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Schiit Gungnir DAC - Page 56

post #826 of 1597

My Clocking Tests using:

 

Amarra 2.4.5 configures the clock source.  (DM+ or Core Audio).  Amarra supports a sample rate up to 384kHz  Apple Mac Mini early 2011  2.3GHz Intel Core i5 and MacBook Pro Retina.  2.6 GHz  Intel Core i7

 

1.0) USB:  Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus to Mac Mini

 

    1.1)Amarra configured to use DM+ as clock source. Set to 192kHz. (MAX allowable rate)

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great.  Clock auto adjusts to      match the source file.

 

   1.2)Amarra configured to use Mac Mini Core Audio as clock source. Set to 192kHz.

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great. Clock auto adjusts to      match the source file.

 

2.0) S/PDIF Optical:  Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus to Mac Mini

   

    2.1)Amarra configured to use DM+ as clock source. Set to 96kHz. (MAX allowable rate)

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great. Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

   1.2)Amarra configured to use Mac Mini Core Audio as clock source. Set to 96kHz.

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great.  Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

3.0) S/PDIF Optical:  Schiit Bifrost to MacBook Pro

 

    2.1)Amarra configured to use Bifrost as clock source. Set to 96kHz.  (MAX allowable rate)

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great. Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

   1.2)Amarra configured to use MacBook Pro Core Audio as clock source. Set to 96kHz.

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great.  Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

My Findings:

Unlike using a DAC with a USB interface, (DM+), neither the DM+, Bifrost, Mac Mini, nor the MacBook Pro could configure the S/PDIF optical interface to clock faster than 96kHz.  All source files 192kHz and slower play nicely with all configurations.  It is my understanding that 178kHz files do not work.

 

Frankty.... Very interesting that the S/PDIF specification is 768kHz

 

Read disclaimer below...


Edited by Iamnothim - 1/9/13 at 11:26am
post #827 of 1597

OK... drooled over benchmark, havana, minimax & D18 until reading about units being too clinical or too warm at high prices, then decided i might get the bifrost as it has nice transparency but with low listener fatigue at half the price or less than the other $700+ units, but now think i might wait a little longer and go with the gungnir as "the last DAC i ever need". so what if the NAD & violectric sound a little better, they're more than a little bit more expensive too.

 

the gungnir sounds like it strikes a nice balance between transparency and musicality, and as i'm listening to 5 1/4" 2 ways with my ports plugged, the extra bass weight of the gungnir sounds like a nice synergy and i don't like rolled off treble that softens metallic percussion either.. the popular yulong unit and even eastern electric just sound too warm & forgiving for my tastes. i like speed and detail.

 

it would be nice if there were comparisons to the similarly priced yulong D-18 which uses the current rage ESS sabre chip just to help those considering that unit too, but in reading the reviews of the gungnir here, it sounds like it leans more towards detail and transparency which i find more enjoyable than overly romantic sound. with my new energy RC-10n speakers, i can clearly hear differences between my sony DVD player and panasonic internal DAC and prefer the latter's treble extension and pinpoint imaging over the sony's warmer and more diffuse sound, but a high end unit that has a little of each quality would be an even nicer balance, so my budget is now back up to the $750 that seems about necessary for "giant killing resolution". someone here poopooed on the idea of giant killing gear, but for those of us that can't rationalize spending $1,000 or even more insane amounts on gear, stuff that compares favorably at reasonable prices is what us cheapskates and poor folks need.

 

i already have acceptable sound in my system, but would expect the difference between a highly regarded external DAC and one from a 5 years old or more japanese receiver or 10 year old DVD player to be dramatic as all of the contenders sound better than other externals which should all sound better than even current consumer electronics, in theory.

 

this upgrade will be the first time i spend over $300 on any piece of gear.

 

while i'm posting, is there any difference between the sound of the gungnir's RCA outs and the balanced outs converted to RCA? the yulong D-18 is supposed to sound better through it's balanced outs.


Edited by budget minded - 1/9/13 at 1:12pm
post #828 of 1597
The reason for 178khz not working is because of a chipset limitation. Perhaps Schiit's new DAC will be free from this.
post #829 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamnothim View Post

My Clocking Tests using:

 

Amarra 2.4.5 configures the clock source.  (DM+ or Core Audio).  Amarra supports a sample rate up to 384kHz  Apple Mac Mini early 2011  2.3GHz Intel Core i5 and MacBook Pro Retina.  2.6 GHz  Intel Core i7

 

1.0) USB:  Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus to Mac Mini

 

    1.1)Amarra configured to use DM+ as clock source. Set to 192kHz. (MAX allowable rate)

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great.  Clock auto adjusts to      match the source file.

 

   1.2)Amarra configured to use Mac Mini Core Audio as clock source. Set to 192kHz.

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great. Clock auto adjusts to      match the source file.

 

2.0) S/PDIF Optical:  Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus to Mac Mini

   

    2.1)Amarra configured to use DM+ as clock source. Set to 96kHz. (MAX allowable rate)

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great. Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

   1.2)Amarra configured to use Mac Mini Core Audio as clock source. Set to 96kHz.

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great.  Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

3.0) S/PDIF Optical:  Schiit Bifrost to MacBook Pro

 

    2.1)Amarra configured to use Bifrost as clock source. Set to 96kHz.  (MAX allowable rate)

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great. Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

   1.2)Amarra configured to use MacBook Pro Core Audio as clock source. Set to 96kHz.

    24 bit/192kHz HD source files and slower sample rates work great.  Clock auto adjusts to match the source file.

 

My Findings:

Unlike using a DAC with a USB interface, (DM+), neither the DM+, Bifrost, Mac Mini, nor the MacBook Pro could configure the S/PDIF optical interface to clock faster than 96kHz.  All source files 192kHz and slower play nicely with all configurations.  It is my understanding that 178kHz files do not work.

 

Frankty.... Very interesting that the S/PDIF specification is 768kHz

 

Read disclaimer below...

 

Yeah, it also says (I read *someplace* today) that there is no speed limit either. 

 

Also, Jason Stoddard said to me in an email: "Unfortunately, Toslink is artificially limited to keep it safe for plastic fiber. Some Macs will output 24/192, some of them won't."

 

Jason, which Macs do > 96kHz?  Hackery required?

post #830 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by budget minded View Post

 

 

while i'm posting, is there any difference between the sound of the gungnir's RCA outs and the balanced outs converted to RCA? the yulong D-18 is supposed to sound better through it's balanced outs.

There shouldn't be any difference between the RCA and XLR. Other than power.

post #831 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

The reason for 178khz not working is because of a chipset limitation. Perhaps Schiit's new DAC will be free from this.

 

Jason also said this will be fixed "soon" - it's an issue with a board and some vendor device/ASIC that was supposed to work ...  It will do 192kHz but not 176.4Khz.

And why is 176.4 important?  It's a multiple of 44.1/88.2 and it's what *might* be the native speed of an SACD.  So if you have a way to rip SACD to your NAS, then the DAC would need to support that rate or up/down convert to some other rate.  And yes, I do have some disks now at this speed!  These sound better with my Oppo BDP105 than with the DAC, because the Oppo will do 176.4

 

Cheers - Frank

post #832 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

There shouldn't be any difference between the RCA and XLR. Other than power.

 

My AMP (Wyred4sound STI-1000) has one set of balanced inputs and several RCA.  I *think* the balanced sound better, but I'm comparing apples to oranges.  I used to have the Bifrost on RCA inputs and the Oppo on balanced and if I A/B the same content, the Oppo sounded better (SACD vs rip of same).  Now I have the Oppo on RCA and the Gungnir on balanced and I think the DAC sounds better (unless the disk is encoded @ 176.4).  The Gungnir sounds better than the Bifrost for sure.  One of my back-burner projects is to add balanced inputs to my headphone amp (http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/linestages/ventus.aspxhttp://www.twistedpearaudio.com/power/placid.aspx ) and listen with the Sennheiser HD800s.

 

Frank

post #833 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankty View Post

 

Jason also said this will be fixed "soon" - it's an issue with a board and some vendor device/ASIC that was supposed to work ...  It will do 192kHz but not 176.4Khz.

And why is 176.4 important?  It's a multiple of 44.1/88.2 and it's what *might* be the native speed of an SACD.  So if you have a way to rip SACD to your NAS, then the DAC would need to support that rate or up/down convert to some other rate.  And yes, I do have some disks now at this speed!  These sound better with my Oppo BDP105 than with the DAC, because the Oppo will do 176.4

 

Cheers - Frank

 

How do you find the Oppo 105 compared to the Gungnir at other sample rates, particularly 44.1?

post #834 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankty View Post

 

My AMP (Wyred4sound STI-1000) has one set of balanced inputs and several RCA.  I *think* the balanced sound better, but I'm comparing apples to oranges.  I used to have the Bifrost on RCA inputs and the Oppo on balanced and if I A/B the same content, the Oppo sounded better (SACD vs rip of same).  Now I have the Oppo on RCA and the Gungnir on balanced and I think the DAC sounds better (unless the disk is encoded @ 176.4).  The Gungnir sounds better than the Bifrost for sure.  One of my back-burner projects is to add balanced inputs to my headphone amp (http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/linestages/ventus.aspxhttp://www.twistedpearaudio.com/power/placid.aspx ) and listen with the Sennheiser HD800s.

 

Frank

I actually agree with you. Bal sounds fuller to me. This is just where subjectivity takes off (same w/cables), etc.

post #835 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

There shouldn't be any difference between the RCA and XLR. Other than power.

Dox,

That is good to know. My derstanding was a balanced interface could be driven further ( Concert Equipment) and was less susceptible to interference.

 

Right now my room system has a problem using the XLR interfaces between the DacMagic Plus and my Anthem AVM20.  It was working fine, then suddenly the sound would get clipped.

The only fix was flipping to RCA.

 

I don't know how to isolate the problem to the Anthem or the DM+ because I don't have anything else with XLR.  The cables worked fine.  Nothing changed.  I purchase the DM+ new mid Oct 2012.

post #836 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormfriend View Post

 

How do you find the Oppo 105 compared to the Gungnir at other sample rates, particularly 44.1?

I checked the Manual of my Oppo BDP-103 and is says the max output for Coax / Optical is 192

 

The Cambridge DAC Magic Plus output for Coax / Optical is also limited to 192


Edited by Iamnothim - 1/9/13 at 2:28pm
post #837 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankty View Post

 

Yeah, it also says (I read *someplace* today) that there is no speed limit either. 

 

Also, Jason Stoddard said to me in an email: "Unfortunately, Toslink is artificially limited to keep it safe for plastic fiber. Some Macs will output 24/192, some of them won't."

 

Jason, which Macs do > 96kHz?  Hackery required?

I suspect all the consumer grade A/V gear has the limitation as well.  Both ends of the link need to be 192kHz for that clock to be negotiated.   Well duh !  on me.

 The chipset probably cost too much when 95% of the equipment has a chip with a max clock of 96kHz.  Where's the incentive to put in a better chip when you don't know what's on the other end.

 

My speculation.

Everything I have maxes out at 192.  AVM20, BDP-103, DM+.  The Bifrost is 96.

 

I just looked it up.

iMac, Late 2012.  Max sample rate 96kHz


Edited by Iamnothim - 1/9/13 at 2:38pm
post #838 of 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

I actually agree with you. Bal sounds fuller to me. This is just where subjectivity takes off (same w/cables), etc.

+1

when mine worked

post #839 of 1597
post #840 of 1597

I agree with "almost" everything on that thread, including the link to the article about the human ear being able to detect the difference between 96kHz music files and 192kHz files.

I certainly can't, hence I'm happy with 96.

 

What I think is misinformation is a Mac optical s/pdif being able to clock at anything above 96.  Mine certainly can't.  One is a Mid 2011 mini and the one I'm typing on is a MBP 2012 Retnia, Thunderbolt, with SSD.  I went to apple.com and pulled the spec for a late 2012 iMac.   Max 96kHz.    The post that mentioned an Intel "Thunderbolt" audio is, at the moment, not true.

 

Warning, Warning to folks that Post / Read this thread.

I just ordered an Gungnr, so you are stuck with me.

 

I hope to be able to pronounce the name and spell it in the near future.

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