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Review of the Audio-GD FUN - A modular Dac / Headphone amp / Preamp - Page 3

post #31 of 1242
Thread Starter 

AD1852 - Jumper settings

I have just received Kingwa's answer to the 2 AD1852 jumper settings.

Here is what he said : "At default, it is 2X oversampling and input allow 192KHz. At another setting is 4X oversampling and input highest 96KHz."

So the fact that there is an oversampling difference between the 2 modes explains the differences I heard.
Also, looking at page 9 of the data sheet, there is a difference in the frequency response between the 2 modes.

I will try to confirm that by playing 192K files to determine which is which.
post #32 of 1242
Thanks for the info on the jumper settings.

Peete.
post #33 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I have just received Kingwa's answer to the 2 AD1852 jumper settings.

Here is what he said : "At default, it is 2X oversampling and input allow 192KHz. At another setting is 4X oversampling and input highest 96KHz."

So the fact that there is an oversampling difference between the 2 modes explains the differences I heard.
Also, looking at page 9 of the data sheet, there is a difference in the frequency response between the 2 modes.

I will try to confirm that by playing 192K files to determine which is which.
If you can confirm a difference, it's probably not due to frequency response per se, but some other consequence of the differences in processing. There are basically no differences in frequency response in the audible band.
post #34 of 1242
If one is using the DIR9000, which only accepts up to 96k input, I'd definitely go with the 4x oversampling. That might explain why the Compass tended to sound a bit harsh to some people.

I plugged my HD-800s in last night and this morning, and hooked up my Onkyo DV-SP502 SACD 3 way into the Fun to compare things. Firstly via the line in (it uses a BB PC1792 DAC with LM4560 OPAMPs), via optical via a Synergistic Research cable a friend gave me and via coax. I felt there wasn't any significant difference between my Onkyo's line out and the Fun's DAC (using the OPA Earth) using the built-in headphone amp in A (ACSS) modem, though the FUN's DAC had a slight edge over the Onkyo. It's also that the Onkyo is a surprisingly decent-sounding player, being a re-badged Pioneer DV-588a, which had a good reputation as a budget SACD player.

Interestingly, the first time I tried HD-800s with the FUN, I felt it was a poor match, with the music sounding congested. Of course I'm used to a much higher-end rig, so this wasn't such a surprise. However, after another few days left switched on, the Fun seems to have opened up and some of the harshness has gone, making it much more listen-able than at the start.
post #35 of 1242
So far I am pleased with the FUN after 300 hours of burn-in (it really need burn-in before review), I like it's sound more than combination of Cambridge Audio's DACmagic DAC (no headphone output) and Grapham Slee's Novo headphone amplifier in the same spot of audio system with same power amplifier, speakers and headphone. It has saved space in congested audio cabinet as well.

To be constructive and to benefit of those who are looking for affordable (around USD 300) DAC and headphone amplifier combo unit, FUN should be compared with other similar products of about the same price rather than dedicated DAC costing few times more than FUN. Looking forward to this kind of comparison as I have one more DAC/amplifier combo unit to purchase.

FUN
н¨ÍøÒ³ 1

Compass (predecessor of FUN)
I wonder how much different between FUN and Compass as information on Compass has been removed from Audio-GD website.
ºÍ§Ó*µ响

Beresford Caiman
Home HI-FI

Matrix mini-i
Welcome to Audiophilechina

Zero (upgraded version)
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
post #36 of 1242
Good point Curra. I need to pop the lid and set it to 4X but I'm too lazy to do it tonight. I'm enjoying it quite a bit more than I expected to. It's pretty close to the C-2C in performance which is somewhat surprising but I did expect some resemblance to the FUN's bigger brother because of the ACSS stages. It lacks for little I feel, sins of omission rather than sins of commission. It has a wider sound stage than the Compass had. Tomorrow I will give it a go as preamp in the main ref system and see how it does. I still don't have enough hours on it to make a final determination however. I will continue to run it in for the next week or so which should get me close to the number needed. It has changed quite a bit from the first listen, much more open and relaxed, showing a clean and honest presentation with no emphasis in any one particular part of the frequency spectrum which frankly I expect from A-gd gear by now. So far so good though.

Peete.
post #37 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I have just received Kingwa's answer to the 2 AD1852 jumper settings.

Here is what he said : "At default, it is 2X oversampling and input allow 192KHz. At another setting is 4X oversampling and input highest 96KHz."

So the fact that there is an oversampling difference between the 2 modes explains the differences I heard.
Also, looking at page 9 of the data sheet, there is a difference in the frequency response between the 2 modes.

I will try to confirm that by playing 192K files to determine which is which.
I received an update from Kingwa on the subject of jumpers. He says :
"I have test two mode but both can allow 192K input while I test the FUN a some months ago.
I think maybe the AD1852 files had some wrong or define unclear
."

So when he told me that the 4x mode was limited to 96k, he was making reference to the datasheet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyQ3 View Post
If you can confirm a difference, it's probably not due to frequency response per se, but some other consequence of the differences in processing. There are basically no differences in frequency response in the audible band.
Agreed. A difference of less than 1db at 20k is probably inaudible (at least, to my ears). However, if you look at the graphs, you will see that the 2x setting has a "gentle" roll-off and the 4x setting has a sharp roll-off. So there is probably a bigger difference in the phase response, handling of transients, ...
post #38 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littletree76 View Post
So far I am pleased with the FUN after 300 hours of burn-in (it really need burn-in before review), I like it's sound more than combination of Cambridge Audio's DACmagic DAC (no headphone output) and Grapham Slee's Novo headphone amplifier in the same spot of audio system with same power amplifier, speakers and headphone. It has saved space in congested audio cabinet as well.

To be constructive and to benefit of those who are looking for affordable (around USD 300) DAC and headphone amplifier combo unit, FUN should be compared with other similar products of about the same price rather than dedicated DAC costing few times more than FUN. Looking forward to this kind of comparison as I have one more DAC/amplifier combo unit to purchase.

FUN
н¨ÍøÒ³ 1

Compass (predecessor of FUN)
I wonder how much different between FUN and Compass as information on Compass has been removed from Audio-GD website.
ºÍ§Ó*µ响

Beresford Caiman
Home HI-FI

Matrix mini-i
Welcome to Audiophilechina

Zero (upgraded version)
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
As a DAC, I found the FUN a lot better than the Zero DAC, the EMU 0404 USB and the DAC-100 (compass dac).

As a headphone amp, I found the FUN has a lot more drive, details and clarity than the Little Dot mkIII.

However, it is always interesting (in my opinion) to compare a component to better ones because it will highlight its weaknesses. I think that most people are more sensitive to the weaknesses rather than the strengths of a component in the long run. For example, I would rather listen through the Little Dot mkIII than a "high-resolution" edgy solid state amp. Even if the Little dot mkIII is not the most impressive amp I have heard, it doesn't have big weaknesses/faults, so I can live with it.

By the way, after 400 hours+ of burn-in, the FUN doesn't seem to have weaknesses/faults in comparison with the better gear I have. It lacks perhaps slightly in the drive, low level details and frequency extension compared to better gear. But it remains natural and honest sounding (as described by Pricklely Peete).
post #39 of 1242
@slim.a: thanks for the detailed review. From what you have written, it appears that FUN has enough power to drive a high impedance headphone as HD650. Just bought a HD650 and still debating whether I should get a DAC (to use with Squeezebox Classic) first or should I get an AMP (e.g. LD mkIII) first. It looks like that with FUN I had a good DAC and a quite decent amp ?
post #40 of 1242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfrancis View Post
@slim.a: thanks for the detailed review. From what you have written, it appears that FUN has enough power to drive a high impedance headphone as HD650. Just bought a HD650 and still debating whether I should get a DAC (to use with Squeezebox Classic) first or should I get an AMP (e.g. LD mkIII) first. It looks like that with FUN I had a good DAC and a quite decent amp ?
If you are using the sennheiser hd650, you will need a good source as well as a good amp for them to shine. The FUN fits perfectly the bill being an excellent dac and headphone amp combo (at this price level of course). In my opinion, I would rather listen to the FUN alone instead of the dac19mk3+artisan silver cables+LD MKIII.
There are of course other alternatives out there but since I didn't try them, I can't comment on them.

Anyway, if you intend to get the FUN, I would highly recommend the A version (with the ACSS gain module). Of course, you can buy the other modules to try them but if you have to pick one, I recommend the ACSS version.
post #41 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
If you are using the sennheiser hd650, you will need a good source as well as a good amp for them to shine. The FUN fits perfectly the bill being an excellent dac and headphone amp combo (at this price level of course). In my opinion, I would rather listen to the FUN alone instead of the dac19mk3+artisan silver cables+LD MKIII.
There are of course other alternatives out there but since I didn't try them, I can't comment on them.

Anyway, if you intend to get the FUN, I would highly recommend the A version (with the ACSS gain module). Of course, you can buy the other modules to try them but if you have to pick one, I recommend the ACSS version.
Thanks for the advice. After reading your review on FUN and your other review on DAC-19, I think I may just go for what you have in your signature, i.e., get a DAC-19 and C2C and not come back to this forum for a while.
post #42 of 1242
I have the Compass and am looking to get a second setup for the bedroom. I had been considering a smaller setup like the iBasso D10, but I am skeptical that such a device could sound as good as the Compass. Is the difference between FUN and Compass very big? Can anyone compare this to a D10?
post #43 of 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinner6 View Post
I have the Compass and am looking to get a second setup for the bedroom. I had been considering a smaller setup like the iBasso D10, but I am skeptical that such a device could sound as good as the Compass. Is the difference between FUN and Compass very big? Can anyone compare this to a D10?
I can't compare to a D10, but it's a significantly more detailed device than the Compass was. I've spent some time A-Bing all the mods and all the HDAMs with it and the Compass. This is the NextGen Compass and made advancements in all areas.

The Compass are Pound for Pound best in class to my experience. I haven't decided which module I like the best in it yet. The Earth is the best "overall" of the HDAMs in it to me. However the other two aren't bad either.

It does have some size to it though.
post #44 of 1242
Thank You for your thoughts.

I see that Pacific Valve is now selling an upgraded FUN, that includes the SUN HDAM in the DAC output and the FET output for the amp. Any thoughts on this specific setup? Would this be an appropriate configuration to drive Denon D2000 and D5000 headphones, possibly 2 sets at once when my wife joins me?
post #45 of 1242
I own both the D10 & the FUN - no contest IMO. The D10 is a good portable setup (it makes a huge difference from my Macbook), but the FUN is waaaayyy better. Esp. w HD650's - the D10 (even in high gain mode) doesn't wake up the Hd650's. (the D10 works fine w my UE TF10's though).
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