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Does the Benchmark DAC1 (or any DAC) eliminate all jitter?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have a 10-year-old JVC DVD player that's in great shape, but I want to upgrade. I can either get a new top-of-the-line CD player (like the Sony SCD XA5400ES) or get a high-end DAC like the Benchmark DAC 1 USB. I'm leaning towards the DAC since my DVD player is still working fine.

If I go with the Benchmark DAC, am I correct in understanding that it will eliminate all jitter?

This is what Benchmark says:

"Using state-of-the-art Audio Precision testing equipment, no jitter-induced artifacts can be detected with the DAC1 or the DAC1 USB."
DAC1 USB Overview | Benchmark Media Systems, Inc. | USB DAC

Is this true?

Do all DACs eliminate jitter?

Anything importnat about the Benchmark DAC 1 USB that I should be aware of?
post #2 of 21
STOP! Why are you asking? Do you truly understand what you are asking about? I think you've gotten some idea in your head that you need to know about jitter, when nobody on here can actually give you a definitive answer, unless they own a great many thousands of dollars of measuring equipment and have done the relevant tests on the gear in question. Even then, what you're asking about may not be relevant.

More usefully, what headphones and other gear do you want to use the Benchmark with? What kind of music do you like? What's your budget?
post #3 of 21
agreed! it's something you won't need to consider at all but if you are interested then here ya go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jitter

the DAC1 is superterrific at making you not need to worry about the above.
post #4 of 21
Can you hear jitter?
post #5 of 21
It is impossible to completely eliminate jitter. Any engineer worth his salt will tell you this. It is possible however to reduce jitter to the threshold of audibility. I have yet to hear any device that does this however, even my own products which have extremely low jitter.

Devices such as asynchronous hardware upsamplers do reduce jitter, but they also add two things:

1) jitter from the internal upsampling clock
2) distortions from the upsampling itself

And these hardware upsamplers do not make the DAC immune to incoming jitter. Just change S/PDIF cables or go from one input to another and if there is any difference in the SQ, you have proven this.

IME, most software upsamplers are superior to even the best hardware upsamplers. This is why I recommend using a non-upsampling DAC and either play the native rates or upsample with a good software tool, like Wave Editor or Izotope.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #6 of 21
Do you recommend a particular piece of software for Macs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
It is impossible to completely eliminate jitter. Any engineer worth his salt will tell you this. It is possible however to reduce jitter to the threshold of audibility. I have yet to hear any device that does this however, even my own products which have extremely low jitter.

Devices such as asynchronous hardware upsamplers do reduce jitter, but they also add two things:

1) jitter from the internal upsampling clock
2) distortions from the upsampling itself

And these hardware upsamplers do not make the DAC immune to incoming jitter. Just change S/PDIF cables or go from one input to another and if there is any difference in the SQ, you have proven this.

IME, most software upsamplers are superior to even the best hardware upsamplers. This is why I recommend using a non-upsampling DAC and either play the native rates or upsample with a good software tool, like Wave Editor or Izotope.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, let me change my question a bit. As I mentioned, I have a 10-year-old DVD player that works fine, but I want to upgrade.

I have $1500 to spend. I have Denon D5000 headphones, and I listen to a lot of Radiohead and ambient lo-fi.

Should I:

1. Buy a new high-end CD player (Sony's high-end SACD player looks awesome)
2. Buy the Benchmark DAC1 USB (This is the Benchmark model I want. I've also read that the headphone amp is great, in addition to the DAC.)
3. Buy something else.

Recommendations, please?
post #8 of 21
Do you need to have the USB input or would you be fine with coax?
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
Do you need to have the USB input or would you be fine with coax?
It would be nice to have the USB input so I can use it with my computer on occasion. That model is $1295, while the DAC1 without USB is about $995.
post #10 of 21
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/26/1/50/_pdf

Don't worry about jitter, current levels of jitter are not audible.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post

IME, most software upsamplers are superior to even the best hardware upsamplers. This is why I recommend using a non-upsampling DAC and either play the native rates or upsample with a good software tool, like Wave Editor or Izotope.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve have you tried Amadeus Pro for upsampling?
And if you have how does it compare to Wave Editor.
Amadeus has a wonderful batch conversion tool, but above 96kHz the file size becomes huge.


OP sorry for getting away from the subject!
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
Do you recommend a particular piece of software for Macs?
Like I said, Wave Editor or Izotope.

See this for instructions:

Wave Editor upsampling

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SB View Post
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/26/1/50/_pdf

Don't worry about jitter, current levels of jitter are not audible.
Bad advise. This depends entirely on your systems resolving capability. Most industry experts agree that jitter is the most significant problem with most current digital audio systems, including:

Charles Hansen (Ayre)
Gordon Rankin (wavelength)
Prof. Malcolm Hawksford (Essex Univ.)
John Stronczer (Bel Canto)
Daniel Weiss (Weiss Digital Audio)
Jon Reichbach (Sonic Studio)
Andreas Koch (Playback Designs)

See:

ca nugent

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SB View Post
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/26/1/50/_pdf

Don't worry about jitter, current levels of jitter are not audible.
This paper says:

Quote:
the maximum acceptable
size of random jitter is 121.4 ps. In other words, jitter has to
be smaller than 121.4 ps in order to reproduce a 20 kHz
tone with a 16-bit resolution
This says nothing about 24-bit data. Even with the poor system that was likely used for this experiment and unknown listeners acuity, it still showed that jitter was audible in this range. If you go to the last 20 issues of Stereophile and read the jitter measurements of the VERY BEST gear on the market (supposedly), you will find that even the very best generates more than 150psec of jitter.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
post #15 of 21
If you read that paper, the test setup used a laptop using files with software injected jitter, and then feeding the listener's own equipment via SPDIF. What if jitter in the SPDIF line completely masked any added jitter? Very poor design for an experiment IMO. No wonder Jocko and others aren't too fond of the AES and their "peer" reviewed studies
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