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post #466 of 493

I just wanted to chime in here as I said I would provide an update on the W4S uLink and it's impact on the Rega Dac.

 

I'll probably post a full review of both components in the Headgear section but it's worth noting that during blind listening I was able to spot the W4S uLink everytime.

 

It isn't exactly revolutionary, but it is an audible improvement over the USB implementation from the Rega.

will say that I do not care for the uLink with Wyred 4 Sound's own proprietary ASIO driver. It actually was about even with the USB implementation from Rega, but I did like the uLink in WASAPI quite a bit. In WASAPI with the uLink there was an apparent added dose of richness, timbre and overall life and bounce to the music.

 

The USB out of the Rega does sound very good... damn near outstanding.... especially considering it is a "GASP!" adaptive mode USB! 

But when you have the uLink in the chain running WASAPI and then pull it out and go direct through USB you can hear the music flatten out a bit... Some of the exuberance and life is sucked out, everything seems like it is compressed just a bit.... Colors are grey'd out and music is just a bit less enjoyable.

 

I'll do a proper review when I have time.... In the midst of getting a proposal out the door at work... but the short answer is yes. The uLink does give you some improvement... $300 worth? That is relative to the consumer... to me it's noticeable enough that I don't have any buyers remorse with the uLink. It's staying.

post #467 of 493

Did you compare it to the Spdif out? Isnt the USB out on the rega supposed to be inferior to the Spdif out?

post #468 of 493

That is what the uLink does. It converts USB audio from my laptop to SPDIF so I can feed it to the Coaxial input on the Rega.

 

So my comparison was between USB to Rega USB input vs. USB to W4S uLink to Coaxial Input Rega.

I am still planning to put a cheapo SPDIF converter in the chain to establish some level of baseline on the SPDIF.... but that hasn't panned out yet. 

post #469 of 493

I meant have you compared a standard Spdif out > Spdif on dac VS USB > Spdif converter?

 

As opposed to comparing USB > Spdif converter VS USB > USB input on dac

 

The reason I ask is because the USB on the dac is supposed to be inferior to the Spdif coaxial input... Maybe this explains the sound difference?

post #470 of 493

Hey guys, just checking in.

I'm currently comparing 2 DACs here, one of which I'm going to send back: The Rega DAC (obviously) and the Violectric V800.

In an earlier post, the Rega DAC came out as clear winner - and, of course, in the Violectric V800 thread, it's the other way round.

 

So, my short roundup until now:

 

Right out of the USB port of my computer, using directsound, playing Redbook rips of various formats into a Meier Audio Porta Corda Mk2 (Yeah, oldschool, cheap - but still pretty good) into my AKG K701 headphones..

the V800 is, unfortunately, the winner right now.

It's just much more transparent, clear and neutral while the Rega is just too "thick" for my liking - and I've tried filters 1, 3, 4 and 5 and none really helped here. Separation is not great and there's just too much bass :/

Did I do something wrong? Should I try again with the (bit-perfect) optical out that I also have on my computer? Or isn't it "burned in" enough?

I'm not satisfied with the result because the Rega would be much less expensive for me! :) I really want to like it better!


Fortunately, this isn't the final destination of the DAC, in two days, I'll try it in my speaker setup.

Maybe I'll have a better synergy there...

 

Any comments? :/ please, give me hope!

post #471 of 493
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taurui View Post

Hey guys, just checking in.
I'm currently comparing 2 DACs here, one of which I'm going to send back: The Rega DAC (obviously) and the Violectric V800.
In an earlier post, the Rega DAC came out as clear winner - and, of course, in the Violectric V800 thread, it's the other way round.

So, my short roundup until now:

Right out of the USB port of my computer, using directsound, playing Redbook rips of various formats into a Meier Audio Porta Corda Mk2 (Yeah, oldschool, cheap - but still pretty good) into my AKG K701 headphones..
the V800 is, unfortunately, the winner right now.
It's just much more transparent, clear and neutral while the Rega is just too "thick" for my liking - and I've tried filters 1, 3, 4 and 5 and none really helped here. Separation is not great and there's just too much bass :/
Did I do something wrong? Should I try again with the (bit-perfect) optical out that I also have on my computer? Or isn't it "burned in" enough?
I'm not satisfied with the result because the Rega would be much less expensive for me! smily_headphones1.gif I really want to like it better!


Fortunately, this isn't the final destination of the DAC, in two days, I'll try it in my speaker setup.
Maybe I'll have a better synergy there...

Any comments? :/ please, give me hope!
Imo, Rega Dac usb input can't be compare with its spdif input. Spdif input of Rega is better than usb. While although v800 performance of its spdif input still better than its usb, but the difference is not as big as Rega.
Both dac are good, I think it's a matter of preference.
post #472 of 493

Ok, you've got to be kidding me: While the V800 doesn't have any problems locking into the SPDIF output of my computer, the Rega DAC seems to be quite a pain ...

I connected it to my computer - nothing, input not locked. While experimenting around, I found that the "Input locked" would come up when I would deactivate and activate the optical output, but when I then started playing a song, it would lose the lock.

Now the only way to get it working is play a song, then deactivate and activate the SPDIF ... and then it works until, after a few songs, the lock is lost again.

What the..

It's the same for both SPDIF inputs, by the way.

 

I admit that I'm not using state-of-the-art components for this test (Aureon Sky Soundcard that I bought for the bit-perfect SPDIF + Amazon Basics SPDIF cable), but the V800 doesn't show any problems when using it.

 

Is my unit defective or is the Rega DAC just extremely picky?

post #473 of 493

Sorry, but I don't think I can help with this, as I use audiophilleo to feed my rega dac (before) and v800 at the shop.

Maybe the signal is too weak for rega to lock. Would you like to try with different cable (and shorter as well maybe?)

post #474 of 493
Something seems amiss with your DAC or it's connection. I've used mine fine with SPDIF and HiFace Two as well as AQ USB cable without problem. Be sure you're connections are solid and the playback software is using the right connection to see the DAC. Good luck.
post #475 of 493
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

I meant have you compared a standard Spdif out > Spdif on dac VS USB > Spdif converter?

 

As opposed to comparing USB > Spdif converter VS USB > USB input on dac

 

The reason I ask is because the USB on the dac is supposed to be inferior to the Spdif coaxial input... Maybe this explains the sound difference?

Sorry Nicholars I misunderstood what you were asking.

 

I don't have a legit CD player that I can run SPDIF out of to establish a control.... You are right though. Running something like redbook CD's through a SPDIF connection vs. ripped Redbook through the USB connection would provide a decent baseline control between the two inputs, before I start assuming every improvement I am hearing can be attributed to the W4S uLink.

 

I was going to try using a cheap converter to see if I got the same or some improvements with it to establish a somewhat control but haven't had the time. When we get settled at our new house, hopefully I can make that happen. 

post #476 of 493

Did anyone made a good comparison between the Rega and Arcam rDAC? The latter is being discontinued can be found 2x cheaper than the Rega...

post #477 of 493
I heard the Arcam when I was over at Affordable Audio auditioning the Rega, a couple Peachtrees and a Music Hall Unit and it sounded good. The differences between them all were really hard to parse in that setting. Except the Music Hall. I didn't care for it.

It has a premium USB from DCS so is a great computer audio option and had a similar tone to the Rega... In my short audition I couldn't tell you about detail, or soundstage but it seemed just as warm and musical. The only reasons I didn't go that route was connectivity options, I needed at least two Spdif inputs plus my aversion to wall warts and that I wanted a half rack size unit (aka I was being a bit of a casework snob). A bunch of superficial crap really.

I also think the Audio GD 2.3 is pretty much a Chinese Rega for roughly half price with a more Spartan case. Same Gold Tune Nichicon caps, same dual Wolfson set up. Probably a better USB.

Spend your big money on a legacy piece that you'll hand down to your kids like an amp.... Dac's are damn near absolete in 2 or 3 years these days.
post #478 of 493
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fed View Post

Spend your big money on a legacy piece that you'll hand down to your kids like an amp.... Dac's are damn near absolete in 2 or 3 years these days.

 

So we're all going to directly listen to 1's and 0's in 2 or 3 years and decode the information ourselves ? Awesome !

post #479 of 493
^ good idea, that will be the purest approach, avoid DAC coloration.
I think they have to start teaching that in music school.
post #480 of 493
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taurui View Post

 

So we're all going to directly listen to 1's and 0's in 2 or 3 years and decode the information ourselves ? Awesome !

 

Well, who knows.... Two weeks ago I sold my beloved Rega DAC, and my beautiful Primare A30.1 amp, and I bought a -rather ugly- NAD C390DD; this amp is completely digital; as far as I understand it basically it transforms the digital PCM stream into -still digital- PWM, amplifies it while still digital and offers it to the speakers, through a spool and a capacitator for smoothing. There is a lot more technical stuff going on that I do not understand, but in essence the digital signal is transformed and amplified into something a speaker can work with, while never passing a DA-stage. The stuff I sold including the cables sounded really good and had a new value of ~€3500,- the NAD is €2500,- and sounds much better. So I for one do not have a DAC anymore and there is no doubt in my mind that soon all-digital amplifiers will be the norm., and that i will never own a DAC again. Note: this all-digital amp is not a class D amp, that works on analogue signals.
Edited by dura - 7/29/13 at 6:27am
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