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Audio-Gd Master 7 - Discrete Fully Balanced DAC (PCM1704)

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by darknightdk, Sep 3, 2012.
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  1. PeterCraig

    I've had to adjust a few things since my DSP update last week.
    First I missed bimmer’s memo about adding a jumper to PLLEN if you have a good source (I’m using I2S via HDMI and the DI-U8).  So when I first listened to the upgrade with the M7 default settings I found the treble to be too bright and too much.  And there was too much bass.  I wasn’t happy.
    So after reviewing all the Head-Fi posts about jumper settings, and FredA’s DSP notes, I did my first experimenting with jumpers and added one to PLLEN and that solved 90% of my issues.  Or another way of putting it is that it improved the sound immensely.  Thank goodness for the sharing online here.
    I only wish I had of heard the original M7 DSP with PLL set to OFF.  Too late for that…..
    Next while I was at it I tried all the different jumper settings over the last few days including Audio-Dandy’s recommendations.  They were all interesting, NOS and 2x oversampling were my favourites, but I’m back at the default settings with a jumper on BYPASS and another on PLLEN.  Sounds good to me.
    The sound still wasn’t quite right there where I wanted it though.  With the original DSP I had toned down the T1’s hot treble around 8.5khz with Xnor’s Foobar equalizer.  As I find the new DSP has more action in the high frequency zone I adjusted those equalizer settings down about 35% (so an additional reduction around 8.5khz) and that sorted things out.  The new DSP was a little bright for me with the gear I am using, but it’s nicely balanced now and sounds good.
    I’m not a fan of using equalizers but ear fatigue be damned!  I’m sensitive to treble.  And yes I will get new headphones and amp when the time comes.
    So after a week of fiddling around I’m very happy with this new DSP.  It’s like getting a new better d/a converter and I look forward to the next upgrade (which I am sure won’t be free).  I also enjoyed playing with the jumper settings too and will probably do more listening to the NOS settings.
  2. evillamer
    After day of evaluation between the DACs(M7 vs YGG): 
    With DSP V7 (PLLEN Jumper ON, 8X OS, -130db Stopband), I think my Master 7 has finally won over my Yggdrasil DAC overall:
    1) (Speaker)Soundstage now has plenty of depth and 3D imaging, making it on par or better than Yggdrasil.
    2) Bass response seems more extended and more presence than Yggdrasil.
    3) No more laidback sound. The new DSP seems to add more liveliness to the speed and dynamics of the music.
    4) Treble is more extended and clearer than Yggdrasil(softer treble, some form of mist)
    5) Natural Timbre is one area which the Master 7 totally trumps the Yggdrasil. Coldplay's [A Sky Full of Stars] Piano has more presence than Yggdrasil(which sound softer)
    6) Yggdrasil still has the lead in small detail reproduction(e.g. breathing and soft handclaps etc)
    7) Both male and female vocals is well integrated into the soundstage but standout from the stage itself(previous DSP did not have any standout)
    8) New DSP makes it very easy for your ears to identify each instrument in the spatial cue vs a mashup in the previous DSP.
    9) This makes the new DSP more unforgiving to bad recordings vs the previous DSP(harshness/artifacts will show up more).
    10) Overall M7 with DSPv7 won over Yggdrasil interms of engaging musicality. M7 is more eager and more willing to present music detail to you in full stride vs Ygg's more even handed/softer presentation.
    HoloSpice likes this.
  3. FredA
    One thing i would mention after one week with the new DSP firmware is it makes the sound more dynamic, and the overall PRaT is improved. The sound is more lively. Bass is definitly more extented and tight. As some mentioned, it is now less forgiving, but i still consider it forgiving since it is able to extract a maximum of information out of any recording, good or bad. The better aspects of a recording are presented without any veil, The same for the bad ones. Of course the totally bad recordings will be totally bad, but i don't play such recordings anyway.
  4. Astral Abyss
    What do you guys think of the new Singularity 7?  Looks like a Master 7 with better ability to upgrade in the future?  
  5. DACLadder
    The Singularity 7 looks like a better clocked Master 7.   May be only the center board that is updated.  Kingwa, can we upgrade the Master 7 to Singularity ??
    What is also alarming is the PCM1704UK DAC chips are in short supply.   Only 100 more Master 7 type DACs can be built.  There is even a last call notice for the Master 11 on the Audio GD front page.
  6. Astral Abyss
    I wonder how long it will take to sell 100?  I may go ahead and upgrade my DAC-19 to the Singularity before they're gone for good, but it won't be till after the holidays.
  7. Clemmaster
    Every year the PCM1704 shortage comes up... 5 years later, they're still here.
  8. LarsHP
    The new Master 7 (Singularity) apparently also has an upgraded analog section:

    "Singularity 7, except the full new digital design, but the analog design had improve for get lower distortion and better transparency sound quality."
  9. comzee
    And it only costs $190 more than 2016 M7.... This is why King-Wa needs to release a product blog like Schiit does, probably many people that would have waited on the 2016 M7 to buy the Singularity. 
  10. eschell27
    Ohhhh i am very tempted to upgrade my dac-19 10th to the Singularity.... who needs new tires...they can wait right? haha!
  11. DACLadder
    Audio GD only shipped about three Master 7s since late Oct. 2016 so yeah 100 units may be close to a 5 yr supply.  I would think though the Singularity 7 would spike sales as well as the DSPv7 upgrade for the standard M7.   But I would be disappointed if I recently ordered an M7 only to find out an upgraded version was available.    
  12. Clemmaster
    That's the name of the game :/
  13. enigmus12
    It will be probably not of any interest if you are already holding a DCC like the Su1. I mean it seems to be a big upgrade for the digital of all others inputs (with fpga and clock) but I2s is a direct connection to the DSP that can already be upgraded like it was with DSP v7
    the analog out upgrade is another thing...
  14. riffer
    I noticed the Singularity's BNC now supports 192k, rather than the 92k or the Master 7.
    Going back, wasn't there something different about the BNC or some sort of option that made this only 92k?  I checked my documentation and old printout but can't find it.  Could be my imagination, I suppose.
  15. bButcher
    If you check the design, BNC input is routed to BB DIR9001 which can only handle up to 108k. All other inputs are routed to Wolfson WM8805 which can handle 192k. DIR9001 has better performance than WM8805 but lower input rate.
    riffer likes this.
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