System Synergy - Special Sound

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by atomicbob, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    @famish99 scored 100%.
    @Luckbad had 50% correct with DA11 and ADI-2 Pro reversed.

    When I manage to find some time, I will annotate the graphs presented above and draw attention to differentiating features of the DAC distortion and jitter profiles.
     
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  2. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Awesome i voted for famish. Its cool how balanced designs reveal themselves so clearly with the lack of even order harmonics. The Lavry was hard since it had balanced connections, but a bit of googling showed that its not fully balanced (could still be wrong on that, feel free to correct) so I went with that plus the impression correlating with AD1955 sounding "ballsy" around here and AKM being "light". The 120hz peak was odd though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  3. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Remember this was a system measurement:
    dScope sig gen -> Dante VSC -> ethernet -> Rednet D16 -> AES or SPDIF -> DAC -> Liquid Platinum -> dScope analyzer

    This was done to observe system performance for beginnings of a system synergy library of data.
     
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  4. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    Yeah this is what did it for me. The AKM 4490 based DACs I've heard have all fallen into the "delicate" territory (not the word I'd use but this is more polite) and having an AD1955 based DAC (Emotiva DC-1) which is also balanced yet quite warm still so I knew it was going to be 2nd order dominated. The April was just process of elimation at that point.
     
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  5. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    I didn’t respond as I figured which ones were the RME and Lavry from hearing them both a bunch. Topping I’ve heard nothing good about from anyone with reliable impressions who likes good sounding stuff.

    AD1955 has a certain warmth to it. It’s disappointing that it’s still pretty much the best overall over 15 years after it came out. Maybe the new Cirrus chips are good but nothing notable uses them. They’re way less expensive than post AK4490 AKM chips, Sabres, and the TI PCM 1792/1794
     
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  6. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    From Bob's description, I'd take the chameleon over the rest. I prefer the dac to present me the most differences with different tracks, instead of imparting its own character.
    That's without hearing it of course.
     
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  7. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    My reluctant return to audiophilia came with some specific requirements. The majority of my listening takes place at work with Future Sonics MG5 HX. Step 1 was reacquire something that does really well with those. That meant the RME ADI-2 DAC was purchased for a second time.

    Most of the rest of my listening is with Sennheiser HD650s. The RME isn't enough to my ears for those headphones. The least expensive worthy amp to me is the Garage1217 Project Sunrise III with an atomicbob Noise Nuke. I also saved some cash by building it myself with the kit (and have a video of the process forthcoming).

    So, the synergy that I've had before has returned to my home desktop.

    RME ADI-2 DAC -> Garage1217 Project Sunrise III -> Sennheiser H650
    PRT on the HD650, Noise Nuke or LPSU with the Sunrise, Wyrd (no real need, but I have one) w/ RME

    IMG_20190214_115844.jpg
     
  8. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Nice future-retro mashup, with enormous flexibility.
     
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  9. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    Does the noise nuke / any LPS help reduce tube noise at all?
     
  10. dark_energy

    dark_energy Friend

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    If the noise comes through the grid and through the PSU then yes.
     
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  11. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Tube
    DSC_0137_small.jpg

    Or Not Tube
    DSC_0145_small.jpg
    There is no question, ECP Audio T4 and DSHA-3F are two very fine amps rendering music with high engagement factor, non-existent listening fatigue and NO PERCEPTABLE NOISE. That last attribute is extremely important for my listening preferences. DAC pictured is the Matrix X-Sabre Pro. Not shown but also very synergistic with these two amps is Schiit Gungnir MB v2. Preferred headphones for my preferences with these amps are HD800-Jmod, Focal Clear and HD6x0, roughly in that order.

    So what is the difference. Warning: my perceptions and opinion follows. YMMV.

    T4 has greater flexibility for output impedance, SE and balanced, allows for tube nervosa and may have sonic character tuned via a wide variety of tubes accommodated. I have numerous appropriate tubes to explore but at this time I have only heard the stock tubes. Initial impression is this amp shares many traits of the DSHA-3F. Easy to lose track of time during listening sessions. T4 will be one of my preferred can meet amps. Less likely to have an accident than DSHA-3F if left unattended at the meet, due to safety of output transformers.

    DSHA-3F has only one sonic signature. But WHAT a signature, and no tube nervosa. With HD800-Jmod and Focal Clear magic happens. Non-fatiguing clarity without harshness or spittiness, well defined bass, balanced presentation. Easy to lose track of time during a listening session.

    My measurement postings have been severely impacted by strong desires to spend undistracted listening time with the these two systems and two DACs mentioned. Both using AES input from Dante digital feed at 88 KHz 24 bit. Measurement data is still being accumulated as loaners come through. Just not posting as promptly as I once did.

    Some of you may be wondering why the Big Ass Meter is in the picture. With such high quality listening I have a tendency to listen louder than my session targets. The meter provides calibrated feedback on my listening levels and can roughly infer my session SPL levels. Amplifiers are adjusted for unity gain, 0 dB, input to output. A splitter for the DAC left channel output sends signal to the AC Millivoltmeter. Using the following chart, maximum indication on the meter for a given scale is correlated to a calculated maximum SPL:
    dBV chart 300R 98dB per mW.png

    Formulae for the above chart:
    dBV chart 300R 98dB per mW - formulae.png

    Now notice the handy dBV scale on the millivoltmeter. Subtracting meter indication from the maximum for a given scale and SPL may be inferred, for a known headphone impedance and sensitivity, ignoring impedance bumps and headphone frequency response. Which is why this is a rough indication. Still, useful and helps to avoid SPL upward creep.

    One final note. The Leader LMV-182A is about 35 to 40 years old. It still performs to specification. Real Engineers(TM) designed this meter. Acquired on ebay for about $100 US. GW Instek GVT-417b is basically the same meter with a face lift for approximately $225 US. I prefer the old look, but that's just me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  12. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    What kind of accidents do you mean? They both use output transformers, don't they?

    I'm still in love with the wood on your 3F, btw.
     
  13. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    fixed that for you.
     
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  14. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Someone's jealous.
     
  15. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    No. The DSHA-3F does not have output transformers and is bridge-tied-load configuration.
     
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  16. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Thanks. =)

    What kind of accidents tho? I ask because I can't think of any. I'm dumb. Humor me?
     
  17. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    DSHA-3F requires 4-wire balanced connections to headphones exclusively. All 4 pins are active. If a 4-pin XLRM to 3-wire TRS jack adapter cable is attached, two active outputs will be connected resulting in a short-circuit and output device damage.
     
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  18. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    I view this as an upvote for Darwinism.
     
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  19. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    It would be if self inflicted.

    Problem is Mr. Nice Guy takes DSHA-3F to meet for others to experience. While away for a moment Newbie Doofus McDweeb walks up with 3-wire cans + XLRM->TRS adapter and proceeds to destroy Mr. Nice Guy's amp.

    Solution, don't take DSHA-3F to meets unless it can be babysat 100% or take more robust T4 instead.
     
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  20. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    If people are wondering what sort of idiot would have such an adaptor:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/cable-building.86/page-27#post-222632

    In my defence I've since cut one of the grounds as per @Armaegis 's suggestion in the following post, so if it ever does get plugged into an actual balanced amp disaster will not ensue.
     
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