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NuForce uDAC-2 Listening Challenge - Page 2  

post #16 of 60
Originally Posted by nwavguy View Post


That track should be about 1.4 MB and works fine for me. Anyone else having a problem? Perhaps you have security software (or a firewall) that thinks the FLAC file is malware and is terminating the download?



Problem solved now by using a different browser.

Tomorrow I hope to find some time to see if I can hear the differences with the Sara K track.



post #17 of 60
Originally Posted by nwavguy View Post

Thanks again for your feedback, and I'm curious how happy you are with the HRT Streamer II? It seems to be a really well done product to me from what I can tell. But I've never heard or measured one. That should be a fairly high resolution set up as I've also heard really good things about the Fischers.



The Music Streamer II to me, at least, is much clearer on the extremes than the uDAC-2 i had before. The outputs are a little on the hot side though, the volume is quite a bit louder at the same position on the amp compared to some other DACs.


Just did a blind listen to the Brickhouse ones again, and Monroe is definitely the worse of the four. Taft had differences too, but wasn't nearly as easy to pick out. Could tell subtle differences the first time I tried listening, although I couldn't tell which ones were actually better. Could've been how tired I was when i listened.


Edited by andrewliu6294 - 3/6/11 at 3:27pm
post #18 of 60
Thread Starter 

@andrewliu6294 Thanks for your observations on the tracks and comments on the Streamer II. The "hot" output is kind of unfortunate if you're connecting it to a preamp or system with other input sources--you might get a really loud surprise when switching from one of the other sources to the Streamer II.


The Streamer's USB isolation can be a great feature in some set ups. If your audio system is grounded in any way (any component has a 3 prong AC plug, it's connected in any way to equipment connected to cable TV, etc.) you can end up with ground loops when you connect a non-isolated USB DAC into the mix because most PC's are also grounded. The ground loop might cause subtle problems, or obvious hum. It's not cheap to provide USB isolation so it's impressive HRT did so in a $149 made-in-the-USA product. I'd like to test one someday.





post #19 of 60

Maybe I'll try to ABX these later but for now I'm doing it the unscientifical way - listening. . . and I refuse to listen to Lady GaGa. :P


HiFiMAN EF2A (with RCA 5654 tubes) -> Sennheiser HD 650



Best to crappest


Harrison (amazing!)



Monroe (meh. . . )



If Monroe is the uDAC-2 I declare it FAIL.


The inner two are hard. .. pretty sure about the first and last. . . now back to Hendrix. :)


Edited by Satellite_6 - 3/7/11 at 6:26pm
post #20 of 60
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of you for your comments so far. Please keep the comments, and especially votes for your favorites, coming. I'll be publishing some sort of summary soon.


I've also put together a sequel using the headphone outputs instead of line outputs, a new DAC (sort of), some new music and a few other twists. I started a new thread as they're entirely different files to vote on:



post #21 of 60

can't wait to get home from work at participate! looking forward to seeing how good my ears really are. wink_face.gif

post #22 of 60

Very interested in this as a udac-1 owner. I'm looking at getting a uca202 and doing a comparison myself since it's so inexpensive. (any more info whether the UCA222 is as good or worse? I like the red colour). I use the RCA outputs, does the behringer's volume control alter their levels too as per udac?

post #23 of 60

The differences in the files you present are too subtle for people to appreciate what a big difference DACs can make.



Try searching on Itunes for the following song and play the free sample:


"Nein, Mann!" by Laserkraft 3D.


Playing through my UDAC 2, the conversations, sounds of glasses etc. in the room in the background are vague. 

Through my AMB Gamma 2 DAC, the same conversations come through crystal clear and crisp. The song sounds completely different.


PS I don't like this song - it's just a good resolution / noise floor test for DACs wink_face.gif



Edited by Bacci - 3/8/11 at 7:57am
post #24 of 60

I will confess I could not tell much of a difference, though Monroe was probably the least well-defined.

post #25 of 60

harrison < monroe << taft <<<< wilson


Wilson clearly preferred.  Listened through my speaker rig, I could probably make a better judgment with headphones as there are all sorts of other noises I am competing with trying to tell them apart right now.

post #26 of 60

I don't hear any difference, at least noticable, with my setup: grubdac->rjm jfetmosfet->k530ltd.

post #27 of 60

I can hear no differences when A/B'ing via uDAC -> iBasso PB1 -> HD 600.  I ABX'ed Monroe and Taft, thinking that I may in fact be able to hear a difference in bass definition - and scored 4/20 before giving up.


Of course, everyone is going to say that the uDAC isn't capable of showing the differences.  But to anybody that claim they can hear a difference - ABX it!

post #28 of 60

1. Has anyone been able to successfully (9/10) DBT any pair of the 1st 4 (Sara K.) tracks ?

2. When will you tell us what the tracks were ?

post #29 of 60

I'll attempt to ABX Harrison and Monroe later. (I'll edit this post)


EDIT: I was able to ABX with a 10/10 although it took a few trails and I failed a lot before hand. I listened to a very short part of the track which sounded different. . . I don't think I'd notice this difference normally.


This is a no ABX forum I believe. . .

Edited by Satellite_6 - 3/12/11 at 3:59pm
post #30 of 60

^ me too.  Don't give away the answer yet or I'll have to to use the computer with both eyes closed wink.gif.  8/10 pairwise comparisons don't quite reach significance, with about 0.055 chance of happening by random.  9/10 do, with about 0.011 chance.  7/8 is the lowest bar to clear (p=0.035).

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