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In Reply to: RE: Phase or Filter? posted by knewton on March 03, 2017 at 09:46:10
Well, it just could be that the two (probably both single bit implementations, but from different eras) have a different digital filter and some DACs give you a choice (but I have none and do wonder whether I really need a DAC that will give me that flexibility).
Or, it could be something else? The phase, possibly. The headphone amplifier, well, maybe, and I've noticed that when I switch cables, I may prefer one headphone amplifier over another. Could be phase again.
Damn, I need a pre-amp that will allow me to select phase, then.
Anyway, the difference between the two setups I have now is pretty stark, that I won't listen to the CD played back on the wrong setup. It is that different. I will utterly enjoy the listening session with the right playback setup.
Okay, I think I understand what you are asking. As fmak said, both the absolute phase (waveform polarity) and the digital interpolation filter settings make an audible difference. What's disconcerting about multiple digital filter setting options is that while they each change the chracter of the sound, often, no one setting sounds consistently more right across the majority of CDs, which, I believe, was one of your points. I hear sound character trade-offs between slow and sharp filter settings. Gain some desirable aspect of sound character by switching to one setting, but then also lose some other desireable aspect of sound character.
That would really irk me if one filter setting would only improve certain aspects of playback while another filter setting would change other aspects and I couldn't decide which I liked better. I'm sure I must have recordings that will give me exactly those ambiguous results. Sometimes, none of them sound good and it is time to do something else.
It is remarkable that the Diana Krall sounds better on your Sony ES (older player) vs the newer DAC? This is a testament to the build/sound quality of Sony ES components.
I have a love/hate relationship with that player. It has only sounded good to me during the last year or so, basically, soon after I purchased an outboard DAC. I attribute most of the benefit to our electric company improving something. The other improvement is that I purchased a nice coaxial digital cable and it prefers being loaded with a cable to a DAC, even when not using the DAC. Then, I had the balanced out switches in the wrong position for the longest time (because I use to have balanced interconnect a long time ago, but gave up on them because the rest of my equipment was not up to the task).
This is why I've been a vinyl LP guy for so long now ;-)
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