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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why I hate chocolate ice cream) - Page 14

post #196 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

Good stuff! :smile:

Purrin, did you play with AURALiC filters or EXACT clock mode, both have quite significant impact on outcome.

 

Left filters stock. I'll give EXACT clock mode a good try (wasn't sure it would work.) I'll have this DAC in my house for a few days to give it a good run.

Great.

The stock (default) Filter 4 supposed to be a good all around and based on AURALiC tests collected the most positive feedback during subjective listening testing, but it's not the most detailed.

Filter 3 is the warmest with strongest treble cut off. And No 1 the best measured, try that one if you want to extract more "plankton", this and EXACT clock would squeeze out the most details. Also covering pin 1 and 4 on USB connector seems to help too.

Also check out this document, it provides thorough explanation on Vega filters

AURALiC Flexible Filter Mode Explanation

post #197 of 1258
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips.

 

I've already got a special USB cable. The DAC is currently at a friend's place and we've have to try those settings out.

post #198 of 1258
Thread Starter 

Recent Add: Berkeley Alpha 2 with Berkeley Alpha USB Converter

post #199 of 1258

Hello I own a AGD M7.

 

 

And I might if a good idea to upgrade for PS Audio PWD2 or Berkeley Alpha Series 2 but it seems cheaper to got an used OR5 ?

 

Which cable did you use for the I2S ? The m2tech evo will work with AGD M7 ?

 

Did you hear the coax from Audiophileo ?

 

Did you have the exact reference for the vintage Denon CDP ?


Edited by Hun7er - 1/5/14 at 11:21am
post #200 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hun7er View Post
 

Hello I own a AGD M7.

 

 

And I might if a good idea to upgrade for PS Audio PWD2 or Berkeley Alpha Series 2 but it seems cheaper to got an used OR5 ?

 

Keep the M7 and get the OR5 is my recommendation.

I think a shielded cat7 cable is fine for I2S.

post #201 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

It's whatever I can get my hands on or what friends bring over to my house or ship to me. I don't think any manufacturer in their right mind would ever send anything willingly to me after reading of some of the things I've written. It's just too much of a risk. It's standard practice for manufacturers send stuff to people who will only write praise or who are willing to receive gifts, discounts, etc. The only two manufacturers who have dared send stuff to me without any preconditions are Schiit and JPS Labs, and only at my asking.

 

Let don't me scare you away because my comments regarding the Vega's "brightness" and "robotic timbre" (think Finn's techno voice in Adventure time after he swallowed a computer). While these are apt descriptions, they are also extreme exaggerations to describe what is difficult to describe. Honestly, I almost placed the Vega in the "Beyond Classification" category, but I decided at end that I would have liked it enough to actually use it myself.

 

+1.  Straight up as it should be.  I like that.
Btw, you got me started looking at different DACs to compare to my TEAC.  Just out of pure curiosity.  :beerchug: 

post #202 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

I think it's important to point out that differences with DACs are so small that downstream gear such as amps and headphones will be a limiting factor.

 

Downstream gear aside, I think some are probably trying to listen for bigger differences than actually exist. I bet this plays a role in perception...or, in these cases, lack of perception to what subtle differences exist. So subtle that, if looking for something more noticeable, they can go missed and thus make DACs indistinguishable.

 

It's sort of the opposite side to listening so intently for subtle differences that you start to perceive differences that don't exist.

 

Finding that balance is hard. Figuring out how well others approach that balance is even harder. Purrin, I don't know if you spelled out your methodologies on here as much as you have elsewhere, but I think you have a fairly good process in place.

 

I could be off the mark or flat out wrong about my ideas.

post #203 of 1258

I wish someone could throw the Meridian Director into their comparison mix...

 

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-V7prYTM7ucH/p_795DIRCTOR/Meridian-Director.html

 

This little DAC has been pushed on me by several different dealers.

post #204 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by schneller View Post

I wish someone could throw the Meridian Director into their comparison mix...

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-V7prYTM7ucH/p_795DIRCTOR/Meridian-Director.html

This little DAC has been pushed on me by several different dealers.

I would stay away. It appears to be an average DAC riding on its brandname.
post #205 of 1258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hun7er View Post
 

Hello I own a AGD M7.

 

 

And I might if a good idea to upgrade for PS Audio PWD2 or Berkeley Alpha Series 2 but it seems cheaper to got an used OR5 ?

 

Which cable did you use for the I2S ? The m2tech evo will work with AGD M7 ?

 

Did you hear the coax from Audiophileo ?

 

Did you have the exact reference for the vintage Denon CDP ?

 

PWD2 / Alpha are different in presentation to the M7 (which uses an ancient R2R DAC chip). Even though I have indicated the DACs in order of personal preference, that doesn't necessarily mean they all have a similar sound. I have a set of sonic priorities and pet peeves, but sometimes if a DAC does certain things really well, I am willing to overlook certain "issues". The Vega is one such DAC; and so it the PWD2 but to a much lesser extent.

 

The M7 has a nicety and correctness of tone (rendering of voices, treble / timbre, and bass texture) which neither the PWD2 or Alpha quite have. "Less digital" for lack of better words. The M7 needs a good source (not the built in USB2) to be on par with the PWD2 / Alpha in terms of soundstage, fine detail extraction, separation, layering, attack, precision, and clarity.

 

I looked into the m2tech EVO, but to get comparable performance, you will need three boxes: 1) EVO; 2) Power supply; 3) Word Clock Box. What killed it for me was that I would need to manually set the sampling frequency, i.e. 44.1, 96, etc on the Word Clock Box. That was a showstopper issue since my music files vary in sampling frequency. I have mix of Redbook and various hires formats. I'm not going to get up and turn the dial to match the sampling rate of the recording every other time I wanted to hear something.

 

I have only heard the coax of the AP1 with other DACs such as the PWD2, Gungir, and few other random DACs; and then without the power supply upgrade. The base AP1 was worse than the built-in XMOS of the PWD2 and it didn't do anything for the Gungnir. People I trust have remarked that the AP1 improves a bit with the power supply, but I have not heard this configuration; and I doubt the gains from a power supply would be that significant. If they are, them shame on Audiophilleo for gimping their product to mediocrity when the base unit is used without the power supply upgrade. I'm not against "upgrades", but I hate it when manufacturers provide a base unit which in actuality requires upgrades to perform at a decent level.

 

The really special advantage of the OR5 is the i2s output, which even other good USB converters such as the Berkeley Alpha USB, do not possess. The OR5 i2s is seriously another level better than the coax I've heard from other USB converters. For i2s, I use a CAT6 cable, short length, terminated myself.

 

LOL, I should know the model # of the Denon CDP. It belongs to one of the other ninjas. EDIT: DCD 2700

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post
 

Keep the M7 and get the OR5 is my recommendation.

 

Yeah. What he said. ^


Edited by purrin - 1/6/14 at 1:35pm
post #206 of 1258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stainless824 View Post

I would stay away. It appears to be an average DAC riding on its brandname.

 

Other than the Meridian Explorer, I haven't had much experience with the most current Meridian DACs except at large meets in bad conditions. I do get the sense that they have a "house" sounding which tends toward warm, lush, syrupy, and forgiving. I know a lot of people like this sound; and there are certainly a lot of ardent defenders of the Meridian brand.

post #207 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

PWD2 / Alpha are different in presentation to the M7 (which uses an ancient R2R DAC chip). Even though I have indicated the DACs in order of personal preference, that doesn't necessarily mean they all have a similar sound. I have a set of sonic priorities and pet peeves, but sometimes if a DAC does certain things really well, I am willing to overlook certain "issues". The Vega is one such DAC; and so it the PWD2 but to a much lesser extent.

 

The M7 has a nicety and correctness of tone (rendering of voices, treble / timbre, and bass texture) which neither the PWD2 or Alpha quite have. "Less digital" for lack of better words. The M7 needs a good source (not the built in USB2) to be on par with the PWD2 / Alpha in terms of soundstage, fine detail extraction, separation, layering, attack, precision, and clarity.

 

I looked into the m2tech EVO, but to get comparable performance, you will need three boxes: 1) EVO; 2) Power supply; 3) Word Clock Box. What killed it for me was that I would need to manually set the sampling frequency, i.e. 44.1, 96, etc on the Word Clock Box. That was a showstopper issue since my music files vary in sampling frequency. I have mix of Redbook and various hires formats. I'm not going to get up and turn the dial to match the sampling rate of the recording every other time I wanted to hear something.

 

I have only heard the coax of the AP1 with other DACs such as the PWD2, Gungir, and few other random DACs; and then without the power supply upgrade. The base AP1 was worse than the built-in XMOS of the PWD2 and it didn't do anything for the Gungnir. People I trust have remarked that the AP1 improves a bit with the power supply, but I have not heard this configuration; and I doubt the gains from a power supply would be that significant. If they are, them shame on Audiophilleo for gimping their product to mediocrity when the base unit is used without the power supply upgrade. I'm not against "upgrades", but I hate it when manufacturers provide a base unit which in actuality requires upgrades to perform at a decent level.

 

The really special advantage of the OR5 is the i2s output, which even other good USB converters such as the Berkeley Alpha USB, do not possess. The OR5 i2s is seriously another level better than the coax I've heard from other USB converters. For i2s, I use a CAT6 cable, short length, terminated myself.

 

LOL, I should know the model # of the Denon CDP. It belongs to one of the other ninjas.

 

 

Yeah. What he said. ^

 

Hello,

 

Thank for the response.

 

I have the same feeling on the M7 when compared to my sold Hilo. The timbre and the texture are to die. Voice are stunning. These 3 aspects are more prior than soundstage or attacks. So I keep the M7 and tried to improve with a transport.

The DAC that can compete on his strength are the AMR DP777.

 

 

I have heard good things about M2Tech Hiface Evo + Evo Supply + Evo Clocks. Did you think his I2S works with M7 ?

 

"In 6moons' Metrum Hex review, I found this information:

"Adam Mokrzycki organizes the Warsaw Audio Show and also is senior contributor to the Polish Audio magazine. His test of 14 USB bridges netted the following ranking: 

Matrix 24/96 - 60
TeleVox 24/96 - 65
Hegel HD2 - 65
Musical Fidelity V-Link II - 75
Halide Design The Bridge - 80
M2Tech HiFace Evo - 80
Stello U3 - 85
M2Tech HiFace Evo + Evo Supply - 90
JK SPDIF Mk3 - 90
Audiophilleo 1 - 95
Empirical Audio OffRamp Turbo 5 - 95
dCS U-Clock - 95
M2Tech HiFace Evo + Evo Supply + Evo Clock - 100
Scarlatti CD/SACD transport - 100

Subsequently he reported that with the new Pure Power battery supply, the Audiophilleo became "one of the best if not the best S/PDIF converter I know. Apart from those I reviewed above I also tried the über-expensive Soulution 590 which was average at best."

6moons audio reviews: Metrum Acoustics Hex "

post #208 of 1258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hun7er View Post
 

 

"Adam Mokrzycki organizes the Warsaw Audio Show and also is senior contributor to the Polish Audio magazine. His test of 14 USB bridges netted the following ranking: 

Matrix 24/96 - 60
TeleVox 24/96 - 65
Hegel HD2 - 65
Musical Fidelity V-Link II - 75
Halide Design The Bridge - 80
M2Tech HiFace Evo - 80
Stello U3 - 85
M2Tech HiFace Evo + Evo Supply - 90
JK SPDIF Mk3 - 90
Audiophilleo 1 - 95
Empirical Audio OffRamp Turbo 5 - 95
dCS U-Clock - 95
M2Tech HiFace Evo + Evo Supply + Evo Clock - 100
Scarlatti CD/SACD transport - 100

 

Do you know that DAC and digital output he used? The results will depend upon what digital out interface is used and the ultimately capabilities of the DAC. Some DACs just won't improve. Using -0- as a reference point:

 

M7 USB32 -10 

AP1 (no power supply upgrade) coax -5

PWD2 XMOS built-in USB 0 

OR5 AES +15

Berkeley Alpha USB AES +16

Lilo (as USB converter) AES +20

OR5 i2s +25

OR5 i2s (w/ power supply) +28

 

Note: my OR5 only has the i2s regulator upgrade. Nothing else. I didn't feel the turboclocks were necessarily an upgrade, but rather a sidegrade without the PS.


Edited by purrin - 1/6/14 at 1:47pm
post #209 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post
 

Keep the M7 and get the OR5 is my recommendation.

I think a shielded cat7 cable is fine for I2S.

This based off your own experience? Have you even heard the Alpha 2?

post #210 of 1258
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 

This based off your own experience? Have you even heard the Alpha 2?

no and no.

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