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pasodoble
2005-09-30, 15:49
Call me intrigued. I'm wondering how these (and generally speaking, non-oversampling DACs) behave when hooked up to the SB2.

Stuart Mason
2005-10-01, 04:59
Hi,

I use a non-oversampling DAC with my SB1 and love it. The DAC produces a very natural sound, not a million miles away from my vinyl setup, without the artifice of something like the little Musical Fatality DAC.

Regards,

Stuart.

ezkcdude
2006-02-01, 10:05
I just received my NOS DAC today, which is made by Derek Shek out of Hong Kong. I got it on eBay. I'm going to try it out tonight. I was really interested to see for myself what all the hype over these non-oversampling DAC's is all about.

dwc
2006-02-01, 11:38
I enjoy my non-os dacs with my squeezeboxes. I have not had the opportunity to compare my dacs to something like Benchmark DAC-1, but I am very pleased with the sound I get today. I like the philosophy behind the non-os dacs, as well as the fact that you can try decent ones out for reasonable sums of money.

-Dan

montechristo
2006-02-01, 11:59
I just received my NOS DAC today, which is made by Derek Shek out of Hong Kong. I got it on eBay. I'm going to try it out tonight. I was really interested to see for myself what all the hype over these non-oversampling DAC's is all about.


so why should a non oversampling DAC sound better? and if it does why does anyone bother making oversampling ones?

CardinalFang
2006-02-01, 12:05
Hi,

I use a non-oversampling DAC with my SB1 and love it. The DAC produces a very natural sound, not a million miles away from my vinyl setup, without the artifice of something like the little Musical Fatality DAC.

Regards,

Stuart.

What's natural about HiFi! :-)

I have a Musical Fidelity DAC and like it - it's good value for money. I'd never claim that any of my gear is natural though - it generates a sound that is pleasing to my ears is the best you could say.

I suppose if you do listen to purely natural sound recordings then you could claim that, but I haven't heard many new groups running free in their natural environment to be able to say whether it's good or not :-) I did see the Sex Pistols and the Clash a few times and they aren't natural on vinyl, I assure you! The thought of Mr Lydon running carefree in the Sarenghetti does present an interesting thought though.

Joking aside, is being close to vinyl ideal or have our ears just got tuned to that sound as being right? I have a Pink Triangle setup and often think it sounds smoother and more cohesive, but is that because my ears have got trained to a smoother presentation?

Paul

Skunk
2006-02-01, 12:34
What's natural about HiFi! :-)

Pace, Rhythm, And Timing.

jonheal
2006-02-01, 13:41
What's natural about HiFi! :-)

I have a Musical Fidelity DAC and like it - it's good value for money. I'd never claim that any of my gear is natural though - it generates a sound that is pleasing to my ears is the best you could say.

I suppose if you do listen to purely natural sound recordings then you could claim that, but I haven't heard many new groups running free in their natural environment to be able to say whether it's good or not :-) I did see the Sex Pistols and the Clash a few times and they aren't natural on vinyl, I assure you! The thought of Mr Lydon running carefree in the Sarenghetti does present an interesting thought though.

Joking aside, is being close to vinyl ideal or have our ears just got tuned to that sound as being right? I have a Pink Triangle setup and often think it sounds smoother and more cohesive, but is that because my ears have got trained to a smoother presentation?

Paul
I find the image of that arrogant and sarcastic primo don Johnny Lydon sprinting at top speed with a leopard nipping at his bum quite amusing.

Skunk
2006-02-01, 14:42
Well this seems like an excellent opportunity to make an ass out of myself again :)


so why should a non oversampling DAC sound better?

Possibly because they don't require as much digital filtering.


and if it does why does anyone bother making oversampling ones?

System variables. A rolloff at 20KHz might sound good to someone using bright or shouty speakers, but might kill someone elses ribbon tweeters with unfiltered high frequencies.

(all conjectured opinion on my part)

ezkcdude
2006-02-01, 15:42
Also, apparently, the NOS folks believe that both our ears and the speakers act essentially as natural filters (interpolators?), and that there is no need for digital or analog filtering. Basically, as I understand it, the values from the chip are directly translated to voltages, so that if you measured the signal it would actually look like a stair-step pattern, as opposed to smooth. I don't know much about audio engineering, but I do know quite a lot about the pitfalls of interpolation and smoothing in imaging and statistics. So, part of me at least is sympathetic with the NOS idea. I think we can make an analogy to the realm of video processing here, where we don't really have this oversampling concept. Video sources just display a discrete number of frames, and the sequence appears to have smooth motion; same idea with a flipbook. I know there are other reasons for oversampling, but I think those drop out, once the filters are removed from the equation.

PhilNYC
2006-02-01, 16:16
Basically, as I understand it, the values from the chip are directly translated to voltages, so that if you measured the signal it would actually look like a stair-step pattern, as opposed to smooth.

From the upsampling/oversampling camp, it is these stair-step patterns that create the need for up/oversampling. With each stair/step, the "rise edge" of a step can be viewed as a very high-frequency signal that is somewhere in the vicinity of 22.1khz. In order to get rid of that "artifact", a NOS DAC needs an analog filter after the DAC to eliminate those artifacts. Putting an analog filter so close to the audible range is theoretically easy, but practically tough without affecting the sound.

If you up/oversample the signal, you are effectively speeding up that "rise edge" to a much higher frequency...for example, upsampled to 96khz, that rise edge now exists at 48khz (instead of 22.1khz). So it makes filtering out the digital artifacts much easier and with less impact on the audible range.

IMHO, there is no sweeping statement like "NOS is always better" or "up/oversampling is always better"...as with just about everything in audio, it is dependent on the implementation. Pick your poison...digital filter in front of the DAC, or analog filter after the DAC...

ezkcdude
2006-02-01, 18:55
Well, so far, things are sounding good right out of the box (no pun intended). Here's a pic. It's a beautiful little black box. No LED's or anything.

CardinalFang
2006-02-02, 02:03
Pace, Rhythm, And Timing.

My point really was that most albuims are created in studios, tracks are heavily filtered and compressed as a rule and deliberately distorted. You can't reproduce the experience with live musicians, so it's all artificial. There's no way you could tell how natural a performance you were listening too since there is no performance to compare it too.

I did actually go to a Frank Zappa and to Ramones concerts where both were recorded for albums (The Zappa one with lots of overdubs). Neither albums come remotely close to the live performance. There's no sense of scale or the visceral effect of volume and being in the crowd.

I have a decent HiFi as I said, but it's a completely different experience. It may well have the correct Pace, Rhythm and Timing, but I don't disect music when listening, I try to enjoy it for what it is.

Paul

Skunk
2006-02-02, 06:12
You can't reproduce the experience with live musicians, so it's all artificial.

Yeah I was just messin' with ya' :)

Frank Zappa's Cheap Thrills has some decent sounding live stuff. Also, We're Only In It For The Money on MFSL is out. Strange studio stuff, that is.

Skunk
2006-02-02, 06:21
You can't reproduce the experience with live musicians, so it's all artificial.

I agree completely. A few times when I was sitting around listening to music, my roommate grabed her tambourine to go to a gig. The noise it makes by her just picking it up makes me feel stupid, because it's so three dimensional and real compared to reproduced audio.

OTOH, when I listen to VH1 Storytellers Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, I'm convinced they sound like 'they are here', which makes this continue to be a fun hobby for me.

edit: I spelled willie wrong!

Kyle
2006-02-02, 07:46
OTOH, when I listen to VH1 Storytellers Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, I'm convinced they sound like 'they are here', which makes this continue to be a fun hobby for me.

For a similar experience, check out "Live at Blues Alley" by Eva Cassidy. Not a well-known album, but one that really recreates a small club setting. If you're not familiar with her, Eva has a wonderful voice and, to me, an excellent choice of material.

Skunk
2006-02-02, 08:01
For a similar experience

Thanks Kyle, I'll write that down. I'd love to hear more suggestions. If it's too OT maybe somebody should start another thread.

Kyle
2006-02-02, 08:07
Thanks Kyle, I'll write that down. I'd love to hear more suggestions. If it's too OT maybe somebody should start another thread.

At the risk of being even more OT, I'd like to see a separate forum category for the discussion of music. Ultimately, that's what we're all here for -- because we appreciate and enjoy listening to music. This is a worldwide community, and I think it's an opportunity to discover new works I might otherwise never run across.

Skunk
2006-02-02, 08:10
good call :)

edit: better do a poll ;)

krzys
2006-02-02, 08:22
In the same style of near live performance I would recommend Patricia Barber Companion cd and Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, both sound fabulous
chris

Kyle
2006-02-02, 08:50
In the same style of near live performance I would recommend Patricia Barber Companion cd and Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, both sound fabulous
chris

I'll second the SRV album. I listened to Dr. John doing "Cold Shot" on a mix last night. I also listened to Cold Chisel's live version of "Bow River." With the rear speakers going, you really feel like you're in the middle of the crowd.

Skunk
2006-02-02, 08:54
In the same style of near live performance I would recommend Patricia Barber Companion cd and Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, both sound fabulous
chris

Is 'nightclub' any good in this regard? I know where it's sitting in a used cd store for 7 bucks, but they had 'modern cool' as well and I only had money for one- pathetic as that is.

krzys
2006-02-02, 09:03
I owe all those three albums and will put the Companion on the top because of the goose bump rising dynamics presence and the songs selection (more of rapid pieces). The other ones are very good indeed but not as interesting.
Chris

BTW we should stop tyhis music discussion there , you were right.

fuzzyT
2006-02-02, 09:05
CardinalFang wrote:

> My point really was that most albuims are created in studios, tracks
> are heavily filtered and compressed as a rule and deliberately
> distorted.

For some seriously un-screwed-around-with recordings, try out the
offerings from Mapleshade.

<http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/main/aboutus.php>

--rt

)p(
2006-02-02, 09:11
Well, so far, things are sounding good right out of the box (no pun intended). Here's a pic. It's a beautiful little black box. No LED's or anything.

Hehe what a coincidence. I bought one also earlier today from ebay for my new sb3!

How long did the shipping take in your case. Cant wait till it arrives to compare it to the sb3's internal dac. ;)

peter

Skunk
2006-02-02, 09:16
Hehe what a coincidence.

I thought the black box with no LED and the TDA1543 was coincidentally similar to the shigariki was well, though a much better deal :)

pfarrell
2006-02-02, 09:36
Skunk wrote:
> Is 'nightclub' any good in this regard? I know where it's sitting in a
> used cd store for 7 bucks, but they had 'modern cool' as well and I
> only had money for one- pathetic as that is.

Yes, it is the same style, classic jazz trio,
Barber on the piano and vocals, a string bass
and drums (mostly brushes on the snare).

I think I have all of her CDs, all are well
recorded. Some have jazz that is a
little far out - pushing atonal modern music.

Of course with a local used CD store, you
can buy it, play it thru your SqueezeBox a
while and if you decide you hate it, sell it
back only losing a few bucks.


--
Pat Farrell pfarrell (AT) aframedigital (DOT) com
www.aframedigital.com

Skunk
2006-02-02, 10:02
Of course with a local used CD store, you
can buy it, play it thru your SqueezeBox a
while and if you decide you hate it, sell it
back only losing a few bucks.


Excellent point. That was impossible in the past, becasue after a month of (hard) use the condition of the disc was too poor. CD's that are purchased used on ebay usually/sometimes retain their value 100%, if you buy sought after releases.

I can only do that if I delete the music from all disks though.

Otherwise I'm a 'digital shoplifter'. Another variation of the digital shoplifter could theoretically pretends he's listening to the used cd's on his walkman, while the walkman is connected to a disguised PC hidden on his person, and he's extracting discs at 80x. Wonder if they'd call the cops?

CardinalFang
2006-02-02, 10:10
I agree completely. A few times when I was sitting around listening to music, my roommate grabed her tambourine to go to a gig. The noise it makes by her just picking it up makes me feel stupid, because it's so three dimensional and real compared to reproduced audio.

The nearest I have come with my CD is "A Black and White Night Live" by Roy Orbison (his backing band is Springsteen, Costello, etc.) or the Cowboy Junkies first album. Oh and anything by the Persuasions - just acapella voices. They were championed by Zappa as it happens, I think Absolute Sounds in the UK used the Persuasions to show off gear at HiFi shows.

My most recent comparison was listening to a live Tommy Emmanual CD (Australian fingerstyle guitarist) after being to a few of his concerts. It's very different although it's just him and a guitar. It's where all the stereos I've listened to are lacking, that creation of the atmosphere and ambience of a concert hall - it's that effect that lets you know that you're in big room from the echoes and reverberation. That's the bit I'd love to recreate. I thoroughly recommend his later CDs (the older ones are a bit muzak for my liking), very melodic and stunning playing. I've tried to play some of his stuff and failed miserably.

Paul

Robin Bowes
2006-02-02, 11:56
CardinalFang said the following on 02/02/2006 05:10 PM:
> Skunk Wrote:
>
>>I agree completely. A few times when I was sitting around listening to
>>music, my roommate grabed her tambourine to go to a gig. The noise it
>>makes by her just picking it up makes me feel stupid, because it's so
>>three dimensional and real compared to reproduced audio.

Whilst I undertand what you're saying, I've got to say that I don't
think you can have heard a "good" system with a "good" recording.

I've got (somewhere) a recording I made of the cellist Natalie Klein
playing the Elgar Cello Concerto. I used a simple pair of mics in a
stereo pair straight to a DAT recorder. You wouldn't believe how
realistic that sounds.

Sure, "real life" is the "real thing", but well-recorded audio on a good
system can come close.

R.

ezkcdude
2006-02-02, 13:03
Hehe what a coincidence. I bought one also earlier today from ebay for my new sb3!

How long did the shipping take in your case. Cant wait till it arrives to compare it to the sb3's internal dac. ;)

peter

Derek shipped it last Friday, and I got it yesterday. It looks cool. It comes with a 220/120V adapter. I asked him if it would be good with a battery (12 V; > 300 mAmp required), but he thinks although the background would be reduced, it would give a more laidback sound. I may end up buying a linear regulated power supply, like I did for my SB3. As for sound, it's always hard for me to do comparisons. I'm basically going to listen to it for several more days, and then maybe do a comparison between it and the SB3 analog out. I just hate switching cables that often. Also, it won't be a blind test, so I don't think the results will be that meaningful. I would say, however, that I was a little anxious about what the "NOS" sound would be like. I had heard that some people have problems with them in the high frequency. I haven't had that problem. In fact, one thing that does seem to be beneficial is that I don't get any locking problems when switching internet stations. Before, when I used my Theta Digital, almost every time I switched to a different station, there would be an extremely loud pop. I'm not sure what caused that, but I don't get it now. It doesn't happen with the SB3 analog outputs either, I should emphasize. Anyway, have fun with your black box. It's pretty sexy, to me anyway.

Skunk, to answer your question, the Shigaraki DAC costs $1480 (according to the website) and the Progression is $2700. That's much more expensive, and I doubt it is worth it. The "black box" is $300, and essentially the same design (CS8412->TDA1543), with very few circuit elements, and no digital filters. I should add that I also considered the assembled Monica 2 DAC (www.diyparadise.com), but I didn't feel like buying a case/jacks/etc. That DAC, which is supposed to be really nice, is based on similar but newer chips, CS8414->TDA1545. The Monica 1 used the TDA1543.

Skunk
2006-02-02, 13:42
Cardinal
Whilst I undertand what you're saying, I've got to say that I don't
think you can have heard a "good" system with a "good" recording.
Yeah, you're absolutely right. I have heard a few _expensive_ systems, but never any truly outstanding ones fidelity wise, not to mention my lack of any true reference recordings.

Are you inviting me over?



Skunk, to answer your question
Sorry, it wasn't a question. Rather, a poorly written short version of exactly the same thing you said.



>Quote:
>Originally Posted by )p(
>Hehe what a coincidence.
>

"I thought the black box with no LED and the TDA1543 was coincidentally similar to the shigariki was well, though a much better deal :) "

I even gave a smiley face to let you know I thought it was a good choice.

Robin Bowes
2006-02-02, 14:23
Skunk said the following on 02/02/2006 08:42 PM:
> Robin Bowes Wrote:
>
>>Cardinal
>>Whilst I undertand what you're saying, I've got to say that I don't
>>think you can have heard a "good" system with a "good" recording.
>
> Yeah, you're absolutely right. I have heard a few _expensive_ systems,
> but never any truly outstanding ones fidelity wise, not to mention my
> lack of any true reference recordings.
>
> Are you inviting me over?

You're more than welcome. York, UK.

Though I haven't been able to find that DAT tape for a while...and I
haven't got a DAT player!

R.

Skunk
2006-02-02, 14:48
You're more than welcome. York, UK.
R.

It will be awhile, after graduation- in however many years that is! Beautiful city , York (I went to the visitors center online).

I read that a speaker manufacturer was using master tapes to demo at CES one year not too long ago, which confirms what you say. I've heard some DAT recordings from stereo mics at shows that were so good you just forget to analyze the equipment playing it. I bet it *is* a treat to hear master recordings in a studio. I could never do the job, I'd be sitting there grinning all day.

ezkcdude
2006-02-02, 15:30
AAAAHHHH! I just did something very, very stupid. I bought an power supply from Radio Shack in an attempt to upgrade the one that the DAC came with. Big f'in mistake on my part. I think the barrel was not exactly the right type, and when I plugged it in, something got fried. Now, it outputs a constant thumping sound, even if nothing is connected. Well, I'm pissed because I'm out $300, unless Derek can tell me if there's anything that can be done to fix it. It's back to the SB3 analog outputs, I guess. I should learn a lesson from this, but I probably won't ;)

Skunk
2006-02-02, 22:46
Well, I'm pissed because I'm out $300, unless Derek can tell me if there's anything that can be done to fix it.

Send it out to be modified (cheapest wiring and connectors mod) by someone in the states, or better yet locally to you. Maybe it's something simple in the power supply, though I'm not qualified to guess really.

I'd order spare chips while some are still available on ebay, then you could also send them with it in case they need to be replaced. Probably not much consolation, but perhaps it will become better from it in the end.

Or alternatively.... I'll buy that white circuit board and the questionable parts attached for a severly discounted price :P

ezkcdude
2006-02-02, 23:01
Send it out to be modified (cheapest wiring and connectors mod) by someone in the states, or better yet locally to you. Maybe it's something simple in the power supply, though I'm not qualified to guess really.

I'd order spare chips while some are still available on ebay, then you could also send them with it in case they need to be replaced. Probably not much consolation, but perhaps it will become better from it in the end.

Or alternatively.... I'll buy that white circuit board and the questionable parts attached for a severly discounted price :P

I think the chips are busted, and it's pretty much impossible to find the CS8412-CS chip anywhere. So, I think I may keep the case, and the jacks, and maybe eventually I'll buy the Monica 2 DAC to replace the board. It's not really that expensive.

)p(
2006-02-03, 03:06
@ezkcdude

Ah what a shame that happened. Sorry to hear that.
I'll be careful with mine when it arrives. If it sounds ok after some burnin I hope I can live with the included powersupply. I'll let you know in this thread what I think about the sound of it after a week or so listening too it.

peter

ezkcdude
2006-02-03, 07:22
@ezkcdude

Ah what a shame that happened. Sorry to hear that.
I'll be careful with mine when it arrives. If it sounds ok after some burnin I hope I can live with the included powersupply. I'll let you know in this thread what I think about the sound of it after a week or so listening too it.

peter

Trust me, "live" with it. I openend up the DAC, and I don't see a fuse, so I wouldn't take any chances. I'm sending mine back to Derek, and he will see what he can do to fix it.

)p(
2006-02-13, 03:12
Trust me, "live" with it. I openend up the DAC, and I don't see a fuse, so I wouldn't take any chances. I'm sending mine back to Derek, and he will see what he can do to fix it.

I got mine two days ago. And I must say after spending several hours listening to it over the weekend...I like it. Compared to the analog outs of the sb using Dereks dac the sound in the high end is definately sweeter. We did also some fast a/b testing and both my girlfriend and I both preferred Dereks dac in the test. If its more accurate...no way of knowing that...but it looks like it produces less listening fatigue...listening to the sb3 feels now very similar as using the cdplayer. So if this conclusion stays the same after more listening...the cd player is out...and the sb3 will become the sole source in our hifi set.

peter

ezkcdude
2006-02-21, 09:27
I wanted to update my situation with the fried DAC. Derek fixed it! I was sure it was toast, but apparently he just needed to change out the voltage regulators. I must have reversed the polarity which fried the regulator(s?). He's now sending it back to me. What a relief! Best news - he's not even charging me for his labor :) So, )p( if you're reading this, how's life with the NOS DAC after a few more weeks of listening? Are you still happy with it?

)p(
2006-02-21, 15:17
I wanted to update my situation with the fried DAC. Derek fixed it! I was sure it was toast, but apparently he just needed to change out the voltage regulators. I must have reversed the polarity which fried the regulator(s?). He's now sending it back to me. What a relief! Best news - he's not even charging me for his labor :) So, )p( if you're reading this, how's life with the NOS DAC after a few more weeks of listening? Are you still happy with it?


Derek is really a great guy :)

Disclaimer I am not that much of an audiophile when it comes to dacs and think they all perform very very similar. That being said the dac from Derek definately sounds a little sweeter in the top end. I think I have mentioned it before I use kef speakers that have a metal dome tweeter and metal dome hyper tweeter which have a rather analytical sound to them that I like very much. But somehow with the analog out of the sb3 the tweeters sound resulted in some listening fatigue that I had not experienced before with them. From the threads here it could be, although I doubt it, that the stock switching power supply is the cause of this. I have not tried a linear supply yet. But using Derek's dac definately solves it. I have connected it to one of the regulated power outlets on my amp so it switches on and off with the amp automatically. So it seamlessly integrates with my setup.

peter

crooner
2006-02-21, 17:16
I am glad everything turned out well for you.
Keep us posted on the sound when you get it!



I wanted to update my situation with the fried DAC. Derek fixed it! I was sure it was toast, but apparently he just needed to change out the voltage regulators. I must have reversed the polarity which fried the regulator(s?). He's now sending it back to me. What a relief! Best news - he's not even charging me for his labor :) So, )p( if you're reading this, how's life with the NOS DAC after a few more weeks of listening? Are you still happy with it?

ezkcdude
2006-02-22, 13:16
I have connected it to one of the regulated power outlets on my amp so it switches on and off with the amp automatically. So it seamlessly integrates with my setup.
peter

)p(, if you get a chance, could you explain how exactly you connect the DAC to your amp. Does your amp have a 12 VDC output? And, do you know the size of the barrel pin connector? I think it is smaller than that of the SB3, right? I ask this, because I'm still interested in getting a new linear adapter for the DAC, but I'm kind of scared after what I did to it last time. I'm just wondering if there is an off the shelf adapter that would work. Thanks!

ezkcdude
2006-03-04, 09:56
Just got the NOS DAC back from Derek today. I thought I'd put a couple of pics of the DAC board and a side-by-side with the SB3. Even though I'm not a DIYer (with electronics), I think it's obvious how nicely designed the DAC board is.