DAC Off Part 2: Qutest vs RME ADI-2 DAC

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TheFlash

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Can someone be a petal and drop me a PM when we get back onto the topic of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of specific models of DACs, possibly but not ncessarily the RME and Chord items in the title?

I'm unsubscribing and you know why.

See you on the other side!

 

Metatron

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To be fair, Keith let Archimago and Troll do the speaking this time around, except for the Chord comment.
 

Archimago's third point is very good. Many an audiophile is a euphonophile. And if we are euphonophiles, then Keith doesn't have that much kit we'd want. I know I like the 2nd harmonics in my Pass amp which is otherwise impeccably clean.

Keith, what was that about curing RFI with ferrets? How do you get them to stay on the cable? Is it a shish kebab arrangement?

 
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Metatron

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Can someone be a petal and drop me a PM when we get back onto the topic of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of specific models of DACs, possibly but not ncessarily the RME and Chord items in the title?

I'm unsubscribing and you know why.

See you on the other side!
I don't know what more you want. It's been established most on here preferred the poorer measuring RME to the Chord Qutest.

That more than a few are euphonophiles.

And that Keith wishes to keep pointing it out in the hope you try his stuff.

If you want specs or features, RTFM.

 
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Camverton

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Can someone be a petal and drop me a PM when we get back onto the topic of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of specific models of DACs, possibly but not ncessarily the RME and Chord items in the title?

I'm unsubscribing and you know why.

See you on the other side!
Know what you mean, but it hasn’t been all bad; we have had a lovely picture of a beautiful dog in this thread and there have been the odd “flashes” of humour. Much of this thread has been quite good fun; in between gardening (well more looking at weeds if truth be told), catching a cold, going for a cycle ride and stroking my pussy. I might even listen to a bit of the old music tonight.

 

tuga

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Sorry to go back a few hours but a question or three for Keith prompted by a more recent response:

  • Is EQ an "effect"?
  • Does using the EQ settings in a DAC constitute the DAC as an "effects box"?
  • By distorting in this way the signal received by the DAC, would one be "adding distortion"?

Are you therefore recommending that people add distortion? I'm confused.

One of the supposed advantages of the RME ADI-2 is the flexibility of its filters, EQ etc; if we hear one, like it and buy it but then adjust such settings, will we be in for a telling off by Uncle Keith?
EQ'ing can be used to achieve a flatter frequency response at the listening spot. In that case it's not a distortion but the correction of a distortion.

.

All equipment produces distortion. Some "links" of the reproduction or playback chain produce more distortion than others.

And for each "link" there are topologies which produce more distortion than others.

.

Some distortion sounds nice (to some people), which is why they are described as euphonic.

Why to some people and not others.

I guess that it depends on the music we listen to, our familiarity with live sound, and ultimately our taste. Some people can only tolerate very low levels of distortions whilst other enjoy the effects that they produce, like making the sound "fuller" or adding a bit of extra reverb and enhancing the 3D-ness or spaciousness of the recording, the roll-off of the top end or a reduction of crispness to mask a bad production or mastering...

I listen mostly to classical and for me the most transparent equipment will make the recording sound more natural, the recorded instruments sound more realistic, the recreation of a the reverberant space of the original venue more palpable. Harmonic and intermodulation distortion muddle the sound of complex passages in orchestral music, speed fluctuations kill the sound of the piano, breakup resonances of "hard" mid-woofers turn violins into ear-piercing weapons of mass destruction, under-damped ports tuned to frequencies in the mid tens or above make a mash out of bowed double-basses.

For studio productions moderate amounts of some types of distortion can less objectionable, and can even improve some drier or overly-lean recordings.

But in my experience any kind of distortion will have a negative impact on the signal, making the reproduction sound more like recorded music than real instruments and vocals.

My suggestion: handle with care.

 
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tuga

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Reconstruction filters usually have a only a very minor effect on the FR , just different degrees of  treble roll off, the NOS filter might introduce some distortion however!
This is not correct. There isn't a perfect filter and with Redbook or 48kHz material those imperfections are audible. Different filter topologies produce distinct patterns of distortions (different roll-off pitch, different ringing, different alias filtering); pick your own poison.

HQ Player has many filter algorithms both in minimum and in linear phase version, summing up a total of 24 filters, and a similar amount for PCM.

 

tuga

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Actually there is a perfect filter which is the sinc X of the original A/D filter used, you ‘believe’ filter ringing is audible but it isn’t.

https://troll-audio.com/articles/filter-ringing/

Keith
Ringing in a good filter may not be audible but to achieve it you need to roll-off the treble or mess up phase, and that is audible.

Have you ever tried hearing anything? At all?

Or do you just board a bandwagon and stick with it?

I still remember your days at Romy the Cat's. Then horns were the best thing...

 

PuritéAudio

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Read the article Tuga, ringing is not audible and you don’t need to ‘mess up’ anything, you drank the kool aid believed the software salesman, didn’t perform any unsighted comparisons all very common.

I would spend the time and effort on elements that can improve sound quality.

I still like horns.

Keith

 

Lurch

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What! Like assembeling a system we actually enjoy listening to, rather than buying over-priced, computer controlled 'effects' boxes. Then wasting precious leasure/listening time tweaking parameters to achieve theoretical perfection? 

I'd rather get a life which involves enjoying myself. 

 
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tuga

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Read the article Tuga, ringing is not audible and you don’t need to ‘mess up’ anything, you drank the kool aid believed the software salesman, didn’t perform any unsighted comparisons all very common.

I would spend the time and effort on elements that can improve sound quality.

I still like horns.

Keith
Read my post Keith, and give it a double blind listen... (hint: don't use Kii nor D&D speakers)

Ringing in a good filter may not be audible but to achieve it you need to roll-off the treble or mess up phase, and that is audible.

 

Fourlegs

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Read my post Keith, and give it a double blind listen... (hint: don't use Kii nor D&D speakers)

Ringing in a good filter may not be audible but to achieve it you need to roll-off the treble or mess up phase, and that is audible.
Yes, and @PuritéAudio a hint is to read the RME manual where this is clear.

 

whitehart

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I have been following this thread with interest and was wondering how all those who got the RME feel about it a few weeks down the line. Do you still like it and do you still feel it is better than the Qutest.
************

Most definitely made the right choice... the Qutest, imo, is an inferior product.

Mac

 

tuga

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The two sharp filters don’t appear to be rolled off?



Keith
Here you can see that all filters have advantages and disadvantages which are audible and clearly expressed by the measurements:

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/09/measurements-rme-adi-2-pro-fs-as-dac.html?m=1

With HQ Player and the DAC's filtering defeated try comparing minimum phase, linear phase and asymmetric.

I used "The Astounding Eyes of Rita".

.

Or keep talking through your hat...

Over, and out.

 
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