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REVIEW (more to come) - CEntrance DACport 24/96 USB DAC Amp - Page 21

post #301 of 483

 I just got the LX and I'm planning to get the Burson Soloist amp. Hopefully it will be a good combo. :)

post #302 of 483

it would have a good synergy, the Dacport LX will help you with the high & treble while the burson will help you with the low, you would be happy with the setup beerchug.gif

post #303 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeinharis View Post

 

no i never unplug the Dacport LX when it not in use, i noticed that the light indicator on Dacport LX will go off and the temperature will go down if there is no signal coming from USB port more than 3 minute

 

That's the thing, mine doesn't ever go off it stays on. :(

post #304 of 483

Mine stays on too.  I'm just guessing, but it could be that zeinharis' PC or Mac has a power-saving feature that detects the USB device's idle state and kills the power.  

 

Again, that's just a hunch.

 

Mike

post #305 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Mine stays on too.  I'm just guessing, but it could be that zeinharis' PC or Mac has a power-saving feature that detects the USB device's idle state and kills the power.  

 

Again, that's just a hunch.

 

Mike

 

Not sure if you want that feature kicking on Mike. I had issues with my DACport LX when that crap would happen. I'd get distortion and random cut outs during music playback. It was due to my USB ports not having enough power to fully power the LX and it was troublesome to say the least. I had to buy a USB hub which luckily fixed the problem completely.

post #306 of 483

I hear you, but I don't have that "feature" with my setup.  It's zeinharis whose DACport LX powers down after three minutes of not being used.

post #307 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickman View Post

 

That's the thing, mine doesn't ever go off it stays on. :(

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Mine stays on too.  I'm just guessing, but it could be that zeinharis' PC or Mac has a power-saving feature that detects the USB device's idle state and kills the power.  

 

Again, that's just a hunch.

 

Mike

 

Try to close the music/video player on the PC/Mac/Laptop when you not using it. I'm using foobar with wasapi, everytime i close the foobar the light on the LX will go off after 3 minutes later, perhaps it because the wasapi bypassing the window's sound interface so everytime i close the foobar there is no signal coming from the wasapi interface nor the USB port

post #308 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

 

Not sure if you want that feature kicking on Mike. I had issues with my DACport LX when that crap would happen. I'd get distortion and random cut outs during music playback. It was due to my USB ports not having enough power to fully power the LX and it was troublesome to say the least. I had to buy a USB hub which luckily fixed the problem completely.

 

Do you install the universal USB driver on your PC/Mac/Lapotop?, if you do install it please remove it, because of it that you get distortion and random cut outs during music playback

post #309 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeinharis View Post

 

Do you install the universal USB driver on your PC/Mac/Lapotop?, if you do install it please remove it, because of it that you get distortion and random cut outs during music playback


That was not causing the issues. My USB ports were not properly powering the unit. Once I bought a USB hub the issues stopped. I am using the Centrance driver for my DACport LX. Plus my unit never shuts off, even when idle.

post #310 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post


That was not causing the issues. My USB ports were not properly powering the unit. Once I bought a USB hub the issues stopped. I am using the Centrance driver for my DACport LX. Plus my unit never shuts off, even when idle.

 

the Centrance driver, do you mean this driver?? http://centrance.com/downloads/ud/

 

If not then indeed you have a problem with your USB ports

post #311 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeinharis View Post

 

the Centrance driver, do you mean this driver?? http://centrance.com/downloads/ud/

 

If not then indeed you have a problem with your USB ports


Yes I used the driver provided by CEntrance. I also had the problems when I wasn't using that driver and was using the ASIO driver. So it was the USB ports.

post #312 of 483
Thread Starter 

DACport original and DACport LX compared to DACmini's built-in USB as source for the DACmini amp - I'm cross posting to the DACmini thread:  

 

I borrowed a DACport LX from zilch0md to compare to my original DACport as a USB DAC.  He's been using LCD-2 and SE-530 to evaluate the gear, and he's been thrilled with his new DACmini driving the phones vs his old rig of DACport LX feeding an iBasso PB2 amp.  I started with LCD-2 rev1 and switched to the more resolving HD800 after a while.  

 

Here are my findings - The DACmini's built-in USB is a better source than either DACport, and which model of DACport comes closest the DACmini's performance seems to depend on what headphones you are using during the evaluation.

 

With the LCD-2 and Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 cable the DACport LX feeding the DACmini holds up pretty well.  It's not a huge difference with the LCD-2 and I had to switch to my re-cabled HD800 to confirm what I was hearing.  With the HD800 and Locus-Design Hyperion cable I could hear the difference in DACs better, so let's talk about that first.

 

So far the biggest difference between the "DACport LX feeding the DACmini CX" and using the built-in USB of the DACmini alone is that the soundstage is a little deeper and more holographic by itself, while the DACport LX feeding the mini sounds a little more forward and a little flatter front to back, but sometimes it seemed a little wider.  The LX just didn't quite make the music sound as transparent and etherial with HD800 as the DACmini alone.  But it's pretty damn good.  With the HD800 the sound usually comes from everywhere except from those "little speakers" next to my ears, and when using the DACmini alone I was just a little less aware of the headphones being there in between me and the music.  

 

Secondly, there is the air and ambience which seems a little more present and available with the DACmini alone, while with the DACport LX the background between the notes seems a little blacker, as if something between the notes that should be there is missing or not heard.  But with the less resolving LCD-2 rev1 I couldn't really hear deep enough into the music to easily discern this "blackness" difference.  This "blackness" or missing air is also part of that lessened holographic soundstage I think.  However, the tiny decrease in treble detail (or increased blackness) also tended to take that slight edge off the HD800.  Unfortunately, with the DACport LX in the chain the music seemed to be slightly lacking in presence and body in exchange for less listener fatigue with long listening sessions.

 

Finally, the bass foundation with the DACmini's built-in USB is ever so slightly more solid feeling vs the DACport LX as source.  It's not such a big enough difference to matter much, although it did leave me the sense that the DACmini alone offers a little better body and weight with the HD800.  It's still the soundstage, micro-detail, air and treble that seems to improve more with the DACmini alone, more so than the bass.  And this is not by a huge amount, but I'm sure I could tell which source I was listening to mostly by the difference soundstage depth and size.

 

Hold onto your socks now.  Here is the part I didn't expect - when I am using the HD800 I prefer the original DACport with the volume set at about 95% (to volume match) over the DACport LX as source, despite it having a headphone out instead of a line-out.  Go figure. The original DACport + DACmini combo improves the bass foundation and weight (and maybe some extra), plus offers most but not all of the air and ambience of the DACmini alone, with only that small change in the soundstage that I also heard with the LX.  

 

I don't understand why this is so, but this was almost as good as the DACmini built-in USB in terms of performance, and falls between the DACmini alone and the DACmini with DACport LX.  So, basically the original DACport fed into DACmini makes the HD800 sound about as fun or enjoyable as the DACmini alone, or more fun because the bass is a little stronger, the mids are slightly warmer and fuller, and the treble less fatiguing, without seeming to sacrifice much (if any) detail - all things the HD800 need from a synergistic source and amp.  It still has that slightly flatter "less-deep but still wide" soundstage of the LX, but with improved warmth and improved ability to relax while listening with the HD800.  That's a big plus to me, especially since the HD800 soundstage is so big even with a more restrictive source.  I'd give up that little bit of final resolution for improved musicality and synergy with HD800.

 

And no surprises here - switching back to the LCD-2 r1 with the original DACport > DACmini combo then made the LCD-2 r1 feel a little Too Dark.  This was even after I spent some time acclimating to the change in sound from the HD800.  The LCD-2 rev1's recessed treble makes listening to this combo feel like there was also a bit less detail than with the HD800, maybe due to my 50 year old ears.  The DACport LX > DACMini is definitely better with the LCD-2 r1 than when using the original DACport as source, as it gives the LCD-2 good detail and sparkle that the original DACport > mini lacks with LCD-2.  With LCD-2, the DACport LX is not really a downgrade as a source, as the LCD-2 don't reveal the differences as well as the HD800 do.

 

Basically, adding the DACport LX back into the mix doesn't seem to make things worse if I'm using the LCD-2, and they retain the sparkle and detail that I expect from the DACmini amp, while the HD800 lose a just little body, warmth and depth with the LX.  Both the original DACport and the LX actually help with what I feel are recessed mids in the LCD-2 by bringing them more forward, but the LX preserves the crisp treble that the LCD-2 r1 really need out of a DAC and amp.  I did not have a problem becoming immersed in the music when using the DACport LX > DACmini > LCD-2 (or DACmini alone).  That was more of an issue with the HD800 with the LX, or the LCD-2 with the original DACport as source.

 

IN SUMMARY - with LCD-2 headphones the DACport LX is a much better choice for source than the original DACport, and with HD800 the original DACport is a better choice for source.  If I had to pick just one version of DACport to use with ALL headphones, I'd say the LX is more versatile.  Either way the DACmini seems to contain a little better USB DAC than it's brethren, where we all know only a 5-10% improvement can double the price in a rig.  While I've always maintained that the DACmini isn't perfect for the HD800, I think that the DACmini/HD800 is still very enjoyable although ruthless in revealing flaws in the recording.  However, I'd be happier listening to HD800's with the original DACport feeding the DACmini.  Note - neither my DACport nor DACmini have the 1 ohm mod. 

 

MORE NOTES - to me the LCD-2 are still less resolving than the HD800 even with my most synergistic gear, and that is why I thought there was less difference between the DACport LX and DACmini built-in DAC when I used the LCD-2.  The phones were the weakest link in the chain, and so the differences between the more resolving DACs was harder to discern.  Even with my HE-500 I could discern the differences better than with LCD-2, although not as easily as with the HD800.  However, while some details may be masked by the LCD-2 rev1, the frequency response differences can still be heard with the LCD-2, which is why the original DACport was the darkest with them, the LX was better, and the CX was even better.  Since the LCD-2 border at the edge of darkness to my ears, the original DACport is the straw that breaks the camel's back in terms of treble quantity.  

 

In contrast, since the HD800 are slightly tilted towards the treble with many amps, the original DACport doesn't make them feel dark.  But the DACmini CX at the other end of the spectrum can make them sound slightly fatiguing with the wrong music.  So, with the HD800 I could still pick out the details with the original DACport, because the HD800 don't hold anything back.  If I was only using the LCD-2 for this comparison then I would have agreed with Mike's (zilch0md) impressions that the LX performs almost the same as the DACmini, since the LX does seem more detailed and airy than the original DACport when used with darker sounding phones.

 

I believe that ambience, air and space is increased with (a) better micro-detail and (2) better treble extension, and it's more likely associated with the impression of "venue size" than soundstage depth, where the location where the recording takes place is more "live" or "dead", i.e. more "relective" or "absorptive".  Maybe soundstage depth is more closely related to phase coherence?  Regardless, a source, amp or phone with better detail (especially in the treble) is more likely to accurately portray a bigger "venue size" if it's in the recording, because the ambience, air and space resides in the little details hiding between the louder notes.  More detail or treble wont magically make a recording in a small venue sound big, but it wont mask the details that make a recording sound more live.  

 

It's pretty clear that the wrong combination of gear can subtract even more from what you hear than with using just one wrong component alone.  So the original DACport may have slightly less detail than the DACport LX, but it's magnified when combined with the wrong phones.

post #313 of 483

Again...  Bravo Larry!  

 

My response can be seen following your cross-post at the DACmini thread.  

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

post #314 of 483
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Again...  Bravo Larry!  

 

My response can be seen following your cross-post at the DACmini thread.  

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

 

Thanks, I couldn't have done it without your loan.  At least my curiosity about the DACport LX has been satisfied, and the fact that I already own the DACport is enough that I don't need the LX too.  It was interesting that the original DACport is a little warmer with a little more body, and the LX is just a little more airy and articulate, but the differences in overall detail and resolution are much smaller than I expected.

 

EDIT - the big reason I didn't send my DACport to you when I returned your LX was that with your SE-530 and LCD-2, and the darker sounding PB2 amp, you wouldn't have preferred the original over the LX.  It would have been a waste of your time.


Edited by HeadphoneAddict - 10/4/12 at 11:05pm
post #315 of 483

Larry,

 

To put you at ease, I was thinking the same thing - I had never come close to asking if I could borrow your DACport - especially given my sincere conviction that you not only have more experienced ears, but a far better vocabulary for describing what you hear.  

 

Your opinion is sufficient for me!  

 

Mike

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