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Delta 1010 Sound Quality  

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am looking for the best pc sound and right now I have an sb live(I know its bad) w/ digtial out to an MSB Link Dac II. However, I have recently read about the Delta 1010 and it sounds like it might be a better solution. I have heard varying opinions on sound quality, so I thought I would ask here. How good does this sound for stereo music, and what level of audio components does it compare to?
post #2 of 19
It sounds VERY good... better than my Preamp!
I'm using it's analog out directly to my amplifiers.
I have not made any extensive testing on the digital out!

Do a search on this forum on "1010" and you will get more feedback.

post #3 of 19
Agree with Soren. Sounds better than my high end DAC's for CD playback. Also superb for DD 5.1 with WIN DVD. Unhappily, the ATI player will do only 2 channel playback with DD 5.1 DVD's, and you need a special hacked version of WIN DVD to play back DTS. Bill
post #4 of 19

WinDVD 3.0 is on its way.
It will officially decode DTS http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

So no more need for the "Hacked" version, which works very well!

post #5 of 19
What's the best price anyone has seen on this card?

post #6 of 19
List price is $999, street price is $599 such as at http://www.soundchaser.com/home.html

Remember this is more than just a PC sound card it also has an external rack mountable box that has the DAC's and 16+ TRS jacks for patching in and out analog and digital audio.

You may also want to look at the soon to be released Aardvard Q10 which is basically the same configuration as the 1010 but has a more flexible jacking system AND many feel the sound of Aardvark's products are a step above those from MidiMan. I can't say for sure have not heard either yet.

Hopelessly addicted to HDTV and lost deep in the woods of Charlton, MA - Rich
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have read a lot of posts here but I am still unsure whether this would be a good fit for me. I am only concerned with 2-channel music, not dolby digital or dts. I would only be using it as a source. So, as a source, how good is the sound quality? Would it easily best my MSB Link Dac II?
post #8 of 19
bill - thanks for the comment on the ati player only passing two channel on DD5.1 playback. I was about to install the ati, but will now wait.

i read that ati may be testing a dts version. I wonder if they will fix the two channel problem?

[This message has been edited by greg o (edited 04-25-2001).]
post #9 of 19

i can't comment on the 1010 specifically, but i can discuss M-Audio's Audiophile 2496 and Delta DiO 2496 cards, which are both extremely similar to the both the 1010 (with the exception of the fact that the DACs are onboard) and each other (they only differ in their inputs and outputs). my initial observations of the analog output was that it was simply stunning. then, making direct comparisons between the analog output of both cards and the digital output sent to a CIA modified Link II, it was simply no contest: the Link II was simply amuch better choice for the D/A conversion (i like the HTPC/Link combo better than my EAD T-8000/Link combo... and the T-8000 was a Stereophile Class B transport). i find it hard to believe that the 1010 would significantly outperform a combo of either the Audiophile or the Delta DiO and your Link... especially taking into account the costs involved.
post #10 of 19
I have the Dio 2496 card in my HTPC and for standard 2 channel audio it's totally wonderful. But I have read extensively that the Aardvark card and external i/o units have a much more natural sound. I'm purchasing a new Q10 from Aardvard but not for my HTPC but for my high end digital recording studio which MUST have the highest quality of A to D conversion possible.

Hopelessly addicted to HDTV and lost deep in the woods of Charlton, MA - Rich
post #11 of 19
The 1010 does measure around 109-110dB A weighted. So it is about 10dB better in DR than the DiO. It is certainly better than the 6 ch. codecs placed on Onkyo TXD-575X and similar surround receivers.
post #12 of 19

the dynamic range you quote for the 1010 is roughly that of the Link II stock (106 dB) and is the exactly the same as the Link modified by either Channel Island Audio ($199) or MSB themselves (Full Nelson, $485). and while the 6-channel codecs are no doubt better than those available from mid-range receivers (when you can get it to work, of course), Musiclover4 specifically emphasized his interest in 2-channel music. in light of this fact, staying with his Link provides him with a number of options that 1010 just can't compete with: potential for HDCD decoding, upsampling (to 132 kHz no less), and 192 kHz decoding. so, for the cost of the 1010, he can purchase an Audiophile 2496, get the CIA mod, and upgrade the power supply... and still have the option of adding the other mentioned upgrades (which are all more oriented to the desires of an audiophile) at a later date.

it just sees like a smarter choice for him to stick with the Link DAC...
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok, thanks for the great replies. Here is why I was thinking the Delta 1010 might be a great solution (get ready for a really long post). First of all, the Delta 1010 uses delta-sigma AKM AK4393 dac chips, not codecs, and these feature 128x oversampling. These are supposed to be pro audio chips, and they are supposedly much better than the AKM 4528 codec used in the Audiophile, which is also supposed to sound much better than the Delta Dio 2496. Plus, it features the breakout box that keeps it away from the noisy internal computer. Also, it is supposed to have excellent analog stages and this would not be surprising considering that Midiman opted for balanced trs connections. Lastly, it uses an internal clock or oscilator that would clock the time for the audio on its own when read through the ide interface, instead of using the jittery spdif interface recovered from the source time clock which is usually full of jitter unless it is a very expensive transport. (this idea is mentioned in the follow-up to the Carddeluxe review in Stereophile which is archived at Stereophile.com if you are interested)

Moneywise, I already have an MSB Link Dac II, but I only use it with my sb live digital out because my Denon DCM-370 cd changer sounds about as good. I could sell my dac for around $200 if I decided to switch to the Delta 1010. I have seen the Delta 1010 for around $400 used and that would be much cheaper. First of all, I know someone that wrote an upsampling plug-in for Winamp that upsamples to 88.2 khz, and the mad Mpeg decoder already dithers to 24 bit so I think that this will follow shortly. The upsampling upgrade for the MSB Link Dac II costs $200, plus it needs to be soldered on to a Link II. To help the jitter problem, an MSB Link Dac really is supposed to benefit from a monarchy dip, and the 2496 version costs around $250. Other than that, I would also really need to get an Audiophile 2496 to get bit-perfect sound from my pc and that would cost another $150. Throw in the mods to get the good analog stages and you add $200, and then the power supply would be another $300. With the Delta 1010, I would get all of the advantages of the Audiophile 2496 (unadultered bit-perfect sound and coax digital out plus a great analog input for lp recording), but I would also get the option of a great stereo preamp or maybe even dd or dts capable and having both speakers and headphones connected at the same time. Then, I would get the great external breakout box and a digital in for another source's da conversion. As I mentioned an integer based upsampling plug-in has already been developed and hopefully it won't be before long that dither to 24 bit will be added to it. Windows Media Player 8 is supposed to have hdcd decoding and this eliminates the need for the $200 upsampling and hdcd upgrades. As I mentioned before, the jitter performance would be very good for audio read through the ide cable because the card has an internal oscilator that clocks the data at the point of da conversion instead of trying to recover the time signal from the jittery spdif signal from the source. This would save the cost of a $250 Monarchy Dip 2496, while still producing even better jitter performance.

So, as I mentioned, it all comes down to sound quality. The Delta 1010 has exceptional specs and sounds like it could match up very well to an Audiophile -> MSB Link Dac II with monarchy dip, upsampling, and mods. However, sound quality is never as simple as specs. So, I would appreciate any comments on my reasoning and I would especially appreciate comments on the sound quality of the Delta 1010 from people who have heard it. A comparison to the MSB Link Dac would be even better. Thanks.
post #14 of 19
well, your logic on this matter is most definitely rock-solid... and in light of that fact, it sounds like you would be quite pleased with the performance of either combo (in fact, if you do intend to add multichannel capability and would like to do so without having to buy a new pre/pro combo, then perhaps the 1010 is the better choice).

i am intrigued by your friend's Winamp upsampling plugin... is this available for general consumption? if so, could you point me to the website?
post #15 of 19
Hello Richard,

Forgive my ignorance of pro audio equipment but will the Aardvark Q10 (specs) have a master volume control? I'd prefer a hardware (i.e., analog pot) to a software solution. My goal is to adjust volume from the couch via remote. This is where the 1010 currently falls down.

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post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
About the upsampling plug-in, this was something that I had discussed with someone named CAL over at the Headwize forums in a rather lengthy thread. Recently, he had a thread that said he had something ready for Winamp that would upsample to 2x, and to email him if interested. I am using an SB Live so I couldn't use it. Here's the link to copy and paste http://headwize.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000345.html

The original thread about the idea for upsampling software was

Finally, the thread I got the jitter info was
post #17 of 19
Hi All,

Just a quick question for people using the 1010 dacs directly into their amplifiers. How do you control your volume?

Thanks, Brian
post #18 of 19

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post #19 of 19
For two track you can use the built in computer volume pot under accessories- sound.
For multichannel you'll have to put volume pots at your amps or preamps between the 1010 output and amp inputs.

Has anyone come up for a software fix for this yet for multichannel output for DD and DTS.
Also has anyone come up with a program for DD and TS decoding from the 1010 SPDIF input? Bill
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