Originally Posted by drez
mk3 has arrived and charged! OOTB this thing is miles ahead of the AGD DI - were not talking changing SPDIF cable maybe-yes-maybe-not different, this is literally on par with changing headphones, DBT proof changes.
I can only imagine if burn in improves things. Very happy with this little box, it's worth every cent.
Originally Posted by tuberock
I have a new Redwine HPA with a minwatt tube replacement. With Denon ah d7000 headphones the HPA is very clear, articulated, holographic and natural sounding. I have been really enjoy this combo. Previously I was using a Apogee ensemble. Which was nice but it has been used primarily for recording music. I was using a stock usb cable with the HPA. Which sounded good as it is galvanic isolated. But I came down with the audiophile bug and wanted and even better sound. I was looking at a locus axis usb cable, but decided a spdif converter would improve the sound more. It was also cheaper. When I first got my Hiface Mk 3, I plugged in my old Sennheiser HD 280 pro's to burn in the unit. But to my utter disbelief this combo sounded better in a lot of ways, than the HPA with the Denon 7000's. This was without proper burn in! Don't misunderstand me. I greatly prefer in every way, the Denons over the Sennheiser HD 280 pro's. I kept this combo in place. Because I figured by waiting to put my good headphones in would be like getting another new toy. Boy was it! The mk3 is NOT subtle at all, it gave the HPA a huge improvement in sonic performance. Similar to drez's post, it's like changing the headphones or DAC, not a cable. The sound stage became even more 3D. Allowing a more accurate placement of instruments which were deeper and wider. It felt like a huge veil was lifted with a much blacker background. That I did not know that was there. As the HPA is quit black to begin with. Micro details within songs not only became more readily apparent but were clearly defined in space. The bass was tighter and much more articulated. The high end sounded extended and clearer, without grain. Cymbal began to sound as if you hearing them live, with proper attack and decay. Everything had more body and was richer . Bringing everything closer to that elusive "REAL" sound. Anybody who does not believe a hiface mk3 makes a difference in sound, only needs to hear one! Well truthfully, in my experience I can only say with a Redwine HPA it will make a HUGE difference. Making a GREAT sounding unit even better!
First of all, thanks for all those who shared their comments about how the different versions of the modified Hiface sound in their system (Shahrose, drez, tuberock...). This thread usefulness (in my opinion) is indeed about sharing people experiences with different converters and not about discussing theory of jitter.
Let me also share an anecdote about the Jkeny MK1 usb converter. Around the time I got the prototype of the Jkeny MK1, I went to my brother's place to try a few things in his desktop system. My brother is an engineer and he is far from being an audiophile. However, when it was time to to replace some "broken" desktop speakers he had been using mainly for gaming, I encouraged him to get a cheap amp and some bookshelf Klipsch speakers in order, to have more "flexibility" if he ever needed upgrades later on.
When I visited him, I brought along an Audio-gd dac100 (I wasn't using anymore) as well as the JK MK1. I wanted to try the audio-gd dac100 in his system and see if we could notice a difference with the X-Fi soundcard in an entry level system.
Switching between the Dac100 and the X-Fi, I could barely detect any differences (and I was doing the switching) and he couldn't.
It was until I placed the JK MK1 in the chain as a transport that he started to hear differences. He wasn't even aware that I inserted something new in system as I was making the switching and he was listening.
Weirdly he couldn't say which one he preferred (he is not an audiophile) but he could detect differences between the MK1+DAC100 and the X-Fi while he couldn't detect any differences between the Dac100 (run from its usb input) and the X-FI.
In that particular experience, it seemed that the quality of transport mattered more than what was actually in the DACs (dac chips, output stages,...). Obviously, no general conclusion can be drawn from such an entry level system, but I thought it could provide an interesting insight.
Edit -- The only "comment" I am going to make regarding the discussion above is rather to point to a quote from Daniel von Recklinghausen : "If it measures good and sounds bad, -- it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, -- you've measured the wrong thing."
Edited by slim.a - 10/19/11 at 3:41am