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Budget DAC?

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  1. jason41987
    Come to think of it, my surround sound adapter was prone to that as well. I cannot understand why. And yeah, that cable is a total dud, they shouldn't even include it because if it didn't have it, I would have ordered a good one from the start.
  2. scruffy1
    if both cables do it i would wonder if the usb on the pc is the fault, not two separate things you have attached to it

    makes more sense that it's a single item malfunctioning doesn't it ?

    as stated earlier, i wondered re my own cable, and since then have used the supplied without issue in a different usb port

    troubleshooting means playing with the variables to see what is consistently problematic, not presuming where the fault is
  3. jason41987
    The cable that came with it would supply power, the LED came on, but it wouldn't send signal so the device was never detected by the original cable on any USB port i tried. The other cable i used however works on every USB port i tried.. unfortunately, the supplied cable is also way too short to reach my tower so i ordered some 6.6ft USB C cables from amazon.. something i'd have done when i placed my order of the device if i knew the supplied one was garbage

    Right now the device is plugged into the same USB port that solved the disconnection issue with my old device, so if it disconnects again then it's almost certainly not the USB port or USB cables fault, but the device itself.

    I am also disappointed I have to turn my right channel down to 80% to balance. I am cautious about buying anything from SMSL again.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  4. jason41987
    I actually swapped back to my old sound device for gaming. The footsteps, sound effects, and ambiance just sounded so unnatural. With the DD device, I don't know how to explain it but things just sound more realistic to me. Less detailed, but more real if that makes sense.
  5. scruffy1
    dd device ? sorry, your post is hard to follow

    if that's the old device, then you need to accept that there's a period of adjustment to realise the qualities of a new device

    it's like a new (and obviously better) pair of shoes are uncomfortable initially - maybe your expectations are different to mine; maybe the qualities you find attractive are different - i am totally appreciative of an unbiased reproduction, maybe your taste is already to have what you have been adapted to so far

    despite initially being a white with 2 sugars guy, after i got a decent italian espresso machine, sugar seems like a pollutant

    making an opinion in such a short time is to my approach way premature; it's almost 2 months since the stoner ud130 arrived, and only now am i starting to "get" the way it sounds

    your descriptor of "natural" seems to be you hearing what you are used to, with all its inherent colour

    who knows ? some people like bose and dr dre, so they can have what they enjoy, but to repeat my coffee analogy, lots of people think starbucks serve good coffee (and i'm not one of them)
  6. jason41987
    Alright, well I got it on Amazon prime so I can give it a week, and If I'm not satisfied I can return it without question. If next week I can plug the Dolby headphone adapter in, and it still sounds more realistic to me, then I'll end up returning the DAC and looking for another Dolby solution.
  7. scruffy1
    all good

    it's important to satisfy your own tastes rather than feel obliged to suffer someone else's :beerchug:
    Chris Kaoss likes this.
  8. jason41987
    I mean, I can hear a difference, and I had both DACs connected to my headphone amp at the same time, so i only needed to flip a switch on my amp to go between the two audio sources. I could clearly hear that the new DAC was more detailed, more precise. But the old one was more natural. And I don't mean natural as in I am used to it, or it sounds "normal." I mean it sounds more natural in that the audio sounds more like they're happening in real life, and not obvious sound effects, ya know? Like you can hear a door open in one game and be like "wow, that's an obvious sound effect" but with the Surround sound setup it gives it a sort of reverb you'd actually expect to hear in a real room which takes a door closing from sounding like a sound effect, to sounding like someone just shut the door to your room.

    It's because in real life when you hear a sound, even if the sound is 90 degrees to your right or left, you still hear it in both ears, you hear that echo coming off the wall on the opposite side of the source of the noise, being picked up by the opposite ear. With headphones, you don't get that, you hear the audio source directly to your right, only in your right ear since headphones aren't loud enough, and generally your opposite ear is sealed off anyway that you do not get those reflected sound waves. It's that feature that makes sound effects and voices sound more realistic.
  9. scruffy1
    you might find with open backed headphones that directional cues are way better
  10. kukkurovaca
    It sounds like you're pretty attached to the surround sound functionality. Have you tried using a software solution together with the new DAC, to isolate the DSP function from the hardware? For example, I know Overwatch has an option for Dolby Atmos selectable within settings, that should work with regular headphones.

    An alternate solution may be to look into an upgraded sound card for your PC rather than a separate DAC, if the surround functionality is indispensable for your use.
  11. jason41987
    About the only thing that looks like a good compromise is the Sound BlasterX G6. 32/384 bitrate, dolby digital headphone tech, and a built in amp they claim can drive up to 600ohms.

    I'll give the Tone Board a week though to acclimate.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  12. jason41987
    In the following week, I will play with some trials for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X headphone and see if they do anything. I will also try out some things with equalizer APO to see if I can simulate a crossfeed effect with software.
  13. kukkurovaca
    If you're just looking for software crossfeed, the one in Equalizer APO is just okay. I really like the Goodhertz Can Opener plugin, but that does cost money and also you need to have a setup that lets you use plugins. (I have not been able to run it from inside Equalizer APO successfully but have from Jriver or Audirvana.)

    That won't be the same as Dolby-style surround virtualization, though. There are also DSPs that do work along those lines, or speaker/room virtualization ones. I don't personally know that market but I bet the sound science subforum folks could point you in the right direction.
  14. jason41987
    I would be more inclined to buy the Goodhertz CanOpener plugin if I could try it first. No trial and I've been burned on VST plugins claiming to work before makes me very cautious.
    What do you mean by DSPs?
  15. kukkurovaca

    Goodhertz has a 15-day trial. You do need to create an account though I believe.

    DSP is a general term (digital signal processing) for any kind of manipulating the audio before it goes to the analog stage.
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