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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 26  

post #376 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosgr63 View Post
slim.a I would like to ask dallan a couple of questions regarding Amarra, if you think they are inappropriate please let me know.Thanks

dallan, did you convert your iTunes library to 24bit/96kHz, using Amarra Mini?
Have you tried Amadeus to convert mp3's to AIFF up to 16bit/128kHz?

Finally have you tried Hear and how does it compare to Amarra?
rosgr63, those are very interesting and useful questions for anyone using a Mac as a transport. By the way, I will update my review (later) with information on how to setup media players.
post #377 of 1712
slim.a Thanks a lot.
I am coming back to the hiFace once I have my unit.
Meantime I am just exploring players, etc to get the best sound.
post #378 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosgr63 View Post
slim.a I would like to ask dallan a couple of questions regarding Amarra, if you think they are inappropriate please let me know.Thanks

dallan, did you convert your iTunes library to 24bit/96kHz, using Amarra Mini?
Have you tried Amadeus to convert mp3's to AIFF up to 16bit/128kHz?

Finally have you tried Hear and how does it compare to Amarra?
on touch so
Briefly-I have not tried Hear. Amarra does not convert files, it works with iTunes. I have no mp3 files, all are either alac or aiff, still have a few older WAV as well. No need to convert up to 24bit no reason, I wouldn't know how, I have some 24bit files that I have downloaded.
post #379 of 1712
dallan, when I got the trial version of Amarra mini, it had an option to convert the files to 24bit/96kHz.
If you use the Mac's Optical output set at 24bit/96kHz would it be better than USB/Amarra (16bit/44.1kHz)?
post #380 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosgr63 View Post
dallan, when I got the trial version of Amarra mini, it had an option to convert the files to 24bit/96kHz.
If you use the Mac's Optical output set at 24bit/96kHz would it be better than USB/Amarra (16bit/44.1kHz)?
Depends on your dacs USB stage but generally yes the optical sounds better at 24bit then downsamling to 16bit to put into USB stage. I sure wouldn't try to convert a 16bit file just to use the optical at 24bit. I don't really like the optical out. Sounds flat and muddy to me. I am working on finding a suitable USB converter for 24bit for that exact reason.

I currently have the demo of the third gen Sonicweild Diverter on loan and inline. It is offering me a much different sound signiture than I am used to. Definitly gives a refined smooth sound.
post #381 of 1712
dallan, I meant Mac Optical(24bit/96kHz)=>DAC.
No downsampling to 16bit or USB.
I've read about the sonicweld, sounds impressive, my hiFace will be here soon so if I can drive it without Mac drivers I'll report soon.
post #382 of 1712
I don't like the macs optical out, last resort only. I am using it for 24bit until I have a solution.
post #383 of 1712
slim.a I received the hiFace today.
Unfortunately Mac does not recognize the device.
However one of my DACs when connected to the hiFace it shows a full 192kHz signal, so I have to figure out a workaround, to force the Mac to use it.
Or wait for Marco to release the mac driver.
post #384 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosgr63 View Post
slim.a I received the hiFace today.
Unfortunately Mac does not recognize the device.
However one of my DACs when connected to the hiFace it shows a full 192kHz signal, so I have to figure out a workaround, to force the Mac to use it.
Or wait for Marco to release the mac driver.
Hi rosgr63,

Sorry I won't be of much help you on the Mac issue. Being a PC user, I never asked m2tech for the mac drivers.

From memory, tosehee should be the only person who tried the mac drivers (I could be wrong).

By the way, have you tried to email Marco about it ? He might be able to send a beta driver. Usually, he answers emails very quickly.

Let us know if you solved the Mac drivers issue.
post #385 of 1712
Thread Starter 

Media Players Comparison - m2tech Hiface - Windows XP Media Center Edition

Hi all,

I just wanted to share with you some findings with media players (based on subjective listening using the m2tech hiface).

Haloxt pointed to me about 2 months ago Cplay and CMP. At that time, I was so busy comparing different usb converters, that I didn't give it a fair listening. I found cPlay about the same level of foobar (using the Musiland). Since cPlay works only with ASIO, I tought that the sound would be compromised using the hiface since it is optimized for KS.

Anyway, I installed the latest version of cPlay yesterday (after uninstalling the old one) and hit play. The sound was so different than what I got used to with Foobar 0.8.3 that I tought, for a few seconds, that something was wrong with the file I played. The sound was cleaner (foobar sounds grainy in comparison) and the soundstage was pushed further back. The imaging was also more holographic.
I did many A/B trials with different files and different kinds of music and I got the same result favoring cPlay over foobar with KS.

This shouldn't have happened since the hiface is optimized for KS and cPlay outputs ASIO which is then "grabbed" by ASIO4ALL before being sent to the hiface.

However, I realized that my comparison was flawed. I was comparing foobar+KS with cPlay+ASIO4ALL.
When I tried Foobar+otachan ASIO+ASIO4ALL and the sound improved over Foobar+KS. However, I felt that the best playback was still done with cPlay.

So to sum up here is my subjective ranking of media players using the m2tech hiface :

1. cPlay (with asio4all)
2. Foobar 0.8.3 + Otachan asio 0.51.7 (with asio4all)
3. Foobar 0.8.3 + KS
4. Foobar 0.9.6 + KS
5. ...
Last. Windows Media Player with DS

It is really bad that the best sounding player happens to be the less user friendly. I think I will use cPlay only for critical listening and keep using Foobar (with otachan asio) the rest of the time.

I have yet to try MediaMonkey and the newest versions of Foobar with ASIO. However, from memory, when I tried MediaMonkey vs my old foobar back when I was using the Musiland, I found out that MediaMonkey was "compressed" and "squashed" a little bit the soundstage.

Also, keep in mind that those tests were done with the hiface in my system and with my ears. I totally understand that other people can find that there is no difference or that they would rank them differently.
I would be very interested in your findings about different media players.
post #386 of 1712
@slim.a

Where can you download Otachan 0.51.7
post #387 of 1712
Thread Starter 

Foobar2000 v0.8.3 & otachan ASIO plugins

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkhead View Post
@slim.a

Where can you download Otachan 0.51.7
Here are the download links for otachan plugin for foobar :
ASIO builds 2.0
ASIO builds
post #388 of 1712
thanks
post #389 of 1712
slim.a, just tried Amarra Mini with 3 systems, a Low End where I noticed improvement, a Mid Level with slight improvement if any and a High End system with slight improvement if any.
post #390 of 1712
RE: short vs long digital cable blind tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
Sorry, it was UHF magazine, not VHF.

I have misplaced the issue, so I asked the editor again. I'll let you know when I know. Hopefully, it's in these back issues:

The UHF Reading Room

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
It's issue 74:

Contents, UHF 74

I guess you must pay for it.

Steve N.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Print copy ordered, tried their online service but it was total pants !....look forward to reading their results
Sigh. I have just read the "blind" test !

Steve, I am somewhat miffed with you that you persuaded me (and miffed with myself as well of course) to part with $7.91 for this piece of fluff masqerading as blind tests.

Lets summarize. They "tested" cable A in 1m then cable A in 1.5m , then cable B in 1m then cable B in 1.5M.

1) One of the **listeners** knew which cables were which at all times. This is weak !

2) Each cable/length combination was tested at one session and tested only once !

3) For each trial the listeners **knew** that the cable was changed from the previous one

4) At no point were listeners asked which cable they were listening to (even as A,B,C,D) i.e they were never required to test if they could actually tell the cables apart in a direct comparison.

5) Each combo sounded better than the preceding one.

6) No random order of presentation.

As a controlled test of cable effects it is frankly not up to snuff
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