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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 59  

post #871 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post
 

Gary, can you try setting JRiver to encode everything to DSD and see how that sounds with the Yulong vs regular PCM?  I'm curious if that puts it above the indistinguishables.

 

I had the PureDAC for a couple of weeks, and it was great.  Mine had a faulty USB port, I think, because it had lots of issues getting connected without several reboots and re-plugs.  The built-in amp is adequate.  Not as dynamic as Mjolnir, and not as great in the bass region, but worked well enough with my LCD-X.  I'd love to hear what you think of it vs the Yulong.

Interested to see Gary's test on Yulong DA8   (JRiver to encode everything to DSD and see how that sounds with the Yulong vs regular PCM)

I did a test with JRiver's on-the-fly PCM to DSD conversion, feeding Hilo.    My finding is that the sound changed, especially in high freq region,    lost some clarity, and becomes not as 'sharp' as original PCM.  With Hilo I prefer original PCM.

 

 

Glad to know that DA8's excellent DSD playback, looks like a killer,   and consistent with other reviews (Project86, ...).      

post #872 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

Thanks guys!

 

Hey Gary, check this out...

 

  Quoting project86's review of the DA8:

 

Mike


Mike:

 

I would do that if I could find the button.  Yeah, I'm an idiot, but I can't find any button on the front that disables the volume control/headphone jack.  I haven't looked on the back, but why would they put it there?

post #873 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

 

Next, I intend to put the Metrum in the mix to see if the Yulong with the slow filter really does sound like the Metrum.  Then I need to decide which of these DACs will stay here.  The finalists, in no particular order, are the DM Source, the Yulong, the Metrum, the Emo Stealth and the Ciunas. 

Well, looks like I was spot on with your finalists, except i didn't include the Ciunas. Now my speculation will be that Gary will definitely prefer the DA8 because it offers that "metrum change", along with "the indistinguishable" flavor. Plus, the HP amp is great, plays DSD, and has multiple settings. I think that will be his winner!

:popcorn:

post #874 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 


Mike:

 

I would do that if I could find the button.  Yeah, I'm an idiot, but I can't find any button on the front that disables the volume control/headphone jack.  I haven't looked on the back, but why would they put it there?

Push/Press the volume knob, and it will disable itself, going into "pure DAC" mode.

post #875 of 1331

So what's really being compared is the Yulong's native hardware-based DSD decoding vs the JRiver software DSD decoding. Since the DA-8 is an "Indistinguishable" for the 99% of digital files most of us have, the difference between the $500 Emotiva and the $1300 DA-8 is a lot of money. Schiit sells the Loki DSD box for $149--I wonder if it's "indistinguishable" from the DA-8 DSD decoding? Comparing hardware-based DSD decoding is a whole different comparison, no? 

post #876 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Well, looks like I was spot on with your finalists, except i didn't include the Ciunas. Now my speculation will be that Gary will definitely prefer the DA8 because it offers that "metrum change", along with "the indistinguishable" flavor. Plus, the HP amp is great, plays DSD, and has multiple settings. I think that will be his winner!

:popcorn:

 

He said the DA8 amp is lean and bright. I didn't feel his comment was all favorable compared to the DS.

 

The Metrum offers a fatigue free listen with thick mids and extended highs. I'm yet to get such a easy flowing sound from any other DAC (and by now I tried many of them).

 

I just ordered the Stealth DC-1. Don't ask me why. I'm just weak and silly (and curious).

post #877 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
 

So what's really being compared is the Yulong's native hardware-based DSD decoding vs the JRiver software DSD decoding. Since the DA-8 is an "Indistinguishable" for the 99% of digital files most of us have, the difference between the $500 Emotiva and the $1300 DA-8 is a lot of money. Schiit sells the Loki DSD box for $149--I wonder if it's "indistinguishable" from the DA-8 DSD decoding? Comparing hardware-based DSD decoding is a whole different comparison, no? 

Not exactly, and the difference is not just academic.

 

Yulong is decoding DSD to analog; JRiver is transcoding DSD to PCM, sending that to the DAC, and the DAC is decoding that to analog.

 

The Emotiva cannot decode DSD.  So, while you're correct that it's not a fair comparison, the difference is more than just a lot of money.  I have about 350GB of DSD files... they sound pretty good with the PureDAC handling the DSD, and less good when I convert them to PCM and play them on the CEntrance DACport or the Schiit Gungnir.  Yeah, still not a fair comparison, but there's something to DSD.

post #878 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

He said the DA8 amp is lean and bright. I didn't feel his comment was all favorable compared to the DS.

 

The Metrum offers a fatigue free listen with thick mids and extended highs. I'm yet to get such a easy flowing sound from any other DAC (and by now I tried many of them).

 

I just ordered the Stealth DC-1. Don't ask me why. I'm just weak and silly (and curious).

The way i read it was that was with the 'sharp' filter, and it lined up with the DS amp on the 'slow' filter. The DA8 on 'slow' is definitely a fatigue-free listen as well.

post #879 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post
 

Not exactly, and the difference is not just academic.

 

Yulong is decoding DSD to analog; JRiver is transcoding DSD to PCM, sending that to the DAC, and the DAC is decoding that to analog.

 

The Emotiva cannot decode DSD.  So, while you're correct that it's not a fair comparison, the difference is more than just a lot of money.  I have about 350GB of DSD files... they sound pretty good with the PureDAC handling the DSD, and less good when I convert them to PCM and play them on the CEntrance DACport or the Schiit Gungnir.  Yeah, still not a fair comparison, but there's something to DSD.


My point is, a better comparison is the Emotiva (or DM or...) + Loki vs the DA8.  $500+$149=$649 vs. $1300  The Loki is not transcoding to PCM.

post #880 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post
 

Not exactly, and the difference is not just academic.

 

Yulong is decoding DSD to analog; JRiver is transcoding DSD to PCM, sending that to the DAC, and the DAC is decoding that to analog.

 

The Emotiva cannot decode DSD.  So, while you're correct that it's not a fair comparison, the difference is more than just a lot of money.  I have about 350GB of DSD files... they sound pretty good with the PureDAC handling the DSD, and less good when I convert them to PCM and play them on the CEntrance DACport or the Schiit Gungnir.  Yeah, still not a fair comparison, but there's something to DSD.

In addition, you are essentially "married" to the Loki's I/O, and it uses USB for power too. Ugh...

post #881 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
 


My point is, a better comparison is the Emotiva (or DM or...) + Loki vs the DA8.  $500+$149=$649 vs. $1300  The Loki is not transcoding to PCM.

Actually, it is.

 

from http://www.audiostream.com/content/schiit-audio-loki-dsd-dedicated-dac:

Quote:
 The AKM4396 is a multi-bit delta-sigma DAC capable of handling PCM so your DSD data gets converted somewhere in that chip to multi-bit data.
post #882 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

In addition, you are essentially "married" to the Loki's I/O, and it uses USB for power too. Ugh...


Which would both be moot points if the Loki sounds identical to the DA8 DSD.  $650 buys a lot of DSD albums.

post #883 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post
 

Actually, it is.

 

from http://www.audiostream.com/content/schiit-audio-loki-dsd-dedicated-dac:


It's all armchair speculation without a direct comparison. Maybe the Loki is no better than the JRiver at DSD decoding, but it's equally likely it sounds the same as the DA-8 DSD decoding. Has anyone done a level-matched fast-switched comparison of the two?

post #884 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
 


Which would both be moot points if the Loki sounds identical to the DA8 DSD.  $650 buys a lot of DSD albums.

Send one my way and I'll review/inspect for you. Heck, I'll even throw in a full spectrum analysis of the Loki vs. DA8 playing back DSD. :D 

post #885 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post

Actually, it is.

from http://www.audiostream.com/content/schiit-audio-loki-dsd-dedicated-dac:

That's not even close to the same thing though. Basically every delta sigma chip out there is multibit at this point. I'm not sure anyone still uses actual 1 bit modulators now. The Sabre inside the DA8 is doing the same thing. And just because it's being converted to multibit doesn't mean it's being converted to PCM.

He meant that it wasn't being converted to PCM before being sent down the USB cable to the dac.
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