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Audio-gd Reference 7 Loaner Program (USA) - Page 20

post #286 of 370

Don't ya love it when you look at the clock and it's past 3 am but you just can't reach for the power button? cool.gif

post #287 of 370

audiosceptic,

will be eager to hear your opinions compared to the ULN-2.

best regards

André

post #288 of 370

I've moved the REF 7 from my speaker system to the headphone rack. My conclusion after listening to the REF 7 for a week in my speaker system is that the REF 7 is indeed an improvement over the Emotiva XDA-1 and the RCA output of the Logitech Touch. It was a little hard to gauge the difference because the output of the REF 7 was louder than both the XDA-1 and the Touch. I had to listen intently to the REF 7, mute the output, lower the volume and switch the input to either the XDA-1 or the Touch. In the end the REF 7 offered a slightly wider and deeper soundstage and a more pronounced midrange. The differences weren't huge but they were present and made me realize I could do better with a different DAC in my speaker system.

 

I've had the REF 7 in my headphone system for a couple days and am having a harder time telling the difference between it and my Metric Halo ULN-2 or Modwright Transporter. Initially the REF 7 is connected via the single ended outputs to the BA or the BHSE. The Metric Halo is connected via the balanced output to the BA or BHSE. The source is the Modwright Transporter connected via Toslink to the Metric Halo and Coax to the REF 7. I will switch the output to both amps from SE to balanced XLR out of the REF 7 to make sure I listen to it in its preferred configuration. I have owned both of the DACs in my headphone system for a while now and with intense listening I can't tell them apart. The nice thing about the Metric Halo DAC is I can adjust the input or output level to match another source so I won't have the same volume level disparity I had in my speaker system. I can switch the input on either my BHSE or BA and instantaneously compare two sources.

 

I'm going to spend more time with my headphone system tonight and tomorrow. I'll write up my conclusion sometime Monday after I watch the Packers beat the Steelers. I'll then ship the REF 7 to the next reviewer.

ref7.jpg


Edited by audiosceptic - 2/4/11 at 4:00pm
post #289 of 370

Thanks audiosceptic for your report so far.

The rather small differences that were heard by "most" or "all?" reviewers up to now, might be connected to the point, that noone has a really high quality digital source to use it with the ref7. It don't want to say, that if you had, everything will be different but if the digital source doesn't has the quality of the DAC, it is the limiting factor for the sound quality. So you can not tell the difference between a good dac and a very good dac. It even could be, that the worse DAC will sound better, because it hides the bad source. The dac can not bring back what was lost. Especially, when it comes to the PCM1704. It dosn't foregives a bad digital source, which might be the most underrated factor to the sound quality.

post #290 of 370

Yeah, that must be it.

post #291 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by flecko View Post

Thanks audiosceptic for your report so far.

The rather small differences that were heard by "most" or "all?" reviewers up to now, might be connected to the point, that noone has a really high quality digital source to use it with the ref7. It don't want to say, that if you had, everything will be different but if the digital source doesn't has the quality of the DAC, it is the limiting factor for the sound quality. So you can not tell the difference between a good dac and a very good dac. It even could be, that the worse DAC will sound better, because it hides the bad source. The dac can not bring back what was lost. Especially, when it comes to the PCM1704. It dosn't foregives a bad digital source, which might be the most underrated factor to the sound quality.


I'm not sure I agree with inferior sources being the cause for the lack of differences I heard. I think the Logitech Transporter is a high end source plus I also tried a Marantz DV9600 DVD player with CD's via coax and vinyl played at 24/96 through the Metric Halo to the REF 7. Everything I played through the REF 7 utilizing any interface (toslink, coax, USB) really did not sound any different than my current DACs. The REF 7 sounded really good and is built like a tank but the sound was no better or worse. I could not tell the difference between any of the DACs in my headphone system especially when someone else was doing the switching and I could not see which source was selected.

 

The outcome of this evaluation for me is that a better DAC would improve the sound for my speaker system but the DACs used in my headphone system are comparative to at least one of the newest DACs out there. On to the next reviewer.

post #292 of 370

Yo audiosceptic, I think you just got trolled. =)

post #293 of 370

IMO the transport does make a difference. But I don't think that the transport will be the limiting factor of hearing differences between dacs. That said, I do not think the Transporter is a high end transport. Also, I don't know about the DV9600 but I own the DV9500 and by no means is it a great transport either. My Musical Fidelity A3 CD player sounds better as a transport and it's nothing special compared to a dedicated cd transport. Most of the time what I notice when people can't tell a difference between dacs, it is often the pre or the amp that is the limiting factor. In my experience, warm sounding (this goes for both ss and tube) pres and amps can veil the sound to where one cannot tell a difference between dacs. That said, I have found a rare occasion where some dacs actually do sound the same with little difference to be heard.

post #294 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by atothex View Post

Yo audiosceptic, I think you just got trolled. =)



I realize that now. I'm out.

post #295 of 370

 

Quote:
Yo audiosceptic, I think you just got trolled. =)

I am sorry, was not my intension.


 If you got three DACs and you can not differentiate them, there could be something wrong in your system. So I think is allright to try to understand what is the cause. I don't know how you deal with controversity on this forum, normaly. Or don't you discuss here?

 

 

Quote:
Yeah, that must be it.

Again, a very qualified post from you =)

post #296 of 370

Lol I love it. Someone gives honest impressions instead of some sort of incoherent rambling about what can essentially be considered miracles/supernatural events and they are told their gear is crap.

 

Guess that is what happens sometimes with social psychology and standing up for your own perceptions rather than just agreeing with norms. Scares people and makes them feel uncomfortable - now get back in that line and state you hear things that don't exist like a proper audiophile! The more detailed the fictitious event, the better!

 

Seems more often than not the true limiting factor here is peoples' minds - whether they know it or not. *deep sigh*

post #297 of 370

Use our community to market yourself, we'll check your ego for you at the door.

post #298 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

Use our community to market yourself, we'll check your ego for you at the door.


Which would make sense as the ego is the process which supposedly uses rational thought to solved the IDs impulses for gratification while meeting the superegos ethical standards.evil_smiley.gif

 

not that it really matters but I actually own this DAC and paid student earned money for it. Not trolling here, just hate to see the loaner degrade into pagan transport spells.

post #299 of 370
Thread Starter 

The idea is that the people who borrow it post their own impressions, whatever they are. I do wish, personally, I had a good speaker rig with which to compare gear though.

post #300 of 370

Ok, I see this leads nowhere. Have fun!

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