What a long, strange trip it's been -- (Robert Hunter)
Aug 9, 2017 at 6:37 PM Post #4,068 of 14,085

FLTWS

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Aug 9, 2017 at 9:59 PM Post #4,069 of 14,085

kstuart

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IMHO - the top 4 Classical composers are Bach, Beethoven, Handel and Mozart - who are a level above everyone else.

(Yeah, I do like Wagner's RIng and many other composers - just not as much.)

Of course, YMMV. (Mozart is a bit of an acquired taste - only after listening to a lot of music do you realize how amazingly perfect his tunes are.)
 
Aug 9, 2017 at 11:17 PM Post #4,070 of 14,085

artur9

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Listening to Sharon Isbin right now. Such beautiful guitar work

Glad I have a Gumby. Guitar just doesn't sound right on a lesser DAC.
 
Aug 9, 2017 at 11:24 PM Post #4,071 of 14,085

johnjen

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IMHO - the top 4 Classical composers are Bach, Beethoven, Handel and Mozart - who are a level above everyone else.

(Yeah, I do like Wagner's RIng and many other composers - just not as much.)

Of course, YMMV. (Mozart is a bit of an acquired taste - only after listening to a lot of music do you realize how amazingly perfect his tunes are.)
I think I'd add Rimsky-Korsakov and Rossini and Tchaikovsky to that list.
But of course that's more than just 4…

And who could ever forget the use of a portion of Rossini's, William Tells Overture in 'Bambi meets Godzilla'.
I always start laughing as soon as the credits start to roll (well actually as soon as the music starts).
And of course I loose it at that uber dramatic ending (you have to wait for it).
But then I seem to be easily amused, so there is that.

JJ
 
Aug 10, 2017 at 1:56 AM Post #4,072 of 14,085
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I have been requested I write a bit about I2S – it seemed like a good topic about which I have never written. Briefly, the common methods of connectivity, in order of introduction, are first S/PDIF and AES/EBU. These are bi-phase modulated connection protocols, similar except for balanced (AES/EBU) and single ended (S/PDIF). There are also provisions for encoded meta data which differ, the AES containing more data appropriate to the professional recording studio, and the S/PDIF containing data primarily useful in home gear. The balanced nature of AES/EBU lends itself to longer runs. In practice, the subcode data is largely ignored in current implementations. This system was designed exclusively as a digital audio data transmission system.

We then have USB Audio and High speed USB Audio, the former suitable for sample rates up to 96K and the latter for higher rates yet. Today we have UAC2 (audio over USB2) as the commonest standard. It is common knowledge that USB is a "Universal" Serial Bus, commonly used for everything from printers to scanners to audio. Kinda like multipurpose rooms in schools, so multipurpose there is prejudice about using them.

But wait! Way back in 1983, when I built my first D/A converter for high-end audio, there was little need for connectivity, as early digital boxes were single purpose appliances. At that time, I had what I thought was a unique idea to separate the mechanical and D/A converter sections of CD players. It did take a while, as we had to build our own digital signal processing circuits, since no special digital audio chipsets were available. SPDIF did not exist as of yet (and this was decades before USB).

The irreducible minimum of digital audio signals are Bit Clock, Word Clock, and Data; BWD. These signals are multiplexed and demultiplexed in all other connection protocols, even in I2S. Three clocks, 6 wires with grounds: 16, 24, or 32 bits of data, which are clocked into D/A converters with each bit clock until one channel of the sample is complete and the word clock starts it over with the other channel. With data overhead, 3MHz at 48K sampling, doubling to 6 and 12 Mhz at 96 and 192KHz sr. This is the most complicated but by far the best sounding way to hook a digital source to a digital converter. Period.

Within a year or two, SPDIF (actually S/PDIF) Sony/Phillips digital audio interface coax and later TOS (Barf) connections were available on CD players. I added the SPDIF to my prototype and Theta Digital was born, back in 1985. I had a way to hook my D/A converter universally to CD players. Soon, Wadia joined the party, and then there dozens of companies making them within a few years, as cookbook chipsets became available. This enabled anyone who could read to build an so-so D/A converter, which was good to legitimize the idea of the D/A converter, but the chipset designs typically sounded like ass.

With S/PDIF came a quandary. Even though SPDIF enabled any CD player (the source of the era) to be hooked up to any D/A converter, it did not sound as good as BitWordData. The problem with BWD was inherent fragility; digital audio signals were exposed to static and the possibility of shorts which could and would blow the phuc outta some very fundamental parts of the circuitry that in many cases could render the source junk. S/PDIF solved the fragility.

Then it got worse – Phillips, yup Phillips, invented I2S and I2C as a novel way to reduce wire counts in interfaces. Since I2C is for control, I2S for music. I2S was their method of reducing 3 signals down to two. The worst is that I2S sounds like ass compared to BWD (but still arguably better than SPDIF), and it has all of the same fragility, closed loop, and non-standard problems as BWD. Since it was simpler and cheaper, I2S won out over BWD as an internal standard to hook up digital audio appliances. Figures.

So, you may ask, since I2S is better and BWD waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than SPDIF - Why doesn't Schiit use it? Schiit is a company selling big bang for the buck products. We have no sales dept and only one guy for customer service, as that is expensive overhead which flies in the face of our "bang for the buck" theme. If you frequently connect and disconnect, you will sooner or later have trouble. It also closes up the system and makes it awkward to audition other types of gear. Customer service intensive.

Am I closing the door on I2S as an external connectivity standard? You bet – it is a wet dream compared to BWD.

Take heart! All of our digital gear is upgradable and it is not out of the question that I may offer BWD as an external connection between our gear. The only problem is that I would have to make a digital source component first.
 
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Aug 10, 2017 at 2:03 AM Post #4,073 of 14,085
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Mah
IMHO - the top 4 Classical composers are Bach, Beethoven, Handel and Mozart - who are a level above everyone else.

(Yeah, I do like Wagner's RIng and many other composers - just not as much.)

Of course, YMMV. (Mozart is a bit of an acquired taste - only after listening to a lot of music do you realize how amazingly perfect his tunes are.)
Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich
 
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Aug 10, 2017 at 2:09 AM Post #4,075 of 14,085
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Correct me if I'm wrong, Mike, but if USB Gen 5 approaches parity with coax, sure, we should get a CD transport and AES/EBU, but is the argument really as strong as it was a month ago?

Yeah, but others inform me of wonderful spdif sound with spun silver disks.
 
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Aug 10, 2017 at 3:03 AM Post #4,076 of 14,085

Rowethren

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I'm a bit confused so on a Gumby the best input is still coax/bnc spidif in your opinion? But is it just really that coax/bnc still isn't great compared to the best possible but that is just far too expensive/reliable to implement?
 
Aug 10, 2017 at 3:27 AM Post #4,077 of 14,085

leafy7382

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I have been requested a write a bit about I2S

--snip--

Am I closing the door on I2S as an external connectivity standard? You bet – it is a wet dream compared to BWD.

Take heart! All of our digital gear is upgradable and it is not out of the question that I may offer BWD as a connection between our gear. The only problem is that I would have to make a digital source component first.

Thanks Mike, this is great insight into the history of things :) How does USB-Gen 5 talk to the DAC section? I2S or S/PDIF?

Would it make sense to have perhaps USB-Gen6 that takes USB input, properly isolated and connect to the main DAC section using BWD?
 
Aug 10, 2017 at 3:46 AM Post #4,078 of 14,085

Thenewguy007

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So, you may ask, since I2S is better and BWD waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than SPDIF - Why doesn't Schiit use it? Schiit is a company selling big bang for the buck products. We have no sales dept and only one guy for customer service, as that is expensive overhead which flies in the face of our "bang for the buck" theme. If you frequently connect and disconnect, you will sooner or later have trouble. It also closes up the system and makes it awkward to audition other types of gear. Customer service intensive.

Am I closing the door on I2S as an external connectivity standard? You bet – it is a wet dream compared to BWD.

Take heart! All of our digital gear is upgradable and it is not out of the question that I may offer BWD as a connection between our gear. The only problem is that I would have to make a digital source component first.

What exactly is a "Bit Clock, Word Clock, and Data" connection, I don't think I ever seen one?
 
Aug 10, 2017 at 6:55 AM Post #4,080 of 14,085

FLTWS

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My Favorite 4 Composers: Mahler, Bruckner, Wagner, Strauss, Sibelius, Puccini, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovitch,Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Berlioz, Mozart, Bach(s), Haydn, Handel, Purcell, Respighi, Bartok, Janacek, Copland, Vaughn-Williams, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, ..............................................................
 

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