Marvey's DAC Chart of Awesomeness

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by The Alchemist, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    I really wish people can spend time to listen to the microphone feed before it goes into the mixing board that feeds the tape deck that feeds the RIAA EQ that feeds the vinyl mastering electronics that feeds the vinyl mastering lathe and see the major grand canyon void between the microphone feed and even the best vinyl pressings. The former is life itself (literally) and the other is an approximation of it.
     
  2. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Even more enlightening when you are the one placing and re-positioning mics while the musicians warm up and comparing that to the mic feed, constantly listening for differences in timbre and phase smearing between mics, whether using, abusing or trying to eliminate off-axis bleed. I'm a big fan of using bleed, with careful placement or minimalist mic technique.
     
  3. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    Jason nicknamed them that?
     
  4. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    @atomicbob : A thread about recording and how it's made would be maybe a (very) good idea and would probably help us a lot to understand really what we're listening for. Mic placement and its consequences on final result ( timbres , soundstage , realistic imaging ... ) would be a fascinating subject, at least for me. :bow:
     
  5. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I think this thread from Alex at Schiit may be of import. But this was way before the Bifrost Multibit was made public. So if Bimbo was the slang for the DS Bifrost uber usb, AKA BooBoo, then it must follow that Bifrost Multibit be the name of the Multibit ;)

    Our shop names



    Yggdrasil - Yggdrasil

    Gungnir USB Multibit - Gungnir Multibit

    Bifrost Uber USB - BooBoo

    Bifrost Uber no USB - Boo



    I like the idea of calling it BIMBO, I just don't know how the women in the shop will react to me yelling that we need to ship 30 Bimbos to Amazon.
     
  6. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    I've been only a minor studio rat, though mics from my collection are highly sought after. There are interviews and literature available for some of the greats that would have far more than I to offer. Look for AES interviews, Sound On Sound interviews etc. for the following people:

    Al Schmitt
    George Massenberg
    Tom Scholz
    Bill Putnam
    Frank Laico
    Tom Dowd
    Bob Katz
    David Chesky

    A book I highly recommend is The New Stereo Soundbook by Ron Streicher and F. Alton Everest
    Also recommended: Handbook of Recording Engineering by John M. Eargle
     
  7. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    Sounds like an awesome plan! Every time I want to listen to music (any time day or night), please provide the microphone feed on my whim...the closer to the source, the better.

    Of course, please be ready to recreate the Miles Davis - Kind of Blue sessions or the Allman Brothers At Filmore East at the very minimum...would a 5 day notice help for you to setup the feed in my listening room? :)

    I agree, there is a huge void between the microphone feed and a final remastered product. But it doesn't help the cause of "playback" of recorded music.
    A microphone feed will educate me to the differences of "live" sound vs "playback" of a recorded event. But it does nothing to recreate music of a time and era where I was not present to hear it "live".

    How do we fill THAT void?
     
  8. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    The point was that given the opportunity to hear the musician in the room, live mic feed and then final result, you would hear why some of the sound quality minutiae over which is argued often pales compared to the path @Original Ken describes. Everyone isn't going to have that opportunity. But there exist opportunities to hear instruments live on stage which can give some frame of reference while supporting the musicians more directly. Of course it also depends on venue acoustics and how well or bad the FOH and monitor mix staff do their job. Plenty of great musicians to hear these days.
     
  9. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    I try hard to maintain a healthy diet of live music...truly a life enriching experience, always has been for me personally. I'm going to see Opeth (one of my favorite bands) in LA on the 24th of Oct. It is their 25th Anniversary tour! Wife coming along as well as I've played the music enough times at home, she knows some of the songs now :)

    [​IMG]

    This is the theatre....the Orpheum. I find it MESMERIZING!

    [​IMG]

    However, as good as live music is, I do try hard to get a small semblance of it through my playback system. It's just that vinyl does it much better than any digital I have ever heard at any price. Anyhow, you guys carry on discussing...
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Don't know if you are being facetious; but yes, the closer to the source the better, or at least the better sense of immediacy or realism. I've heard some direct transfers (un-mastered, unadulterated) from tapes to digital of material from Sinatra and the Beatles that made my jaw drop (even though it was really raw sounding). The less processing involved, the better, with AD-DA conversions possibly being more destructive than most forms of analog processing. Think of each step as making photocopy of a photocopy.

    With non-naturally mic'ed material, what you proposed might not actually be better sounding. Raw feeds from guitars and microphones need to be EQ'd, compressed, processed, etc. This is not to mention the mixing down of the tracks to stereo and final mastering and polishing. These steps, while each degrading the immediacy of the recording, are necessary evils for certain kinds of production. Direct from microphone into board into tape may not sound as good as something which has been properly mixed and mastered.

    Either way, what you propose isn't applicable to the situation at hand (other than being at the live event, which for popular music may actually sound worse) because we are talking about final polished material that is accessible to end-user.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  11. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    That's why I hate the way most of these Forums format the Quote - when it is in a faint typeface, often in a grey box, it is formatted for the purpose of ignoring it. My statement was a re-write of a previous poster's statement. (I think I am going to have to remember not to use the "quote" feature in those cases where my post doesn't make sense without the reader re-reading the quote.
     
  12. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    shaizada wrote: "If the vinyl is actually mastered from a high res digital version (many times this is the case), there is a possibility for it to sound better than the CD mastering of the source."
    But in almost all cases where there is an audiophile vinyl of a high res digital version, then the high res digital version is made available for sale. Adding RIAA EQ, Mastering Lathe, Vinyl, Phono Cartridge and Preamp to the reproduction chain cannot improve the sound.

    The DAC used to drive the Mastering Lathe is unlikely to be better than Yggdrasil and is probably going to be worse.

    I think that if Vinyl of a Digial Recording sounds better to you than your Vinyl playback system is introducing some "euphonic" qualities, much like tubes are known for.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    1. First of all, why would a DAC be used to drive the lathe? It's already been discussed in another thread that not all vinyl cutting involves a digital time delay; and that digital time delays were implemented later after CDs came out by cheap studios who regretted dismantling their vinyl cutting rooms too soon.
    2. You mention RIAA, cutter, cart/stylus, and phono preamp; but you neglect to consider all the little components and sections inside the ADC and DAC. ADC and DACs are not magical one-step boxes.
    3. Finally, I suggest you actually listen to high quality tube gear, high quality vinyl gear, and all analog process records before forming an opinion / making a determination that euphony (sins of commission) are the cause for vinyl's superior immediacy and realism rather than digital's sins of omission.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  14. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    I understood Original Ken to be talking about vinyl pressed from a hires digital source, hence the need for a DAC before the lathe. I could be missing it though.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    My arguments never hinged on digital in the chain of vinyl. In fact, I implied that vinyl with digital in the chain didn't sound appreciably better than what a good DAC can do.
     
  16. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    You're reading too fast. My post started with the name of the poster and his quote that I was replying to.
     
  17. Original Ken

    Original Ken Friend

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    This is an update to my earlier post in this thread at http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...-dac-chart-of-awesomeness.63/page-2#post-6374

    My Schiit Bifrost Multibit has been on for 125 hours now, which should be sufficient break-in for just about any capacitor.

    It occurred to me that the slightly bright and glarey sound of the "Bifrost Multibit" might be due to the Japanese electronics I have been using to audition it - which have really excellent soundstaging as well as bass slam, but I remembered also have somewhat of a reputation for glare.

    So, I went through my test tracks again with my Bellari Class A amp with the carefully selected Early 60's Siemens Munchen 12AX7. (This has excellent imaging and very smooth and even frequency response.)

    Sure enough, this time there was no brightness and the only glare seemed part of some lesser recordings. Neither "cold" nor "warm" in this setup.

    The Reiner Scheherazade had unprecedented separation of multiple instruments, and for the first time - no congestion at all.

    Timbre was excellent with all recordings, and definition of instrument's shape and position was as good as I've seen.

    And I'm really enjoying the outstanding bass quality as I listen to a lot of EDM lately like Disclosure...

    Two thumbs up!
     
  18. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I know there has to be reasons, but I do enjoy the quality of many of my digital to vinyl recordings. The mediocre ones just sound lifeless, but a bunch of current ones (last 5 years) I enjoy more than out of my Yggdrasil. I'm sure I could search out a better mastering, but (bear with me) sometimes just buying vinyl is easier.

    And this is coming from a guy who regularly attends roughly a concert a month.
     
  19. kapanak

    kapanak Canucklehead - Friend

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    I have to say, even on my entry level upgraded Project Carbon TT, my father's vinyl collection from 1965-1988 stuff (think every major release of everything XD) sounds wonderful and better than my digital versions of the same music. Haven't experienced the same amazement with newer vinyl.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    With newish vinyl from digItal sources, it's a matter of better or different masters.

    Sometimes I prefer the CD. For example, I prefer the CD master of Sarah Mclachlan's Afterglow. The vinyl master on the 180 gram LP isn't any more resolving and it sounds bassier and warmer.

    Other times I prefer the LP. The Tracy Chapman CD, which was an early DDD, is excellent sounding. But the vinyl (master) is even better!
     

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