DACs

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by three_paws, Jul 11, 2021.

  1. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I disagree with that. The YouTube comparison I saw between the chord qutest and ares ii clearly revealed differences. I've heard this with lots of other gear that's in the same price category.
     
    KL-lite likes this.
  2. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Have you got the link to that one?
     
  3. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Nevermind, I found it.
     
    three_paws likes this.
  4. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Lmk what you think
     
  5. KL-lite

    KL-lite Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur
    And if I may add, using earphones is ideal for this purpose.
     
  6. KL-lite

    KL-lite Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur
    After my first and last dedicated player stopped working, I switched to dvd and bluray players bought at a fraction of RSP. They spin CDs at a much lower RPM than they would with DVD or BD so I’m expecting longevity (my main spinner the DVD player is 17y.o.). I'm glad that I did not succumb to buying another dedicated player but instead I just bought my first standalone dac. You wonder how your CDs might sound different? I got a shock from how different and better Sara Bareilles - Love Song (a track I would skip due to harshness), sounded through the DacMagic 100. I intentionally chose a track I couldn’t stand, for the first attempt at critical listening after running in the dac for 7 hours.
     
  7. Nice Marmot

    Nice Marmot Nothin’ feels right but doin’ wrong anymore

    Location:
    Tryon NC
    I’ve been wondering about break in time. My thought is to let the transport and the DAC run on repeat without the amps being on and just go to bed. Is this something people do?
     
  8. KL-lite

    KL-lite Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur
    I think it's best to refer to the manufacturer and it is possible that some brands don't recommend break in or have done it sufficiently already.
    In my case, the DacMagic 100 manual suggested a week for break in assuming "a few hours of use" per day. If your transport has usb, perhaps play that on repeat so the motor won't be running continuously for days.
     
    Nice Marmot likes this.
  9. KL-lite

    KL-lite Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur
    It's a bit premature after just 2 days of listening but I couldn't help posting some early findings in another thread. Also pasted below for quicker reference.
    Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 initial thoughts...

     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  10. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Nice. I've been using the PM8006 as a preamp to add even more warmth and body. I really love the combo.

    I still keep doing AB comparisons with the Ares II, and I continue to prefer the DACMagic--i think it's smoother, warmer, fuller, more melodic. Ares II controls the bass a bit more and has cleaner separation and I think a bit more detail. But it doesn't sound as musical or analog to me as the DACMagic.
     
    KL-lite and timind like this.
  11. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Have you tried it in its many different OS/NOS forms?
     
  12. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    It's just 4 settings. I've mostly been using NOS. I definitely like it, but in truth the more I listen to it the more I wonder why it's gotten so many rave reviews that suggest it's somehow head and shoulders above other DACs. I hear what's somewhat unique about its sound, but I don't think it's revolutionary, and I think in NOS--which I think is its claim to fame because that's the woolly warmth that people describe as analog--it's somewhat flat and dull. I definitely enjoy it, but I think the DACMagic is warmer, more engaging and dynamic and immersive, and, what's most important to me, realistic.
     
    rednedtugent and luckyno13 like this.
  13. levimax

    levimax Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Seems to me like you are listening to your DAC when you are watching YouTube. There are so many variables both intentional and unintentional with YouTube comparisons that I would not rely on them for anything besides entertainment.
     
  14. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I've been able to discern useful information that was confirmed IRL.
     
  15. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Today is new DAC day. Fed-Ex brought me a Bifrost 2.
    Quick phone pic with poor lighting. Bifrost 2 is stacked on top of a Gungnir multibit A1 (the original OG version of the Gungnir multibit).

    [​IMG]
     
    BilboAlaska, Melvin, KL-lite and 3 others like this.
  16. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Looks really cool. How's the sound?
     
  17. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It's not fair to get critical about sound quality of a multibit DAC after it has been powered on for only four hours. It needs to be powered on for a few days at least before critical listening, especially in comparison to the Gungnir.

    It is a Schiit multibit. And doing a style of sound I expect from a Schiit multibit. For that I'm happy. As I expected.
     
  18. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    In my experience, you can get a basic sense of a component straight out of the box. I've had the Ares II going for a few weeks now. Sounds pretty much exactly it did out of the box. Not really sure why multibit or any other electronic component would be any different.
     
    MaxBuck likes this.
  19. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Multibits need to warm up so all the resistors and components get to temperature equilibrium. And then stay there for a while.

    The Bifrost 2 has already changed a bit from initial listening. Bass has filled in a little. Soundstage has gotten a little less forward. I expect the sound to smooth out and the bass to fill in even more as it warms up and gets some burn-in. Then I'll get critical.
     
  21. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I honestly would love it if you could point me to any scientific study that supports this. I've never heard anything like this argument about, say, cameras (leave it on for 100 hours to get warm color). So, I am at a loss as to why it would be true a DAC or any other SS component, regardless of topology.
     
  22. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    There is a difference between chip based DACs like AKM or ESS and R2R or multibit DACs. Chip based DACs can warm up faster. R2R and multibit DACs take longer to warm up because all of the resistors and components need to get to temperature equilibrium. There is a reason why your Ares doesn't completely turn off and has a standby mode that keeps the R2R resistors and the clock warmed up. The Schiit DACs don't have a separate standby mode so you just keep the entire DAC powered on all the time.

    Clocks also need to get warmed up. I have a DAC with a fempto style clock. It takes an hour for the clock to warm up and get stable enough to switch into precision filter mode. Try to switch to the precision filter before the clock has warmed up properly and the sound will wander very noticeably.

    If you're unable to hear the difference between your Ares from a cold start after being off for several days and the Ares fully warmed up after being on for several days then you may need to investigate some better amps and speakers that will allow you to hear that difference. The difference is there. Just need gear that is transparent enough to let you hear that difference.

    I've listened to enough other new gear and DACs to know that I should not get super critical about sound qualities after only a few hours from brand new. Got to let the gear warm up and burn-in. Then get critical.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  23. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    My system is fine.

    If what you say were true, it would be true across electronics. Why don't computers need to warm up/break in? Why don't cameras? My smartphone? I've yet to see any scientific basis to support any of this.
     
  24. three_paws

    three_paws deleted account Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Electrons travel better in cooler temps, right? So why would heat be better? And why would heat impact sound specifically (versus, for instance, computer monitors)?
     
  25. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Do you understand how a R2R ladder style DAC works? How the resistors need very tight tolerances. Those tolerances depend on temperature. The resistance of the resistors changes slightly with temperature. To have the entire ladder network be stable the temperature of the entire ladder network and all the resistors needs to be stable. Otherwise the output from the DAC isn't as linear as it should be.
     
    bever70 likes this.

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