Originally Posted by slim.a
I think Patu was just trying to help you take the best decision. While it is impossible to know for 100% certainty which solution will outperform the other before measuring and listening, there are ways to predict with high probability which one is likely to be the best solution (HT Omega Claro Halo vs. Hiface).
The HT Omega Claro Halo wasn't designed to be a transport only solutions so compromises must have been made in its design. For one, it seems to use only one clock. So in order to generate the 44.1 khz frequency on most music, that clock has to be derived which undoubtedly results in an increase of jitter. So even if you put an ultra low jitter clock inside, it will have to go through at least one PLL and it will also be affected by the noise inside the PC, the long traces in the PCB and the spdif connectors.
On the other hand you have a unit like the Hiface which has 2 true low jitter audio clocks (see the importance of true audio clocks here
), which is async, which has bit perfect drivers, which has very short signal paths, which has a pulse transformer to galvanically isolate the computer from the dac, and most of all it was designed from the ground up to sound good as a transport.
If I remember correctly, Patu prefered the hiface to the Esi juli@ (which is a well regarded card with 2 true audio clocks). Also measurement shows that the Hiface is slightly better than the LynxTwo sound card (which is one of the best PCI pro sound cards).
So given that data, and if the quality as a transport is the only criteria, one can reasonably assume that the Hiface is a better choice than the HT Omega Claro Halo.
Of course, this just my personal opinion and only reflects the way (logic) I base my purchase decisions on.
I am a modest person, not one to gloat, however I will tell you that I have worked in the computer industry for 12+ years as a system admin and network architech, I generally have a good working knowledge of most computer equipment.
That being said...I had my doubts about USB Transports until today...
After speaking with Pascal Ravach of Mutine I can say that I have changed my mind. Pascal owns Mutine, a North American company with their headquarters in Montreal, Quebec.
He named a "who's who" list of high end expensive sound cards (so many that I lost count)... including the ESi, RME, M-Audio, etc.
He states that even after replacing the Digial Coax connector with a top flight connector, no sound card he has tested has come close to the musicality of the M2Tech hiFace.
He was so confident that he challenged me to bring any computer, with any sound card setup...and AB against the M2Tech hiFace.
His extensive knowledge in the audio industry is outstanding and it was a pleasure to talk with him.
Long story short...After a 25 minute conversation I was "convinced" for the most part. What sold me was the fact that he said that he has a number of sound rooms, with different setups rangning from entry level to $100,000 + ..... and even in his most revealing stereo setup he states that the M2Tech hiFace was extremely musical with great balance and transparency. He said if he threw a dirty source on it, or any source with limitations he would be able to tell and so would I. I think I will be taking him up on his invitation very soon as the weather is starting to get really nice here.
I placed my order and will be sending back the HT Omega Claro Halo card.