DAC Emotiva XDA-1 - Can't hear a difference using the DAC. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-28-2012, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I purchased an EMOTIVA XDA-1 last year and never really had a chance to post this.
I can’t hear a difference between using the XDA-1 and regular hdmi with my Sony dvd player. If anything, the hdmi sounds better.
This is how I have it setup:
1. Output digital coaxial of DVD player to input of Digital Coaxial on XDA-1. Out analog from XDA-1 to my analog input Onkyo TX-NR805 receiver.
Run HDMI out from DVD player to Receiver.

2. When, I switch between the digital and analog on my receiver, I can't really hear a difference. Is it due to the following?
a. Cheap DVD player? It’s a Sony Blu-ray player. Do I need like an OPPO?
b. Cheap analog cables? They’re Monsters cable. I know, I know, don’t dog on the cables but it’s better than those cheapo one that comes with the dvd player.
c. Hooking it up wrong? I don’t see how else to hook it up.
d. Need better reference /more expensive speakers to hear the difference? I have pair of AV123 Onix rockets 760 towers.
e. Need dedicated 2 channel setup? I’m using for both music and movies. When movies, I turn on surround. When music I use pure 2 channel. Is that ok?
Maybe I should have done some more research before buying the xda, but after hearing it from the reviews and youtube, I pulled the trigger.
Any advice appreciated. Thanks for reading!

PS: I’m posting now because I’m thinking about buying EMOTIVA amp XPA-3.
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-28-2012, 06:28 PM
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^^^
none of that...

it's due to the fact that regardless of what you've heard or read, modern dacs are transparent... and have been transparent for a long time...

why do you think you need an amp?
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-28-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
none of that...
it's due to the fact that regardless of what you've heard or read, modern dacs are transparent... and have been transparent for a long time...
why do you think you need an amp?

If it's transparent then why waste money and time on a DAC?

I think an amp will push my LCR better .. Sounds like I'm not getting the depth and clarity watching movies as I've heard in stores theater stores. Thinking maybe because I don't have a separate amp. Possibly low depth due to receiver handling all 7 channels.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-29-2012, 03:04 AM
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Yes. Why waste a penny for some external DAC ?
Any answer to this must be very subjective and can't be technical nowadays.

Rather then investing in new amps you might look first for optimizing the positioning / placement of your current speakers and consider some acoustical treatments for your listening room.
A new amp usually does not make any difference sonically, except may be for power, if of decent quality, because the amp always never ever changes anything audibly. This is just a myth from the "old ages" and the industry. There may be few exceptions if your speakers represent a very difficult or unusally complex load to drive, but this is quite uncommon nowadays.
To the contrary your speakers and your room will be the relevant factor for a recognizable change.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-29-2012, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greddy09sc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
none of that...
it's due to the fact that regardless of what you've heard or read, modern dacs are transparent... and have been transparent for a long time...
why do you think you need an amp?

If it's transparent then why waste money and time on a DAC?

I think an amp will push my LCR better .. Sounds like I'm not getting the depth and clarity watching movies as I've heard in stores theater stores. Thinking maybe because I don't have a separate amp. Possibly low depth due to receiver handling all 7 channels.

because people "believe" and "want" them to be "better"... wink.gif

the amp isn't going to do what you want... gurkey's post describes what will get you what you want... speakers/setup/room...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #6 of 7 Old 11-29-2012, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greddy09sc View Post

I purchased an EMOTIVA XDA-1 last year and never really had a chance to post this.
I can’t hear a difference between using the XDA-1 and regular hdmi with my Sony dvd player. If anything, the hdmi sounds better.
This is how I have it setup:
1. Output digital coaxial of DVD player to input of Digital Coaxial on XDA-1. Out analog from XDA-1 to my analog input Onkyo TX-NR805 receiver.
Run HDMI out from DVD player to Receiver.

The last option is the only one that really makes sense to me.
Quote:
2. When, I switch between the digital and analog on my receiver, I can't really hear a difference. Is it due to the following?

a. Cheap DVD player? It’s a Sony Blu-ray player. Do I need like an OPPO?

The main *advantage* of the OPPOs is alleged to be their superior converters and output buffers, but if you use the HDMI output of any dencent media player those don't matter. So much for the OPPO mystique. ;-)

Quote:
b. Cheap analog cables? They’re Monsters cable. I know, I know, don’t dog on the cables but it’s better than those cheapo one that comes with the dvd player.

No, in terms of actual performance the Monster cables don't deliver any better measurable performance than the ones that came with the DVD player as long as you haven't busted those cheap cables because they may be a little light on mechanical integrity. Shouldn't matter unless you have reckless teenagers doing your system setup/ Even normal teenagers won't hurt cheap cables. ;-)
Quote:
c. Hooking it up wrong? I don’t see how else to hook it up.

Roger that!
Quote:
d. Need better reference /more expensive speakers to hear the difference? I have pair of AV123 Onix rockets 760 towers.

Well sound quality is as much if not more about the room than the speakers and its hard to specify the room over the web in a meaningful way.

However, despite their ponderous name, the AV123 Onix rockets 760 tower speakers don't seem to be substandard.
Quote:
e. Need dedicated 2 channel setup? I’m using for both music and movies. When movies, I turn on surround. When music I use pure 2 channel. Is that ok?
Maybe I should have done some more research before buying the xda, but after hearing it from the reviews and youtube, I pulled the trigger.

I don't know what is wrong with AVRs when configured right and used in 2 channel systems. I haven't had anybody make a coherent argument why they would be substandard.

Quote:
PS: I’m posting now because I’m thinking about buying EMOTIVA amp XPA-3.

Spend the money on a good subwoofer. Sell the DAC and put the money into your subwoofer fund.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-29-2012, 06:56 AM
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I have an Oppo BDP-83, a friend got the 85 (? -- with the pricey analog outputs and mods). Can't tell between HDMI and analog outputs going through a Pio SC-27, with or without Emotiva amps, driving Magnepan MG-IIIa speakers in a heavily-treated room, using MCACC or not (pure direct). By far the biggest sonic differences are from the AVR's room correction (which you may be bypassing if you use "pure direct") and room treatment. Chances are good if you think HDMI is better it is because the volume is not perfectly matched. I agree with Arny and all; the speakers, room, and how they interact has the biggest impact on sound. Play with your speaker positions, room calibration, and get a sub instead of chasing marginal at best gains from component "upgrades".

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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