peter the butcher

DAC advice sought... again

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12 minutes ago, Psilonaught said:

Who would like that !? It totally ruins the realism of the music. As the amp and speakers get better, that edge sounds even more pronounced, in my experience.

Maybe those for whom this trait isn't a problem can't hear it due poor quality components. Either that or they have cloth ears....:minikev:

Absolutely agree with you. It is rather like edging up the sharpness on a TV which can look impressive for a little while but quickly grates. Takes all tastes though!

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14 minutes ago, Camverton said:

Absolutely agree with you. It is rather like edging up the sharpness on a TV which can look impressive for a little while but quickly grates. Takes all tastes though!

Bear in mind age and exposure to noise affect our experience of high frequencies, where "glare" is likely to be heard.  We all hear slightly differently.  

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1 hour ago, Psilonaught said:

In my experience a good way to audition a dac is to play a piano track. DACs with a  "digital" sound will be easy to spot on piano reproduction. The higher notes will have a tiresome hardness or glassy edge to them that is a dead giveaway.

That is my experience :)

A harpsichord is also very good, try Scott Ross' Scarlatti on Erato.

But sometimes the poor DAC is merely spotlighting problems elsewhere in the system, the tweeter or the amplifier.

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2 minutes ago, tuga said:

A harpsichord is also very good, try Scott Ross' Scarlatti on Erato.

But sometimes the poor DAC is merely spotlighting problems elsewhere in the system, the tweeter or the amplifier.

That is true. The trick is to try and avoid using the character of one item of equipment to compensate for aberrations in another. 

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Super Dealer
1 hour ago, uzzy said:

The problem with DACs is - they all sound different but when you compare it to vinyl none of them sound right .. the thing to remember when you go to evaluate only take DDD cds or use streaming services of DDD material - anything that was AAD is compromised and ADD very likely compromised.

Dave Grusin Gershwin Collection is one of my test CDs (DDD and recorded virtually live to reduce mutltracking and digital loss on mixing multitracks down to 2).   Fish through your cd collection (or online) for the tracks you think will be good to use for a demo that are DDD .. I also uses the Shaw Singers Rachmaninoff Vespers from Telarc (DDD) and James Taylor October Road and Hourglass - Porcupine Tree In Abestentia,  and others ... 
Hope you find something that satisfies your needs 

Wel no, properly engineered oversampling designs are going to sound extremely similar, in fact the dac really has to be extremely poorly designed before you can hear a difference.

As to sounding ‘sharp’ oversampling designs dac’s have a flat frequency response ,if there is sharpness it will be down to your speakers.

Keith

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Super Dealer

@peter the butcher you are best making up your own mind by listening to a few decent DACs. You will have realised that the majority of us do not agree with what Keith says but only you can decide what sort of sound you want to hear. Subject to Covid, you are not far from me, near Bingham, and you are welcome to come and hear my Qutest. I could have let you hear an RME dac as well but I got rid of it because it was just too fatiguing. 

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+1 on the qutest, it makes you want to listen more and more and more.

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15 minutes ago, Ceko said:

+1 on the qutest, it makes you want to listen more and more and more.

That’s when you know your hifi is really good and suited to your needs. Some of the stuff I’ve heard here is very impressive but I just didn’t want to carry on listening to it after an hour or so.

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1 hour ago, PuritéAudio said:

Wel no, properly engineered oversampling designs are going to sound extremely similar, in fact the dac really has to be extremely poorly designed before you can hear a difference.

As to sounding ‘sharp’ oversampling designs dac’s have a flat frequency response ,if there is sharpness it will be down to your speakers.

Did I say anything about Sharp?  So a Wadia sounding different to a Chord is down to one or other being poorly designed?  

The main thrust of my post was to choose the digital material with care to audition in their comparison.

I never realised there were so many makes of DACs and so many different sales because they sound the same. 

I never realised it was the "lesser informed" buying the poorly designed ones that sound different because their ears liked the reproduction better..   

I googled the statement "do DACs sound different.  Some say, the reason that you can't tell the difference between DACs is that your system doesn't have enough resolution to be able to tell the difference.  Others say they cannot tell the difference ..
The thing is I think the majority of us are agreed there are differences between DACs (otherwise we would have the endless arguments we see about cables)

What I think (and a large number out there do too) is - amps sound different, cables can make the sound different, streamers sound different, loudspeakers sound different - in fact most items in the hifi chain can sound different .. and for a large number of us that also applies to DACs (regardless of how well engineered and designed they are).

 

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1 hour ago, uzzy said:

So a Wadia sounding different to a Chord is down to one or other being poorly designed?  

Hi,

Wadia used to make their own DAC's which were near discrete, but the DI322 uses the ESS DAC IC, and Chord use an FPGA DAC, which is essentially PWM (from memory, Hifi News review).

For the Wadia Di322, which uses the ESS Sabre 9016S DAC IC, the IC can achieve a S/N 128dB, but the Wadia implementation reduces this to 110dB. So Wadia have done something to reduce the performance.

For the Chord using PWM implemented in an FPGA, this is a proprietary design, and therefore the signal processing can affect the output significantly even though there is a flat spectrum. Other tests to characterise the DAC could be an impulse or step excitation to determine the transient or time domain response.

Most DAC's are based on the ESS IC's, Cirrus, Texas Instruments or Analog Devices - and many IC's implement the same topology internally to generate the analogue signal. They may have multiple filters, and they will be different between manufacturers, but their sound signature is not significantly different, but DAC designs based on the same DAC IC will sound the same.

I have seen reports of people not being able to hear differences between the filters implemented in the DAC IC of a DAC product.

Regards,

Shadders.

Edited by Shadders

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Super Dealer
6 hours ago, Shadders said:

They may have multiple filters, and they will be different between manufacturers, but their sound signature is not significantly different, but DAC designs based on the same DAC IC will sound the same

One aspect you have not mentioned is the power supply used for the dac. Some have internal ones either smps or lps and some have external, mostly smps. Many of us have found that the power supply can have a considerable impact on the sound of the dac and is one reason why the same dac IC does not sound the same in different DACs. Yet another reason why one cannot just go off measurements and one must listen to the DACs to see which one is preferred. 

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Super Dealer

@peter the butcher  of course there are always the Denafrips range of R2R dacs some of which will fall within your budget range. In particular the Aries II dac is well within budget. I admit I just do not get on with the sound of any R2R dac I have heard regardless of price. To my ears it is almost as if the sum of the parts of the music never quite comes together to form an integrated whole. However many people love them and if you can get to hear one, perhaps at a wammers house, then it might be worthwhile even if just a long shot.

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43 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

One aspect you have not mentioned is the power supply used for the dac. Some have internal ones either smps or lps and some have external, mostly smps. Many of us have found that the power supply can have a considerable impact on the sound of the dac and is one reason why the same dac IC does not sound the same in different DACs. Yet another reason why one cannot just go off measurements and one must listen to the DACs to see which one is preferred. 

power just comes from a half decent multi plug connector, and the main supply to that is good. IF I deem it necessary, one of these will be put in Titan Audio Nyx Mains Block

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Super Dealer
12 minutes ago, peter the butcher said:

power just comes from a half decent multi plug connector, and the main supply to that is good. IF I deem it necessary, one of these will be put in Titan Audio Nyx Mains Block

Sorry, perhaps I should have been clearer. I did not mean your mains supply. I meant the actual power supply built into the dac or supplied as a separate one with a connecting lead. 

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Lots of ‘sales/marketing’ phrases on the Titan website ....allegedly busbars introduce current reduction down their length ...but ‘single crystal copper’ wiring doesn’t ????

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