What to Look for in a DAC - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Usually when challenged for an explanation the cop out we often get for this is "What makes them different can't de described by any one spec because what makes them audibly different exceeds our current scientific understanding." Watch.
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
There isn't always a specific performance spec that explains the difference between 2 components.
I called it.
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post #32 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 01:15 PM
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Do dedicated DAC units use dual DACs versus single DAC? Is there a sonic difference between single and dual DACs? In higher end CD player models from certain manufacturers (Cambridge Audio, Onkyo, Marantz, Creek Audio etc) uses dual DACs, one for each channel. I own the Creek Audio Evolution 50CD player which is actually a DAC (dual Wolfson 8742 DACs) unit with multiple inputs. I also own a Cambridge Audio 550C CD player that leverages a single Wolfson 8740 DAC, I must admit I don't hear a difference.

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post #33 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 01:19 PM
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dual dac chips are for balanced outputs xlr connections
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post #34 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 01:34 PM
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here is a link to a science website that tests dac's and more...https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-d50-dac.2403/


you can research and read up on any thoughts. lots of measurements that compare.
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post #35 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ct221933 View Post
Do dedicated DAC units use dual DACs versus single DAC? Is there a sonic difference between single and dual DACs? In higher end CD player models from certain manufacturers (Cambridge Audio, Onkyo, Marantz, Creek Audio etc) uses dual DACs, one for each channel. I own the Creek Audio Evolution 50CD player which is actually a DAC (dual Wolfson 8742 DACs) unit with multiple inputs. I also own a Cambridge Audio 550C CD player that leverages a single Wolfson 8740 DAC, I must admit I don't hear a difference.
In theory a dual DAC design might have a superior channel separation spec but in truth all DACs are as good as one would ever need. For example, here's the channel separation of a $29 DAC, Behringer UCA202:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_gnU30vMbtYg/TW...%29%5B5%5D.png

and here's the channel separation of a 9000 Euro [~$10,300 ] phono cartridge, Atlus Lyra, according to Stereoplay magazine :



The $29 DAC beats the $10,300 phonograph pickup handily.

Here's how a dishonest salesperson/manufacturer would spin channel separation specs via half truths: "Stereo separation, aka crosstalk, dictates the width of the sound stage and the larger the better." Technically that's true but in fact all modern DACs have outrageously good separation compared to analog gear and all are equally as good as they possibly need to be.
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post #36 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 01:46 PM
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serious business going on with dacs and problems https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...tigation.5752/

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post #37 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 01:50 PM
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part of this hobby is trying new things. its easy to set it and forget it. we are at a time in science and audio where alot of affordable great products are being produced. yes my msb link dac from the 90's still works but upgrading isnt always bad. most of what I have been interested in is laptop/dac/amp/headphones. its easy to hear difference from laptop dac vs external dac.

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post #38 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 01:58 PM
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I've had that Behringer UCA202 DAC for 4 years or more. The only drawback IMO is the lack of flexibility. Only one input, and thats usb. Which is why I have an Emotiva XDA-2 on the way. It has 4-5 inputs, a remote, and plugs into 12vac, no wall wart, turns on/off with the remote. Gees! I wish my Yamaha integrated could do that! No remote on/off, just volume and source switching.



I'm beginning to detest wall warts with a passion. Damned things hog the outlets and power strips. Stupid engineers can't seem to understand how to make a plug that doesn't cover one or more sockets. I've made my own 'extension' cords of 6-10" long for these wall warts in times past, but not going to do that any longer. Make em compatible with the wall outlet. How hard is that? There are a few wall warts that have the prongs in line with the body of the wart, those don't cover an outlet. Why can't more wall warts be made like that?
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post #39 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
here is a link to a science website that tests dac's and more...[url]https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-topping-d50-dac.2403/[/url.
"Science website"? I'd actually call it a forum, deceptively named to be mistaken with our own IMHO, started by an audio dealer who sells very expensive DACs at his store, as well as very expensive AC power cords and other questionable gear, who used to be a prolific poster here on our forum but then suddenly one day stopped cold.
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post #40 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 02:02 PM
 
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Mr. Zilch, just curious:

What is your opinion on digital filters, are those all supposed to sound the same too?
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post #41 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 02:03 PM
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didnt know that...they do alot of tests on stuff tho.

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post #42 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
In theory a dual DAC design might have a superior channel separation spec
I doubt you understood what dual DAC design means...
it's not one DAC for each channel but two DACs for one channel to have a balanced analog signal without a dependency to "ground" from the beginning
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post #43 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Mr. Zilch, just curious:

What is your opinion on digital filters, are those all supposed to sound the same too?
My last name has two L's, not one.

Ever own a TV with presets like "Drama", "Sports", "Sci-fi"? It's a stupid gimmick because the notion that we should want to tweak our image or sound per TV show or song is irrational from the perspective of wanting high fidelity. Your TV should have the correct value for "green" regardless of the movie being a drama or not. Drama movie makers don't use a different value for green than sci-fi movie makers. [There is a valid reason for having presets for daytime lighting vs night time viewing though due to changes in room brightness, such as is found on an ISF calibrated TV I own.]

Having a variable high frequency filter on a DAC or optical disc player is similarly sort of silly, IMHO. Just like "green" should have the same value regardless of source "15kHz" should also should have the same value regardless of source. The reason these variable preset features exist is because the marketing department has determined people see "tweakability" as a perk and it makes them feel "special" and "unique".

Theoretical user: "I use filter #4 because I like "feeling of wide scale with associated subtleties suitable for classical music, especially if you enjoy fine string touches." just like the manual says. That's me. I can hear 'fine string touches' because I'm a sophisticated listener!"

Manual quote from a Class A SACD I once sold here: https://www.stereophile.com/content/...-player-page-4

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post #44 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mickey Mouse View Post
I doubt you understood what dual DAC design means...
it's not one DAC for each channel but two DACs for one channel to have a balanced analog signal without a dependency to "ground" from the beginning
Dual DACs can be used for a number of reasons and one for each channel, is one of them.
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post #45 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 05:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
My last name has two L's, not one.

Ever own a TV with presets like "Drama", "Sports", "Sci-fi"? It's a stupid gimmick because the notion that we should want to tweak our image or sound per TV show or song is irrational from the perspective of wanting high fidelity. Your TV should have the correct value for "green" regardless of the movie being a drama or not. Drama movie makers don't use a different value for green than sci-fi movie makers. [There is a valid reason for having presets for daytime lighting vs night time viewing though due to changes in room brightness, such as is found on an ISF calibrated TV I own.]

Having a variable high frequency filter on a DAC or optical disc player is similarly sort of silly, IMHO. Just like "green" should have the same value regardless of source "15kHz" should also should have the same value regardless of source. The reason these variable preset features exist is because the marketing department has determined people see "tweakability" as a perk and it makes them feel "special" and "unique".

Theoretical user: "I use filter #4 because I like "feeling of wide scale with associated subtleties suitable for classical music, especially if you enjoy fine string touches." just like the manual says. That's me. I can hear 'fine string touches' because I'm a sophisticated listener!"

Manual quote from a Class A SACD I once sold here: https://www.stereophile.com/content/...-player-page-4
I’m not talking about frequency response. Which is “correct” according to you, a minimum phase or a linear phase filter?
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post #46 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 05:52 PM
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I’m not talking about frequency response. Which is “correct” according to you, a minimum phase or a linear phase filter?
It's not a topic I worry about.
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post #47 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 06:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
It's not a topic I worry about.
That’s interesting, I can clearly hear the difference between minimum and linear phase filters on my system. I must be more sensitive to post-ringing than you.

Yet another way DACs can, and do, sound different.
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post #48 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 06:23 PM
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That’s interesting, I can clearly hear the difference between minimum and linear phase filters on my system. I must be more sensitive to post-ringing than you.
Isn't that interesting indeed, Golly gee.

Perhaps you are unaware that ~99% of DACs offer no such selection for the user yet you somehow assume I've compared the two and "can't hear a difference" . Isn't that even more interesting.

I said I didn't worry about it. I never said I can't hear it.
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post #49 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 06:25 PM
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Yet another way DACs can, and do, sound different.
"Yet another"? I must have missed it. What was one of the other measurable ways they differ, mentioned previously?
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post #50 of 94 Old 12-28-2018, 06:33 PM
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part of this hobby is exploring what can work/help to achieve more bliss. I wont discount anything...if I can afford it and it creates a bigger smile on my face so be it.
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post #51 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 01:47 AM
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Having a variable high frequency filter on a DAC or optical disc player is similarly sort of silly, IMHO. Just like "green" should have the same value regardless of source "15kHz" should also should have the same value regardless of source.
you also didn't understood the reason/sense of the digital filters!
they are "technically" filters, but in a total different way as you (and people like you with "dangerous half knowledge") think they are.
for example the upsampling to higher frequencies is a digital filter. You should try to learn something about things like "pre-ringing", "noise-shifting", "Nyquist–Shannon theorem" and so on. Maybe you understand that it's not about equalizing as you believe it is.

in short: on a CD the "usable" signal is limited to 22kHz and above that there is "noise" which interferes with the wanted signal if not filtered out.
practically you can't create an ideal filter wich cuts off everything >22kHz by 100% and leaves everything below 22kHz untouched. Even if the frequency response is <22kHz linear and looks like a step function, it will modify the timing (what you can't see in the typical frequency response measurements).
the digital filters are used to improve the timing / impulse response and as usual it needs to find the best compromise between linear frequency response and accurate timing.
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post #52 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 10:35 AM
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practically you can't create an ideal filter wich cuts off everything >22kHz by 100% and leaves everything below 22kHz untouched.
Several billion CD players already on the market seem to magically do it quite adequately, but wait till the general public learns what great sound they've been missing out on because 99.9% of their players lack this all important selectable filter switch they need to select per disc, as per Bob Stuart/Meridian/Ayre/PS Audio etc.. After all these decades of suffering from compromised sound from ringing and high frequency phase anomalies they'll finally be able to hear the music correctly, once having selected the correct filter for that disc. . . or is it per song I wonder?

P.S. Now if only I could figure out if I'm supposed to select "Drama" or "Action" when I watch and listen to the movie Titanic? . . . Do I need to switch the setting for scenes that occur above deck or below deck?

[sarcasm]
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post #53 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
P.S. Now if only I could figure out if I'm supposed to select "Drama" or "Action" when I watch and listen to the movie Titanic?

Did you ever get that sinking feeling just seeing or hearing the title of that movie?



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #54 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 10:59 AM
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I suggest: stop sarcasm and learn about the stuff I suggested previously, please.
it doesn't matter if you don't know how digital filter work or what they are, that's really not vital. But spreading out "so called facts" without knowing the basics is annoying.
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post #55 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadus View Post
Currently streaming Tidal from MacBook Pro > Oppo 205 > Anthem MRX-720 and find the sound good but not as detailed or as large of a soundstage as I had hoped. I’ve been listening to other integrated amps with streaming capabilities and they sound much more detailed with a larger soundstage so I’m curious what specs I should be looking for in a DAC chip?
OP, were you listening to these integrated amps in YOUR particular set-up? If you listen to them at someone else's house or in a shop then it is likely to sound vastly different once you get it home to your listening space. That's why most audiophiles recommend an in-home trial for any new component or speakers.

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post #56 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 11:46 AM
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I suggest: stop sarcasm and learn about the stuff I suggested previously, please.
When I try to learn/examine the propaganda about this stuff such as Bob Stuart's AES paper on "typical" CD filter audibility I learned:

A.
The transition band filter he used wasn't taken from an actual CD player, at all, it was his own concoction forced to aggressively filter in a very narrow 500Hz region rather than a comfortably wide 2kHz band as is found in many/most modern CD players.

B.
He didn't use TPDF dithering as is the industry norm for the best sound and which he even admits to in one of his product's owner's manual* [proving he is aware of this].
I was actually the very first person to bring this up, 11/06/14, in another forum: "Did he give an explanation why rectangular dither was used instead of triangular, considering it is know to introduce noise modulation which triangular is immune from? "

From the AES comments:

Arnold Krueger Comment posted February 23, 2015 @ 15:20:18 UTC
(Comment permalink)

"I have a problem with this paper's description of the ABX test, which seems to be based on the classic but irrelevant 1950 Munson and Gardiner JASA paper rather than the more recent and relevant 1982 Clark JAES paper.
I agree with Stefan Heinzmann's comments above about the use of either no dither or RPDF dither rather than the industry standard TPDF dither.

It appears that the dither used was spectrally unshaped, whlie it has long been known (for example as expounded upon in the JAES by Vanderkooy and Lip****z, etc.) that for critical applications perceptually shaped dither should be used.

My studies of modern 44.1 KHz DACs suggest that transition bands on the order of 2 KHz are common and that the ca. 500 Hz transition bands used in the simulations are atypical.

The sample rate of the simulated digital filters was apparently 192 Khz, but in fact typical digital filters used in modern DACs run at 8x or higher or 352.8 Khz.

In my mind the above points don't exactly support the phrase "Typical Digital Audio Filters in a High-Fidelity Playback System" used in the title."


C.
I also learned that the release of this paper was timed just months before the release of MQA, which it indirectly supports, probably since AES has a strict policy that papers must not be promotional propaganda for products or services so he released this under the guise of "Here's an impartial examination of typical CD player filters " first, conveniently before the world [and AES editors] knew of the release of MQA.



*
"It is well established that applying dither with triangular probability
distribution [TPDF] of ± 1 LSB to a quantisation process results in perfect
linearity, contributes no noise modulation and permits resolution of signal
elements below the LSB. It is therefore the ideal tool to achieve
transparent processing.
"
[bold text emphasis mine.]
Quote source: Meridian 518 owner's manual, bottom of page 37, here.

So in other words he knowingly used a methodology to avoid transparent processing, so as to make the "typical" CD filter stand out in audibility testing.

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post #57 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 12:58 PM
 
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Attempting to analogize digital filters and preset TV modes is either ignorant, disengenuous, or both IMO.
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post #58 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadus View Post
Currently streaming Tidal from MacBook Pro > Oppo 205 > Anthem MRX-720 and find the sound good but not as detailed or as large of a soundstage as I had hoped. I’ve been listening to other integrated amps with streaming capabilities and they sound much more detailed with a larger soundstage so I’m curious what specs I should be looking for in a DAC chip?
Ive used a varirty of dacs ranging from a pc motherboard to an Audio-GD NFB-7, and the NFB7 was where I found the most detail and best soundstage/imaging, which I chaulk up to the circuit design and power supplies, as it uses an old ES9018. The combination of an uptone iso regen and uptone ultracap lps powering the regen and the usb to i2s board in the dac, as well as a topaz ultra line noise isolator finalized the system.

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post #59 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 01:06 PM
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I found that using headphones and dacs and amps really allow to hear differences at a much lower cost. you can get dac/amp combos for less than 100 bux...50 dollar tube amps....great headphones for 150....very fun time to be listening/buying gear

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post #60 of 94 Old 12-29-2018, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cla55clown View Post
OP, were you listening to these integrated amps in YOUR particular set-up? If you listen to them at someone else's house or in a shop then it is likely to sound vastly different once you get it home to your listening space. That's why most audiophiles recommend an in-home trial for any new component or speakers.

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I was listening to the amps at the AV store...if I were interested in a particular amp, I would bring home a demo.


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