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Review: Benchmark DAC1 vs RME HDSP 9632 vs RME PAD vs EMU 1212M - Page 2

post #16 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
I've read that the Lynx are very clinical sounding, quite opposed to what I feel is the very musical sounding DAC1, but of course I have not heard the Lynx, so who knows for sure?


Clinical sounding? I have never heard mine sound clinical in any way. I used to have some pretty clinical, zero feedback monoblocks, and my digital was still far from critical. To these ears, the Lynx just sounds right. It sounds more like music. The 6 moons review of the VRS is a good synopsis of what a Lynx sounds like.

Nice review. . .

B
post #17 of 69
cebec, there have been a lot of RMAA measurements posted, if you do a search. Iron_Dreamer in particular has posted many of them himself. (Thanks!) Stereophile has published even more comprehensive measurements of the DAC1.

When you're looking at them, be aware that RMAA measurements taken by two different people cannot be compared.
post #18 of 69
i'm looking for comparisons between modded and unmodded cards, in particular. and, while i understand that measurements between two different people cannot me compared, and i understand that RMAA results do not tell the whole story, i just don't see enough of the abovementioned kinds of RMAA results.

i do appreciate Iron_Dreamer's hard work, however, and don't mean to downplay his contributions.
post #19 of 69
Iron_Dreamer has posted comparative measurements for every (or almost every) unmodded/modded card pair he's done. Do a search.
post #20 of 69
Thread Starter 
Here are some that I have done:

stock vs. bypass modded RME PAD: http://www-scf.usc.edu/~miklic/RMAA/StockvsBypassed.htm

stock vs. blackgate modded RME HDSP: http://www-scf.usc.edu/~miklic/RMAA/HDSPBG.htm

stock EMU 1212M: http://www-scf.usc.edu/~miklic/RMAA/E-MU%201212M.htm

I thought I had one for the modded EMU, but I can't find it anywhere.

I have little faith in these tests as a means of judging audio quality. They are really more useful for comparing cards, or seeing if a modded card has a problem, and if so analyzing the problem.
post #21 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine330Ci


Clinical sounding? I have never heard mine sound clinical in any way. I used to have some pretty clinical, zero feedback monoblocks, and my digital was still far from critical. To these ears, the Lynx just sounds right. It sounds more like music. The 6 moons review of the VRS is a good synopsis of what a Lynx sounds like.

Nice review. . .

B

Hmm, well I am just passing along what I have read in other reviews of the Lynx. Perhaps they were way off base, and you know better what it sounds like. I don't have the experience to say either way.
post #22 of 69
About measurements -- All available on past threads, modded and unmodded. Specifically search for Iron Dreamer's posts. Someone else can provide the link, but there's also the site that provides a rediculous amount of technical comparisons between cards, and at least for the pro audio cards, they typically provide quite a bit of information, same for the public reviews on other sites...

Glad to hear that there's a Lynx owner here -- another person I talk to alot has sold off all his other sources, and preference wise definitely doesn't fall into the camp that would prefer a sound as clinical. 'Right' and 'amazing' are the two words I typically hear from him. And all his comparisons are to components where the word 'budget' doesn't really apply to considerations of purchase.

Hopefully I'll be able to compare the modified RME, Lynx L22, and both cards to a few external DACs shortly. Still need to get a monitor or wireless connection for my fanless system....and the Lynx. I'm most curious about the differences in sound, and my own personal preference of the Lynx and a good non-OS configuration. When I finally get a chance to do any sort of comparisons, whether its between cards and DACs or modified players, I'll definite post my impressions.
post #23 of 69
Great review irondreamer. For awhile it felt like I was was the only one pimping the benchmark as a computer source. I am sure your articulate statements will draw even more to the cause. Enjoy!
post #24 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raif
Great review irondreamer. For awhile it felt like I was was the only one pimping the benchmark as a computer source. I am sure your articulate statements will draw even more to the cause. Enjoy!
I would think the PS1 and DAC1 must be quite a combo. How does the A900 pair with the DAC1, do you find it bright?
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjr888
another person I talk to alot has sold off all his other sources, and preference wise definitely doesn't fall into the camp that would prefer a sound as clinical.
Hmm. . Sounds like someone I know.

Seriously though, I have heard the Lynx in three different systems, with quite a mix of gear, and I have not heard this harshness. I suppose you could get it, but it would depend on other components in the system.

A very important, and often overlooked variable on PC based systems is the power cord. As silly as it may sound, the power cord makes a bigger difference on this source, than on all my previous sources. With my system now, certain things might have a bit of bite, but only things that are supposed to have bite. Loud trumpet bursts from an Art Blakely tune can do this, and even some louder piano. This is no different from live, and it has never been harsh to the point where I want to change anything.

One thing to note is that the Lynx TWO/L22's have TONS of gain. Even in -10dB, the gain is much more than a standalone player, or DAC. If one happens to have compressed recordings, as all of us do, this could cause the sound to become irritating b/c the thing is so accurate, and won't creat false dynamics, and smoothing. The way I deal with those discs is ReplayGain. That works VERY well.

L8r,

B
post #26 of 69
From the RMAA result, my personal opinion is, if you want uncolor output, go for E-MU 1212m. If you prefer colored (warm,...etc, normally means harmonic) output, go for RME HDSP 9632.

By the way, can we have the RMAA result for the DACs?
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer



I couldn't detect any real difference between the digital outputs of the cards. A couple of times I thought I heard something, but it turned out to be placebo. I will find out soon how good the DAC1 does with a cheap source, the Chaintech. I think a cheap computer source with optical should still be great, since the DAC kills any of the jitter, optical kills the dirty ground, and ripping via EAC makes it essentially a perfect transport. Now as for CDP's as transports, that is up in the air, since who knows which CDP's output good enough to rival EAC secure mode. To me the cost of the transport doesn't make the DAC1 less appealing, because at most I'd have to spend $99 perhaps for an EMU 0404, or hopefully only $24 for a Chaintech AV710.


Iron D,
How do you have the spdif/dig outs of the cards configured? By that I mean, are they ASIO or kernel streaming, thereby staying bit-perfect? What player did you use? Thx,
Ted_B
post #28 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeeyy
From the RMAA result, my personal opinion is, if you want uncolor output, go for E-MU 1212m. If you prefer colored (warm,...etc, normally means harmonic) output, go for RME HDSP 9632.

By the way, can we have the RMAA result for the DACs?
IME stand-alone DAC's often measure strangely through RMAA, that has been my experience with the DI/O, and now the Benchmark. I know the RMAA result is not consistent with what I hear, it might be due to the high output impedance of the RCA jacks, but at any rate the RMAA results are not worth posting since they are inaccurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ted_b
Iron D,
How do you have the spdif/dig outs of the cards configured? By that I mean, are they ASIO or kernel streaming, thereby staying bit-perfect? What player did you use? Thx,
Ted_B
I used foobar, with ASIO for all of my tests pertinent to this thread, so yes my "transport" was always bit perfect.
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
I would think the PS1 and DAC1 must be quite a combo. How does the A900 pair with the DAC1, do you find it bright?
The benchmark ->DAC-1 combo simultaneously converted me from two beliefs about head-fi I though I would never break.
1. I will never spend more than $1000 dollars on a headphone.
2. After about the $600 mark, the difference in headphone quality is psychological at best, covered in leather at worst.

The only issue is that the benchmark doesn't fully reign in the bass in the ps-1. It is definitely an audiophile complaint though. Of course, depending on my developing soldering skills, my recent dynahi board purchase should take care of that.

As for the a900, it sounds great. I wouldn't say bright, but more a little lacking in warmth, especially after coming from the ps-1.

If you were to ask me my dream computer setup it would either be
benchmark->gilmore(reference or dynahi, time will tell)->ps-1
or
benchmark->tube amp(probably supra)->r10

depending on the music
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeeyy
From the RMAA result, my personal opinion is, if you want uncolor output, go for E-MU 1212m. If you prefer colored (warm,...etc, normally means harmonic) output, go for RME HDSP 9632.

By the way, can we have the RMAA result for the DACs?
Here are the RMAA results that I have from the RME PAD > glass toslink (mcm 2m) > DAC1 > (headphone jack) > RME PAD (analog input).
http://www.geocities.com/dip16dac/benchmarkdac1.htm
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