Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Ranking of 21 DACs and DAC Configurations (and why chocolate ice cream must die)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ranking of 21 DACs and DAC Configurations (and why chocolate ice cream must die) - Page 25

post #361 of 1002
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 
 
  1. The Vega DAC seems to handle 24/176.4, DSD64, or DSD128 better than 24/44.1, at least to my ears. But even then, it was too close to say anything for certain. DSD and PCM differences if there are any, are just too small. DAC differences, while subtle, are still much easier for me to distinguish.

Good stuff, Marv, what filter mode did you use? 

For scientific purposes like this should have been 1, it's the flattest, and the same for all sample rates, the others have more treble attenuation effect at 44.1K, that can probably explain .

Also in DSD filters just cut off ultrasonics, so the effect is completely different than PCM filters.

 

I honestly did not hear any difference comparing DXD with DSD sample downloads from 2NL, but classical is not the best material for this task.

 

What I've found interesting in particular that your tests showed 44.1 upsampled to DSD sound same as PCM 176.4.:confused:

 

And speaking of filters, for PCM and for good recordings I think Mode 2 is the best, it's like slightly sweetened Mode 1, still relatively flat but with very little treble roll-off.

 

BTW, did you find upsampled in software material sounding in general better with Vega, I think by the way filters are designed that should be the case, haven't played with that myself, yet.

post #362 of 1002
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by One and a half View Post
 

Impressive test... of how JRMC works. 

Fail to see the point of the conversions, when the first test (#1) suffices. 

 

That DSD is no better a format than hires PCM of even 24/44.1.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One and a half View Post

 

Piano is not the easiest music to reproduce, it appears that there are deficiencies in your playback chain/room, that makes this recording for you non-challenging, and certainly not enjoyable, which is a classic case of expectation bias.

 

Piano is difficult to reproduce in the sense that flat frequency response, especially from the low bass to the mids (upper mids) is crucial. Its' very obvious when certain notes are not louder than others on systems with poor frequency response. This is not an issue on the system used above. Piano also as a tendency to waver in terms of stereo image according to note. This was also not an issue. Considering how the piano was mic'd, that would probably not be the case regardless of system. Also Yamina's piano playing is rather flat and lacks power (typical playing style from an audiophile  jazzy chick playing piano). Combined with the how the recording was EQ'd, I wouldn't consider this recording a system stresser or one that helps differentiate equipment. As I've said, it's one of those recordings that tends to sound homogeneously good on all systems.

post #363 of 1002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

 

What I've found interesting in particular that your tests showed 44.1 upsampled to DSD sound same as PCM 176.4.:confused:

I think what it showed is that DSD downsampled to 176.4 and to 44.1 sounds the same.  Further evidence, I think, that the source it what matters.  Maybe all this hype about 44.1 being the limit of human hearing has some validity.

post #364 of 1002
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

 

I honestly did not hear any difference comparing DXD with DSD sample downloads from 2NL, but classical is not the best material for this task.

 

What I've found interesting in particular that your tests showed 44.1 upsampled to DSD sound same as PCM 176.4.:confused:

 

I expected to find DSD better sounding than PCM 176.4 fed PCM, but did not. This surprised me a bit.

 

DXD, a format developed so that DSD can be more easily edited, is basically 352.8 PCM ironically. I guess they could have called it 2xPCM176 or PCM352, but that doesn't sound as cool as DXD. And DXD sounds like DSD, so it must be gud.

 

I have a good number of SACDs and DSD material. Will try more tests.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

 

And speaking of filters, for PCM and for good recordings I think Mode 2 is the best, it's like slightly sweetened Mode 1, still relatively flat but with very little treble roll-off.

 

BTW, did you find upsampled in software material sounding in general better with Vega, I think by the way filters are designed that should be the case, haven't played with that myself, yet.

 

I prefer filter 1 all the way even with PCM. I don't want to lose any of the good even if there is some bad. If I get the chance, I'll try 88.2 as well. But in general, I did find upsampling to 176.4 and 352.8 (DXD) to sound better with the Vega. I would probably just leave the JRMC19 settings to real-time convert everything I was playing to DSD to maximize the SQ of the Vega.

post #365 of 1002
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post
 

I think what it showed is that DSD downsampled to 176.4 and to 44.1 sounds the same.  Further evidence, I think, that the source it what matters.  Maybe all this hype about 44.1 being the limit of human hearing has some validity.

 

Note that I was using 24/44.1 not standard Red Book which is 16/44.1.

 

I was getting tired last night, but I did feel that reducing bit depth down to 16 bits actually makes a difference. The 16-bit file, when even up-converted back to hires PCM of DSD, had a tendency to sound grainy or more pointed. But again the differences were so small that I can't say for sure. 

post #366 of 1002

How long until you can add the Yulong DA-8 to your list?

post #367 of 1002

However quickly it gets done, it will never be quick enough for schneller.

post #368 of 1002
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

Excellent! 

 

Have you tried converting to 174 PCM from DSD - similar to #1, but instead of "downsampling" to 44.1, you are converting to 174. I will be posting my own results soon with the Vega as the DAC.

 

Did the DSD live convert to 174 PCM test yesterday.   I can't hear differences.

In my last post, those differences are very hard to spot.  I can only hear the difference at certain time on a certain day,   and with great effort.     And my phone Senn 580, is not good for this kind of tests.

post #369 of 1002
What surprised me is that starting with less data (44.1) and just converting it to DSD the result sounded same or close to high res PCM (176.4), not upsampled.
Edited by Andrew_WOT - 1/21/14 at 11:11am
post #370 of 1002
Thread Starter 

LOL, that one was slightly surprising to me.

 

I didn't think the DSD128 "decimated" to 44.1 and reconverted back to DSD128 would sound exactly the same as the original DSD128. I couldn't distinguish between them in sighted tests. I couldn't distinguish between them in single blind tests either (conducted by my wife this morning). 

post #371 of 1002
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post

PCM = good, DSD = meh.  What you think you hear is just expectation bias.

how's that? smily_headphones1.gif

If what I think I hear is just expectation bias, then PCM and DSD sound the same? wink.gif
post #372 of 1002
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Note that I was using 24/44.1 not standard Red Book which is 16/44.1.

 

I was getting tired last night, but I did feel that reducing bit depth down to 16 bits actually makes a difference. The 16-bit file, when even up-converted back to hires PCM of DSD, had a tendency to sound grainy or more pointed. But again the differences were so small that I can't say for sure. 

Yeah, I went back and saw that after I replied.  Ah well, the quest continues.

post #373 of 1002

Well I sold my DAC1 and went for the X-sabre. Thank you Purrin for answering and helping me, I feel that the Matrix will suit my tastes better then the Gungnir :)

 

Speaking about that, it seems like the Matrix X-sabre got a lot of high grades in another place, but in this thread it got a pretty low ranking. Is that a preference thing? Or is it that you guys weight some attributes more? Like continousness of sound and micro dynamics over blackness or Plankton. Thinking mostly X-sabre vs gungnir now, but seeing the Bifrost ranked over it made me a bit confused.

 

Edit: If it's a strictly a preference thing then I understand :)


Edited by BleaK - 1/22/14 at 5:03am
post #374 of 1002
Thread Starter 

It's a preference thing and why we've been as descriptive as possible about the sound of these DACs without resorting to writing twenty eight paragraphs; twenty one of which are dedicated to regurgitating meaningless specs and marketing doodoo, and five dedicated to the un-boxing process and smell of new gear.

 

The other place you are referring to compared X-Sabre, PWD2, Gungnir Gen 1 USB, and Invicta. Since the time that of comparison, the Gungnir has improved (along with the Bifrost); and we've heard more stuff which fits in-between. Note how the Invicta took a massive nosedive (to something we don't like.)

 

Less technically strong DACs than the X-Sabre were rated higher because they did little wrong (rather than excelling in any areas.) All three and a half ninjas (one is a part timer) are to varying extents allergic to the SABRE chip's rendering of treble (two of us have big vinyl collections.) One person I know (not a ninja) threw his X-Sabre out the window because of these treble issues. Many people have no problem at all with the X-Sabre's mid-high treble rendering (I don't think it's that bad.) Many moderns DACs sound like this, so in that sense, the X-Sabre isn't atypical.

 

Also, #14 is good and should not be considered low ranking. Anything in the "Good Stuff" section or above is good and something I personally would consider owning and listening to.


Edited by purrin - 1/22/14 at 8:41am
post #375 of 1002
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

How long until you can add the Yulong DA-8 to your list?

 

It would have to be whenever someone sends it to me. I have no interest in obtaining yet another middle tier Chinese made SABRE DAC. There's too much more interesting stuff at better prices, e.g. Emotiva, which interests me at the moment.


Edited by purrin - 1/22/14 at 8:46am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Ranking of 21 DACs and DAC Configurations (and why chocolate ice cream must die)