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USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs.... - Page 6  

post #76 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
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.
Slim.A I now for test are using another laptop with xp, normally I use seven, and the results are little bit differents to my ears, at this point I don't know what is more musical between musiland and hiface, in xp the hiface seems now preferable.
By the end so I have two very good toys, but the differences between them are small matters, I simply do not agree on the fact that you think is the musiland dramatically lower, no, both are excellent at roughly the same level.
What do you use xp, vista or seven?
Ciao
post #77 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gattari View Post
Slim.A I now for test are using another laptop with xp, normally I use seven, and the results are little bit differents to my ears, at this point I don't know what is more musical between musiland and hiface, in xp the hiface seems now preferable.
By the end so I have two very good toys, but the differences between them are small matters, I simply do not agree on the fact that you think is the musiland dramatically lower, no, both are excellent at roughly the same level.
What do you use xp, vista or seven?
Ciao
It is interesting to know that there are differences between different computers and versions for windows.
As for me, I am using windows xp media center edition with a dell laptop.

Also, I think I am going to re-write my conclusion because I didn't mean to convey that the musiland was bad.
All 3 units (musiland, teralink-x, m2tech) are excellent. But in my system and with my digital cables, I prefer the m2tech and teralink-x.
The only unit that I would not recommend anyone buying as a usb to spdif converter is the EMU 0404 usb because all the 3 other units are much cheaper and also better.
post #78 of 1712
Some re-evaluations happening here

If value for money is the criteria then I think the Musiland wins. If you are willing to do some mods then I think the Musiland wins as it's bigger & therefore easier to access (also easier to open without breaking anything). These are objective criteria!

I would recommend mods with all the units - just try running your laptop on it's batteries & see if there is a difference to the sound? - now consider how an external PS could be so much better. USB power is not clean!

Just my 2C
post #79 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
Some re-evaluations happening here If value for money is the criteria then I think the Musiland wins. If you are willing to do some mods then I think the Musiland wins as it's bigger & therefore easier to access (also easier to open without breaking anything).

I would recommend mods with all the units - just try running your laptop on it's batteries & see if there is a difference to the sound? - now consider how an external PS could be so much better. USB power is not clean!

Just my 2C
jkeny,
I am still maintaining that hiface > Teralink-x > Musiland in my system. I just wanted to say that I don't think the Musiland is bad.
By the way, jkeny, what are you using your Musiland with ? I checked your posts and you speak a lot about the Musiland without telling which DAC/headphone amp/headphones or speakers you are using it with ? Just curious
post #80 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
jkeny,
I am still maintaining that hiface > Teralink-x > Musiland in my system. I just wanted to say that I don't think the Musiland is bad.
By the way, jkeny, what are you using your Musiland with ? I checked your posts and you speak a lot about the Musiland without telling which DAC/headphone amp/headphones or speakers you are using it with ? Just curious
I know that is your relative rating of the units according to sonics. I was just adding some other considerations which I think favour the Musiland. These criteria may or may not be important to others?

Mine is a 01US so has a built-in PCM1793 DAC which I'm running directly to transformers & into a highly modified Lepai TA2020 amp. The beauty of this approach is that there are no caps in the signal path from DAC to amp. Speakers are just my test mule speakers while I finalise the mods but still the sound is fantastic & very resolving.
post #81 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
I know that is your relative rating of the units according to sonics. I was just adding some other considerations which I think favour the Musiland. These criteria may or may not be important to others?

Mine is a 01US so has a built-in PCM1793 DAC which I'm running directly to transformers & into a highly modified Lepai TA2020 amp. The beauty of this approach is that there are no caps in the signal path from DAC to amp. Speakers are just my test mule speakers while I finalise the mods but still the sound is fantastic & very resolving.
Well, I had to ask the question since most of your posts in 2009 are about the Musiland, so I was wondering if you had any ties with them.

As for not having caps in the signal path from dac to amp, there are many products that allow for that without the need to go diy. For instance, my dac-19mk3 and C2C amps don't have caps in the signal path. Furthermore, they are running Classe A, they are zero feedback and the C2C headphone amp uses current attenuation (with vishay resistors) instead of standard volume pot attenuation. So there are always ways to have a "purer" path
post #82 of 1712
Slim.a - glad to hear about your capless configuration & that you are happy with it - I'm not in any competition with you, you asked me what configuration I had & I replied, that's all

I'm in no way connected to Musiland, I just thought that it was superb value for money & started posting on here & elsewhere to that effect.

Like most commercial products, at this price, it can do with some modding/upgrading! But that is just my particular enjoyment so don't shoot me O.K.
post #83 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
...For instance, my dac-19mk3 and C2C amps don't have caps in the signal path. Furthermore, they are running Classe A, they are zero feedback and the C2C headphone amp uses current attenuation (with vishay resistors) instead of standard volume pot attenuation...
...but my dad is stronger then your dad!



Sorry, just couldn't resist it.
post #84 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post
...but my dad is stronger then your dad!



Sorry, just couldn't resist it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
Mine is a 01US so has a built-in PCM1793 DAC which I'm running directly to transformers & into a highly modified Lepai TA2020 amp. The beauty of this approach is that there are no caps in the signal path from DAC to amp. Speakers are just my test mule speakers while I finalise the mods but still the sound is fantastic & very resolving.
Fraudrei, I was just responding to tha phrase "beauty of this thing". Jkeny make it sound like the Musiland 01 is the best single bargain on earth, without giving any useful comparison to other units. On 2009, jkeny has posted over and over about how great is the Musiland and how even greater it can become once it is modded. He has repeatedly done so on the main musiland thread and on a thread he started on his own. This was on head-fi alone. So I can honestly doubt his objectivity and ties with musiland.
This thread is about usb to spdif converters (ie transports for computers), and yet he goes on and on about saying how great is the Musiland while he doesn't to have used its digital output (the topic of this thread).
post #85 of 1712
As opposed to you whose order of preference seems to be the same as your order of purchase?

No offense, just food for thought for the both of you.
post #86 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post
As opposed to you whose order of preference seems to be the same as your order of purchase?

No offense, just food for thought for the both of you.
I have already explained how I ordered those units. And by the way, if I knew of the existence of the m2tech hiface before buying the teralink, I would not have bothered buying it and would have bought directly the Hiface to compare to the Musiland.

Also, I don't know if you did research on jitter measurements of those units but I did and I found intersting stuff.

Here you can find jitter measurements of the m2tech, a LynxTwo pci sound card, a Nagra DII and a Marantz CD player. In that test the m2tech was slightly better than the LynxTwo which is a professional grade PCI card, and better than the Nagra and Marantz cd player.
On a stereophile test, there were measurements of the EMU 0404 usb and other converters. The EMU had the worst jitter of the bench, and its jitter was 8 times that of the one measured with the m2tech (Granted the tests were done with different measuring equipement).
So, it seems that at least, I must have gotten the order of those 2 units right
Also, fyi, I don't always prefer my latest equipement, and if you read my review, I spent a lot of time doing A/B comparisons, and tried to be as objective as possible by describing how each converter affects the soundstage, the imaging, the tonal balance, the dynamics, ... So I was not just saying the unit X is better than the unit Y period. I also explained that different digital cables interacted differently with different converters used.

Edit --
Next time I can buy this usb converter to break the cycle of the order of buying vs. order of prefrence (kidding)
post #87 of 1712
No sense these criticisms against Slim.a who simply wanted to share his impressions for the benefit of all.
A computer set-up there are a thousand variables that can affect the sound.
The most important thing is that finally we can have a good quality using a USB input without spending too much.
The end for me is the hiface that musiland are two excellent articles which I recommend.
Ciao
post #88 of 1712
Slim.a
I congratulate you for starting this thread & doing the evaluations of these units - it is very useful for all those looking to buy a new unit & an interesting read! I appreciat ethe time & effort you have put into this.

I guess you could accuse me of being a Musiland fan as I haven't compared it to others but I don't have others to compare to & have no desire to go out & buy other units. I'm guilty of being enthusiastic about it also as it is the best sound I have heard. But these are all subjective measures let me give you a jitter measure of sorts but remember absolute jitter figures are kinda meaningless i.e. jitter measured by one tester cannot really be compared to jitter measured by another tester in other conditions - so even though this link shows the Musiland jitterbut I wouldn't take it as gospel. DIYHiFi.org • View topic - Musiland 24/192 USB Asynchronous Devices this shows a graph of the
Musiland Vs AP SYS2722 Digital Generator

The Stereophile jitter measures are useful as they give a relative measure of units so they can be ordered from lowest to highest jitter but I still wouldn't take the figures as gospel.

slim.a, thanks again for these tests - I'm only giving my opinion
post #89 of 1712
Excellent review slim.a. You've covered your bases well by being thorough. Just a quick question: did you happen to go back and repeat the listening impressions? Even a brief check to verify your earlier findings would really give a firm base to your results.
post #90 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Excellent review slim.a. You've covered your bases well by being thorough. Just a quick question: did you happen to go back and repeat the listening impressions? Even a brief check to verify your earlier findings would really give a firm base to your results.
Thanks Shahrose. Yes, I did go back and listen critically to all 3 units many times. This morning for instance, Idid another comparison between the Musiland and the m2tech with a Stereovox xv2 digital cable.
I have to admit however that the only unit I didn't spend much time listening to (after I wrote the review) was the EMU 0404 usb because it is so unconvenient to use.
Also, I have to add that the digital cable that is being used is very important to the outcome. I would rather use the Stereovox XV2 BNC cable with any of the 3 units (Musiland, m2tech, Teralink-X) than using a lesser cable (Canare, Belkin for instance) with my favorite unit.
Here is a link of an old stereophile article that measures the jitter of various digital cables which show that even the direction of the cable can affect the sound. During my test I tried to be consistant comparing units with the same digital cable (used at the same direction), and then compared again the units with a different cable.
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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