DAC to the Future

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George Hincapie
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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by George Hincapie »

Fretless wrote: Fri Jul 14, 2023 8:34 pm Schiit have released a CD transport 'Urd' that is also a multi-functional USB/SPDIF converter and hub.

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https://www.schiit.com/products/urd

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Features 2 extra USB input sockets and output via USB, coax or AES/EBU.

:think:
I saw this a few days ago and have been mulling it over. A CDT with Unison USB out sounds very interesting.
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Fretless (Sun Jul 16, 2023 5:03 pm)
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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Bencat57 »

Would also suggest that this is worth a look as well I much prefer the top loading mech which has less to go wrong . I also like the half width set up as well but we are all different . The added bonus is this is likely to be cheaper than the Schiit unit .

https://en.shanling.com/article-IntroET3.html
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Fretless (Wed Jul 19, 2023 1:25 pm) • George Hincapie (Wed Jul 19, 2023 5:58 pm)

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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Fretless »

That Shanling looks to be a nice transport. Their CDPs are highly regarded - even RD himself thought they were good.

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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Fretless »

Warning: Geek Content :geek:


Pondering upsampling and the complications of switching between 44.1 and 48 KHZ based sample rates. All PCM-based digtal audio formats make use of one or the other basic rate and multiples thereof:

44.1 goes to 88.2, 176.4, 352.8, 705.6
48 goes to: 96, 192, 384, 768

It is relatively simple in terms of processing to go directly to multiples of the same base-rate. Harder to convert a signal to another base-rate before conversion to an analogue waveform.

I had my Upstairs Volumio PC outputting an upsampled rate of 384 KHz / 24bit into the Sabal A20d DAC, but after playing around with MQA recently, I set it at 352.8 KHz without being conscious about it. Listening yesterday to albums ripped from 44.1KHz CD's I thought that the music suddenly sounded a lot more vivid and 3D, wondered at first if the activation of the internal MQA processing had somehow improved the DAC's performance but then spotted the inadvertant switch from 384 to 352.8.

This then led to a focussed test between the 2 sample rates and differences could certainly be heard between a slightly veiled 384 reproduction and an airier, sharper-detailed 352.8.

Most installations don't give you the option to mess around with upsampling rates so this isn't of much use to many - but for those who can it might be interesting to play around with this to see which settings can get the optimum performance out of your system. The DacMagic in the office is happiest with 192KHz which it then upsamples internally to 384. Will test it to see if an input of 176.4 makes any diffference

Processing power is also a limitation; my Pi2 streamers are comfortable up to about 192KHz, above that they start to struggle. The Volumio PC's with more powerful CPU's are very comfortable with 352.8 and 384 KHz upsampling.

Enough for now.

:ugeek:
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slinger (Tue Aug 01, 2023 12:11 pm) • George Hincapie (Tue Aug 01, 2023 12:25 pm) • Bencat57 (Tue Aug 01, 2023 12:55 pm) • CN211276 (Tue Aug 01, 2023 3:00 pm)

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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Bencat57 »

I can only add that after some advice from one of the engineers at dCS I always switch the output of my Purcell to either 176.4 with 44.1 content or 192 for 48 . it does indeed make a small but noticeable difference and it is very sensible to use the direct multipliers of the source as it makes the chips work much less and in turn this puts less stress and demand on the power supply .
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Fretless (Tue Aug 01, 2023 1:13 pm) • CN211276 (Tue Aug 01, 2023 3:00 pm)

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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by CN211276 »

This would explain why the Msampler sticks to multiples of the base rate. Chord do not provide an explanation to the best of my knowledge.
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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Bencat57 »

Chord use on their upper range models a very different filter type that is not tied to the original frequency in the same way .

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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Fretless »

My Metrum Musette has developed an annoying fault which seems to have crippled the Coax/Toslink inputs. USB still works though. But these things tend to necessitate a DAC-shuffle between setups to get evetything running conveniently.

So then the question 'Do I need a new DAC?' actually becomes 'WHEN do I need a new DAC?' and the answer is - right now!

It's Christmas Sale time at HiFi-Express and the Sabaj A20d 2022 has been heavily discounted - an excellent choice and would fit in well. Looking further, I spotted a low-price unit from SMSL, the M300SE for around 100 Euro.

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Small, USB-powered, MQA-capable (not a plus point these days) and with balanced XLR output. This would be perfect to run with my THX-AAA headphone amp in the office rig, freeing up the DacMagic Plus there to replace the Musette.

Reading comments around the Net, the SMSL M300SE receives praise for its simplicity and sound quality, using a pair of Cirrus Logic's latest audio decoder chip CS43131. Can't go wrong - and it's Christmas!

More when it arrives. :occasion-santa:
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slinger (Wed Dec 20, 2023 1:24 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Grumpytim »

Assuming there is an SMSL house sound then I suspect you'll be quite pleased. I have an old (ancient) in DAC terms sanskript which sounds really good for the price I paid then. Ironically the USB input is as flaky as a tory election promise, but Coax continues to sound wonderful. as DAC's go I find it very easy on the ears and not at all fatiguing.
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Fretless (Wed Dec 20, 2023 2:59 pm)

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Re: DAC to the Future

Unread post by Fretless »

Being at death's door doesn't mean that I don't have time for music, in fact it's one of the few things I can fully enjoy. Tinkering with the small office stereo won't kill me either.

A few days ago a package arrived from China and I have just opened it to have first play with the contents. It is the diminutive SMSL M300se DAC and it's even smaller than I expected. Looks like the casing has been based on the use of 2 chunky XLR output sockets on the back.

Photo - excuse dust and messy wires.

Image

This DAC comes with a nice remote control (won't be trying that yet) and a USB-C cable. That's it. Power is supplied via USB and, as luck would have it, the office setup has a ChiFi USB LPSU already powering the Allo DigiOne SIG. Clean energy, no problem.

Inputs are USB (second socket for data), coax, Toslink and Bluetooth (yuk).
Outputs: line out via XLR and 3.5mm stereo jack (no RCA). Headphone 6mm & 3.5mm on front.

I set the output to 'fixed' (can also be variable preamp mode). Hooked up the THX-AAA headphone amp with XLR and the little Douk monoblock amps via the output jack. Plugged in coax to the streamer and we're off!

As always, cold from the box, there is an initial brittleness in the sound - and a few hours burn-in helps too. But this little device instantly presents itself as a refined and detailed performer. Only €100? At five times the price I would still be impressed.

Anyway I'm going to lie down and be ill for a bit. Let the M300se get some run-in.

Catch y'all later. :sad-fever:

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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