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DAC recommendations for Jplay


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#121 jmmbarco

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

Using Hex would almost imply entering DAC via SPDIF or AES as long as USB is not very optimized to JPLAY (please correct if I am wrong). But with the VEGA usb would be a great choice as I would save two spdif conversions. I wonder if using classical usb-spdif interfaces is intrinsically worse than direct USB-I2S, assuming equal quality in both possibilities. I had been using a StelloU3 that may be has no sense in the VEGA.   What do you think guys??   JM

Edited by jmmbarco, 17 March 2014 - 02:35 PM.

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#122 Marcin_gps

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:15 PM

Sabre chip in VEGA has built-in volume control, so you're not paying for preamp as it's in the package.  Using USB-S/PDIF converter with any DAC is fine as long as you like the sound. But I think USB in VEGA is so good that using USB-S/PDIF converter is not  needed. 

#123 jmmbarco

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

Hi Marcin, I have readed your opinions about HEX and VEGA and you prefer VEGA isn´t it? Comparing USB in both DACs VEGA would be the winner but what about SPDIF or AES/EBU, do you think is it worth going for the VEGA compared to HEX?

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#124 Marcin_gps

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:49 PM

I didn't have HEX. I had Octave mkI which has only s/pdif. It's a different presentation. You might be interested in reading Srajan's comments on 6moons. Maybe it will help you with the decision, although listening in your own system is always best.

#125 jmmbarco

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:56 PM

Oh sorry! I was mistaken....I have readed this review, all reviews indeed, but I wanted to know your opinions.

Thank you very much anyway! /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif

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#126 emaspac

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:00 PM

Marcin_gps said:

As crazy as it may sound, I prefer Metrum in my setup for immediacy not found in any other DAC. My wife says it sounds 'fresh' and I agree. I run it with Audiophilleo 1+Pure Power, two JCAT USB cables (one from JCAT USB card to PP, the other from PP to AP1). Some people say that USB cable between PurePower and Audiophilleo is not important, but I disagree. I think that with proper USB cables and s/pdif cable, AP1+PP is hard to beat. Maybe Totaldac Reclocker is a bit better, but it's very expensive, takes a lot of space and requires additional power cord. I like Audiophilleo for absolute transparency and authentic timbre. I must yet check vega with ap1+pp combo.
Metrum is also very transparent and can sound grey & harsh too. But keep it on for at least 2 days, put it on anti-vibration platforms, use best usb-s/pdif converter and digital cables you can get and it may become your ultimate digital front-end. I will report on my ap1+pp & vega experiment in few days… 

 

Hi Marcin,

I had the Metrum MkI for long time into my primary chain and actually I still have it as back-up.

I agree with you on its performance. I liked it so much for its speed, rythm and fluidity. Also a very large soundstage, with a lot of air.

But… there is always a "but". I can't ignore that the Metrum lacks the bass articulation. The resulting dynamic is really involving, but a bit booming and unnatural. Really. Sometimes the bass tone is too raw and the bass dynamic is not the most accurated. In my opinion its lack is due primally to its rythm, fast and involving, but with low freq. too much forwarded. Most of times the bass line on the next track sounds the same that you heard on the previous one, not flat but a bit "homologated". And two specific lines are difficult to distinguish, expecially on tone.

Metrum was feeded by the Genesis Digital Lens (famous FIFO RAM Re-clocking & De-jitter device, with the same architecture you found inside the Total DAC/Reclocker… but I can bet the Genesis has a better clock for 16/44khz;), and also Metrum had a special version of Klimo Beag (2 E88CC NOS Telefunken, TOTEM conf.) as "outboard" analoge tube stage. Also Nordost Sort Kones as anti-vibration. So the Metrum was in condition to have a good performance. By the way, in my opinion it remains a good and involving DAC.

 

Massimiliano

 

….your JCAT SATA cable is very very good, expecially on the bass accuracy and recovering of micro dynamics, i.e. sound details. Really satisfied!

Edited by emaspac, 26 March 2014 - 10:47 AM.

 

Server: CAPS v4 Pipeline, SOtM tX-USBexp PCI, JCAT SATA Cable & Battery for OS SSD
SW: Win 2012 OS loaded in RAM, JMini + JPlay 6 + Dirac Live, ProcessLasso
PSU: Teradak ATX 210 LPS, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 2 Rails
DDC: Berkeley Audio Alpha USB  --->  Genesis Digital Lens (AT&T Fiber Out)
DAC: Wadia 2000 Digimaster (Sledgehammer Buffer, AT&T Fiber In)
Tube Amplifier: Leben CS-600 
Loudspeakers: Sony SS-A5 "La Voce"
Power Conditioners: Accuphase PS-510, UberBUSS (euro version), Einstein NF6020, Kemp Power Source+, Kemp Power Station 75, Clearaudio APG

 


#127 emaspac

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:47 AM

Now I have an Audionemesis DC1 VLE DAC as my personal reference. It's an italian DAC  with unusual internal architecture, i.e. 100% Kusunoki dac. Few high quality elements : custom mains filter, 2 power transformers – one is R-Core type, fast-soft recovery diodes in TO-220 (<25ns), 16 separated power supplies, 11 out of 15 power supplies are shunt regulated, Toslink and 1.1 USB inputs (16bit, 32-44.1-48kHz USB input), Canare special gold plated 75ohm input RCA connector, top quality Scientific Conversion input digital transformer with only 0,5pF, asyncronous reclocking, circuit Eight (8) 16bit (multibit) d/a chip in parallel, zero-oversampling, direct output from dacs without any output stage (zero-feedback…), no digital filters, Dale 1% resistors, Vishay (naked) very special resistor, special output capacitors, pure silver wires, HDG (High Density Graphite) to damp vibrations, professional gold-plated high quality standards PCB.

I can say it's the most analogue DAC I have listened. But not in sense of rolloff of high freq. No. Instead all instruments sounds togheter with a great detail and tone. Bold sound, very visceral and analogue. I love that sound. The final result is a win for analogue lovers.

In my experience NOS + multibit DAC chips are the most enjoyable on a long run. With a proper implementation they can reveals all sound details in a very natural way. The DC1 VLE is based on an asynchronous free running clock, which in theory adds jitter. After the digital receiver, it just "resamples" all the lines from the receiver  to the DAC with a high frequency, very stable and low jitter clock, at 50 or 100MHz. Jitter or not, I can say the result is stunning.

But DC1 VLE it's not in production anymore. The standard version is not at the same quality level.

Edited by emaspac, 26 March 2014 - 02:52 PM.

 

Server: CAPS v4 Pipeline, SOtM tX-USBexp PCI, JCAT SATA Cable & Battery for OS SSD
SW: Win 2012 OS loaded in RAM, JMini + JPlay 6 + Dirac Live, ProcessLasso
PSU: Teradak ATX 210 LPS, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 2 Rails
DDC: Berkeley Audio Alpha USB  --->  Genesis Digital Lens (AT&T Fiber Out)
DAC: Wadia 2000 Digimaster (Sledgehammer Buffer, AT&T Fiber In)
Tube Amplifier: Leben CS-600 
Loudspeakers: Sony SS-A5 "La Voce"
Power Conditioners: Accuphase PS-510, UberBUSS (euro version), Einstein NF6020, Kemp Power Source+, Kemp Power Station 75, Clearaudio APG

 


#128 Marcin_gps

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:40 PM

Hi Massimiliano, I'm glad you like our cable :) Regarding DACs, I read reviews by a friend of mine Wojciech Pacula. Your description sounds similar to my impressions of the totaldac :) Interesting that you mention it as I'm waiting for 47laboratory 4732 Shigaraki USB DAC which is a similar design. Will let you know how it performs. So are you using s/pdif input on audionemesis and feed it with berkeley-genesis signal? Cheers, Marcin 

#129 emaspac

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:57 PM

Marcin_gps said:

Hi Massimiliano,

I'm glad you like our cable :)
Regarding DACs, I read reviews by a friend of mine Wojciech Pacula. Your description sounds similar to my impressions of the totaldac :) Interesting that you mention it as I'm waiting for 47laboratory 4732 Shigaraki USB DAC which is a similar design. Will let you know how it performs. So are you using s/pdif input on audionemesis and feed it with berkeley-genesis signal?

Cheers,
Marcin 

 

Your SATA cable is a "must have". Full stop. Simply exceptional.

And yes, in my opinion the design of these NOS DAC produces the best sound.

Wojciech Pacula has reviewed also the Audionemesys DC1 Upgrade Version, still in production, (not the VLE version, which is the one I have and it's the best one – only 40 pcs), and he liked it so much (http://www.highfidel........mesis.html)

I have trust in his opinion, because in my home I have the same impression most of the times. One of the best reviewer. For example he suggested to use Accuphase Line Regenerator not for the source, but for the tube low power amplifier. And he was right. Absolutely.
Come back to the DACs, TotalDAC is better of Audionemesis looking its specs., but I suspect that "Kusunoki design" is the real cause of the stunning final result.

My digital chain:

SOtM tX-USBexp —> Tellurium USB Diamond Cable —> Berkley Audio —-> Kimber Illuminati D60 XLR cable —> Genesis —> Kimber Illuminati S/PDIF cable —> Audionemesis

Tellurium is another "must have", even if is really expensive.

Please note Genesis digital input is limited to 16/44khz (48khz is available as well, but its implementation inside the Genesis is not so good), but I can say I don't miss high res files.

Edited by emaspac, 26 March 2014 - 05:50 PM.

 

Server: CAPS v4 Pipeline, SOtM tX-USBexp PCI, JCAT SATA Cable & Battery for OS SSD
SW: Win 2012 OS loaded in RAM, JMini + JPlay 6 + Dirac Live, ProcessLasso
PSU: Teradak ATX 210 LPS, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 2 Rails
DDC: Berkeley Audio Alpha USB  --->  Genesis Digital Lens (AT&T Fiber Out)
DAC: Wadia 2000 Digimaster (Sledgehammer Buffer, AT&T Fiber In)
Tube Amplifier: Leben CS-600 
Loudspeakers: Sony SS-A5 "La Voce"
Power Conditioners: Accuphase PS-510, UberBUSS (euro version), Einstein NF6020, Kemp Power Source+, Kemp Power Station 75, Clearaudio APG

 


#130 emaspac

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 05:21 PM

Just a bit more: I read that TotalDAC uses a FIR compensation filter to solve the roll-off of high-freq introduced by NOS DAC chips. Well, I also have the roll-off compensation in my system, but directly from the source, using Dirac Live Room Correction: according the online reviews, its special FIR filters are the best ones you can find. And please note that Diract corrects also your room modes and  impulse response. So, in summary, if you have:   – Dirac Live, Stereo Version (300 €) – JPLAY + JCAT (you know the price :) – USB/SPDIF converter, which provides good isolation between PC and the rest – Genesis Digital Lens (you can find it only used, 500 €) – Audionemesis DC1 VLE (you can find it only used, 700€), or some other DAC with the same Kusunoki design, not expensive but with a good implementation   well, you have built your "mini" TotalDAC! :)    It's a very good system, relatively cheap but full of tone. I suspect that the resulting sound will be near to the one you have with TotalDAC. If you also include a good buffer/analogue stage after the DAC (mine is tubes based), you can have a near "high-end" system, limited to the digital chain.   With some big differences from TotalDAC: the power supply & conditioning is the plus of my approch, the longer signal path and cables is the minus.

Edited by emaspac, 27 March 2014 - 09:08 AM.

 

Server: CAPS v4 Pipeline, SOtM tX-USBexp PCI, JCAT SATA Cable & Battery for OS SSD
SW: Win 2012 OS loaded in RAM, JMini + JPlay 6 + Dirac Live, ProcessLasso
PSU: Teradak ATX 210 LPS, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 2 Rails
DDC: Berkeley Audio Alpha USB  --->  Genesis Digital Lens (AT&T Fiber Out)
DAC: Wadia 2000 Digimaster (Sledgehammer Buffer, AT&T Fiber In)
Tube Amplifier: Leben CS-600 
Loudspeakers: Sony SS-A5 "La Voce"
Power Conditioners: Accuphase PS-510, UberBUSS (euro version), Einstein NF6020, Kemp Power Source+, Kemp Power Station 75, Clearaudio APG

 


#131 Marcin_gps

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:38 AM

I moved away from USB-S/PDIF converters recently. I think that if one has a DAC with good USB implementation, good USB cable, high quality USB card and a dedicated PC powered by a linear PSU, there is no need for using USB-S/PDIF converter. USB-S/PDIF converter stops some of the noise coming from the PC from enering DAC. If you reduce the noise in the source, using USB-S/PDIF is not needed. Of course if USB input in a DAC is poor then adding USB-S/PDIF will help even when you have a great audioPC and you can play with various s/pdif cables to 'tune' the sound. 

#132 emaspac

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:24 PM

I totally agree with you. USB-S/PDIF converters are not needed if you have a good implementation of USB interface direclty on the DAC. Unfortunately in my experience I have listened only few NOS DAC with a stunning USB interface (DaVinci was the best), and all of them were too expensive for my budget. Some other DACs sound really good on USB, but most of the times they make upsampling, based on Sabre ES9018. I didn't like the resulting sound, too "digital" for me.

 

Server: CAPS v4 Pipeline, SOtM tX-USBexp PCI, JCAT SATA Cable & Battery for OS SSD
SW: Win 2012 OS loaded in RAM, JMini + JPlay 6 + Dirac Live, ProcessLasso
PSU: Teradak ATX 210 LPS, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 2 Rails
DDC: Berkeley Audio Alpha USB  --->  Genesis Digital Lens (AT&T Fiber Out)
DAC: Wadia 2000 Digimaster (Sledgehammer Buffer, AT&T Fiber In)
Tube Amplifier: Leben CS-600 
Loudspeakers: Sony SS-A5 "La Voce"
Power Conditioners: Accuphase PS-510, UberBUSS (euro version), Einstein NF6020, Kemp Power Source+, Kemp Power Station 75, Clearaudio APG

 


#133 kyrill

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:38 PM

the proof is in comparing.

If (?) a high end USB/SPDIF is stopping some noise, it will also do it with the best 'noise free' PC as there is always noise.

I suppose a direct USB in at the DAC side bypasses SPDIF/I2S conversion and that means less noise even jitter which by definition the best USB/SPDIF converter cannot accomplish

 

In the end the best USB/I2S implementation must win from the best USB/SPDIF implementation, but this is theory and is as always praxis does differ

Edited by kyrill, 28 March 2014 - 02:39 PM.


#134 Marcin_gps

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

Just look at stereophile's measurements of Auralic Vega or dCS Vivaldi and compare jitter via coaxial and usb. It's obvious which one is better.   

#135 kyrill

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:01 PM

hi Marcin I always (no exception) are not critical to that particular measurement(s) but to their predicted audible effects and conclusions. Same like distortion measurements of analogue amplifiers ( rest accepted as even), as you know, would predict all tube amps should sound worse than solid state. On the website of Audiophilleo is a list of measured jitter of diverse converters, but this list cannot predict which sounds also as the best and then which will be number 2 and so on

#136 RubenV.

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:10 PM

A few weeks ago I sold my Antelope Zodiac + and bought a dCS Paganini DAC. I do like the Zodiac+ but the Paganini is simply better, music is more engaging and detailed. I use the PPA DDC since the Paganini DAC does not have a usb input. I am very pleased with it.
- Case: Streacom FC8 Evo                                           - Harddisk: Intel 520 120GB SSD
- Processor: Intel Core i5 3570T Tray                            - Powersupply: PPA dual rail LPSU + batteries
- Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX                                 - USB/SATA/AES cable: PPAstudio RED
- Memory: Crucial BLT4G3D1337DT1TX0CEU 2X 4GB      - PPAstudio CFreader + DDC
- USB card: PPAstudio pci-express usb3.0 card             

- DAC: dCS Paganini                                                   - Speakers: Linkwitz LX521 + Thor subwoofers

#137 Sligolad

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:59 PM

I ran the Chord Hugo using JPlay last week at various bit rates with no issues on server 2012 R2 and it sounded very good. Ultrastream on 20 and Direct Link on all settings.

Audio PC Gigabyte H97M-D3H & PPA OCXO Mobo, Teradak ATX Linear for 20 pin ATX on Mobo, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 12v for Mobo, 5v for clocks & 5v supply to Audiowind Regulator for 1.3v to RAM direct, JCat Femto USB Card 5v from Paul Hynes, Startech Lex – Amber Regen to JCat USB & Startech Rex to Lex by 2x Meicord LAN through GISO GB Isolator powered by Teddy Pardo 18v Linear, Wtfplay off USB on REX – remote control by Mele F10, D to D PPA Red USB Cable - Intona - LFP 3.3v battery powered USB Regen – Isolated Xmos 768kHz USB DDC powered by 2 x 3.3v 0.8uV Linear Regs – i2s - D to A - Lampizator Big7, Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS, Classe CA 2200, Raidho C1s. Recent changes in red.


#138 jmmbarco

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:26 AM

My Vega has arrived!!!! /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-laugh.gif

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#139 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 01:53 PM

So I took the plunge and now have a (very impressive) Auralic Vega replacing the Audiolab MDac.

JPlay Drivebuffer 0, Clockfix 0, Ultrasize 20. Using the VEGA exact clock and filter 4.

A question for you Vega users please... do the Vega USB control panel settings have effect when using JPlay? I have set minimum latency and and ASIO buffer 128 in case they do.

A few things to try when I have time: some DST and DSD tracks against PCM 24 bit; 2 usb cards to try, the Paul Pang version 1 and a Sotm one, currently using a USB3 port on the motherboard (ASRock B75M R2.0)

Really liking the sound so far, thanks to Jplay /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-smile.gif

[ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2 foobar 1.4 ASIO 64bit][JPlay 6.2alt KS Direct DACLink 1HZ PC Buffer 10 Clock 2 AO 1.40][cat7@100Mbps 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Balanced vdh 2nd][Meridian 557][LAT SS1000 biwire][Monitor Audio Studio Monitor 50SE][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#140 thuanb

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 07:04 PM

Peter, Congrats on acquiring the Vega. Please report the impressions. Are you going to use it with or without a spdif/usb converter? Also wondering how its built-in preamp performs sonically. Enjoy!
SinglePC Windows 2019 standard core + MinimServer + JPLAY Streamer + BubbleUPnP, BubbleDS. Plays only Red Book tracks and one track at a time. Pure magic, full of air and emotions, rich and colorful tonality, holographic body, details, organic bass, resembles a tube Neumann mic.

Alternative: SinglePC WS2019 standard core + local music library + Foobar2000, Foobar2000 controller Pro. Plays everything from Red Book to DSD, single tracks or playlists. A solid all around player that resembles a Shure or Rode mic.




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