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post #751 of 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

little question: are the ALAC (apple loosless) files supported for SD Card playback, or only FLAC ?  (80% of my library is ALAC)

 

and, like "project86", do you feel that the sound signature of the Invicta is NOT "too digital" like many people seems to believe ? will you define it as analytical or instead rather lay-back/musical

 

thanks

 To answer your questions above:

 

1. ALAC files (currently) are not supported -- only FLAC.   I don't know whether the company plans to update software for ALAC compatibility, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do.   What I do is convert FLAC to ALAC using XLD, which can be configured to transfer to my iTunes library.   Frankly I would actually prefer having iTunes support FLAC but that probably won't happen until hell freezes over.

2. I don't find the Invicta to sound "digital" at all -- I think it sounds the way the source should i.e. accurate.   If the source is highly etched or "analytical" then the Invicta will portray it that way, and vice versa.   This is actually ideal since it allows you, if you wish, to modify or adjust the sound character using different cables, amps, headphones, etc, without introducing yet another variable.   I realize some people have negatively portrayed Sabre-chip based dacs as being too digital or strident, but with regard to the Invicta/Mirus this is definitely not the case.  

post #752 of 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by twsmith View Post
 

 To answer your questions above:

 

1. ALAC files (currently) are not supported -- only FLAC.   I don't know whether the company plans to update software for ALAC compatibility, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do.   What I do is convert FLAC to ALAC using XLD, which can be configured to transfer to my iTunes library.   Frankly I would actually prefer having iTunes support FLAC but that probably won't happen until hell freezes over.

2. I don't find the Invicta to sound "digital" at all -- I think it sounds the way the source should i.e. accurate.   If the source is highly etched or "analytical" then the Invicta will portray it that way, and vice versa.   This is actually ideal since it allows you, if you wish, to modify or adjust the sound character using different cables, amps, headphones, etc, without introducing yet another variable.   I realize some people have negatively portrayed Sabre-chip based dacs as being too digital or strident, but with regard to the Invicta/Mirus this is definitely not the case.  

thanks for your input.   So now... I really need to find a way to hear (peacefully, with my music files) the Invicta :-)

 

Aurender N100s + Invicta could be THE solution.... :D  

 

(same design, and...still transportable. but... Will the USB of the Aurender pair well with the Invicta ?)


Edited by bmichels - 2/22/15 at 7:30am
post #753 of 762
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

thanks for your input.   So now... I really need to find a way to hear (peacefully, with my music files) the Invicta :-)

 

Aurender N100s + Invicta could be THE solution.... :D  

 

(same design, and...still transportable. but... Will the USB of the Aurender pair well with the Invicta ?)

 

 

I use an Aurender X100L and it works perfectly with Invicta Mirus. I would assume that translates to Invicta (non Mirus) and N100s pairing just as well. Interestingly, the Concero products don't get on very well with the X100L, but my Mirus and the original Invicta before that are good. 

 

Btw the recent Aurender update which added Tidal/Wimp integration are excellent! It's not perfect yet, still in beta, but already I love it. Prior to that I was streaming Tidal via AirPlay.... which is fine, but having it all right there in the app is even better. 

post #754 of 762

Found a Review of the Invicta Mirus, since there is no real thread for Mirus i post this in Invicta thread.

Idk if some people know this review but for me it was new.

anyways:

http://www.highfidelity.pl/@main-469&lang=en

 

some line from the review

Quote:
 After long listening sessions with Mirus (and Vega too) I have to admit I was wrong – Sabre based device is capable of playing not only a perfect sound but also a real, soul touching music.
Quote:
 Mirus offers detailed, transparent sound with large soundstage, both left to right and front to back. It offers not only lively, extended range extremes but also rich, smooth, colorful midrange that is a must if almost any music is to sound right.

Edited by amigastar - 2/27/15 at 1:04pm
post #755 of 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post
 

Found a Review of the Invicta Mirus, since there is no real thread for Mirus i post this in Invicta thread.

Idk if some people know this review but for me it was new.

anyways:

http://www.highfidelity.pl/@main-469&lang=en

 

some line from the review


It says the Mirus uses the FPGA Xilinx Spartan-6, along with the Chord Hugo and PS Audio  Direct Stream DAC, any other dacs use this product?

post #756 of 762
Very stupid question, but as a happy HUGO owner, I wonder if the invicta a real step-up from HUGO to justify buying an invicta to replace my HUGO ? ( for desktop usage with my Eddy curent 445 tube amp)
post #757 of 762
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post
 

Found a Review of the Invicta Mirus, since there is no real thread for Mirus i post this in Invicta thread.

Idk if some people know this review but for me it was new.

anyways:

http://www.highfidelity.pl/@main-469&lang=en

 

some line from the review

 

 

This is a good review - although he does seem a little hung up on price, with Mirus not being quite the best he's heard because it's not the most expensive. But generally I agree with most of what he says. He references a (more expensive) tube DAC as being slightly more weighty, and if you read his review of that same DAC he called it warm and "tube-ish", so it makes sense. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic77 View Post
 


It says the Mirus uses the FPGA Xilinx Spartan-6, along with the Chord Hugo and PS Audio  Direct Stream DAC, any other dacs use this product?

 

 

A lot of DACs these days use an FPGA. What they use it for can vary though, as can the make and model of FGPA being used. Since an FPGA is really a sort of "customizable semiconductor" it can have a wide variety of uses depending on the needs of each particular design. 

 

Xilinx and Altera are the Big Two of the FPGA world, holding something like 90 percent of the market share. Xilinx seems to be used in more audiophile applications, but I've seen Altera used as well. These are major, multi-billion dollar companies, who are locked in a sort of Intel-AMD rivalry (but a more evenly matched version where neither side has a consistent advantage) - a rivalry which transcends any particular application such as audio design. The chips will keep evolving, no question, and it's up to the DAC designers to decide if they can use the extra horsepower or not

 

PS Audio claims to do all D/A conversion within the FPGA. Hugo does a ton of things inside the FPGA but the D/A conversion itself is done by their discrete "Pulse Array" DAC (it's a common misconception that the FPGA does the actual conversion). In this way, Invicta is closer to Chord than PS Audio. Their FPGA handles many things via custom programming. Resonessence even made their own video driver through the FPGA, to power the HDMI output - which I think is pretty clever.

 

Lots of other brands use FPGA as well, though in more simplistic ways. The NuForce DAC100 has a Xilinx (older Spartan version) and I suspect it is for jitter reduction, which is a pretty common function:

 

 

 

 

 

The Firestone Tobby uses one (also an older Xilinx) tied in with their digital clock generator, which is a novel use as far as I know:

 

 

 

 

 

Oppo uses an Altera Cyclone in their BDP-105. It sits next to the Mediatek and Silicon Image chips that handle video stuff, so it's probably not audio related (sorry it is covered by the heatsink):

 

 

 

 

So it really comes down to the designer and their ability to use the FPGA. Sure, the latest model (Spartan 6 is not the newest or most high-end chip in the Xilinx stable) might sound good on paper, but it's just a tool that doesn't accomplish anything on its own. It might help to think of it as a coding language more than anything else. It's hard for us amateurs to judge directly because we can't look at the code and see the elegance or clumsiness it may contain. That's why we have to judge by listening (or marketing claims if that's what gets you excited). 

 

Thankfully, so far it seems the DACs using heavy FPGA functionality all sound good or great. The time may come when that is no longer true, as FPGA use becomes more common. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post

Very stupid question, but as a happy HUGO owner, I wonder if the invicta a real step-up from HUGO to justify buying an invicta to replace my HUGO ? ( for desktop usage with my Eddy curent 445 tube amp)

 

Not a stupid question at all! I love both devices and use both quite often.

 

 

 

 

Personally, I think my Mirus is a step ahead of the Hugo in almost every way. It's got the same extreme resolution and purity of tone but with more tonal density, making for a more convincing sense of body yet not going too far into overly warm NOS/tube DAC territory. It also seems more well controlled in the upper mids, where Hugo can be a little bright once in a while. Plus there's the design in general - proper sets of inputs and outputs, no crowding, WAY better user experience, etc. Is it worth upgrading? Depends. How much does Hugo frustrate you in terms of controls or limitations? The SQ improvement may or may not be worth it depending on your system, but the usability improvement is clear for anyone to experience.


Edited by project86 - 2/28/15 at 7:49am
post #758 of 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

 

 

This is a good review - although he does seem a little hung up on price, with Mirus not being quite the best he's heard because it's not the most expensive. But generally I agree with most of what he says. He references a (more expensive) tube DAC as being slightly more weighty, and if you read his review of that same DAC he called it warm and "tube-ish", so it makes sense.

Glad you like it all in all. I know there is a limited amount of reviews so finding one that isn't listed very often, i thought is good to post anyways.

post #759 of 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

 

 

This is a good review - although he does seem a little hung up on price, with Mirus not being quite the best he's heard because it's not the most expensive. But generally I agree with most of what he says. He references a (more expensive) tube DAC as being slightly more weighty, and if you read his review of that same DAC he called it warm and "tube-ish", so it makes sense. 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of DACs these days use an FPGA. What they use it for can vary though, as can the make and model of FGPA being used. Since an FPGA is really a sort of "customizable semiconductor" it can have a wide variety of uses depending on the needs of each particular design. 

 

Xilinx and Altera are the Big Two of the FPGA world, holding something like 90 percent of the market share. Xilinx seems to be used in more audiophile applications, but I've seen Altera used as well. These are major, multi-billion dollar companies, who are locked in a sort of Intel-AMD rivalry (but a more evenly matched version where neither side has a consistent advantage) - a rivalry which transcends any particular application such as audio design. The chips will keep evolving, no question, and it's up to the DAC designers to decide if they can use the extra horsepower or not

 

PS Audio claims to do all D/A conversion within the FPGA. Hugo does a ton of things inside the FPGA but the D/A conversion itself is done by their discrete "Pulse Array" DAC (it's a common misconception that the FPGA does the actual conversion). In this way, Invicta is closer to Chord than PS Audio. Their FPGA handles many things via custom programming. Resonessence even made their own video driver through the FPGA, to power the HDMI output - which I think is pretty clever.

 

Lots of other brands use FPGA as well, though in more simplistic ways. The NuForce DAC100 has a Xilinx (older Spartan version) and I suspect it is for jitter reduction, which is a pretty common function:

 

 

 

 

 

The Firestone Tobby uses one (also an older Xilinx) tied in with their digital clock generator, which is a novel use as far as I know:

 

 

 

 

 

Oppo uses an Altera Cyclone in their BDP-105. It sits next to the Mediatek and Silicon Image chips that handle video stuff, so it's probably not audio related (sorry it is covered by the heatsink):

 

 

 

 

So it really comes down to the designer and their ability to use the FPGA. Sure, the latest model (Spartan 6 is not the newest or most high-end chip in the Xilinx stable) might sound good on paper, but it's just a tool that doesn't accomplish anything on its own. It might help to think of it as a coding language more than anything else. It's hard for us amateurs to judge directly because we can't look at the code and see the elegance or clumsiness it may contain. That's why we have to judge by listening (or marketing claims if that's what gets you excited). 

 

Thankfully, so far it seems the DACs using heavy FPGA functionality all sound good or great. The time may come when that is no longer true, as FPGA use becomes more common. 

 

 

 

Not a stupid question at all! I love both devices and use both quite often.

 

 

 

 

Personally, I think my Mirus is a step ahead of the Hugo in almost every way. It's got the same extreme resolution and purity of tone but with more tonal density, making for a more convincing sense of body yet not going too far into overly warm NOS/tube DAC territory. It also seems more well controlled in the upper mids, where Hugo can be a little bright once in a while. Plus there's the design in general - proper sets of inputs and outputs, no crowding, WAY better user experience, etc. Is it worth upgrading? Depends. How much does Hugo frustrate you in terms of controls or limitations? The SQ improvement may or may not be worth it depending on your system, but the usability improvement is clear for anyone to experience.


Thank you, as always tons, and tons of great information, that's why I love to read your posts. Good stuff.

I know Chord will be announcing a new dac with the "New" chip with more taps, it's going to be interesting to see how much better they can improve the sound over the Hugo.

post #760 of 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic77 View Post
 


Thank you, as always tons, and tons of great information, that's why I love to read your posts. Good stuff.

I know Chord will be announcing a new dac with the "New" chip with more taps, it's going to be interesting to see how much better they can improve the sound over the Hugo.

 

The MUNICH Show will be very interesting.... :-)

post #761 of 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

 

The MUNICH Show will be very interesting.... :-)


Exactly, what I'm wondering is will increasing the tap count convey to better sound and where does it end or flat line, or will it flat line? Sorry a little off topic.

post #762 of 762
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic77 View Post
 


Exactly, what I'm wondering is will increasing the tap count convey to better sound and where does it end or flat line, or will it flat line? Sorry a little off topic.

 

 

It does seem like a relevant question. I know for example that Rob Watts ran out of room when designing Hugo, which resulted in the lack of saved settings (for input and crossfeed) every time you power it off. So increasing taps will certainly help there. Not sure where SQ tops off though.... lots to explore in the coming years, I'm sure. 

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