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"DIAMOND" vs. "NEUTRAL" Audio-GD DACs - who has COMPARED? Or are DSP1 - REVISIONS more crucial? - Page 7

post #91 of 158
Thread Starter 

Day two with Reference 9.

 

Is it my ears? Or my different mood? Or has the sound of the DAC actually changed? It seemed to me that music came somewhat closer... Still no time for an extensive audition though... and the sound seems to me still quite analytical. It is a bit demanding to the listener in the sense, that it needs some concentration to imagine the instruments realistically in front of you.

 

Compared to yesterday, I noticed more the difference in sound staging between my CD player and Re 9. Re 9 is wider and gives the voices a more precise location. They are however less close, less intimate. The illusion of live music is still more realistic on my Creek CD player with it’s outstanding directness, dynamics and timing.

 

Using it on the (software tweaked) Squeezebox Touch, the sound is thinner than using with the digital out of my CD player (both over coaxial cable). That proves that transport does matter, even with the DSP1 filter.

 

However, I am more confident than yesterday, that we may become friends one day with my new gear :) . I leave it on day and night and while not listening, I leave it da-converting some internet radio... Just in case that "burning in" does make a difference. If so, it’s ok to me, and if not, it won't hurt to leave it on for a while. In Swiss German I would say, nützts nüt so schads nüt.

 

What still surprises me, is the size and the weight of the Ref 9. It's just huge and heavy, larger than any other of my gear, even larger than the turntable! I did not take this into account when buying. If I had, I'd probably have decided for a more compact model like the DAC-19 or eventually even the non-1704 NFB-10ES, or another brand. Re 9 just does not fit into my furniture and I will have to get pretty creative to find a nice place for it that my wife is ready to accept...

 

I had the opportunity to listen to a resolution audio cantata music center a couple of weeks ago. This is basically a PCM1704-based DAC with an integrated music streamer / WiFi/USB/Lan network player and a CD transport. It sounds just awesome. With all the additional features it has, it's still much smaller and lighter than the Re 9. I haven’t done a direct comparison so far, but I am sure that they come very close. However the Resolution cantata costs roughly 4 times the price of the Re 9.

 

To come back to the topic: If Re 9 is supposed to be “warm” sounding, than I ask myself, what “cool” would mean! However, I’ll still give myself a bit of time to get used to it, and time to the Re 9 to eventually burn in. I will keep you posted on my impressions!

post #92 of 158

Interesting that some people here a difference with break in and others don't.  I do, and as time went on the sound became more stable and cohesive.

 

Enjoy, as it goes through its changes you will likely be rewarded with the best trait of each break in stage, at final break in.

 

I think this is the area where people ditch their products too soon, the Stereovox digital cable for example requires a very long break in, were as a Wireworld powercord required virtually no break in.  Makes me wonder if I sold my Havana dac too soon.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ursdiego View Post

Day two with Reference 9.

 

Is it my ears? Or my different mood? Or has the sound of the DAC actually changed? It seemed to me that music came somewhat closer... Still no time for an extensive audition though... and the sound seems to me still quite analytical. It is a bit demanding to the listener in the sense, that it needs some concentration to imagine the instruments realistically in front of you.

 

Compared to yesterday, I noticed more the difference in sound staging between my CD player and Re 9. Re 9 is wider and gives the voices a more precise location. They are however less close, less intimate. The illusion of live music is still more realistic on my Creek CD player with it’s outstanding directness, dynamics and timing.

 

Using it on the (software tweaked) Squeezebox Touch, the sound is thinner than using with the digital out of my CD player (both over coaxial cable). That proves that transport does matter, even with the DSP1 filter.

 

However, I am more confident than yesterday, that we may become friends one day with my new gear :) . I leave it on day and night and while not listening, I leave it da-converting some internet radio... Just in case that "burning in" does make a difference. If so, it’s ok to me, and if not, it won't hurt to leave it on for a while. In Swiss German I would say, nützts nüt so schads nüt.

 

What still surprises me, is the size and the weight of the Ref 9. It's just huge and heavy, larger than any other of my gear, even larger than the turntable! I did not take this into account when buying. If I had, I'd probably have decided for a more compact model like the DAC-19 or eventually even the non-1704 NFB-10ES, or another brand. Re 9 just does not fit into my furniture and I will have to get pretty creative to find a nice place for it that my wife is ready to accept...

 

I had the opportunity to listen to a resolution audio cantata music center a couple of weeks ago. This is basically a PCM1704-based DAC with an integrated music streamer / WiFi/USB/Lan network player and a CD transport. It sounds just awesome. With all the additional features it has, it's still much smaller and lighter than the Re 9. I haven’t done a direct comparison so far, but I am sure that they come very close. However the Resolution cantata costs roughly 4 times the price of the Re 9.

 

To come back to the topic: If Re 9 is supposed to be “warm” sounding, than I ask myself, what “cool” would mean! However, I’ll still give myself a bit of time to get used to it, and time to the Re 9 to eventually burn in. I will keep you posted on my impressions!

post #93 of 158
Thread Starter 

Hello again!

 

Nice discussion...

 

I just saw that my Reference 9 is being discontinued!!! What may be the reason for that...? I hope its not that other audio-gd dacs at a similar price sound better...?

 

To come back to the discussion: There is quite some difficulties to figure out, if the most crucial difference is between “musical” (diamond analog output stage) and “neutral” (usually ACSS type, no “diamond”, probably a solid state output amplifier) gear, or more between the different digital input filters. There are 5 Revisions of DSP1 filters, cheaper models feature a DF1704 input filter and older reference models have a PMD-100 filter.

 

Let me resume the discussion, with additional questions about those input filters:

 

REGAL(HERE) compared three different audio-gd dac types and found that two of them sound good - they both feature the PMD-100 input filter (DAC 19, neutral, and Ref 3 SE, neutral). The 3rd one is a Reference 1 (neutral) and uses DSP1 and is “disappointing”, according to regal. It is a DSP1 revision 2. He says he has ordered a new Version of DSP1 (HERE).Has the DSP1 Rev. 5 arrived? Is there an improvement? In which way?

 

OQVIST (HERE) compared DAC 19 (neutral) and Ref 9 (diamond). He switched the DSP1 modules from one to anther. So he was able to compare either of them with a DSP1 Revision 3 and a DSP1 revision 5. According to him, Revision 5 is a clear improvement for both DACs. Did I get that right...?

 

PoisonMate (HERE  and HERE) says, that DSP1 - revisions change the “musical” character of the diamond-lineup. He gives Revision 3 and 4 the best notes. Revision is a bit more detailed, but the sound is not anymore like expected from the “musical” line. He prefers Rev. 4.

 

So where are we now... hoping that revision 6 is user replaceable, affordable and will bring in the best of both worlds: To transport the groove and soul of the original music without compromising on detail…

 

Any other views?

 

BTW: Any ideas, why Reference 9 is discontinued? If it was for the PCM1704-chips getting out of stock, Reference 8 etc. would be discontinued, too...

post #94 of 158

Kingwa probably wants to keep selling his top tier dac's, and phased out the mid-tier pcm1704 dac's to have more pcm1704 available. He also phases out gear that people don't buy too often. I wouldn't worry about something like ref 9 being discontinued because it is not "good enough" compared to audio-gd's other dac's, audio-gd axes products before they are even released if they don't sound good enough to them

post #95 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

Kingwa probably wants to keep selling his top tier dac's, and phased out the mid-tier pcm1704 dac's to have more pcm1704 available. He also phases out gear that people don't buy too often. I wouldn't worry about something like ref 9 being discontinued because it is not "good enough" compared to audio-gd's other dac's, audio-gd axes products before they are even released if they don't sound good enough to them



 Except that for someone who's not going balanced....it could be the right product to buy....no??

 

Denys

post #96 of 158

When I received the V5, I did some A-B testing against my old V4 DSP-1 in the REF7. I also felt the V4 was more musical and forgiving, but V5 is more high end with very clear advantages in instrument separation for example.

post #97 of 158

I received the V5 board,  it makes a huge improvement to the Re1.   The sound is amazingly clear.   Comparing it to the 3SE-PMD (diamond output) there is a sense that the 3SE is a bit duller.   But there is one area I need to do more listening,  it seems that a few of the lower midrange notes (e-guitar) are a bit dim with the DSP RE1.   It is amazing the difference in the e-guitar presentation and overal tone between the two DAC's.  Its going to take a long time to decide which I prefer.   Working on a new tube amp that may be a better match to the RE1.  

 

The fact that the RE1 has a feedback free analog stage vs the 3SE which has local NFB at the I/V would have me guessing there is more THD with the RE1 (and any neutral series)  but I will take some measurements  to see if that is true and post them here .

post #98 of 158

Glad to see another confirmation we weren´t just being crazy about the V5 :) Now that the REF series is still under construction we might even see a V6 someday!

post #99 of 158


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

Kingwa probably wants to keep selling his top tier dac's, and phased out the mid-tier pcm1704 dac's to have more pcm1704 available. He also phases out gear that people don't buy too often. I wouldn't worry about something like ref 9 being discontinued because it is not "good enough" compared to audio-gd's other dac's, audio-gd axes products before they are even released if they don't sound good enough to them



Interesting how some people can speculate without wide spread criticism...but I guess thats the culture of message boards.  Fact is 90% of all the posts concerning Agd are and have been nothing but speculation.  The other 10% came from Kingwa himself chiming in or from emails that Kingwa or Edwin wrote.

 

Anyways, to those who insist on clinging on to hopes based of "speculation" from the 6moons article that 1704 dacs will still be produced, visit Audiogd and read....

 

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.

post #100 of 158

Message boards are meant for speculation that's the beauty of the internet and free speech.

 

Btw the PCM1704 was not disconinued by TI.  So that warrants speculation as to Kingwas motives. 

post #101 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post

Message boards are meant for speculation that's the beauty of the internet and free speech.

 

Btw the PCM1704 was not disconinued by TI.  So that warrants speculation as to Kingwas motives. 



Yes, I agree....

 

Anyways.....at the rate AGD churns through designs and ideas who is to say what the product line up will be this time next year.  IMO it was the 1704 that put AGD on the map.

post #102 of 158
Thread Starter 

Oh yes, I agree that sometimes it gets annoying separating real experiences from speculative comments. However, that's what forums are meant for: Now guys chat about everything and nothing too... and can't actually complain anymore about girls in this respect ;-)

 

However, I don't know too much about the others, but in this thread, quite a number of people wrote about their real experiences with audio-gd gear - including myself...

 

And from a number of reviews this forum, I got the necessary information to decide for one of the audio-gds, that is my new Re 9... so, who does not like it, is absolutely free to surf somewhere else or turn off its pc...

 

on topic again: @REGAL: Do I conclude right from your post, that you would not anymore judge Ref 1 as being "Disappointing"? Would be interesting though to know how your Ref 3 SE sounds with the new DSP1 Rev 5... Because if Ref 3 SE sounds "Dull", it would be interesting to find out if this is because of the diamond output or the digital input... if you have spare time you might try a switch like Oqvist did :) So... how is your new ranking with the V5 upgrade in Ref 1?

 

Cheers!

post #103 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post

Kingwa probably wants to keep selling his top tier dac's, and phased out the mid-tier pcm1704 dac's to have more pcm1704 available. He also phases out gear that people don't buy too often. I wouldn't worry about something like ref 9 being discontinued because it is not "good enough" compared to audio-gd's other dac's, audio-gd axes products before they are even released if they don't sound good enough to them



Interesting how some people can speculate without wide spread criticism...but I guess thats the culture of message boards.  Fact is 90% of all the posts concerning Agd are and have been nothing but speculation.  The other 10% came from Kingwa himself chiming in or from emails that Kingwa or Edwin wrote.

 

Anyways, to those who insist on clinging on to hopes based of "speculation" from the 6moons article that 1704 dacs will still be produced, visit Audiogd and read....

 

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.

post #104 of 158
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.

 

 

post #105 of 158

Well, regardless, it's a pity isn't it. The PCM1704 was quite a chip, and audio GD reputedly put it to excellent use.

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