Perfect Wave DAC Owner Unite - Page 65
Head-Fi's Best Sellers
Tested the USB vs Coax input on the PWD MK2 (2.2.0). I stuck with the Dynahi for this for its transparency.
Fed by a fully upgraded OR5, there's a very significant and immediately noticeable increase in SQ. Soundstage is larger, imaging more focused, bass is tighter but simultaneously more extended and prominent. There's also just more detail retrieval, more air around instruments. The treble is more liquid and extended without any harshness. USB sounds flat and somewhat smeared in comparison.
Microdynamics are also better with the OR5. Coax and I2S (HDMI) are both good, but in my setup Coax sounds a little better (more focused/clear) only because I have better cabling and Hynes regulators on the output.
The MK3 JKSPDIF also improves upon the USB input, most notably in the bass and soundstage. The change is not as great as with the OR5 ofcourse, but it's significant and is easily discerned.
Every manufacturer has their own zero-jitter ads, but so far, I've found none of them to be true. Maybe the super high-end DACs like the MSB or EMM DAC2X come closer to such claims...who knows.
So the OR5 out performs the USB in the PWD2?
I wonder if I can go a step or two down from the OR5 and still beat the USB in the PWD2?
I'm looking at building the C.A.P.S v3 Zuma with this setup:
SOtM In-Line SATA Power Noise Filter: --> SOtM tX-USBexp Audiophile PCIe to USB Audio Card: --> SOtM mBPS-d2s Intelligent Battery Power Supply for the SOtM dX-USB-HD: --> SOtM dX-USB-HD Audiophile Asynchronous USB Interface for 24/192 Playback:
USB > NativeX
Coax > NativeX (when using the outboard converters, the difference between Native and NativeX isn't as great as it is with USB)
I2S > Native (I2S does not work with NativeX)
NativeX improved the USB input for sure, but not always Coax. I thought the OR5 sounded slightly better sometimes without it and sometimes with it. More often, I preferred NativeX, so I just leave it on. With the MK3 JKSPDIF, it's up in the air, have to listen more to determine but so far I feel the same way. NativeX On.
I noticed NativeX homogenizes the sound more than the other modes. Kind of imbues its own sound onto everything to an extent.
Though it sounds like the differences were earth-shaking in the last post, just want to clarify that it's all in the realm of audiophilia. They are subtle in absolute terms. Also, the improvements, though significant, are less noticeable than they are on the Audio-GD Reference 7.1.
From further listening, I also found the I2S and Coax are both good. Tough to say which one is better, despite the Coax Hynes regulators and better cabling. I2S seems to have a little more bass/treble + slightly better soundstage layering. My feeling is with the Hynes on I2S and a solid cable, it would produce the best SQ.
Edited by Shahrose - 1/3/13 at 1:41pm
I don't have the bridge, but Steve from Empirical Audio said it's better than the USB input. (Some others, including purrin, I know agree)
According to comparisons done on other fora, it's still not as good as the OR5, but the difference may not be worth the extra cost at that point.