Life after Yggdrasil: Watering the Ash

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Torq, Mar 1, 2017.

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  1. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Aye, FW was mostly popular* because it wasn't polling-based, and thus was more reliable than USB in high CPU load situations. Now USB 3 is interrupt-driven too, the gap is narrowed in that respect- which means Thunderbolt is still something of a minority pastime outside of Apple land. Cost of implementation/licensing often trumps other considerations for most gear.

    (If you've ever seen any of the miserable megathreads about optimising Windows/MacOS to avoid USB buffer underruns for live performance use in Serato/Traktor/Ableton, you'll feel the cost in stress of the cheaper approach of USB and USB 2.)



    * Obviously, the raw throughput was higher, too- but that was rarely the main issue for audio.
     
  2. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    +1 to Kattefjaes. Consistency is paramount in recording studio, DV transfer, live performance so Firewire was the obvious choice in the industry at the time.
     
  3. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    Thanks Torq for this thread.

    Just pulled the trigger on a Yggdrasil, based on so much good info on this site and in particular this thread. Means a hand-me down Bifrost Multibit for my Dad, and likely means I'll upgrade the Lyr 2 to a balanced amp at some point, but one thing at a time.

    Oh, they do have Black available at the time I am posting this. Me, I really like Shiit's Silver motif, and if I end up with a Ragnarok or Mjolnir 2 at some point, easier to get a match, but I know some people are holding out for the Black gear.
     
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  4. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Ross Martin Audio

    PCM 1794A DAC (-)(!)

    Let's start by saying that thanks should go to @atomicbob for the loan of this unit. It's not something I would have come across, or possibly even been aware of, without his both suggesting it for audition and for making his unit available for me to fiddle around with.

    One of the more interesting aspects of the Ross Martin PCM1794A DAC (hereafter, I’ll refer to the Ross Martin PCM1794A DAC as “RM”, “the 1794” or, possibly, “Geoff”*, perhaps its main claim to fame in fact, is that it is a balanced DAC that’s available for under $250 ($217.70 as of this posting). This is the cheapest such unit that I’m aware of.

    While balanced operation isn’t always “better” than single-ended when it comes to realized sonic performance, at least unless you’re doing longs runs of cable between DAC and amp, it’s seen as desirable by many. And the interest in a lower-cost balanced-output DAC does seem to have increased notably since the release of Schiit’s Jotunheim.

    This unit has a very distincitive look. And you’ll have to excuse the quality of the pictures, though in my defense pulling out the bigger camera and/or setting up the little tent, to shoot it in (more than I can be bothered with at the best of times) is really not going to improve things here:

    RM-1794A-(Front).jpg

    RM-1794A-(Back).jpg

    Clearly this is not a DAC you buy to put on display – the look is a bit basic and agricultural - and though the raw-metal/wood look has a certain charm to it this is a functional device first and foremost. Not unexpected for a hand-built, built-to-order, low-volume product. As such, it feels quite solidly put together, with robust switchgear, but it does look like the kind of thing that one might cobble together in the shed. Though, to be honest, it looks a lot better finished than if I had done said cobbling-together (no blood, no bits of finger etc.). The upside to this is that the parts budget is focused where it counts, and once connected and powered up there’s no need to interact with the unit – so it’s easy to hide.

    Interfaces:

    The unit I have has both COAX and TOSLINK S/PDIF inputs. These are switched from the front panel. An LED on the front panel indicates when the DAC has locked onto the input signal. Using my Auralic Aries as a source, I did not observe any difference in performance between those inputs (using a Lifatec glass TOSLINK cable and a good-quality COAX cable). However, taking a TOSLINK feed straight from one of my computers did result in audible changes and not for the better, so unless you have a solid TOSLINK source, or are experiencing ground/noise issues, you probably want to stick with the COAX connection.

    Operation:

    Nothing remarkable or surprising here … it’s a DAC, it has a clock, it’s generally best left powered on permanently as it takes half an hour or so to sound it’s best. But there’s a more important reason to leave this powered on all the time, as it’ll typically output a loud “pop” when you turn it on. So, either leave it on all the time (which is generally recommended anyway) or turn it on before you turn on your amplifier.

    Single-Ended vs. Balanced:

    As previously mentioned, a big part of the interest in this unit is due to it being a low-cost balanced-output DAC and as a result that’s how I did the bulk of my listening with this unit, though I did comparisons with both SE and balanced outputs. For the most part it was very hard to tell the two outputs apart, however using a fully-balanced chain resulted in slightly better micro-dynamics and separation at the cost of a very small, apparent, reduction in transient performance.

    In other words, using the SE outputs, with some music that has extremely sharp/fast transients, and listening with dynamic headphones (Focal Utopia, Sennheiser HD800S), using audition-style listening, the transient response seemed very slightly better than in balanced mode.

    Using the exact same setup with Yggdrasil as the source, I do NOT hear this delta in transient performance when switching between SE and balanced - so it’s reasonable to assume it’s down to the DAC and not the rest of the chain.

    Listening:

    While this thread is called “Life after Yggdrasil”, and Schiit’s TOTL DAC is the principal reference here, I did not come into this particular evaluation with any notion that the 1794 was going to perform on that level. And, sure enough, it doesn’t. Which is entirely reasonable. It’s also not going to give Gungnir any sleepless nights. So, we’ll start at the other end of the spectrum and begin with comparisons to another favorite point of reference here – Schiit’s Modi Multi-bit; before drawing specific comparisons, however, it’s worth talking about the general sonic nature of the RM unit …

    The RM 1794 has a generally smooth and largely neutral presentation (with no apparent roll-off at either extreme). This is a characteristic I’ve found in a lot of Burr Brown (now TI) based converters over the years, and in the past something I’ve found broadly enjoyable. The sense of smoothness is not just tonal, but was apparent in listening to some harsher passages on brass and discordant piano, with me hearing a slight “rounding” of the sound – taking away a little of the natural bite I normally hear there.

    Another way to think of this is of it having a somewhat-polite nature.

    That’s not to say that this smoothness is robbing the unit of detail. It’s subtler than that. And in a direct, back-to-back comparison with Modi MB you will probably become aware of what is sometimes referred to as a very slight “veil” from the Schiit DAC**. In terms of raw resolution, I think the RM 1794 is slightly out-resolving Modi MB, is trading blows with Bifrost MB, and clearly behind Gungnir MB or Yggdrasil.

    Tonally, the signature is largely neutral as already mentioned. There’s a hint of warmth to the RM unit compared to the closest Schiit DACs, which is either good or bad depending on your preferences, but it’s not so pronounced as to be obvious without actual comparisons. Overall, and through longer listening periods (I’ll come back to this in a minute), I found no particular issues here, and both instruments and vocals sound quite natural.

    If I had to pick another DAC that I’d say this unit is tonally closest too, then off the top of my head I would probably lean towards the iFi Audio Micro iDSD BL used purely in DAC mode and after a couple of hundred hours of use. That’s an indirect comparison, and is specifically at odds with how I heard the iFi unit via its built-in amp (which I would NOT describe as polite, but was rather more “exciting”), but that’s the closest thing I can think of.

    One interesting thing I’ve found while evaluating the RM 1794 is a tendency to forget that I’m supposed to be listening critically and just wind up enjoying the music. This has led to some longer-than-usual sessions than I would normally undertake when doing such auditions. That’s an entirely desirable trait and one often not found at this end of the market (for me).

    Overall dynamics are good, while macro-dynamic performance is not quite as good as its micro-dynamics (which is not something I see a lot), but regardless in both cases it is generally either matched, or beaten there by any of the multi-bit Schiit units – the exception being that micro-dynamic performance is very close to Modi MB.

    Slam and low-end articulation favor the Modi MB and, indeed, that entire line. Not that the RM is particularly lacking or unsatisfying here, but it is audibly different and, from my perspective, I prefer the Schiit rendering here. That tends to be true in many comparisons and is not, to me, very surprising.

    Mid-range is really the 1794s strongest suit. It’s detailed, articulate, lucid and quite engaging. The bass doesn’t intrude into it at all, and it extends cleanly into the lower treble, and it worked well with essentially every genre of music I threw at it. With female vocals in particular it was relaxing and beguiling with no tendency to make higher notes sound shouty or shrill.

    Normally when I compare soundstage with DACs I do it in my speaker rig. Changes to that setup mean that it’s not as useful a reference as it was (all sources into that system now go through an ADC and then later, through another DAC, due to the nature of Linn’s “Exakt” system … so you’re not just hearing the source … even though the system is highly transparent). At the same time, it’s apparent both in that system and via headphones, that the width of the soundstage is compressed somewhat with “Geoff” (okay, maybe that reference doesn’t really work … so with the RM unit) compared to Modi MB, or the bigger DACs in my collection.

    This compression of the soundstage is not particularly pronounced, and I am probably more aware of it as a result of some of that evaluation being against my own recordings of my piano, some of which were done to highlight placement of sound and soundstage dimensions, but it’s there nonetheless. And it’s worth pointing out that soundstage is one of the strengths I find with Schiit’s DACs. Whether that’s down to Mike’s mega-combo-burrito filter, or the multi-bit nature of the thing, I’m not 100% sure, but I’d put my money on it being the filter.

    An interesting artifact here, however, is that, while not specifically about soundstage, the general sense of air and space in suitable recordings is more apparent with the Ross Martin unit vs. some of the immediate competition. It outdoes Modi MB here, beats the Meridian Explorer 2 and AudioQuest DFR and hovers closer to, maybe above, the Bifrost MB in terms of top-end air and sparkle. And, unlike, say, the Resonessence Labs Concero HD, the RM unit doesn’t sandpaper your ears with grain and exaggerated detail.

    Again, it’s quite civilized, even a bit on the polite side (there’s that word again).

    Musically it’s quite engaging, with no real transgressions. It doesn’t do a lot to call attention to itself, and isn’t “immediately impressive”. For long-term listening enjoyment that’s a good thing more often than not – stuff that tends to be obvious in any one area ultimately can wind up being annoying or fatiguing over time. I did not find such issues here.

    How Does it Rank?

    This is as much about how I feel it performs, as it is a reflection of my personal preferences. Overall performance is solid and without major rough spots or points of concern. I find it somewhat preferable, musically, to most of the pure D/S DACs I’ve heard in the last year or so, though in raw technical terms many of those would outperform it (as well they might, most are several multiples of the RM unit’s price).

    If I didn’t need balanced output, which can be a factor from several perspectives (for example, Ragnarok is meaningfully better run fully-balanced due to its topology), then I would personally stick with Schiit’s Modi MB. Reasons there are as much aesthetic as they are sonic or signature-preference driven. I find Mike’s multi-bit units somewhat more coherent overall and I get that without having to make a trade-off between whether I want the best dynamics or the best transient response based on output!

    If you care more about top-end air and sparkle, and are an absolute detail/resolution junkie, then you might well prefer, and be better served by, the Ross Martin unit to the Modi MB. In either case there isn’t much in it … enough to tell in direct comparison, or if you’re very familiar with the units in question, but nothing pronounced enough to sway you one way or the other beyond that.

    So, I find myself looking at things as follows:

    Bifrost MB > Modi MB >= RM 1794 >= iFi Micro iDSD BL > Meridian Explorer 2 > AudioQuest DFR

    I expect when this thing first surfaced it would have been quite hard to beat at its price point. Today thought it’s a better-than-average DAC at very reasonable cost, with balanced output to boot, the competition is much stiffer in raw sonic terms.

    Certainly a viable and enjoyable little unit, and very good on the value front, but I’d still personally go with a Modi MB in most cases. Again, your mileage may vary and your personal preferences and system needs might flip the Modi MB and RM 1974 units around.

    I might add one of these units to my evaluation setup to serve as a properly-competent non-multi-bit DAC for future comparisons (technically this is a hybrid DS/multi-bit converter). If so, that can start out as a loaner unit to give others a chance to hear the differences and potentially compare a balanced source at this end of the market.

    Note that I did some additional comparisons, including with the Concero HD and the Mousai MSD 192, which I’ll save for those write-ups (and then reference back to, and from, here).

    Other Thoughts:

    I think a lot of people will look at this unit as a possible pairing with Jotunheim to feed it’s balanced inputs. In that specific case, it’s worth bearing in mind that Jotunheim did not, for me, suffer when used with an SE input but driving a balanced headphone. While I did not get to test the RM unit with a Jotunheim, the fact that that amplifier isn’t compromised in SE mode really de-emphasizes the need for a balanced DAC to feed it vs. some other units***.

    For me this would mean making a trade-off between getting the best dynamic performance out of the RM unit or favoring transient behavior. That’s not a trade-off I would want to make, in most cases, particularly where it is not necessary with other units. Which means I’d still take a Modi MB to feed a Jotunheim here.

    I don’t, at the end of the day, feel the balanced output capability of the RM 1794 is quite enough to elevate it above its principal competition outside of situations where balanced output is either required or it lets you take advantage of potentially better performance in some balanced amplifiers.

    If I was pairing a DAC with Ragnarok, I would go out of my way to feed that with a balanced source to take full advantage of the strengths of it’s topology. This is less of a concern with some other amplifiers. Which means that while I’d take the Modi MB over the RM 1794 with a Jotunheim, I might well go for the RM1794 over the Modi MB for Ragnarok. Though in reality, for me, neither of these DACs would be something I’d pair with that particular amplifier (and currently I have a Gungnir MB in that rig).

    --

    *For those that don’t appreciate Top Gear (please see a doctor at your earliest convenience), you can just skip to the most salient bit here.

    **You probably won’t hear that “veil” outside of back-to-back comparisons unless you’re very familiar with the sources, and material, and have a suitably resolving system, and I really don’t like referring to it as being “veiled”, but that’s the best description I have.

    ***It would be interesting to compare the RM -> Jotunheim with the Jotunheim and its native DAC card. I’ve not heard that board, so can’t comment on its signature specifically.
     
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  5. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Nice write up as always Torq. I have a soft spot (aside from the one in my head), for a supplier like this. Mom and Pop shop building dacs that perform above expectations in the middle of nowhere (Ime all of Nebraska qualifies). Makes me curious about their other products, particularly the dual dac plus hp amp. Also may get a qualified recommendation if I were asked, at least to take a look at. Pretty hideous though, but in context that is probably endearing. Thanks for your time Torq.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    It's interesting that he has some models with TPA6120 headamps in there too. The head-fi box is really not a bad price all things considered, assuming the amp implementation is good.
     
  7. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Resonessence Labs

    Concero HD (-)

    There a number of places I could start when talking about the Concero HD (kindly loaned to me by @atomicbob), but let’s begin with a few words about the company that builds and sells it. And my understanding here is that at least some of the people at Resonessence Labs are former ESS employees/engineers and were involved in the actual design of the ESS Audio DAC and ADC chips. I say this, because that’s what it says on their website.

    Before I say anything else, I’m going to say that every time I see the name of the company, and particularly when I try and type it, it looks like it is incorrectly spelled. I’m not going to keep trying to do that, so “RL” it is from here on out. In a similar vein, if “Concero” winds up appearing as “Concert” or “Concerto” or “bastard spelling that autocorrect wants to keep randomly changing” don’t be surprised.

    The unit itself is very compact. I would like to tell you that inside its diminutive, USB-powered, dimensions beats the heart of a DAC that’s sonic performance belies it modest size. I’d be lying; but I would like to be able to say it – if only because I’d have had a rather more enjoyable time auditioning it if it were true.

    It’s not that this unit is particularly awful … it is “classic Sabre” in nature and technically competent, but you don’t need to spend anywhere near $850 to get something that sounds extremely similar. And you can get a more, for me, pleasing and involving result for a small fraction of that sum.

    It's small size doesn't hint at the rather solid feel of the thing though, and the small chassis is a surprisingly weighty two-piece metal affair - using decent cables won't result in it wandering all over your desk or shelf. The finish is rather nice, though it's a definite finger-print magnet:

    Concero-HD-(Front).jpg

    Concero-HD-(Back).jpg

    Features:

    Beyond support for high-resolution PCM and up to dual-rate DSD (DSD128), the Concero HD allows selection of a couple of up-sampling filter types (limited to 44.1 and 48 KHz source material, with 4x upsampling) … specifically IIR and apodizing. It’ll accept both USB input as well as S/PDIF and it can act as a USB -> S/PDIF converter (w/ galvanic isolation).

    Excepting a multi-color LED behind the “RL” logo, there is no display of any kind on this unit, and changing settings, either requires a special configuration application (which I did not try) or the use of an Apple IR Remote (fiddly, but it saves installing random vendor software).

    Interfaces:

    I tried this using a straight USB connection, and then a power-only USB connection (in S/PDIF input mode) fed from a very-low noise external PSU. While, sonically, it seemed a little less aggressive when driven via it’s S/PDIF mode – I don’t think the difference is worth bothering with … it doesn’t resolve the other issues I found while listening.

    Speaking of which …

    Listening:

    Initial perception was of lots of apparent detail which, after a few minutes, gave way to sounding exaggerated and over-sharpened and actual resolution seems lacking compared to far cheaper units. This has, for example, the tendency to produce very aggressive attack on instruments … generally TOO aggressive. And that gets tiring very quickly.

    Separation was, I found, rather good. Too good in fact. To the point that it sounded unnatural and somewhat forced. As if someone had gone around every instrument and vocalist and drawn a very obvious chalk-line around them. In fluorescent pink.

    While I’m sure, like most DACs, this thing measures perfectly flat, what I get when listening to the thing is the sense of a “W” shaped response. Don’t ask me how that’s possible, but it seemed like it was trying to draw attention to itself in three bands and not doing a good job in any of them. This harmed coherency and, with the final up-stroke on that “W” seeming to rise way above the others, the net result was quite rough and tilted towards the highs.

    Everything is very much “in your face”.

    Well, except for the bottom end, which varied between a bit too imprecise and flabby to excessively lean and lacked slam. Which aspect I was aware of depended on the track, but I am NOT suggesting that it’s changing its tonality or performance mid-track the way the Audio-GD S19 appears to.

    As already mentioned, if you’re running 44.1 or 48 KHz sample rates, then you can choose from two filters (plus “no” filter or “bit perfect” mode). Neither of them made this any more enjoyable for me and are really just variations on the theme of “why” I don’t want to listen to this anymore.

    Now, to be fair, I did make it through my entire initial playlist with the Concero HD. It’s not something I’d want to repeat, but this is not awful on the same level as the Audio-GD Singularity 19. The RL unit is technically competent if not very musical (for me).

    I could say more about the sonic-specifics … I’m just disinclined to expend as much energy on this since none of it winds up painting a picture that I could honestly describe as desirable. It’s a bit of a contradiction but it sounds hyper-detailed while actually seeming not to resolve as well as it sounds.

    DSD vs. PCM

    The Concero HD fared better with DSD content than it did with PCM. This remained true regardless of whether the DSD content was native or converted (on the fly) from PCM. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this, but with other DACs it’s been due to the actual implementation of that DAC being a pure-DSD design (that does its own conversion from PCM sources).

    Unfortunately, even though it improved with a DSD feed, it never attained “musicality” during my listening. And, no, I wouldn’t recommend this as a DSD-DAC – there are plenty of other units that I’ve heard do a more convincing job for a lot less money.

    Summary:

    I would say that, if you want to hear something that clearly illustrates what I would describe as “classic Sabre”, this would be a good DAC to try. Unfortunately, for me, “classic Sabre” is not a desirable signature. Fatigue sets in very quickly listening to this thing. I find it harsh and etched in the upper registers, generally sterile in its presentation and yielding no musical engagement for me at all, and constantly feels over sharpened and like it’s “trying too hard”.

    There are people that like that sort of presentation, which seems a bit odd to me, but then it takes all sorts to make a world (a good number of which I’d just as soon have nothing to do with). I’m just not one of them.

    Other than not finding any connection to the music with this unit, at all, the bigger issue I have is one of value, or lack thereof. I have had a number of much cheaper DACs through my hands that I would vastly prefer to listen to than the Concero HD. Just limiting the list to what’s been around here recently, those include:
    • Schiit Modi MB
    • Ross Martin: PCM1794A
    • Schiit Bifrost (any version)
    • iFi iDSD Micro BL
    • Chord Mojo
    • Meridian Explorer 2
    • Dragonfly Red
    Even the built-in DAC in the Peachtree Audio BT-1 adapter I have laying around is more musically engaging, less fatiguing and a bit more coherent than the Concero HD for me (though it doesn’t meet the technicalities of any of the other DACs mentioned here).

    Other Thoughts:

    I mentioned this earlier, but you can employ this unit as an S/PDIF converter. The stated purpose of this feature is to allow dual-output (analog from the DAC, and S/PDIF to, say, your HT receiver) from a single source. And that’s probably how it is best employed, as I did not find it particularly notable when using it as a USB -> S/PDIF converter (you can tell it improves things, but no more so than any of a number of ~$100-$150 devices).

    If you had one of these laying around, and needed such a device, I supposed you’re better off using it there than sticking with pure USB … if you couldn’t sell it at least.

    This is not a unit I’d buy personally, even if it was priced much lower.

    If I was given it, it would either be sold immediately … or kept around to demonstrate what I mean when I refer to something having a “classic Sabre” presentation.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
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  8. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    I like the contrast between the Ross Martin DAC (butt ugly, easy on the ear) and the RN Concertina (sleek but sounds like typical SABRE). There's a moral there somewhere. Thanks for the continuing DAC blather, @Torq - while I don't have any intention of buying any of these (I'm quite happy with what I have), it's nice to know what's out there.

    I'm looking forward to the new Soekris thingy, if only to shut up that guy who keeps squealing about how it's "24 bit" and thus automatically a "game changer" and Yggdrasil killer. (I'm sure it will be very competent, and reasonably nice-sounding for the price, but will never match up to the hyperbole of the "I don't understand DACs/BOM/anything else" crowd. That's unfair on Soekris, apart from anything).
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
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  9. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    It's an interesting process. The biggest problem I'm finding at the moment is every time I write something it feels (and sounds in my head) extremely repetitive. I shall have to try changing up the format a bit and make more references to specific music in illustrating specific points (and, at some point, finish posting the various albums/performances I use for auditioning).

    Such changes are likely to result in under-peforming units getting much shorter-shrift (and write-ups that are more terse and less structured) than they have been - especially at the higher end of the market. The commentary on the Singularity 19 was toned down as the original version was heading a bit too far down the comedic route (for effect) ... to a level where it would likely hurt the credibility of what was being said (calling it "shit" is still accurate, in my opinion ... and is being quite mild about it).

    That, and the Denafrips stuff, particularly the Ares to start with (though I'm not sure that's coming our way ... I think @alvin1118 is thinking about using a couple of different units). Though if what we do get there is good I could see purchasing an Ares just to see where it falls (<$600, discrete R2R, DSD capable w/ balanced output puts it in, I think, a category of one).

    Those clowns are always funny ... let's toss physics and go with what we want to believe! Reality be damned!
     
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  10. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Exactly how I felt upon first listening. Wow ... listen to all that detail which gave away to a major listening fatigue headache within a very short time.
    You've hit upon why I keep it in the lab. I could not bring myself however to acquire an Audio-gd S19 for such purposes. The S19 would waste too much space for the little it has to offer.
     
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  11. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Very interesting evaluation, and some kind of relief for me :). When I was shopping for a DAC I visited Ross Martin's page and after half an hour I still could not relate the product pictures to the descriptions and prices. I left in frustration and bought Modi MB. If Ross Martin PCM1794A turned out to be some kind of gem of audio engineering I would be really pissed. As good as Modi MB.. I can live with that.
     
  12. artur9

    artur9 Rando

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    I was bidding on a Ross Martin on eBay while waiting with bated breath for Torq's review. It got away a few hours before the review was posted.

    The review made me glad I didn't bid more but also convinced me that it would have been a bargain at the same time. Torq's reviews make me dizzy that way ;-)
     
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  13. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    24 bit is something like 140+ dB of dynamic range, so either we are talking hearing damage on one end of the spectrum, or voodoo electronics that are effectively noiseless. Don't think so. Actually one of the things I like about Schiit is their grounded product claims and humor, including some of the product guides noting sure you can use an expensive power cable, but what about the hundreds of feet of crap wire in your walls? type of comments ;)

    That written I'm big believer in subtle distortion, and coloration; it can be pleasant or long-term grate on my nerves. If it's pleasant, a keeper product for me.
     
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  14. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    Wait till we get to dissecting the 27 bit claims of the dac1541, which brings us into MSB's 28.5 bit territory of fun or Chord's -180 dB claims. By comparison Soekris is relatively timid and circumspect and doesn't go above 162 dB. Will be interesting to see @Torq's take on this.
     
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  15. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Soekris seems to be mostly legit and honourable, no-one should assume that I was throwing shade on them above..
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  16. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    The Soekris offerings is something to keep an eye on, and may end up being very good sounding, no matter 'can human's hear that much dynamic range? can home gear achieve that level of dynamic range without being drowned out in electronic noise?' Still, If it sounds good, it may end up being a buyer, all claims aside. Looking forward to the first reviews.
     
  17. winders

    winders Compensating for micropenis

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    Since I listen to mostly Red Book content, I am perfectly content with my Yggdrasil's paltry 21 bits of resolution and SNR of >117 dB.

    I don't know how I manage to get by using obsolete equipment....
     
  18. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Wow Really interesting that folks are getting into the Ross Martin Dacs. Back in 2011 I had one of the 1794 variants (reviewed over on the other channel) he offered and it was/is a very good dac for under $250. Probably could hold up against some under $450 dacs today.
     
  19. Larry Megugorac

    Larry Megugorac Craps on Filipino accents to ease inner poverty

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    I don't how you do it ....struggling with that crappy Yggdrasil that only does 21 bits..:(

    I don't know how I do it either....but those 21 bits are the finest bunch of bits my ears have ever heard!!!!....ever!!!!:D .
     
  20. pavi

    pavi Almost "Made"

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    here's a TIDAL playlist including the tracks @Torq listed. two tracks (leather - tori amos; sonnentanz - klangkarussel/will heard) are twice represented since i wasn't sure which one was intended.

    https://tidal.com/playlist/4bc321b9-6940-45c7-aeeb-a3d34f2f00e3

    deeply grateful to @Torq for wonderful insight engagingly phrased and generously shared.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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