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post #1036 of 3496
Quote:
Originally Posted by macrog View Post

The only thing I didn't love about the nfb7.32 was the pitch on female vocals just seemed a little off

I didn't notice any other problems though

Regards

Macrog

 

I've compared both M7 and NFB7.32 side by side. It's not just the vocals, although vocals is a good / obvious test. The NFB 7.32 has a weird raspy grainy treble quality and lacks bass pitch differentiation, i.e. "thud, thud". (These characteristics are typical of every SABRE DAC I've heard). I wouldn't even say the NFB 7.32 is one of the better SABRE implementations. A "proper" implementation of the SABRE chip only mitigates, not eliminates its weirdness. From Invicta, NFB 7.32, Oppo, X-Sabre, ODAC, Teac, Mytek, etc. I've heard and directly compared them all under the same conditions / using the same equipment.

 

The only thing good about the SABRE is detail retrieval without the need for multiple chips.


Edited by purrin - 12/17/13 at 11:38pm
post #1037 of 3496
Thanks for sharing your views. I too am not a fan of sabre dacs. Can you explain how the M7 sounds? There is something about the sound of that one that just pleases my ears I do not know why. I just purchased a MSB dac and will do a comparison at some point. The new dac is being used with headphones right now . It's sacd or cd,s to dac to HDVD800 to HD800 headphones . I can say so far the amp in the hdvd800 is really good and it is with the dac giving me extreme details I do not think I a have heard before. I have a speaker amp setup too and will listen with the HE 6. Soon too.

Al D
post #1038 of 3496
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

I've compared both M7 and NFB7.32 side by side. It's not just the vocals, although vocals is a good / obvious test. The NFB 7.32 has a weird raspy grainy treble quality and lacks bass pitch differentiation, i.e. "thud, thud". (These characteristics are typical of every SABRE DAC I've heard). I wouldn't even say the NFB 7.32 is one of the better SABRE implementations. A "proper" implementation of the SABRE chip only mitigates, not eliminates its weirdness. 

 

Maybe this is a result of the forced upsampling in the Sabre chips.  Most of my redbook sounds best at 44.1/16 and only about 20% of my redbook sound better upsampled.  I don't know the reasons why ESS won't manufacture a dac chip with upsampling more easily bypass-able or defeatable I'm sure there is some technical reason unique to their chip design, but the chips auto-upsampling is something that a few dac designers are actively trying to get around.

 

I have not heard the 7.32 but I did own the NFB 1ES for about a year and I felt it was superior to the W4S Dac 2 and I preferred it over the AGD Ref 5 and Dac 19.  


Edited by ciphercomplete - 12/18/13 at 8:35am
post #1039 of 3496

I suspect it's the ultrasonic noise characteristics due to the quantization error. The most listenable delta-sigma DAC's I've heard have been the AKM implementations. Supposedly, the AKM chips have low levels of ultrasonic noise at the output of similar characteristic of the PCM1704. At one time, I had much more  tolerance for delta-sigma DACs, now I have very little, but with a few exceptions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Thanks for sharing your views. I too am not a fan of sabre dacs. Can you explain how the M7 sounds? There is something about the sound of that one that just pleases my ears I do not know why. I just purchased a MSB dac and will do a comparison at some point. The new dac is being used with headphones right now . It's sacd or cd,s to dac to HDVD800 to HD800 headphones .
 

Which MSB did you get? I've heard a few of their DACs, not under ideal conditions, but really liked them. I would be interested in your comparisons to the M7.

 

As far as the M7 goes, and in comparison to the delta-sigma DACs, and the Sabre - it's mainly a question of what it doesn't do. (And I am referring to the M7 without the use that horrid internal USB2, that is through a suitable transport via coax or USB converter to coax or i2s.*) The other DACs (delta-sigma DACs, and the Sabre) seem to do funny things:

 

  1. They lack a continuous-ness in the rendering of sounds: the opposite of liquid - grainy. Vinyl has this liquid quality. The M7 has this liquid quality too (although its presentation is obviously different from vinyl). 
  2. They often have an unnatural presentation of treble. Some people describe this as "digital". Depending upon the implementation, the treble can sound etched, raspy, strident, etc. The old school audio guys I know tend to be really sensitive to this. I'm somewhere in the middle in that I like a few delta-sigma DACs.
  3. In the case of every SABRE based DAC I've heard, lack of bass texture and bass pitch differentiation.

 

The way I have the M7 set up right now, I would say it's my least colored DAC. And that's what makes me most happy. Every other DAC I have in the house, or have done comparative reviews of, I can listen to it and say "Ahh, that's the PWD2. Or, ahh, that's the Gungir." In other words, there's a strong sonic signature to them. With the M7, I have a really hard time saying what DAC it is - if that makes any sense.

 

* The M7 from the USB2 is nothing special. Resolution, tone, precision all take a huge step down. USB2 has particularly unimpressive staging: blurry and even unstable images; lacking depth; lacking sense of space).


Edited by purrin - 12/18/13 at 9:00am
post #1040 of 3496
THE MSB PLATINUM 4 PLUS.
WORLD CLOCK UPGRADE
DIAMOND PLUS PSU
PLATINUM UMT. PLUS
ALL about 8 months old except for UMT about is about 3 months

The rest I can answer later working.
post #1041 of 3496

Very nice. I've noted very good second hand deals can be had with the upgraded units.

post #1042 of 3496

Hmm i knew the days of the PCM1704 were numbered, and i've been thinking about this dac for a while now. so I've decided to get a bit more serious with it.

 

I'm trying to organise an audition of it, as well as the "Reference 10.32". Has anyone heard this dac compared to the master 7? It looks interesting.. having a single unit would be more convenient for my room (and it's a lot cheaper than master 7 / master 9).

 

Currently have a nad m51.. any comments on master 7 compared to that?

 

cheers!

post #1043 of 3496
Yes I have the ref 10 and the master 7. And the master is a big improvement over the 10. And I loved the 10 sound. The 7 goes deeper into the music and has clarity that is just awesome . I have a few dacs and thT 7 is awesome..

Al d
post #1044 of 3496
But keep in mind my observation is in an A N B testing , but the 7 is enough even without the side by side testing. If you buy the two M,s it will be a extremely good combo. You can stack but there must at least 3 inches of space between them and if you can put a quiet CPU fan on top of the bottom to pull the heat out , this is best as I stack them. They are both hot class A systems. If you intend on buying the ref 10.32 I have one I can sell you.

Just PM me. And the eef10 does the he 6 fine but not as loud as the M8 or 9 does.
post #1045 of 3496
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

I've compared both M7 and NFB7.32 side by side. It's not just the vocals, although vocals is a good / obvious test. The NFB 7.32 has a weird raspy grainy treble quality and lacks bass pitch differentiation, i.e. "thud, thud". (These characteristics are typical of every SABRE DAC I've heard). I wouldn't even say the NFB 7.32 is one of the better SABRE implementations. A "proper" implementation of the SABRE chip only mitigates, not eliminates its weirdness. From Invicta, NFB 7.32, Oppo, X-Sabre, ODAC, Teac, Mytek, etc. I've heard and directly compared them all under the same conditions / using the same equipment.

 

The only thing good about the SABRE is detail retrieval without the need for multiple chips.

 

I have the older NFB-7 and can honesty say I have not heard either issue you mentioned and have much preferred Sabre32 DAC's I have heard to any PCM1704 chipped DAC/player I have heard including some quite expensive  ones and the Audio-gd Ref5.32 and Ref 7.1.

 

To be honest, even if the Sabre32 chip did produce these issues I would probably still prefer it to any PCM1704 dac given the areas where the Sabre is clearly superior.

post #1046 of 3496
DACS are quite subjective in there appeal to one or the other. But I do prefer the 1704 over sabre. I tend to like wolfson too. Now I just bought an MSB and honestly
It does not sound like any other DAC I own , but I do like very much so far.

Al d
post #1047 of 3496
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

But keep in mind my observation is in an A N B testing , but the 7 is enough even without the side by side testing. If you buy the two M,s it will be a extremely good combo. You can stack but there must at least 3 inches of space between them and if you can put a quiet CPU fan on top of the bottom to pull the heat out , this is best as I stack them. They are both hot class A systems. If you intend on buying the ref 10.32 I have one I can sell you.

Just PM me. And the eef10 does the he 6 fine but not as loud as the M8 or 9 does.

 

Thanks a lot for your feedback. It's pretty much as i suspected.. no free lunches after all :)

 

Have you heard the nad m51 at all? Any thoughts on it compared to the PCM1704 dacs? I've searched around but haven't seen anything in depth comparing them directly.

 

i'll make some calls tomorrow, see if i can line up an audition this week.. tricky time of year though !

post #1048 of 3496
If you can pull off an audition it's a done deal. Even if you just hear it alone with a good neutral amp like the m,s are you will be very happy and upset at the cost. I can say for the money king wa s miseries is really tops , and I repeat this often to mostly def ears though. I bought my first one and it was the ref 10. It was my first TAISTE of audio gd. I can Recomend something else for you to try. It will not make you change your pending purchase but it will make you feel better about it. Find a audition for an MSB DAC. I know it's a lot of money but you are buying it . Take something you know well and is a great ref recording that you have and have a listen. It has many similarities to the 1704 but the 1704 is just a little warmer .
post #1049 of 3496

My I2S cable woes are still ongoing.   I abandoned the coax cable and went back to the short CAT 7 with 75 ohm termination at the end of the M7 internal ribbon cable.  The coax cable was too bright sounding and bass is weaker.   Also a slight grainy sound overall.  The CAT7/ 75ohm termination is warmer and more enjoyable (noise and all but good sound).

 

The RJ-45 I2S interface is just way too tweaky!   I have never experienced such variation with cables in my life.   Anyway, don't rip open you Master 7 and make any drastic changes.

 

So I am now off on plan B.  Going to find or design an HDMI to TTL adapter board for the M7 and try the Off Ramp HDMI I2S interface.  The differential LVDS signals used on the HDMI interface are designed for fast signal rates and better immunity to noise.  So if things turn out mechanically the HDMI board will screw in in place of the current RJ-45 board and cable over to the DSP header.  

post #1050 of 3496

Thanks for the update. I'll probably try removing the 220 resistors on the board and tap 75 ohm resistors into the ribbon cable.

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