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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. bigfatpaulie
    I have an honest question...  Let's say there is a better DAC than DAVE released in the future.
    Would it matter?  
    Would it make DAVE any less special?  Would DAVE start sounding crappy?  I realize there is progress and such but when take old analog reel to reel recordings or a really good vinyl system, honestly, have we improved?  I feel, personally, as far as sound quality goes, no, we have not.
    We have comes leaps about bounds in the ergonomics department, however.  That stuff was a real pain to use and DAVE is oh so easy.
    Older DAC's had room for improvement, yes.  But here we are where a digital front end can go toe to toe with the best analog (I feel).  
  2. pkcpga

    Ok so my Dave DAC creates no audible niose when on attached to my naim preamp, with each speaker dual single amped to create true biamping to b and w nautilus speakers. I understand the Linn may work well with Linn speakers but from demoing the Linn equipment with my office set up Kef ls50's I was not impressed granted those speakers pick up any niose and are known to be picky to partner. Either way the new Linn sound was unimpressive. I have older Linn eqiupment I like but anything in the past three years I've been unimpressed. Linn sound has become thin and lacked the detail they used to be known for and their app is terrible even compared to blue sounds and much worse than naims. Linn only accepts a few formats and up to cd quality in its bank if you want to use Linn's app remote. It's app is confusing and freezes all the time along with your music so I've been unimpressed by their recent stuff.
  3. Mython Contributor
    We understand you perfectly.
    You are saying that Rob is easily-led.
  4. Torq

    You seem to have a knack for getting the facts wrong, or greatly exaggerating things ... like this.
    You don't have to like Linn's gear.  But whatever equipment it is you're making claims about it is not accurate with regards to the DS and DSM lines, which is what I'm referring to.  Those came out in 2007 and have supported high-resolution audio since day one.
    Linn Records were among the first to even offer high resolution downloads ... something they did because it was a major selling point for their players.
    There is no "Linn bank" - no idea what you're referring to there.  I can only think you're referring to their Kivor product, which is 15 years old, hasn't been sold for at least a decade and isn't relevant to the discussion.
    You feed the DS players using DLNA/UPnP based servers and there are plenty to choose from.   and it'll play pretty much anything useful except for DSD and DXD.  Linn's control point app isn't that very good ... but it certainly doesn't put any limits on what formats you can play ... and any DLNA/UPnP control point will work with it (lots of people use the one Lumin offer).
    Right from their main product page it lists the following supported formats:
    1. FLAC
    2. ALAC
    3. WAV
    4. MP3
    5. WMA (except lossless)
    6. AIFF
    7. AAC
    8. OGG
    Other than DSD and DXD I'm not seeing anything missing there that matters.
    And right below that it states it plays 24-bit 192 KHz files, which they have done since launch.
    What product are you referring to?
    Anyway, this is off topic and I only responded because you quoted me and I got notified of it - fixed that now.
    Bye and have fun!

    This! And how much can the human ear actually hear? Is there a such animal as "better than analog?" After all, as you've mentioned, often our point of reference for analog is stuff that was recorded 40 to 60 years+ ago.

    I remember Neil Young saying something along the lines of, "The music is in the hiss," refering to take hiss that's intrinsic in the original recordings, and not the hiss from multiple generation tape.

    One of the many things I listen to in a recording...well, okay, back to the TV analogy, what is one of the most difficult things for a hi-rez TV to resolve? Swirling mist, fog, moving nebulous type object. So, take Simon & Garfunkle's Bookends album. The gold disc is basically a flat transfer of the audio. It has quite a bit of tape hiss from the original master. On many DACs, there is this slight swirling effect when rrying to resolve hiss...much like the TV.

    I think one of the marks of a good DAC is the ability to resolve hiss to where it sounds natural, without giving off a digital glare, even though that flare might not be in the music, itself (or at least not perceived by the bounds of our hearing).
  6. x RELIC x Contributor
    I'm actually hoping the Davina ADC will take care of the hiss. Recording hiss isn't a natural phenomenon and will never sound natural.

    Once Rob's brain is downloaded in to a DAC making machine then the next step is to bypass DACs, amps, and transducers entirely and plug directly in to the neo-cortex. No hiss, no sibilance, no glare, no RF noise. Just audio interpreted by our brains... even in a vacuum.

    Well, hiss is a natural phenomenon for tape, though tape is wholly unnatural when compared to our environment. At least that's what I think that you're saying.

    But tape hiss IS nostalgia! I have no problem with it in my ears if the recording and/or the songs support that magic which only comes from 2" tape.
  8. pkcpga

    I have the Linn klimax, currently not in use since I can not keep a great connection with its app on my iPhone or iPad. If it works for you great, also hate that there is only one digital input and no choice but Ethernet. So I don't consider it extremely well designed from a customer stand point but I'm no engineer. As for the formats and 24/192 so does every NAD intergrated DAC/preamp/amp for over $799 and every rotel for over $899, so that's no great feat. Although the new NAD being introduced in the fall will play meridians new format as well as bluesound playing it and naim already releasing an update so I guess even $799 piece will have one up on formats played. I simply was stating as a customer who owns Linn from 3 years ago I don't find it very good compared to other stuff I recently bought.
  9. Mython Contributor
    LOL - nevermind the hiss - what about the magnetic 'bleed-through' of the signal, from one tape layer to the next, on the spool, creating a pre-emptive quiet 'echo' on some recordings?
    Here is an example - and this is actually a very nicely-recorded album, in other respects:
  10. romaz
    I think it could matter although it wouldn't take away from what the DAVE is now.  
    Rob has already spelled out some of the criteria necessary to create a perfectly transparent DAC (or at least perfect enough). He said that to achieve near-perfect transparency where the ear can no longer discern between the DAC's recreated analog signal from the original analog signal (pre-ADC), the ideal interpolation filter would require about 1,000,000 taps or an FPGA that has 100,000 DSP cores and currently, DAVE is at 164,000 taps and 166 DSP cores.  Whether this is reachable or not, Rob hasn't said but considering the Hugo has a 26,368 tap length filter with 16 DSP cores, that was a pretty nice jump that he achieved from Hugo to DAVE.  
    To put into perspective how phenomenal DAVE's figures are, here is what MSB has to say on their website currently with their latest DAC V series:

    MSB Digital Filters

    MSB has developed a series of digital filters that are optimized for the incredibly accurate DACs we make. We have 4 filters we have available in the DAC V and Analog DAC. The MSB filters are custom DSP based Digital filters. The sine x function is the ideal shape to apply to the audio filter task, but unfortunately to work perfectly it must sample an infinite number of samples. Our 16x filter contained 3200 taps, a very large sample and works well. The 32x Filter contains an amazing 6000 taps, and the increased size of the filter more closely approximates the ideal filter. Immediately you can hear the increased clarity of the music.

    That's right, their best 32x filter contains an amazing 6,000 taps!
  11. Torq

    Then you bought the wrong product - a near $20,000 mistake it would seem.  If you wanted inputs, the Klimax DSM would have been the unit to buy - it has a ton of them, digital and analog, including a first-rate phono stage.  So much less an issue with Linn's design choices - since they offer exactly what you're suggesting, and more an issue with your inability to select the right product..
    And yes, plenty of inexpensive units support 24/192 input, but you were claiming that the Linn only supported CD quality, which is still factually incorrect
    To get that much wrong about a purchase at that level, and then to just leave it sitting about because you can't make it work, stretches credulity way beyond breaking point.
    TMoney likes this.
  12. pkcpga
    Yes it was a mistake, I trusted a dealer I no longer use. I went in demod some stuff than had it set up by a dealer. At that time I was still working and didn't have a lot of time to research or try out, I just wanted it perfectly set up when I got back. Now I'm more into trying and reading up on what I'm buying, since I retired a short time ago. I like my DSD music so it's a must for me.
  13. LouisArmstrong
    With all due respect, I don't think evaluating the Dave with headphones only, which I believe many people on this thread do, does any justice to Dave. In my experience, good source gear scales quite directly with the physical medium. You will hear the difference with other DACs much more on a speaker system than on headphones, and much more on a headphone than on IEMs. When I tried auditioning the Yggdrasil and Dave on the same set of speakers - the Dave simply wiped the floor with the Yggdrasil - and only in those settings you realise that they are not even in the same league.
    Aslshark likes this.

    So, if you don't dig speakers the DAVE is wasted on you?

    Hell, I've been listening to headphone for most of my life. 1984,Sony Walkman, baby! It was on from there. The first time I heard Electric Ladyland, stoned out of my mind: cans. :)

    I've heard 200k speaker systems that wouldn't part me from my cans.
  15. LouisArmstrong

    Make no mistake - it is probably still the best sounding DAC for headphones, without using a separate headphone amp. It is just that its full potential can only be heard on a properly set up speaker system. 
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