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USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs.... - Page 5  

post #61 of 1712
10KHz jitter figures are almost useless - it's down at 10Hz and below that the real performers stand out - not a spec that most datasheets show & the Crystek clock I will use is no different but read on.

Here's the Crystek link to their clocks Crystek Crystals, PECL, SMD VCXO, Clock Oscillators The particular one I'm talking about is the C33XX range. BTW, look at the ppm for these clocks - they start at 20ppm and go up but as I said this is not that important.

Jocko at DiyhiFi did some tests which showed the phase noise at 2Hz for 3 different clocks:
DIYHiFi.org • View topic - "Clocko Jocko" which is where I got my figure of -100dBc @ 10Hz for this Crystek clock (you won't find this on the clock datasheet). Comparatively, he compared it against a well known audiophile low jitter clock which showed about -90dBc @ 10Hz.

The comparative figures change a bit when you look at jitter @1Hz (this is almost never given in datasheets) - Crystek clock -51dB, "Audiophile" clock -65dB

Hope this helps
post #62 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
10KHz jitter figures are almost useless - it's down at 10Hz and below that the real performers stand out - not a spec that most datasheets show & the Crystek clock I will use is no different but read on.

Here's the Crystek link to their clocks Crystek Crystals, PECL, SMD VCXO, Clock Oscillators The particular one I'm talking about is the C33XX range. BTW, look at the ppm for these clocks - they start at 20ppm and go up but as I said this is not that important.

Jocko at DiyhiFi did some tests which showed the phase noise at 2Hz for 3 different clocks:
DIYHiFi.org • View topic - "Clocko Jocko" which is where I got my figure of -100dBc @ 10Hz for this Crystek clock (you won't find this on the clock datasheet). Comparatively, he compared it against a well known audiophile low jitter clock which showed about -90dBc @ 10Hz.

The comparative figures change a bit when you look at jitter @1Hz (this is almost never given in datasheets) - Crystek clock -51dB, "Audiophile" clock -65dB

Hope this helps
Jkeny,
I think we are a little bit off topic here, maybe you should start another thread about which theoretical clock is best suited to use in digital products and give us a link ?
As you probably know, we do not listen to spec sheets but to music coming out of headphones/speakers (or better the real event). The usb to spdif converters are part of this chain and the clock is part of the converter. Replacing only the clock would not give any indication how it interacts with the layout of the device. A comparative measure of the jitter at the spdif output is the only measure that is meaningful as it provides an objective measure of the whole device. It should be used however as an indication as there might be other parameters that will affect the sound that we might not be aware of or that we are not measuring (impedance, rise time, ...). That is why it is always necessary to do critical listening.

The aim of this thread was to share my experience with 4 usb converters I currently own. Also, users who actually tried one of these units as transports are welcome to share their experiences as it would be helpful to any reader looking to buy a new usb to spdif converter (used as a transport for an external dac). The more opinions we have on how they actually sound will provide the more interesting will the information be to any reader.


Edit ---

I don't want my post to sound harsh, but I just didn't want this discussion going off topic.
I would be most interested in discussing modding the musiland in another thread. But I think it is a useless information for many readers who cannot mod.
post #63 of 1712
Ok, slim, you asked for a link to the Crystek clock (as you said you might mod it) & I gave it with a bit of backup info but you may mentally discard this if you want? I don't want to pull the thread off-topic - if you want to continue in another thread then you start it, ask any Qs you want & I'll post but there doesn't seem to be much of an appetite for modding on this forum from my past experiences here, so it's up to you
post #64 of 1712
One thought, Slim, did you ever try connecting the M2Tech with a cable? - just to see how big a factor lack of cabling is on the sound
post #65 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
One thought, Slim, did you ever try connecting the M2Tech with a cable? - just to see how big a factor lack of cabling is on the sound
I haven't tried it with a cable. I did all my testing with the hiface directly plugged in the usb port. If I can find a usb extender cable, I will try it and report back. The lack of cabling is probably is an advantage for the m2tech since the other converters were affected by the different usb cables.
Maybe the use of a usb cable was mentioned in the m2tech main thread but I am not sure of it.
post #66 of 1712
Still looking for some comparison to the Bel Canto USBLink?
post #67 of 1712
Hi Slim. Did you try to use the Ploytec driver with any of these devices?
post #68 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceausuc View Post
Hi Slim. Did you try to use the Ploytec driver with any of these devices?
I tried the ASIO Ploytec driver with the Teralink-x and it definitely improved the sound over the stock windows driver.
However, since I started using the hiface, I didn't buy the full version so my comments on the driver are based on the trial version that I uninstalled.
post #69 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by gattari View Post
Today I received the hiFace
The first impression is very very good.
I have the musiland 02 U.S., it is great, but I believe that through the USB interface we reached the top with Hiface
The Hiface in my setup with the Valab akm dac is clearly superior to musiland.
Here nuances is not the question, but clarity of musical message.
Ciao
The above is an opinion that I expressed too hastily, in the long term and after many comparisons I have to say that it is instead the musiland to be a little bit more refined
Both are excellent.
Two other italians videohifi forumer , comparing hiface vs musiland, prefer the musiland.
My hiface's don't have output BNC.
I compared it with rca spidf output.
I'm sorry, but I think I have previously given a hasty trial.
Ciao
post #70 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gattari View Post
The above is an opinion that I expressed too hastily, in the long term and after many comparisons I have to say that it is instead the musiland to be a little bit more refined
Both are excellent.
Two other italians videohifi forumer , comparing hiface vs musiland, prefer the musiland.
My hiface's don't have output BNC.
I compared it with rca spidf output.
I'm sorry, but I think I have previously given a hasty trial.
Ciao
It is interesting to know that you finally prefer the Musiland 02US over the hiface. Which areas did you find the Musiland 02 better than the hiface ?
Have you try them with different digital cables and usb cables ?

Also, I am very curious to know if using a usb to spdif converter with your valab dac gives a better performance than the built in usb input. This is the case with my audio-gd DACs and I was curious to know if this is a general trend.
post #71 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
It is interesting to know that you finally prefer the Musiland 02US over the hiface. Which areas did you find the Musiland 02 better than the hiface ?
Have you try them with different digital cables and usb cables ?

Also, I am very curious to know if using a usb to spdif converter with your valab dac gives a better performance than the built in usb input. This is the case with my audio-gd DACs and I was curious to know if this is a general trend.
In my opinion and with my setup the musiland is a little little bit refined in highest frequency and this also in low frequency.
I try tre different cable, a Valab silver coaxial cable, a bluejeans cable and another italian cable.
The hiface seems gain more than the musiland in reproduction with high resolutions files
Both the interface musiland and hiface are clearly best than the native usb of valab akm.
Anyway I like both, I am curious for other other opinions.
Ciao
post #72 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by gattari View Post
The above is an opinion that I expressed too hastily, in the long term and after many comparisons I have to say that it is instead the musiland to be a little bit more refined
Both are excellent.
Two other italians videohifi forumer , comparing hiface vs musiland, prefer the musiland.
My hiface's don't have output BNC.
I compared it with rca spidf output.
I'm sorry, but I think I have previously given a hasty trial.
Ciao
So does this mean your TeraLinkX is your favorite since you prefered it to the musiland?


.
post #73 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gattari View Post
In my opinion and with my setup the musiland is a little little bit refined in highest frequency and this also in low frequency.
I try tre different cable, a Valab silver coaxial cable, a bluejeans cable and another italian cable.
The hiface seems gain more than the musiland in reproduction with high resolutions files
Both the interface musiland and hiface are clearly best than the native usb of valab akm.
Anyway I like both, I am curious for other other opinions.
Ciao
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
So does this mean your TeraLinkX is your favorite since you prefered it to the musiland?


.
I don't remember gattari making comparisons between Teralink-x and Musiland 02.
As for me, I still did some A/B trials and I still prefer the Hiface over the Teralink-X and the Teralink-X over the Musiland 01 (which might not be as good as the Musiland 02 gattari is using).
I also did an interesting trial yesterday : I used the tone generator in the burinwave software, and the lowest audible bass I could get (using the same level for all sources) was using the Hiface with a Stereovox XV2 cable. I was able to hear/feel pulsating bass at 10hz.
post #74 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I don't remember gattari making comparisons between Teralink-x and Musiland 02.
As for me, I still did some A/B trials and I still prefer the Hiface over the Teralink-X and the Teralink-X over the Musiland 01 (which might not be as good as the Musiland 02 gattari is using).
I also did an interesting trial yesterday : I used the tone generator in the burinwave software, and the lowest audible bass I could get (using the same level for all sources) was using the Hiface with a Stereovox XV2 cable. I was able to hear/feel pulsating bass at 10hz.
No I don't have teralink-x.

This is the comment of Fibalis a video hifi forumer that have a very high hend dac:

Tested today Hiface, compared to musiland 01
very different results from the site anglophone (head hifi)
first the musiland was upgraded to the new version 1.0.5.0 DAC connected to the BNC with ASIO drivers, player clearly foobar.

"listening session with four people"

finally all agree on musiland continues to get higher, more 'more refined' persuasive sound
Note however that the Hiface performance 'was still
very high, in the final two excellent articles


This is a comment of El bandito another video hifi forumer :
I made a comparison between the two units I can confirm that the musiland seemed better than the pen.


Is possible that Slim.A musiland unit is not perfect?
It must be mentioned that the DRV hiface are constantly evolving, and I'm not surprised if in a few months I myself can give different judgments.
Ciao
post #75 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gattari View Post
No I don't have teralink-x.

This is the comment of Fibalis a video hifi forumer that have a very high hend dac:

Tested today Hiface, compared to musiland 01
very different results from the site anglophone (head hifi)
first the musiland was upgraded to the new version 1.0.5.0 DAC connected to the BNC with ASIO drivers, player clearly foobar.

"listening session with four people"

finally all agree on musiland continues to get higher, more 'more refined' persuasive sound
Note however that the Hiface performance 'was still
very high, in the final two excellent articles


This is a comment of El bandito another video hifi forumer :
I made a comparison between the two units I can confirm that the musiland seemed better than the pen.


Is possible that Slim.A musiland unit is not perfect?
It must be mentioned that the DRV hiface are constantly evolving, and I'm not surprised if in a few months I myself can give different judgments.
Ciao
Gattari,

What do you mean by more "refined" sound ? Could you elaborate more : soundstage, timbre, bandwidth extension, dynamics, instruments separation, low level details, ... The Hiface is extremely revealing in my system and let me hear more of the above.
My reference dac uses 2 parallel PCM1704UK converters with a discrete zero feedback output stage. So I don't mind listening to its full potential. However, when I switch to the EMU 0404 usb which uses AK4397 and opamps, I prefer the sound when I use upsampling (smooths things out) and non-revealing cables. So more "refined" could be explained by smoothing details (just a theory).

Also, I don't discard the possibility that my musiland might be deffective in some way (not sure of that since it performs better than the EMU 0404 usb). I will probably buy a second musiland unit just to make sure and will resell it if there is no improvement.
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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