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Budget DAC?

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  1. jason41987
    Wow, I found this program called HeSuVi which has a bunch of virtualization settings built in, it uses Equalizer APO which I already use to put a noise filter and noise gate onto my mic. Anyway, once I installed HeSuVi, I reconnected my USB Dolby Headphone adapter and was flipping the surround sound feature on and off, while toggling the HeSuVi program on and off. Using Dolby Home Theatre V4 Headphone, the sound between my USB adapters surround sound, and the HeSuVi surround sound is indistinguishable to my ears.

    Unfortunately, HeSuVi doesn't work at 384 sample rate, but it does work at 32 bits. So I could leave my audio device at 32/48, use HeSuVi, and get the surround sound effect I desire with the DAC.
  2. jason41987
    I haven't had the device disconnect on me recently. I do not know why it seems to have suddenly stopped doing it. I did get a new 6.6ft USB-C cable for it though. I think I will keep it, especially now that I de-facto turned it into a surround sound device when I need it.
  3. jason41987
    I have achieved the PERFECT setup.

    First, Equalizer APO + HeSuVi + VB Cable for surround sound virtualization. VB cable has 7.1 channel output, Equalizer APO installs to that, and HeSuVi to APO. I set the VB cable as my primary output, and the virtual input that links to "listens" through the Khadas Tone Board. So most audio is surround sound processed and comes out the Tone Board.

    For music, Foobar is set to use the Khadas Tone Board directly as an output device which is set to 32-bit 384khz. So, I can listen to surround sound game audio AND 32/384 music at the same time.
  4. scruffy1
    what's the native resolution of your source for music ?

    if you are upsampling then there's really no need to as best as i understand things, because you can't create detail out of nothing

    cd is 16bit 44.1khz, and it's what i rip flacs to; downloads go as high as (native) 24bit 192khz, and while it sounds great, it's much bigger files (146mb for 3:54 of song - under 4 minutes that is :astonished:) and arguably to no distinct advantage, especially on lower end equipment

  5. jason41987
    I have a lot of FLACs. I'll have to find more. But it is interesting I can listen to surround sound audio in game and music at a higher bitrate and sampling rate at the same time. However, over the last couple days the random disconnects seem to have gotten worse, and I cannot understand why. Tried different USB ports, different cables, I have the proper Khadas drivers, I cannot figure it out. If I have to send it back I'll probably get the Loxjie in its place unless theres one out there that you can set up 7.1 on in Windows 10 to make the surround sound processing a bit easier.

    Correction, I have one album in FLAC, the rest of my music is 320kbps MP3, I would have no issues getting all of it in native FLAC except for the $25/album price tag, yikes. But to try it out I'm getting one album that is 24/192 FLAC.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  6. jason41987
    Alright, got some 24/192 FLAC music to compare to existing 320k MP3. Unless there is a setting in Foobar I am not familiar with, I cannot tell a difference between the two when comparing the same song side by side. I can tell a difference between the 320k MP3 and Spotify streaming though.
  7. Chris Kaoss
    This is a matter of different masters for tidal, i guess.
    What music did you compare with?
  8. scruffy1
    are you using this ?

  9. jason41987
    I just used that program, even converted the FLAC to 320kbps MP3 to make it as fair as possible. I scored 6/8 so there is a difference, but it's really, really hard to tell.
  10. scruffy1
    to be really fair you should rip the same source to both formats

    my experience is that it depends on the equipment (and your ears), but a lot on the quality of the original source

    i have some 128 mp3's here that sound heller good, but i don't have the originals
  11. jason41987
    If I am being completely honest, I notice the difference from Spotifys what? 128kb bitrate and a 320k MP3 clearly, but going from a 320k MP3 to a 24/192 FLAC and hearing a little, but not much improvement would suggest it's certainly past the point of diminishing returns. It reminds me of when I got my PC monitor. 165hz, great, right? I notice a big difference from 60fps to 120fps, and can barely tell any difference between 120 and 165 playing the same games on both monitors at the same time. I am starting to think 32 bit audio and DSD is like musics answer to a 240hz monitor... mostly marketing.
  12. Chris Kaoss
    Indeed, mostly it is.
  13. jason41987
    Also, finding music at those bitrates is really difficult, the only thing I could even find in DSD was done by some random small artists specifically as a tech demo of DSD itself. All pointless. But out of curiosity, a standard CD quality FLAC file is what? 16/48? So you'll never achieve better than that without having to look for music in formats that practically don't even exist. The difference I noticed between FLAC music and spotify I probably could have heard at 16/48 as well.
  14. Chris Kaoss
    Take a look at this --> http://www.2l.no/hires/

    You'll get a great look into and decide it by yourself. :)

    Have fun with listening.
  15. jason41987
    I looked through all that. I could tell a difference between the 5.1 tracks and the others, but between DSD and high bitrate lossless, not much of a difference, and between the 24 bit and 16/48 files, again, not a huge difference to my ears. I am starting to understand why people have been saying 32 bit and 384 or even 768 isn't that necessary. I do notice much better imaging, sound stage, and clarity of same audio tracks, at same bitrates between the DAC and my onboard audio, so DAC quality matters more than bitrate. The Tone Board is getting worse with the disconnects. If I could fix it, I'd keep it, but if I can't, I will probably just go with a Schiit Modi or Micca OriGen.
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