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The USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out thread - Page 3

post #31 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

Good review slim.a. Thorough as always.

 

I just want to add that since getting rid of my Oyaide DR-510 and getting a new coax cable, the transient response, low-level detail, and soundstage all improved noticeably. The Oyaide's smooth/rounded and relatively slow sound doesn't mate so well with the already slightly soft-sounding jkeny HiFace IMO.


Regarding the digital cable, I didn't explicitely mention it on the review but I listened to all the converters with at least 2 digital cables:

- The 1.3m Oyaide DB-510: my reference cable, which you are already familiar with,

- And the 1m Hi-fi Cables & Cie Sobek: my former reference cable, which is a high performance BNC cable that uses silver plated copper (with Teflon PTFE insulation) and multiple level of shielding (Silver plated copper screen, µ-Metal Permalloy, Polyimide Kapton R)

My comments about how the units compare to each other are the same regardless of the digital cable being used.

 

I admit that the Sobek has more treble sparkle than the Oyaide. However, whenever I play some high quality recordings containaing unamplified instruments that are difficult to render (such as violins, pianos, glass harmonica), the Oyaide seem to get the upper hand. It is the only one to offer me distortion free treble and the necessary refinement and information in the upper harmonics.

Or in other words, when the high frequency information is simple, the Sobek seems to have more treble energy and when the high frequency information is complex, the Oyaide seems to have both more treble energy and less distortion. This is at least how I hear it in my system.

BTW, Pacha has had the opportunity to listen a little while ago to my system which was using the modified Hiface + Oyaide and I don't believe he found the system slow. But I would rather let him comment on that.

 

At the meantime, you are right, pairing the smooth Oyaide with the slightly soft sounding Jkeny's Hiface is not and ideal recommendation in most cases (while the stock Hiface + Oyaide was a very good match).

That is why I am currently preferring the Digital Interface (w/ upsampling to 96K) + Oyaide.

Downsize's digital cable you are using seems intriguing (and promising) and I might try it in the future.

post #32 of 56


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post


BTW, Pacha has had the opportunity to listen a little while ago to my system which was using the modified Hiface + Oyaide and I don't believe he found the system slow. But I would rather let him comment on that.

 

No I didn't find it slow. It was fast and dynamic as hell. I had great time listening on your rig I must say.

 

I also traded the Oyaide with something else as I've said before on the HiFace thread.

post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacha View Post


 

 

No I didn't find it slow. It was fast and dynamic as hell. I had great time listening on your rig I must say.

 

I also traded the Oyaide with something else as I've said before on the HiFace thread.

 

If you really feel that way about the Oyaide, then you should try a short $25 BJC coax. It'll blow you away.
 

post #34 of 56
Thread Starter 

Update: I have also posted the USB to Spdif review in here: http://www.tweak-fi.com/apps/blog/entries/show/5029064-the-usb-to-spdif-shoot-out-review-part-2

 

I will post all my subsequent updates there so that I can speak freely about things that can affect a converter, such as different digital cables, power cords or usb cables, without going into endless arguments with the faction of cable skeptics over here.

post #35 of 56

To be a sceptic is one thing, to be rude, impolite and arrogant is another.

post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

Update: I have also posted the USB to Spdif review in here: http://www.tweak-fi.com/apps/blog/entries/show/5029064-the-usb-to-spdif-shoot-out-review-part-2

 

I will post all my subsequent updates there so that I can speak freely about things that can affect a converter, such as different digital cables, power cords or usb cables, without going into endless arguments with the faction of cable skeptics over here.


Sorry to hear that. 

 

USG

 

Btw, here's an interesting tool for you to experiment with.....

 

http://www.libinst.com/Audio%20DiffMaker.htm

post #37 of 56

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post



 

If you really feel that way about the Oyaide, then you should try a short $25 BJC coax. It'll blow you away.
 



Are you kidding or serious? I already replaced it by an even shorter thing anyway, and it's ok I must say.

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacha View Post

 



Are you kidding or serious? I already replaced it by an even shorter thing anyway, and it's ok I must say.



Quite serious. For dynamics and speed, the BJC cable I owned with the Oyaide was better. The Oyaide's strengths were its smoothness, warmth and its tubey-forgiving sound.

post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

Quite serious. For dynamics and speed, the BJC cable I owned with the Oyaide was better. The Oyaide's strengths were its smoothness, warmth and its tubey-forgiving sound.

 


If the object of a cable is to transmit a signal unchanged don't you guys find it curious that the Oyaide is acting like a low pass filter?   ..............just musing.

 

USG

 

Edit:  I hate when this happens.

 

I just came across some conflicting information in slim.a's review of the Oyaide cable:  LOCATED HERE

 

Speaking about  the Oyaide cable, slim.a says, " I have tested it with enough different transports and dacs to be confident that it is the least colored cable I have come across."

 

Now it can't be both the least colored cable and at the same time have a  smooth, warm tuby-forgiving sound.....


Edited by upstateguy - 10/14/10 at 7:57pm
post #40 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post




If the object of a cable is to transmit a signal unchanged don't you guys find it curious that the Oyaide is acting like a low pass filter?   ..............just musing.

 

USG

 

Edit:  I hate when this happens.

 

I just came across some conflicting information in slim.a's review of the Oyaide cable:  LOCATED HERE

 

Speaking about  the Oyaide cable, slim.a says, " I have tested it with enough different transports and dacs to be confident that it is the least colored cable I have come across."

 

Now it can't be both the least colored cable and at the same time have a  smooth, warm tuby-forgiving sound.....


Just a little clarification about the Oyaide cable:

 

Transports that I tried it with: Cambridge 640, Emu 0404 usb, Musiland 01 USD, Teralink X, Teralink X2, Purepiper Usb converter, Jkeny's Hiface, Digital Interface

Digital Cables that I have owned or borrowed: Belkin Silver Series, Canare, Belden, Stereovox XV2, Hifi Cables & Cie Sobek, Actinote Aria and a friend's DIY twinaxial one.

DACs I tested those with: A-gd DAC-100, FUN, dac19mk3, dac19dsp, Purepiper, EMU 0404, Zero DAC, Audiomat DACs.

 

As you can see, it is a fairly broad spectrum of front-end gear that I tested. What sets apart the Oyaide from many cables is the lack of digital grunge (that could be mistaken for details) and the thinness and over articulated transients (that can be mistaken for dynamics).

If you listen to music and not sounds (bass, mids, highs), then you will find the Oyaide the least colored. If you want to hear impactful bass, shiny treble and explosive dynamics regardless of what is really on the recording, then the Oyaide is not suited.

 

On a high quality recording such as Rachmaninoff Dances (24/96 from HD Tracks), you clearly hear the superiority of the Oyaide over "regular" cables. I have a second "reference" cable, the Hifi Cables & Cie that seems airier and faster when doing quick A/B tests. However, I can't stand listening to it for extended periods as it sounds fake in comparison to the Oyaide: complex instruments do not seem as natural with it.

When I use the term smooth to describe the Oyaide, it is to describle its lack of digital hash and grunge. Overall, the end result result will depend on the downstream components: Components that use opamps or high negative feedback tend generally (but not always) to be very poor in the time domain performance. Thus that naturlness of tone can go unnoticed in such a system and you are left with is how the tonal balance of a cable "fits" in the system.

In my reference system, you can not only hear disctinctly the tonal differences of close instruments but you can also hear the specific brand/make of the recorded instruments (different violins, pianos) on the same recording.

 

To me, it is unacceptable if a cable (or component) make a violin or a piano sound artificial as I listen to a lot of classical music. Many treble lifted components cannot reproduce accurately the top end. If your expectations are different from an audio system, then the Oyaide might not be the most cost effective solution for getting a high performance digital cable.

 

The Oyaide in compirason to regular digital cables is what R2R DACs are to Sigma-delta ones. The R2R DACs have less perceived details at first listen than edgy sounding Sigma/Deltas but on long term listening, you discover a wealth of low level information and naturalness of tone that were missing from most Sigma/delta one. Those who have had the chance to listen to a well designed R2R DAC will know I am talking about.

 

BTW, from a technical point of view, the Oyaide is a true 75Ohms cable, with high purity silver conductors and excellent shielding. By design, it cannot act as a lowpass filter. If anything, from a designing point of view, a DIY cable with unknown characteristics is more like likely to transmit the signal with as much accuracy as the Oyaide smily_headphones1.gif

 

Edit: sorry for the long post, I just thought it was necessary to explain the differences in perception.


Edited by slim.a - 10/15/10 at 5:39am
post #41 of 56



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post




Just a little clarification about the Oyaide cable:

 

Transports that I tried it with: Cambridge 640, Emu 0404 usb, Musiland 01 USD, Teralink X, Teralink X2, Purepiper Usb converter, Jkeny's Hiface, Digital Interface

Digital Cables that I have owned or borrowed: Belkin Silver Series, Canare, Belden, Stereovox XV2, Hifi Cables & Cie Sobek, Actinote Aria and a friend's DIY twinaxial one.

DACs I tested those with: A-gd DAC-100, FUN, dac19mk3, dac19dsp, Purepiper, EMU 0404, Zero DAC, Audiomat DACs.

 

As you can see, it is a fairly broad spectrum of front-end gear that I tested. What sets apart the Oyaide from many cables is the lack of digital grunge (that could be mistaken for details) and the thinness and over articulated transients (that can be mistaken for dynamics).

If you listen to music and not sounds (bass, mids, highs), then you will find the Oyaide the least colored. If you want to hear impactful bass, shiny treble and explosive dynamics regardless of what is really on the recording, then the Oyaide is not suited.

 

On a high quality recording such as Rachmaninoff Dances (24/96 from HD Tracks), you clearly hear the superiority of the Oyaide over "regular" cables. I have a second "reference" cable, the Hifi Cables & Cie that seems airier and faster when doing quick A/B tests. However, I can't stand listening to it for extended periods as it sounds fake in comparison to the Oyaide: complex instruments do not seem as natural with it.

When I use the term smooth to describe the Oyaide, it is to describle its lack of digital hash and grunge. Overall, the end result result will depend on the downstream components: Components that use opamps or high negative feedback tend generally (but not always) to be very poor in the time domain performance. Thus that naturlness of tone can go unnoticed in such a system and you are left with is how the tonal balance of a cable "fits" in the system.

In my reference system, you can not only hear disctinctly the tonal differences of close instruments but you can also hear the specific brand/make of the recorded instruments (different violins, pianos) on the same recording.

 

To me, it is unacceptable if a cable (or component) make a violin or a piano sound artificial as I listen to a lot of classical music. Many treble lifted components cannot reproduce accurately the top end. If your expectations are different from an audio system, then the Oyaide might not be the most cost effective solution for getting a high performance digital cable.

 

The Oyaide in compirason to regular digital cables is what R2R DACs are to Sigma-delta ones. The R2R DACs have less perceived details at first listen than edgy sounding Sigma/Deltas but on long term listening, you discover a wealth of low level information and naturalness of tone that were missing from most Sigma/delta one. Those who have had the chance to listen to a well designed R2R DAC will know I am talking about.

 

BTW, from a technical point of view, the Oyaide is a true 75Ohms cable, with high purity silver conductors and excellent shielding. By design, it cannot act as a lowpass filter. If anything, from a designing point of view, a DIY cable with unknown characteristics is more like likely to transmit the signal with as much accuracy as the Oyaide smily_headphones1.gif

 

Edit: sorry for the long post, I just thought it was necessary to explain the differences in perception.


Rather than using subjective analyses why not just measure a few digital cables inc the exotic ones and see if any of them deviate from a straight line FR, I have done this on a couple of cables and not found any digital cable to fundamentally alter the frequency balance, they were all accurate, but I did not test exotic cables. Any of the subjective effects you detected should show up in differences in noise and FR.


Edited by nick_charles - 10/15/10 at 8:42am
post #42 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post



 


Rather than using subjective analyses why not just measure a few digital cables inc the exotic ones and see if any of them deviate from a straight line FR, I have done this on a couple of cables and not found any digital cable to fundamentally alter the frequency balance, they were all accurate, but I did not test exotic cables. Any of the subjective effects you detected should show up in differences in noise and FR.


Rather than suggesting the wrong measurement for every problem out there, why not take time and think about it first.

 

Digital cables will affect amongst other things jitter.

 

Jitter affect the time domain performance of a device. It doesn't affect directly the Frequency Response graph as you are suggesting. There are tools to measure but they are very expensive.

 

 

Nick Charles, as I explained to you many times before, there are other things in audio besides FR. It was pretty hilarious whe I read that you were suggesting that any DAC that doesn't have a perfectly flat FR from 20Hz to 20KHz is flawed. If you have good ears or even understanding of how digital audio works, you will understand that achieving a flat frequency response up to 20 KHz is very bad for audio quality.

Using a sharp roll off filter causes phase distortion amongst other things. A gentler filter doesn't look so good on a FR but is much better for listening purposes and soundstage accuracy.

The same goes for negative feed-back: heavy negative feedback can help the measured distortions in the frequency domain but screw up the distortions in the time domain.

 

Take a few minutes and search about the following: fast roll off vs. slow roll off, phase distortion, measurements of jitter in digital cables, clock phase noise, reflections, ... and you will see that there are more parameters that FR that make things sound good or bad.

 

I won't enter an endless debate on this subject as you seem to be impervious to learn new concepts. Also, if you continue posting on the subject, I will consider your intervention as thread crapping and will report it to the moderators.

FYI, Thread crapping occurs when a person comes into a thread and posts something contrary to the spirit/intent of the thread, often derailing the discussion or turning it into an argument (Urban Dictionary Definition).
 

post #43 of 56

 

Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post


why not just measure a few digital cables inc the exotic ones


Yes, I'd love that too. Seeing how those "analog sounding" digital cables measure like would be extremely instructive, to say the least.

 

BTW, "exotic" means "alien"...is that what you really meant? Any hard proof to this?


Edited by leeperry - 10/15/10 at 10:15am
post #44 of 56

I thought the purpose of this thread was to discuss different USB/SPDIF converters, and not digital cables. Slim.a already made a fantastic review of the Oyaide located here. I feel this is a better place to discuss the merits and drawbacks (can't hear any in my system) of the Oyaide digital cable.

post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

Rather than suggesting the wrong measurement for every problem out there...

 

<snip>

 

 

Response here:  http://www.tweak-fi.com/apps/forums/topics/show/3573532-oyaide-cable

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