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Audiophilleo 1 and 2 USB to S/PDIF transport

post #1 of 1170
Thread Starter 

So we don't pollute other thread, I'm starting up a thread to discuss the Audiophilleo products here.

 

I recently bought the Audiophilleo 1 and, while it is almost double the cost of the 2, the gadget nut in me wanted to play with the various features. Regardless, I intended it as an "end game" device, that I would never consider upgrading from. Their full disclosure about how they obtained the measurements and invitation from people to duplicate them gave me some confidence that it should be a good product. 

 

Early impressions, compared to the Audio-gd Digital Interface is that is an improvement with my Audio-gd Reference 1, resulting in more clarity and less "glare". Whereas I preferred the Parasound DAC1600HD for its natural presentation over the Reference 1 before, the Audiophilleo has, so far, given the Ref 1 a leg up over the Parasound, though I need to have another go with it connected to the Parasound instead, though a brief listen didn't have me feeling it was as effective on it as it is with the Ref 1. I suspect this is more Kingwa having been on the long road to perfecting the digital input on his DACs and their full capability not having been realised, going by the effect of the upgraded DSP and better converters I've used over time.  I am sure there are DACs that this converter wouldn't be useful with, such as the Cambridge Azur 840c I used to have, which was unaffected in the slightest (IMO) by whatever source component or connected I used with it.

 

More later...

post #2 of 1170

Hi Currawong, I would be very interested if you could expound a little on the difference between DI & PSU combo versus Audiophilleo. I have been leaning towards a DI and PSU, but recently starting reading up more on the Audiophilleo and find it to be a more attractive option for the same reasons you mention here.

 

Your comments make it seem like it is a small or marginal improvement over DI while other reviews I have read described it as a pretty significant improvement. Any further insight would be appreciated!

post #3 of 1170

I've also gave in and ordered Audiophilleo2... It is much more expensive than any other USB/SPDIF converter I've had so far (if we exclude the mods), but the tech base of this toy just marks almost all checkboxes that I reckon ideal converter should have. Good to hear from Curra that he experiences improvement in his setup... and it does not hurt that his setup is similar to mine. wink.gif

 

We'll see...

 

Originally Posted by Sid-Fi View Post

Your comments make it seem like it is a small or marginal improvement over DI while other reviews I have read described it as a pretty significant improvement. Any further insight would be appreciated!


Sid, you should take into consideration that different DACs have different SPDIF input, digital filtering and jitter rejection implementations. I suppose the most dramatic improvement will be with DACs with lesser quality implementations of those parts. As for Curra's comments - I'm not sure for Parasound, but RE-1 has DSP-1 module which, while not perfect, does a solid job as digital filter and jitter reductor which could explain marginal improvements with RE-1.

 

Take note though that RE-1 level "marginal improvement" is far far more than f.e. DacMagic "marginal improvement".

post #4 of 1170

good to see someone else providing comments about the audiophileo

 

i'm happy with my audiophileo 2

 

i'm waiting for more asynch usb dac choices at the 2K range, wasnt that impressed with the w4s dac2 sound.

 

which usb cable are you using btw?

post #5 of 1170

Definitely interested. I hope they decide to make the promo price of the Audiophilleo 2 permanent. tongue.gif

post #6 of 1170
Thread Starter 

An audiophile would say that the differences are dramatic. A regular person would say the sound was more clear.  I think much of the effect would depend on the DAC being used. A DAC very sensitive to the transport, IMO such as a Northstar M192 MK1, would probably sound dramatically different. With something like the Cambridge, there might be no difference.  It could be argued that spending the money on a better DAC would be in order instead. For me, a "better DAC" would be like the Ref 1 but with a more developed digital input, so it amounts to the same thing getting the Audiophilleo.

post #7 of 1170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

An audiophile would say that the differences are dramatic. A regular person would say the sound was more clear.  I think much of the effect would depend on the DAC being used. A DAC very sensitive to the transport, IMO such as a Northstar M192 MK1, would probably sound dramatically different. With something like the Cambridge, there might be no difference.  It could be argued that spending the money on a better DAC would be in order instead. For me, a "better DAC" would be like the Ref 1 but with a more developed digital input, so it amounts to the same thing getting the Audiophilleo.


Being rather inexperienced with DAC's I was wwondering if the MHDT Havana, in your opinion, might benefit fromt the Audiophilleo 2 or is it more on the Cambridge's level as you decibe above? I am currently using an Audio-GD DI and am also interested in direct  comparisons form those who have heard both.

cheers,
Dave

 

post #8 of 1170

@ FauDrei

 

Thanks for the comments. I think your definitely right about the impact varying depending on the quality of the usb implementations built into different dacs. I am using an Audio-gd NFB-10WM and based on Currawong's comments and many others, I expect there is plenty of room to improve on the standard usb section it has, especially considering so many find the DI & PSU to be a large improvement. By the way, I read through the thread on stereo.net and appreciated your posts there.

 

@ Currawong

 

Thanks for elaborating. I think Audiophilleo2 will definitely be a very nice upgrade for me. I am using straight usb from my PC to NFB-10WM. Going from that to one of the best solutions should be very nice. I recently added power conditioning with a Furman AC-215a and noticed nice benefits from that. I think the Audiophilleo will be a more significant improvement.

 

Thanks again.

 

Dave

post #9 of 1170

Does any of you have experience with Audiophilleo power supply upgrades or tweaks? Some folks report improvement.

My first candidate is this PSU. Alternatively, a cheaper, non-fancy linear PSU but plugged using this.

Soldering a 5V PSU directly into the USB cable does not look like a good idea - any thoughts? 

post #10 of 1170

Currawong,

I also have a Ref1, and was looking to upgrade sources. Does your Digital Interface use an external power supply?

 

post #11 of 1170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

An audiophile would say that the differences are dramatic. A regular person would say the sound was more clear...



and only one of these statements would offer anything remotely insightful. guess which one?

 

on topic: from the product page, i see that this comes with a "JitterSimulator." could you run this and report what differences you hear, preferably as a "regular person"? I've always wanted to know what jitter sounds like.

post #12 of 1170
Thread Starter 

Love how the forums put the quotes in the wrong order...anyway...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

Currawong,

I also have a Ref1, and was looking to upgrade sources. Does your Digital Interface use an external power supply?

 


If you mean the Audio-gd one, yes, the original power supply. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by axw View Post

Does any of you have experience with Audiophilleo power supply upgrades or tweaks? Some folks report improvement.

My first candidate is this PSU. Alternatively, a cheaper, non-fancy linear PSU but plugged using this.

Soldering a 5V PSU directly into the USB cable does not look like a good idea - any thoughts? 


I'm definitely getting that to experiment with. Possibly more than one actually, as I'm thinking of getting an Apogee Duet 2 and using it to test a few things.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaedrusX View Post


and only one of these statements would offer anything remotely insightful. guess which one?

 

on topic: from the product page, i see that this comes with a "JitterSimulator." could you run this and report what differences you hear, preferably as a "regular person"? I've always wanted to know what jitter sounds like.


Ha! True, but I think you know what I'm getting at.   I'm not using the remote at the moment, but once I've set up my new apartment I plan to set up remote control and experiment with the features. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexdad54 View Post


Being rather inexperienced with DAC's I was wwondering if the MHDT Havana, in your opinion, might benefit fromt the Audiophilleo 2 or is it more on the Cambridge's level as you decibe above? I am currently using an Audio-GD DI and am also interested in direct  comparisons form those who have heard both.

cheers,
Dave

 


Personally, since the Havanna is NOS, which means, by design, it will have a lot of distortion, I would suggest upgrading your DAC (Ever noticed NOS DACs never have THD and other measurements posted?). I don't believe in fixing an inherently flawed design this way. I do recall you or somebody else posting about their experiences with the DI on the Havana though.

 

post #13 of 1170

Sorry to keep bugging you, but could you give a little more info on the audiophilleo vs Audio-gd DI? Nothing formal, just few more details off the top of your head.  I'm leaning towards the Audio-gd over the Audiophellio 2.

 

post #14 of 1170
Thread Starter 

I will in a week, with any luck. All my gear is being moved to a new apartment this week, starting tomorrow.

post #15 of 1170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I will in a week, with any luck. All my gear is being moved to a new apartment this week, starting tomorrow.



Ohh, I had no idea :-) Best of luck with the move, I eagerly await your impressions.

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