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TOTALDAC DAC

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by khaos974, May 12, 2011.
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  1. romaz
    Interesting little device. I had never heard of it before.  It does the same thing as the TotalDac reclocker but at much lower price point.  While USB has its issues, few other connections can offer the high resolution playback that USB can.  Most AES/EBU today is limited to single DSD and 24/192 while USB can go as high as 4x DSD and 32/384 although many, including myself, would suggest that single DSD and 24/192 is more than adequate.  As you review the specs of this device, you will find that it has its limitations, at least on paper.  While specs don't frequently tell you how good something sounds, this unit actually boasts about having a sensational dynamic range of 105 dB.  While that is a very good dynamic range, it would serve as a chokehold for even the d1-dual which has a DR that approaches 160 dB.  Still, if you decide to get one and you find it to be fantastic, please let us know.
     
  2. 7ryder

    Well, DSD doesn't really interest me, so I'm OK with the limitations of the other inputs and, AFAIK, no other USB-to-SPIDF manufacturers state what the SNR is for their equipment, so for all we know, this could be quite good. I agree, though, that if this SNR then limits the d1-dual, then why bother. That said, if Vincent thinks the AES/EBU is the best input, it's interesting that all the measurements on his site are off of the USB input.
     
  3. romaz
     
    Good point.  I suspect he probably did it for practical reasons since that would be the input measurement most would be interested in.  With the d1-monobloc, which mandates the use of a reclocker and the AES/EBU inputs on both the left and right DAC unit, the DR is higher but not by much and this improvement may be attributable to other reasons.
     
  4. Yoga
    The PUC2 gets fantastic reviews. Someone even said they preferred it to their Berkley Alpha USB. Many say it beats other well known options well above its price point.
     
    An interesting unit.
     
  5. romaz
    That's saying a lot to beat the Berkeley.  Maybe a good option for d1-dual owners who want to get a music server other than the TotalDac server.
     
  6. Yoga
     
    Indeed - I have it on order for the TotalDAC loan/listen (to test using Mac as source vs dedicated N10/A1), although I was hoping the N10 had AES (not checked!).
     
  7. Beolab
    Rob Watt s comment on the AES/EBU connection which is very controversial news to me:
     
    AES EBU - the reason its not implemented on the DAVE as in the QBD76 is because of the format is technically poor. Simply use the dual BNC connection. With BNC I have got 768 kHz to work reliably, its impossible to do that with AES EBU.
     
    Rob 
     
  8. romaz
    Rob's in a position to know what's best for his DACs.  I know with the Auralic, I have read that they believe USB sounds better than their AES/EBU connection.  If you talk with Baetis, who makes high end music servers, they strongly believe their AES/EBU output sounds best.  Vincent, through his own testing, suggests his AES/EBU sounds best with his TotalDACs but to my ears, the other inputs don't sound bad.
     
    As for Rob's comments, it sounds like he may be referring to file compatibility more than SQ.  It's true that for most AES/EBU implementations, 24 bit/192 kHz and DSD 64 is as high as you can go but whether 768kHz oversampling is actually beneficial is open to debate.  That to me would be the more controversial statement.
     
    Beolab likes this.
  9. a1uc
    I got my Monobloc setup a few days ago and Im not hearing the upgrade from the D1 dual kind of bummed out . I am going to try and reload the image file maybe its corrupt
     
     
    (4) Box Monobloc
     
  10. romaz
    Yes, check your setup.  To my ears, the differences aren't subtle with the major difference being air and space, just much more holographic.  I believe Paul will tell you the same thing.  There is also a more relaxed and effortless quality to the presentation that is not readily discerned but rather appreciated over time.  Also, are you using the stock AES/EBU cables from reclocker to monoblocs?  Paul's cables are definitely a step up and so if you've gone from Paul's cable with your d1-dual to the stock cables with your monoblocs, this will have some bearing.
     
    The other limiting factor may be your preamp (if you're using one) and your amp.  They may only scale so far.  But no matter how good they are, they will present a limited bandwidth compared to your DAC.  People talk all the time about how high quality DACs are wasted on headphones but the reality is, even the best preamps and amps add a layer to your chain that reduces transparency and with my headphones connected directly to the analog outputs of the TotalDac, the differences are all the clearer.
     
    Another thing I have noticed, the monoblocs responded very well to grounding to an Entreq box, much more noticeably than the d1-dual.  It seems the more components in your chain, the more chances for signal grunge developing.  Of your four boxes, the box that contains your server/reclocker seems to benefit the greatest as it then impacts the rest of the chain afterward and so you don't have to ground every component of your chain to get a feel for the benefit of signal grounding.  I now consider this an essential part of the setup with the monoblocs.  If you stay with it, I consider you sign up for a trial evaluation.
     
    Finally, there is the possibility of unrealistically high expectations.  In the end, if your expectations aren't met, you at least have the option of reverting back to your d1-dual and getting your money back.
     
  11. paul79
    Rodney has my system basically.... These components scale like none other I have ever experienced. Better that goes in them, the better they get. I am working with him to figure out the issue.
     
    But yes, there is a very substantial difference in using my AES vs the stock ones. He has a mix of mine from server to reclocker to stock AES to the DAC's. This is not helping things for sure, but he should still be able to tell what the monobloc's bring.
     
    Stay tuned while we tune!!
     
  12. a1uc
    Okay reloaded the image file BAM It sounds like a upgrade now . Image file must of been corrupt .

    Time to do some listening
     
  13. a1uc
    Johnny Hodged sounds killer
     
  14. paul79
    OK. Good!! Now that SD Card may be bad. What you need to do is watch the transfer rate next time you write to it. If it bounces from say, 2mb/sec to 6mb/sec, it has an issue. If it stays fairly steady with little fluctuation, it should be fine.
     
    This can cause problems, or if you interrupt while something is writing to the SD Card, this will do it also.
     
  15. a1uc
    We need to demo a CAT hint hint :)
     
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