or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff) - Page 33  

post #481 of 6360

No need to apologize. You did your review as you wanted to - using the best of conditions for DACs you felt were worth it, and not the rest. It's your prerogative to do whatever you want with your gear. It's mine to point out that your review where the VAST majority of DACs in the ranking weren't listened to in the best of conditions is seemingly flawed and biased towards your personal preferences (which again, I'm completely fine with). I could've done fine with your reply without the petty name calling, but hey, I'll take what I can get, which in this case is that you dismissed quality gear quickly in favor of a bias towards more expensive gear, thus invalidating (for me, anyway) your ranking altogether.

 

I hope this last bit of "bitching" won't put you in a mood to fire any of your employees, though considering, you may be doing them a favor :rolleyes:

 

Enjoy your vanilla ice cream.

post #482 of 6360
Thread Starter 

FWIW, and someone else already mentioned this, I only had the OR5 toward the latter comparison sessions. There wasn't any intentional plan in the case of the BM DAC1 to make it sound worse and it would be with a good USB converter. We simply didn't have a USB converter available. Now if you actually want to contribute rather than complain by sending me your BM DAC1, I would be willing to re-evaluate it with the OR5 and maybe some other cheaper converters I can borrow locally.

 

But honestly, I think you are just upset because we rated the BM DAC1 (something that you own and hold dear to your heart) near the bottom of the pile, even with coax (although I acknowledge that the iPod->coax adapter probably isn't ideal.)

 

As far as being biased toward preferences, did you not read the first post? "Warning: DACs are a very personal thing and preferences are very specific" and "These rankings are largely based on personal preference." I'm am willing to take suggestions how a subjective review can be written without taking into account bias and personal preferences.


Edited by purrin - 2/12/14 at 12:24pm
post #483 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

No need to apologize. You did your review as you wanted to - using the best of conditions for DACs you felt were worth it, and not the rest. It's your prerogative to do whatever you want with your gear. It's mine to point out that your review where the VAST majority of DACs in the ranking weren't listened to in the best of conditions is seemingly flawed and biased towards your personal preferences (which again, I'm completely fine with). I could've done fine with your reply without the petty name calling, but hey, I'll take what I can get, which in this case is that you dismissed quality gear quickly in favor of a bias towards more expensive gear, thus invalidating (for me, anyway) your ranking altogether.

 

I hope this last bit of "bitching" won't put you in a mood to fire any of your employees, though considering, you may be doing them a favor :rolleyes:

 

Enjoy your vanilla ice cream.

 

Purrin could not evaluate a good number of these dacs in ideal conditions because he did not have an ideal transport. He is doing people a favor by comparing the USB implementations on these dacs and ranking them accordingly. He is not going to purchase and reevaluate every dac on the list everytime he makes an upgrade. Based on his observations AT THE TIME, much of this gear is quite good and has been sorted accordingly. HE CANNOT TRAVEL THROUGH TIME MAN.

post #484 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

FWIW, and someone else already mentioned this, I only had the OR5 toward the latter comparison sessions. There wasn't any intentional bias in the case of the BM DAC1. I simply didn't have it available. Now if you actually want to contribute rather than complain by sending me your BM DAC1, I would be willing to re-evaluate it with the OR5 and maybe some other cheaper converters I can borrow locally.

 

But honestly, I think you are just upset because we rated the BM DAC1 near the bottom of the pile, even with coax (although I acknowledge that the iPod->coax adapter probably isn't ideal.)

 

I'm well aware there wasn't any intentional bias towards the DAC1, but there was no doubt a bias (intentional or not - makes no difference to me as I'm looking for objectivity) toward most midrange priced DACs (your top 3 seemed to have been thoroughly tested with a variety of inputs, whereas most midranged DACs were only tested using USB inputs, am I wrong to call this a bias?). I still don't see how I am complaining about anything. All I did was wonder why you hadn't tried the midrange DACs at their best (not just including the DAC1) as I am looking to buy a USB/SPDIF converter currently, and the bump up in quality for midrange DACs using a USB/SPDIF converter is particularly relevant to my next purchase. Making sure that I won't be spending my money for nothing is the only reason I am even interested in this discussion - your personal opinion about which DAC sounds best really does not interest me in the least - for all I know you favorite music genre is JPOP and we have completely different tastes in both music and sound signatures. I don't see why you still see this as some kind of personal attack, or why you think I am upset about anything. You have your preference in sound signature and I have mine, I spent 10+ years to find the DAC1 was most synergistic with the rest of my system, it really doesn't matter to me what you rank it, especially compared to DACs that cost 3 to 4 times its price. In fact, I'm happy it even made the list at all, if anything. You seem to believe that I am looking for reassurance about a purchase I have made something like 8 years ago - believe me when I say that if a piece of equipment has stayed in my system for that long, it is for good reason, and the only reassurance I need is answered everytime I put music on :wink:

 

I'm going to try to make this as clear as I can: The only thing of interest to me is to figure out whether dishing out 200-500 bucks on a USB/SPDIF converter will bring about a noticeable gain in quality to my DAC1. If not, then I will demo DACs myself, using my own gear and my own music, to form my own opinion instead of throwing 3000 bucks on a piece of gear just because some guy on Head-Fi ranked it first according to his own preferences.

 

Yes, iPod -> coax is not really what I would call "best conditions", not by a long shot. As for sending you my DAC1 so you can test it out with mid price converters, I would rather save the shipping costs, the customs tax, and the hassle of going without a DAC for weeks if not months and simply buy a converter and test it out myself, with my own music, on my own system. Still, it would've been interesting to have your opinion on the subject before spending that much on a simple converter, that's all.

 

Responding to your edit with an edit of my own: of course your review is biased and stating so was not needed for me to realize it - but I am not talking about a bias toward sound signature preference here - I am talking about a bias because it seems to me that you were quick to dismiss most DACs without giving them a fair chance: in this particular case, using a USB/SPDIF converter with the DACs that cost 1/3rd the price of your personal favorites. It's a very different kind of bias. In the end, when reading a review comparing gear, people want to know two things:

 

1) which is better suited to their needs

2) which is the better value for their money

 

Clearly for #2, comparing 3000usd DACs saying they are vastly superior to 200-1500usd DACs is not going to be very helpful. What would be more interesting is knowing whether those 200-1500usd DACs + a 200-500usd converter are giving those 3000usd+ DACs a run for their money, which is exactly what I came into this thread hoping to find out.


Edited by elmoe - 2/12/14 at 12:56pm
post #485 of 6360
Thread Starter 

Not taking it personally - just having a little fun. I just like to argue with people from France. (I'd been told by several Frenchmen that such "debating" is considered a favorite pastime.) I'm also bored right now as I am waiting for some automated results from my hacking attempts into a bank.

 

Obviously, the breadth of the comparison necessitated not being able to go in depth with every DAC which was covered. Not to mention that I do not have a time machine to go back and reassess the DACs with the OR5 which I obtained later. You are correct that no formal observations were written in terms of the midrange DACs. But that does not mean there were no informal observations made. Some of the midrange DACs were tested with the OR5, and while there was an improvement, it wasn't enough to change their rankings significantly.

 

In light of you explaining what you are looking for (getting the best from the BM DAC1), I would advise you to look elsewhere on HF. I do not like the BM DAC1. Never had. Never will - unless the OR5 does something magical to it a la the AGD-M7. But in that case, there where already tell-tale signs the M7 had serious potential. In other words, you are barking up the wrong tree. The wrong thread. The dedicated BM DAC1 threads are probably more suitable for the information you are looking for.

 

This thread was never meant to be offer comprehensive coverage of how to get the best from the BM DAC1 or every midrange DAC which came my way.


Edited by purrin - 2/12/14 at 12:57pm
post #486 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

Not taking it personally - just having a little fun. I just like to argue with people from France. (I'd been told by several Frenchmen that such "debating" is considered a favorite pastime.) I'm also bored right now as I am waiting for some automated results from my hacking attempts into a bank.

 

Obviously, the breadth of the comparison necessitated not being able to go in depth with every DAC which was covered. Not to mention that I do not have a time machine to go back and reassess the DACs with the OR5 which I obtained later. You are correct that no formal observations were written in terms of the midrange DACs. But that does not mean there were no informal observations made. Some of the midrange DACs were tested with the OR5, and while there was an improvement, it wasn't enough to change their rankings significantly.

 

In light of you explaining what you are looking for (getting the best from the BM DAC1), I would advise you to look elsewhere on HF. I do not like the BM DAC1. Never had. Never will - unless the OR5 does something magical to it a la the AGD-M7. But in that case, there where already tell-tale signs the M7 had serious potential. In other words, you are barking up the wrong tree. The wrong thread. The dedicated BM DAC1 threads are probably more suitable for the information you are looking for.

 

This thread was never meant to be offer comprehensive coverage of how to get the best from the BM DAC1 or every midrange DAC which came my way.

As you can see I'm sure, debating is no problem for me as well ;)

 

I didn't know you did not have a DAC1 with the OR5 until you told me yourself about an hour ago - however I would like to know which DACs you did test with the OR5 (which midrange DACs in particular, since that seems to not be included in your review).

 

I understand perfectly that you do not like the BM DAC1 - but that is once again besides the point. Without talking specifically about the DAC1, I am interested in finding out whether buying a USB/SPDIF is a better investment than buying a new, more expensive, higher quality DAC. Whether you like the DAC1 or not has no repercussion on whether or not you think a USB/SPDIF brings significant improvement to it (or to other midrange DACs, because it still isn't clear to me if you thought that NONE of them benefited much from it, or if some actually DID benefit alot from it). Basically, I love my DAC1 but it is starting to bore me, and I am looking for a change. Now, will the USB/SPDIF converter bring me the change in quality I am looking for (while keeping the distinct DAC1 sound signature which I love), or should I start demo'ing more expensive DACs left and right to hopefully once again find one synergistic with my system? That's what interests me. Selling my DAC1 would net me maybe 500 bucks - buying a new DAC is likely to cost me at least 1500. Buying a converter for 200-500usd seems like a more interesting idea, but only IF it is worth it. And the ONLY reason I am asking you personally is because you yourself wrote that you heard the DAC1 greatly benefits from such a converter even though you did not have the chance to test it yourself.

 

I bet you're biting your nails wishing you hadn't made that tiny little comment on the DAC1+converter right about now :biggrin:


Edited by elmoe - 2/12/14 at 1:14pm
post #487 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

.............................................

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.................

 

 

Handbags at Dawn......

 

Purrin, I think you're getting into murky waters when offering a ranking of 21 DACS and then using the the OR5 to showcase the benefit

that can be had by using such an expensive converter ($1200?). You didn't state whether the OR5 was used with every DAC. Even if it was,

shouldn't the review be restricted to just the DAC's on their own? Granted, it could perhaps be a benefit to DAC owners to hear if their DAC

was elevated to the 'next level' by the OR5 but surely that's best presented in a different set of rankings? 

 

Out of interest, and in retrospect, if you could own One of the DACS without a converter, which would you choose?

post #488 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by thathertz View Post
 

 

 

Handbags at Dawn......

 

Purrin, I think you're getting into murky waters when offering a ranking of 21 DACS and then using the the OR5 to showcase the benefit

that can be had by using such an expensive converter ($1200?). You didn't state whether the OR5 was used with every DAC. Even if it was,

shouldn't the review be restricted to just the DAC's on their own? Granted, it could perhaps be a benefit to DAC owners to hear if their DAC

was elevated to the 'next level' by the OR5 but surely that's best presented in a different set of rankings? 

 

Out of interest, and in retrospect, if you could own One of the DACS without a converter, which would you choose?

 

Someone who understands me - I am touched :beerchug:

post #489 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

 

Responding to your edit with an edit of my own: of course your review is biased and stating so was not needed for me to realize it - but I am not talking about a bias toward sound signature preference here - I am talking about a bias because it seems to me that you were quick to dismiss most DACs without giving them a fair chance: in this particular case, using a USB/SPDIF converter with the DACs that cost 1/3rd the price of your personal favorites. It's a very different kind of bias. In the end, when reading a review comparing gear, people want to know two things:

 

1) which is better suited to their needs

2) which is the better value for their money

 

Clearly for #2, comparing 3000usd DACs saying they are vastly superior to 200-1500usd DACs is not going to be very helpful. What would be more interesting is knowing whether those 200-1500usd DACs + a 200-500usd converter are giving those 3000usd+ DACs a run for their money, which is exactly what I came into this thread hoping to find out.

 

OK, I will respond more seriously because you are now making more sense and asking specific questions. I will cite specific cases (which were not documented in the first post). Please understand that I was only able to assess a limited number of combinations.

 

  1. The OR5 improved the $800 Gungnir Gen 1 DAC. However, it did not make it sound better than the PWD2 via USB.
  2. The OR5 improved the $1x00 Lavry DA11 DAC. However, it did not make it sound better than the PWD2 via USB or even the Gungnir Gen 2 USB.
  3. The OR5 offered no improvement on the Vega.
  4. The OR5 offered some improvement on the Audinst HUD-MX2, but that DAC was so crappy that it still stands in the crap pile even with the OR5.
  5. The OR5 offered some improvement on the X-Sabre, but it was not significant. Probably a jump up of one or two notches.
  6. The OR5 offered some improvement on the Gungnir Gen2, but it was not significant. Probably a rating jump of one notch.

 

Now this is not to say a lower quality converter would be less effective. It depends upon the ultimate capability of the DAC. We need to get something which scales optimally. For example, Schiit's implementation of the Gen 2 USB seems to be such a jump. Makes sense if you think about it in their case.

 

In the case of the OR5, I am very familiar with what it does. It only has a tendency to improve certain sonic characteristics. For some, there is minor to little improvement. Other aspects, there is no improvement. If I heard a DAC which I didn't feel the OR5 would significantly improve upon, I generally did not give it a through assessment with the OR5. This is what I mean when I say that when I heard the M7 via USB, there were many things I did not like, but I also felt it was a DAC to have some serious potential with a good converter / transport.

post #490 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thathertz View Post

 

... You didn't state whether the OR5 was used with every DAC. Even if it was,

shouldn't the review be restricted to just the DAC's on their own?

 

...Out of interest, and in retrospect, if you could own One of the DACS without a converter, which would you choose?

 

Is it really that hard to figure that out?

 

  1. Take the list,
  2. Eliminate everything with (OR5).
  3. Voila. Not only do you now have a "review restricted to just the DACs on their own", but you also see which DAC is the most preferred without any converter.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

 

And the ONLY reason I am asking you personally is because you yourself wrote that you heard the DAC1 greatly benefits from such a converter even though you did not have the chance to test it yourself.

 

I bet you're biting your nails wishing you hadn't made that tiny little comment on the DAC1+converter right about now :biggrin:

 

No not really. Although I do not like the BM DAC1, I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt (when used with a converter) based on people I trust. I should also say that this person ended up liking the Gungnir more (part of my DACshare program). If you are curious, I can tell you who to ask about that. He doesn't like Frenchmen though so he may not respond to you.


Edited by purrin - 2/12/14 at 1:30pm
post #491 of 6360

I see, so basically, I'm better off buying a better DAC. Well, I'm still going to give a USB/SPDIF converter (a cheap, sub 200usd one) a shot, since I found a good cheap XMOS chip one, but as I thought, I'm going to have to go demo some DACs.

 

Thank you for your thoughts, they are much appreciated.

post #492 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

No not really. Although I do not like the BM DAC1, I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt when used with a converter based on people I trust. I should also say that this person ended up liking the Gungnir more. If you are curious, I can tell you who to ask about that. He doesn't like Frenchmen though so he may not respond to you.

 

Sure, I can brush off the xenophobia so long as I get an interesting answer.

post #493 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

Someone who understands me - I am touched :beerchug:

 

I with you bro :beerchug: Feelin it:wink_face:

post #494 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Is it really that hard to figure that out?

 

  1. Take the list,
  2. Eliminate everything with (OR5).
  3. Voila. Not only do you now have a "review restricted to just the DACs on their own", but you also see which DAC is the most preferred without any converter.

 

 

Shucks you got me. Did you have to use the OR5 though?

post #495 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

 

Basically, I love my DAC1 but it is starting to bore me, and I am looking for a change. Now, will the USB/SPDIF converter bring me the change in quality I am looking for (while keeping the distinct DAC1 sound signature which I love), or should I start demo'ing more expensive DACs left and right to hopefully once again find one synergistic with my system? That's what interests me. Selling my DAC1 would net me maybe 500 bucks - buying a new DAC is likely to cost me at least 1500. Buying a converter for 200-500usd seems like a more interesting idea, but only IF it is worth it. And the ONLY reason I am asking you personally is because you yourself wrote that you heard the DAC1 greatly benefits from such a converter even though you did not have the chance to test it yourself.

 

If you love the sound of the DAC1, I would just stick with it and try out a few converters (with return option).

 

Don't get bitten by "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome. The other DACs with the most similar characteristics in the list are the Mytek, X-Sabre, and Vega. The Vega is kind of like a super refined and resolving DAC1 and the one most likely to provide obvious gains. It is also extremely expensive and probably way over what you want to spend. The Mytek accentuates the what the DAC1 does both good and bad, but it has a difficult treble hardness and glare which I feel that the DAC1 does not have. The X-Sabre probably has the most balanced presentation. More bass volume and power, particularly in the sub and low bass regions and doesn't need a USB converter to shine.

 

Everytime I hear "I love what I have, but I'm bored" and someone gets something else, it's never good news.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

I see, so basically, I'm better off buying a better DAC. Well, I'm still going to give a USB/SPDIF converter (a cheap, sub 200usd one) a shot, since I found a good cheap XMOS chip one, but as I thought, I'm going to have to go demo some DAC

 

Hard to say. The "better" DAC may sound different. And "different" may not necessarily result in the synergy that you had before. Or you may realize that you like the "different" sound more.

 

Again, I'll be the first person to say, if you like what you have, do not upgrade. My own upgrade path with DACs has been very slow and deliberate. Trying to find the DAC which improved on certain aspects I wanted improved without giving up on sonic aspects I already liked.


Edited by purrin - 2/12/14 at 1:52pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)