Home of the Squeezebox™ & Transporter® network music players.
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: audiophile cred

  1. #1
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Can someone recommend a good DAC for the budget conscious music lover

    Emile

    -----Original Message-----
    From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
    [mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Triode
    Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 2:28 PM
    To: Slim Devices Discussion
    Subject: [slim] audiophile cred

    Michael,

    If you want serious hifi and are using an external DAC then you don't
    want lots of analogue stuff in the transport! Why pay for it?

    With a separate DAC, the beauty of devices like the squeezebox is that
    they are only responsible for sending a digital bitstream out of the
    back end. The signal is in the digital domain the whole way though so
    no errors which are induced. Assuming you have a good digital copy of
    the original music on your server and stream it uncompressed to the
    squeezebox, an accurate bitstream will come out of the digital out.
    Arguably if you rip your music with something like EAC (which checks for
    errors at reading time) and store an uncompressesed or losslessly
    compressed (e.g. FLAC) copy, then you have a more accurate copy on your
    hard disk than many CD players manage to read.

    To get the ultimate hifi quality you really need a dac which is capable
    of removing any jitter on the link from the slimserver.
    Although the jitter on the output is very low (as good as many CD
    transports to my ears), it is not the lowest. [My CD transport is
    noticably slightly better that the squeezebox with a simple dac - but
    then I've spent more that the cost of the squeezebox on upgrading the CD
    transport...!] However I would put it as good as many off the shelf
    transports. One of the problems with CD players is all the high current
    motors and servos necessary to read the disk can impact the clock and
    signal processing unless lots of attention is played to the power supply
    design - putting the cost up. For squeezebox and devices like it, there
    is no need as all this stuff is done in the PC.

    Audioasylum PCAudio: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pcaudio/bbs.html
    usually has interesting stuff to say about PC based hifi.

    Adrian
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "momerath" <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com>
    To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
    Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 5:03 PM
    Subject: [slim] audiophile cred


    > Hi,
    >
    > I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
    > I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
    > transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
    > quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
    > trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
    > recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
    > concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
    >
    > well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
    > believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
    > chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
    > all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
    > some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
    > output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
    > cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
    > here.
    >
    >
    > I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
    > contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
    > being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
    > spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
    >
    > The thread can be found here:
    >

    http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin...www6.head-fi.o
    rg/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
    >
    > ~Thanks,
    > Michael
    >

  2. #2
    Robin Bowes
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Emile_Weekes (AT) Dell (DOT) com wrote:
    > Can someone recommend a good DAC for the budget conscious music lover


    Heh, this is the sort of OT stuff the forum weanies love

    I've got an Art DI/O - cheap if you can find one. Also, the M-Audio
    SuperDAc is highly thought of.

    R.
    --
    http://robinbowes.com

  3. #3
    Mark Bennett
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Another DAC which seems quite popular and is reasonably affordable
    (as far as audiophile goes) is the Benchmark DAC-1.

    It works well with the SB, and there are several of us on this list
    using them.

    I'm driving a Meridian G02/G57 balanced pre/power amp feeding Kef
    Reference speakers from mine, and it sounds great.


    On Wed, 2005-02-16 at 20:23 +0000, Robin Bowes wrote:
    > Emile_Weekes (AT) Dell (DOT) com wrote:
    > > Can someone recommend a good DAC for the budget conscious music lover

    >
    > Heh, this is the sort of OT stuff the forum weanies love
    >
    > I've got an Art DI/O - cheap if you can find one. Also, the M-Audio
    > SuperDAc is highly thought of.
    >
    > R.

    --
    "The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that
    was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the
    ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)

  4. #4
    Robin Bowes
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Jason wrote:
    > Unless you have a very good amplifier, excellent speakers and are playing
    > lossless material the benefits of an outboard DAC are going to be marginal
    > at best. The integrated DAC in most newer home theater recievers would
    > sound excellent to 99.9% of users out there.


    True. I did some tests using my DI/O and a modded Perpetual Technologies
    P-3A with P1A Digital Correction engine and neither I nor the owner of
    the P3A/P1A could hear much improvement over the stock Squeezebox and
    either of these DACs on my unmodified stereo (Rotel RA820A, B&W DM610
    speakers). In fact, he preferred the sound of the Squeezebox!

    I've since modded the RA820A (capacitors, preamp opamp, bypassed all
    tone-control circuitry, preamp out) and am using it to drive the HF
    speakers with an RA850 driving the LF speakers. I can now hear a
    difference between the Squeezebox and my DI/O, but it's very subtle -
    there are slight tonal differences, but the main difference is that DI/O
    sounds more musical, refined, smooth, less tiring to listen to (and
    other such audiophile bollocks!).

    So as Jason suggests, unless you're using high-end gear, stick with the
    native Squeezebox analogue out.

    R.
    --
    http://robinbowes.com

  5. #5
    Michael Amster
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Call FullCompass -
    <http://stores.ebay.com/Full-Compass_Workstations-Audio-Video_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZQ2d1QQftidZ2QQtZkm>
    Ask them to beat this price - they often sell the Art DIO for $129. It
    is a great DAC for cheap - there are tons of mods -
    <http://www.siteswithstyle.com/VoltSecond/ART_DIO_MODs/ART_DIO_MODs.html>

    I have a heavily modified one and am working on a from scratch unit that
    cannibalizes the ART DIO digital board...
    Sounds good with the SB - it is a fine transport as is - will update the
    PSU and hardwire the plug - that should be as good as it is worth doing
    for tweaks...

    -MA

    Robin Bowes wrote:

    > Emile_Weekes (AT) Dell (DOT) com wrote:
    >
    >> Can someone recommend a good DAC for the budget conscious music lover

    >
    >
    > Heh, this is the sort of OT stuff the forum weanies love
    >
    > I've got an Art DI/O - cheap if you can find one. Also, the M-Audio
    > SuperDAc is highly thought of.
    >
    > R.

  6. #6
    Robin Bowes
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Michael Amster wrote:
    > I have a heavily modified one and am working on a from scratch unit that
    > cannibalizes the ART DIO digital board...


    Michael,

    How are you getting on with that project? I'm considering doing exactly
    the same thing and would be very interested in learning how you get on.
    I seem to recall form the DIOMods list that you're have difficulty in
    getting it working?

    R.
    --
    http://robinbowes.com

  7. #7
    Michael Amster
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Robin Bowes wrote:

    > Michael Amster wrote:
    >
    >> I have a heavily modified one and am working on a from scratch unit
    >> that cannibalizes the ART DIO digital board...

    >
    >
    > Michael,
    >
    > How are you getting on with that project? I'm considering doing
    > exactly the same thing and would be very interested in learning how
    > you get on. I seem to recall form the DIOMods list that you're have
    > difficulty in getting it working?
    >
    > R.


    Well, yes - I need an oscilloscope and do not own one. I am sure that
    my 3 PSUs are working as designed (+5V digital, +5analog and +-15v
    analog). I am pretty sure that my digital board is getting all the
    right signals, however I have no way to know if it is locking on the
    input signal. I can try swapping in another digital board (I have two -
    one vanilla and one with clipped leads - mistake and modified with
    blackgate caps) to see if it changes things, but so far, no go. One
    thing that does seem to matter is grounding - do not ground your digital
    PSU back to the same ground plane as the analog one. However, other
    than that, I do not know my issue keeping it from being done. I was
    hoping that Jean-Paul Borde would help me out with some suggestions, but
    I am stuck at the moment.

    -MA

  8. #8
    Robin Bowes
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Michael Amster wrote:
    > Well, yes - I need an oscilloscope and do not own one. I am sure that
    > my 3 PSUs are working as designed (+5V digital, +5analog and +-15v
    > analog).


    +5 analog? What's that for? As far as I could see, the DI/O requires +5V
    for the digital board and +/- 15V for the analogue circuitry.

    I am pretty sure that my digital board is getting all the
    > right signals, however I have no way to know if it is locking on the
    > input signal. I can try swapping in another digital board (I have two -
    > one vanilla and one with clipped leads - mistake and modified with
    > blackgate caps) to see if it changes things, but so far, no go. One
    > thing that does seem to matter is grounding - do not ground your digital
    > PSU back to the same ground plane as the analog one. However, other
    > than that, I do not know my issue keeping it from being done. I was
    > hoping that Jean-Paul Borde would help me out with some suggestions, but
    > I am stuck at the moment.


    Well, keep me posted. I'll let you know how I get on, but it's likely to
    be months before I get chance as I'm moving jobs/house at the start of
    March.

    Good luck!

    R.
    --
    http://robinbowes.com

  9. #9
    Michael Amster
    Guest

    audiophile cred

    Robin Bowes wrote:

    > Michael Amster wrote:
    >
    >> Well, yes - I need an oscilloscope and do not own one. I am sure
    >> that my 3 PSUs are working as designed (+5V digital, +5analog and
    >> +-15v analog).

    >
    >
    > +5 analog? What's that for? As far as I could see, the DI/O requires
    > +5V for the digital board and +/- 15V for the analogue circuitry.


    Jean-Paul pointed out that J1-3 is actually an Analogue +5v signal -
    check the thread on the DIO list to which we both subscribe - just look
    for Borde or Amster - you will see an email where he goes through every
    input and tells what he is doing on his project. Hmm. I will try
    wiring it to the same PSU as my digital +5v to see if that is an
    issue....anyway he insists that it makes a big difference in how the
    board sounds - also a big fan of the higher quality bypass caps on the
    digital board - hence my Blackgates (cheap at this size). I will plug
    at it as my wife now thinks the project is an eyesore in our home office

    >
    > I am pretty sure that my digital board is getting all the
    >
    >> right signals, however I have no way to know if it is locking on the
    >> input signal. I can try swapping in another digital board (I have
    >> two - one vanilla and one with clipped leads - mistake and modified
    >> with blackgate caps) to see if it changes things, but so far, no go.
    >> One thing that does seem to matter is grounding - do not ground your
    >> digital PSU back to the same ground plane as the analog one.
    >> However, other than that, I do not know my issue keeping it from
    >> being done. I was hoping that Jean-Paul Borde would help me out with
    >> some suggestions, but I am stuck at the moment.

    >
    >
    > Well, keep me posted. I'll let you know how I get on, but it's likely
    > to be months before I get chance as I'm moving jobs/house at the start
    > of March.
    >
    > Good luck!
    >
    > R.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •