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post #91 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

From what I can recall (for whatever that's worth) It sounds similar to the Esoteric D-70 I had a while back.


And ......  ?

post #92 of 370

Monkey,

did you get to compare it to your PWD? If so how would you compare your PWD to it and the Esoteric?

best regards

André

post #93 of 370

I never heard of Esoteric before so I did some research and it seems like they're taking the Sigma-delta DAC route. They have the D-01 mono DAC that uses 8 x PCM1704 and it produces 23 watts. I'm guessing the D-07 is their latest DAC that is dual mono using 2 x AK4397 chips I think and it uses only 7 watts. I think the lesser watts the better because there would be less filtered or unfiltered power to interact with the DAC's processing signal. I think Sigma-delta DACs provide a better price/performance ratio for manufactuers so Audio-gd is taking that route too.

post #94 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post


And ......  ?


And I think the audio-gd build quality has been overstated on these boards.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverendo View Post

Monkey,

did you get to compare it to your PWD? If so how would you compare your PWD to it and the Esoteric?

best regards

André


I have it set up so that I can A/B very quickly between the Ref 7 and the PWD using a Manley Skipjack.  Probably won't please the purists, but they can go jump in the lake.  Unfortunately, the Skipjack only handles single-ended.  And none of this is even close to blind.  The PWD and the D70 easily outclass the Ref 7 in terms of fit & finish, bells and whistles, and all that jazz.  But that stuff hardly matters if it doesn't sound good.  The best I can do for you right now in terms of a comparison is to state that I perceive the Ref 7 to sound a bit more restrained than the PWD, which gives a bit of a colder sound to me.  The PWD seems to have more life to it, and more instrument separation.  But these differences seem small so far, and I need to listen more.  Comparing DACs is difficult, I find.  EDIT: I should add that thus far the Ref 7 sounds pretty good to my ears.  My early guess is that any conclusions I draw, such as they are, with respect to SQ will simply be a matter of taste.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lag0a View Post

I never heard of Esoteric before so I did some research and it seems like they're taking the Sigma-delta DAC route. They have the D-01 mono DAC that uses 8 x PCM1704 and it produces 23 watts. I'm guessing the D-07 is their latest DAC that is dual mono using 2 x AK4397 chips I think and it uses only 7 watts. I think the lesser watts the better because there would be less filtered or unfiltered power to interact with the DAC's processing signal. I think Sigma-delta DACs provide a better price/performance ratio for manufactuers so Audio-gd is taking that route too.

 

Just fyi, the Esoteric I owned was the D-70, a description of which you can find here: http://esoteric.teac.com/dacs/d-70/

 

4 x 1704 iirc.
 


Edited by The Monkey - 10/13/10 at 9:22pm
post #95 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

And I think the audio-gd build quality has been overstated on these boards.

 

I have it set up so that I can A/B very quickly between the Ref 7 and the PWD using a Manley Skipjack.  Probably won't please the purists, but they can go jump in the lake.  Unfortunately, the Skipjack only handles single-ended.  And none of this is even close to blind.  The PWD and the D70 easily outclass the Ref 7 in terms of fit & finish, bells and whistles, and all that jazz.  But that stuff hardly matters if it doesn't sound good.  The best I can do for you right now in terms of a comparison is to state that I perceive the Ref 7 to sound a bit more restrained than the PWD, which gives a bit of a colder sound to me.  The PWD seems to have more life to it, and more instrument separation.  But these differences seem small so far, and I need to listen more.  Comparing DACs is difficult, I find. 
 

Just fyi, the Esoteric I owned was the D-70, a description of which you can find here: http://esoteric.teac.com/dacs/d-70/

 

4 x 1704 iirc.
 

 

Thanks for the early impressions.


However, if you are testing the DAC single ended you are really not hearing what it's capable of, make of that what you will.  And make sure you let it warm up for at least 90 minutes.

 

What transport are you using with it?


Edited by IPodPJ - 10/13/10 at 9:26pm
post #96 of 370

Which filter setting are you using on the PWD?  I see that is has user selectable digital filtering options, so I am curious as to what setting you are using.

post #97 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post



 

Thanks for the early impressions.


However, if you are testing the DAC single ended you are really not hearing what it's capable of, make of that what you will.

 

What transport are you using with it?

 

Frankly, and I'm not trying to pick a fight here, I don't make much of the single-ended/balanced thing.  But the 'stats rig is of course balanced, and I have been listening to that too, I just can't quickly A/B.  The transport is an iMac with a mix of lossless and lossy, high res and reg res.  Wide variety of genres.  I don't make much of the transport thing here, either.  Same goes for cables, so I'm not going to get into any of that.  I believe a component should stand on its own.

 

EDIT: The gear usually is on for at least a couple of hours before I listen to it.

 


Edited by The Monkey - 10/13/10 at 9:33pm
post #98 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epoch View Post

Which filter setting are you using on the PWD?  I see that is has user selectable digital filtering options, so I am curious as to what setting you are using.



All of them, but most often Auto (I forget which one that defaults to).  I'm also playing around with the upsampling, but mainly just going with "Native," which I tend to prefer.

post #99 of 370

Thanks for the great impressions Monkey......

post #100 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

Thanks for the great impressions Monkey......



And thank you.  We'll see if I can put something coherent together after my time with it.  But I do want to thank Kingwa, Currawong, and audio-gd for putting together this loaner program.  It is a really great thing to do, and its a splendid way to contribute to the community.

post #101 of 370

Auto is based upon the sample rate of the input audio, so I have no idea what that is.  Unfortunately, the DSP-1 requires more effort to change the filter setting on compared to the DAC that you are comparing it to since you have to open the DAC to do it.

I don't know how much of an impact that would have on your impression of the unit, but if one of the reviewers who gets this unit has time, it would be really nice to see a little more on that topic.

post #102 of 370

Differences can be somewhat dramatic from changing the dips on the DSP-1 module, but Kingwa feels they sound best on the default setting.  I played around with this on the Ref-1 (and I agree, best left on the defaults), but not on my Ref-7 yet.  He also says the new v5 version of the module makes some nice improvements.  When I receive the new module I will report any positive differences I hear.  The one in the loaner module is probably v4.  The one in my DAC, no idea -- whatever version it was when the Ref-7 was released.


Edited by IPodPJ - 10/13/10 at 11:04pm
post #103 of 370

Monkey, thank you for the impressions and indeed balanced is overrated. All I know is that my friends who used to own balanced β22s have all ended up selling their units and settled with the single-ended versions. It's really not a matter of perceivable differences but rather... practicality. 

 

And as I have said before, it's interesting to see how capable the PWD is considering that it has the evil, digital-sounding Sigma-Delta Wolfson WM8741 chip in its heart. 

post #104 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

Monkey, thank you for the impressions and indeed balanced is overrated. All I know is that my friends who used to own balanced β22s have all ended up selling their units and settled with the single-ended versions. It's really not a matter of perceivable differences but rather... practicality. 

 

And as I have said before, it's interesting to see how capable the PWD is considering that it has the evil, digital-sounding Sigma-Delta Wolfson WM8741 chip in its heart. 


It has nothing to do with whether you feel it's overrated or not.  If you only use the single ended outputs of the DAC you are not using all the circuitry.

post #105 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post




It has nothing to do with whether you feel it's overrated or not.  If you only use the single ended outputs of the DAC you are not using all the circuitry.



You mean the REF 7 doesn't utilize all of its circuitry when used in SE mode unlike its Sabre cousins? Has Kingwa confirmed this already? 

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