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"DIAMOND" vs. "NEUTRAL" Audio-GD DACs - who has COMPARED? Or are DSP1 - REVISIONS more crucial? - Page 4

post #46 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursdiego View Post

From Audio-gd: "Reference 8 is the first DAC to apply truly balanced diamond amp output"

And there are, as far as I saw, no signs of an intention of discontinuing that line?

 

My Re 9 is shipping, it is the "smaller" version of that diamond/"musical" - lineup. It features "only" four PDM1704s and has RCA output only - enough for me though. Really looking forward to it!

 

 

Ah you are right the Ref8 is a DD Dac, I think you will really enjoy that Ref9....I always wondered how the Musical line sounds too.  Please review after your receive.
 

post #47 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursdiego View Post

Hey everybody, nice discussions, but still no direct comparison between similar "neutral" and "musical" audio-dg dacs...



First page read my post,  I own one of each

post #48 of 158

One question.

 

Can any of the AGD Dac's drive headphones directly?  This is plug your headphones directly into the Dac's output and use software volume controls?

 

post #49 of 158
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post

#1  PMD100 3SE -  this is an amazing piece

#2  PMD100 DACk 19mk3 - great for the price

#3  Reference 1 DSp v2 -  disappointing,  hopefully correctable

 

Thanks, Regal, I just had another look at your comparison!

 

The "diamond"-equipped DAC 3SE seems to be your favorite. The worst is Reference 1 - that one is not equipped with the "Diamond"-output and goes therefore probably under the "neutral" lineup (even though there is no indication on that on the audio-gd website). The "neutral" 19mk3 lies in the middle.

 

However, apart from the diamond-output stage, there is also the digital input filter that distinguishes these three dacs. Apparently, your preferred DACs were equipped with the famous and discontinued PMD100 filter - and the disappointing Re 1 came with DSP1... So the main difference is as likely to be in the digital input filter than in the analog output stage.

 

My just ordered Re 9 will come with DSP1 version 5. I guess, the older Re1 was equipped with an earlier version of DSP1. So I really hope, this filter is not a weak point of it...

 

I don't have any other audio-gd DAC of a similar level to compare with. However, I will let you know my impressions once it arrives and after some some time of using it. And I will compare it eventually with a Resolution Audio Opus 21. This is a CD player that features a digital input and can be used as DAC. It features four PCM1704 - DAC-chips like the audio-gd Re 9 and sells at about 6000 US$ (it think it has been reviewed here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/264629/resolution-audio-opus-21-full-stack )


Edited by ursdiego - 11/10/10 at 2:53am
post #50 of 158

Yes I agree on your assesment and I have DSP-1 rev5 on its way from China,  hoping that will improve the Re1. 

post #51 of 158

Looking forward to reading your impressions, regal! Now that the REF series is back in production, I wouldn´t be suprised to see a V6 soon smily_headphones1.gif

 

By the way, do you know if the PMD-100 was ever produced in the same user-replacable format as the DSP-1 for the early REF-1? I´m just wondering if I should try to hunt one down and try it...

post #52 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

Looking forward to reading your impressions, regal! Now that the REF series is back in production, I wouldn´t be suprised to see a V6 soon smily_headphones1.gif

 

By the way, do you know if the PMD-100 was ever produced in the same user-replacable format as the DSP-1 for the early REF-1? I´m just wondering if I should try to hunt one down and try it...

 

I can't say but I think the PMD100 boards from the dac19mk3 may fit,   not sure though as I sold my 19 before I had that thought.

 

post #53 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

Looking forward to reading your impressions, regal! Now that the REF series is back in production, I wouldn´t be suprised to see a V6 soon smily_headphones1.gif

 

By the way, do you know if the PMD-100 was ever produced in the same user-replacable format as the DSP-1 for the early REF-1? I´m just wondering if I should try to hunt one down and try it...



If you can track down a genuine PMD100 (pull or NOS part if your lucky) for a reasonbale cost (under 80USD is reasonable) I'm pretty sure Kingwa might be able to fabricate you a module that would work for your DAC. Email him and ask.

 

Peete.

post #54 of 158


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

One question.

 

Can any of the AGD Dac's drive headphones directly?  This is plug your headphones directly into the Dac's output and use software volume controls?

 


The output V is fixed at the DAC outputs (usually 2.0V or more for SE'd and 4V or more for balanced ) unless one of the attributes of the DAC is specifically able to deliver preamp ability (which is generally designed to drive a conventional power amp for speakers) although such a DAC/preamp combo might be able to drive a set of cans rather well (depends on impedance and efficiency of the cans and the capability of the built in preamp... like max voltage swing without clipping, or X amount of current delivered before clipping etc)..Long story short the Audio-gd stand alone DACs cannot be used without an amp (of some kind).

 

Peete.


Edited by Pricklely Peete - 11/10/10 at 8:17pm
post #55 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete View Post


 


The output V is fixed at the DAC outputs (usually 2.0V or more for SE'd and 4V or more for balanced ) unless one of the attributes of the DAC is specifically able to deliver preamp ability (which is generally designed to drive a conventional power amp for speakers) although such a DAC/preamp combo might be able to drive a set of cans rather well (depends on impedance and efficiency of the cans and the capability of the built in preamp... like max voltage swing without clipping, or X amount of current delivered before clipping etc)..Long story short the Audio-gd stand alone DACs cannot be used without an amp (of some kind).

 

Peete.

 

If you use the software to control the volume the output voltage of the Dac will vary....this allows me to connect the Dac directly to powered speakers for example and control the volume.  If the output were totally fixed no matter what I would not be able to control the volume...No?Yes?

 

So back to my original question, seeing that the Dac's Voltage can be variable because of the software ability to control volume would their be an impedance or other issue that would prevent it?
 

post #56 of 158

vrln, some people have changed from pmd-100 to dsp-1 in the predecessor of ref 1, the dac 8. You have to buy the entire digital board and not just the cyclone chip. I'm getting the digital board for my dac9mk3, currently pmd-100.

 

Imo, pmd-100 adds a little timbre richness that shouldn't really be there, with not too defined high freqs, but it is entertaining and easy to listen to.

post #57 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

 

 

Imo, pmd-100 adds a little timbre richness that shouldn't really be there, with not too defined high freqs, but it is entertaining and easy to listen to.


 

Comparing to R2R master tapes I find the timbre richness is supposed to be there,  I agree about the high freqs issue.
 

post #58 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post


500 hours! does it take that long to convince yourself that this DAC is actually not that bad and was worth the wait...I thought Audio-GD test and burn their equipments before shipping??

Something that doesn't sound great the first time is not going to transform itself into something wonderful x hours later. Burn-in in electronic and audio equipments is extremely subtle at best.

But again this site is full of grandiose claims and overstatements.


Agreed.  I never heard any changes with burn-in, just warm up time, which it definitely needs 60-90 minutes of.

 

I really think this whole "needs 400 or 500 hours" of burn-in is just the person getting used to it, or happen to be listening to the DAC at a point when power draw in their apartment/townhome/community is at a minimum (usually very late at night, which is certainly when my system sounds its best).

post #59 of 158

If you download the Audio-gd manuals, you will see Kingwa specifically says you should NOT leave your Audio-gd gear on when not using it.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

It's wintertime, if your audio gear is in a small room leave them on 24/7 to keep warm tongue.gif.

 

Imo, dac's $200+ can all do macrodetail, what separates them is mainly microdetail, and that gets fleshed out over a long time with larger audio-gd dac's.

post #60 of 158

Here is a distortion sweep I took of the 3SE-PMD100 with AudioTester,   this is incredibly low distortion (less than .016%) for a DAC output let alone an all discrete diamond one.   No evidence that the musical series is "colored".

 

3SEPMD100distortionsweep.jpg

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › "DIAMOND" vs. "NEUTRAL" Audio-GD DACs - who has COMPARED? Or are DSP1 - REVISIONS more crucial?