Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
TheAudiophile

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

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, Pomfinator said:

I'd send you my Bifrost but I don't want my baby to leave me D:

 

The Bifrost is a clear winner over the ODAC IMO, but if you asked me to qualify what I hear versus the ODAC, the only thing I could tell you is that the FR seems smoother, less peaks and the body of the music seems fuller without creating an overly warm tone or anything.  My experience, a better DAC is really about the implementation rather than the chip.  The AK4490 is found in a couple of DACs now, but it has multitudes of stock filters (and you can't know which particular one is being used without being told directly) and the analog stage is different depending on who makes it.

 

For context, I heard 0 difference between my ALC1150 and my ODAC.

 

Yep, Bifrost 4490 is on my shortlist of audio upgrades. I think Schiit uses the Natural Sound filter.

 

I expect that the filter and custom analog section are responsible for the differences in sound. Some would probably claim that the linear power supply makes a difference as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, SSL said:

 

On that note, one wonders why someone isn't reselling this thing for $1000 in a polished aluminum chassis, if it sounds so great.

I used to sell it for $349 in a cigar box when I was unemployed, orders totalled 12 and then I didn't have time after getting a real job. I sold upgraded Playstations too, as well as a few custom orders. The most complex build was an ES9018 with shunt-regulated power supplies, transformer I/V stage and 6N2P tube output. Nothing has sounded better than that so far, but that was the customer's money I was spending, not mine. Well outside of my budget.


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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

If anyone is curious, here is the original article/build log/experiment by Lukas Fikusz that I read back in 2009 when just starting to delve into how to improve my source.

 

http://lampizator.eu/LAMPIZATOR/LAMPUCERA/CD%20DAC%20Lampucera%20lampizator.html

 

There is so much useful information on his website regarding DACs.


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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm J-STD and IPC certified.

I solder everyday for my job.

Someone want to send me a kit to build/test? :P

I'm looking at you @TheAudiophile;)

 

Also... What happens if [when] you send out this kit and everyone here who listens to it says they hear no difference?

Are you going to think they're wrong?

Are you going to think they built it wrong?

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, M.Yurizaki said:

But what does a "better DAC" do?

From all the blind tests I have done with other people I will say a better DAC would not really do that much if anything you will notice, unless we are talking phone or laptop onboard, then a better DAC can help you. I was the only one that was able to hear a difference in a group of 20-30 people, but I also don't have a normal hearing.....

A better DAC can maybe handle and higher bit rates and the parts inside it should also be better and if you look at the math it should also be better, but if you can't hear it well then the math is just useless.


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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

...but if you can't hear it well then the math is just useless.

This is where I also take issue with some audiophiles. It's like they believe they have perfect hearing but every adult loses at least the upper 2KHz by their 20s. That should be an indicator that your dynamic range sensitivity is also going down.

 

Though one of my audio tech colleagues way back when is it's not really about hearing something, it's more about feeling it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, M.Yurizaki said:

This is where I also take issue with some audiophiles. It's like they believe they have perfect hearing but every adult loses at least the upper 2KHz by their 20s. That should be an indicator that your dynamic range sensitivity is also going down.

 

Though one of my audio tech colleagues way back when is it's not really about hearing something, it's more about feeling it.

That feeling is most likely your brain tricking you into it or you just notice a detail that was there all a long, but you just havent noticed it because you were focused on other parts of the song. Just like all the experiments where people are presented two of the same products, but they say one is more expensive and people will say that the more expensive thing is the best, that is just how the human brain is.

A young normal human with a good hearing can max hear 20KHz, I like how some people think that we can hear over 50KHz, not kidding I heard a guy say that and he works in a studio...


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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rhyseyness said:

Also... What happens if [when] you send out this kit and everyone here who listens to it says they hear no difference?

Are you going to think they're wrong?

Are you going to think they build it wrong?


This is my main gripe about the whole listening challenge approach. There is basically no way to falsify a claim made by somebody else about their gear in their system through their ears.

 

Volbet already put it well:

On 5/24/2016 at 9:23 AM, Volbet said:

The basic premise of your argument is that we have to agree with you, or else we are basing our recommendations on ignorance. 

 

That is an unfalsifiable postion, since you are the unit of measurement and you can therefor move the goalpost at will.

 

I'm willing to take a listen if someone can send me the unit already assembled, but we're basically set up for further spinning in circles. If I don't hear a difference, it's because I'm biased, not a true audio enthusiast, tin-eared, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, SSL said:

I'm willing to take a listen if someone can send me the unit already assembled, but we're basically set up for further spinning in circles. If I don't hear a difference, it's because I'm biased, not a true audio enthusiast, tin-eared, etc.

I don't think that I could imagine you being biased. You are one of the few people I trust on the internet about audio and you don't seem to be biased in anyway.


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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

That feeling is most likely your brain tricking you into it or you just notice a detail that was there all a long, but you just havent noticed it because you were focused on other parts of the song. Just like all the experiments where people are presented two of the same products, but they say one is more expensive and people will say that the more expensive thing is the best, that is just how the human brain is.

A young normal human with a good hearing can max hear 20KHz, I like how some people think that we can hear over 50KHz, not kidding I heard a guy say that and he works in a studio...

My hearing cuts off at about 13KHz xD

It's easy to prove, just play a frequency sweep and "see" when you can no longer hear it...

Although this can be influenced a little bit by the frequency response of your speakers/headphones I guess.

Having said that, tweeters don't tend to cut off before 20KHz... Headphones might be a different story though, I'm not that well versed in headphone frequency response :P

Can't believe someone in a studio thinks we can hear 50KHz+, that's hilarious!

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

That feeling is most likely your brain tricking you into it or you just notice a detail that was there all a long, but you just havent noticed it because you were focused on other parts of the song. Just like all the experiments where people are presented two of the same products, but they say one is more expensive and people will say that the more expensive thing is the best, that is just how the human brain is.

This is why I say half of it is the equipment, the rest is your mind. Plus audio is a fickle thing. I watched a YouTube presentation that was a roundtable discussion of a bunch of audio engineers and they said that even moving a little bit can cause the sound to hit your ears differently, making you think something is better (or worse)

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, rhyseyness said:

My hearing cuts off at about 13KHz xD

It's easy to prove, just play a frequency sweep and "see" when you can no longer hear it...

Although this can be influenced a little bit by the frequency response of your speakers/headphones I guess.

Having said that, tweeters don't tend to cut off before 20KHz... Headphones might be a different story though, I'm not that well versed in headphone frequency response :P

Can't believe someone in a studio thinks we can hear 50KHz+, that's hilarious!

Yeah I was almost rolling on the floor of laughter when he said that. Most headphones goes above 20KHz, but most music stays in the sub 10KHz part.


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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this thread a few days ago. I honestly didn't expect it to go on this long. What am I saying, of course I did when I saw the OP's name.


[Out-of-date] Want to learn how to make your own custom Windows 10 image?

 

Desktop: AMD R9 3900X | ASUS ROG Strix X570-F | Radeon RX 5700 XT | EVGA GTX 1080 SC | 32GB Trident Z Neo 3600MHz | 1TB 970 EVO | 256GB 840 EVO | 960GB Corsair Force LE | EVGA G2 850W | Phanteks P400S

Laptop: Intel M-5Y10c | Intel HD Graphics | 8GB RAM | 250GB Micron SSD | Asus UX305FA

Server 01: Intel Xeon D 1541 | ASRock Rack D1541D4I-2L2T | 32GB Hynix ECC DDR4 | 4x8TB Western Digital HDDs | 32TB Raw 16TB Usable

Server 02: Intel i7 7700K | Gigabye Z170N Gaming5 | 16GB Trident Z 3200MHz

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, M.Yurizaki said:

This is why I say half of it is the equipment, the rest is your mind. Plus audio is a fickle thing. I watched a YouTube presentation that was a roundtable discussion of a bunch of audio engineers and they said that even moving a little bit can cause the sound to hit your ears differently, making you think something is better (or worse)

That is so true, just moving your head a little when using speakers the sound can change and if you move your headphones a little when you have them on your head the sound will also change a little.


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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Warning: incoming 1:30 am post. Bad formatting and lack of self restraint ahead.
 

1. Context:

DzMg1bk.jpg

 

On 2016-05-24 at 9:14 AM, TheAudiophile said:

It's not a 1-2% improvement, and $26.87 isn't expensive.

 

Right now $26.87 would be the difference between a stock cooler and a 212 evo. Expensive is relative, and you do not have the authority to dictate to other people what is or is not expensive.

 

 

2. Meanings of words:

K1C5lsY.png

On 2016-05-24 at 10:12 AM, TheAudiophile said:

Okay, so your argument is upgrade where you most need it. Cool, I don't have a problem with that. Very Logical.

 

My argument is far too many people on here dismiss the DAC as a non-essential upgrade.

 

If you can forgo a DAC until a more important part gets upgraded, then an external or add-on DAC is by definition non-essential.

 

 

 

3. Self-Awareness:

On 2016-05-24 at 10:54 AM, TheAudiophile said:

If you have no more points to bring up, I understand. Hard to argue with an argument that makes sense. I know its not easy to experience an interloper coming in and challenging your views. I get it.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Christ. Now I know why I didn't enter this thread when I first saw it. @TheAudiophile and that article you linked to. Made in 2009... Seven years ago... On-board DAC's have come a really, really long way since then.

 

If a DAC is transparent without adding crap to the signal, then guess what. That DAC is as good as the vast majority of people need it to be. And if it isn't transparent, then it's just different. And if this different is good, or bad, is all up to the individual user. And honestly, I personally wouldn't want a DAC that wasn't transparent.

 

There are far better options to spend ~100 dollars on, than a DIY DAC. You will notice a much, much greater difference if you increase your budget for headphones by that $100.

 

Anyways, I don't really feel like going any deeper into this thread. I just feel that you're better off spending the money on different things to improve your listening experience.

 

Oh, and @WaxyMaxy Good and accurate reply to this whole thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
5 hours ago, rhyseyness said:

I'm J-STD and IPC certified.

I solder everyday for my job.

Someone want to send me a kit to build/test? :P

I'm looking at you @TheAudiophile;)

 

Also... What happens if [when] you send out this kit and everyone here who listens to it says they hear no difference?

Are you going to think they're wrong?

Are you going to think they built it wrong?

Remember how I offered up the kit right after you posted? I made sure to include the words "neutral party" for a reason.

 

No, it's really hard to "build it wrong". Even individual resistor and cap values are printed on the board. I'm not going to dismiss anything someone who isn't biased against me or the idea of a DAC says after listening.

 

3 hours ago, WaxyMaxy said:

----

You don't have to like me or my words. This is about improving one's audio equipment, not how you personally feel about me.


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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, GlassBomb said:

Christ. Now I know why I didn't enter this thread when I first saw it. @TheAudiophile and that article you linked to. Made in 2009... Seven years ago... On-board DAC's have come a really, really long way since then.

Yes, there are a few flagship DACs that have come out since then. I've built projects around them and a lot of them have great sound. No, the motherboard audio codec hasn't changed much. We've had the ALC8xx and ALC1150 for almost all of that time. 


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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, TheAudiophile said:

Remember how I offered up the kit right after you posted? I made sure to include the words "neutral party" for a reason.

 

No, it's really hard to "build it wrong". Even individual resistor and cap values are printed on the board. I'm not going to dismiss anything someone who isn't biased against me or the idea of a DAC says after listening.

 

You don't have to like me or my words. This is about improving one's audio equipment, not how you personally feel about me.

What stops me being a neutral party?

Because I'm skeptical?

Good luck finding someone here who isn't?

I have absolutely nothing to gain from this being resolved either way, so I'm pretty sure that makes me a neutral party.

Not really sure what you're trying to say to be honest.

 

You're also yet to answer what your response will be if someone tests and gets a different result to what you've experienced.

Does it make them wrong?

Their ears aren't as good as yours?

All the effort you've put into making it very clear this is THE best audio upgrade since sliced bread, makes it hard to believe you're going to see a different side to the story when someone else hears it, and says it sounds the same as everything else.

 

Also we haven't said anything about you... only about your argument... which is flawed...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
3 minutes ago, rhyseyness said:

What stops me being a neutral party?

Because I'm skeptical?

Good luck finding someone here who isn't?

I have absolutely nothing to gain from this being resolved either way, so I'm pretty sure that makes me a neutral party.

Not really sure what you're trying to say to be honest.

 

You're also yet to answer what your response will be if someone tests and gets a different result to what you've experienced.

Does it make them wrong?

Their ears aren't as good as yours?

All the effort you've put into making it very clear this is THE best audio upgrade since sliced bread, makes it hard to believe you're going to see a different side to the story when someone else hears it, and says it sounds the same as everything else.

 

Also we haven't said anything about you... only about your argument... which is flawed...

spwath just messaged me. He's getting the kit. Whatever he thinks is cool with me.


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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On May 24, 2016 at 5:13 PM, 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.

I'm an audio enthusiast. Getting a better DAC was something I did after I got a couple of nice pairs of headphones. Listened on my headphones on my old DAC (Bitfrost). I got a pair of V-Modas and a pair of Hifimans and decided to upgrade (Gungnir). DAC upgrading wasn't on my radar until I had the money and decided that I could put off upgrading my headphone collection for a bit. Its all preference. I had a pair of Yamaha HS8 studio monitors. I upgraded to a pair of Focal SM9s. A lot of people would say that me getting those wasn't essential or necessary. But to me it was. "Essential" depends on the person. Things I find essential you may not. Just like I find Macs are essential for working with audio. A million people could tell me otherwise and stay that they're not and give me all the reasons as to why they're not. So instead your statement could be "I find getting a better DAC to be essential, here are some things to watch out for" or something like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×