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. RocketUSA

    RocketUSA Forum Resident

    Mongo, I'm sorry, but the Sonica app supposedly makes it so that the DAC operates as a player, as well. Which is why people are wondering what the player can handle...not the DAC itself. I want to add an HDD or an NAS drive, and I don't have a laptop or a computer nearby to use as a player. I don't have anything on my computer to stream DSD. It's quite a bit of work for me to split the ISOs into DSF files.
     
  2. mongo

    mongo Forum Resident

    Why? As Kal posted, you use the ISO2DSD program on your PC to create the .dsf files it runs in a minute or 2. Pure unmanaged c code. I've done it for a few hundred SACD ISOs, really no big deal.
    The Sonica is NOT a renderer, no DAC is, that's why you need JRiver or some other software to perform the ISO bust.
    The unpacking has to happen, no way around it and it is still going to crank your PC's CPU to do it in real time.
    I don't know what else to tell you.
     
  3. mongo

    mongo Forum Resident

    I'm going to accept Oppo's printed spec that states they're using a nice toroid linear power supply.
    My 105 has one as well.
    Makes sense.
    In my book the Sonica looks like a killer.
    Having a real hard time not clicking the pre-order link.
    Reminds me of Stimpy and the History Eraser button
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
    Linger63 likes this.
  4. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    The Sonica DAC works quite well with the HA-1, especially when connected via XLR. :)
     
  5. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    The Sonica app does not support ISO images.
     
  6. mongo

    mongo Forum Resident

    Ok, after my bombast about ISO support, are there any DACs that will unpack ISOs on the fly?
    I haven't found one but there are a zillion of 'em so I very well may be mistaken.
     
  7. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    An Oppo BDP-95 will play .iso images if you have older firmware installed on it.
     
    JediJoker and Robert van Diggele like this.
  8. mongo

    mongo Forum Resident

    Thanks. I do know that from the bajillion posts across the Internet.
    What I'm referring to is the legion of stand alone DACs on the market.
    A few people post about the lack of native ISO unpacking support and it achieves status of a "must have" feature and that not supporting it is a deal breaker.
    IMO, if it's a deal breaker then buy one that supports your esoteric necessity.
    I was just trying to pick the considerable collective brains of this forum to see what other stand alone DACs support this functionality.
    In reality I should just let it lie as I don't have that need and ultimately, being the unfeeling bastard that I am, you're on your own.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
    Billy Budapest and Mike-48 like this.
  9. RocketUSA

    RocketUSA Forum Resident

    ISO2DSD on my Mac, I can do it through Terminal but only one ISO at a time.

    How well does the Sonica DAC work with the Sonica app and an HDD attached via USB? What files will it support? I realize most people have probably only had experience using the app with OPPO's wireless Sonica speakers at this point.

    My use case is that the DAC wouldn't be connected to a desktop or laptop. So I'm relying on the app & DAC to pull and play files from an external drive connected via USB (or possibly an NAS drive, depending).
     
    Billy Budapest likes this.
  10. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Central PA
    Oppo just started taking orders for the Sonica DAC just days ago. I doubt anyone has the DAC in their possession yet to answer any of your operational questions.
     
    JediJoker likes this.
  11. RocketUSA

    RocketUSA Forum Resident

    I realize that, which is why I addressed it. The app has been out for some time. Anyone have a take on how it performs with the other Sonica line? What files does it play?
     
  12. RocketUSA

    RocketUSA Forum Resident

    From OPPO, Sonica DAC file support:

    "The Sonica DAC will support AAC, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, APE, FLAC, M4A, M4A (Apple Lossless) ALAC, OGG, WAV, WMA, DSF, and DFF audio formats."

    If anyone has any experience with/feedback on the Sonica app, feel free to chime in.
     
  13. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    I was a beta tester and have had different iterations of the SDAC in my system for many months. If you have operational questions (but not questions about the beta testing process), fire away and I will do my best to answer.
     
    Robert van Diggele and RocketUSA like this.
  14. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    It integrates completely with the stereo pair of Sonica speakers that I have. The Sonica app will see USB sources plugged into both speakers and the SDAC and allows playback from all. It has been able to play every kind of file I have thrown at it, although I have not tried DSF or DFF (others have and reported no problems).

    The Sonica app is very easy to use and completely seamless in accessing and controlling across all three hardware units I have.
     
    RocketUSA likes this.
  15. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    This would be a great way to use the SDAC. In my system right now, the SDAC is connected to my HA-1 headphone amp via XLR, as well as being connected via wifi to my other two Sonica speakers as well as to my Mac, using AirPlay and DLNA, and my iPhone using Bluetooth and AirPlay. However, a great deal of my playback is via files stored on a USB hard drive connected directly to the SDAC, and via thumb drives connected to each Sonica speaker. The SDAC can access them all through the Sonica app.
     
    RocketUSA likes this.
  16. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    One 9038 is used for both channels. The SDAC has single ended and balanced outputs, so my guess is that four DACs are used per channel, with two DACs used for each balanced output and two DACs stacked for better thermal noise performance for each single ended output.
     
  17. RocketUSA

    RocketUSA Forum Resident

    Thanks for all your feedback on my questions! It seems you're mostly using the DAC exactly the way I'd hope to configure it. I'm currently using an Airport Express for streaming, which isn't the greatest. Held off on an Audioengine D2, the Sony units with internal HDDs, and the way more pricey Auralic when I heard the announcement.

    I think my only quibble is that there doesn't appear to be a digital out, so it precludes using other DACs...minor, I know, but I have a very nice Yamaha integrated with a DSD DAC (quite possibly might be the same ESS Sabre chip?) that I was interested in trying out.
     
    Billy Budapest likes this.
  18. mongo

    mongo Forum Resident

    So Billy, how does the Sonica compare to a the 105?
    Since you're a beta tester, I'm going to assume that you have a 105.
    If not, how does the Sonica sound compare to your best digital source.
     
  19. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Does the Sonica DAC support gapless as a DLNA render? I'm most interested, when using Plex as the audio/media server.
     
    wolfram and Robert van Diggele like this.
  20. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    It doesn't support gapless . . . yet. I have not tried using the SDAC with Plex, though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  21. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    I actually only have a BDP-95. I haven't beta tested any of Oppo's disc players and my BDP-95 predates my beta testing (at least, it was the current model when I started). My best digital source is an Ayre QB-9 DSD. The sound quality is pretty similar for both. This is not unexpected--both DAC's use
    ESS converters, linear power supplies, and balanced output stage topology.
     
  22. Robert van Diggele

    Robert van Diggele Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Do you know the reason for non gapless? On the disc players we are told it is because of the Mytek chip, but I guess the DAC does not have this chip. Gapless over DLNA should be standard by now.
     
  23. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davis, CA
    Does anyone know if the 205 will playback DSD 2.8 or DSD 5.6MHz?
     
  24. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    The only ones that would know are Oppo or the beta testers. But they're not talking ;).
     
    Bachtoven likes this.
  25. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davis, CA
    Oppo does say this about their new stand alone DAC, the Sonica: "The USB DAC input supports PCM up to 768 kHz 32-bit and up to DSD512." They would be foolish to limit the 205 to lower resolutions, so it stands to reason that it will indeed playback very high resolution files.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine