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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 35  

post #511 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post
 

Hope you get the usb issue sorted Gary. I don't want to influence your findings but on my system there is an audible difference between the M51's usb (integer mode from MBP) and optical inputs.

 

Not sure what the issue could be for you. The M51's been set and forget for me from day 1. I've never had a Windows system connected to it though. 

 

If you have an SPDIF cable around you could use the Concerno as USB converter for the NAD. It would be a not quite accurate view of the NAD, but likely better than stock and perhaps a more accurate view than toslink.

post #512 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

I can certainly hear the difference between Hotel California at 192/24 vs. 44.1/16.  For those that can't, well, I'm sorry for you.

 

Is it from the same master though?

 

and is the dac processing the same way? (different filters at different rates, yadda yadda). You might want to try resampling both ways and see if the differences remain. If it's the same master, then downsampling should make them sound the same. Or something. *shrug*

post #513 of 1331

The Concero is actually meant to be a pretty good USB to S/PDIF convertor ...

post #514 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Tonight's report will be brief, since not much happened today, except I bought a whole bunch of high-resolution music from HD Tracks and Acoustic Sounds (Super HiRez).  All I can say (other than the fact that HD Tracks' website is 1990s slow, but managed to drain my bank account quick enough) is that I can certainly hear the difference between Hotel California at 192/24 vs. 44.1/16.  For those that can't, well, I'm sorry for you.



 



Tonight is the last night I will be burning in the first set of new DACs.  Tomorrow morning or early afternoon I will take the Benchmark, Yulong and Chordette out, and put the Dangerous Source, PWD and Concero in, make sure everything is running, then start testing, first by checking to see if there is any difference with/without the switch, then just listening and taking notes on whichever one volunteers itself.  It won't be the Dangerous Source, as that one will be in the "burn-in-paddock" feeding the ESP-950s for the next 4 days or so.  But it could be any of the others.  If it's the NAD, I'll try to get the USB working right before doing any testing.  But the chances are that I won't want to screw with that the first day (I want to get some testing done already), so some other DAC is likely first up. 


 



Like The Big Lebowski "I f$%&ing hate The Eagles, man!"
post #515 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Hey, everybody has their issues to deal with, I guess that's one of yours :biggrin:...  As with many groups, I really like like some of their stuff, find other songs okay, don't care for some others.

 

In this case, the important thing is that Hotel California is a well-recorded classic rock album, which is what I need for this comparison test. 

post #516 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

 

Is it from the same master though?

 

and is the dac processing the same way? (different filters at different rates, yadda yadda). You might want to try resampling both ways and see if the differences remain. If it's the same master, then downsampling should make them sound the same. Or something. *shrug*


The point of the testing is to hear sonic differences, not make them all sound the same... :wink:.

post #517 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

All I can say (other than the fact that HD Tracks' website is 1990s slow, but managed to drain my bank account quick enough) is that I can certainly hear the difference between Hotel California at 192/24 vs. 44.1/16.  For those that can't, well, I'm sorry for you.

The same tracks output at 24/192 vs 16/44.1 in JRiver, or the HDtracks master compared to another master?

post #518 of 1331
Thread Starter 

HD Tracks master vs. the rip of my CD.  The CD is at least 25 years old.

post #519 of 1331

If it's sourced from a different master, you're comparing more than the bit-depth and sample rate.

You need to keep everything else the same to make a fair comparison.

 

It's more likely that you prefer the (presumably) new master rather than it being due to the bit-depth or sample rate.

Just because the 24/192 files sound better, doesn't mean that being 24/192 is the reason why they do.


Edited by StudioSound - 12/19/13 at 10:03am
post #520 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSound View Post
 

If it's sourced from a different master, you're comparing more than the bit-depth and sample rate.

You need to keep everything else the same to make a fair comparison.

 

It's more likely that you prefer the (presumably) new master rather than it being due to the bit-depth or sample rate.

Just because the 24/192 files sound better, doesn't mean that being 24/192 is the reason why they do.

 

It's really easy for us to be back-seat-drivers in this Greyhound bus that Gary's driving, so I'm reluctant to chime in, but he's a good sport and I have to agree with Studio Sound, here.  

 

The main reason I download anything from HDTracks is to gain access to an improved re-mastering - and as an aside, I personally think 96/24 is sufficient for my ears (vs. 44.1/16).

 

And besides, HDTracks sells a lot of H-Res content that's not really Hi-Res.  :blink:

 

See this thread I started (and compare the first two images).

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 12/19/13 at 10:38am
post #521 of 1331

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 and as an aside, I personally think 96/24 is sufficient for my ears (vs. 44.1/16).

 

 

There are some pretty good arguments that anything above 96k actually degrades sound due to the filtering required which is not a simple matter. And that's not counting potential audible IMD generated from the ultrahigh frequencies.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSound View Post
 

It's more likely that you prefer the (presumably) new master rather than it being due to the bit-depth or sample rate.

Just because the 24/192 files sound better, doesn't mean that being 24/192 is the reason why they do.

 

 

Yep, this is what I meant above.

Anyhow, we digress.

post #522 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I don't really care why something sounds better, it just does, so I'm going to use the high-resolution Hotel CA for the testing, but will also be using some 44/16 stuff.  The point is to compare the DACs against each other, not compare the tracks against each other.  I was simply saying what I heard in this case. 

 

I shall never mention it again in my entire life, lest I start a great conflagration where millions of innocent words might be wasted.

 

Now back to our show.  So far today I have the DM Source up and burning in, plus the PWD Mk II up and running.  I have the NAD running on USB.  I have the Gungnir hooked up to optical (it has no USB) and I get no sound from it, even though I hooked the same optical input and RCA output to the NAD and got sound.  Any Gungnir experts out there who can help, please speak up.  And yes, I have the power connected and the light is on for the optical input, but apparently nobody's home.

 

The Gungnir issue is holding up my installation of the Concero, so I'm going to stop playing with the Gungnir now until somebody can help me get this Schiit working. 

 

Concero here I come...

post #523 of 1331
Thread Starter 

The Concero is up and running... would have been quicker, but neighbors stopped by plus I had to RTFM to get the address for the drivers... it was on p14 no less...but at least they told me where it was further up so I didn't actually have to read that much.  Ugh! 

 

Though to be honest, I might look at the manual anyway.  I'm curious as to how can they write that many instructions for a box that has only one input (not even a power cord input) and no external controls....  But it works in any case, which is a good thing...

 

Now I'm actually about ready to start listening to DACs!

post #524 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Okay, so the Gungnir decided to join the party.  How nice of it!  But the NAD USB crashed again.  Grumble.  I'm thinking it just doesn't like sharing the bus with all the others (very elitist of it), so will test it with only one or two at a time, and only the fanciest ones, in case it's a real snob.

post #525 of 1331

Hi everyone,

 

      I have been watching this thread with great interest because I am interested in a new DAC and Gary seems to have come up with a really good list of candidates.

 

     As they say however, timing is everything.

 

     Sony has announced their DAC/media player, the HAP-Z1ES which seems to have a nice feature set, including the ability to play back DSD.  No idea if DSD is going to catch on at all but it makes me a bit queasy to think of buying a $2,000 DAC and having to toss it if DSD takes off.  These are supposed to be available in Canada mid January but based on a recent trip to my local Sony store, I can't imagine what they have in stock to plug it in to. :(

 

   A couple of days ago, Marantz announced their new SA8005 SACD player.  Now you are probably wondering why I am even mentioning an SACD player.  For $1,200 this one plays CD and SACD of course, is a USB DAC that handles all the expected sampling rates and also will act as a DSD DAC from a PC source.  Since I have a collection of SACD discs, perhaps a more practical solution for me than many others.

 

   I haven't seen either of these, don't work for Marantz or Sony but I thought they might be interesting options.

 

  http://us.marantz.com/us/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=HiFiComponents&SubCatId=0&ProductId=SA8005

 

  http://store.sony.ca/hi-res-music-player-with-1tb-hdd-zid31-HAPZ1ES/cat-31-catid-All-Hi-Res-Audio?_t=pfm%3Dcategory

 

   Just my two cents worth.  I am interested in checking out both of these, and will be watching the results of Gary's testing. :P

 

   I thought Gary's note about using Hotel California for testing was interesting. I have the original CD, the XRCD Hell Freezes Over (very well done) and the HD Tracks set of their studio albums. Lots to play with.

 

   Right now I have a Cambridge DAC Magic+ which I thought was a pretty common box but wasn't even mentioned in shortlisting I don't think.

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