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

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Well then, more reason to try linux based system. Most of them hold cpu multiplyer constant, that sort of things. + on the soft side there is nothing but the music daemon.
Out of dacs i have used with for example Daphile the ones with crappy usb side benefited most.

If you just disable speed step in the bios your CPU speed will remain locked no matter what OS you use.
 
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conquerator2

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I agree!! 100%, I tried using a Peachtree T1 USB-Coax converter which uses adaptive USB, not asynchronous USB to connect my Theta DS Pro Progeny which only takes Coax or Toslink.
 
I then compared it to the S/PDIF pass-through of my HT Omega Claro Halo soundcard.
 
The result, the HT Omega Claro Halo left no digital harshness or crap. The Peachtree T1 hasn't been used since and I am waiting for my Gustard U12 before I give up on USB completely. Honestly the Peachtree T1 added crap to my sound versus giving me a pure unmolested signal. I am getting pure PCM pass-through optical from my HT Omega Claro Halo
Definitely give the U12 a shot. Doesn't get much smoother than that!
You raise an interesting point, though I've been thinking about it myself. Could it be just that the gear is more revealing, rather than calling it digital crap?
I don't mean digitis or delta-sigma hash, just that the gear is revealing what's in the recording rather than not.
Curios about your U12 impressions 

 
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wahsmoh

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  Definitely give the U12 a shot. Doesn't get much smoother than that!
You raise an interesting point, though I've been thinking about it myself. Could it be just that the gear is more revealing, rather than calling it digital crap?
I don't mean digitis or delta-sigma hash, just that the gear is revealing what's in the recording rather than not.
Curios about your U12 impressions 

Well, the most important thing is that I want my Theta to do all the work. I'm not sure if this whole reclocking thing is for me when the Theta already has some kind of advanced PLL clocking system with dithering and all the other fancy words I don't understand. I also believe the Motorola DSP56001 has a crystal oscillator to reduce jitter.
 
Adding another piece of equipment to reduce jitter or reclock the signal isn't always going to give you better performance. Sometimes its just best to leave it to the guys who designed your DAC and feed it a proper signal. I have been reading a lot of USB vs. S/PDIF talk and it may just be a myth but before there was a decent solution for USB the general consensus was that USB sounds like crap. And I can agree the Peachtree T1 USB-coax wasn't giving me a more transparent image than when using the S/PDIF pass through of my soundcard (pure PCM)
 
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maeveth

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And I can agree the Peachtree T1 USB-coax wasn't giving me a more transparent image than when using the S/PDIF pass through of my soundcard (pure PCM)
 
Do you have confirmation that the output from your soundcard was bit-perfect?  Many sound cards DO NOT output bit-perfect PCM unless specifically told to do so.  Some have settings to resample for downstream hardware and a great deal of them will default to 16/44.
 
Some sound cards plain and simple cannot actually handle higher bit-depths and sample rates in hardware and the driver will actually resample in software the PCM stream.  Also note that this process is done with little respect for quality since for most users real-time audio responsiveness is valued over SQ.
 
Devices such as the peachtree as they are audio focused will prioritize in their driver designs, hardware architecture, and default settings will be setup to make audiophilles happy.
 
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drez

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Nice impression!
Any chance to upgrade the processor at music server to intel x99?
 
I think they have an x99 mini ITX but only 2 ram slots, and not identical features to the board I am using.  I would need to experiment further to try and get some idea what is responsible for the better performance of my system.
 
In terms of what was better, the X99 system had more dynamics and nuance to the music.  The music server sounded more laid back but less nuance and dynamics.
 
Previous experiments I have tried disabling cpu cores.  The sound became more laid back but less musical nuance and dynamics - the music sounded more dead.  There could of course be much more to this than just cpu performance.
 
  Linear power supply degrades sound out of the PC for some reason. I also found that switching power supply sounded better.
 
You also must try jplay 6.
 
What USB card were you using?
 
I tried JPlay 6, I still prefer JRiver as I find JPlay to sound more blurry and phasey.  Actually my current favourite is HQPlayer.  
 
I am using JCAT USB.  It does't seem to like my X99 motherboard.  I might email Marcin to see if he has ideas.  It helped my other computer a lot.
 
I will try the same power supply from my X99 system on my music server to see if that helps.  I might also try upgrade to windows 8.1 on that computer to take that variable out of the equation.
 
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wahsmoh

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Do you have confirmation that the output from your soundcard was bit-perfect?  Many sound cards DO NOT output bit-perfect PCM unless specifically told to do so.  Some have settings to resample for downstream hardware and a great deal of them will default to 16/44.
 
Some sound cards plain and simple cannot actually handle higher bit-depths and sample rates in hardware and the driver will actually resample in software the PCM stream.  Also note that this process is done with little respect for quality since for most users real-time audio responsiveness is valued over SQ.
 
Devices such as the peachtree as they are audio focused will prioritize in their driver designs, hardware architecture, and default settings will be setup to make audiophilles happy.

Yes. There is an option to select the formats that the outbound receiver is capable of supporting. I selected 44.1khz and 48khz since that is what the Theta is capable of receiving. I will take a screenshot of it later but it says pure PCM stream. I'm betting that anything above is downsampled but I have been able to play back all formats with this option from 44/16 to 24/192
 
Most of my music is redbook audio so it doesn't really matter. But I don't notice anything degrading the sound of 24/96 or 24/192
 
BTW the HT Omega Claro Halo uses an AKM4396VF which isn't a bad DAC at all. I know I am only using it as a pass-through device so I don't think it influences the sound
at all.
 
I think with USB what we have to worry about more is jitter. I don't think the Peachtree T1 USB uses advanced techniques of reclocking the signal like the Gustard U12 does. That is why I am giving an Async USB converter a chance. It also has a power supply and Crystek VCXO's so I think it will have a lower noise floor than the Peachtree T1 and less jitter as well.
 
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I have a Peachtree X1 and T1, but I've never compared the two. The X1 is asynchronous, whereas the T1 is not. I should do a comparison between the two and with or without a Wyrd.
 
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"Does OS X even have bit perfect audio?" Yes...yes it does, all you have to do is make sure you have the output in audio midi set right and leave the volume control in iTunes maxed. That is bit perfect, don't even need audirvana or anything else. Though those applications assist in Automatically changing the sample rate in audio midi so you don't have to
 
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"Does OS X even have bit perfect audio?" Yes...yes it does, all you have to do is make sure you have the output in audio midi set right and leave the volume control in iTunes maxed. That is bit perfect, don't even need audirvana or anything else. Though those applications assist in Automatically changing the sample rate in audio midi so you don't have to
 
No need to mess about - easily the best 9.99 USD I've spent in this crazy hobby and I own several of the big name playback apps.
 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bitperfect/id455545700?mt=12
 
Seamless. 
 
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I think they have an x99 mini ITX but only 2 ram slots, and not identical features to the board I am using.  I would need to experiment further to try and get some idea what is responsible for the better performance of my system.
 
In terms of what was better, the X99 system had more dynamics and nuance to the music.  The music server sounded more laid back but less nuance and dynamics.
 
Previous experiments I have tried disabling cpu cores.  The sound became more laid back but less musical nuance and dynamics - the music sounded more dead.  There could of course be much more to this than just cpu performance.
 
 
I tried JPlay 6, I still prefer JRiver as I find JPlay to sound more blurry and phasey.  Actually my current favourite is HQPlayer.  
 
I am using JCAT USB.  It does't seem to like my X99 motherboard.  I might email Marcin to see if he has ideas.  It helped my other computer a lot.
 
I will try the same power supply from my X99 system on my music server to see if that helps.  I might also try upgrade to windows 8.1 on that computer to take that variable out of the equation.

 

If your music server sounded to laid back and lack dynamics, it could mean that it doesn’t get enough power. How much power/current does it deliver? Also some/many music server have filters and at least I know what they can sound like.

The HQPlayer (with no up sampling) is my favorite player as well more open, clear and dynamic than the other players I have.

 
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If your music server sounded to laid back and lack dynamics, it could mean that it doesn’t get enough power. How much power/current does it deliver? Also some/many music server have filters and at least I know what they can sound like.



The HQPlayer (with no up sampling) is my favorite player as well more open, clear and dynamic than the other players I have.

I am using Teradak's 350W linear atx supply, it needs to power an intel i7 3770k, motherboard, 2 SSD's and the JCAT USB card. I figure the system should draw about half of that at max load, but 350W is not overkill by any means.

My other power supply is Corsair's AX1200i ATX PSU, so quite a bit more power from that one. I figure possibly better transient speed also, but the Teradak linear supply should have lower ripple and is audiophile buzzword compliant.

I will hook up the 3770k system (the dedicated music computer) to the Corsair supply and update to Windows 8.1 on the weekend.

My reason for suspecting CPU power is a factor is previously I have experimented disabling CPU cores, results varied between sounding more laid back to sounding more grainy. I also found underclocking CPU to add grain. Still may as well see if I can get some use out of the older computer.
 
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The recent swing in this thread enough to make me check in with the local psychologist. And there I was thinking turntables were complicated things to set up, I nearly booked an appointment after getting a new cartridge.
 
Now I've got to watch out for undervolting, overclocking, core disabling, operating systems, drivers, bitperfect playback never mind the USB transport and DAC. And to think that Corsair PSU sports one of the lowest ripple noise figures ever. Makes me completely paranoid about my Android smartphone... Who knows what throttling, undervolting, core manipulating, virtual machines, kernels and stuff is running under the hood, maybe Forest Gump should have said "Bitperfect playback is like a bunch of chocolates, you never what you're gonna get"!! 

 
Grateful to have spent that cash on a Macbook Pro with Audirvana+ and not having to worry about anything, just what music I'm going to listen to tonight! Though the music server discussion is interesting, I see a Raspberry Pi 2 as a music server in my near future, would like to get back discussing DACs! 
 
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a little of topic, Munich is the place to audition some very-TOL european gears, and Chord will announce there their "Project XXX"
 :
 
--> is anyone going to the Munich High End audio show in may ?  I will try to go this year !
 
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http://www.teradak.com/products/21.html

This is what I was quoted. Please note that it may NOT be current as this was some months ago.  The DF1700 may be upgraded using the same upgrades as are available for Parasound and other DACs though they haven't tested them as working above 48k, so YMMV.

================================================================
(1) DIR9001+DF1700+PCM63P-K*2 +  BUF03+OPA627+AD797
      Paypal price $396 USD
(2) DIR9001+DF1700+PCM63P-K*4 +  BUF03+OPA627+AD797
      Paypal price $452 USD
(3) DIR9001+DF1700+PCM63P-K2*2 +  BUF03+OPA627+AD797
      Paypal price $452USD
(4) DIR9001+DF1700+PCM63P-K2*4 +  BUF03+OPA627+AD797
      Paypal price $509 USD
All of the chips except dir9001 are refurbished.  All of the prices DO NOT include shipping fee.

How does PCM63P-K2 ( input capability ) as compared to 1704 and 1534 ?
Also SQ wise..

Thanks
 
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Grateful to have spent that cash on a Macbook Pro with Audirvana+ and not having to worry about anything, just what music I'm going to listen to tonight! 
 
Ahaahah ! It is exactly what I did and would never get back to a PC.
 
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