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Review and discussions - Audioengine D1 24/96 USB and Optical DAC/amp for laptops and computers - Page 13

post #181 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earwicker View Post

 

I could buy the 701s at the right price and wanted an upgrade, so the 595s went. They weren't a success though, I really paid the price for buying without trying that time. They were shrill and thin and had no bass. After a while I realised I was going to be happier with something fuller-sounding, easier to drive, and closed. Even fairly quiet PCs make mechanical noises of various kinds, and in my house even the central heating puts out a fair but of background noise, all of which just goes straight through open cans. The 380s have been a roaring success, got them for about £80 when they were on offer from Amazon... love the balance, the detail, and the isolation. And you can drive them with anything.

 

If you want a taste of what the high end Sens can do but don't like the price the 595s are a good choice. There're a few fairly noticeable midrange colourations but the ear soon filters them out.

 

Alex

My next headphones will probably be open ones since I really want to see what those are like.  Senns are on the list; I would love to have HD 650s or HD 600s, but like you said they are pricey.

 

I finally pulled the trigger on the STX.  Thanks so much for your help!

post #182 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdip View Post

My next headphones will probably be open ones since I really want to see what those are like.  Senns are on the list; I would love to have HD 650s or HD 600s, but like you said they are pricey.

 

I finally pulled the trigger on the STX.  Thanks so much for your help!

I think you made the right choice - if you want the Essence's features then it's a bit of a no-brainer! It's a top-notch piece of kit and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

 

Open cans are fine IF you're in a silent room... I remember when I first got the 595s I was amazed at just how open they are - there's virtually no attenuation of external noise, you'll even hear the CPU fan...

 

Anyway, enjoy the Essence!

 

Alex

post #183 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earwicker View Post

I'd say they're both roughly in the same general ball park, with the D1 having the edge. I've just being doing a quick spot of A/Bing through the RCA outs of both through the hi-fi (not least because it'll be hard to match the gain using the STX's headphone out).

 

The D1 has it sonically by a reasonable margin, BUT - and it's probably quite a big but, like Jennifer Lopez's - I'm now running the D1 off the mains USB wall charger and feeding it signal optically. Digital nasties, whistling etc., are quite clearly audible through both the D1 and the STX if I run the D1 off the computer's USB. I think this PC's vilely noisy, and in a computer with a quieter internal electrical environment I think it'd be a closer contest. (The Essence sounded better in my old AMD 3200+ machine... less powerful processor, only one HDD etc.). 

 

Now, to all who're considering buying a D1, I can say this: this 'auto detection' of phones/RCA, and USB/optical signals, is dodgy as hell. Getting it to detect the optical in and make music requires about 10 minutes of plugging in and unplugging, and re-booting and all this crap until it finally decides to play. During this time, the on/off button on the front of the device sometimes stops working too. Once it's working, it sounds fabulous; but it's not very well sorted at all.

 

Alex


Your issues you mention you having would had annoyed me to the point where I would had returned the unit. If I did get it, but I  end up going back to a STX as my source. But this time into my matrix M-Stage with my DT880 pro-250. Instead of the AKG 702 i had which caused a switch around of sources and gear.

 

I common like to roll op-amps so it prolly would had been a bad move for me if I did get a AE D1.Now it time to dig thru my box of op-amps for my favor ones.


Edited by genclaymore - 5/4/12 at 2:52pm
post #184 of 349
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

I know these are very different price brackets, but how do you think the Audioengine D1 compares to the NuForce Icon HDP? I work at Best Buy and can get some incredible deals on audio equipment such as these items. I wouldn't mind making the investment for the HDP if it is worth it. I plan to also purchase the AKG K550 headphones, which I've heard is easy to drive but can improve in bass and a number of other ways with a good amp, and of course a good DAC never hurts.

 

The Nuforce HDP as a DAC has a little better soundstage depth and width, and it doesn't sound as forward as the D1; and it's a little more detailed, airy, open and spacious sounding.  But, the HDP DAC (and amp) can sound slightly aggressive at times, making it not the best match for the HD800 or AKG K240M unless I'm using an optional $250 Sigma 11 PSU with it.  The HDP amp has a bit more power than the D1, and it can make your ears rattle when driving HD600, unlike the D1.  

 

The HDP amp sounds exactly like an RSA Protector amp in balanced mode, but with more power, while the D1 amp reminds me a little of the RSA Predator which is a little more mellow and laid back sounding with less power.  You're asking me to compare a $169 device to one costing $449, and while I'd prefer the HDP the less costly D1 isn't shabby in the least bit.  I actually use the D1 more because I don't have to plug it into the wall to use it with my Macbook Pro.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic2911 View Post

can u recommend to me a good toslink cable? i wanna use the D1 with my MBP but it's just has 2 USB ports and i used both of them, so i must use the toslink with D1.

 

I like the custom but affordable cables from http://www.sysconcept.ca and you can use any USB wall wart adapter to power the D1 with the USB cable.

post #185 of 349

$38.50 is quite high for a cable. Is monoprice's quality ok?

post #186 of 349
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic2911 View Post

$38.50 is quite high for a cable. Is monoprice's quality ok?

 

I haven't had experience with mono price, sorry.  You asked, "can u recommend to me a good toslink cable?" and I did.

post #187 of 349

Monoprice makes good cables, I use their cables all the time. They also carry life time warranty on all there cables.

post #188 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

Monoprice makes good cables, I use their cables all the time. They also carry life time warranty on all there cables.

 

 

+1 on this, Used a monoprice power cable for my Bottlehead Crack, have Monoprice premium RCA interconnects and optical cables for the D1 right now. Sure, I could get some crazy expensive IC's. But seriously, it's under $200, save your boutique cable money lol

post #189 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic2911 View Post

$38.50 is quite high for a cable.


I wish it was!

 

you tell my Isolda and Red Dawn that!

post #190 of 349
A question for OP or anyone else who has already taken the plunge and purchased the D1. If I only intend to use the Optical-in, do I still need to plug it into the PC USB port or can I use one of those breakout blocks that allow you to charge USB devices through a normal power plug (like this, but not exactly that, I just found that on google to illustrate what I meant).

The description of the D1 doesn't say anything about any software, so I think it doesn't need the data lines of the PC port, just the power. It looks like it should all just work, but I want to be 100% certain.

Thanks.
Edited by keije - 5/15/12 at 8:24am
post #191 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by keije View Post

A question for OP or anyone else who has already taken the plunge and purchased the D1. If I only intend to use the Optical-in, do I still need to plug it into the PC USB port or can I use one of those breakout blocks that allow you to charge USB devices through a normal power plug (like this, but not exactly that, I just found that on google to illustrate what I meant).
The description of the D1 doesn't say anything about any software, so I think it doesn't need the data lines of the PC port, just the power. It looks like it should all just work, but I want to be 100% certain.
Thanks.

 

Yes you can use a USB 'charger' or the computer's USB port. I had more success with a wall wart adaptor.

 

The D1's (internal) software is defnitely its weak spot and it can be a bit of a fiddle getting it to work properly with the optical input, especially if you wan to use a bit-perfect solution like ASIO or WASAPI.

post #192 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earwicker View Post

Yes you can use a USB 'charger' or the computer's USB port. I had more success with a wall wart adaptor.

The D1's (internal) software is defnitely its weak spot and it can be a bit of a fiddle getting it to work properly with the optical input, especially if you wan to use a bit-perfect solution like ASIO or WASAPI.

The only interactive thing I see on the front/back images is the volume knob (I would've liked an output switch, so I don't have to plug/unplug headphones to use RCA). How exactly do you fiddle with internal software? I intended to just set my audio output in Windows to 16/44 (since that's all the music I got) and set output to Optical-out. I'm not looking to use WASAPI (since it's exclusive mode, and I usually have multiple apps with sound open). I don't have ASIO, so that's not a problem.
Edited by keije - 5/15/12 at 8:53am
post #193 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by keije View Post


The only interactive thing I see on the front/back images is the volume knob (I would've liked an output switch, so I don't have to plug/unplug headphones to use RCA). How exactly do you fiddle with internal software? I intended to just set my audio output in Windows to 16/44 (since that's all the music I got) and set output to Optical-out. I'm not looking to use WASAPI (since it's exclusive mode, and I usually have multiple apps with sound open). I don't have ASIO, so that's not a problem.

You can't fiddle with it - that's the problem! It tries to detect where the signal's coming from and it seems to cause problems, so you end up having to unplug it and switch it off and on and all that to get it working. If you just go through the Windows mixer then you'll be fine though, although I really struggled to get the optical working AT ALL with the optical out from an XP machine, fitted with an Essence STX soundcard.

 

I don't think they did enough testing before the D1 was released, there's something a bit 'wrong' about the firmware. That said, the hardware is great, and if you get it working it sounds fantastic.

post #194 of 349

Some people seem to be having problems with the D1. I fortunately received a perfect condition unit with everything working as advertised. It sounds great for the price and frankly, I've heard other dacs which cost much higher with the same remainder setup as mine and there's barely any difference. Perhaps by headphones(d2000) aren't resolving enough to show much difference. I've tried bifrost, halide dac hd, yulong d100, and lastly the proton and the only one which sounded significantly different was the proton. The D1 is probably as good as it gets to improve mid priced gear. To see more difference you probably need much higher end speakers or headphones.

post #195 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankit255 View Post

Some people seem to be having problems with the D1. I fortunately received a perfect condition unit with everything working as advertised.

 

They work fine provided you feed them a constant signal and never change the sample rate within a Windows session. I've settled on feeding it from the motherboard optical out, with the Realtek driver feeding it 96 kHz, 24 bit. I can get it working with Foobar/ASIO4ALL and WASAPI, but I'm sick of having to switch it off and on all the time whenever I want sound out of a different app or whatever. It's basically a very good DAC, but you have to keep it simple.

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