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Audio-gd Digital Interface - Page 254

post #3796 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog'd View Post

and from the "windows seriously couldn't suck more" department:

 

i have a nuforce u192s running under win 7 32 bit; but could not get the audio-gd div-3 driver to install properly on the same system. now, i'm replacing my pc soon, so i wanted to compare the nuforce to the gd despite my current pc refusing to work with it, so.... i took both converters to my stepson's rig. he's using the same grantfidelity tubedac11 as i am, so i hoped to be able to compare them on his pc, which has a much newer motherboard et al, and is running win 64 bit.

 

damned if the audio gd didn't install immediately and work perfectly!!! sounds great , couldnt wait to install the nuforce and compare. guess what? the newforce would not install properly on his machine. I'll be damned. talk about "ya can't win"....

 

so, i'm about to go borrow his pc, set it up beside mine, and compare the audio gd to the nuforce by simply swapping out which coax is connected to the dac, and selecting that device (that converter) in foobar. i will finally be able to hear them within a moment of each other, and with my entire hi res library at hand ( the mellowist i could get on his rig was led zep, and although the glories of megadeath impressed me to no end i am looking forward to hearing the div-3 playing bill evans, jennifer warnes, ella and duke, bartok, some miles, cat stevens, joni, dusty and dolphy. one of the main things i will compare is the dynamics on brubeck's track 'take 5' (a needledrop of the 45 rpm pressing, as are most of these).

 

then of course i will confirm the beauty with some megadeath.    

What are you waiting for bro!  I can't wait, which converter does the group think will win out? my vote is GD

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #3797 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete_mac View Post
The latest audio-gd DI with the USB32 chipset is a clear improvement over the older DI when used as a USB to SPDIF interface. In fact, I can't think of another converter that would surpass its performance at its asking price (around $140 + postage for the unit, excluding the optional external power supply). Audiophilleo-like performance at a fraction of the price (and a class above than the cheaper TE7022 or TI/BB equipped units).
I spent a good part of the weekend comparing two converters. I set up two pc's side by side, both running win 7, 1 32 bit and 1 64 bit. from each of these i ran a usb cable. the 64 bit pc's usb terminated at the usb input on the Audio_gd di v3, the other was run to a Nuforce U192S. i ran a digital coax cable from each to the S/PDIF input on the Grant Fidelity TubeDac-11, and had copies of the same hires needledrops on both machines. i used foobar on both machines to play back. Per the manufacturer’s suggestions, for the NuForce I selected Wasapi event driven output while for the Audio_gd I used kernel streaming.

after a bit of practice i became adept at starting the same tracks simultaneously on both computers, and was able to a/b very quickly by simply swapping which coax cable was input in the back of the Grant Fidelity TubeDac-11.

Before I had worked out the timing of the start-ups, I thought everything sounded pretty much the same from the gd to the nuforce, but heard what I perceived to be a difference in the bass (specifically the gd sounded “stronger/deeper” in bass, but the nuforce exposed more nuance of tone/detail. But I kept becoming befuddled as I couldn’t always hear the differences. I spent a lot of time trying to nail down what I was hearing.

Then I stumbled on a method of executing the start-ups(the perfect lag time that allowed me to switch the cable and hear the music without missing a note going from the audio-gd to the nuforce smoothly. That turned it into an actual a/b comparison and allowed me to hear all the differences in all their glory!

Drum roll, si vous plais….There were absolutely no differences in the sound! Nada, zero, zip. The bass was exactly the same ( it was because I was not hearing it as a real a/b; so that I was hearing an out of sequence comparison – where the bass two measures later IS different: my memory could not retain the exact intonation when there was a gap and I was comparing two spots in a cut that were not concurrent. DUH! That’s why they call it ‘a/b-ing’ and not ‘a/d-ing’.

So on both the Beyer Dynamic T1 and the Sennheiser HD800 (two extremely revealing headphones), using the most revealing tube I’ve ever heard (Amperex usa 1960 white label 6922 usn with a damper on it) I could hear absolutely no change when I rolled from one to the other. The only time I did hear a change was when I removed the outboard power supply from the Audio-GD Div3; at which point there was a significant difference between the two with the gd not delivering what it did with the power supply module.

Testing this on another listener who owns a tubedac-11 produced the same results. He chose the nuforce as superior to the audio_gd when the gd was usb powered; but when it was powered by the separate unit he could not tell which unit he was hearing.

Both sound fantastic, btw.

So, Pete, I highly recommend powering the div3 using something other than the usb power; and although I have no idea of anything else at the same cost as the gd that will outmatch it’s sound quality, the Nuforce at $99.00 currently matches it. (btw, the nuforce is also tiny so that it’ll be great for portable use, and it displays what it’s playing (16/44; 24/96, 24/192 etc).

I am wondering from if the lesson to be learned from this is that, when it’s done right the re-clocking works and should not sound different. Could it be that the differences described by listeners between the various more expensive units are actually a colorization being enforced by them? Or in some cases perhaps the units are not performing up to snuff and it’s simply the jitter still at play?

I don’t know. I plan to study the feedback on more costly converters and when I can give one a try. As for now I am firmly comfortable recommending the USB powered Nuforce (I know, I know..it CAN’T sound ok if powered by USB…unless it can, apparently) as performing at exactly the same level with identical sonic output as the audio_gd.

Audio_gd div3 owners (of which I am one) – I am ready to take the heat. But don’t bother unless you have compared the two side by side, with all things equal.

btw - i listened to hi res needldrops of 45 rpm pressings of Brubeck 'Take Five', Bill Evans 'Moonbeams' and live at art d's, led zep I, bartok concerto for orchestra(reiner, classic 33 1/3), a great copy of natty dread, 33 1/3 at 16 bits, bowie's aladin sane title cut (jpn 33 1/3) tea for the tillerman (audio fidelity 33 1/3); sunshine superman and sunny goodge street(steve hoffman's remaster); some radiohead 45 rpm eps; eric dolphy out to lunch 45 rpm "hat and beard" and coltrane blue train title cut from 45 rpm).
post #3798 of 4021
Great comparison review and just in time! Nuforce keeps the details of this unit under wrap I could not find clock info or the usual design spill. Since some were comparing the Audio GD combo to the AP1-2 without pure power I guess the little Nuforce can compete with the USB powered AP's.
post #3799 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog'd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete_mac View Post
The latest audio-gd DI with the USB32 chipset is a clear improvement over the older DI when used as a USB to SPDIF interface. In fact, I can't think of another converter that would surpass its performance at its asking price (around $140 + postage for the unit, excluding the optional external power supply). Audiophilleo-like performance at a fraction of the price (and a class above than the cheaper TE7022 or TI/BB equipped units).

I don’t know. I plan to study the feedback on more costly converters and when I can give one a try. As for now I am firmly comfortable recommending the USB powered Nuforce (I know, I know..it CAN’T sound ok if powered by USB…unless it can, apparently) as performing at exactly the same level with identical sonic output as the audio_gd.

Audio_gd div3 owners (of which I am one) – I am ready to take the heat. But don’t bother unless you have compared the two side by side, with all things equal.

 

 

For the sake of the record, the DI-V3 uses significantly more power than the Nuforce.  Something like 48000mw  (max) for the AGd to 150mw for the nuforce if my conversion math is right.  This is crucial for the clock as USB power is prone to interrupts.    

 

I think your post is getting to the fact that as long as you get the data of the computer without much issue then don't expect to hear much difference no matter how much you spend for the device.  Once you have a competent usb to spdif solution any bad sound you experience is likely due to something going on with your computer (too many usb devices, heavy cpu or memory usage etc).

 

With that said I would still recommend USB to SPDIF devices with separate power supplies if the user intends to use their computer heavily while listening to music or they have a older computer.  People with dedicated music servers or very powerful computers probably don't have to be as picky.

 

There is a question whether low power converters like the Nuforce are superior to the likes of the AGD or the Audiohilleo.  As long as they get the same results I think they probably are or can be but there is probably a limit to it.  Some devices just work better with more power.  Some devices have multiple clocks (Empirical Audio) which require more power and I think having separate clocks for 44.1khz and 48khz is probably the best solution.  But of course more clocks means more power which makes USB power only not viable.

 

And there is always the question as to whether the Nuforce would be better with a separate power supply. biggrin.gif   A crucial consideration a person should make when buying a converter is power consumption if they are planning to use usb power only and the NUForce seems to fit the bill with its really low consumption.  


Edited by ciphercomplete - 4/29/13 at 4:16pm
post #3800 of 4021

If they both sound the same, Audio-Gd already win on the price.

post #3801 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmychan View Post

If they both sound the same, Audio-Gd already win on the price.
Nuforce is $99 with free shipping
post #3802 of 4021

Also, the reviewer mentioned that the DIV3 was equal to the Nuforce only when used with the external PSU, which further increases the price difference.

post #3803 of 4021

Could you hear a difference with the built-in USB input of the TubeDAC-11?

 

That DAC could be a limiting factor when comparing 2 DDCs (which, in essence, is a good thing since you can keep the cheaper of the two wink.gif).

Something with really sensitive input stage, like the Metrum DACs, might be more appropriate. I'm not questioning, I'm just asking :)

 

In my experience, the difference between a Stello U3 and a Concero is substantial with the Metrum Quad.

 

Btw: are you "J. Niss" on amazon?

post #3804 of 4021

testing a digital source (usb-converter) on a cheapo DAC is the worst idea ever, imho

it's like comparing running shoes when you've only got one leg .

post #3805 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Could you hear a difference with the built-in USB input of the TubeDAC-11?

 

That DAC could be a limiting factor when comparing 2 DDCs (which, in essence, is a good thing since you can keep the cheaper of the two wink.gif).

Something with really sensitive input stage, like the Metrum DACs, might be more appropriate. I'm not questioning, I'm just asking :)

 

In my experience, the difference between a Stello U3 and a Concero is substantial with the Metrum Quad.

 

Btw: are you "J. Niss" on amazon?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kr0gg View Post

testing a digital source (usb-converter) on a cheapo DAC is the worst idea ever, imho

it's like comparing running shoes when you've only got one leg .

I think the better question should be what Nuforce did right IMO! 

post #3806 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Could you hear a difference with the built-in USB input of the TubeDAC-11?

 

That DAC could be a limiting factor when comparing 2 DDCs (which, in essence, is a good thing since you can keep the cheaper of the two wink.gif).

Something with really sensitive input stage, like the Metrum DACs, might be more appropriate. I'm not questioning, I'm just asking :)

 

In my experience, the difference between a Stello U3 and a Concero is substantial with the Metrum Quad.

 

 

I think thats a fair question for all the reasons you listed.

post #3807 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Could you hear a difference with the built-in USB input of the TubeDAC-11?

 

That DAC could be a limiting factor when comparing 2 DDCs (which, in essence, is a good thing since you can keep the cheaper of the two wink.gif).

Something with really sensitive input stage, like the Metrum DACs, might be more appropriate. I'm not questioning, I'm just asking :)

 

In my experience, the difference between a Stello U3 and a Concero is substantial with the Metrum Quad.

 

Btw: are you "J. Niss" on amazon?

 

huge difference between the signal delivered via usb to the td-11 vs delivery via coax from usb to s/pdif converter. yes, my review of the u192s is posted here, on amazon and on audiokarma. it details the benefits.

 

 

the dac is extremely capable of delivering differences in input from different drivers, different resolution files, different masterings of the same recording, etc etc etc. It is clearly benefitting as expected by re-clocking, bringing it to a new level. And it is quite easy to hear the difference in the div3 when it's NOT usb powered. It is highly unlikely that it is a shortcoming on the part of the dac that renders these two converters sounding the same. I understand the question but given the fact that it scales up with better resolution recordings of better pressings, competes on many levels with a vinyl rig comprised of a vpi aires turntable/benz micro ruby 2h cart/pass labs aleph ono phono stage preamp, and that it allows me to hear the shortcomings of the div3 when usb powered, it seems illogical to assume that the tubedac is holding back the converter. is it POSSIBLE? sure, ANYthing's possible.  

 

my cd player is a naim cd 5 with hi-cap (outboard power supply). i use a chang lightspeed power conditioner with it. the dac in the td-11 delivers sonics at the same level as the naim gear when playing a cd, despite having only the pc as a transport. with the addition of the usb to spdif converter it clearly bests the naim rig.      

post #3808 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr0gg View Post

testing a digital source (usb-converter) on a cheapo DAC is the worst idea ever, imho

it's like comparing running shoes when you've only got one leg .

could you elaborate on your experience with the dac?

post #3809 of 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwanSong View Post


Nuforce is $99 with free shipping

 

I should get one to try.

post #3810 of 4021

I already ordered, got impressed by analog'd review, I was about to place order for DIV3 and also got quote list from Audio-gd but Nuforce is much cheaper so I want to try them first. Having heard difference between SPDIF and USB earlier, I know what to expect. 

 

DC meet is on 25th of this month, hope I will be able compare Nuforce with DIV3, it is listed on available rigs.  

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