Digital Transports - USB Solutions, CD and SD Players, DAPs, and More!

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Hands, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Hekeli

    Hekeli Facebook Friend

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    Please anyone don't take this the wrong way.. I'm really just nitpicking. Probably most people don't care or even notice little extra background noise, and it's pretty impossible to hear with headphones blasting anyway. I'm just curious if it's a single (double) incident, why isn't it completely silent.. but I'm not wearing my headphones all day and any unnecessary noise annoys me. But things like powering it first time making a super loud whine, I thought it was broken immediately, but perhaps it was charging caps or burning in whatever, it settled down.. things like that don't build up confidence.
     

  2. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Rando

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    Thats exactly my problem, im not wearing them all day and even my pc is almost dead silent. An insisting background noise would be noticed by me for sure. I hope its some lack of luck even though improbable.
     
  3. Luckbad

    Luckbad Basshead - Friend

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    Given that they're a German company, I'd imagine that would be 100% reliable. It seems like something is up.
     
  4. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    No noise on my end. Dead silent
     
  5. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    The 1.2 we had at a recent Denver meet, in a quiet office setting, made no noise that I could hear.
     
  6. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I would rank it way higher than the Concero and one of the best under $500 bridges I have heard.

    It is way more than 10% better in my system using my random number system. But then again pulling numbers out of air makes for thin ice, I suppose. You really have to hear them in your system.

    Absolutely dead quiet in both systems.
     
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  7. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    Hi all, thought I'd share this.
    http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/04/retro-measure-1994-sony-mdp-750.html

    Neat to see that a LaserDisc player could get 15.5 bits of resolution in 1994. Yes, it beats the PS1. Excellent rolloff filter extension too.

    As always, cool to see the measurements but the dark magic of differences in timbre - grainy vs extended, harsh vs smooth, congested vs open, soundstage depth and width - well, despite some DACs measuring well a long way back, you just can't know until you listen. Though this far back I assume predates delta-sigma and some of the awful implementations of it.
     
  8. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I'm testing a dirt cheap portable DAP, that shows promise. Do we have a parent thread that discusses portable sources? I could not find one. The title of this one says DAPs at the end, should I post impressions here?
     
  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    You can if you want. Some can be used as digital transports.
     
  10. Merrick

    Merrick Friend

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    Which DAP is it?
     
  11. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    It's a phone, but no matter it did not pass the walk test. Too good to be true @$20
     
  12. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Apropos not much at all, I switched from Volumio2 to RuneAudio and have found RuneAudio to be way better.

    I was using the RC1 of Volumio2 and it was super unreliable in almost every way. Wireless was flaky, config settings didn't always stick, and the 10-minute task of scanning a CIFS share for music never completed.

    I switched to RuneAudio and all of those problems went away. I really like the Volumio2 interface and the lean approach they're taking, but not at the expense of reliability!

    I was digging through the ole' project supplies box and found a few 12V LiPo batteries, so I ordered this LM317 DC to DC regulator (http://www.amazon.com/SMAKN®-Linear-Converter-Ripple-Supply/dp/B00OJUL80S) and am going to try powering my Raspberry Pi2 via battery power (when I get a test SPDIF hat from @Michael Kelly).
     
  13. FlySweep

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    I'm hoping RuneAudio adds the ability to control streaming radio apps like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, etc.. when that happens (because a lot of the music I listen to is hosted/shared there), I'm full go into a Pi transport.
     
  14. Vastx

    Vastx Almost "Made"

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    Have you tried moodeaudio? I find it better than rune. It requires a little skills to fit in the Pi3 but I know you're cool with these things.
    Good call on the the LiPo batteries regulated via a cheap LM317. You're gonna get a killer power source for cheap.
    The heatsink in there looks undersized IME to dissipate the power. Keep an eye on it and in case it runs too hot apply a bigger one or use some resistor before the regulator.
    Have fun!
    PS - Why not getting a second regulator and feed the 3,3V? You are not gonna regret it.
     
  15. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    No, but I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend! :) What do you find better about it?

    Thank you for the heads-up on that. I'll definitely keep an eye on it. I assume if it's too hot to touch I need to get a bigger heatsink, etc?

    Great idea. They're cheap enough to have several.
     
  16. Vastx

    Vastx Almost "Made"

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    I simply find moodeaudio more reliable and it gave me zero problem with everything I threw at it (nas, hd, upnp, wifi, several usb DDC).

    About the heatsink, the lm317 can run up to 120\125°C iirc, but you definitely wanna keep it cooler than that. I generally use a bigger heatsink if I can't touch the heatsink with my finger more than 3\4 seconds. Nothing scientific about this, just a rule of thumb :)
     
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  17. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    I gave moodeaudio a try and it had the same problem for me as Volumio2: inventorying my OSX shared folder for music files never completed. Too bad, eh? I went back to RuneAudio and the inventory completes in 5 to 10m.

    I bet there's a solution I could implement in the terminal, but I'm not interested in figuring it out.
     
  18. Vastx

    Vastx Almost "Made"

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    Very strange. It takes 15 minutes to complete on my windows shared folder (~2tb).
     
  19. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Finally got some quality time in with a Mutec 3+ USB fed by a Regen, both of which were fed by a nice LPSU, thanks to @MisterRogers generously letting me borrow his stuff. :)

    Keeping in mind how subtle some digital source differences can be, possible placebo and/or bias, personal tastes, yada yada, and the usual disclaimer to not crucify me if you disagree with me on what I hear, here are my thoughts vs. the Soundaware D100:

    - The first thing that stuck out for me on the D100 was that it had this clearer, more focused sound to it. Edges just really pop on it, but not in a nasty digital way. It's like removing a veil you didn't know was there which may or may not be caused by USB (somehow). The Mutec in comparison sounded soft around the edges and just a bit soft and rounded in general, which isn't all bad given how it was still overall on the same level in terms of resolution and detail. It sounded pleasant. I could see someone preferring one over the other.

    - The D100 had a bit more depth, and maybe height, to the stage, but the Mutec did sound a bit wider. The Mutec did sound more diffuse, however (for good or bad).

    - The D100 overall would get more aggressive and in-your-face when called for both in terms of dynamics, bass slam, and staging relative to how close or far away something sounded. That is to say, I don't mean aggressive in, say, a bridge, etched, or even bassy way. Everything on the Mutec sounded like it took a step back and didn't want to jump out as much. More polite.

    - Macro and micro-dynamics seemed better on the on the D100. Things sounded a bit faster too on the D100. The Mutec sounded a bit compressed and dull in comparison.

    - Mutec might have had looser sounding bass? Maybe?

    Now, I didn't have my Transient on hand to compare, but the differences between the Mutec and D100 were smaller, yet still very similar, compared to the Transient. With that, I'd assume the Mutec 3+ is better than the Transient, and as I'd hope given the cost, Regen, and LPSU.

    So, yes, I preferred the D100, at least with my DAC. For those tied to a PC or that are easily bothered by things like lack of gapless playback without a cue file, I can see why the D100 isn't an option. I don't mind and really have yet to find a PC, or at least USB-based solution, that sounds as good.

    Now, what about if I just use the Mutec as a reclocker for the D100? Setup was AES from D100 into Mutec, still fed by LPSU, then from Mutec to DAC via BNC, vs. just straight BNC from the D100 to the DAC.

    This is when things got very, very subtle. Almost placebo, but noticeable in some cases.

    - The Mutec did soften and slightly diffuse the sound just a bit, but, again, very subtly. Sometimes this was a plus, usually it was neutral, and in rare cases, it didn't work well for the music. It's like if you had a spectrum, with an overly diffuse and soft sound at one end, and an overly focused and tight-knit sound on the other, the D100 would be just a hair towards the focused, tight-knit side vs dead center. With the Mutec reclocking, it's cross the center point just a hair towards a softer, more diffuse sound. Something like that.

    - Stage width was at times a tiny bit better with reclocking.

    - Resolution and clarity may or may not have been slightly improved.

    With the Mutec in this SPDIF reclocking setup, there were times I thought I was fooling myself into hearing difference, whereas I felt confident in determining differences between the Mutec as a USB->SPDIF converter and the D100. That is to say, if there were gains using it as a reclocker with the D100, they were almost nonexistent for all practical purposes.

    But, for all I know, I could take the D100 to the next mini-CO meet only to be met with everyone saying it sounds like shit. I also don't have the means or willpower to try the Mutec 3+ with uber-optimized PC rigs or even with anything other than Windows at the time, but a fairly good Windows tablet source at that. So, who knows...maybe some other PC will change the game, but at what cost?
     
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  20. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Q3 2016: the great market glut of used Mutecs; D100s backordered ;)
     
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