Tim F

Cheap versus expensive dacs

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Are you volunteering to organise this?

:cafe:

Yes but I'll need some assistance and some equipment donations. Will start a thread in the Kegworth area of the forum at some point this weekend to check interest, probably when I'm a bit less hung over.

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The way DACS sound is quite a complex pain in the butt to differentiate. Elimination of noise. Sources from USB, coaxial (HDMI) to different servers to different hardwares to different transport streamers. Different routers. Not to mention different types of up sampling softwares. 

Oh... Cables!. DACS will sound different to the source feed to em. Did someone say level matching? :nerves:

Edited by Nativebon
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Super Wammer
 

Yes but I'll need some assistance and some equipment donations. Will start a thread in the Kegworth area of the forum at some point this weekend to check interest, probably when I'm a bit less hung over.

I should be able to contribute my Arcam D33 to the experiment.

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Super Wammer

I have a FiiO Taishan & a Pro-Ject DAC Box E, to represent the lower end of the market. Both are coax & Optical only. 

Edited by Lurch

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Super Wammer
 

Yes, it absolutely should.  Rubbish in, rubbish out.  However, don't confuse that with the level of spending.  Source first is about capability, not cost.

You’re right of course that if the signal from the source is poor quality there is nothing which even the most accomplished amplifier and speakers can do to improve it. But the same could be argued anywhere along the playback chain eg. if the speakers are compromised then no amount of money thrown at the source is going to make the system sound better. I guess the skill is in identifying the weak point in any playback chain and dealing with that.

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I dunno - I bought a Dacmagic 2 for a bargain price - slotted it into the system - My HB Burnit pro has two wolfson 24bit dacs in it but it sounded better through the Dacmagic - My Meridian 506 and 206 at the time were piped into it as well to compare (after all the 506 20 bit was a universally praised cd player) and blow me down they sounded better through the dac magic (though i did love the bass from the 206 which seemed to be much tighter).    Came to the conclusion trying other dacs and visiting mates that dacs do sound different - as to which is right only your ears can decide. 

I still prefer the sound of my old Pioneer 802 but my daughter will not give it back ... I do have a 505 precision in the conservatory and keep meaning to slot it back into the main system.

A-ha! I've got a Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 2i; I bought it from Tonbridge Audio Jumble some years ago. It made a big difference in my humble system. Really works for my ears. And my neighbours and friends like it too! 👍 👍 👍 😎 😎 😎 

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Yes, it absolutely should.  Rubbish in, rubbish out.  However, don't confuse that with the level of spending.  Source first is about capability, not cost.

My suggestion would be that almost any source is less rubbish than the rest of the chain in this era. Hey I use a Mk2 iPod putting out 16/44 converted into analogue into £30k loudspeakers and it sounds great. Play it into some £15k loudspeakers and it would sound considerably poorer. a £15k digital source into £15k loudspeakers? Na...not to be convinced and I have owned the TOTR dCS equipment in the past.

Edited by Tune

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If all dacs are near perfect, and therefore sound the same, how come the insertion of a upsampling re-clocker like the Wyred4Sound Remedy is instantly and beneficially audible? Was at a bake-off, and it was tried on a variety of DACs, all there heard it work on a succession of gear and I subsequently bought one.

I'm foo-sceptical and dislike parting with money without result, nevertheless coughed up...not a small difference.

Edited by ff1d1l

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If all dacs are near perfect, and therefore sound the same, how come the insertion of a upsampling re-clocker like the Wyred4Sound Remedy is instantly and beneficially audible? Was at a bake-off, and it was tried on a variety of DACs, all there heard it work on a succession of gear and I subsequently bought one.

I'm foo-sceptical and dislike parting with money without result, nevertheless coughed up...not a small difference.

Maybe it’s because they manufactured it with the view it can be upgraded. It allows the customer to purchase a ‘basic’ unit at a lower price then enjoy the opportunity to upgrade. 

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Super Wammer
 

If all dacs are near perfect, and therefore sound the same,

If only they were near perfect - but that is another story

 

Edited by uzzy

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Maybe it’s because they manufactured it with the view it can be upgraded. It allows the customer to purchase a ‘basic’ unit at a lower price then enjoy the opportunity to upgrade. 

You misunderstand...my DAC is a Musical Fidelity V90 (with a power supply, which sounds better - but that's another story). It sound is substantially improved with an optical to the W4S, and an optical to the optical input on the MF re-clocked and upsampled  by the W4S to 24/92 rather than just a straight optical in. Nothing is via a Naim style upgrade path...

At the bakeoff several DACs were tried with one, all audibly beneficial. What DACs? Bryston, Audiobyte I think I remember, can't recall the rest.

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Super Dealer
 

If only they were near perfect - but that is another story

 

They are not near perfect, the majority of contemporary oversampling designs  are audibly transparent so ‘perfect’, unless of course the designer chooses to not make them so.

Keith

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Super Wammer
 

the majority of contemporary oversampling designs  are audibly transparent so ‘perfect’

we will just have to agree to disagree on this one :) 

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Super Dealer
 

If all dacs are near perfect, and therefore sound the same, how come the insertion of a upsampling re-clocker like the Wyred4Sound Remedy is instantly and beneficially audible? Was at a bake-off, and it was tried on a variety of DACs, all there heard it work on a succession of gear and I subsequently bought one.

I'm foo-sceptical and dislike parting with money without result, nevertheless coughed up...not a small difference.

Their  dac was rather disappointing,

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-wyred4sound-dac-2v2-se-dac.6507/

Keith

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I wasn't talking about their DAC.

Though actually I heard their DAC I think in the Boenicke system at Scalford. No one in the room seemed disappointed.

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