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Marantz HD-DAC1

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by audionewbi, Aug 10, 2014.
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  1. armymanhaha
    I haven't encountered any noise from mouse or high load while gaming (4790k @ 4.7ghz 1.3v, GTX 980Ti - yeah old) prior to connecting the Jitterbug so I cannot say if it resolved any noise issues if I havent heard any to begin with. My USB output with the Jitterbug remains the same, I can still send DSD files (2.8M) to the HD-DAC 1 with no issues. I suspect it is your software that is having issues. I use Foobar with DSD plugin.

    I'd liek to comment though that through Optical, I was able to hear noise via sensitive IEM and the amp gain @ high and the knob @ 2o'clock. When I switched back to USB, it became silent again. Possibly because my optical comes from directly to the PC's noisy motherboard. I suspect if I use a standalone usb to optical converter it will yield better results - but there's no need because the USB input from Marantz is quite good.
  2. mindigmarton
    Nah, this is not that kind of noise. Do you use powered speakers? On headphones you can faintly hear it on 100% volume which is REALLY loud (would blow the hd 600 I think?). I use it on maybe 25%.
    Anyway, with powered speakers (multiple ones) and multiple PCs, cards, PSUs, DAC s and houses there is noise. The level does differ between components (on some it is inaudible, maybe heard on 100% volume) but it is always there!
    The weird thing is that I can reproduce the noise by bypassing the DAC and just touching the usb connector to the shield of the speaker cable! It looks like the noise creeps into the audio cables through the marantz's connectors.
    I think the noise with touching the cords is the same with balanced cables (it's not picked up through the length of the cable) but I have to check again.
    As I remember it was not this loud with my saffire 2i2 (I used balanced cables), but since then I got an 1070, so I might be wrong. Basically I can hear coil whine through the speakers. (Every card I've had whines, even if a little. Rx 480, 7870, 1070...)
    It's not ground loop, everything seems to be grounded properly. (Btw, my powered speakers do have a small ground loop which causes coil whine noise to be picked up along the RCA cable if it is too close to the pc. No rca cable noise with 1 speaker. But it does not affect the usb noise)
    I think it might be solvable with usb add-on cards, or usb ports like gigabyte's dac-up where power is regulated and can be switched off. Though interference from the GPU is so high that it would probably creep back in, because external powered usb hubs don't work either.
    It doesn't look like it is caused by defective components. Maybe ****ty usb power with the mobos I tested.
    Will test balanced cables when I get home, but I wouldn't recommend the marantz for anyone that wants to use USB and has usb noise problems.

    I tested the optical input via my onboard optical out VS usb with volumio on a pi.
    Sounds the same both on my Yamaha hs7 and hd600. Not a blind A/B test, but I did want the usb to sound better...
    There is probably a measurable difference between them but as always it is so low that it doesn't matter.
    I could not decide if there was any difference between the noise levels. Both had faint hiss at max levels. (Again, I listen at 9 o'clock on medium gain)

    I really like the marantz though! I just hate high-end GPUs.
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  3. pbarach
    I was using a digital coax connection from my Oppo 103 player to output music files and CDs to the HD-DAC1. The DAC just emitted static with commercially purchased 24/192 files, the highest resolution that the coax connection supports; 24/96 and lower-res files played without an issue.

    After isolating the problem to the DAC, I contacted Marantz tech support. After several go-arounds with them to try and figure out what was going in, including transmission of a couple of my files to Marantz for their own tests, they are replacing my DAC.
  4. roghelt
    I've been eyeing the DAC1 for quite awhile now. I currently have a Peachtree Audio DAC-iTx & Nuforce HA-200 class A HP amp listening to lossless & DSD from a FiiO X5 2nd gen.

    I really like what I've been hearing from the Peachtree/NuForce combo, but I'd like to condense my headphone listening setup to a single unit. Should I sell the two and go for a DAC1 and not sacrifice SQ? My cans are Senn HD600, AKG K702 & Q701.

    Any opinions?

  5. pbarach
    I don't know about your electronics, but my HD-DAC1 makes my K702 and HD600 cans sound great. And they sound better than with my Burson HA-160, which has a Class A output stage.
  6. pbarach
    Marantz tech support
    I could not get my HD-DAC1 to play 192 KHz files over digital coax or optical connection to an Oppo 103 player. After a bunch of exchanges with Marantz tech support, including copies sent to them of a couple of the files, they exchanged my unit under warranty for a new one that plays without a hitch.

    Kind of an odd problem--the original unit worked fine in every way except this one...
  7. roghelt
    Combined with my lont
    My DAC1 will be arriving tomorrow. I've waited way too long to order it, and your feedback, especially as you have the same cans as I do, put me over the top. Will report back after I've spent some quality time with it.
  8. pbarach
    I'm interested to hear your report. I haven't tried it with DSD yet, since I don't have a laptop with Windows 10 that I can connect to it. I can listen to everything up to 24/192, as transmitted from my Oppo 103 player over digital coax.
  9. roghelt
    Well, in the six days I've had it, the jury's still out -- at least when I compare the sound with my old (sold) Peachtree/NuForce combo. The soundstage doesn't seem as wide, at least with the AKGs, but then again I read that somewhere and may be influenced by 'mass psychoacoustic' opinion phenomenon. The amp portion seems to have more 'oomph' than the NuForce, but both adequately could drive any cans I threw at them. So it boils down to the DAC. The more I listen, the more the Marantz seems to come alive -- meaning transparent sonics to my ears. I'm still in the audition/burn-in stage so I can't give a definitive 'keep-for-life' opinion.

    What I really love about the DAC1 is that I finally have my two 160GB iPods back with the Pod mode! It's a huge bonus to be able to extend my lossless collection beyond the FiiO (which is mostly DSD & hi-res files) -- I just have the minor hassle of converting my flacs & CDs to Apple lossless. The remote control is a priceless luxury for me...listening at night is easier than ever. One downer, and it's probably attributable to stupid copy protection, but when I try to listen to stereo SACDs on my Marantz SA-8004 play via optical. No go.

    One question to an AKG/DAC1 owner: I'm never sure which gain setting is best for AKG 701's & 702s. The impedance is 62 Ohms, which seems relatively low, but the highest setting provides excellent volume at the 9 - 10 O'clock positions.

    Cheers...more once it's broken in more; or I've gotten more accustomed to it. :)
  10. pbarach
    Marantz told me to set the HD-DAC1 at LOW impedance for the K702. But play around with it and see which setting you like best.
  11. roghelt
    Wearing my stupid hat, I assumed the LOW gain is for LOW impedance, right? And despite the relatively lower impedance (compared with 600 ohm Senns), the AKGs need more oomph to drive them optimally. I've tried all three settings but can't determine which sounds 'best.' I'm thinking the HIGH or MID gain might be introducing some noise or distortion despite providing more juice -- and then again, driving the volume control higher on LOW could do the same. But I really don't have a clue. '?
  12. pbarach
    Marantz tech support told me (via email) that LOW gain is for LOW-impedance headphones. But I still think your best solution is to use what sounds best to you/. I have a set of Hifiman HE-400i headphones with a 35 ohm impedance, which is low by any standard. To me, they sound best on MID or HIGH, so that's the setting I use with them.
  13. roghelt
    That's what I figured. MID sounds best for my AKGs when the source is the FiiO via coax; however, when I listen to iPod Classic via USB, HIGH sounds best, probably due to the lower gain of the iPod on line out.

    That said, I did much listening last night and either I'm getting used to it, or the 'burn-in' effect has taken effect, but the DAC1 is sounding superb! While I originally felt the soundstage wasn't as wide as it was with my old amp & dac, it's all there but with much more pinpoint detail than just a general panorama. I'm finding better articulation with strings and brass (classical) as well as more defined and palpable bass with acoustic jazz. I found myself so immersed in the music, was up until 4am listening. lol! Oh yeah, this one's a keeper!!
  14. pbarach
    I'm very pleased with the HD-DAC1; I hear more detail than I do with the Burson HA-160 amp, which I'm using elsewhere but might still sell. I did have a problem right out of the box with getting the Marantz to play 24/192 audio over digital coax or optical from my Oppo player. However, this turned out to be a defect, and Marantz replaced the unit under warranty.
  15. roghelt
    There may be some incompatibility between the Marantz & Oppo. I have a 105 connected to my mains, but in another area where I stream via ethernet from my NAS setup. The only issue with the Oppo is it STILL won't play gapless flacs unless it's on a flash drive or direct USB connection.

    As for the DAC1, I've experienced no problems thus far with 24/192 or DSF files via coax line-out from my FiiO X5/2. I love to see the screen light up with the actual resolution before going black. :) Before settling on the Marantz, I was considering Chord Mojo or Hugo, but their functional limitations pushed me towards the DAC1. Glad I went with my instincts!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
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