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post #136 of 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaMo View Post

Hi,

I few months back I added a digital switchboard under the Ref 7.1 motherboard to get access to two extra inputs for using with I2S signals. It worked well but the back of dac looked a bit ugly with a flatcable hanging out beside in the gap of a creative angled Tenor8802L-USB board...where the AES-XLR had been positioned earlier..

Well, a while ago, Kingwa let me know of the possibility to upgrade with the USB 32-board, the new backplate, and I bought it at once.

I did the upgrade this weekend and yesterday I finished the work. Currawong cought the experience of the upgrade very well. I shorted the "shielding-box" to make it possble to refit over the power inlet, with the longer M7-board. I also replaced all the interconnect cables with high quality silver w teflonisolation. The USB32-board and a RJ45-input was added. When I put in the ordered I also added TCXO's on both the M7-, and the USB32-boards. (I think they will repay on the sound later.)

 

The sound.

I am feeding it with high resolution music through the USB32 from a Squeezbox Touch (EDO).. and Yes, it is already very good. But as most of You know....It will be much better with loads of burn in/aging. The oscillators and the new electronics have settle before You really know what it can achieve. Dark Knight is so right about long time burn in on Audio-gd gears.

 

I will at least give it couple of weeks (~500h) of burn in before I give it a real verdict.

 

The upgrade is recommended for people with some experience of working with electronics.

 

/Jan

Interesting!

I am particularlyinterested in the difference between the USB vs spdif outputs from the squeezebox touch when feeding the REF7.1 with the USB 32 board.


Edited by Poleepkwa - 12/10/12 at 12:58am
post #137 of 1957

Hi Poleepkwa.

 

First. I have not been testing the Ref 7.1 with USB32. I did use the Ref 7.1 with Tenor8802L-board in asynchronous mode with Squeezebox Touch. And ...Yes, it sounds better in USB/Asynchronous mode than feeded with SPDIF(Coax).

 

I added the USB32 board first when I had made the motherboard exchange Ref 7.1 => Master-7 (..of one reason only. I got the USB32-board thursday, last week)

 

Theoretical the USB32-board should do a bit better than the Tenor 8802L-board because of the ultra low jitter in the USB32-board.

 

I hope this clearifies the sitauation.

 

/Jan


Edited by JaMo - 12/11/12 at 1:26am
post #138 of 1957

Thanx Jan! What is the improvements you would say from USB over SPDIF?

post #139 of 1957

Hi again Poleepkwa.

 

I should say that You will get a clearer, more holographic and spatious sound. More distinct punch in drums. More exact placement of instruments in ensambles.

 

I think it is good to chose TCXO's as I did. The quality of performance of oscillators are very important in digital circuits and in dac's in particular. It impacts on direct on the sound and in the silence between instruments.

 

The Ref 7.1 isn't by any means bad performing on SPDIF... On this level it is like spices... You have to pick after Your own preference and choice.

 

/Jan

post #140 of 1957

I removed the USB back in the day when I bought my REF5. Although Kingwas said I can still add it now.

post #141 of 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaMo View Post

Hi Poleepkwa.

 

First. I have not been testing the Ref 7.1 with USB32. I did use the Ref 7.1 with Tenor8802L-board in asynchronous mode with Squeezebox Touch. And ...Yes, it sounds better in USB/Asynchronous mode than feeded with SPDIF(Coax).

 

I added the USB32 board first when I had made the motherboard exchange Ref 7.1 => Master-7 (..of one reason only. I got the USB32-board thurstday, last week)

 

Theoretical the USB32-board should do a bit better than the Tenor 8802L-board because of the ultra low jitter in the USB32-board.

 

I hope this clearifies the sitauation.

 

/Jan

 

So the Tenor 8022L actually work with the Squeezebox Touch (w/ EDO)?? I thought the Tenor chip required drivers for all platforms (including Linux and OSX) and thus could not work with the Squeezebox... Did I miss something here?

 

So the Burson Conductor can work with the USB output of the Squeezebox then?

post #142 of 1957

This is the Master-7 thread...

 

But anyway...

 

@ Clemmaster : -Yes, I guess You have missed something. Tenor 8802L-chip works with Squeezebox Touch in asynchronous mode using Triode's applet EDO w kernel #11. Search for instructions "how to" on slimdevices forum. I have been using them for 6 months or so.

I am not familiar with "Burson conductor"

 

Lets give this thread back to Master-7 subjects now.

 

/Jan

post #143 of 1957

Wathing this thread pretty closely - I am after a bit more focus than the Ref 7.1 is currently offerring.  I'm also considering moving to the NFB-7 which should definitely be a departure in terms of clarity and separation.

 

@JaMo the motherboard replacement sounds like a fairly efficient solution in terms of less shipping charges, fees etc.  How long did the project take you - are the mounting holes in the same place for the digital logic board?  

post #144 of 1957

Hi Drez,

I am quite used to do works like this. It took me a saturday.

 

The Master-7 board is a little longer than the ref-7.1 board and it is tight to make it to fit. (It is covered earlier in this thread). The two new needed mounting holes was predrilled in my Ref-7.1. The backplate should also be replaced during this upgrade. You also have to make the display-board to allow up to 6 input channels.

 

You want more focus in the the sound, You said... I have access to both the NFB-7.32 and the Master-7 and can very easy flip between the two for comparison.

 

I am mainly using the USB-inputs (USB-32) in asynchronous mode with Squeezebox Touch and the USB32 board is feeding the motherboard with I2S.signals. I can say that they are cousins used that way. 

 

Now after about three weeks of burn in... The differences soundwise is less than the NFB-7(ver1)/Ref-7.1 had. The NFB-7.32 still has a more naked sound.. The Master-7 has improved toward the ESS-dac detailed sound, but have a bigger and deeper scene and slight more body.. A significant difference between the Master-7 and the NFB-7.32 fed  this way (from Squeezebox Touch asynchronous through the USB32) is that the NFB-7.32 has a much lower outputlevel.... about 25% of the level from the Master-7.

 

My advice to You is to stick with the Ref-7.1, get it carefully rebuilt/upgraded to a Master-7, which is a very good over all dac. Detailed, wide, deep and so easy to listen to..

The Master-7 has an updated DSP-software and I guess it is one of the why's it is so good. I think it is hard to beat the Master-7 for reasonable money  today.

 

I, myself have a weak spot for the ESS-sound and I will never ever let my NFB-7.32 go...but it is more brutal to the music material and therefor more sensitive to what it is connected to..

It needs good matching to other equipment.

 

I hope You are somewhat helped from this info. Good luck.

 

/Jan

 

ps. I always add TCXO's when I put in orders when possible, it pays on the sound later..../J

post #145 of 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

Wathing this thread pretty closely - I am after a bit more focus than the Ref 7.1 is currently offerring.  I'm also considering moving to the NFB-7 which should definitely be a departure in terms of clarity and separation.

 

@JaMo the motherboard replacement sounds like a fairly efficient solution in terms of less shipping charges, fees etc.  How long did the project take you - are the mounting holes in the same place for the digital logic board?  

 

My 7.1 had the holes already there for the board. The power cable was the most fiddly thing in the end. I'd ask Kingwa to also send a new power socket and covering shield as well as the new board is longer. 

 

The M7 definitely has more focus than the 7.1, without losing that natural expression you get with the R2R DACs IMO. I was just comparing it using the USB32 input to the Calyx + Audiophilleo set-up using the Adam monitors. The M7 bests that combination, so at least the Calyx is going up for sale now.

post #146 of 1957
Thanks so much for the information Jan! I think with my current setup, and given my preferences in transport sound qualities the NFB7.32 would probable be the better choice, I will lose less money and someone else can enjoy my Ref 7.1 rather than parts of it going to waste. My headphones are still relatively lush so a more naked sound with less body in favour of greater clarity would probably still work.

Thanks Currawong for the information also! I guess I can always sell the NFB7.32 if I find it too skeletal and upgrade my Ref7.1

Edit: I might need to stick to Master 7 upgrade after all due to output level of the Nfb7. My amplifier doesn't have adjustable gain I don't think... If only things were easy lol.
Edited by drez - 12/26/12 at 4:56am
post #147 of 1957

Hi Drez,

 

I must add that the output level of the NFB-7.32 is only lower when it's fed with I2S-signals. SPDIF and optical (Toslink) will give normal You signal levels on the output.

 

/Jan

post #148 of 1957
Ahh ok no problem then still good to know in case i hook up an I2S transport in the future.
post #149 of 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post

I'm not really convinced enough to upgrade my 7.1 to the new model because the new features it employs would be virtually useless to me now. Perhaps in the future though. I've already been from the Ref 1 to the Ref 7 to the Ref 7.1 and I'm quite content with the way my system sounds. I have optimally modded my Logitech Transporter to mate perfectly with the Ref 7.1, and you really do need a superior transport with it if you want to get the most from it. I've heard the digital section in the Master 7 is a little better but I could really only justify that upgrade now if my transport wasn't as good as it is.

Is that referring to the modwright modded one? http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/modwright3/transporter.html


Edited by Man7rah - 1/24/13 at 4:26pm
post #150 of 1957
Thread Starter 

Interested in getting the parts from Kingwa to upgrade my Ref 7.1 to a Master 7. Besides the new center board, back panel and power socket, anything else I should get?

 

Does Kingwa provide instructions as to how to go about modifying the Ref 7.1 to a Master 7? How complicated is this process of modifying it?

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