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post #16 of 2090

Have you guys heard the Yulong DA8? Where would you place it. I wonder if you had a second system to test out the dacs if it would have ended up a different order.

 

I have the DP1 and love it for its naturalness... Its not grainy and Id agree it doesn't pull out every detail, but it is highly musical. Not to say it doesn't have enough detail. The DP1 benefits from a good power conditioner imo.

 

Thanks for taking the time to review the dacs!

post #17 of 2090

First negative review of the TEAC UD-501 I have read. Every other source I have read on it says that it is an amazing DAC, besting DACs twice its price.

 

Looking at your more positive reviews, I wonder how the Schiit compares to the X-Sabre? We're only talking about a $150 difference in price. I guess if you need DSD/DXD the decision is obvious.


Edited by schneller - 12/6/13 at 7:52am
post #18 of 2090
You had a Hilo you used for AES feed to the PWD. Did you listen to it as a DAC?
post #19 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

PS Audio PWD2 (AES from Lynx / i2s from OR5 USB Converter)
Extermely favorable results using the Lynx Hilo via AES

So you were using Hilo as a usb to aes converter?

Since you do have a Hilo, why it is not being reviewed as a DAC? Because no agreement from the judges?
Edited by yfei - 12/6/13 at 12:04pm
post #20 of 2090
Purrin and co. are not fans of Sabre chips, fyi. I preferred the X-Sabre to the Gungnir, which I had side by side, but they found the opposite.
Edited by Maxvla - 12/6/13 at 9:12am
post #21 of 2090
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcullinan View Post
 

Have you guys heard the Yulong DA8? Where would you place it. I wonder if you had a second system to test out the dacs if it would have ended up a different order.

 

I have the DP1 and love it for its naturalness... Its not grainy and Id agree it doesn't pull out every detail, but it is highly musical. Not to say it doesn't have enough detail. The DP1 benefits from a good power conditioner imo.

 

Thanks for taking the time to review the dacs!

 

Never heard the Yulong. We had one speaker system and one headphone system. I would say both of them sounded more similar than different. But your point of having second, third, or fourth setup possibly leading to different results is very much true. I am friends with the two, three other folks involved with these DAC-Offs (not everyone was involved in all of the sessions, including myself), so there is certainly a level of group-think involved. I know that all of us tend to hear things similarly, and even our preferences are more similar than different. It's just that you're in that situation - in the same room. It's controlled, and everyone is there at the same time. We're just going to heard the same things and use the same vocabulary - or at least establish the same vocabulary because we are all right there.

 

On the DP-1, we thought long and hard about that one on how to place it. I'm happy where it ended up as "beyond classification". Personally, I didn't like it. But I really did understand why others did, unlike the crap classified as crap.


Edited by purrin - 12/6/13 at 10:03am
post #22 of 2090
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

You had a Hilo you used for AES feed to the PWD. Did you listen to it as a DAC?

 

That was an oversight. We did listen to the Hilo Lynx. Following up with a write up on it. It's a very good DAC. Class C. Will update in a bit.

post #23 of 2090
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post
 

First negative review of the TEAC UD-501 I have read. Every other source I have read on it says that it is an amazing DAC, besting DACs twice its price.

 

Looking at your more positive reviews, I wonder how the Schiit compares to the X-Sabre? We're only talking about a $150 difference in price. I guess if you need DSD/DXD the decision is obvious.

 

The TEAC is a POS. I don't care about what anyone else thinks about it or what the reviews say. Unlike the DP-1, I wouldn't even understand why other people think it's good. But I guess that's possible if we were coming from a $79 Walmart DVD/CD special or AC97 motherboard out. There was one amp manufacturer who purchased it thinking it would be a good DAC to demo his amps on. He sold it. I still give him crap about it to this day "So where's that POS DAC?" He then tells to F off.

 

X-Sabre are Gungir are different beasts. Personal preferences will play a large part on how they are ranked. The X-Sabre is more resolving, more laid back, fast sounding, and has a bigger stage in comparison to the Gungnir. There's a slight bit of funny mid-high treble crap, fine grain, and lack of bass pitch differentiation typical of SABRE implementations. The Gungir is more aggressively dynamic, has better bass pitch differentiation, and has a slightly smaller stage, but with more stable imaging. The Gungnir's tone is more natural and sweeter, and that's what really wins it over for me. Actually what really wins it over is the Gen 2 USB at which I was really surprised at. The new USB compliments the Gungnir well. It gives the Gungnir more clarity, resolution, and volume gradations. Gungnir Gen 1 USB is class D or E.

 

One other guy who was part of the sessions dislikes almost anything SABRE. I too am convinced that SABRE is a lost cause. The unnatural treble of the SABRE chip is carries huge penalties. The manufacturers may try to hide the SABRE sound, but it always comes out one way or another. Just something to keep in mind about personal preferences or pet peeves.


Edited by purrin - 12/6/13 at 10:38am
post #24 of 2090

In my own experimentation I found that using the AES/EBU input on the NAD (coming from my Stello U3 with an Aqvox PSU) helped its treble a bit, but the bass was still a bit softer than I would have liked.

post #25 of 2090

Haha does the "S" in Class S mean what I think it means? ;)

post #26 of 2090

great thread, i will be back here soon. 

post #27 of 2090
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by driver 8 View Post
 

In my own experimentation I found that using the AES/EBU input on the NAD (coming from my Stello U3 with an Aqvox PSU) helped its treble a bit, but the bass was still a bit softer than I would have liked.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by helljudgement View Post
 

Nice. Usb has always been the bottleneck of all dac so its unfair to use it solely as a base to judge a dac. Glad to see all these gears being thoroughly tested over a period of time and through various inputs so kudos to you purrin. The schiit usb implementation has arouse my interest though. Any difference between gungnir/usb and gungnir/or5 coax?

 

I have discovered (not that long ago) that most USB implementations suck. I only wish I had known (I should have known) sooner as I'm sure many of the DACs listed here could have benefited from a proper USB/SPDIF converter. It's frustrating because there are so many combinations to try out. And I can't but help think some of the DACs didn't get a fair shake - that they would have radically improved, especially if their built-in USB converters sucked.

 

And then there's the question of the effectiveness of USB/SPDIF converters. For example. I suspect the AP1 (at least without the PP PS supply) doesn't do anything. It sounded worse than the PWD2's built-in USB and Amos / Currawong said it sounded the same as his AGD M7's USB (which I felt sucked balls). The AP1 ain't cheap. It's even more expensive with the PP. At this price point, even if it did work, it's not viable for any DAC less than $2K. I would have liked to find out if the PP did anything, but the owner of the AP1 was already pissed that it didn't do jack and said "F that."

 

In terms of input differences with Gungnir - in order of goodness.

 

  1. USB Gen 2
  2. Coax from my PC (which sound better than the PWD2 USB implementation, which is already not bad) 
  3. ...gap...
  4. USB Gen 1

 

I don't have my OR5 right now, it's on loan, but I will report back on it. The thing with the OR5 is that it's not worth it for the Gungnir. The OR5 as I have it configured is ~$1500. The Gungnir is $750. But cost aside, the Gungnir won't scale with the OR5 like the M7 or PWD2. The fact that the M7 or PWD2 will take i2s provides even another level of advantage. The USB Gen 2 option is $100, optimally scales with the Gungnir's inherent capabilities, and better matches the Gungnir's particularities. By this I mean the USB Gen 2 provides more clarity, really brings out the sweetness of the AKM chip, restores the soft sounds which were either dropped or compressed upward, adds more low level information. From memory, the OR5 only did a little bit to address the last three shortcomings. The OR5 mostly did what it does best: blacken the background, tighten up the sounds, making things more precise sounding, provide more clarity, etc. However, I'm not 100% sure at this point and will require more listening / testing. We are not talking about huge differences.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post
 

Haha does the "S" in Class S mean what I think it means? ;)

 

Well, it could mean "Super". Really depends upon personal preferences.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom W View Post
 

Fantastic write up!

 

Have you tried (or considered using) the EA Short Block with the OR5?

 

I have not tried the Short Block yet but I am in the process of making my own. I know that simply cutting the +5V on the USB line to the OR5 incrementally improved soundstage. The next steps would be to put a choke on the ground and a common mode choke on the D+ and D- lines.


Edited by purrin - 12/6/13 at 12:16pm
post #28 of 2090

great review OP.  was thinking of upgrading to the M51 as my next dac, guess I'll just stick to the gungnir !

post #29 of 2090

So what is the best way to get DSD/DXD out of the Schiit?

post #30 of 2090

Loki. That's it.

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