Audio-GD Singularity 19 DAC - Comprehensive Review and Impressions

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Hands, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Joking aside, I am sort of tempted. I have had little head time with Grados, and didn't enjoy what I had, but some masochist part of me is morbidly interested. If you really feel like disposing of them for a stupidly low amount, let me know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017

  2. landroni

    landroni Friend

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  3. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Friend

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  4. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Yes. One of my old HP1000 drivers died. Let me transplant the drivers to the awesome HP1000 metal cups and let's put it on the loaner program
     
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  5. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    It's a different mindset. From what I gather, the priorities of many of the folks there for a certain tonal balance that is on the opposite extreme of "digital" (whatever that means because my TT sounds more like Yggy than any AGD DAC).

    I am not surprised at all at the positive impressions on HF, but the level of experience with different DACs, the capabilities of the rest of the chains (amps, headphones), and the priorities here at SBAF are significantly different. We could put a highly resolving DAC in most of those guys' setups, and we might not even hear a difference. Concepts which are fairly well understood here such as microdynamics, plankton, clarity might be completely foreign over there.

    Usually what happens is at some point, some of those dudes get good enough gear or sufficient experience, and make the jump over here. I get PMs about this all the time from people who've made the jump and realized that our "negativity" was just from being more experienced and direct.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  6. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    From http://www.audio-gd.com/Baby-EN.htm


    So maybe it would be interesting to at least ask them why it measures so badly, compared to the claimed specs, to see how they respond.
     
  7. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    I'll let AGD make the first move. We're not obligated to do anything. We paid like any other regular customer.
     
  8. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Facebook Friend

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    Just return it as a bad unit, just to see what they reply.
     
  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    FYI added measurements with USB input in that thread. Some stuff better, some worse, mostly bad still.

    I also dropped a few brief subjective thoughts there too and am too lazy to copy paste.
     
  10. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I'm going to send them to Marv and if he can't make them work and they still work, they are yours.

    Done. Sending you a msg.
     
  11. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    To begin, here is the setup for his round - using the Hegel H2 amp. This serves more as a reminder to myself in case anyone asks me about the specific chain. I used a modded Marantz CDP feeding SPDIF to the S19. USB was not used. Freya was the preamp.

    [​IMG]

    Also, to be clear, I used to own the Audio-GD Master 7. With the i2s input, the Master 7 was a lovely sounding DAC, and I've been on record as saying so, putting his DAC into my Class A list. This shows that I don't dislike all Audio-GD gear; however, I have since moved on from the Master 7.

    There are measurements of the Audio-GD Singularity 19 here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...udio-gd-singularity-19-dac-measurements.4135/
    and here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...y-19-dac-measurements.4135/page-3#post-128988 and here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...y-19-dac-measurements.4135/page-4#post-130278 and here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/measuring-dac-accuracy.4184


    Normally, DACs all measure very well, and if there are things which are not ideal, they are very minor, well below the threshold of hearing. This is not the case here. You can read all about this in the measurement threads.

    Having more time now, I don't think the DAC has really improved with warm up. It seems the unit was already well broken in, requiring no more than a few minutes after turn on to sound its best. It's Friday, so easier for me to relax and listen.

    The Audio-GD Singularity 19 could indeed the worst DAC I have ever heard. Close candidates would be the Yulong DA8 (heavily shilled several years ago on HF), and this tiny portable Audinst HUD MX-1, or maybe the iFi Nano iDSD (used as a DAC). Readers should keep in mind several things: the difference between good and mediocre DACs isn't that huge in the overall scheme of things; SBAF folks are demanding bastards; SBAF folks have better gear to allow us to distinguish DACs from each other. The good thing about the Audio-GD Singularity 19 is that it does play music.

    Oh my, I don't know where to begin.

    Timbre: A little bit surprised here, but the Audio-GD Singularity 19 has a slappy sharp treble timbre. Evident on percussion. Not a big deal, but it's there and rather surprising. Overall, nothing nasty sounding at all. Just picking on small stuff.

    Tone and extension: Mid-centric. Lacking at the extremes. Rolled in the highest octave. Lacking heft, body, and foundation. Actually not warm in the overt sense, but muddy and indistinct.

    Transients and attack: What transients? I would not say soft, because soft might suggest some modicum of speed with a soft gentle landing, or perhaps a romantic decay. Muddled. Confused. Bass lacks tautness. Blurry. Transients are better in the mids and treble, but still quite mediocre, on the poor side of mediocre. Everything is just a huge congested ball of shit. It's like sticking a cotton balls in your ears.

    Dynamics and resolution: There are no dynamics. Heavily compressed macrodynamics. Drum hits and drum rolls sound like farts. There are also no microdynamics. No nuances to the music. Everything sounds boring dead and flat. There is no resolution. No ambient cues, no sudden dynamics shifts, delicate play of volume changes, or feeling that the S19 really digs into those bits to express musicality.

    Soundstage: The Hegel H2 can project HUGE soundstage with the right source. Not so here. Even with this advantage the Audio-GD Singularity 19 has been given, the soundstage is confusing. The soundstage is small and flat. Most of the stage time, the stage resides well between the speakers, maybe one foot in between each side. And on odd occasions, there is a very left or right effect, where sounds come directly from either the left and right speaker. There is no ambient information. We have no clue to the nature of the venue. There is ZERO depth. Everything is on the exact plane of the speakers. In contrast, the Fyggy or Gumfreya projects an IMAX-screen like venue beyond the walls of the room. @Hands has said that OS DACs, despite their larger deeper stages, don't portray a 3D sense around the actual instruments. If you think about this, it's true. The instruments are father away in distance in OS DACs, so their individual relative depth is more shallow - more cardboard cutout like. Well, in this case, not only are the instruments close, they are also flat cutouts. The Audio-GD Singularity 19 soundstage encompasses the worst qualities of NOS and OS DACs.

    In closing, the best way to describe Audio-GD Singularity 19 is a pile of gooey mushy shit that kind of all sticks together. Runny shit would be giving it too much credit.

    Thank you for reading.

    P.S. I'm not laughing while writing this. I'm dead serious and very disturbed.
    P.S.S. We cannot sell this to anyone. That would be unethical. We have to destroy it after the loaner is over.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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  12. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 Friend

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    I know a guy with a flamethrower ... maybe we can torch it.
     
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  13. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Friend

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    Maybe there's someone with an audio/fecal fetish who, after reading your impressions, still really wants it. If they were going in fully cognizant of the kind of pile they were wading into, it wouldn't be unethical then, would it?

    You weren't laughing while writing, but I sure was while reading!
     
  14. Merrick

    Merrick Friend

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    I say put it on eBay at a more than reasonable price and in the description mention that you're selling it for such a low price because you think it sounds terrible, but if someone still wants it they can have it.
     
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  15. FlySweep

    FlySweep Friend

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    [​IMG]

    I'd pay BIGLY to have @Tari review it on Head-Fi.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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  16. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    Thermite is one part iron oxide (just light fine grade steel wool on fire and collect the dust), and one part aluminium oxide (throw some aluminium sheet into a rock tumbler with ball bearings in it for a few days, opening it up every few hours to make sure it doesn't explode on you) by mass. Light with magnesium strip, do not look at light directly.

    The upside to this is you wouldn't need to wait for it to warm up any longer.
     
  17. Elnrik

    Elnrik Friend

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    How about the first person to land a shot on it at 300 yards with my Lee-Enfield SMLE Mk3 (iron sights) gets to keep it?
     
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  18. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Friend

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    Maybe GUTB wants it? Shouldn't take more than a couple of mods to sort out....
     
  19. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    @Marvey You wrote more than I expected! It's really quite a special DAC, isn't it? I think I agree on most or all accounts.
     
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  20. Minbeo

    Minbeo Rando

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    what the hell?!?, is audio some kind of modern art now? btw this actually make me wanna to try it more than the hype thread on Headfi.
     

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