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The Antelope Zodiac / Zodiac + / Zodiac Gold DAC Thread - Page 19

post #271 of 498


They are basically alluding to the fact that they are maintaining an exact temperature for critical clocking components. It holds merit, many leave DACs, or ADCs, on all the time. My fully tube rectified amp takes 20 minutes to stabilize, it sounds like %$#% before then (it has 3 sets of tube rectifiers/regulators).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigzStudio View Post

A lot of audio companies use marketing and hype, but in the case of Antelope they back up every last ounce of it with a quality product and imo the best DAC I have heard in my 10+ years of trying lots of stuff out there.  The Zodiac+ speaks for itself, if you ever get a chance to demo one you will definitely understand my passion for the unit.  

 

 

Also, a simple search in google will tell you what an oven controlled clock can do.

 

post #272 of 498

I cant find the links on google telling me how an oven controlled clock improves jitter.

 

I understand that a stable temperature is critical for maintaining absolute frequency but that doesnt matter for music at all, so how an oven controlled clock should reduce jitter i can not understand.

 

post #273 of 498

So the idea is, the "oven controlled clock" is just a stable clock to base your timing of samples on.  I believe all input is buffered and then re-clocked to the "oven controlled clock" or to the word clock input, and that is where the jitter is "improved".  I believe the idea is an unstable/inconsistent clock is essentially the same as jitter.  Besides I don't think they specifically mention jitter in their little oven controlled clock marketing bullet point.

 

I'm surprised your issue is more with the "oven controlled clock" than the "acoustically focused clocking" bullet point.  That one is a mystery to me, but the clock makes sense.  As to whether or not it makes an audible difference compared to a slightly worse clock is impossible for me to answer.  I can't say when it is good enough, but apparently a number of people think it gets audibly better going even further along this path to an atomic clock input.

post #274 of 498

Yes "acoustically focused clock" is marketing pure and simple, but it doesn't mean that the product is bad because they describe it a certain way.  They just decided to market their product with a touch of gimmicky language.  

 

A lot of big studios out there and big musician personal studios use Antelope clocking products....they have been well established in that regard for quite some time.  Could all of these people be imagining an improvement in sound? People that are ultra critical of their systems and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get things perfect.  People that listen to their systems all day long hours on end and know the sound to a "T".  They are going to most definitely notice what happens when a new piece of gear is put in to the chain I would imagine.  Sure some are addicted to just getting new equipment, but nearly everyone raves about the Antelope clocks in their studio if they have them/have heard them in their setup.  Its not like Antelope Audio just came out of no where all of a sudden, they have experience in the industry.  Sure there may be some gimmicky language used, and to tell you the truth that also almost prevented me from trying their product.  But to be honest I am glad I gave them a shot as I can't imagine my system without the Zodiac+ now.  

 

Wait until their cheaper base model comes out, and give it a demo, the sound should be identical to the + model.  Don't knock it until you have heard it yourself I always say.  Or at least demo one under decent conditions before you knock it.  
 

This post might have come across as defending Antelope, but I feel they deserve it as they have put out a great product which I am thoroughly loving.  Anything else I post in this thread will be informative and you should have my review next week as I will be receiving the Welborne power supply at that point.  

post #275 of 498
Listen to the Igor Levin interview on YouTube. He briefly discusses some interesting ideas about using dither. There is something to this because the Zodiac+ does not have the lowest noisefloor of all the DACs I have owned, even when using the balanced outputs. This was also the opinion of another user I met. Could be the stock power supply but the unt still sounds incredible. They are onto something. I don't blame them for not revealing all on a white paper. In this day and age if name-dropping words like "async" or "sabre chip" are not used people write off entire possabilities due to a lack of rhetoric and towing the line.

I'm interested to hear about the Wellborne psu. I have moved to another system but this DAC is something to be heard, then judged. Antelope has already made quite a name for themselves in pro audio; I honestly don't think they really thought that consciously about their PR. A lot of these esoteric descriptions they have offerred seem more like someone trying in desperation to translate an engineer's ideas into layman's terms, and without much supporting detail or objective measurements, it's true they come off as a little banal.

So it goes....
post #276 of 498

I have no doubt this is a good unit. And i do know from own experience that its clock (jitter) and power suply that defines the sound of a 1bit dac. Therefore if Antelope use a dirt cheap converter and an expensive clock it makes perfect sense for me.

 

An oven controlled clock is more expensive than a normal clock with similar jitter performance, therefore its interesting to know why they use it?

 

I can put up a statistical argument for using the oven controlled, but its so far out, i guess there must be another reason?

post #277 of 498

Srajan of 6moons posted some more thoughts here:  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=85877.40

 

Another thread that will have my review.

post #278 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigzStudio View Post

Srajan of 6moons posted some more thoughts here:  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=85877.40

 

Another thread that will have my review.


Thanks for the link. Interesting read.

Srajan seems to be thinking that the main strength of the Antelope is in the digital domain (i.e. superior jitter control). Did anyone try the Antelope Zodiac+ as a transport/Usb converter?

post #279 of 498

 

I really enjoy the Zodiac+ as a headamp (with my "warm" DX1000), and I decided to possibly keep it, and to try to use the Z+ as a "de-jittering" unit on the last leg from Lynx > Burl.
 
According to Marcel (and my test) there is no serial word clock data on that AES output of the Z+ so it just cleans up the jitter and won't "confuse" the Burl. I need to test it tonight.
 
I figure it should prove interesting to add this between the Lynx and Burl (while keeping the Burl DAC as master clock)...we'll see.
post #280 of 498

I am seriously interested in hearing your impressions as I stated before.  Sounds like it should be a real winner, I read the reviews of the Burl as well....sounds promising indeed.   
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post

 

I really enjoy the Zodiac+ as a headamp (with my "warm" DX1000), and I decided to possibly keep it, and to try to use the Z+ as a "de-jittering" unit on the last leg from Lynx > Burl.
 
According to Marcel (and my test) there is no serial word clock data on that AES output of the Z+ so it just cleans up the jitter and won't "confuse" the Burl. I need to test it tonight.
 
I figure it should prove interesting to add this between the Lynx and Burl (while keeping the Burl DAC as master clock)...we'll see.
post #281 of 498

I could just be imagining the change, but if my memory is not failing me the sound seems to be more fleshed out in the low end now (was more like 300 hours for me, > 200 anyhow).  Sounds great... not that it didn't before.  I'm still waiting for my Welbourne Labs psu to ship though I think.  Unless they are some ninja shippers.  I wonder how much improvement I can really get from this psu but here's to hoping it is noticeable.  Now I am torn deciding what I want to do for an amp... 

Oh well, at least I am pretty happy with my dac now.

post #282 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by BebopMcJiggy View Post

I could just be imagining the change, but if my memory is not failing me the sound seems to be more fleshed out in the low end now (was more like 300 hours for me, > 200 anyhow).  Sounds great... not that it didn't before.  I'm still waiting for my Welbourne Labs psu to ship though I think.  Unless they are some ninja shippers.  I wonder how much improvement I can really get from this psu but here's to hoping it is noticeable.  Now I am torn deciding what I want to do for an amp... 

Oh well, at least I am pretty happy with my dac now.


 

Nice!  I honestly feel I have a serious system with the Antelope in place.  I had the same feeling, I honestly felt it sounded pretty great to start with and at 200-300+ it just went up another level somehow.  My Welborne will be here tomorrow for sure, its sitting at a shipping hub near my location.  

post #283 of 498

Well they just told me it has shipped and I should see it in a few days, but no tracking number. :P  C'est la vie.

post #284 of 498

The Welborne Power supply arrived today! smily_headphones1.gif  It looks very nice with the black anodized aluminum chasis, and the plug seems to click into place vs. slide for some reason.  I got basically the shortest umbilical option.  It also has the same screw housing as the original (looks like I got the inner diameter right as it does screw on), and the important thing is ... my Zodiac+ turns on with the Welborne in place!  I will let it burn in for quite a while and let you know what I think.

 

post #285 of 498

Received mine today and it hasn't fried anything yet... always a plus.  Visually it matches well with the zodiac+ fairly well so that is nice.  My umbilical is probably about 3' long but I have the psu on a shelf a few ft below the dac so it works out.   Also gonna let it burn in a little bit before I come to any conclusions, but I think there's even more weight to the sound it produces now.  I could be making that up though, auditory memory sucks and I'm not in the mood to attempt to a/b power supplies right now.  Regardless it sounds fantastic to me, I am happier with my zodiac then I thought I would be.  Sadly I've started constructing some amps to play around with now, we'll see how that turns out.

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