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"DIAMOND" vs. "NEUTRAL" Audio-GD DACs - who has COMPARED? Or are DSP1 - REVISIONS more crucial? - Page 8

post #106 of 158

More than just one. I don't want to analyze this like a lawyer, but what I said was correct. If audio-gd wanted to phase out the ref 7 and 8, they would've said so. They have not said so, and they have said they at least plan on getting more pcm1704uk's. If that plan falls through, then maybe they will discontinue the pcm1704 dac's, but that's not the plan right now.

post #107 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

 

23th, Nov. : The PCM1704 chips out of stock finaly , we can't confirm the date of next batch. Few units Reference series DACs for sale.



Some of audio-gd's pcm1704 dac's have not been discontinued.


Technically no....only one according to the web site.  But seeing the 1704 chips are "out of stock" and there is no eta on a the next batch nor even a confirmation that a new batch will be ordered, only hope remains.

 

There are only a few Reference series Dac's left, anybody get word from AGD that says they will continue to make 1704 Dacs at some later date?

 

I will "Speculate" that AGD is reducing the competition for their Sabre Dacs in their line up and focusing all efforts to increase their ROI from their Sabre purchase.  The investment of the 1704 chips has been completed and the cycle of purchase/profit has ended, the book on that particular investment is close, the ledger is complete.

 

 

 

That's how I interpret it.  Its also very obvious from looking at the insides of the Sabre series, that they are more modular, and convenient to implement than the PCM1704.  This reduces production complexities significantly, the seller either pockets the savings made or passes them on to customers.  It would appear that perhaps Kingwa prefers the PCM1704 to carry on as flag bearer, due to the mystique surrounding its qualities, the Flagships do not cannibalize sales...however I have always seen a cannibalization problem in Audio GDs lower tiered offerings.

post #108 of 158

Guess I spoke too soon

 

icon1.gif    24th, Nov. :  We can't confirm the date of next batch PCM1704 even though we have ordered the next batch .


Edited by Dynobot - 11/23/10 at 6:23pm
post #109 of 158
Thread Starter 

Well, who has ever seen another DAC producer with so many DACs to choose from...? If they concentrate on a lower number of them it seems only logical to me... speculating about other intentions of agd seems a bit vague to me.

 

However, let's get back to concrete observations, I am still wondering if REGAL can let us know, how the ranking looks like of his 3 agd-dacs, now that he upgraded Ref 1 to DSP1 Rev. 5. And if he intends to exchange the input filters between his ref3 and ref1 in order to figure out the impacts of different DSP1 revisions versus different analog output stages.

 

Cheers!

post #110 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursdiego View Post

Well, who has ever seen another DAC producer with so many DACs to choose from...? If they concentrate on a lower number of them it seems only logical to me... speculating about other intentions of agd seems a bit vague to me.

 

However, let's get back to concrete observations, I am still wondering if REGAL can let us know, how the ranking looks like of his 3 agd-dacs, now that he upgraded Ref 1 to DSP1 Rev. 5. And if he intends to exchange the input filters between his ref3 and ref1 in order to figure out the impacts of different DSP1 revisions versus different analog output stages.

 

Cheers!


Well I think by ref3 you mean my 3SE,  it does not have a removeable input board,  it was built around the PMD100 from the start.  As far as rankings.

The Re1 with the rev5 DSP is definately better than the DAC19mk3 with the PMD100 board while prior with rev2 DSP the DAC19 PMD100 was better.  The RE1 with DSP rev5 has many qualities that are better than the 3SE and is an excellent all rounder. The RE1 rev5 beats the heck out of the 3SE as far as clarity, bass, treble extention and Prat    However I've only owned it a couple days now but believe I hear the lower midrange to be a bit dimmer than the 3SE.   I need more time with it and to try it with different amplifiers.   For me the midrange is most critical as I am an avid electric guitar listener,  there is a very different midrange presentation between the 3SE and the RE1,  which one I prefer I haven't decided yet.
 


Edited by regal - 11/24/10 at 2:09am
post #111 of 158
Thread Starter 

Thanks Regal, for that reply!

 

For my part, Ref 9 gets better all the time. As far as sound is concerned, i am pretty assured to have taken the right choice. My goal was taking the logitech squeezebox to a higher level. That has been reached. And by the way, when I want it to be even better, I use the cd player again, connect it to the Ref 9, and all that gear together transforms my living room into a concert hall...

 

When comparing to the analog out of my Creek CD player, there are still a couple of characteristics of my Creek that I like better. It is some kind of a raw, naked directness and a tighter timing. Maybe this is the NOS-characteristics... I might try putting the DSP1 in Ref9 on NOS to see what happens. However, there are plenty of characteristics of the Ref9 with its default settings, that compensate entirely, like in particular sound stage, precision, location of instruments, very tight bass and percussion.

 

Either way, it is sufficient for me to just close my eyes and forget about the gear, that is what it is all about for me. And now I can do so with the convenience of a squeezebox touch (of course tuned according to "soudcheck's blog" (that is hopefully back on line soon... he took away all his mods and promised being back on 11/14/2010 - but that did not happen until now...).

 

Back to the topic:

My Ref 9 is a "Musical" Diamond output type of AGD dac. However, it is not forgiving at all, and not particularly warm either. I have never heard Aretha Franklin's old recordings that way. Her voice is just extremely shrill! Horrifying at first, had to lower the volume... But I guess, that is probably just like her voice sounded like! And closing the eyes, allowing myself to get into the music, her voice was just extremely loud, a bit intimidating, but very touching. Than I listened to a mediocre recording of the Forellenquintett (Shubert's trout). The violin was really extremely sharp. Now there I do not think that is how it is supposed to be... just no good recording. And the Ref9 reveals it without mercy.

 

Cheers, happy listening!

post #112 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursdiego View Post

Thanks Regal, for that reply!

 

For my part, Ref 9 gets better all the time. As far as sound is concerned, i am pretty assured to have taken the right choice. My goal was taking the logitech squeezebox to a higher level. That has been reached. And by the way, when I want it to be even better, I use the cd player again, connect it to the Ref 9, and all that gear together transforms my living room into a concert hall...

 

When comparing to the analog out of my Creek CD player, there are still a couple of characteristics of my Creek that I like better. It is some kind of a raw, naked directness and a tighter timing. Maybe this is the NOS-characteristics... I might try putting the DSP1 in Ref9 on NOS to see what happens. However, there are plenty of characteristics of the Ref9 with its default settings, that compensate entirely, like in particular sound stage, precision, location of instruments, very tight bass and percussion.

 

Either way, it is sufficient for me to just close my eyes and forget about the gear, that is what it is all about for me. And now I can do so with the convenience of a squeezebox touch (of course tuned according to "soudcheck's blog" (that is hopefully back on line soon... he took away all his mods and promised being back on 11/14/2010 - but that did not happen until now...).

 

Back to the topic:

My Ref 9 is a "Musical" Diamond output type of AGD dac. However, it is not forgiving at all, and not particularly warm either. I have never heard Aretha Franklin's old recordings that way. Her voice is just extremely shrill! Horrifying at first, had to lower the volume... But I guess, that is probably just like her voice sounded like! And closing the eyes, allowing myself to get into the music, her voice was just extremely loud, a bit intimidating, but very touching. Than I listened to a mediocre recording of the Forellenquintett (Shubert's trout). The violin was really extremely sharp. Now there I do not think that is how it is supposed to be... just no good recording. And the Ref9 reveals it without mercy.

 

Cheers, happy listening!


I am having this exact same sensation comparing my NOS dac to the REF7...I find it strange, but likewise the R7 has a big staging, separation, imaging, detailing and smoothness...the NOS is direct, raw with solid razor transients, less rhythmic bass but raw and resolute sub bass.  I also want to try the DSP1 in NOS mode, but the filtering cannot be disabled, something a NOS dac doesn't have.


Edited by SP Wild - 11/27/10 at 7:31am
post #113 of 158

Are you sure it can´t be turned off? There is a switch for it on the DSP-1 (or a jumper these days actually). There are many posts about tinkering with the settings too, I just asked for some jumpers from Kingwa to be included with my CD7 so I can do some testing. The comments about a stronger, more razorlike sound (that is also more transport dependant) are exactly what people have said about the non-filtering DSP-1 mode...

 

Check: http://currawong.net/head-fi/DSP_settings.html


Edited by vrln - 11/27/10 at 8:06am
post #114 of 158

I really suggest to you guys who are getting less than perfect performance from your AGD Dac to look into improving your source.  Arguably some may think a PC is just as good or a better source than a dedicated transport but those with dedicated transports will likely testify that the transport affords better performance than a PC.

post #115 of 158

True... The CD7 is in a different league than the Digital Interface/WASAPI. No way around it really, PC audio is not on the same level yet. Maybe in the future when there´s an async USB available that doesn´t have the licencing costs that Wavelenght charges, but right no the PC doesn´t really hold a candle to dedicated alternatives.

post #116 of 158

You guys are probably right with needing a top notch source to bring out the best from the REF7.  I have no real certified low jitter transport...the best result I get out of the 7 is via its internal USB input, the computer SPDIF output requires upsampling to be fixed at 48khz and this smears the sound a bit and it seems to induce "digitits".

 

I still prefer the 7 much more than the NOS...it has much better top end resolution and refinement whilst keeping the full bodied mids of the NOS without any trace of digital glare...staging and 3 dimensionality is no contest, the 7 rules the roost.  It is rich, engaging and amazingly coherent and musical with blacker backgrounds resolution and refinement.

 

I say musical because the NOS sounds to me more analytical, raw and will ruthlessly show up flaws in any subpar recording...because its treble is unrefined and raw...good recordings the treble is acceptably smooth, but poor ones are unbereably grained.  The NOS is dark in the treble and not as satisfyingly resolving.  It is very 2 dimensional in its staging.  But with all my sources, I cannot deny how solidly controlled the subbass is with more presence, lower midrange and central mids have unbelievable transient response, second to none.  The NOS is ranked as my second favorite DAC ousting even the Bryston which falls to third...The Bryston has very little little digital glare for a SD dac with better everything...but the tonality is plain wrong to me.

 

I have no real intention of turning thr 7 into a NOS if it loses any of its undeniable strengths...I am still rapt with its performance, but now I realise I need to spend more money to feed it the best signal...and I don't want to go back to the stoneage.  wink_face.gif

post #117 of 158

Even though not everyone is likely to buy a transport, investing time in figuring out the absolute best way to improve a computer as a transport will pay off big dividends.  Its not particularly the software that makes cMP2 and cPlay a great success, after all Cics its creator originally used Foobar before he decided to make his own simple music player cPlay.  Address the short comings of the computer in every way possible, if you have the time and inclination to do so.

post #118 of 158

In my experience Linux has clearly better sound quality than Windows if you use the ALSA interface directly (many players support that mode). Better memory management too, which comes in handy with WAV or FLAC files. By the way SP Wild, I think you should really consider getting the Digital Interface. Kingwa once estimated in an email to me that it´s around the same level as his first CD transport from 2006 - so it is a huge upgrade from using the direct USB input. Great synergy with Audio-gd gear too as it´s from the same designer. I agree about the smooth sound signature. I used to have a Delta-Sigma DAC and it sounds so absolutely horribly harsh and digital compared to this... The REF7 is so lovingly smooth and relaxed. I´d call the sound signature "relaxed high definition". It´s a rare combination of smoothness and fidelity. The smoothness to my experience becomes even more apparent with a better transport.

 

Check the threads about the DSP-1 jumper settings. A lot of people like the DSP-1 non-filtering mode, but I haven´t seen anyone say they left the DSP-1 in any other than the default settings with all the signal filtering on :) 


Edited by vrln - 11/27/10 at 1:59pm
post #119 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post

...

I still prefer the 7 much more than the NOS...it has much better top end resolution and refinement whilst keeping the full bodied mids of the NOS without any trace of digital glare...staging and 3 dimensionality is no contest, the 7 rules the roost.  It is rich, engaging and amazingly coherent and musical with blacker backgrounds resolution and refinement.

 

I say musical because the NOS sounds to me more analytical, raw and will ruthlessly show up flaws in any subpar recording...because its treble is unrefined and raw...good recordings the treble is acceptably smooth, but poor ones are unbereably grained.  The NOS is dark in the treble and not as satisfyingly resolving.  It is very 2 dimensional in its staging.  But with all my sources, I cannot deny how solidly controlled the subbass is with more presence, lower midrange and central mids have unbelievable transient response, second to none.  The NOS is ranked as my second favorite DAC ousting even the Bryston which falls to third...The Bryston has very little little digital glare for a SD dac with better everything...but the tonality is plain wrong to me.

....

 

Thanks for your impressions SP Wild

But I find a bit unfair comparing your NOS dac against the Ref.7. What I mean is, you're not comparing two dacs using different technology having roughly the same price.

If you want a fair comparison you should try a higher level NOS dac, like the Audio Note 3. Now, that would be interesting :-)

post #120 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post

...

I still prefer the 7 much more than the NOS...it has much better top end resolution and refinement whilst keeping the full bodied mids of the NOS without any trace of digital glare...staging and 3 dimensionality is no contest, the 7 rules the roost.  It is rich, engaging and amazingly coherent and musical with blacker backgrounds resolution and refinement.

 

I say musical because the NOS sounds to me more analytical, raw and will ruthlessly show up flaws in any subpar recording...because its treble is unrefined and raw...good recordings the treble is acceptably smooth, but poor ones are unbereably grained.  The NOS is dark in the treble and not as satisfyingly resolving.  It is very 2 dimensional in its staging.  But with all my sources, I cannot deny how solidly controlled the subbass is with more presence, lower midrange and central mids have unbelievable transient response, second to none.  The NOS is ranked as my second favorite DAC ousting even the Bryston which falls to third...The Bryston has very little little digital glare for a SD dac with better everything...but the tonality is plain wrong to me.

....

 

Thanks for your impressions SP Wild

But I find a bit unfair comparing your NOS dac against the Ref.7. What I mean is, you're not comparing two dacs using different technology having roughly the same price.

If you want a fair comparison you should try a higher level NOS dac, like the Audio Note 3. Now, that would be interesting :-)



I don't think any NOS would compare to the RE1/7 (or the other way around),  but I am planning on building a tube DAC to compete with the 3SE I own.   Not sure it will be NOS but am thinking about taking that direction.   I guess what I am saying is the 3SE excels in areas that NOS DAC's do,  while my RE1 doesn't.  And I am curious if an nos or tube DAC(or a nos tube dac) would outcompete the 3SE. 

 

There are a lot of followers of the Killer DAC,  its almost like a silly cult as the thing is a simple TDA1541 S2 NOS with a huge passive i/v resistor and a tube rectified tube gain stage,  but people speak very highly of it in direct comparison with other DACs.   Probably a lot of people would prefer it to the RE1/7 but I really wonder if this style DAC would hold its own against the 3SE or the other DD Audiogds.


Edited by regal - 11/28/10 at 12:46am
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