Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
In Reply to: RE: This is PC audio? posted by fmak on June 29, 2017 at 22:16:19
"Holy crap! I'd plugged in nine devices just to get my file to the DAC. But I had to admit that the sound and musical connection this Rube Goldberg playback chain provided was immensely better than what was possible with a laptop or even most dedicated servers connected directly to the DAC."
Interesting review. Sounds like this could be a good DAC although I'm not sure how "transformational" it is. Good to have acknowledgement that "hi-res" is not all that it's sold to be over the years.
Now as for the "9 devices". I wonder what the designer thinks about this. Regardless of whether those devices do anything of benefit, I don't see why the company and the designer of the DAC would be impressed with reviews that attached all that stuff in front of it.
If the review is positive, the readership might be put off because there's the impression that those doohickeys may be "needed" to make it sound good, and that perhaps the DAC's digital input is somehow not good enough to be linked up directly.
If the review has negative comments, then the astute readership again doesn't know if maybe there could be incompatibilities with that "Rube Goldberg Machine". Alternatively the negative comments could be construed directly as evidence that the DAC is poor; but what if it really was because of the reviewer's bizarre set-up?
IMO, unless there is evidence that putting ANYTHING in front of a DAC makes a difference and can be accounted for (or if the manufacturer believes a specific device is recommended), I see no benefit for reviewers to get fancy. Putting too many variables into the mix simply weakens the opinion; especially when just based on subjective opinions with no clear objective context.
Archimago's Musings: A 'more objective' audiophile blog.
There is some interesting descriptions by the designer of how the dac works and many measurements underpinning the claims.
I suspect that the dac is limited by the XMOS board that Chinese manufacturers use, without including the Theyscon CPL's full features (ie latency adjustment), and by the lesser clocks (X)s) that some of them use in converting the usb stream into good I2S streams. Hence some of the 9 'things'.
I'd like to listen to one, if only because the compensation scheme must add additional processing in the dac's operation and because of the innovative approach toward R2R operation.
Maybe there is a difference, maybe there isn't. I would just like to see if someone can demonstrate objectively what improvement *any* of these USB optimizations will have on a good modern asynchronous USB DAC.
Does it affect XMOS microcontrollers? How about the inexpensive Microchip devices? CMedia?
There are so many "possible" effects but as yet, there is no fact-based objective demonstration at all that this whole "industry" of USB add-ons make a whiff of difference... Much less a reviewer chaining 9 of them together somehow should be used with the product; all the while potentially making the USB transmission *worse* just as much as they could improve something.
Archimago's Musings : A 'more objective' audiophile blog.
as is in the case of community noise and noise and vibration rating and classification. There is no rigid objective means of determination, just guidelines and empirical data.
Objective measurements in audio are useful only for screening purposes and gear that measures well may not sound good. Those who cannot discern differences are just groups of individuals who cannot detect subtle or very subtle changes in temporal and special renditions of musical performances.
One so called 'objective' and well known criterion is the Fletcher and Munson loudness contours which were obtained by playing sine waves at different frequencies to audiences. Common sense tells us that no one would willingly listen to sine waves in musical reproduction.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: