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post #1801 of 1873
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daerron View Post
 

 

Project86's answer was related to differences pertaining to using the Concero (SD) and HD as converters. The digital transport path through the two versions should be similar, but the DAC sections are notably different, especially since the ESS9023 and ESS9018-2M differ a lot in architecture, the former being more modular and the latter requiring more additional supporting circuitry.

 

From my opamp rolling experiences I'm pretty sure that the AD based I/V stage in the HD has something to do with its more caffeinated sound signature. My headphone is caffeinated enough as it is, which is why I went with the standard Concero. Again, a lot of people on Head-Fi overlook system synergy for wanting the best all the time.

 

True - sorry if I wasn't clear enough about that. 

 

Personally I find the HD superior in enough areas where I think most folks would prefer it. But, I can also see how the increased resolution and detail retrieval would tip some systems over the edge into "overly analytical" territory. So original Concero is still definitely worthy of a recommendation. 

post #1802 of 1873
But i dont feel the hd is so analytical
I think is very musical lacking a bit of bass indeed
Speaking as a dac
As a converter add musicality and soundstage/tridimensionality to my conductor
post #1803 of 1873
Thread Starter 

I'm not saying Concero HD is analytical by itself.... just that it could contribute to that sort of feeling if a system was already on the cold side. It's definitely not warm and lush, but generally neutral overall.

 

Still, paired with HD800 and say an Apex Peak/Volcano, it might not be as welcome as a thicker, more meaty DAC, if that was your preference. 

post #1804 of 1873

Did a silly little experiment today using the AP2 as a converter on the Concero's digital input. I used my MBA and MBP to play the same song using identical software and then used the Apple remote to do A/B comparisons between the two inputs which I could switch on the fly. I couldn't discern any differences in sound between the USB and SPDIF inputs. The USB implementation on the Concero is definitely top notch!

post #1805 of 1873

Recieved my Concero today. Sounds really nice. Although i can't do an AB comparison to my Audinst Hud-Mx1 i have the feeling the Concero is cleaner. Its like on the concero i listen to a new record and on the Audinst the same record doesn't sound so clean like an older recording.

I dunno it's the feeling i get.

I hope i will notice burn in on the Concero (and i don't want to start a burn-in debate) He's running a good hour till now.

Thank god i'm not a reviewer, makes me realize what splendid job Project86 is doing :P

The Beatles white album definitely sounding nice through this unit.


Edited by amigastar - 7/11/14 at 8:45am
post #1806 of 1873

I got one question though, when i have the upsample filter enabled in the concero should i also use a resampler in foobar who resamples to 44100? I suppose not, am i right?


Edited by amigastar - 7/11/14 at 10:39am
post #1807 of 1873
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post
 

I got one question though, when i have the upsample filter enabled in the concero should i also use a resampler in foobar who resamples to 44100? I suppose not, am i right?

 

The Concero automatically upsamples 44.1 and 48KHz source material. If you play 88.2 and 96KHz or higher material the Concero will automatically disable the upsampling filters. You will see it by the status of the LEDs. If its blue its not upsampling, if its purple the filters are enabled.

post #1808 of 1873

Got it. So no resampling from foobars side.

Oh yeah and the usb drivers that came with the dac. I tried them but they crashed in foobar after some time. Maybe its my PC idk.

 

Got a question, when i turn off my PC the Concero's led still is on, is there a trick to turn off the concero also, or is it okay he's in standby mode?


Edited by amigastar - 7/12/14 at 5:20am
post #1809 of 1873
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post
 

Got it. So no resampling from foobars side.

Oh yeah and the usb drivers that came with the dac. I tried them but they crashed in foobar after some time. Maybe its my PC idk.

 

Got a question, when i turn off my PC the Concero's led still is on, is there a trick to turn off the concero also, or is it okay he's in standby mode?

 

Which output plugin are you using with Foobar? Using Wasapi here and stability has generally been pretty good. Have you tried other music players? See if you can get a trial of JRiver and see whether you get the same issues.

 

My Concero also remains on, probably the computer that keeps on powering the USB lines in standby. Find it more problematic with my notebooks as it drains the battery.

post #1810 of 1873

Hey daerron,

 

it only crashed (hung up) with the RUSB Asio drivers (i think these are the resonessence asio drivers). With Wasapi i also have no problems at all (foobar).

 

yeah the led is on, so i disconnected the usb for the night, but i think it's save to leave it connected, it's just strange the front led is still on when computer is turned off.

post #1811 of 1873
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post
 

it's just strange the front led is still on when computer is turned off.

Not unusual for a lot of motherboards. Mine stays on too. If it really bugs you, and you have switch on your actual power supply (back of computer), you can turn it off there after powering down normally. Or caveman it and unplug the cord if your PSU doesn't have an external switch.

post #1812 of 1873
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
 

I'm not saying Concero HD is analytical by itself.... just that it could contribute to that sort of feeling if a system was already on the cold side. It's definitely not warm and lush, but generally neutral overall.

 

Still, paired with HD800 and say an Apex Peak/Volcano, it might not be as welcome as a thicker, more meaty DAC, if that was your preference. 

 

For my tastes, if we're talking about the DAC section, having never heard the Concero HD, I would very much agree with your having written this about the Concero, instead of the Concero HD.

 

There are warmer DACs out there that work better with the HD800 when using a neutral amp. The Concero sounds better with something like the LCD-2 and a neutral amp (or with the HD800 and a warm amp).

 

Mike

post #1813 of 1873

A little bit offtopic but i'm thinking of buying this device:

http://www.mfspdesigns.com/en/all-products/switch-box/switch-box-psb2-1

Do you guys think it's reliable to use this switch box?

Does anyone of you use such device?

post #1814 of 1873
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 


 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Hey daerron,

 

I'm having no difficulty seeing your post as an absolutely sincere and credible testimony of your personal observations - your veracity is unquestioned, in my mind - but man, this has got to be one of the most amazing posts I've ever read in terms of its ability to elicit a "How can that be?" reaction.  :D

 

It helps that I'm in the camp that believes jitter, or the lack of jitter, can do incredible things to the sound, all the while delivering a stream of 1's and 0's, and I "know," from personal experience, that USB cables can make a difference, believing it's because of the impact they can have on jitter, but I've never really worked out just exactly what the scope of impact is for jitter. Reading your post, if jitter is the variable in question, it can impact a lot of traits that I wouldn't think possible. Clarity, yes, but sound stage, for example, is a difficult trait for which to imagine an explanation.

 

Still, I have to reiterate, I respect and appreciate your observations. I use the Concero exclusively as an S/PDIF source, even though I consider it to be the best ESS9023 DAC available - way better than three other ESS9023 DACs I've spent a lot of time with.  It doesn't even sound like an ESS9023 DAC - like the other three - but I have other DACs that I prefer to the Concero (including the ESS9018-equipped Oppo HA-1, and for a warmer sound, the Wolfson-based Beresford Bushmaster MkII (with which I use the Concero for Coaxial input), and for an even warmer sound - which has become my "cure" for the HD800 - the PCM1792A Line Out of the still bug-laden FiiO X5 DAP.  

 

 

 

Some people have written, in this thread, that there are better USB-to-S/PDIF converters out there than the Concero, including the AP2. Having previously talked about, but having never done any comparisons myself, it's great to read that (for some types of music) you prefer the Concero to the AP2, in that role, but I had never imagined that it could add "a touch of musicality and a little bit mid bass and the expense of outright clarity."

 

Now, I'm thinking I should just get on with my previous thoughts of buying a "cheap" USB-to-S/PDIF converter, such as the 96kHz-capable HiFiMeDIY Sabre U2...

 

 

... but then I'd be comparing an optical cable to a coaxial cable, as well. To stick with Coaxial output, I could spend a little more money and go with the 96-kHz-capable Teralink X2, instead.

 


 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

I would be approaching the Concero comparison from the low side, instead of from above, as you did, but that might reveal even greater differences than what you've discerned with the AP2.

 

I've had the Teralink X1/X2 PSU for several months now (pictured below), and have found it to be a very, very clean-sounding power supply, providing 5VDC at 1A output (or an user-adjustable 9VDC, via a different jack - the brass screw head seen in the photo atop a little blue box allows the user to adjust the voltage at the barrel jack - up to 9VDC - but I have no audio gear that can make use of this feature.)  The Teralink PSU works very well with the Concero, but I prefer battery power, as a rule. You might want to give it a try with your Concero, given that your AP2 PSU apparently doesn't provide enough current. It includes a very nice USB Power/Data splitter cable, that substitutes some very expensive alternative cables out there for segregating USB power from data:

 

 

 

 

OK, I just ordered the Teralink X2 USB-to-S/PDIF converter. "Estimated delivery Thursday, July 24 - Wednesday, Aug. 27"   Ouch! - I guess it's a long way from Taipei, Taiwan to Texas!   :D

 

Let's hope it helps me to appreciate something I've been taking for granted with the Concero. Otherwise, the Concero will go up for sale (as I don't have any PCM files at rates higher than 96kHz and I'm not really interested in paying for higher rates.)  

 

May the better-sounding USB-to-S/PDIF converter win, regardless of price, build quality, chicness, and cosmetic appeal!  :wink:

 

Mike

 

The TeraLink X2 arrived two days ago - much sooner than expected.  After about 10 hours of A/B testing into both my OPPO HA-1 Coaxial input and my Beresford Bushmaster MkII Coaxial input - with these DACs feeding the HA-1 amp section's analog inputs and going balanced out to my HD800, I've concluded that the $75 TeraLink X2 sounds every bit as good as the $599 Resonessence Concero as a USB-to-S/PDIF converter. If anything, the TeraLink X2 actually has a smidgen more detail and separation in the treble, but I must be imagining this, perhaps only because I want the underdog to win.  In any case, the $75 TeraLink is certainly not any worse than the Concero, as a USB-to-S/PDIF converter, using its Coaxial output.

 

And just to bolster my own sense of credibility, if not others' confidence in my findings, I'll add that I am surprised to discover that both the Concero and the TeraLink X2 are equally good at outperforming the OPPO HA-1's own USB receiver - which is ever so slightly diffuse (smoother and less detailed) in the treble, relative to these outboard USB receivers.  

 

As a disclaimer, let me add that I'm still using an OPPO HA-1 prototype - I don't have the released version, yet.

 

The point I'm making here, is simply that I can't hear any significant difference between the TeraLink X2 and the Concero as S/PDIF converter, even though I can hear them both outperforming the HA-1's USB receiver - splitting hairs, using an HD800, and the HA-1's excellent amp section, with selected sections of good recordings.  In the end, I'd be happy with any of the three USB receivers. 

 

Mike

 

Update:  For both the Teralink X2 and the Concero, 5V power was provided by the excellent Teradak PSU via their USB Y-cable.  Only data was pulled from the laptop's USB port - using a Moon Audio Blue Dragon USB cable (which come to think of it, cost me more than the Teralink X2).  I haven't tested it and it might not be fair to say this, but I seriously doubt  the Teralink X2 could do as good a job of power management from a USB port as the Concero does - that's one of the Concero's greatest strengths.


Edited by zilch0md - 7/16/14 at 10:00pm
post #1815 of 1873
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigastar View Post

A little bit offtopic but i'm thinking of buying this device:
http://www.mfspdesigns.com/en/all-products/switch-box/switch-box-psb2-1
Do you guys think it's reliable to use this switch box?
Does anyone of you use such device?

I've never used that switchbox, but if you can find one, I love my FiiO HS2 4-way switchbox, no longer produced.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/659603/introduction-about-hs2-headphone-signal-switcher

Ended sales:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/716467/fiio-hs2

http://www.ebay.ph/itm/FiiO-HS2-Headphone-Switcher-Selector-Box-Four-Inputs-Two-Outputs-/360831635751
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