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Audio-Gd Master 7 - Discrete Fully Balanced DAC (PCM1704) - Page 105

post #1561 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Question. I thought the RCA coax was 24/192. As opposed to bnc 24/96. Also did you try the aes imput .

Al


I have tried only the BNC coax. I do not own RCA digital cables. The BNC is 24/96 only but it is enough for me.

 

I have not tried the AES - no AES cable at home. And I do not plan to do so. My target input is the I2S.

post #1562 of 3507
Thanks just asking.

Al
post #1563 of 3507

Is your Offramp equipped with HDMI Hynes Regulator, Dual Turboclock and the Revelation 1.0m RJ-45 I2S cable?

post #1564 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowglycdb View Post
 

I guess the upgrade is really worth it right?  *my wallet trembles* Seems the M7 is no longer "thick" in this configuration right?

 

The M7 still retains its lush and warm nature, but looses that gooey thickness which I never liked. I can see people preferring the USB for that thicker sound. It seems that AL, DacLadder, and I have tried several other converters and have arrived that the conclusion that the OR5 i2s is best for this application. Clem also recently had a chance to hear the i2s to the M7 and BNC to his SA-2. Of course there is always the possibility of group-think and that we are all jerking each other off.

 

Seaice is spot on with everything being more detailed, better separated, and the tonal response being much more cohesive.

 

BTW, I had a chance to try DacLadder's HDMI i2s board for the M7 and I feel it adds, as difficult it may be to believe, additional incremental improvements:

 

  1. Much less dependency on length and type of Ethernet cable. I have only tried two different short (3') HDMI cables though (these need to be kept as short as possible!)
  2. A reduction in sub/low bass murkiness. Better focus and bass texture
  3. A tiny increase in warmth in the upper bass and lower mids
  4. Better spatial cues - sense of space - venue of recordings
  5. Improved extraction of low level information
  6. Notably blacker background
  7. Slightly sharper attacks, better delineated edges

 

The last one #7 I can see people not liking, but personally it is to my preference. I like how the attacks are more like the PWD2, but also how the M7 still maintains its lush nature without any hint of a raspy sigma-delta treble timbre. The DacLadder HDMI board moves the M7 up a notch. It's not a significant change which moves it to another league though; but at this point, I'm not sure that's even possible. I think the M7 with the HDMI i2s should easily be able to compete with or even outdo the MSB Analog DAC, but I am not sure about the better $$$$$ MSB DACs.

 

As I've always maintained, the built-in USB is a stop-gap measure (this is my more polite way of saying the built-in USB sucks). If anyone thinks their M7 with USB sounds good, they are missing 60% of what it is capable of. That's something that should be considered when one balks at the price of the OR5. I don't ever feel comfortable giving products wholehearted recommendations, but honestly I feel the OR5 (or other suitable transport) is REQUIRED for the M7 given the feedback I've heard from a variety of different people.

 

FYI, I only have the Hynes regulator upgrade and an external AMB sigma11 power supply. I do not have the turboclocks. (Having tried a unit with the turboclocks, I am still not totally sure.) One caveat is that I am assuming that one has recordings and downstream equipment (amp, headphones, ears) which are resolving enough.


Edited by purrin - 3/25/14 at 1:45pm
post #1565 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaice View Post
 

M7 is not thick. Both Evo and Offramp were great improvements via BNC (in comparison with the USB input): Everything is more detailed, all frequencies better balanced and this reveals into better mix of sounds, instruments and voices, everything is better integrated, nothing is missing and nothing is excessive. I have not compared the Offramp and Evo via BNC in detail yet (this is one of my future plans).

 

+I2S improved space attributtes of the sound substantially. I still hope that I will force the Evo work via the I2S one day and compare it with the Offramp via I2S too. But I am now very happy with the Offramp. Offramp via I2S excels everything I have tried so far. And I am curious what more improvements I will get with the Dynamo power supply.

 

Great to read that.

 

Did you notice any change in bass response (impact, definition) with the I2S vs the Coax output?

 

Purrin had both the Master-7 (I2S) and SA-2 (Coax) fed by the Off-ramp at the SoCal meet, both of which were plugged in his Eddie Current 445 amp (single ended - same output level for an easy A/B).

The major difference between the 2 actually were the spatial attribute: the M7 sounded substantially more 3D. I would like to know if it could be due to the way they were connected to the off-ramp (which seems to match your findings) or if it is an intrinsic technical difference between both DACs.

 

We also compared the cold SA-2 to the already warm M7 (temperature): the SA-2 sounded so flat for the first 15mn! Once it warmed up, the difference was not that dramatic anymore.

The M7 had a better (more 3D) soundstage and punchier bass and brighter treble but it sounded also fuller at the same time (ironically, more 'musical'). The SA-2 was no slouch, though, and I actually preferred its softer sound with the (already punchy) Abyss. on the contrary, I preferred the M7 with the HE-6, no doubt.

post #1566 of 3507
Yes every option , including cable and new PSU. And I also ordered the spidif coax cable too. So I do not have to hang it off the back of DACS

AL
post #1567 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

Great to read that.

 

Did you notice any change in bass response (impact, definition) with the I2S vs the Coax output?

 

Purrin had both the Master-7 (I2S) and SA-2 (Coax) fed by the Off-ramp at the SoCal meet, both of which were plugged in his Eddie Current 445 amp (single ended - same output level for an easy A/B).

The major difference between the 2 actually were the spatial attribute: the M7 sounded substantially more 3D. I would like to know if it could be due to the way they were connected to the off-ramp (which seems to match your findings) or if it is an intrinsic technical difference between both DACs.

 

We also compared the cold SA-2 to the already warm M7 (temperature): the SA-2 sounded so flat for the first 15mn! Once it warmed up, the difference was not that dramatic anymore.

The M7 had a better (more 3D) soundstage and punchier bass and brighter treble but it sounded also fuller at the same time (ironically, more 'musical'). The SA-2 was no slouch, though, and I actually preferred its softer sound with the (already punchy) Abyss. on the contrary, I preferred the M7 with the HE-6, no doubt.

 

I am in full agreement with Clem's observations. The question is how much of the better 3D effect was due to the HDMI i2s over the BNC? Another secret mini-meet will take place to decide this. We'll throw in a NFB-7.32 too.

 

But yeah, the M7 was more "musical" than the "musical series" SA-2.


Edited by purrin - 3/25/14 at 1:52pm
post #1568 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Articnoise View Post
 

 

Is your Offramp equipped with HDMI Hynes Regulator, Dual Turboclock and the Revelation 1.0m RJ-45 I2S cable?

 

 

I have the HDMI and BNC Hynes Regulators plus Dual Turboclock.

 

I use Audioquest Cinnamon CAT7 RJ45 cable for the I2S - 1.5m. This length is recommended by Steve N. (Empirical Audio owner etc.).

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by purrin View Post

...

As I've always maintained, the built-in USB is a stop-gap measure (this is my more polite way of saying the built-in USB sucks). If anyone thinks their M7 with USB sounds good, they are missing 60% of what it is capable of.

...

 

I totally agree with your previous post because my SQ observations are exactly the same. And I am quoting this part because I was not sure about the Offramp 5 investment but finally love it very much. M7 is so great now that I am rediscovering a lot music. Everything sounds better, I am really amazed.

post #1569 of 3507
Yes and any other gizmo they offered to. ISO outputs on the coax
post #1570 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

I am in full agreement with Clem's observations. The question is how much of the better 3D effect was due to the HDMI i2s over the BNC? Another secret mini-meet will take place to decide this. We'll throw in a NFB-7.32 too.

 

A question I might be able to answer once I buy the Off-ramp.

Is anyone willing to part with his? :D I can't find any on the F/S forums. There was an Alpha USB for a good price on the Gon last weet. It is a highly regarded converter but no I2S, so probably not a smart choice (I almost jumped on it but couldn't find the "place offer" button... :ph34r:).

 

Any info on the Off-ramp 6?

post #1571 of 3507

Did anyone try the old #3 firmware with his M7?

 

This was the best for me with the NFB-27: smoother and warmer tone.

Again, that's against the usual trend that says firmware #4 (and up) was a big improvement in technicalities. For me it was just brighter, more etched and fatiguing (and lost its body)...

post #1572 of 3507

I’m very close to by the Offramp, but am not 100 % sure in witch configuration.  I’m leaning against the budget: Offramp with HDMI Hynes Regulator, i2s cable and a diy power supply.

 

The Audioquest Cinnamon CAT7 RJ45 cable seems like a good price option. Any other who have tried it?

 

Btw how long is the lead time for the Offramp?

post #1573 of 3507
Yes I asked Steve he said about 6 To9 months off. And it will have a USB output so no need for other inputs. I forgot to ask if it will pass dsd. But even the one I have does dsd over dop
So it's fine with me now. The USB is also an add on for current owners of afframp 5.

Al
Edited by ALRAINBOW - 3/25/14 at 2:33pm
post #1574 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

Great to read that.

 

Did you notice any change in bass response (impact, definition) with the I2S vs the Coax output?

 

Purrin had both the Master-7 (I2S) and SA-2 (Coax) fed by the Off-ramp at the SoCal meet, both of which were plugged in his Eddie Current 445 amp (single ended - same output level for an easy A/B).

The major difference between the 2 actually were the spatial attribute: the M7 sounded substantially more 3D. I would like to know if it could be due to the way they were connected to the off-ramp (which seems to match your findings) or if it is an intrinsic technical difference between both DACs.

 

We also compared the cold SA-2 to the already warm M7 (temperature): the SA-2 sounded so flat for the first 15mn! Once it warmed up, the difference was not that dramatic anymore.

The M7 had a better (more 3D) soundstage and punchier bass and brighter treble but it sounded also fuller at the same time (ironically, more 'musical'). The SA-2 was no slouch, though, and I actually preferred its softer sound with the (already punchy) Abyss. on the contrary, I preferred the M7 with the HE-6, no doubt.

 

I have the old A-GD Reference One and the new NOS1704. I compared them briefly via Offramp BNC and my first impressions are as follows:

 

M7 beats them all in EVERYTHING including musicality. + Add M7 via I2S and the Ref One and NOS1704 are no match for the M7.

 

NOS1704 vs Reference One

This comparison is not easy and I plan to go back to it one day and try more music.

NOS1704 - maybe nicer bass but somewhat lacking highs.

Reference One - probably weaker in bass (and not sure about soundstage attributes) but generally more balanced sound, much better highs and probably more musical. More overall enjoyment.

- These are very early impressions and I need more listening.

 

Yes, the temperature is important, I usually let my DACs 30 min. warm up before any critical listening.

 

I look forward to your next meet. Keep posting here guys!


Edited by seaice - 3/25/14 at 2:44pm
post #1575 of 3507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Articnoise View Post
 

I’m very close to by the Offramp, but am not 100 % sure in witch configuration.  I’m leaning against the budget: Offramp with HDMI Hynes Regulator, i2s cable and a diy power supply.

 

The Audioquest Cinnamon CAT7 RJ45 cable seems like a good price option. Any other who have tried it?

 

Btw how long is the lead time for the Offramp?

 

I'd get the stock + i2s Hynes regulator to start out. The OR5 in stock form still kicks ass. You can always upgrade later. Wait time was faster than expected for me. Around two weeks. I think his website says at least a month. What I like about Steve @ Empirical is that he answers questions and exceeds customers' expectations, something that's not necessarily common in the headphone world. He does come from the speaker world where people who have money to spend can have enormously high expectations, especially in terms of customer service.

 

I found the stock OR5 comparable to the Berkeley USB with coax output.

 

As for the turboclocks, this what I recommend reading to get a sense of things despite it being from the MSB DAC website. Refer to the portion in red italics, last paragraph, regarding the MSB Femtosecond clock: http://www.msbtech.com/products/galaxy.php 


Edited by purrin - 3/25/14 at 2:53pm
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