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post #751 of 2068

Nice. I'm in Hollywood.:cool:

post #752 of 2068

Here we go again!

Seems like a SA-1 deprived of its DSP upsampler.

 

Apparently, Kingwa is anticipating a shortage of PCM1704UK chips... I should hurry up and get that SA-2! If only I had the dough for it...

post #753 of 2068

I didn't notice enough improvement from my AP1/PP to not just use the USB32. But an OR5 is a significantly different animal and, not to mention, I2S input.  

post #754 of 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post


Wow that is the most negativity I've read so far about the M7 - casting doubts on my purchase considering ill be primarily using the USB input :/ DAC shopping without being able to trial listen is the worst

 

Heh. I have tendency to do that - note shortcomings.

 

The imaging of the M7 is not bad by absolute means, it's just relatively less precise, less stable, less deep compared to my current reference (PWD1->2 via OR5 I2s). Feeding the M7 from the OR5 via I2S, the M7 imaging is very much improved in all aspects, but still falls a tad short of my current reference. I've just sort of gotten myself used to exact pinpoint stable imaging with massive depth on my speaker setup. Your results may differ with headphone listening.

 

To make sure I wasn't imagining things, I plugged in the Gungir last night for a direct comparison. Using USB for both, I would say even the "lowly" Gungir has the M7 beat in terms of soundstage. Both DACs stage between the speakers, don't have much depth, but the Gungir easily comes out ahead in terms of vocal and instrument placement precision. The M7 also occasionally has image stability issues. These behaviors are recording dependent though. But I feel fairly confident to reiterate that soundstage and imaging are not the M7's strengths, at least for speakers.

 

Finally, it's important to note that soundstage is probably one of a dozen attributes which I grade DACs on. The M7 still does a lot of things extremely well. Tonal balance and the ability to connect rendered sounds in time is perhaps among the best I've heard. All the more amazing is that this M7 has more than a modicum of modern DAC sound sensibilities (resolution, articulation, clarity, speed, etc.), and a whole lot of such once the OR5 I2S is put into the equation.


Edited by purrin - 9/6/13 at 9:09am
post #755 of 2068
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your impressions purrin. They're always welcomed.

So based on the above, I gather that the OR5 is worth the upgrade with the M7? Is there a significant improvement in the overall sound quality (besides the improvements in soundstaging)?
post #756 of 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by SearchOfSub View Post
 

 

What is the most forward sounding DAC of the bunch? Eximus DP-1 or the Schiit?

 

The Gungnir is more aggressive, and very up front. I would be very careful about matching the rest of your rig with it to make sure it plays nicely. My Gungnir>>BHA-1>>HD800 sounded terrible-and the Schiit was the culprit in this particular rig. Aggression>>aggression>>HD800=BAD. The Eximus is an extremely easy going, very intimate dac. Just a very effortless presentation-with forward mids. Nice extended sweet highs that I would call anything but harsh or aggressive. Bass extension and texture is good, but lacks impact compared to other dacs. The headphone output is only really suitable for low impedance cans imo. This is a dac that I think would fit into any rig really-without causing problems. The Schiit, uh, not so much.

 

-Daniel

post #757 of 2068

IMO, once you start playing around with high quality DACs, a proper transport is necessary. I recall years ago when KingWa refused to even consider USB for the Ref 1 because he thought it sucked compared to SDPIF + good transport.

 

As any good business man would do, he caved in to customers' demand for USB. I'm sure he worked on a USB solution which he finally deemed "acceptably good" in terms of performance, but "acceptably good" is not good enough for me.

 

Generally, this is how I would rate the M7 compared to my reference on an overall basis, noting that there are specific tendencies with tonality, resolution, soundstage (described only briefly in the paragraph below) with each DAC which may cater to individual tastes.

 

  1. Master 7 from EA OR5 I2S
  2. <gap>
  3. PWD2 from EA OR5 I2S
  4. PWD2 from EA OR5 SPDIF
  5. PWD2 from internal USB (XMOS/NativeX)
  6. Master 7 from EA OR5 SPDIF ~= PWD2 from AP1 (no PurePower)
  7. <gap>
  8. Master 7 internal USB

 

The use of I2S is where the M7's technicalities, the modern DAC attributes, finally get sufficiently close to or equal that the PWD2's, where I would give it the nod. We are talking about layering, separation, microdynamics, microdetail, articulation, bite, speed, etc. From #6 on up, the M7 has better tone characteristics and liquid sound than the PWD2.

 

The M7 is the first DAC that's making me think real hard about a side-grade. Yes, I would still consider it a side-grade, but there's something really appealing about its presentation to me. After further listening, I would consider the M7 via the OR5's i2s a definite upgrade. There's no going back to the PWD2 for me.

 

PWD is a mk1 upgraded to 2 running fw 2.03


Edited by purrin - 9/9/13 at 8:36am
post #758 of 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

Here we go again!

Seems like a SA-1 deprived of its DSP upsampler.

 

Apparently, Kingwa is anticipating a shortage of PCM1704UK chips... I should hurry up and get that SA-2! If only I had the dough for it...

 

Count me in as one who has absolutely loved every SA series product I've owned from Kingwa. If I wasn't going ALL OUT on a dac this winter-I'd absolutely be looking at the SA-2 with a proper USB converter.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Heh. I have tendency to do that - note shortcomings.

 

The imaging of the M7 is not bad by absolute means, it's just relatively less precise, less stable, less deep compared to my current reference (PWD1->2 via OR5 I2s). Feeding the M7 from the OR5 via I2S, the M7 imaging is very much improved in all aspects, but still falls a tad short of my current reference. I've just sort of gotten myself used to exact pinpoint stable imaging with massive depth on my speaker setup. Your results may differ with headphone listening.

 

To make sure I wasn't imagining things, I plugged in the Gungir last night for a direct comparison. Using USB for both, I would say even the "lowly" Gungir has the M7 beat in terms of soundstage. Both DACs stage between the speakers, don't have much depth, but the Gungir easily comes out ahead in terms of vocal and instrument placement precision. The M7 also occasionally has image stability issues. These behaviors are recording dependent though. But I feel fairly confident to reiterate that soundstage and imaging are not the M7's strengths, at least for speakers.

 

Finally, it's important to note that soundstage is probably one of a dozen attributes which I grade DACs on. The M7 still does a lot of things extremely well. Tonal balance and the ability to connect rendered sounds in time is perhaps among the best I've heard. All the more amazing is that this M7 has more than a modicum of modern DAC sound sensibilities (resolution, articulation, clarity, speed, etc.), and a whole lot of such once the OR5 I2S is put into the equation.

 

I agree they both are pretty weak in soundstage depth-with the Schiit being slightly better but-still weak in that department. I found the Gungnir to really be lacking in some low level details that I hear in nearly other dac (higher priced though)-which is funny because that is one area that I felt the Mjolnir excelled at for it's price.

 

-Daniel

post #759 of 2068

Marv-did Soup tell you how many hours are on that M7 yet? Most AGD dacs seem to need like 500 hours to settle all the way in ime...

 

-Daniel

post #760 of 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Here we go again!
Seems like a SA-1 deprived of its DSP upsampler.

Apparently, Kingwa is anticipating a shortage of PCM1704UK chips... I should hurry up and get that SA-2! If only I had the dough for it...

And the SA-1.32 is now "discontinued". I wonder how this new one compares?

I love my SA-1.32 but really should try and get the scratch together soon as well for the SA-2 before it goes away!
post #761 of 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

Marv-did Soup tell you how many hours are on that M7 yet? Most AGD dacs seem to need like 500 hours to settle all the way in ime...

 

-Daniel

 

It was Prepo's sent to Soup via me. I've been leaving it on. It's an environmental disaster in terms of power suckage.

post #762 of 2068

My power bill literally went up a hundred bucks a month when I had my Ref 9, and kept it on 24/7. It's a good thing I couldn't stand the sound from my M7/M8/HD800 combo. ;)

 

-Daniel

post #763 of 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

Marv-did Soup tell you how many hours are on that M7 yet? Most AGD dacs seem to need like 500 hours to settle all the way in ime...

 

-Daniel

 

It's not new.  It was mine.  Yes - very well broken in.  Well over the 500 hour mark.

post #764 of 2068

I forgot it was yours originally-be thankful for your power bill. ;)

 

-Daniel

post #765 of 2068
Quote:

Originally Posted by thegrobe View Post





And the SA-1.32 is now "discontinued". I wonder how this new one compares?



I love my SA-1.32 but really should try and get the scratch together soon as well for the SA-2 before it goes away!



 



Different (and likely improved) sound should be the reason for Audio gd to replace SA-1.32 with NOS-1704, forfeiting in the process the USB input and the over 96 khz capability.



I posed a version of your question to Audio gd and got the following reply from Kingwa:



"The NOS-1704 have slight different sound to the SA1 even it setting at any modes. The NOS 1704 have a bit smooth sound than the SA1."

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