Originally Posted by judmarc
Be careful with terms. Upsampling has become a term associated with DACs that did asynchronous sample rate conversion as an earlier and less effective means of reducing jitter than asynchronous USB input.
But almost all DACs on the market, including all those you've named, do sample rate conversion/interpolation before the actual D/A conversion (decimation) to avoid producing audible distortion in the decimation step. The design of the filters used in the interpolation and decimation play a very large role in the sound of each DAC (or software player, if you use the player's sample rate conversion/interpolation).
Yes, I suppose I should clarify. What I should have said is that when I've tried software upsampling like ones in JRiver and Foobar, I've always preferred it without. With the Concero however, I prefer the upsampling filters engaged, though they only work with 44.1k and 48k source material. They are 4x upsampling for the given base frequency. I know that every Sigma-Delta DAC has to use some type of filtering even at to filter out digital noise artifacts of the conversion process, but different manufacturers approach this differently.
And I also realize that some DACs, like the Musical Fidelity V-DAC always upsample, in the V-DACs case to 192khz for every sample rate. I won't pretend that I'm an expert in this though, I just know that I prefer the Resonessence filters to most I've heard, though I think Wadia's upsampling/filtering scheme is pretty decent too and shares a similar natural quality. And yes, I'm beginning to think a big chunk of the sound quality is in fact in the clocking and filters, not to say that good output stages and power supplies don't help of course.
Originally Posted by Uberzone
Schiit Modi work good? You see the difference without him and with him? I think there may not be as broad and clear bass scene
The Modi is good for it's $99 price point but I feel the Concero is noticeably better sounding, less fatiguing, more natural, spacious, etc. Which is impressive since they're both rather simple USB powered DACs.