Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Review: Violectric V800 DAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review: Violectric V800 DAC - Page 7

post #91 of 660

How about keeping your current DAC, selling the CMS 50 and getting the Solo6?

post #92 of 660

I don't have a current DAC. I sold my Yulong D100 to upgrade to the D18, then found Yulong hadn't taken varying voltage in EU countries into account - the 220V setting was too low for my area and the transformer buzzed audibly through the chassis. This was confirmed as a design fault (which is being addressed supposedly) and I returned it and haven't had a DAC for about a month. :(

 

I intend on selling my CMS 50's when I finish my Linkwitz Plutos - they should be superior in every way, and less money than either the Twins or Opals, although I'd imagine the latter would provide slightly better response in the lowest octave.

 

Slackman - you've seen my room... I have permission to knock it all down lol, and design it around my desk set up at one end (w/mini server to Mac to DAC to speakers) and my TV/HT set up the other, so there will be broadband panels (DIY), although I doubt I need a diffuser as I have plenty of 'clutter' in the room.


Edited by Somnambulist - 4/8/12 at 8:58am
post #93 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

 

Slackman - you've seen my room... I have permission to knock it all down lol, and design it around my desk set up at one end (w/mini server to Mac to DAC to speakers) and my TV/HT set up the other, so there will be broadband panels (DIY), although I doubt I need a diffuser as I have plenty of 'clutter' in the room.


Ah yes now I see we talked before :)

Didn't realize it is you, I have terrible online recognition skills haha.

Good luck with the room!

 

post #94 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post

 


 

Btw, if you're listening to speakers. Acoustical treatment is far more important than your DAC.

If one would have to choose between an untreated room and a $1000 DAC, or $900 on DIY rockwool absorption panels and a $100 DAC, the latter option will sound much much better.

This is good advice  but in the end result will suffer.  While the acoustics in every room are very important to the overall sonics, the room can slowly be updated acoustically as needed and sonically deciphered,  whereas the $100 DAC cannot, its performance will be fixed according to its ability and then when you are done acoustically treating the room (and the room may not need $1000 of treatment) the $100 DAC will still sound like a $100 DAC.    Garbage in garbage out, this will always be true and it is especially true when it pertains to the source start of the sonic chain.  Better to have the high performing DAC and then see/hear what acoustic treatment the room needs.   

post #95 of 660

One thing I often notice - without straying too far off topic - is that many high end setups are sat in these minimalist rooms that are acoustically worse looking than cheaper set ups in a 'lived in' room with plenty of shelves, furniture, carpet and other things - I think the latter would be preferable sonically! Most of us probably have enough stuff in our rooms that we probably don't have to worry TOO much about going mad with acoustic treatment. Taking the time to treat your particular room - that is to find out what, if any major problems it has and how to correct them appropriately - doesn't have to be a costly endeavour and improvements can be made just doing things like re-arranging your furniture. I know for many though, there is the dreaded WAF/SWMBO thing that can make this stuff difficult!

 

Anyway, I have a bit of time to think about what I want to do. My choices, I've decided, should really be limited to what is for sale in the UK and EU as I've been put off ordering stuff that needs to be shipped round the world then back again because it doesn't work properly!

post #96 of 660

My experience and tastes teach me not to buy without listening. Some things I've bought after reading reviews and forums were disappiontments. Others surprised me with good sound and there's almost no information online. I regret for the purchase of LCD-2 but not for my Duevel Planets :)

post #97 of 660

We have distance selling regulations here that mean when we receive stuff bought online, we have a period of time to send it back no questions asked if we're unhappy with it. I know Thomann, who sell the V800 have a 30 day money-back-guarantee anyway.

 

Found a B-stock V800 for about £60 less than retail. Wonder if it'll still be there by the 23rd (payday)?!

post #98 of 660
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brat View Post

My experience and tastes teach me not to buy without listening. Some things I've bought after reading reviews and forums were disappiontments. Others surprised me with good sound and there's almost no information online. I regret for the purchase of LCD-2 but not for my Duevel Planets :)


Oooh, I love Duevel speakers! Good stuff, from the lowest models all the way up.
post #99 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorAnt View Post

This is good advice  but in the end result will suffer.  While the acoustics in every room are very important to the overall sonics, the room can slowly be updated acoustically as needed and sonically deciphered,  whereas the $100 DAC cannot, its performance will be fixed according to its ability and then when you are done acoustically treating the room (and the room may not need $1000 of treatment) the $100 DAC will still sound like a $100 DAC.    Garbage in garbage out, this will always be true and it is especially true when it pertains to the source start of the sonic chain.  Better to have the high performing DAC and then see/hear what acoustic treatment the room needs.   


I disagree.

I don't think a $100 DAC sounds like garbage. It can sound quite wonderful, with some errors. But nothing like the huge errors of untreated rooms.

And acoustic treatment / broadband absorbtion panels are something for life. You can take them with you if you move etc. And they will never become outdated or lose value, unlike DACs.

And a $100 DAC can be upgraded later.

I think it's about investing where it matters most sonically, and when listening to speakers room treatment matters more than a DAC.

When the budget allows, get the acoustic treatment and great DAC of course :)

post #100 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

One thing I often notice - without straying too far off topic - is that many high end setups are sat in these minimalist rooms that are acoustically worse looking than cheaper set ups in a 'lived in' room with plenty of shelves, furniture, carpet and other things - I think the latter would be preferable sonically! Most of us probably have enough stuff in our rooms that we probably don't have to worry TOO much about going mad with acoustic treatment. Taking the time to treat your particular room - that is to find out what, if any major problems it has and how to correct them appropriately - doesn't have to be a costly endeavour and improvements can be made just doing things like re-arranging your furniture. I know for many though, there is the dreaded WAF/SWMBO thing that can make this stuff difficult!


 

Yeah but those really high end / high dollar setups are also usually in the more expensive houses with bigger rooms.

Bigger rooms are much better than smaller rooms.

Still, indeed I often shake my head in disbelief when I see high end $20.000+ setups in untreated rooms.. What a shame :(

And I also usually see that usually they try to compensate for the much too live untreated rooms by placing the speakers very close to the front wall to boost the bass.

The end result is a very expensive setup but not high-end sound. It'll not be tight (all transients get streched with reverb), have harshness, comb filtering, resonant modes, impaired detail, etc.

You really need quite a lot of broadband absorption to make a good sounding room.

The people who have truly high end sound are the mastering engineers / mastering rooms. Those are the setups / rooms to copy. These guys know what they're doing.

 

You know, a great speaker setup in a great treated room does not have less detail as a headphone system.

It sounds a lot like a great headphone system, only better (to me personally) somehow I "understand" the sound better through a speaker system. It is more natural to me.


Edited by slackman - 4/8/12 at 3:27pm
post #101 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackman View Post


I disagree.

I don't think a $100 DAC sounds like garbage. It can sound quite wonderful, with some errors. But nothing like the huge errors of untreated rooms.

And acoustic treatment / broadband absorbtion panels are something for life. You can take them with you if you move etc. And they will never become outdated or lose value, unlike DACs.

And a $100 DAC can be upgraded later.

I think it's about investing where it matters most sonically, and when listening to speakers room treatment matters more than a DAC.

When the budget allows, get the acoustic treatment and great DAC of course :)


Well when I finish the listening room I'm currently working on I'd really rather be listening to my W4S DAC-2 in the end than the NuForce uDAC.  And with or without room treatment I can definitely hear the difference between the two immediately. There's more to a DAC than error correction. A flat 2 dimensional unfocused sound stage from something like the $125 NuForce uDAC will never have the degree of finesse or the precise 3D soundstage and imaging of the W4S DAC-2 no matter how much acoustic room treatment is put into play.

 

Also the majority of people will not be able to properly treat their rooms unless they have some experience in doing so, and usually they do not.   I know the first edit suite I was involved in building I definitely did not get it right and spent far more than I needed to.  You just can't put up a few acoustic panels here and there and you've treated the room, you have to understand what acoustic interactions are going on in the room, where they are happening and why.  Often times this will also change to some degree depending on the type of speakers one is employing.  Something like the Wilson Watt Tiny Tots require a different approach than a speaker like the Martin Logan CLS II.

I would again say get the best equipment you can buy, set it all up in the room that is going to be the listening room and live and learn how the room reacts without any treatment at all. Then slowly begin to acoustically treat the room in stages.  

post #102 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorAnt View Post


Well when I finish the listening room I'm currently working on I'd really rather be listening to my W4S DAC-2 in the end than the NuForce uDAC.  And with or without room treatment I can definitely hear the difference between the two immediately. There's more to a DAC than error correction. A flat 2 dimensional unfocused sound stage from something like the $125 NuForce uDAC will never have the degree of finesse or the precise 3D soundstage and imaging of the W4S DAC-2 no matter how much acoustic room treatment is put into play.

 

Also the majority of people will not be able to properly treat their rooms unless they have some experience in doing so, and usually they do not.   I know the first edit suite I was involved in building I definitely did not get it right and spent far more than I needed to.  You just can't put up a few acoustic panels here and there and you've treated the room, you have to understand what acoustic interactions are going on in the room, where they are happening and why.  Often times this will also change to some degree depending on the type of speakers one is employing.  Something like the Wilson Watt Tiny Tots require a different approach than a speaker like the Martin Logan CLS II.

I would again say get the best equipment you can buy, set it all up in the room that is going to be the listening room and live and learn how the room reacts without any treatment at all. Then slowly begin to acoustically treat the room in stages.  




I once (many years ago) had quite some money from starting up a successful internet company, and got M.Acoustics Coherence stage speakers, Manley tube amp, expensive turntables and phono amps, etc.

About a 30.000 euro setup. Also had a fairly big room back then but untreated (didn't even know back then about treating rooms).

Great sound in ways, rubbish in other ways.

My total setup right now, Klein+Hummel O300, Violectric V800, many huge self made rockwool absorption panels, has cost me less than 5000 euro, and the sound is so much better than my old expensive setup that it is incomparable.

It was a long road, but room treatment made all the difference.

 

If I could do it all over again I'd say start with the room.

You can't go wrong with well built broadband absorption panels / bass traps. Every room needs lots of it, rooms are simply much too live without them.

I now have a 70m2 room with 4m ceiling, but when I first put up my speakers here it sounded terrible, until I put in treatment.

With smaller rooms I never got it right btw (but didn't try hard enough either because I always thought it was more due to speaker / DAC, which in retro respect I was wrong in thinking so, it was the room that was bothering me)

 

The thing is, if your room is not right, then you will compensate with speakers choice, speaker placement choice, listening position choice and DAC choice. Hell, even music choice!

Once you made all those wrong choices, then treating your room after the fact is going to be problematic (I know from many painful experiences).

Suddenly your warm DAC, speaker placement close to the front wall (and probably way too low/close to the floor), perhaps listening position close to back wall and old music will sound less good after you place a few absorption panels in the right places, making you think it's the fault of the absorption panels while it's not.

While if you start the other way. Treating your room properly, then select good neutral speakers and place them truly free standing, listening position away from walls and not too low, then you can make good decisions about speakers and DAC. Then music will sound amazing like it never has before.

 

It's a bit of a chicken and egg story, but I think acoustics win here simply because they matter more in the total sound than a DAC.

An untreated room is one of the worst things in audio. It will always smear transients and give peaks and dips in excess of 20dB throughout the frequency spectrum, that's huge!

And treating a room isn't that problematic (at least for bigger rooms). It is somewhat difficult to get it perfect, but simply treating your ceiling with 10cm or more thick rockwool, and moveable thick panels standing against walls will always do good and bring massive improvement.

Then you can bring in speakers and determine rough placing (free standing) and tune things further in concert.

A room for high end listening simply needs to be fairly dead, from bass to treble, otherwise you're listening to the room not the music, and you'll never listen deep into the music like with headphones, truly hear the recorded acoustics, it'll never be tight if the music is tight (and it's so great when tight electronic music sounds truly tight, gives you an adrenalin rush when listening). It'll be like flipping a coin as to which music will interact in nice ways with your room reverb. And if you make music it'll be like flipping a coin as to how it will sound on other system.

Treating your room fixes all that.

 

 

edit: Here a youtube video to demonstrate the difference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB8H0HFMylo&t=5m54s

It was made with not high end speakers etc, and the ceiling mostly untreated (why I don't know, stupid I think), and speakers too close to back wall.
Also I think (much cheaper) thick home made rockwool absorption panels are better than this expensive stuff (so don't see this video as an advertisement).
And I still don't think that treated room sounds good.. It's simply too small. But the video illustrates my point to some degree anyhow.
Btw, notice that the mic is in nearfield listening postition (very close to the speakers), in average listening rooms / listening distances the effects of the room are bigger.


Edited by slackman - 4/9/12 at 12:32am
post #103 of 660

V800 thread guys! :p

 

That said, I don't think there's a good, resource-heavy acoustic treatment thread on Head-Fi, and you'd be the perfect guy to make it. I think people underestimate the improvements it can make, and how easy (and cheap) it is to make decent broadband panels .

 

Anyway, Violectric. V800. Kinda wish they did it in silver to match my Mac stuff lol. Slackman, how does it compare to the D18 in areas other than the treble, which I know was a bone of contention for you with the D18?

post #104 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

V800 thread guys! :p

 

That said, I don't think there's a good, resource-heavy acoustic treatment thread on Head-Fi, and you'd be the perfect guy to make it. I think people underestimate the improvements it can make, and how easy (and cheap) it is to make decent broadband panels .

 

Anyway, Violectric. V800. Kinda wish they did it in silver to match my Mac stuff lol. Slackman, how does it compare to the D18 in areas other than the treble, which I know was a bone of contention for you with the D18?


 

Yes you're right :) V800!

 

I don't like how it looks, I do prefer black over silver I think. But overall, I don't really care, it's about the sound! :)

 

It's been too long ago with the D18 to do any in depth comparison. Also only had the D18 for a week or so I think? And my acoustics were different back then.

Having said that. Some general impressions:

The D18 sounded quite different to me. The balance was different of course, and bass was more bombastic for instance, but I can't say how much of this all is due to the different treble (which changes the whole picture).

The other thing in which the D18 sounded different to me is dynamics and separation.. I don't know exactly how to describe this, but with the D18 it was like hmm something very high tech in the sound. "Lit up from within" is a description I've seen written by others and I agree. I think it was a little bit exaggerated in a way, the sound comes from a high tech place, artificial in a way, but at times also very impressive and highlighting beautiful things. But not always coherent or musical even when I suspect the actual recording was. This is under an additional cover of smoothness in the treble which I described before.

Sometimes I heard part of the D18 sound as cheap and fake-ish, sometimes I heard it as impressive / exhilarating.

 

The V800 comes from a different place.

It sounds more like the UDC1, only more clean and neutral.

It comes from more of an analog sound, which is then going to digital perfection but doesn't overshoot.

It gets timbres so amazingly right. Maybe there's a very small holdback on transients.. not sure as I've never heard better. But it doesn't exaggerate them at least which is a revelation :) The V800 is coherent sounding.

With the V800 I feel like I really need the O300 with their fantastic impulse response and a well treated room to get close to perfection, and every good change brings me closer to perfection. And I'm approaching this perfection from the good side of audio. Of course one never reaches true perfection, it is currently impossible no matter the price. But other DACs I heard have errors that make them approach perfection partially from the bad sides of digital. Maybe more impressive in ways but for me very bothersome. The V800 sounds maybe a tiny bit held back (or is this because of my active speakers I don't know), transparency is perhaps slightly less than it could be because of this. Hard to describe, it is very precise sounding though.

So while I've never heard a better DAC than the V800, I do think that it can be better. But I also know that for the coming few years I'll be happy this way :) Finally!

When there's a new crop of DAC chips, next generation BB / Sabre etc, in great implementations I'll go have a DAC listening round again.

 

Btw, I'm listening through the USB input of the V800. I don't know if and how much it would improve with an external high quality USB to spdif converter.

I also read that the max 96kHz USB board inside the V800 is a separate board that can later be upgraded to a 192kHz capable USB board which is in the making.

 


Edited by slackman - 4/9/12 at 3:05am
post #105 of 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

V800 thread guys! :p


Head-fi, man! :p

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Review: Violectric V800 DAC