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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 73  

post #1081 of 1331
Thread Starter 

I'll get to it, probably later today, maybe tomorrow... But I can tell you that none of the indistinguishables sounded any more musical or anymore anything than any of the others.

post #1082 of 1331

The dacs in this thread were picked because the manufacturers offered a good return policy on them. If anyone wants to test out the dacs for their own setup, which I highly recommend, they can just do so without losing much money. I went for the schiit gungnir based off of Purrin's recommendation, and I also went for the emotiva dc-1 based on Gary's findings as well as emotiva's sale & return policy. 

 

Don't agree with the findings? Test it out yourself. With your own setup.

post #1083 of 1331
Excellent, looking forward to it smily_headphones1.gif
post #1084 of 1331

Emo still showing $499 pricing on the  DC-1, FYI.

post #1085 of 1331

I got really tempted to trade the irDAC for an Emo or DSource DAC!

post #1086 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatheelmusic View Post
 

Emo still showing $499 pricing on the  DC-1, FYI.

 

Probably because of this thread.  :D

post #1087 of 1331
Here's the post that makes the Yulong DA8 very appealing to me - with Gary's observation that it can be made to sound like one of the Indistinguishables or like the Metrum Octave II, plus Gary's excitement over the DSD sound quality.  Even for someone not interested in DSD, the ability to dramatically change the sound to suit your tastes is precious. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Alrighty there humans, here's the scoop on the Yulong vs. Metrum.

 

With the sharp filter on the Yulong, and the volume knocked down 1.5dB on the DAC (I decided to do it there instead of in JRiver... I somehow just trust Yulong to do less, if any, damage), there is an audible, and I believe significant, difference between the Yulong and the Metrum playing FLAC files.  It is the same difference I heard between the Metrum and the other Indistinguishables -- the Metrum has more mid-range energy, more sustain, sounds warmer, more fluid, and brighter at the same time.  Those who prefer faster, flatter sound will likely prefer the Yulong in this setting.  Those pining for a more analog/vinyl sound will probably prefer the Metrum.

 

I then changed the Yulong filter to slow, re-set the Yulong volume level to -1.0dB, (which yields a close-but-not-perfect match... grumble) and guess what???... The Yulong now sounds almost identical to the Metrum.  The Metrum still has a tiny bit more energy than the Yulong in part of the mid-range, but most of the time, and in most of the spectrum, the two are now pretty much indistinguishable, or at least close enough that the difference is not meaningful in regular listening (as opposed to what I've been doing for 3 weeks, which is NOT normal, even for an abnormal person like me). 

 

The difference can be heard in the volume of some voices, particularly female voices: the Metrum seems just a tiny bit louder, which might actually be the 0.1-0.2dB difference in volume that I can't match out with 0.5dB steps.  Or it could be in the equalization profile of the two.  But I think it is volume, not grain, or etch, or any other quality measure.  The quality of the voices sounds the same to me.  Consonants like "s"s and "t"s sound the same, just sometimes a tiny bit louder with the Metrum (I did the slight delay setup in JRiver again, where I could listen to a word (or other sound) with the Yulong, switch, and immediately hear the same word (sound) on the Metrum).  Instruments all sound the same on both DACs to me playing FLAC files.

 

In my view, any difference that I can only hear sometimes in certain parts of certain songs while doing level-matched A/B tests is not meaningful, even if it is primarily in voices, which are very important to me.  Again, I believe there is a material/meaningful difference between the filters, but each of them aligns the Yulong with one of the major groupings of DACs in this test -- the sharp filter puts it in the Indistinguishables group, and the slow filter puts it with the Metrum.  In effect, you get two DACs for the price of one, with two different headphone amps thrown in as well, since the filters really have a large impact on the headphone amp's sound.  Given that (depending on Grant/Shenzen's sale price of the moment) the Yulong with upgraded power cord is ~$300-400 cheaper than the Metrum, which is a DAC only, that makes it a bargain. 

 

And then throw in the real kicker.  Ohhhhhh that DSD sound... The Metrum can't touch it.  The other DSD DACs might be able to, but they are all significantly more expensive.  The Chordette is $1800, $500-600 more than the Yulong, and is only a DAC.  The Benchmark is great, and I have really taken advantage of its pre-amp capabilities over the past couple of days, but it is $2,000, and I don't need a pre-amp that badly.  (Note:  the Yulong is not a real pre-amp to me -- no analog inputs, no analog volume control). 

 

If I decide I really need a pre-amp, I'll have Brunk or Potterma build me one of those LED ones... I bet I could bargain one of them down to less than the $700-800 price difference between the Yulong and the Benchmark.  If not, I'll just do a pre-amp comparison test next year...

 

(NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 

Mike

post #1088 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post
 

The dacs in this thread were picked because the manufacturers offered a good return policy on them. If anyone wants to test out the dacs for their own setup, which I highly recommend, they can just do so without losing much money. I went for the schiit gungnir based off of Purrin's recommendation, and I also went for the emotiva dc-1 based on Gary's findings as well as emotiva's sale & return policy. 

 

Don't agree with the findings? Test it out yourself. With your own setup.

 

How soon can you post your Schiit vs. Emo findings?

 

Did you order your Schiit with the Uber Analog and Gen2 USB options?

post #1089 of 1331

My problem with the Yulong...

 

1) Made in China. (I like that the Schiit is made in USA!)

2) Post-Sale support? How established is the brand? What about drivers going forward? Customer service? Warranty?

3) Price. Again, this has to do with the distance. Spending $1300 through a distributor...hmmm...

 

By comparison, Schiit and Emo seem...very tangible down the road.

post #1090 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

 

How soon can you post your Schiit vs. Emo findings?

 

Did you order your Schiit with the Uber Analog and Gen2 USB options?


I've had my gungnir for about 3.5 weeks now already, with usb gen 2. The dc-1 will arrive at my house in a few hours. I'd need to give the dc-1 some adequate burn-in time before I do any real comparisons. I can talk about how it sounds right out of the box later today though.

post #1091 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post
 


I've had my gungnir for about 3.5 weeks now already, with usb gen 2. The dc-1 will arrive at my house in a few hours. I'd need to give the dc-1 some adequate burn-in time before I do any real comparisons. I can talk about how it sounds right out of the box later today though.

 

Cool. Thanks.

 

Have you heard the DA8 by chance?

post #1092 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

 

Cool. Thanks.

 

Have you heard the DA8 by chance?


I have not.

post #1093 of 1331

Gunner, I too will be looking forward to your impressions of the DC-1 Vs. the Gungnir.

 

I have the DC-1 and find it to be extremely neutral  and "polite" sounding. I mean that in a good way too. Never fatiguing, and it doesn't over emphasize anything in a way that sounds offensive to my ears, even for long listening sessions.  Detail retrieval is excellent IMO, as is delineation and separation of sounds. It doesn't strain when the source material becomes "busy" sounding, and there is a nice "air" around everything, delivering a relaxed sound that I find quite enjoyable.

 

I have never had the opportunity to listen to any Schiit gear, but had seriously considered the Gungnir before buying the Emo. The DC-1 has a great feature set, and with the sale price, I HAD to bite. Still though, I think it would be an interesting comparison all the same. :) 

post #1094 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post
 


I've had my gungnir for about 3.5 weeks now already, with usb gen 2. The dc-1 will arrive at my house in a few hours. I'd need to give the dc-1 some adequate burn-in time before I do any real comparisons. I can talk about how it sounds right out of the box later today though.


Just an operational hint--the DC-1 and Gungnir appear to use the same Windows driver.  If you have a Windows machine, try running the DC-1 without installing any additional drivers.

post #1095 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
 


Just an operational hint--the DC-1 and Gungnir appear to use the same Windows driver.  If you have a Windows machine, try running the DC-1 without installing any additional drivers.


Yep, I did notice that the two use the same USB chip. The dc-1 should be here within an hour or two... I hope. 

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