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post #136 of 370

I received a message from Currawong  that kingwa is sending me the latest DSP. When it shows up will dictate how through I'll be able to test it. Once upgraded I won't really be able to go back and forth.

 

yes the differences between the PWD and REF 7 are relatively small. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with either DAC, that being said if your system is good enough the differences are there and for me at least the price difference is justified by a small but not insignificant improvement in sound quality.

post #137 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

yes the differences between the PWD and REF 7 are relatively small. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with either DAC, that being said if your system is good enough the differences are there and for me at least the price difference is justified by a small but not insignificant improvement in sound quality.


Very interesting results, as I've seen impressions elsewhere that the PWD (and W4S DAC-1) got crushed by the far cheaper Audio-GD Ref 5. So this was M-Audio sound card vs. Network bridge as sources? I wonder if this put the Audio-GD at a significant disadvantage as that's definitely not the best way to use a PC as a transport. I will be very interested in your upcoming apples-to-apples comparison with a different source.

post #138 of 370



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post




Very interesting results, as I've seen impressions elsewhere that the PWD (and W4S DAC-1) got crushed by the far cheaper Audio-GD Ref 5. So this was M-Audio sound card vs. Network bridge as sources? I wonder if this put the Audio-GD at a significant disadvantage as that's definitely not the best way to use a PC as a transport. I will be very interested in your upcoming apples-to-apples comparison with a different source.



You have no idea what you're talking about. I had the lynx AES 16 Soundcard and the M-Audio Audiophile 192 clearly bested the Lynx. The significantly more expensive Lynx is sitting on a shelf unused. You're just parroting what you've read on various forums. In addition the Exemplar Audio Server is an exceptionally well done server. Everything is optimally configured for Digital Audio output. The Server as a transport is clearly superior to every other transport I've used (the Exemplar Oppo, my Exemplar Denon 3910, my Shanling SACD3000).

 

I'm confident that the Exemplar Server is a better Digital source than the Oppo. The real wild-card is the Network Bridge. Comparing with the Bridge is sort of comparing apples to oranges. If the Network Bridge is truly a superior interface (PS Audio's claims) then my Round One showed the PWD to best effect. I also feel the the use of my Exemplar Server showed the Audio-gd REF 7 to best effect. I'm very curious to see how both DAC's will compare when using identical digital sources. That comparison will be with a level playing field.

post #139 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

You have no idea what you're talking about. I had the lynx AES 16 Soundcard and the M-Audio Audiophile 192 clearly bested the Lynx. The significantly more expensive Lynx is sitting on a shelf unused.


I'm not talking about the Lynx. That's hardly the best option either, unless it's partnered with the Empiracle Pace-car. The best way to get audio from a PC is no sound card at all. The ART Legato should be able to easily beat the M-Audio, and actually connect to the Audio-GD at 75 Ohms instead of who knows what, which would help backup Kingwa's claims of a MASSIVE reduction in jitter via BNC rather than coax.

 

Regardless, all you have to do to answer this is connect the PWD to your music server, which would take away the advantage of the bridge. If it's still basically equal with the Audio-GD, end of story.


Edited by DaveBSC - 10/24/10 at 9:34pm
post #140 of 370
Thread Starter 

How each is affected by the transport very much interests me. I'm not going to post my own thoughts, as I want to leave it up to the people who are borrowing it to get their own opinion.

 

Yikes: Would you like me to fix the formatting of your post to make it a nicer font, etc?

post #141 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post


How each is affected by the transport very much interests me. I'm not going to post my own thoughts, as I want to leave it up to the people who are borrowing it to get their own opinion.



 



Yikes: Would you like me to fix the formatting of your post to make it a nicer font, etc?





If you'd like. I don't think it looks bad, it's just non-standard. I don't want people to think I posted in a different (larger) font because I'm special (which I am, my Mother always told me so). If you, or anyone for that matter finds it the least bit annoying (format, not content) feel free to change it. The larger font makes it easier for me to read while I'm riding on the bumpy short bus.

I just did some comparisons with the Oppo as a transport. This is getting complicated, if anything using the Oppo the difference is greater. That's the opposite of what I expected. More listening is definitely called for. I'm also wondering if I should compare it to one of my two Tubed single ended DAC's. Too many DAC's, too little time.
post #142 of 370
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

The best way to get audio from a PC is no sound card at all. The ART Legato should be able to easily beat the M-Audio, and actually connect to the Audio-GD at 75 Ohms instead of who knows what, which would help backup Kingwa's claims of a MASSIVE reduction in jitter via BNC rather than coax.

 This is not completely truth. I think the best way is soundcard or transport which support synchronisation to digital S/PDIF input signals. So if your DAC has masterclock then DAC goes as master and soundcard as slave, this is ideal solution.

Moreover the ART Legato do not supoort all samples, only 44.1Hz.

post #143 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

Very interesting results, as I've seen impressions elsewhere that the PWD (and W4S DAC-1) got crushed by the far cheaper Audio-GD Ref 5. So this was M-Audio sound card vs. Network bridge as sources? I wonder if this put the Audio-GD at a significant disadvantage as that's definitely not the best way to use a PC as a transport. I will be very interested in your upcoming apples-to-apples comparison with a different source.

 

The Ref-7 (and presumably other models using the DSP-1) I find is very sensitive in large ways to rather small changes, such as power cord used on the transport, power cord used in the DAC, regenerator vs. wall socket, and digital cables (the least significant of the bunch).  Maybe the power in my home just sucks, but this is what I've experienced.  If the PWD is less sensitive to those things, it could easily explain why some people like it more and some people like it less.  I personally wish every piece of audio gear didn't respond differently in some way to power cords.  It would make life much easier.


Edited by IPodPJ - 10/25/10 at 12:30am
post #144 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by knopi View Post

 This is not completely truth. I think the best way is soundcard or transport which support synchronisation to digital S/PDIF input signals. So if your DAC has masterclock then DAC goes as master and soundcard as slave, this is ideal solution.

Moreover the ART Legato do not supoort all samples, only 44.1Hz.


Possibly, I don't have any personal experience with the Lynx and Pace-car or slaved to a DAC with clock output or a clock generator like the Big Ben or one of the Esoterics. That's definitely the most expensive way to do it. The ART, or the Wavelink HS or the Weiss INT-202 should be able to outperform any direct S/Pdif connection from any sound card though, and the latter two can both go to 192KHz. ART limits theirs on purpose to 44.1 only to use the best possible clock and the lowest possible jitter (according to them).

post #145 of 370

I think Yikes's text below is very well articulated.  His impressions are very close to my own, especially with respect to the "muted leading edge dynamics."  I, too, think the difference is small, but I can confirm that it is noticeable during headphone use--at least to me.

 

 

Yikes said:

The REF 7 and PS Audio were nearly Identical tonally (the PS Audio was set to Native and Auto for the Filter). So far as tested both are exceedingly musical performers. The REF 7 seems to have slightly muted leading edge dynamics. What the heck does that mean? The initial attack of notes (the leading edge of the waveforms) from the PWD seem faster and more realistic. The difference is small, but due to this the PWD seems to have slightly better low level detail retrieval. This slight edge in detail definitely gives the PWD an edge in the Soundstage and imaging departments. A small edge, but the PWD consistently portrays a more 3 - dimensional soundstage and more precise images.

 

Due to this leading edge dynamics difference the PWD also gets the nod in the dynamics department (especially micro). I however really want to emphasize how small the difference is, it is a Very Small difference. It manifests itself most noticeably in the Imaging and Soundstage departments. I doubt that this would be apparent during headphone use, but with a decent speaker based rig the difference was small but it was consistently noticeable.

post #146 of 370

Has anyone here tried Easter Electric MiniMax DAC?  Not trying to derail topic, but one or two impressions comparing the 2 DAC will be very useful for me.

Thanks.

post #147 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

Janos Starker and London Symphony Orchestra – Schumann Cello Concerto.

Outstanding recording of my 2nd favorite Cello Concerto (my favorite being Elgar’s, but there aren’t any great Sonic recording of it) Excellent test of imaging and micro and macro dynamics of the full orchestra as well as the lead cello. As well as being a virtuoso performance.

 

Late to the party but: Great impressions Yikes, thanks. Outstanding gear to boot, world-class stuff!

 

I was wondering if you're aware of Sol Gabetta's just released version of the Elgar. I must have listened to it 8 times since I got it 2 weeks ago. Wonderful sound quality. My new favorite recording and interpretation of the concerto, no kidding. Just read the new Gramophone and they pretty much say the same thing. Her Vivaldi disc is also awesome.

 

I'll be checking out the Starker and some of your other listed recordings...........

 

 

“The recording ambience in the Danish Radio Concert Hall is close, plush, swimming in reverberation...Gabetta’s ample-breathed phrasings and graceful fingering increase the recording’s warmth farther still as she steers the work toward a celebration of song.” The Times, 18th June 2010 ***

“Sol Gabetta's Elgar Concerto is one of the best around, a heartfelt, tonally rounded performance, intimate and wholly at one with Mario Venzago's generally subtle handling of the orchestral score...Hers is a softly spoken presence, especially beautiful in those infinitely sad modulations that fall towards the end of the piece.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2010

“Gabetta's technique is breathtakingly good throughout - dead in tune, even in the trickiest passages - and her phrasing is equally magnificent: this is very fine cello playing, placed entirely at the service of this immortal masterpiece...the result is a fully integrated account such as we do not always hear on disc. I urge all Elgarians to hear this” International Record Review, October 2010

 

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2010 

post #148 of 370

If anyone has a Bryston BDA-1, Ayre QB9 or Berkeley Alpha I'd love to hear how the Ref7 compares.


Edited by noris83 - 10/25/10 at 9:10pm
post #149 of 370
For the time being I've completed my REF 7 v. PWD comparisons. I just moved my Exemplar Audio modified Music Hall 25.2 DAC into my main system. The Exemplar is the $600 Music Hall 25.2 DAC with a mod that as optioned pushes $800 (so for comparison purposes rough retail of $1400). The 25.2 will be warming up and stabilizing while playing all day today before I do any serious listening.

I'll be comparing the single ended 6922 based tube output of the 25.2 to the REF 7 balanced outputs. Since receiving the 25.2 back from being modded it's been residing in my office computer/headphone rig breaking in, so this is the first time it's being seriously put through it's paces in my main system. I'm very curious to see how it does. It's really a dark horse in these comparisons.
post #150 of 370

So what about the v5 dsp in the comparision?


Edited by SilverCans - 10/31/10 at 7:00pm
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