SBAF DAC Talk II

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

  1. Kolozub

    Kolozub Rando

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    I had Chord Qutest Pi2aes (powered by Allo Shanti + meanwell ) combo .
    My observations more or less agree with observations posted above.
    From a technical point of view chord qutest excels in separation and quiet background, but I can not get over the way this converter works with macro and micro dynamics. Compared to Schiit gungnir multibit A2 (Unison + allo usbridge) this dac sounds makrodynamically soft and muted . Whats left is calm and controlled presentation , but "uniform microdynamic shading"+"always in your face detailed detailing :D " gives me impression of artificially created sound played by Robocop band.
    Qutest has many virtues even compared to my Gungnir Multibit , but none of them ( blacker background ,...) are so important to me . Even when I finally found a good qutest synergy in my system and enjoyed the sound it produced, returning back to Gungnir Multibit was something special :)
    I am sorry for my english , but i hope this post is helpful

    DAC:Schit gungnir multibit A2
    AMP: Hegel H200
    Speakers: Infinity IRS Omega
     
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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  2. RedLipstick

    RedLipstick Rando

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    I'm looking for an upgrade to the RME-2 FS DAC but not sure which direction to go.

    had:
    -Holo Spring lvl 1
    -Soekris 2541
    -Gungnir MB original
    -RME-2

    For some reason r2r dacs, besides the Gungnir Multibit, I had I felt they were really slow, specially with electric guitars, they all sounded like trapped, it just didn't flow and dynamics weren't that good.

    I like the RME but I feel it's a bit too soft with rock and metal, I wish sometimes for the plates to hit harder and more dynamics, but still don't want a bright dac which I hate. Is there such thing ?

    Should I give a try to the Holo Sping 2 ? I used my old one with usb and not sure if that was what made it sound meh.

    Hoping for suggestions.
     
  3. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    I'd probably post stuff like this in the general or DAC talk thread next time.


    As a whole, it sounds like R2R just isn't for you, which is fine. Still lots of good DS and a few "other" implementations out there. Just keep in mind if you don't already know that anything with AKM chips inside may be hard to get right now.

    Anyways, I just got done with trying the Burl B2. It's not necessarily more dynamic or hard hitting, but it's definitely a more aggressive sound. Not overly bright. Great stage, big enough that I mostly forgot about "headphone staging" for most good recordings. AES in is better than optical and supposedly the streamer is better than AES. Convert 2 may be harder and more dynamic, but it may sound a bit exaggerated to you as it does for many. The Matrix XSP also wasn't bad but it doesn't have a hard hitting sound IMO. There are many others out there, but based on what you mention above, I'd try these 3 first.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    X-Sabre Pro or Convert-2. Hmmm, Burl B2 Bomber.

    Holo won't do it for you based on what you have already tried. RME has that AKM Velvet stuff going on.
     
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  5. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    I moved on from the RME ADI-2 with the Prism Callia. I felt it had more weight and texture in the low end, plus better mid range. The ADI-2 is a little sterile and flat sounding, but has nice top end sparkle and air. The Callia doesn't quite have that top end clarity, but I can live with that, and it honestly makes some recordings less fatiguing - especially metal. For me the Callia was a less warm and more detailed Bifrost 2. As always YMMV, depending on what's in your chain.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I believe there's one on sale on the forums here as well.
     
  7. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    Based on what you’ve heard and what you say you’re looking for, I second Marv’s X-Sabre Pro recommendation. It doesn’t hit quite as hard as the Yggdrasil, but it’s more dynamic than the RME. It also just out resolves the RME without sacrificing blackground, which is the only area I felt the RME excelled. Filters and other options on the XSP also make notable differences, more so than probably everything besides the NOS option on the RME. Even with the sharp linear phase filter, I don’t really think the XSP is bright. (In fact, I’d say it’s slightly warmer than the Yggdrasil A2, which is definitely not something I thought I’d ever say about a Sabre-based DAC.) But selecting the slow roll-off filter can tame it if it sounds bright to you.

    I think the Forssell MDAC-2a and Berkeley Alpha DAC should be in the mix, too. But both are harder to find, pricier than XSP on the used market, and have less options for tuning than the XSP. However, they might be something to consider if you try the XSP and decide it’s not what you’re looking for.
     
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  8. RedLipstick

    RedLipstick Rando

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    I forgot to mention that I heard the Holo Audio Cyan with a focal clear and I really enjoyed the sound, sounded better than my spring. It's quite strange, the main difference was the CD transport.. that's why I wonder if a Spring2 feeding with an pi2e would improve things.

    With velvet you mean the rme flat and too much smoothness sound?

    My main complain with the Gungnir Multibit was that it didn't have enough detail/microdetail and air. Would the Yggdrasil be better in this regard?
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Velvet is an AKM term. Basically smooth (to the point of mushy), midrange dip (combining with the prior - overtones and textures thrown into a blender), and hits like a limp-noodle. More evident with the lower end AKM chips and in some cases implementations. RME went with the Velvet sound full force, but they did a good job of it if you want this sound. Good things about Velvet is a lots and lots of air, spaciousness, and detail.

    Yggdrasil A2 is more airy, has more plankton, and more detailed on a macro-detail level than Gungnir MB, especially the OG A1 version.

    Also, be sure you are doing apples to apples. Transport is 25 to 75% the sound of a DAC. Great transports will bring out microdetail, staging, improve blackground and clarity, and have differences in transients, articulation, and control.

    I was thinking you may prefer DS DACs, but if Holo Cyan with a good, or the right transport did it for you, I am not so sure now.
     
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  10. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    As Marv said, the Yggdrasil (A1 or A2) absolutely has more detail and air than the Gungnir Multibit. The A1 has a slightly greyer background than the A2 and initially seems airier, but upon closer listening that wasn’t true for me.

    I had the Yggdrasil A2 and XSP together (level matched, but not blind), and found that they’re really, really competitive. The Yggdrasil had a deeper soundstage, but the Matrix pulled a little more microdetail out of recordings. Etc. It’s really about trade offs and what you’re prioritizing. But if it’s detail without “brightness” that you’re looking for, I think the XSP is worth trying.*

    *Note that I haven’t heard the Unison USB, though I experimented with various USB to SPDIF converters when comparing the Yggdrasil and XSP. I didn’t think any fundamentally changed my evaluations, though some were better than the USB inputs, particularly on the Yggdrasil with the Gen5 USB. On that score, it’s worth keeping an eye (or HiFiShark alert) out for an Eitr, Mutec, or Audiophilleo.
     
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  11. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    Anyone in europe try musical fidelity's new M6Sr DAC yet? This brand a pain to get in the US and right now is only available special order for very high price (basically full price it would cost to import).

    I've really liked the sound of their past DACs but this DAC was produced fully under Pro-Ject ownership and I am wondering if the MF sound signature changed at all. Also skeptical based on the DAC chip they used, though I am hoping with their experience they tuned it well.
     
  12. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    No. I owned 2 of their dacs in the past and the v90 was good and the M1 was meh. I don't think they are up for loaner/reviews much unfortunately.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  13. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    They are pretty hard to find period, even to buy nevermind loaner.

    I have a soft spot for them because back in the day they were *the* DAC company and I like their sound sig. They had some great relatively recent products like the v90 and MX DAC (the latter of which I currently own).

    Just after the Pro-Ject buyout I am wondering if in their latest M6Sr DAC they are putting in the same care or if it's Pro-Ject influenced, plus they used an ESS chip which are apparently easy to screw up implementation of with all the bad sounding ess I have heard.

    I would just buy it but currently the price is inflated and it's special order on top of it , in the US they are still trying to get rid of the previous m6s dac which had some functionality misfires.
     
  14. RedLipstick

    RedLipstick Rando

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    I though this was an exaggeration on your part but I bought a Pi which I plan to use with pi2 design hat. While it doesn't arrive I installed volumio and connected my RME/Spring2 using usb and damn... That etch,fuzzy, grainess digital sound I always noticed on all my dacs is basically gone. The timing now seems right and there's this feeling of smooth clean well paced sound.

    All this years I have been using usb the wrong way... or I am just more sensitive to this usb nervosa thing than others.
    Should have just started the hobby with a cd player...
     
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  15. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    Yeah and if you are in a PC environment using something like Jriver with WASAPi makes a huge difference over the stock windows media player with DirectSound.

    There have been some digital media servers that were truly terrible on the transport side, one that comes to mind is xbox360 which had a permanent bass boost like filter applied.
     
  16. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    The only M1s worth messing with are the Bricasti M1 and the M1 Garand.
     
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  17. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Thread unlocked and garbage moved. Consider this a friendly warning.
     
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