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DAC is important, but does the digital source matter?

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3 minutes ago, savvypaul said:

Talking about belief systems...

...one for the objectivists...

...is it possible to measure 'humility'?

:notworthy:

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stewart lee.gif

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47 minutes ago, bandit pilot said:

Strike 2

:P I flipping give up. 

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Just now, Warszawa said:

:P I flipping give up. 

Good. That means I won't have to keep deleting silly until I just get bored and ban you :D:^

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46 minutes ago, savvypaul said:

Talking about belief systems...

...one for the objectivists...

...is it possible to measure 'humility'?

Yes, but not if the measurement apparatus is poorly designed and disrupted by RFI.. 

Edited by wHIZZY

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4 minutes ago, wHIZZY said:
Edited by wHIZZY
Duplication

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1 hour ago, bandit pilot said:

Back to reality, if you need to swear to make a point then I suggest you need to find a dark corner too :whistle:

I remember the days when most of the 'Wam could be considered a 'dark corner.'

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1 minute ago, notevenclose said:

I remember the days when most of the 'Wam could be considered a 'dark corner.'

Me too. A dark corner of wisdom and enlightenment B|

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I have recently compared going out of my small "gigabit brix headless PC running audiophilio optimiser" via usb out, using volumio software to play music. And again the same PC running roon server and outputting audio via a Metrum Ambre acting as a roon endpoint. 

And on the same tracks, I found the bass to be better defined and backgrounds darker with slightly more clarity via the Metrum Ambre. I admit it's not a apple to apples comparison. But I can swear it sounds different. And before someone comes across, and suggest that I try them both blind. I don't find it necessary, as I can discern sufficient difference between the both. 

Iam completely dumb at computers. So I cannot figure out why this difference occurs. But there are three scientific reasons that I can put forward for this improvement:

1. Roon's RAAT protocol for audio transmission

2. Metrum Ambre's femto clocks

3. Metrum Ambre's superior internal LPSU.

So having experimented myself , I can say that the source has made a discernable difference in my setup. 

And if the above is not enough, I have tried a CCA as roon endpoint and compared with the Metrum Ambre. And the Metrum Ambre again trumps the CCA. With the CCA plugged via its wallwart , it's absolutely no contest. The Metrum sounds far better. But drop in proper power conditioning and LPSU for the CCA, and gap between the CCA and the Metrum Ambre really reduces by a lot. So it's worth trying to optimise one's digital source too in my humble experience. All the best :)

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43 minutes ago, newlash09 said:

So it's worth trying to optimise one's digital source too in my humble experience. All the best :)

FWIW, after a decade of fannying about with file-based replay using everything from a SqueezeBox (? can hardly recall) via a number of Macs, including one with a dedicated PSU costing more than the Mac itself, a plethora of USB cables and DACs from, in no particular order, KingRex, Resolution Audio, Kondo, CEC, Weiss, Metrum, Denon and Job Systems (price range £100-£24000), a Melco server plus USB cables from KingRex, Oyaide, Furutech, Atlas, Cardas, QED and white van man (price range £10-£400), I've learned 2 things:

1] Redbook CD still sounds best to me.

2] It's become apparent that digital source, cable and DAC is best thought of as a 'system' in the same sense as turntable, tonearm and cartridge.

Happily recent adventures have been entirely positive, John Kenny's 'cheap as chips' USB cable tour threw up some very interesting thoughts/lines of enquiry and most recently a pre-production prototype of a (hopefully) soon to be released cable has opened the door still wider.

Interesting times.

Edited by notevenclose
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3 hours ago, notevenclose said:

I understood he commented on the improvement possible with an appropriate PSU, not that his product's 'own internal filtration and  regulation aren’t  up to snuff.'

Perhaps there's another way of looking at this. How come the DAC always gets the blame?

I've had 2 in the system over the last year or so, my initial impression was that they were of broadly equivalent quality. Having ascertained that both were indeed functioning, in truth I wasn't greatly concerned which was in use, both sounded fine.

In recent times however I've come to think there's something of a lowest common denominator here.

One of them sounds fine, but pretty much the same regardless of what's connected to it (and how).

The other shows up very clearly differences in connection/cabling. Obviously one school of thought suggests the second DAC is clearly flawed/inadequate/designed by morons.

Thing is the sound I'm getting at the moment out of the second 'flawed' DAC, with a prototype USB cable, from the Mac mini, is by some margin the best sound I've had at home from file-based replay. In a darkened room, I'd have guessed the Melco I owned previously had been re-instated.

Gilbert Briggs once said 'the wider you open the window, the more muck blows in' or something to that effect. I'm increasingly inclined to think that applies to file-based reply as well. Maybe the 'incompetently designed' DACs are simply showing up problems in the digital chain which the 'properly designed' ones are ameliorating?

Edited by notevenclose

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39 minutes ago, newlash09 said:

I have recently compared going out of my small "gigabit brix headless PC running audiophilio optimiser" via usb out, using volumio software to play music. And again the same PC running roon server and outputting audio via a Metrum Ambre acting as a roon endpoint. 

And on the same tracks, I found the bass to be better defined and backgrounds darker with slightly more clarity via the Metrum Ambre. I admit it's not a apple to apples comparison. But I can swear it sounds different. And before someone comes across, and suggest that I try them both blind. I don't find it necessary, as I can discern sufficient difference between the both. 

Iam completely dumb at computers. So I cannot figure out why this difference occurs. But there are three scientific reasons that I can put forward for this improvement:

1. Roon's RAAT protocol for audio transmission

2. Metrum Ambre's femto clocks

3. Metrum Ambre's superior internal LPSU.

So having experimented myself , I can say that the source has made a discernable difference in my setup. 

And if the above is not enough, I have tried a CCA as roon endpoint and compared with the Metrum Ambre. And the Metrum Ambre again trumps the CCA. With the CCA plugged via its wallwart , it's absolutely no contest. The Metrum sounds far better. But drop in proper power conditioning and LPSU for the CCA, and gap between the CCA and the Metrum Ambre really reduces by a lot. So it's worth trying to optimise one's digital source too in my humble experience. All the best :)

The point is can you still discern the difference when you don’t know which is playing, if you can, reliably then you are on to something and can try and determine why.

Keith

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7 minutes ago, notevenclose said:

Perhaps there's another way of looking at this. How come the DAC always gets the blame?

I've had 2 in the system over the last year or so, my initial impression was that they were of broadly equivalent quality. Having ascertained that both were indeed functioning, in truth I wasn't greatly concerned which was in use, both sounded fine.

In recent times however I've come to think there's something of a lowest common denominator here.

One of them sounds fine, but pretty much the same regardless of what's connected to it (and how).

The other shows up very clearly differences in connection/cabling very clearly. Obviously one school of thought suggests the second DAC is clearly flawed/inadequate/designed by morons.

Thing is the sound I'm getting at the moment out of the second 'flawed' DAC, with a prototype USB cable, from the Mac mini is by some margin the best sound I've had at home from file-based replay. In a darkened room, I'd have guessed the Melco I owned previously had been re-instated.

Gilbert Briggs once said 'the wider you open the window, the more muck blows in' or something to that effect. I'm increasingly inclined to think that applies to file-based reply as well. Maybe the 'incompetently designed' DACs are simply showing up problems in the digital chain which the 'properly designed' ones are ameliorating?

Maybe they are just poorly designed there are some poor ones amongst these,

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/master-index-for-audio-hardware-reviews.2079/

but even the poorest of these might not be so poor as to be audible.

Keith

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1 minute ago, PuritéAudio said:

Maybe they are just poorly designed

Perhaps. And maybe they're not. Once upon a time people thought all a turntable had to do was rotate at a constant speed and drop rumble to a measurably inaudible level. Remind me how that turned out.

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Super Dealer

Sounds reasonable, 

Keith

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