Timbo21

DAC OFF Part 3: TEAC NT-505 vs CHORD Hugo 2

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41 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

Or, without wishing to be pedantic, the tubes are colouring the input in a euphonious way, arguably detracting from the analysis done by the DAC.  

I may be imagining it, but there almost seems to be a tube renaissance mostly to ameliorate the digital scrutiny that many sources offer. 

Agreed, Nopiano.

Hi Timbo,

As a very happy owner of the TEAC, thanks for your comprehensive analysis. I agree that the DSD512 upscaling softens the top end and conclude that an algorithm is not as good a the real thing -SACD. I tried it for several months as I agree with others that short assessments can lead to confusion. I am now in an extended listen to PCM upscaled to 8 X which I prefer, whether Lossless Radio Paradise - superb, or standard FLAC Tidal, which is generally very good but a little inconsistent at times. I am a little mystified why you would feed it output from an inferior Node2. I tried one briefly when launched and it went back - horrible noisy wallwart PS. The TEAC is a streamer/DAC and as such is excellent VFM - it has two toroidal PS and is a dual monaural with a 44.1 and 48 clocks, allowing true multiples and low jitter. Where it really comes into its own is with MQA. Second unfolds to 24/44.1,88.2 and 352.8 are rendered accurately, as are 24/96 and 192. I was a MQA agnostic, but am now delighted with the format. Thanks to RP,  I stumbled on an old favourite from my youth. Journey from Eden by Steve Miller Band. Standard Tidal has the full 6.5 minute version, but the MQA one from their greatest hits sadly fades out at 3min40s. However, the MQA SQ blows the FLAC version into the weeds. The TEAC can be a discerning device depending on what you feed it. 

NB. I have never heard a CHORD DAC to compare. The Teac has the same chord clearway RCAs as my Marantz SA14, an Audioquest CAT 7 ethernet cable and the same Audioquest NRG Z3 power  cables. Don't add anything, but might well take less away!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Bigwig07 said:

thanks - and my first two questions?

don't really understand all this digital techno speak, but can i ask am I right in thinking the RME has several sound filters ?

and it has EQ - so that's like a graphic equaliser with infinite adjustability ?

 Yes, the RME has quite a few. I think I also liked it's NOS filter

It has EQ. It's more paramtetric than graphic, so you can adjust how much it affects the neighbouring frequencies with the Q value. You can't do that on a graphic.

 

2 hours ago, Nopiano said:

Or, without wishing to be pedantic, the tubes are colouring the input in a euphonious way, arguably detracting from the analysis done by the DAC.  
 

 

My amp is solid state power and tubes on the pre amp, so not the full deal. I'm sure it measures as well as many pure solid state amps. But of course no point in putting the tubes in if it doesn't affect the sound. In my DAC comparisons they are all going through the same amp and speakers. I would say bass fares the best with digital (compared to analogue), and betters it. It's the quality of the midrange and treble that really is the litmus test. 

To some extent I think terms like 'transparent' in audio is a bit of a misnomer. I started in recording studios and I found out very early on that what comes out of the speakers via the microphones, mixing, desk, speakers, etc bears very little relation to how an instrument sounds directly when you stand in the studio. If you want pure unadulterated sound, put your musicians in an open field and listen live; no room or electronics to get in the way. Of course there will be kit which markedly adds distortion and therefore obviously colours the sound. What we found in studios was that the minute you put any piece of electronics across a vocal or instrument, you were colouring the sound in some way, and it was just whether you liked it. 

Edited by Timbo21

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, nomore landings said:

 I am a little mystified why you would feed it output from an inferior Node2. I tried one briefly when launched and it went back - horrible noisy wallwart PS. The TEAC is a streamer/DAC and as such is excellent VFM - it has two toroidal PS and is a dual monaural with a 44.1 and 48 clocks, allowing true multiples and low jitter. Where it really comes into its own is with MQA. Second unfolds to 24/44.1,88.2 and 352.8 are rendered accurately, as are 24/96 and 192. I was a MQA agnostic, but am now delighted with the format. Thanks to RP,  I stumbled on an old favourite from my youth. Journey from Eden by Steve Miller Band. Standard Tidal has the full 6.5 minute version, but the MQA one from their greatest hits sadly fades out at 3min40s. However, the MQA SQ blows the FLAC version into the weeds. The TEAC can be a discerning device depending on what you feed it. 

Many find the Node 2 an excellent streamer. It doesn't use a wall wart ps. I've found it infinitely better using coax than USB from my MacBook with Audirvana and various similar 'audiophile' softwares.

I don't have a NAS, so use the Node 2 with a USB HDD. I would have liked to have tried the TEAC's music servers. I tried my USB HDD, but realised it needs a flash drive. 

The TEAC may offer a leap in quality using it's internal server. After all, that would negate an external cable feeding it, which could pick up RF.

I didn't find the TEAC bad. There was a lot to like. I really didn't like the sharp filters. Slow filters are more natural, but they do round the top off a bit.

Edited by Timbo21

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37 minutes ago, Timbo21 said:

Many find the Node 2 an excellent streamer. It doesn't use a wall wart ps. I've found it infinitely better using coax than USB from my MacBook with Audirvana and various similar 'audiophile' softwares.

I don't have a NAS, so use the Node 2 with a USB HDD. I would have liked to have tried the TEAC's music servers. I tried my USB HDD, but realised it needs a flash drive. 

The TEAC may offer a leap in quality using it's internal server. After all, that would negate an external cable feeding it, which could pick up RF.

I didn't find the TEAC bad. There was a lot to like. I really didn't like the sharp filters. Slow filters are more natural, but they do round the top off a bit.

Apologies, was original one not node2. Agree with output from my elderly Macbook pro. USB delivers a nasty digital cocktail of noise. Didn't like sharp filters either! MQA solves all that as bypasses all upsampling etc

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1 hour ago, Timbo21 said:

Yes, the RME has quite a few. I think I also liked it's NOS filter

It has EQ. It's more paramtetric than graphic, so you can adjust how much it affects the neighbouring frequencies with the Q value. You can't do that on a graphic.

Thanks - just googled 'Q value' and I think I understand it.

I think the RME dac is on my future list - good luck with your latest upgrade

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I have had the RME for about 18 months, I think - it's EQ is useful for overcoming room quirks when doing hi-fi shows. It is reasonably transparent. I prefer the NOS filter.

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16 minutes ago, Bigwig07 said:

Thanks - just googled 'Q value' and I think I understand it.

I think the RME dac is on my future list - good luck with your latest upgrade

I'm sure you will be very happy with it. I don't use EQ anymore, since I repositioned speakers and added more acoustic panels.

I would suggest start with a Q value between 3 & 4.

Q3 is wider affecting more frequencies surrounding your chosen frequency. If you go too narrow on the Q it will sound unnatural. Also, with bass, it's better to cut rather than boost. If you boost 6dB, you are doubling the output. If your room has a bass null where bass is being cancelled because a particular frequency is reflecting, for instance, off the back wall to the listening position it will be phase cancelling so you can't hear it. If you try boosting the hell out of it so you can hear it you risk your speakers/woofer.

I found it a bit of a bugger to navigate around.

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6 hours ago, newlash09 said:

Iam really confused these days . I was keen on trying a hugo 2 as modern dac's are supposed to be more detailed than the extinct ones Iam using today. Atleast my vintage tubed dac adds a sense of musicality and enjoyment that keeps  me glued for hours. So Iam still stuck between musical enjoyment and details that I have been told Iam missing. 

I'd stick with the musical enjoyment and not sweat about what you're missing :)

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43 minutes ago, savvypaul said:

I have had the RME for about 18 months, I think - it's EQ is useful for overcoming room quirks when doing hi-fi shows. It is reasonably transparent. I prefer the NOS filter.

Now come on - I've just got to understand Q value.

What does the NOS filter do?

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Posted (edited)

I do the EQ by ear. Wouldn't know my Q value from my Q elbow.

The NOS filter rolls off higher frequencies faster but, subjectively, seems more natural through the whole of the range.

Of course, partnering equipment plays a part, too.

Edited by savvypaul

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Super Dealer

The five filters that come as standard with the AKM chip are discussed and measured here,

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/09/measurements-rme-adi-2-pro-fs-as-dac.html

Q of 1.41  is equivalent to one octave, higher the number the narrower the ‘Q’.

Keith

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, nomore landings said:

As a very happy owner of the TEAC, thanks for your comprehensive analysis. I agree that the DSD512 upscaling softens the top end and conclude that an algorithm is not as good a the real thing -SACD.

What you mean is that the internal SRC in the TEAC is not particularly good and I agree.

I own a UD-501 and prefer to upconvert to DSD and filter with HQPlayer into NOS by a long way.

Edited by tuga

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bigwig07 said:

Now come on - I've just got to understand Q value.

What does the NOS filter do?

NOS means that the DAC doesn't up- or over-sample the input (No Over Sampling).

In NOS mode most DACs bypass the digital filter(s).

My TEAC has a selection of 4 analogue filters for use with DSD to clean up the rising ultrasonic noise.

The RME uses Asahi Kasei Microdevices D/A chips which come with a bundle of digital filters, one of them an extremelly slow/gentle filter that allows the DAC to do away with the analogue filter.

Edited by tuga

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Thanks guys, I think I understand that. Anyway it feels like we're hijacking the thread a bit here.

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47 minutes ago, Bigwig07 said:

Thanks guys, I think I understand that. Anyway it feels like we're hijacking the thread a bit here.

I think it’s fine. RME advice follows on from the Part 2, which is now closed

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