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DAC recommendations for Jplay


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#81 kyrill

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 08:01 AM

interested? as always,   also your findings on USB cables... 

#82 gavtron

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:17 AM

A friend of mine sold his heavily modded (and expensive) audionote 3.1x dac and bought a lvl. 4 lampi which he said was far better.

 

I'm interested in knowing how the OR5, BADA and sonic weld diverter compare.

 

There's a new ifi converter which claims to have better jitter performance than the OR5 too..

#83 say

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:52 PM

while we are adding to the list of Dacs and USB converters:

 

Phasure NOS1 Asynchronous DAC (it was used with XX HiEnd but I'm sure JPlay with Jriver upsampling enabled would do better) http://www.6moons.co........end/1.html

 

Though this next maker has ideosyncratic product delivery at best I

have heard good things about the Promitheus DAC  http://www.promitheu........bedac.html

Got to love the 5 trannies and the dual NOS TDA 1545 :)

 

USB converters:

Yellowtec with AES output

http://yellowtec.com........id=puc2-lp

Edited by say, 23 April 2013 - 05:59 PM.

W8.1 64-Laptop - i7 3630qm up to 3.4ghz w/ TB > 2 Tbytes usb storage >  8 gigs ram > JPLAY > Pangea USB AG cable > Schiit first generation drivers > Schiit Bifrost > Nordost Valhalla interconnects > Promitheus TVC dual-mono passive preamp > Vincent 331MK amp > Nordost Valhalla speaker cables > Apogee Centaur or Definitive Tech speakers > various tricks and tweaks > Pangea AC 9 SE and TG Audio power cables > APC and VansEvers Cleanline Jr conditioner > Oyaide XXX wall outlet > 20 amp dedicated line > my ears

#84 goon-heaven

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:34 PM

Marcin_gps said:

kyrill - I have a surprise for you and others as I had both old diverter and new hr2 at the same time in my system as well as some other hi-end usb-s/pdif converters like offramp 5, m2tech evo stack and totaldac reclocker. I want to post a comparison of all above. Also I'm waiting for ar-t legato 2 and I think I can borrow BADA USB-S/PDIF here. Interested in my findings?
 

You bet! Spill the beans!



#85 Marcin_gps

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:22 AM

Time for another DAC, completely opposite to Berkeley Alpha which is of studio provenence.

Lampizator lvl 4.5

Posted Image

 

 

 

This is a DAC for music lovers. For people who appreciate 'analog' sound and choose tubes over solid state for their sonic values. I listened to Lampizator lvl 4.5 in my system for few weeks via built-in 32/384 capable USB to I2S audio interface which required Thesycon drivers. The DAC sounds sweet and engaging. Instruments are big and appear with certain immediacy (characteristic of NOS converters). The bass is powerful and rhythmical (foot tapping guaranteed).  But in my opinion it's the midrange that is the most important in the Lampizator – warm, full of harmonics, emotional. Soundstage is big and wide. Depth and gradation of plans is not the strongest attribute of Lampizator and could be better. The same applies for extension and clarity of highs. Nevertheless I had a lot of fun with this DAC and didn't pay much attention to weaker spots. If you are looking for a source that allows for enjoyment from listening then Lampizator should be on your checklist. If you value absolute transparency, clarity and resolution more then this DAC is not for you.
Above impressions concern Lampizator Gen 3. I know there is a Gen 4 available now which from what I read is basically a different DAC…

 

Overall score: 7.5/10

Edited by Marcin_gps, 07 May 2013 - 12:29 PM.

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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

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#86 kyrill

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:01 AM

Marcin can you compare it a bit to other dacs (in memory!, I know, but Srajan from 6moons do it extensively) you have heard (not too long ago)? That gives such a more richer review /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif

#87 Marcin_gps

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll make sure to add comparisons in next mini reviews, so you get a better picture.

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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#88 Josef

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

i just want to add to marcin's lampizator review that it sounds even better when fed via SW Diverter :)   (and for full disclosure: i bought both SWD & Lamp 4 and did much of jplay development with them...)

#89 Marcin_gps

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:01 PM

Another contender, one of my favorite DACs regardless of price range:

 

Metrum Acoustics Octave

Posted Image

 

 

 

 

 

Octave (mkI) looks quite modes – two small boxes in silver finish with couple switches, leds and Metrum Acoustics logo on the faceplate. One box contains power supply, the other D/A section. Inputs are toslink (limited to 96kHz) and s/pdif (rca socket). There is only one pair of RCA analog outs and that's it. No fancy features or looks. The interesting part is inside. Metrum Octave is a non-oversampling DAC like Lampizator. The difference is that Metrum has no tubes and it uses very fast DAC chips (4 per channel) never used before in a DAC. The converters in Octave are normally used in fast data aquisition systems for industrial or medical applications. The manufacturer claims that his DAC doesn't suffer for artefacts common in NOS designs due to very fast data handling.

I listened to the Octave with 3 different USB-S/PDIF converters: Empirical Audio Offramp Turbo 5 (with Hynes upgrades) and my own linear PSU instead of provided wall adapter, Sonicweld Diverter HR2 and Totaldac D1 reclocker. So, how does it sound like? Clean, very clean. And extremely fast. First impression is that the timbre is a bit pale and top end not as detailed as with delta-sigma DACs (this is typical to NOS DACs), but next thing you notice is that your foot starts tapping. I've never heard a DAC as rhythmical as Octave. PRaT is absolutely the biggest advantage of this DAC imho. The sound is very natural and very transparent. I could detect any changes in JPLAY settings immediately. I noticed that Octave's s/pdif input is very sensitive and using high quality usb-s/pdif with it is a must to fully appreciate the DAC. Octave doesn't sound sweet like Lampizator. It's more on neutral side. The sound is very delicate. Voices and instruments are shown very realistically with rich textures. It's not the most dynamic DAC, but music played through it can touch your soul.

 

Overall score: 9/10

Edited by Marcin_gps, 05 June 2013 - 02:04 PM.

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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#90 goon-heaven

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:25 PM

Thanks Marcin for the excellent write-up.. very tempting..

#91 Marcin_gps

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:32 PM

I wonder how MKII sounds via its USB input...

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Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#92 kyrill

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:02 PM

its USB input is a more simplistic version of the OR5, I think you should opt for the HEX Marcin. I thought I read yr Lampizator review was lvl3.5? But now I see it is version 4.5 . The difference between 7.5 and 9 seems rather steep.   With the Metrum and the 3 different USB/SPDIF converters used, could you gladden us with a "review" of the 3 converters?

#93 Marcin_gps

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:51 PM

This is my personal ranking :) Mind you that I didn't have any external usb-s/pdif converter when I had lampizator in my system and we both know what a really good usb-s/pdif converter can do :) I'm not sure about HEX. I heard from few sources that it doesn't have as good PRaT and is not as engaging as Octave. Probably because of output transformers - Octave doesn't have any. I even talked about this with Martin Colloms (hificritic) during the High End show in Munich.

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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#94 Clive

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

The mkII Octave doesn't power the USB card itself, instead power comes from the computer USB.  Use a dual headed cable and an iFi iUSBPower for significant improvement, I wonder in fact how close this brings the sound to the HEX which powers the USB card internally.  Powering the Octave USB card "properly" and the lack of OPTs in the Octave might conceivably make the Octave a real contender vs the HEX.  Maybe in terms of directness it outperforms the HEX? I can't offer an opinion as I've not heard a HEX.

http://www.enjoythem........sb_dac.htm

#95 jimbones

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:17 PM

Note or clarification, in an earlier post someone mentioned the Burson 160D, i own one it is eexcellent, and it IS 24/192 using coax. (Only limited to 24/96 using USB) And the bonues is they are available on the used market for reasonable $$.

#96 Marcin_gps

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:23 AM

Time to update the topic :)

 

totaldac d1-dual 

 

Posted Image


 

 

 

 



Totaldac which seems to be getting lot of fuzz recently has been in my system for some time already. The concept of the DAC is quite unique as it's not based on any off-the-shelf D/A chips. In fact it's not using any DAC chips – the conversion is done by many Vishay Foil Resistors (100 per channel). Totaldac can work in NOS (non-oversampling) mode and with single digital filter option to compensate slight roll-off in the treble (typical for all NOS DACs). Vincent Brient, the owner and the designer of totaldac, employed FPGA which uses a buffer memory (FIFO) for storing last 10ms of data. According to Vincent, this solution significantly reduces jitter from any digital source (totaldac d1-dual has 4 digital inputs: USB, optical, RCA and AES-EBU). More info on features and technology behind totaldac is on the website. Let me focus on important thing – sound.

 

The sound of d1-dual impresses from the first notes with expansive soundstage and bold contours. Tonality is rich and very natural. This is not the highest resolution DAC I've heard. The resolution and transparency into recording is great, but it's not what this DAC is about imho. It's more about synthesis than analysis. Totaldac is the most 'analogue' sounding DAC I heard. And by 'analogue' I mean vinyl like raw character rather than sweet & round. If you're alergic to 'digital' sound, this maybe the DAC you're looking for

 

Overall score: 9.5/10

Edited by Marcin_gps, 13 December 2013 - 12:24 PM.

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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#97 RedFuneral

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for taking the time to write up these mini-reviews Marcin. They are very helpful.   I'm glad to hear that there are higher end DACs that share that 'raw' sound that I've come to love with my Ultra-Fi. Do you know of any other DACs with that sound? The TotalDAC is out of my price-range unfortunately. Not that I need to upgrade, but it's always nice to have something on the radar.

#98 motberg

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:35 PM

After trying a few different DAC's, I am now using this to help tame the high-end on my system. This DAC allowed me to remove a digital EQ I had in-line (the EQ was reducing various bands of the upper frequency range by up to 3db).  

http://www.audio-gd.........1704EN.htm

I have not had a lot of time with it yet, but I am sure this will stay in the system as long as I am using my current speakers which are set up kind of near-field in a very small room. 

#99 Marcin_gps

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:50 PM

Just a note wrt Audio-gd DACs. Their USB chips use c-media driver which doesn't work well with JPLAY - you need to set very high buffer and sometimes even that doesn't help

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Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#100 ho5456

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:37 PM

thanks for heads up Marcin.




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