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post #31 of 499
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post

Glad to hear both you and the DAC are doing okay.wink.gif

 

Quote:
 The USB input isn't bad, but it is thicker/warmer and somewhat closed-in or dead sounding

 I might be dead wrong, but I associate this with jitter.   

 

I am sure jitter is some of it, but I would also not rule out noise injection via the USB cable. Of course Rega claims the inputs are both isolated and reclocked to correct jitter, but something is obviously going on. Just got the Black Cat Veloce S/PDIF cable and it kicked the sound up another notch even without being burned in yet.

 

The rig is quite impressive sounding (at least by my standards). Still have stock tubes except for rectifiers in the Woo, and THe S/PDIF cable and PS Audio Soloist Premier need more burn-in. I'm about $3000 poorer, but I'm happy. 
 

post #32 of 499
Quote:
Originally Posted by khollister View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post

Glad to hear both you and the DAC are doing okay.wink.gif

 

Quote:
 The USB input isn't bad, but it is thicker/warmer and somewhat closed-in or dead sounding

 I might be dead wrong, but I associate this with jitter.   

 

I am sure jitter is some of it, but I would also not rule out noise injection via the USB cable. Of course Rega claims the inputs are both isolated and reclocked to correct jitter, but something is obviously going on. Just got the Black Cat Veloce S/PDIF cable and it kicked the sound up another notch even without being burned in yet.

 


It is jitter. Jitter can be disguised as warmth or more perceived etched resolution. You've also proven that going through a converter is better than the USB input. I have a dac with a reclocker and ram buffer, and it still cannot handle a high jitter source without sound degradation. Most of the zero jitter stuff by dac manufacturers doesn't hold up in the real world.

 

You should also consider the Legato if you don't play hi-res. It's dedicated to redbook and has very low jitter. Also reasonably priced, compared to other products.

post #33 of 499
Thread Starter 

 

I'm aware of the Legato but I do play hires stuff too.
post #34 of 499

Rega DAC : the review by Positive Feedback is here

 

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue53/rega.htm

post #35 of 499

He's using a $2850 USB cable + $1300 USB converter + $1200 power cord with the Rega, which retails for $1000. This is why people laugh at audiophiles. Don't know how many prospective Rega DAC owners will be running this configuration, but at least we know what's possible, which is it that sounds as good or better than the DCS Debussy with the right setup. Now that is interesting.

post #36 of 499
Quote:
Originally Posted by pasgod View Post

Rega DAC : the review by Positive Feedback is here

 

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue53/rega.htm



This review totally had me laughing, the dCS unit was outputting at 6V and was thus clipping his amp, he then tried the REGA unit and very logically it sounded better, and finally after changing the output of the dCS to 2V, the dCS sounded better again, his conclusion was that the REGA could sound as good as a non optimized dCS setup.

 

Mine would be that if you can't hear that your amp is clipping due to an input with a voltage that is too high, any reader would have a serious reason to question your listening ability.

 

 

Quote:
 
switch the output voltage from 6 to 2 volts and turn the digital volume all the way up to avoid clipping going into my Meishu
[...]
There's a natural quality of harmonic resonance to the voices of The Unthanks and a depth and sense of air that I had not heard before. So I was clipping.
[...]
but the latter [the REGA] sounds so good and is so much less expensive, I can confidently recommend it as the most music for the money, all of which leads me to the conclusion that one should never assume that one's setup is optimal.
post #37 of 499


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

This review totally had me laughing, the dCS unit was outputting at 6V and was thus clipping his amp, he then tried the REGA unit and very logically it sounded better, and finaly after changing the output of the dCS to 2V, the dCS sounded better again, his conclusion was that the REGA could sound as good as a non optimized dCS setup.

 

Yeah, it makes you wonder. Audiophile or audiofool! Waste of time reading it.

post #38 of 499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parafeed View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

This review totally had me laughing, the dCS unit was outputting at 6V and was thus clipping his amp, he then tried the REGA unit and very logically it sounded better, and finaly after changing the output of the dCS to 2V, the dCS sounded better again, his conclusion was that the REGA could sound as good as a non optimized dCS setup.

 

Yeah, it makes you wonder. Audiophile or audiofool! Waste of time reading it.



x2. I'm very interested in the Rega Dac and therefore interested in reviews and experiences, but reading this was a complete waste of time.

Audiot, indeed.

post #39 of 499
Thread Starter 

So after running the Rega, a M2Tech HiFace EVO, Wireworld Starlight USB cable and a Black Cal Veloce S/PDIF cable nonstop for a week or more (not everything arrived at the same time), I am happy as a pig in s*** gs1000.gif The sound has the relaxed, fluid ease with no extra-musical texture (grain) that most associate with vinyl. I have a CIAudio 9V supply coming which should improve things further, but this is by far the best digital sound I've had. 

 

The best analogy I can make (which will make sense for the musicians in the crowd) is it is like the difference between a brand new guitar (mandolin in my case) and a 40's vintage Martin - the vintage Martin (pre-war Gibson madolin) has that effortless, rich sound as if the strings are tensioned less tightly. I think a lot of this is the sound of jitter (or lack of it). 

 

While I can't say this is the best $1000 DAC, I can say it is unfailingly musical and analog sounding, and can't see how it is a bad choice regardless of the competition. 

 

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a happy camper with this purchase.

post #40 of 499

I want one!

But it is not available here yet (and I'm done with the winter so I leave for the tropics Friday for 4 weeks, but after that....).

 

I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth but what I find intriguing is your implication that smoothness vs grain is what is the main reason why many people prefer the SQ of vinyl above digital.

I think you have a very good point there.

post #41 of 499
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post

I want one!

But it is not available here yet (and I'm done with the winter so I leave for the tropics Friday for 4 weeks, but after that....).

 

I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth but what I find intriguing is your implication that smoothness vs grain is what is the main reason why many people prefer the SQ of vinyl above digital.

I think you have a very good point there.

 

This is going to be rather long, but here goes ...

 

Grain (for me) is a fine layer of high frequency texture that is imposed on everything, and it is largely an artifact that I associate with electronic devices in general, digital or otherwise. I recall in the pre-CD era talking about grain in solid state amplifiers. It's like bowed strings have a little too much rosin on the bow.

 

Smooth is one of the most abused adjectives in high end audio IMHO. It gets applied to a number of very different sonic attributes, some positive, some not  (as in smooth being a polite way of saying something sounds dull).

 

What best distinguishes analog (whether that be tape or vinyl) from average digital is the sense of ease that analog playback has. There are a number of adjectives applied to this - relaxed, liquid, free-flowing, etc. To me its like digital typically struggles to transmit the music and I feel like the music is "shouting" at me. Analog (and great digital) doesn't seem like the playback system is struggling to convey the music. Someone on a forum I read (I forget where or who) described it as sounding like everything had slowed down, but the pitch and tempo was the same. It is exactly like detuning a string instrument a step or two usually makes it sound more "easy" and relaxed without blunting the transient capability (pitch aside). It makes the music much more pleasant to listen to - you are more in touch with the music rather than noticing the audio reproduction. The stereo "gets out of your way" so to speak.

 

In the case of digital, I increasingly believe that much of what "ruins" digital in this regard is various forms of jitter (or phase noise for the technically inclined). There is enough evidence with the availability of very low jitter S/PDIF converters and reclockers that lowering jitter in the digital data stream fed to the DAC results in exactly these kind of changes. Feeding the Rega 16/44 via the USB input resulted in very good sound that was still probably identifiable as digital to vinyl junkies. Using a USB-> S/PDIF converter with very low jitter and its own clock (thus putting the DAC into slave mode following the word clock from the S/PDIF source) transformed the sound into what I think is very close to "vinyl" in principle at least.

 

yes, I think the Rega has very low grain compared to recent DAC's I have heard (my Apogee Duet and the HRT Music Streamer II+ I tried), but that is not what so strikes me as I sit here listening as I type this. It is the complete ease with which the sound flows. Kinda like everyone has had a few glasses of some nice Argentine Malbec to get warmed up :-)

 

BTW, I happen to think vinyl (as opposed to analog tape - I'm talking 15 or 30 ips 2 inch here) actually adds some euphonic coloration due to micro-acoustic feedback given that it is an electro-mechincal process. But that is a whole different holy war. 
 

post #42 of 499

FYI, smoothness, lack of grain is also dependent upon the digital cable, power cord, whether you have clean, stable electricity. I recently switched digital cables on my DAC and it made a night and day difference.

post #43 of 499
Ah, a fellow Malbec lover!
Thanks for the elobarate answer Keith, I need some time to carefully read this (old Glenlivet today on this side, great for music, not so good for text).
post #44 of 499
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vert View Post

FYI, smoothness, lack of grain is also dependent upon the digital cable, power cord, whether you have clean, stable electricity. I recently switched digital cables on my DAC and it made a night and day difference.


Agreed that grain can certainly be influenced by power. One thing that I am still a little puzzled over is how insensitive the EVO and Rega seem to be to S/PDIF cables. Changing from the Black Cat Veloce to an old (10 years?) Monster RCA digital cable (that was certainly not top of the line when I bought it to connect a DVD player many years ago) yields remarkably similar sound, which I didn't expect. Changing power cords, interconnects or headphone cables is certainly obvious enough.

 

Never was much of a Scotch guy (good ole American bourbon for this redneck for when I'm in a whiskey mood). My latest adult beverage discovery is hard cider - greatly enamored with some English Strongarrow Dry Cider. It's growing on me, have to go get some more this weekend.

post #45 of 499

Khollister keep those reviews coming, its just so smooth..biggrin.gif

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