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All DAC's sound the same. - Page 23  

post #331 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post




 

Considering 10ns is considered clearly audible by studies published in AES it's to high for comfort to me when there's clearly better designs.  If you'd actually read my post, you would notice I'd admitted there's probably no audible difference (you can read, right?).  But, if you plan on using USB why wouldn't you just buy a DAC that has a better USB circuit anyway?  Heck, you could spend substantially less and get a USB DAC with the same levels of jitter -- there's really no way to argue for the DacMagic if the primary goal is using the USB and nothing else with unbalanced output: it doesn't make sense to pay more for something that measures quite worse audible or not does it?  This coming from a DacMagic owner too.

 

 

I also have to question: if you're not worried about jitter or various measurements . . . care to explain why you've spent large sums on the DACs you own?  Surely you can justify them with objective measurements and reasoning since you find it easy to make flippant remarks . . . right?

 

 

@Dyno:

 

Stop spamming/trolling.

 

1) I am happy to tell you that I can read!!

2) I am planning on using USB??

3) Because I have the money and I want to spend it!!
 

 

post #332 of 373

If Dynobot can just post some more completely unrelated, obtuse crap I'm sure we can do him for trollin'.

 

But yeah, the DACmagic's USB is quite jittery - and 3ns is a little on the high side, if still inaudible - especially, as you said, considering all the other options out there. Interestingly enough, this is more a result of the noisy power supply of the PC - connected to a laptop running on battery, jitter drops dramatically. I would imagine, if you have a normal, mains powered PC with standard switching PSU, that a 30 dollar DIY USB isolation kit would have much the same effect.

post #333 of 373

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monoethylene View Post

1) I am happy to tell you that I can read!!

 

Then please read the posts leading up to this.

Quote:

2) I am planning on using USB??

 

And you wonder why I asked if you could read.  This was the course of convo before you came in:

 

Maverick suggested the Benchmark DAC as something many in the SS sub-forum would give a nod to.  It is well engineered across the board without snake oil to bolster sales.

 

I said the DacMagic measured similarly except the USB.  I suggested that if people were planning on using USB, something else may be better.  Equally, I wouldn't pay the DacMagic price for the level of USB performance.  Everything else is solid.

 

Someone brought up that the noise floor was still very low from the jitter, and that it probably doesn't matter.

 

I agreed, but when there's probably a better circuit for the same price.  As such it is worth examining for those wanting USB as their primary input.  I said, for me I didn't like the high levels (in-spite of audibility).

 

Someone noted this as being a bit paranoid, or "the salesman's best friend".  I agree, but I'm a sucker for good engineering and circuits.

 

Dyno went on his tangent.

 

I stated for a second time that the difference probably isn't audible.  I fail to see why one would pay the level of money asked for such performance though, and said for me the jitter is too high for my liking (audible or not) as it shows the USB circuit isn't particularly resilient to jitter when a switching PSU is used with the PC (aka every PC ever).

 

Then you came in.

 

 

Does everything make sense now?

 

Quote:
3) Because I have the money and I want to spend it!!

 

. . .  I don't even care to respond to this.

 

Willakan wrote:

 

Quote:
I would imagine, if you have a normal, mains powered PC with standard switching PSU, that a 30 dollar DIY USB isolation kit would have much the same effect.

 

It's hard to say if other similarly priced USB only Dacs would suffer the same problem (they may already have the isolation built-in for example).  I did mention isolation though in my post (327), which indeed could probably lower the jitter to other input levels.  It seems redundant when there's other options though, unless you plan on using everything the DacMagic has or score a really good price.

 

We also have to consider if just a cheap USB DAC and an isolation kit would offer similar performance too though.  If it did one would get cheaper and better performance than buying the DacMagic out of box.  It still becomes hard to justify the DacMagic as a USB primary DAC. 

 

That is of course my opinion being a bit on the cautious side, because I don't know what the noisiest PSU is and how much jitter it will ultimately add.  For all we know there could be a horrendous no-name PSU being ran near balls to the wall max near death that would make a DacMagic jump substantially higher than the 3.5ns Cambridge has seen (from a well operating laptop PSU).  We could argue in such a case the person has more to worry about than the DAC, but having seen just how crummy some PSUs are I rather not make a recommendation that depends on it being absolute quality and still hitting 3ns.


Edited by Shike - 7/2/11 at 7:15am
post #334 of 373


+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Bad DACs sound bad. Good DACs all sound the pretty much the same. iTunes sounds great if your equipment takes advantage of its strengths. Apple computers and iPods are designed to sound great with iTunes.


 

post #335 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

 

 

Then please read the posts leading up to this.

 

...

 

Shike, thank you soo much for the summary!!
 

 

post #336 of 373


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

If something is built wrong it's going to perform badly regardless of what it is.  It's a fact of life is it not?  If software is built wrong it crashes, if hardware is built wrong or poorly it can constantly break too.  Why is it surprising that amps, dacs, and audio devices can be built wrong too?  Manufacturers aren't exempt from making mistakes by any means.

 

 

I have to agree that the better the DACs, the more similar they sound, more faithful to the originally recorded stuff. Diminishing returns.

 

But the big question is what devices (not chips, but devices) are those that are implemented properly, or as nick_charles calls them, are competent modern, so that they are indistinguishable by their sound quality? Where is the level of inaudibility? 


It's not only audiophilia but pro audio companies that go as far as offering multi-thousand dollar models and this is not just extra features that distinguish them but sound quality. Devices like Lavry Gold, top Weiss or Lynx Auroras find their buyers in renowned mastering studios and competence of these people is way way above mine and most posters in this thread.  

Sticking to this particular example, is Lavry Gold a snakeoil / placebo compared to DA10/11? Are DA-10/11 not competent modern and not implemented properly? Where is that point in terms of price and quality ..

 

 


Edited by axw - 7/3/11 at 4:51am
post #337 of 373

The studies we do have suggest levels of various variations to the sound that are audible. However, modern equipment goes so far beyond the levels of audibility as to make it a non-issue. To use an analogy, I am unsure of whether I can read size 10 font from 5m away. However, I can be certain without experimentation based on the information I already have that I cannot read it from 500m away. Hence, when I see a DAC with 0.0005% THD, I can say definitively "Yes, that is completely inaudible."

 

Regarding "Pro Audio", it may not necessarily be comparable. Putting aside the extra features offered, there is also the benefit of excellent support contracts and the like. Looking at another industry, you can purchase "consumer" and "professional" graphics cards, which are nigh identical apart from the drivers of the former that enable several disabled features that are required for working with it in a professional environment. However, the features are not what they pay ludicrously large sums of money for - they enjoy 24 hour support lines and extended warranties. 

 

EDIT: Looking at the Lavry site, they have vast numbers of additional features over consumer DACs anyway.


Edited by Willakan - 7/2/11 at 9:10am
post #338 of 373

I hurt someone's feelings,...

So i guess i just feel like you guys are taking everything i've read away from me and that just feels non negotiable.

I've read countless hours about different dac's and how some do this or that and now you guys are saying that it's all BS.

That's fine.  I understand that but since you guys know so much about how they work, then what DAC, offers all the true

characteristics of being a champ.  Have you guys found it yet?  Is it cheap?  Is there another DAC that is comparable that

is cheaper but might be missing one or two things.  Have you guys tried these devices out?

post #339 of 373

Or :

 

 

originally posted by AXW,

 

                  " It's not only audiophilia but pro audio companies that go as far as offering multi-thousand dollar models and this is not just extra features that distinguish them but sound quality. Devices like Lavry Gold, top Weiss or Lynx Auroras find their buyers in renowned mastering studios and competence of these people is way way above mine and most posters in this thread."

 

 

So are you guys not competent enough?

Maybe the people who make these DAC's are just as competent as these renowned mastering studio producers you speak of, or god forbid even more competent and are capable of manufacturing something that is better.  Maybe these renowned mastering studio people you speak of are all just suckers of marketing schemes like me.


Edited by NewMACAdress - 7/2/11 at 10:01am
post #340 of 373

I think you've discovered that all <$100 DACs are equivilently crappy.

post #341 of 373

@NewMacAddress

 

I used to read a lot about DACs. I felt much the same way as you - everyone seemed to be saying that they had different sounds so, not yet familiar with the science behind it, I assumed they were correct. My "awakening", if you will indulge me, came with a thread where I desperately attempted to reconcile what the numbers said and the claims regularly hurled around - for example, people insisting the totally neutral Benchmark is in fact bright.

 

Taking a step back, I realised how little sense was contained in these so-called reviews. What is musicality? How can you describe a treble as feline? The most bizarre bit of all is that people were attributing these differences to everything and anything - cables, the table on which your equipment rests, magical audiophile tweak mats...so I looked for alternative explanations with plausible reasons for these differences. Thus I ended up here.

 

Also, if, as implied by your first post, you think we are venerating one or more superior DACs, you need to read the thread more carefully.

post #342 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

Check the last page too that notes the manufacturer's comments.  I agree the sidebands would probably be hard to hear at -90dB with 3ns of jitter -- but that doesn't really instill confidence in the USB output.  I'd imagine if you need USB there's probably better USB based converters out there, but that's me.

For what purpose could someone need better than inaudible? If you are only concerned with bettering numbers on a page and you can't hear it any more, your money would be better spent on music.
post #343 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by monoethylene View Post

0.000000003s of jitter a bit too high for comfort? I have to admit that your ears are better than mine..

This really is the crux of the problem. Too many people read the dope sheets on equipment without having the slightest clue about how long a picosecond is or how loud a decibel is. I see people all the time describing the frequencies above 12kHz as the "treble".

None of these numbers mean a damn thing unless you compare them to the spec sheet for human ears. The thresholds of human hearing have been studied and determined, yet the folks with golden ears are totally ignorant about their own ability to hear.

If I told you that the movie I just saw in the theater stunk because the projector bulb was incapable of producing infra red light waves and my TV was lousy because it produces a frame rate of 29.97 instead of 30, you'd think I was nuts. But these sorts of things get stated casually in audiophile forums all the time and people all nod their heads and agree and repeat the ignorance as "general knowledge".

If 3 ns of jitter is too much, just go out and buy a $100 Yamaha or Sony CD player. It will have fine specs and you'll have money to spare. If you really want to use a DAC, investigate the specs and put them into context of human hearing and you'll find plenty of bargains, I'm sure.
Edited by bigshot - 7/2/11 at 11:31am
post #344 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

For what purpose could someone need better than inaudible? If you are only concerned with bettering numbers on a page and you can't hear it any more, your money would be better spent on music.


That completely irrational warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing you've got something really good.

post #345 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

That completely irrational warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing you've got something really good.
My dog rates MUCH higher on that particular specification.
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