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TheAudiophile

Anyone who dismisses a better DAC as non-essential is incorrect.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Sure I agree with you but those types of people probably don't even read the audio forum. I'll go ahead and clear up that I'm speaking to audio enthusiasts.


PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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Ok time to chime in with my thoughts about DACs are stuff

Dont want to read spoiler: If you own a motherboard with a dedicated sound output section, you do not need to upgrade you DAC unless you are already content with everything else in your system, it should be the LAST thing you upgrade
 

Spoiler

 

If you own a motherboard that does not have some sort of special dedicated DAC onboard you will most likely hear a difference even with the cheapest of decent DACs, HiFiMeDIY for example

 

I own an Asus Z87I, not a low end motherboard but does not have any special sound output section and the difference between onboard and the above DAC listed was minimal but noticeable. My brother has the cheapest foxconn motherboard we could find, it was about £27 and the difference was very noticeable, night and day difference.

Now when I compared this cheap end DAC to my flatmates recent Z97 motherboard, not super high end but had a dedicated sound section on the motherboard I could still hear a difference, but in this case the motherboard was better imo, very slight but better. It had a cleaner sound which surprised me very much.

I have tested this with my current 3 different sets of speakers + amps (KEF Q300 + Denon PMA50 / Wharfdale 9.1 + 30 year old Technics amp / B&W 685 S2 + Cambridge Audio ??) as well as two different headphones (Philips X2 / Kingston Hyper X)

Now to add to this, my father went out and purchased a pretty expensive DAC (Dragonfly V2) and did a comparison with my flatmates motherboard output and the Dragonfly with his B&W 685 S2 to not really hear much of a difference at all. Maybe it will be more apparent with headphones but there are so many other things I would spend money on than a DAC, espically if you're using speakers, the room you'rein will make 50% of the difference

 

 


 

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8 minutes ago, TheAudiophile said:

Ah, now there's an actual post.

 

If you're going to be a condescending dick, I won't waste effort describing anything.

 

1 minute ago, TheAudiophile said:

Sure I agree with you but those types of people probably don't even read the audio forum. I'll go ahead and clear up that I'm speaking to audio enthusiasts.

 

You're wrong, because you are new here and have no experience within this subforum. In fact the majority of traffic is people who don't know much about audio and can't decide whether they should get a Hyper X Cloud or M50X. Let's be perfectly honest; LTT is a backwater among backwater audio discussion boards.

 

As for "audio enthusiasts", guess what: we're them. Yes, the Evil DAC Skeptics.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Condescension breeds condescension.

 

Also, you few don't represent all audio enthusiasts on this board. There are a few people who have PMed me for advice since starting this thread.

 


PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Your post was good, havoc. I dont think it should be last with prices as low as they are, but I liked your testing.


PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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10 hours ago, TheAudiophile said:

Have you never gotten a new and better audio component and experienced hearing things you've never heard before?

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xcs4398+kit.TRS0&_nkw=cs4398+kit&_sacat=0

 

Any of those will work. I would suggest replacing the main power capacitors with Nichicon MUSE KZ, the other electrolytics with Sanyo OS-CON, the film caps with WIMA MKP4 and the resistors with VIshay/Dale CMF55. If you want to try the transformer passive output stage, use 2 Jensen JT-11-YMPC. They have cores with 80% Nickel-alloy which are extremely permeable.

 

Also, try to use only the SPDIF input if you can, the USB input is only okay.

Could you just link the specific one you think I should make, so I don't end up making a mistake and order something else.... I will most likely first have time on my hands to put some together in a month or so, because of exams.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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6 hours ago, Dackzy said:

Could you just link the specific one you think I should make, so I don't end up making a mistake and order something else.... I will most likely first have time on my hands to put some together in a month or so, because of exams.

I'm looking forward to a month or so's time when you've spent $30 to prove you were right all along.

Good to see people so dedicated :)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, rhyseyness said:

I'm looking forward to a month or so's time when you've spent $30 to prove you were right all along.

Good to see people so dedicated :)

This is not the attitude of an audio enthusiast, this is the attitude of a bandwagoner.

 

If a truly neutral party comes forward and wants to test my DAC against their onboard sound, I will ship them one of my spare kits to do it with, free of charge.


PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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4 minutes ago, TheAudiophile said:

This is not the attitude of an audio enthusiast, this is the attitude of a bandwagoner.

 

If a truly neutral party comes forward and wants to test my DAC against their onboard sound, I will ship them one of my spare kits to do it with, free of charge.

Bring it on.

I live in the UK though.

I'm not neutral.

I've heard a number of transparent DACs and none have ever been audibly different to my on board so...

 

EDIT: To clarify, I'm not biased, just massively skeptical

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Posted · Original PosterOP

As stated in my original post, I bet the ones you heard were all very similar in signal path to your board.

 

I'll even ship a pair of the output transformers to the volunteer neutral testing party to get a complete picture. Those I request be returned at the end of testing though. You still get to keep a very capable DAC.


PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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19 minutes ago, TheAudiophile said:

This is not the attitude of an audio enthusiast, this is the attitude of a bandwagoner.

 

If a truly neutral party comes forward and wants to test my DAC against their onboard sound, I will ship them one of my spare kits to do it with, free of charge.

I would Like to do that, if you would think I'm neutral enough.my main reason for being skeptical, is i have no reason to beleive you, without any facts or me trying it myself. I would Like to test it, and determine it for myself.

I Will go in with an open mind.


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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45 minutes ago, TheAudiophile said:

oh so I dont have to make it great, I will just have to make a case for it.

 

37 minutes ago, rhyseyness said:

I'm looking forward to a month or so's time when you've spent $30 to prove you were right all along.

Good to see people so dedicated :)

I just don't want to clear this up and well it also helps that I have a lot of experience with dacs and amps


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

spwath, You are probably a good candidate. I'm going to let this post sit for today in case someone not yet involved in the conversation yet sees the offer. If not I'll have you PM me your shipping address. It should all fit into a USPS $5 box which I will cover.

 

You are familiar with soldering, right?

 

 


PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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1 minute ago, TheAudiophile said:

You are probably a good candidate. I'm going to let this post sit for today in case someone not yet involved in the conversation yet sees the offer. If not I'll have you PM me your shipping address. It should all fit into a USPS $5 box which I will cover.

 

You are familiar with soldering, right?

 

 

Who are you talking to?


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

edited to spwath. you replied while I was responding.

 

Also, I believe that it still is a kit, they just show the finished picture.


PC: Intel i5-4690K @ 4.6 GHz, 1.296v, Air 24/7 -- Windforce R9 270 @ 1200/1400 -- MSI Z87-GD65 -- 16GB DDR3-1866 -- Samsung 850 Evo 250GB

Audio: Thiel CS1.2 Speakers -- Tripath Amps -- CS4398 DACs -- MiniDIGI 2x8 Active Crossover/DSP --  Stereo Bass via 2x Vifa 10", Linkwitz Transform'd to 25hz -3db

 

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6 minutes ago, TheAudiophile said:

edited to spwath. you replied while I was responding.

 

Also, I believe that it still is a kit, they just show the finished picture.

oh god damn this is going to take some time then... Do you know if they sell some type of kabinet for it or is that something I have to make?


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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46 minutes ago, TheAudiophile said:

spwath, You are probably a good candidate. I'm going to let this post sit for today in case someone not yet involved in the conversation yet sees the offer. If not I'll have you PM me your shipping address. It should all fit into a USPS $5 box which I will cover.

 

You are familiar with soldering, right?

 

 

yup, ive soldered quite a bit, and a bunch more now when i make my mechanical keyboard within this week some time


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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Can we turn this into a loaner? I'd like to hear it first hand rather than depend on the impressions of one person.

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Tom's Hardware had an article that pitted the Realtek ALC889 (which at the time was their highest-end chip, now it's the ALC1150, which has been on most Z series boards since two years ago) against a high end DAC and a uber high end DAC. They found that raw audio quality wise, the Realtek chip produced very similar results to the DACs and concluded what you're paying for then is features, not quality. After dabbling in this topic from the sidelines for a while, I've come to the conclusion that audio enjoyment is half equipment, half of what your mind makes of it.

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1 hour ago, M.Yurizaki said:

Tom's Hardware had an article that pitted the Realtek ALC889 (which at the time was their highest-end chip, now it's the ALC1150, which has been on most Z series boards since two years ago) against a high end DAC and a uber high end DAC. They found that raw audio quality wise, the Realtek chip produced very similar results to the DACs and concluded what you're paying for then is features, not quality. After dabbling in this topic from the sidelines for a while, I've come to the conclusion that audio enjoyment is half equipment, half of what your mind makes of it.

 

Well you see, the signal path in the very expensive DACs was clearly the same as the motherboard implementation, thus covering up the difference between the Realtek chip and whatever high-end DAC chip was in the expensive stuff.

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On 24-5-2016 at 5:23 PM, TheAudiophile said:

Please excuse the inflammatory title, but there seems to be a lot of you on here. I think a lot of this attitude stems from ignorance 

And yours stems from arrogance.

 

Also, you seem to not understand the difference between DAC and an amplifier. Some situations can warrant an amplifier, if you lack volume or there is an impedance mismatch with your onboard (doesn't comply the 1/8th rule). There is very little incentive, other than poor EMC handling from the onboard, to warrant a seperate DAC device. And it certainly has nothing to do with it "sounding better", because "better" is utterly subjective.

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3 minutes ago, Majestic said:

And yours stems from arrogance.

 

Also, you seem to not understand the difference between DAC and an amplifier. Some situations can warrant an amplifier, if you lack volume or there is an impedance mismatch with your onboard (doesn't comply the 1/8th rule). There is very little incentive, other than poor EMC handling from the onboard, to warrant a seperate DAC device.

 

Well you see, all DAC implementations that we've tried are all basically the same topology, and so cover up what a better DAC chip can do.

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3 minutes ago, SSL said:

 

Well you see, all DAC implementations that we've tried are all basically the same topology, and so cover up what a better DAC chip can do.

Well, any added dynamic range would likely be nullified by the physical device plugged into it. Especially speakers.

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