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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff) - Page 15  

post #211 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

The really special advantage of the OR5 is the i2s output, which even other good USB converters such as the Berkeley Alpha USB, do not possess. The OR5 i2s is seriously another level better than the coax I've heard from other USB converters. For i2s, I use a CAT6 cable, short length, terminated myself.

 

 

Crazy that i2s seems to make such a substantial difference.  I wonder where something like this would fall in the pecking order: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CM6631-192KHZ-32bit-USB-to-Fiber-Coaxial-USB-2-0-SPDIF-I2S-Convertor-For-DAC-/181179016827?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item2a2f1c667b

post #212 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
 

 

Crazy that i2s seems to make such a substantial difference.  I wonder where something like this would fall in the pecking order: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CM6631-192KHZ-32bit-USB-to-Fiber-Coaxial-USB-2-0-SPDIF-I2S-Convertor-For-DAC-/181179016827?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item2a2f1c667b

Feed it a 5v linear regulated supply and see what happens, but do take note the center pin is (-)

post #213 of 6360
What crazy cable connector is that? I need a 5 pin something to HDMI connector. There were a couple others that has RJ-45 instead. I didn't see cables for either.
post #214 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2man View Post

What crazy cable connector is that? I need a 5 pin something to HDMI connector. There were a couple others that has RJ-45 instead. I didn't see cables for either.

It looks like a form of DIN connector. It actually looks very similar to the connector of my iron to the solder station lol. It would be best to ask the seller where to find the female counterpart. I wouldn't be surprised if they have it for sale too.

post #215 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
 

 

Crazy that i2s seems to make such a substantial difference.  I wonder where something like this would fall in the pecking order: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CM6631-192KHZ-32bit-USB-to-Fiber-Coaxial-USB-2-0-SPDIF-I2S-Convertor-For-DAC-/181179016827?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item2a2f1c667b

 

i2s physically splits the lines into a bit clock, L/R clock, multiplexed L/R data, and a maybe a master clock. i2s is how DACs operate internally. Splitting this information into separate physical lines helps keep jitter to a minimum. i2s also avoids an extra SPDIF to i2s conversion step. The downside is that because i2s is supposed to be internally used, there is no standard for interconnects.

 

As for that ebay unit, doubtful that will sound good. The CM6631 is not a good sounding USB receiver chip. Not to mention that low noise, low impedance power supplies and very high quality crystal oscillators. These things usually up to more than $55.59 with free shipping.


Edited by purrin - 1/7/14 at 10:53am
post #216 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

Thanks for the tips.

 

I've already got a special USB cable. The DAC is currently at a friend's place and we've have to try those settings out.

 

Hi Purrin!

I love to know which USB-cable/s you have used with the Master 7. I for one have heard some real difference between the Starlight 7 and an AQ forest in my system (I don’t have the master 7, but thinking about maybe get one). The forest was simply gray, flat and rolled off in the treble compared to the starlight.  

post #217 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Tone and presentation between the X-Sabre and Concero are nearly identical. We thought the X-Sabre was a bit more resolving and just a touch more extension on both ends. The main differences between the units are the balanced connections and ability to DSD/DXD. The new Concero HD does DSD now too but it is also more expensive than the original. Now I will say DSD and DXD are not really selling points, but it is a difference. I would say build quality is similar as well, with the edge to the X-Sabre.

If you like this sound, buy a Concero if you don't need balanced, buy a X-Sabre if you do. The $500 difference doesn't show up in sound. These DACs are like twins with different clothes on.

X-Sabre vs. Concero isn't exactly apples to apples. X-Sabre has 9018 + AC power. Concero has 9023 and USB power. At $600 I find Concero to be an insanely good value (note that I have zero seat time with Bifrost USB 2).
post #218 of 6360
Yes, that is true on the USB power. It slipped my mind because both myself and Nick Dangerous don't need USB power, and just plug into the wall.

Regarding the chips, it doesn't matter too much, the DACs do sound very similar.
post #219 of 6360
From my small experience dac chip vas nothing to do with the sound.
Below a link which is saying the same

http://www.headfonia.com/what-ive-learned-from-the-dac-comparisons/
post #220 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocolinho View Post

From my small experience dac chip vas nothing to do with the sound.
Below a link which is saying the same

http://www.headfonia.com/what-ive-learned-from-the-dac-comparisons/

John Darko says pretty much the same which also reflects my limited experience.

Quote:
I think it bears repeating here: Sabre-chipped DACs rarely sound the same because they invariably use different power supplies, output stages, clocking methods etc etc etc. As my exposure to DACs grows I am increasingly confident that there is no ESS Sabre ‘house sound’. Nor AKM sound. Nor Burr-Brown sound. Nor Wolfson sound. /rant.
post #221 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocolinho View Post

From my small experience dac chip vas nothing to do with the sound.
Below a link which is saying the same

http://www.headfonia.com/what-ive-learned-from-the-dac-comparisons/

 

Sorry, Headfonia's experience with six low-end DACs and 400 word conjecture doesn't qualify.

 

Try getting involving with building and modifiying DACs, messing with different power supplies, using different DAC chips, different digital receivers, hearing different builds, successed improved builds, etc. Every part of the DAC contributes to final the sound. The DAC chip is the heart of it. That's what a designer usually picks first (or least a few candidates) and then builds around. The power supplies, digital receivers, filters, buffers, clocks, I/V conversion, analog stage, analog filters, etc. usually come afterward.

 

The DAC chip has a lot of do with the sound. It's neither nothing nor everything.

 

For example, all the SABRE based DACs in the list sound different. They are not indistinguishable. This is why the various SABRE DACs are not all ranked the same - they are ranked from very good to not so good. Yet, these SABRE DACs also share certain kinds of sonic peculiarities. The Gungnir, DCX2496, and a modded DCX2496 I have use different AKM DAC chips. They all sound different and are not indistinguishable. Yet all of these AKM based DACs (the chips in question have certain design commonalities) share certain kinds of sonic straits - which are actually very different from those of the SABRE based DACs.

 

Think of (John Elway and Peyton Manning) as one kind of chip; (Joe Montana and Fran Tarkenton) as another; and (Steve Young, Colin Kapernick, and Tim Tebow) as another kind. There's no guarantee that the use of a certain DAC chip will yield good results.


Edited by purrin - 1/8/14 at 1:50pm
post #222 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocolinho View Post

From my small experience dac chip vas nothing to do with the sound.
 

I can only suggest  get more experience.

 

Ayre changed over from BB/TI DAC to ESS Sabre in their QB9 fairly recently and reported a not inconsiderable step up in SQ. They have a discrete output stage so presumably that was never a limiting factor.

post #223 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapientiam View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocolinho View Post

From my small experience dac chip vas nothing to do with the sound.
 

I can only suggest  get more experience.

 

Ayre changed over from BB/TI DAC to ESS Sabre in their QB9 fairly recently and reported a not inconsiderable step up in SQ. They have a discrete output stage so presumably that was never a limiting factor.

The chip as any component is a contributing but hardly the deciding to the final result factor. I've owned three DACs based on the same ESS chip and they all sounded vastly different from each other. You should always look at the system as a whole.


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 1/8/14 at 6:57pm
post #224 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapientiam View Post
 

I can only suggest  get more experience.

 

Ayre changed over from BB/TI DAC to ESS Sabre in their QB9 fairly recently and reported a not inconsiderable step up in SQ. They have a discrete output stage so presumably that was never a limiting factor.

Ayre did believe the ESS Saber to improve SQ with the QB9 DSD.  But there were other substantial changes in addition to the switch to the Saber - including an upgraded power supply, an upgraded output stage, upgraded clocks, and switching to AC supplied power for the USB circuitry.  So there was more behind the SQ improvements than just the chip change.

post #225 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

i2s physically splits the lines into a bit clock, L/R clock, multiplexed L/R data, and a maybe a master clock. i2s is how DACs operate internally. Splitting this information into separate physical lines helps keep jitter to a minimum. i2s also avoids an extra SPDIF to i2s conversion step. The downside is that because i2s is supposed to be internally used, there is no standard for interconnects.

 

As for that ebay unit, doubtful that will sound good. The CM6631 is not a good sounding USB receiver chip. Not to mention that low noise, low impedance power supplies and very high quality crystal oscillators. These things usually up to more than $55.59 with free shipping.

 

Thanks for the nice explanation of i2s purrin!  No doubt there are some budget components in that ebay converter, but I thought the cm6331/6331a were actually supposed to be pretty decent, although not quite competitive with the amanero boards or well executed xmos solutions?  Isn't the 6331 exactly what schiit is using in the gen 2 usb you like (see http://schiit.com/drivers/)?  I'm pretty sure Emo uses the same in the stealth.  To be clear, I've never heard a cm6331 in action, but there seem to be a fair number of folks on diyaudio who like the $50 units, setting aside driver issues.  Since it has a dc in, some just build separate regulated psu's or battery packs like brunk suggested.  Even without that though, the only measurements I've seen posted look decent: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2013/03/measurements-adaptive-aune-x1.html

 

I almost bought one out of curiosity but ended up receiving one of these over the holidays instead: http://www.ebay.com/itm/XMOS-Asynchronous-USB-to-Coaxial-Optical-converter-24Bit192K-with-PSU-Weiliang-/141026791919?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:US:3160.  Built like a tank and sounds quite good in my setup (feeding a keces 131 -> mainline -> hd800s).  Definitely a nice step forward from my old blue circle unit, but admittedly, I've never compared it side by side with anything remotely high end.  

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