Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Warm, musical vs cold, analytical DACs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Warm, musical vs cold, analytical DACs - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

No, it's much easier to switch out a headphone or speaker and get dramatic sound change- DAC's and amps are subtle changes, tubes add distortion and while not all bad are not my preference because of this.


Well, I think switching both DACs and headphones are options, it's just that he may prefer putting his money to better use. For example, having 5 sets of $100 headphones is always going to be $400 that is not in use (I suppose you could wear all 5 lol). It would be much preferred to have one set of $500 headphones. I think we both have valid opinions however. Tubes are wonderful additions, and I think you used the word "distortion" in a context that doesn't represent tubes fairly. Even solid state provides distortion (same context you used).


Edited by brunk - 6/27/12 at 9:55am
post #17 of 30

So, what are these warm, musical DACS that people should on no account buy wink.gif ?

post #18 of 30

From what I've read, Audio GD NFB-2 och NFB-3 and the HRT Music Streamer DACs seem to fit the bill, being just a little bit on the warm side, in a musical way that a lot of people seem to enjoy. They are popular DACs in their price range. But I haven't heard either one.

post #19 of 30

What warm, TUBE stage DAC could you please recommend me ? 1500-2000$ budget. Thank you

post #20 of 30

There was one guy here, computerparts, who loved the old-style DACs and disliked newer ones. In the end, he went for an Audio Note kit DAC, second-hand. 

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I think the problem is what people are referring to is the subtle effects of one of the following:

 

Converter and Filter choices. Some have a slow roll-off to the Nyquist frequency which, although at the limit of hearing (or beyond for most people) is perceived as being "warm". The degree of oversampling, including no over-sampling, subtly changes the sound too.

 

Output stage: Non-negative-feedback output stages have the proverbial "black background" sound, whereas amplification (which an output stage is) that has significant negative feedback, often the result of using OPAMPs, has what people describe as a more analytical sound. The choice of OPAMP (since they are amplification circuits in their own right) may affect the perceived tonal balance.

 

With cheaper DACs, there is a compromise in what components can be put in them, importantly including compromises in the design of the power supply, which is important to keep distortion down and ensure linearity in performance.

A good point, I find the differances in Dacs is mostly in mirco details and sound stage, they all "sound" the same. It's where and how the sound is placed that imrpoves very minimally over time and as you get more expensive gear. That said, I do like Audio GD Gear. I like my NFb 10ES2. Sounds nice and clean and was imo pretty darn inexpensive! 

 

That said, as others have mentioned you want your DAC to be as transparent as possible. I had an oDac it was very nice! And I own a Behringer UCA202, and for a Dac... it was darn cheap and honestly while it doesn't sound as "spacious and well imaged" as my NFB 10ES2... it's still super great! I use it for watching movies on my Laptop when I'm on the go. And the extra details that a GOOD dac get's you... I've found as I've upgraded over the years... it's usually about 1/10 songs that I MIGHT find a BIG noticable improvement in the sound. Usually it's over the course of a few months that I accidently stumble upon the benifits of the new dac. Meaning the tiny little details that a new DAC bring are pretty subtle, and again you want a transparent dac to retain as much of that detail as possible. But don't throw THOUSANDS of dollars into a Dac when you want warmth, if you want a warmer sound as others mentioned new headphones or a new amp would do wonders :3

 

Also I had a chance to compare the oDac and my NFB 10 [too lazy to write a reivew it was a busy BUSY month] and again... out of my 7 refrance songs. ONE of them had an improvement to my ears... ONE and maybe out of that entire 5min song, there was about 10 seconds total of "Oh hey that's new... COOL" meaning you could honestly keep ur oDac for a long time, and keep making upgrade to your headphones and amps! As the Dac is the LEAST noticeable improvement. As to why I sold my oDac... I needed something with multiple Digital Inputs and analong outputs :3 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

There was one guy here, computerparts, who loved the old-style DACs and disliked newer ones. In the end, he went for an Audio Note kit DAC, second-hand. 

 

ooh that sounds interesting! And a big thank you to google! As I found the website for that DAC pretty quickly 


Edited by Mshenay - 11/16/13 at 8:28pm
post #22 of 30

I'm concerned that buying an analytical/neutral DAC like the Audio-GD 11.32 (Sabre) might just suck the fun/life out of a set of headphones that have a fun and lively sound to begin with. Would that be a wrong assumption?  


Edited by SaLX - 11/17/13 at 12:24am
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

I'm concerned that buying an analytical/neutral DAC like the Audio-GD 11.32 (Sabre) might just suck the fun/life out of a set of headphones that have a fun and lively sound to begin with. Would that be a wrong assumption?  

Nope, but the best thing is get a Cold Dac and pair it with a warm amp. Otherwise you'll have all fun and no detail or clarity! Think of a Dac like Lense, would you want to see everything through a red tint for example? 

post #24 of 30

Mac....don't be too quick to want to spend money on new gear if all you want is a small tweak to FR.  That's what graphic equalizers are for.   

Some audiosnobs consider geq's something that only toothless people in trailer parks use, but we all have to decide for ourselves whether making decisions based on our own opinions according to what we value is better than making decisions based on someone else's, for the sake of appearing fashionable.

 

There has been some very good advice in this thread, however there is something to be said for indulging ourselves in our hobbies and pride of ownership is a part the enjoyment.  That 10 pound piece of gleaming chrome and brushed aluminium may not sound any better than a 12 oz stamped steel box, but if it's what you want and owning it makes you happy, that's the main thing.   Just don't fall for the sale's pitches and marketing literature and buy something because someone says it'll "blow you away" or "take your listening enjoyment to new heights". 

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

Mac....don't be too quick to want to spend money on new gear if all you want is a small tweak to FR.  That's what graphic equalizers are for.   

Some audiosnobs consider geq's something that only toothless people in trailer parks use, but we all have to decide for ourselves whether making decisions based on our own opinions according to what we value is better than making decisions based on someone else's, for the sake of appearing fashionable.

 

There has been some very good advice in this thread, however there is something to be said for indulging ourselves in our hobbies and pride of ownership is a part the enjoyment.  That 10 pound piece of gleaming chrome and brushed aluminium may not sound any better than a 12 oz stamped steel box, but if it's what you want and owning it makes you happy, that's the main thing.   Just don't fall for the sale's pitches and marketing literature and buy something because someone says it'll "blow you away" or "take your listening enjoyment to new heights". 

Oh yea... I forgot about eq... I wouldn't call you EQ guys Toothless Trailer Park Hobos but... ahh jk. I use EQ, it's great for getting a lil extra umph out of my dt 880 when I listen to EDM. That said EQ is a good idea! and I find the Stock EQ in FooBar to be more than enough 

post #26 of 30

To kind of sum up - a DAC should ideally exist to extract the maximum amount of detail as neutrally as it can; in turn the amp and headphone selection of choice should do the colouring (if required)?

 

Got to ask though - some DAC's are meant to increase the soundstage -- but amps can do this.. and headphones too. 3 variables. Eeek! (slightly veering off topic but heyho)


Edited by SaLX - 11/17/13 at 10:16pm
post #27 of 30
There is no such thing as warm or cold, with a DAC at least. All the perceived warmth is just distortion induced by the components or the filter design, both of which a DAC should be designed to limit. The only equipment in your audio chain that should have a 'sound signature' should be your headphones or amps (especially if you like tubes).
post #28 of 30

I didn't want to be 'impolite' for modern dacs, but warm to me means natural, not fatiguing. When I hear acoustic concert with small band, with no amplification - the sound is never at stiff as modern dac plays it. It never sibbilance, as dacs used to do sometimes. Warm dac makes music natural with no peaks, stiffness, edgy, hard sounding elements. To me..

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthax View Post
 

I didn't want to be 'impolite' for modern dacs, but warm to me means natural, not fatiguing. When I hear acoustic concert with small band, with no amplification - the sound is never at stiff as modern dac plays it. It never sibbilance, as dacs used to do sometimes. Warm dac makes music natural with no peaks, stiffness, edgy, hard sounding elements. To me..

I agree with this.  The Metrum Octave has been my solution to this 'problem'

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by yifu View Post
There is no such thing as warm or cold, with a DAC at least. All the perceived warmth is just distortion induced by the components or the filter design, both of which a DAC should be designed to limit. The only equipment in your audio chain that should have a 'sound signature' should be your headphones or amps (especially if you like tubes).

Well there is warm and cold dacs, Tube dacs are for example very cleary colored, in addition the filters do have an impact on the sound. The dac is how ever the least noticeable of your compents because of it's design to as you said minimize the effects of any such distortion. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Warm, musical vs cold, analytical DACs