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Audio-gd DACs: DSP1 revisions make a big difference. Characteristics, new revisions, how to...

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hi fellows!

Who has tested more than one DSP1 digital input and upsampling/interpolation filter on audio-gd DACs?

On some threads we have found, that the revisions DSP1 digital filters are crucial to the "sound signature" of the audio-gd dacs. (E.G. on this discussion: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/519510 ).

For instance, PoisonMate did some testing with different revisions exchanged between different DACs, and he got to the conclusion, that his DACs sounded very different after changing the DSP1 filter from one revision to the other. In particular, he found, that the supposed "musical", more "forgiving" or more mellow sound of his "diamond output stage" - type Reference 8 DAC got more to the analytical and perhaps too hard, bright side after upgrading the DSP1 filter to rev. 5 (up to revision 4 it maintained the "warm" characteristics).

I think it might be helpful, to systematize a bit the experiences and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the sound signature of the different DACs with the different DSP1 revisions?
  2. How "user replaceable" are the DSP1 modules in the different audio-dg DAC models? Is technical know-how required to do that switch?
  3. Which is the current version of DSP1 revision?
  4. Who knows about new revisions planned by Kingwa? What are the changes to come?
  5. Who has made experiences ordering just a new DSP1 module? Is Kingwa keen to deliver them? At what prices...?
  6. Is there other useful know how to be shared about the DSP1 modules, like useful jumper settings, etc?


Thanks for sharing your experiences!

post #2 of 48
Thread Starter 

Come on fellows, it can't be true that nobody cares about those DSP1 revisions anymore? Or have I overseen another thread to discuss them...? I'll start with my experience: I have a "Diamond" DAC (Ref. 9) that is supposed be "musical", which means, tending towards softening the sound when the recording is harsh, according to audio-gd's criteria. It has Rev. 5 of DSP1. However, with this DSP1 inside, it is pretty hard and harsh, if the recording is alike. So, it is not forgiving at all. That seems to be an experience that others have made, too, therefore I did not want to write it down first, as it might be well known. However, somebody has to start... looking forward to the discussion.

post #3 of 48

I got v3,4 and 5 on my DAC19 and while i never found any difference at all between and v3 and v4 the DSP1v5 just makes the DAC19 a totally different one for me.

Actually i found it was a real deal being "forced" to buy the DSP1v5 as now i feel like having two really nice dacs for a little extra.

 

v4

Post v5 i never thougth of the DAC19 being a "Neutral" as they used to be labeled, it must be i'm still used to the v4 but everything sounds damn good and engaging with it.

 

 

v5

A total different sound presentation, massive Instrument separation, detail, more bass but less presence on vocals with my current setup. They sound thin, centered and down the mix with the Senns (Using stock cable tho). On the other hand the RS1's sings wonderfully with an added lower end extension.

post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 

Thanks, ZAI!

 

This is very helpful! It matches with PoisonMate's experience.

 

I will ask Kingwa if he stocks V4, and if he could sell me one. I would very much like to compare them. It sounds like V4 brings exactly what I miss at my DAC. Your word "involving" hits it very well. This is what lacks a bit on my Ref. 9 / DSP1 V5. The sound could be more intimate. However, I like the strong and precise bass.

 

I will ask him as well if a new DSP1 revision is planned... maybe this will bring it all together, involving intimacy and high precision...

 

However, you seem to own a Rev. 3 and a Rev. 4. They sound the same according to your experience. Do you use both? If not, maybe you would be willing to sell one of them... PM me in this case, thanks!

 

Cheers! U

post #5 of 48

Sorry I only own a v4 and v5 DSP, the v4 was a free upgrade from audio-gd and i sent the v3 back.

 

By now I'm really enjoying the v5 and the HD650 recable i got seems to fix my grudge with the vocals with those cans. I'll try to switch to the v4 as a soon as i feel i'm really used to the v5 to really undertand this "upgrade" ;)

 

post #6 of 48

I have only just sent back my DSP-1 v3 to be upgraded to v5. This is because the reviews (here and elsewhere) of the v5 have been very positive.

 

See review here: http://www.tweak-fi.com/apps/blog/show/5527032-mini-review-dsp1-v5-upgrade-for-the-audio-gd-dac19dsp

post #7 of 48

You were able to get a v5 upgrade for free from audio-gd?

post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zai View Post

You were able to get a v5 upgrade for free from audio-gd?


No; cost some $$ but not unreasonable. Wouldn't do it for every DSP-1 upgrade but as I said, the v5 upgrade has been uniformly praised.

post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hi there Zai!

 

Please let me know what your impression is, once you get the upgrade! Wouldn't you have had the possibility to keep v3 for comparison?

 

Cheers!

post #10 of 48
Thread Starter 

I asked audio-gd, whether they could sell me an additional dsp1 module of v4 . Many have written, that the soundstage is slightly more detailed on v5, but that v4 is more involving.

 

I got the reply, that no older dsp1 version is in stock anymore.

 

And to my question, whether a new version is being developed, they answered, that they do not develop the dsp1 modules themselves, and therefore, they would not know, but they would not expect any new version soon... (however, "not soon" might be rather "soon" when considering how quick audio-gd change their models...)

 

So... 2 new inquiries:

 

- Who has a spare V3 or V4 at home and would be willing to sell me one? I would just be keen to compare.

 

- Who knows, who develops those modules?

 

Cheers!

post #11 of 48

I went from the V1 to V5. With the V1, my Reference 1 didn't seem to be any better than the Cambridge 840c I had at the time. After the upgrade, it was as if I'd bought a whole grade better DAC and the 840c was put up for sale immediately.

post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursdiego View Post

I asked audio-gd, whether they could sell me an additional dsp1 module of v4 . Many have written, that the soundstage is slightly more detailed on v5, but that v4 is more involving.

 

I got the reply, that no older dsp1 version is in stock anymore.

 

And to my question, whether a new version is being developed, they answered, that they do not develop the dsp1 modules themselves, and therefore, they would not know, but they would not expect any new version soon... (however, "not soon" might be rather "soon" when considering how quick audio-gd change their models...)

 

So... 2 new inquiries:

 

- Who has a spare V3 or V4 at home and would be willing to sell me one? I would just be keen to compare.

 

- Who knows, who develops those modules?

 

Cheers!


I am buying the V5 instead of upgrading from V3 as I only have 1 dac , can't afford to have down time.

how much you want to pay for the V3 lol

post #13 of 48
Thread Starter 

Yesssss, I am getting my "new" Version 3 from Furyagain soon, who upgrades to V5. However, over time, I got pretty used to my V5 - based Ref. 9... but I am looking forward anyway to do the comparison, I'll post my impressions here.

post #14 of 48

I also have a v3 I might not mind parting with if the price is right.

post #15 of 48

I will be getting a v5 soon for my Ref5 which now has a v3.

 

Besides the jumpers are the DSP's otherwise the same physically...???  Is it just the programming that makes them different???

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