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post #331 of 6360

or ice cream made with soy milk.

post #332 of 6360

Hey Purrin are you able to retest the AGD M7 (USB) with the new USB firmware released on AGD's website? Just curious to see if this improves the DACs USB performance to a significantly higher level such that a transport isn't as required :D

post #333 of 6360
Thread Starter 

LOL, did AGD read my comments (and that of others)? I will definitely upgrade to the new USB firmware and listen to it when I get a chance.

 

UPDATE:

 

  1. Metrum Quad - Good Stuff #16
  2. Schiit Bifrost Uber Gen 2 USB - Good Stuff #10
  3. Audist HUD-MX2 - Class S

 

Regarding the DSD Discussion

How to playback DSD on PCM DACs

 

Those who know me have probably already figured out that I brought the DSD discussion into play as a loaded question or controversial statement to eventually make a specific point.

 

Because DSD is the latest craze being pushed at CES and big industry names, this question often arises: "I want to play DSD, but many of the good DACs you list are not DSD capable." Arguments on whether DSD is an inherently better format will never cease (despite DSD being a mathematically inferior format when the noise floor of associated equipment-i.e. amps, is taken into consideration, and this is even assuming we as humans can hear way way way past 18kHz.)

 

If there is a DAC you like that happens to be DSD capable, by all means go for it. If you prefer the sound of a PCM DAC, but are afraid of what you are missing out on with DSD, DO NOT SIDEGRADE OR DOWNGRADE TO A DSD COMPATIBLE DAC. Instead, you can do something like this (if you use a PC for playback, which I assume is the case for most people here):

 

 

JRiver Media Center will convert DSD to PCM on the fly. The program considers DSD as a format "Greater than 192,000Hz". Selecting the output to 352,800 Hz will convert the DSD to DXD. 176,400Hz will convert the DSD stream to PCM 24/174, etc.

 

JRiver implements a fairly sharp 24db/octave filter at 24kHz for DSD (this is required since the DSD format inherently contains ultrasonic junk via noise shaping techniques which need to be filtered out.) There are other filter options available to play with, but I like the stock setting the best. Turning off the filter actually results with poorer sound quality, at least with my setup.

 

I am sure there are good options for foobar and the various players on the mac.

 

In my experience, the differences between DSD and PCM are not significant compared to these factors:

 

  1. Quality of the audio production process (recording, mixing, mastering, etc.)
  2. Quality of the DAC.

Edited by purrin - 1/17/14 at 4:22pm
post #334 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

LOL, did AGD read my comments (and that of others)? I will definitely upgrade to the new USB firmware and listen to it when I get a chance.

Awesome. One main reason I'm waiting for yggy is the fact that M7 USB isn't great and I would have to wait to save up for a transport - e.g. If you look at the Gungnir the DAC sounds great and the integral USB is great which is hopeful for yggy.
post #335 of 6360
Blessed are the pcm evangelists. Am outta here. Downgrade to a DSD indeed.
post #336 of 6360

Glad you guys got some level of enjoyment from the Quad! I appreciate the comments and insight as always. I think you would find the Hex to be a nice step up and less laid-back, though I'm guessing it still wouldn't ultimately be to your tastes enough to warrant the price tag. Can't speak for the Octave models. Something about the Metrum sound just works really well for my ears, but I do look forward to checking out other DACs in the future. I guess I'm lucky that last bit of resolving ability isn't something I notice so much.

post #337 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by One and a half View Post

Blessed are the pcm evangelists. Am outta here. Downgrade to a DSD indeed.

 

I think you are reading too much into what I am saying. My statement regarding: "not sidegrading or downgrading to a DSD compatible DAC" does not preclude one from upgrading to a DSD compatible DAC.

 

Examples:

 

  1. If someone had a soundcard and wanted a good sounding DAC which happened to be able to play DSD, the Hilo or X-Sabre (both good DSD capable DACs at difference price points) would be good choices to truly upgrade to.
  2. If someone already had a Gungnir (and was happy with the sound of it), but was curious about DSD, or was striken with "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome, I would NOT recommend sidegrading or downgrading to an X-Sabre to Mytek.

 

One the points that I really wanted to get across was that with current PCM to DSD conversion tools or computer audio playback programs, there's no need to cross PCM-only DACs off the list if one wanted to hear DSD material. If one happened to really like the sound of a particular PCM-only DAC, why compromise the sound quality just for the sake of DSD hardware compatibility when DSD to PCM conversions can be done in software?

 

As I've said before, maybe certain DACs handle native DSD "better" than PCM, but such differences are so minute compared to the already subtle differences between DACs and gross differences between different recording masters.

 

What I'm trying to do is the put some sense into people. People are already going goo-goo ga-ga for the Sony PHA-2 because of the "DSD" sticker without any regard for the fact that the headamp section uses the TPA6120 - probably the most un-resolving flattest more boring monotone sounding headamp chip ever made.

 

DSD is not a panacea it's marketed out to be.


Edited by purrin - 1/17/14 at 9:27pm
post #338 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans030390 View Post
 

Glad you guys got some level of enjoyment from the Quad! I appreciate the comments and insight as always. I think you would find the Hex to be a nice step up and less laid-back, though I'm guessing it still wouldn't ultimately be to your tastes enough to warrant the price tag. Can't speak for the Octave models. Something about the Metrum sound just works really well for my ears, but I do look forward to checking out other DACs in the future. I guess I'm lucky that last bit of resolving ability isn't something I notice so much.

 

To be truly happy, I think I've probably have to end up with the Hex and use the OR5 with software resampling turned up to 174 or 192 in JRiver. Kudos to Metrum. I kind of wonder if Metrum tuned the Quad to be so laid back sounding to further differentiate it from the other more expensive DACs in the line.

post #339 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX View Post
 

BournePerfect: What was your source and amp? And which headphones were you running? I'm pretty much married to the Lyr at this point ($$$ spent on tubes, plus I enjoy having its power and sound flexibility). I can't comment on the Bifrost, since I skipped right to the Gungnir (which uses the analogue output stage of the Bifrost Uber), but my mileage varied from headphone to headphone with pretty significant differences. Have not tried a speaker comparison yet.

 

Opening up the soundstage wasn't an issue on the Gungnir. It is bigger than Peachtree's, I give it that. Problem was that soundstage was filled with treble spikes the HD800's are known for...:( It fared better with the HE-500.

 

Eraser: Can you link me? I was looking at refurbed iDac's and iNovas on Peachtree's site recently (local shop sells them, I want to see if they're any kind of improvement over the DacIt). I'd be interested in a new standalone DAC-only in that range from them.

 I purchased a refurb decco 2 from the peachtree website and I was pleased with it and got it at a substantial savings. I did do some upgrades on it replacing the stock fuse with a hifi tuning supreme fuse. I also tried several different power cords that I have settling in on my cable pro reflection power cord. This seemed to be the best combination in my set up. I have to mention that the decco 2s headphone section did not seem to mate very well with my akg 701 phones or my audeze lcd2 v2 phones. There just was not enough drive to sifficiently power those phones. The dac in the peachtree beeing a ess 9006 dac did not seem to possess the treble peak that has been mentioned with the 9018 sabre dac . Of course the dac in the earlier peachtrees only does 96khz. The best feature of this model is the dac it may not have the resolution of dacs that produce higher sampling rates but it does seem to be very listenable. I have not used the amp section so I can not make any comments because I primarily used the dac and preamp to power my emotiva airmotiv 5 active speakers. The preamp works ok but there are better preamps out there.

post #340 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

This week, a friend and I made some visits to a few other friends (who typically carry a few DACs here and there at their places of work). Here are some pictures of the TEAC in various states of use disuse.

 

(The Airmotiv speakers were actually liked.)

 

 

 It's probably a great DAC if you haven't heard anything better.

 Which emotiva airmotivs are the ones in your pic.I am using a pair of airmotiv 5s with a fuse upgrade (hifi tuning supreme fuse) and upgraded power cords and they work great on my desk top.

I also have a pair of their stealth 8s that I use in my main set up. The stealth 8s really can sing. At present I am using a used audio research ls2 with balanced outputs as a preamp until I can afford something of more recent vintage to preamp them. Unfortunately the stealth 8s have only balanced inputs so that limits what preamp you can use with them. They also do not have a volume adjustment on the speaker like the airmotiv models so you have to use a dedicated preamp with balanced outputs to adjust the volume.


Edited by buson160man - 1/18/14 at 12:14am
post #341 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

To be truly happy, I think I've probably have to end up with the Hex and use the OR5 with software resampling turned up to 174 or 192 in JRiver. Kudos to Metrum. I kind of wonder if Metrum tuned the Quad to be so laid back sounding to further differentiate it from the other more expensive DACs in the line.

 

It could be done on purpose like that, or perhaps it's just post-Quad research led to improvements that were implemented in later models (i.e. MOAR CHIPS!). Based on what I am hearing, I think you would like the Hex a noticeable, not necessarily huge, amount more than the Quad with the setup you mentioned.

 

To everyone else, one interesting tidbit I've found about the Hex from early measurements is that it measures ~0.4dB higher at 20KHz than the Quad with a sampling rate of 96KHz. Like I said, though, early results, so I'll be re-verifying after I run the DAC through for a while. It could also be an error or mismatch with my hardware and software setup. So, take that all as you will.

post #342 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

Good stuff! :smile:

Purrin, did you play with AURALiC filters or EXACT clock mode, both have quite significant impact on outcome.

 

Left filters stock. I'll give EXACT clock mode a good try (wasn't sure it would work.) I'll have this DAC in my house for a few days to give it a good run.

Seems like it worked out pretty well, just noticed update to Vega section

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 
 EXACT MODE UPDATE: Maybe the occasional drop-out before everything fully stablizes, but wow! A much more refined smoother no longer lean sound signature. Not on the level of the R2R or better AKM implementations, but similar to the PWD2 via OR5 - a slight raspyness.
post #343 of 6360
Thread Starter 

Yeah. The difference is significant enough I may provide another entry specific to EXACT mode. Just lining a few DACs again for a better comparative evaluation to be sure where to place them.

post #344 of 6360

Which is more musical?

 

Gungnir or X-Sabre?

post #345 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

Which is more musical?

 

Gungnir or X-Sabre?

The x-sabre is a solid piece of aluminum and gungnir is hollow, so I bet you'll get better tone out of the gungnir if you play it like an instrument.

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