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Audio-GD Reference 5.2 (New Balanced 4x PCM1704UK DAC) - Page 2

post #16 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezolver View Post

This will be my first foray into the world of high-end DAC's and I have decided to put my money on the RE5.2 (I have been eyeing the Violectric V800 for quite some time now as well).

 

On the RE5.2, I thought about requesting the following change. Change of the optical-digital WM8805 (24/192) for a DIR9001 (24/96) optical connection. The reason for this is listed bellow.

 

What are your thoughts?  Maybe the Reference 7.1 owners can chime in on this one as that's the stock optical connection on that unit. 

Thank you.

 

The stock inputs on the RE5.2 are as follows:

1x USB -- [Tenor TE8802 @ 24/192]

2x Coax-digital @ 24/192

2x Optical-digital -- [WM8805 @ 24/192]

 

This is Audio-gd's write up on the differences between WM8805 and the DIR9001.

1, SPDIF interface :
The default SPDIF interface is WM8805 module, it can free to replace by the DIR9001 module while place the order . Customer can buy the extra DIR9001 module cost USD22.5 .
What different between the DIR9001 and WM8805 modules : The WM8805 sound slight warmer , support up to 192KHz . the DIR9001 sound quite neutral, support up to 96KHz .*
*For best performance of the WM8805 we design the WM8805 signal lock is slower , so change the input maybe have 0.3 second noise but have not effect on normal playback .

 

 

My experience with the audio-gd NFB-3 is that the DIR9001 receiver board sounded cleaner and more detailed than the WM8805 board. My current Ref 5 has the DIR9001 as standard. Personally I'd go for the DIR9001 with the Ref 5.2 unless you intend using 24/192 music. You can always spend the extra $25 or so and get the DIR9001 board fitted, but ask for the WM8805 board to be included with your shipment for possible future use.

post #17 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by petemac110 View Post

 

 

My experience with the audio-gd NFB-3 is that the DIR9001 receiver board sounded cleaner and more detailed than the WM8805 board. My current Ref 5 has the DIR9001 as standard. Personally I'd go for the DIR9001 with the Ref 5.2 unless you intend using 24/192 music. You can always spend the extra $25 or so and get the DIR9001 board fitted, but ask for the WM8805 board to be included with your shipment for possible future use.

 

Thank you for your input petemac.

 

This is the only other resource I was able to find on the internet which discusses the two chips, http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/204281-dir9001-vs-cs8416-poss-cs8412.html

They state that if a CPU is used in the DAC (RE5.2 has a DSP-1), then the WM8805 is the preferred choice, while the DIR9001 is the better choice for DAC's without a CPU while being much simpler to implement as well.

 

For now I've ordered the stock version of the DAC. Now the wait begins. =)

post #18 of 283

Any original Ref 5 owners thinking of upgrading and letting go of the old one? :)

post #19 of 283
Ref 5 had 2 transformers
post #20 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezolver View Post

 

Thank you for your input petemac.

 

This is the only other resource I was able to find on the internet which discusses the two chips, http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/204281-dir9001-vs-cs8416-poss-cs8412.html

They state that if a CPU is used in the DAC (RE5.2 has a DSP-1), then the WM8805 is the preferred choice, while the DIR9001 is the better choice for DAC's without a CPU while being much simpler to implement as well.

 

For now I've ordered the stock version of the DAC. Now the wait begins. =)

 

Interesting, as the Ref 5 used the DIR9001 with the DSP-1, and the Ref 7.1 continues to use the DIR9001.  Kingwa knows what he's doing. I wouldn't take the above thread as gospel in this particular instance. 

 

The DIR9001 remains my preferred option when used in audio-gd DACs. The WM8805 chip is a great way for Kingwa to be able to advertise the DACs as offering 24/192 compatibility, but as many have discovered, the 24/96 DIR9001 is preferred by most in terms of sound quality. There are plenty of threads on head-fi and elsewhere on the net regarding the DIR9001/WM8805s in audio-gd gear. In audio-gd implementations, the DIR9001 = more detail, more neutral, and the WM8805 = a bit smoother and warmer, not quite as detailed. This is confirmed on the audio-gd website too. 

post #21 of 283

I need another DAC (or any other audio gear) like i need another hole in the head...but I am thinking about this.
 

post #22 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by tme110 View Post

I need another DAC (or any other audio gear) like i need another hole in the head...but I am thinking about this.
 

 

I reckon you can't lose... you won't find a DAC with 4 x PCM1704UK chips for this kind of money, and if you don't like it for some reason, you'll be able to off-load it for decent dollars. There's also a good chance that audio-gd will discontinue their PCM1704UK DACs if the chips become unavailable once more. Strike while the iron is hot!

 

I'm massively impressed with my Ref 5. Very nice indeed!

post #23 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by petemac110 View Post

 

Interesting, as the Ref 5 used the DIR9001 with the DSP-1, and the Ref 7.1 continues to use the DIR9001.  Kingwa knows what he's doing. I wouldn't take the above thread as gospel in this particular instance. 

 

The DIR9001 remains my preferred option when used in audio-gd DACs. The WM8805 chip is a great way for Kingwa to be able to advertise the DACs as offering 24/192 compatibility, but as many have discovered, the 24/96 DIR9001 is preferred by most in terms of sound quality. There are plenty of threads on head-fi and elsewhere on the net regarding the DIR9001/WM8805s in audio-gd gear. In audio-gd implementations, the DIR9001 = more detail, more neutral, and the WM8805 = a bit smoother and warmer, not quite as detailed. This is confirmed on the audio-gd website too. 

petemac, it would be helpful if you could provide some of those links. I have read through the following posts; Reference 7 loan program, Reference 5 review, Reference 7.1 and did not see anything relevant. When the subject is brought up, people tend to quote Audio-gd's site.

 

While the WM8805 handles the signal for SPDIF, does it also handle the digital signal for the Coax-digital?

post #24 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezolver View Post

petemac, it would be helpful if you could provide some of those links. I have read through the following posts; Reference 7 loan program, Reference 5 review, Reference 7.1 and did not see anything relevant. When the subject is brought up, people tend to quote Audio-gd's site.

 

While the WM8805 handles the signal for SPDIF, does it also handle the digital signal for the Coax-digital?


yes, it handles both.

post #25 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezolver View Post

petemac, it would be helpful if you could provide some of those links. I have read through the following posts; Reference 7 loan program, Reference 5 review, Reference 7.1 and did not see anything relevant. When the subject is brought up, people tend to quote Audio-gd's site.

As I alluded to in my post, you won't find any info regarding the WM8805 vs DIR9001 in the Ref 5, Ref 7 and Ref 7.1 DACs because they only came with the DIR9001. Kingwa never worried about the WM8805 as he considers the DIR9001 to be the 'higher fidelity' option when implemented with his DACs.

The 8805 is nice so that the DAC can be advertised as 24/192 and keep up with the latest buzzwords, but the DIR9001 sounds better to most.

You'll need to scour through the other threads for DACs like the NFB2/3 and higher models featuring the WM8741 chips to find info on the comparison of the sound offered by the two different modular SPDIF receiver boards. The Ref 5.2 now uses these modular boards, so these comparisons are quite relevant.
post #26 of 283

On a similar note I just got this email from Kingwa,

 

"We will release 5 units NFB7.1 at near days, because 1st July is audio-gd 8 years, and the gears have 5%.

Kingwa"

 

The Sabre DACs are back!

post #27 of 283

Based on prior releases of Audio-GD gear, what should we expect for audio improvements with 4x  PCM1704UK instead of dual WM8741?  Or, to put it another way; I know the  the PCM1704UKs have cult-like status, but what in particular stands out about them? Is it detail retrieval, smoothness and/or something completely different? 

 

Also wonder how it would compare to the well regarded Audiolab MDAC at the same price...

 

Cheers.

post #28 of 283

I'm not a huge fan of Audio GDs 1704UK DACS.  They are very good DACS no doubt as they are detailed but they are very laid back.  They have a darker presentation and dynamics is not their strong suit.

 

If you own a system that is decidedly not laid back or neutral on its own than the Audio GD 1704 DACS will be a revelation.  If your system is already laid back and neutral (like Audio GD amps and preamp combos) adding a Reference 7,5 or older DAC 19 varieties to the mix will likely put you to sleep.  Trust me, I tried.

 

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Audio GD 1704 DACS are better performers in headphone systems than they are in speaker set ups.  Headphone set ups are always more forward sounding than speaker set ups no matter what cans you are using.


Edited by ciphercomplete - 6/18/12 at 4:01pm
post #29 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithaliens View Post

Based on prior releases of Audio-GD gear, what should we expect for audio improvements with 4x  PCM1704UK instead of dual WM8741?  Or, to put it another way; I know the  the PCM1704UKs have cult-like status, but what in particular stands out about them? Is it detail retrieval, smoothness and/or something completely different? 

 

Also wonder how it would compare to the well regarded Audiolab MDAC at the same price...

 

Cheers.

 

I was lucky to be able to compare my old DAC19DSP (2 x PCM1704UK) vs the NFB 2.1,the Rega DAC, and two jkeny DACs with a friend

 

We both agreed that the DAC19DSP rendered vocals and instruments in a way that made it the most natural-sounding and 'believeable' of all of the DACs. The Rega was pretty close but was warmer, and the NFB2.1 was noticeably warmer and a bit more dynamic and forward-sounding, but to us this didn't necessarily equate to a better DAC.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphercomplete View Post

I'm not a huge fan of Audio GDs 1704UK DACS.  They are very good DACS no doubt as they are detailed but they are very laid back.  They have a darker presentation and dynamics is not their strong suit.

 

If you own a system that is decidedly not laid back or neutral on its own than the Audio GD 1704 DACS will be a revelation.  If your system is already laid back and neutral (like Audio GD amps and preamp combos) adding a Reference 7,5 or older DAC 19 varieties to the mix will likely put you to sleep.  Trust me, I tried.

 

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Audio GD 1704 DACS are better performers in headphone systems than they are in speaker set ups.  Headphone set ups are always more forward sounding than speaker set ups no matter what cans you are using.

 

 

It's certainly a personal choice and system synergy thing. I've had three audio-gd DACs in my system (NFB 3, DAC19DSP and now the Ref 5, and I prefer the accuracy and flow of the DAC19 and Ref 5 vs the NFB 3. I've also had several other brands of DAC in my system, and whilst some have been more resolving and more detailed than the audio-gd gear, they sound artificial, fatiguing and non-musical to my ears. It's worth noting that my system is relatively 'dark' overall - restored Sansui amps, ProAc 1S clones etc. Again, personal preference is at play.

post #30 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphercomplete View Post

I'm not a huge fan of Audio GDs 1704UK DACS.  They are very good DACS no doubt as they are detailed but they are very laid back.  They have a darker presentation and dynamics is not their strong suit.

 

If you own a system that is decidedly not laid back or neutral on its own than the Audio GD 1704 DACS will be a revelation.  If your system is already laid back and neutral (like Audio GD amps and preamp combos) adding a Reference 7,5 or older DAC 19 varieties to the mix will likely put you to sleep.  Trust me, I tried.

 

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Audio GD 1704 DACS are better performers in headphone systems than they are in speaker set ups.  Headphone set ups are always more forward sounding than speaker set ups no matter what cans you are using.

 

I don't consider Audio-gd amps as laid back, neutral maybe but not laid back.

I had the Roc and now the Master-6 and although the treble is very smooth and none aggressive the combination of brilliant bass,PRaT and dynamics means that my system is far from laid back. Although I do use the more dynamic NFB-7 DAC.

 

P.S. If by laid back you are referring primarily to the high frequencies then I can understand, although not totally agree with, your description.


Edited by nigeljames - 6/19/12 at 5:59am
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