Dangerous Music Convert-2 DAC Review - Stream of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. damaged-goods

    damaged-goods Acquaintance

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    Oh, I wasn't aware that BW2 has only SE input!
     
  2. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Also James, Hashimoto, Tamura, Tango...not sure on Hammond if they produce stuff in the same league.

    Thanks for the DMC2 impressions @Vtory - I'd really like to get ears on this one and it seems like some sort of transformer is a requirement to tame the hot output of this thing.
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    From what I am aware, he was slowing down the business and no longer doing one offs for hobbyists. The wait times were either long or inconsitent or unpredictable, which was difficult for Craig as he could not fill orders. This led to cancellations. It's why the last batch of Studios used Monolith.

    A few others mentioned are in the same situation. The guys who know how to make this stuff are getting old.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The use transformers do not require pin 1-3 (- hot and ground) to be shorted which is typically done with the XLR to RCA conversion cables. It avoids this for the reasons stated in the link. Even if the hokey conversion cables work, the distortion is likely to increase because are we asking the source to run one leg of the output into a short circuit.

    Balanced to active conversion can also be done with active components (a powered circuit). A transformer does this passively with one component not powered by anything except the signal.

    Active vs passive XLR to RCA conversion is a matter of debate to which is better. It depends upon the situation, impedances, levels, approaches, components used, and preferences.

    Yggdrasil SE's outputs involve an extra active circuit, a transistor or two, that sums the balanced signal into a single-ended signal. Some people prefer the sound when this active circuit is replaced by a high quality transformer.

    With the Convert-2 and many pro DACs, we have no choice if we need single-ended output. Most pro gear comes with only balanced outputs. Dangerous Music recommends the use of transformer boxes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
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  5. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    When it comes to transformers comparing them to enabling AA on game is a pretty good analogy to describe the effects on the sound. Too much can blur but make also make lesser quality sources more palatable though the higher resolution can go to waste.
     
  6. frenchbat

    frenchbat Almost "Made"

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    Tango is dead iirc. And Marv is right that the guys with the know-how are getting old.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
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  7. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Dialing in on a specific point there: NOS has never been mainstream here or elsewhere, nor have I really seen anyone with a prominent voice claiming it's the right way to go.

    It's more like, "I guess I found out I like eating shit. I'm not totally sure why, but I do. I would recommend you not eat shit, but, you never know...maybe you'll like it too. Just don't toss a bunch of money on eating shit when it's more common to like not eating shit."

    Anyway, my gist is that this site, and its predecessor, inevitably seemed to shed particularly zealous members. The kinds that speak in such a way as to undermine any claims they make to only having an opinion and understand preferences other than their own. This is a commonly repeated loop. Not that good finds don't come of these particular scenarios, but caution is warranted, and FOTM phases creep in nonetheless.

    Of course, my original post was in regards to comments like "overly vivid," "earlier generations of amoled screens," and the "unnatural" but "immersive" staging with the accompanying picture. I had joked a long while back about the "brute force" kind of sound when Dangerous Music first came up as a topic on SBAF (total extrapolation and guesswork, not based on me hearing anything), found this follow up impression to interestingly match up in some regards, and likened the descriptors to the way pumping stimulants in your body (a definite type of brute force approach) can aid those with ADHD. Or make you feel good even without ADHD.

    Clearly I have no problem with user preferences, and would hope my dumb style isn't opaque these days. That would be like me, a shit-eater, getting upset with folks that like eating sushi. But, again, the follow up commentary was poking at particularly zealous members.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Just type the words "BEGONE SATAN". One of the admins will ban @Psalmanazar for a day. The chance of this working is 95% for admins, 33% for Friends, 100% for those with the JK47 ability, and 5% for randos.

    I know @Psalmanazar's style might be too much, but sometimes this is needed to to shake things up. He's been a catalyst for a lot of good discussion lately. The portal to SBAF from hell was opened to him for a reason. He's also been branded with scarlett letters so people will know of his origin.

    As long as he doesn't virtually open someone's mouth and shit in it (like how a certain Changstar member used to), I'm fine. He can crap on gear all he wants. He's probably right that humanity needs war and famine to correct itself. Personally, I would hope for engagement of authentic spiritual practice rather than war to resolve the human crises, but religion always gets corrupted as witnessed recently by the intersection of smirking catholic boys (oh what a surprise!), passive aggressive displaced indigenous peoples, and believers of their true Israelite lineage. Spiritually obtained wisdom dictates walk away, walk away... nope. We are doomed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  9. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    :rolleyes:
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ^ That's the silence spell, one step before the banishment spell.
     
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  11. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    What if two Friends perform a Dual-Cast? Would that increase the chance?
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yes. They do stack.

    33% then another 33% of the remaining 67% for a little over 55%.
     
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  13. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    I've been out-of-pocket for a while. This JK47, BWC, MZR tagging and BEGONE SATAN stuff is pretty confusing. I don't guess there is a primer somewhere? :confused:
     
  14. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I miss having a chat box, on the site because I'm too lazy to go elsewhere, where we could trash talk each other when the gear landscape is boring, like it is today. (Boring in a good way these days, mind you.) Otherwise we see threads collecting 5 pages in half a day debating whether or not preamps will slowly peel your skin off and tape it back on just slightly askew.
     
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That's the fun of it. It's like when I started playing a tank class in SWTOR, and I didn't know how to taunt and keep aggro, and everybody in the party would say screw this guy and leave the mission within 2 minutes.

    Later on when I got good, I'd do stuff like intentionally letting certain DPS players die for doing dumb stuff like trying to top the DPS charts, pulling before I did, or not taking care of the trash mobs first.
     
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  16. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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  17. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    Reminds me of when I was an angry teenager and got thrown in the JD home for breaking and entering. There was a set of rules, but they were not posted. You found out by breaking them and getting whacked. The common room had no window in the door but one wall was lined with windows about 6 ft. high in the wall. One of the long-timers said he wanted to look out the window and asked me to boost him up on my shoulders. I did so (trying to fit in). He screamed "Drop me!" and then the door flew open and in came Mr. Jailer. He looked at the guy and said "who lifted you up?" He ratted me and I got a beat-down. Turns out, it is not against the rules to look out the window, but it is against the rules to lift someone so THEY can look out the window. Everyone thought it was funny.

    The only time the boy JD"s saw the girl JD's was meal time. If there was a girl in line to get food, you could not walk up behind her. If you were up getting food and a girl walked up, you had to leave. I was standing at the food window and a girl walked up behind me. I got a beat-down. Everyone thought it was funny.

    Stay long enough and you get to abuse the next wave of unfortunates.
     
  18. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Listening to the fame monster, for the first time with the current rig (see my sig).

    I secretly adored this album, and the first track "bad romance" in particular has been a must-play for all my personal audio evaluations -- I've heard this song with a lot of different settings for years. For various reasons, however, to me it was not easy to find satisfying audio reproduction for her music. It needs a lot of audio technicalities well-harmonized to get everything right(-ish).

    That said, dare to express that the sound playing right now is perhaps better than any other previous audio experience of this album. It's like a re-discovery of the greatness of this talented artist (and her team).

    The synthesized bass notes indeed had more of their detail and speed than I expected -- weren't easily noticed in other configurations (prol due to sources) I heard before. Maybe last bit of attack is still a little rounded (by Ether 2 and/or BW2), guessing well-amped Susvara with CV2 could do better -- but at cost of lots of trade-offs. Bottom line, I'd take CV2-BW2-Ether2 anyday over HugoTT-HPA5k(Allnic)-Susvara which I heard recently, regardless of the total price (meaning I take the former even if they are sold at the same price).

    Soundstage of this track is fantastic with CV2. It's not what I perceive as a perfect holographic 3-dimensional (YG2 does this more rightly to my linking). But it envelops me with a surround sound-like performance, as if I am standing in the phantasmal (in a good way) space of music. In this space I am deeply connected to the music. Needless to say, such experience exactly matches to my interpretation of bad romance.

    Anyway, honeymoon must go on.. lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  19. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    Dangerous Convert 2 vs Yggdrasil A2

    I have to first start off with the sentiment that both are great and they both have their own appealing merits.

    Both dacs were used direct to studio monitors,that could take the hot signal directly without transformers. World clock with the volume pot on max, with USB.

    For classical/classical music as Marvey mentioned, the Yggdrasil actually pulls far ahead. When listening to Solo piano recordings.

    In all piano tracks, the Yggdrasil was significantly more detailed and had a rounder sound, with more heft and body.

    In Clair de lune, you can hear the speed of the hammer, the attack of the hammer, the string sustain, decay, and pedaling. You can also hear the room and I find the instrument to sound timbrely fuller and richer which leads to the sound being much more varied, and more emotive for me. For example with the Yggdrasil, I can hear the particularies of a Steinway D, instead of just a piano.

    In comparison, I could not get musically involved with the Convert 2. The room sound is absent and with the loss of reverb, you lose some of the delicacies above(especially note variance and pedaling information with reverb trails) which is replaced by a more leaner, aggressive sound. Its definitely drier and I think I would have a harder time determining different pianists and different instruments.

    The leaner sound is quite a bit forward and its faster cleaner transients hit very hard. This however led to a more brittle, harsher sound, with the attacks of the notes sounding uniform (compared to the Yggdrasil). I think the convert does dynamics well, but the character of the sound is always intense regardless of dynamics. This led me to to miss the fluidity of the Yggdrasil, and the many varied nuances. I guess it must be an r2r thing. This was the only time where I felt the treble was veiled in some sense with the key pressed feeling strong, but dull…..I guess shouty?

    Moving on to orchestral recordings, the Yggdrasil wins out here for the same reasons above. Listening to the end of Mahler 8 with the huge crescendo with a full chorus, organ and massive orchestra….though the convert was very impressive in its loudness and crispness initially. Again the missing fluidity, the slightly shouter thinner sound didn’t convince me as the piece kept crescendoing. The Yggdrasil provided a thicker wall of sound that I would like to hear. Same applies above for Rite of Spring. In tems of imaging, I agree with Marvey and Vtory. I think Vtory’s picture of the movie theater put it well. Its rather strange as sometimes things are separated on three different canvas in blobs, but at the same time instrument localization and specificity seemed to be lacking compared to the Yggdrasil.


    Now that I got classical out of the way, I feel Jazz is a toss up. When I’m listening to solo piano, or slow vocals, I feel I prefer the Yggdrasil. Anything percussive with lots of transients such as Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s Supernova, or Brad Mehlau’s Aerigin…..definitely go in favor of the Convert 2. I remember hearing the Supernova 1 opening, and with the Convert 2’s forward sound, the hits just lurched out of the speakers and surprised me how hard they hit. Great macro dynamics and slam, cleaner blackground and transients got me thinking that it was being played live right into my face. Every time I hear a hard hitting track, I am surprised by how hard the dac hits. I brace for impact, but it always manages to overcome my expectations. I tend to be a soft listener and I am always tempted to turn volume at all times….even when the volume is low. It is definitely not a comfortable listen to get while pouring yourself scotch as it’s always intense. However much as I enjoy this aspect, again sometimes I feel the sound is a bit brittle, shouty/etched, some instruments like trumpet being very hard to listen on the Convert 2. I guess some could call it clarity, but I feel it is a bit harsh to listen over longer periods of time. Paired with that forwardness it leads to ear fatigue in about 10 minutes for me.

    Now moving onto pop music/modern music, I think the convert is just excellent. Dua lipa, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Daft Punk... non-naturally miced music that does not have a ton of room sound and nuance, just sound excellent. Anything I turn on has me bobbing my head and really getting into the slam and the rhythm of the music. The forwardness here, with the transients and intensity of sound all lead to a far more enjoyable listen over the Yggdrasil. When switching back to the Yggdrasil, it definitely did not sound as clean, as mean (always sounded soft actually), and not lifelike. It’s like there is some extra reverb in the filter that takes away from what Marvey decribes as the “purity” of sound that works against the Yggdrasil in modern music. I guess the drier sound really just presents the music as is in its full rawness.

    Thanks SBAF for the loaner! I have a lot more listening notes, but I do not really have the time to write a longer post. I wish I had more time to enjoy than trying to squeeze in time for a comparison. I think the Yggdrasil works better for me because I like to listen mostly to classical.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  20. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    @Cellist88 It seems that the loaner program help you recover Yggdrasil love. That's good thing!

    IMHO I couldn't exactly buy your complaint against ygg2 posted earlier in this thread ("What? Yggdrasil is weak at classical? WTF?"). But this time around, it is more consistent with how I felt (particularly for mahler).

    No doubt I am currently very happy with convert 2 but someday want to add ygg2 (or 3?) to the dac portfolio..
     
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