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JediCowboy
2005-06-07, 19:17
I was wondering if there would be a preference as to which DAC I used? I have a Denon AVR-3802 Receiver with Analog Devices 24 bit, 96 kHz high resolution DACs on all eight channels. Would it be better to use this or the built in Burr-Brown 24-bit DAC of the Squeezebox2?

Or am I just splitting hairs here?

Regardless of which I use, it's my understanding that if I connect the SB2 via the analog outputs, I'll be using the SB2's DAC, and if I connect via the coax I'll be using my receiver's DAC, right?

JJZolx
2005-06-07, 21:26
I was wondering if there would be a preference as to which DAC I used? I have a Denon AVR-3802 Receiver with Analog Devices 24 bit, 96 kHz high resolution DACs on all eight channels. Would it be better to use this or the built in Burr-Brown 24-bit DAC of the Squeezebox2?

Or am I just splitting hairs here?

Regardless of which I use, it's my understanding that if I connect the SB2 via the analog outputs, I'll be using the SB2's DAC, and if I connect via the coax I'll be using my receiver's DAC, right?

That's right. Assuming you run that coax into a digital input on the receiver. If you run it into an analog input then I don't think it's going to sound very good. :-) The digital out is essentially "untouched" after the stream to the Squeezebox has been decoded from mp3 or FLAC. There's a server setting to fix the volume level of the digital out that you should set.

I'd just listen to each of them and see which one you like. You can probably even connect them both simultaneously and switch between them. I'm not sure if you can precisely volume match them, though. Maybe if you fix the digital output level and use the SB's volume control on the analog outputs you can come close.

seanadams
2005-06-07, 21:31
I was wondering if there would be a preference as to which DAC I used? I have a Denon AVR-3802 Receiver with Analog Devices 24 bit, 96 kHz high resolution DACs on all eight channels.


Before getting into which DAC is better, the thing to find out is whether your receiver is putting all of its signals through a digital path internally (a quick googling didn't tell me specifically about your model, but there's much mention of ADCs so I suspect so). If that's the case, you're better off using a digital connection into the receiver to eliminate a D->A at the source and another A-D into the receiver.

By the way, the A->D->A conversion that is common in modern receivers is not inherently a bad thing. For something with a lot of channels in/out, it's probably cleaner to get it straight into zeroes and ones rather than switching the analog signals and passing them all around inside the box from one PCB to another. I'm sure on some forum there's a lengthy and well-informed debate that could be cited here...

Fabrice Rossi
2005-06-08, 01:08
seanadams a écrit :
> Before getting into which DAC is better, the thing to find out is
> whether your receiver is putting all of its signals through a digital
> path internally (a quick googling didn't tell me specifically about
> your model, but there's much mention of ADCs so I suspect so). If
> that's the case, you're better off using a digital connection into the
> receiver to eliminate a D->A at the source and another A-D into the
> receiver.

Denon has the so call "Pure direct" function for analog inputs that
bypass this A->D->A thing. Some googling shows that this function is
avalaible for the AVR-3802 (but you have to know the name ;-), see
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-xv6LYCVPDPK/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=10420&id=detailed_info&i=033AVR3802
for instance.

> By the way, the A->D->A conversion that is common in modern receivers
> is not inherently a bad thing. For something with a lot of channels
> in/out, it's probably cleaner to get it straight into zeroes and ones
> rather than switching the analog signals and passing them all around
> inside the box from one PCB to another. I'm sure on some forum there's
> a lengthy and well-informed debate that could be cited here...

I agree, but audiophile purist might not and I guess that's why some
brands like Denon have included this kind of direct path (which actually
turns off all the unused parts of the receiver, including the display,
at least on the AVR-2805 and AVR-3805).

Fabrice

Aylwin
2005-06-08, 05:09
I own the AVR-3802 and I doubt there will be much noticeable difference between its DAC and the SB2's. It's correct that you can use the "Direct" feature on the Denon but it's not as sophisticated as on the 3805. It doesn't necessarily turn off all unused parts but it does bypass tone controls (bass, trebel) and I assume also any A-D-A conversion. I must admit though that I couldn't really notice much difference with or without the "Direct" feature activated. But this was a long time ago when perhaps other components in the audio chain were the weaker links.

JediCowboy
2005-06-08, 06:42
Thank you all for your responses, especially Fabrice for that link (much better than Denon's own site spec.) I have been listening with Denon's Pure Direct mode and vastly prefer it Thanks for the suggestion. The only other mode I'd use for my music is 5CH Stereo; I think that's good for parties with music coming from all over.

And I so wish I had the 3805 <sigh>.

After playing with it for a bit I think my solution is to use the coax cable for now. If I ever need another digital input (The SB2 took the last of my 3 digital ins) I can switch to the analog connection without worry.

Either that or buy a new reciever. :-)

atao
2006-01-12, 23:51
i was hoping to get help explaining what i'm hearing.

i have a denon 3802 with b&w 610 speakers and a definitive sub. i'm doing a/b comparisons between using the denon internal dac vs the sb3's dac.

what i'm hearing is that when using the denon dac, the sound stage is more forward, and possibly less spacious sounding. at the same time, bass is much more precise and powerful. i was listening to "if i was your woman", alicia keys, and there's a lot of low-frequency sound on this track when it just starts off and this just doesn't come through with the sb3 internal dac.

on the other hand, when using the sb3 internal dac, the voices sound like they're coming from "behind" the speakers more, and the overall sound stage actually sounds deeper, which i happen to like.

i'd characterize the sb3's dac sound as slightly softer, which seems good, but at the same time, it seems to be unable to produce powerful transients. the denon's dac may be harsher or perhaps its just more precise? my b&w 610's are fairly notorious for being bright. these are all just my impressions, i wouldn't really describe myself as an audiophile, but somehow i find myself re-listening to all my music now that i got an sb3.

i'm wondering if anyone might be able to help explain what i'm hearing. thanks!

Mark Lanctot
2006-01-13, 06:58
When I tried tests like these on my SB2/3 and my
receiver, I wondered what it was I was really
comparing.

Was I comparing DACs, or was I comparing my
receiver's digital implementation versus its
analog implementation? There's a whole chain of
components a digital signal goes through that an
analog signal doesn't, and vice-versa. It's not
only a DAC.

I found digital playback on my receiver crisp to
the point of being bright, and analog playback
warm to the point of being muddy in the vocals. I
can't say I noticed much change in bass though.

I listened to the SB using my headphones and it
was noticeably crisper yet still quite warm, so
in my receiver at least, there's more to the
differences between analog and digital than just
my receiver's DACs.

atao wrote:
> i was hoping to get help explaining what i'm
hearing.
>
> i have a denon 3802 with b&w 610 speakers and a
definitive sub. i'm
> doing a/b comparisons between using the denon
internal dac vs the
> sb3's dac.
>
> what i'm hearing is that when using the denon dac,
the sound stage is
> more forward, and possibly less spacious sounding.
at the same time,
> bass is much more precise and powerful. i was
listening to "if i was
> your woman", alicia keys, and there's a lot of
low-frequency sound on
> this track when it just starts off and this just
doesn't come through
> with the sb3 internal dac.
>
> on the other hand, when using the sb3 internal dac,
the voices sound
> like they're coming from "behind" the speakers more,
and the overall
> sound stage actually sounds deeper, which i happen
to like.
>
> i'd characterize the sb3's dac sound as slightly
softer, which seems
> good, but at the same time, it seems to be unable to
produce powerful
> transients. the denon's dac may be harsher or
perhaps its just more
> precise? my b&w 610's are fairly notorious for being
bright. these are
> all just my impressions, i wouldn't really describe
myself as an
> audiophile, but somehow i find myself re-listening
to all my music now
> that i got an sb3.
>
> i'm wondering if anyone might be able to help
explain what i'm hearing.
> thanks!
>
>

--
___________________________________


Mark Lanctot
___________________________________

PhilNYC
2006-01-13, 16:31
One of the theoretical benefits of using the SB's DAC is that the DAC inside any AV receiver is going to be surrounded by a lot of EMI by being inside the same chassis as the amp transformers and circuitry around it...the resulting sound being slightly harsh and edgy.

ezkcdude
2006-01-13, 23:11
One of the theoretical benefits of using the SB's DAC is that the DAC inside any AV receiver is going to be surrounded by a lot of EMI by being inside the same chassis as the amp transformers and circuitry around it...the resulting sound being slightly harsh and edgy.

Either way the signal is going to go through the receiver, so isn't this point kind of moot?

PhilNYC
2006-01-14, 06:29
Either way the signal is going to go through the receiver, so isn't this point kind of moot?

Well, according to the theory, the digital signal and specifically the actual digital-to-analog chip is more susceptible to EMI problems than just the analog signal...

ezkcdude
2006-01-14, 08:12
What theory? Could you give me just one reference to check this?

PhilNYC
2006-01-14, 08:41
I don't have a specific link...its just something that has come up in discussions with various designers and manufacturers. I'll see if I can find something specific on it...

Buckyg4
2006-01-14, 14:54
I'm one for upgrading the DAC in the SB and sending the analog signal straight to a power amp. Does it sound as good as say a Benchmark DAC-1, probably not, but i'm happy with it and it was about 1/10th of the price plus the price of additional cableing. I upgraded it on my own, but you can get the same work done and Red Wine Audio for a reasonable price.

sxr71
2009-12-28, 15:38
Before getting into which DAC is better, the thing to find out is whether your receiver is putting all of its signals through a digital path internally (a quick googling didn't tell me specifically about your model, but there's much mention of ADCs so I suspect so). If that's the case, you're better off using a digital connection into the receiver to eliminate a D->A at the source and another A-D into the receiver.

By the way, the A->D->A conversion that is common in modern receivers is not inherently a bad thing. For something with a lot of channels in/out, it's probably cleaner to get it straight into zeroes and ones rather than switching the analog signals and passing them all around inside the box from one PCB to another. I'm sure on some forum there's a lengthy and well-informed debate that could be cited here...

It's not a bad thing considering the purpose of an A/V receiver and what it does but it's unacceptable for an audiophile setup. Which is why consumer level A/V receivers are not audiophile components. I would run a Duet into an A/V receiver for convenience but a separate Transporter into a simple audio grade pre-amp for quality. The SB system lets you switch them easily anyway.

JJZolx
2009-12-28, 16:30
It's not a bad thing considering the...

Jeez. Who replies to four year old posts?

sxr71
2009-12-29, 16:47
Jeez. Who replies to four year old posts?

The issue is still relevant. Besides if the intent was to never have anyone reply to older threads then we shouldn't be able to find them.