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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. jogfi2002
    Thanks for your advice, but I would rather to find a AC powered one instead of a USB powered one.
    I am using Schiit Fulla now and not really satisfied with it...
  2. drez

    I think this might explain the paradox.  If the noise is perceived as part of the music rather than something foreign.  I guess it also depends what the noise or distortion does to the sound - which I don't think I would be able to understand this from specs without hearing the product.  Were the measurements for none PSS noise on the ESS presentation from RMAF FFT plots also?
    I'm trying to figure out what the offending delta sigma noise is and what level it is.
    To be honest it could be at a very low level and still matter.  I can't imagine the noise from my computer hard disk, passing through storage controller, computer, galvanic isolation in my transport, finding it's way to the DAC, would be of a substantial level either, but I could hear that.
  3. purrin
    The D-S hash stuff, I wondering if it's something out of band that can be correlated to the experience. It would have to be measured pre analog filter with good equipment.
    Another interesting thing is that I can write a program to simulate R2R error according to a generated INL plot to use as a transfer function. However this cannot be done on D-S DACs because the error is going to change depending upon what data preceded it. In other words, R2R error is predictable for each bitcode assuming stable temperature among other things.
    I would have no idea how to write an algorithm to degrade a WAV file for D-S DACs. But the point is this error tends to be random in the context of each bitcode. Maybe this contributes to the D-S sound?
  4. Sapientiam
    RIght - that's more of less where my hypothesis comes from. Noise (tape hiss on an analog original recording which often have best ambience) doesn't get decoded into the soundscape, its kind of a fuzz floating around in front of the speakers with my setup. I reckon the ambience cues we depend on (to create the soundstage depth illusion) are below the tape hiss and these can get masked out by correlated noise.
  5. Bill-P

    AC powered and reasonably priced? Gamma2.
    I'm moving away from AC-powered DAC because I have to travel, but... if you have a bit of cash to blow, then yeah, admittedly, AC-powered DACs do sound good.
    Incidentally, I'm also selling my main DAC as well. Though I'm not sure if you'll be interested. It's very specialized, and the difference between this one and every other DAC is very pronounced.
  6. purrin
    Good luck soldering that Wolfson chip. That's when I hand over the board to the Vietnamese technician working at the board plant in Fremont.
  7. Bill-P
    Oh ya... it's mostly surface mount. Hahaha.
    Well, I've got a bit of experience working with surface mount now... essentially, flux, stable soldering tip, and all... so I'm a bit more comfortable, but yeah, it's kinda a nightmare to put together still. Especially for a beginner.
    But... it sounds great. I don't think up to R2R vintage standards, but it still sounds good for something of that size and price. And it can be reasonably powered from USB, too.
    I never got the chance to try the Gamma2 with LPS and Wyrd but Gamma2 + Wyrd was a very respectable setup IMO.
  8. Sapientiam
    In the case of DSD, Parseval's theorem seems relevant. In practice - since the 1 bit DAC has only two places to go its output energy across the whole band (both in-band and out-of-band) is constant. It follows then at low-levels of in-band the OOB is at a maximum and conversely when something big happens in-band the OOB must diminish to compensate. So there's this inverse correlation between in-band and out-band energy.
  9. arnaud Contributor
    - There are many points I agree with actually and it's great Schiit is coming up with gear to stir the market a bit.
    - One correction though: I really wish 10 grands were a drop in the bucket for my wallet, seriously :). Let just say I don't dissolve my hobby fund into too many directions and I do agree 10k in a DAC is silly...
  10. jogfi2002
    Yeah I saw your post...It is absolutely out of my budget, haha..
  11. evillamer
    here's something worth reading(for purrin, mike moffat and etc). The things described there is beyond me.
  12. Bill-P
    Yeah... haha. Well, like I said, Geek Out 450 is my choice for a budget option right now. I'm actually using it right now... not because I'm being cheap, but because there really isn't a lot of options for a decent USB DAC in the same size and package even up to $500, or beyond. The fact that it has a headphone amp built in is a nice bonus, though I do have an external amp to use with it either way.
    AMB Gamma2 is my next choice if I could tolerate the size... but hey, the Geek Out saves me on bag space when I'm traveling, and that's where it shines.
    I haven't heard the Fulla... admittedly, but I have heard quite a number of DACs under $200. The GO450 is still my best contender there. My friends who have heard the Fulla also agree that the GO450 is a decent one at that budget.
    So... if you have access to Amazon, and the Geek is within your budget, I'd say... go for it. If you don't like it, they have an amazing return procedure. I'd think... there's no reason not to give it a try.
  13. Benfica1
    Any worthwhile deskttop dacs with opt/pdif inputs in the $500 range?
  14. evillamer



    GUSTARD DAC-X12 ES9018 XMOS 32Bit / 384KHz DSD DOP Decoder with USB

  15. Benfica1

    Thanks. I'll do some research on it. Any others for comparision purposes?
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