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Brief Odac impressions - Page 97

post #1441 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

How early does the treble roll off on the ODAC? 10khz? Specs are 19khz, but it sure doesn't seem like it..

Am I the only one that seems like it's treble is almost too polite? Even the Ipod Touch 2G sounds like it has more treble..

Am I hearing things? It's not my amp or headphone.

Still love the ODAC, but this one almost seems dark. Impossible I guess. It's treble reminds me of the SCPH-1001/PS1. Stupid I know..

 

Maybe my hearing stops at 10khz biggrin.gif

 

The designer's chart measures the frequency response as +/-0.1 dBA from 10Hz to 19kHz. Unless the FR curve has a majorly steep slope right at 19kHz, I suspect there's no audible roll-off until "well above" 19kHz.

 

He also shows oscope measurements of THD+N from 20Hz to 20kHz, which leads me to suspect there's no significant roll-off at 19kHz.

 

Disclaimer: I'm not an engineer and I suspect my old ears roll-off "well below" 19kHz.

post #1442 of 1871

Can someone please tell me it's virtually IMPOSSIBLE for a USB cable to rob my DJ100 of treble?

I know it's all 1s and 0s and all that nonsense, but I discovered something beyond weird today. Technically impossible you'd think.

 

My DJ100 tonight was sounding really dark. Like everything wasn't too clear and kind of more congested than it should be.

I had the ODAC connected up with a Monoprice gold plated (as if that mattered!) USB cable with a ferrite bead on it. It actually is going to a powered USB hub.

 

I removed the two ferrite core cables and everything is back to normal. Not a subtle difference. I switched to ones the same size but with no gold plating and no ferrite bead.  I know that USB cables can't alter the sound, but maybe it's just they're low quality or something.

 

I have no idea.

 

Before someone says i'm nuts, try it. Don't think about it. Try the ODAC with a Magni or O2 and a warm headphone that's slightly dark. Sometimes that's still sightly revealing and not open. On the DJ100 it's very audible.

 

My guess will be that it's just that the ones without a ferrite core are just higher quality...

 

Maybe this is why I'm having issues with the ODACs treble? I originally heard this previously, but passed it off as impossible and that I was hearing things...

 

Today my HD-650 was also sounding a bit too dark...I think in another post I mentioned the Ipod Touch 2G seemed to have more treble than the ODAC...now it's pretty close.

 

I guess that it doesn't matter much now that my DJ100 is sounding better.

 

Some things i'll never figure out I think...

 

NOTE: I didn't swap out any other cables or make any other changes.

 

EDIT: Found some good posts here on the subject:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/353613/high-quality-usb-cable-for-usb-dac/75#post_4753989

http://www.headphiles.org/index.php?t=msg&goto=258470&


Edited by tdockweiler - 2/8/13 at 10:10pm
post #1443 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Can someone please tell me it's virtually IMPOSSIBLE for a USB cable to rob my DJ100 of treble?

 

Binary audio data has to be corrupted in a highly regular manner or the result is noise. Why would corruption affect "treble bits" and not "mid-range" or "bass bits?"

 

While it's theoretically possible, as is winning the grand prize in a Lotto two times running, it is also so improbable that "virtually IMPOSSIBLE" is a good way of putting it.

post #1444 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamilcarBarca View Post

 

Binary audio data has to be corrupted in a highly regular manner or the result is noise. Why would corruption affect "treble bits" and not "mid-range" or "bass bits?"

 

While it's theoretically possible, as is winning the grand prize in a Lotto two times running, it is also so improbable that "virtually IMPOSSIBLE" is a good way of putting it.

 

I think there's more to it than just the lack of treble. I just now tried my Q701 and HD-650 with the different cables and there is a definite difference here too. Even the people who designed USB say not to use Ferrite Beads for USB audio, so I think i'll trust them.

 

This isn't a big deal to me to begin with. I didn't have to pay for new cables. It's just strange that I've been told all along to use ferrite beads with USB cables for the ODAC, but it actually just results in even worse audio quality. I guess some won't hear any difference.

 

Here's a quote directly from USB.org:

 

Quote:

 

4.   What are the most common signal quality design mistakes?

 

A:   Signal Quality is a mandatory test. See the signal quality test description for details. Most problems are the result of EMI "control" components like ferrite beads mounted on the signal lines. Often, these manage to destroy the integrity of the signal as well as make emissions worse.

 

Another useful quote from wavoman:

 

 

Quote:
This is absolutely correct and has been discussed in dozens of posts here before. usb.org makes it absolutley clear that ferrite beads should not be used for streaming audio, since they can cause timing problems. Manufacturers use them anyway to pass emission tests, even good companies like Kimber. But they should not.

This is not file transfer. All the bits can arrive correctly, but if the timing is off the sound will be off. The usb receiving side can and will miss edge transitions if you use a crap cable with big ass ferrites.
post #1445 of 1871

popcorn.gif

post #1446 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

How early does the treble roll off on the ODAC? 10khz? Specs are 19khz, but it sure doesn't seem like it..

The ODAC is ruler flat, there's no rolloff to speak of:

post #1447 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I think there's more to it than just the lack of treble. I just now tried my Q701 and HD-650 with the different cables and there is a definite difference here too. Even the people who designed USB say not to use Ferrite Beads for USB audio, so I think i'll trust them.

 

This isn't a big deal to me to begin with. I didn't have to pay for new cables. It's just strange that I've been told all along to use ferrite beads with USB cables for the ODAC, but it actually just results in even worse audio quality. I guess some won't hear any difference.

 

Here's a quote directly from USB.org:

 

 

Another useful quote from wavoman:

 

 

 

It's good that you have done research, but the quotes provided don't show any evidence that beads could create a treble shift. The problem, to quote one of Wavoman's sources (which he seems not to have understood) is

 

 

Quote:

The USB spec discourages the use of ferrite beads because they may slow a data signal’s edges to where a USB device no longer recognizes bits.

 

 

Bit loss = random noise. Not a consistent pitch shift, because that's not how digital systems work. I suppose the ODAC might, just conceivably, implement some scheme where it uses an algorithm to detect lost bits dues to "smearing" and replace them, and this is producing a pitch shift with the music you are listening to, but I doubt it. So can I suggest that you contact the maker of your dac and ask for their advice? It be nice if you could provide them and us with recordings. And tell us what they say, please!

 

Oh - the other problem to appreciate is that the main way usb audio differs from usb data transfer to "normal" devices is that it is trying to be real time. If bits go missing in a transfer to a camera, it asks for a resend. But if bits were being sent to a DAC and they are missed, it's too late.


Edited by scuttle - 2/9/13 at 2:28am
post #1448 of 1871
Have you compared it to a source and amp with similar specs?
post #1449 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

It's good that you have done research, but the quotes provided don't show any evidence that beads could create a treble shift. The problem, to quote one of Wavoman's sources (which he seems not to have understood) is

 

 

 

Nope. No evidence and I'm not trying to prove anything here. I just know that all my headphones are sounding much better and I won't ever be able to explain why. I just know that all I had to do was switch to some other USB cables I had around. Both of them are probably from Monoprice. Possible sound improvements for free? Can't hurt to try.

 

I did have two cables with two ferrite beads, so maybe that was overkill.

 

The whole point of my post was to suggest people to try the ODAC with both types of USB cables and see if they can hear any difference. No point of using Ferrite beads if theres even a 1% chance of degraded audio.  I read somewhere that the ODAC was better with ferrite beads on the USB cable. Mine even shipped with one that had a ferrite bead.

 

I should point out that my cables are maybe 3-4 feet long, so maybe there is no issues with a 1 foot cable that has a ferrite bead. I've read that the shorter the cable the better.

 

Maybe it's not the ferrite bead. What a mystery...

post #1450 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

Nope. No evidence and I'm not trying to prove anything here. I just know that all my headphones are sounding much better and I won't ever be able to explain why. I just know that all I had to do was switch to some other USB cables I had around. Both of them are probably from Monoprice. Possible sound improvements for free? Can't hurt to try.

 

I did have two cables with two ferrite beads, so maybe that was overkill.

 

The whole point of my post was to suggest people to try the ODAC with both types of USB cables and see if they can hear any difference. No point of using Ferrite beads if theres even a 1% chance of degraded audio.  I read somewhere that the ODAC was better with ferrite beads on the USB cable. Mine even shipped with one that had a ferrite bead.

 

I should point out that my cables are maybe 3-4 feet long, so maybe there is no issues with a 1 foot cable that has a ferrite bead. I've read that the shorter the cable the better.

 

Maybe it's not the ferrite bead. What a mystery...

 

Well, there definitely is such a thing as a not good enough USB cable, and you are right to suspect ferrite beads as a source of problems - it's just intriguing that a uniform shift in pitch is the result!

post #1451 of 1871

Wow, I've only heard that ferrite beads help with an audio signal. I had no idea it was actually a bad thing. I wonder why the ODAC comes with a ferrite beaded USB cable.

post #1452 of 1871

It comes with a ferrite beaded USB cable because the designer noted that this type of cable gets slightly better noise performance out of the ODAC. It is completely utterly moronic to think that it results in worse sound!

 

Without a volume matched blind test one could hear differences in frequency balance just because of the volume used or could simply be suffering from the placebo effect, quite obviously in this case. 


Edited by Satellite_6 - 2/9/13 at 11:42am
post #1453 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post

It comes with a ferrite beaded USB cable because the designer noted that this type of cable gets slightly better noise performance out of the ODAC. It is completely utterly moronic to think that it results in worse sound!

 

 

Reading the docs from USB org etc, a badly implemented ferrite bead CAN result in worse sound. It doesn't HAVE to, but it's not moronic to suspect that, when there is a problem associated with a cable, that it is associated with the bead. If you think otherwise, explain why referring to the doc at usb.org.

 

post #1454 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

Reading the docs from USB org etc, a badly implemented ferrite bead CAN result in worse sound. It doesn't HAVE to, but it's not moronic to suspect that, when there is a problem associated with a cable, that it is associated with the bead. If you think otherwise, explain why referring to the doc at usb.org.

 

Well without proof I suggest you stop making absurd assumptions. rolleyes.gif

post #1455 of 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post

It comes with a ferrite beaded USB cable because the designer noted that this type of cable gets slightly better noise performance out of the ODAC. It is completely utterly moronic to think that it results in worse sound!

 

Without a volume matched blind test one could hear differences in frequency balance just because of the volume used or could simply be suffering from the placebo effect, quite obviously in this case. 

 

Instead of trolling a forum and calling people morons, why don't you try it with your own ears and report back? Wait, you won't because you might be wrong and this is NOT POSSIBLE! Quit making such a big deal out of nothing. If you don't believe it, who cares? Nobody is endorsing $100 audiophile cables here. Most people have extra USB cables around. It takes a whole minute to switch a USB cable.

 

Oh god..enough with the placebo and volume matching nonsense. I'd love to do this if I actually wanted to prove something to someone. I don't.

 

It's just as "completely utterly moronic" to automatically think the ODAC will sound best just because the designer included a ferrite bead USB cable.


Edited by tdockweiler - 2/9/13 at 12:56pm
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