T+A HiFi - DAC 200 - Official Discussion Thread
Nov 25, 2023 at 3:43 PM Post #331 of 494
For those who have not taken a serious look at upsampling everything to DSD256 on a PC - you are missing out no matter what DAC you own. And I suspect the next best thing to DSD256 is a good non upsampling ladder DAC.
Only if the DAC does native DSD. For DACs such as any ESS based DAC where it has to convert to PCM internally first, thus erasing the work of the noise shaper, it's better to just feed it PCM. For any DAC with native DSD output though, definitely can be a big upgrade.

@GoldenOne do you prefer May with DSD256 or the non-upsampled R-2R output?
I slightly prefer HQP Upsampled PCM
 
Nov 25, 2023 at 8:14 PM Post #332 of 494
Only if the DAC does native DSD. For DACs such as any ESS based DAC where it has to convert to PCM internally first, thus erasing the work of the noise shaper, it's better to just feed it PCM. For any DAC with native DSD output though, definitely can be a big upgrade.


I slightly prefer HQP Upsampled PCM
Now I'm confused. In your DAC200 review you said the DSD section outshines the PCM section and you also said May and DAC200 are similar with DSD...Now you're saying upsampled PCM is best?
 
Nov 25, 2023 at 8:23 PM Post #333 of 494
Now I'm confused. In your DAC200 review you said the DSD section outshines the PCM section and you also said May and DAC200 are similar with DSD...Now you're saying upsampled PCM is best?
He said for the Holo May that his preference is upsampled PCM. There's quite a bit to unpack regarding any comment like his. First, preference versus a measured or clear cut choice. Slightly prefer means it's close. This can come down to additional factors such as type of music and it's production, along with the rest of the chain. I'll contend the difference between PCM and SDM on the May when it comes to studio produced multtrack that fakes a stage is much closer than recordings captured in a shared real world space that captures not only the instruments but the decay/room. In those cases, I've found SDM to be ahead. YMMV
 
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Nov 25, 2023 at 11:18 PM Post #334 of 494
He said for the Holo May that his preference is upsampled PCM. There's quite a bit to unpack regarding any comment like his. First, preference versus a measured or clear cut choice. Slightly prefer means it's close. This can come down to additional factors such as type of music and it's production, along with the rest of the chain. I'll contend the difference between PCM and SDM on the May when it comes to studio produced multtrack that fakes a stage is much closer than recordings captured in a shared real world space that captures not only the instruments but the decay/room. In those cases, I've found SDM to be ahead. YMMV
I'm sure you're trying to be helpful but I'm none the wiser.
 
Nov 26, 2023 at 4:18 PM Post #335 of 494
in fact the D200 may be my last DAC ever!
I'm not that long into "hifi audio" (hardware) and after a Questyle 12 on my second DAC a X26pro.

I intend to also buy my last DAC ever or at least one I don't whish to upgrade for 6,7,8 years...
So maybe this T+A one?

Comparing un-altered PCM, it basically just depends if you like NOS or not

And I suspect the next best thing to DSD256 is a good non upsampling ladder DAC.

What about NOS of ladder DAC? How would you characterize it in a few words? (meaning soundwise not technically)

Which would would you say are on a similar/same level then DAC 200?
"besides Holo like explained above... AGD, Denafrips, Sonnet, Rocka? Am I missing any popular brand?

I guess tube DACs like lampizators is another "echo chamber" or "fan base" like pc upsamplers a la DAC200 audiophile style thread contributors...
 
Nov 26, 2023 at 4:34 PM Post #336 of 494
Ta
I'm not that long into "hifi audio" (hardware) and after a Questyle 12 on my second DAC a X26pro.

I intend to also buy my last DAC ever or at least one I don't whish to upgrade for 6,7,8 years...
So maybe this T+A one?





What about NOS of ladder DAC? How would you characterize it in a few words? (meaning soundwise not technically)

Which would would you say are on a similar/same level then DAC 200?
"besides Holo like explained above... AGD, Denafrips, Sonnet, Rocka? Am I missing any popular brand?

I guess tube DACs like lampizators is another "echo chamber" or "fan base" like pc upsamplers a la DAC200 audiophile style thread contributors...
Take a look at a Swiss made Merason DAC. Strictly PCM
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 10:05 AM Post #337 of 494
And I suspect the next best thing to DSD256 is a good non upsampling ladder DAC.

@GoldenOne do you prefer May with DSD256 or the non-upsampled R-2R output?
Could you name one or two brands of non upsampling ladder DACs which do not do upsampling?
DCS ring DACs falls into the category of ladder dacs if I am not mistaken, but they still do upsampling.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 10:19 AM Post #338 of 494
Could you name one or two brands of non upsampling ladder DACs which do not do upsampling?
DCS ring DACs falls into the category of ladder dacs if I am not mistaken, but they still do upsampling.
Holo May can be set to NOS and fed PCM to their R-2R ladder DAC. If you do that then you should ideally upsample PCM to the maximum on a PC for best filtering.
 
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Nov 27, 2023 at 10:22 AM Post #339 of 494
Which would would you say are on a similar/same level then DAC 200?
"besides Holo like explained above... AGD, Denafrips, Sonnet, Rocka? Am I missing any popular brand?

I used to own a Wavelight but I found it a bit hi-fi sounding in terms of timbre. A friend of mine owned a Wavedream Edition and he used the term 'sour' to describe the timbre. My guess is, my friend and I were referring to the same characteristic. But many of my friends actually own Rockna DACs (both Wavedream and Wavelight) and don't have any issues with the timbre. I think some are just more sensitive to it than others. Going back to the friend who found the timbre to be 'sour' on the Wavedream, he now owns a DAC200 and is feeding DSD512/1024 (oversampled via HQP) and he likes it more than the Wavedream, because it sounds more correct without any issues in timbre while also being generally very good in overall performance. However he did mention that the technicalities and resolution of the Wavedream was a step above. I recall someone I know mention that he got to compare the Wavelight and the DAC200 and found the Wavelight to be better, but I am certain he was using PCM on the both DACs.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 10:35 AM Post #340 of 494
Could you name one or two brands of non upsampling ladder DACs which do not do upsampling?
DCS ring DACs falls into the category of ladder dacs if I am not mistaken, but they still do upsampling.
This list could be helpful. Whether they are ladder DACs, one would need to further research.

Recommended hardware:​


It's maintained at https://www.signalyst.com/consumer.html
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 11:50 AM Post #341 of 494
Could you name one or two brands of non upsampling ladder DACs which do not do upsampling?
DCS ring DACs falls into the category of ladder dacs if I am not mistaken, but they still do upsampling.
Holo Audio, Schiit, Audio-GD, Rockna

dCS uses a thermometer-coded delta-sigma topology (which they call the ring DAC). It wouldn't be capable of NOS as the converter's native accuracy is 5 bit.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 2:20 PM Post #342 of 494
Could you name one or two brands of non upsampling ladder DACs which do not do upsampling?
DCS ring DACs falls into the category of ladder dacs if I am not mistaken, but they still do upsampling.
This looks like a radical one:
"Our ultra-purist R-2R topology has no digital filters, noise shaping, upsampling, oversampling, or error-correction"...

Mystique X SE D/A Converter
audio.com/mystique-x-se-d-a-converter/
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 3:59 PM Post #343 of 494
My new DAC200 arrives today :). It will replace a PS Audio Directystream DAC. I was using a Denafrips Gaia DDC between my Auralic Aries G 2.1 and the PS DSD. Should I remove the Gaia DDC when I install the DAC200? My understanding is that the DAC200 has this capability to reclock internally. Thanks in advance for advice.
 
Nov 28, 2023 at 8:07 AM Post #344 of 494
My new DAC200 arrives today :). It will replace a PS Audio Directystream DAC. I was using a Denafrips Gaia DDC between my Auralic Aries G 2.1 and the PS DSD. Should I remove the Gaia DDC when I install the DAC200? My understanding is that the DAC200 has this capability to reclock internally. Thanks in advance for advice.
I would not bother with Gaia DDC with DAC200. You also should use a PC to upsample everything to DSD to get the very most out of DAC200. Roon on a PC would be the best way to go. That said - the DAC200 fed PCM might still be significant step up from PS Directstream, YMMV.
 
Nov 30, 2023 at 11:18 PM Post #345 of 494
@GoldenOne or any others, with newest HQP 5.3, is the current thinking for DSD feed into DAC200 that if I have some CPU constraints, should I go with ASDM7ECv3 @ DSD256 or ASDM7EC-super 512+fs @ DSD512? And any new consensus on oversamping 1x and Nx settings? Thank you.
 

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