Using USB direct no spdif converter, less is more.
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.
As usual, lots of optimising to adjust as effects so much. Here is an update on my set up and initial impressions of the Vega with more to follow when adjusted further.
Exact clock setting was loosing sync on 96Khz 24bit PCM using the motherboard USB 3 port connection. I am now using a Paul Pang Audio USB card version 1 (second hand) improving the exact clock drop out on 96KHz 24 bit PCM, nearly removing. Although the PPA card is powered by 5v I do not feed this out to the dac.
I've made a new USB cable (shorter at 20cm, old was 40cm), my third go, so a Mark 3! Using 13 amp solid core copper as before, data +&- insulated, ground bare wire, no +5v line, a stripped TV coax outer cage, grounded, a further aluminium shield on the cage (cooking foil) and this has removed the drop out.
I've tried 2012 server R2 in core mode with all services reduced to a minimum on the audio pc but running Ultrasize at 20 on busy/complex tracks at 96khz PCM can add clicking. I am trying both increased Ultrasize (24) and varying NIC tx and rx buffer sizes (20, 48, 64, which does have an effect on 96khz 24 bit). I suspect the cause to be control to audio pc data delivery rather than audio pc speed or latency. I am also going to try upping the audio pc cpu speed from a reduced 1.6GHz to 2.5GHz. 1 step at a time, each compared.
So to the Vega, a significant step up from the Audiolab Mdac which was musical and warm but not so clean and open as the Vega.
Top end is very clean and transparent, it shows off every nuance of a recording, the best jazz recordings (Chesky) very, very good. Space, 3d, instrument position, all enhanced. Deep, very clean bass. Very open. On my Stax headphones the sound is the best I have heard, especially on remastered 24 bit. As with all moves up the fidelity curve it also shows the bad recordings up more, such as over blown bass or clipped vocals. More of those background sounds can be heard and placed. It is very musical. Acoustic guitar sounds like it is being played infront of me. Weirdly some electronic sounds made me jump thinking I had a bad connection (Goldfrapp Supernature 24bit), that is the harness (that is meant) really hits you.
So in summary, I think this DAC is very accurate indeed, more so than the best moving coil/record deck combinations I've heard and so consequently a different sound but one that is growing on me.
As to the pre-amp, I fed this directly via balanced output into my Meridian 557 power amp and also via RCA into the Stax headphone amp. The sound is open, perhaps "dry"? by which I mean little colouration and not warm or valve like. I think this could be described as getting close to the studio recording.
More when I've tweaked the set up.