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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 24  

post #346 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

Would love to see the TEAC UD-501 in the review mix.


No proposals for additions will be considered unless there is also a proposal for a deletion, with convincing arguments for both the addition and the subtraction laid out in coherent, if not colorful and entertaining, language (preferably English).

 

Sorry,

 

G

post #347 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yfei View Post


Can't agree more. The point is to push each DAC to its best, and find the one with the best sound quality.
Android/iPhone compatibility is not really relevant to sound quality.
And anyone who have these DACs can do their own test and report compatibility in this thread or other thread.


If I do it at all, phone testing will be done on a "time available" basis using my current phone without rooting or otherwise modifying it.  I'll invest the $1 or so in the cable.  If I can't make the phone work with the current software/firmware load, I'll investigate the add-on app on Google Play, but no commitments. 

 

Honestly, chances are good I'll need at least an hour or two break from straight up DAC testing sometime over the 3 weeks (food and potty breaks excepted), so if it isn't that big a deal to run these phone tests I'll do it.  We're talking plugging the cable from the phone into the USB cable already attached to each dac, playing a song on the phone and seeing if music comes out the other end.  If it turns out to be more of a hassle than that, I won't do it.

 

Sound like a plan?

post #348 of 1331

subbing to this thread..anxious for some results already lol

post #349 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 


If I do it at all, phone testing will be done on a "time available" basis using my current phone without rooting or otherwise modifying it.  I'll invest the $1 or so in the cable.  If I can't make the phone work with the current software/firmware load, I'll investigate the add-on app on Google Play, but no commitments. 

 

Honestly, chances are good I'll need at least an hour or two break from straight up DAC testing sometime over the 3 weeks (food and potty breaks excepted), so if it isn't that big a deal to run these phone tests I'll do it.  We're talking plugging the cable from the phone into the USB cable already attached to each dac, playing a song on the phone and seeing if music comes out the other end.  If it turns out to be more of a hassle than that, I won't do it.

 

Sound like a plan?

 

Sounds like a plan! Some of us would sure value some USB OTG testing. I like that you’re up front about what you will and won’t do. And, I think the technical details you laid out are correct. 

 

I’d add, suggest some preliminary reports, once you have a few DACs, as to how your Atrix is handling. I'd also add, get the Universal Audio Recorder Pro [UARP] software. If the phone just won't see any DACs at all then the Atria is the cause. UARP will most likely fix that.

post #350 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

Honestly I think we shouldn't add unnecessary load to Gary's busy schedule.
Smartphones can be a pain in the *s* to have them do things that they're not supposed to (USB Audio). Also this can be done by different people at different time/place.
The point here is that we have one set of ears listen to many DACs on the same setup, for a fair comparison. This should be the focus.

+1 

post #351 of 1331

I don't really understand the opposition to USB OTG. Here is a thread with 3500 posts that say that phones are in fact supposed to do USB OTG. http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs There are 2+ of us here who want the testing, and 3+ who don't. Its Gary's time and if he chooses and offers to throw us an hour or two of his time, is it so vital to interfere with that?

post #352 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post


If I do it at all, phone testing will be done on a "time available" basis using my current phone without rooting or otherwise modifying it.  I'll invest the $1 or so in the cable.  If I can't make the phone work with the current software/firmware load, I'll investigate the add-on app on Google Play, but no commitments. 

 

Honestly, chances are good I'll need at least an hour or two break from straight up DAC testing sometime over the 3 weeks (food and potty breaks excepted), so if it isn't that big a deal to run these phone tests I'll do it.  We're talking plugging the cable from the phone into the USB cable already attached to each dac, playing a song on the phone and seeing if music comes out the other end.  If it turns out to be more of a hassle than that, I won't do it.

 

Sound like a plan?

 

Plug & Play, if every USB audio-required component is functional.

 

Required software

As far as I know, the Motorola Atrix HD doesn’t have a native USB audio feature.

The USB Audio Recorder PRO app, available on Google Play store, includes a USB audio soft driver.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.extreamsd.usbaudiorecorderpro

 

 

 

The USB audio soft driver will interface with the USB host driver of the Atrix HD to drive a USB DAC.

The USB host driver of the Atrix HD should be able to transmit isochronous packets to USB DAC.

 

 

Required hardware

To work with an Android device, which is a legacy USB peripheral, a USB OTG cable adapter (i.e. pin 4 connected to pin 5 micro USB plug to standard A receptacle cable adapter) is needed.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=USB%20OTG%20cable%20adapter%20

A USB OTG cable adapter switches the USB OTG capable Android device like the Motorola Atrix HD to USB host mode:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/2700#post_9645839

 

Motorola Atrix HD using USB Audio Recorder PRO > USB audio out >> USB OTG cable adapter + regular USB cable provided by the USB DAC manufacturer >> USB DAC >> amp >> headphones

 

In order to be sure that the USB OTG cable adapter is functional (i.e. the pin 4 of the USB OTG cable adapter is connected to its pin 5, so that the Atrix HD is configured to USB host mode able to interwork with a USB peripheral like a USB DAC), let’s test it with a simple USB peripheral like a USB mouse:

 

Motorola Atrix HD >> USB OTG cable adapter >> USB mouse

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDN7goN-ASI

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

 

As in you guys would all pitch in to buy me a new unlocked phone?  :evil:

 

Cheapo Android tablet (i.e. $39.99) & USB audio :
http://www.microcenter.com/product/423567/A700_Tablet_-_Grey

 

Azpen A700 with USB Audio Recorder PRO > USB audio out >> USB OTG cable >> ODAC >> Neco V3 amp >> Mad Dog headphones

 

 


Edited by DanBa - 12/4/13 at 8:51pm
post #353 of 1331

Gary I think the point of the DanBa's post is not that its complicated, but that it's safe as milk, and him or I or others can help you make it a simple process (which it in fact should be) that only takes a couple hours net or max. Just want to show the exact details.

 

DanBa thank you for that post. You are correct that the Atrix HD is not on your list. I did find this video but I'm not sure we can take it to the bank. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDN7goN-ASI

 

DanBa, what is on your list is the $39 A700 tablet. I would send one to Gary but it says "pick up in store only". There are 2 Microcenters in MD. Gary PM me and I can paypal you. Or, if this supplier doesn't work out, we'll get you something. Maybe even something nicer. DanBa, anything else on your list is cheap?

post #354 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post
 

I don't really understand the opposition to USB OTG. Here is a thread with 3500 posts that say that phones are in fact supposed to do USB OTG. http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs There are 2+ of us here who want the testing, and 3+ who don't. Its Gary's time and if he chooses and offers to throw us an hour or two of his time, is it so vital to interfere with that?

 

The point is that it will most likely be more that just "an hour or two of his time" here.

I've been through that USB audio thing a couple of time already (on my Nexus 7) and I know that it takes much more than an hour or two to really get into the matter, especially when things don't work the first time.

 

I'm not saying that it shouldn't be done at all. I'm saying that this can be done later by more people with more time available. Here, the opportunity is to have one fellow head-fier actually listen to many DAC on the same setup, with the same ears and in a good environment for a fair comparison.

This is a precious experience that won't happen that often (well, I'm sure Gary will send me all the DACs after he test then. Right Gary? :biggrin:) and I don't like the idea of adding tasks that really won't benefit from this unique opportunity.

 

Again, that's Gary's decision in the end. If he has time to do it, of course I won't interfere. But anything extra we ask him might interfere with the core idea behind this experience (which is limited in time).

 

Edit: by the way, I can help with that particular subject too. I have the Nexus 7 (first gen) and a Nexus 5 here.

If you can refer me to an up-to-date guide - or tell me what you want me to try - I would be more than happy to help filling out the compatibility sheet :beerchug:.

I have:

- Fostex HP-A3 (Tenor 7022L - that didn't work on my kernel-modded N7 last time I tried = 1 year ago).

- Cinuas DAC & Converter (Amanero 384)

- Audio-gd SA-1 or 2 (USB-32)

- Chord QuteHD (proprietary solution that requires drivers on Mac so I suspect it won't work on Linux)

I don't have any XMOS anymore.

 

Last year, the only thing I could get to work with my modded Nexus 7 (don't remember the modded kernel that enables USB Audio) was the iBasso D-ZERO which is based on a UAC1 TI USB DAC (PCM2706).

The Fostex wouldn't work, even when powered externally by a hub...


Edited by Clemmaster - 12/4/13 at 9:44pm
post #355 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Folks:

 

The cable is $1.50 or so, the software has a free trial (I don't know how long it lasts, but I probably only need a few days).  I will pick up a cable, and try downloading the software.  As long as it isn't carrying viruses that will brick my phone, it's no big deal.  One day in late December when I'm fried with having listened critically for subtle differences between DACs and then trying to invent words to describe those differences, I will download the software, attach the cable to the phone and a DAC and try to play a song.  If it works, fine, if not, fine too.  I'll try a few more as well... if none work, I'll give up.  If some or all work, I'll end up testing all of them, since I'll know the phone setup works. 

 

The total time per DAC is going to be 5 minutes or less, since I will simply be pulling the USB cable from the computer, plugging it into the OTG cable, and hitting the play button on whatever DAC is live.  Then I'll move to the next one.  I won't actually have to touch the individual DACs, just pull their USB cable from the computer and turn the dial on the 5-input RCA switch to the correct DAC.  So I don't think it will interfere with the other testing.  If it starts to, I won't do it any more.

 

By the way, I did an initial test of the Niles 5-input switch yesterday.  I heard no difference between using it and using a direct connection between DAC and amp, at least on the first input.  I'll try the others over the weekend, and try it with 5 DACs hooked up once I get 5 DACs here...  If I get the same result, I will definitely use this switch.  Again, the fewer times I have to pull and rearrange cables the less chance of screwing up and possibly damaging hardware that isn't mine.  The little switch box could end up saving me a lot of time and money -- and aggravation.

 

And thanks again to all of the guys sending me their hardware.  I might curse all of you when my brain is melting sometime around Xmas day from having listened to too many DACs, but I really do appreciate the fact that you folks are willing to trust me with this gear.

post #356 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

Edit: by the way, I can help with that particular subject too. I have the Nexus 7 (first gen) and a Nexus 5 here.

If you can refer me to an up-to-date guide - or tell me what you want me to try - I would be more than happy to help filling out the compatibility sheet :beerchug:.

I have:

- Fostex HP-A3 (Tenor 7022L - that didn't work on my kernel-modded N7 last time I tried = 1 year ago).

- Cinuas DAC & Converter (Amanero 384)

- Audio-gd SA-1 or 2 (USB-32)

- Chord QuteHD (proprietary solution that requires drivers on Mac so I suspect it won't work on Linux)

I don't have any XMOS anymore.

 

Last year, the only thing I could get to work with my modded Nexus 7 (don't remember the modded kernel that enables USB Audio) was the iBasso D-ZERO which is based on a UAC1 TI USB DAC (PCM2706).

The Fostex wouldn't work, even when powered externally by a hub...

 

Clem, for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7(2012) just try downloading USB Audio Recorder Pro [UAPR] software from the Google Play store on your device. More info and help in the other thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/3510. Actually it already lists reports of those working... but only when using UARP. UARP is the simplest way to get started. Getting into rooting and installing custom kernels has advantages, but let's not get into that. The Audio-gd stuff, particularly when it uses USB-32, seems to be a long shot.

 

Here is the software. $6.71 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.extreamsd.usbaudiorecorderpro&hl=en The author eXtream is active on head-fi. There is a free trial version if you install the .apk they list. They are working on a PLAYER focussed app called UAPP btw. 


Edited by Toe Tag - 12/4/13 at 11:37pm
post #357 of 1331

I would like to add that to my ears, using Galaxy S3 / Note3 + ODAC + Neco V3 amp + Mad Dog headphones, the USB Audio Recorder PRO (UARP) app is my preferred playback music player for 16/44.1 music as well as for high resolution music, because it can output a very clean natural sound.

I am not alone.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/2475#post_9511388

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/1185#post_8989408

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/2475#post_9513867

 

I have also Neutron and Poweramp music players.

 

I used to use USB Audio Recorder PRO in shuffle playback mode all night long while reading ebook or letting screen timeout to save battery.

USB Audio Recorder PRO is also my preferred interface user-friendly music player because it is a part of my daily routine.

 

To my ears, USB Audio Recorder PRO is the 1st audiophile playback music player for Android OS, in the same class of audiophile playback music player for Mac OS X like Audirvana.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/players/4.html

 

 

 

 

I am wondering if the awesome sound quality of USB Audio Recorder PRO is due to its unique Android architecture: it is directly interfacing to the USB host driver.

post #358 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post
 

Gary I think the point of the DanBa's post is not that its complicated, but that it's safe as milk, and him or I or others can help you make it a simple process (which it in fact should be) that only takes a couple hours net or max. Just want to show the exact details.

 

DanBa thank you for that post. You are correct that the Atrix HD is not on your list. I did find this video but I'm not sure we can take it to the bank. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDN7goN-ASI

 

DanBa, what is on your list is the $39 A700 tablet. I would send one to Gary but it says "pick up in store only". There are 2 Microcenters in MD. Gary PM me and I can paypal you. Or, if this supplier doesn't work out, we'll get you something. Maybe even something nicer. DanBa, anything else on your list is cheap?

 

Besides cheap Android tablets, there are cheap Android mini PC on the Android compatibility list:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/3585#post_10034039

 

An Android mini PC is basically an Android tablet without screen.

It can be connected to a PC monitor or a TV set via its HDMI port.

It can be connected to USB keyboard & mouse via USB ports, or Bluetooth keyboard & mouse via Bluetooth.

 

A cheapo Android mini PC: MK808 from $29.99

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR11.TRC1.A0.Xmk808&_nkw=mk808&_sacat=0&_from=R40

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=MK808

 

 

 

 

 

 

MK808 Android mini PC & native USB audio:

 

music files stored on USB hard drive > XBMC player running on MK808 Android mini PC > USB audio out >> Topping TP30 USB DAC/amp >> Tannoy Mercury V1 speakers (or headphones)

 

The system is remote-controlled by a XBMC Remote app running on a smartphone.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/3315#post_9922875

 

 

 

music files stored on UPnP TwonkyMedia server >> LAN >> MK808 Android mini PC: native eHome Media Center app / UPnP media renderer > USB audio out >> USB OTG cable adapter >> HifiMeDiy Sabre Tiny DAC

 

The UPnP system is controlled by the UPnPlay UPnP controller running on an Android phone.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/2505#post_9528413

 

 

 

Simple, low cost, HiFi network music streaming device: MK808 + ODAC

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/3135#post_9821157

 

music files stored on Squeezebox server >> network >> SqueezePlayer running on MK808 Android mini PC > USB audio out >> powered USB hub >> ODAC >> amp >> headphones or speakers

 

post #359 of 1331

Wow--just stumbled onto this thread.  What a great crazy project--good thing, no one is trying to complicate it. :beyersmile:  I'd love to stop by and help.  I can bring my LCD-Xs--not sure if anything else is needed.

post #360 of 1331

Personally I think things are starting to become farcical, a DAC comparison is one thing and what we all need.  Asking if it can hook up to a tablet or phone in a plug and play method is not the reviewers job, that is down to the person BUYING to check for themselves.  I want to get a comparison of sound quality and functionality of features, not whether it works on a iPhone 5 or Sasung Galaxy Tablet.   

 

There are already 10-12 DAC's to be compared and if each is only going to get a 5-10 minute listen then its worthless.  Each DAC should be compared to every other, and with a variety of musical styles with a STANDARD playback speaker or headphone with a set playlist.  

 

The more factors you add the to equation the more diluted the results.  This should either be a serious comparison/review or be titled "How one person chose to spend his money on D/A conversion" and it should NOT be up to us to lay down demands.  A USB DAC comparison should not include what sends the data down the USB cable, if its not plug and play compliant then thats down to the buyer to research IMO.

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