Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Oppo Sonica DAC with flagship ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Billy Budapest, Aug 31, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I'd guess your number is off by a few orders of magnitude. :cool:

    As to gapless, it's critical to music reproduction. Gear without it is broken.

    As to DSD, I think it's a craze and manufacturers are putting it in gear because of the market demand, driven partly by magazine frenzy and partly because some of the recordings do sound good. It could go away tomorrow, and I couldn't care less. I'd like to know *why* it sounds good, which I suspect has nothing to do with the stated reasons. Maybe the HF noise does something to make the speakers work better. I don't think anyone knows that answer right now.
     
    Robert van Diggele likes this.
  2. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan A man who dreams he is a butterfly?

    The deadheads need gapless playback...
     
    Jack Flannery, jeffsab, trd and 2 others like this.
  3. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Oh no, I get it quite well. We're talking about the same thing. The problem - as also described in many other threads by people using a variety of digital music players that have gapless playback (that sometimes seems to work, but at other times does not seem to work) - is only partly about the playback devices and their firmware, and partly about how digital files comprising an entire album are assembled by the recording engineer and the mastering engineer, and partly about how files sources (e.g., HD Tracks, and many others) take the source files and reassemble them for download.

    For example, if a recording engineer separates movements in a symphony or pauses between variations with end of track/end of file and/or dead silence, as opposed to keeping ambience - coughing, applause, musicians turning sheet music, the conductor's physical movements, a musician taking a breath or whatever - in the recording, there are bound to be pauses and track changes of a fixed period that are longer than the remaining music in a buffer. Therefore, as I understand the various players' internal processes, the buffer empties, the player senses the recorded gap, then the player detects the next music signal, it resets its buffer, starts to fill the buffer, then starts playing the music. It sound to me as though many, many players work that way and it messes with gapless playback because the logic in the firmware isn't intelligent and apparently can't be made intelligent without an enormous amount of buffer RAM. Some players - often, but not always, the more expensive ones - seem to do sufficient prefetch of data and have sufficient buffer RAM that enables gapless playback to work almost flawlessly.

    I couldn't begin to give a sweet flying flip one way or another about whether gapless playback does or does not work perfectly. I respect that it makes an important difference to others. To me, a pause of a second or two here and there makes no difference to my personal enjoyment of a composition. I equate the preference for far better gapless playback than we've got now with Gould's interpretation of Goldberg in that it's only one way of looking at the music playback amongst many, many others. I have a good friend who regularly curses the way in which digital downloads of various operas and symphonies have been assembled, and places blame squarely on the shoulders of the recording engineers (of recently recorded works) and mastering engineers and, especially, on the shoulders of whomever is supplying HD Tracks, Acoustic Sounds and many other high-res digital download sites with files sets that absolutely confound the gapless feature in players that otherwise work perfectly well.

    I get the impression that everybody in the music business is assembling master files sets for download in much the same way they've always assembled for CD, tape and LP. I think that's root of the problem with gapless playback failures. It's not like the music producers don't know how hardware and software players work!
     
  4. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I'm not sure I really understood all of your post and I don't feel like overthinking the matter or derail this thread any further. If the recording engineer intended a period of silence after (or before) a track, it will be part of that track and even a player with proper gapless playback capabilities will not remove it. If it was in the pre-track section of a CD, it's my job to set my ripping software to a mode that saves that silence (for example by adding it to the end of the ripped track). As a result I will get to listen to an album with the intended amount of silence, not more or less.

    If "a pause of a second or two here and there (more precisely, after every track) makes no difference to your personal enjoyment", you indeed have a problem less in this world. Lucky you. But many of us find a break of 1 or more seconds between tracks on an album like "Dark Side of the Moon" highly distracting, since it completely destroys the intended flow of it. What can I say, I'm one of them.
     
  5. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I'm not sure why some don't seem to find gapless playback important. Pink Floyds DSOTM is a perfect example. Without gapless playback of digital files the album just doesn't flow like it should with breaks between tracks that shouldn't be there.
     
  6. Robert van Diggele

    Robert van Diggele Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    part of the problem with gapless playback over DLNA is the lack of support of Setnextavtransporturi. The current Oppo models don't support this feature for example. Oppo did found a way to get gapless playback over ethernet using the control app, but as some people on this forum pointed out it is not working for everybody unfortunately.

    The new MediaTek chip probably has support for Setnextavtransporturi. If not it would be a bad choice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
    Bill Mac, Mike-48 and wolfram like this.
  7. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I beg to disagree. With properly designed playback hardware, it doesn't matter where the files end -- there is no click, pause, or dead air between tracks, other than what's on the recording. I have dozens -- maybe scores -- of recordings requiring gapless playback, and none is problematic. Problems arise when the chipset doesn't support the gapless command (see next quote). Result: extra digital silence. Sometimes, manufacturers try to get around their bad hardware choice by using special software (e.g., Oppo, PS Audio). By and large, that has not been a reliable solution, and PS Audio finally redesigned their hardware.

    Yes, that is the problem. I am still gobsmacked that "high-end" manufacturers ever used that old chipset without gapless support. I suppose it was cheap and easy for them. Maybe some of them were "beginners," too.
     
    Robert van Diggele likes this.
  8. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    There is no available decoder chipset for Blu-ray/universal players that supports native gapless for file playback. OPPO found a firmware workaround, that still occasionally has problems. You're acting like disc-player manufacturers have some kind of choice in this matter?
     
    Billy Budapest likes this.
  9. Robert van Diggele

    Robert van Diggele Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    The new generation Oppo will be the first player in 4 years. Some things have progressed in that time I assume. If not, what have the chipmakers been doing all those years?
     
    Hymie the Robot likes this.
  10. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Thank you! We can agree on this. For someone to argue against gapless playback is hilarious.
     
    gd0, Kyhl, Bryan T and 1 other person like this.
  11. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I'm noting this moment :D!
     
    Hymie the Robot likes this.
  12. Ozric

    Ozric Senior Member

    If the next generation of DAC's and Universal Players from Oppo and others do not utilize a new way of doing Gapless Playback I will be severely disappointed. Oppo has known that it is a highly demanded feature since the BDP 103/105 came out. I admire them for trying to get to it work with software workarounds, but years have passed and there needs to be a hardware solution in the next generation of units. In all this time the various manufacturers could have/should have commissioned the chip makers to create what is needed. I will not be buying from Oppo or anybody else until there is properly implemented Gapless Playback and not a bunch of software band aids. It is that important to me.
     
  13. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    For file playback, I have used quite a few renderers, some of them supporting up to 384 kHz or DSD. None of them know whether the file is from Blu-ray or elsewhere. Well-designed DLNA renderers support gapless in hardware, poor ones don't. I can only assume that a chipset is available or circuitry can be designed to do gapless without too much trouble. I also assume -- and it is an inference, not anything I read -- that some manufacturers took the easy way out and bought into a chipset that was a poor implentation, for whatever reason. That doesn't mean that those products are not outstanding in all other regards. But since the majority of renderers available support gapless playback, yes, manufacturers obviously do have a choice.
     
    Robert van Diggele likes this.
  14. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    I'm going to start to sound like a broken record but I will try to be as clear as possible: there is no decoder chipset on the market for Blu-ray/DVD/SACD that also natively supports gapless file playback.

    You're talking about what your renderer does (or has done for 10 years). But this device does not playback Blu-ray, SACD etc. and these types of disc players require a certain type of decoder, more advanced than what is in your media renderer. And such decoders (even custom designed FPGAs from Sony and Microsoft) still don't support gapless. This is not an "easy way out". There simply are no alternatives at this time.
     
  15. Ozric

    Ozric Senior Member

    You have been saying this for almost 4 years, Why has Oppo and the others not commissioned a new chip in the last four years. If they release the new 4K Player and this new DAC without a good hardware based solution, then I will not be considering any of these for purchase. At this point it is a deal killer for me. They have known of the need for this for quite some time. They either need to design a chip in house or contract a chip maker to make one for them to do what is needed. They need to start thinking outside of the standard off the shelf parts bin of chips. Four years ago there was no chip on the market that could do it, at this point, there is no real good excuse to not have one. If you are going to be building $1K players and DAC's then you have to do what is needed to make them play properly without software band aids. No proper gappless playback is fine for the $50-200 price point but not at $1K price point. Sorry, but that is my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
    Robert van Diggele likes this.
  16. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Nothing has been announced about gapless support for the Sonica DAC. And since it's not a disc-spinner, it's unlikely to use a decoder that they put into their universal players.
     
  17. tomd

    tomd Senior Member

    Location:
    Brighton,Colorado
    For those condidering-what is your top three qualities the Sonica would need to have for you to purchase? -here's mine:

    1)Have BOTH single ended and balanced outputs (I biamp and would use it to replace my preamp)

    2)Size-would prefer a half width unit (10" wide or less)

    3)Be MQA compatible (if MQA takes off)
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  18. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    We were talking about network playback -- not discs. (It's a thread originally about a DAC.) If a manufacturer advertises a disc player as being a network player, too, they should do what's needed for accurate network playback. If that means adding more circuitry and another chipset for networked audio, so be it. Parts obviously are available, as dozens of renderers use them. Offering features that don't quite work is poor engineering, and in my opinion, it borders on the deceptive.
     
  19. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I have a feeling that Oppo has been listening to the complaints about gapless issues with their current players. With that in mind I tend to believe that the Sonica DAC and the upcoming 4k players will provide gapless playback with all file formats.
     
    Robert van Diggele likes this.
  20. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    This should be an interesting unit to see...
     
  21. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    That would be great! I've often been tempted by the Oppo players because of the endless string of favorable reviews. (Now that my current player has broken, I'm even more interested.)
     
  22. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Seeing as Apple was doing gapless in 2005, I'm wondering still how it's taken all this talent in the hifi industry quite so long to catch up?
     
    Mike-48 likes this.
  23. CraigVC

    CraigVC Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I got my 105D at Chelsea Audio/Video in Beaverton. Give 'em a call and see if they have the model you want in stock. And while you're there, bring your favorite discs and check out their MacIntosh listening room. ;-)

    Craig.
     
    Mike-48 likes this.
  24. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    Is Apple doing DSD gapless?

    Bill
     
  25. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    I wouldn't know Bill. Best check Apple Events.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine