New denafrips DDC (Iris and Gaia)
Jul 3, 2022 at 6:50 PM Post #511 of 587

gimmeheadroom

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Posts
8,426
Likes
7,680
Location
Czech Republic
It's hard to tell what HQPlayer is capable of but it does win the award for the worst, most unusable UI of anything I've seen in a long, long time.
 
Jul 3, 2022 at 6:58 PM Post #513 of 587

sajunky

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Posts
2,137
Likes
1,425
Location
South Africa
It's difficult to find anything higher than DSD64 (SACD) in mainstream recordings. There are a very few sites that sell upsampled DSD and maybe one that records in DSD128 or higher. So yeah, technically you could call a DDC that can only do PCM 384 / DXD and DSD512 a bottleneck. But that's only in theory, since there is basically no music to buy. And the way things are going, it's doubtful there will ever be any music at those rates.

I realize some people are upsampling, so as @sajunky suggested, let the DAC do it, not hqplayer...
I would rather do it on PC. Assuming upsampling increase information, but it doesn't. It is helping Delta-Sigma users like Chord or some different brands, but only because it bypass inferior processing on a DAC, which also include extensive noise shaping.

As Denafrips users are mostly R2R fans, such practice do not help. There are time settling limits for R2R ladder. When frequency increases, energy of switching glitches is increasing. Denafrips upsample internally everything to the maximum ladder frequency, some did measurements and found that Ares peaks the highest, upper models upsample to the lower frequency than Ares. Why it happen and why users have no control over upsampling?

As I expressed it in my first reply, I wouldn't put presure on Denafrips to upgrade their DDC, but rather request to have control over internal upsampling rate in Denafrips DACs.
 
Jul 3, 2022 at 9:31 PM Post #514 of 587

shwnwllms

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Posts
503
Likes
1,839
Location
Pittsburgh
I would rather do it on PC. Assuming upsampling increase information, but it doesn't. It is helping Delta-Sigma users like Chord or some different brands, but only because it bypass inferior processing on a DAC, which also include extensive noise shaping.

Chord users are one use case but only because Chord DACs decimate DSD by converting it to PCM and back again. This is why Chord users upsample using PCM only

No one really claims it increases information, not unless they are trolling anyway. It does help timbre, transients & space with the more intensive filters and modulators, which require more processing power than consumer DACs offer. Depending on the types of filters used it can clean up artifacts from lossy formats and push them above nyquist (out of the audible range) thereby cleaning up the signal further.

As Denafrips users are mostly R2R fans, such practice do not help. There are time settling limits for R2R ladder. When frequency increases, energy of switching glitches is increasing. Denafrips upsample internally everything to the maximum ladder frequency, some did measurements and found that Ares peaks the highest, upper models upsample to the lower frequency than Ares. Why it happen and why users have no control over upsampling?

This isn’t exactly accurate, for DSD Denafrips R2R DACs like the Pontus use 32 level multi bit conversion (32 step FIR filter - 6 Bit DSD). This is similar to what Jussi uses in his own DSD DAC the Signalyst DSC1. So with Denafrips DACs you have the option of R2R PCM or upsampling to DSD. I choose the latter and I’m very pleased with the results. Also upsampling to DSD completely bypasses any upsampling in the Pontus (more so than their NOS mode does)
 
Last edited:
Jul 3, 2022 at 11:31 PM Post #515 of 587

CAJames

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 11, 2020
Posts
412
Likes
799
Location
Lompoc, CA
It's funny, I have files up to DSD 256, but since I got my Terminator 2 and Gaia Red Book 16/44 sounds so good I've stopped chasing hirez. I do go back and forth between upsampling 44 to 176 KHz, either in Foobar2000 or Jays CDT2 (not in the DAC), but that's all I need, today.
 
Jul 4, 2022 at 12:01 AM Post #516 of 587

S Crowther

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Posts
593
Likes
183
Location
Hong Kong
It's funny, I have files up to DSD 256, but since I got my Terminator 2 and Gaia Red Book 16/44 sounds so good I've stopped chasing hirez. I do go back and forth between upsampling 44 to 176 KHz, either in Foobar2000 or Jays CDT2 (not in the DAC), but that's all I need, today.
Any one have any info on the OS (I guess it stands for oversampling) option on the Terminator?
 
Jul 4, 2022 at 3:57 AM Post #517 of 587

gimmeheadroom

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Posts
8,426
Likes
7,680
Location
Czech Republic
I would rather do it on PC. Assuming upsampling increase information, but it doesn't. It is helping Delta-Sigma users like Chord or some different brands, but only because it bypass inferior processing on a DAC, which also include extensive noise shaping.

As Denafrips users are mostly R2R fans, such practice do not help. There are time settling limits for R2R ladder. When frequency increases, energy of switching glitches is increasing. Denafrips upsample internally everything to the maximum ladder frequency, some did measurements and found that Ares peaks the highest, upper models upsample to the lower frequency than Ares. Why it happen and why users have no control over upsampling?

As I expressed it in my first reply, I wouldn't put presure on Denafrips to upgrade their DDC, but rather request to have control over internal upsampling rate in Denafrips DACs.

Oh, I did not understand that from your earlier post, thanks for clarifying :)

It's funny, I have files up to DSD 256, but since I got my Terminator 2 and Gaia Red Book 16/44 sounds so good I've stopped chasing hirez. I do go back and forth between upsampling 44 to 176 KHz, either in Foobar2000 or Jays CDT2 (not in the DAC), but that's all I need, today.

I have read this sentiment often from people who have good gear. Redbook can sound incredible out of a good system, but my ears prefer SACD (and SACD rips) even more.
 
Jul 30, 2022 at 8:10 AM Post #518 of 587

searchingtom

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Posts
81
Likes
232
Location
Neenah, Wisconsin
I am looking for some advice on which DDC to match with Pontus II?

I have a new Pontus II and wonder which DDC would be the best match for it? Would the Gaia bring out the most or what should be the best match ?

Also would it be better to invest in the Terminator Plus instead of adding a DDC to the Pontus II ?

I listed mostly to string quartet and soft jazz music.

I really appreciate any insights you have to offer.

Please let me know what you think.
 
Jul 30, 2022 at 8:47 AM Post #519 of 587

sajunky

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Posts
2,137
Likes
1,425
Location
South Africa
I have a new Pontus II and wonder which DDC would be the best match for it? Would the Gaia bring out the most or what should be the best match ?
It works like that: upper model, better protection. Gaia features are only fully utilised with T+/TII. Pontus don't use it, so other brands are also matching well. DI-20 gives very good protection considering price. DI-20HE is one of the best DDC you can get.
Also would it be better to invest in the Terminator Plus instead of adding a DDC to the Pontus II ?
It can't answer this question, but want to point out that with T+, Gaia is matching the best for a specific clock synchronisation feature. And it is worth to pair if you can afford such combination.
 
Last edited:
Jul 30, 2022 at 8:57 AM Post #520 of 587

searchingtom

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Posts
81
Likes
232
Location
Neenah, Wisconsin
It works like that: upper model, better protection. Gaia features are only fully utilised with T+/TII. Pontus don't use it, so other brands are also matching well. DI-20 gives very good protection considering price. DI-20HE is one of the best DDC you can get.

It can't answer this question, but want to point out that with T+, Gaia is matching the best for a specific clock synchronisation feature. And it is worth to pair if you can afford such combination.
Thank you for responding. will dig into the DI-20.
 
Jul 30, 2022 at 4:52 PM Post #522 of 587

CAJames

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 11, 2020
Posts
412
Likes
799
Location
Lompoc, CA
I am looking for some advice on which DDC to match with Pontus II?

I have a new Pontus II and wonder which DDC would be the best match for it? Would the Gaia bring out the most or what should be the best match ?

Also would it be better to invest in the Terminator Plus instead of adding a DDC to the Pontus II ?

I listed mostly to string quartet and soft jazz music.

I really appreciate any insights you have to offer.

Please let me know what you think.

IMO you are better off buying a better DAC, like a T+ or even a T2 than adding a DDC to the Potus. It seems like each step up the Denafrips line is a nice increase in performance for the price. My experience is I got a T2, and it sounded great. Later I added a Gaia and that improved the sound even more. Also FWIW Alvin at Vinshine says the Hermes is the best value for a DDC, I would have bought it instead of the Gaia except my T2 is silver and the Hermes only comes in black.
 
Last edited:
Jul 31, 2022 at 10:16 PM Post #523 of 587

shafat777

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Posts
1,105
Likes
2,245
Location
Columbia, MO
I am looking for some advice on which DDC to match with Pontus II?

I have a new Pontus II and wonder which DDC would be the best match for it? Would the Gaia bring out the most or what should be the best match ?

Also would it be better to invest in the Terminator Plus instead of adding a DDC to the Pontus II ?

I listed mostly to string quartet and soft jazz music.

I really appreciate any insights you have to offer.

Please let me know what you think.
I personally use a Hermes DDC with my P2 and i couldnt be happier. Not only the ddc cleans the signal and makes everything sound clear. it also acts as a hub for connecting multiple dacs. Right now, I have the P2 connected via I2s and a Yggy connected via AES. I still have room to add one more dac, and thats what i consider value for the money. The Gaia will clearly be superior to the Hermes but in order to yield such results, the rest of the chain needs to be upgraded as well.., IMO.

I think you should just pull the trigger on a Hermes and call it a day.
 
Aug 1, 2022 at 5:03 PM Post #524 of 587

hsg120

New Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Posts
14
Likes
52
Location
Delaware
Not to muddy the waters, but I agree with CAJames that you should invest in a better DAC, rather than buy a DAC/DDC combo.

The DDC is nice as a digital hub, but I presume you're interested in it more for its potential sonic benefits. However, consider that if your DAC is galvanically isolated and uses an oven-controlled clock...than what's the argument for adding a DDC whose re-clocking ability is potentially no better than the DAC?

That said, I've owned a Gaia before, and I can attest to the quality and attention to detail of Denafrips' DDCs.
 
Aug 1, 2022 at 9:46 PM Post #525 of 587

sajunky

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Posts
2,137
Likes
1,425
Location
South Africa
Not to muddy the waters, but I agree with CAJames that you should invest in a better DAC, rather than buy a DAC/DDC combo.

The DDC is nice as a digital hub, but I presume you're interested in it more for its potential sonic benefits. However, consider that if your DAC is galvanically isolated and uses an oven-controlled clock...
Pontus has no galvanic isolation on USB port, neither Venus, only T+/II has. These models will benefit the most from DDC, as all (I know) have USB port isolated. This is the most important function of DDC - not reclocking (in a case of asynchronous transfers reclocking doesn't make any sense), but protection from noise.

DAC's that have USB port isolated do not benefit from DDC to the same level.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top