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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 58  

post #856 of 1712
With these transports, is the difference in SQ largely due to jitter? Between the 0404 to the M2Tech, could there be an "estimate" of the percentage of perceived difference?

Apologies in advance if these questions are already answered ><
post #857 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post
With these transports, is the difference in SQ largely due to jitter? Between the 0404 to the M2Tech, could there be an "estimate" of the percentage of perceived difference?

Apologies in advance if these questions are already answered ><
There are many factors that seem to affect the quality of the transport: clock jitter, clock phase noise, quality of the power supply, impedance matching ... So all of those factors generate "jitter" at the DAC analog output.

As for the comparison between the 0404 and the m2tech it is hard to give a number. There are too many factors (digital cables, DAC, amp, ...) that will make that difference either barely audible or huge.
If you want an idea of how they compare in my system, you can (re)read my review in the first post. It includes listening impressions on both units.
post #858 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
Digital Filters, Minimum Phase and Upsampling:

While I have already mentioned digital filters and upsampling in separate posts, I thought it could be nice to compile some of that in a single post. So here are my findings on the subject: nothing new, just a compilation of thoughts.


Digital filters:

One of the discriminating factors between different DACs is the digital filters. Most modern chips include a built-in digital filter (for cost savings reasons) but they perform very poorly in general. But how much difference does it really make?
In my current DAC, I have the possibility to swap between 2 digital filters: the PMD100, which is a HDCD capable digital filter made by Pacific Microsonics, and the DF1704 digital filter made by TI. .


The usual complaint about the DF1704 is the slow roll-off mode isn't slow enough and should have been pushed to a higher -3db point. From what I understand about the PMD100 is PM used a unique technique to minimize phase distortion. If you survey the old digital experts most will say the best digital filters made were the SM5842 or the PMD100.
post #859 of 1712
What are your thoughts on the pmd200?
post #860 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerotohero View Post
What are your thoughts on the pmd200?
Never had the pleasure to get ahold of one, they are unobtainium.
post #861 of 1712
Can anybody say anything about this USB-SPDIF converter:
Mini USB to SPDIF (PCM290) Converter DAC Digital Signal - eBay (item 350318541331 end time Mar-19-10 21:00:44 PDT)

This brand new USB to SPDIF (coaxial) converter provides an easy way to connect to your DAC via your PC's USB port and output SPDIF (digital signal).

Benefits:
  • USB to SPDIF (USB coaxial digital output) converter via BB PCM2906 chips
  • Uses 74VHC04 high speed face lifting
  • Plug and play without the installation of drivers for Windows 2000/XP
Specifications:
  • Connection: USB 1.1 interface
  • PCB dimensions: 60 x 26mm
post #862 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmine View Post
There is nothing special about that spdif converter. There seems to be a growing number of them that use the off-the shelf pcm29Ox usb chips and a pulse transformer.
I recently tried the Purepiper usb to spdif converter (that came along with their DAC) which uses a similar architecture (see my review here).

That is to say that kind of converters get the job done (converting usb to spdif) but they are not nearly as good as the Teralink-x (or the Hiface).
For people on a budget, I recommend the Teralink-X, it has a low jitter clock and more power filtration than any of those affordable usb to spdif converters.
post #863 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
The usual complaint about the DF1704 is the slow roll-off mode isn't slow enough and should have been pushed to a higher -3db point. From what I understand about the PMD100 is PM used a unique technique to minimize phase distortion. If you survey the old digital experts most will say the best digital filters made were the SM5842 or the PMD100.
You are right, many people seem to favor the PMD100 over other digital filters. Pacific Microsonics did a lot of psychoacoustics research before releasing it. It is really sad that more than 15 years later, most buil-in digital filters do no come close to the PMD100 (or even the DF1704 for that matter).

Anyway, I brought up the subject of digital filters so that people understand the effect of a low jitter sources on their converters.
When using a high jittery source, a lot of distortions and nastiness of the digital filters are masked/blured by the noise.
When using a low jitter source such as the hiface, there are improvements in many areas but it can also reveal/expose any flaws elswhere in the system.
(BTW, not high jittery sources have pleasing distortions, the emu 0404 usb is edgy sounding).

Doing tests with 24/96 source material will minimize the effect of the digital filtering and will probably allow for better comparisons of the intrinsic quality of different converters. If listenings tests are done at 16/44 on an average sounding digital filter, the tests won't reveal much and thy would be specific to that specific type of DAC implementation.
post #864 of 1712
Hi slim.a,

yesterday I found another little thing, which probably could be worth a try: The "HRT Music Streamer II Plus", which have had great reviews. Since you are the expert: do you know this type? It seems to be a complete USB-DAC with Cinch Out and - that is for me the most remarkable aspect - it works in asynchronous mode.

Cheers
Fujak
post #865 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fujak View Post
Hi slim.a,

yesterday I found another little thing, which probably could be worth a try: The "HRT Music Streamer II Plus", which have had great reviews. Since you are the expert: do you know this type? It seems to be a complete USB-DAC with Cinch Out and - that is for me the most remarkable aspect - it works in asynchronous mode.

Cheers
Fujak
Hi Fujak,

Those HRT Music Streamer II Plus look intersting but they don't give any specifics on the usb chip being used.
As far as I know, most async devices usually requires custom drivers (like the hiface, musiland, emu...). So I wonder how they get async without special drivers. Maybe they are using the same TAS1020B chip that was programmed by Wavelength?
I am probably too suspicious, but I remember that when the Teralink-X2 got out, it was adverstised (at the beginning) as being "async". The ebay reseller misunderstood the term "isochronous" used in the Tenor usb data sheet and thought it meant async while in fact it is still the adaptive mode.

Also, I wonder how they would compare to the Musiland 01/02...

ps: I don't believe I am "the expert". Those are just my thoughts and personal opinions based on the research I did on the subject.
post #866 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
You are right, many people seem to favor the PMD100 over other digital filters. Pacific Microsonics did a lot of psychoacoustics research before releasing it. It is really sad that more than 15 years later, most buil-in digital filters do no come close to the PMD100 (or even the DF1704 for that matter).

Anyway, I brought up the subject of digital filters so that people understand the effect of a low jitter sources on their converters.
When using a high jittery source, a lot of distortions and nastiness of the digital filters are masked/blured by the noise.
When using a low jitter source such as the hiface, there are improvements in many areas but it can also reveal/expose any flaws elswhere in the system.
(BTW, not high jittery sources have pleasing distortions, the emu 0404 usb is edgy sounding).

Doing tests with 24/96 source material will minimize the effect of the digital filtering and will probably allow for better comparisons of the intrinsic quality of different converters. If listenings tests are done at 16/44 on an average sounding digital filter, the tests won't reveal much and thy would be specific to that specific type of DAC implementation.
Slim I am always impressed by your posts on these complex digital issues. I can't remember where but I saw a study where the subjects prefered the high jitter source over the low jitter, your post would explain why.

I'm still using my Emu 0404 PCI, just waiting on the Hiface drivers to be 100% with Win7x64 before I buy one. I have the TerralinX on my laptop, which does sound better than the emu when I use it on my desktop. The Emu has been rock solid as far as stability and I'm still a little hesistant to give that up.
post #867 of 1712
"just waiting on the Hiface drivers to be 100% with Win7x64"

I don't have any issues at all
post #868 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
I'm still using my Emu 0404 PCI, just waiting on the Hiface drivers to be 100% with Win7x64 before I buy one.
Oh man, then you need to get your hiface asap. I've been using the hiface for a week now with plenty of hours on them with win7x 64 ultimate with zero issues
post #869 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by noinimod View Post
Oh man, then you need to get your hiface asap. I've been using the hiface for a week now with plenty of hours on them with win7x 64 ultimate with zero issues
Same.
post #870 of 1712
Differences in USB cables? Come on..
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