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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. purrin
    Too early for us to speculate. For all we know, the warm-up times could be different. Even Yggy's warm-up times might be reduced with use. Upgrade pricing structure hasn't been determined. Just too early to worry about these things.
  2. kugino Contributor

    agreed. yggy isn't even out yet and people are worrying about what the pricing structure on future potential upgrades to bifrost/gungnir might be just in case they in fact do trickle down the technology to those DACs? sheesh...
    Argo Duck and estreeter like this.
  3. thegunner100
    Personally, I wouldn't necessarily say that the PCM63 > PCM1702. I think they both have trade-offs that might make one prefer one over the other. At least when considering similarly priced dacs of course. The implementation on the theta gen V's pcm63 and the digital filter are probably much better than the ones on my transdac. 
    However... PCM63 and PCM1702 easily beats the M7's PCM1704 (via usb. Never tried i2s).
  4. GoldfishX

    This. I appreciate what Schitt is trying to deliver and I hope Yggy does turn the DAC side of the industry on its ass, primarily because so many lackluster, overpriced, under-engineered products are finding their way to market and it makes people go through the struggle of getting music to sound good (before you get to the headphones/amp part). Mike does have something of an unfair advantage, given his Theta tenure, but that gives his words regarding DAC's some much-needed clout. Yggy will probably prove to be too rich for a lot of people's blood, but it will definitely open the door for an R2R Bifrost or Gungnir (a DAC I was relatively unimpressed with and sold, btw). A lot of other companies will likely need to start from scratch.
  5. skeptic

    Curious which 1793 and 1794 dacs you have heard? I know these chips aren't Purrin's personal favorites and assume in equally well engineered implementations, they likely do not hold up to good r2r, but I think there are still some very good dacs out there using these chips. Eg setting aside the overgeneralizations in this thread, I can't imagine the popular opinion here is really that ARC makes worthless unlistenable dacs due to their use of these supposed inferior chips (when they are almost immediately snapped up off a'gon whenever one is up for less than $3k). The digital elite over on computeraudiophile certainly seem to think highly of ARC's recent dacs in any event.

    With my mainline hd800 rig I personally prefer my keces (well implemented bb 1793) to both the wolfsons I own (arcam cdp and picodac), which are in turn better than my odac. For reference, my litmus test for purposes of comparison is generally whether violins sound natural and textured or like digital bleh on good decca recordings. I also listen for the timbre of brass and string bass on several high quality recordings recommended by LFF back in the day, before the pirates sailed off for more open waters. In any event, based on the equipment I've lived with, and what Ive heard at CanJam, I don't understand the 1793/1794 hate and would be interested to know which actual dacs are inspiring the criticism (other than ifi products which have been previously called out in this thread). Comparisons between specific dacs are helpful and interesting. Redundant proclamations and backsapping suggesting that anything other than vintage thetas or as yet unreleased yggys should be tossed in the bin are frankly a bit obnoxious.
    arnaud and Liu Junyuan like this.
  6. snip3r77

    Are 63 and 1702 current production dac still available?
  7. Baldr

    Not that I know of - there are (as of 6 months or so ago) 6 tubes of PCM1704 available at TI -- Enough to manufacture a grand total of 75 stereo D/A converters.
    Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
  8. snip3r77

    Yup audiogd has most of the 1704uk
  9. purrin
    I understand the skepticism about the sound of vintage PCM64, UltraAnalog, PCM1702, Yggy, etc. but you should go listen for yourself. I'll usually have private meets a few times a year. We usually have DAC-offs stacking a bunch of different DACs (vintage R2R, modern D-S, R2R) on top of each other. If you are interested, definitely shoot me a pm. Come on by!
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    conquerator2 and Lohb like this.
  10. 62ohm
    OOT, but I see there's a Cavalli Liquid Gold there.. What do you think of it compared to say, Ragnarok?
  11. Baldr
    Theta Digital offered upgrades. I put them in almost from the beginning. The only problem was there were no prior precedents in the audio biz. So I followed my gut and experimented away.
    The problem is that it is difficult to balance in terms of what is fair to the users and to us. I know, I know, Schiit has no loyalty programs, show specials, etc. This is so the guy who just bought his Chingadera from us at no discount will not feel bad when the discount was later offered. Unfair!
    So what happens when we upgrade the Chingadera to an Uber-Chingadera? Let's dissect the economics a bit. So let's say the Uber costs 50% more to make than the non-uber.
    Since the Uber then sells for 50% more, and since I am not being a typical high-end audio company, I am not going to discontinue the non-Uber and introduce the Uber at 50% more money, just to sell more units.
    So since, I am selling a relationship with my company and in a perfect universe, I sell upgrades for the 50% difference and every one is happy, right?
    Not that simple – if I factor the entire cost of the original Chingadera and the cost of the new parts, then the total cost will be much higher because of the parts sold in the non-uber which are now replaced by the parts on the new PCB, the cost difference is now much higher – say 70%.
    So, if I am going to stay in business, I can't absorb that cost. The easy way out is to just replace the model as mentioned above. If I am going to offer an upgrade, and the offer is intended to be a perk for my original users, how do I do it?
    This is what I did at Theta – If the upgrade user was a registered user of the original product, his cost on the upgrade was 20% less than someone who was not an original user. I was flying by the seat of my pants. It did work and it was fair.
    This made it so the original customers did not have to subsidize those who bought the units second hand. A true loyalty discount. As fair as I can figure.
    We still had a few whiners – “Well I bought mine used because I didn't have the money for new, etc.” They are still getting a tremendous discount even with a surcharge given almost everyone else's policy of not upgrading at all.
    So the summary of the policy was:
    1. We offer upgrades which save money to our users. All users save money on upgrades.
    2. We give original users a price break - loyalty is rewarded over opportunism.
    Have we instigate this policy at Schiit? No, not yet. But we may well do so in the future as our upgrades become a more and more significant portion of the product.
    Those who think this unfair were advised during the Theta era they were free to purchase anybody else's gear at the time when we were the only manufacturer with an upgrade policy at all. This would still apply today.
    Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
    conquerator2, jexby and 7ryder like this.
  12. wink
    I wanna buy used. It's better for my garden....
  13. SoupRKnowva
    Thats the massive Krell to power the HE-6s right? what a beauty
  14. shadow84
    For the audio gd DAC NFB15, what is the meaning of the 15.32, 15.1, etc? How do i get that? By configuring the DAC itself or requesting from audio gd?
  15. Stillhart
    Those are older models.  They just changed the name as they updated them to newer models over the years.  The newest model will have everything the older models have and then some.
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