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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why I hate chocolate ice cream) - Page 73

post #1081 of 1636
Thread Starter 

Last time was USB via macbook to DNA Stratus (new one with the upgrades) and Shuguang big bottle 2A3s. 

post #1082 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

Last time was USB via macbook to DNA Stratus (new one with the upgrades) and Shuguang big bottle 2A3s. 

 

Did you use the Hugo in line-out mode, or with the volume set at max?

post #1083 of 1636
Thread Starter 

Line-out mode. With the volume in line, the Hugo was terribad.

post #1084 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

Line-out mode. With the volume in line, the Hugo was terribad.

 

There's the problem. The Hugo puts out 3V in line out mode, which overloads some amps that don't have volume on the input. Try it again if you can with the HD-800s plugged in directly. They are fine directly from the Hugo. Give it at least 10 minutes to warm up a bit first though. 

post #1085 of 1636
Thread Starter 

3V isn't going to overload the Stratus' input stage considering the volume pot wasn't even cranked up. With the HD800 or UERMs plugged directly in to the Hugo, I didn't care for the Hugo at all (in other words, it was like WTF, why are people saying this is great). Directly plugged in, the Hugo sounded dead. AKM120 + UERM destroyed Hugo, keeping in mind AK240 was step backward sonically (flat and boring) to AK120.


Edited by purrin - 8/3/14 at 7:52pm
post #1086 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

The master 7 is good via coax as well, it just has to be a good transport and I think the two different coax inputs(RCA and bnc) use different receivers? I remember people saying one was better than the other in the past

How much of a difference can a transport make? I heard a difference between oppo 103 and a old sacd player to my nuforce dac-100 but thought I was just hearing things. Isn't it just relaying the 010101s?
post #1087 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

3V isn't going to overload the Stratus' input stage considering the volume pot wasn't even cranked up. With the HD800 or UERMs plugged directly in to the Hugo, I didn't care for the Hugo at all (in other words, it was like WTF, why are people saying this is great). Directly plugged in, the Hugo sounded dead. AKM120 + UERM destroyed Hugo, keeping in mind AK240 was step backward sonically (flat and boring) to AK120.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

There's the problem. The Hugo puts out 3V in line out mode, which overloads some amps that don't have volume on the input. Try it again if you can with the HD-800s plugged in directly. They are fine directly from the Hugo. Give it at least 10 minutes to warm up a bit first though. 

 

 

I think it's perfectly fine for Purrin to prefer other DAC's sound over Hugo and I'm sure he knows what he's doing as in not clipping the amp input.  From his comparison notes and posts (and the fact he prefers the original AK120 over the AK240) you can see his preference.  SearchofSub also seems to have similar preference that prefers warmth over details/neutrality.  I also have friends locally who prefers the X5 sound over Hugo saying Hugo.  Bottomline is that I learn how wide different preferences can varies.  Thought personally I would never be able to agree AK120 sounds better than AK240 or Hugo.  I believe there had been enough high praises for the Hugo (myself a accomplice) and it is good to also have folks like Purrin sharing a different views.

post #1088 of 1636
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazsud View Post

How much of a difference can a transport make? I heard a difference between oppo 103 and a old sacd player to my nuforce dac-100 but thought I was just hearing things. Isn't it just relaying the 010101s?

 

A transport can make 30-60% of the sound of the DAC. Yes, it's relaying 01010101s, and in theory, it should only be jitter at the DAC chip digitial input pins which matters. But why does the Schiit Wyrd work magic when it shouldn't, even with $10,000 DACs? I've messed around with DAC internals to know that even the slightest changes make differences, e.g. change a regulator, different sound.

 

We can even consider USB to coax / i2s converters as "transports", just that they do not use CD but USB from a PC instead. Heck, even the type of computer makes a difference. Macbooks have a tendency to sound bad (digital glare) from USB, Mac desktops sound good, Windows machines have a certain sound, etc.

 

The Master 7 is highly dependent upon quality of transport and hence why I have a slight hesitancy to recommend it. Use a crappy or badly matching CD transport, and the potential of the Master 7 gets severely gimped.


Edited by purrin - 8/3/14 at 8:37pm
post #1089 of 1636
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SearchOfSub View Post

I thought Vega was different, since a pro reviewer at audiostream said it was very musical and gave credit to him and this OP saying it was "Sabre done right"..

 

By SABRE done right, I meant the designer did not try to artificially warm things up and make the Vega into something it was never good at doing. A example of this is the Invicta DAC. Ressossossonace tried to warm up the sound of the Invicta and just ended up with a mess: a juxtaposition of mud, stridency, congestion, especially when recordings got complex. Yes, the Invicta almost had me fooled, but SABRE always shows!  Invicta is like trying to cure a gay guy or trying to make a 4000 lbs Camaro handle like a GT86. You can try to do it, but the results are never good.

 

So Vega simply took advantage of what the SABRE does well (hyperdetail, attack, microdynamics, etc.) and worked with that and made it really good. It remains a bright DAC. EXACT mode with USB helps quite a lot with providing a more liquid sound with a less "robotic" treble timbre. So I really do appreciate Auralic for making the Vega the way it is despite myself not 100% into that kind of sound.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SearchOfSub View Post

I am basically looking for master 7 sound chracteristics but sound just as good with coaxial input. Usb wont be used.
 

See post above on transports and master 7. From coax sources I tried, Master 7 is quite warm with "PCM1704" bass for lack of a better term. I did enjoy the Master 7 via coax sources (ranked #5).


Edited by purrin - 8/3/14 at 8:36pm
post #1090 of 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

3V isn't going to overload the Stratus' input stage considering the volume pot wasn't even cranked up. With the HD800 or UERMs plugged directly in to the Hugo, I didn't care for the Hugo at all (in other words, it was like WTF, why are people saying this is great). Directly plugged in, the Hugo sounded dead. AKM120 + UERM destroyed Hugo, keeping in mind AK240 was step backward sonically (flat and boring) to AK120.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

There's the problem. The Hugo puts out 3V in line out mode, which overloads some amps that don't have volume on the input. Try it again if you can with the HD-800s plugged in directly. They are fine directly from the Hugo. Give it at least 10 minutes to warm up a bit first though. 

 

 

I think it's perfectly fine for Purrin to prefer other DAC's sound over Hugo and I'm sure he knows what he's doing as in not clipping the amp input.  From his comparison notes and posts (and the fact he prefers the original AK120 over the AK240) you can see his preference.  SearchofSub also seems to have similar preference that prefers warmth over details/neutrality.  I also have friends locally who prefers the X5 sound over Hugo saying Hugo.  Bottomline is that I learn how wide different preferences can varies.  Thought personally I would never be able to agree AK120 sounds better than AK240 or Hugo.  I believe there had been enough high praises for the Hugo (myself a accomplice) and it is good to also have folks like Purrin sharing a different views.

 

Totally agreed here. I was curious to find out how he had arrived at his impressions and wanted to make sure he hadn't hit on any of the weird things that came up with the Hugo that we knew about but he may not have.

post #1091 of 1636

Purrin, I take it you're not a fan of ESS-based DACs? May I ask what do you think about CS-based DACs?

post #1092 of 1636
Thread Starter 

Well, I did prefer the Hugo to the PSA DSD on that same setup. :-)

post #1093 of 1636
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

Purrin, I take it you're not a fan of ESS-based DACs? May I ask what do you think about CS-based DACs?

 

Taking into account that we all know that DACs are more than the chip, in general, I do not like Cirrus based DACs. Too boring or polite sounding. I do like the Lynx Hilo though and would take that for DSD over any SABRE. I tend to like AKMs for the modern chips. I don't think there's an AKM based DAC I've heard which I did not like.

post #1094 of 1636
^Purrin, would you say the Gugnir/Bifrost USB 2's have the best cost/performance ratio in this thread/your experience?
post #1095 of 1636
I think Bryston bda-2 might do the trick for me.. Chord does sound nice but eveything is just lit up and with MY speakers which are NOT laid back at all... it can get fatiging..

Purrin.. have you heard the bryston bda 2?

Did you also say you preffered Hugo over PS Audio Directstream? Just wanted to clarify...

P.S - souprknowa said the same thing to me in pm telling me WTF about Hugo lol

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