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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 43  

post #631 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 


PSA manufacture one of your reference DAC's and now say in their white paper (link at the bottom of this press release http://www.twice.com/articletype/news/ps-audio-proclaims-pcm-dac-advance/110111) : 'Separating the digital and analog stages from each other, operating from a single master clock, 10x DSD processing and a purely passive output stage reveal musical details formerly buried within the digital audio media and masked by classic PCM processing and decoding techniques.' This DAC seems to be aimed at improving redbook/PCM recordings not the limited number of DSD recordings out there.

post #632 of 6360
I also viewed the talk from Ted and I am actually quite positive on what they're trying to do. (It's always easy for a fool to be impressed though, and I didn't understand half what he said smily_headphones1.gif ).

In particular, they have the means to make clean conversions with their FGPA, are paying attention to power supply to minimize noise in all the stages, and also to jitter where it really matters.

Also, while I read purrin's concern about noise outside the audio band, isn't a properly designed LP filter able to address this? 10xDSD means it must be really high frequency no?

If we're to trust Ted (the guy's a total geek with this, who wouldn't?), their approach appears much cleaner / robust than precision ladder dacs and other paralleles delta/sigma chips.

Basically, the price may be on the high side for what is inside, but the engineering approach is refreshingly novel, I am definitely more curious about this than all these dacs that have come in spades over the last year.
But also waiting for what schiit has to say about this wink.gif.
post #633 of 6360

While the PWD may be ranked highly, there have been a number of problems with PSA products.  The excessive firmware updates and differences between PWD versions have given me enough cause to be cautious about the claims of PS audio.  I think Putin has been pretty fair.  No need to prematurely jump on the bandwagon.  If the product ends up being as groundbreaking as PS audio says, it will be easy to tell how good the super DSD resolver x10 technology DAC is.  Speculation is pointless without having heard anything.

post #634 of 6360
So how do we think about thus vs the NAD M51?
post #635 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatheelmusic View Post

With your affliction, DO not get a sabre dac.

I'd recommend a Metrum Octave, with its rolled off top.
 
Thanks for the recommendation.  Never heard of them, but doing my due google diligence.  Pretty interesting -- and totally unique -- stuff!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

SABRE based DACs do have a tendency toward a brighter sound, having more glare, grain, rasp, etch, etc. for than any other chip I have heard. It's not necessarily the brightness (you put all these DACs on a bench, and they more or less measure flat), but rather the fatigue over longer listening sessions, and the unnatural grain, rasp, etc. which I don't hear on vinyl or R2R DACs.

 

There certainly is a connection between the SABRE and DSD. Every other new DAC seems to be based on SABRE. And as a result, (the SABRE chip handles DSD with ease without additional design work compared to other chips) DSD's "awesomeness" gets pushed. The sad consequence is that few newer audiophiles get exposure to DACs with smoother sounding more liquid presentations. It seems like 90% of new DACs is a SABRE. I can't count how many requests I get to review X DAC, and I'm thinking "Oh no, not another Chinese SABRE DAC with --->DSD compatibility<--- again." Some people like the SABRE sound. That's fine. But I'd like to see more choice. I think it's great companies like Emotiva and Schiit use the AKM chips.


The bigger reason why I'm against DSD it because it's a fricking distraction.

 

On a purely technical level, the DSD format is clearly inferior to hires PCM past 25kHz-100kHz because of the ultrasonic noise (which must be filtered - so there goes one element of "hires"). DSD does have more effective bit-depth than PCM in the audio-range, but PCM's 24 bits / 144db should way more than enough considering most audio gears' noise floors are worse. We don't need DSD's theoretical 200db of dynamic range because analog recording and playback equipment aren't good enough (remembering that microphones and transducers are analog devices.)

 

On a practical level, there isn't enough material being released. An no, I don't want to listen to yet another speshal DSD recording of Mahler Symphony #1 from the San Francisco Symphony from Michael Tilson Thomas (although they are pretty awesome) or yet another chick with limited vocal range + guitar (boring) or dude in baseball cap and flannel shirt + guitar (not awesome) recording from Cookie Marceno of Blue Coast Records or some other specialty audiophile recording studio. For those who do, DSD is a great idea. And even then I'd rather convert the DSD to PCM and use a non-SABRE DAC for playback.

 

Until I get to hear a full DSD-DSD (no PCM in the middle) recording of the Russian Secret Police Choir singing Daft Punk's Get Lucky...

 

Great reply.  Really expanded my perception of the ESS chips, especially since this looks like a major red flag for my situation -- one I didn't know about until now!

 

Thanks a ton!

 

-Pie

post #636 of 6360

well I will say this. I think a lower end dsd dac will outdo a lower end pcm dac. once you get up to the msb pcm is clearly better. so if reasonably affordable is in question id go with dsd. I also do not approve of the marketing game going on. I can think for myself. my lowly modded dsd dac will take on all comers up to a point I maintain. some higher end dsd dacs I guess one just has a choice which they like better. I have no dsd other than sacd. I convert pcm to dsd. which seems to be exactly what ps audio is aiming to do. I still don't get the 10x conversion to 2x output. that's weird. assuming I read that right. I can't wait to hear that thing though. the problem is it is not really native dsd. it just converts everything to dsd. I mean I don't know if it reads dsd files natively.

post #637 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

I also viewed the talk from Ted and I am actually quite positive on what they're trying to do. (It's always easy for a fool to be impressed though, and I didn't understand half what he said smily_headphones1.gif ).

In particular, they have the means to make clean conversions with their FGPA, are paying attention to power supply to minimize noise in all the stages, and also to jitter where it really matters.

Also, while I read purrin's concern about noise outside the audio band, isn't a properly designed LP filter able to address this? 10xDSD means it must be really high frequency no?

If we're to trust Ted (the guy's a total geek with this, who wouldn't?), their approach appears much cleaner / robust than precision ladder dacs and other paralleles delta/sigma chips.

Basically, the price may be on the high side for what is inside, but the engineering approach is refreshingly novel, I am definitely more curious about this than all these dacs that have come in spades over the last year.
But also waiting for what schiit has to say about this wink.gif.

is there a link for the ted talk?

post #638 of 6360

You can try the PS audio web page or the youtube page at:

 

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6mzA8J7n0ylf0RnDpj-vrg

post #639 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

I also viewed the talk from Ted and I am actually quite positive on what they're trying to do. (It's always easy for a fool to be impressed though, and I didn't understand half what he said smily_headphones1.gif ).

In particular, they have the means to make clean conversions with their FGPA, are paying attention to power supply to minimize noise in all the stages, and also to jitter where it really matters.

Also, while I read purrin's concern about noise outside the audio band, isn't a properly designed LP filter able to address this? 10xDSD means it must be really high frequency no?

Yes, from reading Ted replies the -3dB point on the passive LP filter is at 80kHz. That's a gentle slope as I see it. 

post #640 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stapsy View Post
 

While the PWD may be ranked highly, there have been a number of problems with PSA products.  The excessive firmware updates and differences between PWD versions have given me enough cause to be cautious about the claims of PS audio.  I think Putin has been pretty fair.  No need to prematurely jump on the bandwagon.  If the product ends up being as groundbreaking as PS audio says, it will be easy to tell how good the super DSD resolver x10 technology DAC is.  Speculation is pointless without having heard anything.

Yeah, the functionality of some of their more complex products is a concern.  They had problems with their powerplants when first introduced and you mentioned the firmware for the PWD.

 

I've owned several PSA products over the years and I was one of the first PWD owners.  I bought the PWD as soon as it was available and I was also a beta tester for the Bridge.  I bought the PWD originally because I wanted to move up from my Cullen modded Sonos player and play hi-res files.  So I fell for the PSA marketing about what the Bridge could do and imagine my surprise/disappointment when I found that the Bridge couldn't do gapless and my surprise that the guys at PSA didn't really have any idea that they'd need gapless for albums to play correctly without gaps between songs.  

 

They basically didn't build enough computing power into the Bridge to be able to correct it on the hardware. After more than a year of promises that they'd solve it, I sold the PWD and went to Linn -- they finally did solve it, but you have to use their software (eLyric) to get gapless. Given the fact that they couldn't get this right out of the gate, I'd be cautious about being one of the first owners of the Directstream DACs.

 

As for their marketing claims, they are often over the top.  That said, the PWD mk1 did sound pretty good (I've never heard mk2), but the lack of gapless was (and is) a deal breaker for me, but for those of you using the USB connections instead of the Bridge, this obviously isn't a problem.

post #641 of 6360

To this day I really do not understand the fuss over gapless playback. I never went to a concert that was gapless. Are we talking about pauses between the tracks or breaks between movements in a classical piece?


Edited by john57 - 3/1/14 at 11:59am
post #642 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by john57 View Post
 

To this day I really do not understand the fuss over gapless playback. I never went to a concert that was gapless. Are we talking about pauses between the tracks or breaks between movements in a classical piece?

Some albums where tracks flow seamlessly into one another sort of require gapless playback.

post #643 of 6360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by john57 View Post
 

To this day I really do not understand the fuss over gapless playback. I never went to a concert that was gapless. Are we talking about pauses between the tracks or breaks between movements in a classical piece?

 

Funny, all the concerts that I went to had gapless playback.

 

More seriously, gapless means no artificial pauses (if there weren't any to begin with) in between. Lack of gapless is highly annoying for classical music and certain pop/rock albums. Yeah, I'm miffed that my Bridge doesn't work. (I guess if it does now, I had already given up a while ago and don't care for it now that I have the OR5).


Edited by purrin - 3/1/14 at 12:10pm
post #644 of 6360
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Funny, all the concerts that I went to had gapless playback.

 

More seriously, gapless means no artificial pauses (if there weren't any to begin with) in between. Lack of gapless is highly annoying for classical music and certain pop/rock albums. Yeah, I'm miffed that my Bridge doesn't work. (I guess if it does now, I had already given up a while ago and don't care for it now that I have the OR5).

I listen to mostly classical music myself and hundreds of CD's and never had a problem with my CD players on this. Sometimes there are a few seconds added to it before the track change. Why this became a problem after 30 years? 

The one time I had a problem with too many tracks was the J.S. Bach: John Passion offered by Linn Records. There were 81 tracks on that one piece of music alone. Nobody has done that before.  Linn just butchered the piece and put tracks right in a middle of continuum or an aria and the sound will briefly dropout. Some the tracks were 10 seconds, 22 seconds or just one minute long.  Who in the right mind would do so such a thing?

post #645 of 6360

Question about how to get the best audio quality out of the Mjolnir. 

 

Toslink, Coax or USB2 ?

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