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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 68  

post #1006 of 1331

What many of you may not know is that Yulong had a top 'o the line W4S DAC-2SE in house and used that as his reference. Except he one-upped it by having better specs all around. The DA8 is one of the best measuring DACs in the world. How was he able to achieve this? One look at his background experience and a peek inside his design lab will tell you why. That man knows digital, and his increasing reputation is well-deserved.


Edited by brunk - 1/3/14 at 10:47pm
post #1007 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

What many of you may not know is that Yulong had a top 'o the line W4S DAC-2SE in house and used that as his reference. Except he one-upped it by having better specs all around. The DA8 is one of the best measuring DACs in the world. How was he able to achieve this? One look at his background experience and a peek inside his design lab will tell you why. That man knows digital, and his increasing reputation is well-deserved.

 

I agree, this guy does not sleep!  He is apparently working on the D200, an ESS 9016, 32/384k, DSD, XMOS.

 

http://erji.net/read.php?tid=1519645

 

Too bad this project isn't finished, probably would have been a great unit to review here.

post #1008 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by KetchupNinja View Post
 
 

I agree, this guy does not sleep!  He is apparently working on the D200, an ESS 9016, 32/384k, DSD, XMOS.

 

http://erji.net/read.php?tid=1519645

 

Too bad this project isn't finished, probably would have been a great unit to review here.

To join "Indistinguishable" group? 

 

 

Note to self, never use LCD-3 and Odyssey Cyclops for any serious audio gear evaluation. :smile:

post #1009 of 1331

Can't say for sure, I'd assume it would be somewhat similar to at least the Emotiva Stealth.  All this talk about the DA8 though is making my hands closer to the "order" button!

post #1010 of 1331

I can hear differences with every single one of my dacs ranging from $100 to $3300 using my HD800. Pretty hard to fathom a good number of dacs happen to sound identical  at any price point, assuming two things:

 

1.) An ultra revealing tranducer and amp (i.e. not Audeze)

2.) A trained ear.

 

Something is amiss.

 

Good effort though, albeit sure to mislead quite a few here I'd imagine. People-do your research, and listen for yourself. FWIW most of my dacs sound 'indistinguishable' through a Corda Rock//HD650.  :ph34r:

 

-Daniel

post #1011 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

 

...HD800...

 

Good idea!!!!!!

;)

post #1012 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

I can hear differences with every single one of my dacs ranging from $100 to $3300 using my HD800. Pretty hard to fathom a good number of dacs happen to sound identical  at any price point, assuming two things:

 

1.) An ultra revealing tranducer and amp (i.e. not Audeze)

2.) A trained ear.

 

Something is amiss.

 

Good effort though, albeit sure to mislead quite a few here I'd imagine. People-do your research, and listen for yourself. FWIW most of my dacs sound 'indistinguishable' through a Corda Rock//HD650.  :ph34r:

 

-Daniel

That's phony bologna. While yes, the HD800 is one of the most resolving headphones 'round, the LCD-3 is very much

capable of picking up differences, even still with little strain.

 

Your second point is more valid than anything else. Folks, a $5k DAC isn't 25x better than a $200 DAC.

There's a reason why it's called diminished returns, we're all just neurotics endlessly chasing for 'even better' sound.

 

Lastly, these are Gary's finding, one person, who's not you. As Daniel said listen for yourself.

post #1013 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

 

Or just follow the spec sheets for the dacs and amps, then spend all the money and brain magic on the power supply.

 

Sorry, but by that definition, why not follow the spec sheets for the power supply design too!  

 

You're a nice guy, I do like you and enjoy reading your posts, and value your opinion.

But this one is so far from reality that it makes me squirm.   :o


Edited by Chris J - 1/4/14 at 8:37am
post #1014 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonix View Post


I think designing a good anything requires the extra something. Whether analog or digital. In fact I wonder how many Dac designers have an equal competence on the analog output side....

 

I agree 1000%!

 

I'm sure you are correct, many DAC designers (or Digital Signal Processing gear designers) will not have equal competence in Analog and in Power Supply design.

 

To design a State of the Art DAC (e.g. the Emotiva or the PureDAC, etc) will often require a team of experts.

post #1015 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 
That's phony bologna. While yes, the HD800 is one of the most resolving headphones 'round, the LCD-3 is very much

capable of picking up differences, even still with little strain.

 

Your second point is more valid than anything else. Folks, a $5k DAC isn't 25x better than a $200 DAC.

There's a reason why it's called diminished returns, we're all just neurotics endlessly chasing for 'even better' sound.

 

Lastly, these are Gary's finding, one person, who's not you. As Daniel said listen for yourself.

But takes even more "trained ears". I know mine were not that good when trying using Audeze for any sort of evaluation, everything sounded lush, warm, liquid and relaxing. HD800 on the other hand was like merciless magnifying glass.

Fully agree that these findings are misleading and everyone should listen for yourself.

I for instance had not difficulties picking the difference between Stello DA100, Burson Conductor, Chord DAC64, Yulong DA8, and AURALiC Vega.

But I was "cheating" using HD800 and Headamp GS-1 (Dynalo+)

post #1016 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemir View Post
 

   I have to say the lack of difference makes me wonder.  Not about Gary's methodology but the DACs themselves.

 

    If you think about the companies who make the DAC chips (I mean Burr Brown, Cirrus Logic, Sabre, etc), they all have some sort of reference design on their web site. You can buy their chip, glue on capacitors and resistors and a power supply and such and have a working box that turns digital into analog based on the reference design. (Anyone who knows more about electronics than I do feel free to correct that assumption if I am wrong, but they have "application notes" that show a presumably working implementation.).

 

    So if you can get a DAC from Schiit for $99, they have to be "cutting some corners" to meet that price point.  Not that makes it bad in any way, but that it means they had to choose the parts carefully to hit that price point.  You would think that as the prices go up, that the reference design starts to get maybe better grade components, more hmmm what if we changed this capacitor to a different value, better noise filtering on the power supply, that sort of thing. Less reference design and more innovation. For example, the NAD 51 uses "Pulse Width Modulation" and Chord uses a FPGA and doesn't even use traditional DAC on a chip.

 

Sorry, I'm not trying to start a fight here...............

 

I'm an Electrical Engineer.

I worked as an Analog Signal Processing Designer for about a year.

The application notes don't always work as shown.

You have to know what you are doing to wring 100% out of the whole system design.

Never, ever underestimate this!

PCB design

power supply design

analog stage design

control design

etc.

 

This is not personal, but some of the comments I see posted WRT to DAC system design make me cringe.

post #1017 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 

 

Sorry, but by that definition, why not follow the spec sheets for the power supply design too!

 

I was just being snarky. In general though, I find people do not give enough credence to the importance of a good power supply.

post #1018 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

But takes even more "trained ears". I know mine were not that good when trying using Audeze for any sort of evaluation, everything sounded lush, warm, liquid and relaxing. HD800 on the other hand was like merciless magnifying glass.

Fully agree that these findings are misleading and everyone should listen for yourself.

I for instance had not difficulties picking the difference between Stello DA100, Burson Conductor, Chord DAC64, Yulong DA8, and AURALiC Vega.

But I was "cheating" using HD800 and Headamp GS-1 (Dynalo+)

The point was the LCD-3 is capable.

 

I'd rather not have Gary use the higher resolving HD800, in which he's unfamiliar with anyways. But the argument seemed to be the LCD-3 just doesn't cut it,

which is plain nonsense.

 

Plus, really, Gary performed a purely subjective comparison. Tons of people will be pissed that his ears aren't trained, he didn't ABX, that he has bias, etc.

Gary finds most/all DACs sound the same, cool, not gonna schiit on him for it. Though I do disagree.

post #1019 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

 

I was just being snarky. In general though, I find people do not give enough credence to the importance of a good power supply.

 

My apologies!

I missed the sarcasm!

 

I do agree with you 1,000 %

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER SUPPLY DESIGN!

post #1020 of 1331

I think some people here are upset over Gary's findings for some reason. Atleast he level-matched and used the same gear throughout (or mentioned changes), and not solicit thoughts on the sound from others and form a 'general' opinion. Go read the other DAC comparo if you want that... Give Gary a break, he stated his process very well. Besides, he's obviously enjoying his music very much now thanks to a much better DAC.

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