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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 32  

post #466 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzxgene View Post

 

(edit: Most usb converters beneath the audiophilleo level are ****. The audio-gd converters might be an exception with the newest firmwares, but kingwa doesn't sell them anymore. I'm still waiting on purrins impressions of the M7 usb with the newest drivers.)

 

What do you base that opinion on? Many cheap usb converters got great reviews, and there are some made by french manufacturers which haven't been heard by Head-Fiers that seem to be quite good (Audiophonics in my signature) for 90-200e.

 

In fact most of the positive things I've read about the DAC1 showing great improvement in sound were using the m2tech hiface. They might be crap compared to the OR5 certainly, but if the difference really is that big, they might still be worth every dollar.


Edited by elmoe - 2/12/14 at 8:08am
post #467 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

I'm not jumping to any conclusion, I read this part, and it says he WISHED he couldve tried it with many DACs but didnt. There are other USB/SPDIF converter that cost 100-200 bucks, the point isn't to use the OR5 specifically but to see if a USB/SPDIF makes other mid range DACs better.

 

So next time please read my WHOLE posts before YOU jump to conclusions.


My apologies, my post wasn't directed towards you specifically. :beerchug: 

post #468 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post

My apologies, my post wasn't directed towards you specifically. :beerchug: 

 

Fair enough, but I'm pretty much the only person in this thread who feels mid-ranged DACs should've been tested with a converter, or at the very least, using their coaxial inputs and not the notoriously bad USB inputs... It seems very disappointing to me that all these mid-range DACs weren't tested at their best whereas all the more expensive DACs were tested using the myriad of different inputs they offer... So no wonder we have the expensive models at the top of the ranking.


Edited by elmoe - 2/12/14 at 8:12am
post #469 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

What do you base that opinion on? Many cheap usb converters got great reviews, and there are some made by french manufacturers which haven't been heard by Head-Fiers that seem to be quite good (Audiophonics in my signature) for 90-200e.

 

In fact most of the positive things I've read about the DAC1 showing great improvement in sound were using the m2tech hiface.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/15-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/

 

Most. Considering purrin and friends, among people such as above have managed to compare many converters with reference systems, they can more accurately gauge performance increases. I'd say many of the cheaper converters can excel in one specific area, but will fall short in others/possibly make things worse. The higher end converters excel all over the place. Without having heard a stupid expensive setup, it's like trying to describe color to someone that's been blind their whole life. I cannot imagine how my M7 could sound any better (and maybe the newest drivers closed some of that OR5 gap?), but it can (probably).

post #470 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

Fair enough, but I'm pretty much the only person in this thread who feels mid-ranged DACs should've been tested with a converter, or at the very least, using their coaxial inputs and not the notoriously bad USB inputs... It seems very disappointing to me that all these mid-range DACs weren't tested at their best whereas all the more expensive DACs were tested using the myriad of different inputs they offer... So no wonder we have the expensive models at the top of the ranking.

 

If purrin had all the mid ranked dacs on hand again, i'm sure he'd try to test them with the OR5. (People should send their dacs to him then... HINT HINT WINK)

post #471 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post
 

Not one owner of a Vega DAC has spoken about the "grain" you guys "report". Interesting that AudioGD has two DACs in your top list. I'd seriously take this whole "report" with a large grain of salt and does of chocolate ice cream. Where do you, and your ninjas, find this grain the most evident in the treble? Any concrete examples?

 

in your profile you discuss "I'm mostly back to speakers now.". Well did you test these DACs on speakers?

 

The two top DACs are DACs you own, or have decided to keep....maybe you have an affinity with their sonic signature?

 

The whole effort strikes me as pointless...and suspect.

 

He tried a bunch of dacs, evaluated them against each other... then kept the ones he likes best. How is that wrong? The only difference is he wrote about his experiences for others to read.

 

 

And how about the very first line in the thread...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

 

This is a ranking of 17+ DAC and DAC configurations by my ninjas and I. There rankings are largely based on personal preference. They should be taken with a grain of salt.

post #472 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

 

He tried a bunch of dacs, evaluated them against each other... then kept the ones he likes best. How is that wrong? The only difference is he wrote about his experiences for others to read.

 

 

And how about the very first line in the thread...

 

+1

post #473 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzxgene View Post
 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/15-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/

 

Most. Considering purrin and friends, among people such as above have managed to compare many converters with reference systems, they can more accurately gauge performance increases. I'd say many of the cheaper converters can excel in one specific area, but will fall short in others/possibly make things worse. The higher end converters excel all over the place. Without having heard a stupid expensive setup, it's like trying to describe color to someone that's been blind their whole life. I cannot imagine how my M7 could sound any better (and maybe the newest drivers closed some of that OR5 gap?), but it can (probably).

 

Once again, what you are comparing are converters with converters. What I'm interested in is DAC + converter vs DAC USB input, and how big the difference is.

 

Certainly, the more expensive converters do better than the cheap ones overall - no doubt about that, but it doesn't mean that using a cheap converter will not bring major improvements to a mid-range DAC (and do so without spending as you say, more money than the DAC is worth on a converter)

 

What I am saying is, rather than selling my mid-range DAC and throwing 3000-5000 bucks into a new one, would buying a somewhat cheap (but good) converter such as the Audiophonics or gd-audio bring about major improvements to my current DAC, which I feel is quite synergistic in my system.

 

As for sending my DAC to him, it would cost me less money to just buy a cheap converter and test this myself (and it would be not only more fun for me, but more accurate to my own tastes since I would be testing this using my system, with careful chosen synergistic equipment).


Edited by elmoe - 2/12/14 at 8:28am
post #474 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

Once again, what you are comparing are converters with converters. What I'm interested in is DAC + converter vs DAC USB input, and how big the difference is.

 

Certainly, the more expensive converters do better than the cheap ones overall - no doubt about that, but it doesn't mean that using a cheap converter will not bring major improvements to a mid-range DAC (and do so without spending as you say, more money than the DAC is worth on a converter)

 

What I am saying is, rather than selling my mid-range DAC and throwing 3000-5000 bucks into a new one, would buying a somewhat cheap (but good) converter such as the Audiophonics or gd-audio bring about major improvements to my current DAC, which I feel is quite synergistic in my system.

 

As for sending my DAC to him, it would cost me less money to just buy a cheap converter and test this myself (and it would be not only more fun for me, but more accurate to my own tastes since I would be testing this using my system, with careful chosen synergistic equipment).

 

I was under the impression that comparing the value/performance of converters was relative to the improvements you might expect with the bm dac1. In the case of the bm dac1 I think it had one of the earliest initial usb implementations, which would make is terrible by default. I honestly don't know which converters would be cheap and a great improvement for your setup, but I was trying to give you some reviews to understand how some converters perform relative to others. I'm not all that interested in converters that aren't the OR5/future OR6, because my own setup won't benefit as much from non-i2s converters. The hydra is possibly an option, but doesn't perform as well. Try to get a audio-gd di-v3 used and install the newest drivers if you can. I at least know what that sounds like and could recommend it, now that the treble issues and minor bass bloat are gone. 

post #475 of 6360

Yep, I actually had found this comparison thread before and gave it extended reading a few days ago. I am actually pretty interested in the audio-gd di, but they are in high demand, I'm not sure I'll have an easy time finding one used. I might just go the Audiophonics way and buy the one they built, it is seemingly pretty good with the XMOS chip and at a very decent (200e) price. Not sure yet, as usual, so many options...

 

For those interested, this is the audiophonics: 

 

http://www.audiophonics.fr/audiophonics-uxmos384-interface-digitale-usb-vers-i2sdsdspdif-p-8376.html and http://www.audiophonics.fr/audiophonics-uxmos192-interface-digitale-usb-vers-i2sdsdspdif-p-8375.html

 

Although in French, it should still be pretty easy to understand the specs.


Edited by elmoe - 2/12/14 at 9:16am
post #476 of 6360

Regardless of how this all turns out, I really want to meet the girl in the love yulong time pic.

post #477 of 6360

How about compiling a list of DACs with great or at least very decent USB implementation that gain no benefit from mid-range USB converters?

I don't have access to OR5 but owned iFi iLink with iUSB and AP2+PP and these two DACs sounded the same or better with stock USB receiver:

- AURALiC Vega (XMOS)

- Yulong DA8 (Amanero)

Both do not draw power from USB

 

List of bad USB implementations to avoid would be helpful too.

post #478 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post
 

Not one owner of a Vega DAC has spoken about the "grain" you guys "report". Interesting that AudioGD has two DACs in your top list. I'd seriously take this whole "report" with a large grain of salt and does of chocolate ice cream. Where do you, and your ninjas, find this grain the most evident in the treble? Any concrete examples?

 

This "grain" is difficult to describe and only in relation to the other DACs in the comparison. I think most people who are used to modern sigma-delta DACs wouldn't notice it much if at all. Have you ever had an opportunity to hear an R2R DAC? (Wadia, AGD-M7, Metrum, the Valab TD154x based, PCM63, or PCM1702 based DAC, etc). Or even vinyl? Vinyl and R2R DACs have a liquid quality, a certain continuous-ness of sound over time which the many modern sigma-delta DACs, even the best ones, do not quite have. With the Vega, this grain is extremely fine, which is a good thing. Really not too different from the PWD2 in this respect. However, my main issue with the Vega was with its overall timbral presentation. The relative brightness of the Vega and this fine grain combined together resulted in a somewhat robotic, synthesized, or artificial quality. This was evident on every recording, particularly with voices. It wasn't anything highly annoying and in any case, I'm nitpicking to an extreme, and not even considering the effects of EXACT mode to goes ameliorate the grain.

 

Not having one owner of the Vega DAC speak about the grain does not mean it does not exist. It's more likely that people who are sensitive to this digital grain would not purchase the Vega.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post

 

in your profile you discuss "I'm mostly back to speakers now.". Well did you test these DACs on speakers?

 

Yes. The DACs were tested on the headphone rig and speaker rig as described in the first post.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post

 

The two top DACs are DACs you own, or have decided to keep....maybe you have an affinity with their sonic signature?

 

Yes. I definitely have a affinity for the sonic signatures of the two DACs I have decided to keep. Why would I highly rank and keep stuff I did not like the sound of?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post
 

 

At least they mention reference actual music when getting subjective. Sorry, I'm not trying be cool, just saying this is a wholly subjective review, and not very objective. I don't see any loopbacks with ADCs for example. It's completely subjective. Did they try to ABX the DACs? How many ninjas preferred what vs. what. Who is the "we"? How many people were involved in this review?

 

This review was subjective. Out of my own curiosity, I did take a few jitter, distortion, -90db 1kHz, and FR measurements up to near 100kHz of some of the DACs, but there wasn't really anything which could be strongly correlated except maybe jitter and noise floor. None of the measurements were posted anywhere. Three, sometimes four people were involved in these DAC-Offs. If you want to know who the people involved in these comparisons were, you would have to go outside of HF.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post

 

I'd rather read a sixmoons review than this one. The review was no doubt a lot of work, but I have the right to call ********, and call into question the results which ultimately don't mean much to me. Next time I'll just bite my tongue and keep the rant off.

 

You certainly have the right to call BS. I've always said if the results mean nothing to you, or don't jive with your own experiences, then definitely ignore it. In fact, I would recommend that you put me on ignore. I think it's pretty obvious that you are butt-hurt that I dared find something to criticize about the Vega (a DAC I happen to like), a DAC that you own and hold dear to your heart. I would highly recommend that you re-read the Six Moons article and give yourself a nice pat on the back.


Edited by purrin - 2/12/14 at 11:08am
post #479 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

How about compiling a list of DACs with great or at least very decent USB implementation that gain no benefit from mid-range USB converters?

I don't have access to OR5 but owned iFi iLink with iUSB and AP2+PP and these two DACs sounded the same or better with stock USB receiver:

- AURALiC Vega (XMOS)

- Yulong DA8 (Amanero)

Both do not draw power from USB

 

List of bad USB implementations to avoid would be helpful too.

 

Good points. The Vega DAC USB implementation was excellent. Particularly after the hour wait and in EXACT mode. There is absolutely no reason to go with a $1500 (or more) USB to SPDIF converter.

 

The X-Sabre USB and Schiit Gen 2 USB are pretty darn good too.


Edited by purrin - 2/12/14 at 11:08am
post #480 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

Will be sure to post.

 

Regarding your last sentence, if that's true, then it goes against pretty much EVERY single review/opinion I've read about the BM DAC1 + USB/SPDIF converter. edit: actually, rereading his BM DAC1 opinion, it is clear he did not try it with a converter, and only used the DAC1's USB input (which is known to be terrible).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

Still, this review is not really complete as I would like to have heard his thoughts on the BM DAC1 with the USB converter since it supposedly beats the Gamma 2.

 

In fact the majority of the mid-range priced DACs were only tested using USB which is detrimental to their ranking to say the least. I would also have liked to see how the Lavry, the NAD, the Schiit DACs and the Lynx fared when used with a USB converter. If you consider the difference in prices between the top DACs on his list as opposed to the midrange one, having a go at them with a USB converter seems relevant.

 

Seems to me the more expensive DACs in this list were tested more thoroughly, and with more settings. 4 out of the top 5 were tested with the OR5, yet the DACs supposed to benefit the most from a USB converter seemed to have been ignored and worse - used only in USB mode. Or did I misread something?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

 

Well, testing for convenience is not testing if the mid range DACs have noticeably worse sound using USB, and noticeably MUCH better sound using the OR5. It basically contradicts ranking them at all... Anyway, I'll buy a USB/SPDIF converter and test things out on my DAC1 myself.

 

I think most of your concerns have been covered by others. Allow me to say a few things:

 

I apologize for not being able to test the BM DAC1 with a suitably priced USB-SDPIF converter. From people who I trust, the BM DAC1 does improve with certain modestly priced USB SPDIF converters. If I had the time, the energy, the money, and the patience, I would have liked to test of all the DACs with a mediocre CD transport, an awesome CD transport, a mid-priced USB-SPDIF, an expensive USB-SPDIF converter, optical SPDIF from a macbook, foobar, JRMC, and 1008 other combinations.

 

Unfortunately, I cannot do this because I HAVE A FRICKING LIFE, where I must balance family, work, health, and hobby.

 

Comparisons like this get done because people pitch in (they send me their DACs, come over to my place for micro-meets, bring their USB-SPDIF converters, their recordings, etc.) rather than bitch. You know, I fire people at my company who bitch rather than find solutions.


Edited by purrin - 2/12/14 at 11:32am
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