just using logic trying to find a reasonable explanation, please reread the rest of my message, what I was trying to convey is that the problem is most likely not in hiFace but other variations people have in their systems and PC setups.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post



You're assuming that everyone hears the same way as you do though. Clearly, there are some people here that do notice a shift in tonal balance.
 


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 5/18/10 at 5:41pm
post #1341 of 1712

Read the last few pages of the thread carefully. We already went over this. You'll find your answers.

post #1342 of 1712

Before sending my hiFace to be modded, I've been using USB hub with upgraded PS. It made a difference, slight but audible. In fact, this difference in "additional clarity and air" when I added powered hub between ThinkPad and hiFace was the primary reason I've sent my hiFace to be modded.

 

As for our disagreements - we will have to agree that we disagree on that topic: you think it's shift in tonal balance, I think your setup is on brighter side (like my DacMagic with upsampling Wolfson DAC chips similar to ones in your γ2). No need wasting additional time/energy on that between ourselves. Potential new users will, as always, have to decide for themselves.

post #1343 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

Here are the links to the 2 first professional reviews on the Hiface:

 

Sorry, what is a "professional review"?

 

Is it the kind of review which comes from a person who makes his living by writing them? Who made it his profession? Where do the money come from and how do they affect the impartiality of such reviews?
 

post #1344 of 1712

Professional means people who are pro at doing something, or people who do it as a profession. You're welcome.

post #1345 of 1712


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

USG, I've experimented with the 32bit and buffering option and it seems that the buffering has MUCH bigger impact on my low spec system than the bit option.  When I choose the 100ms option my notebook actually PAUSES and stutters whenever I maximize/minimize windows or if I do any clicking, making it unusable.  500ms is as low as I can go before I start hearing those detrimental effects.  As for the bits, 32 seems the same as 24 in that it clicks and pops every time I manually switch tracks (this typically only happens when you go to one encoding type to another; e.g: FLAC to MP3).  So 16 bits and 1000ms buffer seems the best for my system without experiencing any glitches.

 

As for the Stello, I tend to prefer bypass for orchestral/acoustic pieces but upsampling for stuff like rock/pop for the reasons that you should already know (bigger/more coherent soundstage/bass in bypass opposed to more upfront/sharp presenation of upsampling).  In either case it doesn't seem to really affect the glitches mentioned.

 

Regarding the colouration debate on the Hiface, I do feel that it is somewhat upfront in its presentation, I agree with that much.  I've matched the rest of the system in order to compensate for this however (using warm/laid back sounding tubes, IC's, etc) so I'm still happy with it.  It's still miles better than Stello USB and the uDAC I was using as a converter before the Hiface (I found the uDAC INCREDIBLY laid back as a converter, btw).
 


medium.jpg

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

 

 Informing people of the potential downsides of the HiFace that several users have found with several different DACs, amps and setups is only beneficial for prospective buyers.

 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

External acoustic noise from fans and hard-drive is not what he meant. That is a very basic concept that I doubt anyone disagrees with. He's claiming that switching the RAM in your computer affects the sound quality from it. I have built about 5 computers now and and have even tried this for kicks (along with a lot of other hardware swapping) and I've found that it's absolute bogus. Some things do affect sound, like the PSU if your soundcard is being fed from it, or the speed of your PC to determine the absence or presence of glitches/pops/crackles, but most of what he said makes a difference does not and he's really hearing the effects of placebo


I've built over a dozen computers and I have to agree with Shahrose, I don't see how RAM is going to affect sound quality.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

As a more general remark, it is normal that a few people find the Hiface being "bright". The hiface is a relatively transparent and low jitter device which unveils the true tonal balance of the system. There have been a lot of users (dozens either on this forum or elswhere in the web) who have found the hiface smoother than their previous transport. It doesn't mean that the hiface is smooth sounding, it just means that it has less sonic signature than the rest of the equipment.

 


That's an interesting hypothesis. What bit rate are you using and how much buffer?

 

This is day 4 of my evaluation and I have to abandon the K701 phase of the testing, too much treble energy. 

 

Another observation I have is that over the past 4 days, the HiFace seems to have smoothed out. (not withstanding that there is no such thing as burn in)  

 

There are 2 different amps and two different DACs in the test rig I'm using and in every combination two things were apparent:

                (1) The HiFace was louder than the Blue Circle Thingee  

                (2) The audio spectrum was elevated in the part where the cymbals, snare drum and vocals are.  It doesn't matter what you call it....  Brighter, louder, up front, forward, aggressive, in your face....   and it seems more audibly apparent at the 32bit setting than it is at the 16 bit setting. (perhaps someone would double check this, I'm getting all placebo'd out tonight)
               

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

I am not saying that the Hiface is perfect.                                                                                                   


What do you feel are its shortcomings?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

Personally, I would say that more than 50% of the sound "performance" of my system is coming from the power cords, power filtration, audio rack, and different vibration control devices.

 

 

I'm not going to say a word. 

 

USG

 

[ I would like to know if the sound signature of the "Off Ramp" or "Bel Canto 2496" is similar to the HiFace? ]

post #1346 of 1712

Apparently, it will be louder when comparing it to a 16bit DAC because the Hiface is a 24bit DAC & everything gets shifted (padded) by 8 bits (I'm summarising a post from Steve Nugent, I believe). Does this explain any of your findings?

post #1347 of 1712

Err... woudn't 8 bit shift be MUCH louder (like 48 dB)?

post #1348 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post

Err... woudn't 8 bit shift be MUCH louder (like 48 dB)?


Yes, sorry about that quote - you are correct & it was Gordon from Wavelength who made that statement not Steve Nugent (apologies) here : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Analog-Reseach-Technologies-ART-Legato-First-impressions

 

During a comparison of Legato Vs Hiface Vs Hagman where it was noted that the Hiface plays louder than the Legato by about 3dB.

 

Quote:

Simple... The Legato registers as a 16 bit device. Any 24 bit device will be louder as the 16 bit data is shifted left 8 bits when playing 16 bit material through a 24 bit interface.

Thanks
Gordon

 

Whatever the reason, it appears to be louder so would this have a bearing on some peoples listening ? 


Edited by jkeny - 5/19/10 at 11:34am
post #1349 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post


What do you feel are its shortcomings?

 

 

I'm not going to say a word. 

 

USG

 

[ I would like to know if the sound signature of the "Off Ramp" or "Bel Canto 2496" is similar to the HiFace? ]

He has seriously lost his credibility as a reviewer. I usually avoid reading a review when the reviewer starts talking about cables and all those related fancy add-ons. I'm sure those things make a tiny difference and I'm not going to question about them here. But claiming more than 50% of the sound "performance" of his system is coming... is way beyond my logic.

 

@ USG, I enjoy reading your subjective posts, keep them coming.

post #1350 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post

Apparently, it will be louder when comparing it to a 16bit DAC because the Hiface is a 24bit DAC & everything gets shifted (padded) by 8 bits (I'm summarising a post from Steve Nugent, I believe). Does this explain any of your findings?


Does this "shifted material" get any further "shift" by having foobar set to 32 bits as per their instructions?

 

Perhaps this shift accounts for the treble part of the spectrum sounding louder than rest of the mix.  That certainly would account for what I'm hearing.

 

Also, jkeny, do you notice any difference between foobar's 32 bit presentation and its 16 bit presentation?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post




Yes, sorry about that quote - you are correct & it was Gordon from Wavelength who made that statement not Steve Nugent (apologies) here : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Analog-Reseach-Technologies-ART-Legato-First-impressions

 

During a comparison of Legato Vs Hiface Vs Hagman where it was noted that the Hiface plays louder than the Legato by about 3dB.

 

 

Whatever the reason, it appears to be louder so would this have a bearing on some peoples listening ? 


Yes, I read that post too.

 

So, since we know that louder almost always sounds better, more extended, and better articulated, are there inferences that can be made?

 

And if the loudness boost does not effect the audio spectrum equally, that would account for what many of us have heard.

 

That said, it is now day 5 with the HiFace and I'm becoming fairly acclimated to its sound through my 880s.  

 

Although much the differences between the Blue Circle Thingee and the HiFace begin to disappear as I volume balance, the HiFace still seems to retain an edge in overall clarity (regardless of the treble boost) and the Thingee retains its edge in bass quantity and size of sound stage (possibly due to its more forward treble region, which makes things in the affected treble range, that sound quieter and therefore further away with the Thingee,  sound louder and therefore closer with the HiFace). 

 

Another observation is that during my past testing with the Thingee, I found its optical out and coaxial out to be of equal volume and  equal in sound and volume, to the optical out from my dedicated music computer, using the Stello DAC.  Interestingly, the optical out of the Thingee seems to be slightly louder than coaxial through my North Star.

 

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