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Little Dot DAC_I Review and Comparo - Page 2

post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal769 View Post
Guys,
How long was the wait time between placing your order and receiving the unit? I hate waiting!
Took 9 days for mine,they seem to be testing them for a few days before sending.
post #17 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ford2 View Post
Took 9 days for mine,they seem to be testing them for a few days before sending.
Yah, it was the same for me. Just over a week to the West Coast...
post #18 of 51
Interesting review. The MKV isn't a very detailed headphone amp, so the lack of a great difference between the LD DAC and Benchmark isn't a surprise in that case. I think if you used a high-end headphone amp you'd notice the differences more.
post #19 of 51
Let me quote something here:

Quote:
Bits is Bits?
Stereophile: Bits is Bits?



Conclusions

Is the digital audio interface flawed? We have examined the possibilities of both amplitude and timing errors corrupting audio data transmitted across an interface. The probability of received amplitude errors is not high, and indeed they are most likely to occur in the preamble of each interface subframe. This means that if a receiver can lock onto an incoming interface signal, then the audio word values are safe. However, jitter remains a concern; several jitter mechanisms exist for the biphase-mark-encoded signal, the biggest problem being that of bandwidth limitation at any stage of the interface. We have shown that band-limited interface jitter has a strong relationship to the bit structure of the serial interface code, and hence can be highly correlated with the transmitted audio data. Measurements have confirmed jitter levels of higher than 1ns in an above-average interface circuit.

The effects of jitter can be predicted by forming error models for different DAC architectures. It can be shown that, compared to low-oversampling multibit designs, pulse-density modulation converters are much more sensitive to jitter when producing low-frequency audio signals. This may explain certain subjective characteristics of PDM DACs that otherwise cannot be rationalized. A simple model of jitter-error audibility has shown that a DAC can tolerate white jitter noise of up to 180ps, but that even lower levels of sinusoidal jitter may be audible. These limits place tough constraints upon digital interface design, and it is recommended that interface receiver PLLs have closed-loop cutoff frequencies as low as possible. For the ultimate immunity to the effects of jitter, a second digital audio interface employed at the receiver can be used to slave the transmitter.
post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
Interesting review. The MKV isn't a very detailed headphone amp, so the lack of a great difference between the LD DAC and Benchmark isn't a surprise in that case. I think if you used a high-end headphone amp you'd notice the differences more.
Yah, I can believe that. My guess is that many people are in a similar situation though on the gear front and are wondering how much they need to spend on a digital source. If your amp is like mine, my own playing around suggests that the answer might be about $300...

I do hope to get a better amplifier one of these days... Off to the amps forum to start researching!
post #21 of 51
Great review´╝ü

I just pulled the trigger on it..can't wait!
post #22 of 51
Hey CapQ, I noticed you have a Benchmark DAC1 also and a Little Dot DAC_I before, care to share your impressions compared to mastertrash' review?
post #23 of 51
Hi Mastertrash, and thanks for your review. I too have the same setup (MKV and DAC_I), but I could compare it against the V-DAC only, and I kept the DAC_I. The differences were too subtle to justify keeping both, and honestly I wasn't happy of the general built quality of the V-DAC. Now I'd like to upgrade the amp and better match my K701... Anyone compared the MKV with the MKVII?
Massimiliano
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post
Hi Mastertrash, and thanks for your review. I too have the same setup (MKV and DAC_I), but I could compare it against the V-DAC only, and I kept the DAC_I. The differences were too subtle to justify keeping both, and honestly I wasn't happy of the general built quality of the V-DAC. Now I'd like to upgrade the amp and better match my K701... Anyone compared the MKV with the MKVII?
Massimiliano

The MKVII rocks,it's a perfect match for DAC_1.
If you want a balanced amp it is very hard to go past it.
Have DAC-1 with the MKVII and love it,would be hard to better at twice the price.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastertrash View Post
I do hope to get a better amplifier one of these days... Off to the amps forum to start researching!
Thanks for this excellent review.

Why not follow many recommendations here and go full balanced with the combo DAC_I and MKVII... The HD650 will love it...

This is one of the cheapest full balanced rig I can think of, and looks very promising
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantis View Post
Hey CapQ, I noticed you have a Benchmark DAC1 also and a Little Dot DAC_I before, care to share your impressions compared to mastertrash' review?

Hi Lantis,

Yes I did own a LD DAC_1 before and it's my first DAC unit actually. DAC_1 let me know how important a DAC (or source) is to the whole headphones/speakers system. That's why I upgraded my DAC from DAC_1 to Apogee Minidac and then to Benchmark DAC1. I don't have both DAC_1 and DAC1 at the same time so i can't point out what exactly the difference between them. But I am quite sure that DAC1 is a really huge step of upgrading than DAC_1. I have to say i can't agree with mastertrash's opinion but I think it's a blessedness if someone can gets what he really want from cheaper gears. Why pay more? Just enjoy good music~~

Cheers
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapQ View Post
Hi Lantis,

Yes I did own a LD DAC_1 before and it's my first DAC unit actually. DAC_1 let me know how important a DAC (or source) is to the whole headphones/speakers system. That's why I upgraded my DAC from DAC_1 to Apogee Minidac and then to Benchmark DAC1. I don't have both DAC_1 and DAC1 at the same time so i can't point out what exactly the difference between them. But I am quite sure that DAC1 is a really huge step of upgrading than DAC_1. I have to say i can't agree with mastertrash's opinion but I think it's a blessedness if someone can gets what he really want from cheaper gears. Why pay more? Just enjoy good music~~

Cheers

Ditto on that-- I think I'll play with my DAC_I first before moving up then

A little question for the other owners though as I haven't received mine yet. I will be using DAC_I via USB on my PC, but I saw the limitations that the sampling rate for USB implementation is limited to 16/44.1Mhz-- David told me this is a limitation of Windows driver. So my question is, on Mac/Ubuntu, is this the case?

I was worried before that the DAC_I has this limitation because of a USB 1.0 host implementation but I've confirmed with David that DAC_I is using USB 2.0 (to play 24/96 you need at least USB 1.1). I am a firm believer of garbage in = garbage out, I just want to play my 24/96 FLACS in it's full glory but my only option is USB right now!
post #28 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantis View Post
Ditto on that-- I think I'll play with my DAC_I first before moving up then

A little question for the other owners though as I haven't received mine yet. I will be using DAC_I via USB on my PC, but I saw the limitations that the sampling rate for USB implementation is limited to 16/44.1Mhz-- David told me this is a limitation of Windows driver. So my question is, on Mac/Ubuntu, is this the case?

I was worried before that the DAC_I has this limitation because of a USB 1.0 host implementation but I've confirmed with David that DAC_I is using USB 2.0 (to play 24/96 you need at least USB 1.1). I am a firm believer of garbage in = garbage out, I just want to play my 24/96 FLACS in it's full glory but my only option is USB right now!
I'm pretty certain that the 16/44 limitation is related to a limitation on the chip which passes the USB data to the DAC itself. As such, I don't think you'll do any better with Mac or Linux... Sorry!

If you want to pass 24/96 to the LD, I'm pretty sure you'll have to get a sound card or something similar that can pass SPDIF out of your PC to the DAC. (This changes the value proposition a bit, but I think most USB DACS are similarly limited for the time being [Dacmagic and Benchmark for example].)
post #29 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapQ View Post
Hi Lantis,

Yes I did own a LD DAC_1 before and it's my first DAC unit actually. DAC_1 let me know how important a DAC (or source) is to the whole headphones/speakers system. That's why I upgraded my DAC from DAC_1 to Apogee Minidac and then to Benchmark DAC1. I don't have both DAC_1 and DAC1 at the same time so i can't point out what exactly the difference between them. But I am quite sure that DAC1 is a really huge step of upgrading than DAC_1. I have to say i can't agree with mastertrash's opinion but I think it's a blessedness if someone can gets what he really want from cheaper gears. Why pay more? Just enjoy good music~~

Cheers
It's good to hear another opinion on this -- Thanks, CapQ. It is indeed all about the music. I'm blissing out to Frank Zappa's Hot Rats as I type this...
post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips on the MK VII also, guys. I'm wondering how different it would really be from the MKV though. They look almost identical... What about the circuits? I'm sure that the balanced connection would make some difference (after buying a new cable of course), but I'm feeling a pull more towards tubes myself. Maybe a Woo Audio? The new WA2 looks great and would double as a line-stage in a pinch... It sure isn't cheap though.
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