Tarjeta de sonido: Creative Sound Blaster 128 CT4700 PCI. Auriculares Superlux HD668B y HD330. Samson SR850. ODAC.

Actualización 11.02.2012

Tras limpiar profundamente la tarjeta de sonido, ésta ha revivido y suena mejor!!!

Apreciada Sound Blaster 128 PCI (modelo CT4700) me diste muy buenos momentos desde que entraste en mi casa, allá en diciembre de 1998, independientemente de la placa/motherboard, dejando siempre en evidencia a la integrada -vade retro- en ellas (Realtek ALC883 en el día de hoy). Tu substituta será una PCIe o una USB externa.

Wikipedia ES Sound Blaster

Creative lanzó muchas tarjetas usando el chip original AudioPCI, Ensoniq ES1370, y múltiples placas usando versiones revisadas de ese chip (ES1371 y ES1373), y algunas con chips reetiquetados con chips AudioPCI (en ellos ponía Creative). Las placas usando tecnología AudioPCI eran a menudo fácilmente identificables por el diseño de la placa y el tamaño de los chips porque parecía todas muy similares. Tarjetas como esas son la Sound Blaster PCI64 (Abril de 1998), la PCI128 (Julio de 1998), la Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI, y la Sound Blaster 16 PCI.

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97 Responses to Tarjeta de sonido: Creative Sound Blaster 128 CT4700 PCI. Auriculares Superlux HD668B y HD330. Samson SR850. ODAC.

  1. maty says:

    Opción tarjeta interna.

    Amazon.es asus xonar

    -> Asus XONAR DX/XD – Tarjeta de Sonido 59€+gastos de envío

      • ASUS Xonar DX

  2. maty says:

    Oé, oé, oé

    Ayer conseguí hacer revivir la tarjeta Sound Blaster. Volví a sacarla y limpiarla y volvió a funcionar!

    Que nadie me pregunte por qué no funcionó la primera vez. Siempre era detectada pero el audio se colgaba. Cosas tiene la vida.

    Por fin puedo escuchar la música clásica de Julio en condiciones. Menuda diferencia respecto a la integrada Realtek ALC883. Me refiero a las salidas analógicas, pues sugongo que la digital buena.

    Si utilizas las salidas analógicas de la integrada en las placas para conectar altavoces, te aconsejo que compres una ASUS Xonar o un interfaz USB.

    ************************************ **********************************

    Ahora, a ver si me agencio unos monitores activos para hacerlos sonar conjuntamente con los del RK7.

  3. maty says:

    Estos días estoy escuchando muchos ripeos de vinilos a 24/96 que luego paso a 16/48 con dithering triangular [TPDF]. Cuando son ediciones y ripeos cuidadosos, el sonido es espectacular. Pensar que he estado un mes sin mi querida Sound Blaster… menuda porquería la Realtek ALC883 integrada en la placa.

    Vuelvo a escuchar al primaveras, subo el volumen y las cajas del RK7 suenan de escándalo con foobar2000 + DFX Audio Enhancer -vale, los bajos no son tan naturales, pero suenan bien.

    Live Collection
    Live album by Bruce Springsteen

    Released 1986
    Recorded July 7, 1978, December 16, 1978, December 28, 1980
    Genre Rock
    Length 28:00
    Label CBS/Sony
    Producers Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, Bruce Springsteen

    Japanese exclusive live release. Four tracks including two songs that were left off the monumental Live/1975-85 box set, “For You” and “Incident On 57th St.” which are exclusive to this release. Also features two tracks from the aforementioned box set, “Rosalita” and “Fire”.

    Una maravillaaaaaaaaaaaa el vinilo!!!

  4. maty says:

    Anoche volvió a estropearse. Volveré a desmontarla y, esta vez, haré una limpieza a fondo. Petó cuando conecté unos auriculares -tal vez me equivoqué de entrada. Los auriculares también puedo conectarlos en el RK7.

    De comprar una, la elección es clara: ASUX Xonar DX. Y unos auriculares semiabiertos de baja impedancia, los Superlux HD-668B de 56 ohms (los HD-662F de 32 ohms, más planos, son cerrados -menos apropiados para la clásica, y los HD-330 y HD-440 son de 150 ohms) cuando vuelvan a estar disponible en España. En PCComponentes por 20€ los auriculares.

    Después decidiré si compensa comprar unos monitores activos para hacerlos sonar conjuntamente con las cajas del RK7, que realmente suenan muy bien tras su modificación.

    Pasito a pasito, que no hay prisas.

    Nota: auriculares de gran impedancia implican también una tarjeta o interfaz de sonido mejor y/o un amplificación de auriculares. No soy fan de estos cachivaches, pero por su bajo coste no cuesta nada probarlos. Lógicamente, dado que es conocida la gráfica de la respuesta en frecuencia, puedo ecualizar su inversa para aplanar la respuesta para después retocarla a mi gusto.

    Nota2: los auriculares que probé son unos de botón Sony, que venían con el walkman -que funciona perfectamente- de la misma marca. Unos 20 años de antigüedad, y que fueron los sucesores de otro más aparatoso, Aiwa. Acortaban el viaje en tren a BCN. Los del Meizu M6 SL suenan mucho mejor.

    • maty says:

      soundtrackforum.net Review: Superlux HD-668 B – cheap & good?

      …As a general rule it is safe to say that a headphone needs an impedance ten times that of the amp´s output.

      So, back to the Superlux. As it appears this headphone also is guilty of a varied impedance response. But now I have problem: from an impedance point-of-view it is fairly easy to drive my Sennheiser because it exhibits an average impedance response of 300 Ohms. The output of a common amplifier with a headphone output roughly is 600 Ohms (depending on the model) which will inevitable produce a bass heavy sound with the Sennheiser. Most well built, seperate amplifiers have an output response of 16 Ohms though so my Sennheiser wouldn´t be coloured. But my problem still exists with my Superlux because it has an impedance of roughly 56 Ohms. So, look above and remember that the impedance of the headphone should be ten times the one displayed by the amplifier – you now can sense my problem by simply doing the math: the output of my ASUS card has 16 Ohms (STEREOPHILE measured it having 10.7 Ohms) which is good for the Sennheiser but not so good for the Superlux – because it only exceeds the cards output 3.5 times (considering STEREOPHILE: 5.2 times) . The output of my E-MU even is a bit worse because it´s 22 Ohms (2.43 times).

      Headfonia Superlux HD 668B: A Giant Killer?

      Head-Fi Superlux HD-668 B Reviews

      Noticias3D Foro Auriculares Superlux HD668B

    • maty says:

      NwAvGuy Headphone Amps/DACs Explained

      DO AMP/DACS SOUND DIFFERENT? Sometimes amps and
      headphone DACs do sound different but not to the extent, or as often, as
      many might think from reading all the subjective reviews and comments.
      Here are most of the more common reasons:

        • Insufficient Power
      – When a headphone source runs out of power with typical compressed pop
      music you’ll typically either hear distortion or it simply won’t be
      loud enough with the volume all the way up. With more dynamic music,
      like classical or well recorded jazz, just the peaks may be clipped so
      it might not be as obvious there’s a power shortage. Power is a function
      of voltage and current. And some amps, with a given headphone, run out
      of current first and some run out of voltage first. See: More Power?

        • Non-Zero Output Impedance
      – Output impedance is one of the more common audible differences
      between anything with a headphone jack. As a simple rule of thumb, if
      the headphones are less than eight times the output impedance, the amp
      can alter the sound
      . So if you have the FiiO E9 amp, which has an output
      impedance of 10 ohms, you can only use headphones that are at least 80
      ohms, otherwise the amp might change the sound. Breaking the “eight
      times rule”
      can result in muddy bass and even audible frequency response
      changes—especially with balanced armature in ear monitors such as
      Shures, Etymotics, Ultimate Ears, etc
      . See the Impedance article for more.

        • Inaccurate Frequency Response
      – Some amps roll off the bass and/or high frequencies. The bass can be
      rolled off due to capacitor coupled outputs which are generally used a
      cost saving measure in many portables, laptops, and PCs. And capacitor
      coupled outputs are usually required in single-ended amps and many tube
      amps. Other tube amps use an output transformer that also limits the
      bass response and can also roll off the highs. And some solid state amps
      roll off the highs on purpose just so they can sound “different” (some
      might say “warmer” others might say “dull”)
      .

        • High Distortion
      – There’s a lot of debate about what qualifies as “high”, but a fair
      amount of research has been done so there are at least some good clues.
      Most single-ended, tube, “low feedback (NFB)” or “zero feedback (NFB)”
      amps have relatively high levels of distortion and it may be easily
      audible. While some argue this distortion can “sweeten” or otherwise
      somehow improve the sound, there’s no denying you’re no longer listening
      to the just your music but you’re also forced to listen to your amp. It’s sort of like having someone softly murmuring in the background along with your music. That’s not my idea of a high quality amp, but to each their own.

        • Noise
      – There are different kinds of noise. Computer headphone jacks, for
      example, can have whines, buzzes, clicks, chirps, etc. related to all
      the digital circuitry in the computer. Some portable gear can have
      similar noises. Headphone amp noise is usually hiss and/or hum. It’s
      generally more of a problem with sensitive headphones—especially
      balanced armature in-ear types. Noise can vary with the volume setting,
      types of connections, etc. See: Noise & Dynamic Range

        • Insufficient Gain
      – This usually isn’t an issue with a USB headphone DAC. But with
      standalone amps it can be. For a given source the amp might not get loud
      enough even though, using the right source and the amp has enough
      maximum output capability. This can be due due to insufficient gain.
      See: All About Gain.

        • Impedance Mismatch
      – This is a somewhat redundant category as an impedance mis-match will
      create one or more of the above problems. But it’s worth mentioning many
      headphone sources are optimize more for low or high impedance
      headphones but not both. For more see: Headphone Impedance

        • The Snake Oil Effect
      – Some subjective audiophiles will tell you the above don’t matter as
      much as simply “trusting your ears” (or often you’re supposed to trust their ears even more). To be blunt, study after study has proven them wrong when you slip whatever they’re listening to under
      a brown paper bag or bedsheet so they don’t know which is which. Once
      they don’t know what they’re listening to, the Snake Oil Effect
      disappears and you’re left with all the parameters above determining the
      sound quality. If you’re skeptical, you might want to check out Subjective vs Objective Debate.

      A ROUGH GUIDELINE: If you have headphones designed for portable
      consumer use that have an impedance of 80 ohms or less
      it’s very likely
      the manufacture designed them to be driven directly from a typical
      device like an iPod. Using an amp or DAC with such headphones usually
      won’t improve their sound much, and might even make them sound worse or
      create other problems like excess noise and channel balance issues. This
      is especially true if your headphones already get loud enough for your
      tastes. Generally, 16 – 32 ohm headphones with a sensitivity rating of
      at least 100 dB/mW do not need an amplifier
      . The exception might be
      balanced armature IEMs due to output impedance issues. See: Output Impedance

      • maty says:

        NwAvGuy Headphone & Amp Impedance

        THE SHORT VERSION: All you really need to know is most headphones work best when the output impedance is less than 1/8th the headphone impedance. So, for example, with 32 ohm Grados the output impedance can be, at most, 32/8 = 4 ohms. The Etymotic HF5s are 16 ohms so the max output impedance is 16/8 = 2 ohms. If you want to be assured a source will work well with just about any headphone, simply make sure the output impedance is under 2 ohms.

        NwAvGuy Headphone Impedance Explained

      • maty says:

        Dice que no puede medirse correctamente la impedancia de los auriculares con un polímetro y… tiene razón, pues varía mucho con la frecuencia.

        Pero ¿y la de la salida de auriculares del amplificador? El RK7 es de finales de los años noventa, pero el equipo Denon es de 1991.

        Los auriculares de botón Sony deben tener una impedancia de 16 ó 32 ohms. Suenan más bajos que las cajas del RK7.

        V = R. I

        P = R. I2

    • maty says:

      Headfonia The New Superluxes Are Good! The HD330, HD440, and the HD660.

      Superlux HD330-en.pdf

      Los HD-440 y HD-660 son CERRADOS, así que los descarto, pues escucho principalmente clásica y jazz.

      • maty says:

        PCBOX AURICULARES SUPERLUX HD330 NEGRO/AZUL 35,58 euros. Viene con cable de 3 metros.

        thomann SUPERLUX HD-330 23,70 euros + 20 euros de gastos de envío = 43,70 euros.

        Superlux HD-330 stereo headphone, dynamic, semi-open, circum aural, Ø40 mm, neodymium, sensitivity 96dB SPL (1mW), frequency response: 10-30,000Hz thomann , rated impedance 150 Ohm, cable lenght 3m, weight without cable 300g, single side cable, screw-on gold plated stereo mini plug, incl. adapter 6,3mm, Applications for Monitoring and Music Appreciation

        Además, en PCBOX puedo devolverlos si no van bien con el RK7.

        He de encontrar su curva de respuesta para saber cómo contraecualizar para aplanarla.

      • maty says:

        hifi-forum.de Superlux Kopfhörer – Superbudget-Tipps ?

        Hummm, un pico entre 7 y 12 Khz.

        Superlux HD 330
        Post by kernespa on May 26, 2010, 3:16pm

        I was able to get a pair of HD 330s from a local shop. I noticed the frequency response has a bump in the 7k to 12k . Does anyone know if these use the same driver as the HD 660 since both are rated at 150 ohms? Does anyone the time to model a notch filter for these phones? I need something to do while waiting on the Mogami cable to show up for a recable.

      • maty says:

        Tras mucha info, he llegado a la conclusión de que los auriculares de mucha mayor impedancia que los de botón Sony que tengo requerirán un amplificador adicional, salvo que el RK7 ajuste la impedancia en función del auricular conectado (esperable en un equipo de música de calidad, pero el RK7 Philips costó unas 10.000 ptas a finales de los años noventa, así que… ).

        De los portátiles, el fioo 6 (+8 dB) es mejor que el fioo 5 (+3dB), porque no introduce ruido a volumen alto. Incluso dicen que se oye el hisss/silbido estando sin volumen los fioo 5.

        Hummm… Puestos a comprar un ampli, que sea uno mejor y para casa.

        Nota: las cajas del RK7 incluso suenan un poco mejor tras la máxima optimización en foobar2000. Ahora mismo suena un ripeo a 24/96 del vinilo de Steely Dan – Greatest Hits (1978) hecho por el maestro ripeador, aunque es en las músicas de prueba donde he notado la diferencia. Vamos, que se me han ido las ganas de comprar unos monitores activos, de ahí mi investigación respecto a los auriculares -tema del que no tenía ni flowers.

      • maty says:

        Ya lo he decidido: Samson 850R. Como son baratos, puede que me anime a modificarlos, pero creo que es más práctico modificar la curva vía ecualización software.

        Si me aficiono, Sennheiser 598 (155 € en Amazon) + amplificador. Que fue mi primera elección, en un hilo en Sentidos. Pero el costo es excesivo para un capricho, máxime con mis reparos a los auriculares.

        Dado el caso, sé de alguien que disfrutaría de los Samson (conectándo al reproductor Meizu M6 o al portátil), y encima con el rodaje hecho.

        – FIN –

      • maty says:

        Se supone que la semana que viene me llegarán los auriculares Samson SR850 (25+6=31€ puestos en casa).

        Crearé una nueva anotación para hacer el seguimiento, con el antes y el después del rodaje. Posterior ecualización para aplanar la respuesta y el retoque del ecualizador para dejarlo a mi gusto. Evidentemente, los enchufaré en el RK7 pero también en el equipo Denon.

        PC (SB 128 PCI) + RK 7 sólo pirula a 16/44.1 y 16/48.

        Western WD TVHD –hdmi–> TV Panasonic (DAC) — rca –> Denon llega hasta 24/192.

        Si me gustan mucho, compraré un extensor, pues el cable mide sólo 2,5m (insuficiente para la sala de estar donde está el equipo grandote).

    • maty says:

      Objetivo: auriculares como los Superlux HD-330 pero con impedancia de 32 ohmios.

      rockgrotto.proboards.com Samson SR850: how much different from the HD681?

      redcoon SAMSON SR-850 25 euros + gastos de envío

  5. maty says:

    Oé, oé, oé…

    He limpiado la torre, la de polvo que meten los ventiladores… La tarjeta la he sacado y la he lavado con el teléfono de la ducha. Después la he secado bien con un secador y la he dejado un rato al sol.

    Las conexiones PCI y otras las he limpiado con un cepillo. Así como los ventiladores. Acompañado de aire a presión.

    Nota: hace tiempo que me ronda la idea de poner Tecsound SY 70 en las paredes de la caja para silenciar el ruido. Ya que tengo tantos metros de material. Supongo que los ventiladores generan ruido a frecuencias medias, y ahí dicho material amortiguador es poco efectivo. Lo iba a hacer si tenía que comprar tarjeta nueva. Ahora me ha dado pereza ir a por él.

    Nota2: la tarjeta es el modelo CT4700, que no coincide con el de la fotografía. Ahora la cambio.

    • maty says:

      Una página donde aparecen las especificaciones del modelo CT4700.

      ebay.com Creative Sound Blaster PCI (CT4700) Sound Card

      Product Identifiers

      Brand Creative Technology
      Product Line Creative Sound Blaster
      Model PCI 128
      MPN CT4700

      Main Specification

      Type Sound card
      Enclosure Type Plug-in card
      Interface Type PCI
      DAC Data Width 16-bit
      Sample Rate 4 kHz – 48 kHz
      Sound Output Mode 2 channel
      Connectivity 1 x audio – line-in – mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm – 1, 1 x audio – line-out – mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm – 1, 1 x gameport / MIDI – generic – 15 pin D-Sub (DB-15) – 1, 1 x microphone – input – mini-phone mono 3.5 mm – 1

      System Requirements

      Operation System Required Microsoft Windows 95/98, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
      Platform Compatibility PC
      Software Required Drivers & Utilities
      Min Ram Required 16 MB
      Processor Type Required Intel Pentium 133 MHz

      Audio Output

      Voice Polyphony Quantity 128
      MIDI Channels Quantity 16

      Environmental Parameters

      Humidity Range Operating 30 – 80%
      Minimum Operating Temperature 10 °C
      Maximum Operating Temperature 50 °C

      Pues no tiene salida para auriculares. Sí se podía escuchar a través del viejo reproductor de CD al conectar un cable por CD-in -me parece que se me ha olvidado hacerlo. Siempre me ha resultado más cómodo -sin agacharme- hacerlo vía RK7, pues tiene en el frontal las conexiones para micro y auriculares.

      Hummm, he de medir la impedancia tiene la salida de auriculares del RK7. A priori, lo que uno espera es que no sea muy alta. Los auriculares Sony suenan bastante más bajo que las cajas. Con un poco de suerte, los Superlux HD 440 no tendrían problemas. Mejor mido un día de éstos, pero parece complicado el hacerlo, pues no tengo un minijack suelto para conectar un par de hilos y así medir en el polímetro. ATal vez abriendo el RK7.

  6. maty says:

    Escucho a Bruce Springsteen en el ripeo de vinilo de Live Collection y me suena muy bien, diría que mejor que antes, con más definición. Así que quiero confirmarlo escuchando las músicas que utilizo para las pruebas y que tengo muy oídas.

    Ahora suena Chitlins Con Carne de Kenny Burrell, una prueba de fuego para los retumbes de las cajas. Y sí, suena mejor que antes. Supongo que debía haber porquería donde conecto la clavija… Lo dicho, tener las conexiones limpias importa.

    Ahora Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 por Cliburn. Uau.

    Y St. Louis Blues de Dave Brubeck Quartet. Muy bien.

    Suenan mejor las altas frecuencias, los platillos. Más presencia, más realista.

    Sí, definitivamente se nota la diferencia. Tanto que me hace dudar de si vale la pena comprar unos monitores activos!

  7. maty says:

    Por cierto, en los agujeros de las conexiones para minijack (3,5 mm) he introducido un bastoncito de algodón, el cual se ha ennegrecido un poco. Os recuerdo que la tarjeta fue comprada en diciembre de 1998; la torre está abajo, cerca de los pies, aunque en su propio cajón.

    Cuando uno da el hard por perdido se atreve a hacer cosas que antes evitaba por precaución.

  8. maty says:

    La prueba definitiva de que la limpieza ha mejorado mucho el sonido. En el hilo de comentarios saco a colación la BSO de La caída de Berlín, que tengo grabada en cinta de la radio. Y que me suena mejor que el ripeo en FLAC que otro comentarista ha compartido tras mi petición. Pues ahora mismo suena dicho ripeo y… ESPECTACULAR LA MEJORA!!!

    -> Sentidos Shostakovich. Sinfonía nº 7. Celibidache. Orquesta Filarmónica de Berlín. 1946.

    Lo dicho, la limpieza de las conexiones es importante y… las modificaciones hechas en las cajas del RK7 también. El Tecsound SY 70 + fibra de vidrio/lana de roca + sellador acrílico + cableado libre de oxígeno (calidad de automoción, barato) obra milagros.

    Ahora suena Suite from The Golden Mountains, op.30a incluido en dicho ripeo, y el sonido es todavía mejor!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. maty says:

    Son auriculares cerrados, pero tal vez a alguien le interese.

    Headfonia Sennheiser HD25SP

    -> Sumario RSS http://www.headfonia.com/feed/

    Xataka Marshall Major FX, análisis Juan Carlos

    #2 aunque la calidad de sonido sea muy buena, el dolor de las almohadillas y del tamaño de los cascos, en mi caso no compensa un producto así

    -> Sergi Caballero Marshall Headphones

    En segundo lugar, me duelen. Sí, estos cascos provocan dolor en las orejas. Al principio creía que era debido a que eran nuevos y las gomas estaban duras. Pero un año después, siguen doliéndome y al cabo de una hora de usarlos, tengo que quitármelos.

    Para mí la comodidad es muy importante. En cuanto puedo, me quito el reloj de la muñeca. Y utilizo zapatos anchos con cordones (algunos con cámara de aire en las suelas, que recomiendo). Por eso es mejor probar con unos baratos antes de embarcarse en un gasto muy superior. En cualquier caso, durante el rodaje con música (ruido rosa y demás) los colocaré sobre unos tomos de enciclopedia para que cojan la forma. Ah, tengo una cabeza grandota (no sólo soy cabezón por tozudo 😛 ).

  10. maty says:

    AVguide.com [Reviews] The Absolute Sound Card Survey (TAS 213) Karl Schuster, 10.03.2011

    Specs & Pricing

    Echo Digital Audio
    http://www.echoaudio.com
    Prices: Echo Mia MIDI, $200; Echo Gina 3G, $439

    ESI Audiotechnik GmbH
    http://www.esi-audio.com
    Prices: ESI Maya44, $139; ESI Juli@, $199

    Lynx Studio Technology, Inc.
    http://www.lynxstudio.com
    Prices: Lynx L-22, $749; Lynx AES-16, $695

    M-Audio
    http://www.m-audio.com
    Price: M-Audio Audiophile 192, $200

    RME
    http://www.rme-audio.de
    Price: RME Hammerfall HDSP-9632, $549

    Foobar 2000 (free)
    http://www.foobar2000.org

    ASIO Universal ASIO Driver (free)
    http://www.asio4all.com

  11. maty says:

    Llevo tiempo dándole vueltas a la compra de una tarjeta o interfaz USB. En el ínterin he comenzado a investigar los DAC, interesándome también en aquellos que incluyen amplificación de auriculares.

    Los altavoces del RK7 suenan ahora muy bien tras mi última configuración de foobar2000. Con todo, estoy pensando en probar una nueva mejora, aprovechando que tengo el material, aunque parece difícil mejorar apreciablemente el sonido. Si funciona, lo aplicaré en las cajas grandotas del Denon.

    Estoy pensando seriamente la compra de la ASUS Xonar DG (30 € en PCBox, donde aparece como novedad). Si el ordenador estuviese conectado a un buen equipo de música y cajas grandes, la ASUS Xonar ST/STX (153-158€ + portes en Amazon.es) sería la elegida.

    Un buen DAC externo cuesta demasiado para el uso que le daría, y no tengo claro si notaría la mejora. De ahí que me esté interesando en en el proyecto del ODAC. Si decidiese su compra, lo haría más fácilmente habiendo sólo gastado 30 € en el ínterin, digo.

    La siguiente bitácora es de seguimiento obligado. El sumario RSS: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

    -> NwAvGuy ODAC Update

    • maty says:

      Lectura altamente recomendada:

      NwAvGuy What We Hear

      WHAT WE HEAR: The recent review of the O2 Amplifier at Headfonia has generated questions about why the reviewer heard what they heard. For example, a few have asked if the O2 is genuinely a poor match for the Sennheiser HD650 as the reviewer claims. How we do we figure out if that’s true and if the review is wrong, what happened? This article tries to explore what’s often wrong with typical listening comparisons and subjective reviews. Some of this I’ve published previously, but there’s a lot of new information and even the previous information is hopefully presented in ways that should be easier to understand…

      El artículo al que se refiere -que leí vía sumario RSS:

      -> Headfonia NwAvGuy’s Objective 2 by JDSLabs and Epiphany Acoustics Lieven

    • maty says:

      NwAvGuy Objective Desktop Amp (ODA) & DAC 30.11.2011

      ODA + ODAC: What’s an “ODAC”? It’s a USB DAC designed the objective way -just like the O2 and ODA. It fits inside the ODA turning it into a desktop headphone DAC. Here’s some preliminary information:

      High Resolution USB – Relatively few reasonably priced commercial DACs, and almost no DIY DACs, support anything beyond 16 bits at 44 or 48 Khz over USB (despite most having 24/192 DAC chips). The problem is, until recently, there were no suitable options for high-resolution audio over USB without needing special drivers or spending lots of money. The ODAC will support up to 24/96 over USB.

      111+ dB Documented Dynamic Range – The most dynamic range you can get from a DAC operating in 16 bit mode is around 96 dB with most falling several dB short of that. While that can be enough if you control the volume in the analog domain somewhere after the DAC, it’s often not enough if you want to control the volume at your PC in the digital domain. That’s where those extra high resolution bits show their stuff. Even with the PC volume turned down, you can still get 16+ bits worth of resolution and dynamic range. That can mean the difference between hearing noise or pure silence in your headphones. And, unlike nearly every other DAC out there, the Dynamic Range of the ODA will be fully documented. Many DACs just quote the spec for the chip off the datasheet which is usually nowhere near the entire DAC’s actual performance. See the Tech Section for a preview.

      USB Audio Class 1 Compliant – Unlike most pro-audio interfaces that support 24/96, the ODAC requires no problematic proprietary drivers for XP, Vista, Windows 7, OS X or Linux. It’s true Plug-And-Play. It also does not require UAC2 drivers, like some DACs, which are not provided in any current version of Windows.

      ODAC vs DAC1 – I’ve done some preliminary blind testing against my $1600 Benchmark DAC1 Pre with a variety of music and my best headphones, and so far, a least two different people cannot tell them apart. The DAC1 Pre has won a lot of professional accolades for being one of the better DACs money can buy at any price. I can see a formal ODAC NwAvGuy blind listening challenge coming up.

      Redbook Compliant Output – For many reasons, it’s good to have a DAC that complies with the Redbook standard for digital audio output levels. Many USB DACs, like the AMB gamma, can’t produce the required 2 volts RMS of output and suffer lower dynamic range. And some go way over the specification which risks overloading the inputs of a lot of equipment. The ODAC is Redbook compliant. Among other benefits, this makes it much easier to do level matched A/B comparisons with other DACs and digital sources that are also Redbook compliant.

      Pre-Assembled Board – Because USB and DAC chips are typically fine pitch surface mount devices they’re not very DIY friendly. To make matters worse, if you want 24 bits over USB with native Windows drivers, I’m not aware of any suitable chips that are available to DIYers. All the current solutions require licensing and/or some sort of contractual agreement. They’re not stocked by DigiKey, Mouser, Farnell, etc. And to further complicate things, they also require custom programming before they will operate correctly. That’s 3 strikes against DIY for high resolution USB DACs. The obvious solution was finding someone to co-develop the board with and handle all the contractual, assembly, programming and financial details so they could offer a pre-assembled board.

      Line Input Retained – The ODAC won’t defeat the line input on the ODA. You can use both sources or even plug another Redbook compliant DAC in for direct A/B comparisons (even better if a friend does the switching out of the listener’s sight!).

      Standalone Capable – The ODAC is designed so it’s also usable by itself for other applications while operating entirely from USB power. No ODA required

      • maty says:

        NwAVGuy

        @Maty, there will be vendors, such as JDS in the USA and perhaps Epiphany in the UK, selling a single product which is the ODA+ODAC. It is just one product like the Benchmark DAC1. The ODAC fits inside the ODA.

        The vendors don’t yet know what the price will be for the ODA, ODAC, or ODA+ODAC. I would estimate $250 – $300 for the ODA+ODAC fully assembled. But that gets you a better headphone amp than any headphone DAC I know of in that price range and a 100% proven transparent DAC. It competes very closely with the Violectric HPA V90 + USB 24/96 which is $660 plus expensive shipping for those of us in the USA.

  12. maty says:

    NwAvGuy ODAC Released

    NO SNAKE OIL REQUIRED: Many audiophiles want to believe more elaborate or exotic DACs offer higher fidelity. The ODAC demonstrates you don’t need any of these for 100% transparent performance:

    • Asynchronous USB

    • UAC2 (USB Audio Class 2) Support

    • Asynchronous Sample Rate Conversion (ASRC),

    • Linear Phase Filtering (no pre-ringing)

    • Non-oversampling NOS DAC chips

    • Dual DAC chips

    • Balanced Outputs

    • Vacuum Tube Stages

    • Elaborate and/or High Current Power Supplies

    • maty says:

      diyAudio / Digital Line Level ODAC .. questions and answers related to this device GeorgeBoudreau

      GeorgeBoudreau es quien le ha ayudado en el desarrollo.

      I am also on diyaudio as georgeboudreau. I am the co-developer, with NwAvGuy, of the ODAC. I also co-developed the open source SDR-Widget and USBxxxx audio-widgets…

      En #23 comenta:

      The TE7022L is covered by an NDA and you will find nothing other than a brief product brochure floating about.

      I looked at the XMOS as a potential candidate and it too is covered by an NDA for the software. The open source audio widget was looked at but physically it would not work as a retro fit to the O2 and does not fully support the driver-less UAC1 mode.

      If you wish clarification of NwAvGuy’s comment you should post a query on his blog.

      The TE7022L is a UAC1 engine running on a 12mbps USB line. All necessary clocks are derived from the 12mhz crystal. This is pretty much standard for high-speed USB devices.

      The widget UAC2 engine is a totally different beast than the TE7022L. The ‘widgets’ use the Atmel SSC (serial synchronous communication) to generate the I2S signals. A subset of the UAC1/2 protocol is written in ‘C’ and there were plenty of programming tricks used to achieve 24bit/192k with rate feedback. My implementation of the audio-widget uses a dual-frequency Si532 to feed the SSC hardware while Borge Strand-Bergesen’s design uses separate XO’s with switching circuitry.

      In a nutshell: USB to I2S solutions for the DIY’er are few and far between. The “audio widget” is the only open source design I know of. As for commercial products you only have to poke inside the USB based devices you already own to see few chip sets there are.

      The Tenor TE7022L is a UAC1 device and was a better fit with NwAvGuy’s needs than the other devices I have on my bench.

      • maty says:

        Han eliminado el hilo -lo correcto habría sido moverlo al de ventas, digo. Mejor recurrir a la búsqueda interna:

        diyAudio search ODAC

    • maty says:

      A NOTE FOR 24/88 FANS: Some have asked about 24/88 high resolution audio support (popular for SACD rips). While the ODAC doesn’t support 24/88, it does support the audibly identical 24/44. It’s trivial to re-sample 24/88 audio to 24/44 with no artifacts as it’s a simple divide-by-two operation (and one the operating system will perform for you automatically). I know many audiophiles probably think they’re losing something, but nobody has proven they are.

      Meyer & Moran demonstrated in a very in-depth study that even 16/44 audio sounded identical to SACD. Another good read is 24/192 Music Downloads. And if you refuse to believe all that, try resampling some 24/88 audio to 24/44 and compare them yourself with Foobar and the ABX add-on. It’s been done at HydrogenAudio and elsewhere always with the same result: Unless you mess up the resampling somehow, or change the levels, you can’t tell them apart.

      Some have asked = maty 😉

      Nota: los amantes de la música en alta resolución somos unos incomprendidos.

    • maty says:

      NwAvGuy ODAC May Update

      GOOD NEWS! I just completed testing the first two ODAC boards from YoYoDyne. These are known as “first articles” and are built using the same PC boards and parts as the production boards. I’m pleased to report the performance essentially matches the previous prototype I measured in every area and has significantly lower jitter. I still need to publish my final large ODAC article with all the measurements and more technical details, but my involvement is otherwise coming to an end. That’s good news as I can spend more time on the open source DIY Objective Desktop Amplifier (ODA)

      • maty says:

        Va1z4rDMay 12, 2012 12:15 PM

        Hi NwAvGuy,

        Great work! I’ve been holding off on any audio related purchases for the ODAC. Just a question, for someone who’s going to be powering headphones that are difficult to drive, like the AKG Q701, and perhaps in the future some entry level monitors (Yamaha HS80M, for example), would the ODA offer any advantages over the O2?

        Because it’s USB, it’s still limited to 2 channels, correct? How would a subwoofer play into this setup? Please excuse my lack of knowledge about audio.


        NwAvGuyMay 12, 2012 12:52 PM

        If you want to mix speakers and headphones the ODA is a better bet. A subwoofer can be run using “Y” splitters from the pre-out of the ODA but the speakers will still operate full range unless your subwoofer has a line-level crossover built in. You can also get reasonably priced passive line level “in-line” crossovers for the monitors to prevent them having to deal with deep bass.

      • maty says:

        Para una sala no muy grande, el que yo compraría:

        polkaudio Polkaudio PSW 125

        -> PSW110_125_WebManual.pdf

        En Redcoon Polkaudio PSW 125 Negro (y Cbherry) 269€ + gastos de envío

        Características:

        1 Woofer de 12 pulgadas tecnología Dynamic Balance con elemento magnético de alta densidad
        Respuesta Frecuencias: 32 Hz – 225 Hz
        – Potencia nominal del amplificador interno: 150 W
        – Potencia dinámica máxima: 300 W
        – Incorpora un nuevo modelo de Woofer de 12 pulgadas desarrollado con analizador Klippel
        – Estructura de motor magnético de alta densidad
        – Circuito de compresión que elimina cualquier distorsión a volúmenes elevados
        Frecuencia de corte ajustable
        Control de Fase a 0, 90, 180 y 270 grados
        Entradas por línea de señal L&R, LFE (No Filtrada) y por línea de altavoz L&R
        – Voltaje de corriente 220 v/120 v conmutable
        Circuito de auto ON/OFF en función de la presencia o no de señal
        – Gabinete de madera en MDF de alta densidad

        Dimensiones:
        41,91 x 41,27 x 48,58 cm (Al. x An. x Pr.)

        Peso:
        – 18,19 kg

        amazon.com [Customer Reviews] Polk Audio PSW125 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer (Single, Cherry)

        amazon.com [Customer Reviews] Polk Audio PSW125 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer (Single, Black)

        Google ES polkaudio PSW125 review

      • maty says:

        El esquema del ODAC:

        yoyodyneconsulting.ca ODAC-release.pdf

        Las pocas críticas que he leído de usuarios que ya lo tienen son muy positivas por ahora.

  13. maty says:

    He vuelto a habilitar en la BIOS el audio integrado (Realtek ALC883) e instalado los drivers, con foobar2000 optimizado con ASIO y… menuda diferencia. Parecía que hubiese algo tapando los altavoces. No sólo era cuestión de volumen -mucho más bajo- era todo, en fin, una porquería, al menos en mi caso.

    Nota: tengo las cajas boca arriba, pues estoy en fase de instalación de unas patitas 100% HUM. Verifico que vibra demasiado justo debajo del bass-reflex, así que pondré un trozo de Tecsound SY 70 para intentar solucionarlo y que el sonido sea todavía más limpio. En el resto no lo veo necesario.

  14. maty says:

    Vídeos (x6) a cuenta del ODAC

    FB Audio Poutine https://www.facebook.com/AudioPoutine/videos

  15. maty says:

    diyAudio ODAC – European and Worldwide pre-orders. #124 mabur

    Disclaimer: This brief ODAC review is based on my own limited listening sessions to date with the ODAC + O2 combo during last weekend. The opinion is my own and based on my own impressions.

    Setup: I started by soldering the supplied 3.5mm stereo jack onto the ODAC board and bridging the two pads, which connect the stereo jack to the DAC chip output. I then connected the ODAC to a Windows 7 64 notebook with the enclosed mini USB cable. The device was immediately recognized as a sound device and I enabled 96KHz with 24 bit resolution in device settings. I connected the ODAC output via a short, shielded, self-made connector cable to the O2 input and the O2 output to AKG K550 headphones.

    Sound: What immediately struck me, when I listened to selection of tracks from itunes, which were either lossless or compressed, is how much “more” of the music you can hear i.e. my brain focused on clarity of the sound and additional details that have been veiled before. Needless to say, all compressed music is pretty much unlistenable. I could easily hear distortions in AAC compressed music content purchased from Apple (256kbit) which was a new and unexpected thing for me. Since this clarity is amazing, what seems to happen, is that it initially kind of overshadows the lower frequencies (the brain focuses on the things in the sound that were not hearable before) and seems to let you think that they are somehow missing from the content. At one point I was afraid, thinking to myself, where the bass has gone, however, after a while, the brain re-adjusted and then all I heard was music, perfectly balanced and clear. The ODAC has dead silent background on my AKG K550 headphones, which are quite sensitive. I have not tried listening with other headphones or earphones yet since now my son is the happy owner of the ODAC (I also built an O2 amplifier before for him) and he confirmed the amazing clarity (I have not warned him) and that he could also hear compression distortion (that has not made him very happy), even on his Koss Porta Pros, although these headphones are not best known for analytical or discerning sound.

    I also briefly connected the ODAC to the iPad 2 through the Apple USB connector accessory and a generic USB 2.0 hub, which allowed me to get (finally) the sound off the ipad 2 in digital format and listen to it through the O2 + ODAC. No configuration changes whatsoever were necessary. Apparently, it is also possible to play back 24bit 96KHz content from the ipad using 3rd party software, however I have not tried this yet. I tried the apple USB accessory with iPhone 4, however it was not recognized by the iPhone so I did not try to connect ODAC to it. Maybe it is worth another try?

    Next steps: Once I obtain the next ODAC unit from Stefan, I will spend some more time with it, also comparing the sound to the Behringer SRC2496 Ultra Match Pro output ( Behringer: ULTRAMATCH PRO SRC2496 ) output. The Behringer contains a DAC chip with roughly similar specs. It also contains the ASRC sample rate converter chip, which usually helps to reduce jitter to a large extent, although I have no ways of measuring this.

    • maty says:

      Por cierto, algo similar he notado tras la última mejora de mis cajitas del RK7. He borrado multitud de música en la sección ANGLO. En común: muy comprimida y/o en MP3 a menos de 320 kbps.

      Hasta reinicié el equipo porque no podía creer que sonasen tan mal!

      Eso sí, la que está bien grabada, suena mejor que antes.

      Nota: El índice con los hash en Retroshare pasó de 3,81 MB a 3,59 MB. Ha vuelto a subir a 3,62 MB tras ir compartiendo nueva música una vez debidamente editada.

      Antes de comprar un nuevo disco duro de 2 TB quiero limpiar los otros dos, pues guardo copia duplicada de la música editada.

  16. maty says:

    Somewhere over the rainbow… H********** said:

    Yesterday I luckily received two ODACs from the first batch. ODAC is a small DAC unit developed by nwavguy, for details ask google please. Its relatively small, relatively cheap and there are a couple of audiophiles out there to critize nwavguys concept of objective audio system development driven by measures and blind tests.

    So I was very curious how this litte thing will finally make up in my chain. Having some problems to connect it to my debian linux mpd player, its not easy but this is my dummyness, not odacs. Should be simple to get an UAC1 usb audio tool running on mpd, should be ….

    After roundabout an hour I had it working on 24/96. I just had another hour for some first listening impressions, switching between my DIY Wolfson 8741 dac which works like a charm and the odac.

    A Pink Floyd bluray, the actual Warren Zevon rip by D***** and the very actual test file from A******* new Fireface made the sonic test szenario. Surprisingly I had not too much differences in the beginning. The odac works like a charm too, it is even a bit louder as Wolfson, seems nwavguy met the 2V level at 0dB very correct. I had to do some level adaptions to get serious impressions. And yes, the odac has a little bit more dynamics, a little little bit but there it is. More clarity … more dynamics … sounds damn good.

    I was biased, as developer of the wolfson I surely was. But the odac has a little bit more, no doubt. Having a tear in my eye, seems that I have to say byebye to a beloved hobby item, my Wolfson.

    Friends … altho I didn’t had time for more comparisons – a blind test would be fine to confirm this “little wonder” – it is surely not worse then my wolfson and this is a great thing for a $100 device. I spent more then 5 times of that for the wolfson. This seems to be a bang for the buck.

  17. maty says:

    Computer Audiophile First impressions of Objective DAC standalone in the desktop system dvzzz

    I currently have two units that I am doing comparisons with HRT Streamer II+ and Bitfrost.

    Setup: MMINI >iTunes AIFF>Bitperfect 1.0.3>ODAC>Cambridge Audio amp>Fritz Carbon 7s
    Music tested: 16/44, 24/44, 24/48, 24/88, 24/96, 24/192

    My first impressions:

    * Extremely quiet background, no noise that I can detect in my Fritz Carbon 7’s connected via a custom modded Cambridge Audio 640 amplifier. Please note this amp has very little left from the original Cambridge Audio but this an incredible fast and neutral amplifier that has been challenging $1500+ amps playfully (this is opinion from several audiophile friends of mine but again this is custom so I cannot prove it to you via specs).

    * Instruments separation is best among three DACs, you can hear every instruments but not in the X-ray type fashion where it is analytical and cold, however if recording is cold it will come out as cold, just to be clear.

    * Stage, I am learning more about it, but in my opinion Sabre chips are all prone to mashing the stage into a pile, I have heard several of Sabre based including modded OPPO 83 player and dynamics and clarity is great but stage is not very clear, placements are hard to tell. I think Bitfrost does a better job of placing the musicians, but ODAC only has 6 hours on it while Bitfrost is 100+ hours.

    * Dynamics and tonality this is where I like what ODAC reproduces, no coloring whatsoever, recordings come alive, and frankly Katie Melua’s “Piece by Piece” on ODAC is just way above both HRT and Bitfrost, IMO no comparison, balanced and quiet this 16/44 Redbook is really well produced and ODAC just plays every bit of it and does not lose anything or add anything, to me this is what is important. HRT sounds “dark” lacks clarity in the top, Bitfrost again in my opinion is simply “thin” and uninvolving…

  18. maty says:

    hifiwigwam.com Are DACs a lot better now than they were – say 10 years ago? #8 ncdrawl

    here are all the chips for popular dacs..

    ALESIS
    IO|26 CS5361

    ALLEN&HEATH
    R16 AD CS5368 DA Burr-Brown PCM1404 Main I/O CS4271

    APOGEE
    Ensemble CS4272
    DUET: CS4272/MICPRE TI PGA2500/ 1394AUDIO Oxfw971
    AD8000SE: A/D:AKM AK5391; D/A: Analog Devices AD1851
    Rosetta 200: A/D:CS5361 D/A: Analog Devices AD1852
    MiniDAC:AD1955 ARS
    MiniMe: A/D AKM 5380VT, D/A (monitoring) AKM 4380VT
    AD-16X DAC CS4398 ADC CS5381 or CS5361

    ART
    Tube Fire8: adc-AK5384; dac-AK4358

    BENCHMARK
    DAC1: D/A: Analog Devices AD1853 5532 opamp

    BEHRINGER
    SRC2496:AKM AK5393 AK4393 JRC 458

    DIGIDESIGN
    192 I/O PTHD: A/D:AKM AK5394A; D/A: AKM AK4394
    001 CS4223 CS4223 OPAMP – TL074
    002R: A/D:AKM AK5383vs D/A: AKM AK4393vs
    003 A/D CS5381 CS5361 D/A CS4392
    MBox AK5383 AK5383 TAS1020
    MBox2 Mini: ADC – CS5361

    ECLER
    EVO5: A/D CS5366-CQZ and D/A CS4385

    ECHO AUDIO
    Indigo DJx – AK4396
    Indigo IOx – AK4620B
    Indigo DJx – AK4396
    Indigo IOx – AK4620B
    AudioFire 2 (Newer models) – AK4620B
    AudioFire 2 (Older models) – AK4620A
    AudioFire 4 (Newer models) – AK4620B
    AudioFire 4 (Older models) – AK4620A
    AudioFire 8 – CS4272
    AudioFire 8a (Newer model w/ ADAT) – AK4620B
    AudioFire Pre8 – AK4620B
    AudioFire 12 (Newer models: FireWire ports’ beveled edges pointing down) – AK4620B
    AudioFire 12 (Older models: FireWire ports’ beveled edges pointing up) – CS4272
    Layla3G – CS4272
    Gina3G – CS42426
    Echo Gina24 A/D AK4393 D/A AK5383
    Indigo dj – CS4392
    Indigo i/o – CS4272
    MiaMIDI – AK4528

    EGO Systems/ESI
    ESU1808 Akm Ak5384 ADC Akm Ak4358vq
    MAXIO EX8K: A/D:AKM AK5394A; D/A: AKM AK4395
    MaXiO 032e AK5394, AK4395
    Juli@: A/D:AKM AK5385A; D/A: AKM AK4358

    E-MU Systems
    0202 USB: CS4392 AK5385m
    0404 USB AK5385a AK4396
    TRACKER PRE AK5385, CS4392
    0404: PCM1804 AKM AK4395
    1820: PCM1804 CS4392
    1212m AK5394 CS4398
    1616m AK5394 CS4398
    1820M AK5394A CS4398 JRC2068

    FOCUSRITE
    Saffire CS42428-CQ
    Saffire LE CS42432-DMZ
    Saffire 6 USB CS4272
    Platinum 8 OctoPre AKM5383 AKM5383
    Saffire Pro CS4272
    Liquid Saffire 56 CS4272

    KRK
    Ergo A/D AK4620 D/A AK4396 ASRC AK4122

    LEXICON
    fw810s CS4272-CZZ CS42426 dbx TypeIV

    LUCID
    AD9624 A/D:CS5396
    DA9624 D/A:CS5396
    ADA8824: A/D:AKM AK5392; D/A: AKM AK4324

    LYNX Studio
    TWO/L22: A/D:AKM AK5394A; D/A: Cirrus Logic CS4396
    AES16?AK4114x8
    AES16-SRC?AK4114x8?AD1896x4
    AURORA CS5381

    MACKIE
    FIREWIRE CARD ONYX A/D AK5384 D/A AK4528
    ONYX 400/F 1200F A/D AK5385 D/A AK4358

    M-AUDIO
    Audiophile 192 AKM AK5385A AK4358
    Audiophile 2496 AK4528VF AK4528VF CS8427
    Delta44 & 66 AK4524
    Delta1010 A/D AK5383 D/A AK4393
    ProjectMix A/D AK5381 D/A AK4358
    Firewire Solo ADC AK5357?DAC AK4381
    Firewire 410 : Envy24 HT, AK4355/AK4381, AK5380
    FireWire 1814 Input 1&2 A/D AK5385A, Ins 3-8 A/D AK5381, D/A AK4358
    Profire 610, 2626: AK4620

    MOTU
    MOTU 828 AK4321VF CS4223-KS OPAMPS – 4580
    MOTU 828 Mk2 AK4528*8/AK4382 DAC for main outs
    MOTU 2408 mk3 AKM AK4528VF
    MOTU 828mk3 TI PGA2500,CS5364 8in CS5368, volume CS3308 8out AK4358 AK4382 MAIN AK4396
    MOTU 8pre AK5385 AK4382
    MOTU HD192 AK5394
    MOTU 896HD AKM 5385
    Motu Ultralite: AK4620AVF
    Motu Traveller: A/D AK5385AVS, sorry no info for D/a

    METRIC HALO
    Mobile I/O 2882?DSP A/D AK5383 D/A AK4393
    ULN2: A/D is the AKM 5383 and D/A is the AKM 4393
    ULN8 AKM 5394 AKM 4395

    MYTEK
    8X96:ADC – CS5396 (or CS8427?) DAC – CS5396

    KRK
    Ergo DAC AKM4396

    NOVATION
    nio 2 | 4(CS4272,AK4394)

    PRESONUS
    Presonus Firebox ADC:AKM AK5384 DAC: AKM AK4358/ST Micro MC33078,33079
    PreSonus FireStudio 26in26out(8in8out)AK5384 AK4358?
    PreSonus FIREPOD 10in10out(8in8out) AK5384 AK4358?
    MSR (monitor studio remote) for Presonus FireStudio WM8590GEDS

    PRISMSOUND
    Orpheus A/D CS5381 D/A CS4398, Mic pre PGA2500, Line ins OPA2134, Line outs venerable 5532 (TI ver), Headphone out OPA2134
    DA-2 TDA 1547
    ADA-8XR AKM AK4395

    RME
    RME ADI-2: A/D:AKM AK5385 D/A: AKM AK4395
    RME ADI-8: A/D AK5392 D/A AD1852
    RME ADI-8 DS: A/D:AKM AK5393A; D/A: Analog Devices AD1852
    RME Digi96/8 PST/PAD: A/D AK5383 D/A Analog Devices AD1852
    RME HDSP 9632: A/D:AKM AK5385A; D/A: Analog Devices AD1852
    RME HDSPe AIO ADC – CS5361 DAC – AD1852
    RME FIREFACE 800 A/D AK5385 D/A AK4395(AK4396 since March 2005)
    RME FIREFACE 400 A/D D/A AK4620A
    RME FIREFACE UFX A/D CS5368 D/A PCM4104
    RME Multiface 1: A/D D/A AK4528VF
    RME Multiface 2: A/D D/A AK5383

    ROLAND
    Edirol UA-101 USB 2.0 A/D CS5340 D/A AKM 4385
    EDIROL UA-25 DAC AK4385 ADC AK5381 DAI AK4114?USB TUSB3200
    EDIROL UA-1EX DAC AK4385 ADC AK5357 DAI AK4114 USB TUSB3200
    EDIROL FA66 AKM 4385VT CS5340

    SM PRO AUDIO
    ADDA 192-S: A/D CS5381 D/A CS4398

    STEINBERG
    MR816 (info from Yamaha N-12) ADC AKM AK5385 DAC AKM AK4393 and AK4382A for AUX and phones. Discrete preamp -> JRC2068MD Op-amps for unbalancing -> insert jack -> NE5532DA for balancing before the ADC

    TASCAM
    TASCAM US-144 A/D AK5385 D/A AK4384
    TASCAM US-122L DAC AK4384 ADC AK5381

    T.C.electronic
    TC KONNEKT 24D/live: AK4620b INA163
    Studio KONNEKT48 DA AK4359 AK4385, AD AK5358 AK5359 OPAMP JRC 2068
    TC Impact Twin AD/DA AK4620 Output opamps 4-NE5532.

    TERRATEC
    terratec x24 phase cs42426

    OTHER BRANDS
    AQVOX USB 2 D/A MKII PCM17964
    Audioresearch DAC7 PCM1792
    Berkley Audio Design Alfa Dac AD1955A
    Bryston BDA-1 CS-4398
    Cambridge Audio Dac Magic WM8740
    Cary Audio Xciter Dac AK4399
    Lavry Da11 Analog Devices 1955
    Logitech Transporter AKM AK4396
    Matrix mini-i AD1955
    Musical Fidelity V-Dac Burr Brown DSD1792
    Northstar Extremo PCM1792
    Ps Audio Dac III: Burr Brown 1798
    PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC WM8741
    Stello Da-100 signature AK4395, AD1896 upsampler
    Sutra DAC 1 Burr-Brown 1740
    Weiss Dac2 Burr Brown PCM1792
    Weiss Dac 202 Sabre ESS9018
    Weiss Medea DAC AD1853

    • maty says:

      Digital Audio Review The Darko DAC Index

      It’s simply a (crude) summary judgement of every DAC I’ve heard in MY OWN system.

      I hope this helps you with your DAC choice but – proceed with caution – this is just one guy’s opinion. Salt to taste.

      Anedio D1 (5 stars) – [discontinued]
      Audio-gd NFB-2 (5+ stars) – [discontinued]
      Audio-gd NFB-2.1 (5 stars)
      Audio-gd NFB-12 (3.5 stars)
      Audio-gd Reference 7.1 (5 stars)
      Bel Canto DAC-1.5 (4 stars)
      Bel Canto DAC-3 (3.5 stars) – [discontinued]

      *** Beresford 7510 (2.5 stars) ***

      Beresford 7520 (3 stars)
      Beresford Caiman (4 stars)
      Beresford Caiman Gatorized (4.5 stars)
      Bladelius USB DAC (4 stars)
      Calyx Coffee (3 stars)

      *** Cambridge Audio DacMagic (2.5 stars) ***

      CEntrance DACMiniPX (5 stars)
      Citypulse DA7.2x (3 stars)
      db Audio Labs Tranquility SE (4.5 stars)
      Devilsound USB DAC (3 stars)
      Eastern Electric MiniMax (4.5 stars) – [discontinued]
      Emotiva XDA-1 (4.5 stars)
      Firestone Audio Spitfire MK1 (3 stars) – [discontinued]
      Heed Dactilus w/ Q-PSU (4 stars)
      HRT Music Streamer II+ (3 stars)
      HRT Music Streamer Pro (4 stars)
      John Kenny JKDAC Sabre (3.5 stars)
      John Kenny JKDAC32 (5 stars)
      KingRex UD384 + UPower (4 stars)
      Lavry DA-10 (3.5 stars)
      Lenehan Audio (Base Level) PDX (4 stars)
      Lite DAC-AH (3 stars)
      Lite DAC-68 (3.5 stars)
      Lite DAC-83 (5 stars)
      Maverick Tube Magic D1 (4 stars)
      Metrum Acoustics “Octave” (5 stars)
      MHDT Labs Paradisea (3.5 stars)
      MHDT Labs Havana (4 stars)
      MHDT Labs Balanced Havana (4 stars)
      NAD Wireless USB DAC 1 (3.5 stars)
      Pro-ject DAC Box USB (3 stars)
      Pro-ject DAC Box FL (3 stars)
      PSAudio PerfectWave DAC MK1 (5 stars)
      Peachtree iDecco (4 stars)
      Peachtree iNova (5 stars)
      Peachtree DAC*iT (4 stars)
      Red Wine Audio Isabellina LFP-V Edition (4 stars)
      Rega DAC (4.5 stars)
      Schiit Bifrost (5 stars)
      Stello DA100 (4 stars)
      TeraDak Chameleon (4.5 stars)
      Valab NOS DAC (4 stars)

      *** Violectric V800 (2.5 stars) ***

      WLM Gamma (5 stars)
      Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2 (4 stars)
      Xindak DAC5 (4 stars)

      Last updated: 15th May 2012.

  19. maty says:

    xda-developers.com Official Sound Quality thread. pag 43 -> Samsung Galaxy S III works with ODAC danba

    It’s a very good news that the SGS3 interworks with the USB DAC ODAC using the USB controller Tenor TE7022. Before, it’s rather depressive that the SGS3 can only interwork with rather old generation USB DACs using the old USB controller Burr-Brown 2xxxx.

    Por si no queda claro: el ODAC utiliza el Tenor TE7022 -no hay que añadirlo, gracias a lo cual funciona con el SGS3.

    Nota: guardé los auriculares Samson SR850 pues las cajitas del RK7 suenan ahora muy bien y es más cómodo.

    Días atrás puse sellador acrílico sobre la cinta americana con la que tapé el añadido trasero y se notó la mejoría. Puede extenderse bastante bien con una espátula para que quede lisa. Aún quiero hacer otra mejora adicional antes de ponerme con las cajas grandes.

    Con ello quiero decir que tal vez compre el ODAC y no espere al combo ODA+ODAC (finales de otoño). Sólo leo buenas palabras sobre su excelente calidad sonora.

    • maty says:

      Primera crítica negativa que leo.

      diyAudio NwAvGuy odac 24/96 DAC review rjm, June 23, 2012

      I compared it with my Onkyo SE-200PCI sound card. This 24/192 (115dB S/N A-weighted, 0.003% THD 0dB 1kHz) PCI card sells for about $15,000 yen and is based on the VIA Envy HT and Wolfson WM8740.

      I’m listening to 16bit 44.1kHz .wav (CD rips), though VLC [sample rate converter set to sinc, best quality, resampling quality 8]. Windows 8 release preview [default format 24/192 (onkyo), 24/96 (odac)]. Line out though Oyaide PA-02TR interconnects to the Sapphire headphone amp, and Sennheiser HD-600s.

      **

      So, I was planning on writing up a big ‘ol review with my impressions, but, well… there’s not really a lot of point. I can’t very well sugar coat this: the odac is not very pleasant to listen to. It’s thin and hard-edged, with a headache-inducing digital sheen that frankly I haven’t experienced since the early gen CD players of the 1980’s.

      About the only positive spin I can manage is to point out that it sounds better than the NuForce udac, which was simply distorted and noisy. The odac is at least clean and clear sounding.

      Unfortunately it’s also sterile and cold where it should be musical and involving.

      **

      I did a re-test, playing with the sample rates and bit depths, 16/44, 24/96 on both Onkyo and odac. Although I generally prefer the upsampled output, the difference is relatively small. I stand by what I wrote above.

      While the odac has an admirably low noise floor, good stereo reproduction, and clean, accurate (to a point) sound, there is a slight “shouty” quality, a tendency to harden up on intense passages, that suggests insufficient power reserves. I also can’t shake the feeling that something is not right in the ultrasonic band. High frequency transients are brittle to the point of being physically unpleasant. It’s not something you can easily spot unless you have a good reference to compare to – you might be tempted otherwise to think the track was recorded that way – but I suspect the long term effect, listener fatigue, will become obvious to most people sooner rather than later.

      • maty says:

        Desconocía que Onkyo vendiese tarjetas de audio PCI.

        Head-Fi Onkyo SE200PCI-LTD or Asus Xonar Essence ST? yeah, 10/21/2009

        -> Head-Fi A simple review of Onkyo SE200 Soundcard escaflo, 1/18/2007

        ->->60#post_5675723

        …The sound quality is very good, but maybe not as impressive as I hoped for. I also have a EMU 0404 USB. They sound different, and both have their positive and negative sides. It depends very much on the rest of the setup which one is preferred. The EMU is more neutral and sounds more clear. The SE-200 LTD has a touch of warmth and ads quite a bit in the mid/upper bass region. The EMU has a more open treble, but also has some harshness which the Onkyo doesn’t have.

      • maty says:

        Más usuarios se quejan de un sonido demasiado duro.

          • Head-Fi Brief Odac impressions – Page 18

        Hasta que se sepa cuál es la causa de que a unos les suene muy bien y a otros no lo mejor será abstenerme de su compra (lo dicho, los primeros suelen pagar el pato).

        Además ahora estoy asombradísimo del sonido que me ofrecen las cajitas del RK7 desde ayer (si no se oyen es muy comprensible la incredulidad, yo esperaba mejoras menores pues ya están bastante mejoradas pero hete aquí… conclusión: las cajas cuanto más inertes -las paredes- muchísimo mejor).

      • maty says:

        Head-Fi Brief Odac impressions – Page 22. post #324 jseaber (JDSLabs)

        …It’s not a bad batch. We’ve tested every unit and only identified 1 bad ODAC board (defective R channel). So far, all other issues have been caused by operating system glitches or cable/power problems. One customer in Norway reported that his ODAC produces odd distortion when another digital audio device is connected to the same USB hub. If you’re having trouble:

        – Try a different USB cable, with ferrite

        – Try a powered USB hub

        – Switch to a different USB port on the computer

        – Unplug other DACs from the computer…

  20. maty says:

    forums.hardwarezone.com.sg [Mini-Review]Jdslabs ODAC review dqwong, 26.06.2012

    Sound Signature:

    Very Dynamic sound, not laid back, lots of attack, typical ESS Sabre sound signature but without any coloration (e.g. DX100)

    Lots of details, true to source Soundstage

    Crystal Clear Clarity/Transparency and Instruments sound really real.

    No Coloration detected, Pretty much neutral

    As compared to the Xonar DX’s Crystal DAC, this DAC has tons more details and clarity, but at the expense of really exposing bad recordings.

    This is also the first time I have heard in the Eagles Hotel California, when the audience is claping, there is noticible echo from the background. Bass impact from the drums are really visceral, and when the audience cheer away, I feel as if I am ACTUALLY at the concert itself.

    I find that the ODAC is better than DX100’s sound signature(v1.0 FW), also beats my Centrance Dacport in every category except the “forgiving” department.

    Cons:

    Very Unforgiving to badly recorded music (What you record is what you get). Not suitable for listening to youtube songs (IMHO).

    Dacport still sounds more forgiving/analogue, ODAC is the opposite where everything is presented to you with strong attack.

    No Out of box ASIO Driver

    88Khz Frequency not supported

    Conclusion:

    Is this a game changing DAC? Yes in my opinion. This is probably my final DAC. No more thinking of new DAC upgrades.

    But I don’t think this DAC is for everyone. Those who prefer a more laid back sound, do not consider this as it’s pretty aggressive sounding.

    Source:

    Ulilith Player > WASAPI > Jds Labs ODAC > Isimple Interconnect Cable > Jdslabs O2 Amp > Fischer Audio FA-003

    Music:

    Chesky The Ultimate Demostration Disc, Eagles Hotel California

  21. maty says:

    forums.hardwarezone.com.sg Review of the JDS LABS ObjectiveDAC (ODAC) standalone kenz, 30.06.2012

    …I can understand where dqwong’s comments on the ODAC being reference. Amazingly, in many aspects, the ODAC does stand shoulder to shoulder with the DX100’s ESS9018 Sabre DAC. There are areas the ODAC edges out the Sabre DAC, while the latter performs better in others.

    Clarity

    The ODAC brings about incredibly crystal clear sound. Across all 9 albums, the ODAC delivers the music more clearly than the DX100. The range of clarity differs and IMO is the mark of the recording quality itself.

    Eg. The plucking of guitar strings in Jessie Cook’s Matisse the Cat, has a clear definition, over the similar track on the DX100. The finger snapping in Michael Jackson’s Rock with You, starts off more apparent on the ODAC, though this is more subtle to discern. The cheering (and screaming) crowd in Yanni LIVE albums and Take That Concert albums, are significantly more apparent on the ODAC. Like dqwong’s assessment, it’s really like you’re in the concert itself.

    Even when swapping between JH13pro and Heir 8.A, given the warmer nature of the latter, the added clarity shines in every track, some more apparent, some harder to find.

    Though this clarity comes at a cost, especially for recordings that have been “tweaked” to make certain aspects shine.

    Taylor Swift’s vocals in Speak Now’s “Back to December” and “Enchanted” were sharp to the point of irritation. This was not the case with her debut album’s “Teardrop on my Guitar”, where her vocals were clear yet softer. I suppose to make her vocals stand out more, during the recording, some “enhancements” were added to get that effect.

    In addition, after 3 hours of continuous playing with the ODAC, sharper arrangements in tracks lead to greater fatigue in listening. Switching from the JH13 pro to the Heir 8.A, improved the condition somewhat.

    Colouration

    While we know that almost (if not all) music gears would inherently have some form of colouration, with the ODAC, it makes the DX100 Sabre DAC’s inherent colouration, more obvious. If the ODAC were the point of reference for neutrality, the DX100 Sabre DAC would be inclined towards a darker sounding nature, more warmth and softer in vocal and instrument display.

    Karen Carpenter’s Only Yesterday, sounded a tad “higher” in pitch on the ODAC versus the DX100.

    You can tell from Gary Barlow’s vocal in Rule the World, when he dropped his volume subtly (perhaps controlled breathing), something that isn’t apparent and harder to find during playback in DX100, even less so when paired with the Heir 8.A.

    Kimbra’s vocals although naturally has a clear tone in any condition, has added punch in clarity with the ODAC.

    Soundstage

    IMO, this section is more relevant to headphone description but given the ODAC being somehow able to improve the soundstage of my existing gear, makes for interesting topic. It’s subjective, perhaps placebo, and in worst case, “it’s all in my head”, but I feel the amazing delivery of the ODAC in clarity, has something to do with it. My rationale is, with greater clarity, every item in the music is projected significantly more and this likely “fools the mind” into thinking the soundstage got widened.

    Yanni LIVE Concert, Rainmaker, and Gotye, Somebody That I Used to Know, both have instruments projecting further than in the DX100, lending an even greater atmosphere about those projected instrument.

    Presentation

    Both the DX100 Sabre DAC and ODAC, delivers on the “atmosphere” like conditions that I like to mention in my reviews. Both delivers the details, scale and oomph, you’d expect. In this section, it really boils down to preference.

    If I have to put the DX100 Sabre DAC and ODAC as people, then the DX100 would be the well dressed lady in colourful designer wear, creating a very welcoming and pleasant aura about her. While the ODAC would be the straight-up power suit guy in a slick Hugo Boss business attire, powerful yet attractive presence.

    Conclusion and Thoughts

    The ODAC is clearly more aggressive compared to the DX100 Sabre DAC. That can be a good thing depending on what you’re listening to, and the mood you’re in. It’s probably better to go with the DX100 DAC, if you’re looking to unwind after a long and stressful day…

  22. maty says:

    LECTURA OBLIGADA

    Head-Fi Samsung Galaxy S vs. Musical Fidelity M1DAC – unbelievable, does my DAC work? derbigpr

    …After those preparations, I then press the play button in Foobar and on my phone at the same time, so that songs are playing simultaneously and at exactly the same volume level.

    After closing my eyes, and then pressing the input selector button, surprise surprise, ABSOLUTELY NO difference in sound. And I mean, ABSOLUTELY NONE. None whatsoever. Not even changes in sound signature. Zero. I guess that means both have a flat frequency response. I was mindfcked when I first realized that my phone sounds exactly the same as my 800$ DAC. I mean, what the hell? Is this a joke? Is the Galaxy S a steal for the money, or is the M1DAC a pile of crap? And in comparison to other DAC (CA Dac Magic) I compared it to in the Hi-Fi store on speakers, it actually sounded slighlty better. I could not believe what I was hearing so I asked my dad and uncle who happened to be around the house to have a quick listen as well.

    I used a wide variety of songs, from rock, jazz, classical, vocal, heavy bass songs, songs heavy on details or high frequencies, or with big soundstages…even used 30 tracks from “The ultimate demonstation disc”. Nowhere did I find even the most subtle differences in the sound between the two, not in signature, not in impact, not in clarity, soundstage, details, separation, imaging, extension in either direction…nothing, on any volume, on any headphone, on any track, no matter how complex or demanding. And when I say no difference, I really mean no difference, both inputs sounded 100% identical.

    I’m so sorry right now that I sold my Asus Xonar ST and am unable to do the comparison between it and the M1, but they sounded pretty similar too with ST having harsh highs, although I never A-B tested them.

    Uno de mis amigos en RetroShare compró recientemente el nuevo Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, que sobremuestrea internamente a 24/192. Ahora le envío el enlace. Recuerdo que le dije, al enterarme de que no podía utilizar ASIO, que había comprado un pisapapeles 😉

    • maty says:

      En el chat privado que mantenemos ahora mismo en RetroShare me dice que el del artículo es el modelo viejo, recientemente descatalogado.

      studio-22.com Musical Fidelity M1DAC

      El suyo es el nuevo, que permite 24/96 vía USB.

      musicalfidelity.com M1DAC

      Inputs

      1x XLR AES balanced digital input
      1x RCA coaxial connector SPDIF 32-192 kbps (16-24 bit stereo PCM)
      1x TOSLINK optical connector 32-96 kbps (16-24 bit stereo PCM)
      1x USB type ‘B’ connector for computer/PDA – 16-24 bits, 32-96 kbps (Determined by source file/computer settings)

  23. maty says:

    asus.com ASUS Launches the User-Tunable Xonar Essence One Plus Edition

    …The six Op-Amps deemed most unique in their impact on sound character were selected to be part of the Xonar Essence One Plus Edition, the first USB DAC with a bundled Op-Amp swap kit. By combining the original Texas Instruments TI-NE5532 Op-Amps with four Texas Instruments TI-OPA2132PA and two NS-LM4562NA Op-Amps, the special edition allows for five unique tonal impression customization options.

    The kit even includes an IC clamp, a screw driver, and an Op-Amp swap guide which shares various Op-Amp tips based on the Xonar team’s findings. These make swapping any of the existing eleven Op-Amps easy for quick audio modification based on personal preference.

    The kit further offers compatibility with other Xonar products, including the Xonar Essence ST/STX, Xonar Xense, and Xonar DS/DSX.

  24. maty says:

    Head-Fi Brief Odac impressions – Page 30. #435 Funky-kun

    I had the chance to A/B today against the Xonar Essence STX (/w LME49720s) for an hour in a quiet listening environment.

    I think overall the ODAC is a step up from the STX’s DAC.

    ODAC is clearer sounding in the mid frequencies and lets more of the recording’s details through. As such the sense of ambience in recordings is enhanced.

    I think it is a question of the brain getting used to it, but absorbing more information from the mids tends to create the illusion of lesser bass presence in terms of quantity. However, when tested with bass notes, the ODAC clearly has no deficiency. In comparison the STX sounds like the sound has more body, but it is muffled.

    The ODAC’s highs are the biggest improvement over the STX. They just seem more realistic on good acoustic recordings – clear, extended and with remarkable resolution. In contrast the STX is harsh and sibilant at times.

    I wouldn’t say the STX sounds bad, but the ODAC seems to offer better fidelity. The differences weren’t night and day, but obvious enough to be clearly noticed in a short listening session.

    I also noticed that the ODAC did produce a high-pitched noise when connected to a switched off desktop PC. Strangely this doesn’t happen when connected to my laptop.

  25. maty says:

    JDS Labs Blog Endplate Experiments & RCA Jacks for ODAC

    We’ve avoided RCA outputs on the Standalone ODAC for several reasons. RCA jacks take longer to assemble and cost more than a 3.5mm jack, but this has been irrelevant to our decision.

    We haven’t offered RCA jacks on the ODAC due to virtually identical performance: Why complicate a product with multiple variations and increased build cost at no benefit? The 3.5mm jack on the ODAC circuit board is wired to the same line output header as used by RCA jacks. Some customers have asked, “Aren’t 3.5mm cables more lossy than RCA?”. As NwAvGuy has stated, characteristic impedance is a non-issue in unbalanced audio systems. There are no impedance mismatches to be concerned with, and there are no significant losses resulting from the use of a 3.5mm cable. Crosstalk might change negligibly (1-3dB), but overall, it’s a myth that RCA cables are less lossy than 3.5mm cords. Case in point, why would NwAvGuy (an audio benchmark and measurement fanatic) have designed the ODAC with a 3.5mm jack if it were “lossy”? He wouldn’t have! I’m sure NwAvGuy can provide benchmarks if badgered…

  26. maty says:

    Somewhere over the rainbow…

    Raspberry Pi as music server

    Raspberry and ODAC work together and the ODAC produces a good sound quality as on the other PC systems. But only with 16 bits. Took me some time to find out, it wasn’t easy to configure but at least this works. If someone is happy with 16 bit music the Raspberry ODAC chain is probably the lowest cost highest sound quality chain available today!!

    Changing the bitrate to 24 arises problems with the usb stack, resulting in very short random dropouts. Unlistenable. I changed the Linux system and the driver according to discussions about the usb stack implementation in Raspberry forums but the problem remained unsolved. The driver/ARM processor/whatever in this Raspberry seems too slow for the ODAC requirements on 24 bits.

  27. maty says:

    NwAvGuy ODAC May Update. #moman Jul 3, 2012 03:16 PM

    NwAvGuy a few posts before you reacted about the Raspberry Pi and you said “I think there was some early speculation about how robust the UAC1 Linux driver stack is for ARM”

    Well I tested the ODAC on my Synology NAS 411 Slim.

    My nas runs Linux and has an ARM cpu and so far the ODAC on my Synology sounds superb. From 16 bits, 44100 khz to 24 bits, 96000 khz and no sound skips at all.

    It was immediately recognized as “UAC1 DAC – GYROCOM C&C CO., LTD”.

    On the nas I tried the Synology built in Audiostation as well as MPD music server software. From the first moment on the ODAC played very well with both music servers.

    Hardwarelook.com Synology DS411 Slim NAS Device Review

  28. maty says:

    Hifivision.com The Objective DAC is Here! Audiodoc

    Comparisons:

    • The ODAC is audibly better than the FiiO E7. Its tonality is similar to the DIY burr brown DAC however its extracts more detail. When compared to the quad Wolfson 8740 the ODAC performs better in the bass and treble region however the midrange is smoother in the former

    Más adelante configura mejor el reproductor foobar2000 y entonces:

    Softwares used was the latest version of foobar 2000 with WASAPI set at 24 bits output will buffer at 1000 ms with the DAC as the default audio device in windows set at 24 bits.

    The result was night and day especially in the midrange where you could easily hear the vocal nuances of the singers. The tonality and timbre of instruments was so natural. One could easily make out the riffs of the bass guitar from other instruments, some thing that used to get washed out in the thumps of the bigger drums. Similarly the higher end gets smoother. The most testing tracks are the ones in which there a number of crescendos and all of them were reproduced authentically…

    Por cierto, recomiendo actualizar el componente resampler SoX a la 0.7.9. Y otros, como:

    foo_input_monkey 2.1.6

    resampler SoX 0.7.9

    ASIO support 2.1.2

  29. maty says:

    AVForums.com Epiphany Acoustics E-DAC 24-bit USB DAC Review Steve Withers

    When it came to the actual listening tests the E-DAC performed admirably with a neutral tone and detailed reproduction, regardless of what we chose to listen to. The dynamic range was excellent, with a clean delivery at both extremes and a well-composed midrange. The soundtrack to ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, with its complex mix of orchestral instruments and choral arrangements, was delivered with a precise clarity. The E-DAC was also capable of delivering an impressive stereo soundstage, with clarity and precise imaging. The beginning of ‘Limehouse Blues’ from ‘Jazz at the Pawnshop’ is a great test of envelopment, offering plenty of detail and localised sounds.

    However, where the E-DAC really excelled was with complex musical arrangements, allowing individual instruments or voices to be identified without being lost amongst each other. Female vocals are always a good test and the E-DAC handled Rickie Lee Jones’ ‘Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo’ without sounding strident or brittle. However it took male vocals in its stride just as well, delivering Dave Gilmour’s performance on Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ with clarity and ease. The overall result was a pleasing audio experience that delivered a very convincing performance that was hard to fault…

    The manufacturer’s specifications for this product

    Distortion <0.005%

    Dynamic Range >110dB A-Weighted

    Audio Formats 44.1kHz, 28kHz & 96kHz @ both 16 and 24-bits

    Interface USB Audio Class 1

    Compatibility Windows, Mac & Linux

    Line Output 2Vrms

    Accessories 0.5m USB to Mini USB cable, 4 adhesive rubber feet

    Dimensions (WxHxD) 64x20x54mm

    Weight 74g

  30. maty says:

    My comment in the Stefan Walter blog/shop Head ‘n’ HiFi

    http://www.headnhifi.com/index.php/shop/objective/odac

    I ordered an ODAC RCA stand alone (black) at 7/08/2012 (evening). Got it today 14/08/2012 (Tarragona, Spain).

    It sounds incredible!!!

    Note: scipio = maty, from Nauscopio Scipiorum

    116 € !!!

  31. maty says:

    Tras unas cuantas horas de funcionamiento y escuchando mis músicas de referencia y otras que tengo muy escuchadas, en distintos formatos: 16/44, 16/96, 24/88(*), 24/96, 24/192(*) de ripeos de CD, vinilo, SACD y HDtrack…

    decir que el ODAC es una maravilla, una auténtica GANGA por los 116 € que me ha costado.

    Si estáis utilizando la salida analógica del audio integrado de vuestro PC o portátil para escuchar música -bien grabada y ripeada- en mono/estéreo, LA MEJORA MÁS ÓPTIMA que podéis hacer es este DAC USB.

    Mañana lo probaré -si me dejan- con las cajas Denon, que ahora vuelvo a tener abajo, a la espera de construir un soporte con patas de 50cm. Dichas cajas, tras una nueva mejora en la parte trasera, suenan de escándalooooooooo.

    (*) Nota: ODAC no puede nativamente con 24/88 y 24/192, los cuales remuestrea automáticamente a 24/44 y 24/96.

    Nota 2: la cajita del ODAC es pequeñísima!!!

  32. maty says:

    Unas fotos del ODAC de Head ‘n’ Hifi.

    Fijaos en lo pequeñito que es:

  33. maty says:

    noblehifi.blogspot.co.uk Epiphany Acoustics EHP-02D – review

    Epiphany are not pulling any punches with this model, featuring the ES9023 Sabre DAC and a high quality headphone amplifier for well under £200 is quite a stunning entry to the market. It’s the only portable DAC & amp in my group test not to be powered by USB so it’s a little less convenient that some, but can it justify that with superior sound quality?..

  34. Alfon says:

    Tengo por aquí una Sound Blaster Live Value que la voy a tener que jubilar, no hay manera de que funcione en W7. Así que voy a revisar los comentarios sobre las Asus a ver si me decido.

    • maty says:

      Si quieres disfrutar de la música (las películas las reproduce sólo en estéreo, pero muy bien) en estéreo no tengas duda alguna: el ODAC diseñado por NvAwGuy, vendido -entre otros- en Head ‘n’ Hifi (116€ puesto en casa).

      La alternativa es una ASUS barata si tus altavoces son de juguete y sin modificar.

      En unos foros en inglés donde participo, uno compró dos integrados al poco de salir -antes de venderse con cajita. Y lo alterna con el Bitfrost de Schiit con USB (449$). Y confirma que suena tan bien como el Benchmarck DAC1 USB (1195$), que era el objetivo de su diseño, y del que todos coinciden que es un DAC de referencia.

  35. Alfon says:

    Gracias maty. Creo que tiraré por la Asus barata ya que es para los juegos del niño. De todas formas estoy viendo el ODAC e igual me la pido para reyes ;-).

  36. maty says:

    Somewhere over the rainbow – October 14, 2012

    Well, I’ve logged a good 10+ hours with the ODAC, and I must say I’m quite impressed and satisfied. This is coming from someone who owned a Nuforce Icon UDAC II. The UDAC II is absolute garbage compared to the ODAC. The UDAC II has a very high jitter level and a serious problem playing back music bit perfect. I listen to everything from a portable HDD, so I now only get jitter from the HDD spinning up for the first time. With the ODAC, everything is in its right place in the soundstage. I can now actually notice tape hiss, surface noise, clicks, pops, etc on all sorts of mediums. Separation between instruments is most impressive. I can now notice a lot more of the little things in an album.

    I decided on the O2+ODAC combo because I don’t think I’ll be upgrading this dac anytime soon. I figured getting the integrated amplifier would be best because if anything, I might upgrade headphones somewhere on down the road. For $300, this is the literally the best bang for your buck.

  37. maty says:

    computeraudiophile.com Meridian Explorer USB DAC Review

    Conclusion

    Meridian has outdone itself with the $299 Explorer USB DAC / headphone amplifier. Externally the Explorer exudes quality in both look and feel. Internally the design is excellent with a sophisticated six layer board, audiophile caps, and the XMOS USB chip. Functionally the Explorer does it all. A pocket-sized DAC capable of high resolution playback up through 24 bit / 192 kHz, user switchable firmware for customized feature sets, and great sound quality. The hat trick of external elegance, internal sophistication, and superior sonics put this product head and shoulders above the competition and places it on the CASH List . The Meridian Explorer is a product computer audiophiles will want to be seen with at the local coffee shop.

"Age quod agis et bene agis" - Hagas lo que hagas, hazlo bien

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