SBAF DAC Talk II

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Maxx134, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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  2. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    When I bought the JBLs back in April I said the same thing, except the HE-6s later caught my attention as they were everything I wanted out of a headphone. But yeah you don't have to deal with fatigue, nonexistent soundstage, bass compromises, developing hearing loss, etc. Studio music is made for speakers. I believe music belongs out in the air, not inside your noggin. If I'm up late, I'll use headphones.

    I wish my old computer's failing PSU didn't blow a fuse in my Emotiva DC-1 after I plugged in a USB cable. I would love to compare it to the Convert-2, since the DC-1 used two AD1955 chips in a mono configuration. Great desktop DAC/Preamp for the JBLs. Now I'm scared to death to plug anything in my new computer's USB ports, it's why I bought a Wyrd cause if it wants to take out a component I'd rather it be that than a $2k DAC.

    That's the same pair in the eBay listing.

    BTW I can vouch for TMR, great place to buy used gear (if a bit higher in price compared to private listings). I've bought a few things from them and they package gear very well and customer service is excellent.
     
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  3. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    I need another complimentary pair of nearfields first guys haha. Prob just gonna go Dyn. Not much else that’s not massive and not British.
     
  4. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    A couple years ago the Focusrite Dante/RedNet stuff was the fancy schmancy way of skipping usb... but how good are the ADC/DAC capabilities of the boxes themselves? Better than the Clarett line? There's a new RedNet X2P that looks kinda interesting (as I need a couple channels of recording). Worth the hassle of playing with Dante? (this is just as much about new toy syndrome as it is sound quality)
     
  5. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    For those who used USB in the Convert-2 and on Windows 10, did you let Windows automatically install the driver or did you download it from Dangerous' site? Windows automatically downloaded it but the problem is the bit depth is locked at 24bit. I can't go down to 16-bit?
    EDIT: Installed the driver suite from Dangerous' site, now I can change the sample rate and bit depth.

    I'm amazed by how good the XMOS USB implementation is, to my ears I am not hearing a hint of digititus*. I don't know if its because I have a Wyrd in front of it but this is plenty good for me where I don't want to go down the Lynx card route. The Gen V in Bifrost Multibit was a step up from the Eitr in terms of digititus, but the Convert-2 is on a completely different level. I'm impressed, I was expecting the worst. Never experienced this kind of fluidity from a USB DAC before.

    *I take "digititus" to mean a lack of fluidity and a digital sounding "haze" over a recording. I'd like to expand this definition to say this also describes a "chopped up" sound. Immersion in music for me is non-existent with a certain level of "digititus".
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 10:12 PM
  6. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Then you'll love Bifrost 2!
     
  7. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    Lol I'm buying a Unison Modi 3 when it comes out.

    My ears are very sensitive to digital artifacts and choppiness from USB. Especially stuff like cymbals, which are rendered unevenly that don't sound organic. Maybe all the motherboards I've used with USB out have been total shit? Or the Convert-2 has excellent reduction in jitter? Cause I've never heard tone sound this good. There is this sweet smoothness in the mids that I'm surprised it's coming from a USB source.

    But yeah I am over the moon with this thing. Also glad I got rid of the Saga. There was this bit of veil and smearing with the HE-6 that has been lifted with the Goldpoint. I'm curious now to throw my SYS/Modi 3 with the HE-6 for comparision cause I am sure the SYS is the more transparent preamp over the Saga.
     
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  8. Koth Ganesh

    Koth Ganesh Friend

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    @treboR, welcome to the Convert-2 club. IME, you don't need the Wyrd. I plug it straight from the USB in my Mac Mini. The Convert 2 is that good. I do own other decrapfiers like the Mutec 3 and the Lynx AES16. There is no "digititus". I have owned the multibit DACs and find absolutely no need to go back to them for clarity, tonality, slam and soundstage that I get with the Convert-2.

    For the HE6, I find the Sys is more than enough. Goldpoint is very tempting but man, that's almost 10 times the price. However, the fact that I can get to plug the Convert 2 directly into the Goldpoint (I use the Jensen Isomax 2XR for going into the Sys) is making that investment look worthwhile.
     
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  9. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    The Wyrd is for fear of a failing PSU killing other USB components. It's happened twice now with two different computers. It blew a fuse in my DC-1 as soon as I plugged in a USB cord. Killed my Modi 2 as well l. My guess is the over voltage protection failed. Both were TOTL Seasonic PSUs. So if my new computer does the same shit again I'd rather it be the $99 component and not the $2k one. I didn't get it to improve sonic quality or anything like that.

    Wasn't a fan of the Bifrost Multibit, that was the eye opener to look at different stuff for an upgrade. It's too bad cause that was the last component to finish my "value" rig for the HE-6/speakers and I wouldn't need to buy anything else for 5-10 years. I don't want to go on a gear cycling merry go round. I didn't know what else to get besides the Schiit DACs, everything else in similar price points just looked meh. Jozurr got me interested in the Convert-2 as he had it in his HE-6 setup. Saved up some money for a few months, read a bunch of impressions and knew it was for me. The HE-6 and Convert-2 sing in perfect harmony. I wouldn't have gotten the DAC if I had different headphones.

    Yeah the Goldpoint was expensive, but didn't hurt too bad after I sold the Bifrost and Saga. I'm running dual Vidars in monoblock so it just made more sense to get a balanced preamp. Jozurr talked me out of getting a cheapo JBL Nano Patch, it would have been worse than the volume pot on the CV2.

    For a DAC this expensive, there should have been some kind of stepper. Maybe it's there in case you really need to use it, figure pros are going to be bypassing it entirely and controlling it with an external monitor.
     
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  10. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    AD1955, killer clock, warm TI opamps, and THAT buffers in the Dangerous box. Has anyone directly abed it to a Lavry Black?

    Most people will have an external pre on their desk. Or it’s all digital depending on the product. All digital is riskier because crashes or wonky plugins can leads to full scale noise.
     
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  11. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    Speaking of which, I don't understand this quote:
    (In reference to AD1955, OPA2134 for IV, analog filter with OPA2134, and then THAT1646.)

    Anyone shed light on how this is "boring and unaudiophile"?
     
  12. Collusion

    Collusion Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    I had a change to demo a J-CAT PCIe usb card femto at my home in my desktop rig for a week or so. Now that I had to give it back to it's rightful owner and plug my dac (DM Convert-2) back into the motherboard, I am hearing a clear deterioration in SQ. Slightly less holographic presentation, subdued dynamics and everything just seems to sound "muddy" in comparison. Kinda feels like taking your glasses off. Wow. I was skeptical at first, but that thing really seemed to make a difference. I cannot say whether this card would help if your dac has a sibilant treble or digititus (defined well enough in preceding posts on this page), since Convert-2 doesn't have a hint of these anyway. I opted out for the 5V power since Convert-2 doesn't require it. The card was powered completely via the PCIe interface.

    Now just contemplating if I should buy this or a Matrix Element H for example. Feels like a much better use for my money, than say, an usb cable.

    Setup:
    PC(9700K / MSI Z370 Mortar MB, Tidal&Foobar2000) -> Stock USB cable -> DM Convert 2 -> Cordial XRL cables -> Spl Phonitor 2 -> Focal Utopia

    Convert-2 and Phonitor 2 are both powered via Furman AC-210 power conditioners.
     
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  13. fastfwd

    fastfwd Acquaintance

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    Build a monitor stand. $20 or less, plus a few minutes of your time.

    One example: https://lifehacker.com/diy-ikea-monitor-stand-for-12-5872323

    Another:
     
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  14. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    This is the most noticeable to my ears. Hooked up the Convert-2/Goldpoint to my JBLs just now.

    Clarity+excellent timbre-digititus = WIN

    Now I can listen to music and not choppy digital recordings that crush details in the mix. Finally kick drums that pop, snares that crack, and sultry female vocals to die for. You can even hear when musicians fuck up which is cool. Amazing layer separation but still has this holistic cohesion. Instruments and vocals no longer compete against each other for the spotlight, like having bass bleed in the mids. The bass is the tightest I've ever heard.

    I wonder now what kind of gains the Modi 3 will get from having Unison in it, if that USB truly is the bee's knees. I could live with that bloomy velvety bass, overly polite attacks if it meant none of that digititus nonsense.

    Not hearing this so called "enhanced, vivid, unnatural". Or even "it's too much, too bold, too visceral, etc.". WTF? Some of y'all must be wimpy, feeble audiophiles that wear panties and scared to crank it up above school library volume levels. I can understand not wanting to blow your hearing with headphones, like all millennials who are the iPod earbud generation that have blown theirs, but speakers? If you're not getting the cops called on you, you're doing it wrong.

    And slightly veiled? Absurd. So far at least.

    Will write up a review in a few weeks, but yeah this was worth every penny.

    EDIT: Even Tidal sounds really fucking good now.

    Also the details revealed in Michael Jackson's recordings never end
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 4:39 PM
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  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    As with all things in life and aesthetic appreciation, there’s no accounting for taste.

    For instance:
    ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 7:20 AM
  16. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Which JBLs do you have again, @treboR ?
     
  17. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    Lulz I had to give some of you old geezers shit who listen to King Crimson or whatever smooth jazz.

    Jokes aside, I kinda get the "enhanced" thing now. Who knew it could turn Hanson into a semblance of a rock band while playing "MMMBop" or Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" hit so hard? I love my 90s one hit wonders. BTW did you know the fucking Dust Brothers produced that "MMBop" single? The same guys behind Paul's Boutique and Odelay. Crazy!

    Haven't been able to wipe away the shit-eating grin while listening to my garbage. It pulls you into the music, even with these cheap ass monitors, and not just creating a cacophony of sound.

    Massdrop JBL 30X, aka JBL 305 version 1.

    I want new speakers now. If I can get an M2/4367 like sound for under $5k that would be ace. I'd like to stick with horns. It seems like with JBL you either get good sound at bargain basement prices (JBL 305) and not much worthy in between that and up to the crazy 15-20k M2 reference stuff. I've looked at the Studio 590s, which are on sale right now at $500 each, but I already have something similar, except with AMT tweeter and doesn't extend that much in the higher frequencies. Too lazy to do any kind of DIY stuff.
     
  18. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I really liked the 4367 when I briefly heard it. But alas, not in the budget these days.

    An Adagio, some 100watt class A Pass Labs beast and the 4367 would keep me happy forever. #hopefulforlotterywinnings
     
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  19. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    On the subject of DACs, I'm very happy w/the now completely burned in MHDT Labs Orchid; this NOS design really sounds good to me.

    Re speakers: I had powered monitors for ~10 yrs (4 pairs). Last year I finally decided to switch back to passives + amp, because you have so much wider choice of speakers. I'm so glad I did:
    1. Picked up a gently used pair of ATC SCM12 Pro passive studio monitors (paid $1,100). Big, heavy sealed/acoustic suspension 2-ways: needs lots of power--but the sound is ridiculously large & good. Bass is shocking for a 2-way, deep & very impactful (I have a sub but it's barely needed). The tweeter in this thing sounds refined, high resolution but not fatiguing.
    2. Also picked up a gently used class D amp (Wyred4Sound ST500), very powerful. People said it sounds good, and it does
    Result? One well-rocked world...

    Last week I picked up a used/mint condition pair of Aerial Acoustics 5B 2-ways @$1,130 (also relatively heavy sealed/acoustic suspension 2-ways) based on much praise from users. The 5Bs are very fine, better soundstage than ATCs in nearfield (it's kinda hard to tell close up) w/a very refined sound overall. I still prefer the ATCs & may end up selling the 5Bs only because the ATCs simply will not be denied
     
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  20. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    It's hard to escape that ATC timbre and detail.
     

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