Denafrips Ares technical measurements

Discussion in 'Source Measurements' started by atomicbob, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    20171114 - updated to include USB input measurements and Schiit Eitr + SPDIF measurement comparison

    If you are unfamiliar with audio measurements please use a search engine with the query:
    "audio measurements" or "audio measurement handbook"
    Look for publications by Richard C. Cabot and also by Bob Metzler, both from Audio Precision. There are other useful publications as well. These will provide basic knowledge.
    Interpretation of the following measurements is beyond the scope of this post.

    The data presented were acquired as follows:

    1. PrismSound dScope III, picoscope 5243B
    2. DAC unbalanced SE RCA and balanced BAL output XLR
    3. 100 Kohm load used for measurements
    4. 44.1 KHz sample rate, 24 bit depth most measurements - some are 48KHz
    5. USB input – Audioquest Forest
    6. SPDIF input - Tecnec 75 ohm SMPTE 259M/292M Digital Broadcast Cable
    7. Unbalance RCA cable - Worlds Best Cable Gotham GAC-2 or DH Labs Silver Sonic Air Matrix
    8. Balanced XLR cable - Canare L-4E6S starquad with Neutrik XLR connectors
    9. Vaunix Lab Brick USB hub
    10: Shielded 14AWG and 16AWG power cables


    Denafrips Ares
    Measurements were performed after a period of 336 hrs of DAC power on time.

    Notable highlights:

    This DAC benefits from an external DDC as seen in post 9 below.
    There is a potential for clipping when digital domain signal is higher than -4 dBFS from recovery filter ringing as can be seen in post 10 below.

    @Torq review can be found here
    Measurements correlate with his listening assessments. Especially with channel differential issues and reducing volume.

    Setup picture:
    DSC_0008a.jpg

    SPDIF input balanced output measurements part A


    Frequency Response
    20170722 Ares BAL FR.PNG

    Frequency Response (y-axis zoom)
    20170722 Ares BAL FR Y axis highly zoomed.PNG

    Dynamic Range
    20170722 Ares BAL dynamic range.PNG

    THD and THD+N
    20170722 Ares BAL THD THD+N.PNG

    IMD
    20170722 Ares BAL IMD.PNG

    Crosstalk
    20170722 Ares BAL crosstalk.PNG

    Inferred Jitter
    20170722 Ares BAL inferred jitter.PNG

    Inferred Jitter (x axis zoom)
    20170722 Ares BAL inferred jitter - 2 KHz BW.PNG
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  2. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    SPDIF input balanced output measurements part B

    1kHz @ -70dBFS
    20170722 Ares BAL 1 KHz -70 dBFS.PNG

    1kHz @ -90dBFS
    20170722 Ares BAL 1 KHz -90 dBFS.PNG

    1 kHz gain linearity
    20170722 Ares BAL 1 KHz gain linearity.PNG

    Imaging
    20170722 Ares BAL imaging.PNG

    50 Hz + 7000 Hz dual tone - corrected

    20170724 Ares BAL 50+7000Hz dual tone.png

    600 Hz + 1700 Hz dual tone
    20170722 Ares BAL 600+1700Hz dual tone.png

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5Vpp 10mS/div
    20170722 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr 5 Vpp 10mS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5Vpp 100uS/div
    20170722 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr 5 Vpp 100uS div.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
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  3. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    SPDIF input unbalanced SE output measurements part A

    Frequency Response
    20170723 Ares SE FR.PNG

    Frequency Response (y-axis zoom)
    20170723 Ares SE FR Y axis highly zoomed.PNG

    Dynamic Range
    20170723 Ares SE dynamic range.PNG

    THD and THD+N
    20170723 Ares SE THD THD+N.PNG

    IMD
    20170723 Ares SE IMD.PNG

    Crosstalk
    20170723 Ares SE crosstalk.PNG

    Inferred Jitter
    20170723 Ares SE inferred jitter.PNG

    Inferred Jitter (x axis zoom)
    20170723 Ares SE inferred jitter - 2 KHz BW.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  4. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    SPDIF input unbalanced SE output measurements part B

    1kHz @ -70dBFS
    20170723 Ares SE 1 KHz -70 dBFS.PNG

    1kHz @ -90dBFS
    20170723 Ares SE 1 KHz -90 dBFS.PNG

    1 kHz gain linearity
    20170723 Ares SE 1 KHz gain linearity.PNG

    Imaging
    20170723 Ares SE imaging.PNG

    50 Hz + 7000 Hz dual tone
    20170723 Ares SE 50+7000Hz dual tone.png

    600 Hz + 1700 Hz dual tone
    20170723 Ares SE 600+1700Hz dual tone.png

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5Vpp 200uS/div
    20170723 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr -3 dBFS 5 Vpp 200uS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -4 dBFS 4Vpp 100uS/div
    20170723 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr -4 dBFS 4 Vpp 100uS div.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  5. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    USB input - balanced output measurements part A

    Frequency Response
    20170724 Ares BAL FR.PNG

    Frequency Response (y-axis zoom)

    20170724 Ares BAL FR Y axis highly zoomed.PNG

    Dynamic Range

    20170724 Ares BAL dynamic range.PNG

    THD and THD+N

    20170724 Ares BAL THD THD+N.PNG

    IMD

    20170724 Ares BAL IMD.PNG

    Crosstalk

    20170724 Ares BAL crosstalk.PNG

    Inferred Jitter

    20170724 Ares BAL inferred jitter.PNG

    Inferred Jitter (x axis zoom)
    20170724 Ares BAL inferred jitter - 2 KHz BW.PNG

     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  6. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    USB input - balanced output measurements part B

    1kHz @ -70dBFS

    20170724 Ares BAL 1 KHz -70 dBFS.PNG

    1kHz @ -90dBFS

    20170724 Ares BAL 1 KHz -90 dBFS.PNG

    1 kHz gain linearity

    20170724 Ares BAL 1 KHz gain linearity.PNG

    Imaging

    20170724 Ares BAL imaging.PNG

    50 Hz + 7000 Hz dual tone

    20170724 Ares BAL 50+7000Hz dual tone.png

    600 Hz + 1700 Hz dual tone

    20170724 Ares BAL 600+1700Hz dual tone.png

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5Vpp 10mS/div

    20170724 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr -3 dBFS 4_7 Vpp 10mS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5Vpp 100uS/div
    20170724 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr -3 dBFS 4_7 Vpp 100uS div.PNG

     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  7. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    USB input - single ended output measurements part A

    Frequency Response
    20170724 Ares SE FR.PNG

    Frequency Response (y-axis zoom)

    20170724 Ares SE FR Y axis highly zoomed.PNG

    Dynamic Range

    20170724 Ares SE dynamic range.PNG

    THD and THD+N

    20170724 Ares SE THD THD+N.PNG

    IMD

    20170724 Ares SE IMD.PNG

    Crosstalk

    20170724 Ares SE crosstalk.PNG

    Inferred Jitter

    20170724 Ares SE inferred jitter.PNG

    Inferred Jitter (x axis zoom)
    20170724 Ares SE inferred jitter - 2 KHz BW.PNG
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  8. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    USB input - single ended output measurements part B

    1kHz @ -70dBFS

    20170724 Ares SE 1 KHz -70 dBFS.PNG

    1kHz @ -90dBFS

    20170724 Ares SE 1 KHz -90 dBFS.PNG

    1 kHz gain linearity

    20170724 Ares SE 1 KHz gain linearity.PNG

    Imaging

    20170724 Ares SE imaging.PNG

    50 Hz + 7000 Hz dual tone

    20170724 Ares SE 50+7000Hz dual tone.png

    600 Hz + 1700 Hz dual tone

    20170724 Ares SE 600+1700Hz dual tone.png

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5Vpp 10mS/div

    20170724 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr -4 dBFS 4_2 Vpp 10mS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5Vpp 100uS/div
    20170724 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr -4 dBFS 4_2 Vpp 100uS div.PNG
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  9. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Comparison of Native USB input vs Shiit Eitr DDC on single ended output measurements

    Imaging
    Native Ares USB input
    20170725 Ares SE imaging - native USB.PNG

    Shiit Eitr DDC USB to Ares SPDIF input

    20170725 Ares SE imaging - w Eitr DDC.PNG

    50 Hz + 7000 Hz dual tone
    Native Ares USB input
    20170725 Ares SE 50+7000Hz 0 dBu dual tone - native USB.png

    Shiit Eitr DDC USB to Ares SPDIF input

    20170725 Ares SE 50+7000Hz 0 dBu dual tone - w Eitr DDC.png

    600 Hz + 1700 Hz dual tone
    Native Ares USB input
    20170725 Ares SE 600+1700Hz 0 dBu dual tone - native USB.png

    Shiit Eitr DDC USB to Ares SPDIF input
    20170725 Ares SE 600+1700Hz 0 dBu dual tone - w Eitr DDC.png

    The balanced outputs behaved similarly.

    Using a Schiit Eitr DDC made an overall improvement for the respective measurements compared to the Ares native USB. Note the spurs above the 20 KHz filter cutoff in the imaging and the spurs above 10 KHz in the dual tone measurements.

     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  10. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Overshoot clipping above -4 dBFS

    This is a function of the DAC recovery filter. When a sinusoidal signal is presented at 0 dBFS there is no clipping. A transient however, such as a kick or snare hit ,has the potential to stimulate the recovery filter ringing as evidenced with a square wave test. Keeping the input signal below -4 dBFS will avoid clipping of musical transients.

    20 Hz sine wave 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10 mS/div Balanced Output
    20170723 Ares BAL 20 Hz sine 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10mS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10 mS/div Balanced Output
    20170723 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10mS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 200 uS/div Balanced Output
    20170723 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 200uS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5 Vpp 200 uS/div Balanced Output
    20170723 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr -3 dBFS 5 Vpp 200uS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -4 dBFS 4 Vpp 100 uS/div Balanced Output
    20170723 Ares BAL 20 Hz sqr -4 dBFS 4 Vpp 100uS div.PNG

    20 Hz sine wave 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10 mS/div Single Ended Output
    20170723 Ares SE 20 Hz sine 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10mS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10 mS/div Single Ended Output
    20170723 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 10mS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 200 uS/div Single Ended Output
    20170723 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr 0 dBFS 6 Vpp 200uS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -3 dBFS 5 Vpp 200 uS/div Single Ended Output
    20170723 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr -3 dBFS 5 Vpp 200uS div.PNG

    20 Hz square wave -4 dBFS 5 Vpp 100 uS/div Single Ended Output
    20170723 Ares SE 20 Hz sqr -4 dBFS 4 Vpp 100uS div.PNG






     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  11. alvin1118

    alvin1118 MOT - VINSHINE AUDIO

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    That's a hell lot of information to digest!!
     
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  12. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    And the USB is still to come, both balanced and unbalanced SE. Then the Pontus will go through the very same set of approximately 70 ~ 80 measurements. It is a lot of work but also helpful in understanding both the strengths and weaknesses of the devices. Setup for each measurement requires care as there are hundreds of parameters in hidden sub-panels, any of which may influence the accuracy of the measurement. Config files help but occasionally some random parameter doesn't get set properly. It happens to all the measurement system vendors.
     
  13. alvin1118

    alvin1118 MOT - VINSHINE AUDIO

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    Thanks @atomicbob for the extraordinary hard-work! Salute! :bow:
     
  14. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Complete newb question. On the dual tone tests, is there any value in doing a 600Hz + 1200Hz sample, or a 2kHz + 4kHz sample? Maybe try to coax some 2 order issues out of the thing, or is this something a DAC won't exhibit but a headphone would?

    (I'm curious about all this, and want to learn more about why the tests are done in the way they are done and what results are good, etc.)
     
  15. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    Those are interesting results and with 'unique' characteristics in some tests.

    And that IS a whole bunch of work.

    Thanks for the look-see under the hood so to speak.

    JJ
     
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  16. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    you might want to use a search engine to query "audio measurement handbook"
    publications from Richard C. Cabot and Bob Metzler, both of Audio Precision, will provide useful knowledge.
     
  17. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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  18. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Listening to the loaner now. It has barely had 8 hours to warm up. As it sits now, detail seems soft compared to my Bifrost Multibit. I had to turn the volume up beyond my normal listening levels to pick up some of the details I'm used to hearing on familiar tracks like Rebecca Pidgeon's Spanish Harlem. Bass seems a touch fuller though.

    I don't have my Eitr yet, so I'm using USB to the Aries, then the RCA outs to a Jot -> Eikon. Going to swap over to XLR and see what color of green the grass is on that side of the fence. Will update after I'm done with it.

    (We have a few Denafrips threads... move this if I'm in the wrong one please. Danka.)
     
  19. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    It makes me wonder why they don't address this in a more 'structured' way.
    It doesn't seem like it would take all that much to come up with a 'checklist' or setup configuration screen which would go a long way in at least reducing this complexity into a more manageable format.

    It seems like a refinement that would help in many ways.

    JJ
     
  20. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    The dScope does have config files and sophisticated automation scripts using VB. The measurements would be impossibly complicated otherwise. The problem arises after making hundreds of measurements in a day when the possibility of an important parameter configured incorrectly due to some obscure bug increases. Not unique to Prism Sound. All sophisticated analyzers have their respective share of operational configuration bugs. So the onus is on the operator to make data quality checks.

    Setting a target to populate the remainder of those reserved posts in the next week or two. So many measurements, so little time.
     
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