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|Model:||DIP Upsampler 48/96|
|Suggested Retail Price:||$299.00|
|Description:||Upsamping digital converter with jitter reduction|
|Manufacturer URL:||Monarchy Audio|
|Review by Dynaudio_Rules (A) on January 11, 2007 at 09:19:24|
IP Address: 184.108.40.206
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for the DIP Upsampler 48/96
For this review I am using an Adcom GCD700 CDP as the digital front end, the CDP is sitting on Black Diamond Racing Cones and has an upgraded power cord.
Digital cables are all AudioQuest VDM1 s/pdif out to the DIP AudioQuest Raven AES/EBU out to a Berhinger DEQ 2496 DAC/Digital EQ.
Associated equiptment and cables are:
Anthem Pre-2L pre-amp with Mullard 6922 NOS tubes and an AudioQuest NRG2 power cord.
Aragon 8008BB amp with an NRG2 power cord and Dynaudio Audience 82 speakers.
Analog cables are AudioQuest King Cobra, speaker cables are AudioQuest Gibraltar.
After about a few days with this product listening with it in place and without it I find that it does give a certain smoothness to the sound at all frequency levels. With the jumpers in place for 48 bit sampling the sound is very mellow almost tube like, seeing that My Anthem preamp is only slightly such. Having the DIP set to 48 a very noticable tubey character appeared with wasn't bad at all.... I placed the jumpers to the 96 bit position which really seemed to increase the level of detail and small micro-dynamics in the music. What was also very noticable was the blackness in the background while the music was playing, you hear only the music and nothing in between, the seperation of notes becomes very clear, vocals appear like ghosts without warning or any signs of their retreat. The layers front to back becomes more noticable too as the back up vocalist sound more distant but still clearly heard.
All in all, I like the DIP 48/96 it delivers on the goods at a modest price tag.
|Product Weakness:||switching from 48 to 96 requires taking the cover off|
|Product Strengths:||Size, cost, smooths out the music and provides good upsampling|
|Associated Equipment for this Review:|
|Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):||see review|
|Sources (CDP/Turntable):||see review|
|Music Used (Genre/Selections):||jazz, vocals, guitar|
|Type of Audition/Review:||Product Owner|
Although in some relative cases, products with asynchronous sample-rate conversion (ASRC- aka "24/96 upsampling" for CD playback) come out smelling like a rose, it does not diminish the fact that it is a "technology" without sound technical basis for improving the fidelity of digital playback.
The really nasty aspect of ASRC is people are often impressed in first listening. I was impressed with a Toshiba player this way. But after a while, what the brain initially perceives as "resolution" is in actuality a band of HF noise. Which I personally find **very** fatiguing.
The link is the nuts and bolts on how this noise is generated. It's basically conversion of frequency variations (jitter) into amplitude variations (noise).
And after all this, if you really like it over the long term, with all the facts laid out, no problem. I just think it's created a new wave of mass audiophile dissatisfaction, which many don't realize the root cause.
Interesting, you have planted a seed of doubt which will undoubtedly grow, fueled by my already suspecious nature.
I will do some extended listening sessions with some CD's that I am very familiar with and submit a subjective follow up.
I kind of felt weird responding to your review, after seeing your DIP query. (People often take such comments personally, which is never my intention.) I didn't realize you referred to the "upsampling" version as opposed to the original "reclocking" version, which I am familiar with. I don't use it due to added RFI, but looking back, it was one of few intermediate processors that seemed to work as advertised.
It would be nice if the DIP had a synchronous mode, where the rate was 88.2 kHz.
I use the non-upsampling reclocking models and they do work as advertised. I am not sure what you mean though when you state "I don't use it due to added RFI". The Monarchy DIPs circuitry is isolated by transformers, which also prevents the power supply of the DIP from creating a new source of jitter. Do you mean RFI from having more cables?
Follow up as promised...
I listened to the DIP once more for a few hours at length, comparing it to the Behringer SRC2496 today. I still stand by my first assessment of the DIP, it did smooth out the sound quite a bit coming from my Adcom GCD700. And I do like it very much. But compared to the Behringer it was a little sub-par. The vocals on the Behringer were much fuller and the sound on the whole seemed more natural with the Behringer SRC2496.
I tried to be as specific as I could when I reviewed the Behringer and was totally subjective....well mostly subjective.
I think the premise, the DIP upsamples a cd to 24/96 is incorrect and this is why. I have a 24/96 DIP and when I play a CD into it and run its output to my MSB Platinum DAC it upsamples to 176 for cd's. Right now it's playing the dippies feed and reading 176.
When when a classic DAD which plays 24/96 native, is feed to the dippie, the Plat DAC reads 192, the level it has upsampled to.
It take this to mean that the dippie is not asyncronous. And why should it be. It would be far more complex to implement than simple doubling, and as TK points out, would likely sound worse.
There are three models of DIP. Your 24/96 is a pure jitter reduction box. The 24/96 means it can allow 24bit 96KHz to go through. This DIP also allow multi-channel to go through.
The 48/96 upsampler in this review does change the sampling rate and output either as 48 or 96. There is an internal setting to change the output sampling rate.
There is a DIP Classic whose output sampling rate is 44.1
"Your 24/96 is a pure jitter reduction box."
This is not the upsampling model so I don't think it is using ASRC of any kind, just reclocking and signal boosting. For the upsampling model you may be right. There are 2 non-upsampling models from Monarchy though.
would that be the case with every anti-jitter box....it just changes the jitter into noise....is that the only thing you can do with jitter?
Nope, ASRC (Asynchronous Sample Rate Conversion) converts jitter into noise in the data, other forms of jitter reduction don't convert jitter into noise, they filter the jitter. Whether a particular DAC will sound better with filtered jitter or with the noise from ASRC is a personal preference. Despite my personal misgivings about ASRC my modded Perp Tech P-3A sounds pretty darn good as, I'm sure, do plenty of other ASRC DACs.
So how do you know if it uses one or the other?
I'm staying out of that part :)
You can only tell by asking a reputable source or looking up the chips used and seeing how they are wired into the circuit board. You can guess if they take in 16/44.1 (Redbook) and output 24/96 or 24/192 it's probably ASRC, if they take in 44.1 and output 88.2 or 176.4 it may be SSRC.
The info on this thread is too ambiguous for me to take a guess.
Thanks a lot for this discussion...
Did it replace a non up sampler jitter device? The test would be more definitive if it di since a standard de-jitter device should also improve the sonics without up sampling.
As to explain in what way the 24/96 improved your GDA700?
I have a GDA 700 as well.
FYI, on the GCD700 you may want to change your power cord and dampen the laser assy...changing the power cord takes away a lot of digital harsh sound. BTW the Black Diamond Racing Cones really makes the low end fuller...IMO [I am skeptical as to how].
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