Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › the best dac for 2k
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

the best dac for 2k - Page 3

post #31 of 112


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

I’m dubious such a broad group of audio products can differ in sonics as vastly portrayed. Their functionality should be aligned with a common goal, preserve the original signal. To digress from this principle from the very Genesis of the signals passage would surely end in no mans land, without a hope in hell of resurrecting the authentic event. A designer who does not follow this theory is doing him/herself a great disservice, so I ask the question what intention or purpose does an abbreviation or adaption of the signal gain? Is it compensation for possible floors in the design and manufacturing?

 

I conclude the commentary thus far concerning the sonic qualities of various DACs should be taken heavily with a grain of salt.


If it were as simple as that I think you'd be right to be dubious.  But the signal itself is actually being translated to another language, as it were.  It contains not only information about amplitude, but also about timing. I don't get what makes it difficult for you to understand that a device that translates one signal into another language cannot differ from another device which uses different components and construction to accomplish that same translation?  Though the goal may be similar, the designer may implement different means to accomplish that goal dictated by budgetary concerns, and or design priorities.  You might voice the same doubt you do here about turntables - given the goal is to preserve the original signal why, you might ask, does one sound different from another?  I can assure you they do sound different, just as DAC's do, and just as CD players do (just a transport and a DAC in the same chassis sharing the same power supply).  Whether it's interpreting zeroes and ones, or electromechanical signals from a stylus being vibrated within a record groove - both are translations of data from on language to another.


Edited by jax - 7/7/10 at 8:11pm
post #32 of 112

I really like the following DACs:

TwistedPearAudio Buffalo

NorthStar m192

Berkeley Audio Alpha

post #33 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post

I really like the following DACs:

TwistedPearAudio Buffalo

NorthStar m192

Berkeley Audio Alpha


Do you know where to get a Berkeley Alpha for $2K??? Why not just go for a Pacific Microsonics Model 2? 

 

post #34 of 112

Yeah, that might be kind of hard, I've seen it for closer to 3.5K :p

post #35 of 112

jax, cutting to the chase in essence it’s not that there aren’t levels of difference, it’s the magnitude that is way out of proportion. We are not dealing with budget restraints either, the OP is clearly decisive as to price. That and the very fact there are so many recommendations for the same product speaks volumes.  

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jax View Post


 


If it were as simple as that I think you'd be right to be dubious.  But the signal itself is actually being translated to another language, as it were.  It contains not only information about amplitude, but also about timing. I don't get what makes it difficult for you to understand that a device that translates one signal into another language cannot differ from another device which uses different components and construction to accomplish that same translation?  Though the goal may be similar, the designer may implement different means to accomplish that goal dictated by budgetary concerns, and or design priorities.  You might voice the same doubt you do here about turntables - given the goal is to preserve the original signal why, you might ask, does one sound different from another?  I can assure you they do sound different, just as DAC's do, and just as CD players do (just a transport and a DAC in the same chassis sharing the same power supply).  Whether it's interpreting zeroes and ones, or electromechanical signals from a stylus being vibrated within a record groove - both are translations of data from on language to another.


 

post #36 of 112


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

jax, cutting to the chase in essence it’s not that there aren’t levels of difference, it’s the magnitude that is way out of proportion. We are not dealing with budget restraints either, the OP is clearly decisive as to price. That and the very fact there are so many recommendations for the same product speaks volumes.  

 

 

 


 


I think I must have not read the posts from which you are getting the vast "magnitude" of differences that are so out of proportion.  I don't think I've spoken of any vast differences among products, just that I prefer some over others and why.  Did I miss something?

post #37 of 112

jax, I did not use the word ‘vast’ but that does seem pertinent and an omission that deluded me in my past post. Phantasm alone, you have indeed ‘missed something’ you leave me in a quandary and a state of bewilderment as to the existence so manifest could be missed. 

 

By the way I was not directing my two cents' worth wholly at your posts as you have alluded. I stand by my past post, every word, it would be a cold day in hell if I should shift point of view.

 

The commentary thus far along with my own experiences has lead me to conclude that DAC’s are indeed akin to each other sonically within the OP’s price point, I personally think the differences are substantially closer than conventional audiophile dogma.


Edited by johnwmclean - 7/8/10 at 6:03am
post #38 of 112

I used the word "vast" to interpret this statement:

 

Quote:

it’s the magnitude that is way out of proportion.

 

Please accept my apologies for what is hopefully only a brief state of bewilderment.  Rest assured I will not bother to ever request a retraction from you, or for anyone else on an internet forum, on the subject of the minutia of differences in audio gear. Beelzebub can rest easy knowing that his fires will not be extinguished anytime soon. 

 

I was not suggesting you were addressing me alone, simply responding to your comments (as I (mis)understood them) as they applied to what I'd already said.

 

My own perceptions of DACs in the $2K price range is that they sound different from each other when compared within the same system.  Given that, I'd prefer to choose the one that most pleases me, rather than the first one to fall from the piñata.  I would suggest that the largest factors to influence how they sound would have to do with timing (their clocks), jitter (also a factor of timing), and the means they use to translate digital to analog (among other things like power supply, signal path, etc. all of which are well beyond my own understanding).  As an example; the difference between a Benchmark DAC1 and a Havana, in my system is readily apparent and I strongly prefer one over the other.  I would say though, that the Benchmark is likely being far more accurate to the source, as you suggest as a universal design target, while the Havana is more likely coloring the source in some way.  I much prefer the latter in this particular case.  A digital original file, stripped bare naked, more often than not tends to be rather harsh to my ears.  The same material via a different DAC is not only listenable, but engaging and immensely enjoyable, and in this case, non-fatiguing.  That's just a personal example - YMMV and your .02 Lincolns may be spent at another store. 

 

How different they sound from each other might have a lot to do with the listener's preferences and expectations, how revealing the system they are using the DAC in is, synergy with that system, as well as the source material being used to judge them, among other things perhaps. 


Edited by jax - 7/8/10 at 8:27am
post #39 of 112

I'm going to throw a wrench in here. A lot of people say a dac should be as close to the original signal as possible. I will not disagree with that mentality. But how do we know what the original signal sounds like in the first place? Especially when we don't have an analog master tape of the performance. How do we know that say for instance, a tube dac is not giving a more truthful presentation than an ss dac? Also, another thing that will influence how components sound are the parts used. For instance, a gold plated pcb will have its own signature, silver wire sounds different than copper wire, different capacitors and op-amps have signatures, etc...

post #40 of 112
Thread Starter 

great debate here

it's the same question for carbon electric guitar, some says that carbon don't color the sound, like wood, but how do we know what the "real", the un-colored, sound is? and even if one day we'll have dacs that not colors the sound, we will never have exactly the same sound as it was made in the studio, because even in the studio the sound depends of your position in the room. the ultimate goal of hi-fi is the only one that will not be reached by anyone, even if have billion of dollars to spend in r&d. 

great philosophical question.


Edited by yococo96 - 7/9/10 at 10:10am
post #41 of 112
Thread Starter 

if I buy the twisted pear buffalo, have I to build it (casework etc) because on the site they don't show any picture of the dac in a box? 

edit: is there any build version? what have I to buy if I wanna build it by myself? it seems stupid but it will my first diy thing


Edited by yococo96 - 7/9/10 at 10:02am
post #42 of 112

The TPA Buffalo is merely a kit, not fully assembled unit.

post #43 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by computerparts View Post

I'm going to throw a wrench in here. A lot of people say a dac should be as close to the original signal as possible. I will not disagree with that mentality. But how do we know what the original signal sounds like in the first place? Especially when we don't have an analog master tape of the performance. How do we know that say for instance, a tube dac is not giving a more truthful presentation than an ss dac? Also, another thing that will influence how components sound are the parts used. For instance, a gold plated pcb will have its own signature, silver wire sounds different than copper wire, different capacitors and op-amps have signatures, etc...


It's pretty trivial to measure the frequency response of a digital analog converter, and it's not unreasonable to assume that the signal should ideally be as close to the original as possible. The engineers listened to the signal on a relatively flat set of monitors and determined that the sound they expected you to hear would be ideal. Any deviations may pleasantly alter the sound, either by adding harmonics and saturation with a colored tube DAC (not to say the transparent and tubes do not ever come together or that distortion is undesirable) or with a DAC with an uneven frequency response, either tube or SS (look at the HM-801 or a Wadia DAC for an example).

 

We can treat the DAC as a black box and assume that if the signal comes out, say, +/- .1 dB from 20-20k hz, .1% THD+N, then it's transparent. So in this case the parts become irrelevant so long as they produce the desired result.

 

If you're just looking to add color, a digital EQ would give the same result and is modifiable at any time, plus you can always swap one digital eq for another and find one that is perfect for you. A tube plugin such as SPL Twin Tube can add harmonics and saturation to taste at a quite decent quality level.

post #44 of 112

What about the Bryston BDA-1?  I haven't heard it but it has received good reviews.

post #45 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by yococo96 View Post

great debate here

it's the same question for carbon electric guitar, some says that carbon don't color the sound, like wood, but how do we know what the "real", the un-colored, sound is? and even if one day we'll have dacs that not colors the sound, we will never have exactly the same sound as it was made in the studio, because even in the studio the sound depends of your position in the room. the ultimate goal of hi-fi is the only one that will not be reached by anyone, even if have billion of dollars to spend in r&d. 

great philosophical question.

 

Position is only one of many ways a recording can be colored, and those people behind the mixing boards are only human and make all sorts of wrong interpretations. I believe the psychological perception of colored and neutral sound may be much more complex than most give it credit for. What I think would be interesting is audio reproduction that is colored in such a way to give an extremely "objective" and soulless but still NEUTRAL interpretation of all albums played through it. A few times I've described my pro 900 as hearing through the ears of Spock, but it wasn't quite that emotionless :p, if someone could make something like this whether in software or hardware I might buy it just out of curiosity.


Edited by haloxt - 7/10/10 at 10:26am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › the best dac for 2k