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USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs.... - Page 4  

post #46 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Gattari, interesting to know that the Hiface outperforms the Musiland 02 which I have read is superior to the Musiland 01 I have.

Out of curiosity, which digital cable are you using between the hiface and your dac ?
For now I use for the test a well sounding two meter coaxial bluejanscable, my valab cable and my main italian cable are too short.
Ciao
post #47 of 1712
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post #48 of 1712
I just noticed this thread now.

I have the Musiland 01US which I have modded as follows:
- powered from external 5V supply (currently SMPS) but will be trying a Shunt regulator or battery - external supply was the best upgrade so far for digital out
- tapped I2S signals & ready to link to external DAC (haven't done so yet for various reasons)
- have just received a Crystek 24MHz clock to substitute for the on-board 24MHz crystal : this will be run off a 3.3V battery
- substituted the op-amp output stage of the PCM1793 DAC with differential Vout direct to transformer: this was the biggest upgrade to the analog out sound.
- I was looking to use a ADUM4160 USB isolator but I'm told that it won't work even at the lower 24/192 speed?

Still have much work to finalise these upgrades! I wonder how it would compare to the HiFace?

I'll post some pics if anyone is interested.
post #49 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
I just noticed this thread now.

I have the Musiland 01US which I have modded as follows:
- powered from external 5V supply (currently SMPS) but will be trying a Shunt regulator or battery - external supply was the best upgrade so far for digital out
- tapped I2S signals & ready to link to external DAC (haven't done so yet for various reasons)
- have just received a Crystek 24MHz clock to substitute for the on-board 24MHz crystal : this will be run off a 3.3V battery
- substituted the op-amp output stage of the PCM1793 DAC with differential Vout direct to transformer: this was the biggest upgrade to the analog out sound.
- I was looking to use a ADUM4160 USB isolator but I'm told that it won't work even at the lower 24/192 speed?

Still have much work to finalise these upgrades! I wonder how it would compare to the HiFace?

I'll post some pics if anyone is interested.
I am interested
post #50 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
- have just received a Crystek 24MHz clock to substitute for the on-board 24MHz crystal : this will be run off a 3.3V battery
I would be very interested to know how big an improvement, the Crystek clock will bring to the Musiland. I think that the Musiland can sound much better with upgraded parts.
post #51 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I would be very interested to know how big an improvement, the Crystek clock will bring to the Musiland. I think that the Musiland can sound much better with upgraded parts.
I'm not sure the Musiland crystal is too bad but I'm hoping the combination of Crystek clock powered by low noise battery will improve the sonics. Unfortunately, I won't be able to measure before & after jitter so hearing will have to do - I'll post pics later.
post #52 of 1712
Here are some pics of my Musiland 01US (the one with on-board PCM1793 DAC)
First shot shows the full board which I've done the following to:
- replaced digital PS coupling caps with OSCONS
- analog PS decoupling to PCM DAC with Nichicon Muse
- the Brown & Red wires are from the differential Vout of the DAC to the twin co-ax that connects to a transformer - so this is the new output stage & sounds WAY better than the op-amp o/p stage. I needed to move the two 1K8 smd resistors from their pads (see attached schematic). This now disconnects the op-amp o/p stage but if I want to reconnect I just need to jumper from where the wires are connected to the moved smd Rs. Easily reversible mod. The other channel has thinner wires running under the board. These wires connect to isolated pads that were exposed when the RCA connectors were desoldered from the board.
Last photo shows a close-up of the Xilinx chip where the I2S lines run to the DAC. I removed some of the overlying varnish on these tracks in a staggered manner, applied a touch of flux & solder & then soldered some fine wires onto these tracks (make sure you have tinned the wire & apply some flux to the wire - line it up on the exposed, soldered track & just a tip of a soldering iron will do the job - not difficult with a magnifier. I run the wires through vias, to the bottom of the board and connect to a molex push on connector
LL
LL
LL
post #53 of 1712
I also put a socket (seen in the pic) on the Vcom pin of the PCM1793 as I heard that this capacitor influenced the sound - I can't say I've noticed much of a noticeable change among caps - maybe a better HF response using film?

I've marked with two red lines, the two 1k8 Rs that are moved down to join with either side of the smd cap, exposing the pads that the two wires are soldered to for the transformer output
LL
post #54 of 1712
Were the comparisons done with the Terralinkx using a quality external linear power supply?


When I look at the designs and quality of components used the TerralinX just looks superior. IMO software can't trump hardware.
post #55 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
Were the comparisons done with the Terralinkx using a quality external linear power supply?


When I look at the designs and quality of components used the TerralinX just looks superior. IMO software can't trump hardware.
I did my comparisons of the Teralink-x without the use of an external power supply.
It is probable that it will improve the sound, indeed I noticed a small improvement running my notebook from battery (instead of wallwart). However, it was nowhere near the performance of the m2tech hiface.
Anyway, if you add the cost of a high quality usb cable, a good linear power supply (and its power cord), and the price of the Teralink-x, it will cost more than the m2tech hiface for an inferior performance. This is when comparing 16/44 files. The Hiface can also do 24/96 (or 24/192) which puts it simply in another league.

Edit ---
While I haven't seen the internals of the m2tech, it is supposed to use two high quality clocks that have very low phase noise (-140db at 1khz according to the white paper). This means that the m2tech qualifies as using quality components I guess
post #56 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Edit ---
While I haven't seen the internals of the m2tech, it is supposed to use two high quality clocks that have very low phase noise (-140db at 1khz according to the white paper). This means that the m2tech qualifies as using quality components I guess


Not to be negative but the Mtech looks cheap, probably $5 worth of parts. Listening to differences in transports is so subtle, I am very surprised that you are hearing a big difference. Just not convinced to sped $150 to find out.
post #57 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
Not to be negative but the Mtech looks cheap, probably $5 worth of parts. Listening to differences in transports is so subtle, I am very surprised that you are hearing a big difference. Just not convinced to sped $150 to find out.
I don't believe it is worth $5 of parts.
I looked at the price of 1PPM clocks on ebay and I found this one. It costs $22 and has a clock Phase noise of -125dBc/1KHz, which is still 15db worse than the two clocks that are used in the m2tech Hiface.
Also, the hiface uses async protocol which frees it from the jittery clock of the computer.
Once you have listened to a better transport, it is hard to use a lesser one. It is not like different amps that have different flavors. Here, the better the transport, the better the sound in all aspects. The digital cable plays an important role also, when using a canare coax for example, the benefits of a better transport are not as audible.
post #58 of 1712
I'll have to give it a try, it shouldn't be too dificult to configure it to a proper external PS, that way the clocks will meet their specs.
post #59 of 1712
Slim,
If looking for a good clock for audio ignore ppm figures & look for phase noise at 10Hz or less as most important. The crystek $3 clock can achieve -100dBc @ 10Hz but this is only realisable with a good PS - all clocks need a good PS to achieve their stated specs.

So I'm not so sure that the HiFace white paper's spec of -78dBc @ 10Hz is particularly great! I don't know what gives the unit it's great sound - possibly the lack of any additional jitter being added by the rest of the system? I think this is why the Musiland sounds good
post #60 of 1712
Thread Starter 
jkeny,
Can you give a link to the crystek clock ? The specs are interesting, I will try to have my musiland unit modded.
As for why the Musiland sound good, all people that have tried it seem to think it sounds good, it measures also very good, better than LynxTwo which is a reference PCI soundcard (see here)
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