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The Stax Thread III - Page 161

post #2401 of 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View Post

Well, the question is difficult to answer on a forum like this. For instance, I can say that in my view point, all DAC's including any modern computer line out are virtually indistinguishable from one-another when loaded with the high impedance of an amplifier input stage. I can also point out that double blind tests have been conducted which back up this claim. 


Of course, at the end of the day, you'll still get a barrage of people saying I'm insane, I don't have good enough gear to hear the difference, I'm not listening right, my ears suck, I don't want to hear a difference, etc... And of course, double blind tests are irrelevant.

The prevailing opinion is that indeed DAC's make a huge difference especially with electrostats.

So ultimately, you must make your own decision on what tests you want to do to figure out what will sound good, and how you personally choose to define "sounds better".

X2
Wholeheartedly agree.
post #2402 of 4000

in my opinion, even a cheap 20$ Chinese DAC will be better than using a non digital macbook-out.

One of the reasons is the really bad preamp i discovered in all of my macbookpro´s. It´s noisy and kills a lot of dynamic´s.

I tested those chinese dac´s, a friend brought from Honkong some time ago and they sounded not bad, comparing to my Stello-Signature DAC i used at that time.

post #2403 of 4000

Hi jaycalgary
You heard any None Oversampling DACs? I find they sound much better than Delta-Sigma DACs including most higher resolution files.
It might be worth looking at that. My front end changed a lot (for the better) after I abandoned the over sampling hype / Bull.

Let your ears do the talking.....Redbook can sound amazing.

 

I don't have a whole lot of experience with dac's. I started with a W4S dac2 and wondered if dac's were just bs because something in the highs didn't seem nice at all. Next I went to a Nad M51 and still use and enjoy this dac. Was a big step up as soon as I heard it. I would consider trying a no oversampling dac though I heard they can sound even better. I listen through usb to a laptop though.

post #2404 of 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View Post
 

 

Well, the question is difficult to answer on a forum like this. For instance, I can say that in my view point, all DAC's including any modern computer line out are virtually indistinguishable from one-another when loaded with the high impedance of an amplifier input stage. I can also point out that double blind tests have been conducted which back up this claim. 

Of course, at the end of the day, you'll still get a barrage of people saying I'm insane, I don't have good enough gear to hear the difference, I'm not listening right, my ears suck, I don't want to hear a difference, etc... And of course, double blind tests are irrelevant.

 

The prevailing opinion is that indeed DAC's make a huge difference especially with electrostats.

 

So ultimately, you must make your own decision on what tests you want to do to figure out what will sound good, and how you personally choose to define "sounds better".

I have heard a difference between a Creative XFi card and my current Asus Xonar card on my desktop speakers. I suspect that the Creative XFi drivers didn't EVER really work right under Windows 7/64.  So I think there IS a difference (in some sense) between the DACs in computer sound cards: they have to be working properly to sound good.

 

Also, I've noticed a difference between the Xonar PCI-E  card and the motherboard's built-in embedded D/A sound chipset- the embedded Realtek chipset  has some audible hum  / noise.  I think this is coming from a ground loop, but the Xonar doesn't show it and it is using the same chassis as the motherboards' sound solution so I'm not exactly sure how the loop has been established.  Maybe the issue is just not-quite-as-good power supply decoupling in the analog output stage of the Realtek on-board sound, I dunno.    

 

OK, I know that these AREN'T the kinds of things most people talk about when they talk about DACs sounding better or worse than other DACs... 

 

I have an Audio-GD  "NFB"-series box with an ES9018 in it and it surely sounds a bit brighter than the WM8741- based DACs I've got.  HOWEVER... I fed analog into that Audio-Gd NFB-10es's amp and that sounded a bit bright, too so I think the issue might be with the headphone amp circuit and not the DAC itself.  I've got to do some more testing on this one.

 

DACs DO measure differently- some 44 kHz DACs have a noticeable roll-off in the treble, depends on how their antialias filter is set up. Not sure one could hear this, though.  At least I couldn't-  the rolloff usually starts well above 10 kHz, and being a geezer, I can only hear to about 12~13 kHz or so- a 1.5 dB loss at 20 kHz tapering back to a 0.5 dB loss at 15 kHz  is completely outside the range of my hearing, and this is kind of the worst rolloff I've seen for a stand-alone DAC that made claims to being "high end."

post #2405 of 4000

Thank you Ali-Pasha ,

 

Yes I knew about audiocubes, I was hoping there might be an alternative to the pleather ones (velour?, something that doesn't cause sweaty ears?) - but apparently not.

 

Back on the topic of the SRD7, It arrived this morning :D - but there is a problem.....:eek:

 

Someone had shortened the speaker in cables, so I thought I would open it up and check for any other messing about, as well as any possible clues to whether it might be able to handle 240V (although labelled 100V)

 

On opening I found that 3 resistors on the circuit board are literally snapped in half - in a manner that implies an intentional modification of some sort... here is a pic

 

 

So what do I do now !?! :confused_face_2:

 

I have ordered a 100V step down - so power supply will no longer be an issue - but these apparently cut/snapped resistors have me freaked!

 

Vendor is in Japan, and I am in Australia, so shipping is a killer!

 

The vendor claims that it was working fine as is and that he was not aware of the cut resistors - before I plug in an Earspeaker - I need to know what impact these cut resistors might have, what would happen if I plugged the SRX in, how things would change if I replaced those resistors - and what resistors I should replace them with... etc...

 

Perhaps someone here might even recognise the board and be able to tell me whether in "intact" form it is a multi-voltage version or single voltage - actually any information and educated opinions would be highly valued.

 

Although I am no soldering wizz - I can probably handle replacing those resistors.....

 

help, input, opinions valued!

 

thanks

 

David

 

P.S. here is the unedited picture of the interior of the SRD7:


Edited by dlaloum - 5/19/14 at 5:39am
post #2406 of 4000

The original SRD-7 should be able to handle wall socket 100-240V, works with Zener diodes and resistors. Now perhaps someone modded them to be only good for 100 V, perhaps for some alleged sonic benefits for cutting a locally not needed crap, which you would need now...

 

If you already ordered a transformer, that's your choice, but IMO the item could be considered broken and returned to the seller.

 

Alternatively, you can replace the resistors yourself, measure the ouputs, or bring it to a local TV repair (if such a thing still exists), they can check it.

post #2407 of 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post
 

I have heard a difference between a Creative XFi card and my current Asus Xonar card on my desktop speakers. I suspect that the Creative XFi drivers didn't EVER really work right under Windows 7/64.  So I think there IS a difference (in some sense) between the DACs in computer sound cards: they have to be working properly to sound good.

 

Also, I've noticed a difference between the Xonar PCI-E  card and the motherboard's built-in embedded D/A sound chipset- the embedded Realtek chipset  has some audible hum  / noise.  I think this is coming from a ground loop, but the Xonar doesn't show it and it is using the same chassis as the motherboards' sound solution so I'm not exactly sure how the loop has been established.  Maybe the issue is just not-quite-as-good power supply decoupling in the analog output stage of the Realtek on-board sound, I dunno.    

 

OK, I know that these AREN'T the kinds of things most people talk about when they talk about DACs sounding better or worse than other DACs... 

 

I have an Audio-GD  "NFB"-series box with an ES9018 in it and it surely sounds a bit brighter than the WM8741- based DACs I've got.  HOWEVER... I fed analog into that Audio-Gd NFB-10es's amp and that sounded a bit bright, too so I think the issue might be with the headphone amp circuit and not the DAC itself.  I've got to do some more testing on this one.

 

DACs DO measure differently- some 44 kHz DACs have a noticeable roll-off in the treble, depends on how their antialias filter is set up. Not sure one could hear this, though.  At least I couldn't-  the rolloff usually starts well above 10 kHz, and being a geezer, I can only hear to about 12~13 kHz or so- a 1.5 dB loss at 20 kHz tapering back to a 0.5 dB loss at 15 kHz  is completely outside the range of my hearing, and this is kind of the worst rolloff I've seen for a stand-alone DAC that made claims to being "high end."

 

That is true, I wasn't addressing blatant noise issues, which comes up disturbingly frequently in computers. My comment only applies to working setups. I get noise out of my laptop if plugged into the power supply and connected to an earthed amplifier. So I just don't use that configuration.

 

It is true that rolloffs measure differently, but the differences are basically always inaudible. These days, oversampling lets the filter pass window move so high that it's basically a non issue.


Forgot to mention, people likely can hear difference between a NOS filterless DAC with a lot of amps since a NOS filterless DAC is a mathematically broken design, and you're inducing all sorts of intermodulation distortion in the amplifier by using a DAC like that.

post #2408 of 4000

The cost and hassle of international shipping makes me pause before sending something back (Shipping out of Australia is remarkably expensive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by zolkis View Post
 

The original SRD-7 should be able to handle wall socket 100-240V, works with Zener diodes and resistors. Now perhaps someone modded them to be only good for 100 V, perhaps for some alleged sonic benefits for cutting a locally not needed crap, which you would need now...

 

If you already ordered a transformer, that's your choice, but IMO the item could be considered broken and returned to the seller.

 

Alternatively, you can replace the resistors yourself, measure the ouputs, or bring it to a local TV repair (if such a thing still exists), they can check it.

 

I am considering doing it myself....

post #2409 of 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View Post
 

 

That is true, I wasn't addressing blatant noise issues, which comes up disturbingly frequently in computers. My comment only applies to working setups. I get noise out of my laptop if plugged into the power supply and connected to an earthed amplifier. So I just don't use that configuration.

 

It is true that rolloffs measure differently, but the differences are basically always inaudible. These days, oversampling lets the filter pass window move so high that it's basically a non issue.

 

Yes these modern DAC's do push the filter pass window very high but fundamentally as its a mathematical algorithm that represents the original signal it still introduces errors and other artifacts into the signal that were not there in the original. The argument for pushing it higher is that's its out of audible range and that the rounding errors in the calculations are much lower.  However I believe this still impacts on the timing of the signal and the harmonics which go way above 20khz to which our ears are particularly sensitive.      


Forgot to mention, people likely can hear difference between a NOS filterless DAC with a lot of amps since a NOS filterless DAC is a mathematically broken design, and you're inducing all sorts of intermodulation distortion in the amplifier by using a DAC like that.

 

That be as it may but it sounds great!! Same types of argument have been leveled for years about tube/valve amplifiers too. Although measurement is one part of the equation its also how the device sounds too. 


Edited by complin - 5/19/14 at 8:35am
post #2410 of 4000

Although measurement is one part of the equation its also how the device sounds too. 

 

In the end,sound is the only thing that really matters.

post #2411 of 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe any instrument possesses harmonics that extend beyond 20KHz (nevermind the argument of whether or not humans can perceive it).

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm
post #2412 of 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe any instrument possesses harmonics that extend beyond 20KHz (nevermind the argument of whether or not humans can perceive it).

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm
While this is a good point. Consider something like a dog whistle. Often people can't hear it, but you can feel it in your head when it's blown. So even though it falls to th limits of hearing, the effect can still be acknowledged. Sonance. The non musical noises that give an instrument it's character.
post #2413 of 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post

While this is a good point. Consider something like a dog whistle. Often people can't hear it, but you can feel it in your head when it's blown. So even though it falls to th limits of hearing, the effect can still be acknowledged. Sonance. The non musical noises that give an instrument it's character.

I'm not convinced that would be accurate. There are some dog whistles that go as "low" as 23KHz which might be perceivable to some humans (additionally let's not discount the possibility of "defective" whistles that would go lower). Secondarily there is some perceived sound from the air that actually passes the whistle which is what most humans will hear.

Assuming the musical noise is the fundamental, the non-musical noises would be completely circumscribed within the harmonics (by definition).

Edit: Depending on the accuracy of this paper, my initial premise may have been inaccurate: http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/spectra/spectra.htm
Edited by 3X0 - 5/20/14 at 8:31am
post #2414 of 4000
I agree, and LOVE None Oversampling DACs. I would strongly recommend folk to hear a good one at home before going all scientific on it. There are enough paper out there to kill acres of trees, but the fact is none oversampling does sound great, right, real, organic.

Plus the removal of the filter has the SQ jump again.

There is a great You Tube video of the guy who actually designed the original Delta-Sigma chipset in the 80s.
The video is recent, and he admits that NONE of the electronic guys working at that firm actually listened to the sound!!!!!!!!!
He said they looked at osiloscopes and measurements only. A few years ago they finally hires what he termed Golden Eared Audiophiles,
and they began to develop the next generation chip sets.

I think the term used for the computer processing with Delta-Sigma anopozing filtering? Spelt wrong, but more or less the word. They tried to fill in the steps to the sound wave by upsampling it, then added a filter to stop the 'ringing' or mirror wave 2 or 3 octaves above the music, the downsampled it back. The theory sounds ok, but to my ears and my 20 years of growing hate of CD sound, it got more and more hi-fi less and less real.

None oversampling, try it, you might well fall in love with it!

NOS DACs
47Labs
Audio Note (like these as tubed)
Metrum
post #2415 of 4000
Hi Guys
Can I ask all 009s owners!

I am very worried this morning. I spotted another post by realmassey about the dreaded 009 imbalance issue. He bought his pair only 3 months back from PJ.

I was told by Chester Audio in UK the issue was only the first batch in 2011, and was resolved.
I looked a bit further back, and many guys have had issues in the least 6 months with 009s less than 12 months old.

So, I am in a mess now. I love the 009 sound but can't justify £3500 on a phone that in 13 months 'may' become a paper weight. I am curious to know how widespread the issue is. I also think at this level Stax should give a lifetime warranty on the drivers, like many high end speaker manufacturers do (pending tests for abuse).

And would / does Stax replace a driver / drivers if the issue crops up outside of warranty. I mean, come on Stax the world most expensive headphone can become junk
in 13 months, this is ridiculous....

Can anyone shed some light on this?
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