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Brief Odac impressions - Page 107

post #1591 of 1960

The Odac is well built in that it is 'layed' out for optimal performance...being well built doesn't mean that its performing well...there are many audio devices that are built like a brick you know what and don't perform well or perform "mediocre"..

 

Also IMO amps or dacs that are totally transparent, have to sound the same....or there not transparent...

 

Alex

post #1592 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by adydula View Post

The Odac is well built in that it is 'layed' out for optimal performance...being well built doesn't mean that its performing well...there are many audio devices that are built like a brick you know what and don't perform well or perform "mediocre"..

 

Also IMO amps or dacs that are totally transparent, have to sound the same....or there not transparent...

 

Alex

 

I don't know if I'd agree with this part based on my experiences so far with amps. For example, both my Magni and Headroom Micro never alter how a headphone sounds in any dramatic way. If a headphone is too bright or too bassy and warm it won't alter that.

 

With both amps they sound almost exactly like what's attached to them. If I use a crappy Clip+ connected to them it sounds like a Clip+ with minor improvements. It's like the amp itself disappears. For the longest time I blamed my amp for a small soundstage and it was the HRT MSII's fault. There's no way that thing could be transparent. Unless a DAC can still be quite warm and still transparent biggrin.gif

 

When comparing the Magni to the Micro Amp it seems like the Micro is a bit fuller sounding, but this is nearly inaudible. I guess the difference is so minor that they'd still be considered transparent. They both measure ruler flat and the Micro isn't a warm amp and doesn't have any rolled off treble. That was when I was using the ODAC.

 

The question though I always had is which one was more revealing of what's attached to it? I have no clue. I'm going with the Micro.

 

Both the ODAC and Modi are transparent, but I always felt like the Modi had better imaging and better soundstage depth and height. Other than this they sounded identical. How do you measure soundstage depth and height on paper anyway? confused_face_2.gif  I would have NO clue how a DAC gets the soundstage of a recording accurate.

 

I wonder also what makes the Fiio E9 less transparent when it measures completely flat? It seems that thing sounds good but when switching sources it's a LOT tougher to hear the differences in sources. When I used the HRT MSII with it it sounded like the E9 was almost adding it's own coloration.

 

I do believe the ODAC, Modi and Magni/Micro are really transparent, but there's some slight differences. None of the differences are enough to alter my music or headphones. I would say the Micro is like a Magni that's less cold and analytical, but probably very transparent.

 

Strangely my Ipod Touch 2G seems colder than the ODAC. I wonder if it's DAC is considered transparent. Hardly likely, but it sounds pretty flat except for some slightly edgy treble.

 

Also..I wonder why people always called transparent DACs "bright"? biggrin.gif I heard that first with the O2, then the ODAC and now the Magni! I think they should blame the music instead or something. Some of my songs sound pretty bad on almost any setup.

 

Still trying to figure all this stuff out. I also found that with some headphones I can hear the difference in equipment changes, but with my DJ100, HD-650 and Q701 it's very easy.

post #1593 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by adydula View Post

The Odac is well built in that it is 'layed' out for optimal performance...being well built doesn't mean that its performing well...there are many audio devices that are built like a brick you know what and don't perform well or perform "mediocre"..

 

Also IMO amps or dacs that are totally transparent, have to sound the same....or there not transparent...

 

Alex

 

I don't know if I'd agree with this part based on my experiences so far with amps. For example, both my Magni and Headroom Micro never alter how a headphone sounds in any dramatic way. If a headphone is too bright or too bassy and warm it won't alter that.

 

If a DAC or amplifier alters how a headphone sounds in any audible way, it isn't transparent ("neutral".) The more the alteration ("noise" or "distortion") tends toward dramatic, the less transparent is the device. These aren't value judgments, or indications necessarily of goodness or badness, they simply follow from the meaning of transparent.

post #1594 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I don't know if I'd agree with this part based on my experiences so far with amps. For example, both my Magni and Headroom Micro never alter how a headphone sounds in any dramatic way. If a headphone is too bright or too bassy and warm it won't alter that.

 

With both amps they sound almost exactly like what's attached to them. If I use a crappy Clip+ connected to them it sounds like a Clip+ with minor improvements. It's like the amp itself disappears. For the longest time I blamed my amp for a small soundstage and it was the HRT MSII's fault. There's no way that thing could be transparent. Unless a DAC can still be quite warm and still transparent biggrin.gif

 

When comparing the Magni to the Micro Amp it seems like the Micro is a bit fuller sounding, but this is nearly inaudible. I guess the difference is so minor that they'd still be considered transparent. They both measure ruler flat and the Micro isn't a warm amp and doesn't have any rolled off treble. That was when I was using the ODAC.

 

The question though I always had is which one was more revealing of what's attached to it? I have no clue. I'm going with the Micro.

 

Both the ODAC and Modi are transparent, but I always felt like the Modi had better imaging and better soundstage depth and height. Other than this they sounded identical. How do you measure soundstage depth and height on paper anyway? confused_face_2.gif  I would have NO clue how a DAC gets the soundstage of a recording accurate.

 

I wonder also what makes the Fiio E9 less transparent when it measures completely flat? It seems that thing sounds good but when switching sources it's a LOT tougher to hear the differences in sources. When I used the HRT MSII with it it sounded like the E9 was almost adding it's own coloration.

 

I do believe the ODAC, Modi and Magni/Micro are really transparent, but there's some slight differences. None of the differences are enough to alter my music or headphones. I would say the Micro is like a Magni that's less cold and analytical, but probably very transparent.

 

Strangely my Ipod Touch 2G seems colder than the ODAC. I wonder if it's DAC is considered transparent. Hardly likely, but it sounds pretty flat except for some slightly edgy treble.

 

Also..I wonder why people always called transparent DACs "bright"? biggrin.gif I heard that first with the O2, then the ODAC and now the Magni! I think they should blame the music instead or something. Some of my songs sound pretty bad on almost any setup.

 

Still trying to figure all this stuff out. I also found that with some headphones I can hear the difference in equipment changes, but with my DJ100, HD-650 and Q701 it's very easy.

I like what you say about the Clip+ which I own as well.

 

This was my (experimental) crazy rig featuring  double-amping:

Clip+ ---> O2  --> BeyerdynamicDT 880 (250 Ohm) ===> horrible sound

Clip+ ---> O2 --> Sennheiser HD 595 (50 Ohm)      ===> bad sound

Clip+ ---> Sennheiser HD 595 (50 Ohm)  ===> very poor sound

 

I clearly need sub-$25 IMEs to listen to the Clip+

I din't want to buy any IMMs over $25 to get a decent sound out of my Clip+

post #1595 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeJack_2008 View Post

I like what you say about the Clip+ which I own as well.

 

This was my (experimental) crazy rig featuring  double-amping:

Clip+ ---> O2  --> BeyerdynamicDT 880 (250 Ohm) ===> horrible sound

Clip+ ---> O2 --> Sennheiser HD 595 (50 Ohm)      ===> bad sound

Clip+ ---> Sennheiser HD 595 (50 Ohm)  ===> very poor sound

 

I clearly need sub-$25 IMEs to listen to the Clip+

I din't want to buy any IMMs over $25 to get a decent sound out of my Clip+

 

The Clip+ sure is a steal for the price, but something is just weird about that thing. It seems to measure ruler flat and all that, but it still seems congested with some headphones. Maybe it's just a lack of power or something. I spent a year with the Clip+ as my main portable source and never realized how warm it was until I switched to my Ipod Touch 2G and ODAC using my KRK headphones.

 

I also don't notice much change when using the Line Out of my Fuze. The headphone out seems to sound better and not just due to distortion or whatever.

 

The ODAC is weird because it doesn't sound warm or cold. Just about right, but maybe 1-2% more warmth would be OK biggrin.gif I know you can't call a transparent DAC like the ODAC "musical", but it is!! Guess it's just a good match with my music and amp.

 

For some reason the best sounding DAC I've heard (I've not heard many) is in the Ipod 3G monochrome version. It's probably colored in some way. Perhaps slightly rolled off treble. It reminds me of the old SCPH-1001 PS1 but maybe not that warm.

 

Oh and none of this has nothing to do with which is more transparent. That thing makes me want to stay up and listen to music all night when I use it. ODAC and Modi are technically better etc.

 

Also it seems that Ipods are better than Sansa devices for say the warmer Sennheiser headphones. At least that's my opinion. I hated the HD-650 when using it around the house with a Clip+ or Fuze with amp.

post #1596 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow419 View Post

I'd suspect the 3.5mm out on the odac as a culprit then.  With no distortion using the O2 amp through the odac, and no distortion using the 339 with another dac, that has to be the hangup.

 

Edit: that's why I asked for a macro shot if possible on the odac.  Maybe a bad joint on the 3.5mm out or just a faulty jack.

 

Hi shadow, pls see if this pic is useful. 

post #1597 of 1960

Kind of blurry, but nothing jumps out at me.  If you can I'd reflow the output jack on the odac just to be sure.  It may just be a bad jack.

post #1598 of 1960

Few days ago I met a problem. Sometimes when I touch my C421 and ODAC, I felt some strange noise coming from my headphone. I thought what was happening but I had no clue. The problem became worse when I touch the cable and suddenly all of the sound is gone with dead silent, no signal. Today I found out that the problem was my laptop because my electricity is not stable and clean. In my country most of devices use only two stick plug not three. Then I tried to unplug the power of my laptop and let it used its own battery. I could feel all of the noise was gone with maybe a little better clarity, sound (or maybe it was just my imagination). Look like when I want to enjoy music I have to unplug the power but it leads to another problem is the power life of my laptop is low, about 1 or 1.5 hour, phew.


Edited by LoveKnight - 4/13/13 at 6:02pm
post #1599 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by adydula View Post

The Odac is well built in that it is 'layed' out for optimal performance...being well built doesn't mean that its performing well...there are many audio devices that are built like a brick you know what and don't perform well or perform "mediocre"..

Also IMO amps or dacs that are totally transparent, have to sound the same....or there not transparent...

Alex

X2
post #1600 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaweed View Post

I'd like to second, er.. third the observation that the ODAC is very close to the Bifrost. At least in detail extraction. But they do sound different. The Bifrost has a smoother, richer, fuller sound. The downside I find is there is a loss of instrument transients and attack with this DAC.

 

I also find the ODAC's treble to be pretty hot and maybe even a little grainy as well, leading to fatigue. I'm debating on returning it for this reason as well. I may just keep both as long as my wife doesn't find out. The DacMagic 100 had a very sweet detailed treble, but I returned it to try the Bifrost and don't have it on hand to compare.

 

If any of you fallow John Darko's reviews, he sates that a lot of ESS Sabre Dacs can have a piercing treble (Check out the KingRex USB Dac). In his words, he states it "Has too mutch metal in its teeth". Id say this holds true for the ODAC. The Bifrost, he claims has a lot of "connective tissue" and sounds more like a "Humid summer morning". I find these poetic analogies pretty accurate. So, Maybe it is the DAC chip does play a big role, not just implementation.

 

I should also add im listening through a pair of Totem Mites and an Emotiva amp,in nearfield setup. So even through speakers I'm finding the same impressions as everyone else I think.

 

Jason


Today, I looked back to this thread and found out this post and I think it is true, somehow I feel Odac has piercing treble, not full sound in the mid-range, little bit dry, not harsh but fatiguing if listening for a long time. I am trying to overcome by using EQ, foorbar plugins but not perfect. Perhaps trying a tube amp or upgrading cable could help. Not sure.


Edited by LoveKnight - 4/16/13 at 4:49am
post #1601 of 1960

If you think that the ODAC is the cause of piercing highs, brittle treble etc....then get rid of it and get something you think does'nt.

 

It could be your 'ears' and your God given capabilities of hearing.

 

It could be the stuff your listening to....lots of music is recorded and produced with emphasis on the high end etc....and is crap.

 

It could be your cans,

 

It could be your mood.

 

Gosh it could be a lot of things.....

 

I have several other pieces of audio gear that has ESS dacs, an OPPO deck...etc...and they dont sound brittle to me.

 

I highly doubt that the ODAC is the source of your dilemma, it usually turns out to be something else or a in-grained bias.

 

All the best

Alex
 

post #1602 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by adydula View Post

 

I highly doubt that the ODAC is the source of your dilemma, it usually turns out to be something else or a in-grained bias.

 

All the best

Alex
 

I agree. How can a device with ruler flat frequency produce piercing treble? It can when it is coupled to a device that has piercing treble or when the listener is used to hearing a less than ruler flat frequency response. You're not hearing the dac but rather the lack of it. It's like going from using an EQ that boosts the bass and cuts the highs and then turning it off. The music will sound bright and have no body since you're used to the other sound. Personally, I believe you get enough coloration out of headphones that I don't want to add more with my dac or amp.

post #1603 of 1960

Flat frequency response is not an automatic indicator of natural sound, clean sound, or general sound presentation. It only indicates a neutral tonal balance.

 

Harsh or hard treble could be noise, phase shift, lack of transient current delivery, poor slew rate, distortion or a myriad of other things.

post #1604 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmura View Post

Flat frequency response is not an automatic indicator of natural sound, clean sound, or general sound presentation. It only indicates a neutral tonal balance.

 

Harsh or hard treble could be noise, phase shift, lack of transient current delivery, poor slew rate, distortion or a myriad of other things.

 

That's a good point: No DAC or amp (or any other electrical device) can avoid producing at least some phase-shift, current-delivery, slew-rate, TIM, THD, frequency-response, or any other type of noise (distortion.)

 

Fortunately, for "98%" of headphones, the ODAC, and O2, reduce the audibility of these problems below the threshold of human hearing ... fortunate, that is, for those who own one and want neutral devices.

post #1605 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveKnight View Post


Today, I looked back to this thread and found out this post and I think it is true, somehow I feel Odac has piercing treble, not full sound in the mid-range, little bit dry, not harsh but fatiguing if listening for a long time. I am trying to overcome by using EQ, foorbar plugins but not perfect. Perhaps trying a tube amp or upgrading cable could help. Not sure.


Have you tried using a powered USB hub with the ODAC? If not, just try it. Don't think about it. All those sound like symptoms of crappy USB ports. Yeah despite it powering the ODAC "well enough".

I can't use any DACs without a powered USB hub with my desktop PC or laptop.

 

I always found the ODAC non-fatiguing, but it does seem a little more forward in the mids compared to the Modi. Yeah and still measuring flat.

 

That's the only difference I could really pick out easily.

 

Lately i've been thinking I might like some slight coloration (still flat). I guess my Ipod Classic 3G and my Sony Blu-Ray player has me spoiled. They both use Wolfson DACs and seem to have a slight touch of warmth. Not enough to ruin any headphone.

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