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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by purrin, Dec 5, 2013.
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  1. fzman Contributor
    No analogy is perfect-- only high end audio components can be perfect (Oh, and Messiah's too, I suppose) [​IMG]
    My point was regarding whether the content is "honest" and who is solicited to write them.  As to your main point-does it make sense to use the phrase 'negative recommendation'?
    In addition, it does seem like many people uses reviews as a form of buying recommendations- not just as fact-sources.  Your point is a good one, and I think we should go back to dacs-- pm is ok though
  2. prot
    Or not. The try&return option surely helps but how many components can you test? I cant even test one per month. So no, that option does not solve much.

    I do not agree with purrin all the time ... and I'm a fan of chocolate (although not in the chocolatey-sound sense) ... but I really appreciate his "that sounds like ****" rants. It's his opinion and should be same as proeminent as other's "sounds amazing" opinions. He even calls my dac (minimax) "cheap china ****". So what, I still like it and I think it's one of the best price/perf deals.

    Generally, I do appreciate ppl who state their opinios directly and openly. The bullsh*t consensus that ppl (cough marketers) usually try to build along various components makes me puke. It's not true and it'll never be because there are millions of ears and tastes. And I dont need anyone to filter those for me and only show the nice stuff. That is a false, artificially sweetend picture and personally I dont want it. I guess it's the kind of pocture that Carlin had in mind when he spoke about the "*****fication of the western man".
    I'm a grown up. I can take an honest opinion. Give it to me and keep your sweeteners.
    HemiSam likes this.
  3. arnaud Contributor
    - Thank you for taking the time to write such detailed explanation (you really are one of the most dedicated out there, there's no question about it!)
    - However, I think the comment from @Clemmaster below is much more meaningful than simply looking at bit depth.
    - I personally don't have kemar head ears and certainly can't hear a fly fart in the middle of a fortissimo which I think is the argument we're having here.
    - For instance, your parallel between using a traditional ladder dac and converting a library to 13-14 bits is flawed: Decimating a whole song to 14 bit is basically throwing away a large part of the ladder array (so you'll loose all low level information). That is not what is happening in practice (the dac can effectively quantise down to 24 bits).
    - You insist on the high bits precision error relative to the low bits but does that really matter when, by definition, high bits are active during peak times and there's only so much difference between loudest and quietest sound human can hear (level masking)?
    - From my experience so far (i.e comparing the D1 resolving power to all other D/S dacs I have had / heard) tells me that, perhaps, this bit depth thing is a non-issue. 
    - I already get surprised each and every day so I can't wait for the Iggy's revolution :).
    - You're asking the wrong guy about extensive gear comparisons, I have nowhere near enough time on my hands to ever consider doing that.
    - I have been looking into a DAC upgrade for a couple of years though and here are the guys I had opportunity to listen to with my own amp / phone (I listen to other dacs at shows but it's meaningless without my recordings / downstream gear as reference): Yamamoto YDA-01 (still own it) , Mark Levinson 30.5, Ren. Labs Invicta, Eximus DP1.
  4. arnaud Contributor
    That's it, I am reporting you to a mod!
    Oh wait...
  5. purrin
    Agreed. The proper method is to introduce LSB error to screw things up so the ENOB gets reduced. I've actually written a WAV file converter to do this according to a transfer function / INL plot.
  6. Sorrodje
    Absolutely great recording. Thks for that.
  7. purrin
    If you like music along those lines, another one using the same Pass/Mofatt GAIN A-D.:
    UDCD659 B.B. King - Lucille.
    Now pick up stuff before GAIN (no what what A-D converter MFSL was using), still sounds pretty good, but not as resolving. Not as much plankton.
    Then pick up stuff after GAIN - the one-bit A-D GAIN2. Sounds different... I know the first GAIN2 release, Tom Petty is like "shhhh shhh shhh shhh shhh."
    Yeah, I actually went out and got a bunch of the old MFSL stuff, just to see if the GAIN thing / Mofatt were full of ****. As I like to say, "trust but verify" - much better than be skeptical and pontificate.
  8. purrin
    You are either presenting a straw man argument or not grasping the concept of relative accuracy. The issue is what happens when a DAC is not monotonic to 16 bits? What if small tiny increases in volume according to the bitcode is translated into small tiny decreases instead? Or what if the bitcode calls for an increase of 0.021V for the next sample, but instead get increase 0.017 volts or perhaps even a decrease of 0.012 volts? 
    Again, think of this as "jitter" on the Y-axis. This has nothing to do with high level signals masking low level signals (since you made a reference to Clem's post).
    What satisfies you may not satisfy me. What I notice, you may not. You have to remember I'm coming from the Berkeley, Bricasti, Wadia (yuck), MSB, PSA, Aurulac, Invicta (yuck), DACs.
  9. wnmnkh Contributor
    I think this is the reason why two of them are used on each channel for proper 20bit+ performance.
  10. JohnnyCanuck
    Either that or to maintain balanced channels.
  11. Sapientiam
    The DAC's a low-frequency monster and to get it sounding as good as it does requires an external deglitcher. So the 'secret sauce' such as it is, is in that deglitcher they're using - without that it'll be no more than, say a 12-bit DAC. The spec sheet says its good to 12bits after 1uS - at 16X OS the sample period is 1.4uS.
  12. prot
    What's a deglitcher?! And generally, would you care to explain your post a bit? Not all of us have EE degrees
  13. arnaud Contributor
    - Fair enough on the stuff one notices / pays attention being people dependent (and you seem to have a particularly solid ear)
    - About the ladder precision thing, let say I will remain skeptic until I can hear this for myself.
    - 14bits effective resolution is 80dB plus of dynamic range.
    - That means this "Y-axis jitter" term you're using comes into play for signals that are 80dB below the peak value at any given time block.
    - You're thus saying you can hear these "fly farts within the orchestra playing".
    - Fine, but there are concepts like level masking that long exist and prove this makes little sense.
  14. SoupRKnowva

    that might be part of why they aren't doing 16x oversampling, they seem to only be doing 8x oversampling according to what mike said about things being oversampled to 352 or 384khz, though that could also have been a limitation in the computational ability of the DSP they are using...who knows
  15. Sapientiam
    It does get a bit technical - for more technical background, go see my blog on DIYA which I linked to further up.
    Here goes for a non-techy explanation. The Yggy DAC's designed to give the best performance with low frequencies - that's the application its intended for, where the output doesn't change at a fast rate. Think of it as a low sample frequency DAC where it only gets its stellar performance when updated relatively slowly (less than 10,000 times per second). Because of this, when the DAC's output changes, its spending a fair bit of time on its journey to the new commanded output. A deglitcher is used to remember the DAC's output and provide a copy of it to the following circuit while the DAC itself is changing its output. Think of the deglitcher as a switch and a memory of the last sample out of the DAC - when the DAC's told to update, the switch is opened and the memory element (normally a capacitor) provides the voltage to the downstream circuit. Then when the DAC's output has fully settled, the memory is updated with the new value.
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