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Best S/PDIF digital out to my NFB-11 DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 22

have you directly compared the Halide to the V-link? I did considerable research on these two, and my findings lead my to believe the difference is quite negligible. 

 

Why would you need to spend "A hundred or more" on cables for the V-link, but not for a Sound card. They both require a SPDIF cable. though, the v-link also requires a USB cable. Im not a big believer in cable mojo myself. I do believe SPDIF cables can make a difference, not so convinced with analog and usb.  

 

Taken from Stereophile 

 

 

 

Quote:
Well, as much I would have liked to say that the $169 V-Link equaled the $450 Halide, with the Sibelius symphony the Halide did provide a slightly more transparent window on the Walthamstow Town Hall acoustic, with slightly more precisely defined stereo imaging. (Although, if I had to swear, the Halide's bass sounded a little less rich.) Reverting to the expensive glass AudioQuest TosLink did even matters up, the V-Link still sounding slightly richer than the Halide and the Halide still ahead in precision and transparency. But these are small differences in absolute terms—and with a DAC that offers better jitter rejection than the Benchmark, those differences may well vanish.

 

Then there are user reviews and comparisons which seem to show in less of a difference. I admit the Halidie is likely slightly better. But to describe it as "Nowhere near as good" is doing a bit of an injustice. I'd challenge you to hear it in a blind test. In reality, you can spend 4.5 times more and get that last 2%. If I was spending that much money though, i'd just get a U3, or anedio interface.


Edited by MikeW - 2/21/12 at 3:36pm

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post #17 of 22


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post

have you directly compared the Halide to the V-link? I did considerable research on these two, and my findings lead my to believe the difference is quite negligible. 

 

Why would you need to spend "A hundred or more" on cables for the V-link, but not for a Sound card. They both require a SPDIF cable. though, the v-link also requires a USB cable. I'm not a big believer in cable mojo myself. I do believe SPDIF cables can make a difference, not so convinced with analog and usb.  

 

Taken from Stereophile 

 

 

 

 

Then there are user reviews and comparisons which seem to show in less of a difference. I admit the Halide is likely slightly better. But to describe it as "Nowhere near as good" is doing a bit of an injustice. I'd challenge you to hear it in a blind test. In reality, you can spend 4.5 times more and get that last 2%. If I was spending that much money though, I'd just get a U3, or anedio interface.

 

Hi Mike:

 

I'll concede that with some systems a phrase like "nowhere near as good"  can be a hard thing to quantify.  In fact when I first had the Halide bridge in my system, I sold it in favor of a good quality glass Toslink.  Then I got educated on what a better player could do and what subtle but tell tale cues that a very good USB bridge can bring to the listening table.  I did hear the V-link in my system after buying another Halide.  I preferred the Halide.  But both are significant steps above where we were just a few years ago when it comes to using USB or Toslink to get the bits out of the computer and to the Dac.  And yes you are so right that the last few percent of enjoyment usually does come at a much higher cost.  For me it was worth it. I preferred the Halide in my system because it gave me more of what I look for in accurate reproduction.  And for the $200 more it costs, for me it was an easy to justify decision.  And I also preferred the Halide over the new KingRex bridge.  I am sure you will find contrary opinions on that as well. beyersmile.png

 

As far as a hundred or more for cables, you do get better results in my opinion with better cables with the V-Link.  A good Wireworld Ultraviolet might run $69 and a good coax perhaps a $100, so add that up and you get closer to the cost of the Halide which has got good sounding cables built in.  It baffles me when folks here spend $600-$100 on the latest cans yet feed them with a $300 or $500 dac and a run of the mill interface.  I know most of the sound signature is the cans, right, but when you hear Senn 800s on an average source you will understand what I mean.

 

As far as cables go, I AM a big believer in every one of them.  Analog, power, usb,etc.  I know lots of folks cannot hear a difference or prefer to believe they cannot hear a difference and I am okay with that.  I don't buy the most expensive cables by any means, but I hear more differences in cables than I do in good dacs over $1k for example.

 

 

As for Stereophiles subjective comments, they are entitled to their opinion.  At least they print jitter spectra and a noise floor that is more believable than the ones used by Musical Fidelity on their site.  Who has ever seen a noise floor of a piece of test equipment at -180db with a -200 floor for the analyzer????   C'mon you believe that rubbish?  http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/V-Series/V-LINK/v-link.asp  

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/musical-fidelity-v-link-usb-spdif-converter-measurements

 

Oh and finally did your research consist of actually hearing the two bridges in question? 


Edited by bixby - 2/22/12 at 1:51pm
post #18 of 22

No, the V-link is my first and only converter. I do value your opinion though, it's nice to hear from someone who owned both devices side by side. 

 

I used to believe more in cables, then I started hanging out in the Sound Science forum, and it's hard to keep on believing in cables once you've been in there for awhile. There are to many arguments against, that make too much sense. 

 

Especially in the analog domain, when people can't reliably blind test a rusty coat hanger vs 1000$ gold inlaid interconnects, something's amiss. 

 

With regard to digital SPDIF, there are real measurments, and actual proof that different types of cables can make a difference. There is no such proof for analog, and I have not seen any proof one way or the other (lack of research) for USB. 

 

If I have to sit for hours on end and listen to a 10 second audio clip repeatedly to tell a difference between radio shack trash and the best interconnects made, it's just not worth the trouble/effort/worry/money/time. 

 

That said, I use a mix of Blue Jeans Cable for digital spdif, and analog, and some starquad DIY for analog. But my headphone rig is exclusivly blue jeans cable. And I do that mostly because they are very well made cables, with quality connectors, and quality wire, with no mojo added. 

 

Friends and family, and for even my Home Theatre setup, we use Monoprice Premium. Better made, and cheaper then anything availible at best buy. Not quite up there with blue jeans, but at literally a fraction of the price. 


Edited by MikeW - 2/22/12 at 3:14pm
post #19 of 22

Wire and Cables, oh my!  I agree, if you cannot find a smidge of difference in sound when comparing cables by all means go with the least expensive.  I run low cost but good Pcocc copper home theatre wire on my desktop speakers and use a DIY power cord on my dac that uses Lowes 12 gauge bulk wire.  As for digital coax, I use a very good but not too expensive silver clad interconnect that does better than some of the touted best bang for the buck digital cables, like Stereovox .  My RCA and XLR cables are mostly form VH Audio and Element and they sound as good as some really expensive wires.

 

I have heard some amazing DIY cables that are not expensive at all.  In fact, I will be trying a star quad recipe sometime this year for an analog cable, just not a priority at this time.

 

I know the standard LCR charactersitics seeming do not tell the whole story on why we can sometimes hear analog cable and wire differences, but something is going on or I would be using Monoprice stuff throughout my system as well.  Maybe we just do not know or have the ability to measure whatever it is yet.  I know we have evolved greatly but I hardly think we have got all this science stuff nailed down.  And yes, I like you use cheap Monoprice or other low cost cables for component video and hdmi.  I cannot see any difference so I don't spend the extra for a $100 hdmi cable.

 

cheers

post #20 of 22

The ESI Juli@ is used on expensive audio servers.

 

Its really good, no difference between toslink and spdif on this card for me.  For the digital cable I would not fall into hype of expensive cables, even if that opinion is unpopular around here.


Edited by ninjikiran - 2/23/12 at 9:35am
post #21 of 22

What's funny is 1080P Video + HD Audio is soo much more demanding then simple analog audio. if there was a difference to be had, you'd think it would show up there.

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bixby View Post

Wire and Cables, oh my!  I agree, if you cannot find a smidge of difference in sound when comparing cables by all means go with the least expensive.  I run low cost but good Pcocc copper home theatre wire on my desktop speakers and use a DIY power cord on my dac that uses Lowes 12 gauge bulk wire.  As for digital coax, I use a very good but not too expensive silver clad interconnect that does better than some of the touted best bang for the buck digital cables, like Stereovox .  My RCA and XLR cables are mostly form VH Audio and Element and they sound as good as some really expensive wires.

 

I have heard some amazing DIY cables that are not expensive at all.  In fact, I will be trying a star quad recipe sometime this year for an analog cable, just not a priority at this time.

 

I know the standard LCR charactersitics seeming do not tell the whole story on why we can sometimes hear analog cable and wire differences, but something is going on or I would be using Monoprice stuff throughout my system as well.  Maybe we just do not know or have the ability to measure whatever it is yet.  I know we have evolved greatly but I hardly think we have got all this science stuff nailed down.  And yes, I like you use cheap Monoprice or other low cost cables for component video and hdmi.  I cannot see any difference so I don't spend the extra for a $100 hdmi cable.

 

cheers



I've been using unshieldedtwisted pair home made interconnect for years without issue. I found that most interferance is actually picked up by the output stage of the speaker amps, not the input. Shielded input wiring does absolutely nothing to solve this issue. I found the ultra low capacitance of the unsielded twisted pair configuration to provide a most transperant sound. The only exception I found that was shielded was some wires that a friend of mine made using high impedance antanea wiring that used air dielectric. This type wiring I don't believe is made anymore. The stuff my friend made wade made from world war 2 new old stock cable he purchased surplus. This friend of mine is now dead so finding out where he got it is near impossable but with the results of my twisted pair configuation it really doesn't matter. Also the output impedance of my soundcard is low enough that it really doesn't matter there either anyway. Just about any wire will do. It seems only to be a factor with higher output impedance sources. Obviously here I'm talking of analog cables not digital.

 

Digital cables are a whole different can of worms. Characteristic impedance of the cable is probably the most important aspect of digital cables as an out of spec charateristic impedance can cause reflections in the cable which can in severe cases cause bit flipping but mostly will just cause jitter.

 


Edited by germanium - 2/25/12 at 2:31am
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