Computer Audio Asylum

Music servers and other computer based digital audio technologies.

Return to Computer Audio Asylum


Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

$14 ESS9018 dac

31.153.113.30

Posted on December 20, 2016 at 01:45:15
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
I bought one just for the hell of it:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ES9018K2M-ES9018-I2S-input-DAC-decoder-board-Support-IIS-32bit-384K-DSD64-K9/222294231834?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D888007%26algo%3DDISC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131227121020%26meid%3D1c7ea95176eb41fab614c12637da2b3c%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D172299789707

Works without fuss with Amanero USB audio board which cost 5 times as much! Ideal for a portable 9V dac.

Doesn't sound as good stock as more expensive dacs but I shall try to improve it.

 

Hide full thread outline!
    ...
Swapped, posted on December 20, 2016 at 05:21:52
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
NE5532 opamp output for dual OPA134 opamps and the thing really sounds decent playing dsd thru 352k 32 bit KS output even though there are two output capacitors. Curiously LM4562s don't sound as good as stock or with the homemade dual opamps.

 

"homemade dual opamps.", posted on December 21, 2016 at 07:45:07
Ugly
Audiophile

Posts: 2584
Location: Des Moines, WA
Joined: August 22, 2006
Tell us more about the home made opamps....

Which USB to I2S converter do you use?

 

RE: "homemade dual opamps.", posted on December 21, 2016 at 09:29:08
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
These are single opamps with offset adjustment to null out dc so that coupling capacitors can be eliminated. They are mounted on a singly dil 8 pin carrier.

The usb board here is the Amanero.

 

RE: "homemade dual opamps.", posted on December 21, 2016 at 16:38:31
sailor321
Audiophile

Posts: 622
Location: maryland
Joined: August 26, 2004
Where can I learn how to make these "homemade opamps"
So it goes.........

 

In 6 months you will get one for the same price with:, posted on December 21, 2016 at 19:34:19
Ric Schultz
Manufacturer

Posts: 749
Joined: August 7, 2000
the new ESS9028 (sounds better). And for $50 you will get one with the new ESS9038 in a year. Fun times ahead!

 

RE: "homemade dual opamps.", posted on December 21, 2016 at 22:42:59
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
First, you need to identify single Dip opamps with offset adjust like opa 132/4 or 627. I don't find 627s nice despite the hype.

Second, you need to be confident with soldering these onto DIL 8 adaptors. It is not difficult to do.

Third, you will need 10/25 turn 100k adjustable resistors to solder onto each opamp.

It's easier if you have an opamp tester to make sure that you have done it right.

Fourth, this will only work if the dc voltage is in the low mV range as the adjustment is limited in range.

If you have large dc offsets, you will need to null this out upstream or use a dc gyrator circuit instead.

You can get DIL adaptors from Brown Dog or from China post free. The latter are good quality and cheaper.

If you are adapt at soldering, you can even 'force' the opamps to operate in Class A, or closer to it.

You need to take precautions by making sure, over days of monitoring, that there is no significant dc shift in your output.

 

RE: "homemade dual opamps.", posted on December 21, 2016 at 23:18:05
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
He's not really making a "homemade opamp". That would require a couple billion dollar investment in a semiconductor fab. He's not even making a discrete opamp from a handful of transistors.

He is simply incorporating a minor tweak to another opamp and placing it on a header adapting it to fit into his existing opamp IC socket. More specifically he is using an opamp with an offset adjustment to null out any DC offset at the output of the opamp. This is typically done with a multi-turn trimpot.

Also, I'm not sure what he means when he says "it's easier if you have an opamp tester". Personally, I've never heard of such a thing. Try Googling it. You -might- find an oddball classroom gadget or hobby toy that fits that description . A good digital multi-meter (DMM) is what most professionals would use.

A representative op-amp block diagram with 100K-Ohm offset adjustment trimpot.


 

Personally, I've never heard of such a thing, posted on December 22, 2016 at 03:54:37
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
This demonstrates all too well your ignorance

 

Please - not another AC/fmak playground spat. PLEASE., posted on December 22, 2016 at 04:24:15
Ryelands
Audiophile

Posts: 1718
Location: Scotland
Joined: January 9, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
March 29, 2017
That would require a couple billion dollar investment in a semiconductor fab.

and so, by definition, wouldn't be home made. I at least took fmak's "homemade" to mean "homebrew" (aka "tweaked") esp after he described the circuit.

Whatever, configuring op-amps so they don't need an output cap is definitely not new. For many years, I used an I/V circuit discussed by Audio Synthesis in HiFi News way back in 1987. It used a voltage reference chip to adjust the -IN of an AD42 op amp and thereby cancel DC offset on its output. IIRC, similar circuits were discussed by Walt Jung and others.

The device did me for ~25 years until I replaced it with a Lampizator SRPP circuit that sounds much better even though the tubes it uses are even older than the AD42 and definitely need output caps. (The TDA1541A chip that has happily driven both devices is now 30-odd years old but is soon to be reconfigured to use "simultaneous" mode courtesy of a spanking new USB board from Audial. Or so I hope.)

D



 

That would require a couple billion dollar investment in a semiconductor fab., posted on December 22, 2016 at 04:49:23
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
This is another ignorant statement. I have just bought two discrete dual opamp replacements for $90. Add another 30 or so, and another circuit board layer can be added to cancel out any offset dc as you alluded to.

It is quite sad that self styled computer geeks simply don't know what they are on about wrt simple electronics, and yet they seem to want to establish web credibility by slighting others.

 

Oppo Sonica DAC with flagship ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC, posted on December 22, 2016 at 05:11:35
RadioWonder
Audiophile

Posts: 1074
Location: Arizona
Joined: March 16, 2003

January 2017... Looks amazing...

 

Interesting, posted on December 22, 2016 at 05:25:43
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
I powered the unit with a convenience SMSL 5/9V box and this sound 'muddy' compared to a 9V Audio GD shunt supply.

The interesting aspect is that there is so much sonic difference even with such a lowly priced item. Looking at the board, decent components are used and I wonder if these are rejects or boards from a cancelled order.

 

GUSTARD DAC-X20U , posted on December 22, 2016 at 05:32:33
RadioWonder
Audiophile

Posts: 1074
Location: Arizona
Joined: March 16, 2003
I like it...

 

RE: GUSTARD DAC-X20U , posted on December 22, 2016 at 05:56:00
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
I shall be buying one in January when I visit China. The other one is the Jemmy Audio DAD 9028 pro with a split power unit, but this doesn't seem to have the filter option programmed in. They have the proper Thyeycon driver with CPL though.

Do you know what the Oppo 9038 targetted price will be?

 

Oppo Sonica DAC, posted on December 22, 2016 at 06:08:16
RadioWonder
Audiophile

Posts: 1074
Location: Arizona
Joined: March 16, 2003
Looks like $799 US...

 

Only thing missing is a U208 XMOS..., posted on December 22, 2016 at 07:05:00
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001

which one could run in external box and deduct the price of the internal USB > I2S card and about break even on the deal.





 

Interesting that it really doesn't replace the HA-1 as I see no headphone jacu in the front..., posted on December 22, 2016 at 07:12:01
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
I didn't care much for the HA-1 as a DAC, all of the things I don't like about Delta Sigma DAC aplified.

That said, the balanced headphone amp that was part of the box was SO good that I forgot how much I didn't like the DAC, at least when I used it as a DAC/Balanced Headphone Amp.







 

Fmak is BACK!!!, posted on December 22, 2016 at 07:33:32
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
Welcome back, Fred.

We missed you!




 

Do you dislike DSD or Delta-Sigma, or both?, posted on December 22, 2016 at 08:37:28
oldmkvi
Audiophile

Posts: 6656
Joined: April 12, 2002
I just don't get why people don't like DSD.
To quote Multi-Ch people, if you don't don't like it. you haven't heard it done right.
I can't imagine anything better than my Sony Z1 in "Full Sony Mode,"
that is DSEE, Precision Upsampling and Remastering Engine.
So much better than Mytek and Lampiztor, Marants 8005, Exasound E22, Korg D100 that I've had here.

The new Marantz "10" ($7000!!!) has their own version called Marantz Musical Mastering.
PS Audio high end stuff is DSD 10x, but I guess isn't Delta Sigma, and also out of my price range.

 

I've heard good sounding DSD DACs..., posted on December 22, 2016 at 09:08:22
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001

PSAudio Direct Stream comes to mind.

Overall, I prefer R-R ladder DACs such as the Audio Note, Audio-GD, etc.

I have found most (but certainly not all) Delta Sigma DACs to be a bit to 'detailed' for my taste but..

I'm an old vinyl guy who prefers the sound of vinyl, tubes and horns to more modern 'hi-fi' gear such as digital, solid state and 'cones and domes'.

And I sure wish I had the $50 grand for a new Trinity DAC pictured above!

16 each PCM1704U-K.

I only have 8 in my Audio-GD Master 7. :-(




 

RE: I've heard good sounding DSD DACs..., posted on December 22, 2016 at 09:28:10
oldmkvi
Audiophile

Posts: 6656
Joined: April 12, 2002
Interesting that you said "too detailed."
Some have said it's too rounded, or "sanded."

 

In and of itself, DSD is clearly superior to PCM..., posted on December 22, 2016 at 10:00:12
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
DSD is easier to decode, but unless you are recording in DSD and do not convert to PCM to edit, there is little benefit.

PSAudio converts PCM to DSD within the box, HDTracks appears to do the same in software, albeit inside of a necessarily noisy computer?

If ever I decide to get into DSD I likely with either wait until King Wa at Audio-GD tackles the new ESS9028, as he must as he is running out of PCM1704U-Ks, or the new GUSTARD X20U PRO. The only reason I would consider such a thing is if I decided to use software like HDTrancks to convert PCM to DSD. I don't anticipate ever becoming a heavy user of the Hi Rez downloading services.












 

We'll have to see about that. I'm anxious to hear one, posted on December 22, 2016 at 10:21:41
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
"The new OPPO Sonica DAC improves upon the highly regarded audio performance of OPPO HA-1.... etc."

We can hope! I am looking forward to hearing this DAC.

I owned the OPPO HA-1 and I know of another inmate here who has (or had) one. I was very impressed with it's feature set and convenience of use. Unfortunately, to my ears it sounded a little clinical and sort of 'thin' in the lower mids. I used it primarily as a USB DAC in my music server setup where I've had many other DACs.... many others that I preferred over the OPPO HA-1. I sold the OPPO in fairly short order.

I still contend that while the DAC chip itself is important it is really up to the designer to focus great attention on the filtering, analog stage, and how the DAC is 'voiced' overall. I'll take a "lesser" DAC chip any day if the DAC itself sounds great! I don't get overly excited with new DAC chip of the month announcements.

Some marketing spin on OPPO's HA-1 from their website:
"The SABRE32 Reference ES9018 from ESS Technology is the world's best performing 32-bit audio DAC solution targeted for high-end consumer applications and professional studio equipment. With the ESS patented 32-bit Hyperstreamâ„¢ DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the SABRE32 Reference DAC delivers an unprecedented DNR (Dynamic Range) of up to 135dB and THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise) of -120dB, the industry's highest performance level that will satisfy even the most demanding audio enthusiast."

Blah blah, blah blah blah!

Too bad the HA-1 DAC didn't sound so great, IMHO. My PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC uses ESS Sabre32 Hyperstream technology but it sounds so much better. My Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC and even the previous gen PS Audio DAC that used an older Burr-Brown chip were better sounding than the OPPO HA-1.

I have high hopes for the Sonica DAC and plan to try one.


 

RE: Personally, I've never heard of such a thing, posted on December 22, 2016 at 12:30:18
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
Please show me an "opamp tester". I have never seen one, really. I've always used a quality bench DMM and oscilloscope. What brands of "opamp testers" are out there and how much do they cost?



 

RE: Interesting that it really doesn't replace the HA-1 as I see no headphone jacu in the front..., posted on December 22, 2016 at 14:33:55
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
I'm not convinced that you dislike Delta Sigma DACs. Yes, we both owned the OPPO HA-1 and as DACs go, I wasn't very impressed. BUT... I have owned other Delta Sigma DACs that sound wonderful! You should try one that sounds wonderful like I have. ;-)






 

RE: Oppo Sonica DAC, posted on December 22, 2016 at 18:47:37
Ric Schultz
Manufacturer

Posts: 749
Joined: August 7, 2000
Oppo is not a tweak company....that is, they do not listen critically to their components. They give greater features and value and basic sound/picture quality than anything at their price point. But they do not really know how to make something sound "musical". They use not great sounding output stages, clocks, electrolytic caps, resistors, diodes, have undamped parts, etc., etc. However, most of these things can be changed and upgraded so a modded Oppo sounds nothing like a stock one. The stock Oppo sound is dry, grainy, compressed and missing lower midrange energy. Every stock Oppo sounds this way (I have heard them all except the headphone amp). When modified they can sound outrageous with way bigger soundstage, more air, more liquid, more dynamic, more warm, etc. etc....better in every way. The Sonica DAC will no doubt give the best combination of features and performance for the money but its audio sound will still be stock Oppo (well, I would like to be wrong here....we shall see).

The new ESS DACs are outrageously good. And they have 7 possible digital filter options. If Oppo does not give you the option to choose the digital filter this is really not good! Also the Oppo will only do DSD256 via usb and the really hot thing is using HQplayer in a high powered Windows 10 machine and upsampling all music to DSD512. The $900 Gustard X20U pro DAC (that also allows you to pick any of the 7 digital filters) can take DSD512 via I2S and early next year Singxer is releasing a gadget that will pass DSD512 via I2S allowing all Gustard owners to hear the glory of upsampled DSD512.

 

RE: "the really hot thing is using HQplayer in a high powered Windows 10 machine..., posted on December 22, 2016 at 21:18:28
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
and upsampling all music to DSD512"

I take it that's not something one can easily do with the OS-X version of the HQPlayer and a MacBook Pro? Even a new one with a fast processor and a Radeon Pro graphics chip to offload some of the calculations to?

Dang! Back to Windows again. :-(





 

I'm not convinced that you dislike Delta Sigma DACs, posted on December 22, 2016 at 21:48:11
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
It is not up to you to be convinced; the guy says so.

If you cannot accept what others say, do not pollute threads here.

Your post also betrays the character of your pointless posts.

 

RE: Personally, I've never heard of such a thing, posted on December 22, 2016 at 21:50:39
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
If you'd asked nicely, I would have explained.

The nature of your posts is such that I won't have a conversation with you.

 

RE: "the really hot thing is using HQplayer in a high powered Windows 10 machine..., posted on December 23, 2016 at 06:20:41
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002

In case you weren't be sarcastic, HQPlayer works great on Mac.

 

Have you tried upsampling to DSD 512?, posted on December 23, 2016 at 06:55:23
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
If that works DSD 512) on a Mac Mini I might be tempted to try a DSD DAC.





 

Thanks for coming to my defense, Fred..., posted on December 23, 2016 at 07:45:04
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
That said, it may well be that what I don't like about Delta Sigma DACs may be implementation rather than the actual Delta Sigma DAC itself.

That's why I am most interested in early reports of the ESS9028.

Regards DSD, having heard native DSD files (Channel Classics, no PCM conversions in the chain) played back on really good (expensive) gear, I know what DSD is capable of.

All of this fuss about up-sampling PCM to higher DSD (256-512?) has me curious and the new GUSTARD DAC-X20U PRO at $800 with I2S input (no USB card) sounds interesting.





 

RE: I'm not convinced that you dislike Delta Sigma DACs, posted on December 23, 2016 at 08:44:26
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002

You obviously missed or did not comprehend the smiley face and the humorous tone of my post to Ivan.

I really don't care what type of DAC chip you or anyone else says they like or dislike. Everyone has their own preferences.


 

It was no problem to get 4X DSD on Exa E22 on my IMac., posted on December 23, 2016 at 09:52:40
oldmkvi
Audiophile

Posts: 6656
Joined: April 12, 2002
Korg states that a 3.2 GH Processor or better is needed for on the fly conversion to DSD 2x.
Mine is 3.2, no glitches with 4x.

 

RE: Have you tried upsampling to DSD 512?, posted on December 23, 2016 at 09:56:38
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
It doesn't hurt to try but I have gone up to DSD 128 only.

I do not dislike DSD but there's hardly anything out there that is truly DSD from beginning to end. Of the DSD music that I have heard (files and SACD), my preference is hi-res PCM. 99% of my music is PCM and I'm not inclined to re-purchase it in DSD. And when I upsample / convert what I have to DSD, yes it tends to 'smooth things out' but to my ears it borders on artificial. Just my preference for hi-res PCM I suppose.

 

RE: I've heard good sounding DSD DACs..., posted on December 23, 2016 at 10:18:36
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002

To my ears some DSD sounds almost as if the music were sanded and polished with very fine grit sandpaper. ;-) Sometimes it sounds unnaturally smooth.




 

Yes, you've said that many times, but it's not a great review of, posted on December 23, 2016 at 10:21:03
oldmkvi
Audiophile

Posts: 6656
Joined: April 12, 2002
your PS Audio Nu Wave DSD Dac!
If the up sampled DSD sounds artificial to you, why not get one of those PCM R to R Dacs?
Ahendler has one, can't think of the name, he swears by it.
I recently directly compared my Mytek 192/DSD, Lampizator Euforia DSD only, and Sony Z1.
The Sony was SO much better, sounded "Right" where the others didn't, not really even close, to me.
I would be smiling when the Sony was on, frowning when the other 2 were...
My Marantz UD 7007 was (is) in the shop, so it cleared some room to do the comparison on my Den System.
Native or Upsampled, it's great, at DSD 128.

 

OK, you need to back up a bit...., posted on December 23, 2016 at 11:25:23
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
The discussion here is about DSD at high sample rates. The argument, and you are free to disagree, is that PCM converted/upsampled to high sample rate DSD before being converted to analog sounds BETTER.

Again, you are free to disagree. PSAudio, the maker of your DAC seems to think so as that's what they are doing in their DirectStream DAC as the upsample everything to 10x DSD before down-sampling back to DSD 128 for conversion to analog?

The makers of HQPlayer software seem to think that as they allow one to take PCM and convert it to high rate DSD (up to 512?) and send it to your suitable equipped DAC for conversion to analog.

Have you tried that? Does your DAC do DSD 256 or 512? My guess is not.

So we will have to wait and see, I guess.







 

Alan has the same DAC as I have, Audio-GD Master 7..., posted on December 23, 2016 at 11:27:52
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
But who knows what HQPlayer upsamping PCM to DSD 512 would sound like with a suitable DAC to convert said stream to analog?

Not me.





 

No, you have it all wrong...., posted on December 23, 2016 at 12:45:39
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002

My PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC does not convert to DSD.

From the Stereophile Review (and it's also on the PS Audio website):

..." the NuWave DSD and the DirectStream are very different DACs. The NuWave DSD does not convert incoming signals to DSD. It does use a dedicated DAC chip (a Sabre32 Hyperstream, from ESS Technology). And while the NuWave does employ a programmable........ Both DACs use passive filtering at the output...."

Yes, I know how much you love your Sony. I returned mine not because of it's sound but because I disliked it's constraining software and somewhat clunky (IMHO) user interface and control App on the tablet. But I've grown to expect the flexibility of a computer based system. Just me perhaps.



 

RE: OK, you need to back up a bit...., posted on December 23, 2016 at 12:49:44
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002

No, I have not tried DSD 512 and I'm probably not going to. I am perfectly happy with my 24/96 PCM. Besides, I'm waiting for MQA - the new flavor of the year to be widely adopted !!



 

RE: "My PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC does not convert to DSD.", posted on December 23, 2016 at 15:05:02
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
But HQPlayer does, which is where this part of the thread started.

But, for some reason, that does not sound good to you on your PSAudio New Wave DAC. Who knows why?

In the $2000 price range the Audio-GD Master 7 does it for me. All those Burr Brown PCM1704U-K's ladder DACing along in parallel just seem to sound right to me.

That does NOT mean that HQPlayer up-sampling those PCM files would not sound good with a new ESS9028 based DAC, especially if up-sampled to DSD 512.

Depending on how much the soon-to-be-announced Singxer SU-1 XMOS XU208 USB Digital interface capable of 512 DSD costs(current model is less that $400), it plus the new GUSTARD without USB (currently $800) might be a reasonably priced alternative.

IF I don't have to buy a new Windows 10 box to use HQPlayer at DSD 512, of course. =:-0





 

RE: "My PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC does not convert to DSD.", posted on December 23, 2016 at 15:17:57
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
But HQPlayer does, which is where this part of the thread started.

Yes, but I was asked about the NuWave DSD so I replied and corrected oldmkvi's misunderstanding of this DAC.

But, for some reason, that does not sound good to you on your PSAudio New Wave DAC.

I never said it does not sound good. I said I prefer hi-res PCM 24/96 to DSD, and this has nothing to do with my PS Audio DAC as I have listened to DSD on other DACs and other systems.

This circles around to my other comment that I believe the overall DAC design and 'voicing' are more important than which new whiz bang DAC chip of the month is used. I've heard ESS Sabre based DACs that sound like crap and others that sound wonderful! Go figure.... Oh, I already did. It's not the DAC chip, it's the implementation skill in the hands of a good audio designer. ;-)



 

"2.6GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz)", posted on December 23, 2016 at 16:22:50
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
Headless Mac Mini with nothing else running and 16GB RAM.

Wish me luck!





 

RE: "2.6GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz)", posted on December 23, 2016 at 16:40:46
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
I could be wrong but I think Mac OS X is suitable up to DSD 128. If I'm not mistaken what oldmkvi has is a DAC with proprietary Mac OS driver able to get his DAC beyond DSD 128. There are pluses and minuses to this approach. The plus is obvious if you want greater than DSD 128. The minus is that you're at the mercy of the DAC company to provide updated drivers as Mac OS is updated possibly not supporting older drivers. The other potential problem is attaching this DAC to a Linux based streamer. Does Exa make a Linux driver? Does the streamer manufacturer support that driver or do they allow the end-user to install the driver?

The other challenge with your Mac, or any laptop w/o nVidia graphics, is that you will not be able to use CUDA GPU offload which HQPlayer supports. That doesn't mean you cannot use HQPlayer, it just means your CPU utilization will higher than that of a PC/Mac with nVidia graphics and HQPlayer GPU offload enabled. No big deal unless you do some heavy duty sample rate conversion that taxes the CPU.

Let us know if you are able to get beyond DSD 128. I'd be real curious about this as my knowledge about the above is not 100% but I have my suspicions. What DAC will you be using?

Mercman (Steve) has lots of experience with this on PC and Mac.




 

We were just speculating on the use of the new GUSTARD DAC-X20U...., posted on December 23, 2016 at 19:25:11
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
Which claims support for native DSD 512 via I2S via HDMI cable.

Right now I know of no way to interface a laptop USB to I2S at those rates but I have plans to purchase a Singxer SU-1 XMOS XU208 box anyway as it is supposed to be a superior USB interface, much better than the AMANERO USB card currently internal to my DAC which has I2S via HDMI input anyway.

I've heard the Singxer pcb card in a small box with the new XU208 chip in another system driven by a uRendu and the owner is very happy with it.

It only goes to DSD 256 but there are indications that may change early next year.

The idea of upsampling to DSD 512 in software and streaming to a DAC capable of dealing with that would be interesting, if one could do it for less than $1500, the price of the GUSTARD DAC and the Singxer box.

Add a Windows 10 computer with a high end graphics card and suddenly I am losing interest.

Seem to recall that older MacBook Pro had a discrete nVidia graphics option?






 

RE: Thanks for coming to my defense, Fred..., posted on December 24, 2016 at 05:53:28
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
It is not a question of defense but internet manners in which one should accept at face value what is said. Any disagreement should be up for discussion and not for posters who feel that they are so 'expert' that they 'lord' over everyone else's views.

In this case, the poster knows essetially very little about good audio practice based on knowledge and not on assumptions, right or wrong.

Wrt Gustard X20 Pro, there is no reason to assume that the Singxer would be better. The Gustard has the U8 chip (8 Core) and uses Accusilicon XOs which have very low phse noise when you compare these with the ones in the SU1. There is also iolation built in as in the SU1, although sonically this can be good or not so good. So, for you dollars, you may as well start with the Gustard with the USB board.

 

All true, but the USB to I2S card in the Gustard X20 Pro..., posted on December 24, 2016 at 07:19:21
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
while likely better than the AMANERO in my current DAC, still does not convert USB to I2S at DSD 512, which is one of the discussion points in this thread. Those who have upgraded from the AMANERO to the Singxer card think it's a big step up even at PCM 24/96. If my current residence had a decent place to work, I'd try slapping the Singxer card into one of my Audio-GD DACs first.

Regards DSD 512, neither does the Singxer box at this point, maybe soon.

For the $$ the GUSTARD seems a bargain, without without the USB card.



 

XMOS v Amanero, posted on December 24, 2016 at 07:58:18
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12754
Joined: June 1, 2002
They are quite different devices. XMOS relies on Thyescon TUSB drivers which are customised and updated frequently. Most devices omit the essential elements in the driver ie TUSB Control Panel and TUSB Spy. The former allows for things like Latency to be varied, allowing for minimal buffers. I guess that many customisations use the safe or nearer safe setting, which doesn't to me sound as good. TUSB Spy allows for the monitoring of usb errors which can be seen in some systems. Many Chinese XMOS cards come with up to date drivers but do not contain the CPL and monitoring features. Many other XMOS implementations use 1.6x drivers whereas the latest is 3.34 . The newest drivers do sound better.

Amanero is a different beast. It has a stable driver set from 2013, aimed at accessing the KS mode. Manufacturers who use it have add ASIO drivers to some devices. Curiously they cost more from China than XMOS devices.

The two cards sound different but I would'nt say which is better. It all depends on the setup and peripherals. DSD via KS at 352.8k 24/32 bit actually sounds very good using a good filter using either hardware.

A majot reason why usb cards sound different lies in the quality of USB to I2S conversion where 44.1 x and 48 x related frequencies have to be generated by XOs. It is the qulity and implementation of these which matter.

 

RE: We were just speculating on the use of the new GUSTARD DAC-X20U...., posted on December 24, 2016 at 10:22:29
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 28424
Location: USA
Joined: June 22, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
February 2, 2002
It only goes to DSD 256 but there are indications that may change early next year.

My PS Audio can do DSD over HDMI I2S but limited to DSD128.

The idea of upsampling to DSD 512 in software and streaming to a DAC capable of dealing with that would be interesting, if one could do it for less than $1500, the price of the GUSTARD DAC and the Singxer box.

Interesting yes, but worthwhile? I guess you'll find out if you go that route.

Add a Windows 10 computer with a high end graphics card and suddenly I am losing interest.

You don't NEED the high-end graphics but HQPlayer can be CPU intensive. In simple terms HQPlayer can shift much of the processing load to nVidia graphics cards because HQPlayer was written using the CUDA API to take advantage of certain nVidia GPU cards if present.

HQPlayer is definitely fun to play with. I found it interesting to observe HQPlayer's CPU utilization doing different sample rate conversions. Some were fairly modest while others really taxed the CPU. That was on my Mac Mini 2.6GHz i7 Quad-Core with 16GB RAM.

Oh, and if you do decide to get a Windows PC at some point, an old one may not be the bargain you think it is. Newer CPU's, even in our tiny Mac Mini's, can out perform huge PC workstations that are only a few years old.

This was a comparison I did a while back of an inmate's eBay 39-Lb. Dell T5500 workstation that he was very excited about. It is slower than my 4 year old 2.6-Lb. Mac Mini in terms of CPU performance.

Seem to recall that older MacBook Pro had a discrete nVidia graphics option?

Some did, but like many older computers they also had slower CPUs, slower memory, slower graphics cards, and overall slower internal architecture. Probably not worth the investment going that route if you want GPU performance. If you want nVidia graphics you will likely want a decent PC after all - must have x16 PCIe slot and aux power to support power hungry high-end GPUs - or get a "gaming laptop" similar to the one Mercman has, but it must have nVidia graphics to support HQPlayer GPU offload. I would not waste money on an old noisy PC that starts out being slower than your present 2.6-Lb. Mac Mini.

As an aside, you may have seen the webpage linked below from Mojo Audio. It's an interesting read on DSD, PCM, and R2R DACs.




 

RE: We were just speculating on the use of the new GUSTARD DAC-X20U...., posted on December 24, 2016 at 11:45:07
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 35578
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
2.6GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) w/ 16GB RAM is all I have going in my current production Mac Mini.

I doubt it would be able to deal with up-sampling PCM to DSD 512.





 

Page processed in 0.035 seconds.