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New Audiolab DAC - Page 42

post #616 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by aras View Post

trust me delivering a bug free dac is quite easy compared delivering a bug free operating system such as Windows which has to play nice with millions of hardware and software components. I did not start this comparison myself however I think it is time we end this since they are completely different animals.

The problem with this discussion is that I don't believe any of us have designed a DAC/pre-amp/headphone amp similar to the M-DAC or a Benchmark or anything similar.
DIY need not weigh in either, DIY types don't sell and warranty several thousand pieces.
I can't really comment either, I'm a power engineering, and once upon a time I was an Analog Signal Processing hardware designer, in other words, what do I know about M-DAC's operating software?

In addition,
I think Microsoft may have a slighter bigger design staff than Audiolab!
post #617 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


I can't really comment either, I'm a power engineering, and once upon a time I was an Analog Signal Processing hardware designer, in other words, what do I know about M-DAC's operating software?

In addition,
I think Microsoft may have a slighter bigger design staff than Audiolab!

 

 

cough.....fit for purpose.....cough

 

In Europe you cannot legally sell something unless it does what it is meant to do straight from the box (or once assembled) and Audiolab being British  know this. Of course the same may not hold in the US 

post #618 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

 

In Europe you cannot legally sell something unless it does what it is meant to do straight from the box (or once assembled) and Audiolab being British  know this. Of course the same may not hold in the US 

As far as I know it works as described in the manual straight out of the box. The issue is with niggles that appear afterwards or after a software update. If I go by the numerous Windows OS updates that are required to keep my PC working fine at all times then it could be said that Windows should not be sold legally.

post #619 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

 

 

cough.....fit for purpose.....cough

 

In Europe you cannot legally sell something unless it does what it is meant to do straight from the box (or once assembled) and Audiolab being British  know this. Of course the same may not hold in the US 

 

cough........use your words......cough

 

cough................I'm not an American....................cough

 

rolleyes.gif

 

BTW, +1 Bax!

post #620 of 857

Hi guys,

 

New kid on the block here, having the M-DAC for a few days and have a few questions:

 

- which connection did you find less "jittery"? USB or SPDIF?

- where can i see my unit's firmware version?

- are there already any aftermarket power supply's (better than the standard one)

 

I must confess i'm a bit underwhelmed by the m-dac's performance so far (coming from mytek 192 dsd dac), too muddy and congested sound, not so much details and not airy. A bit of harshness in the mids also,

I will give it some more time and will try the spdif connection to see if i "see the light", as of now, this won't stay too many time in the shelf.

post #621 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Teixeira View Post

Hi guys,

New kid on the block here, having the M-DAC for a few days and have a few questions:

- which connection did you find less "jittery"? USB or SPDIF?
- where can i see my unit's firmware version?
- are there already any aftermarket power supply's (better than the standard one)

I must confess i'm a bit underwhelmed by the m-dac's performance so far (coming from mytek 192 dsd dac), too muddy and congested sound, not so much details and not airy. A bit of harshness in the mids also,
I will give it some more time and will try the spdif connection to see if i "see the light", as of now, this won't stay too many time in the shelf.

There is a review of an upgraded power supply in the March issue of HiFi Choice.
Vendor is "Mains Cables R Us"
Cost is 360 £.

They give the power supply upgrade a very positive review.
Edited by Chris J - 2/26/13 at 5:01pm
post #622 of 857

yeah i found if you dont leave the mdac on all the time it sounds harsh. if you upgrade its firmware (was a post few pages back here with link) 

you get dimable display which makes leaving on all the time more appealing. 

post #623 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Teixeira View Post

Hi guys,

 

New kid on the block here, having the M-DAC for a few days and have a few questions:

 

- which connection did you find less "jittery"? USB or SPDIF?

- where can i see my unit's firmware version?

- are there already any aftermarket power supply's (better than the standard one)

 

I must confess i'm a bit underwhelmed by the m-dac's performance so far (coming from mytek 192 dsd dac), too muddy and congested sound, not so much details and not airy. A bit of harshness in the mids also,

I will give it some more time and will try the spdif connection to see if i "see the light", as of now, this won't stay too many time in the shelf.

Personally I  haven't detected any differences between inputs and I think they all sound equally good. 

post #624 of 857

I think for more audible differences, switching filters will have a bigger impact than say, inputs or even firmware, for the most part. If I have time, I may post a bit more on that later.

 

To check versions & supply voltage, push in & hold the volume knob when you turn the M-DAC on.

 

I wouldn't count on a different power supply to fundamentally change/improve the sound if you don't like it. At the best the change will subtle (relative to all other aspects that influence the audio you ultimately listen to) (standard disclaimer: IMHO of course)

post #625 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Teixeira View Post

Hi guys,

 

New kid on the block here, having the M-DAC for a few days and have a few questions:

 

- which connection did you find less "jittery"? USB or SPDIF?

- where can i see my unit's firmware version?

- are there already any aftermarket power supply's (better than the standard one)

 

I must confess i'm a bit underwhelmed by the m-dac's performance so far (coming from mytek 192 dsd dac), too muddy and congested sound, not so much details and not airy. A bit of harshness in the mids also,

I will give it some more time and will try the spdif connection to see if i "see the light", as of now, this won't stay too many time in the shelf.

 

What firmware are you on? You can see it by powering the device on while pressing the volume knob. If it's something else than v0.90 (initial version), vA.09 or vA.10 then you'd better install one of those immediately. I find the sound of all non-listed firmwares congested and muddy in comparison. See http://wikkii.org/wiki/M-DAC for firmwares if you haven't done so yet. EDIT: Derp, it's not up to date.

 

Using one of the listed firmwares above and Optimal Spectrum filter, I find the M-DAC have ridiculous clarity and expansive soundstaging.

 

Also, there seems to be a consensus amongst M-DAC owners that letting it run for a week or two 24/7 will burn in the organic caps and make a difference in sound. I can not back this statement up, I loved the sound of mine since day 1.


Edited by daisangen - 2/28/13 at 8:18am
post #626 of 857

Link to A.10 (Mac installer)

Link to A.10 (Windows installer)

From this post on the PFM forum (if you're interested in comments on A.10, you can read the posts following that one. As always on PFM they pile up quickly, incl. lots of unrelated ones)

 

Keep in mind this is a beta release, albeit a stable one, based on a re-build of the original firmware since some claim it was the best-sounding. Tried both via headphone out and find them to be pretty much identical sounding.

 

Don't bother with A.09. Despite some claims on PFM that they sound different rolleyes.gif, both John and the programmer, Dominik, have clearly and repeatedly stated that the only updates in A.10 are a couple of minor CD info display / menu navigation bugs, and absolutely no change to the audio part.

post #627 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisangen View Post

 

What firmware are you on? You can see it by powering the device on while pressing the volume knob. If it's something else than v0.90 (initial version), vA.09 or vA.10 then you'd better install one of those immediately. I find the sound of all non-listed firmwares congested and muddy in comparison. See http://wikkii.org/wiki/M-DAC for firmwares if you haven't done so yet. EDIT: Derp, it's not up to date.

 

Using one of the listed firmwares above and Optimal Spectrum filter, I find the M-DAC have ridiculous clarity and expansive soundstaging.

 

Also, there seems to be a consensus amongst M-DAC owners that letting it run for a week or two 24/7 will burn in the organic caps and make a difference in sound. I can not back this statement up, I loved the sound of mine since day 1.

 

I'm on v0.99/v.097.

post #628 of 857

any other experiences with MCRU psu? I was half tempted to pick one up at the bristol audio show. 

 

eww just updated new firmware. wider crisper soundstage anyone? That's my impression. 


Edited by daniel_hokkaido - 2/28/13 at 12:15pm
post #629 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Teixeira View Post

 

I'm on v0.99/v.097.

 

 

Not anymore smily_headphones1.gif

Just updated to A.10 (macbook pro) very straightforward btw , let's see...

Thank you Grumpy.

post #630 of 857

To wrap up the filter stuff I mentioned earlier, here are some graphs that illustrate most of them. I found them very helpful, and the credit goes entirely to John Westlake, the designer who made them available in this post on the PFM forum. If you're interested, you can follow the discussion following that post. One important point that John made is that the graphs below are just part of the resulting audio, and that the time domain (not represented) may be as important if not more.

 

Fast filter(s) (i.e. Sharp/Slow Rolloff I believe), only included for reference, not very good in any way:

 

 

Minimum Phase (apparently the most "analogue"-like, recently increasingly popular among PFMers):

 

 

Optimal Spectrum (the most technically advanced. i.e. oversampling I believe)

 

 

Optimal Transient filters (less advanced but potentially nicer sounding, i.e. non-oversampling I believe)

The difference between the 3 OTs is just different math to arrive to the same general result, so differences, if any, are minimal.

 

Optimal Transient XD

 

 

Optimal Transient DD

 

 

As far as I'm concerned, switching between these filters has the biggest impact on SQ (and even then it's rather subtle), more so than switching inputs, power supplies, cables etc. Only switching outputs has a similar if not bigger impact, because the XLR out signal is not just balanced, but also stronger and cleaner (S/N ratio), as per earlier post.

 

For headphones that have well-controlled (or even recessed) treble, like my favourite LCD3 or the Sennheiser Momentum, I like Minimum Phase or Optimal Spectrum. For those with some degree of excess treble or are prone to sibilance, like the Edition 8 or to a lesser extent the TH900, I prefer one of the Optimal Transients. Hope this helps fellow Head-Fiers & M-DAC owners.


Edited by TheGrumpyOldMan - 2/28/13 at 1:17pm
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