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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 35  

post #511 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post
Mike,
are you making a joke?
Surely you're not serious.
Just trolling, I guess.
post #512 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
wonder how the Nuforce Udac will fair as a usb transport.
Yeah, I really can't wait to hear another 16/48 USB transport..
post #513 of 1712
no i was not joking, that udac looks pretty series for 99$. ESS 9018 dac chip, no caps or op-amps. Plus it also has spdif output functionality. I would not be surprized if it's better then what alot of people are using with their USB to SPDIF transport. read the thread about it, looks like a giant killer, competing with dacs that cost 4-5x higher. With regards to 16/48, since 95% of the music is 16/44.1 and the differnce is pretty negligible it's a pretty moot point. 96/24 is nothing but hype anyways. I'll take a spectacular master at 16/441 then a crappy 16/96 anyday. In fact i've heard some amazing 128KBps mp3's that sound better then lossless (yes said mp3 would have sounded even better if it was lossless). It's all about the mastering, unfortunatly today most things are overcompressed and ruined at the studio.

None of the devices in this thread so far sound very impressive, or worth what they cost. Go big or go home, either spend the money on somthing that really will make a difference (Off Ramp, Pace Car, Diverter, dac with superb jitter reduction built in) or don't waste your time. As your playing in a field of my cheap transport that gets 652 ps jitter is better then your cheap transport that gets 702 ps of jitter.. please, or my drivers colored sound is better then your drivers colored sound, or my cheap ass pulse transformers sound signature is better then yours.
It's more a matter of which one has a more pleasing distortion rather then which one actually delivers low jitter, clean music.

These devices are a step in the right direction, but they still have a long ways to go. They are no where near the afformentioned worthwhile options.

Im sure im gonna stir the ant pile in this thread lol as people flock to protect their purchase. Don't hate, i've been around here awhile and it's just my opinion.
post #514 of 1712
Serious question for anyone who cares to answer.

Just curious to know whats all the interst with 24bit 96k or 192k DACs?

All the CDs i have are 16bit 44.1k. I have tried upsampling but i didnt like it much compared to 44.1k - (personal opinion - i'm entitled)
And im not knocking anyone who does like it.

So are you 24bit 192khz Guys upsampling, or do you have native 24bit 192khz source material??

What percentage of your collection is 24bit 96 or 192khz?

If you do have native 24bit source material where do you get it from?
Im not talling about some "sample" music, rather mainstream rock/pop albums? Is it available? Where from?



Sorry if its off topic.....
post #515 of 1712
Super Audio CD, and DVD-Audio, as well as some Digital Downloads can be attained in the higher resolutions, but DVD-A is only 24/48, I think SACD is 24/96. Unfortunatly the reason these formats might sound slightly better is all in the mastering, they are normally mastered to a higher standard, and if they where put in 16/44.1 format would sound just about identical. You can't hear more then 16/44.1 as it all comes down to Dynamic Range, and 16/44.1 already has more then we can hear. Other reasons there might be a difference would be DACS themselves, some dac's may process the higher bitrates differently, some may improve, others may get worse.

You also need special hardware to playback DVD-Audio and SACD, you can't pop one in a computer and go, and many dac's are not compaitible with it either. So even if you do have special hardware, it had better be really high end, for example you could have an Oppo 980H DVD-player, it will play back DVD Audio and SACD, but your now using the players built in dacs and output stage, which are not great, even a low end stand alone dac can better it, there go's all your supposed advantage of DVD-A and SACD.
post #516 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
no i was not joking, that udac looks pretty series for 99$. ESS 9018 dac chip, no caps or op-amps. Plus it also has spdif output functionality. I would not be surprized if it's better then what alot of people are using with their USB to SPDIF transport. read the thread about it, looks like a giant killer, competing with dacs that cost 4-5x higher. With regards to 16/48, since 95% of the music is 16/44.1 and the differnce is pretty negligible it's a pretty moot point. 96/24 is nothing but hype anyways. I'll take a spectacular master at 16/441 then a crappy 16/96 anyday. In fact i've heard some amazing 128KBps mp3's that sound better then lossless (yes said mp3 would have sounded even better if it was lossless). It's all about the mastering, unfortunatly today most things are overcompressed and ruined at the studio.

None of the devices in this thread so far sound very impressive, or worth what they cost. Go big or go home, either spend the money on somthing that really will make a difference (Off Ramp, Pace Car, Diverter, dac with superb jitter reduction built in) or don't waste your time. As your playing in a field of my cheap transport that gets 652 ps jitter is better then your cheap transport that gets 702 ps of jitter.. please, or my drivers colored sound is better then your drivers colored sound, or my cheap ass pulse transformers sound signature is better then yours.
It's more a matter of which one has a more pleasing distortion rather then which one actually delivers low jitter, clean music.

These devices are a step in the right direction, but they still have a long ways to go. They are no where near the afformentioned worthwhile options.

Im sure im gonna stir the ant pile in this thread lol as people flock to protect their purchase. Don't hate, i've been around here awhile and it's just my opinion.
MikeW,

If you are trying to take this thread off-track, please don't.

Anyway, I am just going it to ask from you to base your comments next time on real facts and actula listening experience. If it is just to say that all converters here "suck" without listening to them and without being an reknown engineer (such as Dan Lavry, Steve Nugent, ...). Your comments are pointless and missleading for the readers.

As an example, of one of your unjustified claims, I found an old post you made in another thread : http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/rev...ml#post6041650.
You were saying that the teralink wasn't sounding its best because no one installed the cm-108 usb driver you were using. You also said, the cm-108 usb could do 24/96 or higher.
On both claims I find you were wrong : the driver degraded the quality both subjectively and objectively (you can look at the measurements I did a few pages ago). Also, the drivers are limited to 16/48 and handle very poorly the 16/44.
post #517 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post

If you do have native 24bit source material where do you get it from?
Im not talling about some "sample" music, rather mainstream rock/pop albums? Is it available? Where from?



Sorry if its off topic.....
There are a lot off websites from which you can download 24/96 or 24/192. I have downloaded albums from LinnRecords and hdTracks. Both offer DRM free music and are easy to use.
Last month I think I downloaded 4 or 5 24/96 albums while I bought only one CD. However, most of the music you find is classical/jazz which is fine by me but they don't seem to cover a lot of mainstream rock/pop. I have to admit I didn' look hard for it neither.
post #518 of 1712
slim.a I agree people should post their opinions based on first hand experience.
Alternatively they should clearly state if they read certain opinons and who actually voiced them.
post #519 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
no i was not joking, that udac looks pretty series for 99$. ESS 9018 dac chip, no caps or op-amps.
It's based on the ESS 9022, as far as I know, which is not as good as the 9018 (for the price of one 9018 chip you buy something like 15 chips of the 9022).
Great chip, of course, with integrated output stage.
[The fact that you do not see it doesn't mean it's not there. ]

I'm sure it'd be fun to try it out VS. my shunt-powered (3 discrete supplies, each with it's own toroid) Buffalo 32S...
It'll be as absurd a comparison as that of an M2Tech unit VS an Empirical one, at least price-wise, but I promise not to bash the uDAC and the people who buy it afterwards..

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
With regards to 16/48, since 95% of the music is 16/44.1 and the differnce is pretty negligible it's a pretty moot point. 96/24 is nothing but hype anyways.
You forgot an "IMHO" in there somewhere.
Btw, a big chunk of my music is already 24/96 and 24/192.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
I'll take a spectacular master at 16/441 then a crappy 16/96 anyday.
As anyone would..
But on the same album, SACD or DVD-A sound better than the CD version as does 24/96 and 24/192 over 16/44.1..
My audiophool friends and I have done numerous "blind" tests on Steely Dan and other (very well mastered) albums that we have on both versions and the result is the same (90% of the times, at least)..

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
None of the devices in this thread so far sound very impressive, or worth what they cost.
Again, that's only your opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
Go big or go home, either spend the money on somthing that really will make a difference (Off Ramp, Pace Car, Diverter, dac with superb jitter reduction built in) or don't waste your time.
You waste your time when you read big threads about gear you don't care about.
You waste even more time when you write big posts to bash that same gear and to let everyone know that they are... wasting their time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
As your playing in a field of my cheap transport that gets 652 ps jitter is better then your cheap transport that gets 702 ps of jitter..
The jitter figures of the M2Tech are pretty decent. Not sure about the rest.
Certainly better than that of my onboard card and that of most similarly priced usb transports.
At least these guys (Musiland and M2Tech) feature some novelty (see 24/192) which I'm sure required a certain level of digital know-how to achieve. Not like the rest of the flock which is using circuits the found on some datasheets..
Of course there are restrictions based on budget limitations etc. but they get the job done (and, at least for M2Tech, they seem to have cut corners in the right places, unlike Musiland).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
please, or my drivers colored sound is better then your drivers colored sound, or my cheap ass pulse transformers sound signature is better then yours.
People claim to "hear" difference in the various versions of Foobar, as well.
Are you suggesting this is enough of a reason for us to abandon Foobar altogether?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
It's more a matter of which one has a more pleasing distortion rather then which one actually delivers low jitter, clean music.
The M2Tech unit features some solid engineering but I'm sure that their $600 and $1000 gear (that'll play on the same field as the ones you mentioned) will be even better...
What would be interesting to see is what Empirical and Cryoparts folks are able to offer for $100 and how that'll compare to the M2Tech unit.
Are you ready to bet their offerings will be better? I wouldn't, if I were you...
post #520 of 1712
For the record, I actually had intrest in all of these products, until I read this thread and realized that they where all about the same, and the difference between the best,(150$) and worst (45$) was pretty small. Of course everything I said was IMO. Duh.
post #521 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
For the record, I actually had intrest in all of these products, until I read this thread and realized that they where all about the same, and the difference between the best,(150$) and worst (45$) was pretty small. Of course everything I said was IMO. Duh.
Actually, the worst of the bench is the EMU 0404 usb which costs $200.
post #522 of 1712
yeah, which is really no real surprise as the 0404 USB is known for it's analog quality, not it's digital. And the specs are listed on the emu website that clearly state how high the jitter is. No comparison to the PCI version. Someone should do a comparison to the PCI version, which has it's own pulse transformer. There's been some comparison to other sound cards, like the ESI Juliat but that card does not even use pulse transformers and it's digital out is probably no better then a standard x-fi.

also of note, the 0404 does not even belong here really, it's far more then a spdif converter, and while I understand and appreciate the comparsion with the other products, when comparing price this has to be factored in.

I have a serious lack of faith in these foreign devices for driver support as well. The m2tech for example does not have DS support, and can't even play back standard windows sounds, and likely never will. (for windows 7, 64, which is the only relevant os)
post #523 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
I have a serious lack of faith in these foreign devices for driver support as well. The m2tech for example does not have DS support, and can't even play back standard windows sounds, and likely never will. (for windows 7, 64, which is the only relevant os)
They're working on it (see the last pages of this thread).

I guess more people needed it than I (and the M2Tech people) thought...
To me, it doesn't really matter since [to quote myself (which is uber-cool) from that other thread]:

Quote:
I'm using these usb transport devices (Musiland and M2Tech type) solely with Foobar for HiFi auditions..
For youtube, gaming and stuff like that I use my Logitech Z-Cinemas.
For HD movies on my TV I either use the digital out of the onboard soundcard or the HDMI of my VGA.
post #524 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
yeah, which is really no real surprise as the 0404 USB is known for it's analog quality, not it's digital. And the specs are listed on the emu website that clearly state how high the jitter is.
I tried the EMU 0404 USB with both its USB input and optical/coaxial inputs and it sounded average at best. Its analog stage really lacks resolution, subjective frequency extension and naturalness compared to the other dacs I have auditioned.
Anyway, since it is a DIGITAL to ANALOG converter, it is supposed to also be good at the digital section.
By the way, the jitter specs listed on the EMU are meaningless. All it says : "Ultra-low jitter clock subsystem: < 500ps RMS in PLL mode (48kHz, Coaxial S/PDIF Sync)". So it doesn't say how and at what level it was measured.
Did you get the chance to listen to the EMU 0404 USB or do you just base your comments on reading specs on EMU's website ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
No comparison to the PCI version. Someone should do a comparison to the PCI version, which has it's own pulse transformer.
Again, there has already been a comparison with one of the usb converters I reviewed, against the EMU 0404 PCI.
Regal did a comparison here and he seems to have prefered the Teralink over the EMU 0404 PCI.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
There's been some comparison to other sound cards, like the ESI Juliat but that card does not even use pulse transformers and it's digital out is probably no better then a standard x-fi.
How do you know the ESI Julia is no better than a standard x-fi ?
post #525 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosgr63 View Post
Thanks erin,
What I am after is a RJ45 to RJ45 I2S cable 20cm would be fine but of excellent quality.
I have been looking all over for suppliers but have not been able to locate one.
Do you know if DAC makers adhere to the same standard?
I mean do they all use the same Pin layout?
The pinout does vary between Empirical Audio and Northstar. They are reversed.

The best I2S cable I have found is Revelation Audio Labs:
Revelation Audio Labs: digital cables

I can get one for you fairly quickly. I'm about to put in another order. Email me.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
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