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New Audiolab DAC - Page 55

post #811 of 878

I tend to think of DSD as the UltraHD/4K of audio, not necessarily in precise spec increase but in spirit: there's gotta be a next new thing: it's expensive, little choice of actual content and in terms of real-world, practical enjoyment not nearly as much an increase as the specs would make you think. And some people will swear by it. Though if anybody walks up close enough to a 4K display, they can actually see the extra detail while it will be much harder even for audiophiles when it comes to DSD compared to a properly mastered, lossless HD (PCM) recording (esp. in light of the difficulty many already seem to have between the highest quality lossy formats and lossless and other similar listening comparisons)

 

Anyway, the takeaway is that I wouldn't worry too much about DSD for the foreseeable future in light of other factors that actually affect audio quality (like the analogue gain section of a DAC, which for me has always made the biggest difference, even with the same chipset) And in general, any difference in SQ of DACs at a certain level is absolutely minimal compared to the impact of the headphones themselves and their amplification...

 

(And despite my nick, I'm not a get-off-my-lawn (and let me listen to my vinyl) kinda fella :D I do appreciate the technology but the returns are becoming very diminishing indeed)

post #812 of 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post
 

I tend to think of DSD as the UltraHD/4K of audio, not necessarily in precise spec increase but in spirit: there's gotta be a next new thing: it's expensive, little choice of actual content and in terms of real-world, practical enjoyment not nearly as much an increase as the specs would make you think. And some people will swear by it. Though if anybody walks up close enough to a 4K display, they can actually see the extra detail while it will be much harder even for audiophiles when it comes to DSD compared to a properly mastered, lossless HD (PCM) recording (esp. in light of the difficulty many already seem to have between the highest quality lossy formats and lossless and other similar listening comparisons)

 

Anyway, the takeaway is that I wouldn't worry too much about DSD for the foreseeable future in light of other factors that actually affect audio quality (like the analogue gain section of a DAC, which for me has always made the biggest difference, even with the same chipset) And in general, any difference in SQ of DACs at a certain level is absolutely minimal compared to the impact of the headphones themselves and their amplification...

 

(And despite my nick, I'm not a get-off-my-lawn (and let me listen to my vinyl) kinda fella :D I do appreciate the technology but the returns are becoming very diminishing indeed)


Hi GrumpyOldMan,

 

Thanks for the reply. From your experience would you suggest to go for the audiolab qdac (western brand) vs the yulong (china brand) now before the price of the qdac increases?

 

What do you make of the review from whathifi on the qdac mentioning that the qdac is behind even other dac in its own price range.

 

much appreciated.

 

Thank you.

post #813 of 878

Alas, since I haven't heard either (which is really what matters), I'm not really in a position to offer solid advice choosing one over the other... esp. since I don't know your preferences. Even taking into account my experience with their respective higher-end offerings (the M-DAC vs. the Yulong D18) I wouldn't be able to recommend one of those over the other from a SQ POV since they have different signatures which are each great in their own way.

 

On a practical level though, the M-DAC has options like switching audio filters to taste, a great display, switching the jitter tolerance level for not-so-great sources etc, and of course a very usable headphone out. The D18 has none of that. Though both have balanced which was essential for my setup. What are some of your practical needs/wants? Will either one, esp. the D200, fulfill those?

 

On what little I could find on the D200, it seems in a different class than the Q-DAC, not so sure about similar pricing. And the Q-DAC is out now, while for the D200 release, who knows for sure when? It also seems that in the Q-DAC price range the Arcam irDAC would a good consideration?

 

It took me quite a while to whittle down what sound signature I like best, and my interest in future purchases is now informed by that (i.e.: there may be some very good hardware coming out with great reviews but through comparisons now I know it wouldn't be for me) So I think you have to start somewhere, and if it's your first foray into that terrain, you'll enjoy either. And after listening hopefully a lot, you'll get a better sense of what YOU prefer and thus what to get next... and there's always the next one :p Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry for your wallet and all that...

post #814 of 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by zting View Post
 


Hi GrumpyOldMan,

 

Thanks for the reply. From your experience would you suggest to go for the audiolab qdac (western brand) vs the yulong (china brand) now before the price of the qdac increases?

 

What do you make of the review from whathifi on the qdac mentioning that the qdac is behind even other dac in its own price range.

 

much appreciated.

 

Thank you.

 

Sometimes you just have to look at what feature set you need, and let that inform 49% of your decision.

For example, the Yulong may not be right for you even if it sounds great but is missing several features you feel that you need.

I would never buy a USB input only DAC as I have equipment with various SPDIF outputs as well as equipment with USB digital outputs.

And I would like a volume control and a headphone jack, please.

post #815 of 878

So are there any news on the M-DAC 2 or M-DAC Next, how it's also called?

Would like to hear some impressions if possible.

post #816 of 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post

So are there any news on the M-DAC 2 or M-DAC Next, how it's also called?
Would like to hear some impressions if possible.

Apparently the Next Gen M-DAC or Son Of M-DAC or M-DAC, the Return, or whatever it's called will be released sometime next spring......maybe.
post #817 of 878

Thank you for the info,

 

maybe i will upgrade my unit, just have to find out which modification gives the best bang for the buck, i don't think i will spent another 600 euros for an upgrade maybe something around 200-300 euros.

post #818 of 878
Apparently you can buy an upgraded power supply for the M-DAC.
The linear power supply upgrade got a good review in HiFiChoice magazine.
£360.00

http://www.mains-cables-r-us.co.uk/power-supplies/523-linear-power-supply-for-audiolab-m-dac.html
Edited by Chris J - 11/2/13 at 3:47am
post #819 of 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post

Thank you for the info,

maybe i will upgrade my unit, just have to find out which modification gives the best bang for the buck, i don't think i will spent another 600 euros for an upgrade maybe something around 200-300 euros.

Any opinions on the M-DAC headphone jack vs. the Matrix M Stage?
thx.
post #820 of 878

Hey Chris,

 

i tested the MDac headphone jack vs. the M-Stage and frankly the differences are there but not as big as one may think. I already compared both in the past but there were so small nuances that i just listened through the matrix because of the gain setting.

 

 

Especially with the Cd SMPTe from Transatlantic (a clear ProgRock CD) i can hear slight differences.

 

Mostly the M-stage is more organic means not so dry but that could be that i burned the m-stage in (if you believe in such thing)

Honestly i believe in burn in because i know how the M-DAC sounded in the beginning and how it sounds now.

 

The M-stage has also a slightly better layered depth than the M-DAC amp. Maybe i could say the headphone out of the M-Dac is a little bit softer.

 

But again, these are slight nuances and one could say the hp amp in the Audiolab is not bad at all.

I just go for safety and listen through the matrix because of the gain setting and because it's a dedicated amp.

 

These are just my views and a better trained person could maybe hear more differences but i would say i am capable of hearing critically because with burn in of the mdac i noticed that i did get a better window into the music.

 

all in all i would say that switching from the matrix amp to the mdac amp, my enjoyment didn't get degraded significantly.


Edited by amigastar - 11/2/13 at 3:15pm
post #821 of 878
Thanks!
I'll have a beer for you tonight!
post #822 of 878

np man, i hope i could help.

post #823 of 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post

np man, i hope i could help.

It helps a lot.
I was going to sell my Matrix M Stage to help pay for my M-DAC purchase. biggrin.gif
post #824 of 878

M-DAC itself is a really nice DAC for it's money. I just wonder how big the improvement will be with the M-DAC 2.


Edited by amigastar - 11/4/13 at 4:48pm
post #825 of 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post
 

Alas, since I haven't heard either (which is really what matters), I'm not really in a position to offer solid advice choosing one over the other... esp. since I don't know your preferences. Even taking into account my experience with their respective higher-end offerings (the M-DAC vs. the Yulong D18) I wouldn't be able to recommend one of those over the other from a SQ POV since they have different signatures which are each great in their own way.

 

On a practical level though, the M-DAC has options like switching audio filters to taste, a great display, switching the jitter tolerance level for not-so-great sources etc, and of course a very usable headphone out. The D18 has none of that. Though both have balanced which was essential for my setup. What are some of your practical needs/wants? Will either one, esp. the D200, fulfill those?

 

On what little I could find on the D200, it seems in a different class than the Q-DAC, not so sure about similar pricing. And the Q-DAC is out now, while for the D200 release, who knows for sure when? It also seems that in the Q-DAC price range the Arcam irDAC would a good consideration?

 

It took me quite a while to whittle down what sound signature I like best, and my interest in future purchases is now informed by that (i.e.: there may be some very good hardware coming out with great reviews but through comparisons now I know it wouldn't be for me) So I think you have to start somewhere, and if it's your first foray into that terrain, you'll enjoy either. And after listening hopefully a lot, you'll get a better sense of what YOU prefer and thus what to get next... and there's always the next one :p Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry for your wallet and all that...


Thanks for the advise. I think the M-Dac is quite old in design as it has been released back in 2011?

 

I have decided I might actually stick to waiting for yulong's d200 or just purchase the yulong da8 as they are newer and offer better specs for the price. But thank you for the help offered.

 

Meanwhile I might just get myself a fiio e18 (going to be out soon in australia)  while waiting for the release of yulong's da8.

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