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The Useless Off-ramp USB Converter Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

Ah, that was just a stupid question--sorry.

 

What do you think about the gist of a few reviews, that a device like the Offramp may reduce the individual sound signatures of DAC's D/A chips, with the implication pointing to the overall significance of jitter management?

No question is stupid.  With my pre-dac (preamp+dac in one like Nad and others now do it), I don't "hear" a "sound".  I have two pre-dacs, both by the same designer, one tubed, one transistor, one with CS4398, one with AD1852, experimented with Sabre ES9023 (very good diy design btw) and I hear ZERO differences.  Someone would have to point them out for me.  I mean, I could say Sabre had bit more treble, bass, but it also seemed to have more "gain" somehow so if I put more gain/turned volume up on other dac, sound would be no different.  Anyhow, with a pre-dac, at least, I can toss in ANY dac module and MHO is the linestage is dominating 99% of what I am hearing with the dac section only in there as a means to get a digital feed to a source.  


Why am I saying all of this?  Because in some cases, or maybe many cases, people have separates, and they can hear the difference between a complete/fully built d to a converter+preamp or whatever they use for volume+amps, etc. etc. etc. where I cannot hear this difference with how my equipment is setup.  Also, I believe most people have a "mix" of components, so each component is "tailoring" the sound somehow...so naturally, insert this or that and you get a different sound.  ALL of my components were done by the same designer, so same exact house sound, same transparency in and out.  Even the tubed pre-dac would be difficult to pick out vs. the transistor pre-dac in an a/b switchbox (not abx) test.  Much the same as when I heard the designer's tiny transistor amp vs. some tiny tubed monos I bought from him at the time...only difference was SS amp had more bass (rocket science no?:)).  

 

Why do I continue to ramble on?:))  Because with MOST people's systems out there as I've already stated, they have a ton of different things in the mix to tailor/color/do whatever they want to get "that" sound.  So if they put ANY USB converter, Sound Card, you name it, into their system, they will hear some kind of DRAMATIC difference.  I, on the other hand, do not.  Subtle would be the best word.  Like this thing is doing something like this and that thing is doing something like that, but I don't exactly hear any "dramatic" differences to say one is necessarily superior to the other=go with whatever is most convenient.  But with other's systems, that so called dramatic difference that I do not hear may in fact eliminate ANY source selected, period.  In other words, one may thing the Off-Ramp is just not doing it for them and they want something that is better tailored to make some sound change they can hear.  I don't think it has one bit to do with clocking, but the design.  Off-Ramp is an INCREDIBLE design, but it is also designed in a way that many may not like, just as they will not like X DAC, just as they will not like Y amplifier, and so on.

 

In my own system, I hate to say it, but the tricked out OR4, especially using Steve's Shortblock (I can post my review about it, but expect to pay $200 more AND forget about linear power supplies when you hear the difference it makes by comparison to ANY power supply...guaranteed!) is the very best computer sound I have ever heard.  Is it the clocking?  I honestly don't believe so.  Others will argue this, but "good enough" clocking is all this "design" implementation requires.  That Steve does use world class clocking obviously doesn't hurt;), but I think he could use even older school Audiocom clocks he used to use or just "basic" custom clocks that probably are "standard" equipment on the OR5, and you are 99%+ the way to a fully tricked out clocking type Off-Ramp.  In other words, adding turbo clocks, sure you will hear something, but IMHO, it won't take it much further...again, others will entirely disagree here, but that's their own golden .02 cents worth of ears I guess...I'd rather have the $200 shortblock than turboclocks...

 

Anyhow, why I believe the Off-Ramp is all about implementation vs. clocks and jitter and all that bs is because I can "hear" the signal extremely well with my setup.  It's excruciatingly transparent (to my own probably-totally deaf ears).  This is the "signal" we're talking about here.  My speakers could use some custom Tad 8" coaxials in place of my Seas Excel Magnesium based coaxials, sure, but other than that, it's more than enough to hear the level of transparency "through the pipeline" as I call it.  What makes this thing so special to my ears is I cannot hear it "doing" anything.  It does not "extract" more resolution or "pump out" this or that...it is not giving me all this amazing black background and super crazy detail...no...it's keeping my signal VERY LINEAR, and by doing so, the sound simply comes "through" as it should.

 

I have heard both Off-Ramp 4 tricked out and the beta based OR5 w/Hynes only, and OR5 is indeed what I would say is the FINAL STRAW:))  Sure, he can keep going on and on with these things and do whatever he's doing "right", but to me, the OR5 makes a true statement where OR4 comes VERY CLOSE and for the majority out there, even myself included, I may not even noticed such a difference...but it does indeed nail things down to the final, and add in shortblock, and that is, at least for me, good to the point that I would not question doing anything else with my system even if we were at OR10000000000:)))  This is super nit-picky stuff here, but again, OR5 is a final and last transport if I were to choose ANYTHING out there for computer use and wanted every single last %%%%% of sound "transparency".

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

Well, its useless until I get one. ;) And I might just do that because looking at the latest iteration of my system, the most logical upgrade is source *oriented*. Still, one of my main reservations with the Offramp is the default power supply which is a cheap-azz wall wart, with an option for an $1100 battery PSU. A mid-range in-house PSU would be an ideal option, in addition to the clock upgrades.

 

Anyway if there's any interest, this is the place for thoughts, impressions, questions, criticisms.

 

 

 

Manufacturer's link:

http://www.empiricalaudio.com/products/off-ramp-converter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you get the standard version or the Hynes based version?  The Hynes is much better than the standard (sorry if you did not get it with the Hynes).  Turboclocks, meh, great upgrade for the rich, but read about my own personal thoughts.  Heck, I even question the Hynes upgrade on the USB, but that's without a doubt fundamental since it is on the USB=nasty side of the equation where I want the best there, even if the standard is probably good enough for me....$250 more at this juncture of money is cheap change.  $950 more (i.e. w/turbo clocks) is just way excessive but likely "imperative" for those with wads of cash.

 

Let me know in PM or here what version this is and you did not write about your impressions;)...Don't we want to get into a comparison of it vs. Wavelink;););)...cheers!

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

Steve believes that the stock Off-Ramp 5 (with wall-wart) outperforms everything in its class, and supposedly is able to take down the considerably more expensive Berkeley Alpha USB. You do not need to spend the money for a Monolith, there are a few much more affordable alternatives. Both Hynes and Bolder make linear power supplies that will work with the OR. KingRex does as well, but I don't think their PS is in the same class performance wise.

 

You'll likely get a much better result with the OR5, dual TC, and a Hynes PS than you will with an OR5 and Monolith for about the same cash.

Where did you read about the stock version beating X stuff?  

 

I agree with you on the turboclocks+Hynes vs. Monolith BUT I have to disagree with my own recommendation already stated in the thread which would be to, if he doesn't have it already, go with the Hynes on USB, and get a shortblock...then see if Hynes or whatever will lend him a PS to try out vs. the walwart.  Maybe the OR5 does prefer a superior PS, but I much preferred the walwart to the Monolith BUT, this customized (newest version) PS for his Overdrive SE is just AMAZING sounding...


I should post up my review on the shortblock or head over to Audiocircle and you can read about my impressions there.  Other impressions/thoughts/etc. are in this thread that I just BOMBARDED as I just had to, since we know how poor this Off-Ramp thingy is!:)))))


Oh, and I agree with what you said about audio in general...forward going, I expect to see total elimination of MULTIPLE devices where we start seeing even many speakers that have one full blown processor/amp/etc. and requires zero wires except for power or battery supply...this is something my designer friend and I discussed many years ago about future audio...imagine, you have whatever transducers that are being used, the amp/processor/etc. stuff is working "precisely" to move that driver in/out in real time to produce flawless sound...maybe we are thinking like future as in robot era or something though, because in spite technology is always moving fast, as you put it, we'll still have for many many years a very well rounded lot of components to select from, neither being superior or inferior as heck, my pre-dacs are like 6 years old now, but they beat out mega buck equipment that is "rave" reviewed.  My Dynacos w/mod have easily competed with Lamms very best monos....Not to say I have some amazing stuff, just to say this Dyna mod was made in 2004, the Dyna is from the 60's, and my dacs inside my pre's aren't exactly remotely close to latest technology;):))!!!!

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audioexcels View Post

Did you get the standard version or the Hynes based version?  The Hynes is much better than the standard (sorry if you did not get it with the Hynes).  

 

 

Still have the Wavelink. I've been happily stuck in music-listening mode, not thinking too hard about upgrades. Had a few equipment issues and will begin again the upgrade process early next year, although there may be a Pure Power in the interim.  Otoh might be best to shell out for the Off-Ramp, duh.


Edited by pigmode - 7/19/12 at 2:04pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

 

 

Still have the Wavelink. I've been happily stuck in music-listening mode, not thinking too hard about upgrades. Had a few equipment issues and will begin again the upgrade process early next year, although there may be a Pure Power in the interim.  Otoh might be best to shell out for the Off-Ramp, duh.

My poor reading eyes:))  Well you get 30 days to try one out and may as well do so IMHO.  I highly doubt the Wavelink stands a chance against it, though maybe as with all systems, it'll be a sound "difference" rather than a sound "quality" difference.  $1300+Paypal+shipping is a little to fork out, but you return it and get that Paypal fees refunded and all you are out is shipping so you can see just how that OR sounds w/the cheapo walwart and I believe you will re-think your feelings about walwart;)

 

Peace!

post #21 of 21

http://www.teddypardo.com/powersupplies/teddy12-2.html

 

is this going to work with offramp 5? 

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