Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread - Page 3

post #31 of 417
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WizardKnight View Post

In the future am wanting to buy a home DAC AMP. The Compass 2 has both USB and Optical inputs I am needing. Franmon83 have you tried the USB input anymore to see if you are still hearing popping sounds? I hope can see a lot more impressions here about the Compass 2. Please keep them coming in.

Hi WizardKnight,

 

I did not do further tests with the USB input, but I will soon. I'll update you once I get have results.

post #32 of 417
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaptiva View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post


3rd:
3600mW / 25 ohm (150mW class A)
2000mW / 50 ohm (300mW class A)
1100mW / 100 ohm (600mW class A)
400mW / 300 ohm (Full class A)
200mW / 600 ohm (Full class A)
I see that 25/50/100ohm show class A specs. How is it switched from class A to non-Class A? I don't quite get that, and I'd prefer to have the higher power specs.

I am guessing it will automatically switch between Class depending on power requirement of your load (headphone) just like some Class A/AB amplifier does. Looking at the output power of Class A, that will also means it will be running Class A for most headphones in the market...IMHO 

 

I'd got my Compass2 yesterday. So far liking the detailed sound it produce very much. I'll let it burn in more to see if other sound characteristic changes. I am feeding it from MacBook Air USB output and heard some random "ticking" sound. Is that what franmon83 described as popping sound as well?? From Audio-gd web, it says that TXCO requires burn in time... hopefully after long period of burning in this will diminished. Will report back on this if it improves.

Hi Kaptiva,

 

It seems indeed to be the same issue. I will try this week-end to see if the issue is still present. If it is, I will proceed with some more testing to try and diagnose what is the source of this problem. It could be the USB port, the OS, the cable, the Compass itself (which I hope it's not). We'll see...

post #33 of 417
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WizardKnight View Post

I have been looking at pics of the Compass 2 and the USB input looks much taller than the USB ports on my laptop. Do you need some special type of USB cable for this DAC AMP? Also am curious if anyone has chosen any of the upgrades for the Compass 2 such as the DIR9001 SPDIF interface or the OCC wires upgrade? Does anyone think this would improve the sound quality?

A USB cable has 2 ends. The end that goes into your computer Type A and the end attached to the device is of Type B. There are also mini and micro variations of both types. What you have on the Compass 2 is a standard USB Type A to Type B, which by the way is the same cable as the one you would use for a printer.

 


Edited by franmon83 - 10/19/12 at 5:06pm
post #34 of 417
Thanks franmon83 for the info about USB cables. Hope the ticking or popping sound you and Kaptiva have with the USB goes away. Would love to hear more impressions of the Compass 2. Am curious how much an improvement in sound quality you get from it versus your stock equipment like iPhone 4S and Mac laptop because I have both.
Edited by WizardKnight - 10/20/12 at 8:43am
post #35 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by WizardKnight View Post

Thanks franmon83 for the info about USB cables. Hope the ticking or popping sound you and Kaptiva have with the USB goes away. Would love to hear more impressions of the Compass 2. Am curious how much an improvement in sound quality you get from it versus your stock equipment like iPhone 4S and Mac laptop because I have both.

To me the sound improvement compares to direct pairing with laptop n iPod/iphone is night and days for AKG Q701 Everything is improved! That said, AKG Q701 is known to be needing good amping to sound good. On the other hand my ATH-ES7 doesn't seems to get as much benefit from it...there's improvement but not as obvious as Q701 did. So depending on your headphone the improvement will varies. 

post #36 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by franmon83 View Post

Hi Kaptiva,

 

It seems indeed to be the same issue. I will try this week-end to see if the issue is still present. If it is, I will proceed with some more testing to try and diagnose what is the source of this problem. It could be the USB port, the OS, the cable, the Compass itself (which I hope it's not). We'll see...

Hi franmon83,

 

I'd tried using Window 7 system with foobar player on the same laptop ie MacAir. It didn't have such problem. So I'm guessing it is firmware/OS related. May I know what Mac OS version you using? Mine is 10.75. According to KingWa, some user have no problem while using the latest MAC OS X Mountain Lion. 

post #37 of 417
Couldn't it be the problem with using SPDIF direct?

Quote:
Users can choice the SPDIF signal feed to either ES9018 direct and through DIR module with 3 jumpers setting , which is simply for users choice different sound flavors .
If match with low end PC sound card have large jitter cause the sound interrupt by feed to ES9018 direct, users can setting through DIR module for help . In default SPDIF feed to ES9018 direct

This is what may be causing your issues. I'd try to switch to sending the signal through the DIR, as I'm sure you're probably doing it directly to the ES9018 and it may not be the best for your setup and causing issues.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/20/12 at 7:31pm
post #38 of 417
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaptiva View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by franmon83 View Post

Hi Kaptiva,

 

It seems indeed to be the same issue. I will try this week-end to see if the issue is still present. If it is, I will proceed with some more testing to try and diagnose what is the source of this problem. It could be the USB port, the OS, the cable, the Compass itself (which I hope it's not). We'll see...

Hi franmon83,

 

I'd tried using Window 7 system with foobar player on the same laptop ie MacAir. It didn't have such problem. So I'm guessing it is firmware/OS related. May I know what Mac OS version you using? Mine is 10.75. According to KingWa, some user have no problem while using the latest MAC OS X Mountain Lion. 

Hi Kaptiva,

 

Since yesterday, I'm testing the USB input of the Compass, but from the back USB port of the Macbook Pro (The one right beside the Thunderbolt port on the MBP early 2011). I read on different websites that for some reason (which were detailed but I did not pay too much attention to it), the back USB port of MBPs can provide a lot more bandwidth than the front one, which makes it more suitable for audio purposes. 98% of the dropping are now gone. I at most get 1 drop every 20-30 minutes now, compared to every minute before. Also, I realized that the sampling rate settings that I chose in my player changed that behaviour a little bit. For instance, I'm using Audirvana Free right now, which exposes different upsampling options. I realized that the less demanding the options, the less drops I had. FYI, I have the latest Mountain Lion (10.8.2). I still find it weird though because I previously used an Apogee ONE USB audio interface and I never noticed any dropping at all, and I had it connected on my USB hub. When I tried to connect the Compass to the USB hub, it would not even get detected by the Mac... It is probably a mix of the OS and the Compass input being picky. 

 

But, in my case I cannot tell any difference between the optical and USB inputs in terms of quality and I do not experience any drops with the optical input, so I will probably just stick with that one once my testing is done.

 

I am curious though, do you detect differences in quality between the different digital inputs? I only tested optical and USB, since I do not have a SPDIF source, but they seemed pretty much of similar quality to me.

post #39 of 417
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Couldn't it be the problem with using SPDIF direct?

Quote:
Users can choice the SPDIF signal feed to either ES9018 direct and through DIR module with 3 jumpers setting , which is simply for users choice different sound flavors .
If match with low end PC sound card have large jitter cause the sound interrupt by feed to ES9018 direct, users can setting through DIR module for help . In default SPDIF feed to ES9018 direct

This is what may be causing your issues. I'd try to switch to sending the signal through the DIR, as I'm sure you're probably doing it directly to the ES9018 and it may not be the best for your setup and causing issues.

I'm not sure I understand correctly, I'm not using the SPDIF (which unless I'm wrong is the coax input), so why would it matter? Are you telling me that the USB input uses the same signal path of the SPDIF?

post #40 of 417
SPDIF is both coaxial and optical. I'd change the internal settings to go through the DIR as mentioned on the A-GD's Compass 2 page and see if the drops cease. Right now doing direct feed may not be compatible with your computer, which may be cuasing all these dropouts.

I'm surprised you didn't try this before. I would assume people had read this prior to buying it. I say that because that could very well be the reason why your optical is acting up.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/20/12 at 9:49pm
post #41 of 417
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

SPDIF is both coaxial and optical. I'd change the internal settings to go through the DIR as mentioned on the A-GD's Compass 2 page and see if the drops cease. Right now doing direct feed may not be compatible with your computer, which may be cuasing all these dropouts.

I'm surprised you didn't try this before. I would assume people had read this prior to buying it. I say that because that could very well be the reason why your optical is acting up.

My optical is not the one acting up, it's the USB... I tried the other jumper setting just in case, but did not see any difference. The USB is still dropping a sample or two once in a while, but really not that often since I switched USB port on my laptop. It's hardly noticeable anymore, but I work in realtime video and audio, so when a sample drop, I hear it... it's my job.

 

But thanks for the info, I read it, but didn't pay too much attention to it since I had a little trouble understanding what was meant in the description of this setting (English is not my mother language, and obviously is not Kingwa's... so I had a little trouble with the 2 layers of translation tongue.gif). Also, I was thinking that was only affecting the coax input, not the others. I will still try and see if I notice any difference in sound when I switch back to optical.

post #42 of 417
Yeah SPDIF is both, and the DIR chip affects both.
post #43 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by franmon83 View Post

Hi Kaptiva,

 

Since yesterday, I'm testing the USB input of the Compass, but from the back USB port of the Macbook Pro (The one right beside the Thunderbolt port on the MBP early 2011). I read on different websites that for some reason (which were detailed but I did not pay too much attention to it), the back USB port of MBPs can provide a lot more bandwidth than the front one, which makes it more suitable for audio purposes. 98% of the dropping are now gone. I at most get 1 drop every 20-30 minutes now, compared to every minute before. Also, I realized that the sampling rate settings that I chose in my player changed that behaviour a little bit. For instance, I'm using Audirvana Free right now, which exposes different upsampling options. I realized that the less demanding the options, the less drops I had. FYI, I have the latest Mountain Lion (10.8.2). I still find it weird though because I previously used an Apogee ONE USB audio interface and I never noticed any dropping at all, and I had it connected on my USB hub. When I tried to connect the Compass to the USB hub, it would not even get detected by the Mac... It is probably a mix of the OS and the Compass input being picky. 

 

But, in my case I cannot tell any difference between the optical and USB inputs in terms of quality and I do not experience any drops with the optical input, so I will probably just stick with that one once my testing is done.

 

I am curious though, do you detect differences in quality between the different digital inputs? I only tested optical and USB, since I do not have a SPDIF source, but they seemed pretty much of similar quality to me.

Thanks for the info franmon83. Seems like 10.8.2 does have good improvement of 10.75 on this issue. I have about 1 drop every 3mins on both USB port...which is pretty annoying! I tried setting the output to 24bit and 16bit but still having some drop. I guess I'll just use another PC based laptop for it at the moment.. though i'll miss the sound n flexibility of Amarra+iTunes. Yes i think you're right about the OS n Compass being picky gotta do with this.

 

At the moment my only input option is via USB so I can't tell the difference between inputs. However from my previous experience i do prefer Coax over toslink. It was with a marantz cd player feed to xindak DAC...so might be totally different case here. 

post #44 of 417

I was got some  feedbacks from user , some users replace the USB cable, some users change to different USB ports, and one user feedback install the KS plugs for Foobar 2000, they fix the drop off .

post #45 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingwa View Post

I was got some  feedbacks from user , some users replace the USB cable, some users change to different USB ports, and one user feedback install the KS plugs for Foobar 2000, they fix the drop off .

Hi Kingwa,

 

Foobar2000 only available for Windows OS. I find it work perfectly on Windows. The problem is only on my MAC OS. Changing USB port does not fix the problem for my case. Anyway, I'll try get a better USB cable and see how it goes. I hope Audio-gd will also look into this issue and do some testing on MAC OS to see if this issue can be resolve via firmware updates.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread