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Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread - Page 17

post #241 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

Read Dafo's link a few posts up:smile:  He states that the soundstage is the same on both those chips.

Thanks SaLX. I actually wanted some more details about the  sounstage, depth is one thing... but positionning...width..."soundstage" impressions, etc... but thks anyway!

 

regards

post #242 of 434
I find the ODAC to be smoother, and more dimensional than the ES9018 on the Compass 2. It's subtle, but yeah. The ODAC to me is marginally better. Not worth it over the convenience of the Compass 2s amp/dac simplicity.
post #243 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I find the ODAC to be smoother, and more dimensional than the ES9018 on the Compass 2. It's subtle, but yeah. The ODAC to me is marginally better. Not worth it over the convenience of the Compass 2s amp/dac simplicity.

I find the Odac to be very detailed and clean sounding, a little bit on the cold side although no harshness whatsoever. ...therefore my choice for the Compass2 with Wm8741.
Edited by mfortpied - 1/20/14 at 4:32am
post #244 of 434
I'm sure I'd prefer the woflson dac chip over the ES9018, which is even colder than the ODAC.
post #245 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfortpied View Post

Thanks SaLX. I actually wanted some more details about the  sounstage, depth is one thing... but positionning...width..."soundstage" impressions, etc... but thks anyway!

regards

I have a little more information regarding the soundstage on the wolfson.
Right now I use my compass as a dac only, bypassing the volume with the 2,5 volt fixed output.
The soundstage can be both wide and more shallow depending on what recording you are listening to. The positioning is flawless, nothing falls apart, the coherence between left and right is allways there and sometimes the room is more spread out than other times, but it is as I stated before a matter of how the music was intended to sound or how it was recorded. With some recordings I swear it sometimes sounds like someone sneaked a little crossfeed in somewhere between the compass and my headspeaker. I have tested for this of course and there is none ;-)

Hope this answeres some of your questions even though it is not compared to the es9018.
Edited by Dafo - 1/20/14 at 2:33pm
post #246 of 434

Thanks a lot for your clear explanation Dafo!

 

I see that the Wolfson WM8741 tends to be in the long run  the preferred chip for this compass2. Probably the best compromise between detail, softness and overall musicality. As indicated earlier, I am absolutely delighted with the Jds Lab Odac for its transparency and clear presentation. I believe the Compass2 with WM8741 will be an interesting alternative to the Odac. 

 

having said this, are there somewhere clear instructions on how to modify the jumpers configuration and what effect are to be expected on the resutling sound? I mean where are they physically located on the mother board, how to proceed to change them and what results can we expect if it is in position a or b. Basically a tutorial.  

 

Best regards

post #247 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfortpied View Post
 

Thanks a lot for your clear explanation Dafo!

 

I see that the Wolfson WM8741 tends to be in the long run  the preferred chip for this compass2. Probably the best compromise between detail, softness and overall musicality. As indicated earlier, I am absolutely delighted with the Jds Lab Odac for its transparency and clear presentation. I believe the Compass2 with WM8741 will be an interesting alternative to the Odac. 

 

having said this, are there somewhere clear instructions on how to modify the jumpers configuration and what effect are to be expected on the resutling sound? I mean where are they physically located on the mother board, how to proceed to change them and what results can we expect if it is in position a or b. Basically a tutorial.  

 

Best regards

There are some basic differences between the filters.

First two major groups are the minimum phase- and the linear phase filters.

 

The advantage of the minimum phase is no pre-ringing and more post-ringing(more post-ringing could be listed as a disadvantage though). This sounds more natural to the human ear. Pre-ringing is sound building up before the actual sound impulse.

The disadvantage is a bit of roll-off in the top frequency.

 

The advantage of the linear phase filter is… well a linear frequency response.

The disadvantage is pre-ringing.

 

You can add either "soft knee" or "brick wall" to the above. Soft knee is a slow roll-off in the treble, brick wall is as little roll-off as possible.

 

You process the signal more times over with your filter effects with the higher oversampling rate. So a high sampling rate will give you a very exact result given the properties of the filter you've chosen.

 

The "apodising" is a newer kind of filter where the pre-ringing and post-ringing is dealt with. This is a clear advantage. 

The disadvantage is small issues with the fase in most of the frequency spectrum. But the audible consequences are inaudible, so it can be argued as irrelevant given the advantages which are indeed audible.

 

There are pro's and con's to each filter, so it is not a matter of better or worse or right or wrong.

The question is: Which filter do you think sounds the best. It is all up to you, there's is no reference to hold on to, only your own subjective taste in how you like your digital sound.

 

Some might say: just go with nos-dac's then, which do not use these digital filters at all. True, but the disadvantage is distortion, noise, bad measurings(not that I personally care about this) and in many cases frequency roll-off in both the treble and bass. I am sure good nos-dacs have been made, even audio-gd has a few on their program, but they're expensive and soon to be rare as the pcm1704 dac is taken out of production.


Edited by Dafo - 1/21/14 at 12:57pm
post #248 of 434

Thanks a lot Dafo.

 

It is becoming very technical for me. Only my ears will be able to "judge" those nuances!

 

However I believe it is for most of us  interesting to know how do we set this filters (on/off?) on the compass2 or the filters come along the WM8741 chip board as a package?

 

Simple question but I need to solve "simple" issues to get into "trickier" matters...

 

Best regards


Edited by mfortpied - 1/22/14 at 3:43am
post #249 of 434

I've had my Compass 2 (Sabre) for roughly 100 hours of either playing constantly, or just being powered on. It sounded superb a while ago, but now it's developed a strange problem: the bass has lowered a bit and it's now sounding a little shrill, most noticeably with vocals on lower quality files, but it's evident on high quality files but less pronounced.

 

The worst case is when I watch YouTube or Twitch for instance (using a computer you can't really avoid them): voices are raspy and sharp on both SPDIF and USB. I know the quality is bargain basement with the above sound sources, however they sounded perfectly pleasant to listen to just a week ago. Anybody else had this development with the Compass evolving (or devolving)? I saw Currawong's comments on this thread outlining the burn in on these units.. ...I am however a bit concerned. Caveat is.. I don't think anything is wrong with the Compass... no crackling, drop offs or other stuff with HQ files.

 

I didn't get this unit directly from China, otherwise I would've got both TXCO's - I will get a quote from Kingwa very soon :smile: 


Edited by SaLX - 1/25/14 at 9:00am
post #250 of 434
Try lowerin the bit rate and frequency response.

Mine worked best at 24/96. When I raised the bit rate to the higher levels, I 1ould get weird distortions myself.

Also, make SURE to NOT bypass the dir chip. The spdif direct setting would also cause distortion problems. The website even stated some sources can't handle spdif direct properly.

I believe the jumpers are set to spdif direct at default, so you'll have to go in and switch them to go through the dir chip. Mine had the DIR9001 chip and worked perfectly. The process to switch the setting is on the compass 2 page. Very simple. Just a pita to grab the jumpers to switch, lol.

I'm almost positive this will fix your issue.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 1/25/14 at 9:36am
post #251 of 434

Will try out the DIR9001 module and try out smaple rates, so ty ML. Why though: last week sweet - this week totally crap? Mind you, the same thing is happening in USB mode (to a lesser degree, but still noticeable). I may well just reinstall Windows as it's been it's been a year, and any excuse is a good one. Have another 100 hours to go on the recommended burn in period...... dunno about you lot, but I have noticed this amp changing over time. I remain optimistic :smile:

 

One question: would it be correct to assume that the DIR modules purpose in life is to A: smooth out a bad optical source? Or B: do they exist as an optional flavour to the sound (just like the Wolfson/Sabre or PCM5102 modules), but solely for optical?

post #252 of 434
DIR is short for Digital audio Interface Reciever. Its main purpose here is to reduce jitter and I would also not recommend bypassing the module. Apparently the two different dir-modules offered with the compass also sound a bit different.

I think soundstage and texture has improved some with burn-in, but I can't say I've detected any major changes in sound as such.

I hope you are abled to solve this issue by using the dir-module.
Edited by Dafo - 1/27/14 at 4:49am
post #253 of 434

I'm pretty sure my Compass came with bypass as the default configuration Dafo (for some strange reason), but I will most certainly open it up and check after I fix the real problem:

 

It would appear that for some reason ALL the sounds coming out of my PC are tinny and sibilant, so basically I've pointed the finger in the wrong place (it must be some drivers or codecs that I can't fix). Tested the Compass on my GF's laptop... and it sounds great. What a wild goosechase and sorry for blaming it on my Audio_gd!!!! Windows.... sigh.  Reinstall here we come....... groan.  

 

I think I will order up the WM8805 receiver along with the TXCO's as I seem to be using SPDIF far more than the USB. BTW: looks like Audio_gd's gone on holiday for a week.

 

Thank you both for you help :smile: 

post #254 of 434
Good :-)
Sorry about your computer though :-(
Mine also came with the bypass as default btw. Good thing that it's so easy to fix ;-)
post #255 of 434

I'm going to be ordering up the TXCO's soon. I don't really really need the Wolfson module right now; but mind you, I'd like to get an AKG 7 series at some point soonish and I'm told they benefit from a warmer setup.

 

Question is this: Imagine 6 months down the line and Audio_gd decides to discontinue the Compass 2. Will they in turn discontinue the other modules like the Wolfson replacement board etc and also the SPDIF DIR modules too? I think I ought to purchase the whole caboodle out of fear :smile: 

 

Anybody here know how Audio_gd works in terms of legacy support? Many thanks.

 

 

**** BTW: That problem I had that I blamed on the amp, my soundcard, the USB connection and computer: it was a hearing infection (no pain whatsoever) that makes everything sound tinny and robotic..... sheesh **** (Sorry everybody) :confused_face(1): 


Edited by SaLX - 2/7/14 at 6:15pm
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