Gustard U16 - the first USB Interface featuring ESS USB chip
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motberg

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Hi Motberg: I just asked/posted a reply/question about the U-16 regarding the very thing you speak-of (and that was of interest to me), namely, SQ:

" I think U16's inner resolution and layering in the midrange bands is amazing, I have already had quite a few moments just shocked on the additional midrange information the U16 can pull out of the recording.

THAT"S precisely the SQ 'descriptors' of interest to me; precision mid-band resolution/layering ! Count me in. (BTW, better than U-12 ?)

Regarding: " ....Also the U16 bass overall quality seems to be superior to the SU-1." -How would you qualify 'superior' ?

Many thanks,

peter
From memory, In my system, I would say the U12, Melodious, and last version of Audio GD DDC's were approximately in the same level..
The Tanly/HE-350 was a clear jump up from these offering a less digital sound and more accurate detail (like on cymbals) and better sound stage.
When I first got the SU-1 (before mods), I noticed lots of extra detail, but after 3 days break-in I could not take the harshness anymore and went back to the Tanly. (My speakers have a couple peaks after 10K)
Then I had the SU-1 PS mod and used 2 separate sets "Uptone LPS-1's with iFi DC iPurifier" (one set on SU-1 USB input side and one set on SU-1 output side) .. this removed the stock SU-1 harshness and then I could appreciate the extra detail of the SU-1 over the Tanly..
To me, the modded SU-1 sound was similar but superior to the stock U12.. a clear step up within the same sound environment...
To me, the U16 offers a different environment than any of the above (Tanly would be the closest), kind of like tubes vs SS, or analog vs. digital.

For bass, I notice that the bass lines are now sometimes distinctly within their own envelope, easier to discern, and maybe more correctly balanced against the midrange. Also tone and attack seems slightly more accurate.
I listen to mostly 70-80's rock and prog and worked in bands during that time so have a burned-in memory of standing aside various bass guitar cabinets and keyboard synths almost nightly over about 6 years.. the U16 ability to isolate and clarify the bass sounds from the rest of the mix helps bring the overall playback presentation closer to what I remember - but still within the limitations of my home stereo system.
 
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rafabro

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DACLadder

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I reverted back to 1.4 PSA firmware. With 1.58 f/w anything above 44.1kHz sampling rate sounds hollow and sucked out. CDs though sounded great with 1.58. HDMI I2S output.

And think I have better operational performance with 1.4 f/w so will stick with it until something else comes along.
 
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FredA

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Bits are bits though I admit there may be high end ones :D

For people wondering about hdmi cables quality :
http://archimago.blogspot.com/search?q=hdmi

But there may also be high end sounding ones...
A digital transmission does not imply error correction. Usb audio, i2s and spdif will all be affected by noise as it causes jitter. That is easily demonstated and was proven a long time ago.

The problem with people with subpar hearing is they have to rely on measurements to tell if a device is good. It defeats the purpose. Some things just can't be measured, or there exist no protocol to measure them. Yet.

Or else, something in the setup is subpar.
 
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hontored

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A digital transmission does not imply error correction. Usb audio, i2s and spdif will all be affected by noise as it causes jitter. That is easily demonstated and was proven a long time ago.

The problem with people with subpar hearing is they have to rely on measurements to tell if a device is good. It defeats the purpose. Some things just can't be measured, or there exist no protocol to measure them. Yet.

Or else, something in the setup is subpar.
My point is from source to gustard u16 there can be errors in the form of jitter comming from the source and thats why the gustard u16 is useful with its high precision clock.

From u16 to dac through hdmi as you can see from the link I posted jitter is basically the same on all tested cables.

Consider my hearing subpar if you wish...
 
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FredA

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  • My point is from source to gustard u16 there can be errors in the form of jitter comming from the source and thats why the gustard u16 is useful with its high precision clock.

    From u16 to dac through hdmi as you can see from the link I posted jitter is basically the same on all tested cables.

    Consider my hearing subpar if you wish...
    I agree with that the diff. with hdmi cables, being especially made for digital transmission and studied in depth for that purpose, are rather minimal. Still, they don't sound exactly the same cause some are obviously faster and better shielded. I agree it's very subtle and i admit I most often could not pick a cable in a blind test. Did no mean to offfend you.
 
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FredA

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However, the website you linked from and its author seems to imply pretty much all high-end cables, including speaker cables, are snake oil. That is where i strongly disagree, even hookup wires sound different. Whether or not it can be measured is another story. Nobody seems to own the recipe for measuring good sounding gears and cables anyway.

The s/n and noise measurements in general correlate to the actual listening experience. Most other measurement don’t most of the times and they are pretty much useless AFAIC. One has to study how humans perceived and interpret sound. So the listening test overrides any other sort of test in the mean time. The measurements are mostly snake oil, basically, and one who relies solely on them is being taken advantage of.
 
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hontored

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My point was only for digital over cable so hdmi or usb or something else. I believe the cable is not the greatest source of error.

When the signal is analog, for instance speaker cable I think it is a whole different matter. I play guitar and I can actually hear a difference between some cables. Also I bought vovox shieldless cables to link my dac to my amp because of this.
 
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FredA

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My point was only for digital over cable so hdmi or usb or something else. I believe the cable is not the greatest source of error.

When the signal is analog, for instance speaker cable I think it is a whole different matter. I play guitar and I can actually hear a difference between some cables. Also I bought vovox shieldless cables to link my dac to my amp because of this.
Again, with usb, differences can be subtle, or not so subtle depending on the match and overall setup. If there is a limiting factor, meaning a component not fully transparent somewereh downstream to the cable you are evaluating, you won’t perceive much of a change. For instance, i can hear the difference between most power cables i tried on my r-7 dac. But everything downstream is perfectly transparent.

As for spdif cables used to hook up a dac, obvious differences can be observed between cables, especially with bass and how resolved it is. But to hear that, everything downstream has to be up to the task including yourself.


So when a guy like the one you put a link to makes the statements he makes, i just ask : who does he think he is? I will tell you: just a guy in his basement with an ordinary setup that sound pretty much ordinary who thinks he knows it all because he performs measurements with most likely ordinary equipement. And with average hearing.

There is a major flaw in his reasoning: that we can measure everything that we hear and that we can hear everything that we measure.

I am surprised sometimes by what people refer to as sounding good, like my friend demonstrating the audio system in his new tesla model 3. To my ears, it was sounding very average, with very obvious flaws.

I will tell you some experience that does not lie: a delivery man coming to you home and wondering if there is a band in the basement.
 
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rafabro

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My point was only for digital over cable so hdmi or usb or something else. I believe the cable is not the greatest source of error.

When the signal is analog, for instance speaker cable I think it is a whole different matter. I play guitar and I can actually hear a difference between some cables. Also I bought vovox shieldless cables to link my dac to my amp because of this.
In all non optical cables signal is analog because electricity is analog. We call them "digital" cables but physically it's still same electricity.
 
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hontored

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Sure there is no such thing as "real" bits. It is always something analog that is understood as bit by the system... So in that sense optical is also analog.

Nonetheless the way the analog signal is understood as bits makes the signal more robust to noise. It's easier to distinguish between ones and zeros than a continuum of values.

What I mean by differences with analog signal are things like impedance and capacity of cables which act as filters on the signal and directly affect it as it is reproduced by the audio device.

Ok maybe it's time to return on the subject : gustard U16. I feel that we are going circles...
 
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wwmhf

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There is a major flaw in his reasoning: that we can measure everything that we hear and that we can hear everything that we measure.
We have to face the gap between what we can measure and what we can hear!
 
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FredA

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Tonight, what i hear with my usbridge -> intona -> u16 -> r-7 setup is sort of, just like, i hesitate to say it, don’t want to jinx it: mind-blowing.

The soundstage has expanded in all direction and the illusion of the band being here in my room has become even more convincing.

I am a little sad as the journey to where i got was as fun as being at what seems to be the final destination. I am afraid there is not much i could do to improve what i hear.

Maybe one of those crazy expansive tubulus usb cables? Audio Sensibility Testament? A used he-350? Not sure any of these would help. I think i am just gonna buy some new records.... :smile_phones:
 
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FredA

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I forgot: i ordered a couple of dc cables from Ghentaudio. Maybe another sound upgrade? Not that i need any but i will take it anyway if it’s the case. :beyersmile:
 
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