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Resonessence Labs Concero discussion/review thead - Page 83

post #1231 of 2248

Hi everyone,

 

I've joined the Concero club, having received the bundle with Apple Remote yesterday, purchased used, but it's very much in mint condition.  :-)

 

Well, after no more than four hours of listening, yesterday evening and this morning, I'm an idiot for saying this so prematurely - but I can't help myself - switching as quickly as I can between my DACmini CX DAC and the Concero, expectation bias has pretty much been ruled out:  The DACmini CX gets clobbered by the Concero in really busy, congested, recordings, when it comes to separation of instruments.  

 

With tracks having wall-of-sound busy-ness, such as Daft Punk's Tron Legacy (End Titles), the DACmini CX can't compete.  I'm hearing spectacular de-congestion / unscrambling of that track with the Concero (with or without up-sampling).  And for several jazz recordings, brushes on cymbals are killer with the Concero - freaking amazing micro-detail and a very natural sound.

 

I had held off on getting the Concero for a long time, because I've got considerable experience with some much less expensive implementations of the ESS9023 that were disappointing (including the Stoner Accoustics UD100, the JDS Labs ODAC, and the Audioquest Dragonfly - which was far better than the first two, but I still didn't care for its tendency to sound glaring in the treble).  For the record, I don't like the dark or "musical" sound of WMxxxx or PCMxxxx DACs, at least not with my LCD-2, which by itself has all the warmth and coloration I want, when used with a neutral and transparent amp, but my earlier experiences with the ESS9023 were just too "shiny" for my tastes.

 

Not so the Concero's implementation of the ESS9023.  If ever there were an example of how the implementation of a DAC chip can make all the difference, this is it.  To my ESS9023-tainted ears, the Concero doesn't sound like its using an ESS9023.  The treble is so clean and transparent, completely without any annoyances whatsoever.  And it has none of the very slight "etch" of the DACmini CX DAC section. Just grainless, natural-sounding detail. I realize this isn't saying much, given my lack of exposure to the killer expensive DACs, but for now, the Concero is the best DAC I've ever heard - by quite a margin.  

 

More:  Even though I can say that the two up-sampling filters sound "different" from running without any up-sampling, I still can't put my finger on how to describe that difference and I can't tell any difference at all between IIR and Apodizing - not yet, anyway.  In short, at this early point in the game, I'd say I could live without up-sampling, but I'll keep looking for differences.   (I do have my "Speaker Properties > Advanced tab" set to 24-bit/192000 Hz, in Windows 7 - to support the 4x up-sampling of 44.1 files.)

 

Also:  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Apple Remote actually works with Foobar 2000 - to select the next or previous track, and to pause or play.  I really didn't expect Foobar to be compatible with that feature of the Concero!

 

Here are my chains, for the sake of putting my comments into context:

 

44.1/16 and 96/24 WAV on SD cards > Windows 7 laptop > Foobar 2000 w/WASAPI event mode > Concero's USB driver > Moon Audio Blue Dragon USB cable > Resonessence Labs Concero > Emotiva RCA Interconnects > 24VDC LiPo battery-powered TBI Audio Millenia MG3 amp (32Wpc into 8-Ohms) > TBI-built impedance match > 50-Ohm LCD-2 rev.1

 

or...  take out the impedance match and the LCD-2 to go to a pair of Definitive Technology SM45 near-field monitors (90 dB sensitivity).

 

Very pleased with the Concero,

 

Mike

post #1232 of 2248

Nice.. glad you are happy! Congrats...Oh so your using it both for headphones and external speakers. Enjoy

post #1233 of 2248

Yeah, thanks Mike!  

 

You took good care of the Concero - and it's very happy in its new home!

 

:-)

 

Mike

post #1234 of 2248

Glad to hear it, Mike! I concur... still happy with my Concero. It's not grainy at all. Just smooth and detailed. Love it. 

post #1235 of 2248

Thanks Nick!

 

Yeah, the LCD-2 can't do it justice, really. I have to hook the MG3 amp up to my Definitive Technology SM45 monitors to really hear the spectacular detail that distinguishes the Concero from my once-favorite, DACmini CX.

 

I'm not hearing anything that I could possibly attribute to power-related artifacts, but just knowing that the Concero is getting its power from the USB port bugs me.  

 

To your knowledge, has anyone ever complained of "glitches" with the Concero that turned out to be power-related?

 

I'm thinking of powering the Concero with a 5VDC LiPo battery (the Anker Astro 3), as I've done in the past when using my USB-powered DACport LX - just to have that peace of mind that only data is coming from my PC.

 

Anker Astro3 10,000 mAh LiPo batery pack supplying "clean" 5VDC power to the DACport LX, with only data coming from the laptop, having taped the 4th pin of that USB connector. 2 amps of clean 5V power!

 

 

LaCie USB DualPower Sharing Cable for Rikiki

 

 

LaCie USB DualPower Sharing Cable for Rikiki - closeup of "tape" mod

 

Another possibility would be something like the iFi Audio iUSB Power:

 

111412ifi_0.png

 

http://www.ifi-audio.com/en/iUSB.html

 

Do you know if any Concero users have tried this?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

(a clean power freak)


Edited by zilch0md - 10/22/13 at 3:41pm
post #1236 of 2248

I am no Concero owner, but in reading some non head-fi reviews of the Concero DAC and Concero HD

one reviewer did mention trying the iFi iUSB Power + Concero and couldn't tell (in their pretty decent chain) if it made any audible difference or not.

 

everyone screams about how USB power is dirty, but what I'm seeing these days in newer USB products is a lot of technical consideration to "cleaning" such USB power

has already been built INTO the DAC device itself.  making iFi iUSB less necessary in some configurations.

Jason (of Schiit) has posted about the "small parts" inside the Modi DAC to address USB power, and knowing the reputations of Resonessence Engineers highly believe they have done the same within their DACs as well.

 

YMMV.

post #1237 of 2248
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

To your knowledge, has anyone ever complained of "glitches" with the Concero that turned out to be power-related?

 

Mike

(a clean power freak)

 

Gotta agree with jexby on this one. A handful of Head-Fi'ers have gone out of their way to isolate USB power but the conclusions are usually the same... Concero doesn't really need it. Power matters, but be skeptical of the placebo effect in this case.

post #1238 of 2248

That's good enough for me.  I really don't have a problem to fix.  I was just curious what the history has been with other Concero users.  I'll try to curb my desire for using batteries in this case.   

 

:-)

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

post #1239 of 2248

Look again at the design of the Concero. It already has some serious filtering built into to clean up the USB power, I doubt any additional filtering is going to make a difference. For the price of the iFi USB you might just as well get the Concero HD...

post #1240 of 2248
even the USB implementation top notch, i've put it through some very heavy gaming apps, skype, music in the background, windows popups, its all handled, no clicks/pops/jitter at any time before and after my sessions.

btw, an update to those who want to try use the Concero HP > TRS to RCA, the sound is good, but the soundstage is gone, not sure the correct saying for this, so in the end i dont recommend doing this method, i really want to try the HD.
post #1241 of 2248

i got clicks and pops with a bad usb cable

post #1242 of 2248

Does anyone know if the Concero supports integer mode playback?

 

Is anyone using their Concero with OSX Mavericks yet?

post #1243 of 2248

In regards to clean power and the USB...you don't need it. You will literally be wasting time and money. How they filter the power stream is like no other. I have had issues with other usb dac's being noisy so i thought i would definitely need something to help clean it up. I tried 3 different power modules separating the data and power streams...all in all they didn't help much at all.

post #1244 of 2248

There seems to be a solid consensus regarding the Concero's ability to deal with power that comes from the USB port.

 

Thanks guys!

 

Mike

post #1245 of 2248

When I reviewed the Concero for my blog, I was very impressed by the noise regulation built into the little dac.  Like the Halide Bridge, the USB power source seems to not be an issue when it comes to creating a black background.

 

As for Axioms post, yes the Concero works in integer mode.  I used it with Lion and Audirvana Plus and it worked great. Here are my impressions if interested:

 

 

 

http://digitalaudiodirections.blogspot.com/2013_05_01_archive.html

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